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  1. As I said in a status update, today I added a second actor who was intended for puzzles and special dungeons. I wanted to talk a bit more about my ideas behind them and how they will work, but didn't want to ramble on my status for 50 pages like I often end up doing so... Hey, I haven't made a blog post thing in a while, here is a good excuse to!


    I have said before, but Dwimmerdelve is based a lot on the Mystery Dungeon series of Japanese roguelikes or other games in the same style. While I do plan to do my own little twists on the formula, I want to implement as many features from the series as I can. I think at this point most of the basic stuff has already been done, but I still have a ways to go. Anyway, a common feature of the series is to have a little puzzle/tutorial mode with hand designed puzzle maps, and special dungeons that the player basically need to complete from a fresh character (if the whole game isn't that way already). Both require the ability to "reset" the character. Now originally I had the game do this anyway after every death anyway except for any items the player kept in storage, which is the way Shiren the Wanderer handles things. But I decided that although all your carried items should still be lost and all the player's progress toward your next level, it was better to allow the player to keep their current level and skills and make level 1 challenge modes/dungeons for those who want a more classic hardcore experience.


    So I needed to think about how best to let the player keep their progress mostly safe even if their character is reset. I found it the easiest (for now anyway) to just have a second actor who more or less is an identical copy of the first who's status can be discarded and reset at the start of a run. I did come up with a kind of neat idea for how that would work in lore actually. I decided to make puzzles and such take place in a special dream world under my control, hence why the player can't bring anything and the player's character reverts to their 'natural' state. It's not really their body, but a 'dream pawn'. As a bonus it also gave me a more direct way to play with the player! After all, I abducted them to play, but I mostly ended up standing around in my house in game not doing much. Not anymore! Now I can play in their dreams! Even added a little cutscene that shows me casting a sleepy spell on them, and they wake up in bed after.


    That also gave me idea of calling the special level 1 dungeons "Nightmare Dungeons". I haven't made any yet, though I have a bunch of old bonus dungeon maps I made ages ago before I really started working on my game properly that might make some good ones. One of them was eventually changed into a normal dungeon, but some of them are a bit too weird to really fit in anywhere. Such as one being a sort of half lava cave half swamp and another being a sort of bathhouse with elevated walkways. Not sure if I should go with my original idea for them though. The way I designed them originally was they were all parts of one big dungeon, and one of the dungeon maps was a kind of 'hub' map with like 5 different exit teleporter places of different colors, each which would take you to a different map next floor, which would have an exit back to the hub. Each map had a completely different look and feel, but one thing they all shared was wrapping borders which could be disorienting unless you were looking at the minimap (wonder if I could make the minimap kinda scroll centered around the player and wrap around too, but eh, maybe later).


    Anyway, still have lots to do before i quite have everything working the way I want it too, but the basic idea seems to work pretty well!

  2. 20190527100538_1.thumb.jpg.41c9ce9b59d9dceba3e3181485f63aa6.jpg


    Yeah yeah, I know, I'm only slightly a little bit late to the party with this one. But in the wake of the imminent coming of Borderlands 3, I finally decided to get off my lazy ass and finish up this series once and for all. As you guys may or may not know, Borderlands 2 was my favorite "looter shooter" game with lots of ingenuity, care, and cleverly disguised memes that makes the experience worth it. But does the Pre-Sequel live up to one of the most iconic games of this generation? Let's take a look and find out below.




    Contrary to popular belief, I actually enjoyed the story much more than Borderlands 2. As this is NOT going to be a spoiler-free playthrough, it is highly advised that you go ahead and skip this section. HERE IT IS IN BIG BRIGHT BOLD LETTERS TO GIVE YOU YOUR WARNING OTHERWISE DON'T BLAME ME FOR WHAT'S ABOUT TO HAPPEN.


    The story follows...soon to be "Handsome" Jack before he became the head of the Hyperion corporation. But it is told through a sort of flashback sequence through the narrative of Athena's eyes, one of the characters that you get to play in the game. Contrary to Borderlands 2, in the Pre-Sequel, you can play as one of three of Jack's different henchman. The fourth is a sodding CL4P-TP unit, who actually comes with his own perk. More of that is explained later on in the gameplay section of the game. The story starts with Jack and the 4 characters aboard the Space Station "Helios", which is the large artifact that orbits around Pandora's surface. The story gets right into it, straight away, with a faction called The Lost Legion attacking the Space Station and trying to overthrow Hyperion in a coup fashion. The mastermind behind all this is Colonel Zarpedon (yes, that is her actual fucking name), who orchestrated the coup. Jack is forced to stay behind on Helios ultimately while the four henchman, Nisha, Wilhelm, Athena, and.....dipshit....are sealed into an escape pod aboard the Helios, and are sent crashing down into Pandora's moon, named Elpis.


