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.
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 ?
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.
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.
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"
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.
**log taken from the gamejolt page**
hi i forgot to update the devlog while working on things
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
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
a composer has gotten in contact with me and has expressed interest on working on insomnioid’s soundtrack yay
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
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...
I took a break from my project and went to my secondary project, but now I'm back to my primary project.
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.
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.
Below are Devil Boy Quest Album...
First of all: I'm not dead, just extremely lazy to post here. It's just something that always happens with me and blogs. I like blogging but I am too lazy to keep one updated. Anyway, time for an update on the game. I have introduced a set of changes that I am going to describe below.
I had a small set of skills for each character. As I was developing the game and creating enemies and dungeons, I quickly realised that they weren't enough so I decided to further expand the skillset for each playable character. Everyone will have three skill types: one with the main skills, those which defines them as being from one job or another. A second skill type with secondary skills and finally a third one that includes exclusive skills gained through "job quests", which I explained in a previous post. For example:
Araken now has:
-"Feints", which are dodges, either just a regular "dodge next attack received" or a more complex "dodge then counterattack" or a "block then counterattack".
-"Hunter techniques", which are his main skills. Attacks targeting one or more foes that cause states, applies buffs and debuffs. Every skill is quick, consumes low TP but deal average damage.
-"Bolts", which include both his normal crossbow skills (special attacks that deal damage and inflict a state) and his elemental bolt skills that he gains through job quests.
I have introduced, thanks to Ramza's shield block plugin, a new stat: Block. The plugin offers two characteristics: block chance and block rate. The first one refers to the % of blocking an incoming attack and the latter refers to the % of damage reduced. Additionally, I have added small chances to dodge attacks to represent in gameplay terms the ability to parry/deflect attacks, which is different from blocking. Tinkering with the plugin's notetags I have managed to adjust the new parameter to all characters that have shields:
-Araken wears shielded bracelets, a specialty of the people from the Northwest. They are useful for protecting, blocking and deflecting attacks from the enemy, whichever weapon they use. As for gameplay, shielded bracelets have less block rate than a proper shield but good block chance. Furthermore, all bracelets provide a small dodge chance.
-Narissa wears round shields or bucklers made out of wood, iron, steel and other materials. Some are blessed or provide unique buffs. All of her bucklers offer average block chance and block rate, with one of them being specially made for working with spells only. Bucklers do not provide dodge chance, as Narissa only uses her shield to block.
-Asher uses targes, small round shields that are employed in battle more to parry attacks but not so for blocking. In terms of gameplay, targes have a high dodge rate, low block rate and good block chance. Targes have a good chance of dodging, to represent their unique parrying nature.
-Heidek uses greatshields, big and heavy shields that protects the user but reduces his agility. In-game, greatshields have the highest block rate and block chance, but Heidek won't be able to dodge attacks.
Introducing damage formulas! Not only for skills, but also for weapons. Thanks to Hime's Weapon Damage pluging, different weapons have different formulas that are included into the damage formulas of skills. Furthermore, some skills have unique formulas and magic attacks have also their own formulas.
Thanks to SumRndmDde Translation Engine plugin, I will be able to translate the game from Spanish (original language) to English and have a multilanguage game. It will be hard work, but worth it.
I've been dealing with a lot of garbage as of late, so progress has slowed to a trickle.
I'm actually still figuring out story and locations related to story. That part has been difficult to do.
Also, I keep running into bugs with syntax, a lot of times in battle due to some sort of conflict or NoMethodError nonsense or a number of other things. Some of it I've been able to correct, some I've had to disable scripts to avoid, and some I've come across due to Game_Interpreter being stupid, that of which I've decided to avert by doing some really shoddy backhacking.
I've also been testing out some of the modifiers I've made to existing scripts, and I recently made a fix to one of my own.
I made a scriptlet that changes the Dash button. I made it so that one could bind it to a switch, or to a variable (I've not written that out as of yet but I know how to write it).
However, if one uses Yanfly's System Options, my scriptlet breaks Autodash, if one changes the Dash button (it works fine if left unchanged).
So, I figured out exactly what runs Autodash, and incorporated it into a scriptlet. Took me about ten minutes. It works.
Well, other than scripting...I've progressed very little elsewhere. I'm trying to cobble together all the possible summons, but to be honest, I kinda wanna go further into the game and see where that goes before designing those further. However, until those are done, I won't be able to redo the skills for each one.
I have a few NPC characters done, and I've also resized some small battlers so that they can look like they're not meant to be on a Game Boy Advance screen.
