Hello once again no-one! Haha.
This week I've been making markedly more progress than these past few weeks.
Here's a little graph I whipped up to give you an idea:

Okay so not exactly pique performance ... but still better than before, right? RIGHT?

Today I've actually been cleaning the house. It might be a mess of satanic filth at the moment, but I'm sure I'll be able to kill them all with enough boiling water. And it did give me some inspiration:
Q. What exists and is worse than maggots?

Don't worry, I'll give you a second to think about it.

Okay, lock your answers in.

A. Nothing in the entire world. If I dreamt more I would have nightmares about being stuck in beds of maggots. If I was brought to hell it would just be a sea of maggots, ruled over by a giant maggot... or maybe a democracy of giant maggots, elected by the sextillions of maggot people!
Revolting. But my point was there needs to be something like this in Alight. Ants have been getting under my skin a lot lately too, but they're just annoying and bad smelling - they don't deserve their own personal hell.

What else...
I've been working on letting the player save in the game. Although so far it's not going to be saving very much.

Last of all, last night I had a rather hideous nightmare. But with the memory I now have, I also have a fantastic source for more content.
That's all for now. But this game will surely include some terrible things. Hahaha.

Thanks for reading,



Well, maybe it's time for another demo video?
This time we've got an early title screen:

Thanks for reading/watching,


1 Month

Hey all, this is a brief EXTRA POST in addition to this week's one.
So it's been a month now. A lot has changed, especially the game. Not as much as I wanted, but enough for me to say that the month wasn't a waste. I think I need to switch to another project for a little while before I burn out on this one. Maybe I'll work on Muri v2 a little more? Or Task Force 2? I do have other bigger plans for Ichor though, like Zillion and such. All in good time! I just need to start a main website for Ichor to show off everything I have planned. :)
I hope you can be patient with me, as these coming weeks may bring slow progress. But it's all in the name of staying motivated. 'If I overwork, I'll oversleep.'

Thanks for reading,




Not very scary, huh? Making the "horror" part of a horror game work is very important. In my mind, there are two different schools on designing 'horror' in horror games. One: the horror of anxiety. And two: the horror of society*.
The horror of anxiety is something like what you would get from playing F.N.A.F., the anticipation that something bad might happen at any moment if you let your guard down. The problem with this type is that it often falls back on "if you fuck up something's gonna jumpscare you." Or even better: "if you keep playing the game something's gonna jumpscare you." In which case it's not even a punishment for fucking up, it's a punishment for participating... unless participating is fucking up, and this is your only way of communicating it like you're some kind of "I can only express myself through my artwork" douche**. So then the antidote is just turn your volume down/off. (except in F.N.A.F. 4, Scott, you asshole)
So what about the other kind? Well the horror of society is more akin to having depression, or finding out that something really shitty's happened like... err- your wife's been in a car crash, and is going to need surgery. You live in a country without public healthcare, and you're broke, and you just got fired. You're horrified by your situation and the thought of having to carry on through this catastrophe. In the real world, this kind of horror is much more common (unless you're a young child) and it's a real bitch to deal with. However in a videogame it's not as bad, because you can just stop playing, or start again, or stop giving a fuck. Your only option out of those three in the real world is the last one***. But when the main antidote to a horror game's formula is 'stop playing' then it's anywhere from effective enough to too effective, like constant unavoidable jumpscares. But because this kind of horror is less abrasive and obnoxious it can be force fed to the player at a much higher velocity without it seeming too serious, as long as they still have hope. If you take away all the player's hope then they will just stop playing with a bad taste in their mouth. But if you can convince them that as long as they work through the bad situation there might be hope, they'll probably keep playing. They'll probably pursue the light at the end of the tunnel despite the tunnel being a sewer that they have to wade through buck naked.
The way you keep the player from getting used to either kind of horror is give them a break. Of course, they could always take a break themselves, but that will break their immersion like a ceramic knocked onto a tiled floor, and make them not feel like playing the game again. Instead, you should make the experience bingeable (fuck you, English vocabulary) by giving the player those moments where they feel happy or at peace. The juxtaposition will hold them back from properly acclimatising, and you can therefore sustain le horror!
Well that's all on the subject of horror. Here's an image:

I got a proper domain for this blog ... because I can. I should start using it for some other stuff soon.

Also, from now on blog posts will be weekly, as I've got a lot less I can talk about now.
Thanks for reading,

*No I wasn't just going for the rhyme, that was seriously the best name I could think of. Maybe "the horror of reality" is better?
**Id est: me.
***Equivalent to passive suicide?



(sorry this post is a day late, all 0 readers!)

When naming something like a game there are a few things that really do need to be taken account if you want people to be able to find your game.
I was reminded of this today when I saw a game in somebody's signature on the Gamemaker forums that didn't have an accompanying link! (If you're going to self-promote, do it right dude...) So naturally I Google searched it instead. What was the game's name? Blue Void. Yeah... that name was in a very open relationship. (i.e. taken by a number of people) Adding "game" to the end yielded little extra. It took the exact search Blue Void "Dragon47" (author's name in quotes) for me to finally find the post about the game.
MORAL OF THE STORY? Don't pick a wanky unrelated name for your game that's also in use by about 8 other entities.

