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12:23 PM on 02.19.2015

How Much Is Your Junk Worth?

The great purge continues! Since it's Chinese New Years, this is a fitting post. During this time of the year, you are suppose to get rid of old stuff, and clean things up. Start the new year off fresh. I'm just getting rid of all my junk.

So I made this vid as a way to showcase some of the more interesting gamer and geek stuff I sold. And I was blown away how much people were willing to pay for them. Guess how much a copy of The Elder Scrolls Daggerfall goes for? Or how about a brand new Gizmondo handheld system? 

It's amazing how much stuff you collect over the years. And how much of it you really don't need anymore. Sports equipment for sports I haven't played in years. Games that sit on a shelf for showcase, but no one really cares. Kitchen appliances you got for a gift and used once because it seemed novel but you never touched again.

So why get rid of all this stuff? This was partly fueled by our plans to move (which have been pushed back.) But then evolved into a desire to live life minimally for 2015. Perhaps it would encourage us to explore more rather than "nest." Perhaps it's the realization that all this stuff really hasn't added much value or joy to our lives. I'm all for capitalism, and materialism sure does feel like a sweet drug high initially, but then you realize how you own enough clothes to wear something new for months, and most of the world has a wardrobe that lasts a week. 

And I'll tell you what. Since getting our whole life down to a few boxes, it feels WICKED AWESOME. I never expected it to be so liberating! So before you throw away your crap, try selling and see how much you can get for it!

  read


9:07 PM on 01.28.2015

Win My Sweet Gaming Swag

So Ludette and I agreed to get rid of much of what we own and live 2015 ultra minimalistic. Why? That's another story. For now, all you need to know is that I'm giving away a box of my gaming swag! It's part of the Great Purge of 2015! My crap can be your loot!

So what's in this swag box? A t-shirt for this game, key chain for that game, and inflatable sword for this game, etc. Pac-Man this, Mass Effect that, Guitar Hero this. Basically, watch the vid to see it all. If you want to win it, you gotta subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave a comment. It's just my life as a game developer.

And for an extra bonus for all you Dtoiders out there, here are a few keys for my game Spark Rising which is now on Steam early access!

 

And on a side note: We been pretty successful getting rid of everything. Our living room is empty, and we got everything we own down to several boxes. You'd be surprised how liberating it can be to own so little! 

NOTE: If you take a code, please indicate which one you took! Thx!

38QY6-X9V5V-AF3E8
FE6H0-YJJZD-D02VA
JE6N6-ZBQ3X-B3VGZ
W2TM2-YKN9Z-PAHJ3
TW35T-34L2N-QMT3B
DYQDA-T2R40-EYK8H
CP45W-D0M8C-QE4JI
L68YG-XAAW4-T3575
F7HFI-YD9PR-T2A8G
I7F6X-9NR5E-L5ZQG
  read


1:51 AM on 01.22.2015

Oh Hai. Here's What I Been Up To

Let's see, so what have I been up to in 2014. 

Totally scrapped and rebuilt Spark Rising, a FPS sandbox game.

Started up a new venture FitGoFun using games to inspire people to get fit.

Lived in Hawaii most of the year, making games, beach bumming, and chillin'.

Began purging all my worldly posessions to go ultra minimalistic for 2015.

Started making YouTube vids, initially as a way to stay in touch with the wifey who was 2500 miles away, and now because it's stupid fun!

 

Overall, a pretty unconventional year for me. First, going indie meant having to give up a lifestyle that I got accustomed to. But when I quit my job, and sold my home in 2013, there was no turning back. So what's teed up for 2015? My 3 resolutions: Get wicked. Get fit. Make more vids!

  read


4:30 AM on 09.16.2014

What would YOU do with $2.5 BILLION?

You heard by now. Minecraft was acquired for $2.5 billion. 

And it seems trolls and haters are already out in full force. Let's put this into perspective. Who wouldn't sell for that much money?

What would you do with $2.5 bil? Srly, cash on this scale is beyond comprehension. Riot + Bioware + Bungie + Rare was acquired for less... COMBINED.