I'm getting there; unfortunately my excursion with MV was a big distraction, and it did kind of take from my creative energies towards this project.
Well, anyway, until next time, true believers...
*reads last blog entry
oh my... that's a lot.
Anyway, I'll keep it short this time. I'll be recreating all 3 of my not-so-great-hits TOD the Grim Reaper, TOD the Grim Reaper 2 and TOD the Grim Reaper 3 into actually fully developed big Projects.
I'll aim for the first Game to come out this year, if my Composer is fast enough.
I had the same things in mind for the first 2 Games:
-They are (still) going to be liniar
-Because of the liniarity, I made up for it in some unique and twisted ways. I.e. You can miss your Party Members, but they will still join you regardless later on. You can miss out on great Treasures that will make it easier for you to go from area to area. Areas change dramatically after the Boss is defeated and opens up new paths for some other secrets.
-Literally had 7 modes (of which 3 are basically just copy pasted) in mind for additional Challenges once you beat the Game, since they are so short and mind as well.
In addition to Normal and Hard mode, the new modes are going to be
- Lvl 1 (Normal)
- Lvl 1 (Hard)
- Time Attack (Normal) aka. Speedrun this under 1 hour
- Time Attack (Hard) aka. Speedrun this under 45 minutes
- Lvl 1 Time Attack (Normal) aka. Speedrun this under 45 minutes on Lvl. 1
- Lvl 1 Time Attack (Hard) aka. Speedrun this under 30 minutes on lvl. 1
- Ultimate Mode
All are pretty self explanatory, except for Ultimate which I won't spoil the surprise for. (Which is probably the only thing I won't spoil from the Games)
Since TOD 3 is another thing entirely, It won't have these fancy things at all, since it's multiple path based and this could just be an enourmous amounts of work, considering I'm planning to make sometihng even better than all these modes combined.
But yeah, TOD 3 is basically just going to be another choose your own adventure with twists and turns and yadda. And it's also going to be the regular formula of "There's towns in this game you can chill out in!".
if this is my definition of "I'll keep it short", then I will be hopeless in the future...
**log taken from the gamejolt page**
version 0.0.3 is released.
you can sit in chairs
you can now save at the bedroom desk (why would you want to though?)
using the bed will bring you to the Dream Apartment although you can’t go back
there’s a phone, try calling a certain emergency number (you’ll be disappointed)
class change system is implemented although you can’t do much
extra love <3<3<3
stopped prepackaging the RTP with the files, the bloated size was absurd
fixed the crash when holding the sprint button and going through a door that would occasionally happen
**log taken from the gamejolt page**
the title pretty much says it all. since insomnioid isn’t going to hit you with traditional game-overs when you fail in combat (it is just a dream, after all), the items in the apartment you can interact with (phone, TV, and even the closet will play a role), they will serve as anti-frustration features.
the closet, when in the dream world, will allow you to quickly travel to any major location unlocked
the phone, when in the dream world, will allow you to change your party and fast-travel to the last save point you used
the tv will… well i dunno yet, i’m sure i’ll find a use for it later
i’ve also been doing some basic detail-adding (in the next update you can sit in the chair in the main apartment room! woaaah!
and also there will be an animation for using the chair at the desk in the bedroom. oh, and the desk will allow you to save! why would you save in an early, early game alpha? who knows
Let fill my blog yeah!
Awright! Awright! (First of all I'm sorry of my bad anglish)
Deer! (Hi there) it's been a while, for now I'm focus on one game that is DBQ, actually I have lots game but most of them use a resource from a web with this ToS "Free to use if link back" the problem is their web gone so how the hell I link back? since I didn't link back then I couldn't use it freely... yeah forget about that.
Now in this Project I havta to buy some pack, paid some people, and use some free resource with better ToS (Free use but credit for com is also Ok) even the web gone I can still use it but in the end I havta to sold this game.
(Actually I don't want to but I don't have money to paid my team, so I tell them I'll paid them after this game release, I hope lots people like and buy it else my team will kill me)
Let's forget about those not important reality stuff!
Now what happen to DBQ? they're fine they still in development. actually almost done! yay! but I need to check lots thing and might take 2-3 month (My target release is 04/04/2018. (If I didn't pay my team after 01/06/2018 they really kill me)
Anyway.... when I check I found some bugs but I have handle them. (Handle with care lolz)
is there something crazy or weird happen? of course! it always happen!
