Blog Post

3 years ago


◊ 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!!

on 26 Roots



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Partially responding to Largo. I don't think anybody is less motivated to do something because they're getting paid. if anything Pseudo will want to do it even more if he knows it will benefit him outside this community... on the other hand I don't think asking for a total accumulation of 100,000 dollars is reasonable this community. This community wont ultimately bring you profit and you must realize that at this point. although there are enough people out there(like me) willing to put down money for the completion of the game. I don't think you should expect to become famous because of this site. But you can definitely make some money if you try. You do good work and you deserve some profit from it. I hope you wouldn't charge too much, but eh money is money. plus you'll feel good about making money and being able to be your own person! I doubt you ll make a fortune but its a start; I'll support it

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I would support the use of Patreon and the rewriting of MARDEK as episodic content, but I'm not sure about setting it in the Alora Fane world. While I'm admittedly not a fan of the Alora Fane world in general, it seems that attempting to smash these worlds together would be, well, jarring. Though you may have basic concepts of the Alora Fane world more clearly laid out, the other side of that is that the world is much more limiting than the current MARDEK world. Also, at least for me, the fact that MARDEK is set in what seems to be a Generic Fantasy World is almost essential to the game - not only does it serve as a basis for much of the game's gloriously irreverent/referential style (which I hope you plan to keep at least somewhat intact), it makes the spaceships and aliens that are suddenly appearing seem more decisively, well, alien. If the game were set in a new and unique world, that all-is-not-as-it-seems feeling would be almost completely lost because the audience would have no reference point from which to judge how things 'should be'.

Anyway, though, that's probably just personal preference, and you obviously can feel free to ignore it like you tend to do with anything that ventures near the realm of advice. More importantly, Patreon is a cool thing, and things generally sound good (or, in the case of Yden, look good), so, uh, good job? Congratulations? Something along those lines!

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Ruleon 23 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic INTJ 16C
This post is super exciting! I would love to be able to use Patreon to contribute.

Thanks for sharing your incredible talents with us. You are awesome.

- Ruleon

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It's awesome how much enthusiasm and motivational drive Pseudo has at the moment, keep up the positive work ethic and mood!
MARDEK would surely do well with its current fanbase trickling money into the installments, with added publicity from Yden (hopefully!).

A transform to the Alora Fane world would also be a good idea, taking the positive parts of Fig Hunter and leaving the negatives, but there's definitely parts of the Fig Hunter MARDEK series that I would miss.

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Hello Mr. Pseudolonewolf

I just made an account to respond to your idea. I think it's perfectly fine, you deserve to get paid but there is one thing that got me worried and that's using the Mardek series to make profit. Like I said it's understandable to make money but what worries me is that it will lack the magic the first 3 games had since you made those games because you wanted to, not because you were seeking profit.
I respect Nintendo because that company makes installments of the same games but doesn't make them for the thought of selling out, I mean they do generate lots of revenue but the team pours all their heart into a project. You can do what you want, you don't have to continue the series for all I care and should never be pressured to deliver just because other people demand things, all I'm saying is don't forget to put your heart out in a project, whether it be graphics or storyline. Of course it all ends up being your choice to do what you want...I'll still play new installments if they are made lol
I've been on Kongregate for about 5 years and played lots of games...personally I don't care for sequels of any others except the Mardek series. It's nothing new, the game series is basically a bunch of old school game ideas but there is something about the series that just captures my crazy chicks (: Man I love crazy chicks!!
Anywhooo just a thought I had and if you were to dig deep to make this game it may also attract more people and people have wallets and wallets have $$ and $$ will give you an abundance of...whatever it is you want!

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mauri81992 25 Argentina MelancholicCholeric INTJ 954 6C
Hey Joe, you are here too? Glad you are still affectionate to crazy chicks :P But anyway, yeah, I agree with what you said, those games are intercourseing great as they are, and I feel the same as you about the sequels of any games are not important but to this series only, the ambient, the lore and everything is so well made that you can see the love that Pseudo put on the games. I will play the games however they are released, but also I'd hate to see my effort "wasted" on the previous games (I put a lot of hours in them), and also, to see the magic that those games had dissapear. But anyway, I guess that Pseudo will manage to deliver some quality games as always.

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Ahaha no way sup man. After reading his link he provided on his Mardek IV response he kinda changed my mind. Like you said, he shouldn't change the ambient, lore and everything but he does give a good point that he got Mardek ideas from other games and he could make the game a lot better with his new skills. I think he'll do fine, the dude has been depressed and whiny too much and if finally seeing some light, we should all support him. I'll actually pay money unlike that S&P2 game which is going to get better since edgebee came back lol...I quit as mayor
Mind Flux

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Would all the progress from past games not be carried over in that case? I would prefer to play a whole definite game, and support that. But if there was going to be a MARDEK game released in small installments, then I would like it to be some side adventures, like the adventures of Saul, The World's Saviours, and/or Lone Wolf.