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About this blog

Join me, dear reader, in my strange, and sometimes delusional, thoughts about anything I feel like bringing up.

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World of Zulavin: Vallenfell Regions pt.1

Welcome to the first post of a new series: World of Zulavin(zoo-lah-veen), the series where I blabber about all the random stuff I've written down for my game that I can't find a place for inside of said game. The game in question being Legend of Amara.   In this opening we will be going over regions on the continent known as Vallenfell, the homeland of the Valnius and the first splinter continent.   We only have two regions today, I have more written down but I don't want to drown you guys in fantasy words right off the bat. We'll do three regions next time, but for now let's start with...       The Shaded Range: Population: 2,071   Settlements (population):   Hamlets: Aider (21), Pickstone (27), Wilhelm(54), Orerun (64), Whistling Hills (17), Cloud Peak (22), Knight's Rest (8), Inal'tor(ruins), Alewood (32).   Villages: Woodspell (243), Pickter (589), Masa(ruins), Tracker(abandoned), Entha's Trail (207).   Towns: New Albrin (787), Twilight Mist(ruins).     Description: A mountain range on the southern west area of Vallenfell. The region is dominated by the mysterious Night Shade Woods, a large forest that stretches from the far western tip of the continent to the banks of the Darren River.   The region is dotted with a dozen or so small villages and hamlets along with one town, New Albrin, that sits on the southern border near the Amaran Plains.   With the area being one of the more mountainous on the continent, the population in the area is small and scattered. Only a few locations are capable of sustaining large quantities of crops and as such the few settlements here rarely export produce.   The only true exports of the region come from Pickter, a small mining village where the rare Iyite ore can be found within the local caves.   A small cast of wildlife populates the region, Enthas, Grasras and Yalins make up a majority of the wildlife, but large bats, insects, slimes and spiders are found within the Nightshade Woods that cover most of the region.   Valnius of Enrial descent are the majority ethnicity, with Amaran, Vonak, and Altira making up the minority tribe. Small numbers of Ganths and Sigth make up around one percent of the population.   Valnius of Amuri descent were once the dominant ethnicity in the southern areas of the region, but they were almost completely wiped out by the Scourge that the Zinuthu Dominion led against the tribe thirty years ago. Few, if any, remain in the region today. There is also a small Omrak'ral settlement hidden in the mountains known as Wilhelm.   People from this region are often known as Rangers.     (Look to the end of the post for explanations for any words or terms)     Amaran Plains: Population: 19,329   Settlements:   Hamlets: Fen (24), Rider's Breath (16), Windwheel (46), West Rest (59).   Villages: Border Shade (361), Havel (257), Remembrance (583), Derex (472).   Towns: Old Albrin (509), Zinuthu's Watch(destroyed), Gilligan(destroyed), Feyhills (602), The Howling Hill (565), Keystep (1453), Oakhatch (1054).   Cities: First Horn (4576), Far Bay (5621), Zinuthu's Dawn(destroyed)   Holdfasts: Oakstone (176), Birchstone (294), Pinestone (152).   Fortresses: Ironstone (586), Silverstone (754), Goldstone (1056).     Description:   One of the most fought over regions in the history of Vallenfell, the Amaran Plains is a verdant region that stretches from the borders of the Shaded Range up to the foot of Mount Windpeak and down to the glistening waters of the Howling Coast. The region is home to many biomes and mysteries such as the frozen shore, the thirteen stones, the ruins of Inal'tor and many others.   The climate of the region ranges from sub-tropical in the south to a perpetual autumn-like state in the north, though the majority of the region remains relatively moderate all year round, making it the breadbasket of southern Vallenfell.   The region also was the most prolific participant in the Panwa invasion of 1958 AoM, aside from The Scarred Stones, and was once home to hundreds of the greatest holdfasts and fortresses to ever exist, but now there are only six, the legendary Six Stones. The Six Stones are the oldest and strongest fortresses and holdfasts on Vallenfell, all have survived countless assaults over millennia, and were never captured by enemy forces until the Second Tribal Wars of 912 AoR.   The Six Stones still stand today and Goldstone acts as a small city in the region.   Valnius of the Amaran tribe have always made up the majority of the population in the region, with a slightly larger than usual population of Sigth nomad tribes. Other tribes make up minorities of the region, such as the Malik and Amanusi. The Zinuthu once made up a large minority in the region, but none reside in the region after nearly all of them were butchered in the Second Tribal Wars.   The Plains were once the third most populated region on the continent, but after the Amaran Scourge and The Second Tribal Wars the population fell to the tenth, just above the Shaded Range. It is quickly recovering, though. Now standing at the fifth most populated.   The wildlife of the region is mostly docile herd herbivores with a few predators. Enthas, sheep, wild Grelhorns, rabbits and Nothirs make up about half of the wildlife population.   In contrast to the Shaded Range, the main export of the Amaran plains is produce from the large number of farms, and fish from the coastal towns. The region is also cited as the birthplace of modern music on Vallenfell and is reflected by the people's love of the art and the sale of every type of instrument one could think of.   People from this region are often referred to as Amaran, though since the founding of the new Amaran kingdom, many now use Amani.         And now some explanations of certain things. Races: Valnius - The closest to humans, but with bone spikes lining their forearms. Generally secluded and unconcerned with the world outside of Vallenfell or even outside of their individual tribes. They are well known for their prowess in agriculture and for their impressive resilience against repeated invasions of their homeland in the waning day of the Age of Mourning. Their patron Ruler is Lokrale.   Sigth - Think half-giants. Formerly slaves of the Ganth, the Sigth are now a tightly connected set of nomad tribes who have spread to every continent on Zulavin. They have tried to found cities and empire many times in the past, but their inherent wanderlust has seen all of those attempts ended. Their patron Ruler is Nalan.   Ganth - Think slightly short humans with insane healing factors. Formerly the glorious kings of the surface of Lothander, the Ganth are now known as mole lords, forced underground when the Sigth rebelled against them, scorching the entirety of the surface of Lothander. They are known for their ceaseless wars, unrivaled combat prowess, and highly resistant bodies. They have no patron Ruler.   Omrak'ral - Think of a regal looking gargoyle. Considered the closest to the Iyana of old, the Omrak'ral are the lords of Eboncrest, the largest continent on Zulavin. They are known mostly for their strict form of government that fits everyone into a specific societal roles from birth as well as their long standing hatred of the Ganth. Their patron Ruler is Silth.     Animals:   Entha - A strange creature that has the general build of a wolf, but the fur patterns, tail and ears of a wild cat. They often hunt in packs of six and are able to paralyze prey with their glowing eyes, or dissipate into mist when threatened.   Grasras - Think one of those giant sloths if they had horns on their heads and razor sharp claws. Grelhorns are an oddity on southern Vallenfell, as they are the only creature with such fearsome features combined with such a quiet personality. They are pure herbivores and use their horns and claws to either help push down trees or to cut through thick brush. They will defend themselves if necessary, but rarely kill any attacker, usually hitting any such creatures with the back of their paw.   Yalin - A silver and bronze colored bear with green eyes. Yalins are smaller bears that are well known for their very docile nature, often preferring to sit in place idly eating berries all day than to bother with anyone who enters it's territory. They are also often kept as pets by wealthier citizens in the Floating Isles.   Grelhorn - A pig sized armor plated lizard with tusks growing out of their chins. A much despised creature by the the citizens of the Amaran Plains, these creatures are well known as scavengers, willing to anything that will fit inside their maws, even using their tusks to break into houses and storage buildings.   Nothir - Think of a massive crow. A very skittish and generally harmless giant bird, the Amuri tribe often considered them to be omens of good fortune. While they are largely harmless most of the time, they have been known to become very aggressive for apparently no reason.

