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2020 Update! Where have all the flowers gone?

Hey, everyone! Just a quick public service announcement to answer a few questions I've gotten over the past few months. Long story short, the project isn't completely dead, but it has been put on hold indefinitely. Hooray to development hell!

I'm considering a wealth of possibilities for the project and they all sound great and dandy, but I can't currently afford any of it. That includes a game engine swap (from RPG Maker to Godot or Unity, maybe? Or even Unreal), a rework from the ground up, and a wealth of aesthetic upgrades like fully animated cutscenes. I would love for .defrag to mature into a kind of handcrafted work that welcomes a variety of expressive possibilities and art styles.

Yes, the monochrome, noisy aesthetic won't be lost in the process, but if there's anything that could benefit the experience immersion-wise and make it more of its own beast, then I'd like to sleep at night and not worry about engine limitations with counterproductive workarounds. I will, of course, keep you in the loop once I greenlight the project again and there's enough of a road map to convince myself and any future collaborator that yes, it's feasible and it can be done. As 2020 has been teaching me so far, "we'll see what happens next".

I'd like to thank anyone who dropped by my Discord to ask about the project and all those who keep supporting me through Patreon, Bandcamp and other means. It sincerely means a lot to me, even when life takes the priority from time to time. I will create a dedicated .defrag Discord server once I'll actively resume development. Until then, I will be busy IRL and with plenty of other projects--too many for my own good--including music, game soundtracks, illustrations, videomaking and possibly webcomics.

I'll see you around, whether it's Newgrounds, my YouTube channel, or Discord.


We're out of early access!

Hi folks! So, I've got some good and bad news.

The good news is that the project is still alive and it's about 60-70% done. I've been implementing some neat features that will hopefully make the game feel less of a walking sim and more like the mystery adventure game I've always wanted it to be. Oh, and custom menus. Custom everything would be nice. The less RPG Maker it looks, the better in my book.

The bad news is development is still going to be very slow due to real-life commitments and personal projects piling up like there's no tomorrow. It's unlikely that I'll be able to publish the actual demo before the end of this year, though rest assured the project won't be canceled any time soon. I would probably hate myself intensely if this game doesn't end up on Steam one day.

Starting from now, all available pre-alpha builds at Gamejolt, RMN, and itch.io will be removed due to their obsolescence. If you're curious about the game's development, you can reach me on my Discord server. Please, refrain from DM'ing me unless you'd like to privately test the game.

I'd like to thank everyone who reviewed, streamed, and recorded the pre-alpha over these past few years. Your feedback has pushed me to keep improving and add to the experience in ways that now almost feel like an entirely different project. Your input has been invaluable and for that, I am humbled.

Stay tuned


Demo version in development

Hey guys, what’s up? I’ve been thinking about my development road map for this game, and while I’m doing some pretty good progress, I’m also thinking of eventually substituting the current playable alpha with a proper demo featuring all the changes I’ve implemented thus far.

I’d like to have something that will closely resemble the final product and truth being told, I consider the current public build to be grossly obsolete; it only primitively represents the original concept. As it currently stands, .defrag is almost an entirely different beast.

Some of the dialogue has been revised multiple times (I’m still editing it as we speak), there’s new content and graphics, revamped maps and free exploration, among other smaller details such a custom game icon and in-game font. I might throw in a custom menu UI as a stretch goal, but that’s far from a priority right now.

There’s much to look forward to, honestly, so I’d like to make sure a proper demo version reflects all this incredible development journey I’ve been carrying over the years. The version number will likely be reset to 1.0 upon release, for the past versions no longer represent my current vision for the concept as a whole.

As for the release when, you’ll just have to wait for the moment I’ll substitute the public alpha with the actual demo. Hopefully before the end of 2018, but no promises there.

So, stay tuned, thanks for reading and feel free to join my Discord if you’d like to get in touch about anything (feedback, sharing, or just have a chat!)


.defrag Idea/Suggestion Thread

Hey folks, want to submit your feedback and contribute directly to this monochrome adventure? Now you can!

Feel free to squeeze your creative juices at the following link: https://itch.io/t/205563/defrag-public-alpha-suggestion-thread

Progress Report

Development road map

Progress Report

Work in progress...

Updating the Junkyard and Plant areas.
Click "Show" to view the screenshots.


Is the project dead?

Short answer: Hell naw.

Long answer: It’s gonna take a while, possibly before 2020. =)
Well, here’s the thing. Aside from real life being in the way (seriously, will they ever patch it?), I’m trying to make sure the whole experience flows as it should.

So far, I’ve implemented a wealth of subtle changes compared to the preview version. These changes have been designed to better lead the player to the next important plot point and streamline the events flow without sacrificing walking exploration too much.

I’ve also applied fixes to the graphics and dialogue for the sake of consistency. For instance, Blob’s name is always capitalized unless he’s the one communicating. I will publish the full changelog once the proper version comes out.

I’ve implemented all these changes to drive the point further home, that is, the full version won’t be just a graphical update. A new half of the game is currently being written, as well as a more satisfying conclusion that ties everything up.

So, even if in the preview version it is entirely possible to achieve the best possible ending, it still won’t fully represent the final product. In fact, the conditions to achieve the various endings will change in the full version of the game.

I’ll be sure to share more images and concept artwork in the coming days/weeks/months. So, stay tuned and thanks for your support. =)


A year of .defrag

Hello there, folks.

