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  1. Weaknesses and the False Player-Enemy Equivalence.

     

    Back for another round of my opinions in game making. I'll start with some theory before getting to the point , so please bear with me.

    The word for today is equality.

     

    More specifically in player character and monster design, and how they need not be designed the same.

    Somewhere there is an underlying feeling that the game we are playing should be fair, and that they should be playing by the same rules as us. 
    But should they ? While nothing is as infuriating as a cheating AI, the player and the AI serve wildly different purposes.
    While certainly some of the AI cheating is there due to  limits in technology, because an AI will almost never be as good at adapting as a human player except in some discrete systems.
    That doesn't really matter, because the player is there to win, but the AI is there to lose entertainingly.

    So to answer the question "Why does the AI/Enemies sometimes get to follow different rules than the player ?", the answer should be because it leads to better gameplay, or because of technological limits,and not for any other reason , because no-one likes a cheating AI, and yet, sometimes letting the AI cheat just a little leads to way better gameplay.

     

    The same can be said for how each sides game pieces are built or function. Every case of enemy-player inequality should have a solid reason.

    • Why can the boss spam the high MP spells almost turn after turn , while I can't? (Because then that's the only thing you would do, heavily reducing your variety in gameplay.)
    • Why are bosses immune to instant-kills ? (Preventing Anti-Climax and reducing RNG as a factor)
    • Why does the boss get 2-3 turns ? (There are 4 of you and only 1 of him, so he still only gets 2-3 actions vs your 4)
    • Why doesn't the enemy have to worry about building up TP ? (Because the game engine doesn't track enemy TP)


    Now all of this was a small snippet of my thoughts to explain my reasoning in the next bit.

     

    Let me make a bold and broad statement (that will probably be misinterpreted) :

    I do not believe in player character weaknesses.

    With weakness I mean a glaring defensive weakness , not an offensive one. I'm fine with the mage not doing physical damage, what I am not
    ok with is the same mage folding over like a wet paper towel to an attack that barely scratches the armoured fighter, or the fire mage dying to even a light ice spell.

    "But ..." I hear you think "why didn't you put the mage on the back row then ?" Because the back row is a hack, a cheap patch designed to hide an obvious design problem.
    In theory it sounds nice, put your mage on the back row, trading physical attack for defence. My problem with this, is the no-brainer deciscion this is. 
    There is never any doubt the character should be in the last or front row, so why don't we just up the mages defence and get rid of this hack.

    (Warning, some numbers up ahead are exageration for effect, used to prove a point, please do not take them as absolute law)

    I'm fine with the mage taking 20 % more damage, given equal health pools, but usually the mage takes up to 40 % more damage, and has only 70 % of the fighters health pool, quickly making any hit that endangers the fighter an insta-kill for the mage.

    On the other hand, no player character should have complete (passive) immunity to a certain element (I am ok with skill usage granting temporary immunity), because then each encounter with that element is just a roulette to see who gets hit , 
    or in the case of Good or cheating AI totally useless as the character will never be attacked with that element.

     

    Now, to be nicely controversial, I believe enemies should have glaring weaknesses and blanket immunities.

    Why? Because from the beginning the enemy and player are not on equal footing and are not playing the same game anyway. The enemy is there to provide 2-3 rounds of resistance and then fall over. It's loss rate should be 95-99 % (excepting boss battles).
    The other reason is choice and gameplay. Having your fire mage just die to Ice spells rarely creates interesting deciscions, outside of the binary "do I bring him or not?". Giving him an amulet of ice protection isn't a choice, but a must at that point.
    But deciding wether to use your fire mage to finish off one enemy, or do a big chunck of damage but not killing a second fire - weak enemy, that is a deciscion point.

     

    To use persona 3/4/5 as an example : Hitting the enemy in his weakness and chaining them up to eliminate a though encounter feels great, but getting surprise attacked and wiped before you even get a turn feels horrible and is one of the most controller smashing moments in an otherwise very good series of games.

     

    This also nicely touches on another problem with for example mass insta-kill spells. Say there is a spell that has a chance of killing an enemy 50 % of the time, and it targets all enemies. Is this spell fair in the hands of the player ? I believe yes ( at an appropriately high MP cost). 
    Is it fair in the hands of an enemy ? Unless it is heavily telegraphed and able to be countered, no, I do not think so. Suppose you cast it against 4 monsters, there is a 1/8 chance of ending the encounter right here. If it works, fun , but nothing special. Now the same spell cast by an enemy you encounter regularly. 
    Giving the party a 1/8 chance to just game over without counter-play is just nasty. To add on top of this, if a surprise attack by your encounter can defeat a fully healed party without ever giving them one turn, even if rarely , then maybe tone down the encounter slightly (or eliminate surprise attacks).

     

    In summary, what I am saing is : enemy weaknesses lead (or should do so anyway) to gameplay and choice, player weaknesses leads to random blowouts or nothing. 
    Because players get way more affected by randomness than monsters. A monster is there for the one battle, the player is there for at least a 100, so the 1 % chance to be randomly buttfucked will eventually happen.

     

    Now how I'm doing it in my game:

    Players:

    • Small weaknesses ( up to 20 % more damage)
    • Medium Resistances (up to 50 % less damage)
    • Many resistance granting spells and abilities, but no passive immunities.

    Enemies:

    • Glaring weaknesses (up to 500 % more damage)
    • Above and beyond immunity (Reflect , absorb, immune , ...)
    • Reacting to certain elements with counterattacks, so the right choice isn't always the right choice. For example : Fire does 100% more damage, but gets you counterattacked.
    • Having a weakness not necessarily be more damage, but inflict a debuff, having lightning inflict stun on turrets, fire inflicting enrage on beasts,...

     

    And on a final note : balance your (random) encounters not for the average , but the edge cases. What if the encounter turns into a total shitstorm (all enemies randomly select their strongest move and/or all enemies crit in a row), do the players have any chance? Even if it is only 5 % likely, because that 5 % will eventually come up.
     

  2. Deer! (Hi there!) I have add more CG for scene like

    Spoiler

    Lexar kiss Karen Ruby when they first meet at Promo Woods, Lexar abuse action Like Hit, slap, kick and many more.

    And I add some animated CG too! the first animated CG is

    Spoiler

    Lexar hold Jebraw Chidori(Lighting strike) with his hand.

    There will be more animated CG, But they won't animate in Gallery (Sorry I'm not much of a Programmer)

    Okay that's for now, if there something new again I'll tell you.

    Bye Bye! (I'm not going anywhere, If You feel like say hello or something just PM me or leave comment down below)

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    Recent Entries

    Burger Blam Concept Art for Fleshport

     

    (original post)

    That burger looks very happy to see you, I'm sure he won't mind if you take a bite out of him!

    ---

    This is a sketch of the inside of Burger Blam, featuring Bo and Sadie. For now, I won't be posting any pictures of BB, but I have indeed finished the BB map and the character sprites that are within it. I just need to fix the lighting a little!
     

     

  3. c442ce06eabc2df3f3868ca7fb20f0ea.jpg

     

    Emotions are a very fragile core of our very hearts, but they can also become the strongest weapons if wielded properly. To watch friendships blossom, to have true love and friendship come to life, to have people rely on you and you rely on other people...these are all emotions central to the human heart, and why friendship is such a critical aspect in our lives and why it should never be taken for granted. I'll break the game down into several segments, consisting of story, gameplay, quality, and replayability, and judge the game on all of these criteria.

     

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    Story:

     

    Emotions. They are the basis of a human heart. And Blue Reflection is a compelling story following three girls who help those in their school, Hoshinomiya High School, overcome their emotions and let them fight on. Because I want you all to experience the story the same way I did, sit down in your chair, your bed, or wherever you are currently at right now, close out of other distractions...and put this following song on repeat and listen closely.

     

     

     

    Blue Reflection follows a girl named Hinako Shirai, a first-year student attending Hoshinomiya High School. When the game starts up, you see her in a very solemn and very lonely state. Hinako originally before was the famous star of a ballet school, almost at the top of her class, but due to an unfortunate injury concerning her knee during ballet class, she would never be able to dance again. After the accident, she switched schools and was made to live a "regular life", as a schoolgoer. She was put into the 1-A Regular Class of Hoshinomiya High School, which has a less strict curriculum than the Special Class, but more about that later.

     

    Hinako shortly thereafter runs into another girl, Sanae Nishida, who originally was in the same grade as Hinako in their previous school, has also transferred to Hoshinomiya to work on her cooking. The two bump into each other in the hallway, and Sanae is simply ecstatic. However, this triggers a change in the atmosphere...a side effect of uncontrolled emotions called "rampancy".

     

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    Hinako becomes teleported to this strange world thereafter with lots of flowers around and a very calming and serene atmosphere. However, a strange entity on the other side of the riverbank, a Demon, as it is called in the game, attacks Hinako and forces her into the river. Hinako drifts downward to a nearby spot, crawls out, and is surprised. However then, she hears two voices in her head that allow her to give her the power to eliminate the Demon. The two girls, Yuzu, and Lime, give Hinako the power of the Reflector: the power to balance human emotions through kindness and understanding.

     

    After completing the dungeon, Sanae returns to her normal state, still admiring Hinako, but in a much less over the top way. The next day, Yuzu and Lime appear as classmates of Hinako's, with the intention of collecting Fragments, a collective of human emotions, to bolster the Reflector's power. The game then becomes about the three girls, Hinako, Yuzu, and Lime, as they collect Fragments through the Reflector's power in order to defeat the most menacing of foes in the world: Sephirot.

     

    Along the way, you'll find more girls around the high school, such as Sarasa Morikawa, who originally looked up to Hinako as a rival in ballet and aspired to be everything she was, Rin Sanada, a tennis ace with a perfect record, who is amazing at cooking and loves older men (personally, my favorite girl), Ako Ichinose, a news reporter/broadcaster who wants to make friends through videos and sharing her upbeat personality, Shihori Sugamoto, who is a pervert and we don't associate with her, Chihiro Inoue, a cute girl who uses her arts and crafts to charm and make friends with everyone, Fumio Taya, a musical prodigy who works tirelessly to become the best musician, Kei Nariyama, a high school basketball star with pizzazz in sports, Kaori Mitsui, a gamer girl who was originally on the track team, along with Rika Yoshimura, track star who wants to break out of the "normal" nomenclature, Yuri Saiki, a genius girl who is emotionless and the toughest nut to crack, and Mao Ninagawa, a famous actress with dual personalities. Each of these characters brings so much life to the game and makes each character shine as though they were really alive, and not just 2D models in a game.

