Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shameless self-promotion: A summary of my self-made games

Once upon a time I read that the first ten games of any game designer turn out to be horrible. Only after that many failures he has enough experience and practice to produce something that is remotely playable. I hope the number is just a rough estimate, because it will take a looooong time to get there. 
In this article I want to give you a brief insight into what I came up with until now. Beginning with my very first game and ending with what I think is my masterpiece

was my very first project. And as expected it is not a very consistent experience since I was still a beginner and every time I discovered a new function it was immediately implemented in the map (= area) I was currently working on while the older maps were not updated. In fact, there were 2 world maps with a completely different layout and you were never sure on which you would land when leaving a dungeon.
Unfortunately, the project was too ambitious for its own good and only 40% were completed when I ultimately abandoned it.

Soul Gates was my second attempt at creating a game. This time, the scope of the game was much smaller and a priority was set on finishing the game. Small maps, only one city and no custom graphics. The plan worked out quite well, within a week 50% of the game was finished already. I even uploaded a demo version, but it could not gather any attention at all. This seriously dampened my enthusiasm and I scrapped this project, too.

Time Gates was another ambitious attempt,featuring customized graphics, an improved, more dynamic combat system and lots of options to build the characters the way you want. This would have become a very time consuming effort if not for a contest that was announced a few weeks later wich led to the cancellation of this project.

Hell Gates was born in the wake of this contest. It was created within three brutal and mostly sleepless months, always keeping in mind the most difficult rule of said contest: no written words. Yes, you have read it right: it is an RPG without any single letter in it. You need a very good understandig of RPG basics to get anywhere in this game. On the bright side, you can play it regardless of the language you speak. (You can download the game here.)


Up to this point, Hell Gates was the only game I was able to finish. But I had to cut out a lot of things (for example...well...text) which did not sit well with me. So I started working at a sequel called Hell Gates 2 - Valadurs Erbe. Now I wanted to go all in and take everything I learned in the last years and create a game as close to my vision as possible. Even if it would take forever and it would be my last game, I didn´t care.

And guess what, after only 8 (!) years of planning, executing, scrapping and reworking it was finally finished. You can take an extensive look at it on my YouTube-Channel. It can be downloaded here. However, it is only in German at the moment so maybe we should wait for someone to translate it (hint, hint).

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