What The Hum symbolizes for me? My childhood, my struggle with health, my dreams.

This is the english version of my original that post I put here. Thanks a lot to Ale M for bring me this translation as a gift to share my history to more people.

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There are many things behind The Hum which are extremely important to me. It is more than an idea or a story. The Hum symbolizes too much in my life. There’s a lot of me that most do not know, neither the things that I spent over the years, and my health issues and how it all leads to what looks like a simple game of horror aliens.

For me to be here today doing this game, lung and slowly, but doing so means much more than “doing little games” and today I came to share a bit of how I got here today.

23 years ago I found myself playing something you might know. It’s called Doom. I was blowed away with 7 year old. It came from my 2 year old trying to schedule. I learned to read at that age thanks to my old ZX Spectrum, which I still have (destroyed …). When I was 5 or 6 years trying to program in BASIC and I was frustrated by not achieving the desired results. I was happy when, after hours of copying code from a magazine of the time, I could compile and play a game that “I had done.”

I played DOOM on the computer from an acquaintance. I had no PC, nor did I for many years. But it inspired me so much that I continued doing programming on paper and game design, drawings and cartoons of my ideas. Was 8 and arming stories about aliens, worlds at war, races and cultures conflicted and “radically different” to human. I took that line from the mouth of the guy Captain Picard of Star Trek, TNG, then passing through the channel 2.

My life was not easy as a child and at the mercy of a bipolar mother and with many issues, creativity was the only refuge, and doing game design embodied and stories for what will someday be the “super game” was going to do when I had the unattainable age 20. I had read a magazine which had as few joss sticks called John Romero and John Carmack had achieved amazing feats, similar rock-stars of video games, and never stopped dreaming emulate.

Life took turns. With the death of my grandfather, who was acting as a parent, the situation at home was unbearable and my 14 years decided to leave. Since then he began a series of adventures (and misadventures) relentlessly that made me go to sleep in the street, do not eat for months, work from young face several situations that if I start to describe, not end more, but were formed much that I am now.

Along the way, my health was deteriorating. Until I hit about 18 years where my body said enough and stopped moving, invaded by infinite pain. The only option was drugged doctors to pass out, but the pain just does not loosen. With the help of people who passed through my life (And how much happened!) And with much effort, I tried the same: keep going.

I saw other people complaining, desultory, the things that “had” to do and I envied them lucky to move, not to be suffering from constant pain 24 hours a day. Gradually I came to understand that just is what touched me. It’s hard to explain how my health and pain and impediments that generates my behave, but many people do not even notice. I see giving talks, sees me go to events, but I barely leave the house. Assemble a matte, toileting and even typing are enormous effort and suffering, but is what I do.

Every day my wife helps me to my feet. First I moved one leg, then another. I massaged his arms and help me ease the pain of the teeth, eyes, head, back, skin, fingers. I say words that no one else can tell me and reminds me that I can with all that. They are one, maybe two hours of great grip to start the day, and the ring.

I never forgot my dream of making games. When I was in the street when my health deteriorated, while there were people who gave me life at all times, it was always a negative, sarcasm or “no” to that dream. That in Argentina do not play, you have to have money. With the health you can barely move and develop games less.

With much effort, at age 22 I started working in the buffet faculty, then attending a cyber. Just suffered horrors, merely walking, talking to people, trying not to pass out all the time. But I had to…I had decided…But why would I live, if not to fulfill my dreams? I got my first real pc at 23 I knew programming stuff for using paper and some Pascal time ago in one computer that was shared with people who lived.

I started working on computer with the help of people who let me and I am confident I could do well, making systems and databases. Returned to work and spent hours and hours learning how to make games using flash. At the same time I tried several careers in college and internalized in Yoga and similar disciplines that made my burden more bearable.

While I decided leave that job, which was stable in the months that had climbed just enough to go to work in a game company, which were just beginning to appear in Argentina, I moved out of town and without a weight, I went searching, trying to hide in every interview my terrible discomfort. And so I started making games “professionally”. I had great teammates and people that just did not bring. I’m a weirdo. Someone who eats weird to feel your best, it does not go to meetings because you die in pain or appear to have face endures constant ortho because day and night to keep from fainting, usually seen weird.

