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Vector Practice

I have practiced vectoring lately. Vector art is a fine form of art if you are able to create quality material. A number of indie games even utilize vectored art rather than pixelated material. One major advantage to vector art is that you able to resize the art to be small or large without losing quality of the image. That is why a lot of today's games and art utilize vectors over pixels. Prior to recently, I have never successfully made any kind of vector art.

I took a picture of a high-heel platform pump and made a vector out of it. This was the result:

vector art practice
^ Original image on left, vector on right.

I tried vectoring an image while also adding some extra vectors for lighting detail. Check it:

vector art practice
^ Rather than fill in vector shapes, I instead made separate vectors to add some light details. I also modified the bezier curves to my liking to mold the vector image on the right.

Really, I think I can get better at making vectors. The real challenge for me is actually in trying to trace a basic outline and then try to make something look as detailed as possible. Some people make absolutely impressive vector graphics. I even have some vector graphics for logos for cars. I am grabbing skills from various vector graphic artists to refine my vector art skills. To be honest, vectoring seems like a lot of hard work, but it really isn't. All I have done was mostly take advantage of tracing and if need be, modify the vector paths.

Vector Plans?

I have taken on an interesting project. I am considering using Inkscape (the program I am using for my vectoring) to make MUGEN characters; but more importantly, I am also trying to design as many original characters as possible for 2D game projects. That even includes my host of original fictional characters. I may even come up with entirely unique personalities made exclusively though vectoring. So be sure to follow my work for more details.

I hope you got to enjoy this blog post. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Historically-Accurate Car Skins

I attempted historically-accurate GTR2 skins. It wasn't the period I initially hoped for, but I tried out some minimalist skins for the 1986 Volvo 240 Turbo. A GTR2 mod had someone convert "Volvo: The Game" cars into GTR2. So I took the opportunity to take templates for the cars and paint up some cars. My first attempt to try historic style cars was to be with "GT Legends" cars converted to GTR2, but I wanted to try the Volvo 240 Turbo because I was somewhat '80s nostalgic. I focused on computers and software, especially the likes of two companies as you'll see below:

^ 1986 Apple Volvo 240 Turbo

^ 1986 Microsoft Volvo 240 Turbo

I don't do period-specific style cars. Sure it offers authenticity and realism, but I am just not good at certain time-themed works. You can see more of my work by going to my "JohnMarineDesigns" page and going to the Game Mods page of my Portfolio. Or if you want to go there now, visit: JMDesigns - Game Mods.

What I really want to do in terms of historically-accurate liveries is work with the GT Legends cars. You amy see that work in the future from me.

Thank all of you for your support! Please continue to support my work if it interests you. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Pizza Hut Cup

Earlier in 2016, I made a skin for GTR2's Saleen Mustang SE Challenge. The motivation was to make another GTR2 video. The cars share the same Pizza Hut livery. There is a story behind making a one-off event, and this blog post details that storyline. As of yet, I haven't made any kind of video or anything on it. Rest assured I will be providing links to any video material or anything else I come up with in this blog post. As of the initial blog post, however, I am simply announcing the storyline.

Since this is my first post to this blog of 2017, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


This story and its contents are purely fiction. Any relation between this project's storyline, characters, or anything of that nature is purely coincidental.

Pizza Hut and its name, logos, and related marks are a registered trademark of Pizza Hut, Inc.

Pizza Hut Cup

Here is a look at the skin I created for the GTR2 mod:

Pizza Hut Porsche Cayman S
^ from: (my Weebly site) - This is the Pizza Hut Cup car, a 2011 Porsche Cayman S. I originally had a Saleen Mustang SE to serve as my race car for the Pizza Hut Cup.

And here is the story...

Pizza Hut Cup: Story.

The main story of this race is that there is a race sponsored by Pizza Hut and promoted to run a special support race. A collection of 20 identically prepared and identical liveried cars will compete among each other. While the event is a racing event, there is one important caveat. Each of the drivers paid certain fees that went towards providing vouchers for individuals. The vouchers allow for individuals and families to be fed to a proper Pizza Hut meal. Those vouchers will be part of a raffle. The meals these vouchers pay for include the following:

• a large size pizza with any choice of toppings and crust
• the customer's choice of wings or breadsticks
• pasta
• a 2-liter bottle of soda

Racing hard while also providing delicious dinner is the premise behind this series and how it is catching on. I want this to be a rather interesting story of "paying it forward." Good food and doing good for others. Win-win, right?

