Blog Post

58
Pseudolonewolf
3 years ago

I am talking about MARDEK!

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Art MARDEKPlansProgress ReportsThe Site
First of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS, since it is apparently that day today! It used to be such a special, important day for me where the whole world felt different, acted different... but these days it's just any other day, and I've been doing work and such.

I've actually been drawing a lot recently! Over the last couple of years, I've really been trying hard to refine my drawing skills in order to have better art for my games. If you've been watching me for a while, you may remember that in April of last year, I drew a bunch of portraits of the primary MARDEK cast. You can see the results in this post here: ∞ Fig Hunter ∞

I've been studying faces a lot since then though, and I wanted to see how much I'd actually learned... So I decided to redraw those MARDEK characters! Here are the results:



I hope that you can see that there's quite a bit of improvement there!! I understand the features of the face much better than I did a couple of years ago, and while I'm certainly not a master yet, every portrait is a stepping stone towards that point!

If you're curious, I made a thing directly comparing the in-game portraits, some drawings I did shortly after the release of MARDEK 3, the ones from 2012, and the newest ones. You can see it here:

  Spoiler:


While drawing those, I got thinking about MARDEK again... It's odd how a lot of people probably know or care more about MARDEK than I do these days! I mean, there's that concept that TVTropes calls ∞ Old Shame ∞, which is basically when a creative person cringes when looking back on the stepping stones that have led them to their current position. As someone who tries to make a lot of things, I'm on a constant quest to better myself, to learn new things, to improve; you can see from these portraits above that change and improvement can be fairly severe, to the point where the old stuff just looks like rubbish.

For ages, MARDEK had felt like that to me... I knew it was full of flaws, so I basically avoided it. The art was bad, because I didn't understand anatomy, colour theory, flow, etc, etc! The music was bad, because I didn't understand music theory, or chords, or anything about harmony really! The programming was bad because it didn't even use Object Oriented design! The writing was bad because I didn't know about Literary or Narrative Techniques! And so on and so forth. Once I DID learn about these things, it became so obvious that they were missing in my old work.

However, while researching these portraits, I found myself not cringing as much as I would have imagined. I used the Fig Hunter Wiki a lot to read my own dialogue (thank you to whoever took the time to add all the content to the wiki!!!), and I listened to my own music on Bandcamp... And while I can indeed see flaws in basically all that I found, at the same time I suppose I can understand why a lot of people did like MARDEK, and what kept me working on it for years. Yes, it's unpolished, but it's so very MINE and there are a lot of things about it that are very precious to me.

It got me interested in working on MARDEK 4!!!

However. Before anyone gets their hopes up, I want to talk about how feasible that would actually be...

Firstly, it'd be ridiculously unreasonable to drop everything to work on that! Instead, I NEED to get Alora Fane: Creation (formerly DreamQuest) out soon! I need to! Then, if it's relatively well-received, it can be something that generates a trickle of money and new people consistently, because it'll be heavily based around user-generated content...
I'm just struggling trying to write a satisfying plot for it at the moment... My mind is so different from when I started MARDEK. Now, I feel compelled to write a *meaningful* story, one that focuses strongly on my own values or which communicates a certain message, but it's difficult to decide on details. I also feel like now that my muse is gone (Firequill, that is), it's harder to stay positive and write amusing dialogue and... well, it's taking time to sort out my thoughts anyway, though I feel like my plot ideas so far aren't as engaging as MARDEK.

How would I even make MARDEK 4? I've spent the last few years making Flash games, but it feels like the market for those is perhaps dying, being replaced by apps. I'm currently learning how to use Unity, and intend to make games using that in future (I'm still using Flash for AFC though, of course). It might be possible to make MARDEK 4 in that... but it'd probably be unwise to make it my FIRST Unity game, otherwise I'll have a really shoddy base to work with.

Of course, it would also be tricky to sell, because it's the fourth chapter in a long series that was first released several years ago. New players won't have a clue what's going on (I intend to add an "in the previous three chapters" thing, but that'll hardly be the same), and expecting them to play the Flash versions seems a bit much. I'm not really sure what to do about that at all.

At the very least, I think I might start playing around with making art assets and planning story ideas (or rather, refining the old story plans that already exist into something that better fits with my current, older mind), so I'll post those if I do them. It's wise to focus on AFC though, so that's my primary concern.