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

Really Stupid Riddles

I got really bored today and came up with a couple really stupid riddles. And I have nothing to do with them other than posting them here, so enjoy my crappy riddles.   I am not red, nor am I blue I come from blue right to you I am not yellow, I am not glue I am not wood but stick to you From you comes red, from me comes flu Flames to you bring my doom I leave you scars, my final boon What am I?   Kings need me, peasants hate me Steel rings for me both here and there Soldiers serve me, battles please me In my time you run and hide What am I?   White chapels praise me, dark corners hate me Angels serve me and demons fear me Emperors bow and kings remove their crowns Four great horses pave my ground What am I?   From king to paupers From paupers to kings I am the thing they all need I am the glint in their eyes The greed in their heart Magpies see me and squawk in joy You turn to look for me and the scoundrel is gone What am I?     Yes. I know these all suck. Feel free to try and figure them all out and post what you think the answers are.

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

Yay, or Nay? Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

Hello everyone. And welcome, to "Yay, or Nay?" Today we will be talking about the newest installment in the Star Wars saga: Episode VII: The Force Awakens.   So, I guess the first question anyone is going to ask is, "Does it suck as much as the prequels?" And the answer is... no. No it does not. And the next question after that is, "It it as good as The Empire Strikes back?" Honestly. I always thought Return of the Jedi was the best out of the original trilogy, better battles, more resolution, more memorable quotes (for me anyway), better climax, and a fitting redemption of Vader as a character.   The Empire Strikes Back always felt sort of unfinished to me, probably because it really doesn't have a coherent opening, and then has a non-conclusive ending that more left me annoyed then wanting to see the next movie. Though, I do like the end fight with how Vader completely thrashes Luke. It really made him feel like a force of nature that had no other motive other than completely destroying Luke.   And now the next big question is, "Why are you evading the previous question you strange little squirrel creatures?" Well, that would be because I'm still not entirely sure exactly how I feel about the movie. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. There was good action, some nice nods to the original series without feeling over the top, decent character development, and a pretty credible villain who isn't just a retread of Vader, or Sidious.   But, I really can't tell if I liked it, or if I just kind of liked it.   Is that confusing? I feel like it's confusing.   Well, maybe i'll figure it out as I go through the movie a little bit. I'll try and keep spoilers out of this, but if there is any, I will block it with the spoiler tag thing. Anyway. The story.   The story is a nice through back to the simplicity of the first movie of the original trilogy. The main character of Rey lives on a desolate dessert planet, that comes with it's own hive of scum and villainy, she is brought by chance into a fantastical adventure by a droid called BB8, and a former storm trooper turned fugitive, Finn. They leave the planet in a certain trashy corelian freighter, encounter an intrepid smuggler and his loyal Wookie, who help them on their mission to return a piece of a star map to the Resistance. Along the way they are set upon by criminals, creatures, and a powerful Third Reich-esc military force with a huge weapon of a massively destructive power, and a villain who wears a mask and wields a red lazer sword.   Yeah. Like I said, this movie takes a lot from the first movie, but it also adds in it's own elements, such as Rey being a far more reluctant hero than Luke, but not in a way that feels forced or stupid. The main villain of Kylo Ren (By the way. That is an absolutely awesome villain name) is more of a character than Vader was, I won't spoil why here, but he's somewhere between Anakin and Vader. Both intimidating and kind of pitiable.   Ultimately, the story is good, but I feel like the ending was a little too predictable. Not bad, just that I saw it coming from about an hour and a half out. The returning characters feel in character and are enjoyable, the new characters feel slightly left out of the spotlight for the middle part of the film, but are otherwise enjoyable and I want to see what happens next with them.   And now. The action/special effects.   The action in this movie is pretty amazing. Honestly, I was expecting action shlock that just pandered to the fans of the original trilogy. The ground battles, dogfights, lightsaber duel (No. That is not a spoiler. It's Star Wars. They are contractually obligated to have a lightsaber duel) all are just really well shot. That's really all I have. I'm not much of a descriptive person when it comes to fight scenes, and I'm even worse at critiquing them outside of saying THAT WAS AWESOME! The end saber duel is the best part for me, though.   The only real problem I had with one of the battle scenes was mostly because it kind of made one of the main characters feel like a complete chump. *slight spoiler*       But, yeah. Other than that little thing, the dogfights are cool and have some nice aerial tricks that look pretty friggin' awesome, ground battles actually have the storm trooper feel like a legit threat for once, since they can actual hit targets now. And the lightsaber fight felt nicely simple, like how the original trilogy handled it. A straight sword fight with no flipping or fancy force powers strung in.   The CGI is also expertly integrated. You can still tell that it's CGI if you've seen as many movies as I have, but it's seriously better than Godzilla 2014's CGI, which I felt was some of the best CGI ever done. There is also a good amount of actual props and costumes instead of making absolutely everything CGI.   And one more brief thing before I get to the verdict: The sound effects are pretty top notch. The lightsabers have a new noise to them, but it sounds really good, the blasters sound awesome with some added effects to the originals that make them feel more powerful, and the star fighter sounds are still as awesome as they have always been. Just good sound design all around.   Onto the verdict.   I still don't know what is that makes me feel somewhat conflicted about this movie, but it's most likely my complete nitpickiness trying to destroy a movie that I honestly had a good time in.   I didn't mention this above, but the comedy in this film is also really good. My favorite example is where Kylo Ren just starts going berserk after a character escapes and starts cutting up a room with his lightsaber. Meanwhile, out in the hall, two storm troopers are on patrol when they start walking down the hallway that the room Ren is in is connected to. They see sparks flying out of the open doorway, hear Ren screaming like a madman accompanied by the sound of a lightsaber cutting metal to bits. One puts his arm out in front of the other, they look at each other, and then begin to slowly back up and then run in the other direction. Priceless.   Ultimately I think I liked this movie. It wasn't absolutely amazing, but it was fun, and a nice throwback while also carving out it's own spot in the saga. So I say, Yay for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Good job. You are better than Attack of the Clones and on a level with A New Hope.