Pizza Hut Cup: The Competition Car.

The car is a Porsche Cayman S race car. The car is nimble and makes fairly decent horsepower. Prior to recent times, the car I intended to have as the competition car for this series was a Saleen Mustang SE race car. I only went as far as designing the outer skin. And just like the Summer Speed Series deal I created for GTR2, the drivers featured are mostly generated or generic drivers. I have to have some kind of way to identify the drivers so it doesn't seem like a bunch of drones racing each other.

JUST SO YOU KNOW... I also created a skin for rFactor long ago to make a Pizza Hut car for that game. However, I haven't made a proper set of cars to make it unique for rFactor. I also used a different car. For rFactor, the Pizza Hut car I created is a Panoz Esperante GTS race car. If I make something for rFactor on this topic, I'll be sure to share my work with you all.

One of the real challenges was in trying to design the car skin. I can't seem to load the skins for the car using 3DSimEd, so I have to load GTR2 to get a general feel for what I am trying to design.

~~~ this space reserved for a video - check for updates ~~~

I hope you enjoyed my work here. Make sure to Subscribe and Follow this blog (and my others) if you enjoy my work. Also be sure to follow me on social media for more of the goodness I have to offer. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Game Making Struggle

The game-making struggle is real, folks. Most of my creative energy recently has been spent making game prototypes and learning game programming. I've had the furthest progress using Lua and Löve2D. So that is what I am using to make games. The ultimate goal is to make my first true game I have nothing to share at this point with you all, but I will offer thoughts on my journey of making my first game of any kind.

The Game Making Struggle

Let me go into a bit more detail about my work.

Putting the Games Together.

I am using Notepad++ to put together code for my games. I am using Löve2D for coding, a game-focused Lua interface. When I get around to audio, I will be using Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS) mostly. Most of my art has been done with Paint.NET. To try to make material for games, I am taking inspiration from various games. Most of my concentration is on simply making some kind of game rather than the most spectacular material right away. You got to take baby steps before making big leaps.

Why Ask Why?


Why Lua/Löve2D?
I am using Löve2D because it is the programming language I have most successfully been able to make prototypes of. I have no formal training in computer science or programming, so I am mostly relying on various online resources to program with. A lot of people use Löve2D for which to make games with. And while many others will fancy something like C++ or Java instead, you can quickly make progress using Löve2D.

I have been playing with Unity3D, Unreal Engine, and Godot. Since my concentration is on 2D games, it seems a good bit awkward using a 3D engine for making 2D games. I think I even looked at Blender to try to make a pixel-perfect 2D game. Programs like Construct2 and Game Maker are for easy making of games. For some reason, I feel it is better to work with proper programming languages for better porting of material to different platforms and more programming control.

Why Paint.NET?
While Photoshop is more powerful and has many more features, I am using Paint.NET mostly for comfort and for a lightweight solution for making art. You can do a lot more in Photoshop, but the Paint.NET usage is primarily for making some quality material without having some massive program.

It has been the best sort of program for making music. Most of all, like many of the other things featured in this post, it's free. It has been the program I slowly learned and enjoyed to make music with. You probably have heard some of my music in my YouTube videos and even on my Weebly site.

Admitting Problems.

One of the things that upsets me is when you have very few quality resources. And sometimes, the ones that are suggested best usually are not the very best. An example includes a video of something that ultimately is not very good because of poor quality expressing it. Or maybe you find some website or blog with a tutorial, and you end up not having the same results as what someone else put together. All of this leads to frustration.

Another weakness is in not being able to properly know how to put certain games together. I've been looking at all kinds of methods to try to build games and game levels. I have yet to make some kind of game I am proud of to share and to build. Part of the reason is because I am not as adept at programming. I don't have any comfort level to confidently build a game from scratch. Being so compelled by various programming languages, I often don't know what methods and functions I can apply to any programming language or know what programming speak is exclusive to one specific language.

I have also struggled trying to come up with a proper suite to parse levels. Methods have included trying to put together PNG images to even trying to make game level data based on an image. I have not been successful making a proper parsing system for which to design levels easier.

