This is a copy of the first devblog for my new game “The Propahverse: Episode I” that you’ll be able to follow up on itch.io over the next few months. Please take a moment to read it!
When me and my friend Will Bryce were much younger, we used to sit around making films. Weird films. Experimental kiddy films with no budget and an improvised plot that didn’t make much sense at all. We made little stop motion LEGO films on a normal camcorder – painstakingly pressing the record button over and over to recreate frame-by-frame animations without any editing equipment. We made such wonderful films as “Gulp: The Movie – School Edition” and “The Mad Zombie Fishy Fish” and they were fun and good. People used to laugh at us and make fun whilst we did it, but we never stopped – because it was what we loved to do.
As we grew up and matured into immature and reasonably problematic teenagers, the love for making films, comics and games still burnt brightly in our hearts. By this point we’d assembled our high-school friendship group and we were interested in making some new videos. YouTube was a thing, we could send our stuff out to the world – it was going to be BRILLIANT.
Thus began four wonderful years of Propah Job Studios – our film studio. I was the director, we never wrote scripts. Most of the time we’d just grab the camcorder, go out into the fields near my house and come up with a story there and then – which reflected pretty obviously in the quality of our content.
We came up with a tonne of random characters and strange situations for them. We had John McCullen – the owner of McCullen INC – an american businessman who grew his fortune via Liquocheese, a cheese flavored fizzy drink. We created Doctor Robert Maria Smedley, a man so cruel, twisted and narcissistic that you couldn’t help but have a soft spot for him. We created John M’Blobnimnabob – the world’s friendliest dictator and ruler of Happystan. It was good fun.
We filmed and created a series called LeftPOORDead, where the characters of Reginald and Tippy fought off hordes of poor people in the zombie apocalypse. Every episode of the series the quality improved, and we learnt more and more about the characters we were developing. I had so many ideas in my head about where I wanted the characters to go and what I wanted them to do… but we never had the budget or the time.
After LeftPOORDead series one was completed, we took a small break. One day I was sitting in the park with Will, Mitz and Mark (Butler, Tippy and M’Blobnimnabob, respectively – don’t worry… you’ll learn about them when you play the game…) and we decided upon our next series – a horny time-travelling genius called Captain Fabulous – the idea sparked and within several minutes we’d ran out of the park and ended up in the nearest charity shop so we could buy his outfit: we bought the most obnoxious clothes we could find.
After filming several episodes of Captain Fabulous it became clear that we were all starting to get a bit too busy to film things. It got harder and harder to get the gang together. People were too busy with university and work. It was disheartening at the time – filming things with my friends was one of the things that really gave me a sense of self-worth and belonging.
I started filming things at university with my friends there, I set up a weekly Propah Job Radio show too – which got quite a few listeners! We had a small but loyal fanbase who had really enjoyed our videos and were looking forward to more. Hell, someone even took the time to make us a TV Tropes page!
Unfortunately, we just didn’t get around to making any new videos. We were just all too busy. Even the radio show was getting in the way of my studies. The time of Propah Job Studios came to an end. The website was shut down and the forums were closed. It was all a distant but fond memory glowing in the back of my mind.
It was sad to think that the story of Captain Fabulous would never be completed.
It was even sadder to know that Reginald and Tippy’s second series wouldn’t ever happen.
In my third year at university I felt compelled to finish the story of Reginald and Tippy – so for a whole week I locked myself away in my room and wrote the story down in a novel. It was never proofread and I didn’t look back at the chapters as I wrote… I just needed to get the story down on paper before it was lost forever.
But, as I started to write the story of Reginald and Tippy, other characters from our videos started to rear their odd little heads. All of our characters had been crafted with such pure love of entertaining others that it felt a shame not to somehow include them all…
…and so, The Propahverse was created.
Now, after all this time I’m making the story into a set of three games spanning across a multitude of characters, both old and new. I’m giving the characters the chance they deserve to be loved by others, and to get their story out to the world. At some point in the near future, you’re going to get to play through a story that is eight years in the making. A story that is incredibly important to me as a person. A story that defined a large chunk of my life.
I really hope that you’ll enjoy it.