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

Boredom #7

And so it returns. In all of it's boring glory.     Obligatory snarky comment and farewell to the readers who bother to go this far.   -LS

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

Why the dialogue system in Fallout 4 is screwed up.

So, Fallout 4 has been out for, what, a week now? Something like that. And, unsurprisingly to people who people who know me fairly well, I have some gripes with the game from what I've seen and been able to play at a friend's. The opening feels rushed as possible, the settlement building is somewhat poorly implemented and clunky, the writing ranges from good to terrible and the dialogue system is really stupid.   I really don't have a problem with the voice protagonist... Did you hear that? That was the Fallout hardcore audience collectively gasping and screaming death threats. But, yeah. I honestly don't have a problem with it, I've always kinda found blank slate characters to be boring, and I find adding a voice and slight bits of backstory like F4 does always helps your character to feel more like a character. No. The thing I hate is the dialogue system, but not for the reasons you might think.     The above image shows the F4 dialogue system, which I found on a sub-reddit for the game. We all have at least some idea of how this works and where it came from, right? If you don't, then allow me to spend a few seconds to explain.   This dialogue system is a sort of modified version of the wheel dialogue system which was made popular by the Mass Effect series. The wheel system has a wheel with six options, top right, middle right, bottom right, top left, middle left, bottom left. The system you see up above doesn't really have a designated name, as far as I know, but I know a few people who refer to it as a "Press Action Dialogue System." While that does sound slightly over long, when you could just called it a Press Speech System, I'll be using this for the rest of the post.       The above picture shows the ME dialogue system better then I can explain it. As you can see, there are a few things of note. The top and bottom left are greyed out while the rest are a light blue. This is because those two that are greyed out are questions that are there for some additional information and they have already been asked. Normally, these kind of questions would be in the investigate option, which would open up a secondary version of the wheel with only questions and a "Cancel" or "Back" option that will take you back to the main wheel.   The right side of the wheel is only for dialogue options that will progress the conversation onto the next dialogue branch(top right, good, middle right, neutral, bottom right, bad), usually with another investigate option and another three options that will progress the dialogue again. See how it works? Good.     Now. How does the Press Action Dialogue System work? Well, it works on similar principles, but almost always screws it up. The way the system works is that you have up, down, left, or right to choose your dialogue choice. Up being a question, down being bad, left being sarcastic and right being good. This sounds perfectly good, right? Well, it would be. But only if the game could actually stick to the logic of up being a question, down bad, left sarcasm, right good, but it doesn't.   Mass Effect ALWAYS maintains this internal continuity about how the options work. The right side of the wheel always has options that advance the dialogue, left always has questions (technically it will have a dialogue progressing option on rare occasions, but those are always colored differently to let you know that they progress and don't just question.).   Fallout 4, on the other hand, is all over the place on what the four options do. In the beginning of the game, it sets it up like the ME dialogue systems, but then it will just randomly decide that up is now a progression choice and not a question one, right will suddenly be a jerk response for no real reason, left will be serious and lacking humor, and down will suddenly be sweet. I know that some of you are wondering, "So what? This doesn't really matter, does it?" This matters very much, especially from a player stand point.   You see, the beauty of the ME system is that it is almost subtle in how your decision making becomes second nature. Because of the way everything is layed out, you know exactly what you want to do in a dialogue, and the descriptions are usually descriptive enough that you will be able to discern what your character will say.   F4 seems to lack this understanding. Constantly changing what options do what is annoying to many people are causes them to have to break their concentration on the game itself and carefully read through every option to make sure that they don't choose an option that don't want. And even that fails sometimes because the descriptions are completely useless a majority of the time. The most you'll get is a brief piece of text from the sentence that goes with the options, which tends to tell you jack about what you will actually say, or it will just give a vague description that still leaves you in the dark.   This is an important thing to remember for those of us who think about implementing such systems in our own games; if you have a system that operates like either of these, having a ridged way of how the options work so that your players are never left wondering, "Okay. What in the flying (insert profanity) are these options going to say, and why do they always change!?"   -LS

