All posts by Jonathan Hawkins

Writer of e-books, creator of indie games, questioner of many absurdities, and thinker of outside the box. When not creating, chances are good you'll find me enjoying one of my life passions: Reading fantasy novels and spiritual/metaphysical books, immersing myself in video games (role playing, racing, and visual novel games are some of my favorites), suffocating myself beneath a mountain of Japanese anime and other animated shows (in a good way), and more recently, gemstone collecting.

Changes After Having Taken A Break

I took November off from working on Death? Preposterous! so I could focus on some smaller writing projects as a much-needed change of pace. It ended up being a fruitful and successful venture, and gave me the change-up that I needed, allowing me to come back with renewed clarity and focus.

I also decided to make some changes as well. One of those was to how my Patreon page is going to function from now on, including moving old posts into public visibility status and removing tiers. You can read more about the Patreon related changes here in this post: https://www.patreon.com/posts/returning-with-22959066

The other major changes have to do with the last parts of the game that still need completion. I am still considering some of these, but I think some features I had wanted to include I am going to greatly simplify or remove altogether in the interest of actually getting the game completed before I burn out on it. I got close to doing so after September and October, and at this point I want to finish it and move onto other things, so I can’t keep adding in all these last minute features and ideas onto what is already a mostly completed game. It just bloats the scope crazily, and what I need to be doing instead is tying up loose ends and calling it good, and actually getting this game out into the world.

So for those of you who weren’t following along with my Patreon thanks to the paywalls I had set up before, those are gone now and everything is accessible for free from here on out. So please enjoy the exclusive content I had put up there, including the behind-the-scenes stuff regarding Death? Preposterous!, and please look forward to future content there as well, on a looser basis than the rigid schedule I started myself out with.

The appreciation that comes with small moments of progress

Sometimes you get stuck on things. In my case, this week it was stuck dealing with an issue in one of the final scenes in my game not functioning the way I thought it would as I originally pieced it all together. It took a lot of trial and error and testing, but I finally got it figured out, and now the scene that was previously broken is functioning as I originally had intended for it to.

Even though I can’t really say I got very much “done” this week, I’m grateful I was able to take something moderately complex that was “broken” and get it functioning properly again. It was a relief in a sense, knowing it is now working properly. Even amidst my feelings of frustration for a perceived lack of overall productivity, there was still a sense of gratitude for making this sort of “little progress” on an unexpected hurdle.

Feel Like You’re Missing Out?

Then head on over to: https://www.patreon.com/jayrayhawk and become a patron to get instant access!

I’ve been most active there, posting regular updates on what I’m working on, and giving folks a behind-the-scenes first look at a lot of content, with more on the way!

In time, I’ll be posting some of the content here on my blog as well as my social media pages, but patrons get access to it months before anyone else, as well as some patron exclusive content that isn’t going to be posted outside of Patreon!

So if you’re interested in discovering more, consider becoming my patron today at: https://www.patreon.com/jayrayhawk

My Patreon Page is Live!

You can check it out here! https://www.patreon.com/jayrayhawk

This is something I’ve wanted to do for awhile now, but I wasn’t really sure how to go about it.

Most of the time I see folks who are artists, or doing the kinds of things where they are able to produce a lot of tangible content frequently (videos or music etc.), who are using Patreon to its best effect. I believe those are the sorts of things that it fits best in general.

As an indie game developer and self-publishing indie author solo act, it took some extra consideration on how exactly I could put one together and still give people something worth subscribing for, without necessarily having to devote a huge amount of time into creating additional content beyond what I’m already working on just to appease the expectations of patrons.

I felt like whatever I did with Patreon rewards, it needed to be as a natural extension or result of what I already am producing for the most part, rather than adding a bunch of extra stuff to my workload. That was the challenge that I faced in trying to think of a way to provide rewards to folks who were generous enough to help support me financially.

But after awhile of considering what I could do and what I had to offer others in this regard, I did manage to come up with enough ideas to launch a Patreon page of my own starting today, which you can check out here: https://www.patreon.com/jayrayhawk

For now I have settled on two tiers with content that I believe I will be able to add fairly regularly, at least a couple times a month. My goal is an average of one post or update a week, with a minimum I’ve set myself for at least one update a month. This is my first time trying something like this, so I kept my commitments to it on the low side, that way I don’t get in over my head early on and end up feeling overwhelmed by it.

We’ll see how it goes though! I appreciate everyone who takes the time out of their day to check it out, and spreading the word about it would really help me out!

Updated Game Info: New Release Window, Non-violent Design Philosophy

After the better part of a year, I’ve updated the page on my site regarding my game in development Death? Preposterous! with new information and images.

There is a new target release window for the game, and additional insight into some of my design philosophies and goals that I have had throughout the creation and development process.

I plan to update the page even further after the game has released as well, so you can look forward to that.

You can check it out here: https://jayrayhawk.com/games/death-preposterous/

New Banner Images

It’s been quite some time since I’ve been active here, but that’s because my focus has been on working more on Death? Preposterous! until I can complete it.

