art by rob

about that rob

dare you enter the tomb?

Punching Robots 2084

With Your Host, Rob Remakes

Thalamus Digital Switch sale, Death Ray Manta for two quid.

Two quid will get you some gorgeous twin stick action and I’m still so very proud of what everyone achieved with it. Since being handled by the two Andy’s specifically, it’s a much better thing than I could have managed. Buy it!

I’ve mentioned before how fortunate I am that the current custodians of my last proper design effort, Death Ray Manta, are bloody wonderful. It’s an absolute nightmare out there and to have landed with Thalamus Digital who just ‘get it’ is sweet indeed.

Even though I’ve (foolishly) referred to it as ‘my game’ in the past – more as a convenient shorthand for selling it to folk – that’s a complete and total lie. It existing is the work of others – it’s Andy and Barry Island who took my brainthunks and made them spectacular with their outsized contributions, it’s Ste Pickford’s cover art, it’s the folk who encouraged and supported me (a selection I ensured got title screen credits), it’s Em’s who put up with me making it, paid for shit and kept me sane. Konstantinos’s who got it off the ground floor in the first place.

And now it’s also Andy at Thalamus’s. It shouldn’t, by any rights, still be available and selling considering it’s a silly small videogame from someone more famous for being a gobshite than making things, Andy’s always believed in it and well, that it’s here now and I’m made up with things still, is testament to that.

Somehow, over the years, I’ve ended up being published by someone who publishes quite literally some of my favourite videogames of the past decade or so too. It feels like that bit decades ago where I was doing music and really wanted to sign to Mute Records except this one happened for real.

I’m not going to fib, there’s been a lot of points over the past eight years where between having to abandon almost everything to take care of Em and the kids and with my own health catching up with me, not being able to sit down and make videogames has broken my heart. It’s always a brief thought though because really, genuinely, I’ve been the luckiest bastard all told.

Death Ray Manta is on sale on Switch for two Earth pounds, usual love to folk who made it possible and some thoughts about luck, kindness and a follow up.

With only one notable exception from long before Death Ray Manta, everyone I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with or alongside has been wonderful, I’ve got to work with some absolute legends, had the kindness and support of even more. Imagine telling Rob of the eighties that the Chimera dude would go on to be the greatest of cheerleaders for your work in the future or I’d get Ste to do cover art or get to contribute, in a small way, to some of the more unsung figures in games’ work. I’d tell you to fuck off and stop pulling my leg flat out.

The press, the bloggers, the you tubers, the streamers and the public, ridiculously supportive from the off and anyone in games knows that’s a privilege and then some.

I have thoughts about DRM2. The concept is, still, not far from what I wanted it to be if we’d been able to complete the Vita port of the first. Sometimes I doodle stuff about it and dream, just like I would at school, except now I know I had it in me to, with support, pull off a mean videogame.

Only a few weeks ago, I began imagining what the manual could include because it’s 2024 and that’s a thing you can do again.

I don’t know if me or Andy will ever be able to co-ordinate our health and time well enough to make it. We’d both love to but life has had its own ideas for a long while now. Maybe if the day comes we all finally get a Universal Basic Income and fewer worries, eh?

It’ll continue to be a dream for a fair while no matter and should that ever change, I won’t be shy in letting anyone know. I’m okay with that, I’ve got so much else to be worrying about right now from health to getting the kids through to the other side of their own things to trying to see the month out with food in the cupboard. Videogames, really, are fairly far down my list of things I can do and that’s okay. Some things are just more important and those things are people.

Without folk, I wouldn’t be here writing this now. Literally. Videogames aren’t going anywhere, there’s always time.

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