     

    Eventually, emotions within the real world start to become more complex. Things start blending together and human become harder to understand for Hinako as she tries to fight her way to save her friends' hearts. Fear can spill into sorrow, happiness can spill into anger, anger can spill into sorrow, and everything just...comes together so well. The story was so amazing from beginning to end, as we see Hinako fight for what she believes in: her friends, her compassion, and her sense of conviction in doing the right thing. There are many beautiful moments throughout the story that can occur in every day life, ranging from dealing with troubled teenagers spouting rumours about you over the Internet, dealing with a high-class versus low-class daughter who can't follow their dreams, splitting from the track and field team due to not having confidence, not having someone to look up to in your darkest hour, and so on.

     

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    Through the collection of many Fragments, Sephirot appear to attack the school, and as is your job as a Reflector, it is your duty to reflect them off. However, later on, you get the ability to kill them outright anyway, which kind of makes the first half of the game just plot armor for Hinako. Which is one of the things I kinda didn't like about the game, personally. I would have rather they built up the power to completely annihilate Sephirot in the first place rather than it fall victim to plot convenience, but that's just being very nitpicky of me.

     

    Also, Sephirot look fucking cool.

     

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    As you fight and fight, you discover that the "dungeons" you can go to is actually the basis of the human conscience and emotion. Now, I'm gonna draw a parallel to Persona 5 for a second here, since this game has taken a lot of inspiration from that game. This game has a place called "The Common", the place you go to to find Fragments and fight Demons in order to increase your power. Persona 5 has a place called "Mementos", the place you go to to find Quests and fight Personas in order to increase your power. Seem familiar?

     

    Yeah, this game is a lot like Persona 5 in a lot of ways, where emotion and friendships are your quick ways to victory. However, I will say one thing, though. The two games are completely worlds apart. If we were to compare the two games as pizzas, for example, Persona would be a sausage and pepperoni extra large pizza with stuffed crust and a side of cheesy garlic bread. Blue Reflection would be a nice Hawaiian pizza with a side of bread sticks. Simple, but MUCH more casual than Persona 5. Streamlined in such a fashion that makes it feel like you aren't stressed for time trying to do the things you love and balance it out with fighting Sephirot.

     

    Now I'm hungry.

     

    As you play along, you'll discover the secret of the two young girls, Yuzu and Lime, who they really are, and why they chose Hinako as the source of the Reflector's power. Turns out, Yuzu and Lime are already dead. In a freak experimental accident gone wrong (totally not senor plot convenience, right?), a previous Sephirot wanted to try and merge The Common and the human world together, but failed. Yuzu and Lime were the result of that experiment gone wrong. However, their souls remain in The Common, but their actual identities are masked and no one knows who they are unless they have specifically come into contact with Hinako first, and given a ring to show that they are friends. By the way, if I ever got a ring from being friends with a girl, I'd marry her.

     

    Then, the Sephirot who wants to erase all human emotion and existence comes after you defeat all the previous Sephirot.

     

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    Humans can be so frail and fragile as their bonds with friends crumble apart. Friends go away, relationships and hearts can be broken, people can even die. But that doesn't mean we should give up and lie down. It's in the endurance of the human heart to always persevere, no matter what, and this game has no shame in telling you that. The final boss makes you realize your fear and regret, your sorrow and your anger, and your wish to persevere humanity's wishes, with the concept of "never forgetting the people who made us get here in the first place", even if they aren't really there.

     

    The story is easily one of the best parts about the game. GUST has always made games with really really good storylines because they work. Even though it's overly cliche with the whole schoolgirl trope, it still works. Unlike "That game which shall not be named" that I did last time.

     

    Overall: 8.5/10.

     

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    Gameplay:

     

    Oh boy, is there a lot to talk about in this one.

     

    This game is very casual. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, because it follows a system that is very barebones, but still gets the job done. Unlike Persona 5, where you had to grind to Level Up in missions, in Blue Reflection, all your Level Ups are handed to you as you progress. Meaning, that there is no real way to grind, except by doing missions and getting "Growth Points". So, while it doesn't typically follow the usual RPG trope, it's still a good experience.

     

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    As you can see here, you can level up individual stats for Hinako, Yuzu, and Lime, and depending on how you level them up, they will get skills based on the different types of "trees" you invest in. There's ATK, which is obvious, DEF, which is obvious, SPT, which stands for Special Time, which effects how fast you go in combat (more on that later), and TEC, which does things you may not normally expect from typical RPGs, like Critical Strikes and Luck, and also getting skills that decrease enemy stats or increase your own. The fact that you can mold your characters to suit any role is actually really really fun, and offers a lot of replayability in how you want to build your characters. To start off with, though, Hinako is generally a Jack-Of-All-Trades good in every scenario character, Yuzu is a tank......which is really strange considering she's the smallest character in the game, and Lime, who is a glass cannon.

     

    Every character can learn some sort of healing skill, technical skill, or attack skill that makes them completely not worthless, but not every character will be strong in every situation either. So in that regard, you have to balance your characters through certain trees and make certain that you are investing your points wisely.

     

    Now, let's get into the real bulk of gameplay: Battles.

     

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    Battles are fought as Wait-Time ATB, for those RPG Maker nerds out there who know what I'm talking about. You have your timeline at the top which is incredibly easy to follow: Your turn on the left hand side, the enemies on the right hand side. When a target gets to the middle, they get to take their turn. Incredibly easy, straightforward, and to the point. And there are also attacks that help manipulate the timeline, for example "Bewitching Ivy" for Yuzu, which can knockback a foe on their timeline, and puts two "nodes" on the timeline that, when they get to their turn, knockback the same foe again. So there are lots of clever ways to manipulate the timeline to your advantage.

     

    However, with it comes a little bit of a negative I have with the combat.

     

    It's too easy. Along the way, you get a skill for Yuzu called "Grape Wave", which deals a shit ton of damage, knocks back foes, and has very little Wait Cooldown before you can take your turn again. Although it costs a lot of MP, you get all of it back anyway at the end of the fight, so all you have to do is spam "Grape Wave" for a majority of your fights, and....you win. And it's like that for a majority of the game after unlocking "Grape Wave", which might I add is a Story Skill, not a skill you get from unlocking and investing Points into trees. If "Grape Wave" were like that, I would have had a MUCH MUCH more fun time with the game, prioritizing strategy and actual thinking, rather than just spamming one single move over and over and over and over and winning constantly. That's not really fun. And because of that, a LOT of other skills during combat aren't really that usable, especially anything with "over time" in it's skill description. 

     

    There is difficulty select, but all it does is make the enemies more spongy, doubling their health. It doesn't change the attack values for the enemies or increase their loot drops or anything like that, which is really a bummer, because if that were the case, I could have flown through the game on Hard difficulty without even breaking a sweat.

     

    Another reason why the combat is so easy. Do you see the Reflect 40% in the corner? That's a special mechanic called Ether Gauge. When it's at 30%, 60%, or 90%, you can use a special ability called Overdrive, which gives up a portion of Ether Gauge to give the turn character an extra action. If enemies didn't die to Grape Wave from Yuzu, the next step would be to use Overdrive on Hinako, use her Attack Up Skill, and then use an attack that hits all enemies and kill them that way. No matter what I did, it seemed like I was always striving for a challenge in combat when it really wasn't there. Even Sephirot fights are ridiculously easy if you know how to use Overdrive, Guard, and other commands at your disposal.

     

    There's no Equipment, no money system, or anything of the sort. Everything is done by stats. Which is both kinda positive and negative. It makes it more casual, but it also makes a lot of the game straightforward and one-dimensional in terms of what you can do.

     

    So while the combat isn't that great, there's a lot of variety with what you can do regarding skills. It's just a shame that Grape Wave is so ridiculously overpowered, especially in a game where you get all your HP/MP back at the end of the fight. If that didn't happen, combat DEFINITELY would have been a lot more challenging and more strategic.

     

    However, onto some of the good things about the game.

     

    Like Persona 5, at the end of the day, you can invite certain girls to hang out with you at various locations: The Tomb, The Convenience Store, The General Store (which is kind of the same thing, game. .-.), the Theatre, the Arcade, the Photo Booth, and the Bus Stop. Do this repeatedly, and you'll get special perks in combat when you fight against Sephirot.

     

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    As you develop Friendship Points with your friends, you can unlock some of their most powerful Fragments. And Fragments are easily the most awesome thing about this game, which is why I'm super frustrated why I didn't take a picture of it when I did my playthrough. Fragments are, in essence, upgrades to your already awesome abilities. For example, think back to Grape Wave being ridiculously overpowered. Now imagine it having a less Wait Cooldown time and always guaranteeing a critical hit with 20% more critical damage. Or a heal-all spell that charges up your Ether gauge and also gives everyone an Attack Up buff. Or my personal favorite, a spell that increases every party member's Attack and Critical Rating, but lowers their Speed, which is then counterbalanced by a ridiculous "target party member gets ATK+, DEF+, SPD+, LUK+". Yeah, there are a lot of crazy synergies you can pull of in this game to make your combat experience even sweeter. And that's definitely one of the high points of the game for me.

     

    Grape Wave is still broken though.

     

    And each character you are friends with comes with their own set of Fragments, and as you do their Dungeons, you can get some of their most powerful Fragments. Your best friends are definitely the ones that increase efficiency when over 20% Ether, "Changes the equipped Skill", and anything that gives an ATK+ buff, as those are your most powerful tools.

     

    As you fight in The Common, you can obtain items from the monsters you defeat, which can then, in turn, be used to craft certain things. And while I couldn't get a screenshot of the crafting menu, the crafting menu is entirely complex, needing materials from three different, sometimes all four zones, and finding all the similar ways to get the items actually is the only real "farming" you have to do in this game, especially if you're going for 100%, like I am.

     

    So yeah, while the combat is very bare bones, it's still experimental in some regards. Bottom line, I wish it would have been more challenging, but we can't always have everything great in life.

     

    Overall: 7.5/10.

     

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    Quality:

     

    This is both the best and worst parts of this game, strangely. And I'll go into a few details why.

     

    This game is fucking beautiful at 1080p.

     

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    I know the screenshots don't really do it justice but EVERYTHING LOOKS SO FUCKING GOOD AND IT'S LIKE HNNNGGGHHH I CAN'T TAKE ALL THIS BEAUTY. And it runs wonderfully in 60 FPS as well with no frame drops!

