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Author Topic: kodePunc;  (Read 2121 times)

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Kazz

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kodePunc;
« on: April 04, 2013, 12:24:41 AM »

Hello, my name is Kazz.  I've spoken with a few of you about my idea, but now I have decided to publicly exclaim it here.  That's the kind of thing that you do when you are very excited.  First, however, I feel that I must tell everybody the full truth about my recent activity.  That part won't be easy or fun, but it would be unfair for me to let some of you know and not others; secrets are a burden.

On the morning of Monday, March 25th, I gathered several of our fine kitchen knives and began to cut my arms and wrists.  I will spare you the details, but the self-attack lasted from 10:00am to roughly 3:00pm.  For those five hours, I was in a strange, nihilistic, marijuana-fueled ecstasy.  I'll remember it as the most terrifying moment of my life.

My conscious brain returned to me around 3, and I contacted my wife (whom you know as Lady Duke) and told her I needed to go to the hospital immediately.  At first she didn't know why, of course.  She stopped asking questions when I said "there is a lot of blood."

I was driven to a local hospital, where I was kept for roughly 48 hours.  I received a few dozen sutures in each wrist; they are still there now.  After 48 hours, I was taken to a mental health facility, where I remained for 5 nights under close observation.  I met a few incredible souls there, and I am thankful for every moment in that ward, as difficult as it was.

Up until the attack, I had been consistently self-medicating my anxiety and depression with pot.  It would force me into an "up" state; unfortunately, it would do this no matter what was going on.  It was easy to simply smoke myself happy, and I'll be resisting that temptation for the rest of my life.  If I'm lucky, and I can keep my strength, I will never smoke again.  (I've already long since sworn off alcohol; MAGfest is going to be a very different experience now.)

After a very long struggle, which will never truly be over, I have found clarity.  I know my life will not be easy, and I thank God for that.  I am deliberately choosing a difficult path, and I want you to walk it with me.  I have been pushing people away for a very long time.  Now, I want to invite all of you into my life; to stay, if you wish.

For the first time in 28 years, I have found ambition.  I have a goal that I believe in, and I understand my place on Earth.  Even if I fail, I wish to be proud of the work I do and the effort I put forth from here.

It seems I know a thousand people like me: intelligent, but lost.  We've never been able to do what we truly want.  Conceited as it sounds, I believe I was born to be an assembler, organizer, and leader.  I have confidence in myself, in my ideas and the potential of my work, and I want you to feel the same way.

So, here is the point.  I am going to start a videogame company.

Announcing here, now, and for all time, the founding of:

kodePunc;

I have assigned myself the job of Project Director.  I will be handling boring minutiae, tedious accounting, and lots and lots of planning.  I have one goal in mind at the moment: create a videogame.  There will be several hundred steps and probably a few years before this goal is reached, but I'm prepared for the long haul.  I know too many people with too much potential to let them waste it; so, I am recruiting.

My strategy is simple: I am going to organize a very large list of tasks, major and minor.  I'll handle some myself, but I'm smart enough to know that I can't do everything, and that things would be a tragic mess if I tried.  The rest of the tasks will require people to step forward and volunteer to take them on.  I'm subscribing wholeheartedly to my father's management philosophy: "Tell Why, Ask How."  I will give you a good reason to complete the job at hand, and then I will let you decide the best way to do so.  For this to work, I must trust you to get the most out of yourself.

The first project will be completed in two phases.

Phase 1: Organization and Development of an Alpha

Videogames, whether they are "art" or not (and I am not interested in the debate), are the combination of many artistic disciplines: storytelling, art, music and sound, acting, so on.  The best part is that they are wrapped in an interactive package, where the player is participant and often protagonist.  It is a rare opportunity to build an experience for someone else, and I'm very excited to try.

I wish to create a simple game.  I'm avoiding the word "casual"; Farmville is called a casual game while people pour thousands of hours into it, and that doesn't sound very casual to me.  I want to create a game that's as fun and interesting to play for ten minutes as ten hours.

I do, of course, have a few ideas myself, but I'm not interested in sharing them publicly just yet.  First, I want to describe the type of game that I feel would be best for this project.

Gamers have two minds; the action-oriented mind (excited by blasting aliens in Galaga), and the strategy-oriented mind (interested by outsmarting one's opponent in Chess).  The best games, as well as every human sport, involve both.  My father's philosophy applies equally here; a game should give the player a good reason to play, and then make success or failure dependent entirely on the player's concentration and effort.  Each failure must be caused by the player's own actions, and mistakes must be able to be remedied through practice and patience.  The only satisfying victories are hard-won and deliberate, and those victories must be celebrated and rewarded.  Luck is only a function of risk management; plodding low-risk strategies can work, but nothing beats a thrilling high-risk maneuver for the win.  The player must always be in control of his own level of risk and potential benefit.

