Mark Lohmann

Lists, Lists, Lists

Just checking in real quick to share this gif with you and to let you know we’re working hard to finish a small playable (yes, really!) early demo for an expo in New York this August. We’re skyping almost every day to finish all of our to-do lists. It’s a lot.

 

 

Martin Isla

8 June ’18 – Dev Blog #7: We’re Not Making a Game Anymore

Since the very beginning, we’ve been struggling with the same problem. We had decent skills for art and programming, amazing music and a story to tell. However, we didn’t have gameplay. How would we make our game a game?

“Let’s add puzzles”, we said. That’s not easy to do. That’s actually really hard. In fact, every person who ever designed a puzzle should have their name written on the Moon’s surface or their image immortalized on a statue, or both.

“Let’s add platforming,” we said. Yes, there aren’t enough platformer games out there.

Last Thursday we finally decided what to do.

We talked about To The Moon and their mini-games. To the Moon is one of my favorite games ever, but I think the developer faced the same problem we are facing right now and solved it by adding the “memento” puzzles. I find those puzzles ridiculously unnecessary. You solve them in 10 seconds or so, they don’t make sense in the story, they stop you from continuing, they break immersion by not fitting into the world and — in the end — they’re not fun. They’re obstacles. The dev felt that it was necessary to turn their masterpiece into a game and came up with this abomination that makes their wonderful game a tiny bit less awesome.

Then we talked about Far from Noise. Far from Noise is a small yet amazing game. You play as a character stuck in a car that wavers on the edge of a cliff, facing death and talking to yourself. It has a story that’s incredible in how it unfolds. Some people loved it. It got outstanding reviews. And yet, there’s no “gameplay.” It’s you, your car and death. It’s deep, it’s great, it tells a story. It works.

I know this, I know these games worked really well. But then, I get scared. I love The Worst Grim Reaper, it’s the greatest game I’ve ever worked on. The art, the music, the mood, the characters and the story come together in a way I could have never expected. I deeply admire the Marks and I love their work. I’m emotionally connected to it and want everyone to enjoy what we’re doing here, but what if it’s boring? What if people like everything about the game, but never finish it because the lack of “gameplay” makes it feel like a tedious task? I’ve been working on this since last year, and I’m pretty sure I’ll still be working here next year. And probably even the next one. I’ll be destroyed if people end up not enjoying our work.

But then, I remember the advice many great developers in the industry give: make a game you’d play. Would I play The Worst Grim Reaper? Yes. And I even got to know two other people who would, so there are probably many more. Yes, our game won’t be for everyone, but no game is.

The concept of a game has evolved. And I think that’s important. It’s not just about fun anymore. It’s about experiencing, telling stories, sharing feelings and points of view. Games are one of the most complex art forms you’ll find. The interactivity between the player and a controlled environment allows developers to create art that can be understood more deeply.

We’re committed to giving you an experience that you won’t easily forget. That’s our goal, and if it’s not a commercial success, that’s fine. I want to wake up some day to a fan email saying they liked our game for what it is. That’s all I need: I got to make a game I love and someone else liked it too. That’s enough of a reward.

For the first time since we started development, we know exactly what we want to make. And if turning The Worst Grim Reaper into a game means we’d have to add unnecessary, experience-ruining gameplay, we’re not making a game anymore. We’re making something better. And hopefully you’ll love it as much as we do.

Martin Isla

20 April ’18 – Dev Blog #6: Moving to Unity 2018

After doing some testing and spending a few hours doing my research, this week I decided it was time to move to Unity 2018.

This is a -sort of- technical post aimed at developers!

“But it’s still in beta!”

I know that and guess what – we’re in beta too! Actually, we’re in pre-alpha, so it’s not a bad idea at all to move to Unity 2018 and I knew we were going to do so sooner or later, so why not do it sooner?

Since Unity 2018 was announced and I started understanding what the new features were about, I immediately loved it. The scriptable render pipelines, the C# Job System, the performance upgrades. Nothing to hate about this new Unity version. I was so excited to try out these new features!

I talked a bit about it on Twitter (Warning: spoilers ahead), but wanted to expand a little more so other adventurous game devs out there willing to explore new lands (or features) know what to be prepared for.

But if there’s something I learned in my short (but rich) game dev career is: stick to a Unity version!
It’s something everybody tells you. Choose your Unity version and stick to it. It’s usually time-wasting and project-breaking to upgrade to a newer version. But then again, I was so excited to try out the new features, I couldn’t even wait for the beta to be over.

