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Entry 00F +1: Equality and Reputability v. Predatory Businesses (minor blurb)

Back home, those that ran businesses that did not cooperate with the community system of equality and reputability, would have their businesses torn to the ground. Literally, and I've seen it happen. Even large businesses are not immune to this, and so when the time comes for society to return to their Anarchist roots, large businesses that violate the basics of equality and reputability will be torn down just the same.
That will include pretty much all of Silicon Valley.   These businesses have far too much power, and should not be allowed to exist in their current state. Pretty much all there is to say, but I know at least one person will have something to say in retort.

PhoenixSoul

PhoenixSoul

 

Entry 00F: Earth, I Do Not Belong Here

Being honest, being kind, you name it, it offends at least one person, and it's one thing if said person is just an otherwise nameless individual who you'd likely never run into again, but it is so much more disruptive when it is a person of trust or worse, someone you care about.   And yet...there's nothing to be done about it, it just is, and that's one reason why Earth is not a place where I belong; I was not raised to handle such cognitive dissonance, or to be more clear, I wasn't given the chance to learn how to handle it, which is why my imprisonment in this mortal flesh is all the more a crime against existence as a whole, because it puts so much out of balance, nothing is as it is supposed to be. Of course, I expect no one to understand this, so I won't explain further. I know one individual will challenge my viewpoint, and even if her heart is in the right place, ultimately, it only serves to invalidate my experiences, which is something I deal with far too much to even be remotely fair or valid.   There are many more reasons, many, many more, but thinking about all this, knowing that all that matters is I'm here and actively being punished for reasons unknown, and I'm just a kid ffs (or I was when my imprisonment was forced upon me), forced to live as an adult would, and it is throwing me for a tizzy loop. It's hurting me, and releasing myself is most of what I am able to think about lately. I hate it here, I'm sick of the lying, cheating nonsense, and all I want is for it to end. Am I selfish for wanting this to just be over? I don't care what you think, I know the answer is no, and the reason why the answer is no is because unexplained, unearned, undeserved punishment like this, by default, indemnifies me against all ill intent unless I do something to earn this punishment, and I have done no such thing, which I also know to be true. In the eyes of mortals, I am the product of 'sin', but in truth, they have burdened me with their own misconduct, and therefore, I have no blame to claim. I am not a mortal, just imprisoned inside mortal flesh. I should also note that I am also not bound by any laws made by mortals.

PhoenixSoul

PhoenixSoul

 

Entry 00E: Trying to find a Balance where there isn't one...

So, yeah, I've been on a mean roller coaster of emotions as of recent, but the fact remains that life is not good and slowly becoming unlivable. As sad as that is, I've found that anything I do to attempt to make any sort of changes at all, gets thwarted by everything and everyone, aware or unaware, the blame, cause and effect is evenly spread.   I could talk about how things could be better, and all that, but I won't because none of it matters.   All that matters is diving into the same debauchery and living by it like everyone else, regardless of how it clashes with you.   The alternative is undeserved suffering at the hands of the greedy and avaricious.   Of course, you know me, I take the alternative path and that won't change, but what will, is how I react to the way I am treated because I have reached my limit on how much nonsense I can handle, and I will be fair, but going forward, those that treat me like garbage, will receive the same, and if those that treat me like garbage just happen to be 'perceived authority figures', I will add an extra layer of shame upon them. This applies online and offline. Treat me like an equal, be decent, honest and fair, all square.   I won't change my views on any given thing, but there are things I will be more vocal about, especially if it falls under avarice, hate, and/or greed.   I am a disabled person, my income is fixed and very limited, so yes, I do accept donations, but because of the absolute f*ckery by the likes of PayPal and GoFundMe, the donations are to be cash by mail only. I've received a couple of these, and it works just fine, just slip the money in a letter or something.

Next, I want to talk about gamedev in general. One of my main issues is that so much garbage goes on, that it really affects my creative flow, and as of recent, I've had many more periods of major creative stagnation than I've ever had in a year. That tells me that something needs to change, but the issue lies once again in my finances which are lackluster at best and not even in my control, for reasons unknown and likely invalid. "Why don't you get a job?"
I've tried; I don't have the ability to be patient and submit applications on a cycle, my mind doesn't work that way. "Why don't you change these things, improve them?" That's as realistic as me growing a second set of arms, period. "You're just being negative." You be positive, I'll be realistic. (Thanks, Uncle Frank. -Home Alone) "(Transphobic/homophobic nonsense)"
I look better in a dress than you do, you jealous or something? I can bind you to a chair and make you a woman...
  Yep, these are FAQ. Another thing about gamedev is that it is never something I can just get into; I do have to be in a certain mindset to get into it, usually the 'inspired' mindset. Sometimes, gaming helps me get there, sometimes not. I'm also one person, and yes, figuring everything out on my own is not possible. I use assets and ask for help because this is necessary, period. But it's not necessary to put a price tag on said assistance, and that is where I stand on that. If one says they'll assist but later on require some sort of recompense, that is an absolute deal breaker, and I keep 100% of everything, assets, or otherwise because that's the price of lying to me. But that's only applicable in cases where no initial cost was agreed upon, however, in a case where one changes their agreed upon cost to something that is unrealistic, it will end in the same, I will keep everything because I was lied to. It's one thing if it is reasonable, but knowingly breaching your word and harming the other/s involved nullifies the agreement in full, and the one causing the harm gets nothing. Period.   So, anyway...enough about that. I'm going to end this with a little factoid. You can run RM in Safe Mode (it looks like garbage but that's how it is), and all one has to do is enable audio. it requires adding keys to the registry, but after that, a reboot into safe mode and audio is enabled. RM will run after that. You can play games even, test play, whatever, as long as none of what you program in requires Direct X, because there's no way that I know of, to enable that.   Yeah, that's about it. I know very few will read this (I expect as much because I'm just a trans chick drama queen to most people e.e), but it's better than holding everything in... Well, I think so anyway. Until next time. Maybe.

PhoenixSoul

PhoenixSoul

 

engineers thoughts My thoughts about SSHDs (after almost 1 month)