"Strange opinion about DBQ"(I spoil it maybe you don't want to read it)
"Sorcery" this has nothing to do with game dev but whatever
"I'm not much of a writer, so don't ask me about it"
"Victim of a nasty translation error..."
"Old fans of DBQ" (Only those who know Devil Boy Quest that made in Rm2k are allowed to open this)
Is there something else?
Oh sure what do you want to know? just leave comment if you feel like to say anything.
Anyway thanks for read the title, why the title and not the post?
I'm sure you read the title since you click it but I doubt you read the whole or even the post, you might read some important part or part you like anyway thanks to if you take your time and read the whole post.
Want to chat with me? just PM me! I'll gladly to talk with you about my games or anything. (if you want to hear fast answer PM me when I'm online)
~Perang Cemen The Best Game Developer Ever (Self-proclaimed)
"00B? What's up with that, mang?"
0123456789ABCDEF == hexadecimal math, dumbass.
I don't have time for you, get lost.
I've recently watched various videos on YouTube, covering a broad range of subjects, which has triggered memories of my true life. Nothing too special or ceremonious, and the majority of them are from when I was still being homeschooled (explanation after I share my memories), but it does bring to mind the realization that I went through experimental phases myself...
I honestly remember the first time I ever tried on makeup. It was a disaster, however, with my then very pale complexion (as pale as my mother's at the same age-but hers never deepened), the blue lip paint actually looked good on me once Phyllis corrected all of my mishap. For the record, one could say I was the equivalent of five when this had occurred, and my mother was a very busy woman at the time, drilling soldiers in her own armed faction so that they could one day, function under the guise of another leader because she was looking to step away from the battlefield, hopefully forever, hanging her glaive, armor and polearm up for good. At any rate, I went through the 'rainbow phase' and by the end of that, I knew that I wasn't like the other girls.
I want to take a bit to explain how education works at home before going on.
First off, education is not a systemized thing; most parents are going to take the homeschooling route, because a lot of the lessons/experiences can only be taught by the parent, which includes their own education. If the parents/guardians do choose to implement early academic learning, it often requires an in-house tutor, unless they wish to send their children to a suitable academy for the young (which in Asuria there is not one since the closure of Esan'noyuzan Academy due to the entirety of the region being deemed uninhabitable after the last freak storm that ravaged the already softened ground making all structures built on the land unstable). Since such usually invokes a rather high cost, it isn't suitable for most parents (education is free in Asuria, but there are costs involved in sending children to other nations as well as the possibility that the academy does require payment). Most parents go the homeschooling route, with tutoring intermittently, until their children are able to take the 'Secondary Exam' (the exam all people are required to take in order to move forward in their education as well as life in general).
My next memory is actually a painful one. It involves the aforementioned 'Secondary Exam' (I put that in quotes because the translation to English actually removes most of the meaning but the exam itself is very trying and exhausting...)
I was always one of those 'intelligently curious' types, meaning that I wanted to know more, and more, and more, often times taking under flights of fancy when I should of been making sure I knew the basics and could handle them aptly. This alone made the exam that I was to undergo very soon quite taxing. I never worried about it myself, until I was given a tour of the examination arena (the entire exam is done in one large area but is sectioned off into several different sub sectors). I could hear metal clanging, people screaming, in battle cry and in agonizing pain, I heard bubbling, sizzling, more screams of agony, among other frightful things, including what sounded like a monster eating people (actually this wasn't true at all-just an auditory illusion that was also a part of the exam), and a couple fighting over whatever, in which that ended with one of the two biting it.
That wasn't the worst part. No, it was the nightmares that ensued, knowing that I'd be faced with that exam. What I didn't know, was the tour was one part of the exam, and though I clearly had hidden the fact that it was all very damn scary, I couldn't hide the fact that it had ended my distractions, and allowed me to focus on passing it. I passed that part just for that.
When the time came for me to take the exam, I had just started developing (you know what I mean), so there was even more potential for me to give into the fear, turn tail and run. However, my intelligently curious mind came at this exam strongly, and the fear, while there initially, started to fade, and by the time that part of the exam had concluded, I was face to face with the same monster from the auditory illusion, and I still remember what I said...
"You think you're so powerful, so strong, so much higher than I, but you're wrong. I know how to hurt you, so try anything. I dare you."
