Blog Post

27
Pseudolonewolf
3 years ago

More MARDEK?!

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: IdeasMARDEK
I just wrote an ∞ Alora Fane blog post ∞, but I was thinking as I wrote it and came up with an idea at the end that I'll summarise here.

Basically, I've discovered Patreon, and with it, hope! I've always hoped that I might one day become a regular creator of content, but the thought of receiving only pathetically meagre recompense (from my sites' adverts) for 12-hour workdays 7 days a week was off-putting, to say the least. It fuelled my depression, and made me constantly question whether I even wanted to do this 'stupid games thing'. Whether it'd just lead to poverty, hopelessness, and more misery. Adverts only generate a trickle of pennies at the best of times, you see, and all the other game release and promotion things seemed, uh... beyond my social skills. It's all about making connections and promoting yourself and putting a price tag on your work; things I'm really bad at.

Patreon, however, allows supporters to donate what's basically pocket change to creators on a monthly basis, or every time they produce a new installment of whatever it is that they make. I've noticed that some good webcomic authors are earning fat four-figure incomes a month from this. That's great! It really does make me very hopeful indeed.

Of course, I'd need to be producing regular content first...

Patreon is like Kickstarter, and I've considered running a Kickstarter campaign before. However, that, too, seems beyond my social skills, and I hate how you have to make a whole bunch of rubbish like tea cosies with the characters' faces on, or perform private lap dances to people who pledge more than $5000 or whatever; it seems like half the effort of doing a Kickstarter thing is in making the trinkets that people expect for their charity, rather than making the product itself.

I thought about doing a MARDEK 4 Kickstarter, asking for some obscene amount of money like $100,000 (well, obscene to a garden-variety, run-of-the-mill teenager, probably, but it's peanuts in game development funding terms, apparently), which, if successful, would definitely make me abandon everything to spend however months or years it took to make the game...

But what if instead I turn the beacon of hope that is Patreon to shine on MARDEK?!

I mean, there are two clear facts:
1. People want more MARDEK, and
2. Patreon is all about donations for regular content providers.

What, then, if I could provide MARDEK-related content regularly, at which point people might pay me for it?

For a long time now, I've been wanting to make some episodic project that I'd update on a weekly or fortnightly basis; usually I envision it as some kind of RPG, but I'm never sure what. Sort of like an interactive webcomic, but with each 'page' being a playable dungeon and various plot scenes instead. I never seemed to act on this idea, though; it was always some distant dream.

But why don't I do that with MARDEK? There's no reason why I couldn't!

If I DID, it'd mean that there'd be no MARDEK 4 as such... but rather the MARDEK plot would develop gradually, every week or two weeks or months or however long it takes (I really have no idea). Updates would probably be in the form of a new dungeon with plot scenes, and perhaps they'd each follow different characters. Data could be transferred between the installments, of course.

Come to think of it, maybe I HAVE had this idea before... But it's never seemed so realistic. With Patreon, funding would be very, well, clear; I wouldn't have to rely on unreliably and paltry advert revenue, nor would I have to worry about releasing each chapter to portals and dealing with sponsorships and all the accompanying hassle. It really would be possible to do something like this, then.

Again, I want to point out that I'm making no promises!! However, I will say that this lights me up; it seems like it really could work. I'll definitely be thinking about it over the coming days!



Edit: Actually, if I did this, I wonder how people would feel about me starting from the beginning, and remaking the existing chapters with enhanced graphics and minor rewrites to reflect my developing skills and ideas. It'd mean that I could dive in very soon and make a big buffer for myself as I planned what might happen next in the story (I've only got a vague outline of the other five chapters at the moment), and it'd also mean that nobody would have to find and play the other three chapters in order to understand what was going on (it seems more than a bit user-unfriendly, that). HMM.

