Hey! FJORDS won the WTF award at A MAZE! It was up against some incredible games and I am very surprised and happy about this. The very next day, the last undiscovered ending to the game was witnessed by Ian Snyder, Alex May, and Cam Lewis. Congratulations to them, delightful confluence of triumph.
I’ve started working on VERSNOOF again, and I’m happy to find that I don’t hate it. The time away has been good; I can see what needs to be done and I have the energy to do it. Before, I kept getting stuck on vestigial ideas from the First Idea, the Grand Vision I had for the game before I actually started making it; as one of my oldest Dream Projects, there were two paths I was trying to make it walk down at once:
1. A glowy mashup of SINISTAR and HUNT THE WUMPUS,
2. Diablo in the Pacific Northwest, Heavy-Handed Narrative Version
As of right now, I don’t intend to put any talking in VERSNOOF whatsoever. There is a story to it, but I think I’m going to let it burble up through the cracks of the game and I won’t consciously try to let the player know about it.
It is interesting making two Very Arcadey games after making FJORDS; both FJOREVER and VERSNOOF are all bout that action. I find myself worrying more about Controls and Balance and all that, and it’s a little bit scary! Because I’m trying harder, and trying harder is always scary because then you don’t get to just walk away with a w/e and a That’s Just The Way That I Am Baby. And then there is the sound:
The sound for FJOREVER has been really fun, because it’s more of the same Pretending To Make A Videogame On A Casio SK-1 stuff I did for FJORDS. I’m really happy with the sounds the blocks make as they pop in and out of phase, a nice combination of musical notes and lip-smacking sounds. Fun stuff! VERSNOOF is so so so so much harder. I’ve decided to keep using the DS (mainly because I don’t have another condenser mic and I do really like the fidelity I get out of the DS mic most of the time), but I’m trying to get some less human sounds and preventing every recording from dissolving into bitcrushed CHAOS is very difficult. I’m embracing it a little bit – there is a nice SINISTAR quality to overdriven samples – but it’s taking me much longer to find a good audio footprint for each of the cave’s entities.
That’s another thing: I’m trying to make VERSNOOF a game that will reward caution, and also make SEEING very dangerous, which means LISTENING has to carry a lot of information to the player. So everything needs to feel distinct, but I still want some panic and claustrophobia, so yeah. It’s been a challenge. I’m excited about it, though, and eager to post some more progress soon.
(slime death sound)