Keeping it real.
Somebody once said that to really understand a man you need to walk a mile in his shoes. When I was asked to get inside the mind of a bedroom coder I chose the ‘method’ um, method. Now, maybe you can’t walk a mile in a bedroom coder’s shoes but you can at least potter round the house a bit in some sandals to make up for it…
And so, we present what happened over the course of 24 hours.
Can't help but think I've woken up way too early and that I had probably shouldn't have had Bran Flakes for breakfast. Should have been pizza, I guess, plucked straight from the kitchen bin. Keep it real.
Still, I'm all ready for action. Last night I prepared myself by doing the following:
1. Explaining to my girlfriend that for the purposes of this experiment she could still be my girlfriend but we will have only ever talked on the Internet. I tell her of my dreams to meet her someday in the flesh.
2. Ostracising myself from my friends by telling them I don't really need them and they're only my friends because they want free E3 passes.
3. Inflating my level of self importance.
I'm already starting to feel that nobody understands me and that my fans aren't grateful enough. I decide I need a bedroom coder rival. I do a bit of research on the Internet and convince myself that Miyamoto has it in for me and that he stole all my ideas. I say, aim high.
Okay, time to design myself a main sprite. I come across my first problem: I can actually draw.
Problem solved. I use my left hand with the mouse upside down to really get the creative juices flowing. And here he is. I decide to call him masticate man.
I daydream for a bit about the future and imagine a world where my fans will be able to design their own in-game characters with a stylus and graphics tablet.
Shit! I fell asleep for an hour. I was looking for references to me on the internet and conked out at the keyboard. How hardcore is that?
I setup a Google news alert to notify me when my name is mentioned.
Time to do some coding.
Decide that I need drugs.
Not that I actually do drugs but in the interests of keeping it real I find some Smarties in the cupboard and pretend the yellow ones are uppers.
Woah! Now we're flying. I've come up with a wicked game idea. You're Masticate Man and you've got these dots right and you have to eat them but the ghosts, the ghosts don't want you to eat them and they chase you but there are these bigger dots and they make you really hungry and a bit paranoid but with the bigger dots you can make the ghosts get the shakes and they won't bother you no more.
Decide I need to eat something with nutritional value
Right. Coding desk is setup. I've got four monitors. Monitor one is there to monitor my Google news alerts (none so far). Monitor two is my coding window. Monitor three is for my IRC channel (no visitors as of yet). Monitor four is for midget porn.
Time to get cracking.
First up: movement. Have to admit I didn’t pay an awful lot of attention in physics at school – however, I’ve got this great idea for a slippy-slidey-ice-world-level which HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE MR MIYAMOTO. Therefore I’ll need some sort of inertia effect.
Fucks sake. E=MC wotsit is shit. One flick of the joypad and little masticate man hurtles off the screen never to be seen again.
Decide to have a cup of tea and a bit of a think. I’m sure this is something to do with acceleration and time. Wonder if Mr Patel in the local Spar could help – he was always travelling round the country on trains at 60mph with a suitcase of eight oranges.
Finish cup of tea and decide to implement my slippy-slidey-ice-world as a hidden bonus instead. Masticate man moves around at one pace now. Convince myself that this makes the game-play better anyway. Check for Google news alerts, IRC and midget porn in that order.
Pop down the shop to talk to Mr Patel and he seems a little offended by my line in mathematical questioning. He wants to know what the fuck he would be doing transporting oranges on a train when he can get a dozen slightly over-ripe ones from his mate Gavinda for 79p down the market. I purchase ten packs of Smarties and separate out all the yellow ones when I get home.
Write out a To Do list:
1. Take some black and white photographs of me wearing sunglasses in an alleyway for future Edge magazine articles
2. Work out a maze generation algorithm
3. Work out what an algorithm is
4. Draw some ghosts
5. Pop some pills (Smarties)
Me and my brothers are hard as nails.
I register myself on my favourite forum as a fake user and post fanboy messages about myself.
Begin work on the maze generation algorithm.
Decide that Masticate Man shouldn’t be confined by mazes. I take the decision that mazes are conformist and for casual gamers. My fans are hardcore. I’ll just draw some pills on the screen instead.
Nobody understands me. Nobody understands the suffering for my art.
I’ve been banned from the forum for flaming my fake user.
I drink some Spar Cola. Things are coming along nicely now though.
Fuck the gameplay. I’ve spent the last three and a half hours working on stealing a particle routine for the game over screen. This routine is so good I decide to give it a name – Sparcolavision.
Sparcolavision is leaked on the Internet. Christ. People always let you down. I consider pulling Masticate Man but talk myself out of it on IRC. The fans deserve it and it’ll be one in the eye for Mr Miyamoto.
So far, I’ve spotted 615 subliminal messages about me in Miyamoto quotes on the Internet.
Sunrise. Just the scoring system to complete. Decide that one-up-man-ship is the best policy and go for a system of one million points per pill walked through. Or nearly walked through, haven’t quite got that bit working properly yet.
I decide to quit while I’m ahead and pass out on my bed that has been hastily constructed from empty Smarties tubes. My dreams are vivid. Ferraris on the forecourt. Midgets for chaffeurs. Smarties for their eyes. Through the fog I can make out the details of a new idea. Little aliens, they want the midgets, you have to protect them in your side scrolling playing field. But they hunt you down too. But you can escape them temporarily by using Sparcolaspace. It’s all fitting into place…
Play Masticate Man!
Hello. I’m better now. I’ve been to see the doctor. You can play my game if you like. PC users can download it here. MAC users can look smug and arty.
Your Turn Everyone!
Think you can do worse? Yes. You heard. Worse. We want your very worst efforts and the best (you know what I mean) will win a prize. There are some rules though.
- It has to be a game of sorts. Levels and shit.
- It has to have some form of particle effect. Extra points for stealing it from somewhere else.
- It should be a thinly designed remake.
Send your games (keep ‘em small now) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll announce the winner next month.