     

    ....And then there's cutscenes, which look ugly as hell with 480p definition and choppy texture, like it's run through a grain filter from something in the PS2 era. And they're locked to an ugly 30 FPS, which is one of, if not my biggest pet peeve in games. If you're gonna have a game, make it run at either 60 FPS all the time or 30 FPS all the time. Preferably the former. But don't have inconsistencies in your game that ruin the quality experience for viewers.

     

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    Maps are fucking beautiful and sometimes I just spent my time walking around the Sorrow Area (pictured below) and Happiness Area (pictured above) just taking screenshots because I had nothing better to do.

     

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    The music is easily the best soundtrack I've heard in years. And that is not an exaggeration. Every track in the game has a beautiful oscillating piano line that is absolutely heart-trembling and amazing. Every track in this game felt vibrant and colorful. The best word I can use to describe this game's soundtrack is....electric.

     

    When you're fighting a Sephirot, the music absolutely makes you want to get your blood racing.

     

    When you're out in school and the rain starts pouring down on you, there's somber music to go along with it.

    When you're hanging out with one of your friends, it plays really calm music. Everything about the soundtrack is so incredible and easily one of the highs of the game.

     

    Every track fits in with the game so well. Especially in the Fear Zone, which is easily the most unsettling track in the entire game, with off-beat and off-key piano strokes hidden behind a filter that screams uncomfortable.

     

    ...*sigh* And then camera angles like this can happen where you're stuck looking at the ground and not being able to take in the scenery of the game.

     

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    And yes, that's me with the maximum amount of tilt DOWN I can go.

     

    And now for the negative, besides the gross looking cutscenes. The script looks like it was rushed and made in two days. There are spelling errors and grammar mistakes all over the place. It really ruins the immersion of the game when there are constant spelling mistakes. Mistakes that can easily be rectified by plugging your script into Microsoft Word, hell, even NotePad of all things! And the port on Steam is riddled with gross and quite often, frequent, crashes whenever a cutscene decides to play. I know TecmoKOEI aren't the best at making ports, given their ignorance to the DW series and Toukiden, but come on, this is ridiculous. I don't want to have to lose 45 minutes worth of progress in the game due to a random infuriating crash.

     

    Quality is hit and miss, honestly. Depends on if you're a graphics freak like I am, but infuriating random crashes aren't tolerable. Everything else about it was good, though.

     

    Overall: 7.5/10.

     

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    Replayability:

     

    As stated before, there's a lot of different things to do regarding building your characters, and there's a New Game +, but unless you're going to 100% the game the first time, there's really no reason to go back for a second playthrough unless I really really loved the game as much as I did. So ultimately, that's not really the greatest of determiners for a game's replayability value, but honestly, there needs to be a reason to go back through the second time and cherish the game as much as the first time.

     

    Overall: 6/10.

     

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    Now, it's time for the final wrap-up. In this section, I'll detail if this game is truly one for you, and if you should decide to play it or not.

     

    Would I recommend this game?:

     

    Absolutely yes. However, don't buy it on a whim like I did for the $59.99 price tag when it has glaring issues with the port development, such as lackluster cutscenes and random crashes. Wait until it goes on sale for about $40 before trying to consider this game. It's at least not as bad as NieR: Automata in terms of port development, but it still has glaring issues. Unlike NieR: Automata, there's no fixes for the crashes either. But if you want a casual RPG you want to breeze through while looking at cute girls, then this is absolutely your dream game. If you want to buy this thinking it might scratch your Persona fix, you'll be disappointed as those two games are worlds apart. It's still a very fun game in its own regard, and I highly recommend it.

     

    Overall: 7.6/10. Great.

     

    Now take the absolute best track in the entire game no questions asked.

     

     

  4. FINISHED PLANS

    Smarter Enemy AI

    On certain enemies, they will be given a smarter AI which is manually critiqued by me.

     

    PLANS

    Side Quests: Going to focus a bit on side quests

    Drawing: Trying to learn how to draw for the project

    Enemy Graphic Reform: Redoing enemy graphics once I get good at drawing.

     

  5. Hello, everybody! Everybody's favourite ghostie here! I'm sure you're all wondering what I mean by "new and improved Aftermath: Gears of Hope".

     

    Long story short: I wasn't happy with the project. It didn't seem plausible, the more I thought about it. I wasn't happy with the fact that I had part of a certain fandom telling me to stop "copying" another game. So, I redesigned the idea, combined a few new ideas, brought back a few ideas from an earlier world design and started a brand new project.

     

    As I like to say, "Sometimes, you have to take a good long look at your project, think about it and realize that maybe you were right the first time."

    (Okay, I just barely said that, but it's good advice.)

     

    What's changed:

    The game no-longer has anything to do with a school or campus town. It takes place in a futuristic city.

    The protagonist has a set gender, name, nationality, past and personality.

    The game has been somewhat scoped down, so as to avoid being stuck in DevHell for years on end with little to no progress.*

    The game will now have pre-release builds to give fans ideas of what the game will be like once I begin getting stuff implemented.

     

    What hasn't changed:

    The game is still about being a cyborg spy.

    There is still an information broker.

    All characters will still be interesting and be able to be interacted with in an interesting way.

    The game is still heavily mission-based, but with player freedom.

     

    I don't really know how to describe it, but think about it this way - the game will have a lot in common with Mass Effect... Without the changes being saved between entries in the series and heavy player customization on the character. (When I release sequels, you'll have to answer questions on certain things. However, due to limitations, the sequels will follow a "canon path".)

     

    * - Don't worry, there will still be most of what originally got the game an audience.

  6. I still have a lot of work to do, but I think it's a good time to show off some story bits of chapter 0. ...Or, in this case, the whole thing. It's not entirely finished yet and there are still some bugs that need to be squashed. However, I'm quite happy with how it turned out regardless. I seem to enjoy making cutscenes look the best they can thanks to Galv's Camera plugin. The gameplay is every basic and I haven't gotten around to making any actions sequences, yet. This is mostly just to show off some bits of the beginning story. I might also try to get my topic back up again since I have some new stuff lined up, but I want to wait a bit longer just to make sure.

     

    Anyway, here's Chapter 0!

     

     

  7. Classes

     

    Each character has a class or job that not only defines their skills and combat style, but it is an important and defining part of the character behind. For example, Araken is a monster hunter. This means that he has a set of skills to reflect that: quick strikes, counter attacks, crossbow bolts with different effects, etc. However, being a monster hunter is part of who he is, it shaped his personality, has given him an objective, something to do and to accomplish in life.

     

    Classes are not just "I am a warrior because it says so in the menu." Classes are jobs, in the literal meaning of the word, not just the gaming term. Asher is a thief because he was raised and trained to be one. Sherr is a Druid because he was choosen to be one, something he accepted and welcomed with a smile in his face and hope in his heart. Karsten is a Judge-Knight because of family tradition and because he has a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. In general, classes equal to a job, an occupation the character has and likes. The character has devoted their life to that class/job, training hard to be better at what they do.

     

    Each character has a "class headquarters", where they can improve their weapons and armors, buy class-related items and accesories and complete quests and minor tasks. Of course, there will be a lot of NPCs to talk to and ways to learn more about the world and the lore. These "class headquarters" leads to the next element analysed in this section: job quests.

     

    Job Quests: New skills and weapons

     

    Each character belong to a class and has a corresponding "class headquarters" where you can freely travel. There is a set of skills for each character that are only unlockable through "job quests", a series of plot-related, lore heavy and character developing quests that have an increasing difficulty and offer great rewards in the form of the aforementioned skills and also new weapons.

     

    New skills

     

    Completing a job quest grants a new skill related that expands the role of the character in battle:

    -As a Priestess of Light, Narissa will learn "Prayers", a type of buffing skills which are very useful in battle. Complete all quests to get a powerful and permanent passive skill.

    -As an Expert Thief/Thief, Asher/Sherr will learn "Bombs", a type of throwing skills with different and explosive effects. Complete all quests to get "fragmentation" versions of the bombs hat target all foes.

    -As a Mage, Rashana will learn "Erudition", a type of soul based magic that consumes HP and PM in exchange of dealing a lot of damage. Complete all quests to get a useful permanent passive skill.

    -As a Judge-Knight, Karsten will learn "Shouts", a type of buffing skills that have an positive and negative effect on the character (e.g. raise max HP for 4 turns but lose 15% HP when it ends). Complete all skills to get a unique accesory.

    -As an Engineer, Laani will learn "Gunslinger", that grants bullets with different effects. Complete all quests to gain a new weapon.

    -As a Monster Hunter, Araken will learn "Elemental Bolts", which is self-explanatory. Complete each quest to receive new crossbows and all quests to receive his final crossbow.

    -As a Druid, Sherr will learn "Alchemy", a skill used to brew potions. Completing each quest unlocks new recipes and completing all will grant a recipe for permanent stat bonus potions.

    -As a Velaker (Scythe wealding blade dancer), Xander will learn "Shadow Magic", a dangerous but powerful magic. Complete all to receive his final scythe.

    -As a Paladin, Heidek will learn "Divine Protection", a new set of protective skills that affect the allies but not the user. Complete all quests to receive his final shield.

     

    New weapons

     

    In "Crystal Crown" you can't buy weapons nor will you find weapons normally in dungeons or dropped by monsters. The only way to get a new weapon is to complete tasks and quests for your "job headquarters". Each character has 5 weapons: first one is considered "regular", second is "normal", third is "average", fourth is "rare" and the last is "legendary". For example:

     

    Araken uses swords. Regular, usual, longswords. Nothing too impressive, but he is comfortable using them. Now, say that you want a new weapon for him. Just go to the Order of Monster Hunters Headquarters and complete "Hunting Missions" to achieve "Hunter points". When you ahve enough, you can claim a new weapon.

     

    However, this is not always the case: some characters will be asked to complete a series of quests either with the rest of the group participating or by themselves. Thieves will be asked to steal valueable relics from nobles and merchants. The Paladin will be tasked with heathen-dealing missions (in which you decide what to do, follow orders or not), etc. Sometimes you are asked to recover an ancient artifact as part of a "Job Quest", which will grant you a new weapon/armor/accesory.

     

    The important thing here is that the player will need to advance each character in their classes/jobs to get them new weapons.

     

    *Exception: Laani, the engineer, crafts her own weapons, but only after finding certain tools or after improving a weapon she alrwady own sufficiently. She will determine what she needs in order to craft a new weapon and then you will have to search for the materials and tools.

     

    WEAPONS AND ARMOR

     

    "Ok", you say, "I have a new weapon but is not that powerful. How am I going to defeat monsters with only five weapons?"

