Proudly presents…

Froge Made a Visual Novel!

with ♥ from Froge


In breaking the arbitrary tradition of only creating article on days divisible by ten, I’m happy to announce that I managed to dig a 9,000 word screenplay out of my gut and create a visual novel with one background and a whole of words: “Three Drunk, Pissed – off Frogs”. The art was created by longtime fan SheepishGamer (maker of the beloved Tem Dayting Sim), who solicited me with the idea to enter the 2017 Frog Jam. It literally would not have been possible without him, and I would have never thought it was possible.

Keyword on possible, there. You see, I’m pretty sure the working conditions I put him through qualifies as abuse in some countries, with me having the arrogance to force him to manually insert each line into Ren’Py, only for the reason that the thing I had written demanded such a thing, grateful I am that he managed to do it. On the third night, about eighteen hours before deadline, he uploaded the game as a dozen 5MB split – up .rar files, and retired due to a combination of mental and physical exhaustion. He made it very clear though, that should we team up again, I have to “write about 5 – 10% as much as you’ve already written”, and that was when I was only at 6,000 words.

I screwed the pooch, Sheep. I was arrogant in believing that a two – man team could create an epic out of what I written. You were right — brevity is the soul of wit, and I don’t want to make anyone work to exhaustion because I was too ignorant to understand what we were collectively capable of. You were right to quit. I am only glad that we had created something that technically falls under a visual novel…

But for what it’s worth, SheepishGamer is a very hard worker, allowing me to trust he will do something and have it done when he say he will, able to spot problems before they arise, and was disciplined enough to stick with it until we got something we could release. I have found there are few greater feelings in the world than to work yourself to the bone, with the understanding that all your effort will pay off into a new experience. This project exemplifies that. So thank you, my partner, for allowing me to feel that way again.

The Big Review?

Roger Ebert refused to give a review for a movie he wrote the screenplay for: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, saying it “would not be appropriate”. Roger was a pussy; all critics are corrupt little buggers. They write as part of their own biases and the methodologies they built up over time, where anything that falls outside of the critic’s echo chamber is immediately assassinated, and we can only pray that their biases are obvious to the point where a diehard genre fan may take all they say with a grain of salt. And as I say in my e – mails — you’re not a real critic unless you’ve taken one fat bribe.

I’m joking, of course, in that Douglas Adams nihilistic way. Practically one simply can’t be corrupt, because it would discount the opinions of everything you have ever written, like a speedrunner who gets caught cheating has the whole of their career doubted. People come to your website looking for your opinions, not the opinions rich enough to buy critics – by – proxy, and it would be very silly to be a parrot like that. So if I do ever get a fat bribe, I’ll be sure to say so in the review KappaPride.

Given that I made this thing you see before you, and should be seeing because I know you’re going on that page and cliccing dat mfing download button, I have no problems with reviewing it, as you can’t give yourself money and expect to turn a profit. In fact, I’ve disabled payments on the game, because I really can’t be bothered to set up a bank account and then pay dividends to my partner. If you want to turn friends into enemies, go into business with them. As David Ogilvy said, “I have made the mistake of hiring three friends in my career, and had to fire all of them. They are no longer my friends”.

But I’m nowhere near detached enough from it to be able to look at it like somebody would, having seen it for the first time. As I spent six weeks making a real game once, I spent three days writing for a game jam novel that turned out like something I never imagined. I want to say it’s a good story, and me and my partner agreed it was a good story (as the echo chamber enforces), but I really don’t know. I’ll have to wait before I find out, forgetting it over the weeks, before I pop back in and see it as just another thing I did along the way. At least I’ll get the furry porn references.

What else?

I’ve been uncharacteristically busy for the past two weeks… it’s put a damper on my reviewing, which is a shame, because I happen to like doing it. The philosophy of writing, this “writing about writing”, is one I keep thinking about, for the sake of being a better writer. Wikipedia defines a writer as “a person who uses written words in various styles and techniques to communicate their ideas”. I can’t come up with a better definition that that. The problems come in refining those styles, finding good techniques, and having good ideas.

The greatest of us speak with a rhythm that makes prose look like poetry, and discuss with such intuition and command of English that it is effortless to understand what they say. All writers are, in essence, marketers: they are forced to speak on behalf of the artist, to discuss ideas that are of benefit to them, and sell them on those ideas. The difference being that writing is cheap, while marketing is an exercise of years worth of research, manipulation, and cultural pollution. Let’s be honest: 99% of advertising is garbage, as are all artistic endeavours. I hope to be that 1% in both advertising and writing.

I’ll keep on writing. Who am I kidding? You know I will. I’ve been writing for the past year straight! Not to mention the myriad of projects before that I found myself swamped over, and then purged out of spite due to their failure. I had to make my own art collective for the sake of organising it all. I’m disappointed that I only have, essentially, myself as a member, for it is a good brand with lofty ideals that I have worked with great effort to make a reality. Alas, I’ve decided not to put the novel up there. I’d rather showcase the longstanding projects and not the one – offs.

And now having written this piece, I believe I will stare lovingly at my novel, and hope that download bar creeps on up…