    Since Zarpedon now has control of the Helios, the Eye in the Sky, she now uses the power of Helios to torment and terrify the people of Elpis and Pandora alike, sending multiple laser beams from the Eye of Helios to destroy multiple settlements on both planets under the guise of doing something good for the better of everyone else. One death to save millions of others. This actually becomes a plot point later on in the story.


    Eventually, Jack comes up with the malicious plan of creating an entire robot army to overthrow Zarpedon and take back the Helios Space Station. You befriend a robot AI named Felicity, which you later sacrifice to create the Constructor Bot AI. And even though she is glitched (in more ways than one) to hell and back, seeing Felicity be sacrificed really set something straight in my mind: Jack would really stop at nothing to make sure he has complete and dominant control over Elpis and Pandora alike. This is when you start to see the signs, and this is what really pulled me into liking the story, as it specifically tells as to how Handsome Jack, the, in my opinion most well crafted villain that I've met in a first person game, became the way he is.


    Jack, after taking down Colonel Zarpedon, leads you down to the Eye of Helios aboard the Space Station, where it is said that he used the Eye of the previous Vault Guardian (the one you fight in Borderlands 1) to power the entirety of the beam array, which is what was giving it all that power and destruction. He then hints that he is going to find another Vault, and enlists the aid of two additional vault hunters who we are very familiar with: Roland and Lilith. Under the service of Mad Moxxi, Roland, Lilith, and Moxxi all betray Jack by siphoning the power of the Eye of Helios, and destroy it outright.


    This is when Jack snaps.


    He then gets the idea to open a grand Eridian Vault, that was mined up on the surface of Elpis (which is the coolest dungeon in the game). Eventually, you fight through massive hordes of Eridian defenders, much like in the first game, to go and defeat the Sentinel that occupies the Eridian vault.




    Now under the pretense that he wants to wipe out the Vault Hunters once and for all, he uses the power of the Eridian Sentinel to dig deep into Pandora's surface, and unlock a much more menacing beast: The Warrior. Who just so happens to be the final boss of Borderlands 2. After his debut, however, Lilith comes through the Eridian portal (shown above) and brands Jack with the Vault symbol, by giving him a good ol' fashioned bitchslap. This demoralizes him and forces Jack to play his final card. At this point in the story, Jack has gone completely insane, going down a path of destruction and torment.


    The best part of the story is Jack himself. Which I know is an odd thing to say, but it really is the best part of this entire game, as it ties up a lot of things about Borderlands 2 and what made him so menacing. Now it all starts to make sense. Because when I first loaded up Borderlands 2 after playing Borderlands 1 I was like "Who is this fuck"? And now it makes sense.


    However, there were some inconsistencies in the story primarily, and I'm just going to throw them out here for people to ponder over. Where the fuck is Angel? It was mentioned that Jack had a daughter, but between the events of Borderlands 1 and Borderlands 2, we are given no indication that Angel was Jack's daughter right until the end of Borderlands 2. I know I'm spoiling Borderlands 2 here but it kind of ties in with the big complaint that I have with this game's story: There is no mention of Angel anywhere. And given the fact that he was so desperate on unlocking the power of The Warrior in Borderlands 2, and used Angel to power the Eridian Key to unlock the Vault, I honestly felt like Angel's inclusion in this story was a missed opportunity. It would have showed the audience just how maniacal and depraved Handsome Jack became to be, and it would have hit home to see him go down that path.




    After the final scene, Athena leaves the madman behind, claiming that he wasn't the hero he once was. Rightfully so, considering the above caption. This is when Jack returns to the Space Station Helios, and takes his claim as the leader of the Hyperion corporation, with Jack becoming "the new face of Hyperion". Which sets in motion the events that happen in Borderlands 2.


    It all ties in together really well, even though there were some missed opportunities to show off Jack's conniving attitude, maliciousness, and just in general douchebaggery. 


    Overall: 7.5/10.




    Alright. So, we all know that Borderlands 2 paved the way to becoming a vast, rich-quality looter shooter with horde-style combat and makes the experience much more fantastic. The Pre-Sequel does not live this down, and in fact, introduces a whole new array of weapon combination and strategies.