Oh, another thing! I think that I am going to stop using Fig Hunter to talk about my personal feelings!!

I have several websites now, you see, and I intend to use them all for different purposes. They are as follows:

FIG HUNTER: I'll use this for writing about games. All news posts here would be about game progress, then.

ALORA FANE: I'll use this for games specifically set in the Alora Fane world. What sets this apart from Fig Hunter is the fact that those games would share a world, while Fig Hunter games wouldn't. So I could release things like Clarence RPG or MARDEK 4 as 'Fig Hunter Games', but AFC and Miasmon as Alora Fane games. They'd probably update gradually, while Fig Hunter games would be released only when they were done as standalone things.
This site isn't open yet; I'll open it when I release AFC.

SOUL SAVVY: A personality site where I write about personality type stuff. As such, I won't bother talking about that stuff here, either.
You can find it here: ∞ LINK ∞

(INTROVERT SOCIAL NETWORK): This is my newest site, which I made only a few days ago. Some of you may remember that I tried making an introvert 'dating' site of sorts a while back, called 'Willow' (or 'Elysium Glade' according to the page headers, which was fairly silly and inconsistent). I abandoned it before long for various reasons... but recently I've been feeling the need for a similar place again.
However, rather than reviving that place, I tried creating something from scratch that was more like what I needed.
Essentially it's a cross between a dating site and a social network, for people who don't much care for Facebook, who are more interested in finding deeper, more meaningful connections with other people. Introverts, specifically. It can be really tough for introverted people such as myself to find these meaningful bonds because we shy away from social gatherings and even social networks (being on Facebook if you have no Life is uncomfortable, at least for me). It allows you to write about yourself in detail on your profile, like a dating site (though in MORE detail than those), and to view the profiles of other people in that way, but it's more about finding friends than partners. You can also comment about your thoughts on your own profile (like people do on Facebook in the form of 'status updates'?), though it's encouraged that you talk more about how you're feeling or what's been on your mind, rather than bragging about activities that you've done, or things that you've found.
It's not ready to be joined yet, but when it is ready, I'm going to use that place to talk about my thoughts instead of here. So if you're interested in reading them, you can do so there (I'll announce it when it's ready), but otherwise you can just follow my games sites and not have to worry about listen to me whine about something you can't relate to.

So yes. HAPPY MERRY JOLLY CHRISTMAS and, uh... all that stuff!
52 Comments

on 46 Roots

52 Comments

Sligneris
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Actually, I really don't like most of those - while they may be good as art in itself, it doesn't appeal to me aesthetically at all and I don't feel like it would fit the game in any way.

The only new portraits here I don't really dislike is Mardek's and maybe Donovan's, but that'd be it. The rest... I just don't really care about. For example, last time I heard, Gloria and Elwyen were supposed to be attractive, but... they just aren't.
I'd go as far as to say that the drawings from May 2010 are actually the best, maybe with a few exceptions: Deugan, Vehrn and Zach (in which I like Apr 2012 version), as well as Meraeador, Enki, Muriance and Vennie (in which nothing is really much better than in the game itself)

I also don't get what the "Old Shame" is about here. The music is great, so is most of the plot, perhaps lines and art could be improved, but that'd be it. I'm not sure what would be different with those "theories and techniques" in regards to plot writing and music, since I don't have any comparisons...

...But that might be just me being skeptical due to the fact that the last game after MARDEK you released (at least to my knowledge) would be... Clarence... Ugh.

(I can't believe I sound so critical while saying that I like your game.)

(Please don't ban me.)
Vekel
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Vekel 20 United States CholericMelancholic INFP 8w7 41C
Also, Bernard from the Saviors looks like the main character from UP. Yeah...
Vekel
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Vekel 20 United States CholericMelancholic INFP 8w7 41C
The art style has definitely become...different. As in, more like Clarence. Elwyen looks a bit like Candi Applez, just saying. In my opinion, different games should have different art styles to make them more unique. That's the way it is with my books-My very diction and syntax changes depending on the book. Dreamheart I wrote a bit more formal and high-handed, whereas in Mychora I branched out a bit and gave each character some unique jargon. Like Vennie, y'know guv'now, catch me drift summat?

