School of Torture Release!

Tom - 2024-05-12

Hey guys!

Well... uhh.... This is NOT the kind of blog post I was expecting to write anytime soon, let alone this year xDDD

Miraculously, we have a new game out! Not only that, but it's the first Megatoxic release made exclusively for the Sega Genesis platform! 

To give you all a bit of background, The School of Torture is actually a game I made when I was around 12. I created it using Game Maker 3.2 (now known as Game Maker Studio), and it was one of the first games I had ever made. After I had made it, I sent it to a couple close friends/family and burned it to a CD-R.

Over the years however, I had lost the CD it was on, and the original game was lost permanently. 

Fast-forward to 2024, just for fun I started dabbling in C programming, specifically Sega Genesis development. It was the first time I ever had a go at making a Sega Genesis game, and it was also my first experience programming in C. Probably not the BEST idea to leap right into Sega Genesis without having prior knowledge in the language, but I was really just messing around.

And sure enough, 20+ YouTube tutorials later, and a little less than a month of time, I had successfully built a complete School of Torture remake that runs on the Sega Genesis. I did everything I could to build in everything I remember about the original School of Torture to keep the game as faithful as possible, but I also did everything I could to make it as polished and feature-packed as possible:

  • 10 areas to explore
  • Creepy 16-bit art
  • 16-bit rendition of the School of Torture 7 theme music
  • Full-screen in-game still cutscenes
  • One of the levels includes a top-down recreation/approximation of the School of Torture 7 floor map.
  • Non-linear open-world environment to explore
  • Multiple endings
  • Functional sound test menu
  • Runs on real Sega Genesis hardware! :)

For my first Sega Genesis game, I think it turned out pretty good!

And to top this blog post off with a nice cherry on top, I'm thrilled to announce that The School of Torture is available to play and download TODAY on Megatoxic! You can find the full game for free HERE! :)

Once again, thank you all for the support, and I hope you enjoy the game!


New Website :)

Tom - 2024-04-07

Hey everyone, Tom here.

This might be a long blog post, so feel free to grab a drink and let's talk.

I'll cut right to the chase: lately I haven't really had any desire to work on games, and at this point in time I don't really plan on doing any more projects in the future. I have a couple projects that I was working on, and they're still safely backed up on my media server in case I ever want to revisit them in the future. But as I mentioned a few blog posts ago, Game Maker Studio has become a subscription-based model, so it's pretty impractical for me to use it again unless I'm really serious about game development again-- which I'm not... Never say never, but I'd say it's highly unlikely.

Now, all that's not to say I'm doing BADLY-- I'm actually doing quite well in fact! I'm still happily with my partner Jordyn (can't believe it's been ~8 years already, sheesh...), and I've been at my new web development job for 2 and a half years now. Everything's going great! But I do feel like it's getting close to time to say goodbye to Megatoxic. >.<

I don't really want this to be a completely depressing post, so I'll quickly jump to something a bit happier: As you can see, we have a new website! :)

Some new features include:

  • New, modern front-end design
  • "Fun Stuff" Section
  • Better blog system
  • Revamped "Games" page
  • Javatari Emulator :)
  • A special easter egg. ;D

I actually had a lot of fun building this version of Megatoxic's website. As you can see, the Forum is pretty much gone forever (though I do have a link in the footer right now, but it's likely not staying). In its place though, I've built a new section of the site called "Fun Stuff". This is a whole new section of Megatoxic dedicated to nifty little HTML and web experiments I've been doing in my spare time. 

Another great thing about this new version of Megatoxic is its use of Javatari-- which is an Atari 2600 emulator for your web browser. That's right-- now you can actually play most of the games on the site without downloading them! ;D

And finally, there's an easter egg I've planted on the site somewhere. I won't reveal what it is, but here's a hint for you: be sure to carefully examine that footer. ;o

Well, as you probably can tell, this is very likely going to be the last version of the Megatoxic website I'll ever make (though again, never say "never"). I want to end my run with Megatoxic on a happy, high note. And I think I actually did. :)

Have a good one, and I'll burp you all later. xD

- Tom

Game Plan for Megatoxic

Tom - 2021-08-13

 Hey everyone. I mentioned yesterday that I would keep you all posted on what will happen with Ballzerk and Megatoxic in general. Now that I've had some more time to process everything and look into the situation with Game Maker Studio, the situation is not as dire as I was making it out to be yesterday. Frankly, there's a lot going on currently with myself and I felt like there wasn't a lot I can do with all these factors coming into play.

