Who are you? (The self-introduction thread)
Hi all! I think I actually know who most of you are either from Glorious Trainwrecks or Twitter or familiarity with your games or whathaveyou. But I thought it'd be nice to have a place where we can identify ourselves and what brings us here and all that. I'll start.
I'm John D. Moore. Known as thesycophant at Glorious Trainwrecks and formerly known as Newt in the ZZT community. Born 1983.
I started designing games on paper in the early 1990s with my cousin. These amounted to Mega Man fan games by a kid who had played very little Mega Man but had looked at a lot of Mega Man maps in Nintendo Power. We also made little interactive stories in a program (that I should really write about some time) called Story Maker Plus.
My cousin later introduced me to QBASIC in 1996 and ZZT in 1997. I used QBASIC to program a handful of text adventures, starting with a virtual tour of my family's house. A friend and I actually completed a short one called UFO Invasion that we uploaded to AOL, but it's lost to time, like all the other weird little holiday-themed games I made and tried to make my sisters play. I also made plans for giant Zork-sized fantasy games that never came to fruition. My cousin and I later worked on our magnum opus, a text adventure called Labyrinth of Gromad, but by then I'd grown bored with the complexity of writing a text parser, and left engine-writing to my perfectionist cousin, who tinkered with it until he decided to write it as a graphical adventure in C+ in high school.
I made ZZT games starting in 1997, starting--like as a ZZTer, you were supposed to--with some jokey adventure games, followed by some overly sincere ones. the ZZT community seemed to like my "engine games," though--platformers and Lemmings clones like The Punctuation People and the Zem! series.
I stepped away from ZZT and game dev in the early 2000s to focus on filmmaking, though I played around a little bit with a friend's planned ZZT enhanced clone/successor Bang!.
Beginning in 2009, I started making games with Game Maker, and I was really spurred on by the community events at Glorious Trainwrecks. I've made over 70 games since then. My most recent (and biggest game yet) is Explobers. I'm mostly interested in making small platformers that experiment with novel mechanics, and sometimes games that I think make for fun jokes.
Really grateful to have this space! I'm loving the podcast, and I can only imagine its listenerbase will make for a very interesting community. Looking forward to reading introductions from some of all y'all!
Hi folks! I'm Rabbitboots.
As a kid, I got my filthy little hands on Klik & Play, and started working on many fractions-of-games that never progressed past a few screens. I remember raiding the internet for appropriate MIDI files.. Nowadays, I sometimes recognize a song on classic top 40 radio or in a show, and realize that the first time I had heard it was as some random MIDI file from one of these expeditions. It's left its mark for better or worse.
Later on, I made various things under the handles qrleon and gingermuffins. I'm amused and horrified to know that many of these things are now instantly playable in a browser on archive dot org.
I have a website for some reason (https://rabbitboots.com/) and I can be reached on twitter at @rabbit_boots.
I'm really enjoying the podcast so far! The past couple of episodes about fangame communities and RPG Maker I found very resonant to my dumb kid days.
Hey intro thread.
I'm Rylie. I make games under the name Blueberry Soft.
I like little communities, knowledge sharing, wikis, DIY-whatever, tools, my garden, my cat.
If you're curious about me I have lots of websites and things you can probably find from this starting point: https://www.ryliejamesthomas.net/
I'm Trevor. I'm a game designer, a programmer, and a musician.
I've been making games for as long as I can remember. I guess I started by making jigsaw puzzles in early elementary school. I would just glue my drawings to cardboard and then use a box cutter to divide it into crude jigsaw pieces. This evolved into making board games. The two most notable ones were a game based off quidditch from Harry Potter, and a strategy game that used chess pieces. I remember the latter was called "Chepi" and it had something to do with putting a marble in the crown of a rook piece. I always played these with my cousins, who actually enjoyed them. In middle school I started playing Roblox, and this is where I learned to code. I made some fairly popular games on there and kind of became a Roblox celebrity. This evolved into making adventure games and redstone puzzles in Minecraft.
When I was in high school, I looked up "top 10 xbox live arcade games" and discovered Braid. I know that Braid isn't a fringe game but it was the game that made me think about games more seriously. I came into contact with Jonathan Blow and he recommended a designer by the name of Stephen Lavelle to me. I sort of fell in love with Stephen's strange, hidden creations.
Part of my reason to search for a community like this is selfish. I'm aware that most games that I make will pretty much only be played by people that are interested in fringe games. I went to college for music, but this is when I started to make games seriously. I haven't finished many, partly because I'm so slow (it took me a whole year to make a game that most people will play for 30 minutes). If you're interested in my work, you can find my (FINISHED) projects at http://trevorlovell.com/category/portfolio
I've been meaning to find a community like this for a LONG time. When I found this website today I got super excited. After finding designers like Arcane Kids, Stephen Lavelle, Jason Rohrer, Anna Anthropy, I couldn't help but feel that there were many, many others that I've been missing out on. I love things that people have made just because they wanted to make it, without any intention of making profit or becoming famous or whatever. I feel that a lot of fringe games would fit this criteria.