My experiences and what I face every day I was giving a character a bit harsh in many respects. But it also made me realize over the years that you have to be thankful for all we have. I have known many people who have said things about me without even knowing and hardly know all these ordeals. “Ladran Sancho”.

The Hum is for me much more than a game. It is the fruit of 20 years of work hard day at night to feel that life is for something. When I was in the street asshole thought “I will fulfill my dream.” When I fell and when I went from doctor to doctor with pain breaking my life, and still does, I always thought “I’ll do the same.” I lost many people who are no longer in this world. Whenever something seemed to pick up, I passed some test: a death, a big misunderstanding, an economic tragedy, a crisis in the environment. But I get stronger and always looking forward.

Today I am doing, little by little, my two dreams: making games, and have a family. Years ago I was resigned to never knowing who was going to have a family. With my situation, my health and my “stuff”, having children was not an option. Making games, traveling to another country, talk to people, go to events, either.

My obstacles have not changed much, but I grew up. So today these things are fulfilled. My daughter is ready to be born and is the most beautiful feeling one can imagine. For her I’m going to continue this way as well as I’ve done with the claw that each day takes me to get up and go to bed. She chose me as a parent and I can only be grateful.

The Hum is much more than a game, a story to tell. It’s my way of expressing infinite. I come arming the universe of The Hum from my childhood, and was mutating again and again. It is the expression of how something can be absolutely gigantic and apparently insurmountable, but you can find equal meaning to life. My health problems for years, I called “The Beast.” That’s The Hum, but also how tame the as demystify the as transcend it.

So to The Hum and all the games i dream of doing, still lack a lot of work. No doubt it is a great effort, but is not something to strive what subject. So I have no doubt that they will get their hands on this game and many more! And grateful I am for all the words and comments coming praising me or supporting what The Hum is almost always without knowing all this today here tale, but that makes every “good work” they tell me, is worth a thousand for me and every review a door for further improvement.

I can not end this post without telling everyone who is doubting their dreams, or shot by situations that do not be fooled. Life is not easy, but this is like being gamer. If everything is too easy is boring! The best achievements are achieved with effort and enjoy more. There is always another chance and we can always give more than you think. Never give up.

Todo lo que simboliza The Hum, desde mi niñez, pasando por mi salud, mi vida y mis sueños.

Hay muchas cosas detrás de The Hum que son sumamente importantes para mí. Es más que una idea o una historia. The Hum simboliza demasiado en mi vida. Hay mucho de mí que la mayoría no sabe, ni las cosas que pasé a lo largo de los años, ni mis cuestiones de salud y cómo todo desemboca en lo que parece un simple videojuego de terror con aliens.

Para mí estar acá hoy haciendo este juego, a pulmón y de a poco, pero haciéndolo, significa mucho más que “hacer jueguitos”, y hoy me surgió compartir con ustedes un poco de cómo llegué hasta acá hoy.

Hace 23 años me encontré jugando algo que quizás conozcan. Se llama Doom. Me voló la cabeza. Tenía 7 años. Venía desde mis 2 años intentando programar. Aprendí a leer a esa edad gracias a la Spectrum ZX de mi viejo, que aún conservo (destrozada…). Cuando tenía 5 ó 6 años intentaba programar en BASIC y me frustraba por no lograr los resultados deseados. Era feliz si, tras horas de copiar código de alguna revista del momento, podía compilar y jugar un juego que “había hecho yo”.

Jugué DOOM en la computadora de un conocido. Yo no tenía PC, ni tuve durante muchos años más. Pero me inspiró tanto que seguí programando en papel y haciendo game design, dibujos e historietas de mis ideas. Tenía 8 años y armaba historias sobre extraterrestres, mundos en guerra, razas conflictuadas y culturas diversas y “radicalmente distintas” a la humana. Saqué esa frase de chico de la boca del Capitán Picard de Star Trek, TNG, que pasaban por el entonces canal 2.