So without further due, here is the rundown:

  • The license I had purchased for Game Maker Studio 2 will still continue to be valid for as long as YoYoGames continues developing and supporting it. The real worries won't actually happen until Game Maker Studio 3.x. This is good news for me, because I can have A LOT more time to familiarize myself with Game Maker Studio's new licensing system and gradually make the switchover to Game Maker Studio 3 if I so desire. Frankly, I would prefer to stay on Game Maker Studio until at least 2 of the 3 projects I'm working on are finished.
  • Ballzerk has officially been taken down from the App Store. I was completely expecting this, and it happened as I mentioned it would. However, now that I know my current Game Maker license will continue to work as it has for the past 3 years, I'm actually reconsidering releasing a new update for Ballzerk to comply with Apple's updated guidelines.

    Keep in mind though, this is still a tedious process to go through-- and I've only done it once. How? Well, I basically test the hell out of Ballzerk to make sure it worked really well on iOS before I released it. It's actually pretty amazing-- one build of Ballzerk was ever released on iOS in the 3 years it's been on the App Store. Because of the difficulty of releasing an iOS app, I'm going to make one attempt at it, and if it gets rejected then I'm done with Ballzerk on iOS for real. Trust me-- it was horrendous the first time around. That's exactly why I never bothered trying to do any updates for Ballzerk on iOS. Most of the updates I've been doing were actually for the Android port.
So this is interesting, and frankly it's not all bad news. Megatoxic will continue on, so we can all relax with that (I was a bit flustered last night). Worst case scenario that happens will be that Ballzerk will be taken down from the iOS App Store for good, and Android will actually get a nice update for the game (I was planning on another update to Ballzerk in general, completely unrelated to this situation). My other games will continue to be developed over the course of time, and I might bring one of them over to Unity. I still believe Unity is a viable option to consider for one of my projects. The point is, I have options to take and I think I can sort through this. 

To conclude, I apologize if I alarmed anyone, and I apologize for potentially blowing this out of proportion last night. I'm thinking we could all use some good news here, so next month I'm probably going to release a new trailer for one of those unannounced projects. Stay tuned. ;)

Some unfortunate news...

Tom - 2021-08-12

Hey everyone. This is a post I've been sort of avoiding to make this week, because it's not really good news. I'm still trying to process in my head how to negotiate through it, and whether or not I can even continue Megatoxic. It's been about 20 years since I've been making independent games under this name, and I always felt like at some point I would quietly stop making new games for Megatoxic. I just never thought it would have to be anytime too soon. 

I actually have 3 game projects in the works right now that I've been steadily trying to develop. It's just taking me a long time to announce them or show off any gameplay trailers, merely due to the fact that I have a full-time job (that's not particularly enjoyable I might add), a long-distance relationship with the best person in the world, and an entire life outside of my job that I'm trying to tend to. So I simply never get the time, energy or motivation to work on my games for Megatoxic.

But even with all the "life" stuff I mentioned above, that's actually not what's making me feel like I may need to end Megatoxic. Here's what's going on:

  • Ballzerk is going to be removed from the iOS App Store on August 13, 2021. Yeah, you read that correctly, so if you haven't played the game and want to try it-- better download it today (it's totally free). The reason it's about to be taken down is because Apple enforces developers to release frequent updates, and to put it bluntly, updating the iOS version of Ballzerk is a pain. If you're developing a game (or any app) for iOS, this is what the process looks like:

    1. You must pay a subscription fee of $100 per year. For some of you that may sound pretty reasonable. But how much money does Ballzerk make on iPhone per year? $0. How much money does Megatoxic make? $0. So you can see how eventually that can catch up with us. Even when I first released the iPhone version of Ballzerk, I was fully aware of this subscription fee, and anticipating having to take it down in the future. 
    2. To make an app for iPhone, you're required to own a Mac. The way I got around this without spending too much money was by buying an old 2012 MacBook on eBay and making substantial software and hardware upgrades to it, which all cost around $300. Keep in mind, this was about a 2-3 week project, and it was specifically for the iPhone version of Ballzerk.
    3. To adequately test any iPhone app you develop, you need to own an iPhone. Apple supplies you with an emulator to test your app on, but an old MacBook that was several years out of date already cannot emulate a modern-day iPhone at full-speed. So I had to spend about $400 on a used iPhone X, specifically for the purpose of testing Ballzerk.
    4. In order to release an app or update an existing app on the iOS App Store, you have to go through a manual review process. You submit the app file to Apple, and it takes them about 2 to 3 days to review the app and either decline it or approve it. When I released the iPhone version, Ballzerk actually got rejected the first time, because it wasn't unique enough to their store. I had to write a 4-page appeal letter to Apple before they finally approved the app. I feel that any updates I might make to Ballzerk on iPhone wouldn't be substantial enough for Apple's approval, and the effort would just go to waste.

      Just for the record, the Android version of Ballzerk will continue to stay available-- this ONLY affects the iPhone version. Google only has you pay a single fee of $20 to initially register as a developer for Android, and after that you can release and update as many apps as you want at no charge.

      So when you factor all of the above, plus the fact that Android actually dominates with over 70% of the world's smartphone market share, it honestly doesn't make sense to continue developing games on the iPhone-- unless I became a full-fledged game studio with a team of people, getting an actual income from it and doing it as my full-time job.

  • To make matters worse, Game Maker Studio is becoming a subscription-based software. For those of you who might not be aware, I actually develop all my games on Game Maker Studio 2.3, which is a game development environment I've been utilizing for literally the past 20 years. Over the last 10 years or so I've probably spent about $1000 or more on Game Maker Studio, but now the company that develops that software is switching it over to a subscription-based payment model.

    This means I pretty much need to pay them $100 per year to keep the full version of Game Maker Studio, and I may end up having to set time limits for my projects' development cycles. It also means it would cost $200 per year to release or maintain any game software for the iPhone, which is why I decided to just pull out of iPhone development for good. Again-- as a single person working on these games and spending money out of my own pocket, there's only so much money I will allow myself to spend here.

    Hearing about this over the week was really gut-wrenching, since I have 3 projects currently in the works-- all of which I'm doing in Game Maker Studio, and ALL of which I've actually worked with other individuals on.

So to conclude, this is where we are at right now. There probably isn't going to be a lot of activity on the Megatoxic website, at least for a while anyway, and I'm still trying to process the whole situation with the Game Maker Studio software. I'm going to re-read the fine print on what exactly their subscription service offers for the software, and see if there's any way I can work with it with the budget I have available. I really hope it's something I can work around, because two of the three projects are actually really far along in development, and I had yet to announce and make trailers for both of them.

I think I will just end the misery here for now... I will keep you guys posted. 😐

- Tom

Ballzerk featured on!

Tom - 2020-12-23

Quick update for you guys!

Ballzerk was hand-picked to be featured on! Go check it out, and see some of the other games they showcase.

Happy Holidays everyone, and stay safe during these dark times!

- Tom

Official Megatoxic Discord Server

Tom - 2020-09-28

Hey guys!

In the last update, you may have caught that we've been working on setting up an official Discord server for Megatoxic. Well, the day has finally come-- the Official Megatoxic Discord server is live to the public!

Getting there is super quick-- just go to the home page for and click on the Discord logo, next to the other social media icons. They're pretty large, so you can't miss them.

The Discord server has a couple of basic rules, much like our forums. I'm super laid back and try to get along with everybody, so it's not difficult at all to follow the rules. Just common-sense stuff, and no political conversation. 😀

Right now the channel looks pretty baron, but as the Discord channel grows I will re-organize it and add more sub-channels and categories to it. 

That's all for now. Have fun guys!

- Tom

New Website!

Tom - 2020-08-28

Hey guys - Tom here!

If you're reading this blog post, you've already noticed that our website got a complete overhaul! I'm excited to announce the NEW iteration of! 