    In the Pre-Sequel, the all too familiar Slag element is replaced with Cryo, which is a welcome edition as Slag weapons upset the balance of Borderlands 2 in my opinion. It was impossible to play through True Vault Hunter mode without the use of a Slag weapon. Here, since Slag was taken out of the game and replaced with an entirely new element all together, it made the game balance that much more fun to play. Plus, you didn't have to center your build around using Slag weaponry or making the most use out of your Slag weapons by speccing straight into Weapon Swap Speed. Yes, looking at you Axton. 


    Weapons are still fun and amazing, and there are lots and lots of different weapons for you to play around with and customize. In fact, there are multiple different styles of weapons that you can choose from, with each manufacturer of weapons having a different perk. For those that don't know, there is Jakobs, Vladof, Maliwan, Tediore, Hyperion, Dahl, and Torgue. Jakobs weapons are old fashioned: high recoil but insane damage, and are actually one of my greatest guilty pleasures as a Nisha player. Vladof weapons are ALL rapid fire, full auto bullet hoses. Maliwan makes only purely elemental weaponry. Tediore weapons are the most annoying and honestly the worst archetype of weapons in my opinion. When you run out of ammo in a Tediore weapon, you throw the weapon like a grenade shortly thereafter, which causes damage to the enemy. This gimmick is honestly horrible and deals very little damage for what you actually put into the weapon. Of course, because of this, they have the highest reload speeds, but the weapons themselves still suck and don't do nearly enough damage to be worth using. Hyperion weapons come with stabilizers built in, meaning that the more you fire, the more accurate they become. Aside from Sniper Rifles, which suck, the stabilizers actually make Hyperion the most damaging and most pristine weapon choice for people who like spraying, but not praying. Hyperion SMGs and Shotguns are honestly overpowered just because of the sheer accuracy they can accrue. Dahl weapons have burst fire when zoomed in, which keeps recoil low but damage output high. Unfortunately, the problem with Dahl weapons, like Tediore weapons, is that their base damage is subpar, and you won't know the contents of how many bullets you'll be firing until you zoom in and fire. Ever had a Sniper Rifle shoot 7 bullets at once in burst fire? It's kind of stupid, and not in a good way. Finally, Torgue weapons are the second most awful weapons. They only make Explosive weaponry, but the problem with Torgue weapons is simply they aren't hitscan, like most of the weapons in the game. They fire slowly, are clunky to handle, and are just downright awful. But they have some of the greatest weapon names in existence.




    Aside from gunplay, there are four different characters that you can play as: Athena, Wilhelm, Nisha, and CL4P-TP. Athena is built around using her melee weapon, which isn't very fun in a game filled with guns. Wilhelm has a drone that can either protect and heal you, or dish out damage to enemies. Nisha is a Lawbringer, a caricature of old sheriffs back in the day, and she was honestly the most fun to play as. Her ultimate ability is basically Soldier 76's aimbot, which makes her that much more stupid. Finally, CL4P-TP has some random abilities tied into his ultimate, but his perk is that he does not need an oxygen mask when traveling on the surface of the moon.


    Which, while I'm here talking about it, is a good point to bring up. Since you are on the surface of the moon in this game, you need an oxygen mask if you want to survive for any length of time. A lot of people, and I mean A LOT of people, were turned off by this fact, calling O2 management "a chore, unfun and incredibly stupid". Honestly, it's not all that bad, as O2 is plentiful EVERYWHERE. There were some sections where you get into a large fight and you didn't have enough time to run to an oxygen vent, which made me annoyed only slightly, but I never outright died as a result from not being able to breathe.


    There's a new archetype of weapon that wasn't available in Borderlands 2, and that's lasergun/railguns. These were a welcome addition to the game and I like them a lot, but I feel there were too many of them that littered the loot pool in lieu of other weapons. In the example above, there are 3 different lasergun/railgun weapons, 3 different rocket launchers (which I never use because they're awful), 1 shotgun, and 1 peeeeestol. It was pretty much like that with all of the other weapon vending machines in the game. It becomes excruciatingly annoying during the ending of the game where you are fighting the Lost Legion, and ALL they drop is laserguns/railguns. And they're white trash weapons. 




