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Posts relating to MARDEK:

4 years ago

I am talking about MARDEK!

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Art MARDEKPlansProgress ReportsThe Site
First of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS, since it is apparently that day today! It used to be such a special, important day for me where the whole world felt different, acted different... but these days it's just any other day, and I've been doing work and such.

I've actually been drawing a lot recently! Over the last couple of years, I've really been trying hard to refine my drawing skills in order to have better art for my games. If you've been watching me for a while, you may remember that in April of last year, I drew a bunch of portraits of the primary MARDEK cast. You can see the results in this post here: ∞ Fig Hunter ∞

I've been studying faces a lot since then though, and I wanted to see how much I'd actually learned... So I decided to redraw those MARDEK characters! Here are the results:

I hope that you can see that there's quite a bit of improvement there!! I understand the features of the face much better than I did a couple of years ago, and while I'm certainly not a master yet, every portrait is a stepping stone towards that point!

If you're curious, I made a thing directly comparing the in-game portraits, some drawings I did shortly after the release of MARDEK 3, the ones from 2012, and the newest ones. You can see it here:


While drawing those, I got thinking about MARDEK again... It's odd how a lot of people probably know or care more about MARDEK than I do these days! I mean, there's that concept that TVTropes calls ∞ Old Shame ∞, which is basically when a creative person cringes when looking back on the stepping stones that have led them to their current position. As someone who tries to make a lot of things, I'm on a constant quest to better myself, to learn new things, to improve; you can see from these portraits above that change and improvement can be fairly severe, to the point where the old stuff just looks like rubbish.

For ages, MARDEK had felt like that to me... I knew it was full of flaws, so I basically avoided it. The art was bad, because I didn't understand anatomy, colour theory, flow, etc, etc! The music was bad, because I didn't understand music theory, or chords, or anything about harmony really! The programming was bad because it didn't even use Object Oriented design! The writing was bad because I didn't know about Literary or Narrative Techniques! And so on and so forth. Once I DID learn about these things, it became so obvious that they were missing in my old work.

However, while researching these portraits, I found myself not cringing as much as I would have imagined. I used the Fig Hunter Wiki a lot to read my own dialogue (thank you to whoever took the time to add all the content to the wiki!!!), and I listened to my own music on Bandcamp... And while I can indeed see flaws in basically all that I found, at the same time I suppose I can understand why a lot of people did like MARDEK, and what kept me working on it for years. Yes, it's unpolished, but it's so very MINE and there are a lot of things about it that are very precious to me.

It got me interested in working on MARDEK 4!!!

However. Before anyone gets their hopes up, I want to talk about how feasible that would actually be...

Firstly, it'd be ridiculously unreasonable to drop everything to work on that! Instead, I NEED to get Alora Fane: Creation (formerly DreamQuest) out soon! I need to! Then, if it's relatively well-received, it can be something that generates a trickle of money and new people consistently, because it'll be heavily based around user-generated content...
I'm just struggling trying to write a satisfying plot for it at the moment... My mind is so different from when I started MARDEK. Now, I feel compelled to write a *meaningful* story, one that focuses strongly on my own values or which communicates a certain message, but it's difficult to decide on details. I also feel like now that my muse is gone (Firequill, that is), it's harder to stay positive and write amusing dialogue and... well, it's taking time to sort out my thoughts anyway, though I feel like my plot ideas so far aren't as engaging as MARDEK.

How would I even make MARDEK 4? I've spent the last few years making Flash games, but it feels like the market for those is perhaps dying, being replaced by apps. I'm currently learning how to use Unity, and intend to make games using that in future (I'm still using Flash for AFC though, of course). It might be possible to make MARDEK 4 in that... but it'd probably be unwise to make it my FIRST Unity game, otherwise I'll have a really shoddy base to work with.

Of course, it would also be tricky to sell, because it's the fourth chapter in a long series that was first released several years ago. New players won't have a clue what's going on (I intend to add an "in the previous three chapters" thing, but that'll hardly be the same), and expecting them to play the Flash versions seems a bit much. I'm not really sure what to do about that at all.

At the very least, I think I might start playing around with making art assets and planning story ideas (or rather, refining the old story plans that already exist into something that better fits with my current, older mind), so I'll post those if I do them. It's wise to focus on AFC though, so that's my primary concern.