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

The 5 Ws of character building

Hello everyone, and welcome to my first Thoughts of a Squirrel King post for MV.   Today we will be talking about something that has recently come to my attention as a good tool for helping writers to make their characters. This was brought up in a chat by a few other people, but I have used this myself before.   I am, of course, speaking of the five Ws of character building: What, why, when, where and how. For those of you who don't know, the five Ws are an often used way of quickly making a somewhat detailed character; be it for novels, books, or games. The basic idea is to find out how a character acts and what they are working towards.   The What:   Think about everyone you know in real life, they all have a goal in life that they want to accomplish, to some extent at least. They all have a reasons for why they want accomplish that goal, they have a general idea of when they want to accomplish it, where they want to do it, and how they want to do it.   I'm going to type out a little character for everyone to follow along with as we go along. We'll name him Bob and give him a what, why, when, where and how.   What: Name: Bob Age: Race: Demographic : Goal:   Why:   When:   Where:   How:   You will notice i added an age, race and demographic to the character sheet of Bob. You'll see why in a little bit.   First, we need to start off with the 'what'. The 'what' is generally made up of four parts, those being age, race, demographic and goal. Those first three may seem strange to some of you. Age? Race? Demographic? What do these really have to do with the character, and how do they relate to the goal?   Quite simply put, who we are defines what we want. If you are poor and living on the street, you generally want to live in a cozy home. If you are a oppressed minority, you will generally want equality, or to be above those who are oppressing. If you are old and past your prime, you may wish to relive your prime, or you may want to be treated as an adult if you are young. See how this works? It's one of the more troublesome parts of five Ws, mostly because many people have a hard time coming up with just who the character actually is.   I'll fill in this section of Bob quickly so we can move on. What: Name: Bob Age: 18. Race: Caucasian. Demographic : Lower Class. Goal: Wants to go to college.   Why:   When:   Where:   How:   18, Caucasian, lower class, and wants to go to college. This is one of the more simple Ws, but important because it acts as a base for the next section.   The Why:   The why is exactly what is sounds like, it is why the character is what they are, or why they want to accomplish their goals.   The why can be any number of things. For example: The reason why a corporate executive suddenly decides he's going to go by a gun? Any number of reasons comes to mind. Maybe he has recently learned that his wife has been cheating on him for decades with his best friend, and is planning on getting revenge. Perhaps his company is going down the drain, fast. He has nothing besides this company, no wifes, no children, no friends that aren't just there because of his money. Maybe he has decided he will end it all with a bullet and not in a gutter while scrounging for food. Or perhaps he suddenly got the idea to learn take it to the range for fun, or as a way of showing his wife that he can protect her.   All of these are good (from a writing and character stand point) and believable reasons for why he would go and buy the gun. Again, there is literally thousands of reasons for 'why' but you need to decide on one, or two if the character has a secondary goal in mind, if you want a consistent character.   I'm going to add the why to Bob's character sheet.   What: Name: Bob Age: 18. Race: Caucasian. Demographic : Lower Class. Goal: Wants to go to college.   Why: So he can get a better job, and show his father that he is worth something, who believes that Bob has wasted his life and has no chance of making it in the world.   When:   Where:   How:   And there we go. Bob wants a better job, perhaps to get out of his lower class lifestyle, but he also wants to show his father that he isn't useless, that he has value and can pull himself up. Again, a believable reason why, but it also has the added benefit of being dramatic. It's the classic tale of the underdog, or guy who wasted his life away up until now, picking himself up to prove to his father, and possibly himself that he can do what perhaps no one thinks he can do.   It's always good to make the goal, if not dramatic, at least something the character has to struggle for or is relatable to the readers/movie goers/players. And something like what we have for Bob is a good way of doing that. After all, who doesn't want to improve their life in some way?   The When:   Next is the 'when'. What is the when? Well, it can be several things. It could be when the character decided on their goal, when they decide to pursue their goal, or when they have decided is a good time to wait to pursue their goal.   For example: Jack's goal is to get water from the well on the hill. The reason why is that he is thirsty. The when is now. Because he just now decides that he wants to go get the water. He later fell down the hill with his friend Jill. They were never seen again.   Anyway. Another example would be going back to the corporate executive. When is he going to go get that gun? Today? Tomorrow? Next week? When did he decide that he wanted the gun? When he found a naked picture of his wife on his friend's phone? When his company's stock started to crash? Or when his wife mentioned that she didn't feel safe in their home?   Let's add Bob's when.   What: Name: Bob Age: 18. Race: Caucasian. Demographic : Lower Class. Goal: Wants to go to college.   Why: So he can get a better job, and show his father that he is worth something, who believes that Bob has wasted his life and has no chance of making it in the world.   When: He decided to go after an argument with his father where he yelled that Bob was a waste of all the time he spent raising him. And he decides that he wants to go at the beginning of the next year.   Where:   How:   And there we go. His father basically told him to his face that he was a complete waste of time. That's the kind of thing that will either make you go cry for a few hours, make you yell back, or decide to prove him wrong. Again, there can be multiple parts as to the why, but it's generally a good idea to keep it to at or below three to avoid making things too overly complicated.   The Where:   The where is basically where the character is going to go to accomplish their goal. For Jack, it is the well on the hill, for the corporate executive it is the gun store down the road, for Bob it is college.   This is perhaps the easiest W of the five, as long as you've followed the other steps. Although this can be augmented.   What: Name: Bob Age: 18. Race: Caucasian. Demographic : Lower Class. Goal: Wants to go to college.   Why: So he can get a better job, and show his father that he is worth something, who believes that Bob has wasted his life and has no chance of making it in the world.   When: He decided to go after an argument with his father where he yelled that Bob was a waste of all the time he spent raising him. And he decides that he wants to go at the beginning of the next year.   Where: A public college with at least a 2 year technical course in whatever in fine arts.   How:   Again, it is very simple and sometimes completely self evident.   The How:   Now we are in the home stretch. The how is exactly what it sounds like, it is how the character plans on accomplishing the goal. The goal can be one step, two steps, or even twenty steps. Whatever fits the characters and the goal. It can be how they are going to get to the end of their goal, how they are going to acquire the means of accomplishing their goal, or just how they are going to survive while they try to accomplish their goal.   Jack needs to go get a bucket, then head up the hill, and then draw the water from the well with the bucket.   The corporate executive needs to get a gun license, if he doesn't already have one, head to the gun store and purchase the gun.   Let's add a more RPG character here as well. The simple farmer from a small village, Edwin, has the goal of stopping the evil wizard. The reason why is that the wizard destroyed his village and killed all of his friend. The when is right now. The where is the wizard's tower that lies in the middle of a lake of molten lava. And the how is by gathering allies, training to become stronger, acquiring an ancient weapon that he was always destined to wield, and then by fighting his way to the wizard's tower, and then finally fighting the wizard.   Let's add Bob's how.   What: Name: Bob Age: 18. Race: Caucasian. Demographic : Lower Class. Goal: Wants to go to college.   Why: So he can get a better job, and show his father that he is worth something, who believes that Bob has wasted his life and has no chance of making it in the world.   When: He decided to go after an argument with his father where he yelled that Bob was a waste of all the time he spent raising him. And he decides that he wants to go at the beginning of the next year.   Where: A public college with at least a 2 year technical course in fine arts.   How: By getting a job to pay his way through college, since his old man ain't going to give him any money, and by studying hard to ensure he graduates.   And there. We have all of the Ws of character building. Bob is now a complete, character, with motives, goals, and a plan on how he is going to accomplish those goals. Congrats, Bob.   Actually, there is one more W that I haven't mention so far, and it's fairly important, but, in my mind, can't be written without the first five Ws having been written down first. I am, of course, speaking of...   The Who:   The who is who the character is, their personality, how they act, how they define themselves, ect. The reason I you can't right this before you write the other Ws is because, well, those other Ws, in a way, are already the who.   Think about it. What have we learned about Bob and the other example characters?   We learned that Jack is thirsty.   ... What? You want more then that? Fine. He is also someone who likes to do something by himself, or at least through his own self initiative. He could of simply asked an adult, or a friend to go get the water for him, but he went and did it himself.   The corporate executive, no matter which version you prefer, is a man who decides things on a personal level quickly, possibly without too much thought, and maybe goes ahead with his plans no matter what anyone else may have to say. If you take the revenge version, he has a quick and violent temper, since we never say that he think of doing anything other then getting revenge, and with the suicide version, he maybe puts too much of himself into the things he owns, or has a secret self-loathing that causes him to take failures very personally. With the third version that he cares about his wife's feeling of safety, or maybe he likes to feel big both at work and at home.   And Edwin. He is someone who does not sit down and give up, he pulls himself up from the destruction of the life he knew and sets out to stop the wizards. He is driven enough to train himself from a farmer into a hero, possibly charismatic, or sympathetic enough to recruit allies to his cause, and determined enough to see it all through to the end.   And Bob? Bob is a slacker, who perhaps never put much thought into what he wanted to be, he simply drifted through high school because he had to, and hadn't a single wish to continue his education until his argument with his father. After that we see something else to him, he, much like Edwin, is driven. He WILL prove to his father that he can be more then a slacker, he WILL make a better life for himself. He's intelligent enough to have at a decently thought out plan and is so determined to prove himself to his dad that he is willing to take the extra responsibility of working his way through college. Will he slacker nature show itself and possibly compromise his goal? Most definitely, that's where his drama kinda comes in. A lazy guy trying to break out of that shell and make something new out of himself.   I hope this was useful to you all. And if you have any questions, feel free to post down below.   Have a good day. -LS