Enough theory; I'm thinking that the most interesting and fruitful platform for development is the iPhone/Android, although as a PC gamer from birth I cannot disregard the potential of Steam.

Insert many months of discussion, design, and labor here.

At the end of Phase 1, we launch a Kickstarter for our project and raise enough funds to complete Phase 2.

Phase 2: Conversion to Beta, Refinement, and Preparation for Release

I pray, with every fiber of my being, that I am strong enough to reach this phase.  I can't begin to imagine what it will truly entail, but my hypothesis is that the interest and funding generated by the Kickstarter allows me to compensate volunteers for the hard work that has been done to this point, as well as greasing the wheels for the completion of the project.  I have a lot of research to do before I can make any financial or timeline estimates for this phase; part of living with anxiety is learning to become patient, to breathe, and to pace myself.  So, I will admit to no plans for this phase as of this posting.  I believe that we can get here in time, and will have a much clearer idea of what to do at that point.

It's time for my final thoughts, I suppose.  I've been writing this for over an hour, sitting in a cold garage at 3 in the morning, unabashedly wearing hoodie-footie pajamas and stopping, only reluctantly, to feed myself.

I'm asking you to join me.  This is a true commitment, for a future together.  I want to be part of something that is bigger than myself, bigger than the company I create.  Consider the beaver: industrious, yet humble, he is born without a place in the world.  He must create his own, damming up rivers and filling his own pond, and building his home there, stick by stick.  That's me, and it can be you, and it can be all of us.  Let's create our own place.  It doesn't have to be big, and I doubt we will become rich.  However, I believe that we are smart enough and talented enough to make a living from our shared passion.

Thank you for reading this, and I hope to hear from you.

- Kazz
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Joxam

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 03:17:34 AM »

Glad to hear you're OK. I like what you've written here. Its 6 AM and I'm having a bit of trouble forming what I'd like to say eloquently at this point. Suffice it to say that in any capacity that I can, I'll be willing to do whatever I can towards this goal.
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Mongrel

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 04:49:53 AM »

That was indeed well-put. I think that with all the game making experience here, you've got a good community to work with too.
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Ted Belmont

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 05:26:51 AM »

Count me in.
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Kayma

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2013, 07:07:56 AM »

I suck at having time, so I'd be reluctant to commit to any deliverables, but I will say that I otherwise support this endeavor 100%.
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Catloaf

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2013, 10:05:48 AM »

Quote
So, here is the point.  I am going to start a

Don'tsaycultdon'tsaycultdon'tsaycultdon'tsaycultdon'tsaycultdon'tsaycultdon'tsaycultdon'tsaycult!

Quote
videogame company

*phew* I was seriously worried for a moment there given the language used immediately leading up to it.

Your hopefully final experience with pot sounds more typical of 'bath salts'. Where I hear (from my mother in the psychiatric unit of one of the two hospitals around here) of shit like someone just stabbing a pair of scissors right through their arm and then not dong shit about it until they came down hours later.

Back on topic, I guess you can count me in.  This is almost perfect timing, I'll be getting my bachelor's in computer science after this month (pending one little thing concerning Japanese proficiency for my minor) and was dreading the prospect of looking for a job, worrying I'd have to settle for something non-videogame related/dreadfully boring.  I suppose I'll probably still need to find something part-time for immediate cash flow, but this seems like the kind of thing that I'd call fate/sign from god if I believed in that kind of thing.

Finally, Congratulations on your epiphany, Kazz!  I'm just sorry it required such a trauma to induce it.

EDIT: So, I'm guessing that 'Pod' game you came up with a while back would be one of if not the first things on the table.  Y'know, the space-sniper-battle-thing kinda like a 3D spacewar.
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Disposable Ninja

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2013, 11:39:32 AM »

... uh... wow. That's a lot to take in.