Mi vida no era muy fácil, siendo niño y a merced de una madre bipolar y con bastantes cuestiones, la creatividad era el único refugio, y la plasmaba realizando game design e historias para lo que algún día serían los “super juegos” que iba a hacer cuando tuviera la inalcanzable edad de 20 años. Había leído una revista donde contaban como unos pebetes llamados Jhon Romero y Jhon Carmack habían logrado hazañas increíbles, simil rock-stars de los videojuegos, y no paraba de soñar con emularlos.

La vida tomo giros. Con el fallecimiento de mi abuelo, quien actuaba como padre, la situación en casa fue insostenible y a mis 14 años decidí irme. Desde entonces empezó una serie de aventuras (y desventuras)  sin descanso que me hicieron pasar por dormir en la calle, no comer durante meses, trabajar desde joven y afrontar varias situaciones que, si me pongo a describir, no terminaría más, pero fueron formando mucho lo que soy ahora.

En el camino, mi salud se fue deteriorando. Hasta que llegué a unos 18 años donde mi cuerpo dijo basta y dejé de moverlo, invadido por un dolor infinito. La única opción de los médicos fue drogarme hasta desmayarme, pero el dolor igualmente no aflojaba. Con ayuda de gente que pasó por mi vida (¡Y cuanta pasó!) y con mucho esfuerzo, lo intenté igual: seguir adelante.

Veía otras personas quejarse, desganadas, de las cosas que “tenían” que hacer y yo les envidiaba la suerte de poder moverse, de no estar sufriendo de dolor constante 24 horas al día. De a poco fui entendiendo que simplemente es lo que me tocó. Es difícil explicar cómo se comporta mi salud y el dolor e impedimentos que me genera, pero mucha gente ni siquiera lo nota. Me ve dar charlas, me ve ir a eventos, pero yo apenas salgo de casa. Armar un mate , ir al baño e incluso tipear son enorme esfuerzo y sufrimiento. Pero lo hago.

Día a día me ayuda mi mujer a levantarme. Primero me mueve una pierna, luego otra. Me masajea los brazos y me ayuda a calmar el dolor de las muelas, los ojos, la cabeza, la espalda, la piel, los dedos. Me dice palabras que nadie más puede decirme y me recuerda que yo puedo con todo eso. Son una , quizás dos horas diarias de mucha garra para comenzar el día. Y al ruedo.

Nunca olvidé mi sueño de hacer juegos. Cuando estuve en la calle, cuando mi salud empeoró. Si bien hubo gente que la vida me regaló en cada momento, siempre fue una negativa, un sarcasmo o un “no” a ese sueño. Que en Argentina no se hacen juegos. Que hay que tener plata. Que con esa salud apenas podes moverte, menos hacer juegos.

Con mucho esfuerzo, a los 22 años empecé a trabajar en el bufet de la facultad, luego atendiendo en un ciber. Sufría horrores, el solo hecho de caminar, de hablar con la gente, de intentar no desmayarme todo el tiempo. Pero tenía que hacerlo.. lo había decidido… ¿Sino para que estoy vivo, si no es para cumplir mis sueños? Conseguí mi primer verdadera pc a los 23. Sabía cosas de programación por haber usado papel y algo de Pascal un tiempo atrás en una compu que era compartida con gente con al que vivía.

Empecé a trabajar en informática gracias a la ayuda de gente que me lo permitió y que confío en que podía hacerlo bien, haciendo sistemas y bases de datos. Volvía de trabajar y le dedicaba horas y horas a aprender a hacer juegos, usando flash. A la par intenté varias carreras en la facultad y me interioricé en Yoga y varias disciplinas que hicieron de mi carga algo mucho más llevadero.

Al tiempo dedicí dejar ese trabajo, que era estable y en el que en tan solo meses había escalado bastante, para ir a trabajar en alguna empresa de juegos, que apenas comenzaban a aparecer en Argentina. Me mudé de ciudad y sin un peso, salí a la búsqueda, intentando disimular en cada entrevista mi terrible malestar. Y así comencé a hacer juegos “profesionalmente”. Tuve grandes compañeros y también gente con la que simplemente no me llevé. Soy un tipo raro. Alguien que come raro para sentirse lo mejor posible, que no sale a reuniones porque se muere de dolor o que parece tener cara de orto constante porque aguanta día y noche para no desmayarse, suele ser visto raro.