As a suggestion, I would go back to the earlier art style. As other people have said, it's more realistic, and Clarence is more cartoon-y. Plus, Elywen looks-and acts-like a groupie, with Mardek being a rock band. My god, the things she says...whew.
Ajbcool
1

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Ajbcool 29 United States SanguineMelancholic INTJ 9C
I have a friend I got into MARDEK around the release of Chapter 3...and he got the hankering on his own to replay all three chapters recently. And he doesn't really visit this, or other sites, frequently! I just wanted to let you know that there's probably other people who similarly enjoyed MARDEK on such a fundemantal level.

Just so you know.
Ajbcool
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Ajbcool 29 United States SanguineMelancholic INTJ 9C
I have a friend I got into MARDEK around the release of Chapter 3...and he got the hankering on his own to replay all three chapters recently. And he doesn't really visit this, or other sites, frequently! I just wanted to let you know that there's probably other people who similarly enjoyed MARDEK on such a fundemantal level.

Just so you know.
EscapeTheGates
1

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
I would love Mardek 4. I've slowly grown to be a huge fan of this series. Also, I have Mardek 1,2, and 3 on my android phone. Somehow your games are already apps lol.
Wyvernsauce12
1

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
The new artstyle definitely fits your newer games. However, Mardek, atleast to me, is too grim for this style. Keep developing this style, because it will serve you well in the future. But for Mardek, this does not really fit. I cannot help but feel that the characters seem more happy than they really are in the game. From what I have played (never finished 3), most of the heroes, like Elwyn and Mardek, are hiding a side of who they really are. Everyone tries to do what they see is right, and sometimes their choices hurts the others and themselves. The art is amazing, and, once more, keep developing this art. But for Mardek, I cannot see the characters who struggle against their despairs, losses, and darker sides, in what you present here. Yes, some of them do fit like a glove, but others, like Deugan, are not meant to look round and soft. I always saw Deugan as the friend who was more serious. He was the pillar Mardek leaned on, but who neither realized what he truly did. In a way, every single character in Mardek is a reflection of an aspect of your life back then. When you return to work on Mardek, I hope I see the way each character reflects your own views. I wish to see Mardek and all those with him to grow into the heroes that represent your triumphs and values. Create new games that show your mastery, and keep Mardek to record your growth.
Tjmachado
4

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Tjmachado 17 United States PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 115 4C
Wait, woah woah woah, slow down there... About the art style, I just like the original (the ones in Mardek) style better, although that just may be because I like not-overexaggeration in my art. PLEASE don't go changing that on us in the middle of the series, especially since the Mardek series is supposed to be in the style of the older RPG games (read FF7 or so).

About the dialogue, I'm no literary critic, but I see no problems with the first 3 games' scripts at all! In fact the humor in them is just flat out hysterical!

As for the music... You call that BAD? The music in these games is EPIC, I literally have the Guardian Battle theme (from 3) perma-stuck in my head! You wrote amazing music back then, just amazing!

Yeah, so... Um... This is all just my opinion, and everyone never agrees on something, so I know that I'm not 'right' here, or 'wrong' either.

Also, more Fig and Thauma moves please :)
Matanui3
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
As far as Mardek 4 goes, the problem I always thought you would have in making it was suddenly needing to implement a Bag of Spilling.
The previous installments carried everything over, but since the first was more of an intro than a full game, that makes it more or less only one carry-over.
However, Mardek 3 ended with a ton of characters with a ton of abilities, and in order to balance things and not give each character a million abilities, the only starting I could see for 4 would require some kind of reset so numbers (both of hp/damage and abilities per character) didn't become ridiculous.

May I ask how you were planning to rectify this, or had you gotten that far?
Glycan
1

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
I started following MARDEK a couple of years before the third installment, and grew up with Fig Hunter. In certain ways, it's represents my (earlier) childhood more then any cartoon or fairy tale.

Seeing my virtual idols in their well-drawn super-anatomically-correct cartoonish glory makes me somehow very sad and deceived. Like with a book, I always assumed certain things about my beloved friends, like imagining books - Bernard, for example, was extremely wretched and profane, and nobody would ever have baby fat on their face (except for people who were actually fat).

I'm happy that you're moving on, though, and Happy New Years and all that. Could Bernard be at least a little bit more wrinkled though?