I was poised in a fighting stance I had observed my mother take so many times, and that was it. It all vanished, faded to white, and I awoke in my own bed. That's how the exam concludes for all that take it, pass or fail. Believe it or not, I failed the exam, not because I didn't face my fears, but because I faced them in a manner that invoked the idea that I was behaving like a twat. Yep, I showed my immaturity, by allowing myself to be exposed to unnecessary risk. However, I knew that if I took the exam again, that unless they completely wiped my memory of the first exam and presented different challenges, that I'd fail to meet their standards time and time again. This realization forced me to consult my mother, and my auntie. It was painful, because I knew that I was better than their standards, yet I couldn't pass their standards. So, after receiving their advice on taking the higher road, which involved petitioning the exam committee on revoking their failing marks, I decided to seek the advice of another, just to see if I could perchance a balance of opinions. I went to Liusya, who then was just a really close friend, but someone I admired a great deal, despite the fact that she to me was like one of those emo chicks that has the habit of cutting herself with large razor blades (excuse the stereotype nonsense) as a comparison, but you know what they say about how opposites attract...Liusya was a very dark, very mysterious woman, and still is, though her look would be more comparative to Dark Victorian than Emo. I went to her, and asked her about this. She told me that she passed her own exam after shaming the committee for using fear as a double standard mongering board.
I weighed my options, and decided on taking the advice I was given, and made it into my own. I authored a short narrative on how I felt the exam was favored towards fear as a double standard, and included how I felt about each member of the committee, as well as any individual who showed their truest merits, only to be discredited. I gave it to the press to mass author, and within a short time, I received a response. My failed mark remained intact, and I had been barred from retaking the exam. I chose to not allow this.
I took the pain I had been unfairly burdened with, and one of the swords from the armory, and in my righteous fury, I slashed the entirety of the exam arena. My fury and inner power went through the blade, causing some of the parts to ignite. After my fury was exhausted, I knelt and rested on the blade, burdened by fatigue. One could say that the amount of damage I did would be more than a hundred mortal men could do, in a fraction of the time. For me, one so young, to perform this feat at all was amazing, to have it not kill me (well, to evaporate my life energy anyway), was beyond incredible. My brother, whom had also failed the exam because of his ineptitude at understanding primal fear (he's even more analytical and skeptical than I), came to my aid, and carried me home.
I never passed the exam, however, said exam was to be rebuilt with more than just grounding fear in mind. I and my brother are still barred from the exam, however...
There is a silver lining to this. While said exam is required to enter some of the higher qualified academies, the nearest one to my hometown had no such requirements, and my exam results were very pleasing, as well as my capabilities in destroying the exam arena. I didn't have to take any pre-qualifiers, I was admitted right away.
I guess the most painful part is the hate I was shown, because it was unearned. Like the hate I've been burdened with while imprisoned on this planet...ironic, isn't it? Only I don't have the power to destroy the hatred I was shown now, at least, not in the same way.
The next memory actually ties into the previous, because it occurred not too long after I started at the Academy.
One of my favorite things to do is sample food from various cultures and walks of life. I was intrigued immediately about this thing called 'barbecuing', and asked the one organizing a group around this type of thing, a boy about my level of academic growth and two others. "It'll be messy, gritty and down to earth; make sure to dress the part." I signed up, knowing that I was already into that kind of thing (given extracting ingredients for alchemy often requires getting very dirty if not covered in filth, sweat and blood and I love it).
One of the features of the group's itinerary was the nearby beach; we'd often go there for our barbecues and such, and we'd bring our own stuff for the feasting fun times.
I was one of two girls that would bring along the med kits we made ourselves, just in case; this would become useful as we got into rounding up certain types of jellyfish to be barbecued.
Yes, one of our frequent ventures would be the barbecued jellyfish, smoked cockatrice tail and red wine, a cultural meal from the Andoboraji region, about a comparative three days' journey from Asuria by sea, about a whole lunar phase if one walks there by using the sandbar trails when the tides are low.
We were the Beach Barbecue Squad, and though it was myself, seven other girls, five boys and four non-binary people, mainly from the Academy and otherwise living very far apart, they were like a second family to me. Even Liusya was a part for a while, though her skin wasn't too fond of spending a lot of time in the sun (can't blame her for that), so she would end up joining a group whose activities were mostly indoors or under the moonlight. The Moonlighters. I too was a part of their numbers, so I was around Liusya a lot, and that is how we became very close.
I miss them, the Beach Barbecuers and the Moonlighters.
But I also miss the times when I actually got to leave Asuria and go to another land, often to try their cuisine and/or activities.
There's this video online that has a catgirl catching and swallowing a live goldfish. I watched it and it reminded me of the next memory.
