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Destiny Star Saga: Face Collection

I made 36 character concepts, and I'm now certain it is possible to make a large scale cast using the face generator. L.L. sprites are flexible enough to get the job done for almost any face, so I think I'm going to begin developing the setting and plot so I can get busy fleshing out and finalizing character concepts.           A new concept I've put some development into. One of the last living Blood Elves. Her species were wiped out as a result of their uncontrollable blood lust and appetite for violence. It always lead to war, and they destroyed themselves fighting humans, other elves, and each other. 300 years ago, human kingdoms launched a campaign to destroy the last of their decaying empire, and a culling of the species began, turning into a genocide over time. Nevara was raised among Elves and taught to control her temperament, but she was never able to adjust to the lifestyle of a 'normal' Elf. She constantly rebelled or lost control and got into trouble. As a young woman, she ran away to separate herself from other people in order to protect them.      

That One NPC

That One NPC

Destiny Star Face Collection [Update#2]

I got a few sprites done this evening. I like how this is unfolding. One of my favorite things about Suikoden is the massive variety of characters and being able to create something similar is turning out to be rewarding, and I'm just getting started.       Going to be among the lot of lead protags, and will probably have playable siblings. He will be your first 'tank' class character.   Dialogue: -Freedom is my payment, and I owe that freedom to you.   I love this concept. He was an imperial soldier before he renounced fighting to return home and marry his sweet heart. Shortly after they came for him, to arrest him for desertion. In a frenzy, the worked up mob of soldiers light the house ablaze. Unbeknownst to the soldiers, his terrified wife had been hiding inside and burnt to death. Rushing home at the sight of the smoke, he was sent into a rage and killed more than half of the men who had come to arrest him. During the grief that followed he was arrested without incident and has remained in a small, dark cell ever since.   The party frees him in order to help defend the surrounding lands. I pictured the scene when the heroes say his name aloud in the king's throne chamber, and a nearby servant physically withdraws in horror, backing into a pedestal, sending some manner of pottery crashing to the ground. Classic.     A few new face concepts. Also my cleanest looking elf concept so far. I may redo the other three.

That One NPC

That One NPC

 

Arin's In Depth Reviews: Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet [PC]