Oh, another thing! I think that I am going to stop using Fig Hunter to talk about my personal feelings!!

I have several websites now, you see, and I intend to use them all for different purposes. They are as follows:

FIG HUNTER: I'll use this for writing about games. All news posts here would be about game progress, then.

ALORA FANE: I'll use this for games specifically set in the Alora Fane world. What sets this apart from Fig Hunter is the fact that those games would share a world, while Fig Hunter games wouldn't. So I could release things like Clarence RPG or MARDEK 4 as 'Fig Hunter Games', but AFC and Miasmon as Alora Fane games. They'd probably update gradually, while Fig Hunter games would be released only when they were done as standalone things.
This site isn't open yet; I'll open it when I release AFC.

SOUL SAVVY: A personality site where I write about personality type stuff. As such, I won't bother talking about that stuff here, either.
You can find it here: ∞ LINK ∞

(INTROVERT SOCIAL NETWORK): This is my newest site, which I made only a few days ago. Some of you may remember that I tried making an introvert 'dating' site of sorts a while back, called 'Willow' (or 'Elysium Glade' according to the page headers, which was fairly silly and inconsistent). I abandoned it before long for various reasons... but recently I've been feeling the need for a similar place again.
However, rather than reviving that place, I tried creating something from scratch that was more like what I needed.
Essentially it's a cross between a dating site and a social network, for people who don't much care for Facebook, who are more interested in finding deeper, more meaningful connections with other people. Introverts, specifically. It can be really tough for introverted people such as myself to find these meaningful bonds because we shy away from social gatherings and even social networks (being on Facebook if you have no Life is uncomfortable, at least for me). It allows you to write about yourself in detail on your profile, like a dating site (though in MORE detail than those), and to view the profiles of other people in that way, but it's more about finding friends than partners. You can also comment about your thoughts on your own profile (like people do on Facebook in the form of 'status updates'?), though it's encouraged that you talk more about how you're feeling or what's been on your mind, rather than bragging about activities that you've done, or things that you've found.
It's not ready to be joined yet, but when it is ready, I'm going to use that place to talk about my thoughts instead of here. So if you're interested in reading them, you can do so there (I'll announce it when it's ready), but otherwise you can just follow my games sites and not have to worry about listen to me whine about something you can't relate to.

So yes. HAPPY MERRY JOLLY CHRISTMAS and, uh... all that stuff!
4 years ago

Emela Art

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Art MARDEK
I've been mostly trying to improve my art skills and sorting out university stuff recently. Here's something that I painted; it's Emela as she might look in MARDEK 4:

5 years ago

Weekly Update

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
I'm currently trying to apply to go back to university!1 Or rather, to go to university properly this time; I did go a few years ago to one in Australia, but I dropped out due to the whole moving back to the UK thing, and since then I've just been trying to make games.

I'm going to do a 'Game Art' course in one of three UK-based universities, and it seems like it'll be much more up my street than the blander, more technical 'Game Development' thing I did years ago, which was mainly cold and lifeless programming. The design aspects are always my favourite parts, and art is currently perhaps a bigger part of my life than ever.

Speaking of art, yet again I'm going to fill my post with pretty pictures for you to ogle, to make up for the fact that the university stuff has been taking up my game development time this last week (since the deadline is this Sunday, and I've put it off until the last minute).
Look! Painty faces of MARDEK characters! Wow! Gasp!

This is Rohoph in Mardek's body! Doesn't he look like a happy chappy?

This is Deugan's head and also a green wolf's head, for some reason. IT'S NOT ARK THOUGH.

And this is Emela, looking unintentionally bored and miserable because I need to work on my facial expression drawing skills.

I also drew a self portrait of my own ugly mug, but you don't need to see that; even I can't bear to look at it!

Yet another thing that I'm sure you'll all SPOIL YOUR PANTALOONS over is this long and tedious thing about Myers-Briggs that might shed light on a lot of things if you bother to read it!!11!1

Did you read it?!? Did you learn anything?!?

Either way, hello. I'm probably not going to do much on games over the next week due to the university deadline and my worries about that, but afterwards, I'll be able to focus on them quite a bit, so I should make good progress on Programon and Clarence RPG! Hopefully!!