In the meantime, I have taken a number of screenshots of the game, and I’ve updated the banner images you see at the top of my site using these new images.

They’ll randomly be chosen from the pool of 30 images as you navigate this website, but you can check them all out below in this post too.

For those of you following along with my twitter account or my facebook page, you’ll notice that I’ve also updated to a new image there as well.

 

My Recent Game Development Progress

As I mentioned in the previous post, and as followers have no doubt noticed, it has been quite awhile since I’ve last posted anything of substance here.

During this time period I have still been working on my indie RPG Maker game “Death? Preposterous!”, but the progress hasn’t been totally steady over the past 4 months. There was a good solid stretch of time for about 2 months where I was in a really bad productivity/life slump that started back in February and ran through most of April as well.

This was a long stretch of time where I was unable to motivate myself to do much of anything, even the things I normally would enjoy working on, like my game project, I felt pretty lackluster overall and was unable to make much progress.

However in the past few weeks that feeling has finally subsided and I have begun working on it in earnest again. There is no such thing as “making up for lost time” really, but I also realize now how much longer it is taking to bring the ideas from my mind into reality in the game itself. Everything takes an excessively longer period of time to implement than I imagine it will. It’s simple to think of an idea, but takes much more time and effort to actually bring it into existence.

For example, recently I have been adding wildlife into the game to help the maps feel less empty and barren. I feel like it has been an excellent addition to the game and helps bring the game world to life. I originally thought this would be a simple thing to do that I could have finished in a few days at worst, and it has taken me weeks instead of days, and I am still not quite done adding wildlife to all of the maps.

Many setbacks like these, unrealistic visions of the ideas in my head vs. the actual time and effort required to implement them the way I imagined them, end up taking the scope of the project and throwing it out the window.

Two things I have definitely learned from this experience making this game off, and mostly on, over the past 9 months are:

  1. An RPG is too much time consuming work for a single person to complete in any sort of reasonable amount of time on their own, and
  2. I am apparently not a person who is going to be able to accurately estimate when a project will be “done” ahead of time… not even remotely close. I was terrible at it in the office job I held for 7 years before I quit that and started this (risky? insane? wonderful?) period of self-employment, and I’m terrible at guessing how long it’ll take even when I’m in full control of the project as is the case with creating this RPG Maker game.

So… I’m not even going to try and guess anymore “when it will be done” because I’ve learned I cannot imagine anything close to the realistic truth of it, as far as how long something will actually take to complete. Even when I grossly over-estimate in my head to “be sure I’ll make it by then”, even that ends up being not enough time to meet the reality of it all.

All that said… I am at a point in the development where I know I’m getting close to the end (relatively speaking) of the project, and what I originally envisioned for the game is not impossibly distant anymore. In other words the game is far enough along at this point that it is feeling like an actual game now. Things are coming together, and it’s no longer just a bunch of random bits and pieces shoved together but rather feeling like a cohesive whole “thing”….or at least like it’s getting there.

In other words it’s far enough along at this point that I am going to continue to see it through until it is finished, even if that takes a lot longer than I thought it would (it always seems to) to reach that point, I’m going to reach it.

It’s exciting knowing that I’ve made it far enough to where it is really starting to come together and be a real thing. I can definitely see the “light at the end of the tunnel” as the saying goes….it’s still a ways off, so don’t get too excited, but it no longer feels like I’m just bumbling about in the darkness. There really is an end to it all and I can see it off in the distance at this point.

So if you were to ask me today, when will the game finally be out? I don’t know and I’m tired of pretending like I have a reasonable idea when the real answer is “It’s done when it’s finished and I’m satisfied with it.” Maybe this summer? Maybe in the fall? Maybe later than I can imagine? Regardless of the time it does end up taking me to finish though, I am confident that there is enough of a game here now that I will see it through to completion in any case. It wants to be born into this world and I’m doing my best within my limited means to create it. Just finishing it and getting it out to the world is my goal at this point, and I feel that will be accomplishment enough.

As a final thought for this post, you may have noticed that the banner images on my site redesign are different than they used to be. Did you notice they also change from time to time? They all feature recent screenshots from some of the maps and characters in Death? Preposterous! and I thought it would be a nice idea to show you the full versions of those screenshots here in this post, since you can only get so much of an idea from a banner sized image.

You can click on the images below to see them in their larger original sizes. Please keep in mind that these are technically still screenshots of a game currently in development and do not necessarily represent the final version of the game… though to be honest they are pretty far along and at this point I don’t imagine there will be too many other changes to how these areas look other than perhaps a few cosmetic tweaks or additions, so this should be a pretty solid look at these areas.

I will have some more updates in the future (at some point) with more details about the game’s story and characters and features etc., and the storefront page on itch.io is slowly coming together too. I’ll probably share that with everyone when I get it looking a bit better finalized, and fill it with more information about the game as well, so you can look forward to that at some undetermined point in the future. In the meanwhile I’m getting back to work on finishing up the parts of the game I still need to do. However long that takes is however long that takes, but hopefully not too terribly much longer now. We’ll see how it goes. Just keep moving forward. Progress is progress yes?