It's been a while typing here. I thought to write something different and write up thoughts about various things. To start the series, I thought to write my experience on the Solid State Hybrid Drives almost a month after I purchased it.   A quick summary of what they are: SSHDs are hard drives that come with a small SSD working as a cache. The cache's job is to store anything that is frequently loaded. The firmware takes the task to duplicate the files that are frequently used to the cache (with some Operating Systems (such as Windows 8.1 (and newer) and Linux distros that have a package like bcache installed) can give hints to the firmware of what to cache). For most tasks, it's just a hard drive.   I bought the 2TB Seagate Firecuda at the start of September. The things I did was to install a clean copy of Windows 10 and all of my tools (which are GIMP, Visual Studio 2017, WiX Toolset, RPG Maker MV, Game Character Hub, Nimble Writer, and LibreOffice) and a few games to play when I'm bored. I haven't tested a lot of games since the stock hard drive was puny in size (500GB) but I have enough to see how it goes. Installation on my laptop was pretty easy: unscrew a few bolts and use a plastic prying tool. All I needed was to take out the SATA connector and the hard drive and swap the drive. Bon Appetit! Weirdly, the installation went pretty quick (I used a burned DVD disc to install Windows since I didn't have a USB drive ready) and most of my tools were installed by the time I went to bed (I finished setting up the laptop within two days, believe it or not. I think I became an expert in installing OSes. xD).    After a few restarts (since the firmware was caching system files on each boot), Windows is pretty quick to respond (mainly since it learned what it loaded). Boot times were quick, there was almost no delay and the system didn't lock up. It's almost like having an SSD installed. Of course, other tasks such as File History making backups takes as much time as a standard hard drive does, but compared to the stock one (which was an older generation Seagate Laptop Slim HDD) it was faster. Microsoft Edge (I use it since it syncs up with my Windows Phone) works better than on the older hard drive as well. In fact, most of the basic tasks are done faster. The only annoyance is that the Disk Defrag takes a long time. I have a habit to have the laptop defrag every time I leave it for a long time.   Over to software and game development. Most of my tools didn't see much of performance improvements. Except for Visual Studio. That saw quite the improvement. It loaded within a minute (rather than five minutes) and the lockups have been reduced. It still locks up at times (Resharper says hello) but for the most part it a lot more usable. Build times have improved as well. Normally, building the Northbridge Platform and pack the game into an MSI file (with a GUI on the package) it would take about 3-5 minutes. On the SSHD, it almost halves the time. That is mostly thanks to the hard drive's design (the model I have is one of the first to use a new manufacturing process and it has two disk platters) but part of the build tool's files have been cached as well.   In games (not just RPG Maker), things are a bit confusing. I don't play games as often as I used to since I am focusing on developing my game (and other projects) alongside studying for Computer Science at a university. But I have caught some interesting cases:   - Hyperdimension Neptunia ReBirth 1 (the GOG version to be exact) started up almost instantly (as in, as soon as I clicked on Play on the Galaxy client). After that, it took the same time to load levels (compared to the old HDD). I never noticed the "Now Loading" message on the old one, I didn't see that either. My laptop ain't exactly a potato, but it ain't a powerhouse either. I even started the game multiple times and it still didn't improve the load times. I guess being a PlayStation Vita game before being ported to the PC may have a relation as to how the assets are loaded. *shrugs*   - Burnout Paradise saw the same effect with Neptunia. It did make the music flow a bit better. It could be due to Remastered employing Denuvo Anti-Tamper. Metal Gear Rising saw fewer improvements. Ditto for Phantom Dust, but the version of the game I played was a UWP port of an Xbox game so old games have pretty quick load times on new systems.   So, my thoughts are pretty positive so far. It won't be a replacement for an SSD, but if you don't have space or connectors for an extra drive, SSHD is pretty good. The hard drive portion is good as well and the firmware working with the OS is pretty helpful. Granted, I didn't do sophisticated benchmarks to give an objective review, but I knew what I was getting performance wise. The only weird quirk I noticed was that the hard drive can get warm at times. I don't know exactly why. Possibly due to the laptop's subpar cooling. I think I'll do this again after six months of use, see how it stacks up.   That is all for now. See you in the next post.

AceOfAces_Mod

AceOfAces_Mod

 

Entry 00D: Computer Upgrades, Blah Blah

So yeah, I finally got my computer up and running once more.   It's not a done deal; need to do more upgrades, but I do have a nice start.   Upgrade 1: New Disc Drive; I once had a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive, I have a DVD+-RW now (it reads and writes to DVDs as well as CDs)   Upgrade 2: New (to me) HDD; it's a 1 TB HDD, that runs at up to 15,000 RPM, and when it does, it's very f*cking loud, reminiscent of old school PCs. I've made a Win 7 partition, and a secondary partition, and thus far, it runs decently. However, in many areas, there is much that could be improved upon.   I haven't installed Linux yet; I'm not so sure that the version I had downloaded will actually run because although my CPU is 64-bit, I'm not so sure it'll handle a 64-bit OS. I had tried running XP from a burned DVD disc that I had been sent some time back, and kept getting an odd error message that made no sense whatsoever, until I saw that it was loading up 64-bit files. That's the only thing I can come up with. Ah well, I have Windows 7 running, it'll work for now.   Another odd thing I ran into was when I reinstalled VX Ace. I did not have this issue before where starting a new project would lock up the program, but it started doing that all of a sudden. I was able to circumvent this by opting into the old non-Steam version beta, but still, odd.   I also moved my MV Steam install files from my old HDD, and it started right up Of course, it still lags badly and I'm damn sure that if I didn't have that opengl32.dll file, it wouldn't run at all, but I'm still glad that @Radiant Arin bought the engine for me. I'll eventually get to do something with it, just need better hardware, lol   In speaking of moving all my old Steam install files, I could do that for all of them and just have Steam verify them. It would make much more sense, lol (I'm going to do this for RPG Maker and GCH:PE)   Oh, but what's the verdict on Throes of Damnation? Still shelved, but I have all the files; I can take what I need from them for other projects. Especially the scripts; those are important as I don't have backups otherwise... @Kayzee, darling, all that work you helped me with was not lost. 

PhoenixSoul

PhoenixSoul

 

Casey's Journal N.6

Death 08/12/127 I haven’t heard from Dian in a long time since I gave him that book, I’m getting worried. I went to the cabin to check on the painters, as I was approaching it, three large men were leaving it, Sares personnel. After they left, I entered the cabin, and the once colorful room, was now gray… and red. I could never imagine that, the painters were laying on the ground covered in blood, one of the bodies was pointing at a picture, I picked it up and behind it was a note, the note read:     I was relieved that Dian was still alive, and after reading the note, I went home, but before i could leave the cabin, I heard something inside, in a small compartiment was a kid, he was probably twelve years old, he didn’t say a word, he just wrote a note and handed it to me: I asked him his name and he did not reply. I told him to follow me, and then went home. When we arrived home, there was something written on the wall:   The little boy looked at those letters for a moment and wrote something in a piece of paper, handed it to me and walked away, and signed me to follow him.

Greed

Greed

 

Healing and status effects

Once again a slightly more philosophical article devoid of maths. Seeing as I am starting my masters thesis in a week, now is the time for this.   What purpose does healing serve in a traditional RPG?   Summarised to it's bare core, it is an attrition mechanic. The one stick by which all others are measured. Enemies deal damage, we deal spend MP to negate this damage, when this MP runs out, we die  or retreat out of the dungeon. The same counts for boss battles. The boss damages us, and if everything is going well, we spend 1 or 2 characters' MP and negate the boss' damage, thereby perpetuating a steady state where damage from the boss equals our healing output, and putting upon us on a deadline : defeat this boss before the healing MP runs out.    Even in MMO's, the only measure for  "Will we defeat this boss" is : does the healer outpace or match the boss' damage output. Execution is a big part of it in these games ( Being a healer in WoW is not easy), but it is a case of execution , not of choice.   But then , what is introduced ? Healing items, a way to trade gold for health. The same games that are stingy on MP items are also the ones to shower you in healing items. But MP healing ? No, that is insanely expensive or non-purchasable.    I despise this linearity. The solution I pose is a heavy usage of debuffs/status effects. Do I heal the poison or the HP damage done by the poison ? Is healing HP or dispelling the Defence debuff better ? Those are choices. Especially if there are follow-up attacks or combos ( Feeding frenzy deals extra damage to bleeding targets, Haste accelerates poison damage ...).   This does require that status effects are an equal and immediate danger as HP damage. In many RPGs this is not the case.   Poison that deals 10 % HP damage ? Boring. Now 25 % , that gets peoples attention. I really liked Persona 5 over this. Harsh statuses you could not ignore, but also where not a death sentence. Sure, Despair decimated your MP and killed you in 3 turns, but you could react to it.Bonus point for having them also open you up to bonus damage from nuclear or psychic damage if inflicted with a mental or physical or mental ailment. It generates play beyond "spam highest damage/cheapest spell " every turn. I really believe the 300 % damage boosts to this damage shouldn't have been locked to the ultra hard mode, but that's how it is.   First a look from the players' point of view. If I can cast fire and deal 50 damage, or poison that deals 10 hp/round, why even give me the choice of casting poison, especially if the poison only has an X % chance of hitting, and the fire is nearly a guarantee. Blindness ? Useless. SIlence ? Please.   The solution I pose: have all status debuffs also deal damage, while also having enemies deal a truckload of damage. If I have to choose between "Fire" that deals 50 damage, and poison that deals 30 HP and has a 75 ~100% chance of inflicting poison that will deal 20 hp/turn, that is a choice. Next on the list : move healing from attrition to the tactical space in even random encounters. Having 100 HP and an enemy dealing 5 damage leaves healing in the boring attrition realm. Now having 100 HP and having the enemy deal 40~60 damage per hit, now that actually moves healing into the tactical space, something usually reserved for boss battles. Can I kill these enemies before I die ? Let's see.   Now, boss battles. If I can just blind the boss, doesn't that take away most of the challenge ? Here I propose a different solution. Have a anti-boss version of each status effect. Blind on a trash mob gives 75 % miss chance, but on a boss, it gives 25 % miss chance. Still significant, but not an autowin. Preserve the utility of debuffers even during boss battles, they already get benched enough. Have the anti-boss version of silence give a 25 % failure chance to spells instead of a 100 % prevention of spellcasting. Shorten the duration from 3~5 to 1~2 rounds. Just make all skills inflict both, and have regular mobs be immune to the anti-boss version, and vice versa. Poison on bosses can be 2~5 % HP, confuse only works 20% of the time, and so on...    This also pertains to boss attack patterns. Have your boss throw something around besides pure damage. Maybe he throws a defense debuff and a medium damaging move ( Small point : bosses should have multiple turns as standard, because he is stuck fighting a team that gets 4-5 actions/turn) the round before he sweeps the board. That generates play. Do we heal , remove the debuff or just guard with the entire team ? Can I ignore silence on my mage or not ? But don't have the boss just throw these around randomly.  Have them be part of his attack pattern.   That is the hard and fast rule: generate play, generate choices.   My long and winding point up to now is simple to summarise :   1. Make healing something more than Damage in vs healing out. Use status effects and debuffs. Even Bosses should throw antidotes sometimes. 2. Make enemy moves require counters, but offer multiple options on how to counter. No single item or skill should be the sole solution.   Check in next time for a numerical analysis.  