Hell, I decided to make a video about it, trying to find other comparables because my mind is so boggled! You could buy the LA Clippers + a Hawaiian island, and then move the team out ot Hawaii and call them the Hula Clippers. And still have cash left over.


  read


12:58 PM on 10.29.2013

48 Hour Live Steam For Spark Rising!

It's on! We're in our final 30 some hours left for the Spark Rising Kickstarter, and we already hit our $17K goal. Swuuuuuueeet!

http://www.twitch.tv/wickedloot

But the last minute hoorah continues at a fun pace! We got a 48 hour marathon going on with a live stream on Twitch.tv. We're gonna showcase new game features, gameplay, concept art, some people will cry, other's will just pass out. But we're going go through with it!

So stop by our Twitch.tv channel and enjoy the fun!

Thanks for everyone who helped us get this far. It's been an amazing Kickstarter journey. And we've only just begun. Real development is about to commence!

  read


6:44 PM on 09.28.2013

Why I became a Dtoid HUGE member

I was going to hawk my Kickstarter (OK, small plug here), but instead, I was inspired to share why I became a HUGE member. To me, no one else fights so ferociously to entertain gamers above all other objectives. The industry needs Dtoid.



I've known the guys at Dtoid for years ever since they were scrappy lads. OK, they still are scrappy, but now at least they now got street cred. And I got the chance to know Niero well and we became good friends. And I really grown to admire what he and the crew put together at Dtoid. Yeah, it's easy to see this as just a bunch of grown kids mucking it up, but it's some of the best online entertainment there is when it comes to games. I enjoy stopping by each day.

THE WORLD IS CHANGING
This past year has been a real big challenge for Dtoid. The whole blogging scene has dramatically changed. The way people want to be entertained has changed. A lot of people now block ads when surfing the net, and when a website is dependent on those ads to survive, a dramatic call to action is needed (And the answer isn't to get sneak with ads!) It's easy to just bitch about these issues, but these guys decided to experiment with something new, and place it all on the line. And that's how HUGE came about.

FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT
And that's why I admire these guys and their ferocious fight to remain independent. And that's why I support HUGE. Whether it's the perfect solution or not is really up to all of us and what we want from it, and how we provide feedback on making it better. But at least you know these guys are proactively trying to come up with good solutions to growing a business while keeping the gamer in mind first.

DTOID BELIEVES IN ENTERTAINING THE GAMER
And so here's what I'll lay on the line: If you believe that these guys truly provide something unique to the industry, and if you think that something would be truly missing if they weren't around, then you want to support them with HUGE. Because I can tell you from my experiences with the whole crew at Dtoid, there is no one else in the industry that fights so ferociously to entertain gamers, and how that trumps all other objectives including selling out. No one else launches april fools jokes by doing a whole redesign of the site in handwriting for one day, or makes t-shirts that parodies how game publishers strong arm editorial sites, or creates a silly panic button so you can surf the site at work, or gives so much to their community. And for those of you already in the Dtoid army, you know how each of these guys feel like true friends. It's because work at Dtoid is life as a gamer. The industry needs them!   read


1:00 PM on 09.08.2013

Spark Rising Prototype v.01 - Am I Pretty?



So my indie team at Wicked Loot continue to crank away at our next game, Spark Rising, which is a build and battle sandbox game. Build environments, fortresses, weapons, and then battle mechs, aliens, zombies, or whatever. You create it so the imagination can take you places.

We just released a prototype build of the game. Version .01. And I'd love some feedback!



Basically, I'd like to know what you think of the art style, environment design, etc. Since we're using a voxel game engine, there's a distinct cubed look to everything. We went with colored cubes which allows for more dramatic lighting and particle effects.


So a couple of notes:

[left][ul]
[li]While there's a distinct sci fi theme to the environment, eventually you'll battle in other environments against all sorts of creatures.[/li]
[li]You can only fly around right now. No interaction with environment.[/li]
[li]If you want to leave feedback, you can either do so here, or in our forums![/li]
[/ul]
[/left]   read


1:56 PM on 08.16.2013

Introducing Spark Rising!