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

Boredom #6

And so it returns. In all it's boring glory. Gonna try and work on these more. Anyway. Have a good night everyone.

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

So, RPGs.

So, I've been playing a number of RPGs lately on a multitude of platforms, consoles, PC, mobile devices, even watching a small portion of a DnD game. This is mostly due to me putting off work on my own projects because I'm a lazy punk with the physique of an obese telly tubby, and partly because I've been trying to find an answer to a question I've had for awhile, the question being "Why do we always say that story is the main strength of RPGs?"   This is a common opinion I hear, "The gameplay is generic, but the story is good, and honestly, that's really the only part that matters in these games." or something similar, mostly when going through RPG Maker forums. I always want to challenge this stance, but whenever I think about the metric ton of RPGs that I've played, I honestly can only ever come up with one or two examples, that I end up realizing later were just as boring as other ones.   Now, this is probably just me, and I'm perfectly willing to except that. I know a few people who really like the gameplay in Earthbound and the Persona series, but I honestly feel that the RPGs that follow in the veins of these game, or other Final Fantasy esc-games, have never had good gameplay, or un-engaging at the very least.   I don't really have much of an answer to why this is, even after playing somewhere around twenty RPGs in the past three weeks, but I do have a few ideas as to why.   First possibility: Gameplay that never really changes.   Through the multitude of games I've played recently it struck me that most RPGs never really shake things up. For example: In final fantasy 4, you learn everything you ever need to know for the entire game. There is never a time where the game throws you a curve ball that forces you to adapt or radically change up your strategy or ways of playing, even games like Dark Souls fail at this, all you ever need to do in that game is roll around until you learn the enemy's moveset and then wait for an opening. There is the occasional boss that plays with this, but it's usually only one boss and you never have to adapt again.   Second possibility: Slow, or uninteresting gameplay.   Let's face it, turn based battle isn't the most interesting combat, now is it? And fancy side view battles can only remain fancy for so long. It's another thing that I've noticed in most of the games I've played recently, they always have either frontview/sideview TBB/ATB systems with the normal Physical attacks, four elemental magic attack spells, light magic for healing, dark magic for curses and the like, usually poorly balanced, or lacking in any real challenge, and those that do have "challenge" mistake overpowered enemies that take five hours to kill as challenge, and not, you know, giving them some kind of interesting patterns, or strange status effects, or any kind of ACTUAL challenge. And they usually when they have ATB, then the bar takes so long to charge that it might as well be TBB.   And that's really all that I have, well, at least all I have that I can actually explain without going into fifteen paragraphs like I usually do. But anyway, what do you guys think? Do either of the two possibilities seem plausible? Am I talking out of telly tubby shaped rear end? Do you have your own ideas on why gameplay tends to suck in RPGs? Or do you think that the kind of gameplay we normally have is perfectly fine? Leave a comment and discuss away!

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

Boredom Annual #1

In the spirit of making these things for a week, and because I'm too lazy to make anything else. And, yes. I know the week anniversary was yesterday, but shut up.

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

Got bored again.

And here we are again.     And no. I don't know if this is going to become more of a thing. Maybe it will if I get some extra this summer.

