More Than The Cover

I’m going to make a video game.

It’s going to be a 2D platformer, probably somewhat like Castlevania. I will be making it on the Codea software-making engine. The game will be based off my current serial, Red Moon Rising.

Now comes the important question: why?

Making video games is hard. Why would I devote all this time and energy to making a video game? And the answer is two-fold.

1 – It’s hard to promote literature.

Comics are fairly easy: “Here, flip through a few pages and look at the pictures”. Music? “Here, have a listen”. Films and television? “Just stand there and watch”. It’s easy to give the prospective audience an idea of what they’re getting into with just a few seconds of their time.

Literature is different, though. You need longer. Getting them to read a paragraph won’t do it. They need to read at least a full page – at least! – in order to get some idea of the book. That’s a tall order in a dealer’s room or artist alley.

A video game may provide the answer. A video game is different enough that people won’t confuse it with the project in question (a problem I’ve encountered in the past when I would present character art; some fans thought the story was a comic). It can allow me to show off the characters and the world, and also convey some aspects of the story while still keeping the two separate enough that they are distinct. Also, a video game running as a demo at a table at conventions can help attract attention.

2 – I Want To

I love video games. While recent cultural events have inspired me to discard the handle ‘gamer’, video games remain one of my favorite artistic mediums. On a vacation recently, rather than go anywhere, I stayed home and replayed Final Fantasy XII, and it was wonderful. I still count the Castlevania and Dragon Quest series amongst my chief inspirations. I got into martial arts and physical fitness because of Double Dragon and Street Fighter. Anybody who has read the Crossworld series knows the depths of my passion.

I would like to contribute to the video game art form, even if it’s just by making some rinky-dink platformer. And who knows where this might lead? Maybe I’ll make a Maidens of Steel fighting game. Maybe a Neo-Romance dating sim. We’ll see. 🙂

Over the next few weeks, I will probably be posting about the trials and tribulations of learning how to make a game. My hope is to having a working demo by MAGFest in January. I doubt the game will be browser accessible, but once the game is done, I will be releasing it somehow.

I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

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Author: Robert V Aldrich

Author. Speaker. Cancer Researcher. Martial Artist. Illustrator. Cat dad. Nerd.

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