Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 18, 2019

Email: Two questions

Greetings Master Malstrom

I wanted to read some of your old stuff and as luck would have it you are not dead. Most excellent.

Two questions

1: How much does the entire Switch and 3DS library cost?

2: Will your game you are making by physical? What tools are you using?

Good luck with your endeavours,


A Reader



1 = Not as much due to the Gamer’s Club Unlocked from Best Buy. Tee hee…

2 = I’ll worry about distribution once the game is actually made. As for kits, see below email. No kit ‘sucks’. It is that YOU suck. With talent and hard work, you can make Atari 2600 hardware make interesting games. THIS is what needs to be focused on, not the ‘kit’. The choice of kit should be tailored towards what game you are making.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 17, 2019

Email: Malstrom Game: Development kit

Hello Master Malstrom,

I saw your post about your game and how it is so easy to make your game bloated and your rational was that today is easier to make a game with tons of game kits that you can acquire.

The question that came to my mind straight away was “What development kit Malstrom is using?”

I don’t think you created your own engine, so you are able to share what engine / game development tool you are using. I have the feeling it’s not a RPG Maker type.

Also since we are in the topic, can you also share what type of game you are creating?

Thanks, welcome back and good luck with your creation.

Long time Reader

Here are some screenshots of my upcoming game: Malstrom’s Adventure!

Image result for aircraft carrier
Image result for black hole
Image result for cheerleaders
Image result for city night life bar
Image result for military soldier
Image result for dance
As you can see, all genres are represented. “Is it an RTS?” “Is it an RPG?” “Is it a FPS?” “Is it a puzzle game?” “Is it a visual novel?” “Is it a platformer?” Yes.
I expect EA to dissolve any moment now as how on earth can they compete with Malstrom’s Adventure? Reggie Fils-Aime wants Malstrom’s Adventure to be on Switch, but I told him no game console can contain the awesome that is Malstrom’s Adventure.
Image result for penny arcade bullshot
Hey, if the Game Industry is going to give us ‘Bullshots’, I might as well do the same. Besides, my graphics are SO MUCH better than what they are doing!
I’m glad you brought up RPG Maker. It is a good example of what goes on…
“There are tons of bad RPG maker games.” There are tons of bad games al

As you can see, all genres are represented. “Is it an RTS?” “Is it an RPG?” “Is it a FPS?” “Is it a puzzle game?” “Is it a visual novel?” “Is it a platformer?” Yes.

I expect EA to dissolve any moment now as how on earth can they compete with Malstrom’s Adventure? Reggie Fils-Aime wants Malstrom’s Adventure to be on Switch, but I told him no game console can contain the awesome that is Malstrom’s Adventure.

Hey, if the Game Industry is going to give us ‘Bullshots’, I might as well do the same. Besides, my graphics are SO MUCH better than what they are doing!


I’m glad you brought up RPG Maker. It is a good example of what goes on…

“There are tons of bad RPG maker games.” There are tons of bad games all over the place. Mediocrity actually isn’t the issue. RPG Maker is simply much more accessible, but also appeals to writers as opposed to artists and programmers. So we get tons of text bloated ‘rpg maker’ games because of this.

Consider the stage. You go up there. You do your act. Tomatoes are thrown at you. Why? Because you suck! You are NOT ENTERTAINING. The audience demands to be entertained!

Craft does matter, yes. But the scary thing is that the TOOLS to do art and programming are SO MUCH EASIER today than it was decades ago. We are entering an era where there are now pockets of communities where they do nothing but play each other’s games and make their own (and not participate in Game Industry). I think this will grow and may even displace ‘Game Industry’ one day.

Like show business, you either have the ‘pop’ or you don’t. You either know how to entertain, or you do not.

Entertainment forms differ, but they are all the same. The comedian spends a ridiculous amount of time practicing his craft. Yet, he has to perform on stage and get a reaction from the audience. The audience is always, always, always right. The same is true for gaming. If I put Shigeru Miyamoto on RPG Maker, I am sure he would make something entertaining. Why? It is because he is Shigeru Miyamoto who has an obvious talent for entertainment. The tool is not relevant. What is more relevant are the new ways to sell such creations such as or even Steam.