Over the last many months my Wicked Loot team and I been working on a new game concept. We've been under the radar, blogging game updates to a small group of friends and current fans of ours. We're reaching a point where we'd like to open up our efforts to some new peeps, so I thought I'd do a quick post here!

Spark Rising is a build and battle sandbox game. It mixes elements from action games, strategy games, and building games.

If this is the sort of things that tickles your uvala (and no, that's not female genitalia) then I'm looking for feedback! I can only accommodate about 100 (update: now only have room for about 30) people at this stage, and in exchange you get the game for free.

NOTE - Sorry, early slots are full!


I should note that the game is still pre alpha so you won't actually get to play through much any time soon. The feedback you provide at this stage will eventually help shape the final outcome.   read


7:28 PM on 08.05.2013

Does Munch Face Sound Dirty To You?

Anyone else think Munch Face evokes dirty thoughts? That has come up a couple times in conversation, as if the game name infers, well, something else. I did learn what a Dragon Munch was for the first time, and the visual of that left me scarred... I'll let your imaginations run wild here (or you can Urban Dictionary it), but it's great conversation over a drunken night out on the town, because it inspires you to come up with your dirty words. Although I will say, the name Munch Face was always meant to be in jest:)

It's been a wild ride over the last many months, filled with such stories like the one above. I formed a new indie game dev studio, Wicked Loot then skipped town to go to Hawaii for 3 months to build our first game, learned how to surf, and now we're back in the bay area, conjuring up our next game. If you been following some of my blogs here on Dtoid, you'd been bearing witness to it all.

Now that we're back home, we decided to begin work on our next game. You might be asking, so what happened to Munch Face? Overall, the game is done. We build a game that plays great, mashing up arcade game concepts like Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Bomberman. We experimented with different concepts and mechanics and we realized as we marched forward that what we had was about as far as we could take it since the game likely had limited ability to showcase our passion for user generated content.



One of the core tenets of Wicked Loot was that we wanted to create games and a platform that fueled user generated content. Munch Face was an experiment we began to see if we could apply such vision to a simple arcade game. Turns out that while it works well, it really wasn't the best showcase game for us, due to the rather limited expectations of an arcade game. So it's time to prep our next game, which we think will resonate with more gamers.

So what of Munch Face now? It's core gameplay works, two gameplay modes are available, and over 100 levels have been created. The editing tools likely still aren't ready for consumer usage. The public alpha and beta wrapped up (much thanks to everyone who helped provide feedback) and now we're deciding what to do this Mr. Munch. Or Mr. Face if you prefer. We'll likely release it on a few select platforms, Ouya being one that I had an eye on for a while. New tech always catches my eye, so I'm curious to see what it's like launching a game on a micro-console. Are micro-consoles the wave of the future? ... ah, we'll see.

Whether we launch Munch Face on other platforms sort of depends on whether there's enough interest in it. The game plays better with a joystick, so we might explore consoles once they are more friendly for indie games.

Until then, it's been fun sharing with you all what we been working on. It's been fun blogging about the project, so I might keep it up over on our Wicked Loot where I share about various things that go on at an indie game dev studio.




  read


5:30 PM on 05.12.2013

Oh Snap, My Game Is Changing



Back to the grind of making games after a day of surfing. 

Yesterday, my team was out catching waves for the first time to shoot a parody video of us having a board meeting. Get it? Board? Surf board? It's not ha ha funny, more I'll chuckle in my head amusing.

So this past week, the Munch Face concept has evolved. When I initially conceived Munch Face it was clearly inspired by Pac-Man, especially the Pac-Man Championship versions, one of my fave games of all time. I was hooked on that game for a while, reaching up a top 30 rank in the world out of several hundred thousand players. Some people have commented that Munch Face gives them that same sort of high as Pac-Man Championship, which warms the cockles of my heart.