     

    The answer is: by improving them. Weapons can be improved at blacksmiths and artificers (also called "crystalsmiths") up to +10 or up to +5, depending on the weapon. There are many forging materials to do so and they can be collected from mines, caves, dungeons and finally monsters, which will drop parts of them (horns, hide, etc) that can be later brought to a city to be processed into forging materials. Some weapons have a heavy lore background, explained during the quest involved in its recovery or after being rewarded with it. Other weapons are related to the background and story of a character.

    Armors can also be improved, by the way. Some classes can wear various types of armor, but some others can only wear one type. There is head, shield, body, gloves and leg armor, in addition to necklace, ring, bracelet and earring slots. Accessories offer the usual elemental and state resistances, stat improvement, etc. I am working on a "full set bonus" for certain accesories and/or armors in the form of a passive buff or something like that.

     

    Blacksmiths

     

    There are several scattered across the world: in some towns, in each major city and in each "job headquarters". There are tiers for them, with the most basic ones being "Apprentice blacksmiths", who will only improve the first weapons of each characters. On the other side of the spectrum, "Master blacksmiths" can improve any weapon, except the final weapon of each character, which can only be improved by the blacksmith of the "job headquarters".

     

    There is an exception: Laani, the engineer, her weapons (and only them) can only be improved by herself, providing that she has adequate tools and forging materials. Additionaly, some engineer equipment can only be improved by other engineers.

     

    Crystalsmiths or artificers

     

    There a few, settled in some of the major cities and key locations. As with blacksmiths, there are tiers, with only the crystalsmiths from the Garkon Tower Education and Research Facilities being able to improve legendary equipment.

     

     

    Dev corner

     

    I used customised Yanfly's "Item Synthesis" to create the menus for alchemy, as well as weapon and armor improving. With the recipe system the plugin offers I created several crafting menus for armor/weapon improvement, potion brewing, item creation, etc. The fact that you can open up the synthesis menu for just one recipe is also very helpful and honestly, it has been a life saver for an otherwise complicated but rewarding system I have set up.

     

    I also use Yanfly's "Item Core" to add lore snippets on the info windows on the weapon/armor/item menus, sort of like Dark Souls do. I think it gives more meaning and life to the world, lore and item.

     

     

     

  8. When it comes to matters of faith everyone has their own beliefs and fairies are no different. What does tend to be different for fairies is the way faith is treated. In general the fairy approach to religion can be summarized as 'that which is worshiped or revered gains power'. It is in someways the opposite of the common human approach, which can be sometimes be thought of as 'that which is powerful is worshiped or revered'. Of course it's not that cut an dry on either side, but it works as a good general starting point for the difference between common fairy and common human beliefs. For a fairy, religious devotion isn't thought of as much as about 'belief' as it is about 'choice'. To choose to hold something sacred or holy is to invest power into that thing, the more of one's own energy one chooses to devote to something the more power it gains in their eyes. The more power and renown something has, the more it can do and therefor the more useful it is to worship, but this is often a secondary concern and many fairies believe that worship for purely pragmatic reasons is less potent then devoting one's self to something just because they genuinely want to. Fairies do often hold that such purely pragmatic belief is done in 'bad faith'.

     

    Fairies tend to also similarly look down on the idea of religion being some sort of 'duty' or 'obligation'. To most fairies any religious belief that demands worship or devotion is at best poisonous to the ones who follow it and at worse poisonous to everything around them as well. They also tend to be opposed to organized religious institutions (of significant scale at least) and especially opposed to anything they even suspect to be any kind of religious indoctrination by one. In fact fairies tend to shy away from the idea of having any kind of fixed 'canon' of teachings or beliefs, and instead prefer syncretically following whatever they feel fit. Most religious practices are often thought best carried out in private, and mass public displays of worship are often seen as disruptive or suspicious. This doesn't mean religious gatherings or places of worship don't exist, just that fairies rarely are that overt about prayer or other such rituals and preaching is usually kept to a minimum. Fairies tend to find most common human religions and religious practices to be repugnant, dangerous, or at least very very silly (especially Christianity, on witch there are also many historical reasons to bare a grudge), although most will grudgingly accept a person's choice in following one if they show 'true faith' as a fairy recognizes it.

     

    While fairies do often worship many gods and other spirits (as personalized representatives of abstract concepts and as beings in their own right), they aren't necessarily thought of in the general sense as much more then a human might think of famous celebrities. In other words, often awe inspiring and worthy of respect for their power and fame, but not beings beyond understanding or reproach. To a fairy, gods and other spirits are just like any other being, at least in that regard. A fairy might just as well worship another fairy they are a fan of, or even a human in rare cases, living or dead. A fairy wouldn't necessarily see much difference between a fan convention and a temple, a cosplayer or a priest. What matters to a fairy is the devotion and energy put into something, not the exact form that devotion takes. That doesn't mean that that's all fairies worship however. To fairies anything and everything can be a target of worship, from directly worshiping abstract concepts to revering inanimate objects and everything in between. The wonders of nature are a common choice. Fairies often make little shrines of a sort out of things like a refreshing spring or well, a waterfall, a neat cave, a particularly large tree or pleasant grove, a small hill, anywhere that seems like a nice meeting place. Sometimes fairies may put up some altars made from a pile of stones or standing stones marked with runes. There might be entryways marked by Stonehenge-like gates. Sometimes it's just decoration, but sometimes it means a fairy felt the need to protect a place with magic and a barrier will keep out any who don't go through the gate. Sometimes these gates act as portals to other places.

     

    Well loved objects are thought to be in some sense holy as well. Objects with sentimental value are prized and said to hold lots of power. Indeed, magically a well loved object can be very powerful, and can hold many blessings or sometimes powerful curses. An object's history and it's connection to the history of others is very important to many fairies. Though they don't truly exist in the fairy world, museums are also places a fairy might think of like a temple of a sort. One not only holding precious objects for display, but also in charge of understanding and explaining their history. Many fairies tend to be hoarders of artifacts that they personally find important, even if no one else does. It is even not that uncommon for fairies to, rather then revering or worshiping any particular thing, devote one's self to a concept or ideal. To a fairy someone who devote themselves to something like 'justice', 'love', 'science', 'power', or 'pleasure' are simply putting their faith into something like any other personal belief. And of course, many fairies choose to put their faith in only in themselves or sometimes in nothing at all.

     

    Ritual can also be very important to fairies, both magically and spiritually (in fact magic and spirituality are often seen as deeply connected, but not always truly synonymous). Fairy rituals are often personalized or are part of a large collection of haphazard folk beliefs and practices. The form rituals take often doesn't matter as much as the function they serve and the feeling behind them, and fairies mostly encourage experimentation and improvisation over strict traditionalism or sticking to any one set of rules too strictly. This often extends to 'social rituals' such as manners or protocol, especially for solitary fairies (to a point anyway, there are still basic guidelines to follow if one doesn't want to be seen as rude). The exceptions where traditionalism and/or following a set of strict rules is expected are mostly for those within the Seelie courts and occasionally when fairies need to have a formal meeting, trial, or duel.

     

    Since fairies are practically immortal they don't tend to care much about the idea of an afterlife. Many fairies find the idea silly or disdainful, but often acknowledge it's possibility. Most fairies who care to think about such things might say that things can create echos that might linger long after they are gone and leave it at that. Fairies also don't tend to care all that much about the origin or meaning of existence as a whole. There are speculations about it and a few scattered legends, but many fairies would say that how things came to be doesn't really matter, and what things mean is up to every person to decide. If fairies have any generally agreed upon explanation about existence as a whole, it's that existence is about, if anything, existing. That everyone and everything that exists, real or unreal, is fulfilling whatever role it may have for it's own sake and not for the sake of some higher purpose or god. Often fairies believe that happiness is truly found in loving one's own existence for it's own sake. Loving one's own existence doesn't necessarily mean only loving one's self, but also can include the world around them and everything in it. It also doesn't necessarily mean one can never be unsatisfied or upset, just that maybe one shouldn't let negative feelings ruin their passion for existing. And it certainly doesn't necessarily mean one shouldn't ever strive to change themselves or the world around them, just that maybe they should remember and appreciate where they are and what they are doing. Of course most fairies wouldn't say that in so many words, but it's really kind of important to us. After all, when a fairy doesn't care about existing anymore they die for good. 

     

    So in the end, to a fairy wonder and passion can be found in all things great and small. All you have to do is look!

  9. Symphony_of_Carbon.jpg

     

    The next Seasonal update is here, and this new blog format is kinda strange right now. Oh well, I'll get used to it.

     

    Anyways, the game has another chapter, 4 more elements, a barracks at your town, and lots of rebalancing. And oh, the game is on Steam Early Access as well.

     

    Time to rest my brain and get my mind ready for the next update in December. I'm not sure what it's gonna have exactly, but it's not gonna focus on story. It'll mainly be new areas, monsters, and equipment.

     

    Good luck and don't die too much.

  10. I find myself in this putrid limelight often, being shamed for just being myself, for speaking the truth, for just...being...honest...and I tell ya, I'M DAMN SICK OF IT.

     

    It happens to me everywhere, so I'm slowly dropping out of the limelight's reach on more and more social platforms. I already gave up on more than half of them, for this among other reasons, which includes Facebook, Deviant Art, Twitter, Instagram, Photobucket, and soon to follow will be Twitch, Discord, and all other forum-based platforms, if this is to continue, because I cannot justify conformity in any sense. It is thoroughly immoral, and furthermore, both damaging and senseless.

     

    Also, conformity != civility. If anything, the two are complete opposites (and they are).

     

    And before anyone starts a tirade on this, for whatever reason...

     

    I am not like most; I present the facts in a way that is not often seen as much more than 'crazy talk'; to the commoner, I am just 'crazy', but that's their ignorance and their privilege showing. If anything, my level of intellect on a lot of things should be granting me 'pedestal status', or at the very least, some level of glowing praise, but not in this day and age, where superior intellect == mental illness and/or instability. Am I too intelligent for my own good? Probably, but there's nothing I can do about it, short of getting a lobotomy.

     

    If you feel the need to not read any further, then please, by all means, don't. But I also do not want a two-bit opinion if you're not to read the full post. That's trolling, another sickening thing about the twenty-first century humanity, which is anything but human.

     

    Back to intellect. "Okay, if you're so smart, why can't you fix this, or that? Or the world?"

     

    There's one way to fix the world...you won't like it either.

     

    Someone once illustrated the solution to the world's problems, and though there were no humans in it, there were four guillotines, seven nooses, and a bloodied heavy axe hung on a stone wall. There was a caption that said 'for those who feel the world is needing of change, but have no contributions to give, feel free to offer your life so that others may thrive'.