freakytapir

freakytapir

 

Entry 004: Throes of Damnation (indefinite shelving)

(all typed on mobile - I know, yuck - so help me out already dammit)    There isn't much to say about this project other than that due to a couple of reasons (one being more prevalent than the other), Throes of Damnation is being indefinitely shelved.    The first reason is obvious; I no longer have a working computer, and the possibility that all my files are gone and/or corrupted, leaves a strong possibility that the project may be gone altogether, but until I know more, I have to presume that I might not have any of my files, but definitely no access.    The second reason, which is more prevalent, and even if I still had a working computer, would be enough for the indefinite shelving, is due to my heavy use of a tileset that I borrowed from Luxaren Allure (I did get permission to use it), which is now no longer an option due to the artist disallowing any use of her work by anyone else. Ultimately, that's fine, but it really puts a stopper on the project because I have never seen a tileset quite like that one (because it quite simply doesn't exist).    If I can mitigate these issues, especially the lack of a dark, demonic and empty-feeling tileset, then I will continue Throes of Damnation. Until then, the project is shelved.    Shame, really; I haven't seen another RM game that uses a Duel Monsters like battle system... 
 

Casey's Journal N.5

The Painters 07/27/127   “The Painters are people who didn’t had part in our society” said Dian, “We get selected based on our personality, but art is not considered necessary, so they just send artistic people to work on the fields, that’s why there’s no color in this city. Let me ask you something Casey, have you ever seen a poetry book on the Third Tower?”, “No” that was the answer, “What about an art book? Does art have history in Nira?”, “No…”, “Because art doesn’t exist in Nira, the Third Tower have scientific texts and nothing else, that is why it is so hard to people to break free of this illusion that is Nira, they don’t have creativity, The Painters are trying to escape Nira, but we need help from someone that has access to the blueprints from the Third Tower, that’s why we brought you here”, “I will get them, if you can distract Sares for some time”.   07/28/127   The next day I went to work like always, but this time I had a plan, I did not needed to bring the blueprints, I just needed to look at them, the plan was simple, I knock the blueprint out of the shelf, look and memorize it, and describe it to The Painters so we can escape, but we did not expect the visit of Ceros in the Third Tower. I thought he was going to check the Noha, rju Ulxuhoiunr, but instead he reached for the shelf and took the exact blueprint we needed, in his way out he knocked some books out of the shelf, as I was going to put those books back, I saw a interesting book, “Encryption”, I picked the book and read the first page, “This is a book meant for the successors of The Four, it contains the language used on all encrypted messages over Nira”, even my eidetic memory could not memorize that, it was too much for me to process, so i took the book back to the cabin and gave it to Dian.

Greed

Greed

 

Casey's Journal N.4

Colors     07/25/127       A week after Dian showed up at my house, I started to watch the city around me, I had new eyes, the city that once looked perfect was now a dull place. I had a free day from work, so I went to Low Nira, when I got there, I noticed something I had never seen before, a giant wall surrounding the whole city, people working in black clothes under the hot summer sun, kids inside of their homes studying, even though their roles were assigned from the day they were born. The city I once looked with wonder is now… dull. There are no other words to express it, after that visit to Low Nira, and the realisation that anything you did in that city did not mattered, I went to Mid Nira.     I got there, my vision of this city could not change anymore, everything was colorless, black, white, gray, in a distance, I saw something weird, something different, I could see orange spread out, it described a path, it was late, maybe 22 or 23 hours, I followed the path until there was no colors to follow, they lead to a door, I knocked on the door and when someone answered, i blacked out.   07/26/127         I woke up the next day in a weird place, a cabin, there were 5 people there, the first one I saw was Dian, “Shit, I screwed up, this is the part where he kills me!”, that was my first thought, but then i remembered the dropped note. He said “Are you alright? I needed to do that, Sares would send others after you if i didn’t do that.”, to what I replied “Do what? I don’t remember anything”, “I knocked you out, and sorry for the spook the other day, Sares need to think I am working for him”, I looked around and saw the most beautiful thing, “Colors!”, there were so many drawings and colorful pictures in that cabin, they warmed my stone cold heart, I asked Dian “Who are these people?” to what he replied “Those are the member of Rju hufudosn, the painters.”, “You should rest a bit longer, I’m sure this is a little too much to process right now, don’t worry, Sares can’t see this room.”  

Greed

Greed

 

Casey's Journal N.3

Sares     When i got home, there was a man outside, he asked me to enter, and showed me a card saying “The Second”, indeed Sares knew what I did, the man introduced himself, “I am Dian, you surely know why I am here.”, he was after the notes, by that time I had already memorized the writing on the second note, so i just handed it over to him, and asked “Do you understand anything that is written in that?”, he looked me in the eye and said “Do not interfere with this kind of business, this is just a warning, next time you won’t leave this easily”, before leaving, he dropped something, by the looks of it, it was intentional. I picked up what he dropped after he left, it was a note with an encrypted message and a piece of orange cloth, the note read:   "A lie indeed, you must find out, Rju hufudosn RT, JH, FB, SO."   I was getting used to the notes, but what is up with this piece of cloth? Such an unusual color, every clothing in here is either black or white. I decided it could be connected to the notes so I kept it. I laid on my bed and start thinking about the first note, “Noha om a dou”, Noha, that word sounds so familiar, after thinking for about an hour, that word resembles Nira, by association, O could be I and H could be R, so i used that logic and changed all of the letters in the note:   "Nira im a die"   Die?! The only death experienced in Nira was by age, death wasn’t common, it scared me, “Am I going to die just because I found this damned note?”, I tried to calm down, but it was no use, I was too anxious, so I left the house to walk a little. It was dark, the streets were desert, the only movement I could see was the wind blowing on the trees, I stopped to think about that piece of cloth, its color was so uncommon, every clothing is black or white, I have never seen orange in clothing before, after pondering on that color, I started to see how colorless everything was, every building was gray, even the plants were colorless, everything felt so… dull. That color made me realize that Nira was not perfect, it was the first step to getting out of that city.  