Game Industry: “We need to get rid of retail and make every game digitally bought! Yeah!”
Gamers: “Then we can sell the games we make! There is no obstacle anymore with retail out of the way.”
Game Industry: “Dammit…”

Gamers have always made their own games. The rampant use of mods testify to this. Remember all the Doom and Quake mods? Remember the custom maps for Starcraft or Warcraft 3? The problem then was that those ‘game makers’ did not have an easy way to make art (they had to keep using the game’s original assets), were highly confined by the game engine, and they could not sell their games since it was using the engine’s IP. Back in the day, people tried to make their own Doom expansions and even sell them in retail stores!

With the perfect storm of digital selling, of game creation kits allowing you to sell what you make with them, of using the Internet to contract or acquire assets for your game, the barrier to ‘game maker’ is more of talent and hardwork than anything else. I know one indie gamer who is finally getting his game on the Switch. To be honest, I’d rather play shitty indie games, as they are interesting even in their shittiness, than the stale over-produced Game Industry AAA games. And even with the game kits, you have modders who give them even more ability (in rpg maker’s case, one word: yanfly).

I’m currently using multiple game ‘kits’. I’d like to fully invest in Unreal Engine 4, but I do not have the… uh… ‘art experience’ yet. You can pretty much make any game with any kit, though some kits are better than others at certain genres. The big rule with using a ‘kit’ is that you have to spend much time trying the game to be unlike the ‘kit’ to begin with!

Game making is all about your talent and hard work, not about the kit. We all use pencils, yet we are not Leonardi Da Vincis.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 17, 2019

Email: Nintendo misses the style of Link’s Awakening

Hello Malstrom,

There is something in particular that irks me about the art style of Funko Pop’s Awakening: it tries to uplift the art style of the GameBoy game instead of uplifting the art style of what it was the GameBoy game was trying to communicate.

In those days technology was very limited and the artists had to approximate what they were trying to convey with the limited tools they had. The reason Link has two dots for eyes and a head larger than the rest of his body is not because that’s what the artist wanted, but because that is the best the artist could do while still keeping the game playable. This is why art outside the game was so important, why we have soft spots in our hearts for the boxes and manuals, they complemented the experience of the game.

When I played Link’s Awakening I wasn’t seeing a Funko Pop on the screen, I was seeing a young swordman. When I entered the forest I did not see shiny plastic toy trees, I was an ancient cursed forest with fog creeping along the ground. The monster were not cute googly-eyed derpy mascots, they were vicious killers.

The common excuse has been that this is a game for children, but so was the original as well. It was still a colorful game with a bright sense of adventure, but it did not look like a toy set either. Even the Smurfs look more dignified than the remake.

Instead of looking at the artwork as the source of tone, Nintendo went for the GameBoy graphics as their source. It’s like taking a photograph, scaling its resolution all the way down, and then upscaling it and trying to fill in the details based on the low-resolution picture rather than the original.

Isn’t this cute? An emailer has the premise that Nintendo will want to use the original customer’s original experience as a model to make the new version. They don’t give a fuck about your consumer experience. They don’t care what you thought about the manuals. They don’t care what you felt when you played the game. They don’t care if it is your favorite or least favorite game.

So what does Nintendo care about? Only about what they WANT to develop.

Mario? Miyamoto said, “Fuck those people” of 2d Mario fans and has been doing nothing but peddling 3d Mario ever since. The only 2d Mario we get now are just ‘editors’. Not even the massive sales seems to persuade them. “I don’t want to make this game!” Miyamoto (paraphrasing) said. Iwata (sternly) “Oh, you’re going to make this game!” [Miyamoto got his way and didn’t make the game.] Doesn’t matter if 2d Mario made Nintendo what it is, the Nintendo developers said, “Fuck you.” (I said, “Fuck you” right back, and watched the Nintendo hardware crater).

Metroid? Sakamoto says, “Fuck those Metroid fans” as he does whatever the hell he wants to do. Maternal instincts? Yeah, that is what Metroid is about!

I can go on and on with Nintendo’s shit.

Aonuma doesn’t CARE what you experienced with the original. Aonuma only cares about HIS experience and his kid’s experience. For all we know, he might even start putting trains into the game. He’ll just write it off as part of the dream sequence.

