We just announced a release date for The Beard in the Mirror, the point-and-click adventure game Lizo and I have been working on since college!! Here’s a little story I shared on Twitter…
I can’t believe that, after 11 years, our little testgame is actually going to be released to the ENTIRE WORLD.
You guys remember Frank, from GameCola? A long time ago, he sent in a series of weird Photoshopped images, with my face as an evil monster in Mario 64. You can see them here.
Lizo—who was just my good friend at the time, not even my girlfriend, let alone my wife—saw that, and said “I can be creepier than that.”
So she started making a game. With me as the star. It didn’t have a name at the time; she just called it “testgame.” It was based on a series of games we had played over AOL Instant Messenger. They were sort of like D&D mixed with text adventures; one of us would message the other person with a starting line, like (these are actual quotes from the original game):
And the other person would say something like:
Lizo started working on it while we were both sophomores in college, in 2005, and then we both kept working on it in the background, until about a month ago, when we finished the final (well, “final”) test of testgame.
It’s been with us through every major milestone of our adult lives—our first date (which was playing King’s Quest VI, BTW), college graduation, our first apartment, all of grad school, up through our wedding–
It’s the closest thing we have to a kid. (Except for the bunny, I GUESS.)
…And now it’s going to be released to the entire world and it feels a little like walking your kid to the bus stop on his first day of school, holding his hand and saying “you got this, it’s fine; you’re awesome and everyone will love you”, and it’s really you you’re trying to convince, not the kid.
It’s not the same game we started planning and making as students. “Paul” just isn’t me anymore; he’s grown into his own character, with his own story. We also cut out all the terrible, terrible voice acting we tried to record in my dorm during the (few) periods when my roommates weren’t naked-wrestling in the common room. (The only remnant being Paul’s “oh, a rock!” during the game’s splash screen.)
But it’s done. 11 years of writing dialogue in Thai restaurants and long car rides, of having hours-long discussions about font colors, of showing the game off at cons and having people grin and tell us the game reminds them of their childhood, of trying to figure out what the hell we’re EVER going to do with the magic map item—it’s done!
Save the date, everyone: testgame, aka The Beard in the Mirror, comes out on Steam on October 25th!!