Greed

Greed

 

Casey's Journal N.2

Hints
  The Third Tower was a huge library, it had 50 floors, each floor had its own category, I worked on the 50th floor, together with Filo. The 50th floor had all the blueprints and plans for Nira, all of them were encrypted, in the center of the room, there was a big book, the title was “Noha, rju Ulxuhoiunr”, Filo and Ceros were usually reading it. While I was organizing the books, I noticed something behind the shelf, when Filo wasn’t looking, I pushed some books out of the way, and there was something written, “Noha om a dou” and a piece of paper, the piece said:
  “Don’t believe them, Noha om a dou… NN, OI, HR, AA, MS, DL, UE.”   I was confused to what that meant, I kept the note and erased the writing on the wall, during the next few days I kept trying to decipher it, “Noha om a dou, what does this mean?”. A few days after that, I noticed that same line written in other places, everywhere I went, I saw that line, maybe it was just random words, but deep inside I knew it wasn’t, it had something to do with “Noha, rju Ulxuhoiunr”. Another day organizing the books, another writing on the wall, “Psn nsr rhwmr rjui” and a note saying:   “They lie, hwn… HR, WU, NN, PD, SO.”   I did the same with this one, erased the writing and took the note home, this time I didn’t even think twice, “I need to know what this means!”.

Greed

Greed

 

What is Nira?

To understand this, you have to know what Nira is, or rather what it should have been, Nira was supposed to be a utopia, where everyone was happy. In reality, it was an experiment, the city was lost, as well as its purpose, its creators are long gone. To better understand it, first I am going to explain the “politics”, the city was controlled by “The Four”, First was Ceros, the leader; Second was Sares, the watcher; Third was Filo, the researcher; and the Fourth, Niko, the censor. The presence of a censor was not completely necessary, since everyone thought they were in a utopia, but there would always be someone like me, who discovered the truth, with a slight difference, they would not keep it to themselves, as you would have guessed, they would be “silenced”. Filo had in her tower all the knowledge from Nira, including blueprints from the whole city and the plans for the experiment . Sares was never seen, he stood inside of his tower, watching, every single step of every single person. Ceros was the leader of the city, he and Filo were the only ones that were supposed to know about the experiment. Each 10 years, a new group would be chosen as the new “The Four” and each period would be named after the leader, the Ceros era was in its 7th year. Nira was divided in three “provinces”: High Nira, where the wealth and important people lived; Mid Nira, mostly market; and Low Nira, where the common people lived. I lived on Low Nira, when I turned 16 i was assigned to work with Filo in the Third tower. To work on the towers was a honor, so everyone who worked on one moved from Low to High Nira. Now you have a little of knowledge about Nira, you probably want to know whose story is this, right? I’m Casey Nil, I was born and raised inside of Low Nira to later be moved to High Nira, that is what you need to know, for now.

Greed

Greed

 

Stealth and Trickery

Hey everyone! In this blog post, I want to illustrate what's become my favourite thing to set up. Mild spoilers ahead.   So, in the game, it starts out with three different levels where you control one of the three main characters - Matt, Tom and Edd. While I had a lot of fun setting up Matt's level, Tom's has quickly become my favourite, mechanics-wise. In Tom's level, you're in a factory of some kind, where you find Tord (who leaves pretty quickly) and all but one (human) member of the Red Army. Throughout the level, you find some information about what's being produced and learn a bit about the absent guy. Using what you find out about all of this, you can use a comm unit to get the three out of the building and shut down its production. You can even do multiple dialogue options to learn more information before you ultimately get them out of there. The catch? Well, there are two.   One of them is paying attention. He may be whistling away and checking on machines, but if he sees you, he'll hunt you down. If you lose him, that's great and all, but he's patrolling around and making sure you can't hide much of anywhere for long. If you get caught and escape three times, he'll alert the other two, who will patrol around as well.   If you don't have all the information, they'll catch on and begin patrolling - or worse, alert the guys not at the factory that one of the comm unit has been stolen. Cue everyone finding you like tracking missiles.   Now, this isn't the only way to do this. You can lock them all in a room. You can singlehandedly take them out with a fire extinguisher. You can do both. It's up to you. There's one catch for all of them, though. This place is rigged to the brim with security cameras. Whatever method you do here cannot be used later in the game. These three will remember. Everyone else will study it. The robots will have protocols put in place so they don't fall for it.   All in all, this has been one of my favourite things to make for this game. Let me know what you think!
 

In Regards to Unlockables...

There won’t be any extra costumes/unlockable alternate looks. I’ve been asked by multiple people to include alternate outfits (including WTFuture, Ellsworld and Early 2000s) and just… I can’t.   That’s a lot of work. Since I’m doing 99% of the art (aside from two hairstyles and some knocked out boys and possibly a knife wielding tentacle monster), I’d have to remake/edit at least four sprites in the game, if not every single one. Then, because I’m just that person, I’d have to remake the busts and cutscenes to reflect the changes. NO.   I’m willing to put work into the game to make it fun and exciting. I mean, I’m making an entire stealth mechanic. This will be used multiple times throughout the game with slight variations. There’s gonna be a cutscene that changes to reflect what you did. Next time you see the guards, they’ll remember what method you used the first time around. Almost everything you see in the game is gonna be interactive in one way or another. So, what will I do? Cheats! You can do cheats during your gameplay, once you unlock them. Send me ideas for cheats you’d like to use instead of reskins, please. While cheats will be time consuming to implement, I’d be willing to do that, as opposed redrawing the same thing with variations four times. When requesting, please let me know if you’d like the cheat to be unlocked via gameplay (I.E: die x amount of times), via finishing the game (I.E: play the game through once), or a combination of the two (I.E: finish the game without dying).   Currently planned cheats:
Maximum Health (Finish the game without dying)
Unlimited Health (Die 5 times)
All Abilities Unlocked (Play the game through once)   Please add your ideas for cheat codes in the comments and/or on this poll!
 

the Grind

The grind   Why do we grind ? (Not the dance, or the dating app) Why do we kill trash mob after trash mob to get those levels, those crafting components ? Why do we inflict ourselves with this ? There are 4 reasons as far as I see it. 1. Because we like it
2. Because we want that reward
3. Because we have to
4. Because we feel like or think we have to 1. Because we like it Sometimes the grind is fun. There are entire games based around killing monster X , just to get the better gear, to kill bigger and better creatures.
Examples of these would be Monster hunter and Diablo 2 and 3. There is no grinding to get to the gameplay, the gameplay is the grind.   2. Because we want the reward Sometimes the rewards are worth it, even if the grind is a bit dull. Grinding points in the battle arena to get that omnislash, collecting 20 dragonscales to get that dragon armour,
capturing 10 of each bird, so we can fight some special boss. Killing a 100 dragons to get an achievement. We don't necessarily want the grind, we want what the grind gives us.   3. Because we have to We just killed the boss of the first dungeon, we're all level 3, but the next area has all enemies at level 7, so grinding we have to do. The boss wipes us in one turn , so a grinding we go.
The recommended level for the next storyquest is 10, but we're at 8 ? You got it, the grind (or badly constructed sidequest time). I have to collect 3 broken keys, but the rats only drop them 1/5th of the time? That's a grinding.
4. Because we feel we have to. The enemies are kicking our ass? Better start grinding,(instead of learning the game mechanics) no matter that we're already overlevelled for the current area.
I ranked them because I really feel that there is a descending order of desirability here. As we move down the list, we start to remove player choice and enjoyment. What separates the first 2 for example? The difference between intrinsic and extrtinsic rewards. 
An intrinsic one is where we do something for the sake of doing it, an extrinsic one is where we do something because we get something else from it. 
It can make the same activity feel vastly different from eachother, just by virtue of why we do it. 
It's the difference between playing tennis because I like playing tennis vs playing tennis because I'm trying to lose weight. The difference between #2 and #3 is one of choice. If I chose to grind for that better sword or whatever, I won't actually feel resentment over it, but if I need that sword to progress, I now HAVE to grind.
If it is possible but hard to finish the quest underlevelled I feel as if I chose or did not choose to grind, and I will feel better doing it if I do it.
 