I consider myself (and you, the beautiful reader, of those old enough…) somewhat unique because I got to play Mario 1, Zelda 1, Metroid 1, etc. all BRAND NEW. There was no such thing as ‘Nintendo IP’. The term ‘franchise’ wasn’t even associate with video games until, probably, the 1990s (franchise meaning the original video game IP).

Here is a tortured analogy that proves the point:

You meet a beautiful woman. She is constantly pretty, laughs at everything you say, and is pleasant to be around. You marry her. Since you now cannot run away, she no longer has to be interesting and fun to be around. She can be more selfish.

Nintendo developers are ridiculously selfish when they work on sequels to established IPs. Their development mindset is so screwed that had it exist in that form when the originals were made, the originals would not be the classics today. In other words, the Nintendo developers act we are MARRIED to the Nintendo IP. “We’re going to put in maternal instincts in Metroid, and you will buy it, because you are MARRIED to the IP.” “Here is trains in Zelda!” On and on it goes. And when the game goes down in flames, does the developer get the blame? No. The fault lays in us, in the FANS, for we walked away instead of buying their shit.

They literally do think we are ‘married’ to their IP. We aren’t.

“I want to do something DIFFERENT,” the developer whines. OK, make a new IP then. “Oh, I can’t do that! I want the assured pre-installed market of that existing IP.” If you want that pre-existing market, then you have to behave towards what made the originals sell.

The reason why this is SO HARD for Nintendo to understand is because it is an emotional problem, not a logical one. Every person on Earth believes he or she has a ‘creative soul’ and should not be disturbed by ‘petty commerce’. It is the mentality of a child.

To those who think this is ‘harsh’ or ‘unfair’, remember that game development takes decade(s) of hard work to build up your craft. I do not dispute Nintendo’s work is well crafted. I dispute the motivating factors of why the game was made in the first place. When the WHY is wrong, it won’t matter how well crafted the game is. It never would matter how well crafted Metroid: Other M is as the WHY behind the game made it a non-Metroid and non-fun experience. It doesn’t matter how ‘well crafted’ the 3d Mario is or what instructional DVDs Nintendo includes with the games, it still will never scratch the same itch for 2d Mario.

My ultimate point is that the WHY developers make games differs in WHY gamers play games. Nintendo doesn’t realize this until it is way too late, and the game doesn’t move hardware (very expensive mistake). I have tons of unreleased indie games I have been reviewing for others, and they are shocked when I tell them that their reasons for making the game are terrible. No one cares about their stupid story. If you want to do a story, go write a book. If you want to make a movie, go make a movie. But I expect a GAME to be with a game! “Whut? I thought I could make a story..” which is cliched shit with copying present day gaming systems.

No one wants to make games anymore.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 17, 2019

Email: Link’s Awakening

Greetings Malstrom,

I may be just writing into the void but I wanted to share with you about Aonuma’s involvement with Link’s Awakening.
Contrary to assumption, Aonuma seemed to have little to no involvement with in making Link’s Awakening based on the credits list and a lack of interviews concerning involvement with the game’s initial creation.
However, there are interviews that indicate a bias for the game. Perhaps the game’s more “experimental” design and slower pace (along with a crap ton of grass cutting) may attribute towards this.
Aonuma: It wasn’t until Link’s Awakening that the Zelda titles started having a proper plot.
Nakago: A Link to the Past had a bit of a story, but a story running throughout the whole game really started with Link’s Awakening.
Iwata: That must mean Koizumi-san the romantic, who was in charge of the story, had quite a large influence over the general direction of the Zelda series.
Aonuma: That’s right.
“In 1991, we released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and followed that a year later with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on that system. With this title the Zelda series once again returned to the top down, isometric view. But, it can probably be said if it were not for this title, the Zelda franchise would never have been developed. It established many of the conventions for Zelda games to come, including those that were refined in The Legend of Zelda: The Link’s Awakening released for the Game Boy the following year. Even now, Link’s Awakening is lauded as a quintessential isometric Zelda game. It was remade in full color in 1998 for the Game Boy Color.”
Yes, this is probably why I thought Aonuma had something to do with Link’s Awakening since he does nothing but praise the game (while shitting on Zelda 1-3 as terrible games).
According to Aonuma, Zelda games did not have ‘proper plot’ until Link’s Awakening. What does that mean, ‘proper plot’? The original game originated all the characters and setting and the triforce. Zelda 2 gave us the third triforce, Shadow Link, and actual towns. Zelda 3 gave us the Golden Land and how Ganon twists it to become powerful. Those three games truly defined the Zelda archetypes.
I thought Aonuma had some minor role in Link’s Awakening since he keeps praising it. He was probably making that shitty Marvelous at the time (which Marvelous is SO amazing, Nintendo still won’t localize it. hahaha)
I love how Breath of the Wild stripped away the stupid ‘plot’, and the game is so much better for it. Why not put what Nintendo learned about Open World of BoW “Wow!” with a remake of Zelda 2? Can you imagine Zelda 2 being truly open world? OMGICANTBELIEVEITSNOTBUTTER!!! Or how about a remake of Zelda 1 being such an open world since they did use Zelda 1’s engine as a prototype for BoW “Wow!”? Or how about Link to the Past?
I KNEW there was some sort of shitty reason why Aonuma would finger Link’s Awakening to ‘remake’ (which has already been ‘remade’ with the DX version). It appears that Aonuma hates early Zelda because of ‘no plots’ and likes Awakening because of ‘plot’. The old Aonuma is back! Sigh… Expect a string of shitty Zelda games that are BoW-ish only on the surface. “It is like BoW but with fantastic story!” ugh.
We haven’t seen much of Awakening, but the footage shown so far seems to be shifting closer to the original gameplay and style. I do not like this at all.
I like Link’s Awakening as a Gameboy game, but I dislike Link’s Awakening as a Zelda game. The game is very slow, very small. This is perfect on the extremely sad hardware of the Gameboy. But the year is 2019 with the Switch hardware. Shouldn’t the game take advantage of the hardware it is on? Otherwise, what the hell is the point?
Gameboy was full of original games from NES IP hits such as Castlevania, Contra, Mario, Mega Man, and the rest. Mega Man is a great example. I like Mega Man gameboy games because they are excellent gameboy games. However, they are terrible Mega Man games in general (not counting 4 and 5 which are truly interesting and can stand on their own).
Why is Nintendo wasting money and resources on a Link’s Awakening ‘remake’ when they could give us a REAL top down or other Zelda game? “Because they want to sell it to younger generations.” And bypass Zelda 1, 2, and Link to the Past? No way. Something stinks in Hyrule, and I peg Aonuma as reason for that stink. Not thinking, I assumed he has worked on it in some minor form. No, it is because Link’s Awakening has a ‘real plot’ which apparently is what makes a Zelda game. Zelda 1 and 2? Those aren’t ‘real Zelda games’. Neither is Link to the Past. At least, not to Aonuma. So we can’t get ‘real Zelda’. We get ‘plot’ Zelda which have little to no arcade elements in it.
Sooner Aonuma is off the Zelda team, the better. Can we have someone in charge of Zelda who is an actual FAN of Zelda games?
Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 14, 2019

Email: February Direct

How could you not talk about Battle Royale Tetris? It was the best announcement from today’s Direct!

Jokes aside (I’m actually interested in Tetris 99, but not that much), I was actually excited when I realized that trailer was Link’s Awakening… Until I saw those graphics. I like cute graphics, but for games like Kirby. Zelda needs to be epic, not look like plastic toys.

Zelda went for a long period where no one respected it anymore. After Ocarina of Time, no one would think of the series when talking about epic adventures. I don’t think making it look like a toy like in Kirby and Yoshi games will help bring back that feeling.

Minutes after I post, emails pour in. It never ends!

I don’t think that ‘art style’ is anything about the art style. It is All About The 3d. This is why Link Between Worlds exist, of course, was because ‘OMG 3d!’ for the 3DS.

Nintendo has an irrational hatred for classic 2d graphics… which is ironic because Nintendo is iconic for its 2d graphics (but not iconic for its 3d graphics!). Hand drawn 2d art? Never! I think that may be one of the big reasons why they hate 2d Mario.

The top down Zelda style is done, aside from demand for those games, Nintendo can make-believe it is actually a 3d game. I know this sound weird, but look at Link Between Worlds… a game made specifically to go ‘OMG, 3d’ (because remasters of N64 Zelda games weren’t enough).

