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    Friday, November 30, 2007

    Goliath The Soothsayer Screenshots

    Hi all,

    Hot off the press... here are 6 screenshots for the upcoming game. Keep in mind that the game is still well and truly a work in progress, so any of these scenes could change dramatically come release.

    I am probably not going to release any further screenshots after this batch, as I will be too busy coding, designing and recording over the next couple of weeks to upload anything... plus I do want a few scenes to be a surprise... :)

    Monday, November 19, 2007

    Goliath: The Soothsayer Announced...

    Well - the cat is well and truly out of the bag now... this article appeared on IGN's page relating to the Alarm Hot Vest project (now officially titled Goliath: The Soothsayer) (From

    US, November 16, 2007 - In preparation for the (Edit: Jan) 29th, 2008 release of their new album, The Bedlam In Goliath, The Mars Volta will be releasing Goliath The Soothsayer, an online game based on the album.

    Goliath The Soothsayer will be availabel via on January 2nd, 2008. Goliath The Soothsayer is based on the true story that inspired the narrative laid out in the songs featured on The Bedlam In Goliath. The "Soothsayer" in question here is the Ouija board owned by vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and the songs detail how it morphed from a source of amusement into a "malevolent psycho-spiritual force" during the bands Amputechture tour.

    Well, I'm motoring along at the moment with only a couple of weeks left to finish and so far the game is looking pretty nice. All you point n click fans know what to expect from me on this project of which I am hoping to bring the polished look of Exmortis 2 whilst utilising the rather subtle demonic dread of the original Exmortis in this title.

    All in all, I have some very late nights ahead of me between now and deadline in December!


    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    Press Release and Trailer

    I have been told that there will be a press release coming from my client sometime in the next few days concerning the Alarm Hot Vest project. It essentially lets the cat out of the bag on all the details I have been cagey about relating to this project. And to sweeten the press release up a little, it will include a trailer for the upcoming game...

    By the way - no one thus far is even close to working out the anagram... here's some more clues... (but you'll find out the answers in the next few days)

    The anagram is split up in to 3 words. The first word is 3 letters in length and does not contain the letter A. The second word is 4 letters long and does not contain the letter T.

    Anyway - once the press release has been unleashed and the subsequent trailer hits the net, I will release some high-res screenshots of the opening sequence here on this blog... (the trailer is reasonably low res to save on download speeds/space)

    Friday, November 02, 2007

    Alarm Hot Vest Clues

    The "Alarm Hot Vest" project is under way and motoring along... First draft will be completed on December 1st, and pending it's approval from the client - the game should be released at an as yet-to-be announced website by the end of the year.

    For all you Newgrounds/Jayisgames visitors, wide distributed release will see it hit those websites (and all the other sites that enjoy stealing flash games from Newgrounds without remunerating the artist) on January 28th...

    Now for the clues on what the hell this project is about...
    • "Alarm Hot Vest" is an anagram
    • It is a point n click supernatural game
    • It is based on a true story from the entity designated by the above anagram
    • The date January 28 is significant
    • The game has a lot of similarities to the original Exmortis game and it's atmosphere
    • Ambience and some sound effects are provided by a group of very well known musicians

    That's all I'm willing to give away for now... However, keep your eyes glued to this site in the next 2 months for screenshots and the final announcement once the game has gone live!

    Wednesday, October 03, 2007

    Alarm Hot Vest

    The "Alarm Hot Vest" project is back in development and will be hitting the net in December...

    This is going to rock... you'll see why... :)

    PS. Exmortis3 will get made. Have faith, but don't hold your breath...

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    I'm still alive...

    Sorry guys... you have no idea how busy I have been of late. So busy in fact, I've been knocking back a lot of business opportunities because I am having trouble coping with the influx of clients I've been getting.

    I haven't reported anything on this blog for a while because - well - I have nothing to report.

    So yeah - I'll update when I have something useful to say... :)


    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    Unseen TV Launched!