Now the distinction between 3 and 4 is one of communication to the player. If the designer really intended me to grind between each main story mission , and is upfront about that, sure, I might be able to stomach that.
But if I grind from level 10 to 15 only to later find out I wasn't supposed to go there yet, or there was some hidden weakness to all these enemies I had no way of finding out on my own, you can be sure I will be pissed off.
Now we have looked at it from the player side, how about we put or developpers hats on , and look at it from our side. Why and when do we want player or do not want players to grind ? A couple of points and counterpoints:
a.    + If we designed our game around it
    - Artificially lengthens game time
b.    + Each combat is fun to play
    - We eventually buttonmash through each combat.
c.    + It smoothes out our Difficulty curve
    - Can make the game too easy I feel like each of these sentiments can be classified along 2 axes
A. How much we want to allow the player to grind
B. How necessary it is.
It leads us to 4 situations: 1. We want to allow players to grind, and we require it
2. We don't want to have our players grind, but it is also unnecessary
3. We allow our players to grind, but it is unnecessary
4. We don't want to have our players easily and convenently grind, but it is necessary Not all of these lead to equally fun gameplay, but I'm going to discuss what a designer might do to facilitate these kind of games.
1. If we require them to grind, and want to enable them, we should make the grind as accessible as possible, and eliminate down time.
A quickly back to town skill/item, a lure skill, some places with intentionally high monster density, some Hard, but very rewarding enemies (think metal slimes).
Maybe have a training arena where the player can just pick an enemy and fight it. Or maybe just an actual arena, like in kingdom hearts. It cut most of the story beats for just a neverending onslaught of enemies in everchanging troop composition.
Have the grind be part of the fun. Now there are some pitfalls here. I do not advise to make the grind brainless and easy. Convenient? Yes! Easy? No! 
My solution to this is simple: have rewards for enemies below the characters level quickly drop off, either with exponential XP curves, or an actual reduced XP recieved if the enemy is too low level. 
Maybe even rewards for grinding against higher level enemies.
A big enemy and troop variety is a big must too. If I'm going to be fighting a 100 battles in this area, I want to have at least 8 enemies in at least 25 troops/configurations.
2. If it is not necessary and we want to discourage it, there are multiple solutions. 
One is the presence of only a limited number of enemies per level, but this then becomes a game of find all enemies before continueing, making the player grind nonetheless.
A slightly better solution is to only give a slight boost per level gained, combined with a steep xp curve. If it is not worth it, they will quickly stop doing it.
Having the enemies level along with the player certainly discourages levelling ( looking at you FFVIII!), this will often lead to player frustration. A good solution, if used in moderation is to have regular enemis give very little xp, and the boss then give a very large amount. If the enemies give 5xp, but the boss gives 500 xp, I'm not going to waste my time. A slightly different solution is to have a time limit to your quests. A clean solution is to just have the player quickly reach maximum level (like in guildwars), or gate level progress behind game progress(FF XIII style). Whatever you do in this situation , you have to be fair to the player. If you don't want him to grind, then he should be able to beat your game without grinding.
3. If grinding is unnecessary, but you still want to allow the players to do it, you have mainly the same things as in situation 1.
But, there is a question. If they do not have to, why would a player grind in your game ?  One reason is that they want to choose their own difficulty in the game.
Why don't they just lower the difficulty then ? There is player pride : I beat the game on hard! (after overgrinding each area, untill the game was as easy as it was on normal)!. It is the reason I stopped picking the harder difficulties in persona. The only thing they make me do is grind more. Instead I just play on normal, but avoid overlevelling. My experience is better then going on very hard and just grinding. It is also often the result of locking achievements or good endings behind a difficulty level barrier.  A good reason I find are optional bosses. The ultima and omega weapons of final fantasy, the elizabeth/margaret/twins of persona, the high level hunts in FF XII/XIII, the battle arena in FFX.
If the player makes the main game too easy on himself by grinding, but he still knows where to find a challenge when he wants one, thats better. Another fine one might be comsetics. I did not have to grind for that teddy bear armour, or the pink armour paint, but I wanted to. In short, If grinding isn't needed, but you still want to reward the player for it, give them a nice reward to go for.  Final fantasy often falls into this camp? I dont have to grind to finish the main game, but the grind is there if I want it. 4. The grind is/looks necessary, but I don't want the player to do it easily.
This is a weird case of it either being intentional, or the result of bad gamedesign. Let's split the 2 cases. a. I did this intentionally.
Sometimes, grinding makes a character way stronger, and is necessary to progress, but you don't want the player to have an easy time doing it. 
This often results in the game directly fighting the player, trying to kill him. The most known example I could give are roguelikes, where each enemy you fight could be your last, but you still have to level up to fight the final boss.
A nice example of the oppressive system this entails is seen in darkest dungeon. A game where you have to level your heroes, but each one also has permadeath, and even if you don't die, you might wind up paranoid, sadistic, or suicidal permanently. b. Oops, an accident
This is mostly caused by wrong playtesting, or just wrong design decisions.
Some examples: You limited the encounters in an area, but the boss is actually unbeatable at the level you can get, because of a last minute xp per enemy change. You make the enemies level along with the player, but you also insert random chance based "collect 10 bear asses that drop 10 % of the time" quests in there. You have weapon durability, but encounters don't cover the repair costs
But whatever you choose, make sure you gave it some thought. Do I care if the player grinds, do I want him to, what happens if he does ?
In my current game, I'm going for the grinding optional, but if you do, I want to make it as easy on you as possible. I'll have the hunt/safari/battle royal skills, that spawn 1/5/10 random encounters in a row, with rewards if you finish them all, but no healing/resting in between, so grinding is convenient if you want to.
I combine this with a custom xp curve that takes a heavy jump after each chapter end, so players can grind a bit, but are still doing the final dungeon of each chapter at the desired difficulty. for example, lv 8 to 9 costs 90 xp, lvl 9 to 10 costs 100 xp, but 10 to 11 costs 150 xp and 11 to 12 costs 200, 12 to 13 is 300 xp. The xp per enemy has equivalent jumps. Level 9 enemies might give 5 xp, but lvl 12 enemies give 20 xp. So staying at the right level is actually the best way to level up.
This combined with an ever flattening power curve means that every level is worth less than the one after it, percentage wise. level 1 to 2 sees you getting from strength 1 to strength 4, increasing your damage 4 fold. level 20 to 21 increases the same stat from 400 to 441, a 10 % increase in stat, and a 20 % increase in damage. At level 50 this is 2500 to 2600, and a damage increase of 8%.
For clarity, my stats are level(+/-1)², and damage is about att²/defense, so against an equal level enemy, this amounts to damage=attack stat (or lvl²).
This means that I can have a tight control over player progression in the beginning, but later on I can allow the game to open up, and to have a bit of non linearity.
Leveling will also only get you so far. The customisation options for the characters are locked behind dungeon completion, and not raw levelling.   Anyway, opinions ?
 