I created a local back up of my project and launched Unity 2018.1.0b13. As soon as I opened The Worst Grim Reaper -for no one’s surprise- a zillion errors immediately filled up my console window. Reading one of those errors, I realized it was TextMesh Pro. After 2 seconds of googling, I found out the older version was no longer supported in Unity 2018.

Unity’s Package Manager

Luckily, I also found out there’s a thing called the Package Manager, which is great. It adds modularity to Unity without the need to download packages from the Asset Store (downloading official packages that should be native always felt a bit weird to me). This is cool because it’s some sort of the middle point: you get native packages without being forced to download them with the editor. Moreover, if a package needs to be updated, you don’t need to update the entire editor, just the package.  Thank you.

Following the instructions in this post (sort of – I suck at following instructions!), I updated to the new, compatible version of TextMesh Pro and no further changes were needed. Everything was working again, I could even run and play!

Perfect: updating to Unity 2018 wasn’t as painful as I expected. But hey, I like to suffer! I wouldn’t be a game dev otherwise. So let’s give the feature I was most excited about a try.

The Scriptable Render Pipeline

Disclaimer: I’m not a graphics programmer. I have no idea what I’m talking about here.

This feature is probably the #1 reason why I wanted to play with Unity 2018. I saw the Unity GDC talk about it and it sounded exciting.

As you might know, The Worst Grim Reaper is a 2D game, but it uses dynamic lighting to achieve more appealing visuals. Using dynamic lighting means the Sprites Shader isn’t enough because it doesn’t accept normal maps. Therefore, we had to use the much over-complex Standard shader. That, combined with Mark Lohmann’s passion for overusing real-time lighting… The Worst Performance1. But there’s so much in that shader we don’t need, we just want simple lighting – no weird PBR stuff, no shadows.

And our dreams came true thanks to 🌈The Lightweight Render Pipeline🌈.

Again, importing the Lightweight pipeline was super easy with the Package Manager. The painful part came later.

Thanks to some really nice person at Unity, a tool is shipped with the Lightweight pipeline package that allows to automatically change every material’s shader from Standard to Lightweight Standard (with PBR). However, that tool doesn’t work with custom shaders. Basically, because pre-existing shaders don’t work with the SRP -custom shaders need to be written for each pipeline-. Lucky for us, we only used one of those, and I’ll talk about it and why we don’t need it anymore.

As I mentioned before, we had to use the Standard shader because the default Sprites shader doesn’t support normal maps (and, therefore, no control over how light affects a sprite!). The problem is sprites can only be seen from one side, so if you flip a sprite that uses the standard shader, it’s gone!

Lohmann had fixed this problem before for his Dynamic Lights video (where we met) by creating every animation twice, and two animations for each state: one looking left, one looking right. You should’ve seen that animator controller. I almost had a stroke.

Actually, let me share the horror with you:

Yup.

There must be a better way to do this, I said when I saw that. And there was. We shamelessly stole the shader from this post, which basically renders the sprite twice.

But now that shader was useless! How are we gonna do this! I started to panic. I loved the lightweight pipeline so much and I couldn’t use it because I have almost no idea how to write a shader. But then, a magic check-box appeared in the material inspector.

Two-Sided just beat Cellar Door

I clicked it and yes! I could flip Sebas without weird shaders!

Finally, after about one hour of having lots of fun, The Worst Grim Reaper worked in Unity 2018.1.0b13 using the Lightweight pipeline just as it worked in Unity 2017.

So, now…

The moment of truth

It was finally time to test the results. Was all this pain finally worth it? I disabled VSync, launched Fraps and compiled the game using both Unity 2017 and Unity 2018.

I’ll go straight to the results. Framerate is in the top-left corner. Click the image to see a full res!

Unity 2017

Average framerate: 250 FPS

Unity 2018

Average framerate: 560 FPS

 

Final words

Upgrading to Unity 2018.1 was, without a doubt, a good idea. Getting over two times the frame rate with no noticeable quality loss and very little work is priceless. However, albeit amazing -can’t wait for you to play it- The Worst Grim Reaper’s code isn’t a super weird or complex thing. The upgrade was easy because we rely on nearly no external code (except for Wwise, which did get a few errors after upgrading but was a super easy fix).

I think Unity is doing a great job with 2018. The Scriptable Render Pipelines allow huge control over the graphics quality of your game, the C# Job System (which I didn’t really need to use yet) is really good for heavy-load tasks (I recommend watching this video which demonstrates the power of this feature), the visual shaders scripting (Shader Graph)… I really hope I need to use it soon!

