A Life Worth Losing

Being sufficiently confident that I could take on a larger project than my first test game, I decided to do just that: Try to create a full-length adventure game.

In January 2010, I was binge-watching ungodly amounts of video reviewers on Blip.tv, chiefly Spoony Experiment, Angry Video Game Nerd, Nostalgia Critic, Zero Punctuation and LordKat. This was before the “That Guy With The Glasses” website became “Channel Awesome” and everything seemed to go rather to shit. This was back when the Nostalgia Critic and the AVGN would bring a bunch of reviewers to a convention center in Chicago and pretend to beat the snot out of each other for laughs. I was lapping it up.

In fact, I was such a huge fan of these people that I decided my first full-length adventure game should be about them. Not the real them, but the personas they portrayed in their video reviews. It was to be the ultimate self-referential fan fiction spoof ever. (I may or may not have been smoking copious amounts of marijuana at the time.)

See if you can spot this game's primary source of inspiration.
See if you can spot this game’s primary source of inspiration.

I had most of the game — backgrounds, puzzles, writing, etc. — sorted out in three months. By March 2010, all that was missing was character sprites and music.

Then I spent nearly a year looking for someone to draw character sprites, couldn’t find one, and ended up doing them myself by pasting screenshots of the reviewers’ faces on top of crudely drawn bodies.

Behold! My skills!
Behold! My skills!

I also tried, unsuccessfully, to get the actual reviewers whose likenesses I was butchering to supply their voices and own likenesses for the game — a pipe dream that was doomed to fail — which also delayed what was otherwise a pretty much finished game for an absurd amount of time.

The music, however, was done in just three days over the Christmas holiday of 2010.

There’s an old development blog where you can follow the sordid, painfully naïve development process from March 2010 to the game’s release in February 2011 (and a teeny step beyond before I gave up and moved onto something else).

If you can’t be bothered to download the game and play it for yourself, I did a Let’s Play of the entire game back in July 2014:

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