Blog 611: Post Mortem: When the Freedom Slips Away

Considering I’m now making a real game for real, maybe now is a good time to go back to my roots and examine what went right… and what went wrong… with my previous development efforts: my Warcraft III maps.

Today: my first real map, When the Freedom Slips Away

There will be spoilers.

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Aside 52: A Rose As Called By Any Other Name…

Aside

A few people have recently asked me where the name “Rao Dao Zao” came from. It’s a pretty crap story, to be honest, but it turned out all right — the search engine rankings for Rao Dao Zao are pretty awesome, and, well, it does look and sound quite cool (assuming you pronounce it correctly, which most people don’t).

So, to shatter my air of mystery, the story goes thus:

My real name is Robbie. When I first played Baldur’s Gate, I couldn’t name my character “Robbie” because that is not Fantasy enough, so I shortened it to “Robe”. Some time later, I got the Lego Rock Raiders game — where a narrator says the name of a set, “The Loader Dozer”, in a particular accent. I injected Robe to this for some reason and got “The Rober Dozer”. Slur hard enough while saying “Rober Dozer” and you get “Rao Dao Zao”.

Voila.

Blog 610: Post Mortem: The Islands in the Sky

Considering I’m now making a real game for real, maybe this is a good moment to go back to my roots and examine what went right… and what went wrong… with my previous development efforts: my Warcraft III maps.

Today: the Islands in the Sky series

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Blog 609: The Anatomy of a Character

Owing to my background in modding strategy games, I call them Units, but they’re already so much more than that. They’re more complicated in some ways than what I worked with throughout ten long years of modding Warcraft III, while in others, they are only a mess of undeveloped potential. Do you think they are deep enough to call them Characters instead? Hmm.

However we choose to call them, they are the most important parts of No Excuses — without them, there is nothing but a static scene, for even the player is in command of a Unit like any other. Maybe gameplay will demand that it has more or less capabilities than those around it, but it’s still “just” a Unit.

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Blog 608: Minimum Viable Home

So, last weekend, I finally got the last set of curtains for my flat. Custom-made because my lounge has two windows — I needed a roman blind and a pair of curtains that matched. Thank goodness they fit perfectly.

Still got loads of furniture still to get, but with the studio desk and lounge settee in place, and now all the windows sealed too, it’s fully armed and operational.

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Blog 607: Giants

Giants: Citizen Kabuto was, believe it or not, my first ever experience of cockney banter. This banter, if nothing else, had a profound impact on my life and most definitely how I conducted my earlier Warcraft maps (if not the later ones too). Everybody goes on about finding the mythical Citizen Kane of games, but what about the Citizen Kabuto of films?

Funny, then, that I’ve never blogged about Giants. Maybe it’s because I don’t think I’ve actually played it for four or five years — in fact, I’m not even sure I’ve played it on Daedalus at all, who is now more than six and a half. (Sidenote: help me build a replacement, I have no idea what I’m doing and I want to play all the modern games.)

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