Well done, Unity. Keep it up!

 

If you want to stay informed about The Worst Grim Reaper, please visit our home page, where you can subscribe to our e-mail list (we don’t spam!) and follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

Mark Lohmann

13 April ’18 – Dev Blog #5: Hell Has Ladders, Apparently

Hey, Mark Lohmann here. This week, I want to share some of the new art I’ve been making, explain some stuff how and why we’re evolving as an indie-game team and talk about my personal life and mental health a little bit  (which, one day you’ll see, relates to this game in deep and important ways)

First of all, the easy part, that doesn’t require many words, the art:

 

 

Tada! It might not look like much, but mind you, pixel art takes time. As time goes on we’ll keep adding details to make the world feel alive and in motion. Which brings me to my next subject: the way we work now as a game-dev studio.

I’ve sort of taken/gotten the role of producer in this team, which basically means that I have to structure the way we work. I prepare the skype calls and make sure we stay on schedule while we’re doing them, I create the events in the Google agenda and I try to keep the conversations open and honest. Honestly, a few years ago I would’ve totally sucked at this job, but ever since I got a live-band I’ve learned the consequences when I don’t take the lead and leave things unclear and what not. Basically, I had to learn to be structured. Since I consciously decided to take the producer role my life has changed for the better, which brings me to my next subject: my personal life.

MY PERSONAL LIFE (darkness ahead)

A few months ago, after years of negative self-talk and dark inner voices echoing in my mind-cave (that I have learned now weren’t even mine) I was literally at a crossroads in my life. It was another rainy, gray, terrible evening in my town Heerhugowaard and I was standing still with my bike somewhere. To the right was the road to the train tracks and to the left was the way back home, where I had work to do and a life to build. I was checking the schedules of the trains on my iPhone, not because I wanted to get on them but because the thought of going home and having to spend more days with the same hopeless feeling was way worse than jumping in front of a train. I know this game dev blog just got really dark, but stick with me, I’m writing this right now, so you already know what road I chose. There wasn’t really a revelation or anything, I just quickly rode my bike back home before I did anything stupid. That evening did make me realize there was probably some stuff I had to change in my life, starting from the inside.

And omg, there was a lot I was just not doing right with my mind. It kind of baffles me that “learning how to keep a mental hygiene” isn’t a standard thing at every school. Seriously, I was doing so many things not right in there and I had been doing it for so many years that it was hard to get rid of. It’s sort of like letting the water you swim in getting more and more toxic until you don’t know any better and are just in a constant unconscious state of unhappiness. It was only when I stepped out of that shit that I saw how bad it was.

Luckily, just as I started to learn these things, I had to be a more “together” person for our game dev team too. These days, I track what I eat, I consciously work on good habits, I meditate, I say and think positive affirmations at least 3 times a day for 5 minutes. I chose role models that have a positive and productive outlook on life, I speak my mind and try to do this in a compassionate non-judgemental way (not speaking your mind can also really make the water around you get more and more terrible because nothing really changes for the better). Since then I’ve made tons of new friends, had awesome nights out, talked with cute girls (normally I’d feel like I wasn’t worthy of talking to girls at all), even scored a few numbers. I’m not afraid to take small risks, don’t overthink anything until my mind tells me not to do it, bought flowers for my grandma without feeling weird, stopped thinking about my ex in lonely moments and I found city I would like to live in one day, and I’m taking steps to make that happen. Basically, taking any steps in bettering yourself and your life is a reward on its own because it gives you a sense of hope and direction while the results are slowly but surely showing themselves in all different parts of your life.

For anyone reading this who is also in a dark place, I hope you’ll believe me that Hell has ladders, and there is a way out of it. Start climbing, and you’ll find yourself in a whole other world without having to move an inch. 1

Thank you,

Mark Lohmann

A few other specific things that helped me:

  • School of Life (tons of great videos that could help you understand yourself and make you aware of things people are going through.)
  • Toggl (maybe you shouldn’t go as far as me, but I try to track everything I do so I have a clear view of what I’m doing wrong or right. I only spend 5 minutes in the shower these days where I also brush my teeth, instead of standing there for 8 minutes unconsciously)
  • Awaken The Giant From Within (I know, I know, fuck self-help books, right? Maybe. or you could try to let go of that cynicism that is so popular these days and just try it.)
  • RSDTyler (take from it what you want, the basic things are: he does meditation, realized he can win at life even though he’s a, and I quote, “short, balding ginger guy”. In this society we’re often led to believe we’re not happy unless we buy this or that, or look like this or that, but he’s breaking those rules and you can too.
  • I want to say this again, MEDITATE! it’s not hard, look for ways to do it online, download an app, but be consistent. Nothing happens after you’ve only done it for a few days. Keep at it.
  • Yoga With Adriene, (start with the 30 days yoga challenge to get a good starter guide, again, keep at it, take time for yourself, you deserve it, even though your negative self-thinking might tell you otherwise or feel cringy when I say “you deserve it”, that cringe is probably that same voice that’s bringing you down.)
  • HASfit (find a consistent scheme that works for you, and keep at it. Honestly, making pixel art is a lot more fun with a 6-pack. Kidding, but seriously, staying fit is super important <3 .)

HEY! If you are thinking of suicide or anything, please look for professionals to talk to, they are always available everywhere. Or start a chat with one of them here.

Mark Benis

7 April ’18 – Dev Blog #4: Back from GDC!

Hi folks,

A couple weeks ago I went to my first ever Game Developers Conference (GDC) with the hopes of learning a bit more about indie development and bringing that wisdom back home to my team, and boy did I learn a lot! In this blog I thought I’d talk a bit about those little nuggets of knowledge that I found and how they applied to our team.

Overall GDC was incredible. I got to catch up with old friend, meet a bunch of awesome people, and hear some seriously inspiring and educational talks. One of the highlights was “Practical Tips for Growing an Indie Studio” by Alex Kennedy, founder of Failbetter Games. He had a whole slew of techniques that I could apply to my own team, and the two that stuck out were the idea of assigning a “buck” to tasks and flagging — excuse my language — fuck ups.

Alex described the buck as the person who is solely responsible for getting a specific task done. He pointed out that if multiple people are responsible for something, it’s easy for one person to assume that the other will complete it and vice versa, and in the end communication breaks down. Thus, it’s best to assign a single person — or a buck — to each task and have them be responsible for making sure it is completed.

Though I hadn’t consciously thought about this idea before Alex’s talk, I realized that our team has been assigning bucks all along and reaping the benefits of this organizational technique. For example, when we started this blog we knew that we would want to rotate who writes a post every week. Initially we said that whoever wanted to write one would just post it on the blog, but that felt too confusing and two people might end up both writing something for the same week — not the worst thing but not very efficient. So we decided that every week we’d choose one of us to post here and share their thoughts about development; we were effectively assigning a buck without realizing it! This is a pretty basic example and assigning someone a task isn’t a revolutionary strategy, but I do think that being aware of exactly what techniques we’re using and codifying which ones are actually effective is essential for long-term team growth.

Another of my favorites from Alex’s talk was the concept of flagging fuck ups. It’s a simple idea — tell your team if you’re not going to make a deadline or if you’re having problems — but at its heart lies a much more complex problem. Telling people you work with that you’re fucking up requires a great deal of trust in a studio environment. If you feel like you will be punished, ridiculed or fired for telling your co-workers that something is wrong — whether it’s your fault or not — then you most likely won’t say anything until the deadline is actually upon you or the problem bubbles to the surface. This can create all sorts of stress in a team and ultimately builds your studio on the shaky and unstable grounds of dishonesty. Not good. My takeaway from Alex was to create a studio environment built on a foundation of trust in which everyone can feel safe and comfortable sharing their mistakes. There’s few things that make you feel more vulnerable than revealing that you’ve fucked up, but it’s an important step in forming a team that can work together harmoniously and efficiently.

There was so much more about Alex’s talk that I found helpful, so I definitely recommend checking it out in the GDC Vault if you get the chance. Right now we’re working on a new intro section to TWGR that we’re planning on showing at an expo next month — more details to come soon!

Mark B.

Martin Isla

30 MARCH ’18 – DEV BLOG #3: CODE CHAOS

Hi there. I’m Martin, programmer and tech guy behind this beautiful game.
I got to know Lohmann in June 2017 thanks to a comment on a YouTube video. A few months later, we started working on what was going to be The Worst Grim Reaper.

He told me his idea for a game and I fell in love. This idea with his art (and my amazing skills, of course) would make such a beautiful piece of art.
We started working right away. For two months, I dedicated my life to game development. I had a freelancer job that took me about 6 hours a day and as soon as I finished with it, I started working on The Worst Grim Reaper.

I came up with amazing ideas to deal with the complicated mechanics of the game. I was so proud.