    The difficulty was...a little bit ramped up this time around. On Borderlands 2 it was a little bit more tame, but this time, the difficulty was a little bit more unforgiving in some sections, and there were just moments of pure bullshit and fuckery that made me lose interest in the game for a little bit at a time. But the game was better balanced as a result. Remember when I talked about Slag weapons before and how it made the game near impossible to play without one? Now that that was taken out of the game, it made enemies much easier to kill and you didn't spend 30 minutes trying to fight a single trash mob. It's much more balanced in the player's favor this time around.


    The single greatest change from Borderlands 2, however? There are more weapon machines around and they are plenty more accessible. ALSO THE LEVEL OF THE WEAPONS SCALES WITH YOU. So for example, if you were Level 25, the weapon vending machines will sell you Level 24-25 weapons where if you were earlier in the game at Level 11, the vending machine will sell Level 10-11 weapons. This is a great addition and I hope it is added to Borderlands 3. The single thing that pissed me off the most about Borderlands 2 was that weapons didn't scale with you, and I'm glad that was remedied.


    All in all, it's still the same Borderlands experience with a few new gimmicks.


    Overall: 8.5/10.




    Mostly the same as it was from Borderlands 2. The atmosphere of the moon's surface was amazing, even though my ears started hurting at the sounds of all my enemies dying as I mowed them down with Showdown. The soundtrack was barely there, which is sad. I would have loved to hear more of the game's soundtrack other than just the final Eridian palace. The controls were fine, used KB+M to play the game. Everything felt as perfect as it should have been. Graphics are amazing and they recently added a new package that upscales everything to 4k. So if you are a graphics geek, unlike myself, then that would definitely be something that would interest you.


    This was kind of a short section as the game's quality is honestly an 8, but Randy Bitchford's quality is a 1. So it balances out.


    Overall: 8/10.




    Just like in Borderlands 2, there is True Vault Hunter mode. This is essentially an even more ramped up version of the game with stronger enemies but better loot. This gives you an extra incentive to play through the game again just to see all the ridiculous loot you can get your grubby little hands on. You can also make a new character at any time and play through the game using that character, so if you are getting bored of playing as Nisha, you can swap to an Athena build, Wilhelm build, or CL4P-TP build. Nothing has really changed in regards to the replayability factor from Borderlands 2: No one playthrough is ever going to be the same. And if it is, you've got some serious black magic tricks I want to get my hands on.


    Overall: 7.5/10.


    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?:


    I think there's no question here that the Pre-Sequel lives just as much to the expectations as Borderlands 2 did. It's still as good of a game as Borderlands 2 was, but made everything a bit more accessible and perfect. For the asking price of $40, I would say its well worth it.


    Overall: 7.8/10. Great!

  3. Listen to me...


    You are all travelers, stars that wander freely across time and space.


    And you have all assembled at this point in time, at this point in space.


    Together you will all be victorious.


    Together you will all shape destiny.



    54 stars have been created and I have been working on the exact teams for the battle sequences.


    Player's Battalion

    WIP, WIP, Matulu



    'Green Nation' Battalion

    Tarik, Rebekah, Gavin



    'Green Nation' Reservists

    Grace, Lupa, Lupo



    Rebel Leadership

    Helen, Ivan, Doc Neilson



    Lancaster Family

    Diana, Dawn, Hope



    Elvish Battalion

    Thessius, Larissa, Lindell



    Barakat Family

    Sivante, Sivana, Sivash



    'Yellow' Nation' Battalion

    Wendel, Cloe, Horace



    'Cyan Nation' Battalion

    Vera, Victoria, Mason



    Kobold Battalion

    Tajiro, Tijaro, Tajeet



    Goblin Battalion

    Gakumba, Garuta, Goruga



    Reinhardt's Battalion

    Reinhardt, Flint, Skylar



    The Lost Elves

    Navara, Vallio, Vennonia



    The Machinists

    Annette, Perry, Edith



    Master Spellcasters

    Shani, Zufar, Gladis



    Martial Artists

    Lee Fang, Yvonne, Rae'Oku



    Thief/Rogue/Con Team

    Jon, Leetus, Jacques





    Misc Stars










    Edward Omadika



    Non-Playable, Non-Star Characters

    Edgar Omadika, Edna Omakida, Lucretius Omadika



    Agamedes is a WIP concept.



  4. 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:




    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.

  5. (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.)

  6. 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.

  7. Death


    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:


    “Dian is still alive, he is at Ulfigs, hidden”


        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:


    “Dian is my brother, and I am a new painter”


    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:


    “UF, LO, FU, IR, GT, SH”



    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.

  8. 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.