As you can see, I've decided to keep a similar aesthetic to the last version of the site, but evolve it into a much more robust design. The previous version of was made in what us developers call a "WYSIWYG" editor ("What You See is What You Get"), and I had been using that for a while. Lately I've become more adventurous and decided to train myself HTML5, CSS, JavaScript and PHP. That's right-- I painstakingly manually coded this website myself in HTML5 by hand. LMAO.

By coding the entire website by hand, it's actually much easier for me to manipulate all the elements of the website, and it's way more optimized than the last version of With that, there's also a whole slew of benefits that this website gives both you guys and myself:

On the Front:

Immediately you'll notice that the website has a brand new layout. Many of the elements that were used in the old website are still here, but the navigation menu is now at the top instead of the side. There is no more hamburger menu anymore, so that's one less navigation button you need to worry about.

The slideshow at the top is completely dynamic and interactive-- not only can you scroll through the slides like before, but each slide is clickable and takes you to a page that has more relevant info. 

Below the larger slideshow I have the blog ticker on the left, which I completely coded in JavaScript. Clicking on this ticker will bring you to the "News" section of the website where you can read more blog posts. To the very right of the Blogger Ticker, there is a mini Facebook feed that shows Megatoxic's latest posts. And just below that, you'll see that I've moved the social media buttons from being somewhat hidden in the top-right corner, down in the forefront where you can easily find them.

If you navigate around the new website in general, you'll notice that there's actually a lot of new content here. I actually went through the trouble to create a brand new cover image for Ballzerk specifically for this new website, and I think it looks super epic. I also have new cover images for Quad-Ball that I recently re-discovered. Quad-Ball was actually a game I did for a college project back in 2013, and along with the original game I actually made box and cartridge label art for it. As I was going through my old files for this website, I recently re-discovered this art and decided to repurpose it for I think it came out pretty cool-- let me know your thoughts!

On the Back-end:

Along with the many front-facing changes on the website, there are a huge number of under-the-hood improvements that should make maintaining this website much easier for me. Almost everything on the website is now powered by a SQL database. The large slideshow, the entire Games section and a lot of the other elements can all be controlled and modified though a MySQL editor. What this means for me is, I have a much easier process if I want to make (non-blog) updates to the website and I actually don't even need to republish it anymore. I can now add new games on the fly and change anything I want on each page. I also have full access to the HTML code so I can just modify that as well if I need to.


Smaller announcement:

Along with our new website, you may have noticed a very familiar symbol on the home screen that was never on the Megatoxic website before. I'm excited to announce that Megatoxic now has an official Discord server! Right now, I'm still in the process of setting up the Discord server, but as soon as I do I will make an announcement here on the website, and all other social media platforms. Stay tuned! :)  


Well, that's everything! 

I hope this was an interesting read for some of you guys, and I hope you enjoy this brand new iteration of! As a way to pay our respects for everything the old website gave us the last couple of years, here are some nice screenshots of the old layout to reminisce:  

Game Catcher was streamed on Twitch!

Tom - 2020-02-22

Hey guys!

We were featured on a Twitch livestream yesterday! ZeroPage Homebrew played and gave a great critique on Game Catcher 2600, along with 4 other Atari 2600 homebrew games by other people.

Watch the entire stream here (Game Catcher starts at the 2 hour mark):

Subscribe to ZeroPage Homebrew on Twitch and support their channel:

You can download Game Catcher 2600 in the Games section on the left.

Just wanted to share this with everyone, hope you enjoy it! :)

- Tom

Ballzerk hidden from Play Store

Tom - 2019-12-04

Quick update for you guys.

For those attempting to search for the Android version of Ballzerk and download it on the Play Store, you may not be able to anymore. For some reason, even searching for the exact title "Ballzerk" doesn't show it in the search results. However, the game IS still present on the store-- it hasn't been removed by Google. I'm currently trying to get this resolved. For now, I will update Ballzerk's page on the website to include links for both the iOS and Android versions of the game so it's more easily accessible. Sorry for the inconvenience!

- Tom

Quick Update 12/20/2019:

Google resolved this on their end. Thanks to them for their support on this matter!

Ballzerk - iPhone Release

Tom - 2018-06-06

Hey guys! It finally happened! Ballzerk is now available on iOS (iPhone)!

Download it here: Ballzerk - iTunes