Balance Part 2, Randomness

On randomness and encounter Balance   Warning : Most of these things are either my opinion or gathered from a variety of sources, which I can quote on request.   The age old problem : "Randomness isn't actually Fair" Or worded differently: Most humans (and thus players) suck at probability. Or less politely worded (wheither correct or not): The PC is a cheating Bastard (and that's OK).   Most RPG's, heck, most games, hold within themselves a form of randomness. 
But when is this desired, and when is it just bad game design hiding as (Fake) difficulty?
I go back to my favorite standby when I talk about randomness : Magic the gathering  This not an RPG, I get it, but it illustrates my point, so bear with me. Magic has a heavy randomness element in your opening hand of 7 cards. Did I get the right spell land combination ? 
An acceptable hand is between 2-5 lands. 
In a deck with 40 % lands this results in an 85 % Chance to get this mix, with a 50 % chance to get the optimal 3-4 lands. (Math not shown, but can be supplied on request) On top of that, a player is allowed to mulligan , drawing a new hand with one less card. He may do this any number of times. Even for a 6 card hand, which has a 40 % win chance on average according to the pros, the odds of a playable hand (2-4 lands) is till 74 %. 
So a player should only be affected by real flood/screw once every (100%-85)*(100%-74%)= <4% of the time, and have to go down to 5 Cards in hand.(Which technically still leaves you at a 20-28% chance to win according to the pros) Now, mana screw (not drawing enough lands) and mana flood (drawing too much land), or our opponent getting a lucky draw are still the number one complaint about magic from beginning players, yet the designers state it to be one of magic's greatest assets.   Why ?   Part of it is mechanical : New players don't shuffle enough, leading to clumps in the deck (because at the end of a game , 
most land cards are in the same place, so when you go to pick them up, they form a clump in the deck , which should be shuffled away), they draw a bad hand,
they get mad, don't shuffle enough again , and one again draw a smaller hand from the still excessively clumped deck.   There is also the big impact of that opening 7. Nothing is less fun then outright losing the game because of factors beyond your control. So your mind doesn't tend to remember the games where you drew just enough land and spells. It remembers the couple of times you got screwed.   It also allows the worse player to sometimes win.
Why is this necessary ? Because nobody likes losing their first 50 games (I'm looking at you chess!).   Our feeling of luck also isn't symetrical. If we draw the right card at the right moment, it was "skill" that lead us to this moment, but if our opponent does it, it's just luck that made him win the game.   We also suck at estimating and interpreting probability. Suppose we have only 3 cards that could have saved us from a loss in our 30 card deck, most players will genuinely feel like they still have pretty good odds of winning, and blame randomness when they lose when they only had a 10 % chance to make it).
Another thing that inhibits us/our player in our understanding of  randomness is the distinction between random and fair. If we flip tail three times in a road, we feel like the next coin flip should be heads, but our chance to toss either is still an unchanged 50%.
Yes, throwing TTT is unlikely (1/8 chance), but starting from TTT, TTTH is as likely as TTTT. Now, on a long enough timescale the amount of T's over H's will trend towards 50 %, but nothing guarantees that the next one will be H or T.
The opposite is the "Hot Streak": I'm having good luck tonight, so I should continue to have good luck. "Ooh, Red is on a hot streak , better not bet on black."   The final problem I will discuss is goalposting. The first couple of times we use a certain skill/card/die we make a judgement on it. It worked the first 3 times I used it, so it must be good. No matter that it hasn't worked since, the players impression will remain that of a good skill.
This can of course backfire a bit. Suppose that a player uses a 50 % accuracy skill, and by coincidence hits the first 3 times he uses it. When later on it starts performing more according to it's accuracy, the player will suddenly feel the skill or the random number generator is out to get them.     The most succesfull MtG players in the world know all of these to be a factor and account for it.Dealing with randomness is a player skill. They realise the randomness in the game but know that they have so much control over it. They know and have heard all of these "bad beat" stories a 1000 times, and they know that in most the cases luck had little to do with it.
They know the things that a player can do to reduce randomness, and apply them (Play more copies of cards you want to draw often, mulligan correctly, make sure you have some cheap spells in case your deck decides to not give you a lot of lands, play some mana sinks in case you draw too many, play more/less land,...)
They believe in the numbers and less in gut feeling (bluffing aside). It also helps that games are best 2 out of 3, but I don't really think that would apply to an RPG 
(Somebody please make this!. Can you imagine having to fight the boss in a best 2 out of 3 match ?Fighting games can do it, so why not RPG's?)
Now how do we apply this to an RPG ?
1. Give the player agency in how to approach Randomness
This is the main difference I believe in bad randomness and good randomness. Magic for example gives players a big measure of control in how to approach randomness.  Now, how do we do this in an RPG ? I believe this can be achieved by allowing players to choose how much randomness they want.  For example, have some high damage low accuracy weapons, but also some weaker 100 % hit ones. Have some skills hit Randomly, but certainly not the majority. Advertise these options.
Another small thing to add: if you build a lot of skills/weapons, ... that nobody Loves/Hates, but everybody kind of likes, then you have achieved blandness, not balance. Something for everyone but not everything for someone. 
Don't be afraid of angering some your players with something, be afraid of boring all of them. A nice example for this is the casino dungeon boss in Persona 5. 
She has a roulette/random chance based minigame during one of her boss forms, but the player always gets the choice of the safe bet or the high risk bet, and are given a round to prepare for the outcome. 
So there is randomness, but also choice in how much you want, and a chance to prepare for the result. She doesn't just randomly leech 2/3 of your party's HP. How I did this in my game ?
For melee characters : Seeing as I avoid missing in combat, unless an effect is specifically causing it, I play with damage range and crit chance/Damage. So one weapon might doe between 90-110% of its damage, while the other might do between 50-150% Damage. Or maybe a clown punch that either does 0 damage or a devastating critical.
For Casters: the lightning element is almost completely random in its targetting (It will still only target enemies), and has an enormous spread of dealing 20-200% of its damage, with a critical damage of +200% (vs the normal +50%). If you want that , great, if you don't, then don't pick lightning.   2. Have randomness set the stage, but don't let it end it.   Yes, the cards you draw in magic are random, but everything after that is up to you. Do you mulligan or not, do you play aggressively or defensively,...  How to apply this to an RPG ? Back attacks/Ambushes/... However you want to call them. They can be fun once in a while, but they should never place me in a situation where I am dead without any input from me, if I am at full health. No encounter should be able to kill me completely without my input. 
If ultima slime can take away 55 % of my entire teams HP in one ultima, then under no circumstance should he be able to use that move twice before I have a go at him, even if it is to use an escape item. Anything less is insulting my autonomy as a player.
I'm fine with being half dead after an ambush, giving me a shitty starting position, but I should still be able to fight/escape my way out of it, no matter how much damage the enemies are doing. This I applied by making it sure that no enemy troop can actually kill the players in one turn from full health. Not by powering them down , but by simple tweaks in the AI.
For example, suppose I do have my 2 ultima slimes in one battle, then one is going to cast ultima, and the other casts something like shell or haste, or uses a single target move like flare (FF  examples used, but you get the gist).
This still leaves me in a shit position, but there is still a fight, and more importantly, choices.
3.The mulligan.   Having randomness based mechanics not go our way leads to us wanting a way for us to do this over. And thus the save scum was born.
Oops my lockpick failed? Reload.
I didn't get the item I wanted from this boss/chest? Reload.
The boss started with spamming its supermove twice and I don't feel like dealing with that ? Reload.
I failed the minigame? Reload. How you could solve this: Remove mechanical randomness outside of combat, or heavily restrict saving. In this day and age restricting saving is likely to backfire, as most people react negatively to that.
Just have your lockpick skill be all or nothing (Lv3 Lockpick opens lv 3 locks). Anything else leads to the player reloading. Or maybe just have the lockpick break, but the lock still opening with a random chance. The player got a small penalty, but probably won't feel the urge to reload. Have them fail forwards, do not brickwall them. If there is a big reward for doing well at the minigame, do not gate it after a single attempt, either allow a retry, or even better have some kind of point system so the player can "save up" for the item. 
Nothing like a good item being stuck between a (semi-)random minigame hey guys ? (Shakes fist angrily at chocobo minigame for Tidus' ultimate weapon). Now in combat, how do we factor this in ? Maybe the player can bounce back from a devastating roll of the AI dice using that mega potion he had been saving ? (On the hoarding of powerfull items, and the "I might need this later effect" a lot could also be written.), but if the item needed to bounce back is actually too valuable, we once again have our player reaching for that reset/reload button.
Persona 5 had a rather nice solution in having one use escape items that where both pretty expensive/annoying to craft, but had no other use then to escape, giving the player a couple of fail-safes, next to an escape skill that could actually be upgraded to work better/in more situations(when surrounded for example). FFX solved this with having a character with a 100% succes flee skill. As long as he lived, you could always get away.
This also leads to my other point : escape has to work reliably enough or should not be there. "But won't players use that to skip some of the more difficult encounters?" Then you have a problem with the encounter not being fun/rewarding enough, not with the escape function. Using escape already has a penalty: no xp, no gold and the nagging feeling that you failed as a player. But personally I find these patches on an underlying problem:  your game balance is either out of wack, your enemy AI is terrible, or your players do not have enough tools to deal with varying situations.
Small aside : Your AI is not there to kill the player, it is there to provide an engaging challenge, they are there to lose in a fun way. Yes, it might be logical for every enemy to attack the character with the lowest defence and HP, quickly reducing it to a pulp, but that gets old fast and leads to weird things. 
No one wants to be in the situation where raising the tanks defence does nothing because everyone just keeps attacking the mage anyway.(Cover and guard systems not included).
The game designer(Game leader in TableTop RPG's) is not there to kill the player, but to entertain/challenge him. He can always kill the player, but a true challenge ? that takes Finesse and skill. (A little nugget from my days as a D&D dungeon master, which coincidentally has a lot in common with being a game designer). Warning : Controversy ahead: In short : each time your player reaches for the reload button bacause of something he had no control over you have failed a tiny bit as a game designer. Now, to coat this in some context: Nobody is saying every combat has to be easy. Just that in each combat I should be able to win/esape with the tools given to me, no matter what the RNG says.   4. Players suck at probability.   Now, there are actually studies that show this. We both over and under estimate probabilities. We feel that everything above roughly 75 % should always happen (if it's us), and anything below 25 % can never happen (if it's the opponent), except when it's an enemy, then it seems like the 75 % skill hits way too often. It is why skills with "75 % accuracy" that actually have 75 % accuracy feel wrong. 
We feel like either the game is lying to us , or cheating us. Once again , this is player perception and is in very broad strokes. How to solve this ? There is no simple and ethical solution to this. Human nature is what it is, and fighting that in a game is an uphill battle.
We could lie to our players ( saying that the accuracy of our skill is 75 %, but actually giving it a 90 % accuracy in the hands of the player and a 60 % accuracy in the hands of the enemy.
This might work, untill your player looks at the code. This also has the problem of confirming your player bias, and thus deepening the problem. Another problem is once again the percieved dependance of the events. If we just missed twice, we feel as if the next one shouldn't miss, even when the accuracy is 50 %, and 3 misses in a row happen quite often.
Once again, do we cheat, and give the player a hidden accuracy boost after a (string of) misses? Once again , this might work until your players find out. Once they do , 2 probabilities : they exploit it, or they get out the pitchforks and torches. There is however a third option, that is rooted in the players penalty avoiding nature. As humans we dislike penalties more then we like rewards. 
It's the wow rested Xp problem. In early playtesting of WOW, they experimented with a "tired" mechanic, where you would get -50 % xp if you played too much. Players where livid.
How did they solve this ? They changed Normal to be called "rested" and gave a 100 % xp boost, while  the new normal (the old tired) gave regular XP. They then cut the gained xp in half, so you got the old 100 % xp when rested, but only 50 % when "Normal". 
So they actually changed nothing, but they worded it as a reward, and not a penalty. That made all the difference.
Another facet is the the same reason why you would rather buy an artificially overpriced "80$" pair of yeans at 40$ then a "40$" pair at 40$ (the JCpenny effect, look it up!), even if the pants are both only actually worth 40$, we feel like we got rewarded, when actually we got exactly what we where going to get anyway.   So in short:Random rewards not penalties, make it feel like the player got something extra, even if the end result is the same. A miss feels worse then a crit feels good.   An in RPG example:   Say we have Lucky strike, a move that hits 50 % of the time, but for triple damage. Obviously, this is mathematically speaking a good deal, you get on average 50 % more damage, but still, a large fraction of your player base will avoid this skill.
Now maybe, let's look at lucky strike 2.0: It always hits, but has a 50 % Chance of doing double damage. This skill just feels better, and I bet a lot more players will pick this one, even if the chance was only 33 % or 25 %.(Which they will stil unconsiously feel like it should happen 50 % of the time, but you can't win them all). Another small suggestion could be to not have misses, or to have a miss deal some small amount of damage. Rename miss into weak hit and rename hit into solid hit.   Anyway, there is  still a lot to be said about luck, and how players handle it, but I'm already going long as it is. I hope I gave everyone ome ideas for their own games.   If you feel like I am wrong and an utter idiot, feel free to comment. As always, discussion is a door to new insights, and as some would have said it:" An evening in which everyone agrees, is a dull evening"
 