    Hey peoples! Just letting you know that we have officially launched Unseen TV - you probably wouldn't be interested in it if you are from outside of Australia - but this has been my big project I've been pulling 20 hour work days for over the last month!

    All you Aussies - help us out and visit :: rock on!

    Friday, July 06, 2007

    Alarm Hot Vest


    My previous post with regards to an August 13th release date for a new project has now been post-poned... which is good news for you Exmortis fans out there because it means I can refocus attention on that title.

    I won't elaborate on the "Alarm Hot Vest" conundrum from my previous post just yet, because the project is still going to happen around December/January...

    Without giving away any confidential information, I was contacted by a company (a brand that you are all very familiar with...) to put together a new spooky viral point-n-click game to help market a VERY VERY COOL new product release of theirs... However they have had to delay the release date, so my immediate attention to this project is not required until later in the year... suffice to say, working with this client on this project is going to be a glowing addition to my portfolio... possibly more so than the noteriety associated with the Exmortis series thus far.

    The delay on the Alarm Hot Vest project is also great for me because my current workload looks like this (this list more for me than it is for the public):
    • Continue development on the Exmortis3 title.
    • Finish up work on a website for an internationally branded Health Club.
    • Launching and developing a new Internet TV channel that I am very actively involved in. (This is going to rock hard! More on this in the coming weeks...)
    • I'm on hiatis at the moment from another big DVD/Flash based project while legal wranglings are being sorted out by the customer. But once legalities are sorted, this will smash up all my spare time... I guarantee it!!
    • A new website is needing to be developed from scratch for a baseball club here in Sydney before the summer season starts in September/October.
    • Developing a small eCommerce site for online procurement for a technology company before end of July.
    • Developing a quick and easy website for a Water Tank business here in Sydney.

    And all this needs to be done inbetween my full time sales job, me finding a new home for me and my dog, buying new furniture/general household appliances, a trip to the alps to get a week of snowboarding in, my 30th birthday extravaganza later this month, my commitment to playing baseball, AND a holiday to Great Keppel Island in November (plus whatever else pops up between now and then)

    That list looks bloody daunting on paper - it was a lot shorter in my head!! I swear - if I'm not burnt out by year's end, I haven't worked hard enough!!!


    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    Rumblings from LWD Central...

    The winds have changed... there's something new brewing deep in the heart of LWD's high-security laboratories... make sure you return to this blog in the coming months. It's not Exmortis3 unfortunately... but it's something new... and spooky...


    Don't worry - you're not expected to work it out... But all will be clear come August 13...

    Monday, June 04, 2007

    Questions :: Round 3 *ding* *ding*

    Q/ I'd like to ask about the techniques you use to make the visual perspective of these games so scary (from Matt)

