Ossuary and Rosette Diceless are 60% off in the itch.io Summer Sale

Join our newsletter

The Future Proof Podcast 015

Podcast episode

Gregory Avery-Weir  0:21  
Hello, and welcome to the Future Proof Podcast. This is our monthly show where we talk about stuff we've been working on anything we're planning. I'm Gregory Avery-Weir.

Melissa Avery-Weir  0:31  
And I'm Melissa Avery-Weir. And we want to start out by talking about our community survey that we're doing. And we talked about it last month. It's still ongoing--

Gregory Avery-Weir  0:43  
Got some good responses so far.

Melissa Avery-Weir  0:45  
I'm not looking at the responses. I refuse! I'm waiting until everything is settled and we have statistics like... I just can't.

Gregory Avery-Weir  0:53  
I glanced a little bit. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  0:54  
So if you take the survey, you get a copy of Majesty of Colors, mobile platform or itch.io.

Gregory Avery-Weir  1:02  
Yeah, itch.io an interesting system where they have a feature that's built for folks who do Kickstarter. Where you can import Kickstarter backers and then send out keys to them. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:11  
That's cool. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  1:12  
And so I'm using that system. But because it's not actually hooking up to Kickstarter, I manually import some keys with a with a CSV file. And I have to contact itch support and be like, "Hey, I want to send an email these people. I know imported their emails myself, but it's for a survey so it's cool." Like they they want to have a human step in there to make sure you're not just like spamming people.

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:37  
That's pretty cool. I can get that. But I hope they're not super strapped for support.

Gregory Avery-Weir  1:42  
Yeah. We'll see. Yeah, I mean, it's okay if it if it waits a day or two. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:45  

Gregory Avery-Weir  1:47  
But yeah, a survey is still open. We're not sure yet when it's gonna close.

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:54  
Yeah, we will... we have a consultant that we're working with, that helped design the survey or did the design of the survey kind of based on what information we're looking for. And so when she's like, "this has been long enough" or we get enough responses or, or whatever, we'll kind of do a last call sort of thing. But I of course recommend people take it as soon as possible. And you can get to that at futureproofgames.com/2019survey all one word, or you can go to FutureProofGames.com and there's a banner up top that links to it.

Gregory Avery-Weir  2:28  
And more mundane news, we've been doing some Exploit: Zero Day work as we do. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:35  
Yes. As one does.

Gregory Avery-Weir  2:38  
Off and on.

And one thing that we did recently was knocked out some bugs that were really old.

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:45  
As we were making this list and, and prioritizing what would be in the Acid Burn release, we were like okay, so what are some bugs that have been like low-key around for... Um, let's say, cough cough four years.

Gregory Avery-Weir  2:58  
Yeah, we've got a section on the Exploit: Zero Day forums where people can report bugs and folks have been really cool doing so. But some of those bugs are just ones where we're like, this is lower priority than a bunch of the other stuff we're doing. But there comes a point where you're like, how long would this take to fix right? Not very long. The fact that it's lower priority than some other stuff should be balanced against how much effort it takes to fix and so we've been knocking out some of those. And we'll continue doing so on some small stuff as we're adding kind of some of the the last features we need to be, to feel like Zero Day is ready to sit for a bit without a whole lot of new software development. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:41  

So it's exciting it's it's satisfying to close those things out. It's a little embarrassing that they sat so long. I mean, it's life it's it is what it is.

Gregory Avery-Weir  3:53  
We've got day jobs. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:53  
Yes. Yeah. But we we did, like, everything people reported--if we can suss it out, we made it a an item in our issue tracker. So yeah.

Gregory Avery-Weir  4:03  
So that stuff is all tracked and forgotten about.

Melissa Avery-Weir  4:06  

Gregory Avery-Weir  4:07  
Some of it is like, Oh, well, you have to you have to do a relatively arcane series of actions. And most people won't find that. And also, it'll take a bit to fix. So we'll let it sit for now. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  4:20  

Gregory Avery-Weir  4:21  
But those will hopefully get done sooner or later.

Melissa Avery-Weir  4:24  
Yeah, yeah, the list is shrinking as we do more releases. A little more on the game design-y side of things: wWe've started planning out what we want in the next version of Cultivating Insurgency. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  4:37  
Yeah, this was our little 64 pixel by 64 pixel game. It was originally for a game jam.

Melissa Avery-Weir  4:42  

Gregory Avery-Weir  4:42  
But it's about people illegally gardening in a near future food desert where landowners and corporations control everything.

Melissa Avery-Weir  4:52  
Yeah, we say we say "near future." 

Gregory Avery-Weir  4:55  
Yeah, it's real, it's real extreme sci fi. Real hard to identify with ([ed: sarcastic tone]). A world in which people starve while other people get rich off of unused land.

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:05  
And if you have not looked up guerilla gardening--guerilla in the war sense, not the animal sense. One, I'll put a link in the show notes. And also it's pretty badass. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  5:15  

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:15  
It's hardcore. Like--

Gregory Avery-Weir  5:18  
Folks--seed bombs are real thing.

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:20  

Gregory Avery-Weir  5:20  
And it's great. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:21  
And so what we released included two kinds of units for players and one enemy type. The enemy type basically just kind of charges up to you and pokes you. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  5:35  
With a teaser.