I haven't listened to the podcast yet but I plan to start today. I look forward to hanging out here.
With a list of influences like that, I definitely must recommend that you check out Glorious Trainwrecks, the community I started ten years ago that is home to a huge variety of experimental, personal, non-profit game creation. Stephen Lavelle and Anna Anthropy used to post games there regularly; I don't think Jason Roher ever did but there sure are a lot of Passage parodies.
This community is still pretty small and quiet and trying to figure itself out. My focus for the podcast is really on diving into older tools, games, and ways of thinking, but obviously it's important and interesting to talk about what's happening today as well, to connect that history and those ideas with what we can do now, and I think the community that's gathered here so far is at least as interested in figuring that out as digging into the past to see what's been left behind.
But enough rambling; welcome again, and I hope you dig the podcast :)
@spindleyq Thanks! I took your recommendation and signed up at Glorious Trainwrecks, and submitted a game there.
Oh hey @trouv, I'm Blueberry (or something like that) on the ALT G's Discord. The illustrator for Braid was from some forums kinda tangential to this place :) Dunno what he's doing now, but their comic A Lesson is Learned was something I liked a lot back then.
... I wonder if there's a Fringe Boardgames History Podcast
I make little games, help organize game dev stuff in Michigan, and have a monthly adventure game discussion group called the Adventure Game Club. You can read all about them here:
I'm Ryan, better known in some circles of the internet as Dirigitive. I was a obscure/alt games streamer for six years, but now I'm pivoting to recorded content over on https://www.youtube.com/@dirigitive, as well as curation and archiving.
Hi, I'm Bogus! I am an excavator and explorer of games obscure and barely known! I have a massive love for digging deep into the history of often forgotten titles that are odd, unusual, but also very forward thinking.
Some of my main passions involve exploring long dead MMORPGs and the various stages those titles were in during their lifetime. I also have a deep rooted passion for FMV games, adventure games, fighting games and most important, communities that spring up around game titles/genres in general. Watching communities and how they effect the industry as a whole is a really fascinating aspect of video games that we rarely dive into.
Anywho! It's a pleasure to be here and I hope enthuse with all of you about everything here!
Hello! I'm Funbil. I notice a lot of these posts are from within the last 24 hours – I reckon whatever ploy brought you all here must have worked on me as well, lol. I'm a musician who writes music for indie games and a hobbyist writer (for my own indie games), and I'm of course interested in quiet, weird, unloved games just like everyone else. My favorite games are usually JRPGs or shoot-em-ups, and my favorite year in video games is 1994 (with a couple noteworthy runners-up... Maybe we can talk about those another day).
I don't know if there's a ploy other than I got waaaaaay too excited about posting about obscure indie games on a forum (for a temporarily inactive podcast I really like) instead of on Discord, which is starting to annoy me more each month.
But welcome! It's nice that other people like talking about indie games too
@michael Your excitement was infectious, because if there's one format I love for raving about weird games, it's an internet forum!!!!
Hey, I'm Amy and I love old first person shooters the most and would, ironically, die for Clive Barker's Undying. I have a still-active occasional Unreal Tournament 2004 pickup game crew, for which I wrote an autoinstaller for the widescreen/FOV fix patch that normally requires a manual INI file edit, to save my friends time. (I haven't uploaded it anywhere but for them.) Does UT2004 count as fringe now that you can't buy it anymore? IDK.
I also enjoy a wide variety of other non first-person non shooter games, including recent Itch metroidvania Tres-bashers, the original gold box Pool of Radiance, Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh (that flesh really was puzzling), and I recently got Need for Speed Underground 2 working on win10 in widescreen with my xbone controller.
Is there a canonical definition of what makes a game fringe for this forum's purposes, or is it more impressionistic like "what does your heart tell you?" UT2004 and Need for Speed were big at the time, but it's been quite a time since. Time blows a bunch of sand that buries things, like a poignant shot in an old movie.
Is there a canonical definition of what makes a game fringe for this forum's purposes
My main focus has generally been digging into the stories around games that are outside the normal scope of a "games industry" history. Freeware, homebrew, and fangame stuff most obviously, but with enough vague wiggle room to dig into basically anything that doesn't get written about enough. (For example, I have a strong desire to really dig into the guts of how the shareware industry actually worked, despite, you know, Doom being among the most well-documented games of all time. But most shareware games weren't Doom!)
Above all my interest is in the people whose stories get ignored, and the communities that supported them in their work. I wouldn't be interested in making a podcast episode that was a deep dive into the development history of UT2004, and the hype cycle surrounding it on release, but I'd definitely consider talking about the fan community that surrounds it now, keeping it alive long after the industry has moved on, well within the scope of my project.
That said, that's just how I think of it. It's not like anyone else was using this forum for anything, so if you're excited to talk about a thing with the folks here, I'm sure not gonna stop you.