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Documentaryised: The Dream Game 13 Years In The Making

You have to throw rocks at this boss, see.

Like many, I tried making a game as soon as I discovered that was even a possibility. I dreamed of selling an epic Quake campaign set in a real city with real guns and buildings you could fully explore. I made a level which refused to compile and wrote a little QuakeC that’d crash Quake any time I fired a gun. While I’ve finished game things since, I never returned to any youthful dreams.

Adam Butcher never gave up on his dream game. After 13 years of development, he’s finally released Tobias and the Dark Sceptres, a freeware game created in the old Multimedia Fusion game maker tool. You should, at the very least, come watch the charming video he’s made about a pre-‘indie’ indie community and why a 2D platformer took him 13 years to finish.

Butcher started making Tobias when he was 14. As these teenage dreams often are, it was planned poorly, over-revised, and bodges came back to haunt him but by gum, he flipping well adored it. His mini documentary accompanying the release should be viewed as part of the project, as one of the things he got up to over the course of making it was pursuing a career as a filmmaker.

“Maybe it is just an amateur project that got stuck in a time warp and maybe that means some people will hate it. But maybe some people will love it as well because, deep down, I guess I love it,” he says. “I love it because despite all its flaws, it’s the game I always wanted to make, and no one–not even the grown-up 26 year old version of myself–could tell me otherwise.”

It’s awfully sentimental, but it would be, wouldn’t it? Not that Tobias is the only game Butcher’s been working on since 2001, mind. His shoot ’em up Teletrooper only took seven years.

Here’s the documentary, and the game’s free to download from its website.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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