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:36  
With a taser. Stuns you I guess, I should technically say. The two player types we have are... One of them in addition--all, everyone can attack--but in addition to attacking, they can also plow land, which means that later seeds can be put in. And then we put in the Seeder the--

Gregory Avery-Weir  5:53  
Sower, I think it's what we call it. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:55  
Yeah, we went through a couple iterations on that one. And they can drop seeds in there and then the next time you have run--so you know you run out of units and have to restart--those places where seeds have been dropped become grass or crops. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  6:09  
Yes, yeah. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  6:10  
So there's a bunch of other stuff we've wanted to add. Well, not a bunch, but a few other things. And one of the big kind of important systems is this, this idea of tear gas. And the idea also related to that of accelerating the growth of these plants, like giving yourself a bigger edge by having being able to water them on the spot. And so we're gonna have tear gas cops that can produce a cloud of tear gas.

And waters net can not only, you know, dispel that and attack--either attack with water or attack and clear tear gas on the way--but also can apply that water directly to seeded ground in any kind of state. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  6:51  
And yeah, sort of in the in the tactical strategy, sort of form, you can think of the uses both units that have different attack ranges and shapes. And then also their, their special powers are what contributes to the growing cycle and the waterers--how does it work? The waterers' water will reduce tear gas. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  7:09  
Yes, yeah. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  7:10  
If you're in tear gas, you can't do anything but get out of tear gas.

Melissa Avery-Weir  7:14  
Right. Which if you look up videos on guerilla gardening, that is not the case necessarily. These people like have tactics for handling tear gas. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  7:22  
Well, I don't, I don't think guerrilla gardeners tend to deal with tear gas immediately. Usually they're doing stuff in the night I think but, but we're definitely drawing from like a lot of the protesters.

Melissa Avery-Weir  7:32  

Gregory Avery-Weir  7:32  
You know, Hong Kong and bunch of other different places who, who know how to take down tear gas. Yeah, which water works.

A little more complicated than spraying it with a hose but you know, video games.

Melissa Avery-Weir  7:45  
Yeah. Also 64 pixels. Yes.

Gregory Avery-Weir  7:50  
Other than that, I had a lot of fun this past Sunday, um, playing a game on stream called Totem, which was about communicating with weird, otherworldly beings like giant monsters. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:10  
100% our jam. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  8:12  

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:12  
And probably y'all;s if you've played our games.

Gregory Avery-Weir  8:15  
Yes, very inscrutable. Like, I wasn't sure exactly what I was saying in response to their stuff. The one time I managed to have a successful conversation, it was a complete shock. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:26  

Gregory Avery-Weir  8:26  
I'm still not sure that it wasn't a glitch that I managed succeed. It was, it was like, you'll get five questions, and you'll have three strikes, and here's all these systems. And then it asked what I think was, "why is the universe bad?" And I said, "the universe changes." And it's like, "success, it left!" It's like, okay, yeah, I guess.

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:48  
It's great. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  8:49  
But it was part of our periodic streams that we do that we call Future Proof Plays, where we do q&a as folks can ask us questions. And we also like chat about the design of the games that we're doing as we play them. And we try to play weird short games that--

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:03  

Gregory Avery-Weir  9:03  
Folks, most of them are games that don't get a lot of attention.

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:09  
I ended up going through a run of... There's a lot of popular indie games, like, understanding the context of that, right? 

Gregory Avery-Weir  9:15  
Yeah, like, the ones that float the surface of people's attention.

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:20  
Right that I hadn't played before. So "Virginia" and the Dr. Langaskov game.

Gregory Avery-Weir  9:25  
"Norwood Suite" I would put in that in that category.

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:28  
Right. So I went through a run of those, which was probably less interesting to people who are looking for super niche games. But we've been playing some pretty kick ass games in the last couple months. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  9:38  
And for a couple of different reasons, that part because Twitch is ending their events system that lets you like schedule, say, "I'm going to be streaming here and here and here." We now have a page up on our website that's at FutureProof.Games.com/streams, or just you know, there's a link to it [in the main navigation] and it'll have the next time each streaming and what we're doing. So if you're ever like, "I want to make sure I don't miss it" you can go there. And we'll be linking that in future communications for like, "Hey, here's this upcoming stuff."

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:13  
Yep, for sure. And if you have recommendations of small games that we should play. I'm not always great at being able to guess how long the game is going to take, especially if I see it on itch. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  10:24  

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:25  
Where itch doesn't--you can choose to say how long is... the developer can choose to say how long a session typically lasts, but it's not pulling stats on that. So there are some games that are like "people only play for a few minutes." And then it's like, oh, this is an MMO, that's 24 plus hours of play or something. So I'm always looking for recommendations. And if you make games, that is fine, too. Like, send it over. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  10:51  
We're looking for generally two to three hours. Yeah, that's sort of the sweet spot, but we're fine with not finishing a game or we're doing multiple games in one thing.

Melissa Avery-Weir  11:00  
Yeah, I've done a couple of medleys at this point, I think. My last session was "Penguin Cafe," "inter-view," which is a musical composition game. And then I played "We Know the Devil," I played one of the four endings of "We Know the Devil," which I'm still screaming about. It's amazing. Especially now that I've fully finished it. 

So yeah, come check us out streaming, come ask us questions, just come lurk, come hang out. Stream archives are over on YouTube. We try to get those archives up within a few days of the stream, so. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  11:34  
I tend to take a little longer than, than Melissa does. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  11:38  
I'm very rigorous about these things.

Gregory Avery-Weir  11:41  
But yeah, so thanks for listening to this whole thing. You can find all of our stuff: the survey, the stream schedule, our games, everything at FutureProofGames.com. You can check us out on Twitter at @PlayFutureProof and we're on Facebook to as Future Proof Games. If you want to send in question or comments you can go to our blog, you can go to social media, you can email us or you can show up to one of our q&a streams and talk to us then. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  12:10  

Gregory Avery-Weir  12:11  
Our theme music is "Juparo" by Broke for Free which is available under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai