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The Future Proof Podcast 043

Podcast episode

Gregory Avery-Weir  0:21  
Hi, and welcome to the Future Proof Podcast. We do this podcast every couple of months, and we chat about the things that we've been working on and the stuff that we're planning that we want you to know about. I'm Gregory Avery-Weir.

Melissa Avery-Weir  0:33  
And I'm Melissa Avery-Weir. And it's a new year! Happy 2024!

Gregory Avery-Weir  0:38  
Yeah. We were went a little quiet over the holidays, as I think is sensible. We, we've been... had our streams on hold and some other things. But now that, now that we're not dealing with travel and other holiday stuff, we're back to a normal schedule. So Melissa, you had a I think a great stream streaming Venba last Saturday. That should be at some point archived on our YouTube channel Future Proof Games. We do those Future Proof Plays, as we call them, every couple of weeks. The next time I'm doing a game called Grime, which looks really weird and creepy and cool. And, yeah, our normal communication schedule and so on should be resuming. So you'll be getting podcasts probably every couple months, and newsletters on the months you don't get podcasts if we've got stuff to talk about. So you can sign up for the newsletter via email if you want. But we generally talk about stuff in both places. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  0:38  

Gregory Avery-Weir  0:58  
So yeah, back—business is normal again for 2024. And at some point, I will remember to start putting 2024 on dates instead of 2023. It will probably take until July.

Melissa Avery-Weir  1:54  
I try to write the date at least once every day. So that is, that transition is going faster for me, luckily.

Gregory Avery-Weir  2:00  
Seems like a good practice, I may, I may just do that as a as routine. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:04  

Gregory Avery-Weir  2:06  
And with the new year brings another new cycle to our activities. That's not entirely Future Proof Plays related.

Melissa Avery-Weir  2:14  
That's true. So we talked back in November about how in Before the Future Came, which is our Star Trek podcast, the writer strike had ended, all of the SAG-AFTRA stuff had been resolved. And so we have returned to Star Trek in the new year. So our January episode was on the movie Star Trek First Contact, which was a joy to have released out into the world. We recorded it last summer. And then sat on it. And so our next episode, which will come out in February is on a Star Trek Voyager episode that has a theme that links to First Contact. So the specifics of what our next episode is is revealed at the end of an episode when it's recorded, so.

Gregory Avery-Weir  3:06  
Yeah, and if you're don't have an encyclopedic recall of Star Trek episodes, that's okay. We summarize them. We kind of try and assume that like, you probably have seen some Star Trek, but maybe don't know the specific characters are the kind of the state of a plot in the show.

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:21  
Right. Yep. So that's exciting. It's nice to be back on to a format that's the space we wanted to be in. And it's much easier to watch and talk about movies and TV than it is an entire novel like the Collapsium which is hundreds of pages. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  3:41  
Yeah, we did that prequel season that was books and stories and so on and that is a lot more work. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:46  
It is. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  3:48  
But you can check all of that out at or you can search for Before the Future Came in, however you get podcasts.

Melissa Avery-Weir  3:58  
And back on the Future Proof Games front: Greg, you have made some significant progress with Exploit: Zero Day recently. 

Gregory Avery-Weir  4:07  
Yes, so if you've been following our stuff, you're probably familiar with Exploit: Zero Day which is our puzzle-based hacking game where you're trying to fight injustice and, and survive under capitalism by by hacking systems that are represented by puzzles. We've long been working on "Headless Swarm", which is a paid season of story, and we are almost done. We're working on job nine and I have gotten almost all of the puzzles done for job nine. There was a, we've been juggling a whole lot of things and I've finally been able to sit down and work on those there's just a few left in that cluster of final puzzles and then we'll be doing our final like cleanup and wrap up and stuff to get "Headless Swarm" done, which is super exciting. No idea when that will be. That could be any time. But, but yeah, that's fun. It's a fun cluster, because there's—depending on your actions earlier in the story there, it's possible that you won't get access to one of the puzzles in the cluster. You're not missing a lot, so don't like get nervous about what choices you want to make. But generally speaking, if you've been kind to people, those people will come back and give you a little more, a little leg up on the, on the cluster. And like, it basically lets you skip part of the cluster if you want to and get an extra puzzle you can do. So don't, yeah, don't, don't feel like you're missing out too much if you don't get it. But I like, I like the fact that we designed to think to be like, "Yeah, this plays a little differently depending on your actions," which is not, I don't think that's something we've done much before. We've reordered things, but I don't think we've entirely skipped something.

Melissa Avery-Weir  5:49  
I think you're right. I think this is the first time and tossing this in here. You also did a cool technical—

Gregory Avery-Weir  5:58  
Oh, yeah. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  6:00  
—upgrade to EZD recently.