I am making a ‘2d game’ now, and I know why they despise 2d games. It is HARDER to make 2d games than 3d games for a couple of reasons. Animations are MUCH tougher because 3d assets only have to be made once, rotated or manipulated around, and you’re good. 2d assets have to be made frame by frame.

If you look at the 16 bit games especially, you’ll note that every top down 2d game made huge efforts to not appear FLAT. Link to the Past had ‘elevations’ where you could ‘hop down’ and tried to make the world appear 3d as much as possible. The 16 bit RPGs tried to make the game not look flat (including throwing in mode 7 for the airships). To this day, 2d indie game makers make huge efforts not to make their games look flat… even if they are 2d.

The reason why 3d is not fun is because it looks so fake. The 2d to 3d transition is like going from model starships in Star Wars or Star Trek to cgi models. CGI is much cheaper, you can do more with them. But they really do lack charm of the old models. It’s just not as fun.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 14, 2019

E,ail: Metroid’s Competition

Hello Malstrom,

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and your recent post reminded me of it. What is Metroid’s competition? I’m not sure that I agree that Metroid is competing with sci-fi exploration/shooting games.

I agree with you on all of your points that Metroid is for the advanced gamer. But does it have to involve sci-fi or shooting? To me the games that currently capture what Metroid was going for back in the 80s are the From Software games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne.

Of course I have to add a disclaimer here: the Souls games are nowhere near as hard as Metroid. But gaming in general isn’t as hard. When the gaming community (not just “hardcore” gamers) thinks of advanced games, I believe that Dark Souls captures the most mind-share. The games use deception and trickery and obscure bizarre secrets constantly. Even if not designed by the developer, you can see a note on the floor that says “secret here” (left by another player) and there would be no secret at all. The game messes with your head often in a similar way to the older Metroids.

So I think the reason why the Metroid market could be a red ocean right now is the proliferation of “from software-like” games that the game industry is obsessed with. It’s true that in the 90’s, “sci-fi shooting” was synonymous with “experienced gamers”. But nowadays sci-fi shooting lost that shine because of Halo and the newer Doom games which are definitely games for inexperienced gamers.

As a quick note, I think it’s interesting that Zelda 2 is in many ways regarded as a more “advanced gamers” game than the rest of the franchise and it would be interesting if Nintendo released another Zelda game that captures the same feeling.

I have a better analogy to explain Metroid in relation to the Nintendo product line.

Look at the car industry. Companies, including Japanese companies like Toyota, make a small number of sports cars. The bread and butter of these car companies is with the family cars, the trucks, and so on. Sports cars are not produced in large numbers nor do they sell in large numbers. Who are sports cars for?

“For stupid people who like to throw away their money!”

While that is true, reader, that is not our point. Who buys sports cars?

Answer: Enthusiasts.

Metroid is the sports car of the Nintendo library. Metroid is the enthusiast game. If Nintendo does not make an enthusiast game, someone else will. And Nintendo will lose that customer. Just as car companies make sports cars to boost their brand and reputation, Metroid boosts the brand and reputation of Nintendo in ways that being a Mario/Zelda/Pokemon/Donkey Kong company cannot. Metroid games are the sports cars of the Nintendo library. They feel so slick.

Sakamoto, of course, has no concept of the Metroid gamer. In fact, he has declared war on the Metroid gamer as the fans are obstacles to his ‘visions’. To him, Metroid is a terrible story. Every Metroid actually has the same story with the exception of Metroid 2 for Gameboy. Super Metroid was literally a remake of Metroid 1. Metroid Zero was the more blatant remake of Metroid 1. Metroid Fusion was… Sakamoto going off the rails… but doing so with Super Metroid skin which everyone tries to see instead.

Metroid Other M was seeing the Metroid sports car turn into a mini-van. *honk* *honk* Sakamoto: “Time for some maternal instincts!!!” Yeah, no.

Metroid is not supposed to DRIVE like the other games. Metroid is supposed to be wickedly cool, slick, atmospheric, and Metroid has always been the Enthusiast Way To Play Nintendo.

If Metroid did become ‘mainstream’, I think the appeal of Metroid would evaporate. If everyone has a sports car, you are no longer cool.