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is the third Sword Art Online game to come out since the original inception of the anime many years ago. This came out after SA: O (Sword Art: Original), and after that, Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization. Then finally, Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet that takes place in its own separate universe. So let's go ahead and get jumping into the game.     Story:   I'll just save you some time here. It sucks.   I mean, I was going into this game thinking that the game was going to be an absolute shitshow because the entirety of the SAO franchise has about as much consistency as a paper airplane that wasn't folded right. As I said before, Sword Art Online takes place in an alternate universe that is nothing like the original two. As SA:O takes place in its own universe, and SAO: Hollow Realization takes place in the universe of ALO, Fatal Bullet takes place in a universe called Gun Gale Online, or GGO for short. Which, by itself, was actually the best arc for SAO. But it's still bad.   Okay, so I'll just save you some time here and sum up the story in a few sentences, as the game doesn't really have a strong story department: It's bad. There are consistency issues all throughout the game, and the inclusion of different story modes throws curve balls at you like Nolan Ryan threw strikes (that's a baseball reference, folks). And some of them don't even make sense. For example, about 3/4s of the way through the game, a new mode is introduced called Kirito Mode.   Because of course, we need to include our shining hero of the franchise just to make sure he gets his screen time.   The entire reason you have to do this Kirito Mode is because of a player within GGO's universe who is killing players. Even though PK'ing in the game (which was said multiple times) is completely okay. He goes by the name of Death Gun, the most edgiest name that would put Shadow the Hedgehog in his place. This moment, this plateau of action, unfortunately, only happens about once you're 2/3s of the way through the game. The rest of the time, you'll be going from Point A to Point B in between, learning all about your characters backstory and what brought them to GGO in the first place.   There's Kureha, Zeliska, Itsuki, and Bazalt Joe who are new players to GGO, then you have all the favorite characters from SAO: Kirito, Asuna, Silica, Sinon, Leafa, Agil, Klein, and Lisbeth. I'm sure I am missing a few but I don't care because the game doesn't give me a reason to care about these characters other than the fact that they were stuck into the game just to ensure they got their appropriate screen time.   Okay, so going back onto the plot: Death Gun actually ends up being two different people. Which, looking back on it now, was a cool concept, because ever since NerveGears were banned due to the events that happened in SAO, new technology was implemented to stop that. However, Death Gun was working in conjunction with another person in the real world to keep his visage, his image, of being a psychotic murderer, while the person in the real world did the dirty deed. This was a cool idea to me, but.......there was no resolution to anything.   You go into Kirito Mode, because you have to in order to find out who Death Gun really is, go into a championship, beat his lanky ass, and figure out that there was another person behind the scenes pulling the strings.   ...And that's it. There's no proper resolution for the arc, unless you go back to playing your created character.     It feels as though the entirety of the plot was mashed together in a blender when they were trying to make a margarita, but instead they ended up making a smoothie with ice chunks still in it.   So to wrap it all up: Nah man. Just don't.   Also, you can date your sister in the game in Kirito mode. No, I wish I was making this shit up, but no, it's an actual thing. Which goes to prove that Reki Kawahara is nothing but a pervert. But we already knew that.   Overall: 3.5/10.     Gameplay:   Alright, in the vein that the story sucks, the gameplay is actually the most redeeming and probably the most addicting part of the game. There are so many good gameplay features. But in the same sense, there are also some bad gameplay choices that don't make sense unless you actually look up a guide of what you are supposed to be doing. So let's get the negative out of the way first.   After the Death Gun arc, a new mechanic unlocks called "Affinity" between all of your party members. You have to raise this Affinity to near max with all the original GGO characters (Kureha, Itsuki, Zeliska, your Arfa-Sys Unit, and Bazalt Joe). However, the game does not tell you about this new gameplay mechanic change in any way or fashion. And if you don't do it, you won't get the true ending. That kind of pissed me off.   HOWEVER, the gameplay features of this quickly outclass the shit story the game presents. As I am a gameplay trumps story kind of person, I quickly fell in love with how much you can actually DO in this game: From creating your character, from changing your outfits, to minmaxing your weapons to making sure they are the best goddamn shredders in existence.   So let's start. There is an extensive weapons system in this game that allows you to customize and enhance your weapons, up to a certain point, making it essentially a minmaxer's paradise. For example, Handguns in this game have some of the best Critical stats but have shit stopping power. So to compensate, you would stack some Weapon/Physical Attack on them to make them slightly stronger. Up to a point. There's a hard cap on how much you can upgrade your weapon and its stats, but when you reach that point, you are already powerful enough that you can destroy bosses in mere seconds with your weapon. And there are many many weapons you can acquire in this game. Handguns to Full Auto ARs, Burst fire ARs, grenade launchers, and rocket launchers. You can even hold a fucking Gatling Gun. A GATLING GUN.     The world of SAO: Fatal Bullet is massive, with 4 different areas (5 if you count the DLC) where you can go to...kill monsters basically. My favorite Area was an Area called The Old South, because it literally is a callback to NieR Automata's City Ruins. There are Side Quests in this game as well, which augment and complement the world of SAO: Fatal Bullet as well. But these are basically kill X amount of Y quests, looking for Treasure Chests in the overworld or in dungeons, or PK'ing other players. Basically, there's lots to do actually in SAO: Fatal Bullet, which is why I enjoyed the game so much. There are so many different build combinations you can do for your characters that one playthrough isn't enough to justify the game. For example, you can be a DPS Sniper, a tank who uses a Shotgun with CC abilities, a debuffer, a Support with massive Strength, basically anything you can put your mind to, you can do it.     So for all the faults that the game has, it has an equally amount of good gameplay parts. However, I will say without the DLC, you can't get into all the dungeons in the game, which I don't personally agree with. If you're gonna lock content behind DLC, it should be free, or not be in the map in the first place. Because I'm trying to get into the Demon Cave without the DLC and it wouldn't let me, even though there was a Quest there which required me to go to the Demon Cave so I couldn't complete it.     So all in all, the gameplay isn't bad.   Gameplay: 8/10.     Quality:   It's.....about what'd you'd expect from a port. It works. That's just about it. I could run it at 60 FPS with no problems. Although, in some certain situations my frame rate would lock itself to 30 for no reason. I don't know if it's a Steam or a port issue but that was a minor inconvenience to me at most.   What WAS actually an inconvenience for me is that sometimes, button inputs are locked, or don't register. Since I played the game with a KB+M (because that's how you play shooter games you ingrates) my Sprint Dashes would sometimes register twice when I only pressed it twice, or I could get stuck in a crouch position after Evading for some reason. So that was mildly irritating.    The art for the game is...well, we all know the writer of the game is a pervert. There's no dancing around that.     And yes, you can romance all the characters in the game. And you kind of have to in order to keep the game moving along.   So nothing really special here. It works sometimes when it feels like it. Other times it's a nearly flawless experience.   Overall: 6/10     Replayability:   So like I said before, this game has lots of redeeming features when it comes to the replayability of the game. Especially when trying different builds, or different characters, or different weapons. There are near limitless combinations available at your disposal and they are all at your finger tips. However, the only downside to the replayability I will say is that NG+ is actually harder in terms of coping with the mechanics than it is on NG. Which is why I highly recommend against NG+. Instead, just make a new character and build them up again with a particular build you have in mind. It will save you a lot of headache that way.   But yeah, in terms of Replayability, there is A LOT to have.   Overall: 8/10.   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?:   This is kind of a tough one to decide. If you are one of those people who prefers story in their game, I would say give this one a hard pass. And probably the whole SAO franchise in general a pass. If you don't care for a bad story but want a good game, then yes, I definitely would say get this game. HOWEVER, I would highly advise against getting this game on a sale for -50% on Steam, for a comfortable $20 instead of the full asking price of $40. This game is not even worth $20 in some regards but that's a whole other can of worms that I won't open.   Overall: 6.3/10. Just okay    