     

    Obviously, no one who believes they are in control of their own lives would go for it, but in all due honesty, I could probably list a few thousand people by name who definitely would qualify as needing this type of voluntary execution (I won't mention any names), myself included.

     

    "Wait, why would you include yourself??"

     

    Because, as smart as I am, I lack the capability at the practical level to create the change. I'd be a liability, just another impractical asset whose intellect would likely not find much use, and therefore, would not be vital. That's all. The fact that it would be the end of my imprisonment here is irrelevant.

     

    "You're so dramatic, so negative..."

     

    Yeah, I know. I've explained this already, so I won't go there again, it stresses me out even further.

     

    I'll tell you this. I'd rather write (or in this case type) out my frustrations, than have my frustrations be channeled through my fists into an inanimate object, like a wall, window, or at the worst, to grab a knife and show my extreme duress by positioning it into the seppuku preparation stage.

     

    "You need professional help."

     

    I HAD that before I moved from Colorado. I had a great team of doctors aiding me, and I was slowly recovering, but now I don't even have insurance, and likely don't even qualify, thanks to Donald JACKASS Trump and his BS TrumpCare.

     

    "Why did you move from Colorado??"

     

    Because, on my FIXED and VERY LIMITED income, I could no longer afford to live there. The cost of living keeps increasing, but the bottom line never follows. Soon, only the wealthy will survive...my middle finger (both of them) to that.

     

    "Is there anything that I (or we) can do, to help?"

     

    I always accept donations (not that I get any or have ever gotten any), so there is that. Otherwise, over the internet, there is little that can be done, or even asked of.

     

    -----------------------------

     

    One thing about all this, is that if I were to ever make it out, and to become a great success, I would never forget about the struggles, and most certainly would never forget about those who also suffer, which is why PHANTOM Enterprises will always be a non-profit company, and that my band, Karma Bitches, will never have copyrights on our music.

     

    Pie in the Sky dreams, I know...

  11. It has been a long time since I have done a proper blog post.  This one is the first part of a multi part series of importing Tiled maps to AGK.  I use AGK in Tier 2 as a game framework using C++.  This is the real draw to AGK for my use, as I have the simplicity of AGK with the power of C++.  However, this tutorial is written using an AGK Tier 1 snippet as there is no need for any added complexity.  I will eventually write a C++ variation that is more flexible, but none the less, let’s start part 1 of this tutorial.  It is important to note that this does not only work with Tiled, it can be used to load any tileset/atlas image easily, but Tiled is my motivation for making it.

    Tiled.png

    Tiled is an open source tile map editor for use in any engine.  I will be making maps using Tiled and bringing them into my AGK Tier 2 project.  The first step to doing this is to import the tileset images individually using the same ID’s that Tiled does.  If you select a tile in Tiled, the ID in the property menu is always 1 lower than it’s exported ID.  This makes ID 0 equal 1, ID 2 equal 3, etc…  What this means is that the top left sprite ID = 1 and counts up going from top left flowing to the right then down.  Something like this:

    1  2  3  4
    5  6  7  8
    9  10 11 12
    13 14 15 16

    Using this code snippet, there are 4 variables of interest to turn all uniform tilesets into an AGK compliant file.

    002  tileWidth = 128
    003  tileHeight = tileWidth
    004  numHorizontalTiles = 16
    005  numVerticalTiles = 16
    • tileWidth — Change this to the width of a tile.
    • tileHeight — If the tiles are square, leave as is.  Otherwise, set to the height of the tile.
    • numHorizontalTiles — How many tiles are from left to right.
    • numVerticalTiles — How many tiles are from up to down.

    From there, just run the script and a file will appear in C:/Users/<<UserName>>/AppData/Local/AGKApps/<<AppName>>/media/myfile

    Copy this file to the same directory your tileset is and rename it to “<<TilesetName>> subimages.txt” and you will be able to load the tiles in just fine.


    Just to prove it works, I will demonstrate loading the tileset in AGK Tier 2.

    Blog Post Image 1.png

    Tileset and Subimage file side-by-side

    Once the generated file and tileset image are both in the same directory, you can then proceed to load the image and subimages to AGK.  I included a very simple example code of loading in all 256 images (in my case).

    std::list<g::Sprite*> s;
    ...
    unsigned int image = agk::LoadImage("media\\Tilesets\\Grassland\\Grassland.png");
    for (int i = 1; i < 256; i++)
    {
    	s.push_front(new g::Sprite(agk::LoadSubImage(image, std::to_string(i).c_str())));
    	agk::SetSpritePosition(s.front()->GetSpriteID(), (i-1)%16*128, (i-1)/16*128);
    }
    

    This code makes a list of a Sprite class that I made for my project and loads up all subimages of the tileset into the list and places them from left to right, top to bottom.

    Blog Post Image 2.png

    Tileset loaded and placed, one tile at a time. Link to tileset.

    There we go.  Tilesets and Atlases made and loaded into AGK far easier than slowly typing out the subimages file manually.

    Part II in progress, I will link to it here when done.

    -Maindric


    211 b.gif?host=maindric.com&blog=38476006&po

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    (Dredges up old review blog to prevent people spending money on junk)

    Good. An unbiased intro.

     

    So, I just want to preface this by saying this is a review of the re-release and not the original game. So the review is going to be pretty short and, hey, I do actually love the original release; To me, FFIX is pretty much the peak of the JRPG genre; it handled equipment/skills with more thought than its predecessors, had excellent side-content, and an iconic villain that, amazingly, is barely cringeworthy considering his near two decades old flamboyance. And since its just a re-release all that great stuff is still there. Its just everything else that's bad.

     

    So, to address the elephant in the room, how does the game look? Actually, pretty darn good. Or, the bits they touched at least. Which is just character models, and most of the cutscenes and most of the battlebacks I've encountered have been worked on too. Now, that sentence already provide two issues:

    Firstly, yes, I omitted the maps from that. Square would have you believe that Zidane and co. have selective cataracts where all sprites and objects of note (ie. chests) are in startling clarity against some blurry wasteland. I considered providing examples of the most offending maps but as this has been a subject of much controversy I'd imagine finding screenies of this shouldn't be too taxing.

    And secondly. not even the entirety of the cutscenes and battlebacks have been upgraded (a vast majority, but definitely not all) which at first notice provides shock and outrage followed by bitterness as not only did Square only do half a job of updating the graphics but they didn't even fully complete that half.

    Heck, the game still runs in 4:3 so I'm not sure if it even can be classified truly as 'HD' although in fairness it does not officially market itself as such (just in spirit ;) )

    Now, credit where its due, the character animations, in battles specifically, are wonderful. And a lot of on-map animation and design is much easier to notice, although part of that is no doubt in virtue of playing on a screen approximately three times larger than my eleven year old self was privy to. Oh and the Tetra Master cards have been touched up too which is nice.

     

    As far as the UI design. Well, they changed the menus. Can't say they're functionally, or even asthetically any better. Square clearly felt obligated to act but I just don't see why, particularly since they don't seem to have been too interested in it themselves. The cynic in me thinks the devs just wanted something you're constantly confronted with, and in confrontation with, to say 'hey, look we did do stuff so that's why you paid money'.

    There are a few much bigger afronts that overwhelm that inner voice with, err, another louder inner voice. And they're all to do with the on-map exclamation mark alerts. Firstly they are everywhere. Like, for reals. For some reason Square thought it would be a good idea to provide an alert to let you know you can talk to NPCs. It actually provides you with two so that you also know which ones are available to play Tetra Master with. Both are obviously something that sounded good in principle to somebody but should have immediately been noticed in testing as a terrible idea as you wander around Treno in a swarm of irritating bubbles. Oh, and interacting with one of these bubbles now leaves a negative of it for a few frames. Sexy ¬.¬ .

     

    The gameplay additions were actually pretty interesting, I thought; The ability to move faster, remove random encounters, and all of that. Square showed an excellent awareness of the fanbase even if they failed to understand them. See, all these features are geared towards the players who go for different kinds of perfect saves and, often, need to reach Memoria within twelve hours for Excalibur II or remain at level1 for the majority of the game. A considerable amount of the appeal of these playthroughs, ofc, being the challenge. Which these features strip away from an otherwise very easy game. In fact, Square seem to have done this compulsively, making the theatre swordfight easier to max for the first Moonstone and...a couple of other things I've forgotten in this thirtyish hour blur. You're not obligated to engage these features so there's no real harm in their addition (except that if you were to accidentally activate one you're unable to turn it back off) but its just disappointing that what is arguably the best addition with excellent intentions is inherently flawed.

     

    I'm going to end by disregarding a rule of reviewing for me. Or adding a clause to it perhaps. I hate when people bring the price into a review of a game; its an aspect that is entirely external to the piece. However, since what I've been writing about here is the disparity between two packages of the same game and not really about the game itself I'll come out and say that this is not worth the money. It just isn't. If you don't own an existing copy of FFIX then I'd say its an incredible game and you'll enjoy the heck out of it; if the re-release is the best way of accessing the game for you then so be it. But if you do own an original copy this version brings so little to the table for the price that Square is asking for (it is also rarely on sale and, so far, never generously so) that you might as well continue enjoying Kuja Trance and Steiner x Beatrix, the Lifa Tree and Chocobo's Lagoon, on your original disks because that's what the game is about, not a couple of redone character models.

     

     

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    I just wanted to post and say I completed a simple sewer valve puzzle. I'm pretty proud of it.
    :D

  12. Purple Phantom
    Latest Entry

    The test subject in question was a girl of about 15. Due to an incident involving some bioweapons rather recently, she'd lost the ability to walk. She'd been taken into the underground facility and put into lockdown, in case any other symptoms arose. Charlie glanced at her colleague.

    "Are you sure about this?" she asked him. He smiled that daring smile of his, brushing his nearly white hair back with his fingers.

    "I'm sure," he replied charismatically, "This girl will no-longer be wheelchair-bound once this kicks in."

    Charlie sighed, hoping he was right. She watched as he strode into the room and talked to the girl, then injected her with the syringe of liquid. Nothing happened...

    ...Minutes passed...

    ...And then, the girl stood up.

  13. So today I'm gonna talk about how TOD 3 is gonna be 10x more fun than the first 2 Games.

     

    But before we begin, I know I harp on the first 2 Games like they are trash and not worth playing, but there's is a legitimate reason as to why these 2 Games are the way they are. And as much as I tell myself that they could be improved upon, they aren't really that bad! It's just something you can do a 1st time Playthrough of and never play it again.