Count me in, sure.
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Niku

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2013, 11:47:15 AM »

Asynchronous free to play turn based strategy game cross-platform over tablets, phones, and PCs with cosmetic based microtransactions.
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Kazz

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2013, 11:55:00 AM »

Just so that people who don't know can read this post and understand it, here's a summary of Pod's design:

You're inside a small spherical spaceship.  You can thrust forward and backward, and rotate your vessel along three axes.  You must navigate an asteroid field and find the opponent's spaceships, then blow them up with your laser.  Once you click to fire, the laser takes a few seconds to charge up, then fires where you're facing.  If you hit an enemy ship, it takes a lot of damage; a glancing blow can break thrusters, cause O2 leaks, disable weapons or communications, etc, while a central hit is instantly fatal.  There's also a machinegun, inaccurate at a distance but still capable of punching holes in the enemy's hull.  The idea is to communicate with your team and try to find the opponent's ships without revealing your own position.  The gameplay should be deliberate enough that real combat concepts such as line-of-sight and suppressive fire are intuitively important.  The game should also feel very tense and reek of realism, and you'll be able to tell how damaged you are simply by observing changes in your ship's performance and condition; if you have a problem with life support, for instance, the volume will slowly go down until there is nothing but silence.  And if you see cracks slowly crawling across the viewport, you should let your team know that you have about fifteen seconds to live.

I do really like the old Pod game idea, but it's not the first thing on the list for me, for a few reasons.  Pod is intended to be a 3D multiplayer experience, suitable for PC or console.  There are a few reasons why it's a bad idea for a first title.

1. Netcode and server management is a hairball I'm not interested in tackling yet.  It roughly triples the work involved in a game's development.

2. Multiplayer games require multiple players, and there is no guarantee that an indie game is going to have an active playerbase off the bat, especially from an unknown developer.  I would want to have something under my belt first, as well as some infrastructure that ensures that players don't have to hang around on empty servers and pray that people will show up.

3. Pod is an eccentric idea; it's a realistic spaceflight simulator disguised as a shooter.  It's not going to be easy to sell unless it is really whiz-bang impressive.  It depends very heavily on establishing an atmosphere.

4. For longevity's sake, Pod needs to be moddable.  All the PC multiplayer games that stick allow the community to produce content and mess with the rules.  I don't even know how to begin planning for that.

If you go on Xbox Live Arcade right now and look at the older multiplayer titles, you'll find that most of them have no playerbase.  That terrifies me, and it's not a fate I wish for any of my projects.  I have strong reservations about starting with a really ambitious "dream game."

My goal right now is to create a very good videogame with broad appeal.  I want everybody who works on it to think it would be cool enough that they'd buy it themselves.  I'm going to write a design document soon for my example idea; I can't say it's going to be the final idea (because I'm sure that you guys have your own ideas for me to consider), but everybody I've told it to thinks it's viable.  It's essentially single-player and mobile-friendly.  I feel that a low barrier of entry is essential for generating widespread interest; cool as it may be, Pod will always be a niche game.
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Ted Belmont

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2013, 11:57:59 AM »

Also how do you pronounce kodePunc;
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Kazz

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2013, 11:59:38 AM »

"code punk"
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Lottel

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2013, 12:02:44 PM »

I'm glad you seem to have your head on straighter, Kazz.

I'll do what I can to help, as little talent as I may have.
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Malikial

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2013, 01:05:08 PM »

Ill do what I can, everyone knows that behind every Joxam willing to help with something is a grumpy Malikial silently lending assistance.
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Zaratustra

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2013, 02:24:48 PM »

If you use Unity you can easily deploy to iPad, Android and PC.

Mothra

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2013, 03:35:53 PM »

In for art stuff!
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Ziiro

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2013, 03:39:31 PM »

Unity also has innate occulus rift support, so there's that.

Kazz: not sure what I can contribute but I'm interested.
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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2013, 04:50:03 PM »

did someone say oculus rift
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Kazz

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2013, 06:23:13 PM »

If you use Unity you can easily deploy to iPad, Android and PC.
That'll be the first thing I look into, then.
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Thad

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2013, 08:54:08 PM »

Per the Project: I'm not ready to commit to commits just yet but indie games ARE very much something I would like to do with my life at some point.

I DO have me a microphone and a few professional narrator credits to my name, should the time come to record some voices.



Per the personal stuff: well Jesus, I don't know what the hell I can say that won't be trite or lecturey.  But I'm glad you're still with us, man, and next time you disappear for awhile I'll start bugging you to make sure everything's okay instead of just assuming it is.  You ever wanna talk, I'm better at shutting up and listening than most people think I am.

And sharing that publicly showed more balls than that time you publicly showed a picture of your balls.
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Rico

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Re: kodePunc;
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2013, 09:37:30 PM »

And sharing that publicly showed more balls than that time you publicly showed a picture of your balls.
Can we please have karma back?

Best-friend Kazz, glad you're still with us. I don't have many game-related skills, but depending on what it ends up being I may be able to do music to it. Also, one of my friends is about to finish an intensive school for concept art, so maybe there's that. Good luck.
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