I once traveled to a land whose delicacies were quite eccentric. Yutai is an island chain nation, and it is very hot for most of the lunar season. Anyway, I was still in my rainbow phase, and blue/purple was my favorite ensemble at this point, as were purple foods and drinks, like the live perch I'd get at one of the inns I stayed at during my trip to Yutai (I was part of an exploration group at the time). They had all sorts of live fish and other such delicacies, but the goldfish were far too expensive at 40 Raijin a piece (I had been afforded 100 Raijin total which was to last me the whole trip with no exceptions), so I went with the local perch, which was 2 Raijin. You get three of the perch, but I gave the other two to the boy I was sitting with, because I swallowed one, and was put off by it. I bought a bread loafette later and some apple cider. A good memory, but of bad flavor. I'm sure the goldfish would of been better, well, maybe...
There is one other memory, but my first experience at Paulina's, a dress-up parlour that serves anyone, is NC-17 at best, so I'll just leave it at that.
One issue with memories from my true life coming back, is the cost of memories of this fake life I've been forced to live. I don't remember a lot of things, and most recently, that included someone that recognized me, that I don't remember at all. Like, not even a 'familiarity' thing. Limited memory capacity? The throes of mortality...damnation.
Since I have become a bit more serious about making an actual game I might as well explain a bit about what I intend to do with it. So, here are my current plans about what I am doing.
First what I have already done:
I have a pretty okay random dungeon generator script and several existing dungeon 'themes' which all look a fair bit distinct and decorative.
I have a basic roguelike combat system in place. The kinks need to be worked out, but it works. For a one actor party anyway.
I have a inventory system with features such as equipment enchantment and roguelike style item identification.
A fair bit of different monsters, skills, and items.
Here is some stuff I am going to need to do:
Right now the only thing the player can really do is roguelike-style bump attacks. I need to redesign the menus/interface to allow for skills and items to be selected and targeted.
Monsters chose skills from an enemy moves list, but I may need to think more about how I choose skills and how range works. Perhaps I should use visible projectiles even?
Rebalance the hell out of everything.
Here is some stuff I may or may not do:
Add support for multiple party members. I have been trying to write stuff in a manner so this is possible, but I may need to totally rewrite how I handle inputs if I want to allow the ability to take full control of the party (which if I am adding party members at all, I absolutely do).
You might notice I haven't mentioned much about the story/setting yet. Partly because I want to get the full gameplay system worked out before I bother that much, but also party because I am still not sure about some of the details yet. That it will be heavily based on lots of the things I have said about fairies over the years here is not in question. The setting will definitely be fairyland... or a fairyland anyway. Perhaps more then one.
The simplest basic plot outline I have in mind probobly is that the player character is a human who was abducted by fairies and perhaps transformed into a fairy. I might want to allow the player to create a character, but that might be tricky to do in way I am happy with. If I can get one of those visual equip script things working, perhaps I will use that to let you choose what the player looks like. Perhaps I could even have transformations and stuff. It might be fun to make it a bit like Corruption of Champions actually. <3 I mean not necessarily the naughty stuff (though I would be tempted), but the way items can change your body parts. And hey, mutation is a thing in some roguelikes anyway.
But it would probobly be a lot easier if I just used a set character, at least for now. Right now the one delving in those dwimmery dungeons is me! Kayzee the fairy! Hehe... I am not sure I want to be the main character though. I think if I show up I am much more suited to be a sort of trickster mentor who helps guide the main character. Though I could also tell my own story, it might be interesting to tell how I became a fairy in the first place, if a bit embarrassing.
Oh wow. It's been a long while since I've blogged here. It's been a long time too, since I've belonged to an academia, or even dared to dream of university. Back in highschool, when geometry honors and pre calc were easy and full of joy to explore, I wanted to go to MIT. Everything I kept up on, was happening in MIT. AI, Robotics, all the things that were cutting edge were seemingly happening at MIT. Brilliance was what I thought of them.
Fastforward and I'm a community college drop out with school debt living on government benefits struggling to understand the basic concepts of ACE or really any Object Oriented Language assisted Engine (like Unity, and so on).
I had known about MIT open coarse-ware since I was enrolled in physics at a community college. I would watch a lecture on Electromagnetism every night, amazed with the content, thinking how cool it would be to use the information to build an electronic device never before seen. I ended up making a aluminium foil capacitor that held 2 volts for .25 seconds
Now I'm here, finishing some reading on a MIT press book, Introduction to Algorithms.
