Sunday, July 26, 2015

Coolest Thing That Ever Happened

Gentle Reader,

This was probably the coolest thing that ever happened to me.

A friend and I went on a day trip to a small town about 30 miles away.  Our primary purpose was to visit a friend's grave, as her birthday just passed.  But on our way we happened across a late 50s/early 60s era motel near the side of the highway.  We decided to check it out on our way back... and we were completely blown away by what we found.

First, here's what we saw when we pulled into the gravel driveway/courtyard space...

I'll be honest, it was a little spooky.  But my curiosity about what waited inside was overpowering.

A look around the grounds...

My car looks on nervously from a distance...
Rusted swings and old farm equipment greet visitors...
Unfortunately, it was empty.
"Enjoy that refreshing new feeling!"
We approached and found that, while all of the doors were locked, most of the windows had open curtains, allowing an easy look inside.


At this point I felt an almost overwhelming urge to jimmy one of those ancient locks.  But we were stopped short by the realization that the old motel office, which sits at the end of the row of cottages, is actually someone's house.  A little research after the fact revealed that the motel owner's widow, who is in her 90s, still lives there.  Once we realized that the place was occupied, we left right away, having no desire to frighten or bother anyone.

Okay, but aside from that... wow.  I have wanted to find something like this my entire life.  I would guess that the rooms have been shut up for at least 30 years, but they were in remarkably good shape.  Yes, there was dust, and a few of the bedspreads showed evidence of creeping mold (especially beds next to windows).  But the overall impression was of a cute, well-maintained, much-loved little motel.  The people who closed it down at the end of the final season did so with care, perhaps thinking that they might reopen next year.

I'm not going to post a picture of the sign or reveal the name, in the interest of keeping the occupant from having unwanted visitors.  But, upon googling the name, I was stunned to find that most sites list it as open despite the fact that it has clearly been shut up for decades.  Only Yelp accurately listed it as closed.  So... if you're passing through Nebraska perhaps you will find it unexpectedly while looking for a room.  In which case you are in for one spooky shock, my friend!!!

I would just about kill for one of those alarm clocks or end tables.  Maybe there will be an auction someday?  I can only hope!

Ever Yours,

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Current Project: Super-Ambitious Earthbound Hack

Gentle Reader,

Let's just jump back into things by announcing a new project:  a total top-to-bottom hack of Earthbound, resulting in a brand new adventure with an all-new story!

The game takes place in the same world as the other Mother games, but it is not directly connected to them, instead focusing on new characters in a new setting.

I expect the game to be perhaps 70% the length of Earthbound and to be about 50% complete.  No timetable on release, sorry, I do have a life outside of my hobbies.  ;)

Here are a few screenshots to give you an idea of what's cooking.  Feel free to post any questions you have about the project.

Our unassuming silent protagonist.
And his equally unassuming neighbor.
First World problems.
It's not always a friendly world, is it?
No love for a starving artist?
This seems vaguely threatening.
Uh-oh, door-to-door salescreeps!
The legendary Carcrushosaurus.

And here's a look at some of the enemies that you'll encounter...

The fun thing about working on an Earthbound/Mother project is trying to capture that unique voice and humor, as well as the distinctive blend of cute and scary, innocent and sad, salty and sweet.  It's definitely a special challenge but also a very satisfying one to tackle.

By the way, I would be remiss not to throw out a plug for Mother 4, an entirely unofficial Earthbound sequel, not a ROM hack but a built-from scratch product, currently in production.  Check it out if you haven't already!

Ever Yours,

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Aaaaaaand... we're back.

Whole life changed.  Wow.  Quite a year.

See you soon.

Ever Yours,