As it were, it all began in mid-2003. I was a senior in high school at the time, and I had a crazy idea one morning during my English class… to create a video game. I didn’t know how or why… only that I did.
It was then that I discovered RPG Maker 2003. I bought it and tried my best to use it… but being eighteen, and with the attention span of a fly, I gave up on it before I even gave it a chance—but I never stopped wondering about it… wondering if I would try again one day.
It wasn’t until summer of 2005 that an opportunity came my way… one that would shift my life in a direction I never knew existed, that I never knew was possible… one that I never knew I wanted.
The caveat?.. I would be leaving my family, my friends… my city; for an uncharted, unrecognizable and unknown territory; deep in the heart of Texas. Chasing an old dream became a new adventure, I would be building video games.
I packed everything I could fit into the back of my truck, said my goodbyes, and set off for Dallas… looking through the mist, and into the future… to start my dream. Sounds of familiar punk rock and 90’s hip-hop became the soundtrack as I drove from the burning yellow grasslands of South Texas to the rolling green hills of the North.
I had to begin again, from scratch, with nothing but the will to learn. It was difficult at first, but I took to it like a duck to water. Fueled by Marlboro cigarettes and Arizona Green Tea, sleepless nights and dead-end jobs, I finally got it done—but what was next?
It wasn’t long before I heard from a good friend about RPG Maker XP… and those memories came flooding back to me, a revelation of sorts. Could I finally do it this time?
I made what I call my “prototype” of Run The Last True Symphony. A fifteen hour long RPG. I had to use every bit of my newly earned knowledge in programming, graphic design, sound design and even a bit of my musical background to get it up and running. It took me two years to get it done… but “done” is a relative term. Fifteen hours… and my game was far from finished.
The story ended on a cliffhanger, my characters never had life outside of their perspective, the world was barren, and life was catching up to me and I had to put my work on hold to be successful. My game disappeared into the void of development hell, buried under ideas that never came to fruition, cluttered by broken dreams and nostalgic error; never to be seen again.
—but I could never forget the world of Tellus, I could never forget the journey of a lifetime, I could never forget the story that made me cry, and never, not in a million years… could I forget the little sprites that I grew to love… I could never forget Longinus Von Oi and Donica Fendri.
Years later, while clearing out my home of relics I no longer wanted… I found something that burned a fire inside me like nothing I had ever felt.
An old notebook, filled from first page to last with concepts, crude art, notes, scribbles from friends and a whole lot of Ruby code. I dug and dug for my old laptop… damaged from time and disrepair, but clinging to life. I booted her up, and opened RPG Maker XP, and I played my fifteen hour game in one day.
Some people claim they hear trumpets or even voices when they have an epiphany… but I heard something else entirely.
I heard the roar of fire, a burst of wind, sounds of sailing ships, soaring aircraft, city bells!—but one sound was louder than all of them… one sound that sealed it, one sound that brought me back to a time that I wanted, that I needed… the sound of a bullet chambering into my protagonist’s handgun… as he quietly said to me “Nothin’ ventured, nothin’ gained.”
I enlisted the help of my then girlfriend—now wife, Jennifer, to help me in my new adventure. A graphic designer by trade, and a dreamer by night, she and I would recreate Run The Last True Symphony from the ground—up. RPG Maker MV had released and I knew it would be my weapon to fight my battle.
I would develop when I could; before work, after work, weekends, time off, vacation time… anytime I had a free moment, it belonged to my Symphony. Returned to life and more vibrant than ever; the world of Tellus lives again… Longinus and Donica… live again.
What took me two years to accomplish the first time… took me less than a year to recreate, only better. Fueled by electronic cigarettes and Arizona Green Tea… I realized my dream had never died; it only matured and developed over my experiences with growing up.
—but I needed a name…. what could I call my game studio? I needed something interesting… something amazing, something definitively me. I decided on the two things that I loved; music and a surreal train of thought. After one of my favorite books, films and songs—my decade long endeavor finally had a name… Bug Powder Assembly was born.
Two years into development and my story is continuing to grow. I have no intention of stopping. This is for keeps now, this is it. It will be finished, or I will die trying.
Welcome to my dream come true. Welcome to Bug Powder Assembly. I’ll leave the light on for ya.