  9. Hey everyone! In this blog post, I want to illustrate what's become my favourite thing to set up. Mild spoilers ahead.


    So, in the game, it starts out with three different levels where you control one of the three main characters - Matt, Tom and Edd. While I had a lot of fun setting up Matt's level, Tom's has quickly become my favourite, mechanics-wise. In Tom's level, you're in a factory of some kind, where you find Tord (who leaves pretty quickly) and all but one (human) member of the Red Army. Throughout the level, you find some information about what's being produced and learn a bit about the absent guy. Using what you find out about all of this, you can use a comm unit to get the three out of the building and shut down its production. You can even do multiple dialogue options to learn more information before you ultimately get them out of there. The catch? Well, there are two.


    One of them is paying attention. He may be whistling away and checking on machines, but if he sees you, he'll hunt you down. If you lose him, that's great and all, but he's patrolling around and making sure you can't hide much of anywhere for long. If you get caught and escape three times, he'll alert the other two, who will patrol around as well.


    If you don't have all the information, they'll catch on and begin patrolling - or worse, alert the guys not at the factory that one of the comm unit has been stolen. Cue everyone finding you like tracking missiles.


    Now, this isn't the only way to do this. You can lock them all in a room. You can singlehandedly take them out with a fire extinguisher. You can do both. It's up to you. There's one catch for all of them, though. This place is rigged to the brim with security cameras. Whatever method you do here cannot be used later in the game. These three will remember. Everyone else will study it. The robots will have protocols put in place so they don't fall for it.


    All in all, this has been one of my favourite things to make for this game. Let me know what you think!

  10. Asharonapaul
    Latest Entry

    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, voltan-mach4.png.9dc8337a49e8ccfd7196ef73b9c10615.png

    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.

  11. **log taken from the gamejolt page**


    hi i forgot to update the devlog while working on things

    major updates

    • fixed timothy’s sprite flicker glitch after reworking and condensing some common events
    • the phone is longer required to change classes, and instead it can be done directly from the esc menu (the phone will probably be removed)
    • the Photographer class is functioning but needs more skills and work
    • the first recruitable party member is in the works
    • new damage sounds WOAH
    • the book at timothy’s desk used for saving is now a desktop computer


    • 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
  12. Deer, it's me Perang Cemen, I'm here because some or lot's people get troubled with IMBA, IMBA mean Imbalance, IMBA what I mean is bug, example: when Mira join you at Kaelo her Agi was so low, you know why? because Cecila cast freeze spell  at her and the only way to make her Agi return to normal by meet with Cecila  again at Zukaru, the problem is what if you can't find her and skip it, Mira will stuck in her low Agi and you will be in trouble since you may need her help, there also side quest that make Lexar MaxHp drop to 1 and return to normal after quest done, the same problem is what if you can't finish the side quest and skip it? Lexar MaxHp will stuck in 1 and you're done for, that's why I create a patch to remove those include some quest and story.


    I know it sound's silly but at first I didn't think that someone would be so stupid to take side quest but didn't finish it ASAP, instead of clear it ASAP they just go to main story and then stuck or you can say can't go back to clear the side quest, the problem is when the side quest lower your stats and you go with that and trapped in a main story where you must fight boss or something like that, this will be a big problem, so I... remove those side quest, and anything related to lowering stats or these IMBA.


    I'm Really sorry if you have download it before 30/04/2018 since you may need this patch to make your lowered stats return to normal.

    (You don't have to download it if you wish to play full version, it will be automatic fixed, but if you want try Mira at Demo, very recommended to download it)


    Thank you for your attention


    ~Perang Cemen

  13. 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.

  14. 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.


  15. ShinNessTen
    Latest Entry

    *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... :(

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Let's talk about the apocalypse! It's kind of a scary thing that a lot of people are way too worried about, but if you're into action-fantasy entertainment, you probably know about all the creative things that people have done with the idea. It's an artistic and stylistic way of wiping the Earthy slate clean and present the world we know and love -- or knew and loved, I guess? -- in a different light. The muscle-bound, anarchic power struggles of Fist of the North Star. The desperate and seemingly futile wars for survival of Mad Max. There's something inherently fascinating about the end of the world, and what surviving the end would do to people and culture.



    ... oh!