    A/ Every scene is created slightly differently and there is so much I can say about the different techniques I've adopted for this series. I've tried to keep certain effects and colour palettes as constant as possible across each title. To give you an example, in Exmortis2 I primarily used Photoshop to create each scene. I usually start with a photograph, manipulate the shit out of it until I have all backgrounds and animated objects layed out and separated on different layers.
    I apply a sepia and/or multiplied overlay to create the scene's palette (try colorising if you're unfamiliar with different types of blending). All blood effects are a combination of different red/moroon coloured brushes and applied with the "color burn" blending style. I then great a gradient feathered gaussian blur to the outside edges of each scene to create an interesting effect that makes the centre of the image look in focus, and the rest gradually blurs out. The picture above is a perfect example of all these techniques married in to a single scene...
    Q/ I was wondering if Exmortis 3 will be longer and even more challenging than the first two? (From Faytar)
    A/ I certainly do plan on making Ex3 both longer AND more challenging. Thankfully with the cost of bandwidth going down, and the uptake of broadband services increasing - I can now pretty much double the size of my flash games. Exmortis 1 & 2 were both restricted to 5MB due to Newgrounds placing limits on submission sizes - unfortunately as a result I had to heavily compress graphics and sound and cut a handful of scenes from each game... which was a shame at the time because I put a lot of time in to creating the highest possible quality images and sounds - but it was unavoidable if I was to be able to submit to the most popular Flash portal on the planet.
    About a year ago, Newgrounds revised their limitations (thankfully) and doubled the allowable submission size to 10MB. Keep in mind that this doesn't necessarily mean Exmortis 3 will be twice as long as previous titles... indeed it will be longer, but the extra space also means that I can smash together the game with the quality of graphics and sounds that I wish I could of had in Ex1 & 2 had my hands not been tied.
    As far as challenging - this time around I am trying to put some real thought in to puzzles. Rather than just throwing in a sudoku puzzle and a click-sequence puzzle, you can expect some puzzles which may require lateral and 3-dimensional thinking. But fear not - there will be in-game clues to help and I'm sure a walkthrough will be floating around at the time of release as I have done with previous games.
    Q/ What do you intend to do with exmortis beyond the third game and potentially creating a redux version of the three games as a DVD? (From Faytar)
    A/ There are currently plans in place to look at extending the Exmortis series in to other media. I let out a little blurb on this about a week ago, but I am currently in the act of working with a team of engineers to alpha test a Cable TV version of the original Exmortis 1 & 2 games in India. I won't go in to too much details on this because it is still purely concept and a raw-bones engine we're working with - but the basic idea is to allow the Indian market to be able to play a revised version of Ex1 & 2 via their digital cable television remotes. This is in a pure proof-of-concept phase at the moment, so it's all just rolling along in demo over the next couple of months.
    Other than that, nothing is set in stone as far as the future of this story is concerned after Exmortis 3. As I have said previously, I'm just going to wait to make my next decision of how or if this story gets furthered after I've wrapped up the arc with the release of Ex3 and gauge it's successes/failures.
    That's all for now!

    Sunday, June 03, 2007

    More questions...

    Q/I wanted to know if you get to play the guy from Ex2 in Ex3, and if you get to kill Vlaew (From Tedizslayer)
    A/ In Exmortis 3 you certainly do begin the game as the main character from the 2nd chapter - Mr. Hannay... well - what's left of him considering he was on the wrong end of a mauling from Vlaew at the end of Exmortis2. As far as getting revenge on the big bad... I certainly do intend to provide a rather explosive conclusion to the story - whether you get to kill Vlaew or not, I'm keeping that card close to my chest for now...

    Q/ I know you had planned to put the three Exmortis games on DVD. Are you still planning on doing that? A playable DVD would be awesome. (From Kristen1027)
    A/ I certainly was planning on doing a "remastering" or a "redux" of the trilogy and offering it for sale on a DVD. I had even partnered with a professional media house who has green screens and production quality camera's for some video cut scenes. But after having my laptop and source material of the entire series stolen, it is a plan that seems to be unrealistic now. I'm not 100% ruling it out at this stage, but I don't like your chances. At this point I am more focused on Exmortis 3 - so we'll see how that goes before I make any concrete decisions on furthering the Exmortis legacy in the electronic media...

    Q/ Are you going to give us some more long books of the story to read? (From The Unknown)
    A/ I certainly do plan on doing that. One of the core features of the Exmortis series (in my opinion) that sets it apart from flash games of the same genre, is it's solid back-story and immersive properties which are mostly delivered through the in-game books and diaries. That said - I want to mix it up a bit this time around, so while I will still be looking to go in to depth for you story-junkies out there, I will be experimenting with a few different ways of delivering these back-stories to the player as opposed to just finding a conveniently placed diary sitting on a table in a scene somewhere. I'm still undecided on how I'm going to achieve this - but half the fun is making it work... :)

    That's all from me for now... I better get back to work on a client's website...


    Thursday, May 31, 2007

    Questions, questions, questions...