Webazine

A few years back, a friend (then more of acquaintance to me) saw my early comics and stories, and mentioned something about Webazines. I hadn’t heard of one, or had memory of the name/word so he kindly explained what he was talking about for me. I have created a channel on youtube, for the purpose of telling stories in a webazine format, with sounds, oration, art, and music. I have planned 34 episodes for this year, so I can take a rest to work on more works. Not every year will be as often or as many episodes. For 2018, my schedule makes it so every episode is released on every Monday. I am using my collection of Fairy Tales, which I created for a world building exercise of a planet which is within my universe/collection of manuscripts. The first 5 episodes are already on the channel. Story Time With Wookie. So far there are no hangups for creating the content, but I try to keep subscribers updated if I can’t meet my deadlines for the channel. The process is basically, edit the manuscript, no matter the draft its in (especially these works, as they are my earlier ones and I can’t say I was as skillful an author as I am now, just happens). Record the audio for the story (basically reading the manuscript). I have started doing each paragraph in takes which I had not been doing earlier. It has helped a lot with consistency and reducing mishaps in reading. Then I spend the rest of the day I record, drawing the story art, going as long as I am able til I need to sleep. The next day I compile it in Vegas Pro 14 which I received from a humble bundle and haven’t regretted the cost yet. Generally I have enough time to find a listener for feedback before I release it on the channel. The format has gone through changes. For instance, the first episode has no Title nor credits. It was just oration and pictures. Thanks to some kind viewers from around servers on discord and twitch, was given some suggestions for the content, which greatly helped in the end. Not all of the 34 stories were ever critiqued, I only showed maybe 11 of them to anyone for edits/critiques. So it’s a bit of a process for some of them, which I imagine will be fun either way. Some of them were however shared on places like FWO (Fantasy Writers .Org) which is a great community that works on reciprocation. One particular individual gave me a promotion on their blog and I was so thankful, it is the reason I believe, that any of my writings made sales at all. This also means, I am no longer distributing works through Ebook or Carbon Copy. For whatever reason, my last ebook I wanted to publish, my self publisher gave me a hassle and I had no idea how to resolve the issues they brought up. So I closed my accounts, deleted my content from their servers and started the channel on youtube. There are still some stories on the writer’s forum. I haven’t posted all of them, but basically you just need a free account if you really want to see the written words. I plan on doing some more complex type works in the future. 2019 is likely going to be featuring 3 mini series, and perhaps a four story collection. It’s a toss up with the collection and another shorter collection. But my plans for the art are a lot different from the 640p works I am doing for this year. To give you an idea for what I mean,  This is the latest character I have introduced into my universe, and the style of the art I want for his story. This means I will be going a lot slower on the episodes. likely the season will go as long as the 2018 one is planned for, just with more time for the works. That’s just one scene of a paragraph and it took 4 days to get to that point, and I’m still not 100% satisfied with it. I’ll find out if it’s possible with a monthly release. If anything I could do 10 scenes in a month’s time of work, it’s likely to be only 7 or 8 scenes, as I will need more time for other things. Aside from the issues with my self publisher, I have made the decision to publish all current and future works on youtube for a few reasons. One is mostly the way the domain works for content and revenue. People would not have to purchase any of my works, and still enjoy them, and I have the opportunity to earn based off views and subscribers, so that’s something I consider a lot more fair to content creators and fans. There are some issues with hosting it on youtube that I could see arise. For instance, I wouldn’t want the younger audience the ability to consume my more mature audience type of works. Of coarse I can warn about it and use age restriction for them. But I just imagine some parent’s account subscribed and a child watching thinking its safe for them. I have no intentions of drawing the really demented scenes, especially any that could be traumatizing to victims of sexual assault. I currently don’t have plans to use my art created for older works. Basically anything drawn before winter of 2017 is not going to be used in the episodes. There is going to be what I hope are major improvements in my art. I did recently purchase some books on traditional animation, so I have plans for some animated features in the distant future. I really don’t want to recycle the stories for that sort of thing, so it will be a new story or set of stories. I hope you enjoy the works should you decide to surf-in and check the stuff out. So far it’s a very fun process with much enjoyment for me as an author and artist and musician.
 