“But that is not maximizing profits, Malstrom.” Then why does every car company make a small number of sports cars? They do it for the prestige, to bump up their company’s reputation.

Now that I think about, most companies have a ‘sports car’ type product that is not mainstream. Chocolate companies sell ‘special chocolates’ for their enthusiasts. TV companies sell ‘special TVs’ for their enthusiasts. The point is that Metroid keeps Nintendo from being pigeonholed as a ‘bottom feeder’, a company that only makes games for kids and little experienced gamers.

The question is, does Retro understand this? I am worried Retro will make a Metroid that feels like Metroid Prime 1… which would be a disaster. Why make a game that utilized Gamecube hardware? Nay, Metroid Prime 4 needs to be more like Breath of the Wild. If the hardware does not prevent you to have wide open spaces, why not have them? We don’t have to be in tunnels all day. The wide open spaces are the most fun in Metroid games. Crateria was awesome in Super Metroid… especially the huge area around the ship. Tallon overworld was the best in Metroid Prime 1.

My fear is that ‘all the bosses are a puzzle’ and IT WILL ALL BE TIMING PUZZLES. Fuck. That. Shit. I am so tired of Nintendo and their shitty ‘timing puzzles’.

Anyway, Metroid is Nintendo’s Sports Car. Vroom! Vroom!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 14, 2019

Nintendo 3//13/19 reactions

My game development keeps soaking up all my free time, but I will pop in and out about Nintendo’s latest Direct.

There’s some good stuff here. I’m curious what big holiday games they are holding back for Christmas (which will inevitably be the E3 focus). Too early for Metroid. Mario and Zelda already have entries this year. Pokemon perhaps? Hmm, my instinct is telling me Animal Crossing.

Nintendo’s focus is to populate their online service. I think that is the real reason for Mario Maker 2. Also, Nintendo is entirely bankrupt in creativity when it comes to 2d Mario. They literally have NO ideas.

I expect Super Mario 3d World to be ported to Switch January 2020. That would be the last big Nintendo Wii U game to be ported.

I actually do like many of the titles presented. Let’s go through the list.

Mario Maker 2 – More of what it is… I’d rather have a true 2d Mario, but Nintendo has literally no idea how to make one. Is it even worth buying the cart for Mario Maker 2 I wonder… (Maybe since there will be new Switch hardware someday).

New Yoshi Game – I’d keep an eye on this one. Yoshi’s Wooly World or whatever on the Wii U was actually really well done. Besides, it is an actually NEW 2d platformer. Unfortunately, the art style is hideous to me, but I can say that for all Yoshi games.

Zelda: Link’s Awakening Remake– Why? I mean, why not make another 2d Zelda that is brand new based off the principles of BoW “Wow!”? The real reason we are getting this game remade is because Aonuma worked on it. Aonuma will not remake any game he did not work on. (Because he is an asshole.)

Do you know what Zelda game needs to be remade with modern graphics?

Legend of zelda cover (with cartridge) gold.png

This game is sooo good, it deserves a ‘remake’ (meaning a true HD port). Keep all the levels the same. Just add a THIRD QUEST. Perhaps this third quest could be the ‘easy’ quest because ‘omg, this game is soooo hard today’ to the wimps out there today.

Zelda II The Adventure of Link box.jpg

This game could be remade too. I actually wouldn’t change anything except remove some of the instant kill pits (especially with bubbles near them).

A SECOND QUEST could be added to the game which would be really cool.

No, it is not that expensive to add on new quests to these ancient games. For crying out loud, they have Mario Maker editors available. It would not be hard to make new items and quest for Zelda 1 and 2. Even I know how to do that.

The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past SNES Game Cover.jpg

This game deserves a remastered version, if only to play it on modern hardware. Give us a hard mode. Or give us a Second Quest. Too bad we won’t because Aonuma hates these Zelda games. He only likes Link to the Past because he can ‘cut the grass’. That is the only value he said he got from the game (Aonuma = Asshole).


Majora’s Mask? (Remaster! Remaster!)

Wind Waker? (Remaster!)

Twilight Princess? (Remaster!)

Zelda 1, 2, and 3?

Aonuma: “Fuck you!” :(

They literally do not want those games to exist.