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

Musings on fan games

I was going back through the threads and PM conversations relating to the cancelled fan project Persona: Forgotten, which I was part of the development team. As I looked over them I found myself wondering one thing that I can't really find a satisfying answer to: Why do most fan games fall apart?   There are a few rather obvious reasons in the case of Persona: Forgotten, which I won't go into because it would pretty much just end up with me trying to divide up blame, and I don't want to throw anyone under the bus. But when it comes to other fan projects it can be hard to pinpoint exactly why, especially when one is not a part of the devs team for the game.   But I have noticed that there is a rather large amount of fan games that seemed to be going very well, and then suddenly just stop. The game stops getting updates, the devs stop talking about it, and eventually the game is declared cancelled and then the people who were excited for it are left confused and wondering what happened.   A lot of the time the devs don't even explain what happened and just move on without ever mentioning it, which I always see as somewhat sad, if you're going to go the effort to announce the game and make several updates, but suddenly end it and never follow up on why, it will always come across as strange and it will just upset people.   Maybe it has something to do with some sort of shame for not finishing the project after promoting it so much? I can understand that; putting so much effort in and then having nothing to show is very discouraging, but at least give people some sort of closure on it.   But, yes. Back to the question of why these things fall apart. As I've been writing this post I think I might have been struck with a decent answer: Perhaps it's because the dev team is made up of nothing but fans?   What I mean is that everyone who is a fan of something will have a different interpretation of what is the best part, or the most important part of it. I know I've run across this in Halo forums where some people are only there for the story, some only for the gameplay, and some only for the art style (Yes, art style. I honestly don't get it.) and perhaps it is this very thing that tears a project apart.   Let's say that a team of fans get together, one enjoys the gameplay of the games, but doesn't care for the story, another is all about story and just feels the gameplay gets in the way, and another who care about only about another aspect of the game. They could all get along rather well, but the division of thought on what makes the series great ends up splitting them apart.   Although this is all just a random thought that has come to me while writing, so maybe I'm full of liquefied bull manure.   What do you guys think about this? Because I'm honestly trying to come up with other reasons besides lack of effort.   This was probably a bit of a pointless post since i don't really propose anything amazingly insightful, but I need something to do while waiting for my Sims 4 to update. And I'm honestly kind of tired of seeing fan games that look really good just dying out of nowhere.   -LS

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

Writing and stuff.

Hello there Ace users. I was wondering what I could possibly do for my next blog post since I'm still playing through the next game I have planned for "Yay, or Nay?" and I figured that I might as well talk about this stuff if only to try and help people avoid doing some of this in their games.   I guess I should also mention that I'm currently on my fifth cup of coffee, so I might end up switching back and forth between different things. Just putting that out there.   The first thing I wanted to tackle was something that I keep on seeing in Rpg Maker games and that is a lack of urgency or direction in the story. Urgency, for those uninitiated, is basically what keeps me wanting to play the game. I've played a few games lately, the most notable would be Enelysion, where the game starts off, introduces the main character, introduces some main item that is important for some reason, and them dumps me into a house where the character lives and then I'm told that I should go find someone who the character apparently gave the item to when I feel like it. Now, I usually wouldn't have a problem with this type of thing, it can be used as a good way to setup how a character lives their lives in the world before anything insane starts happening. But with games like Enelysion it sets up this kind of thing and then proceeds to tell you jack squat. Sure there are a few characters standing around that apparently know your character, but the conversations between them and the character don't really reveal anything that interesting about the character. It takes about two hours into the game before you really start to get anything new, or interesting on the character at all. If you're going to use this kind of opening, have characters that the main character plays off of well, or that the character has a past with and can talk about some events that they both experienced together. Something as small as a fishing accident that the main character doesn't want to talk about because it is embarrassing can give a lot of information about who they are. Just something to think about when planning out your story. And actually, another quick tip. Don't just have the NPCs around your world be completely boring. I know that isn't exactly helpful, but when I play a game and I just run into a bunch of NPCs that say nothing interesting, or don't mention events currently going on in the world then I quickly find myself rowing bored and just running past any NPCs I see. At the very least have them talking to another NPC, just something to make them seem like they aren't just a bunch of set dressing.   And while I'm still near talking about Enelysion, let's talk about direction. Enelysion unfortunately has a pretty terrible sense of direction. Almost everyone I've talked to who has also played the game has said, "Yeah. I liked the art style and the main character seemed kind of cool, but it took me about twenty minutes before I found where I was supposed to be going." The main reason for this is because all you're told about where you're supposed to go is that it's a church somewhere on the map. So you go to the actually pretty cool looking over world map and see that there is a temple looking thing to the north. That has to be the right place, right? WRONG! After that you look around the rest of the map, maybe walk into the nearby town and see if anyone says anything about the church, and of course, no one does, you go out into the overworld again and just start looking everywhere, but still don't find it. So now it's been about fifteen minutes, and you're getting a little ticked off and decide to go back to where your search started, maybe there is a clue you missed then, as you're just randomly going around the town and going up to every building and seeing if you can go inside, you find the church by accident when you go looking into a normal looking building stuffed into the north eastern part of the town. I shouldn't even need to tell you what's wrong with that whole process.   You want to know the best way to counter act this? Just tell the player where the place is. Have a character say, "you mean that place in so and so town?" or have a text box fly up saying "This place is in the north eastern area of so and so town." A lot of people I know actually ended up not finishing Enelysion because of this problem with direction. I'm actually contemplating quitting all these hours in due to lack of even simple direction.   Geeze that was a big wall of text.   Anyway. On to the next thing I wanted to talk about and that is the lack of moderation in gaming in general. As much as I admit to enjoying Call of Duty Ghosts is does have this problem of never bringing us down to relax and feels the need to constantly throw larger and larger events at us every freaking mission. We start the game with a pitched gunfight in space God's sake and it only gets more and more over the top from there the apex of which I still think is sliding out of a collapsing skyscraper while having a pitched firefight with enemies who are also falling out of the skyscraper until eventually you pull out a parachute that you had for some reason and happily gliding away as the skyscraper levels an entire block.   It was exciting, I'll give it that, but it would have been much more exciting if it was preceded by the previously mentioned space fight, running through an area that is being bombed from orbit, stealthing around the grass as a dog (No. Seriously that happens.), attacking an enemy big with several exploding trucks and defending an american base against an entire enemy fleet with nothing but a few drones and a machinegun. On paper this makes it sound like the game will never get boring and only become more exciting as it continues, but in practice it just makes the big set pieces become less special, and by extension, less interesting.   Let's look at another game in the CoD series for how you do this right. Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare. This game is probably one of my favorite shooters from the past decade and the reason being that it made all of it's big set pieces feel special by not making them happen every three minutes. And while the game does open with you sinking a massive ship in the pacific it immediately follows this up with simple ground assaults, stealth missions, defending certain objectives and then suddenly a character you've been playing as for most of the game, along with several thousand american troops, are wiped out in a freaking nuclear explosion where your helicopter crashes and you are forced to play as that character as they slowly die from a combination of radiation and blood loss which still ranks up in top 10 lists the world over because the game didn't have big set pieces like that all throughout the game. (I would have spoilered that part, but honestly if you haven't heard of the nuclear scene from this game then what rock are you living under?) It actually felt important and was even shocking to have something like that happen because the game had gotten you into the feel of taking out baddies in small engagements.   Now this isn't something that is only a problem with set pieces, I've always said that swearing is over used in gaming today because people seem to think the only way to sound mature is to shout fifteen swears in a conversation about the weather. I personally think that swears should be treated like an exploding building, in that you shouldn't use it too much, or it will, like the Ghost example above, just become repetitive and boring. And when you finally have some kind of moment where the character swears out of rage at some great tragedy it will be completely lost on us, because they've been swearing since the first line of dialogue and people will just be wondering when the scene is going to end so we can get on with the story. That isn't to say that you can't have a character that swears a lot, like a mercenary, or some washed up bitter hero, but you have to justify it because no one starts a conversation by saying, "Hey, you! Yeah you, F***bend! How're you doing?" nor do they say the word sh*t thirty times within half that many minutes unless they happen to be a plumber.   I guess that's really all i had to ramble about today. Just a bunch of complaining about things that annoy me really. Eh. Hope you found it funny at least. -LS

