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    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.