Jump to content
Starcat

What I've been up to

Recommended Posts

Hey everybody,
let me begin by saying how cool it is that so many familiar names are still around and the community is going strong. It has almost been ten years since I visited the forum and community on a daily basis. This won't change in the future, I just dropped by to let you know what I've been up to if you're curious about that.
I'm not active anymore, but I've always been an AtariAge member. So I figured I'd drop by for this post.
From time to time I still read news about the Jag and see bits and pieces. I love hearing what the folks of Jagware and Reboot are up to. Keep up the great work!

So what have I been up to?
I've worked in the games industry as programmer, writer and game designer for a while, then I switched to web application programming to earn my bread.
So have I traded in my dreams of creating exciting characters, worlds and stories for the average office job?
Not quite, that job is just a security net. I've found my profession in writing popular fiction in the genres: speculative fiction, steampunk and thriller.

I still love playing games and sometimes I toy around with game ideas or do some writing for games, but my day-job doesn't leave much time for that.
Stories are what lead me to game development in the first place and which is one reason why I love adventure games. The thing about storytelling in games is that it's an abstraction from the written word and therefore takes a lot more resources.
It takes me a lot more time to program and design a game situation to tell a story, compared to if I wrote it as a short story or fleshed it out as a novel.

When I do get around to making games they have a retro-feel, but are on modern platforms and not the Jaguar, sorry.
If you still care about my projects despite the fact that they're not for the Jag, take a look at my blog sometime (http://www.larshannig.com). Right now there isn't much activity, but you can still find my Jag games in the download section.

More importantly if you know how to read German you may want to take a look at my author page (http://www.larshannig.de) or my facebook author page (http://www.facebook.com/lars.hannig).
I'm currently working on a book project set in the same world as Eerievale. It's a spin-off which contains several steampunk detective stories about 'Robert Fuchs'- investigator in supernatural cases and it's as close as you may get to experience that world.
The release is scheduled for late 2018 and it's in German only (unless an english publisher is interested ;)).

Have a great time!
Lars

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excuse my ignorance, but what Jag projects did you do? I love reading about these type of things!

Dont be a stranger, you might get sucked back into the retro thingy again!!!! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some pretty cool stuff in there.

JagMIND: Bomb Squad looks cool. Too bad it can't be put on a cart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some pretty cool stuff in there.

JagMIND: Bomb Squad looks cool. Too bad it can't be put on a cart.

If the SainT SD card does get Carl's Unleashed software (Jag CD drive emu) working, I'm going to be in homebrew heaven. Edited by Jagosaurus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys!

 

Actually I'm still very much into retro gaming, but I don't have as much time as I used to.

So I'm not reading much of the forums these days, mostly getting the news by following fellow developers.

Sadly I don't have much time to develop games next to my day job.

 

I focus most of my energy on my writing these days. I'm very excited of finally getting part of the Eerievale universe to readers in the form of my steampunk-detective stories which are about supernatural investigator 'Robert Fuchs'. (German language only)

 

But I still enjoy making games if I get around to it. At a very slow pace though.

Don't get your hopes up. I'm just doing this for fun, but if I get something cool done Jag or otherwise, I'll share it on my site.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys!

... 'Robert Fuchs'. (German language only)

....

I know sometimes I have the brain of a 10Y old but can I ask how do you pronounce this in English without saying a 4 letter word at the same time?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@phoenixdownita: I know it's a bit tricky in English. Actually the english word fox comes close, you just put the the u sound of luck in there instead of the o.

Then again, I believe there must be a few people who actually have that name and live in the states. I wonder how they handle it. ;-)

 

@NostalgiaECS: Unless you find a way for the Jag to playback books, you're out of luck. ;-)

Making this a game has been tried with Eerievale and I'm afraid it didn't work out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello folks,

I still get emails to this day about Eerievale. The old pages are not online anymore, but in case you wonder what happened to the project, I'll sum it up again.

 

In 2003 the first proof-of-concept of the engine was shown. The first story draft was done in 2005, along with a trailer and an updated demo. Back then I had no professional game experience, just passion for my hobby. Programming the Jag, writing and making little games. So I studied game design, talked to publishers and tried to get into the industry.

In 2010 I had my degree and was soon pretty disillusioned about working at a game studio. They took my ideas and got financed, I got nothing, not even a job. Fortunately those ideas were not related to my personal projects, but it was tough anyway. So I tried to make Eerievale on my own with a few friends. Some progress was made, I went as far as I could from my savings.

There was no way I could make a living in games at the time, so I switched to web and application development and started an apprenticeship as IT specialist. During that time the work on the game went into hibernation. I tried to revive it, but I had to realize it was too big for me to handle alone. The publisher who was originally interested in 2005 turned out to be so small that he had no more resources than I had myself and couldn't help.