Mis vivencias y lo que afronto día a día me fueron dando un carácter un poco duro en muchos aspectos. Pero también me hizo darme cuenta con los años que hay que estar agradecido de todo lo que tenemos. He sabido de mucha gente que ha comentado cosas de mí, sin apenas conocerme y sin apenas saber todas estas odiseas. Ladran Sancho.

The Hum es para mí mucho más que un juego. Es el fruto de 20 años de esforzarme día en noche en sentir que la vida vale para algo. Cuando estuve en la calle de pendejo pensaba “voy a cumplir mi sueño”. Cuando estuve postrado o cuando iba de médico en médico con el dolor partiéndome la vida, y que aún lo hace, siempre pensé “lo voy a hacer igual”. Perdí mucha gente que ya no está en este mundo. Siempre que algo parecía remontar, alguna prueba se me cruzaba: algún fallecimiento, algún desencuentro grande, alguna tragedia económica, alguna crisis en el entorno. Pero me curtí de muchas cosas y decidí siempre darle para adelante.

Hoy estoy cumpliendo, de a poco, mis dos sueños: hacer videojuegos, y tener una familia. Años atrás yo estaba resignado a saber que jamás iba a tener una familia. Con mi situación, con mi salud y con mis “cosas”, tener hijos no era opción. Hacer juegos, viajar a otro país, hablar con la gente, salir a eventos, tampoco.

Mis obstáculos no cambiaron tanto, pero yo crecí. Así que hoy estas cosas están cumpliéndose. Mi hija está pronta a nacer y es la sensación más hermosa que uno pueda imaginar. Por ella voy a seguir con este camino, así como vengo haciendo, con la garra que cada día me toma al levantarme y al acostarme. Ella me eligió como padre y no puedo más que estar agradecido.

The Hum es mucho más que un juego, una historia a contar. Es mi forma de expresar infinitas cosas. Vengo armando el universo de The Hum desde mi niñez, y fue mutando una y otra vez. Es la expresión de como algo puede ser gigantezco y parecer absolutamente irremontable, pero uno puede encontrarle igual un sentido a la vida. A mi problema de salud, durante años, lo llamé “La Bestia”. Eso es The Hum, pero también es el cómo domarla, el como desmitificarla, el como trascenderla.

A The Hum y a todos los juegos que sueño con hacer, aún les falta muchísimo trabajo. No dudo que se trata de un gran esfuerzo, pero esforzarme no es algo a lo que le tema. Así que no tengan dudas que van a tener en sus manos este juego y muchos más! Y agradecido estoy por todas las palabras y comentarios que me llegan elogiando o apoyando lo que The Hum es, casi siempre sin saber todo esto que hoy acá cuento, pero que hace que cada “buen trabajo” que me dicen, vale por mil para mí, así como cada crítica una puerta para seguir mejorando.

No puedo cerrar este post sin decirle a todo aquel que esté dudando con sus sueños, o abatido por las situaciones, que no se deje engañar. La vida no es fácil, pero esto es como ser gamer. ¡Si todo es muy fácil también es aburrido! Los mejores achievements se logran con esfuerzo y se disfrutan más. Siempre hay otra oportunidad y siempre podemos dar más de lo que pensamos.  No se rindan nunca.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hum Assets Showcase Build for Kickstarter

Hey there!

I’ve decided to upload the same build that I was showing in Gamescom some days ago.

IMPORTANT!  Please, read all the details I’m listing below before to download this build!

 

Details about the build:

  • This is not a gameplay demo of The Hum! Is a simple build showcasing the ambience and some assets.
  • Even if it has not real gameplay, the size after uncompress is around 4 gigas. That’s why the build has inside many stuff from the whole game and I could not spend days over this in order to decrease the size. Sorry for this!
  • It is absolutely prefered to try this build with Oculus Rift instead a common screen. All the assets, the ambience and the visual experience is thought for immersion, but you can still try this in a common screen.
  • It is working on DK1. There is no DK2 intergration yet. For DK2, just use legacy dk1 support!
  • I recommend to try it with headphones and in a quiet enviroment.

