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Heights? More Like Hiatus

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froghaus

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The team is on a bit of a hiatus at the moment. This whole long distance thing just doesn't work, let me tell you. When I get back to Minnesota (mid May) we'll be back in action. Until then, we're reworking our website, planning some more stuff, and thinking about life.


I'd like to take some time, however, to formally introduce us to the development community. I think that one of the main problems with independent, and general, game development is the lack of human connection between developers and everyone else in the world.

Froghaus is comprised of the remains of two now-defunct independent game developers. The first being Sparkle Game, and the former home of myself and Jin (artist). The second being ViraSoft and the former home of Matt (lead artist) and Sol (bearer of whips and realistic thinker).

Neither group rose to much prominence, and only Sparkle released a game. A Tetris knock-off that came about because we couldn't find a programmer capable of doing games we were really wanting to do. The game in question is Sound Block and can be downloaded from my website. Sparkle gained some notoriety with its outlandish claims of the development of a GBA RPG at the GBA launch window. Various small media noticed us and one of the IGN editors even acknowledged us. It was a tough go, the programmer bailed on us, and our musician went insane.

Not even kidding.

The nicest parts were meeting the guys I work with now, meeting with potential publishers and having them slam the doors in our faces, and receiving a nice e-mail from a higher up at NoE encouraging us to do our best. You can find many juvenile postings from me online in relation to Sparkle. Good reads, really.

From lofty ambitions of GBA RPGs to a Tetris Clone. Bad ass.

Anyway, it's been four years since that clone was released.

So, what exactly is Froghaus? Well, it depends on who you ask. You'll get my opinion here, but Matt, Jin, or Sol could tell you something entirely different.

In my eyes, Froghaus is a vital link for myself in maintaining a connection to my childhood. Inside of everyone there are packets of feelings tied to what we believe are the best moments in our lives. Our childhoods, our accomplishments, whatever floats your boat.

I love 16-bit era games. And I firmly believe that the most creative time period in the industry was between 1993-1998. Earthbound, as I'm happy to say, is my favorite game of all time. The RPGs of the SNES period are in my, and most of Froghaus', eyes unparalleled in today's environment.

For me, it is a dream come true to work on the kind of games that really made an impact on me. This doesn't mean that I never want to work on a 3D game or anything, but right now, we can only work with what we have.

We're trying to make games that touch people: games that help people come in contact with those spots in their brain that remember the best times of life. Games need to become more human. This doesn't mean better graphics. This doesn't mean more diversity in characters (this being a comment directed toward an article in the current EDGE). This means that games need to stop centering their worlds on nonsense, bloodshed, and testosterone. Once in a while, a game needs to have heart. It needs soul. It needs to have a core that says, "I can have my feelings hurt. I'm delicate, like you."

It's our goal to touch people. Our games won't be pretty. But that's part of the fun. They're unassuming, ugly chaps. You can sit down with them and not feel intimidated. You can feel free to feel more intelligent than them. You're prettier than them.

No glitz, no glamor. Just heart and soul.
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