It's great. It talks about how the book is meant for not only a student teacher relationship, but also a reference manual for professional programmers, to help in creation/learning to create algorithms that always produce a given output from a provided input, are time efficient based on the resources available to execute the information, and without error. It's also a huge plunge into parts of math that remain unexplored for me. Like Weirmer functions, or newtons method, and some of finite math that's since slipped my mind after having tutored university students in the field.
The first hurdle was getting the text book. It could not just be an ebook, I want to read it anywhere, and the entire planet isn't guaranteed to have the internet. And as I have learned, it may take me a long while to read all of what the book has to offer, the coarse I am following only has 25 lectures that cover a handful of chapters, wheras the book has a lot more chapters to offer. mainly the exploration of mathematics in it is of firm intrigue to me, should it suffice to be able to construct a method in ruby of it's principles, I should have no problem with the contents.
Mom got me the book for an early birthday present. It's very well over 1200 pages. Just the preface alone was cause for me to desire to read chapter 1 the very next morning. All with the delighted hope of learning to craft algorithms that could solve and explore new aspects of reality for me.
I began reading, and writing the exercises.
I couldn't help be so excited about the idea of learning once more, in a field so vastly unlearned and yet so rewarding, that I upset a contact in a discord server. They ended up giving me a link to another discord server that focused on programming in general. I couldn't help but ignore the feeling of total devistation in having pissed someone off, for having found people that could help me grade myself as I progressed, so that I could correct myself and better apply my knowledge on the subjects in the book.
Things checked out on my end for the answers.
Such a short section with so much useful information, I had to keep going.
after more principles, I had failed to realize something that should have been obvious, involving the direction of the book.
regardless, I did my first problem of the book:
I probably totally failed it, in that microsecond does not constitute 1000 of itself into a second. Had I paid attention in the non-existent weights and measures class they call elementary science, I would have known. But that's kind of a scaling issue as I found out from my implications.
So one of the functions of f(n) was f(n) = log2(n)
It wasn't so easy to solve. My first assumption was to create real values for n, and not some representative formula. My first attempts did not posses efficiency, because I am so under-educated about RUBY for one. After talking it over with ruby programmers on the server, I had arrived at this method for the solution
My first thoughts are, why does that work. I still don't know. but if t is say, 2, the answer is 4, and so on, until we have a value where t = 1 second, it becomes large quickly. For a day the number n1 became so large that it was unmanageable for modern RUBY, so I had to introduce a factor. and being a decimal starting with 1 and having no other digit seems to have worked perfectly, scaling according to the t value.
I did this sort of process for all 64 cells of the 8x8 table.
Then I woke up and read chapter 2. And immediately was presented with a real world application for insertion_sort. An algorithm that mimics taking a handful of cards, and aligning them in a sequential order such that the elements are from least to greatest or greatest to least. It was also the first time I had seen pseudo code and attempted to use it as a structure for RUBY code.
I toyed around with it for ages. Before reading the book further, and had hit a dead end. All of my debugging techniques couldn't make sense of the garbled mess of the array my method had made. When I read further, it explained that i = j = e. And its use of A[1..j-1] was saying what would happen in the next loop.
size = an_array.length
i = 0
while i < size
current = an_array
j = i
while j > 0 and an_array[j-1] > current
an_array[j] = an_array[j-1]
j -= 1
an_array[j] = current
i += 1
size = an_array.length
i = 0
while i < size
current = an_array[i]
j = i
while j > 0 and an_array[j-1] > current
an_array[j] = an_array[j-1]
j -= 1
an_array[j] = current
i += 1
this produced this result:
And what I had mentioned earlier, of this being so obvious now. I had made this function before when I was making Classical Age World. It was my sort method for arranging the NPCs in a 2d array into family trees with relationships. I know on my walmar machine it will bog down on 10K entries. It might be more efficient now with the latest RUBY. the time coefficient being defined as:
* insertion sort – c1n2
Just from the table I had made, I know that N**2 is really not that great, but isn't the worse efficient coefficient algorithm. The worst on the table being, N!
I went and did the method in GML, and it worked eventually.
Now I can happily say I know an algorithm with it's application and relevance in programming. The book had me write an algorith to return Nil when a value is not in the array. To be honest I am not sure I understand the problem thorough.
this was my guess at it
For j = 0 to A.length
V = A[j]
If A[j+1].defined? j = j + 1 else
V = nil
Anyways, I thought people would like to know about this particular journey as it develops.