    There's been a few developments of late with Exmortis & Exmortis 2... both games have been added to the popular portal and as a result I have been flooded with hundreds of emails... So I thought that to make answering the questions in my emails (which are mostly all the same) easier, I would put a call out to y'all asking if you have any questions you'd like answered, just comment on this post and I will hopefully answer them in a follow-up post.

    OK - on to the first set of questions... these are from "George"...

    Q/ When do you think Exmortis 3 will be coming?
    A/ I think an earliest target for me will be around christmas if all things work out from here on in. But don't hold me to that... anything can happen between now and then... plus as I've experienced in the past, my professional life and it's associated workload tends to leave me with hardly any spare time of late. If things slow down with work in the coming months, I really want to get this project back on track...

    Q/ How many computers have you destroyed due to the curse of Exmortis?
    A/ I'm on to my third laptop computer since mid-2004 as a result of theft, hardware failures and malfunctions during the creative processes involving the Exmortis series. And even though the desktop that I built the early draft of Exmortis on, has experienced about a dozen rebuilds since - it's still runs adequately as my gateway PC... You can see why I think this series is cursed! Can't wait until I get this series across to television... (oops - did I let a cat out of the bag?) ;)

    Q/ When did you first think about the Exmortis series?
    A/ About May 2003. I didn't set out to tell a story - I wanted to learn how to use flash and the best way I could think of achieving that was by creating something that would allow me to expand my graphic design skills. As a result, I taught myself flash while creating the first Exmortis - and the story sort of developed as I was plodding along in the creation process - literally scene-by-scene. I had no idea where it was going storyline wise, until about 10 scenes before the final credits... so the story that eventuated is more of a stroke-of-luck thing than a predetermined storyline that I wanted to tell.

    Q/ Think you can make me shart myself by making Exmortis 3 THAT scary?
    A/ I certainly hope so! (Remind me of the exact combination of frequencies for the experimental "BROWN NOISE") I've got some scenes & sequences pictured in my mind that are so fucking gory and outlandishly violent that if I can pull of the execution and timing just right - it will have you starting at the screen rubbing your eyes wanting to repeat what you just saw. If you've seen "28 Weeks Later" - think of how you giggled uncontrollably through the helicopter/field of zombies scene. I probably won't be able to top that - but I'm hoping to achieve the same reaction from those of you playing my game!

    That's all for now... send me your questions either via email or comment to this post and I'll try and answer here in this blog...


    Monday, May 28, 2007

    Thanks guys...

    Hi all,

    I've had an overwhelming show of support from nearly everyone - and for that I thank you... I'm still stuck in the middle of the rebuilding process with some projects that I was working on for clients, but with every moment that goes past I feel increasingly compelled to get started with Exmortis 3 during the very bit of down time that I get...

    But at this stage, just treat this post as a big thanks to everyone for the overwhelming support and kind words I've received over the last few weeks. It's really helped me maintain a level head to know that there's people out there kind enough to invest time in sending me the love! :) And for that I am greatful, and I hope to repay you all eventually with a kick ass conclusion to the Exmortis series.

    However, there are some people who aren't so accomodating - as for you blogger with the alias "John" (you know who you are) >> if you're really who you say you are :: AND I VERY MUCH DOUBT THAT YOU ARE :: then you will leave a comment for this post telling me the name of the establishment from where you ALLEGEDLY took my bag from me... otherwise, you're wasting your time here - and your words mean about as much as your pathetic existence on this planet does. Grow up and get a hobby... (Hourly self-gratification doesn't count as a hobby, by the way...)

    Walla walla,

    Friday, May 11, 2007

    My last post for a long while...

    My opinion of humanity in general has taken a massive beating this last 24-hours... I am absolutely gutted - let me explain why...

    I'm too depressed right now to write my usual essay... but I will say this - my notebook was stolen last night, and with it everything I've done up until now on Exmortis 3. Not only that - but I've lost everything I have done for the past 5 years. Yes - I backed it all up to DVD-R, but take one guess where that backup disc was being kept? That's right - in the laptop carry bag that was stolen.