a very late but mildly interesting update

**log taken from the gamejolt page**   hi i forgot to update the devlog while working on things major updates fixed timothy’s sprite flicker glitch after reworking and condensing some common events the phone is longer required to change classes, and instead it can be done directly from the esc menu (the phone will probably be removed) the Photographer class is functioning but needs more skills and work the first recruitable party member is in the works new damage sounds WOAH the book at timothy’s desk used for saving is now a desktop computer planned reducing the size of the apartment to feel more like a college dorm adding a form of ‘quick class help’ to get more info on timothy’s current class (menu option, button press, etc) making a more interesting title screen misc a composer has gotten in contact with me and has expressed interest on working on insomnioid’s soundtrack yay
 

Devil Boy Quest Patch for IMBA

Deer, it's me Perang Cemen, I'm here because some or lot's people get troubled with IMBA, IMBA mean Imbalance, IMBA what I mean is bug, example: when Mira join you at Kaelo her Agi was so low, you know why? because Cecila cast freeze spell  at her and the only way to make her Agi return to normal by meet with Cecila  again at Zukaru, the problem is what if you can't find her and skip it, Mira will stuck in her low Agi and you will be in trouble since you may need her help, there also side quest that make Lexar MaxHp drop to 1 and return to normal after quest done, the same problem is what if you can't finish the side quest and skip it? Lexar MaxHp will stuck in 1 and you're done for, that's why I create a patch to remove those include some quest and story.   I know it sound's silly but at first I didn't think that someone would be so stupid to take side quest but didn't finish it ASAP, instead of clear it ASAP they just go to main story and then stuck or you can say can't go back to clear the side quest, the problem is when the side quest lower your stats and you go with that and trapped in a main story where you must fight boss or something like that, this will be a big problem, so I... remove those side quest, and anything related to lowering stats or these IMBA.   I'm Really sorry if you have download it before 30/04/2018 since you may need this patch to make your lowered stats return to normal. (You don't have to download it if you wish to play full version, it will be automatic fixed, but if you want try Mira at Demo, very recommended to download it)   Thank you for your attention   ~Perang Cemen

Perang Cemen

Perang Cemen

 

Entry 00C: Hard to come up with a title; just read it (or don't - I don't care)

I'm sure people are aware of things going down because of that jackass in the White House.   If things go down the way I expect them to, I'd like to say good-bye in advance, because I won't let my demise be by the hands of anyone else but my own.   Where I currently live, is well within the blast range of a primary target for nuclear strikes. Even underground, my chances of survival are low, and there are no shelters of any kind within a few hundred feet. So, I'll be taking care of things, and buying rope.   I know what I'm saying is brutal, and may be ridiculous to many, but to Hell with the idea of allowing anyone to dictate what happens in any part of my existence, even the end of it.   Some will try to run, or to hide, and I can only wish them the best of luck. Surviving the initial strike is only one part. Once the initial strike happens, further strikes will have no warnings.   This is no conspiracy theory, no fear mongering nonsense. All this is, is the throes of someone whose life went from fantastic, to garbage, to futile effort, with no known fault of her own in the equation. Not saying I have no fault in anything that occurred, but to say I do have fault when I cannot think of anything I may have done wrong is just as bad as lying about it.   ...If you've read this far, then I hope you're able to forgive my emotions as they run rampant. I don't want to end it all, but unless something happens that changes the outcome of this act of stupidity by the jackass in the White House, it will come down to those two options.   In advance, fare all thee well; maybe we'll meet in Asuria...

PhoenixSoul

PhoenixSoul

 

World of Chaos Progress and Plans XX

I took a break from my project and went to my secondary project, but now I'm back to my primary project.     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. Leveling rewards: As we know, there are some games that gives you rewards based on you level. As a result, in some of these games, people don't do certain quests until they reach the desired level to retrieve the best of whatever it is. In my project, I will attempt to test the idea of reward items (such as weapons and armor) scaling with you as you level up.

Lord Vectra

Lord Vectra

 

Huge Update, Hell yeah!

Deer! (Hi there!) Finally I got time and hell yeah! I manage to screenshot em and put it in my game page, forget it you may don't like it, anyway I just add a featured stuff in my game page, be sure to read it.   Yo there whoever you are, a people just pass by or accidentally click this or something I just want to tell you Devil Boy Quest is almost complete, the left thing to du is just translate it to anglish, I mean English, Note that my English are suck.   Anyway there will be a forge, potion mix/brew, formation, and lots system.   Let's move to case 1 the FORGE?! it's like create weapon/armor you need a hammer, anvil(in tsugi blacksmith worry not they let you use it for free), forge recipe and the material you need to create new weapon, naturally it would look like a mixed weapon/armor, anyway it would be boring if there no failed chance to make item but you may ended up complain if you failed so... I make it that you must press down button at right time, success or failed it's up to you. (if you failed you lose your hammer but not your material)   Now move to case 2 MIX/BREW?! just like forge you need to mix potion in a pot(there a building in Mizu that has no shop sign), note that you also need special item that sold by the man in that town, the cost of that item is around 300, anyway the system is same but it may look different, there 3 possible happen, first you press at right time and success, second you miss a bit and failed, you miss a lot and bum it explode. (If it explode it may damage you a bit and you lose the item used for brew)   Which case is now... oh right 3 a formation, you can set formation of the character by use Format Pen, what a strange name... anyway if the character put in the front will gain extra attack and magic defense but lowering defense and magic while if the character put in back will have extra defense and magic but lowering attack and magic defense while they put in mid they didn't get extra or get lowered.   case 4 what again... I forgot... oh right secret dungeon in Iparas Village! whops! it's secret area so you havta to uncover yourself, anyway be sure to have at least one stonebreaker so you can come to that ehem pub so... forget it.   case 5 error translation, please skip this one I don't want to talk about it.   case 6 new character, Right, she naturally a future protagonist in Perang Cemen VII. (Devil Boy Quest is Perang Cemen I.) her name is Dauna, yet she like Lexar but she always act cruel, and trust no one, she do what she like, and well she close to be a bad character, anyway she very strong and she use a unique weapon that not sold in normal weapon shop, what is it? a Sword-Gun/Gun-Blade, she may reveal herself if you manage to do some damn hard task.   case 7 new system graphic, looks like you don't care huh? okay skip that   case 8 fishing system, it may not appear in demo, since you have to go to Zukaru City and get Fishing Rod, while the demo end before you reach that place, anyway the fishing system like BoF2, you will throw a bait based on power you press and if it's hit a fish you must pull it before the time over.   case 9 Bound system, to raise mood of your ally you may need to talk them, present is great way to raise their bound, more bound more they will support you, when bound reach it's max amount some secret quest will be unlocked, note these secret quest won't unlocked in demo.   case 10 give me more feed back, those case above are based on those who give me feed back. if you have anything in mind be sure to tell me, and thank you if you do so.   ~Perang Cemen   Below are Devil Boy Quest Album...

Perang Cemen

Perang Cemen

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