The first three chapters wouldn't be re-released AS chapters, but as individual dungeons as part of this ongoing thing. Like the first update might be The Dragon's castle. The next might be the rest of chapter 1. Then the gem mine (was that even what it was called? Wow, it's been so long!), then the, uh... well, you get the idea. They'd probably be added every week or so, and they'd probably look strikingly different to the currently available chapters!

Any engine tweaks - like to the battle system - would affect all uploaded instalments, too, because they'd all run on the same code, only loading in scenario information.

I really do want to make it clear that I'm not saying this definitely will happen, or that it'll happen any time soon... However, it is an exciting thought!



Another edit, as ideas buzz around in my head: I've been wanting to move my projects over to my Alora Fane world for a while now, which is much more satisfying to me on many levels... Returning to the setting of MARDEK seems like a step backwards in so many ways, as Alora Fane was born of rough ideas used in MARDEK but then refined over several years.

BUT. What if I were to rewrite MARDEK such that it was actually set in Alora Fane, with all the sentiments and petals and five races and all that?!

There are some snags - what would the annunaki be? - but wow, that could really result in a fresh new take on the story, especially if I were remaking the chapters anyway. Mardek would be a Bliss Bold who lived in the Belfan province in the Bronze Archipelago! Emela might be the guardian of the Sorrow Temple. HMM!!

The plot would remain mostly the same, of course - Rohoph would still posses Mardek, Moric would arrive to do something about this, then Qualna, etc - though it'd be nice to at least reword a lot of it as I do feel I've grown a lot creatively since I wrote it (imagine being bound to something you wrote almost a decade ago!).

There are a lot of things I'd need to tweak to get that to work, and I can feel the backlash already... But maybe it could be really, really interesting, for me as an artist and hopefully for any players, too. The world of Alora Fane IS much more fleshed-out in my mind, after all, and I feel it's much more novel than the Generic Fantasy World that MARDEK takes place in.

Many ideas...! I think I'll play around with them tomorrow and see where I might possibly go with this!!
28 Comments

on 26 Roots

28 Comments

kidupiscean
0

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I like your idea of considering to use Patreon. Hope it will happen soon, and I will definitely support you every month. I really want to play Mardek and know how the story continutes :)
AutrichofFlames5
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I'm so proud of you Pseudo! You said that your would find a way for it to work out, and you did!
DetroitLolcat
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I have trepidation about you making such a fundamental change to MARDEK, but that fear might just be because I'd hate to see the MARDEK I played so long ago turn into something else. Even though the plot has probably been changed a million times, it just scares me to realize that the developer is openly changing the plot. I guess as a consumer I think of MARDEK's plot as finished and just wait for each iteration to see another part of it. MARDEK just seems like it would work better with a Kickstarter than Patreon. I'm probably worrying about nothing, but it just seems really odd for something like MARDEK to get released bit by bit.
Zarkanolith
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I Would Love To See All Five Races And More In The New Game (Possibly) Coming Up. I Go To The Fig Hunter Wiki To Look At All The Races, Planets, Lingon Language, etc. And I Think It Would Great To To Add Those Things From That Old Raider Game Too... On The Wikipedia, I Saw Anethrope (I Think They Were Called That?), And A Crystal Creature Where You Could See Their Brain, And Many More Creatures You Could Put Into The Game! I Would Also Love To Finally See All The Annunikai Either Defeated Or Turned Good, And Then That Little Parasite Thing In The Crystal Finally Destroyed...

After The MARDEK Series Finishes, I Would Love To See Deliverance And Fig Hunter Online Finished! Still, Keep Up The Great Work And I Would Love To See You Continue On Making Games!!!!!
newstomper
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newstomper 21 United States MelancholicCholeric INTJ 514 421C
I'll just echo certain people here.

Though I personally don't like games being released in installments, I would still support it based on your track record of games and especially MARDEK. I think it could work well with the series, and it would work great to draw in a brand new player-base along with the old one.