Starlink Update- I haven’t played it, but it looks more like how Starfox should be. WTF was Miyamoto thinking with Starfox Zero and essentially every Starfox game ever made?

Dragon Quest Builder 2: Should be cool. I haven’t played the first one yet.

Fire Emblem: These Three Old Houses or Whatever: Fuck this franchise. It is so cringey I had to fast forward. If Nintendo is going to continue this franchise, at least it could not use insanely bad anime style and such a shitty story. ZZZzzzzzzzz.

Dragon Quest XI S: This is interesting. For some insane reason, Nintendo loves throwing money at Dragon Quest. They’ve been doing it since giving away copies of Dragon Quest 1 with a subscription to Nintendo Power. I know this version is good because the PS4 owners are all salty at the moment. “WTF!? RAGE” I LOVE how there is a 2d mode. I was going to get the PC Master Race version, but I will have to get this for the 2d. Fuck that 3d shit. Like the Agricultural Revolution, 3d was a mistake. Gaming needs a reboot to just get rid of all 3d (except for driving games which seems to be the only place 3d works well… and FPS).

Impressions: It is some solid stuff here. But aside from that Marvel game, there isn’t much from the third parties. 2019 marks two years since the console came out. Don’t tell me they are ‘running market tests’ with shitty ports still. Maybe the deluge will come at E3. Third party titles should be the highlight of Switch now. We’ll see when they launch… if they launch.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 3, 2019

How my own game became bloated…

I have started a new category at this website: Game Development.

“Why do we need another category?” cries the readers.

This is a ‘container’ to put all my experiences with game development.

Anyway, I made a demo for my game. I gave it to the game tester. And a surprising thing I learned about my demo was that it took TWO HOURS to play through. TWO HOURS!!!! My idea for the demo was to be 30 minutes. How the hell did it become two hours??? And this is from me who knew where to go and what to do. It would take my tester longer to go through it.

This arises the question: how did my game become bloated?

I am not alone. Looking at the sea of games out there, they are all bloated. So this is a common factor. Let us re-ask the question:

Why did my game become bloated but other games in the past did not become bloated?

In the past, games were almost too small. When the Legend of Zelda was done, they discovered they miscalculated the storage space. They only used HALF of what they could! “Then we will make a Second Quest,” said The Miyamoto. And it was made so.

In the PAST, games were not long. Yet, if my experience proves anything, they become bloated fat cows without trying today.

Check out the above image. This is from ‘Making of Super Mario Brothers 3’ article written in Nintendo Power back in the day. You are seeing them make the GREATEST of ALL MARIO GAMES. What should jump out at you is just how… non-digital everything is. The sprites are on the graph paper. The other computers they are using are OLD, OLD, OLD.

Look how it all had to be done!

All these original documents… incredible.

“This was very nice, Master Malstrom,” the reader says in a petulant voice. “But is there a point to this?”

I will not say it was ‘HARDER’ to make a game back then. If that were the case, we’d have much better games today (which we do not). What we can agree on is that game development was DIFFERENT back in the day. No one makes games like the above anymore. No one.

Today, nearly everything is done digitally. There would be not graph papers full of sprites. Everything would be done on the computer. And to speed up process, today, everyone has little ‘kits’ and software programs that aid them in the art, music, and level design.

“So what does any of this have to do with your game being bloated?”

Let me use an analogy to express my point. You have two people. One person is quiet, formulates his thoughts, and then speaks. The other person is loud, runs his mouth, and doesn’t shut up. The content coming from the quiet person is much more interesting than the content coming from the ‘loud one’ is. The quiet person is making his words go through a ‘gestation’ process.

The quiet person is not so by personality. It is because he has a speech impediment. Yet, that speech impediment creates a ‘gestation’ process within his words. He thinks before he talks because it is harder for him to talk.

Now, a big difference between modern game development and early game development is that it is so much easier to ‘make shit’ with current tools. All the pages of graph papers you see above, along with the poor Nintendo employees sitting around vicious 1980s technology, may have been inadvertently creating a ‘gestation’ period for the content. The reason why the content of earlier games was so concentrated and bold may be due to how hard it was to create content in the first place.

If you look at newspapers of the past, they are much better written than the ‘online papers’ of today. Why? It was much harder to put out the printed word than today. This forced a ‘gestation process’ which online papers do not have.