    That notebook also had a lot of personal items of an unreplaceable and invaluable nature (ie. my entire music collection, digital photos of friends/family/pets compiled over the last 10 years, as well as my entire portfolio) The bag also contained my ipod, mobile phone, and car/house/office keys.

    Just so you all know, I had plans after the release of Exmortis 3 to make available for purchase online a redux DVD of the entire Exmortis series - recompiled with the highest possible quality sound and graphics settings, new scenes, outtakes, source material and various other bits and pieces. Unfortunately that is not possible now as I have lost all the Exmortis series source code as a result of the ass clown that decided to steal the result of 5 years of hard work from me...

    I am beyond consolable right now - constantly bouncing back and forth between depression and anger.

    I guess that I just wanted to say that even though this set back has demoralised me almost to the point of just walking away from everything and living like an internet depraved hermit, I still intend to soldier on with Exmortis 3 eventually. But it's going to be a long and arduous task to even get close to where I was before this happened. And right now, the daunting thought of the task ahead of me is too much to handle.

    Wish me luck, and hopefully when I am back on my feet I will start posting again. But right now, I'm too depressed to continue typing...


    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    Blog Changes & Work Update.

    Just a quick note to say that due to abuse of the comments sections of this blog, I've now made it compulsory for users to be registered with this service in order to leave a comment. Apologies about the restrictions being brought in, but you guys can all thank 2 or 3 specific idiots for forcing my hand on this.

    I wouldn't normally care, but I run a business and the Exmortis series (as well as the associated resources) are used as part of our skillset portfolio. Childish comments in a development blog don't usually bode well when attempting to secure potential new clients...

    On a positive note, I have had a chance to dedicate a couple of days worth of work to Ex3 this past week, and as a result of fiddling around with a few add-on apps, I've actually stumbled across a methodology of combining certain flash and swift3D elements to create some awesome special effects that I didn't think was possible in a .swf file...

    I've also spent a very painful 5 hour stint resequencing and aligning the work I've accomplished so far on this title to a new 20 frame per second rate - up from 12 frames per second.

    Reason for this? I originally started this project with the intent to present a 12 frame per second title which in theory would have allowed precise synchronisation of audio streams and animations in the Internet Explorer environment. Unfortunately the frame rate really chopped up the fluidity of certain sequences and detracted away from the vibe of the scene - so I decided to bite the bullet for the sake of the overall product.


    But it's done and it was well worth the effort! I've sequenced and optimised Lucian's dialogue and everytime I revisit the work that has been done, I can't help but smirk... :) You guys are going to love it!

    Friday, April 20, 2007

    Apologies for lack of updates

    Hi all,

    Apologies for the lack of updates in the past few months. There have been a lot of life changing and career definining moments for me of late - and they have subsequently taken my recent focus away from the Exmortis 3 project.

    I wish I could go in to details, but my reasons are either of a personal nature or I am being prevented from saying anything due to a variety of non-disclosure agreements I've had to sign recently.

    I've had a lot of ups and downs in the past few months, but most important of all - I have been the busiest I have ever been in my life. Things are starting to happen for me professionally and the work I am producing is starting to make major waves here in Australia. Unfortunately as a result, the water gets muddied, people important to me get neglected, and professional & personal priorities get mixed up.

    But as I've stated previously, Exmortis 3 is a labour of love for me. I promise you - it will happen. I just don't know when. Hopefully I can make it happen sooner rather than later...

    I have been copping a fair whack of abuse lately in the comments sections - and I do understand why. You guys are just keen to play the game and you are frustrated with constant delays and a lack of information coming back to you through this blog... I promise you that I am keen to let you guys play the game.

    I've received nothing but adulation for the previous two releases, and I want nothing more than to bask in the warmth of another success and soak in the knowledge that it was a job well done... I want that feeling back more than anything...

