Okay. Real talk. Lately, my motivation to work on Psycutlery has been on the wane. To get to the point, I have long pondered a significant change of direction, seeking to reassess the whole creative and technological process.
And then, one day, Windows 10 updated, and suddenly, my PC wasn’t even good enough to run my own game anymore. I suppose I should be saying, “Microsoft, no. BAD Microsoft!” but the truth is… my computer kinda sorta is getting on in years.
Well, okay, maybe that picture isn’t entirely accurate. You got me. HERE is my computer.
You know, I never, initially, considered myself to be a game developer first and foremost. It was just a sort of fun thing I did on the side of my illustration work. So therefore, when looking for a PC, my prerequisite was, more or less, “runs Photoshop,” and by golly, them ancient Greeks gave me what I needed at an affordable price.
Yes, I prooooobably should be stuffing Microsoft in the crate for the night and telling them, “no treats,” but more than anything, this sparked something of a realization. If I am to take this whole gamedev thing seriously, I should REALLY get with the times.
Does this mean a new computer? Possibly. But, in truth, there is so much more to the whole “embracing the future” shtick than simply a better computer.
To explain… I have long been stuck in a sort of technological time loop involving the game development software I have casually tinkered around with since the 1990’s. It worked for me and for what I did.
It began with the now ancient “Klik and Play,” which gradually evolved, over the years, into what is now known as “Clickteam Fusion.” This line of software gave me many happy memories and shaped my psychological development as I know it.
It helped me to grow. To learn. To love. To share. To recite redundant clichés.
But alas, as I grew, Clickteam Fusion was, at its heart, still the “Klik and Play” from way back when. Soon, the growth it inspired in me would outclass its own.
Therefore, the time has come to remove the training wheels. With a heavy heart in tow, I must now say goodbye to my beloved Clickteam software.
And you know what that means, right?
Yeah, I’m scrapping everything and restarting from scratch.
[OH NO etc.]
A difficult decision, to be sure, but ultimately, I feel the final product will only benefit from it. I’d be lying if I wasn’t overcome with feelings of, “gosh, I sure hope I know what I am doing.” After all, the next question on the table is: if not Clickteam Fusion, then what? I am leaning towards the Unity engine right now – a coding environment of which my experience can best be summed up as “Jack squat. Nada.” But hey, I’m always one for a fun learning experience.
And besides… I was planning on putting the game on hiatus anyway, for the sake of focusing on art and other assets. Good time to learn the basics, no?
Uh… aren’t you being a TEENSY bit drastic?
Maybe, but one needs to consider the future. Clickteam Fusion served its purpose as an educational tool. However, it lacks the feasibility to smoothly port games beyond its original PC / Windows environment. Judging by social media feedback (or more-or-less general lack thereof), along with the mountains of comments on this blog (which are totally there, you just have to squint harder), I personally – I am not speaking for anybody else here – don’t see this project resonating in any significant (or even moderate) capacity with the general PC gamer audience…
…without sticking Waluigi in it or something. Gotta love copyright infringement, huh? It is here I must, reluctantly, discuss my somewhat admittedly embarrassing past as… siiiigh… a fangame developer.
I’d always stick a disclaimer on the startup screen of every fangame, stating that it is only to be distributed strictly as FREEWARE, and that it is in no way endorsed or condoned by the owners of the original properties. Even still, I wasn’t sure I fully grasped the legal implications of the whole deal. Should I have shown my work to the general PC gamer base, I’m sure I would have been rightfully spat upon. However, there is a genuine audience for this sort of thing.
I found an audience of Nintendo fans, who happened to enjoy freeware games on their PCs. But first and foremost… they were Nintendo fans. They loved Psycho Waluigi up there. They loved it enough to compare it to Nintendo’s official work. It would become referenced in other fan projects, picked up by some significant YouTubers and Let’s Players, and even going so far as to spawn a notable crack pairing involving Waluigi and one of the game’s original characters. Can’t make this stuff up, kids.
Thus far, Psycutlery, its all-original spiritual successor, has mainly just picked up that last bit. With Spark the Electric Jester, apparently. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. But ahem.
What I am saying is that I feel Nintendo fans would be more receptive to my work. I count myself among that group, so I know what kind of games I want to play. The jokes about how ancient my computer is up there? Yeah, that should clue you in on how much of a PC gamer I am. Not to knock other platforms, they’re perfectly fine (and in many ways, superior, depending on who you are and what you want) – but I’m sure I speak for all Nintendo fans when I know where I would rather play my games.
Now, excuse me while I get in my time machine, and take a picture of Psycutlery being played in the future.
See? See what I’m getting at?
I don’t feel I need to explain what. Just look.
Do you see it?!
No? Do I need to tell you?
Oooooh, if you insist…
Look closely at the photo. And… THERE IT IS! I FOUND MY PENCIL SHARPENER! Seriously, look behind K.K. Slider. Dog with the guitar. The cylinder-shaped thing behind him! This is a true story: I had seriously been looking for that thing for a long time, but then I go and snap this photo, and lo! It was hiding under my monitor. I saw it in the photo before even seeing it person.
So, yeah, I finally found my pencil sharpener. That is all. Have a nice day!
Oh, something about Psycutlery on 3DS you say?
Well, that photo is in fact legit, but…
The 3DS here is running the browser app, viewing a screenshot of Psycutlery. Because of course it is.
As you can see, somebody, i.e. me, is desperate enough to play into such a fantasy to go as far as to create the closest thing possible to a real-life replica. And strangely, I am not the only one who feels this way about my work – Psycho Waluigi on PSP, anyone?
But, is all this truly a fantasy? Well, it probably won’t come to the 3DS. Oh, no. I’m thinking something a bit bigger. More modern.
You know, I was about to Photoshop a screenshot of my game onto the above image, but now that I think about it… why? Why would I when a very real possibility, however faint, really and truly exists?
Granted, it’s QUITE the long shot right now, but ultimately, it’s a goal worth working towards. And with this change in direction, I feel like this is the first step, if nothing more.
So, here’s where we’re at.
Psycutlery, in its current state, will be scrapped in the favor of restarting it in a more versatile, more empowering coding environment. The scrapped version might still be released freely as a sort of proof-of-concept prototype.
Coding and game design will be put on hiatus while I focus on additional art assets and such for the game. During this time, I will also research and attempt to learn new game design software, most likely Unity.
The goal, ultimately, will be to have the game released on Nintendo consoles, although a PC version may still happen (worth a shot, anyway). Nothing is set in stone, no promises and so on… who can say what the future holds.
That’s the long and the short of it. Another time, another place. We’ll be in touch.