 

After moving to a different city and looking for a new job in 2013 I tried one final time. I talked to different game studios to see if they cared to team up. Turned out one studio was very kind, they actually knew the publisher I was in contact with and didn't recommend working with him.

I actually ended up working for the studio on different projects. It was great fun at first, I made friends and I could finally use my "old school" experience and gain some up to date commercial game experience.

 

Sometimes I tried to pitch Eerievale, but knowing suggestions ended up in a folder for later reference and not actually get done, I kept things vague. The studio prefered doing contract work for publishers. About the time I realized they would never be right for what I wanted to do, things went real bad. The team was slaving away to the breaking point, we were not paid in a while, it's a typical games industry story of today. In short: things didn't work out. I quit and decided to work in software development instead.

 

The first big chunk of Eerievale development time went into the technology and learning how to develop games in the first place.

However over the years most time acually went into writing the stories which would shape the game world, the characters and their stories. As anyone in game development can tell you, making a proof-of-concept demo and working on technology is not the same as making a game. At the time over ten years had passed, since the name Eerievale was first mentioned, but I didn't have much of a game to show. Just some demos, concepts and a lot of stories.

 

Making the Eerievale game would have required funding and a team to be successful. I couldn't find either and the game was too big to make on my own. So I decided a few years ago, it would be best, to move on and make something different.

 

Here I am now:

I still enjoy the Jaguar even if I'm mostly silent these days and I still enjoy making games.

Most of all I love writing and that is fortunately a craft I can persue without much resources or a team behind me.

 

My latest book project is coming along nicely and it is sort of a spinoff of the Eerievale story or a spiritual successor if you will.

All seven steampunk detective stories of my book are now written. Each story is a seperate case for the protagonist "Robert Fuchs" (Robert Fox) and can be considered a short novel of its own, but with some connections to the other stories.

 

Next step is editing which will be a lot of work, but I believe it will be well worth it. First reader feedback was very good so far.

The whole book will be a decent paperback and a treat for anybody who likes this sort of thing: Detective stories, Steampunk, the supernatural, puzzles, a bit of humor here and there. Also the world of Eerievale. These stories feel very much like I would have wanted the game to feel.

This book is probably the closest thing to it.

It's only German for now and scheduled for release in Autumn 2018. Let's see how this goes. If there is enough interest, who knows maybe my publisher would consider an english translation or something. Maybe the protagonist should be called Robert Fox then? ;-)

 

Cheers

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello folks,

 

...

 

 

it's a typical games industry story of today. In short: things didn't work out. I quit and decided to work in software development instead.

 

...

 

 

Cheers

 

 

Yep! I've seen or heard this way too many times. Game development (as I was growing up in the 90s and 2000s as a young adult), was always the super-glamorous thing to do. But it was never really where the money was, and it always demanded more work than was feasibly possible, and... you had a greater chance of failure. That's not to say that someone shouldn't try of course. Being put in situations like this can really show you what kind of person you are, and our greatest successes occur during times of our greatest challenges. I recall my own experience when working for the Miami Dolphins. Bill Parcells came in and basically wanted us all gone, and wanted to bring in his own software developers. Those developers signed a contract with the team before they were able to pull them, so suddenly they were stuck with us. I was given an ultimatum, build all new scouting, advance, and evaluation software by the start of training camp, or you're fired. So, I worked over 620 hours in less than 2 months. You can do the math, I basically only went home twice. I slept at my desk most nights, and showered in the locker rooms, and ate breakfast lunch and dinner in the break room. I started hallucinating, and I think I lost my mind a little bit... but by the end, it was one of my greater accomplishments.

 

But... there's almost no reward in the game industry. You can make yourself "known," but more often than not, Activision or Electronic Arts buys you out. Whether you have your own game company (and they buy the company), or they buy the rights to your game, and then make a sequel to your game WITHOUT you. It's such a common story. Some of the best games, the original developers weren't paid very much for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lars,

 

Thats good to have some news from you :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now we just need James Garvin back and the trinity of over ambition will be complete!

 

A pleasure to hear from you, Lars!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys!

 

@82-T/A: Making yourself "known" is pretty much pointless, too. The individual has no value to the big companies, they want exchangeable workers.

The well known developers of today all worked in small teams and on projects they loved. Today that is only possible as an indie.

 

In writing as well as indie game development, a lot of the time it's best to have a dayjob and make something great in your spare time.

Sturmwind for Dreamcast is a good example.

 

My goal is always to improve my skill and make something I enjoy. In writing that works well for me.

At the end of each year I have a decent stack of new stories, some published and one or two novel drafts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I know sometimes I have the brain of a 10Y old but can I ask how do you pronounce this in English without saying a 4 letter word at the same time?[/quote

 

Pronounce it as a 'chu' sound, only northern Germans pronounce a hard 'ku' sound

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...