Reconquista 2.0 – revising a released game

When you’re making games on your own, finishing a project is already a pretty big milestone. But chances are you had to cut some corners to get it done. There are usually a few features that fall by the wayside depending on time, energy, or technical complexity. But how do you decide to either write off those ideas or keep them stored away for a potential version 2.0?

Since Reconquista was my first 3D game, I had to cut a lot of corners, so when I finished v1.0 I did not feel fulfilled. There wasn’t much to do outside of make a beeline for the temple, and the enemy AI was pretty rudimentary – it didn’t really reward exploration or experimentation. So when I released the game, I knew that I would someday revisit the game design. And I did.


I came back for three reasons; I wanted to:

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Stacked fellas

In Reconquista, I have a few hidden triggers spread around that spawn enemies, but turns out when a few start chasing you, they get so excited that they walk on each other… #bug.


To take a break from Last Voyage Of The Orlova development, I’m working on Reconquista Redux, a much-improved version of the original game, coming soon to The changelog is massive, you’re going to like this one.

By the numbers


The demo for Last Voyage of the Orlova has been running for two weeks in a corner of VondelCS, and in that time Unity Analytics has been quietly tracking some key events in the game. Here’s a quick breakdown of those numbers:

It’s hard to say exactly how many people played the game, but I know 107 made it through the first few minutes and fired up the lighthouse.

77 hopefuls then entered the derelict ship floating through the mist.

41 of them figured out how to open the engineering deck and end the lockdown.

35 then made it to the front deck and found the axe.

They swung that axe 708 times, altogether. Wowzers.

And finally, 23 hardcore problem-solvers made it to the end of the demo.

These numbers are pretty impressive considering it’s running on an unattended fully-functional windows machine in some cafe hallway, away from any kind of gaming expo context, and without any strong tutorial content. It also shows that I could do some stronger foreshadowing in certain areas, but it might as well be that people had to move on or weren’t invested enough to explore further.

All in all, I’m glad I added the analytics in last-minute.

Firewatch Dutch translation

TL;DR: Download link.

As a little passion project I’ve been translating the game Firewatch into dutch in the off hours of the past two months or so. It was a bit more work than I anticipated but I had a good motivator: my girlfriend. I wanted to play the game with her but I knew she wouldn’t fully understand it if it was in english. Plus I like translating things, and this would be a good addition to my ‘portfolio’.

I had previously translated Gone Home, but Firewatch was a whopping 6827 strings, topping out at 53220 words. Transifex made it very easy with an excellent online editor though. Part of it had already been translated by other people but, nothing against them, it lacked a consistent tone, and some bits were just translated incorrectly. So I went through and reviewed everything, tested it in a full playthrough last week, and I’m ready to release it out into the wild now. There might still be some small errors or typos, so if you find those: let me know. And otherwise: enjoy!


How to do datamoshing in Photoshop

Datamoshing is “the practice of intentionally using compression artifacts in digital video and animated GIFs to create glitch art”.

It’s an effect popularized by Kanye West in his video Welcome To Heartbreak, but it’s mostly been an effect exclusive to video. There are a few crazy ways to get this effect on images by editing them with text or audio editors instead of image editors, but it’s hard to find a straightforward way to just do it in Photoshop. But, there is a fairly simple way to emulate it with a few filters. Here’s how:

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