But I really don't want to settle here. We didn't set out with a specific direction, it was more exploratory. So we set no boundaries and we started to explore, which is a pretty liberating way to design. Scary, but liberating.

The next thing you know, we had hints of an arcade mashup and that's when the eureka moment happened. Imagine an arcade game mashup mixing elements from Portal, Space Invaders, Metal Gear Solid, Pac-Man Championship, etc. with a storyline inspired by Wreck It Ralph!

This direction is so much more interesting that we went back to redesign our splash screen to visually capture how different game elements are spilling into the Munch Face world.




This all sounds that much more interesting when you can create your own levels and do your own mashups. I'm dying to see what people cobble together. And I think that's the main hook. The levels I create are merely a sample to what could come, and the best stuff will ultimate come from the gamer. We're just catalysts for that inspiration.

Munch Face It's still in early alpha and much could still change. Your feedback could help shape where things go from here!

Aloha from the Wicked Loot team!

  read


5:17 PM on 04.18.2013

Here's $100 in Free Games



Like any indie game dev studio, we don't exist unless we have a Facebook page that posts up all the sexy pics we do in game development. Like code all day. Or eat Cheetos. Or work in our underwear.

[b]So we set up our FB page! Now we're legit. And for fun, I thought I'd give away some goodies from my game collection as an incentive to LIKE our page. That's $100 worth of games to some lucky bloke.

BONUS for Dtoiders! Just leave a comment below for an extra shot at winning.[/b]

LIKEY OUR FB PAGE!

I'll post up some more pics of our adventures in Hawaii soon. And yes, I know, needs more hula girls. I do hang around our FB page, stalking our fans, so if you ever just want to say hi and chat things up, you can find me there drinking way too much soda.



And I'll be giving away more of my gaming swag. I amassed such a ridiculously large collection of awesome swag that if the pile ever toppled over, I'd be buried alive. While sounds like a heavenly way to die.

We do have a Twitter page, but I find that I lack the discipline to tap out 160 characters of insightful insight on a regular basis. I'm not even gonna bother linking to our Twitter page... I'd rather post incriminating pics of our team here without them knowing about it.

  read


2:07 AM on 04.15.2013

Building a game in 1 week



So life out here in Hawaii isn't all pineapples and hula girls. Though there is a lot of that. Like any indie studio, we spend much of waking hours building games.

For the last few months, we been focusing on a turn-based strategy game that I been dreaming up for a while. It's a big game, and I have tons of charts, spreadsheets, and artwork that's been conjured up. It's a game that would take over a year to build. And after working on it for a few months we realized that we weren't moving fast enough. So what did we do? We shifted gears to work on another game.

Wha? What crazy logic is that? Well, it's pretty simple. Sometimes making a big game with long drawn out milestones can drain the team. We end up with concepts that aren't quite working yet, and tools that aren't quite user friendly yet. So to keep everyone motivated, and to test our design theories, we decided to work on another game at the same time. A smaller game that allows us to iterate faster. This other game is more like an arcade game, and we gave ourselves 1 week to build it. And we did.

I won't go into details about the games here, as there's time for that. What I thought was interesting to share was that this development approach works because we embrace user generated content. In other words, our goal as a development studio is to make games that feature user generated content. Making content takes a long time, so our approach forces us to launch a core concept, testing designs and ideas with our users, and then giving them the tools to play around with the game engine, while we build content based on what people find fun.

You may have noticed that more and more indie devs are taking a similar approach. They open up their game at a much earlier stage while in mid development, so that fans can sample a pre-alpha build and provide feedback. But many devs do this for perceived early marketing buzz and to build a user base. We just take it one step further. We try to let you create things too so that we can play test your stuff.

And that's how we could build a game in 1 week. Because the 1 week mark isn't the end of game development, but rather the beginning. From here, we'll continue to add new features, new ideas, and even your new features and ideas. The tools we create and the methodologies we establish for this smaller game can then get carried over to the bigger strategy game, and development on that game will then go faster and smoother.

The arcade game we're working on is coming along swimmingly, so I hope to share it with you all soon!   read


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