Destiny Star Face Collection [Update]

I worked on a few new concepts last night, a few of them having more development than others. I got a new set of generator parts the other night as well, so I have many more mouth and eye options to choose from.   I updated the lead protag's protector role.     I really like this character, and plan to make her among the best out of the 'tank' class characters.  Dialogue: -I'm just an old gal, but I've been through the wringer with this war. -Take me out. You'll see.  
 

Entry 007: Two Things (always better in pairs unless you're playing Batons and Bowls)

So, yes, I have a new game project that I am going to finish at some point. No ETA on playable demo yet. The premise behind my current game project is a continuation of the story of the first Final Fantasy game. There won't really be any elements present from the first game other than some of the mechanics (i.e. sorcery shops and menu music), the characters are going to be custom designed by the player (face and sprite graphics are changed by what the character wears or doesn't wear as well as some settings the player chooses), the music and sounds are not going to consist in any fashion of Final Fantasy music or sound, only the story, and if you haven't played the first Final Fantasy game at all, then there's a good chance you won't even know you're playing a game whose story continues on that of the first game's story.   The only thing present from the first game are the enemy sprites, though they are faithful recreations from the first game.   This is a sideview battle system, and with everything I have in the game, it's going to be resource heavy (it is for me but it does run).   Currently, I have all the spells finished and their shop items (using TsukiHime's Shop Manager here) finished so that the spells can be purchased. All the spells also are separated into three types: Destruction Restoration Alteration There are three spell caster classes, Magus, Cleric and Auril, the third is also able to learn some enemy skills and has the most Alteration experience. Also, the Auril is able to learn all three types of spells readily, though Destruction and Restoration spells are not learned at the same rate. All three spell caster classes can learn all three spell types, though the Magus will have to have a secondary class (using Yanfly's Class System) to learn Restoration spells, as well as to learn all Destruction and Alteration spells.   I have the healing items finished, the main ones used in most situations anyway. Their formulas are done though I'll be changing their icons once I get that situated.   I have the main characters fleshed out and am working on hidden characters that are unlocked via specific situations. One of them is a tie-in character to a side project that I have kinda-sorta started.   Other than that, not much else to say.   The other thing is that I started work on a ROM hack of Final Fantasy (NES), turning it into an open-world-ish experience, by allowing one to walk anywhere (almost), and by having ship ports in many more places but also on every continent. I also made other changes because being able to go anywhere means that one could face stronger enemies before they're ready to, so every enemy drops triple the amount of gold they normally drop, so that supplies will be easier to purchase, and I changed the starting amount from 400 to 20,000. I changed the way classes gain spell points and have it to where most classes can learn spells at some point, and also changed some spells to be usable by mages and clerics alike due to their properties being on the side of Alteration spells (things like status ailment spells that don't deal damage or resistance spells, etcetera), which both 'white' and 'black' magic have in their arsenal. Spells like Fast (Haste), and Tmpr (Temper), are learnable by any class that can learn spells to name a couple.   I didn't change the cost of any items, nor any other stats of enemies (with exceptions to a few whose resistances I did change due to logic among other minor changes), but I did change bonus to hit percentages, and elemental weakness damage. The Harm spells (remains Restoration spells) affect more than just undead, and that's about it. Oh, you can land the airship on any walkable tile, and that includes the mountain tiles which I've adjusted to be a desert background for in-battle.   That's all I've got for now.

Destiny Star Face Collection

Lately I have been considering the development of a Suikoden tribute game. I plan to use Loose Leaf sprites due to the striking similarities between the styles.   I also decided to use the Ace generator for faces. Both offer a semi-unique character build each time you create a set.   I have drafted faces for a few concepts, but have yet to sit down and build sprites. I did create sprites for two of the leads I've been developing.     Not sure how many total characters I want, but 54 would be half of 108, at least. Not all will fight, but the above were combat concepts.
 

