Firstly, hello everyone – sorry for being absent for two months. June and July were very difficult months for me in terms of health, work demands, and other issues, but the gyms reopening here in Australia has done wonders for my mental health, while the conclusion of my first semester of teaching has yielded a lot of extra time to get other elements of my life back on track. As such, I’ve been back on URR for a couple of weeks now, and this week in particular I am taking annual leave for the first time, in essence, in five years. Although I have previously taken “days off”, I have always checked my emails and done some work in the mornings in the evenings while not spending time with friends or family; but this week I am entirely disconnecting myself from the job, with the goal of doing two things: a) programming URR, and b) relaxing, walking, seeing some sights in Sydney, etc. However, it’s obviously the first most of you are here for, so let’s talk a bit more about that.

I remain determined to finish 0.8 as soon as possible – there’s so little to do and it would feel so amazing to have it released. I also have to be honest – coming back to URR, again, after so long, it is striking and quite… I don’t know… affecting (?), to me, to see how much I put into this game. There’s so much detail, there’s so much work put in, I marvel at how I ever once found the hours. To be clear, I say this not as a brag in the slightest, but more as a statement of surprise: it’s quite moving, to me, how the younger me had so much time and so much passion for this project. And I cannot in good conscience let his work to go waste. I’m so close to getting it done, but now I think about it there has without doubt been a significant mental block on it this last year, made worse by the extremely demanding sequence of applying to a million jobs -> moving continent -> getting a concussion -> settling into a new house, city, country, and job. There just hasn’t been much space for me to focus on anything beyond what’s directly in front of me, what needs to get done on a certain day. But: things have been inching forward in the last couple of weeks, and this week I’m going to really stop messing around and just see how much I can get done, with no other requirements or expectations on me.

So: there will be an URRpdate in a week, when we’ll see what I’ve been able to do in the coming 7 days. Stay tuned…


  • Your work is amazing all right. You’ve been showing us what games can be (and roguelikes in particular) for years now. Few projects out there are more inspiring. Take it easy. Your fans are still here, and with a little luck you’re on the home stretch.

    • Felix, thank you! That’s amazingly kind of you, and it honestly means the world to me that people are still around. It’ll be such a satisfying thing once 0.8 is out there.

  • My best wishes for your week off.

    I’m stuck with something fluey again. Not COVID. It’s interesting how time off sick doesn’t feel like time off.

    You’re an equal to the young MRJ. Whilst he may have had more time for URR he would probably be worse than you at handling concussion 🙂

    • Thanks Hales! It was a good week off (as you’ll see from the more recent post), and it definitely helped me get my head on a little more straight. Very valuable indeed. Sorry to hear you’re unwell (though obviously glad it isn’t Covid). And, also – thanks for the kind words. I do hope you’re right!

  • Hello – I have been following development from afar for a few years. I am glad to see you are on the mend and motivated to complete 0.8. Once that is done, I hope you find something about URR or another project that motivates you the same way. I think you will find that you will be able to recapture that passion if you find that project, but who knows what it would be!

    • Thank you so much for the post Drew! I really appreciate it a lot. As I think I said in another reply, there’s a lot of post-mortem thinking to be done after 0.8, which I hope will shed some light on the psychology of a project this length, and hopefully help others who attempt similar things… but that’s for the future. I remain very keen on and interested in game dev, but I don’t know whether this project is The One for my 30s, even though it was definitely The One for my 20s. We’ll see. Either way, thanks again so much for this comment!

  • “but the gyms reopening here in Australia has done wonders”

    The “R” in Dr Mark R Johnson stands for “Ripped”.

    In all seriousness, it was a delight to see you in my feed reader once again! I wish you the best of luck in your endeavours, and hope to hear from you soon! ?

    (I’m posting this twice as I think, judging by the style of the previous, that it’s been erroneously submitted as a reply to the first comment. Apologies, just disallow either of these comments, please. And sorry!)

    • Hahahaha! Thanks Conor, it’s great to have you here, and I super appreciate the kind and positive words :). I really do.

  • Very exciting!
    Finishing a project like this is no small task, and you should take pride in nearing completion!

    Hopefully the next 2 years will be far less turbulent for all of us!

  • Mr Johnson,

    I find your work quite inspiring. The matter or drive and the commitment to trying to get something like this “done”. When I read the line about the feeling of surprise about what you had done I got happy for you. I feel like I sound really strange writing this.

    Well In any case. Best of lucks with this project and whatever comes after.


    • Aw, thank you Alvaro! I really appreciate the message, a lot. Thanks so much for letting me know you like the work. There’s a lot I could (and intend to) write examining the psychology of a long-term project like this… but that will all come after getting it done!

  • I’m happy to read things are better!

    I look forward to finally getting to play it again. (I couldn’t get the latest released version running the last time I tried to play.)

    I’d be happy to beta-test the 0.8 release too. (I’m pretty sure that’s true of some other people as well!)

    • Thanks Kenny! Yeah, there is some Windows 10 issue that needs resolving, which is something I’m looking into at the moment. And thanks so much for the offer, I might well take people up on that…!

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