Happy Halloween! 10/30/2009
Halloween us upon us! To celebrate, today's uberblog includes information on international domestic abuse service resources, the Hot Peach Pages. Also, for those who like video games and/or horror, check out the interview with Marc Echave of Hur4c4n Projects as he discuses TerrorDrome!

The Hot Peach Pages

Now, if you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I planned to include links to both Canadian and U.K. domestic abuse survivor services. During my search for agencies in other countries, I came across something better than I could have dreamed. And it’s a brilliant idea: timely, important, and profound.

It’s a site called the
Hot Peach Pages. It’s an odd name with it’s own history, but you’ll have to go to the site to find out the story, I’m not going to tell you…not because I’m lazy, but because I want you to go there and see what this site is all about.

Hot Peach Pages is a worldwide directory of abuse help organizations in a variety of languages. The site also includes information on Internet security for those using the Web to seek help. In addition, you can find out how to get involved with this amazing organization and learn more about its history.

The Hot Peach Pages will be included in Patchwork’s list of organizations with which you can Get Involved or Get Help. So, get over there, check it out, and spread the word!

Are You Ready for TerrorDrome?

If you’re a fan of horror movies (come on, you know you are) and enjoy video games, check this out! There’s a game out there, quietly gaining momentum and fans by word of mouth, Youtube videos, and other sites. It’s doubtful you’ll ever see it in stores, but it may just be the coolest thing to happen to fighting games…EVER!

TerrorDrome is a fighting game in the traditions of Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and a slew of others. But TerrorDrome dares to answer the questions: Who would win in a fight between Ash and Freddy? How about Michael Meyers vs. Jason? Hell, how about Chucky vs. Leatherface? 

Sound too good to be true? Read this interview with Marc Echave of Hur4c4n Projects, the mastermind behind the TerrorDrome! Then, check out the TDRM site at http://www.terrordrome-thegame.com/ to check out the goods and download a demo for free!

You've created a really worthwhile game with TerrorDrome. How did the idea come about?
I've always been a big fan of horror movies since I was a child and played video games with the very first console back in the early 80's. When the opportunity of creating a fighting game came up, I immediately thought of gathering several horror movie icons of the 80's that I used to enjoy watching. It's like a tribute game to these great movies, and a present to all fans worldwide since such a game didn't exist before.

In a market flooded with big-company games that frequently miss the mark, you guys have managed to create something unique while staying independent. Did you propose the idea to any big developers or had you decided to keep it independent from the beginning?
The project is a fan game. I started it mainly for my own personal purpose and enjoyment. Since I don't have any license to any of the characters, I never intended to make a profitable game out of it. It was always meant to be released for free. I've never tried to propose it to any big companies; my opinion about it is that it would never be a profitable game because of the high costs of the several licenses. Also, many young people nowadays aren't familiar with these characters and it seems that the Japanese are ruling this market with their own designs. In the end TRDM targets a lower range of people that you might think, I think mainly males in their 30’s that grew up with these movies just like me.

What have you found to be the strengths and weaknesses of developing it on a small scale?
Being the leader of a project with a very reduced team allows you to handle things the exact way you want it to be. If you know where you want to go and know exactly what you want, then it's an awesome creative opportunity. On the other hand, being a hobby, your personal life interferes a lot with it and you can't spend as much time as you would like. That can be frustrating. Also, I can't expect any financial payback from it since I can't sell it. It sometimes leads you to ask yourself why you're doing this. The only reward is knowing that other people are enjoying your work as well, and the satisfaction you get from doing something you truly like.

It's pretty obvious what movies influenced the characters of the game. The horror movies of the 80's-90's certainly had very strong iconic characters. Do you think there are any "new" 21st-century horror icons that might make an appearance?
The Roster of TRDM is currently set to 13 characters + 1 Hidden character. This said, it will be hard for a new character to make an appearance but if I had the opportunity, it would be hard to tell which one to pick. No character has managed to deliver such appealing presences on the screen than the past icons did. The proof is that they keep doing remake and sequels of Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc. They are simply matchless.
I thought of the Creeper (Jeepers Creepers) once, but IMO the films really suck. The whole concept doesn't make any sense; it's like a patchwork of different horror features gathered in one movie in order to create something cool but it failed. I'd rather add more Sci-fi/horror icons from the 80’s/90's.

How has the game been received by the horror and video-game community?
Pretty nicely I'd say; most of the gamers are very enthusiastic fans frequently asking me about news and updates. Horror fans are very happy to see their favorite horror character being able to kick some other horror icon's ass in a dedicated game, not just some modded game.
People also seems to appreciate the professionalism put in the game and sometimes forget that there's just few people behind it just doing a fan game. That's when I get requests for developing TRDM for consoles or people insist on features proper to big companies. But I can say that the interest of the people clearly helps to keep this project going on.

What can fans expect in the future for TerrorDrome?
Two major features are on their way and almost ready. One will be the possibility to play online with a lobby system (allowing you to host a game online and invite other players to fight you). The other is the long awaited finishers, where you can perform one ultimate but lethal move against your opponent. It will be like a CG sequence instead of traditional in-game animations like Mortal Kombat use to use. I've just got the first test video for the finishers yesterday and it looked awesome, it will definitely make this game even more unique! Both will be available in the next release (V2.6)

Marc, I want to thank you for taking the time to stop by Patchwork and chat with us. Please keep us updated on TerrorDrome!
Sure I will. Thank you in return for your interest and I'm happy to contribute to your effort for helping people. Keep up the good work!