Not everyone is some kind of one-person studio. Despite my issues, I mostly want to try to do this alone. I think there is greater accomplishment in trying to get things done your way and on your own. Is it intense? You bet! However, I feel there is greater gratification in being solo. You are making something to how you perceive to be incredible.

Game Building Methods.

I mentioned methods of making games. Let me explain a bit further.

Let us take making game levels for instance. Some people design levels using a series of images- maybe a static background image, then have that image with various overlays of hand-drawn levels. Or in the case of game engines, a decent set of tiles to make a 2D type game. People have designed levels of 2D games using a bunch of PNG layers or even a Photoshop PSD file. Some games are even built upon CSV files, XML files, Inkscape SVG images, even Excel spreadsheets. There are methods in designing levels in layers from the artistic aspects to the collision layer. I have yet to actually perfect any aspect of this.

As for game mechanics, I am playing games that I see either as good or bad. Sometimes learning from bad games (as you see them) can sometimes be the easiest to learn from since they aren't all that good. It is sometimes the worst titles where you feel you could most make something better. There is that feeling where you have a chance you can make something better than what some other developer made. With some titles I've played, I either want to make something as fun as a good game or make a not-very-good game better. You learn to take concepts from other titles and try to make your own quality content.

The game mechanics themselves can boil down to learning how to make certain titles and how to take certain dynamics to apply into your own work. For example, you can examine the code of a player in a platformer game to apply and modify in your own work. This is certainly something I am looking into as I am trying to develop my own kind of game and/or game prototype. I don't have as many quality resources to look at and try to utilize into my own work. I certainly don't want to completely copy somebody else's work as my own (plagiarism).

I haven't given it much thought, but I have also considered the user interface (UI) as part of my game design adventures. It is something I haven't given much thought to since I am more focused on trying to build the game first and foremost before thinking of making a certain interface.

Having said all of this, the struggle to try to make something of quality is real. You all know I will share my work with you all when I come up with something I think you all will like. I am not sure how I would distribute my content. To test the waters of making and distributing games, I may look to resources like Newgrounds, Kongregate, and even as sources. I may also set up a Google Site exclusive towards featuring some of my games.

Would I Consider Game Jams? (Bonus Section!)

To me, no. I am too much of a perfectionist to try to make a game from start to finish in only two days or shorter. I am not as keen to make a mistake-ridden game that I can ultimately learn from to design future games with. I am a casual person who has a professional mindset on certain things. I feel things must be of acceptable quality as I deem acceptable. Also, I am not too good at trying to work with themes.

The appeal of doing a game jam will help people to try to manage their time and realize what all is important when building games. I am not ready for that kind of stuff yet.

All you have to know from this blog post is that the struggle to make games is real. This is why I have mostly seemed idle in making content. You do, though, at least know that I have been trying to develop content as best as I can. This concludes another post of my creative works blog- "John's Creative Space." Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Voxel Character Starter Pack

My voxel characters made in MagicaVoxel are now offered as a Starter Pack! This one features nine of my first voxel characters. All of them are static models in their raw VOX format. I decided to offer this package online to give people some voxel characters to use for games and other projects. I also want to showcase my voxel art talent to the world by offering this package.

Here is a look at the characters:

Voxel Character Starter Pack
^ from: (my Facebook Fan Page) - The original nine characters I made with my first character pack are now available for download. Get it now!

* base model - wears a white tank top, blue jeans, and black shoes.
* a teenage girl with a bright scarf, black top, and indigo jeans tucked into brown boots.
* a middle-aged woman in a sweater over a blouse, skirt, and pumps.
* a man in an open shirt with a T-shirt underneath and jeans tucked into dark brown boots.
* a young adult lady in a yellow dress and hot pink pumps.
* a Black male in a football jersey, dark blue jeans, and orange lug boots.
* a man in overalls and wears a baseball cap.
* a teenage boy in a varsity jacket, a T-shirt, blue jeans, and brown shoes.