    Welcome to the other end of the spectrum. Say hello to Girls' Last Tour, which I can only describe as a post apocalyptic slice of life??? It follows the journey of two girls, Chito and Yuuri, as they explore dead landscapes and abandoned cities in search of food and fuel. That's it. That's the plot. Occasionally, they'll see something interesting in the distance and decide to head in that direction. The show is less about the journey and more about the bizarrely philosophical conversations between these girls.



    Chito is an analytic, tactically-minded girl. She's knowledgeable of the old world, but has little to no understanding of it. She seems to prefer quiet, but will always humor Yuuri's boundless curiosity with the best answer she can muster. Her expression doesn't change much throughout the show, and her look in general is plain and uninteresting, which work well to reflect her thoughtful, introverted nature.



    Compare that to Yuuri. The way her eyes are drawn suggest a carefree, possibly vacant personality. And, indeed, she is a little stupid. Unlike Chito, she is illiterate, and struggles with understanding simple concepts that, to us, would be common knowledge. However, it's this same lack of knowledge that makes her curious, and her curiosity is what drives almost every conversation and discovery in the show.


    These two work well with each other. Chito is smart, but physically weak. Yuuri is stupid, but isn't afraid to take risks. Putting their strengths and weaknesses together, you come to understand that these two need each other, because without one, the other would be unable to survive on her own.




    The world these girls explore is a character in itself. It's long dead, indifferent, and, as the show progresses, it becomes more and more bizarre, almost abstract. It gives the viewer a sense of unease and confusion; just what happened to this world? Why is the city built like this? It creates a stark and terrifying backdrop to the cute and philosophical explorations of the foreground, and adds a feeling of urgency to the adventure. Danger is real. Food is limited. There is no destination. There is no hope. And the city doesn't care.




    It's cute, charming, and funny, and it's easy to forget just how bleak and terrifying the setting really is. The world is dead, and there's no fixing that. It's a strange and surreal environment for such a light-hearted adventure, to be sure; when we think about the end of the world, do we usually stop to consider the world we'll leave behind? What if society never rebuilds? What if what's left of humanity doesn't know how to rebuild? It's scary to think about the world we understand and, frankly, take for granted being stripped down to a search for essentials, where humanity is given a time limit based on how much food is left. Pop culture has made us see the post apocalypse as an anarchic fight for survival, jam packed with explosions and gunfire, and it's partly in subverting expectations that Girls' Last Tour really gets it's message across: cherish what you have, because nothing lasts forever.




    In a less literal way, Girls' Last Tour is also a show about growing up in a world that truly doesn't make sense. I can relate to this, personally: it's been a struggle for me to learn and understand how to simply live on my own, let alone understand how our societies, governments, and laws got to be so confusing. If you've ever struggled with life, be it little things like paying bills, or big things like finding a job without a college education or finding your place in a demanding and unforgiving world, it's easy to put yourself in the shoes of these girls: truly understanding how the world around you works is a herculean task, but in the grand scheme of things, that doesn't really matter. What matters is the moment. If you know enough to get by, and you can find joy in little things, even simple, aimless conversation with a loved one, you can be happy. There's beauty in the world, no matter how bleak it might seem.


    At just twelve total episodes, Girls' Last Tour is easily digestible, and it gets its' message across without taking too much of your time. Honestly, this meager blog entry hardly does this show the justice it deserves. This show had my full attention from episode one, and it didn't let me down. It takes it's time, has no action whatsoever, and consists almost entirely of conversation between just two characters. If you're okay with that, then this is definitely worth a watch. Also, the show gets gay at the end, and I'm a sucker for cute gay things.


    This is why I like the thing! Girls' Last Tour.



  19. I've been making one-shot comics for each of the characters in my game. Each comic will feature two characters! You can see more about them here.



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


    Anyway, here's Chapter 0!



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Blog Post Image 1.png

    Tileset and Subimage file side-by-side

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

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

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

    Blog Post Image 2.png

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

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

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


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

    Good. An unbiased intro.


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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



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

  22. Hey nosy blog reader~


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

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



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








    Okay, yea, bad design haha.



    My next design was;






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

    Also, can you tell I like Tomb Raider? xD



    My final design was;









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



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

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



    What similar stages did you guys come across?

    Are you still developing your characters?

    What characters are you having most trouble with?

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

    Find out next time, on Dragon Ball Z!



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


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






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

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

    1. Guys not good in social skills

    2. Friendzoned guys

    3. Guys who gave up on dating

    4. Mentally Ill people

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

    6. Couples who want the fantasy threesome

    7. Lesbians

    8. Straight women who want to experiment


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


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


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


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

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


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