What have I learned of this process from game development? It is to CHOP, CHOP, CHOP everything, and put my content through a ‘gestation process’ instead of doing a ‘stream of consciousness’ type bullshit. In other words, develop the content OUTSIDE the computer.

You would think with the costs of games skyrocketing that games would be getting shorter, but they get LONGER. Why? It think it is the rapid flooding of all these ‘content generators’. You can even procedurally create infinite amount of levels for a game, yet no one wants to experience such infinite train of crappiness.

It is also revealing that for those who did online gaming before Windows 95, they noticed a massive change when online gaming connected through Windows 95 type apps. Before, their fellow gamers were intelligent, polite, and trustworthy. Then, they became kids, morons, and the movie, Idiocracy. As online gaming became more ‘mainstream’, the lower in IQ it became. It took some IQ to originally online game back in the early 1990s or 1980s.

The classic PC games also had manuals hundreds of pages thick because the average IQ of PC gamers were way higher than the 100 social norm. The cost and know how to put together a computer, let alone get the game working on the computer, took uncommon brainpower. As the gamer population became much larger, more IQ norm, the cerebral games became niche and the hundred page manuals vanished because “they were too intimidating”.

In the same way, this is happening with game developers. As the tools and processes for game development get ‘better’ and ‘more accessible’, the general IQ for the game developer keeps dropping. Not only do the games escape a ‘gestation’ process, they escape the ‘built in IQ test’ for game developers that was required in computer programming or technical art.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 3, 2019

Email: Welcome back Master Malstrom

You’ve always had refreshing takes so I’ve been wondering what your thoughts are on some the most annoying viral marketing topics that have came up over the months:
Nintendo MUST put the creepy fetish character Bowsette in NSMBU!
Nintendo MUST remake Skyward Sword for Switch!
Nintendo MUST put out a Switch Pro instead of a Switch Mini!
Nintendo MUST stop giving us NES and instead give us N64 games!

The common theme in all of those is that they don’t do anything to help Switch, I constantly see people going on about how Switch Pro has to happen while ignoring that a Switch Mini would grow the Switch market considerably. I get the feeling devs would be more keen to target Switch Pro than they did DSi and New 3DS resulting in a worse experience for regular Switch owners.

The Bowsette meme was cringe inducing, it could have been just some fan nonsense but no people would shout how Nintendo are idiots if they don’t use it while 99% of art of this character is either porn of softcore porn.

It’s going to be a Switch Mini for the kids and for the Japanese. The retailers really seem to be clearing out the 3DS stuff. I’ve bought a ton of it (too much actually). Playing through NSMB 2 now (the only 3DS game that doesn’t go down in price, hahaha). I love the raccoon tail, but the game is so pedestrian. Why do the original classics pop with intensity and boldness each level while these new Mario games feel so plodded and stale?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 3, 2019

Email: You’re alive!!

I’m trying to catch up on email. Here we go!

Dear Master Malstrom,

You’re probably going to get tons of these e-mails, but I’m so, SO happy you’re okay! Checking your blog for new posts has been a daily routine of mine for over a decade, so when you went silent for four months I think a lot of us were fearing the worst. I had even made a post about it on GameFAQs the other week, ha.

When this blog finally runs its course, I pray that it will end with you riding off into the sunset. And I hope that if, God forbid, anything ever happens to you, that you have a colleague, friend, girlfriend, or whatever–someone who knows about your identity as THE Sean Malstrom, who can access the blog and keep us informed. Because whether you intended it or not, you’ve become a big part of our lives, an influencer in how we view the game industry, and it would really crush us readers to see you go without a goodbye.

So welcome back!

P.S. Re: those doors in Samus Returns; there are doors in the original Metroid II. It’s the homeworld of the Metroids, but the original manual explained that it was also home to a Chozo population. But yeah, the Sakamoto remake sucks. Should you choose to keep playing, the worst is yet to come.

There were doors to the Chozo statues, sure. But it seems like there is stuff in this game that is there ‘because it is Metroid’. It’d be as ridiculous as putting Ridley in the game because ‘people associate Ridley with Metroid’ even though he has no business being on SR388.

Reader: “Uhh… Malstrom…”

I know. I know.

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