I’ve been waiting almost twelve years to make this blog entry. From the humbling beginnings back in high school where this existed as a crudely-designed fan-project, to the revival spent making the first couple rooms on my laptop in 2006, to the four years spent animating battle sequences on my couch while juggling work between “Vohaul Strikes Back” and “The Silver Lining” to my move to Vancouver where I spent several months programming and beta-testing my fingers off and swearing never to make a project of this magnitude ever again. At the cost of my sanity, the game is finally here. You can go download it. You can go play it. You can come back and tell me it sucks – I don’t care. It’s finished, and that’s what matters.
I keep expecting some Highlander-type Quickening to happen to me, but so far, it’s a no-go. I’m pretty sure I’m out of shape and have very poor social skills, though. Is that a prize?
Most people would probably use an announcement like this to toss out a generic “special thanks” and describe the game… but I think on my own blog, I’m entitled to just spill my real feelings. This is huge for me. This is a right-up-there-with-#1 moment for me. Disneyland, being a best man at my brother’s wedding, Samosa Night with Nick, New Years 2006, DucktaleZ 3, the train ride to Toronto – I can add ” finished Incinerations” to the list.
And the people to thank – right off the bat: I won’t embarrass him on any other forum post, but Frederik Olsen stuck with me through to the end. He made a great soundtrack, we stayed up late discussing the games, he’s very passionate about his work and committed to see things through.
And Team VSB – Andres Kalle, Patrick C. Johnston – I’ve learned so much from working with them. The game wouldn’t be possible without their input and know-how (actually, it WOULD be possible, but it would be crappier.) I’ve thrown so many requests their way, and they’ve always thrown back quick and easy results. It’s just mind-blowing to me.
And I know I give “The Silver Lining” crew a lot of flack for having driven me completely up the wall at times, but Cez Bittar and Rich Flores – they helped make this game possible. They pushed me further than I’d ever pushed myself and once I built up speed, I just kept adding things to SQInc that was never in the plans. Would I work with them again? I would hesitate, but yes. Richard’s a talented and hard-driving animation director, and Cez flat-out knows how to run a team with that golden tongue of his – I swear I quit TSL about five times, and he still kept pulling me back in somehow. I don’t think anyone besides Frede stayed with SQInc’s team for more than 2-3 months, so I respect anyone who can manage a 40-person+ team of volunteers like that.
And of course, respect to the original developers and then some. Scott Murphy. Mark Crowe. Josh Mandel. Ken and Roberta Williams. Al Lowe. Daryl Gates. Corey and Lori Ann Cole. Not household names these days, but these people are my childhood. The Sierra family created something unique and wonderful with their games that holds the same kind of sway over their fans that Disney, the Looney Tunes and the Muppets hold over the world. “King’s Quest 6” alone is as big to me as “The Lion King.” I think a big part of me just needed to share back the love they gave us in their own games.
The most embarrassing part about completing this game is just the whole “adventure” and “fan-game” aspect of it. I feel like I’m living in an environment where there’s only two types of games: shooters and Skyrim. And even trying to explain my game to my family at Christmas just met with a lot of confused reactions. A lot of people I talk to either don’t understand what an “adventure game” is, and they understand even less the concept of “letting people play it for free”. So support from my peers has been a very mixed bag when making this.
But to see this game finally finished, it feels like I’m reaching some undefined closure in my life. I’d be lying if I didn’t say the original SQInc’s failure didn’t hit me hard. People kept telling me to give up back then saying it was impossible, and they were right at the time. Nobody gets anything huge done at 17. That might have been what was driving me all these years. The Ducktalez cartoons, the Monkey Island games, The Silver Lining, Vohaul Strikes Back… sometimes, a little piece of your past just won’t rest until you’ve proven it wrong. It’s one thing to make a game for the fans, but it’s another to make a game for more than just the fans. This is for my inspirations, this is for my family, this is for my friends, this is for my friends’ friends, this is for everyone who believed and everyone who didn’t, and this is for myself.
Sorry for the long post, but I think I’m coming to the end now. This last stretch has been such a long one. The game was playable last December – and it still took a full year to get it ready for everyone. And how crazy is it to see “Vohaul Strikes Back” and the “Space Quest 2 Remake” all coming out at the same time? This is a very emotion-heavy time for me. I wish I could be putting as much effort into my schoolwork as I am into this blog post right now. But at least I feel like I can move on for a change. That I can put this behind me and start a new chapter in my life.
So. Looks like “Incinerations” is done. You better go play it.
Hmmm… what do I do now? Ducktalez 7? VSB Spin-off? Back to TSL for a bit?
Or better idea: go finish school and get a real job like a normal person.
This is just the beginning.