Gregory Avery-Weir  6:01  
Yeah, this is one of those, those fun—if you're a developer, you know what I'm talking about, like if I, if we did our jobs correctly, you should not notice any difference whatsoever in how the game plays. But we've long been on an old version of Phaser, which is our kind of library that we use to make the actual puzzle part of EZD, the animations and gamey, gameist parts of it. And we were on an old version of that. And we finally updated to Phaser CE, which is the Community Edition that's gotten ongoing maintenance. And it hopefully will fix a few little like, interface issues that have cropped up over the years and just generally be, you know, faster and quicker loading and things like that.

Melissa Avery-Weir  6:42  
Yeah, I'm guessing that Phaser had a bunch of shim type stuff, like, things where it was compensating for old browsers and, and sort of wedging in... because we were supporting IE... 10? when we started?

Gregory Avery-Weir  6:59  
I think we were supporting IE 8 when we started EZD. And then we finally stopped. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  7:03  
Exactly, I mean, EZD is old enough at this point that we almost did it in Flash, right? So yeah, it's yeah, we, it's, it's had a long time. So Phaser has surely been able to shed a lot of excess cruft over the years as it's been maintained. The—when you say Community Edition, this means it's kind of no longer an official version, right? Like, the community has taken over.

Gregory Avery-Weir  7:30  
I think it's, it's kind of officially sanctioned. If I remember right, Phaser 2 is the big version that we're using. And there's a new Phaser 3 that the original developers made, that's got some, some additional approaches to it. But it's a big enough transition, that it probably wouldn't make sense for us to switch to it. But people who, all the other game developers have been using Phaser 2 for years and years and years have kind of kept it going and kept it polished. And the original developer was like, "Yeah, go ahead, use CE. Like if you're in Phaser 2 use CE. It's great." But they've, I think, sensibly moved on to be like, "We want to be able to do more new stuff."

Yeah. Yeah. I think that's cool.

And if you want to play some of our old stuff, there is a sale that when you hear this should be live.

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:16  
Yes. So the Humble Holiday Sale? Winter Sale?

Gregory Avery-Weir  8:21  
Humble Winter Sale 2024. But it's early, it's the winter at the first part of the year, not this last part of the year. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:31  
Exactly. So the the Humble Winter Sale will be going through February 5. Ossuary will be about 50% off. And Ossuary, if you have not played it or heard of it, or something. It is our first commercially released game, largely developed before there was a Future Proof, I think.

Gregory Avery-Weir  8:53  
Yeah, it's it's the, it was kind of the, the seed that grew Future Proof Games. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  8:59  
Yeah. And it is a Discordian-inspired, conversation-focused adventure game, where your inventory—your backpack, as some would say—are full of sins. And you're freeing these dead souls in this sort of purgatory, from misguided virtue like temperance, and justice. It is a lovely game, I primarily did QA and some sort of, you know, producer type, you know—

Gregory Avery-Weir  9:28  
Testing and—

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:29  
—project management.

Gregory Avery-Weir  9:30  
—this is the part that works, yeah.

Melissa Avery-Weir  9:32  
Yeah. And there's something... I spent more hours in this game than anyone else probably ever will, right, just by virtue of being a tester, but it has sort of an oddly warm feeling to it. The audio in particular is something I love. Like the crunchy sounds when you're walking and the way the little pings are done, like... Often when I play a ton of a game, there's gonna be some sound that annoys the hell out of me. Some something. Like, any Zelda game, anything where you spend 10s and 10s of hours, there's gonna be something in it. And I think Ossuary's audio is outstanding. The writing is, of course, outstanding. I think it's—

Gregory Avery-Weir  10:11  
Thank you.

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:11  
—22,000 words. It's a solid novella.

Gregory Avery-Weir  10:15  
Sounds like a, like a correct number.

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:18  
Yeah, the writing is, like I said, the writing is outstanding, the characters are funny. I just think it's a real joy and a gem of a game. So it's a great time to pick it up. It's, it's, and—Oh, and if you get it on Humble, let's see, it's, so it is DRM free, but you also get a Steam key, I'm pretty sure.

Gregory Avery-Weir  10:39  
So if you want to on discount, you'll be able to play it on Steam and get, there's Steam achievements and trading guards and so on. But you'll also be able to access the DRM free copy that is on Humble. 

Melissa Avery-Weir  10:49  
Yeah. So yeah, through February 5.

Gregory Avery-Weir  10:54  
Links will be in the show notes to that and to all the other stuff that we talked about. And you can find all of our stuff at If, we're, we're recently on cohost, which is a great alternative social network, if you're tired of the nonsense that is Twitter, we're on cohost at And you can also find us on Youtube if you search for Future Proof Games; that'll have the archives of the Future Proof Plays streams that we do on our personal Twitch accounts. 

If you've got any questions or comments on our work, or about what's coming up or anything like that, you can reach out to us in the comments on our blog, you can reach out to us on cohost you can email us at And we'd love to hear from you. If you think that you will be bothering us, because of all the waves of feedback we get: we really don't get that much. Feel free to, feel free to contact us. We'll definitely read it and we'll probably reply. Our theme music for our podcast is "Juparo" by Broke for Free which is used with permission.

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