It’s been a whole year since I decided to share .defrag v1.0 here with you all. I just wanted to reflect on how much has changed and been accomplished since then. Long exposition post ahead, so be warned.

When I first started developing the game, it was totally unplanned. I had plenty of unfinished material and ideas I wanted to develop, but for many different reasons I had held myself back. I thought I didn’t have what it takes to create what I thought was a "decent" experience back then, until I simply told myself that enough was enough.

I remember it being a very stressful time for me. I had a lot going on back then and I remember not really having an outlet for all this bottled up stress. Creativity has always been a double-edged sword for me. I was clearly out of steam and there could have been countless healthier ways to cope with it. Instead, I chose to throw myself into the grinder once more and create something. Anything, really. When you’re this rock bottom, either one of the two things happen, which is a) you stop caring about anything, or b) you quit what you love doing the most indefinitely, possibly forever.

In just 10 days of non-stop development, I had created the bulk of what was the very first version of .defrag. The result was a playable experience that I’d never thought I would publicly release. I was pretty much done with it. I thought that was it, you know? I didn’t really care whether it met certain quality standards or not, or even if the gameplay wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I primarily made the game as an act of liberation. I had a lot of inner thoughts I wanted to process somehow and a lot of turmoil I didn’t really know how to express, if not through the medium of interactive storytelling.

I released a few updates soon after, mostly as a way to address some overlooked bugs. Version 1.1 came out, I made a gameplay trailer. My job was done.

After a while, something magical happened.

I started getting some feedback from both friends and Gamejolt users. Despite how primitive the project was at the time, reception came as overall positive. Some people really liked the setting and writing, and I got the first suggestions on how the game could be improved. Then, some users were quick to record their gameplay session and their experience on .defrag. How was that possible? Aside from a strict circle of contacts whom I personally asked to playtest the game, I didn’t really ask anything from anyone. It was completely spontaneous.

Then, .defrag got featured in a number of places, starting from Gamejolt, then RMN, or rpgmaker.net. It was probably the biggest surprise, for me. I seriously did not expect such a heartfelt support for the project. Coming from a rather cynical background, the idea of maturing the experience into a proper game started making its way up.

I usually don’t share my personal interpretations of my own works because comments coming from authors often end up being the only "canon" reading key, as opposed to letting everyone treasure their own experience with the artwork. Developing .defrag for me has been an act of cleansing. Nearly every character and aesthetic element in the game is a symbol of what I originally thought was detrimental to my creative process. Every ounce of negativity I experienced back then coalesced into an amorphous, mysterious and incredibly destructive force I conveniently dubbed "noise".

Getting rid of it was the goal I set myself since the start. In a sense, I have been the main character of my own adventure in game development. I could have just called it a day and let all this mystery permeate the game world indefinitely, or perpetually leave the story on a cliffhanger with no resolution in sight.

I only realized later that the game was far from done. Too many loose ends, too much wasted potential. I decided to give this project a second chance. Instead of merely expanding it, I began thinking of ways to improve the story and the core gameplay.

Fast-forward to the present day, I’m currently in the process of writing what the future content is going to be about. As I explained in the previous post, there are quite a number of things I would like to introduce. I feel quite determined to keep improving this project and give to it and myself the "happy ending" we both deserve.

From a rite of cleansing, it slowly became a rite of passage for me as a game developer and individual, as I came to appreciate the beauty of unplanned, unscripted, almost entirely improvised endeavors. It was a kind of freedom that felt refreshing to me, after years of coping with self-produced mental roadblocks.

I would like to thank everyone who has indirectly saved this game from underdevelopment purgatory. If it weren’t for you, I would probably still think .defrag v1.1 was everything I could have offered and I would still have plenty of "noise" lurking in my head.

So, let’s make a toast to the future and ultimately, thanks for sticking around. ./


.defrag's future

Hello, good people. I hope you’re doing great!

I was just passing by for a quick update. Development on this game will be resumed at some point in the near future due to numerous real life commitments. I’m planning some great things for .defrag and it’s actually far from done.

I kinda wanted to keep this under wraps until the full release, but since development is gonna be slated indefinitely, I figured I’d tease some details about the future.

The next version won’t be just a graphical update. There will be some new content and a second build-up leading to the epilogue we all know. A new character will also be introduced whose presence has already been slightly hinted by someone we should already be familiar with.

There are still a handful of mysteries that haven’t been uncovered yet, so that’s mostly what the full version will be about.

Until then, see you!


Version 1.3.0 Preview Build available

Hey folks! I have decided to release a preview build of the (likely) final and full version of .defrag, which is 1.3.0.

The game is functionally there, and I’m trying my best to keep my promises. Since it’ll still take me a while to implement the last few things, I thought of giving you the chance to test the new, still in-development version.

Main changes:

- New title screen!
- Revamped running mechanic. It now works automatically upon acquiring the Speed Hax item. Running is disabled during cutscenes and smaller areas.
- New third of the game available. More quests, characters, dialogue, happenings, shenanigans, etc.
- Two extra endings. Conditions for triggering all endings have been altered according to the new content.
- Slightly altered Garden layout map.
- Bonus areas :3

What to expect from the full release:

- Extra graphics for the Garden, Junkyard, and Plant areas.
- Some items artwork (possibly).
- A couple of extra music tracks.
- General polishing duty here and there.

So, that’s pretty much it. Let me know your thoughts and as always, have fun!
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