While I’m not playing video games as much these days, I’m sure a AAA Star Wars game from Respawn Entertainment (Titanfall, Apex Legends) could put a controller back in my hands.
This looks fantastic! I’m getting some BioShock Infinite vibes with the companion character, Lissie. Cannot wait for Draugen to hit the PlayStation 4.
I’ve known Justin Fox for awhile now. The last time he visited JBG, we talked about faith and his game ReElise (which was on Kickstarter at the time). Three years have passed and I figured it was time to catch up with him.
Hey Justin, what have you been up to since your last visit? What happened to ReElise on Kickstarter?
I’ve done a lot reading and understanding of the business world since then. Helped build my church, and I made another game (Black Simulator) in the process just to get a project finished relatively quickly.
As far as the Kickstarter goes, I gained a lot of new great connections… but I fortunately didn’t reach my goal. I say fortunately because I wasn’t mature enough with such an amount of money. I’m not saying I would have spent it on Blackjack and hookers or anything, but I wouldn’t have applied the “sowing and reaping” (making sure the money is making money) principle that I now understand. The investment wouldn’t have been what it COULD have been for that project. So I took a hiatus from it for 2 years to clear my head and only recently started active development on it again. Fortunately, I was able to raise a fair amount of money for ReElise through the Patreon. I’ve been able to hire colorists for the illustrations. It’s very humbling to receive support of any kind for it.
It’s interesting how God uses different seasons to grow and mature us. Seasons where we think we know what/where we should be going, but God is sitting there saying not yet. I hate those seasons of life but get why they are important.
Tell me more about your smaller project you’ve released. What did you learn in the process of creating the game?
The smaller project is a project called Black Simulator, a satirical mini-game on Steam where you’re just trying to run 3 errands without getting shot or arrested by the police. Started out as a joke with another developer but… here we are.
I learned a ton about the importance of workflow, time management, and even overcoming ego/defense mechanisms. That last one though is the biggest thing. I was so scared to release this game. My brain found all kinds of reasons to protect itself from potential failure. I had essentially been sitting on this thing for months, slowing my own progress, because it wasn’t perfect. It still isn’t perfect (truly far from it), but sometimes the bigger picture is just the experience of releasing a game on the market. Not a perfect game, but YOUR game is out there at least. It’s a starting point no matter how bad it is, you can grow from that place. Beyond even that, sometimes your loved one’s need to see you trying, because you never know who’s waiting on your progress to encourage them to do the things they’re scared to do. I learned that a good “why” can slay the ego. My “why” was that releasing this game would be edifying to my friends, because they need to see me win just a little bit. I don’t know if my game will have the impact of bringing understanding to culture, but I know it’ll edify my friends who believe in me… because they tell me it does.
So what’s next for you? Where can people find you and your game?
Next is wrapping up ReElise in August. It’s not the full game or even in the engine that I want, but I’m gonna release the first half of it. Then I’m planning to start ReElise over in an engine that isn’t RPG Maker VX! I now have someone to partner with, and we’ll make a true version of the game. After all, we’ll have an alpha/beta so to speak, with finished art, music, and sound. The Patreon is doing well to produce the art assets, and I’m so thankful to each of them.
In between ReElise and it’s final version though, I think I’m gonna make White Simulator and some other weird games. Super Baby Fetus: Pro Life Power is something I’m really excited about.
The sky is red as are the walls of the scientific research facility I’ve been exploring for the past few days. Demons roam the bloody hallways, hiding, ready to jump out and meet my machine gun. A lot of meetings have taken place here. Meetings featuring the roaring of my personal arsenal and demons flooding in from a gateway to Hell. Teleportation science run amok.
Walking down a dimly lit corridor, I know that there are demons waiting for my brand of clean up. I go to turn a corner and….
AHHHHHHHHHH! Someone touched my back… someone is behind me!
I rip my headphones off only to hear laughter from the guys on my dorm floor. I’m shaking with adrenaline. That day in college, I learned a few valuable lessons:
- Always face your computer to where no one can sneak up on you.
- Headphones, while cool, are not always your friends.
I’ll never forget how scared I was to play Doom 3 after having the guys sneak up on me. I did not play Doom 3 after that incident. The magic and the tension were gone.
What was the last game that scared you?
“So, is this a game I have to play with you or can I play it by myself?”
Wyatt and I had just completed our first RollerCoaster Tycoon scenario when he asked me if this was a with-dad or without-dad game. I told him that once he was more familiar with how to run the game’s toolset, he’d be allowed to play by himself.
Already today, I’ve been asked if we can play more tonight. Guess my evening dance card is partially filled.
I would like to thank the RavingLuhn for his article “The Definitive RollerCoaster Tycoon Experience“. His easy to follow guide helped me bring RollerCoaster Tycoon into 2018. Check it out if you are looking to relive the glory days of RollerCoaster Tycoon and it’s expansions. The game is still a lot of fun to play.
RIVE is not my jam.
RIVE (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Mac)
Developer: Two Tribes
Publisher: Two Tribes Publishing
Released: September 13, 2016
RIVE is an explosive twin-stick shooter that wants to beat you up and steal your lunch. Sending you home with a black eye while shouting at you to come back for more. Punishment is the name of the game. Can’t keep up with the onslaught of laser death-dealing robots? No problem. RIVE‘s failure screens will remind you of how bad your reflexes have become. You’re an old man, gramps! Too cool for this school.
Beyond the difficulty, I love how RIVE‘s checkpoint system shows the player mercy. The more you die, the closer the checkpoints become. Encouraging players to keep fighting, no matter how hard they have been smacked down.
What I’m not quite sure about is the placement of the jump button. On the PlayStation 4, the jump button is assigned to the L2 trigger versus the standard X button. The end result is curious and awkward feeling.
RIVE reminds me of the worst games I played during the Console Wars of the ’90s. Difficult. Demanding. No satisfying reward.
In the end, RIVE fails to bring anything new to the playground. Not even revealing one compelling example to keep pressing onward. The game revels in bashing the player over the head with difficulty for the sake of difficulty. I have no time for that. RIVE is not my jam.
RIVE reviewed by Bryan Hall
[Disclaimer: This review is based on a retail build provided by Evolve PR.]