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.

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?

Site Changes

I’ve taken the liberty of changing the layout of my site. You’ll no doubt notice this as you read this post if you have visited before. There are still a few kinks to work out, and some things might not be fully functional or laid out exactly how I’d like them yet, so please bear with me during this transition.

It has been a long time since I posted anything here, and I was contemplating whether or not to even continue running the site, but in the end I decided to keep it around, and just refresh things a little bit to hopefully better focus on what I am trying to accomplish.

More changes and additions will be forthcoming, including information on what I have been up to during the 4 months of silence, but for now I just wanted to put out this small update to get the ball rolling, so to speak.

You know you’ve made a sound choice when…

You can tell if you’ve made a sound choice, given sound advice, or done right by yourself and others in any given situation. There are some tricks to it that you need to be conscious of.

The first and most important thing is always trust your intuition. Lead with your first, most positive thought or idea.

Here’s an example the majority of us can relate to:
You drive to the store to buy some groceries or sundries or whatever, and as you’re leaving the parking lot on your way out, you see a person holding a sign that’s asking for assistance, be it money or food or a drink, etc.

What do you think when you see this?
How many thoughts run through your mind in those few moments of time between your stop at the traffic light and even after you drive away from that person?
If you’re anything like me, you probably get a half dozen or more different thoughts running through your head during those scant few seconds. Not all of them “good” ones either.

First tend to be the more positive, empathetic ones:

  • That poor person.
  • I wish I could help.
  • Can I help?
  • Do I have any money with me right now?
  • Can I afford it?
  • If things went differently, that might be me out there holding that sign.
  • I wonder when the last time was they ate?

Then, next come the more doubtful, limiting ones:

  • I only have a few coins in change, that person would probably be insulted if that was all I gave them.
  • I don’t have the money to spare right now.
  • What if this person is lying?
  • Are they really poor at all or is it a scam?
  • I don’t have time to stop.
  • The people in the cars behind me will get mad if I do.
  • Maybe next time.

These thoughts and more might spiral around in your head in a quick and dizzying fashion.
But here’s the trick to situations like this: stop thinking, start acting.

Your instinct, that very first intuitive impulse that you had to empathize with and be charitable towards this person. That’s all you need. Act on that. Give to that person and don’t think twice about it (literally, just keep the first positive thought you had, then act.)

If for some reason your first thought is not a charitable one, then it means you are afraid. You are afraid of something or someone about that situation to the point that you are letting it control you. Acknowledge this fact, and examine your fears. What is it that you are afraid of?

Once you’ve discovered why you are afraid, ask yourself why you are letting that fear hold you back from demonstrating your truth. Then the next time you are in that situation, remember how your first reaction was one of fear. Be conscious of it. Focus on your thoughts of empathy towards that person or situation, compassion, love. Let those positive thoughts be stronger than the fearful ones.

For you see, the secret to truly knowing you have made the right decision in any given moment, is when you feel at peace with your actions, words, or choices, even despite your fears. If you want to find that inner peace, act more out of your first, highest, intuitive positive thought.

What if… companies had to show their cost to customers?

How would things change in the world if businesses had to put the price they paid for a product right next to the price they charge a customer?

Would you, as a customer, feel okay knowing you’re paying two, three, five, or even ten times more than a retailer paid for that product you are considering buying?

I will let you in on a (not very big) secret: you’re doing that right now, today, in a lot of cases, even if (or perhaps especially because) companies are not required to divulge this information.

On a similar note, do you, as a business owner, operator, or employee, feel like you are working with integrity and decency charging two, three, five, or ten times what you paid for a thing? For those that currently do this in excess, does it feel justified to you? At the end of the day do you feel good about the way this works?

What if… there was a single World Government that held authority?

Before you cry foul, think about it. We have a much smaller model of this idea in existence today: the United States has a single national government body overseeing the collective affairs of 50 individual states, does it not?

What if we took that proven concept, that fundamental model’s original framework, and expanded it to a single World Governmental Authority that oversees the 200 or so countries we have in the world today?

How would it function?

How would it differ from existing governments today?
What would be our first step toward realizing it?
What challenges would need to be overcome to make it work?

What would be the benefits of such a system?

What do you think?

How does this idea make you feel as you read this and give it some thought?

Afraid? Excited? Interested? Outraged? Motivated? Disillusioned? Inspired? Something else?

I’m curious.

Printable Planner Refills!

Do you love organizing and planning your daily life schedule, but hate running out of pages in your organizer, planner, or binder?

If this sounds like you, you’ll want to check out my Etsy Shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/jayrayhawk) and find my new printable planner refill pages. You can print as many pages as you need yourself at home!

2017-05-01 20_24_35-Planners Digital Prints Motivational Quotes and More by JayRayHawk    2017-05-01 20_24_53-Planners Digital Prints Motivational Quotes and More by JayRayHawk

Keep an eye out for more planner pages coming soon!

Digital Prints On Etsy, Now Live!


My new Etsy Store is up and running, offering digital wall art prints and more!

You can find it here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/JayRayHawk

Purchase and print cool stuff out at home without ever having to leave the comfort of your own pajamas!