Next up: Lone Survivor. What, again? Well, Lone Survivor and Skyscraper share something else - we both share names with high budget films that dominate Google's SEO like a fucking gimp. Perhaps calling the extended version of Lone Survivor the "Director's Cut" was tempting fate, eh? In fact, it only just occurred to me now as I write this after 5 years that the name is a reference to one of the game's characters.
As for me, the film of the name "Skyscraper" is already out - whereas Lone Survivor predates Lone Survivor (film) by several years. It's not like Skyscraper was more than a temporary name to me anyway, but I was beginning to become a little attached.

So what name do I pick? My original temporary development title was really shit, and Skyscraper is in-use and also likely to be a fabrication. Well, what name will suit our dirty needs then? Well, the whole time I've been thinking of a name like "core" or "heart" because of the story. But also there needs to be some thing like 'decent' as well because of the game's progression. So I think for now I've settled on the title "コアへ下れ", or "Alight (to the Core)." No, not alight as in on fire.
Here's an early version of the title screen with the new title:

Thanks again for reading,


Other Games

Someone lent me a less shitty graphics card the other day (basically anything is better than an 8400GS), so after a good 3 months I finally got to play Party Hard 2 at a playable framerate...

I must say it's a really fun game, and executes mixing 2D pixel-sprites with 3D environments rather pleasingly, even giving sprites light cutoff on one side (i.e. they cast shadows on themselves) to simulate them being more than flat planes. Unfortunately it's a fucking time sync and a half! I've played a good 5 hours of it and I'm still only on the 4th stage - certainly very different from Party Hard 1, which was usually pretty simple to get through. I was stuck in the hospital level for about 2 of those hours as well. That's not to say that the mechanics are bad or anything, on the contrary I think many of them have been adequately refined since last time.
Chief among the refined mechanics from the first game is the police calling/investigation system. In the first game if someone saw you dun do a murder they would run off towards the nearest phone at an uncanny speed (impossible to outrun) with a ringing phone icon over their head. This time around, if people see something suspicious they will get a green phone icon, and if they actually see you do something they will get a red phone icon. In addition, instead of there being public phones in all these random-ass locations, everyone just has a cell-phone. They will usually run a little ways away, but if you can catch up with them it's easy enough to 'shut them up' before they can do anything.
There are some downsides though. For one, certain characters are just invincible. No matter how many times you stab them they just keep moving. This includes the police, the terminator in stage 3, and the dude in the bed in stage 3... who you're supposed to confront at the end, but nothing tells you that specifically... and why would that make him invincible and completely oblivious to your presence in the meantime? The cleaning lady is also invincible, but I think that can be forgiven more, because the most she does to you for stabbing her is hit you with her mop until you're on the ground. (it's even a little amusing stabbing her to wake her up, and nobody calls the police over it anyway so it's usually entirely inconsequential)

Another game I played was Combustion, or at least its demo. Combustion is a low-poly 3D game with an intentionally blocky aesthetic. It's about being an animal police officer in an animal world. It's currently on Kickstarter after having been in development for a couple of years now. After having followed it the whole time (being a long-time fan of Fredrik Strøm and all) I was quite excited to play the demo. Right away the per-pixel-shading screen filter really reminded me of Lone Survivor and Skyscraper's appearances, and the way all the extremely low-res textures intentionally have no pixel smoothing actually works fantastically in tandem with the screen filter.
In terms of gameplay, it's a mix of simple but rather engaging combat, and other side jobs like dialogue, making arrests, etc.
I did find a couple of bugs in the demo. One where I got locked into first person mode before I knew how to get into it in the first place when I tabbed out at one point. And another later on when I walked into what seemed to be a solid object and found that using first person mode from within it would let me see through most of the world.
It looks as if the game is going to at least make its initial goal, but hopefully it'll reach a few of its stretch goals as well.
The demo's free, so have a play of it if you're interested: Combustion's Kickstarter campaign

Next post is coming on 2019/04/10 at 10:00 GMT!
Thanks for reading,


The Actual Game

So enough context! (at least for now...) How's the game shaping up?
Well progress is getting slowed down significantly by my inability to make pixel art.

In terms of features, a lot of it has been behind the scenes these last few days. Mostly refining how things work and making them more lenient for my sake. But I have expanded the scope of scripts and made text a bit more versatile. For instance, you can now use more than one colour per text box:

I even got them to immediately display when you press Z, although there is a mandatory 1 frame delay per text change. (each piece of the text uses a different object, which needs 1 frame to do the stuff that the next piece of text relies on it having done, you see)

I finally figured out how to make the Game Over screen work without crashing the game, and I've been planning around implementing things like damage and saving.

I finally got a nice animated pause screen - with relatively little effort too! - but it's going to mandate every single entity that it effects having a "if not paused" clause... unless I think of some better way to do things. (unlikely)
Here's a big ol' .GIF! It might need to play through once really slowly while it loads before it'll play properly:

Had to cut out half of it because the file was already 33MB @ 25FPS. But hey, the uncompressed recording was 800MB, so I can't complain.

And I've been working very hard to finally get this:

This will probably end up being the "home" area. I've already reworked the tiles twice, so let's hope I remain happy with them this time. The mirror is a placeholder! Later versions should have windows instead.

Next post coming 2019/04/06 at 10:00(AM) GMT!
Thanks for reading,