However, this game wasn’t always the same.

When Benis arrived, he brought all these amazing ideas with him which slowly started changing the game here and there. After a month, I was working on a completely different game. So different it would’ve been a good idea to just start a new project. This means that about two months after starting development, I had written code for a game that didn’t exist anymore. And it was a lot of code. It was two months of code.

Of course, most of what I had made still worked and some things still were useful and we’re always in a rush, so I never deleted anything. Actually, I kept working on top of it.
The game is currently over 10.000 lines of code. And all of them are chaos.

No happy ending and no lesson learned. Time needed to be saved and depression started beating me down again, it would’ve taken me months to remake everything.

There is a good thing, though. The game evolved to become a better version of itself and, in my experience as a game developer, that’s priceless. I worked on too many projects that weren’t finished because we ran out of ideas and these Marks come up with about ten thousand new ideas every time we skype (on Discord).

I’m so happy to be working on this thing, and I’m sure you will love it as much as I do.

Mark Lohmann

25 MARCH ’18 – DEV BLOG #2: I WISH YOU WERE REAL

Two hours of sleep 1

I’m going to start off by telling you about my weekend because my post will make more sense if you know what I did yesterday. The most important thing is that I’m writing this with only two hours of sleep behind me. “Two hours of sleep behind me“, I seriously don’t even know whether that’s a correct sentence right now.

Moon Moon Moon, our game development studio is also a band, and yesterday night we had a concert. The concept of the evening was “night at the library”, and that was exactly what it was. We played at around 0:00. and around 5 am we went to our tent. Yes, our tent; the artists and all the people who bought a ticket for the festival had their own tent in the library. It was weird and awesome, and there was 80ies music and I drank beers (which is never a good idea for this tiny Dutch person that I am).

Anyway, now you know why this post might be a bit all over the place. I hope Mark Benis will write a better post later this week about his experiences at GDC.

What I did this week

The last 6 days I’ve worked a lot on the art for the game because… that’s what I do. A good tip for any aspiring pixel artist/animator; use references. I always wanted to be the most original artist in the universe, so I didn’t even dare to look in the direction of other art pieces when I was working on something. But since I started inspecting other pixel art animations frame by frame (for example, the walking cycle), it really did improve my animations. Your authenticity as an artist lies in a lot of different things; your use of color, your choice to include or exclude certain things etc. these things will remain even if you look for inspiration in other art. Most sane people probably already know this, but for me, it was a big revelation. If you’re just as stubborn as me, everything I just said won’t convince you, and that’s perfect too, maybe you’ll find out for yourself some time then, or not!

Speaking of sleeping; the more I work on this game, the easier it is to get out of bed/the hard it gets to go to bed at all. I just can’t wait to keep building this world we’ve written down on paper. We’ve worked on the two main characters for a while now but just last week I really feel like we’ve reached a breakthrough with them. Ever since then, making the art became a lot easier, I know exactly how they’ll move, what emotions their faces will show and how their appearance (clothing etc) can express their personality. It sounds insane, but I’ve come to a point where I’m working on the main characters animations while thinking “I wish you were real”. Luckily, our programmer fairy Martín Isla is able to code things in such a way that at least lets you experience the feeling of realness in that world. I think games can really be the perfect combination of reality and magic, something that’s often so very unbalanced in the real world. Oh god, I’m so tired, I don’t even feel any shame in typing something so cheesy. 2

Normally I wouldn’t write a thing like this without a clear subjects and eyelids touching each other, but I was supposed to post something on Friday, so I’m already two days late and now I have no choice. But I hope you enjoyed my little story, the next one will be better for sure!

Love, Mark Lohmann

 

PS: please enjoy my artwork, ‘The Worst Extra Terrestrial’ 

 

 

 

Mark Lohmann

Where are you going!

As a small beginner indie developer, it can often feel like everyone around you is heading somewhere nice while you’re left behind.

Here’s a gif of a grim reaper and his lantern on a bike to remind you to keep on going your own way!

 

Mark Lohmann

Business Cards

One of us (Mark Benis)1 is at GDC right now. So I designed these business cards. We had a different design in mind at first, but no print shop was able to do it (for an, let’s say, indie price). The design I made is connected to the gameplay and the story we’re creating. Anyway, without further ado:

 

Business Cards Image

 

We’re quite happy with them! I hope you have a nice day, reader of this blog.

