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November 16th 2006 is hosting a Mod of the Year 2006 voting. If you have some spare minutes you can vote for Halfquake Amen. Thanks!

Also I now have a MySpace Profile. Whatever that's worth.

As for myself, the end of the year is coming closer again. The past few months were quite a rough ride and I don't expect the coming months to be any calmer. I'll be trying hard to focus on my projects. Especially Personal Halfquake. I will try to push myself to the limits until January 1st 2007 for PHQ. I will implement a new PvP system, creature images, a little christmas event and anything else I've still on my mind. What happens on January 1st 2007?

Well, let's put it this way. Personal Halfquake has been under development since late 2002, starting about one or two months after the HQA release. The gameplay of PHQ is open-ended, which means there's no real ending, which also means that developing never ends either. I've tried a few times to abort the project but I've always come back for more updates. According to my working history I have spent 288 hours working on PHQ since February 27th this year, that's roughly an hour per day. So, with about 4 years of developing time (since fall 2002) it comes down to about 1,500 hours of work in total, give or take.

Was it worth it? Definitely. Personal Halfquake is one of the most important projects in my life. I learned so many lessons, so many things about how to make games, how to produce convenient and user friendly applications and how players react to certain game mechanics. And of course, I got a lot of new friends.

I don't want to give up PHQ, that's never going to happen. This community will live as long as there's some kind of internet in the form as we know it today and as long as my heart beats. But come January 1st 2007 I will try to go new ways.

Try? Yes. I know myself. PHQ is an attention whore. It will try to draw me back in and embrace me again. Nevertheless I want to work on new projects and expand my horizon. I want to try to get away from PHQ development as far as possible. It won't be easy as it is quite a habit of mine to just check PHQ and fix small things here and there and - whoops - another three hours are gone.

So, again, I will squeeze every minute into PHQ until the end of 2006, which marks the end of PHQ development. However, this doesn't mean that I won't come back with totally new ideas and throw code all over the place some time again. But first I want to do the following things: In the beginning of 2007 I will try to finish Antaran and the HQA Comics. When that's done I will devote all my spare time to the other beast in the darkness - Halfquake Sunrise. With PHQ, Antaran and the HQA Comics out of the way there will be nothing (or at least not much) that is going to stop me. I will aim for a 1st Quartal 2008 release. It will be based on Half-Life 1 with the addition of Spirit of Half-Life version 1.4.

I'm not promising anything. What you have read now is just what I'm planning to do and usually plans have a risk of failure. Plus, what I plan today might interfere with my plans tomorrow. So don't take my word for the things above.

But if my plans are going to be executed properly, there's definitely a lot of excitement to look forward to.

Have a nice day.

November 09th 2006

I really hate working. Now that this civilian service crap is over I'm back in the office doing website programming (I freaking HATE Internet Explorer 7, that piece of junk is only good for nothing). Okay, one might say I should call myself lucky to even have a job. Fine. I do. Don't worry.

But the thing is, the more I sit there in the office and stare at some ridiculous designs that were made by our designers who forced themselves to be creative (an act we all know can't result in anything good), the more I feel lost. I'm giving up 50% of my life just to get money so the other 50% of my life can live. Do you want to see my personal todo list?

IAD, Halfquake Sunrise, my second personal album, Personal Halfquake, an overall recode of The Farm website, Antaran, HQA Comics and all those little ideas that only live for about 5 minutes before they get killed again because I'm telling them I don't even have enough time for the others.

For example, I'd love to do a little magazine, just like I did back in school. Ten pages filled with random stuff. Monthly.

I'd like to continue Antaran daily, add a lot more content for PHQ and finally get going with IAD again. I want to devote five hours a day to HQS, and spend some quality time composing music.

But I can't do that! I wake up in the morning, drive to this boredom crap fest for which I even get paid WAY less than one would expect from such a job and waste just another eight hours for nothing.

My head explodes with ideas and I just can't let them out. Whenever I come home at 6 pm I eat something, check the news, and then it's 7 pm. I'm tired as hell and I take a look at my todo list. Mostly I end up doing things for PHQ because that's mostly just coding stuff which is more convenient than drawing for example, and PHQ is a multiplayer game, so it requires a lot more attention anyway. Bugs have to be fixed asap, issues have to be resolved, gameplay has to be balanced, content has to be added to keep players interested and satisfied. Why I keep doing PHQ then, you ask? PHQ is a project of mine and - believe me I've tried to quit making PHQ - it's impossible to just cancel it. There were times when I sat back for two weeks and did absolutely nothing for PHQ and then - WHAM! - I get so many ideas and start implementing right away. The moment I start implementing I actually see my todo list grow bigger and bigger again because I'm getting ideas faster than I can implement them. This is the moment where I start deleting things from my list and save them for later.

What's even worse is that whenever I work on a project the other projects get left behind, which means that going back to old unfinished projects makes a huge difference to its style. And since I have only so much time for even ONE project you can imagine how hard it is to go back to old projects like the HQA Comics because I'm worried that I could either forget story elements or ruin the drawing style.

I'm afraid the more I work and the more ideas I get and the less time I have to execute those ideas the more my artistic senses will fade away. I don't really know if that's possible because I've said that to myself thousands of times and then the next second I had another idea, but I really think that work makes an empty shell out of you, with eyes that just stare for the sake of staring and hands that just work for the sake of getting money for food. Of course, that's nothing new, we all know that already.

All that ranting about work doesn't mean I want to hang around all day doing nothing but shoving fat chips down my throat until I can't leave my house anymore. In fact I believe I would be even more productive if I wouldn't go to work every day. I'm not trying to tell people to stop working and get high all day. It's all about the freaking money. No, actually it's all about our basic human needs. We need food, water and a place to rest. And since we're all civilized we can't just hang out in the streets. Wow, imagine everyone would just quit their jobs. That would be fun to watch. No workers means no more shops, which means that even rich people can't do anything about it and just starve to death like the rest.

I thought about the phrase "Get a life" recently. What does it mean anyway? Usually you tell someone to get a life who's constantly doing stuff like working on hobbies in a dark room the whole day. "Get a life" means go out, meet people, get a job. But I think the man in the dark room working on his own world has more of a life than the one going to work 40 hours a week. So the next time someone tells you to get a life, tell him you already have one.

I assume you have a life, since you're reading this news post. In the past I found out that a lot of people who're reading these news posts are creating things themselves. So, let me congratulate you for having a life.

Never stop being creative, people.

That said, I will go back to my drawing board.

October 24th 2006

The end of Sony? Read my latest article about how Sony shut down the well-known online distributor Lik-Sang and why Sony's going into panic/berserk mode.

October 14th 2006

Okay guys, I want you to get out there or go to or whatever and get The Information, the latest album by Beck. Once you have it in your hands, forget the DVD with crappy videos that's also in the case, just throw in the CD, sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy. It seems the latest releases like Sea Change and Guero (and probably to some extend even Guerolito) were just foreplay, just some childish tease that built up to this explosion of insanely creative work of music art.


October 14th 2006

New toys have arrived. Some of the preset keyboard sounds are absolutely awesome and inspiring (most are pure crap, but that was to be expected), and the ebass makes me feel like I can destroy the world.

Music, my friends. It's time for more music.




The Farm