Firstly we would like to apologise for the radio silence from us. We thought we would provide you all with an update regarding all things Onion Soup Interactive, including Nippon Marathon 2.
BOSS BATTLE - FIBROMYALGIA
In October 2020 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I’d been suffering with the illness for quite a long time prior to this under the impression it was an old neck injury from 2008, but after the symptoms worsened and the illness’ characteristic chronic pain and fatigue became unbearable the doctors finally gave me a label that I could work with.
By this point it had become almost impossible to work on UEDI: Shadow of the Citadel, each day I was able to do less and less until I couldn't work on the game at all, heck I couldn’t even finish a meal at the dining table without going for a lie down, taking a ton of painkillers and sleeping for as long as my body demanded (or, ironically, laid awake, super tired and totally incapable of sleep). At its worst, the illness put me in constant physical pain, reduced my brain to mush and deprived me of sleep, sometimes for weeks at a time without any kind of reprieve.
I have a pretty strong work ethic, but since creating Onion Soup Interactive with Amy my desire to work on games is so strong that it’s been really tough to sit on the sidelines and try to focus on getting better. Fibromyalgia sufferers have a lot of trouble focussing on complex tasks and game design is really, really complex. For a while I tried really hard to fight through it, but it really isn’t possible to do that. I had to take a time-out, even if it lasted for a whole year… or longer.
Our wonderful friends in the Onion Soup Discord Server have been very supportive of us, they’ve insisted that health comes before work, no matter what and I’m really happy and proud of our community.
If you don't know already, Fibromyalgia makes the body produce excess cortisol (the stress hormone) and prevents the body from creating serotonin (the happiness hormone). You can imagine how taxing this is on mental health, Amy continues to do an amazing job of helping me through it. I know it isn’t easy for her. Amy, my parents, and our dog help keep my mental health in check. If you’re suffering with any form of mental health issue I absolutely insist that you must find some kind of help and support. You might spend a lot of time thinking the loneliest and darkest thoughts but making a genuine human connection with someone who really cares can help you drag yourself out the deepest of holes, I promise!
Since then I’ve tried so many things to help ease the symptoms of the illness, I cut gluten, caffeine, sugar and alcohol from my diet (my favourite things used to be coffee, pizza, whiskey and salted caramel brownies😭 😭 😭 . I had one year of weekly physiotherapy, 6 months of acupuncture, opioids, anti-inflammatories, supplements, exercise routines, meditation, and osteopathy. You name it, i’ve probably done it! I’m writing a detailed guide for other sufferers which may be of some help and it’ll be posted soon.
Finally, after a really long time I’m starting to feel slightly better. For a few weeks now I’ve been able to do a bit of work again, mostly art but also some work in Unity work too.
Getting Back on the Horse! - A New Game That’s Even More Stupid?
Amy and I agreed that jumping back into UEDI or Nippon 2 development would probably be too difficult for me right now and there would be a risk of triggering a flare up of symptoms and taking 10 steps back.
So instead we’ve been putting together a new ‘micro game’ collection. This allows Amy to learn more Unity skills and is also a much more low-pressure project.
We’re almost ready to share it with you, maybe in a couple of months. Before then though we’ll be running a closed beta, so if you’re interested just mention it to us in our Discord.
Oh, what the heck, here are a few GIFs just for fun.
We will be keeping the name a surprise until it's official announcement, but we are VERY excited to share it with you all. Believe me, keeping this project under wraps has been very difficult.
What’s next for UEDI: Shadow of the Citadel
We’ll be working on our new project for a little while longer, once we have that wrapped up and assuming I’m able to maintain my health, we’ll be getting back to the game. We’ll be making a conscious effort to keep it a tighter and more focussed action game than originally planned. We want to get the coolest and most fun gameplay aspects ready for you to enjoy so as not to risk the game getting stuck in development hell again.
You Want Nippon Marathon 2?
I made Nippon Marathon mostly by myself with a little help from Amy, as she was first picking up the fundamentals of art and game design. It was very difficult and stressful, so when the time comes for us to begin working on Nippon Marathon 2 as a full-time project, we’ll be hiring some help. We’re not a big studio and we don’t have a lot of resources but thankfully there’s enough love for Nippon Marathon that we believe a publisher is willing to cover the expenses. This means I can focus of work that’s less mentally taxing, I’ve really enjoyed brushing up on my Maya 3D modelling and ZBrush 3D Sculpting skills recently and I think this is now a real strength of mine.
I wish we could start NM2 tomorrow, so much that I made a new character. She’s a Canadian Mountie called Benton who rides her trusty ‘horse’ Toby.
Here’s a render of them, please let us know what you think!
***EDIT: 1/10/21 ***
Benton and Tony have been removed from the Nippon Marathon 2 roster.
What we didn't know was that the 30th September was Truth and Reconciliation Day - A Day that honours victims and survivors of Canada's residential schools, which sought to forcefully assimilate indigenous children in which the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) were involved.
We apologise for any offence caused. To read our full statement, please read this.
Nippon Marathon CD OST now available
We’ve had requests for a physical Nippon Marathon OST for aaaaages, and along with many things in the world it was horribly delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic. Anyway, it’s just been released by City Connection and is available to order from Clarice Shop. The CD features the music from the original game as well as tracks exclusive to the Arcade Edition. It also features a written note from us (in Japanese).
Although the site is in Japanese and primarily for the Japanese market, Buyee supports international shipping from this store.
Buy Now: https://bit.ly/NipponMarathonCD
Nippon Marathon Turbo Hyper = Running
It has finally been released! Yay! The pandemic literally sucked the life out of the arcade industry but we’re seeing signs of life creeping back in now and you might start to see some of them in the wild soon. There’s a huge Japanese and US chain called 1UP where the game’s been on test. Then there’s a bunch of them in Japan and Hawaii too. Can’t we go and live there?
If you fancy a copy of Nippon Marathon Turbo for yourself, then they'e available to purchase from our arcade publisher, exA-Arcadia. Check it out here: https://bit.ly/nmturbo
If you are attending the "Made in Asia" Convention in Brussels this October, then you can actually play the game yourself during the convention. Arcade Belgium are hosting a NM Turbo tournament at the convention. Be one of the first people in Europe to play Nippon Marathon Turbo. How exciting.
Support a Local Artist
During the pandemic, we commissioned a piece of art for our website from our community member, KYLEZOOKI. We are super pleased with the results and recommend that you all go and support this amazing artist. Not only does it include myself and Amy, our Master of Ceremonies, Buster, and Company Flower, Mocha, were also included in the piece.
Go and follow him immediately on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KYLEZOOKI091
Phew that was a long one...
Again thank you all for your continued support, and thanks to everyone who continues to buy us a coffee. It's very much appreciated, and if you want to buy us one today, mine's a decaf oat latte;
Remember to drop by our Discord and say hello, everyone loves chatting about games, anime and other fun stuff and everyone’s welcome.
***edit 1/10/21 ***
Again we would like to apologise for any offence taken from our Mountie character, If you or anyone you know are experiencing pain or distress as a result of their (or someone they knows) Residential school experience, then please get in touch with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (https://www.irsss.ca/)
So that's everything for now,
Andy, Amy, Buster & Mocha