One thing that I haven't been very shy about admitting is even at my most active I have never been that serious about game development here. I like to code neat scripts sometimes yes, and I do like to experiment, and I love to discuss and theorize, but sitting down and actually trying to make a real game by myself always struck me as kind of too much work for me. Mostly probobly just cause I am lazy, but even so when it comes right down to it I am not sure I ever had a really good solid idea for one. Oh don't get me wrong, I have plenty of ideas that I think are neat, but most of them are either random mishmashes of ideas that don't fit together in any real way or are just too overly ambitious to really get anywhere on. Every once and a while I have this 'big project' I want to work on but don;t end up really doing much with. The one time I tried to team up with some other people didn't turn out that well and I am not sure I am cut out for teamwork.
That being said, I still have been ever so slowly chipping away at my own little block of stone. For all the years I have been on this site I have maintained a RPG Maker VX Ace project that I occasionally fiddle with, adding more and more experiments and random ideas to. It's more of my own personal script testing bed then anything else. I know I probobly should have moved on to MV ages ago but... there is just so much I have done with VX Ace! And bit by bit I think it's starting to pay off. It's still a mess of experiments without much underlying theme or idea behind it, but I am slowly seeing more and more a shape emerge that I might be able to refine.
One might remember my old dungeon demo thing. I have added a ton to the scripts there since I bothered to update it, and it seems like I added another ton jut with in the lat few months. I just more or less managed to finally get a roguelike-style battle system (or as I like to call it a 'one-step tactical battle system', since it's basically like a tactical RPG battle system only things can only move one step per turn, or one could think of it as a 'turn-based ABS' perhaps if that idea doesn't make your head explode) working properly. Now I have wanted to do a proper roguelike for a while, and I basically have all the major parts needed to make one from the random dungeons to even the item identification thing. I have a number of interesting tweaks to the generator to produce what may be some of the most pretty dungeons I have seen from similar style dungeon generators, and a number of dungeon types already done. I have a fair variety of different critters too that move and behave in different ways. Imps that can fly over gaps, Sea creatures that can swim, Bats that can fly and move quickly but erratically, Spiders which are slow but can suddenly jump at their target, Ghosts which phase through walls, and so on.
But if that were all I would still probobly end up with a bit of a disconnected mess of ideas. As much as I think gameplay is more important then story or presentation in games, I can't really deny the importance of theming at the very least. Just blindly programing in whatever idea I can think of without some overall hook to the design to tie it all together probobly will just leave me with what I have been doing for the last few years: Just throwing stuff into a pile and poking it to see what it does. Ah, but fortunately I do have the perfect thing to tie it all together I think, and I didn't even really have to go far to find it! Just look at all the stuff I have been telling people about fairies over the time I have been here. A lot of the details could fit right in with a roguelike actually. Even my older abandoned team game had a big focus on that kind of thing.
I even have a name picked out! How about "Dwimmerdelve: Adventures in a Phantasmagorical Fairyland"? What do you think?
For those that aren't aware I've been inactive on the forum for a while. I'll hopefully be getting the ball rolling again with some cool stuff.
Got to get back into game dev after a long hiatus.
Also, keep an eye out for a shop I'm opening in the forums. Soon, no ETA.
Read through a previous blog post from around this time last year and feel like doing a followup of that socially conscious type stuff.
So, life's still pretty messy right now, eh?
We keep seeing everything Brexit and Trump touch getting worse, yet we don't stop them. Granted, props to the yank's courts and some politicians for taking firm stands against Trump at times; they deserve a lot of respect for standing up against someone as downright dangerous as that dotard :3
I guess its weird for me to see people dig their heels in rather than just concede making mistakes. Remember when people considered recognising errors and learning from them to be a positive trait?
For people who aren't keeping score with Brexit it currently looks like this:
-We pay a tremendous divorce bill that will likely range between £40-£60 billion. Would you like me to write that out with zeros?
Remember that a huge campaign point to leave was all the extra money we'd save by not contributing to the EU.
-We will continue to be aligned with the European Courts.
...But we'll have sovereignity* ofc (no, not that rad card game). Even, if this wasn't the case, sovereignty would have minimal impact on a layperson; it just means some other asshole rules over you...and its not like we've got any particularly competent people in office atm. And that applies to both major partys.
*You will not have sovereignty. No substitions or refunds.
-We're begging for access the single market and customs union.