* a college-age girl in a sporty tank top, and yoga legging pants tucked into sheepskin boots.

I am looking to rework my regular models and offer some more advanced options for those looking to animate my models. I will keep you posted here on "John's Creative Space" and elsewhere in media. All I want you to know here is that you will now be able to use my original models. If you think you can make better-looking models using my base model, the original VOX models are all concluded as they were from MagicaVoxel.

For More Information...

Want to download this package? Choose to support me on OpenGameArt, Voxel Art Store, or both! Links:

Voxel Character Starter Pack on OpenGameArt
Voxel Character Starter Pack on Voxel Art Store

Please also support me on Patreon. Visit and make a pledge. Your support can help me to provide more content and even gain funding towards performing other projects. Other than that, enjoy! :)

That concludes this blog post. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Block Breaking Block Pack

UPDATED: December 6, 2016)

Recently on @opengameart, I offered my first #gamedev asset. This asset offered is for block breaking fans. Think Breakout or Arkanoid here. I devised a set of blocks that can be used for block breaking games the likes of Breakout or Arkanoid. There are 12 blocks in 25 different color combinations. Each block is pure pixel art- no vectoring, no pre-rendered graphics... just a four-color scheme with dark outlining on the bottom and right sides of each block. Here is a preview of my block breaking game asset:

block breaking Breakout Arkanoid
^ from: (my Facebook fan page) - 25 colors, 12 block packs, one great pack of block breaking game assets.

Here is a look at each of the color combinations (and some rules if you want to use the blocks):

01: red
02: orange
03: yellow
04: green
05: blue
06: violet/purple
07: pink
08: teal
09: aqua blue
10: crimson
11: sky blue
12: lavender
13: white
14: cyan
15: turquoise
16: forest green
17: Game Boy© Green
18: Virtual Boy© Red
19: brown
20: bronze*
21: silver*
22: gold**
23: sunset
24: alpha map
25: onyx***

* = takes two hits to destroy
** = takes three hits to destroy
*** = can not be destroyed

This package is offered in three different varieties. I am offering them separately. Click on the links below to find this asset in the different variations:

Block Breaking Block Pack (SD Version)
This is the basic block back. Each block is 16 pixels wide and 8 pixels tall.

Block Breaking Block Pack (HD Version)
This is the same pack as the Standard model, only upscaled and retouched. Each block is 32 pixels wide and 16 pixels tall.

Block Breaking Block Pack (HD2 Version)
(December 5, 2016 Update)
This is the enhanced HD pack at double the scale of the HD version. Each block is 64 pixels wide and 32 pixels tall.

Get the Block Breaking Block Pack Bundle!
This package features all three block breaking block packs, but it also includes six extra block types exclusively for the HD2 set! It is also my first pixel art submission to Voxel Art Store.

To keep up with all of my OpenGameArt work, please visit my OpenGameArt profile.

You have read a post on "John's Creative Space"- the creative works blog of mine! I hope you enjoyed your time here. Please Subscribe and Follow this blog (and my others) if you enjoy my content. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Ladies and gentlemen, I have joined OpenGameArt! The intent here is to offer assets of many kinds while also (hopefully) getting an audience that supports my work. So if you use this resource for gaming assets, find me! You can use the link below to go to my OpenGameArt profile for when I start uploading assets to the site:

John Marine on OpenGameArt

At the moment, since I just started, I am not sure what to offer. Rest assured I will offer a variety of material that will be of help to someone who may be seeking such material. So be sure to stay tuned. Also, don't forget to be my patron on Patreon! I would appreciate monetary support. But of course, monetary support is voluntary.

What I Hope to Accomplish.

OpenGameArt is another sort of platform to offer material to game developers. Or, I may just offer stuff people will leech off of me for. I feel game development for a number of things can start with some very basic material. While I may not have the best ideas, I do hope my material can be used in projects. So be sure to follow me on OpenGameArt for me trying to offer as many game assets and game ideas as possible to help game developers ranging from hobbyists to certain studios!

I will be learning along the way, so don't think I will offer the best material right away.

I am hopeful I can continually expand upon my media work to impress (and maybe inspire) all of you. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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My Voxel Plans

Through MagicaVoxel, I have returned to voxel modeling. "John's Creative Space" has become popular in regards to voxels. So it brings me some pleasure to discuss a few things. I will use this post to share some considerations of mine and some other bits. If you enjoy my work, you are going to want to follow this post. Or if you are fairly new to this blog, welcome to my creative works blog! Having said this... here are some thoughts of mine.