    I do apologise for the rather cryptic and informationless nature of this post... if I could say more I would... but I guess I just wanted you guys to know that my passion for this project has not died down. I am not being lazy. I am not trying to neglect it and you. Exmortis 3 will eventually happen... AND IT WILL PWN YOU!


    Friday, February 16, 2007

    Vocal Damnation Winners & Short Lists

    Hi all. Entries for the voice over competition have now closed. Over the course of the weekend I will be shortlisting entries and a final winner will be announced early next week.

    Majority of the entries I have received were of a high to perfect quality, so you can be sure that I will be offering secondary voice acting spots to more than one of you as I go through the creation process in coming months.

    Stay tuned to in the next fist full of days for an announcement of who's the voice of Mr. Hannay!

    Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    Last Call For Voice Over Submissions!

    Attention potential voice actors! This is the last call for voice over entries in the "Vocal Damnation" competition to be the voice of the main character in the penultimate Exmortis game.

    Visit for instructions on how to enter...

    Entries close on Thursday 15th February with the winner to be announced in the week following on (also known as

    Good luck to all!

    Monday, February 12, 2007

    The Internet is Truly a Scary Piece of Work!

    This is only slightly related to the Exmortis games, but it is more of a commentry on the availability of information on the net...

    So, I woke up this morning and dragged myself in to work only to find a nice little email waiting for me in my inbox... It was absolutely priceless, and I couldn't resist posting it up here on my development blog...

    This is from a person who would only identify themselves as Nightsrose on the email…

    “you sad little man. after playing exmortis 1, I realised that I have just wasted part of my life because of your lack of creativity and skill, you are an ABOMINATION to the human race and the horror writing community. You should hang yourself now instead of creating any more filth. The graphics and imagery were laughable and you've got fucking losers commenting on "How totally scary it was!" JUST FUCKING DIE!!!! When you're completing the next piece of rubbish you decide to make, include a side-game in which the gamer gets to batter you with different parts of you dismembered corpse. That way you won't get hate mail from dissapointed people who feel they need to hurt you in order to claim a sense of justice because of what you have done to them and the whole world, through unleashing the visual atrocity which you pass off as a game.

    I fail to see why on earth you would put your real name to a piece of shit like this, then publish on the fucking internet! All I need to do now, Is look for someone called ben leffler who lives in new south wales in austrailia for when I feel the overwhelming urge to mutilate your putrid carcass after pissing all over your so called work. Don't you have a life? do you have any friends? no? didn't think so, dont worry, dont be so sad, the noose should help make us all feel better, go on just hang yourself.”

    Personally, I find it highly amusing that someone who claims to have wasted part of their life playing my game, would then willingly invest further time in constructing such a poorly worded/punctuated attack upon me directly. My reaction to this email was nothing short of falling off my chair in fits of histerical laughter...

    So anyway - the hate mail is not the reason for this blog entry - what I am going to say next is what i actually set out to blog about today...

    So I thought that I would do a bit of investigation based on the only bit of info that I had about this hate mailer (ie. the email address it was sent to me from) and it's really demostrated to me the unbelievable amount of information you can find on the internet with just one email address...

    I now know my assailants name, gender, sexual-preference, address, age, likes, dislikes, height, weight, eye-colour, hair-colour, vices, hobbies, professional skill-sets, background, phone number AND I even have numerous pictures of her so I know what she looks like...

    I mean, holy jesus!!! All this info gathered just from what started as a simple Google search on an email address, and then following along the branches of sites until I found information that was relevant to my motives...

    And I am not by any means the most techy person in the world, but even if I am fairly web savvy it made me realise that anyone with even the most remote experience in web surfing has easy access to an unending multitude of personal information on virtually anyone in the modern world with a computer... AND THAT'S JUST FREAKING SCARY!!