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

Yay, or Nay?: Dragon Age: Inquisition.

So, I've been playing the third entry in the Dragon Age series; Dragon Age: Inquisition. And as my second playthrough begins to draw to a close, I feel like this would be a good way to start a little series that I'll be calling, Yay, or Nay? What is this? Basically it's a reviewing series, but where i just kind of spew out random thoughts on the game until I reach my conclusion on the game. If it's a Yay, then I recommend you play it. If it's a Nay, then I recommend that you don't play it, and possibly go throw it in your fire pit depending on how I'm feeling that day. I'll be writing these as i go, so don't be surprised if I jump from subject to subject with no clear connection. Also expect spelling and grammatical errors, because it's almost 11 P.M here. Anyway. Let's get on with it.   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   Dragon Age: Inquisition is a game developed by Bioware, powered by the Frostbite3 game engine and published by EA (Or Electronic Arts if you prefer, though I personally don't ever since the Sims City debacle last year.). It has been released on the Xbox360, Playstation 3, XboxOne, Playstation 4, and of course the PC.   Right. Now that I have that out of the way. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the game has been developed on the Frostbite3 engine, which I believe was made by DICE, but I could be wrong, and I can't be bothered to check and make sure. Anyway. The reason why I draw attention to the engine upon which this game was made with is because (on the Xbox360 version at least) the game looks worse than Dragon Age: Origins, or DA2 most of the time. Most of the time hair shines as if it's covered in grease, or made out of plastic, faces barely emote and have murky, or blurred textures, eyelashes go through eyelids when characters blink, and there is more pop-in in both environments and character details then a freaking soda shop. (One especially recurring example it when I would go to see talk with my good buddy Dorian, and find myself horrified to see his face blocky, blurred and his facial hair melding into his face along with parts of his eyes for three second before filling in properly.) Although I did manage to take some time and look at footage on the PC, XboxOne and PS4, and I suddenly found myself looking at a fantastic looking game with, beautiful environments, hair that wasn't made out of lego, clear and realistic character faces and very little pop-in. So I guess if you're a graphics hound, then this game is already a Nay on the last-gen consoles. Although to be fair, I did eventually get past the graphical problems. It's just kind of disheartening for me that a game that looks absolutely brilliant on another platform, but looks terrible when ported over to the one I play on the most.   Now that we have gotten done with what we see with our eyes, let us continue to we hear with our ears, or antennae if you're some kind of mutant insectoid man reading this in an apocalyptic future where a new brand of bug killing spray has somehow gone horrifically wrong and if you happen to be the later, then I want it to be known that I totally called it. But, anyway. Voice acting. It's rather nice... What? It's just really good voice acting. I guess the default voices for Dwarf and Qunari player characters is somewhat lacking in emotion, but I get the feeling that they are meant to be more stoic and unflinching hero, so it didn't really bother me and I just decided to use it on my more macho, or confident characters. Other then that the voice acting is just good. I found very few voices that I didn't like and that's mostly because the voice actors were playing characters with a French accent, which instantly land a voice in my torture rack due to a terrible accident I once had that involved a poorly made french toast, which I choose not to go into here.   And since I mentioned Dwarves and Qunari in the previous paragraph I find myself now moving towards the character creation suite. This is a bioware game afterall, so when you start a new game you are transported to a strange green mist filled area with wonky lighting. (That again looked five times better on PC.) Here you can get to choose from four races, Humans, who are what humans always are in fantasy settings, that being the most widespread, and snobbish of the races, Elves, who are elves. I really don't have to say much more then that other then the fact that they are the only race that requires that your character has a tattoo. Then there are Dwarves, as short and beard-y as you like, and finally we have the Qunari, a race of horned giants that is best known for the radical and oppressive religion that the race is named after which dictates every point of their lives and "fixes" them is they try to stray from whatever path has been set for them, or if they question or criticize the leadership. But you play as one who has never lived under the Qun, making you a Tal-Vashoth, and it is possible to be born without horns, so feel free to be a sarcastic, authority questioning, non-committal, non-horn headed dweeb as you wave goodbye to whatever interesting character development you might have thought would have gone pretty well with the race.   After you choose your stuck up Human, elfy Elf, beard-y Dwarf, or non-horny Qunari you get to choose your class for your character. There are three specialization with two weapon gameplay styles for each with the exception of the last. There are warriors, basically the lumbering tough guys/gals of the group who have a sword and shield style that focuses on staying out in-front of everyone and tanking damage while occasionally taking a second to scream at an enemy that his mother was half nug, and then they have a a two handed style for using great swords and mauls and the like, so that they can charge straight into the enemy lines and instantly getting ground into mulch. After that we have rogues, who are the typical thief class who are usually flanking in battle, or picking battle outside of it, they can either use dual daggers for poking you in the back, or bows to hang back and snipe in the brief moment before they get double stabbed in the back by the enemy dual dagger rogue. And finally we have the mages, who kind of work as an all around class, but mostly excel at support. They only get one weapon style, which is the staff. But they make up for this by having staves be the coolest looking weapons in the game with the largest customization option.   Now that you have chosen the class that fits you the best, you are taken to the actual character appearance editor where you can change pretty much anything about the look of your character's face, but not their body, because of reasons. I really don't have a problem with the editor itself (Other then the fact that on last-gen console you can't have scar for your characters. Again, because of reasons.), but I do have one big one. And it is that the lighting isn't exactly the best, of the five characters that I have made to test out different play styles, three of them I had to go back and recreate within an hour of play because they ended up looking considerably more freakish then they did in the editor. My prime example of this is my Qunari character, who looked perfectly fine in the editor, but the second he got into an area with normal lighting he looked like a terrible black face character and i found myself spending the next thirty minutes laboriously correcting it. I also originally had a problem with there being no longer hair styles for female characters, but then i thought about it and found myself visualizing an unstoppable two handed style warrior carving through the enemy lines, her hair blowing victoriously in the wind in the brief second before a hurlock alpha easily grabbed her by her long flowing hair and yanking her head back it could easily lob her head of at the neck. After removing the terrifying image from my mind I finally found a reason to not be bothered with it. Oh. you can also choose between two voices for each gender here, although as far as I can tell there is no dialogue changes for either, so they are pretty much up to your preference.   Now, as for gameplay there isn't really much I can say. It plays like most bioware games; you switch between talking with npcs and making dialogue decisions using a dialogue wheel, and then walking around areas fighting enemies, leveling up, and getting new skills. There really isn't much to say about it other then the fact that the combat is just well balanced and fun at times, even the new tactical camera that i feared was just going to be boring to use, but was actually pretty easy to use, and order your people around with, while the two most notable things on the dialogue fronts is that there is no longer a morality system for your character, which I like, and there is now several times where a dialogue option has a little picture to display what emotion your character will relate during that section of the conversation, which helps to cut down on the old mass effect problem of Shepard acting like a jerk when you wanted to act like cherub. The system from DA2 where you're party members had their own armor that they wore throughout the whole game that you could be upgraded by the player by buying the upgrades while solving problems around the city has now been torn out and replaced with the same system that was in DA:O where you have to micromanage everyone's equipment, and check them against every piece of armor you find in the game, which I personally dislike. I like it when character have an iconic look, not one that i can change at any moment and most likely look worse then the default. My dislike for the system is slightly diminished by the inclusion of a new crafting system that allows you to craft dozens of custom armors and weapons right done to what metal you want to use for the blade, what leather you want for the grip, and what rune you bolt unto it, all of which physically alter the look of the weapon, or armor (Actually you can't put runes on armor anymore. Another thing taken from DA2.) from the color of the breastplate to the scarf that every rogue armor seems to have. You can also make upgrade parts for most of the armors and all of the weapons that can give them some extra effects like more healing for the character that it is equipped to, or higher chance to inflict bleed on a target. You also can name every single piece of equipment that you craft, which I loved. There is also two other new gameplay additions, one is the war table, which consists of a map of two nations that you can complete non-playable operations to help grow your faction's influence and unlock new areas to explore. The other gameplay inclusion comes in the form of being able to judge character from different quests throughout the game and not just the main story. It is basically just another dialogue conversation, but with several options with what to do with the people, which is perfect for exacting petty revenge against a minor antagonist who's voice dripped with smug. Over all the game has enough to keep you entertained and engaged for pretty much the entirety of the game, although it may begin grating on you near the end of the game depending on your tolerance levels.   Wow. So much for not having much to say about the gameplay. Now the only things left to talk about are characters and story, the two things that are the hardest to talk about without spoiling massive parts. Let me just say this about the story: If you enjoyed the world and story of the previous games I think you will enjoy the story here. It has a few good twists and surprises, and really cool moments along with an villain and ending that I personally felt fit in well with the rest of the series. And as for the characters, I found myself liking every single one of them, even if some of them made me want to hit them with an iron bat until they stop being so snobbish. Most of them have nice character archs and most have decisions in their personal quests that can change something major for the character. The romances also seem really well done if the two that I have done are any indication. Anymore then this I dare not say about the characters, or story, so i guess it's time to wrap up.   So does Dragon Age Inquisition get Yay, or a Nay?   I would say it gets a Yay. I personally have been having a barrel of fun playing this game and getting to now the characters.   I guess that's all there is to say, so... that's the first installment of "Yay, or Nay?" Have a good day everyone. -LS

