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Member Since 10 Jul 2014
Offline Last Active Mar 21 2021 07:27 PM

Topics I've Started

Funding Secured.

14 March 2021 - 06:10 PM

Greetings fellow gamers!

Many of you have probably noted an obvious slowdown in development since Update 1c was released last year. First and foremost, I would like to absolutely reassure you that development is, in fact, continuing and Update 2 is currently in work, with Update 3 and 4 already planned out.

But why did this happen? Well, that's a story I thought I would never find myself in a position to tell, but here we are. So strap in! There's a lot of back context needed.

In 2013 I decided to learn to program as it was the only remaining skill left I did not have to make a video game. I had no experience what so ever outside of doing mods/scripting for various games over the years. I spent 8-9 months of my life doing nothing but working at Lockheed Martin as an Avionics Technician 8-10 hours a day, and another 8-10 at home learning how to program in my language of choice, Java. After roughly a year it was time to go pro, and I started development on Retro-Pixel Castles, or eventually to be renamed, Rise to Ruins. I saved up (or have been saving up, more accurately) around $90k working at Lockheed, because I lived out of a suitcase moving from one military base to the next every 4-6 months for 5 straight years. So, I did the totally rational thing you do when you want to completely change career paths into a job with an extremely high rate of failure that you have literally zero professional experience what so ever in doing, I quit my current job at Lockheed Martin.

Yes, you read that right. My first ever attempt to "go pro" happened within a year of learning to program and I quit my very secure job to do it. Despite all odds, I was successful in the attempt. I also got an Associates Degree in Psychology at a local community college and bought a house in cash (87k, near-condemned foreclosure) while doing all this because it was necessary. Thanks to my former military service I could go to college for free. In fact, they paid me roughly $1,200/mo to go on top of paying for books/tuition, it's how I fed myself in the early days of this. I also needed a place to live during this ridiculous adventure too, and reducing costs was key to my strategy working, so what better cost reduction than removing rent/mortgages all together? Long as I was in college for free and getting paid $1,200/mo to educate myself for the next 4 years, I could survive.

Development on Rise to Ruins itself was blistering fast as a result, because this whole plan would implode within 4 years when my education benefits ran out. It's easily a whole story in of itself, but I'll gloss over that for brevity's sake because that's not the point of this already really long announcement. Basically I dedicated years to work, spending a good 10-14 hours a day usually 7 days a week at the height of it just chugging out patches during Early Access. Fast forward to Rise to Ruins officially releasing in October of 2019, right before the pandemic started. My plan was (and still is) to continue to support the game post release. Rise to Ruins has done me very well financially, supporting my and my wife's lives without either of us having to get outside jobs.

But there's a problem. While Rise to Ruins does in fact currently support my livelihood and the entire 4 year plan became irrelevant by year 2 because Rise to Ruins' income started to support me and my wife by itself, it still isn't enough to finance the next game. The next game, code named "Project Mary", is another project that will likely take me multiple years to complete with a very long Early Access cycle. I cannot guarantee I can duplicate Rise to Ruins' Early Access success again, and Rise to Ruins' sales revenue will eventually dwindle. It must, it's just the nature of how it works in this business.

So, how do I get around this problem? Money. Lots of money. Well, Rise to Ruins makes decent money, but still not enough, I can't assure it will be there forever and I am against taking money from publishers and what not.

Coronavirus has entered chat.

In 2020 one of the worst pandemics in human history began and to my disadvantage, only a few months after Rise to Ruins released. I was faced with an awkward problem as I was locked in my home. I needed to find proper funding for my second game and I absolutely abhor taking money from publishers. I'm a solo developer and it's going to stay that way. The pandemic amplified this problem because it limited what I could do to solve my funding issue.

I knew Rise to Ruins profits couldn't sustain development for the multiple years needed to complete Project Mary, and a Kickstarter also wouldn't be right as an already successful company running a Kickstarter for funding is bad optics in my opinion. Even with full continued patch support, Rise to Ruins will eventually drop under the bar its sales support me, that's just how it works unless you have a mega-ultra-hit like Stardew Valley, Rimworld, etc that generates so much cash on the front end it doesn't matter. Rise to Ruins still had done me well, at the time of making this decision I had no debts of any kind, house and car paid off in full, and over $200,000 in my savings account. That sounds great, but it still wasn't enough to accomplish my goals and as I said previously, I felt a Kickstarter would be in bad tastes (and potentially not raise enough money anyway). I had to figure out how to generate even more cash during a pandemic without relying on Rise to Ruins, so I could work on the game without any future cash flow fears.

Repeating my normal methodology of throwing my whole-everything into a problem, I dedicated a ridiculous amount of time in one of the places I thought I'd never find myself; The soulless depths of the stock market. I studied, studied, and studied more. My whole life existed for one reason and one reason alone; Learn the market and use it to secure funding for Project Mary.

So uh, yeah, again in my life, against all odds, I did it.

As of writing this, I have turned $200k into $2.5 million dollars. That was actually higher before the recent tech crash in February and early March, where I broke a staggering $3 million. I am now pulling back from active investing, and transitioning to a semi-active-passive thing, so I can refocus on what's important; Rise to Ruins continued development, and starting development full time on Project Mary. I should hopefully have a minimum sustained additional income of $10k/month (that's not a typo) throughout all of Project Mary's development without actually touching the $2.5 million. That's not assured, but it seems likely.

This process impacted everything in my life, including my own mental health, that I'm still recovering from as I write this. Trust me folks, money doesn't buy happiness and while I have a lot of it now, the past 8 months have been absolutely exhausting and downright destructive to my mental health. I will simply need time to recover.

I hope you guys can forgive the lack of patches over the last year as I went through this adventure, and have gained some understanding as to why I did it at all in the first place. But, one thing is now certain for Rise to Ruins', Project Mary's and most importantly SixtyGig Games' future as a whole:

Funding Secured.

Update 1b - The Bug Fix and Tweaks Update - Released!

19 July 2020 - 03:36 PM

This is a smaller patch full of a ton of small quality of life improvements, bug fixes and balance changes. This patch was originally going into Update 2, but I decided to break out some of the Update 2 content and move it to a smaller patch, so you can get some of the new improvements and changes early, without having to wait for Update 2 later. Enjoy! :)
Check out the change log for all the juicy bits, and if you find a bug, don't forget to report it on Discord or the Steam Forums. :)
Update 1b Change Log
Miscellaneous Changes
  • Essence Collectors no longer deliver essence when out of range of the village.
  • Drones now only harvest resources when there is not any already available within the corruption.
  • Resources now decay twice as fast on corrupted tiles.
  • Non-monster buildings are now slowly destroyed if they are caught in the corruption.
  • Reduced the overall amount of resources generated when a very large or highly upgraded building is destroyed.
  • Blood Slimes no longer can spawn boosted.
  • Blood Slimes now die slowly when they're not on the corruption.
  • All slimes now will no longer regain hit points unless they're inside the corruption.
  • Blood Slimes no longer level alongside the corruption or current day.
  • Rock now regrows at an extremely slow rate, roughly 1/20th the rate of trees.
  • Rock now remains selected after harvesting.
  • Added hot key support for object upgrade buttons, but the hot keys must be assigned manually.
  • The hot key for dismantling buildings is now unassigned by default, but can still be assigned in settings. This is to prevent new players from accidentally triggering a dismantle action they can't reverse, but still allow experienced players to have a hot key if they desire.
  • Nerfed the Flame Spell's damage by 50%
Bug Fixes
  • Range is no longer improperly generated on initial load.
  • Fixed the never-ending god XP tally sound that sometimes occurs on the world map.
  • Fixed a rare bug that would crash the game in the event a mob would drop off a resource to a building that has just become out of range, and still had remaining resources to drop.
  • You can no longer start an upgrade on a building out of range of the village, causing the game to crash.
  • Fixed a bug that would cause the mouse to move too far when you increased or decreased the priority of a building on the building list panel.
  • Fixed some overlaying text on the building upgrade panel on some buildings.
  • Fixed an issue where several mob related perks would not apply correctly to the mobs.
  • Blight settings are now properly saved in custom game mode templates.
  • If a blessed villager has twins or triplets, all of the children will be born nephilims.
  • Fixed a few typos in the tool tips.
  • Fixed an extremely rare bug where sometimes mobs would reset their AI, and no longer be "dead" even if they have no hit points.
  • Fixed a bug that could sometimes trigger invulnerable slimes.
  • Slightly optimized the building destruction code.

Rise to Ruins Soundtrack Now Available All Over The Internet.

17 May 2020 - 11:15 AM

The Rise to Ruins soundtrack is now uploaded all over the internet, including Spotify, Amazon Music, Youtube, Google Play and more!
All revenue (Less various store fees) from purchasing or listening to the soundtrack does not go to me, rather it goes to Rise to Ruins' composer, José Ramón "Bibiki" García. So if you want to support him directly by throwing a few bucks his way, be sure to buy the soundtrack! :)
If you're interested in listening or purchasing the soundtrack on various platforms, you can click here to get started!
Additionally, if you just want to jam out on youtube, you can find the full OST here.
And finally, always remember, the full sound track is always available unobfuscated within the game files, in .ogg format, just poke around the /res/music folder. But buying the soundtrack online is a way to support RtR's awesome composer, and get the files in a more appropriately organized format for easy listening on multiple devices. :)

Update 1 - The Magic Update - Released!

22 March 2020 - 07:27 PM

The first free post release content patch has arrived, introducing The Magic Update!

This update includes a complete and total overhaul of the spell casting mechanics, as well as a ton of new spells. It also includes double the perks the game released with, a ton of bug fixes, balance changes, and general improvements.

Specter mechanics have been changed quite a bit in this patch as well, so be sure to checkout the "New Walls and Specter Mechanics" category below and read it carefully!

Check out the change log for all the juicy bits, and if you find a bug, don't forget to report it on Discord or the Steam Forums. :)

Update 1 Change Log

New Walls and Specter Mechanics
  • Added Crylithium Curtain Walls, Crylithium Walls and Crylithium Gates to the game. They all can block specters and ghosts from passing through them.
  • Specters and Ghosts can no longer cross crystal patches.
  • Regular Curtain Walls no longer block specters and ghosts from passing through them.
  • All old saves before this patch get their Curtain Walls updated to Crylithium Curtain Walls automatically and free, so late game villages don't get overrun with specters after this change.
  • Reorganized the walls category into two subcategories.
New Perks
  • Labor Golem and Holy Golem Duration perk removed as they serve no purpose anymore.
  • Tons of new perks added, more than doubling the original perk list. There are too many to list here, so just take my word for it and enjoy! :)
  • Removed "perk rarity" from the game. This feature used to determine how common certain perks were, now all perks have an equal chance of being unlocked.
Spell and Influence Overhaul
  • New Spell: Construct. Uses your godly powers to assist in constructing buildings, but requires the resources to already be delivered to the build site.
  • New Spell: Divine Blessing. Bless a villager, causing their next born child to be a Nephilim with superior strength, dexterity and lifespan.
  • New Spell: God Tower. Summons a magic bow tower with unlimited ammo. Requires a portion of your maximum influence to maintain. Can be dispelled with the Dispel Structure spell.
  • New Spell: God Wall. Summons a magic wall that will help block all types of monsters, including specters, from crossing. Requires a portion of your maximum influence to maintain. Can be dispelled with the Dispel Structure spell.
  • New Spell: Harvest. Automatically harvests resources from the region, dropping them on the ground for your villagers to quickly collect. Make sure you cast this in range of your village, else nobody will come pick anything up!
  • New Spell: Holy Potatoes. Sprouts magic potatoes from the ground, really handy if you've just completely run out of food or want to create a new patch elsewhere in the village!
  • New Spell: Holy Wood. Sprouts large erections of wood from the ground, really handy if you've just completely run out of wood or want to create a new patch elsewhere in the village!
  • New Spell: Dispel Golem. Dispel a previously summoned or combobulated golem. Will work on any golem in the village, including the ones you did not summon yourself. Typically should be used to dispel labor or holy golems to regain some of your maximum influence.
  • New Spell: Dispel God Structure. Dispel a previously summoned structure to regain some of your maximum influence.
  • A new type of influence mechanic has been added. Now some spells can last forever, but they take up a portion of your maximum influence to maintain. For example, Labor Golems now last forever, but permanently reserve 300 points of influence on your influence bar until you dispel them, or they are killed by monsters.
  • Some spells like Conjure Essence and Flame can now be continuously casted, meaning you can hold down the mouse button to continue casting them rather than clicking.
  • Many of the old spells now have cooldowns, but have also been buffed or rebalanced accordingly.
  • Labor and Holy Golems no longer die slowly over time, but do require influence to be maintained.
  • Slightly reduced how much maximum influence the player gets per villager.
  • Uncorked the influence absolute maximum, there is no longer a maximum cap on how much total influence you can have.
  • Your maximum influence now uses the entire bar (visibly), but the amount of maximum influence still increases per villager.
  • Influence gained per tick is now based on a percentage of maximum influence rather than a fixed amount.
  • The spell select panel and spell descriptions panel have been completely overhauled.
  • Revised many of the spell descriptions.
  • Added a spell radius display when you have a spell selected.
  • Reduced the particle count on the influence bar.
  • Buffed conjure essence spell, it can now produce more resources per cast, and perks can boost it further.
  • Slightly reduced influence generation rates.
Miscellaneous Changes
  • New range generation "trimming" system, that will remove generated range in areas not connected to the village. Added to cut down on villagers straying away from the village and getting killed. Note that corruption resistance will still generate even if range does not.
  • Increased the storage counts of equipment storage.
  • Screenshot files are now tagged with the version number of the game they were taken with.
  • Cleaned up some of the mouse tooltip message positions.
  • Added pointer lines from selected buildings to the building's occupants or workers.
  • Added lavender color trees to the game. Currently only used for the Holy Wood spell.
  • Added holy potatoes to the game. Currently only used for the Holy Potatoes spell.
  • A new mob type called "Nephilim" to the game, that is currently created via the new Divine Blessing spell. These new villagers have longer lifespans and boosted stats.
  • Changed the pregnancy icon to look more like a rattle.
  • Kitchen now increases worker's cooked meat and boiled egg refine time when upgraded.
  • Updated the graveyard's tooltips.
Bug Fixes
  • Added fix to buildings to prevent them from being stuck at >100% completed on load after receiving a perk that reduces construction resource requirements.
  • Fixed several minor typos.
  • Fixed a rare endless loop crash that could happen if monsters tried to spawn from a completely blocked in corrupted fire pit.
  • Fixed a minor bug that would cause villagers to not lose hunger points when they mated.
  • Fixed some animal mating issues.
  • Fixed the construction outline and abandoned graphics for all gates.
  • Fixed a very rare crash caused by an endless loop in the trajectory calculation code.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing work speed reductions due to high wind to be calculated twice.
  • Fixed a bug that wouldn't allow any golems to get their level increase perk unless the player had the wood golem level perk.
  • Charmed monsters no longer threaten tiles.
  • Fixed an issue where mobs would actually lose hunger, thirst and energy slower when working, rather than faster.
  • Fixed a minor bug that could cause newborn animals to spawn the wrong color.
  • Fixed a minor bug where catjeet elders would not show up on the population panel when the filter was set to "Elder".
  • Fixed a bug where sometimes specters could be banished to inside your village.
  • You can no longer upgrade the outpost while it's already being upgraded.
  • Fire pit construction can now be paused.
  • Fixed purple color crystals minimap color.
  • Slightly modified Casas, Wyvernedge and Death Pass to add more valid animal spawn locations.
  • Burner no longer trigger the energy usage tip when built.
  • Doggos now count on the domesticated stats panel.
  • Fixed the upgrade description panel text from overflowing on the Established Ranger Lodge description.
  • Ranger lodges no longer count on the problem panel as homes with no food.
  • Fixed the missing blank panels on the combobulator category on the right panel.
  • Fixed a interface scaling issue with some ultrawide monitors that would cause buttons to be hidden under the UI.
  • Fixed a very minor bug where the save system would claim it's converting old road map save data when it wasn't, and the data was already converted.
  • Catjeet children are now counted in the children total on the population totals panel.
  • Blood Moon and Eclipse countdown delay timers are now properly saved.
  • Fixed a rounding issue on the perk list totals.

100 Free Copies for People Staying Inside!

16 March 2020 - 10:39 PM

I am giving out up to 100 FREE copies of Rise to Ruins to anyone who Follows, RTs and replies to this post on Twitter with their "proof" they are staying at home during the #CoronavirusOutbreak!
I'm not telling you what the proof is, just have fun with it. 
Have fun, and wash your hands!