Now, to the Alora Fane thing. I'm not that familiar with the lore, other than what you've put on the blog here, but whatever my two cents are worth, I'd put forward a whole-hearted no to merging the two. Other than the thought Core put in about "it's different and therefore bad", I'm gonna put forth "If it isn't broken, don't fix it." Personally, what sells me on RPG's is the story. As a result, MARDEK is one of my favorite RPG's, and my favorite flash RPG. Your writing of MARDEK is very stellar and very witty. However, the core lore is a large selling point, hell it even inspired me, who never writes worth a damn, especially about other people's stuff, to write an expansion, uh, "fan-fic"? I think that the rage over not providing closure to this story-line would be a terrible thing. Even if you just want to have Gaspar come and kill Rohoph/Mardek, then remake the game with the Alora Fane lore, that would be much better than simply leaving the other MARDEK universe as it is and just starting the new MARDEK/AF hybrid.
Wiseguydude
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I've been replaying the MARDEK series lately (I'm on chapter 3) and I've spent about 60 hours making sure that I don't miss a single weapon, skill, or achievement. I want to complete it 100%. I really hope that if you do turn MARDEK into an AF:C thing, you would provide a way for players who have spent countless hours on MARDEK, such as myself, to transfer all their hard work once the AF:C thing catches up to where they are in the game. If you don't do this, I will be slightly disappointed, but I totally understand and am excited for the possibility of more MARDEK content.
Mesiagamer
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First I want to say welcome back and thank you for bringing yourself back. I have been here since the original 2nd markark game that brought me here but your the guy that kept me here. I have seen this sight and you evolve and my biggest fear is not that you would stop making games but making them would have put you on your death bed. But to see a game designer who build not just his games but this entire community from the ground up was and still is amassing. secondly this big step to figuring out how to make money from your games is even more amassing. I'm glad you have made it past the frustration point something many Artist go through and most who never get out of it and working on building a bigger community one were the world will constantly expand and grow. Thirdly thank you for everything you have done for all of us. bringing us here and i hope we all can help you keep going in any way we can.
ColorsOfTheHeart
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Pseudo, I LOVE MARDEK. It is my absolute favorite game I can find online. I've gone back to it time and time again. If you want to start over, go ahead, I will still play it. Even if I'm not totally keen on all of the ideas you have for it. As long as the characters I love are still there, it'll still be MARDEK to me.

I don't have a whole lot in the way of money, but I would definitely support you using Patreon when I could.
Thewooter
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Thewooter 26 United Kingdom CholericMelancholic INTJ 5w6 123C
Its you at the helm, the same kind of jokes, the same way of pacing and the say way of doing gameplay. I'm fine with that!

Think of "blood borne." Its souls style gameplay moved to a new world with new challenges and a new story line, BUT it still has the same premise . A cursed human trying to redeem himself.

The story and setting as a bare bones of Mardek seems really cool, with you being able to put more mature humour into it and also use more of the digital art skills you have gained.

I would probably cancel my friends of the earth sub to give you about £22 a month for bi monthly episodic content, or even less frequent, even yearly would be ok.


ALSO the responses on this page make me smirk. I have said it before and ill say it again, the majority of you lazy lot would never support pseudo though anything!

HA! being right feels really good.
Corelis
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I would be cautious about changing MARDEK away from its existing form outside minor changes. People seemed to like it a lot the way it is - the setting isn't that generic, as it does include some sci-fi elements, and mixing those with traditional fantasy elements is in part what I found charming about the setting. A more classical fantasy setting combined with the overworld graphics also evoke the feel of classic old RPGs, I guess.

Moving MARDEK into Alora Fane would undoubtedly sound much more appealing since that setting is more fresh and new to you, but I can't shake the feeling that things would get ugly due to ∞ They Changed It, Now It Sucks ∞, which could turn the new excitement sour extremely fast.

I feel like there's still many things that could be done with the original setting without making it feel stale - exploring those would probably be the safest option that keeps the fans the happiest and the cash the flowiest, as long as you can just muster out the motivation to work with your older setting.