    But in closing this entry, and getting back to the email - I have to say that it was fairly disappointing that Emma (aka Nightsrose) demonstrated such venom and a complete lack of maturity in her email, because what is clearly evident (from my investigations in to her) is that she is a very talented graphic artist and an accomplished word-smith - as demonstrated by her numerous works on Not to mention, that I was very suprised and anguished that such ugliness could be produced by a person of such beauty who has the capability of creating works that posess amazing emotive properties whilst also retaining a clarity and quality worthy of publication...

    Emma - if you happen to stumble across this blog entry... I have the highest respect for your work/art, and so I pay my homage to it as such... however your vitriolic email, written without even the slightest idea of the person that I am and what I was setting out to achieve with the Exmortis game, paints a picture of you that does a great disservice to the person you (probably) are...

    Monday, January 29, 2007

    I Laugh in the Face of the Curse!

    Notebook has been fixed with no data lost... motherboard, cpu & memory all replaced by the good people at HP. God bless them! :)

    First thing I do when I get home tonight... BACK EVERYTHING UP!

    Back in the game, baby!!! :)

    Monday, January 22, 2007

    "Curse of Exmortis" Strikes Again!! :(

    The first time was unexpected. The second time was a case of "not again!". This time it's a case of "thank god for the extended warranty"

    What the hell am I talking about? The Curse of Exmortis. It's back, and this time it means business!!!

    If you are still wondering what I am talking about - I have to let you in on a little secret... The Exmortis development phase is cursed. It's like a higher power is working against me finishing these games.

    Most good stories have supposed curses, mishaps and associated lore surrounding them - Macbeth and the movie Poltergeist are two that come immediately to mind. However the Curse of Exmortis translates in to a less immediately fatal hex upon my life (not counting potential heart attacks over possibly losing everything on my hard drive.)

    My computer hardware is always in a state of stream lined precision and has maximum up time. Before the first Exmortis games I hadn't had a blue screen of death in almost half a decade, and my PC had only ever hung once or twice on me due to application error... everything of mine was a picture of ultimate computering health.

    And then my mainboard fizzed out on me half way through the making of Exmortis. I was absolutely shit-scared that my work had fizzed out with it. Over the proceeding months, HP replaced my mainboard no more than 4 times before I got sick and tired of getting an unfixed unit back... so I wrote a strongly worded letter to them. As a result, they sent me out a new model notebook in return for me signing a document which prevented me from taking any legal action for loss of income over the dud notebook they kept sending back to me.

    Exmortis was released shortly after and for the following 12 months, it was business as usual - not a single error, unusual reboot or hardware failure. All was good... until I started work on Exmortis 2.

    Once again, the mainboard fizzed out on the replacement notebook - so I began the arduous task of going through the Indian call centre and getting my PC repaired. I went through this process another 2 times before my notebook was back to working order and Exmortis 2 was subsequently finally released...

    Jump ahead to present day... all was once again good in my computer stablity world... until yesterday... SMACK BANG IN THE MIDDLE OF CREATING EXMORTIS 3!!! Mainboard fizzed again... I am now very familar with the sound of my skull cracking against the nearest hard blunt object...

    Is this insane? Am I going crazy? Is this just a coincidence? of course it is... but I am very frustrated with the question 'why the hell does my PC keep crapping out on itself when I am working on an Exmortis game?!?'

    On a side note - suffice to say, "thank god for my extended warranty" - Next Business Day On-site Repair... seriously worth every single dollar I spent on it!!!

    People - I highly highly recommend that if you ever buy a notebook - not just a HP one, but any other brand - buy an onsite repair warranty upgrade for at least 3 years... It has saved my life on many occasions! And oh yeah - take it from me... BACK UP REGULARLY!!! I've got 4 years worth of work sitting on my notebook that I haven't backed up. (I just pray that I am right in that it is the mainboard that's dead again - not my hard drive...) It's like playing with matches... I know better than to run a gauntlet with my precious data... yet I never learn...