    But the reason, why they are so lackluster is actually a little complicated and has a lot to do with the 3rd Game as well.

     

    tl;dr. Basically symbolism and laziness.

     

    !Spoilers... kinda for the whole TOD series ahead!

     

    So... these 3 Games represent the 3 Alignment Types. The first Game representing being a Good Guy, the second one being a Bad Guy (Though that is extremely vaguely explained) and the 3rd one being Neutral.

    The Neutral Route being non-linear, symbolises that you have choices and can go whereever you please and whatever you can do.

    In the first Game Tod was determined to finish off the bad guy and he didn't care about anything else. After the defeat of the bad guy, Tod knew what he has done and didn't hesitate to take the killing blow. Killing the bad guy in the first Game is essentially killing off the entire Universe, because the bad Guy is actually the Creator of this whole thing. After you've killed him, the Universe slowly starts to vanish and will disappear in roughly 3000 years.

    After that, Tod didn't really know what to do and just started rampaging and started killing lots of Monsters that were getting in his way slowly but surely turning a bit mad.

    But at the REAL end of TOD 2, his Bro told him a lil' about his own past and told Tod to "calm down, Bro". He also told that his Home is still out there and that his Home isn't fully dead yet.

    Tod being calmed down and determined to face the consequences of his actions in the past. (He murdered all of his Friends and Family in his Home, because the bad guy of the 1st Game told him to do so.)

    And that's where TOD 3 begins. After that you can make lots of choices to redeem yourself or finish it off for good, or just do the right thing.

    That or i'm just lazy to make actual good Games...

     

    Now you know!

     

    So what exactly will TOD 3 do in terms of variety?

    Alright... check this shit out:

     

    -Negotiation/Interactions with the Monsters

    This probably will mostly determine your future in this Playthrough, so you'll be doing this a lot maybe... probably... or not.

    Monsters will have Traits of their own and you can decipher the Traits with your Scan Ability. You will also have access to the Talk Skill which let's you choose to interact with certain Monsters and try to do what they wish from you.

    Once you talk to them, you will be given choices on what to do. If the Choice is met with the Trait of the Monster (I.e. if the Monster Trait is Honest, tell the truth, or if it's Funny, tell a Joke, etc.), you two may get along and you will either receive prices, money, information, etc.

    There aren't JUST good traits though... there also will be bad and Neutral traits for Monsters as well.

    The bad traits are handled differently. You will have to fight the bad trait monsters, but of course not until you kill them, but until you hit them with certain skills. (I.e. if they have the trait Fearless, hit them with their weakness or if their trait is pessimistic, hit them with something they absorb, etc.)

    Neutral ones will be rare and will have HIGH rewards. They are regarded as very wise and will be difficult to convince. Their Traits will have special ways to convince them.

     

    Here are the Traits for each Group:

     

    GOOD Traits (Indicated by Blue Names)

    Honest = Tell the Truth

    Kind = Show Care

    Funny = Show your Funny Bone

    Optimistic = Show you see potential in the Future

     

    BAD Traits (Indicated by Red Names)

    Fearless = Hit their weakspot

    Confident = Hit them with whatever

    Pessimistic = Hit them with what they absorb

    Wild = Survive the Battle until he's had enough

     

    NEUTRAL Traits (Indicated by Green Names)

    Persuasive = ???

    Ambitious = ???

    Informed = ???

    Authoritative = ???

     

    -Keywords

    Remember Final Fantasy 2?

    No... not for the SNES but for the Famicom.

    Remember how that had a neat Keyword Mechanic and how almost every NPC reacted to the Keywords (To be Fair, most of their responses were "?" lol)

    I will implement that and have every NPC tell you something about every Keyword.

    You will receive a bunch of stuff if you say certain Keywords to certain NPCs.

     

    -Mini Games

    lol for those that just wanna fuck around. (I saw a Touhou sort of Script for VX... i might throw that in, just for lolz)

     

    -Side Stories

    Remember your Friends? That one Robot dude, that Abomination with just one eye and a Silent Puppet? Yeah... they were kinda there in the first 2 Games.

    I'll give them proper Stories in the 3rd, but only if you want to.

    This will be completely Optional for each route, but you will receive something for it, don't worry.

    I'll also not forget about the NPCs, i'll give each one a lil' bit of Backstory and Character.

     

    -5 Endings.

    5? Why not 3?

    Ok, so i kinda hated how Undertale handled the 3 different Routes with their endings.

    Like, let's say if you kill EVERY monster and like hit Metatton not hard enough you will get the neutral ending... that made sense...

     

    There will be more variation in the endings you approach.

    -True Pacifist Ending

    Never killing anything.

    -Pacifist Ending

    Never killing anything, but also not really helping out anyone.

    -Neutral Ending

    Kill some Monsters.

    -Mad Ending

    Killing a bit too much...

    -Death Ending

    Killing everyone.

     

    Is this going to be too much for me? Is this just a promise I will never keep? Am i a madman who has way too much Time?

    You tell me, i don't really know.

    Either way, i will inform you once i'm done with the Game.

     

    Cheers, fam! ~Shin

  14. Hey nosy blog reader~

     

    Just found my old concepts for one of my main charries from Tales of Eadris and wanted to give you all a laugh.

    This also shows my lack of creativity... ToE is a medievil-esque fantasy genre RPG.

     

     

    This was my first ever concept for Leina, a quiet girl. Very meh.

     

     

    _old__leina_by_takeo212_d88g5je_by_takeo212-da103yp.png

    _old__leina_by_techkit_d891ld6_by_takeo212_d8brs6g_by_takeo212-da103yg.png

    ^ ABOVE IMAGE DRAWN BY TECHKIT ON DEVIANTART ^

     

     

    Okay, yea, bad design haha.

     

     

    My next design was;

     

     

    _old__leinaref_by_takeo212_d8cqokf_by_takeo212-da103xz.png

     

     

    I like this design to be honest, but considering the game type/genre... this outfit doesn't really fit in...

    Also, can you tell I like Tomb Raider? xD

     

     

    My final design was;

     

     

    leina_farronwood_by_takeo212-da103ya.png

    leina_sketch__by_techkit_d97lql2_by_takeo212_d9bkd_by_takeo212-da103y6.png

    ^ ABOVE IMAGE ALSO DRAWN BY TECHKIT ^

     

     

     

    Her entire design changed, as well as her race. She originally was a simple human, but became an Elven hunter/thief.

     

     

    I also had a similar... phase... with Faeona. Her original design was stupid. I don't have the old file anymore, but trust me on it. She looks better now.

    Marina's design came so nicely. I got her design pretty well based for her first design and her final was just a detailing of the original. I love Marina <3

     

     

    What similar stages did you guys come across?

    Are you still developing your characters?

    What characters are you having most trouble with?

    Is there a favourite amongst your cast you just can't help but like more than the rest?

    Find out next time, on Dragon Ball Z!

  15. BY READING PASS THIS, YOU AGREE YOU ARE MATURE ENOUGH TO HANDLE THIS!

     

    Harmony is a new robot/doll that came out. It's main purpose is to be Sex Bot or is also referred to as Sex Doll. However, the company took it up a notch (well, maybe a lot of notches) as it now has artificial intelligence that's actually pretty cool.

     

    "Harmony smiles, blinks and frowns. She can hold a conversation, tell jokes and quote Shakespeare. She’ll remember your birthday, what you like to eat, and the names of your brothers and sisters. She can hold a conversation about music, movies and books. And of course, Harmony will have sex with you whenever you want."

     

    1492371671fqQKWfBkrQ_1_1.jpg

     

    Worlds-first-speaking-sex-doll-answers-questions-has-18-different-personalities-and-even-remembers-your-favourite-food.jpg

     

    This is how she looks. She will be on the market for $15,000.

    The reviews for it (from what I was told) are a lot of people who are...

    1. Guys not good in social skills

    2. Friendzoned guys

    3. Guys who gave up on dating

    4. Mentally Ill people

    5. People whose girlfriends/wives have died and they can't get over it

    6. Couples who want the fantasy threesome

    7. Lesbians

    8. Straight women who want to experiment

     

    I am for it; I feel if yo want it then you can have it. One complaint was that rapists would use this to cope with their "rapiness" (idk how to explain) which is kinda dumb because I would rather a rapist have sex with a robot/doll then doing it to an actual person.

     

    Another complaint was that it reinforces the idea that women are just there for their bodies. I will make the argument that people will always cherish relationships with other people, even other women (unless they are sexist). And you can't act like women don't have dildos. Yes, they don't talk, but if they did, I doubt that argument would be made again. Considering Harmony is really new, it will be time before they make a guy version.

     

    While on this argument, the add-on argument was that its the "perfect date" and men can pretend to care for human interaction with a woman. Let me tell you, Harmony could be everyone. What that tells me is that you can't hold a conversation, can't be talked to about music, movies, etc., you won't remember his birthday, you never remember what he likes to eat, and you won't ever have sex with him. Any boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband can be that. Heck, best friends have most of that except for sex (usually).

     

    Like anything, off-topic subjects always ends up somehow getting into everything. For example, the argument I just told you about came from a Feminist, so therefore, the Anti-Feminists came in. Part of what the Feminist said was that feminism is to show women don't need men. Anti-Feminists said "and men don't need women." Generally, the Anti-Feminists (including women) were saying "keep your dildos, you don't need men; do what you do. We will do what we do." And, I'm not going to lie, I don't even know what the Feminists are trying to do. Women got sex machines, vibrating dildos, squirting dildos, so I don't get how there is no outrage on that. *shrug*

    So there is a social and moral question to whether the Sex Bot is right. I believe, in both counts, that it is right and that it should be in the market. Now, I'm not saying put it in the bread section of Walgreens; if I had to guess, it'll be order online only because I don't see a store putting that in public with a sign like "Sex Doll for $15,000!."

     

    With all of that, are you for or against the idea of sex dolls to this extent? Explain why on the moral and social standard. Then, if your closest friend had one, how would you react? What will you say or do, and why?

  16. Lord Vectra
    Latest Entry

    One problem I have with certain people is when they wrongfully use the term, "Anti-Black."

     

    As a black man, I'm not against blacks. I go for the side of which I believe is right as should everyone. I am totally against riots, unnecessary behavior, and the killing of anyone no matter the race.

     

    Recently, there has been chaos within a particular college. I said their behavior was completely unacceptable. They cornered faculty members, threatened teachers, ganged up on school officials. The thing that triggered all of this was an email. Some black guy sent an email to create an event that was made to stop whites from coming to college on a particular day. This was sent to a white guy and he said he will not be participating because he views it as an act of oppression. He was branded racist and all this stuff started happening,

     

    I said their behavior was unacceptable. I was branded, by my own father, as Anti-Black. Apparently, I was against my race because I was against blacks who ran around a college terrorizing teachers and faculty members. Apparently, I don't being black anymore and I'm proud of it all because I say its unacceptable.

