Author Archives: Mania

Project: Gorgon … or, See Mania in Action

As some of you may know, my husband Eric Heimburg and I are game developers. Most of our income comes from contract work on smaller online games, usually doing programming but often game design tasks as well. (One example: a while back, we built the bulk of a combat system for a Facebook RPG.)

But we’ve also been working on a game of our own! Project: Gorgon is a 3D fantasy MMO that’s grown out of our desire to run our own game, plus our love for some of the older MMOs like Asheron’s Call. It’s a little old-school, a little modern, and rather … shall we say, quirky?

For the past three-ish years, we’ve worked on Project: Gorgon in between contracts, in a careful balancing act between keeping a roof over our heads and keeping some momentum on the project. And we’ve come quite a ways: we finished a pre-alpha testing phase with a few dozen players that stabilized the server and client, and we’re very close to a true alpha phase with several hundred players. Most of the game systems are fully designed and many are already complete (if slightly broken) in code. Content is well underway with zones and dungeons and quests. And -

Project: Gorgon Combat Example

Project: Gorgon Combat Debuff

Well, look. It’s coming along well. You can read more on our main development blog,

Point is, we need art. (You have to giggle at some of the art we are using now.) Plus more audio, especially sound effects for the skills. Plus, if we could devote more time to Project: Gorgon and less to paying contract work, we could get this baby out the door that much faster! (And as you may know, I’ve had some setbacks lately that cost us some of our savings.)

So long story short, we’re running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money.

Project: Gorgon Mantis w/ Hat

"Bruiser mantises wear more pedestrian hats, like this bowler."

If you aren’t familiar with it – Kickstarter is a pretty cool idea. Basically, people post a project they are trying to complete and the money they need to get it done. Then other people can pledge money to help them reach that goal. If the project creators don’t reach the funding goal, no money changes hands. If they do reach the goal, they use the pledges to complete their project – in our case, buying art and whatnot so we can launch Project:Gorgon.

Our funding goal is $55,000 – which seems like a whopping amount (even to me!) until you start looking at what decent player character art costs. Three races times at least a few heads times several sets of armor times … well, it adds up fast.

You can pledge any amount you want from $1 up, and depending on the project and the amounts, you can also get rewards from the project creators. I think we may have gone a little over-the-top with some of the Project: Gorgon rewards … But some of them are pretty cool - like a digital copy of the soundtrack, the chance to design an NPC, or two vials of wolf spit.

Anyway … if you have a few extra dollars and want to make a pledge, please do! We will both be immensely grateful. (And hey – wolf spit!) Even if you can’t, maybe you could mention it to some friends? It’s up to us – and now you, because I am assigning the task to you (also known as begging for help) – to let people know about Project: Gorgon and this Kickstarter campaign.

So if you have a chance, check out the project page, check out our Elder Game blog, watch the video … And thanks, ahead of time, for any help you can give us spreading the word about Project: Gorgon.

[Incidentally, there is a picture of me on the Kickstarter page, and I am in the Project:Gorgon video as well. So ... do me a favor and don't make fun of the pasty fat woman, okay? I am a programmer, after all. *grin*]

Petopia Updated for Patch 5.0

Petopia is theoretically updated for Patch 5.0.4 now, although I am already aware of a whole bunch of fiddling little issues I need to fix. Still, it should cover the basics. At least long enough for me to log in and tame a fen strider …

(If you see an error, please post a comment in the Corrections thread on the forums.)

Sadly, Warcraft Mounts is not updated yet. That’s next on my list.

And may I say again that I owe a huge debt to the entire Petopia community for gathering and organizing so much data! And especially to Wain for making sure I actually did something with all that data, even if he had to do it for me. <grin>

Followup to the Followup

Pro tip: Do not post a nice *Updated* notice on your website and then disappear for a month.

So recovering from this damned surgery is taking me much longer than I anticipated … and it’s mostly my fault. The surgical incision is healing up nicely – no trouble there – but I keep doing stupid things that end me up back in bed for days at a time.

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Surgery Followup

Warning: This post gets just a little graphic when discussing the details of my surgery.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was scheduled for surgery at the end of June to remove the cancerous tumor in my leg. I thought the couple of you who were interested might want an update.

(That’s gentle sarcasm, by the way. I was blown away by how many people commented, posted, and e-mailed with their kind thoughts and well-wishes. I’ve tried to take a pretty equanimous approach to this whole cancer thing, but when it gets overwhelming I take comfort from all the wonderful, generous people who have sent their support.)

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