“Everything Is Going To Be OK” & some recent new work

This is post #2 of documenting the progress…

As I write this I just finished re-architecting a large chunk of it, and finished another “page” of my new game-zine-not-a-game-thing… that’s a mouthful. I’ll have to work on a better definition…

If you don’t know what I’m talking about I suggest you read this. There, I explain what the game-zine-not-a-game-thing is all about, by the working title of “Everything Is Going To Be OK”. It also got written about on KillScreen! That’s so encouraging!

The project is turning out beautifully and I’m very excited about it. I’ve been 100% into it since I started, and all the work is starting to show. It has enough content in it now to give it a unique “feel” and much more solid direction. Some “pages” (those are interactive segments) are more elaborate than others. Some also have more direct than others, and some just cute. So there’s a nice amount of variety going on.
At this point I’m trying to focus on variety. I have about 40 sections I’m aiming to complete, so it’s important not to get stuck with something that feels too consistent, otherwise it will get too boring to play through it all… I mean, It’s interesting. Could talk about that more eventually… when it’s not so late… and burned out… and my brain isn’t made of bubbles…

It all has a randomness to it that I much enjoy. Once you’re done interacting with one part, it closes itself, and you’re back on the main menu, not sure what just hit you. It feels great. It also has that level of humor to it that makes it adorable and forgivable.
…At least I hope it’s funny. I find it funny.

Creating the art style for this has been tremendously fun. I totally love the degraded feel to literally everything. I’m calling this “degraded cartoon”, because it starts out all nice looking and then I run it through these processes to break it down. This leaves the whole thing feeling so distant, and broken, and almost alien. I guess you can say that for any degraded, glitched, or over-compressed imagery. It’s an aesthetic that I’m really fascinated by because of these qualities.

Fun observation is that if you source it from old 1950’s – 80’s (Film/VHS), given their poor quality, the resulting over-degraded imagery is a lot more interesting than if you would shoot your own with current higher-quality tech. The new (better) footage is too clean so it doesn’t over-compress as nicely. Qualities relating to old footage that are crappy (dust on the film, image jittery, scaliness, etc…) really make for some interesting effects. It’s very hard to manually, or programmatically, recreate that in a way that feels natural.
It’s really cool to work with!

For this I’m making my own effects too (using JavaScript + ActionScript), but I’m imposing those over degraded footage (often).

Hey! I never shared these, but I collect other people’s degraded image glitch projects. Current favorites are ones that use JavaScript because it’s easy to read (it’s a simple enough language).
Here’s my list:
http://jkirchartz.com/Glitchy3bitdither/GlitchCruiser.html (this one is my favorite!)

It’s been a great learning experience as well.

Ok, yes. This is getting long. I’m also here to share some recent releases!
These are little things that I made because making little things is a lot of fun, and I have little ideas too.

Electric Love Bar: https://alienmelon.itch.io/electric-love-bar
I mentioned this already. I think? But ok…
This is a “social media simulator”. Kind of a joke, and kind of something to satisfy a curiosity I had. You can read more about it on the page. Cool news! It was on WarpDoor and PC Gamer.

Potatoware: Intros 2k17: https://alienmelon.itch.io/intros2k17
Tantalize your viewership with a riveting intro!
This requires a webcam. You put your face into it, and it will generate an intro that you can use on your… ehem… website, powerpoint, or game. Also comes with a techno soundtrack.
It was mentioned in Waypoint Vice: Make Amazing Videos with your Face in ‘Potatoware: Intros 2k17’ I think that’s pretty cool.
I like what was said here:

“there’s something bright and important under the surface here. Intros 2k17 celebrates the positivity of selfie culture. Its colorful veneer is underscored by the kind of queer-and-body positive attitude that I personally like to seek out in tiny, warm pockets of indie games culture.”

Which gets me thinking, especially about the point of “positive selfie culture”, and I hope to take this much more serious in future “little things” I make. It is important.

RELEASE_THE_POTATOES: https://alienmelon.itch.io/goodtatoes
This one is purely stupid, and I adore stupid. It floods your screen with potatoes. Potatoes that are unsettlingly twitchy and go plop when they hit the bottom of the screen. The plop sound is actually from a yam (yam hitting the carpet), but I doubt any potato aficionados would catch that minor detail.


JUMPSCARES_FOR_YOUR_DESKTOP: https://alienmelon.itch.io/scaryghostsoft

“Run this haunted program to add a terrifying ghost to your desktop.”

It’s actually a cute little ghost that jumps around (occasionally, that’s the jump-scare), floats around, goes “oooooh!”, and falls asleep (a lot)… but out of respect to the entity you must refer to it as terrifying, scary, or mortally ghastly… otherwise it will get discouraged and stop being a ghost. We don’t want that.

Do get that one! It’s my favorite. I’ve been meaning to make it for a long time, but never got around to it. Now it’s done!
She (the ghost) was also mentioned on WarpDoor! That’s so cool!

FYI, here’s a game-play-sample of the game-zine-not-a-game-thing (sorry about the volume, you have to turn it up):

EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK – Interactive Zine preview from Nathalie Lawhead on Vimeo.

Ok, yay! Back to work!