Hatchlings Games

Web Gaming 2.0 Revolution

Encephalon towards beta launch

Random report for the bloggers at 5:24am

We are at constant pace racing towards the beta launch of Encephalon. Everyone in this company is curious and excited about how project Encephalon is going to fare on its launching day. Recently, Slade has been restless and full of plans for the production days. Nowing seems to be calm and has unlimited resources to produce articles for this blog. However, eMoysh posted a wonderful display of his artistic work after a long period of time. Currently, all of us are resting for 4 hours before we begin our daily task again. Our lead programmer,Sufiyan is busy assigning task for his programming team members. Everyone is striving hard in order to produce the best version of Encephalon to be anticipated by the whole world.

Slade is resting now with less worries on his mind. Last night, his mother and siblings were here to show their support to his project and brought some great food for his colleagues. Feeling motivated, he went berserk(over-excited) and posted a new article How to activate your creative state. We were laughing about eMoysh writing a legal-document-lookalike article with some Concept Arts which he edited and made it look awesome. Thus, the progress is moving towards the right direction. I wrote this article for those who are eager to know about what’s happening in project Encephalon.

There still questions in our mind about Encephalon, for example:

How the public is gonna accept Encephalon?

Will it be fun for them or educational(strategy-wise)?

Well, I hope to get more feedback from all the bloggers on what they think about the project and what are the expectations for the beta launch version of Encephalon.

Till then, I’m signing off to continue my journey in wonderland. My eyes feels like exploding. Take care and await our primal destination – the beta launch of Encephalon. More updates ahead.

Related post:


January 23, 2007 Posted by | Encephalon, Working Environment | 10 Comments

Ever paid RM60 for a piece of cardboard?

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That’s how much the above card costs on the first day the set was released (or more appropriately, ‘pre-released’). RM60 is slightly more than US$17.

Looks so cool, doesn’t it? One big black ball sucking up dead bodies. The bigger version looks even better.

To non-Magic (or more collectively, non-trading-card-game) players, seventeen bucks is a lot to pay for a piece of cardboard five inches tall and three inches wide. But that’s not the maximum amount of cash people are willing to shell out for a card. The holofoil Charizard of the Pokémon Trading Card Game reportedly sold for US$120 at its peak. Magic’s signature card, Black Lotus, is hitting four-digit sums on EBay.

Looking at online games, people are willing to pay for virtual cash and items, and for people to grind their characters. In short, people are willing to pay for games for seemingly trivial items that lose their value when brought out of context.

The trick of marketing products and services in games is to make said context as non-game-ish as possible. (I couldn’t find a better word)

Products in games are nothing much like, say, celebrity merchandise or stamps (The hobby of kings, the king of hobbies. Right.). People who aren’t into the hobby just don’t see its worth. A game company can try to pull people into playing their game. This is most often seen in roadshows and promotions in shopping malls, where the company gives out free trial CDs and other freebies in hopes that the receiver of said freebies woudl actually go home, install it, play it unti lthe free trial expires and proceeds to play the game. It’s largely a hit-or-miss process, much like traditional TV advertisements.

Coming back about the game’s context, what ‘traditional’ marketing does is they try to pull consumers into the context. In this sense, the barrier between real life and the game world still exists, hence there are terms like hardcore geeks and ‘otakus’, where they are so into a game that they are disconnected from the real world.

On the other hand, some companies expand the context into real life, blurring the barier between reality and game. This is otherwise known as viral marketing, where users of a product or service subconsciously ‘infect’ other people to use the product or service. In this sense, the context isn’t about the game, but of its players, and subsequently the player’s friends, and friend’s friends, and so on.

For a game, it’s even easier to spread the context by providing some non-game services to players other than just the game itself. MMORPGs sell by promoting the community as well as the game; Magic: the Gathering doesn’t just offer a hobby, but a career; XBox Live Arcade provides a platform for developers to sell their games and players to compete for scores. These are some other services a game could offer for a player before they decide to spend money on it.

Related links:
The Idea Virus by Seth Godin, a book on spreading the context.
Web Gaming 2.0, how Hatchlings is doing it.

