Category Ar! Chives: Games

Mackerelmedia Fish: an ARG-like text adventure game (with sourcefiles)

I just published this. It’s an ARG-like text adventure game called mackerelmediafish.com It’s about digital archeology, exploring the ruins of a long abandoned website, RSS spelunking, braving the hazards of the old web, and finding friendship in unlikely places. Play it here: mackerelmediafish.com The entire thing is open source here: https://github.com/alienmelon/mackerelmediafish-source I’ve been very quietly […]

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UI design is fun! (inspirational ways of looking at UI, and discussing how to better understand UI’s place in game design…)

This post is an extended writeup of what would have been my GDC2020 talk. Since the conference has been postponed I’m sharing parts of this talk as a blogpost (I elaborated on what would have been my talk. This post is much longer). Last year I wrote about some of this on Gamasutra (link here). […]

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An open letter to game journalists: #metoo, fighting with surviving abusive reporting, and the fallout of not caring

If you follow me on Twitter then you will be familiar with what I’ve been going through, and the intention of this post. I announced that I would write an open letter to game journalists about all this, so this is that letter. My intention with this post is to completely share EVERYTHING about how […]

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The wonderful world of tools made by small teams, solo-devs, and shareware (weird, beautiful, and experimental things to be creative in + an analysis on building for approachability)

Since starting development on the Electric Zine Maker I’ve been hoarding links to interesting, unusual, strange, small, or just cute tools. This has grown to be a strong area of interest as I’ve been diving into what even makes a tool approachable… How much experimental UI or humor is too much? Do people even want […]

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walking sims and the joy of existing in a virtual space

I play a lot of walking sims. It’s probably one of my favorite type of game to play when I’m exploring alt-indie games on itch. I think they are interesting for how they explore what it means to be in a space, the relation of space to a player, and how their existence brings into […]

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games as found objects & virtual relics

There’s this type of play experience that’s unique to freeware. It’s been part of the internet ever since Dial Up. That past time of finding weird things to download, from sites that you might more or less trust, and running them. Games, software, weird small things… It’s a pastime that I remember fondly when our […]

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the future of my games on Apple (post-Catalina) and what this means for art games in general

Recently I posted a Twitter thread about OSX Catalina blocking all my games… An update for those of you that can't run my games anymore on OSX because of Catalina.I'm so sorry about this…I'll probably write a post about this, breaking it all down for you, but the situation is as follows.(from my point of […]

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design notes, a bit on definition hell, and building an “art toy”…

Sometime last week I released the breakfast tool update to the Electric Zine Maker! You can download it on itch: https://alienmelon.itch.io/electric-zine-maker Or on GameJolt: https://gamejolt.com/games/zine/426661 I also have a lengthy devlog about it on itch.io (here) so you can read that for a detailed breakdown of what’s new. Overall I feel like it’s a major […]

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IndieCade Europe Keynote: Addressing abuse in our communities and how can we move forward (full transcript)

Following is the full transcript of the keynote that I gave at this IndieCade Europe. I wrote everything out that I intended to say because this is a difficult thing to coherently talk about. The message is very important. Thank you so much to the IndieCade Europe organizers for making this happen and giving this […]

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Design notes on the Electric Zine Maker’s Tool Update! (and general life update + overshare)

Earlier this September I released the tool update for the Electric Zine Maker. Yay! You can download it here. You can read the devlog about it (a list of all the new tools) here. It’s not a complete tool update. I released it because I’m kind of in the middle of a lot of uncertainty […]

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my follow up post

To start off, I would like to thank all my friends, and supporters, who have reached out to me. I’m also sorry that I’ve been very bad at answering texts, emails, and DM’s. I’ve been trying to stay off social media and lay low. Thank you all for your support. As you can imagine I […]

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calling out my rapist

On November 4 2008 I was contacted by a studio in Vancouver to design and build an ARG for their new IP. I talked about my experiences of working with this company before. For example, in this post. What I didn’t share, when talking about my experiences, is that I was raped by Jeremy Soule […]

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on UI design & using UI as a means to tell a story, convey emotion, create personality… an in-depth look…

Throughout development of the Electric Zine Maker I’ve been trying to find some time to finally talk about UI, and how important it is to view it as part of your “world building” rather than just UI work. All of my work heavily relies on UI to convey the message of the game, or further […]

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The Electric Zine Maker website is up!

This last week or so I’ve been neck deep in building the website for the Electric Zine Maker. At this point in development it seemed like a good idea to make it because I need to write people about it, and sharing just the itch page seemed boring… so here it is. I think it […]

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Electric Zine Maker fuzzy update with ASCII, Power Goo-like tools, Displacement, Color Management, and more…

I did it! The update is out! This feels like a big deal because it’s a fairly substantial one. I’ve been meaning to make a more concise design writeup about it, and talk about influences and things that went into it, because I think that the design process that would be interesting…but I’m very exhausted […]

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recent thoughts about mentioning influences in the discussion, and why recognizing inspiration matters (ending the “lone genius” ideal)

The other day I posted this thread about inspiration and the importance of crediting the sources of your inspiration… so that your success doesn’t lead to the erasure of the less advantaged artists that inspired you… I’m now making this a post because I feel like the issue is complicated, and deserves discussion. It’s a […]

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Playdate & the LA Zine Fest, weird games, and what it means for “Playdate” to lose its name…

Playdate, now Playdate Pop Up, is a game showcase meets miniature event that runs as part of the LA zine fest. It’s been around for a few years now. It’s one of my favorite because of how low-key it is, and how it consistently showcases personal, niche, strange, weird, and wonderful games from a wide […]

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Electric Zine Maker Beta is out (here are some development and design notes about it)

I finally posted the Electric Zine Maker public beta. It’s two days old! They grow up so fast!!!! You can download the beta here: https://alienmelon.itch.io/electric-zine-maker The Electric Zine Maker is a printshop and art tool for making zines. It includes a drawing interface. You can import images, size and place them, write text with any […]

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Announcing the Electric Zine Maker! (about my new art-tool-toy-game-thing being developed & the direction it’s taking)

So here it is. I’m finally announcing it in a blog post, proper! If you have been following me on Twitter, then you’ve probably seen me talk about it. I’m making a zine tool! This is called Electric Zine Maker. It’s an art tool for creating zines. It will allow you to paint, write, and […]

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My GDC Talk transcript (Personal Experiences as Games) and a small update about what I’m making next

This GDC I co-organized a session called “Personal Experiences as Games” with Jingyu Sui. UPDATE: You can now watch the talk for free on the Vault here. I am posting my talk transcript and one slide here (my talk is bellow the following summary). The session was a set of microtalks about making games based […]

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