Male Folder V1

To make things a little easier, I just zipped up my entire Male folder.    Male.zip   There may be some loose, rando bits here and there i'm not the most organized person when I'm working in strange territory, lol. (Not really a graphics guy.)   You'll notice a few base files, but they were my first crack at skin tones. The 'Male Generator' pnd (if you have Paint.net) has 7 skin tones I made recently. Some aren't great, but, it was a work in progress.   The 'Workshop' pnd is where I worked don all of my edits, and there should be an incomplete project underway. I was exploring the viability of adding a quiver and bow option.

That One NPC

That One NPC

 

More Edits

Since I had competed these, I might as well share 'em.     I cleared the shadowed skin from around each of the hair and bang layers. This was done for layers of headgear, and different skin shades. I may double back and mae those skin pixels transparent to maintain shadowing over darker skin tones, but I didn't think of that until I had cleaned them up.   01a Hair.zip 01b Bangs.zip   Chainmail   A high collar shirt option.   A sword that rests at the waist rather than on the back.    An edit of the helmet I did to match an Ace generator part I have.   Male slippers (perfect for monks or fighters).

That One NPC

That One NPC

 

Final Fantasy Sprites V1

I sat down and made a few of my FF characters using the DIY Loose Leaf generator, and after successfully completing Stryker, Casius, and Cideon, I finally managed to complete the perfect (or close to, at least) Loose Leaf sprite for Seto.   I'm pretty excited about how well all four came out. I attempted some generated faces, but the only decent one is Seto's.     Seto   Stryker   Casius   Cid   This is more or less how the characters were created to look and dress. As close as I was going to get any sprite without commissioning work. I can't wait to make Ana, Marrick, Lilly, Biggs, and all of the others.       I also did adult sprites for the Earthbound characters, just having some fun.     Ness   Paula   Jeff   Poo

That One NPC

That One NPC

Tactical Class Concepts V1

I recently found a pair of plugins that allow you to emulate a Final Fantasy Tactics sort of game. I couldn't resist putting a bit of my RM time into playing with a concept.   That led me to Galv's army manager, and from there I ended up at Avery's iconset, and later, the Loose Leaf generator.   I did drafts for a solid set of classes using the online generator. You'll notice they are just screen shots. I stopped trying to clean them up when I found the png file pack. Using the DIY files, I plan to improve each concept, although it will be more time consuming using the DIY method, because the website let you build both male and female versions at the same time with relative ease.   Leader A | Leader B (player character)   Recruit   Squire | Knight | Paladin   Barbarian | Raider | Berserker   Lancer | Sentry | Phalanx   Archer | Sniper | Ranger   Novice | Mage | Arch Mage   Healer | Cleric | Grand Cleric   Thief | Bandit | Rogue   Fighter | Monk | Master   Ninja | Assassin | Shinobi   Outlaw | Pirate | Captain     With the freedom of the DIY process, I know I can make each of these that much better.  

Edits and Mack Rips

Since discovering the Loose Leaf sprite generator, I have been on a quest to expand the available selection of parts. Most of these are simple edits that give more options, and make those simple edits readily available for multiple uses.   My edits are imperfect - newbian at best - but I am thick skinned, and always willing to correct my mistakes. So feel free to give feedback and tell me where and how I've messed up. I promise you I will not take it as judgement, but be thankful for the assistance it truly is.   If you use any of this stuff, you're not to credit me. I just edited existing sprite materials. I've created nothing. These are Loose Leaf sprites with some Mack and RTP part rips.   I have done some crude edits of existing Loose Leaf parts.   I turned the robe into a tunic that doesn't obscure as much of the leg area. It's not much of a change, but it's perfect for knights and warriors.
The loose cloth areas could maybe be cleaned up a bit, but as part of a composition, it isn't as noticeable   I also cut the tunic in half for even more customization, and to port the lower half into a waist option.     A  more basic headband option with no tie to the rear.   .Two versions of the bandana that give it more flexibility.     A third waist guard option.     A Cloth belt to add more waist options. (Mack Rip) Also check out the fingerless gloves.     A simple waist sash. A more decorative waist sash. A simple torso sash (or strap).     Arm bracers, and shin guards, for more armor customization and lighter class builds.     Light shin pads.     Head gear ripped from Mack sprites (some may not line up to your liking, or require removal of overlapping hair pixels)     I made this sword strap from scratch. No credit is necessary. Consider it's usage rights akin to Loose Leaf sprites commercially speaking. (I forget if LL sprites are commercial or not. I never intend to go commercial so I forget what's what in that regard.)    
 

coding problems Entry 006: Demo for game project 99% ready (CANCELED)

Below lies the original blog that has lost relevance.   Due to the way I was treated on a different and now completely untrustworthy forum, I've come to grips with the fact that as much as I love creating, I'm no artist, no game dev, and most certainly not able to continue on. I'd ask for help but there's no point so from now on, unless by some miracle of Eden and Yggdrasil that comes in the form of a deep apology and pledge to never harm me again and to aid me in whatever I need, I'll simply be a gamer. Hello, depression, hello, darkness, goodbye, fairness, honesty, and light....  