January 23, 2007 Posted by | Encephalon, Game Development, Game Industry, Trading Card Game, Web Gaming 2.0 | 1 Comment

How to activate your creative state

We work in a creative industry so the more often you get into a creative state, the faster you produce good inspired work. In the commercial world, like the Games / Entertainment industry, you need to be creative to be competitive. Innovation, thinking-out-side-the-box, thinking-inside-and-outside-of-the-box, and other related buzz words means that you have to be in your creative state when you want it.

Many times we find it frustrated that we cannot get into that state. You want to start coding a game but you do not know where to start. You have to create a 100 pieces of detailed visual illustrations by a weekend but don’t even know to start on the first one. You have to find a new game idea but the only thing that come out of your head is how WOW will kick your game’s ass when it comes out. It had happened to me and you. It sucks. In this article, I will attempt to share my experience of entering a state of creative flow consciously, when you want it.

A Clear Intent

Know what you REALLY WANT and then WHY you want it. Repeat until you really know your intent. Remember not to limit yourself with negative thoughts.  Having a clear intent will help you get into a state of flow. To be in a state of flow, you need to link your conscious and subconscious mind together. They need to be in harmony.

Your clear intent can be anything you want to accomplish. It can be “How do I beat my opponent in WarCraft III?”, What do I want to do with my life?” and yes even “How do I get my small team to create 100 pieces of detailed visual illustration by a week?”.


After having a clear intent you need motivation. You must have that burning desire.

It is natural for you to do what you like to do. In many cases, people in situations where they have “no choice” trick their mind to like what they have to do. People choose to work in jobs that they can have maximum creative output. Sometimes that means being your own boss. Besides the love of games, this is a primary motivation for Hatchlings Games co-founders, no.wing and Jarod and I to venture into game development.

How do you get that burning desire? Through your imagination. Imagine yourself to be in the position to do what you want to do. Imagine that you are the director of X movie, if you are the game designer / producer of X game.

Basically, imagine that you are truly responsible for that thing thing you intended. No one is your supervisor, boss or lead. You are the only person who is responsible for what you intent to do. It could be something big or small, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is you must have motivation.

Just Do It

After you have a clear intent and motivation, let it sink in for a while and then start doing whatever you want to do. Action begets motivation. Just doing it (Sorry Nike for using your decades-old motto) starts up your subconscious brain. Often you will get into the state of flow soon after doing it.

If you follow the first step (have a clear intent), your heart will be true. When your heart is true, you will do the true task that your heart desires. Doing that true task is fundamental to creativity. As someone or some civilization I can’t remember said, know thy self. That consciousness and self-awareness is truly important for creative work.

The more self-aware you are, the easier for you to enter the state of self-unawareness, the state of creative flow.


You must not be afraid to play. To play with your ideas. Life is a game. Hmm, I just mentioned a life metaphor. How you look at life (your life metaphor) is very important for setting directions and having a life vision. For anybody who wants to be in a creative state frequently, the best metaphor you can have is: Life is a Game – you are its main character and its Director. The Director in you will want the main character to win. Winning is a strong motivation, only if you know how to Play.

Physical Discomfort

My experience tells me that physical discomfort prevents me from entering into a creative state often enough. You have to be in optimal physical condition for creativity. When you enter that state of creative flow, you often lose yourself. That is you do not remember how you are feeling. That makes you sit with a bad posture, smoke more ciggies, skip food, and do other health degenerating things.

All this will makes it harder for you to enter to the state of creative flow the next time you want it. You will find that it gets harder each time.

What I suggest is that every time you are not in the creative state and you do not need to accomplish anything creative urgently, just take a break – go for a meal, a jog, a gym session, a swim, or just sleep.

Keep Practicing

The act of consciously entering a state of creative flow is a skill. Like all skills it requires practice. Adapt the above guidelines to your situation. Constantly intent to be flow, practice it, you will realize that your conscious mind can switch your subconscious mind on and off, at your will.

Related Posts:

Not-So Related Game Design Articles:

January 23, 2007 Posted by | Education | 4 Comments

Concept arts, pt 1

Just imaine…

Red Mecha



…you can create your own artworks…

Male Alien


…and let other people use them for the cards to play.

All Concepts by Rene

Sign-up for Quasr Alpha.

Related Posts:


January 23, 2007 Posted by | Encephalon, Quasr Art, Quasr Concept, Sharing | 4 Comments