 

Mark Benis

9 MARCH ’18 – Dev Blog #1: Where the Story Begins

Hi there,

We are Mark Lohmann, Martín Isla, and Mark Benis (that’s me), the “three Ms” behind the dev team Moon Moon Moon — welcome to our blog! If you’re reading this I imagine you’ve come across our teaser art, facebook page, twitter account, etc. However you may have landed here, thank you for your support and interest in our game The Worst Grim Reaper! We’ve been sharing snippets of our progress these past few months and your feedback has been wonderful and humbling. So much so that we’ve realized how isolating game dev work can sometimes be, and our team unanimously agreed that we’d like to involve the community and share a bit more of what we’re doing behind the scenes.

So what this means is that going forward, we’ll be doing a weekly development update! Every Friday one of us will post here to share our progress and talk about anything interesting that we’ve been discussing as a team. We’ll switch off on who writes the blog so that you can always get a unique perspective on TWGR’s development, whether it be focused on art, programming, writing or music. If anything this will be a place for us to jot down our thoughts as we go, but I think it’ll be a pretty cool window into how a small indie team functions with some useful tips along the way.

Since I’ll be up first this week, I thought I’d talk a bit about how I got attached to this project, why I’m doing it, and how the game’s story has been coming along.

I’d like to say that I met (the other) Mark and Martin in a fateful encounter with a shooting star overhead and all the planets aligned, but it was nothing quite as exciting as that. I first came in contact with Mark through a reddit post in which he shared a Unity demo showcasing a dynamic lighting system.

Initially I only hopped on to help write the soundtrack — since composition is my main skill — but Mark’s conceptual ideas for the story resonated with me on such a deeply personal level that the game became so much more to me than just music. Without giving too much away I coincidentally had work experience related to the overarching theme of the game, so the story ideas flowed naturally and freely. I found myself staying up late to scribble thoughts in a notebook and type up a draft of the script. If there’s anything I learned from this, it’s that inspiration can hit you in the most unexpected ways and it’s on you to follow it wherever it takes you.

After lots of brainstorming and back-and-forths, I think we’ve landed on a story worth telling. But above all, it’s a story we need to tell. If you’re a fellow game dev, artist, composer, what have you, find that idea that you can’t get out of your head. I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with people who have taken those kind of ideas and turned them into a reality, and that kind of passion is something I think about quite a bit now that I’ve found my own personal project to pour my energy into.

Our story may be blocked out for the most part, but we’re not quite ready to share the details yet. However, we’ve been doing some pitching prep for our partnership with the Dutch Game Garden Incubation Program (more from Mark about that later), so I thought I’d leave you with our simplest logline:

The Worst Grim Reaper is a narrative-adventure game about the connection between one terrible Grim Reaper and the people fated to die on his list.

Not much I know, but you need to start with a bare-bones structure before you can add a bit of muscle to it! (puns intended by every fiber of my being)

I had the opportunity to take a prototype of TWGR to a local expo in NYC hosted by Playcrafting — one of the best organizations out there that supports game developers in my opinion — and there we got some great feedback on our climactic scene (as well as a few gasps!).

Here I am showing our “super duper early build”

From player comments it was apparent that TWGR’s narrative was nowhere near as clear as we wanted it to be. For every person who understood exactly what was going on, there was another who brought up possibilities that I had never even considered. The fact that we had not implemented all of the dialogue that I had written into this build may have contributed to the confusion, but I think there was a deeper truth here:

Stories should be complex, nuanced and emotional, but above all they need to be understood.

There’s still so much we can improve on, so I’ll be doing story rewrites/clean up over the next few weeks. In the future I think I’ll go more in depth into my scripting process, especially since our game is non-linear and that whole setup comes with quite a bit of baggage.

Up to this point our collaboration has been full of coincidences: finding Mark’s reddit post, having oddly applicable work experience, getting two Marks on the team and all of our names starting with M… and believe it or not lining up our names with Moon Moon Moon was completely unplanned. Mark started a band with the same name back in 2014 years before Martin or I were even in the picture, and I doubt he ever expected to move into game dev with two other M-named nerds.

If I had to guess how lucky we were to run into each other, I’d say we met under a slightly foggy night sky with three or four planets aligned… eh, five tops.

That’s all for today’s post, but our new development blog is just the beginning. This page is part of a larger overhaul of our site, and a teaser trailer is on the way so that you guys can meet our characters and see the game in action. Next up will be Mark who can tell you all about his beautiful pixel art and his business/marketing work with the Dutch Game Garden — thanks for reading and stay tuned!

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