PhoenixSoul

PhoenixSoul

 

Entry 010: Vulnerability and Anarchism

(Entry 00F +1 was an addendum to Entry 00F)   So, this year thus far has been garbage. Society has fallen to that of slavery, and even though there are the some few that have awoken to the horrible nature of Statism and Totalitarianism, it truly is a case of too little, too damn late because unless the few gather and demolish the system of slavery already in place like, now, there won't be any hope left.   The Divines are already enacting their wrath, but not in favor of any mortal. Eliminating mortals en mass is what is happening, and that's it. Cosmic forces are reshaping the economic center of balance for life on this planet, and there's not a thing mortals can do to stop that. Even if mortal kind wakes up en mass and destroys the system of imbalance and immorality, it's not going to stop the cosmic forces from enacting the rebalancing of life energy.   But that's big picture stuff. None of that matters right now. It's just something I can take solace in later.   Right now, I'm wracked with worry because of the fact that I am too honest and stand up for those who cannot or will not stand up for themselves, making myself an even larger target for abuse.   My dog, Oscar is turning fourteen this year. That's old for any dog, even more so for a Pug, whose lifespan expectancy is eight to ten years. Oscar is not in the best of health, hasn't been for a couple years, but is in okay health for his age, in comparison to Max, our other pug who was put down back in 2016 (before the move/knowing that we'd have to move) after having a seizure and basically never really coming out of it. Max' health was horrible in comparison; he had gone almost completely deaf, and was pretty much blind. His bark was shrill, and he didn't move around much near the end. He was overweight and his mobility was lackluster at best. He was thirteen, and though it was sad to know he was gone, I'm so glad he's gone; he no longer suffers and no longer feels pain. He's in the capable hands of Eden now, and that thought does trigger some good feelings. Anyway, Oscar in comparison can still hear, see, is still able to move, and has more energy. But he's still old and is weakening, and that can be seen when he's walking around outside (since we don't have a yard like Oscar needs he has to be on a leash - well because of this stupid law I won't talk about here anyway). Whenever he does his business, he actually takes longer and there are times when he'll stop and act like he's going to, but doesn't. He'll do this a few times before actually doing it. We always pick up after him (and often times after others that don't), but it is when he squats and does nothing, that's what is now causing people to abuse us with false claims and I took a stand against it because my Stockholm Syndrome-ridden roommates won't. If worse come to worse because of this...   I won't allow myself to live life homeless. I'll be straight with you all. I may be close to having a demo ready, but it doesn't mean a damn thing if I have no stable place to work from and live. Furthermore, if it comes down to that, I'll be jumping off the nearby bridge because I'd rather curse those who abused me with my blood on their hands than die out on the streets (which will happen because I don't have resources on hand to deal with being homeless including the mental part).   Of course, that's just me telling you this because that has been hung over my head and lain on my shoulders for so long, that it is an ever-present danger. If I could, I'd get a private security detail. That way, no one could harm me or my dog in such a manner ever again. But that would cost me more than dental implants would. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSS!!!!!   It all comes down to greed and avarice. I'm sick of it!! (Oh, and yes, I've backed this up; I can easily reupload elsewhere and link it.)

PhoenixSoul

PhoenixSoul

 

Entry 005: New Project (not saying the name yet)

I've made some progress with this new project, and I intend to finish it.   I have the playable characters planned out, and a story arc as well.   I will be using the standard VX Ace style sprites, and forward facing face graphics the generator provides. Of course, most of my custom graphics will be made in GCH: PE (which has been updated to 3.5 as of the day of this post), but there will be plenty of variety.   I currently have issues with some things, but I'll get them worked out.   I also am working on a button configuration script that will allow one to customize what buttons function as confirm, cancel, menu and dash, as well as debug functions so that those that wish to test with a gamepad can do so comfortably.   That's pretty much it for now. Obligatory shout out to the best ever codex manager, @Kayzee; you rock, girl!

PhoenixSoul

PhoenixSoul

 

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... 

PhoenixSoul

PhoenixSoul

 

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

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