     

    I've been called Anti-Black, White-lover, and Cracker-lover. I don't like whites who hate blacks just like how I don't like blacks that hate whites. I don't side with blacks just because they are black. I side with who is right no matter the color. If a bunch of blacks rioted and killed 6 people, I'm against it. If a bunch of whites rioted and killed 6 people, I'm STILL against it. I don't differentiate my judgment based on skin color. If I am Anti-Black for saying the black rioters' behavior was unacceptable, then so be it (The blacks in the college didn't riot; I was just using riots as an example).

     

    So for anyone who is like me, and not just Anti-Black but anything else that has a similar effect, stand for what YOU believe in because, at the end of the day, you have to be happy with who you have become. If you are the only person on Earth that believes what you believe, then I advise you believe in it even if it means you are standing alone. Any great idea, any original idea, and especially any unpopular ideas need to backed up by you.

  17. May 31, 2017

    • Finished writing and coding the states (mostly inspired by Final Fantasy Tactics). We categorize all states into three: positive, negative and neutral states.
      • Positive states benefit the user.
        • Regen heals 12.5% of Maximum HP each turn. Characters with this status will be tinted bright cyan.
        • Protect reduces physical damage taken by 33% of the expected damage (the damage reduced is the expected damage, that is, the damage that is sent to the keyboard input window for modifying, not the damage after being modified by the input window)
        • Shell reduces magical damage taken by 33% of the expected damage.
        • Haste increases the speed of the character by 150%, re-arranging their turn in the game's internal action list order. Hastened characters animate faster.
        • Manaregen heals 12.5% of Maximum MP each turn. Characteres with this status will be tinted bright orange.
        • Manasave reduces MP cost of magics by 33%.
        • Manashield substitute MP instead of HP when taking damage, happens when MP > 1, (Bravery)% of the time.
        • Bubble doubles the character's maximum HP as long as the character is affiliated with this status.
        • Defending is automatically applied when you select Guard from the actor action menu. Reduces the expected damage from both physical and magical attacks.
        • Invisible will render your character unseen and prevent them from being targeted by the enemy. Aside of that, while invisible, any keystrokes sent to the keyboard input window will be considered correct, further supporting 100% action success rate while invisible.

        [*]Negative states harm the user.

        • KO basically is the state applied to anyone dead/knocked-out.
        • Poison decreases 12.5% HP at the end of each turn. The character sprite will be toned dark green.
        • Blind will make the text we need to input at the input window invisible (meaning that you'll be presented by a blank input window and have to figure out the keys by bashing keyboard letters).
        • Silence will hinder you from using magics, speechcraft, bardsong and basically anything that involves speaking, including ACTing.
        • Confusion will make your character act deliriously and attack anyone.
        • Sleep will hinder your character from getting a turn and increases the damage taken.
        • Paralysis will prevent your character from acting. His step animation will be stopped.
        • Stun is when a shock damage is applied and the character is temporarily stunned to the ground. The character's step animation will be stopped.
        • Vampire is also considered a death state. Once a vampire, the character will drain anyone's HP, either enemy or ally, and inflict them with the Vampire status. A party loses if all of the members are vampires. The character will be tinted pale magenta.
        • Charm allures your unit, forcing them to attack allies instead of enemies.
        • Oil doubles fire damage taken. The character will be tinted slightly black.
        • Stone means your character is petrified. A party loses if all of the members are petrified. The character will stop animating and stand still while its sprite is tinted completely gray.
        • Slow downs your movement speed to 50%. The character's walking animation will slow down.
        • (to be continued)

        [*]Neutral states neither benefit nor harm the user. [To be written tonight]

      [*]Re-wrote the weapons (some description errors and some imbalanced formulas). I've also added dual wielding capability to some projectile weapons (four crossbows, all types of handguns and sub-machine guns). Projectiles can only be dual-wielded with melee weapons or other projectiles of the same type (you can dual-wield knife and bowgun, but you can't dual wield bowgun and pistol). Furthermore, dual-wielding two projectile weapons will use two bullets (and more if you're using a machine pistol) each time you launch an attack.

      [*]Started concepting the armors.

  18. oichidan
    Latest Entry

    Alright, so... I know there are many scripts about weapon powers out there, but I wrote something for use within my project. Please feel free to use it the way you'd like to.

     

    Features:

    • A new parameter: Weapon Power (WP). Define each weapon and armor's 'weapon power' by note-tagging in the database.
    • Rewrite performance considerations by factoring the weapon power into the equation, meaning that when we select 'optimize', weapon power will also be considered.

    Here's the code. As always, insert it below the materials section above Main. Place it on top of scripts that will depend on 'wp'.

     

     

    # WEAPON POWERS# ------------------------ oichidan | 2017# Originally intended for use within #TMoJ RPG# Description# This script adds a new property 'wp' in the RPG::Weapon class. Each weapon and armor will now# have weapon power parameter specified by note-tagging in the database. The weapon power will also# be factored when optimizing equipment and can be used in damage equations as well.# This script is meant to be used in RPG Maker VX Ace.# Notetags (Place it in weapon and armors)# 1. <WEAPON POWER: xx>#    Sets the weapon/armor 'weapon power' to xx.#    We can also use weapon_power, WP, wp, WEP, wep, and weapon power, #    case insensitive, instead of WEAPON POWER in the notetag format above.# Usage# 1. Obtain the equipment by using (Game_Actor).equips[0] for the weapon, [1] for the second slot#    (if dual-wield), and other numbers you're using as to place your equipment slots.#    For example, in a damage equation: a.equips[0] refers to the topmost weapon equipped#    (in case you're using 'vanilla' RPG Maker VX Ace, that is, the equipment slots have yet to#     be modified).# 2. Reference the weapon power with the 'wp' or 'power' property.#    a.equips[0].wp refers to the weapon power equipped in the topmost equipment slot of the actor.#    REMINDER: the 'wp' parameter will be invalid if:#    - The weapon power has not been set#    - The actor is not equipping any weapons#    At such cases, exceptions will raise.# Note: The 'wp' property is read-write, meaning that you -can- change its value mid-game.# Here's the script. Feel free to use it the way you'd love to.# There are still errors here and there, but if this eventually comes of use, I'm glad.# You are not required to credit me at anyway, and you're free to use it in commercial games.# But if you do, I'd really appreciate it. Credit me as 'oichidan' or 'Aldian Hudaya',# and the copy of the game would be much appreciated, too.# Cheers! -oichidan | Aldian Hudaya# -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------module DataManager    class <<self; alias load_database_wp load_database; end    def self.load_database      load_database_wp      load_notetags_wp    end        def self.load_notetags_wp      for weapon in $data_weapons        next if weapon.nil?        weapon.load_notetag_wp      end      for armor in $data_armors        next if armor.nil?        armor.load_notetag_wp      end    end      endclass RPG::Weapon < RPG::EquipItem  attr_accessor :wp  alias :power :wp    def load_notetag_wp    wep = 0    self.note.split(/[\r\n]+/).each { |line|      case line        when /<(:WEAPON_POWER|weapon_power|WP|wp|WEP|wep|WEAPON POWER|weapon power):[ ](\d+)>/i          wep = $2.to_i          @wp = wep      end    }  end    # Overwrite: Performance  def performance    self.wp + params[2] + params[4] + params.inject(0) {|r, v| r += v}  end  endclass RPG::Armor < RPG::EquipItem  attr_accessor :wp  alias :power :wp  def load_notetag_wp    wep = 0    self.note.split(/[\r\n]+/).each { |line|      case line        when /<(:WEAPON_POWER|weapon_power|WP|wp|WEP|wep|WEAPON POWER|weapon power):[ ](\d+)>/i          wep = $2.to_i          @wp = wep      end    }  end    # Overwrite: Performance  def performance    self.wp + params[0] + params[1] + params[3] + params.inject(0) {|r, v| r += v}  endend

     

     

     

    Some damage formulas created by using weapon power (though creativity -is- limitless):

     

    # Some damage formulas using the 'wp' property and the weapon power script. # Inspired heavily by Final Fantasy Tactics: War of The Lions (Square Enix).# Place the damage formula below in the damage formula textbox in the database.# Reminder: - Set the weapon power for each weapon accordingly.# There are many a thousand ways or more to implement different skills for different weapons,# or at least different formula for different kinds of weapon attacks. The formulas presented# below are merely things that might inspire you in creating damage formulas that differs for each# weapon.# For the other hand in a dual-wield weapon, a.equips[0] becomes a.equips[1].# KNIFE, LONGBOW(a.atk + a.agi) / 2 * a.equips[0].wp# SWORD, CROSSBOWa.atk * a.equips[0].wp# FLAIL, AXErand(a.atk) * a.equips[0].wp # rand(x) means to generate a random number from 0 to x.# NINJATOa.agi * a.equips[0].wp# STAFFa.mat * a.equips[0].wp# PISTOLa.equips[0].wp**2 # The same as a.equips[0].wp * a.equips[0].wp# BOOK(a.mat + a.atk) / 2 * a.equips[0].wp# The possibilities are limitless! 

     

     

     

    The comments box below are open for further discussions. Ideas, suggestions, critiques and feedback are always welcome! <3

  19. \[T]/arq
    Latest Entry

    I've been posting a bit about baking recently so here's some pics of the goodies.

     

    These are the first attempt.The welshcakes came out a little burned obv T.T but everything tasted pretty good.

    xNkTb42.jpg

     

    These are the second batch of shortbread. Had a little dough left over hence the Pacman shaped one.

    Ni28WEj.jpg

     

    These were the cookes that became brownies. To make them the soft chewy kind I used brown sugar and self-raising flour, but yeah, came out too big.

    bFwqsa6.jpgoooCOON.jpg

     

    And these are the last things I baked. A second batch of welsh cakes that came out looking a lot better than the first.

    QqBcdeK.jpg

  20. Been a while, I think the following topic is actually quite timeless since sadly it will keep happening. Let me tell you...