    Hopefully I find out tomorrow if I have lost everything... including the work completed so far on Exmortis 3... keep your fingers crossed for me! :( Hopefully the Curse of Exmortis hasn't finally claimed me...

    Monday, January 15, 2007

    The Estimated December 2006 Release

    Ok... I've received a couple of sniping remarks in some blog comments regarding the originally estimated December release of Exmortis 3. So I feel that I must address these remarks...

    As user "Jim" mentioned in his most recent comment, December was the "estimated" release date that I posted on the teaser trailer I put up on Newgrounds Alphas back in June... At the time I felt that it was a fairly accurate target for this game as my professional and personal life had cleared up to a point where I felt I could spend a copious amount of time on creating a game that was worthy of the Exmortis series.

    However shortly after that target date was set and publicized, I was caught in an overwhelming avalanche of web design work - of which I can only do after I get home from my day job at 8pm on a nightly basis... so let me make things a little clearer to those of you pissed at me for not meeting the December date...

    - My web design work makes me money and provides a secondary income that I require to keep me paying rent, electricity and water bills as well as covering cost of living for my girlfriend, my cat and my dog... it is a neccessity that I make money to continue living...

    - The Exmortis series is a labour of love for me. The only money I make off of it is from what ever adertising, sponsorship and subsequent awards I can scrape together for the game. That money - if any at all - is only paid to me well after I have released the game, and is anything but substantial in comparison to what I make from being a contracted web designer.

    - Only 1 person (ie. me) works on putting together any releases in this series of games (apart from this recent voice over competition - see last post) I have no one else to pick up any slack on my behalf if I am in a position to have no time to spend on it.

    - All work I do on this game is within my spare time - of which I have had very little of late. I have explained this over and over and over again within the pages of this development blog - that is this blogs purpose... to give the fans of this series updates as to how the game is coming along...

    - I will not - repeat: WILL NOT - rush the creative process of this game. I am most definitely my harshest critic and I will not release a half baked game that I am not 110% percent happy with. That is not fair to me, to the standard the previous 2 games have set, nor to those of you in casual gaming land who expect nothing but a high standard conclusion to this series.

    - The flash game design and creation process can sometimes be a very monotonous and mentally draining process. I put every single ounce of my creativity in to these titles, but sometimes I hit a road block and things don't translate to Flash as they do in my mind. Times like these require me to step back and take a break for a week or two to get my mind away from the game - it's the only way I can top up my creativity bar for when I return to the console to continue the process... probably only those of you who have put time in to a flash game would understand this plight, but it is a necessary evil in this labour of love...

    - December was only ever the "estimated" release date for the game. It was a date I had to provide to Newgrounds Alphas in order for me to submit the trailer. December was merely a target that I set myself when I thought I would have enough time to labour over this project. Estimates can wrong... that's why they are called estimates...

    Ok, I do realise why some people are becoming critical as a result of me missing the December date. I understand that those of you are only disappointed because you are fans of the series and that you are keen on getting stuck in to the 3rd and final game. I understand the frustrations, and I don't hold it against you at all - if anything, it is heartening that know that you guys care enough that I would miss a date only ever mentioned on a single page somewhere in internetland... Honestly though, I'd be more dejected if nothing was mentioned at all...

    That said, I hope I have explained the process a little bit better and that you have a better understanding about what I have to go through to get this game done. I know I am asking a lot from some of you in requesting that you have patience in the process... but as stated before, I will most definitely not rush the process for fear of releasing a sub-standard and inadequate product that is not fit to be labelled with the Exmortis name.


    Sunday, January 14, 2007

    Exmortis 3 Voice Actor Competition

    Leffler Web Design in conjunction with has just launched a competition to find the lucky camper who will be the voice of the main character within the upcoming Exmortis 3 title!
    For more information on how to enter, shoot across to
    Entries close February 15th with the winner to be announced at the Casual Gameplay site.