Topic 1: Offering Models.

For the longest, I have wanted to make my models public. The only problem was that I have had a tough time deciding how to modify the models to the liking of others. I don't really want to offer my voxel models cold turkey. Having held onto these models so much, I feel I have to make them viable and useful to others. More importantly, I want to be able to financially profit from my work. So I am in a situation where I want to offer my material for free, but also take donations. I also simply want to offer my work for sale in a combination of single models and bundles. Any plans I make public will be announced here on "John's Creative Space" and elsewhere on social media.

Topic 2: Future Model Plans.

I have somewhat been working on developing a new human model apart from the many past voxel models I've created. The intent is to use them to allow for better animation. One of MagicaVoxel's limitations is the inability to split up pieces of the model for easier animation. People complain about the limit of 126 x 126 x 126 for models. So what I intend to do is make both static models and separated models to allow for two different kinds of models to be used.

Besides voxel people, I have also been known for my voxel vehicles. I haven't made any kind of voxel vehicles in my return to voxel modeling, but I do hope to offer the same sort of versatility for vehicles as I do my voxel people.

Topic 3: Game Development Voxel Modeling?

One of the reasons why I have been slow developing things was because I was trying to learn Java. As I was trying to work on making a possible game, I had a vision of designing a game, but with making voxel models for it for prototyping. It gave me the idea to make voxel models for tile-based games. Nothing has really materialized, but I will be sure to offer material to you all should I develop something interesting and that I am willing to give away.

While you're here, let me share with you a little advice.

Some Quick MagicaVoxel Advice.

Version 0.97.5 is the latest version of MagicaVoxel as of this post. I mentioned breaking up models into pieces. The intent is to make material to be used in more proper programs made to handle things like rendering and (more importantly) animation. I would suggest you try to build up your model as you normally would. Then after completion, break up your model into a number of pieces. Break up key segments ranging from the body to the limbs. Save the different limbs and such into separate objects. If you have accessories and props that can be used, save them as their own objects also. Then in a proper 3D application (like Blender), piece everything together.

I actually would also recommend you use VoxelShop to optimize voxel models. I would recommend it in the case of models that don't require any transparency, mainly with models that don't have any transparent bits. You can optimize such models to not use as many polygons. This probably isn't recommended for items that may require them be transparent, such as the windshields and windows of cars.

Always Remember...

Always remember that I am working on a number of projects as a solo person. So there may be times where I seem to not have anything being worked on or when news of my work is slow. It doesn't mean I am idle. It just means I am hard at work trying to offer some material for you all. Please help support my work any way you can. The latest way you can show some love is through my Patreon profile. Who knows? You might score something cool of mine through my Patreon page should you pledge to it!

So now you have some idea of my voxel plans moving forward. Most importantly, thank all of you who visited my blog for MagicaVoxel content.

That's all for this one. Go have yourself a great day/night and thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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One Game a Month

#1GAM, or One Game a Month, is a gaming initiative devised by Christer Kaitila, also known as "McFunkypants." Making games for the love of making them is the primary encouragment for #gamedev and #indiedev. Even if your game looks unimpressive, just making a game for the sake of making one is better than making nothing at all. Some people- especially in game jams- can make a game in two days or less. Heck, even Jayenkai makes a game EVERY WEEK! I usually see Jayenkai on the OUYA/Cortex Store with new games. You can see Jayenkai's work at A finely polished game can be created within a month. A full month of development and such means you can sort out as many details as you would like prior to release. You can do everything from the programming to all the assets for a game within a month (or less). If you aren't a solo developer, you surely can make a quality game as a team. Just know you can provide quality gaming thrills without having the budget or skill of most gaming studios.