     

     

     

    Why i Hate: Things shutting down

     

    Not a very crystal clear title i agree but you'll get the point. Lets start with something recent, the Nintendo Switch is released now and along with it a new Online Service is released, what that means is that the already existing Online service for the Nintendo Wii U and/or probably the Nintendo 3DS is different and not supported on the Switch but here's the catch. Now with the new service inbound the old service is endangered, meaning that god knows how long will it take till they shut it down and then you will no longer be able to do, well anything online really. "Wait a minute, how are you so certain that they will shut down these online services" Remember Nintendo WI-FI? Well its been dead for quite a while although this has more to do with Gamespy shutting down but hey, same thing one day it was simply killed off without warning or intention of bringing in an alternative.

     

    So why would this happen? Because sadly this is how the console world works nowdays. If you dont have the latest one, you're dead in the water and there's nothing you can do about it. Its not just a console thing however. Entire games or their multiplayer components for any platform get shut down at any given time without any feedback to the community as to why this has happen and no alternatives from the developer arise. One of the worst offenders are games that rely entirely on multiplayer, one day they shut down and then thats it, you can never actually play these games again not only that, but you immediately lose all the value you made from this game. How? You paid good money for this game but ooops you cannot play it anymore, sucks to be you. Thats like getting a brand new car, driving it for 2 years but then the car manufacturer comes to you and says "Ya know what, we dont care about this car anymore so we're taking its engine and leave the rest to you, have fun" So you end up with literally nothing of value to you only and since there's no tools or even documentation as to how its engine was made, there's not way to bring it back up and running only because someone thought it was a good idea to shut down a multiplayer only game.

     

    "Now now, you're being unreasonable. Sometimes due to financing issues games and/or services have to be shut down"

     

    Fair enough, but why not give certain tools or features to your playerbase in order to still have have access to multiplayer or even the entire game? Some developers do that and thats pretty good while others.... uhhhh.....

     

    All im saying is that shutting down games or online features sucks. I mean hell, you pay with actual money for something to own forever but one day it just disappears? Thats a straight out fraud. Again the right thing to do is keep servers alive or at least give people the power to make dedicated servers or something. Whats your take on the subject?

  21. Hello all,

    Just thought that I would share a bit about my game development experience in these past 2.5 years to those that are willing to listen. Hopefully someone finds this interesting or helpful.

    2.5 years ago, I had an ambitious goal to make one of my stories come to life. As a programmer, making a video game had always been a dream of mine and I thought what better time to make a game than now? I knew from the beginning it was going to be a difficult journey, so I researched all I could at first before fully committing to the project. Even with all the research, there were numerous factors I did not foresee and things I wish I had taken into account.

    After finishing the basic framework and refining the game mechanics, I gathered several talented friends and pitched them my idea. Despite the small budget, we had to work with, everyone was on board. Development was progressing and I started seeing my dreams become reality. Unfortunately, my team members begin to lose interest as time progresses. This was when I learned the importance of team morale and the difficulty of commitment. There was a period of time when I was the only person working on the project, and had wanted to quit several times myself. But then, I realized I have too much attachment to my project so I continued to persevere and it was well worth it. Eventually, developing the game became an enjoyable experience rather than a struggle. The whole process opened my eyes It broadened my experience in not only coding and debugging, but also art, sound design, and how to effectively convey mood through the environment. I became more independent, having to take on multiple roles because the team spirit we had was just not there anymore.

    I did not have a concrete road to follow, but I knew that if I wanted to see this project through to the end, I had to get my team back on board. Team management and sustaining everyone’s motivation took a lot more out of me than I expected, but the hard work paid off. I eventually managed to finish a “skeleton†version of the game and rekindled the spirit of the core members on the team. With everyone back together, we established a clearer direction to the game and it really helped align everyone’s vision. As we progressed, I realized how limited our resources really were. Our team was too small, and we really needed more experts in different fields. This was when I learned another valuable lesson in game development. Sometimes, reaching out for help and being willing to pay for quality work can go a long way. I started to pay for quality work from several different artists and the impact it had was beyond my expectations. After seeing how much the art affected the whole game, I became more willing to save a little more of my paycheck to invest in the game.

    There were rough patches along the road, but we managed to sew most of the game together and I’m very proud to say that the game is nearing 100% completion!

    Reflecting back on the experience, I really wish I spent more time finding the right motivation for each individual on the team to continue with the project early on. This was a critical mistake and it set us back more than I’m willing to admit. I also wish I spent more time figuring out the best quality of each team member and better utilized their talents from the beginning. Due to my lack of experience in game development, I spent a lot of time focusing on improving my knowledge, but neglected the team in the process. Even so, I’m very content with the state that the game is at today and I couldn’t have done it without the hard work and perseverance of my team. A word of advice to anyone attempting to create an indie game with a small group: Be a team, be willing to spend on quality, and be patient.

    Whether the game is successful or not, the work we have done so far has definitely been worth the effort. Seeing an idea come to life is one of the most satisfying rewards. I’m uncertain where the game will go from here, but I am excited to take the next step to really getting our game out there.

    Finally, I leave you all with a list of Dos and Don’ts that I learned from my experience. Hopefully it can help someone.

    Do:

    • Use an existing game engine, it will save a lot of time.
    • Research up on games with the same genre and study them to get ideas.
    • Write up a story/gameplay script and go over it with your team to compromise on a vision before jumping into development.
    • Hold multiple sessions with the team in gathering feedback, ideas and criticisms.
    • Have a test run of the game often to find bugs and glitches.
    • When fixing problems, always strive to fix it fully, never give up on a problem just because it is difficult.
    • Always think of the players and how much fun they will have playing the game. Having a good GUI is very important.
    • Be willing to spend a bit of money if you can for quality work. The impact is surprising.
    • Invest time in fueling the team spirit. Your team is everything.

    Don’t:

    • Throw away artworks that artists draw for you, be resourceful.
    • Depend too much on others to help you all the time, you will be on your own sometimes.
    • Give up on your team members, each have quality talents that need to be utilized correctly.
    • Give up on yourself, quality work requires perseverance.
    • Rush the game and release an unfinished product. It is better to take it slow and deliver something with more quality.

     

    For those interested, check out our game project at: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=887509287

  22. I have been continuing working on graphics for commissions, my own game "CHRONICLES OF HONOR - Age of Heroes", but I have continued my work on Haunted Hills. I have added more character types to my game, other than just women who work the streets to expand the reality of being in that situation. There are people of various levels of risk at being a victimized and how likely they are to be noticed being missing. The one thing that will not be in my game, as it doesn't fit the theme is that this game will not have any male characters in it. I am actually planning on having men in the next game, but this game or any game does not have any romance in it.

     

    Okay, so the new characters are as following, but are currently not named or place holders for now.

     

    Diane - A woman, who served in the army, but due to nightmares that she suffers from and an addiction to drugs has led her to losing her job and house. Her family hasn't seen her in years and mostly, she pan handles to get money for whatever she needs. She goes to the center, once or twice a week to get her money from an ex-spouse who isn't aware of her hardships or if he does, he doesn't seem to care.

    VICE: Drugs, alcohol

    Strengths: Her strength is that she knows quite a bit about fighting, when not high on something or drinking.

    Weaknesses: She can be cruel, fights when on drugs or drunk, and fights very suddenly.

    Uncertain: It is believed that she might have PTSD, but other people just think that she's hiding a deep pain inside that she doesn't like to talk about.

     

    Rachel - A runaway, who likes to hang out at the beach and is apart of a band called the 'Death Angels' and ran away from home, away from her Catholic family to become a big star. Death Angels is mostly an underground band right now, but she she trying to get it into the big stage. She and her band live in a single apartment and work part time jobs. The sad thing is that she swears that her band is going to find her at any time and that they're going to make it big.

    Vice: Seems pretty normal, actually

    Strengths: Kind and sweet, with a bit of sass to go along with it.

    Weaknesses: She actually can say one thing, and say another thing to someone else. She can turn on you in an instant.

    Uncertain: Does she have a band or is there something wrong with seemingly average girl that doesn't fit in with the group of woman whose activities all involve the street in some way.

     

    Michelle - Another woman, who has lots in common with Diane in that they are both addicted to drugs, only Michelle has turned away from drugs when she got pregnant with her twins. She still works the streets to earn money for college and lives with a three other women in the same situation. She has been beaten, robbed and raped (Two times in the last five years), but only once when she was working as a prostitute. She hasn't been arrested, since she had her children, but has been fined and ticketed over the years.

    Vice: None, only a few cigs and maybe a drink from time to time

    Strengths: She is fierce, determined and it is one of the reasons that she has survived over the last year in this horrible place. There is a humanity about her, as she tries to survive the best that she can without killing anyone and will not attack first. Although, she doesn't trust people enough to turn her back on them, either.

    Weaknesses: Her lack of trust is what is her biggest problem, as she has seen women with PIMPS who are beaten and even, murdered at the hands of their pimps.

     

    Candy - (real name not known) - She is a former exotic dancer, who burnt her bridges, because she was underaged when she started and even, did porn underaged, too. Now, she is 19 years old, and recently turned to prostitution to earn money. She has a real hatred of men, as it is believed she was molested by her father, uncle or close family member. She has been arrested for stabbing a man, even arrested for assault, but she claims that they were trying to attack her, so she defended herself.

    Vice: None known

    Strengths: None known

    Weakness: No one can get close to her to find out what her strengths or weaknesses are, as she apparently doesn't trust anyone.

     

    ( =^_^= ) My inspiration still is to have a group of people that people seemingly think deserve their fate and me, I am saying that this women have stories, lives and the only thing that they deserve is that they should be safe any where. No one should be forgotten, not even if they are doing things that they shouldn't or things you disagree with. I wanted to create a story with a group of women, facing a horrible situation where you can, either pull together as a group or doing the wrong things. This game has three endings, a good ending, a neutral ending and a really bad ending, and I might create a secret ending... I am still trying to figure out how to have a better way of creating the endings.

     

    Those are my new characters, but as usual, there is something more going on in this city. I do hope that people will, at least, give it a try. I am going to be selling it for $5.00, in hopes of making enough money for a new computer tower, so that's my ultimate goal. I will say this, though, none of my characters, even people who are the antagonists are throw away characters and each has/had a life, feeling and reasons for doing what they are doing. In the first game, I was making for a contest, I was pushing myself to get it done, because I was trying to make a short game and in a short amount of time. If I had been more honest with myself I would have decided that this game isn't going to be the right game for that contest and taken more time to get it finished.

     

    I left things out of the game that should have been in there, if I had more time that is. This time is going to be very different and I am going to have more interaction with the characters. Jason, the antagonist isn't going to be seen in this game and it isn't even certain if he is in the city. Carol, the woman that he is looking for and believes that he finally found is his wife or girlfriend. It is his intention or their relationship that you will discover as you search your way through the city and avoid traps..