This is not a Dev Blog. This is a soliloquy. And as everyone knows, a soliloquy is heard only by the one who speaks it, and thus my confessions remain hidden. It’s just between me and my audience, the readers. AKA: The Internet. What could possibly go wrong?
The fateful day that future historians will surely condemn the NotGames team for creating this monster is the 18th of March, 2016, although I suppose the basis could arguably be said to lie in the September of 2013, or my pursuits outside the company.
You see, back when the group was formed, before our name or what we do was firmly established even to us let alone anyone else, a great Gamejam was held, to work on a project which I will not utter here. The point is, during this Gamejam, the team was divided into three sectors: Art Team; Sound Gnomes; and Code Monkeys. Now, Art Team, being the loudest, most outspoken, and largest group of course claimed the ancient and “noble” House of Godric Gryffindor for their own. The solitary Sound Gnome, whose work was beyond reproach but led her to a life of isolation, was assigned Rowena Ravenclaw’s House. And the coders, or I should say more accurately, our chief and only coder and programmer and myself as his assistant, were designated Hufflepuff, the House of Helga. As you can imagine, we were thrilled to be placed in the House so eloquently described by one David Mitchell as belonging to the “Bumbling Badger of Mediocrity”. Slytherin was left alone, as it was felt they were not team players.
At the time, various stars of weights Gold, Silver and Bronze were handed out to each House for their work, based on the difficulty of the work and how well it was executed at the time. It was during this period of our history that I earned my title of “Breaker of Games, Destroyer of Worlds”. Needless to say, we received very few stars, due mainly to the nepotism running rampant throughout Gryffindor’s members.
The House system was then left dormant for over two years, as for various reasons NotGames’ projects were put on hold, or the entire team could not be present for Gamejams, or we all simply forgot about it. Throughout this time, while during my summers I was working weekly at NotGames, and I did much remotely as I was in a different county for much of the duration, I never worked full-time, though I attended all of the Jams, and only one of these not in its entirety. I was away pursuing a degree in law, which some will claim led us to the “inevitable” occurrence on the aforementioned day.
My duties were principally incredibly basic coding, managing stores and creating the various builds for them, ensuring compatibility etc (and incidentally earning a further title of Build Master), as well as some of the more business orientated, and of course legally required, issues. In recent months however, I have undertaken Level Design and Sound Engineering, having worked on much of NotCoD and been involved in the project since its conception. It was only on the 5th of March (yes I know it was a Saturday, we had a convention we were attending) that I began working full-time.
So what does all that long exposition have to do with the promised foreboding events, you ask? Well, allow me to explain. The brightest among you may have already deduced this from the title, but I no longer belong to the proud badger. The 18th of March was the day we assigned houses to each of the four full-time workers at NotGames. Art Team retained Gryffindor, and Coding remained Hufflepuff. Level Design took over Ravenclaw. And I was CAST OUT. EXILED. LEFT BEREFT of my original House, to become the Head of Slytherin.
Now of course I hear you say this is all in jest, what does it matter? Well dear reader, it matters a great deal now that points are involved! For who else is the target of every joke, but the Slytherin? We evil cunning and oh so misunderstood folk, who want nothing more than our own betterment, which surely is not too much to ask? And no, I hear you say, even if jokes are made, such a bias could not affect work too much could it? Well let us examine that claim.
It is now closing on the 1st day of April in the year 2016. We all started in negative points for various reasons, though Slytherin and Hufflepuff were last with -15. Gryffindor are up to 43 points, and Ravenclaw are at 46 in recognition for work and “achievement” (consisting mainly of bringing in biscuits and other such bribery). Hufflepuff have found themselves up to 33 points. And my House, I hear you ask? Who has not only created 90% of the sounds currently in the game, but mixed an even greater proportion of them, designed over 28% of the levels, (having taught the current head of Level Design what to do back when he started) and cheered up the office by providing a Lightning Rod of Hatred? I am currently sitting cheerily on -4 points. The justification for this being that points could not be applied retroactively and all my significant work was done before the system was introduced. And before any of proud badge-wearing do-gooders who consider yourself in affiliation with one or other of the other Houses point out that Art, Coding and Level Design would also benefit from a retroactive points system, let me remind you of the title of this, once again say it with me, soliloquy, so shut up.
So jokes are made that as a Slytherin I’m in my place.
For I am evil, and surely I want nothing more than to exist solely in negativity? My goal should be to have the most negative points possible! And they laugh, and I laugh, but secretly I plot and scheme. If I am to be the villain, then I will be a great and terrible one! I will earn my way to the top, one way or another. And my puppets will dance before my eyes, much as I watched one House’s attempt to extort points from me thwarted by another’s sense of justice. Their morality will be their undoing.
Currently my plan is to make 100 rounds of tea more than each other house, as each round earns us a single point, as a sure fire way to beat the other Houses and put them in their place. I am aware this plan is not what one would consider point efficient, but a lot of my time is spent optimising and tuning levels at the moment, so my scheming is limited. But I promise you dear reader, should a plan so deliciously evil come to my imagining that will guarantee my victory in this competition amongst Houses, you shall be the first to know.