What makes the "One Game a Month" challenge so enticing is that it encourages you to make certain games of certain themes. Whether you code everything yourself or rely on programs like GameMaker or Construct 2, you are still making games. Making games means you have a chance to express your creativity and offer quality experiences to gamers worldwide. This more importantly makes you a viable entity in the gaming realm. You could spend all kinds of money and time like with the major game development studios, or you can make your own quality titles as a hobbyist or even a fairly small game studio. A visit to the One Game a Month website features certain themes for various projects. What you obviously want to do is make your own gaming creations based on such themes.

If you want insight that you CAN create a game a month, Christer Kaitila put up this blog post showing it is DEFINITELY possible to create games within a month and every month: 12 games in 12 months (McFunkypants).

Final Thoughts... and an Announcement?

Just on enthusiasm and dedication, the One Game a Month challenge is a boon to all of us game developers ranging from hobbyists to professionals. You really can devote a month towards making a quality game within the span of a month. Some people could even make great games in less than a month- sometimes even in a week or a few days! Christer Kaitila deserves loads of credit for being such a positive insight and inspiration for making games. Why PLAY games when you can MAKE games? Give it a shot. One Game a Month offers a fine initiative.

As of this blog post, I have not considered joining in on the 1GAM challenge. However, I may challenge myself to make a game every month once I finally make my first-ever game of any kind. I just lack the confidence and the programming skill to actually make one. I do hope to eventually break out of this shell and put myself on the map as a game developer.

For More Information...

Visit the official site of the "One Game a Month" challenge at Or to learn of the individual who makes games every week, visit

Maybe this post will grant you some confidence in making games. You can make whatever kind of game(s) you want only as long as you have the confidence and focus to make them happen. That's all for this post. I hope you enjoyed it. Please be sure to Subscribe and Follow my blog(s) for more content. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Maze Game Concept

To reach my goal of making a game, I have been working on a game prototype this week. As you could tell by the title of this blog post, it is a maze game like a Pac-Man game. I am using Löve2D to program it. I actually have rediscovered Löve2D to quickly build my game. This is kind of a simple project to try to build my first-ever game.

Early Notes and Prototype.

I won't give away many details on the specifics of my game concept, but I will offer an early image of the prototype I have been working on. Take a look:

maze game concept
This is a prototype of a maze game I have been working on recently. Only the walls and blocks are my own art. Most everything else (floor, water, and player) are placeholders.

Notes and Progress.

There are a lot of things to be worked on, but I am trying to learn how to program these things in. So here are a few notes I want to share about my work:

• I have mostly learned how build maps of my levels. What I have NOT mastered, though, is making maps without having to have them in their own folder. I am trying to make a sprite sheet for which I can call on individual graphics without the need to call on certain graphics in a single image. The levels I am creating are all tile-based. While using a program like Tiled Map Editor is much easier, I am using Notepad++ to build the text array. I am actually going to use Tiled to better build the levels.

• A character has been implemented, but I haven't made it properly be used around the level. I have not yet designed the level so the proper aspects of the level have proper colliders for impassable areas (walls, water, lava, etc.). The character is not to go diagonally across levels. I have to change this as well.

• I have plans to make this game available as a Flash game at first. I ultimately want this to be available for Flash, Android (maybe even Android TV), and OUYA. I have no device to test for iOS, so I am not even considering iOS at this point.

Initial Plans.

When this game is better developed, I will share more specific details on it. Enjoy what I have made for now. The initial final product will have some five levels to it. Maybe later, I will expand it to ten levels. I want to make a small game just to get it out there. The long term project will feature some ten different chapters to it, each with 10 levels. That means I am planning this to be a 100-level maze game.

I may possibly share some notes on my game outside of my blog, mostly on Patreon. So if you want to get in on some exclusive aspects of my game when they become available, support (or at least follow) me on Patreon!

I apologize for not updating my blogs recently. Now you know a little bit as to why I haven't been active on the blogging circuit lately. This will all hopefully change these times. For now, though, that concludes another post on "John's Creative Space." Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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