And ofc we would. Unfortunately, see above. The overwhelming majority of EU policy is for the purpose of harmonious trade. Wont oblige? Then you don't get access to the single market. And all that legislative nonsense about worker's rights. Well, why do you workers want that anyways? You've got just enough sovereignity so that companies can eliminate H&S standards for marginal profit (but hey, its not like you can put a price on human life otherwise).
-Immigration has been reduced. Or, the 'no-one wants to live here anymore effect'.
Aww ****. Now who's going to toil the fields while I play xbox? Don't be surprised when the same legal migrants we belittled and shoved out are given a golden handshake in five years to return. Guess who foots that bill.
-Inflation is ballooning.
Y'know how before Brexit people were saying, 'Mannn, the acceleration in inequality is really problematic.' Yeah, that's not better now.
Sorry, I don't want this to be too Brexit-centric (although, obviously I'm more informed on UK politics). One of the most interesting aspects of it though is the refusal by both major parties for a second referendum. I kind of agree since the alternative is to regularly revote on this topic in case the consensus ever generally does favour leaving again. My main issue though is that 52-48 is not a clear enough result and we should have set a threshold figure, say 70%, to warrant this would-be massive change; if there was a genuine majority politicians wouldn't have to pussyfoot around issues to avoid damaging re-election prospects.
Sorry again, its really hard not to get dragged into this ¬.¬ So, we're still seeing a raise in the political far-right. Jeez, we still might lose Merkel. She's really the last, best hope for humanity right now. One of the more amusing things about this is the British general populace's inability to recognise what the far-right is. Recently, its a become a catch-all insult used by airheads if someone says something they disagree with. Same as snowflake. As a literary man it saddens me to see language become the casualty of politics.
Actually, one more fascinating thing about Brexit. A lot of people who voted for it admonish Trump; "Trump is racist, Trump's an isolationist, Trump only puts his own interests first.". Its phenomenal to me that they can say this with a straight face.
Climate change is still, well, changing the climate. We're actually seeing some improvement in that regard when it comes to infrastructure, but the attitude of the general populace is still the issue. What's crazy is we're really seeing effects, even here in mild-weathered Britain. When grids go down businesses lose money. Those wildfires in the states aren't free for governments to put out. No-one benefits, people almost universally recognise it as 'man-made' climate change yet we continue to behave this way. Its unfathomable to me. Amusingly, someone actually tried to scold me at work this year for turning the lights off in rooms that weren't in use (naturally I reminded them they were not my line manager and that other's shouldn't have to suffer because they're too lazy to raise their arm when entering an exitting a room; Mama Nature's a milf folks, lets help her maintain her youthful exuberance).
Automation scares were a big deal a this year; Heck, 'they took his jooob' was practically a campaign slogan for Trump back in '16. Here's the funny thing about automation and any form of universal basic income; they'll almost definitely never happen (or, at least, in such a watered down form as to be unrecognisable). And its largely because of the people these systems would benefit. Now I'm not talking about the truly down-and-outs like the homeless, the beggars or the otherwise unemployed; they have zero to lose. Its the working classes and smaller merchant classes. And yes, these people would overwhelmingly gain from such social advances but they would lose something, and that something is purely cerebral; they would lose the perceived meaning of the labour (and all the associated struggles of just getting by) that they've performed 'til now. Perhaps more importantly they would lose a level of distinction; out-earning others provides a sense of accomplishment; from this we can gather that some level of inequality is actually desirable by some (to an extent, myself included I suppose).
My observations have been that the outright racism that sparked last year's entry has largely cooled down. In fact, everything kind of has. Maybe its the emptier bellies lowering motivation. Maybe the reduced immigration figures means we see less supposedly objectionable people. My view is that people are pretty regularly engaging in complete disassociation with the world; we read about Kimmyboy in Korea, how we're Putin up with the Ruskies, and that Trump's always got something funny to say. And then we just go about our day. I suppose its kind of necessary; its out of our hands anyways right? But it feels like people are really sincerely trying to find happiness now, to force it, because who knows when the bomb is going to drop.
Well, I've been at this a while now and more will probably follow in the comments so now here's Tom with the weather...
FINISHED Unmentioned Plans
In-Battle Enemy Dialogue: Certain enemies will have dialogues during battle. Also, to avoid the large blocks of dialogues, in some cases, parts of it was integrated in the battles.Conventional Enemies: I noticed I inserted a lot of undead/demon/angel/spirit type enemies of which
Harder Bosses: One of the complaints about my demo (which was very long ago, I know), was that the bosses were a little too easy. That has been changed.
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.