Requirements and how to execute the build:

  • Only Windows version by the moment. My MAC just explodes if I try to run UE4 on it =P
  • You will probably need to install “Visual C++ Redistributable Pacakages”. If you are a Steam user, you probably already have it installed, but it it’s not the case, don’t worry, just go to  this link and download/install the x86 version! (I don’t know if the x64 version is also necesary but I don’t think so)
  • To run the build, first uncompress the 3 files. Then, inside, go to: WindowsNoEditor\THGcom\Binaries\Win32 and run the executable that you can find inside!
  • I don’t know the machine requirements but it’s probably that they are high.. I’m running this demo at 60fps with my Asus Reign of Gaming i7 – nvidia 870m, but I know it is not the media machine. Keep in mind that this is not a improved version!

 

Don’t forget to comment with your impressions here or in some of the social networks! (Facebook, Twitter, Kickstarter)

DOWNLOAD LINK

The Hum’s assets Mini-build demo

The Hum’s assets Mini-build demo

Howdy Aliens! We’ve been working on something that many of you asked to us! :)

I just finished an assets’ mini-build demo, this is not a gameplay demo strictly (I don’t want in any way to be spoiling anything ;), it’s just a showcase of assets that we are using like ships or aliens. The demo is focused primarily for Oculus, to let you know how the VR immersion improves a lot the experience, of course you can use a common PC if you don’t have (yet) an Oculus.

We hope you enjoy this mini-build.

Link soon!

Have fun! =)

THE HUM NEEDS YOU

THE HUM NEEDS YOU

Hey everybody!

I’ve released the Kickstarter campaign for The Hum!

I will be updating it with trailers, screenshots, video blogs and more! In less than two weeks, I will be at Gamescom 2014 too!

The Hum is being developed with loooot of effort and passion, so this campaign was made for help us to work 100% full time (500% actually!) on the game and to improve the most as possible the art and the gameplay adding work from very experimented people from big projects.

I’m so excited with all this and with all the support that The Hum is receiving since months ago. I just cannot thank you enought.

Let’s make this happens!

Ariel

The Hum Demo

In the last weeks we were aiming to bring a VR demo of The Hum to Gamescom 2014 at cologne, in next August. The project is very on rails, growing everyday and more live than ever  but, many factors made me to decide that the best decision is not to show a public VR demo of The Hum at Gamescom.

In first place, our Oculus DK2 has not even shipped. The good new is that Oculus confirmed to me that our shipping has been already processed and will be effective soon  but, sadly, we will not receive the  kit before our travel to Cologne for Gamescom. I was meditating a lot about to show or not to show the game with our DK1 and now I’m sure that it would be a mistake.

The Hum is being very focused to be a strong and impressive VR experience and, even if Oculus DK1 is a great first step, I’m pretty sure that it will not be the expected experience for audience and even for us. Since we switched to Unreal Engine 4, The Hum has been improved a lot in visual qualitiy and I think that you should enjoy what we have in hands in the better way as possible.

Another good reason for this delay is that we have been adding many great stuff to the game in this last months. We bought great tools like Quixel Suite or Substance Painter that helped us A LOT to improve the graphic quality of the game.

We are just a few people making The Hum. It is usual to find myself making 3D, painting textures or animating stuff even if I’m the only programmer on the project. But even with all this effort and lack of budget, I want to bring to you the best alien game that you ever played. And if this means to delay a demo some weeks, it’s not that terrible!

We will travel to Gamescom anyway and we’ll be in our stand at bussiness area showing stuff and samples and giving interviews to press. I promise that I’ll be sharing a demo and showing The Hum in another big international event as soon as we have everything setted up for it, and I’m very sure that it will be this same year. I’m very hyped with what Oculus DK2 can offers to game developers and gamers, and I really want to join to the new era of gaming and VR in the best way.

I really appreciate all the kindly words and support from people that The Hum has been receiving this last weeks and be sure that we are working very hard on this project!

Ariel