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

The Plague blog post #1 The Story.

So I’ve been saying that I’d do this for awhile and I figured now was as good a time as any as I’m finally starting to get done the first demo area of The Plague (when I say close I mean something like three months). For those of you who don’t know; The Plague is a game I’ve been working on for about 8 months now (I have terrible time management skills) which was born from a number of short stories I wrote a few years ago. This is going to be a free game that I’m pretty much making just because I enjoy making stories and I felt like making one that I pretty much already had a basis for would probably be a good way to go. Anyway, let’s get on to the post. This will only be a quick thing on the basic story concept. I think I’ll do short stories for individual characters, or maybe I’ll do them all in one big uber post, we’ll see.   Story: 13 year ago the plague appeared on the continent of Zelith. A terrible disease that turned the skin of mortal black as night and drove them mad with it’s unending voice that eternally whispers their failings to their souls. Three years after the plague appeared a hero who is known only as The Sorceress seemingly destroyed it, her entire party, and half of the continent using an ancient artifact created by the Goddess Yulune.   However, five years after it’s apparent destruction The Plague returned more powerful than before and slowly began corrupting the remainder of the continent and destroying the kingdoms that still stand. Now almost the entire continent has been engulfed, the remaining kingdoms of Humans and Giants are on the verge of collapse, and all hope seems lost.   The human queen and king have recently been killed in battle against The Plague and their daughter, Felima Thilmene, has taken the throne.   In one finally attempt she will go to the one person who was there when The Plague first appeared. The criminal imprisoned in the human capital of Zelith City; the half-giant Zendan Halidom, the Butcher of Fogbarrow. In her journey across the crumbling kingdoms she will find unexpected allies, and discover fiendish new foes. She will travel across vast wilderness, through dark caverns, into desolate plague lands, and long forgotten shrines to the gods who have disappeared from the world. All in order to save the kingdom that has forsaken her.

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

LordSquirrel's Four C's of Story Writing

So this is something I kind of posted on my status update, but so many people posted other status updates so fast that it didn't get any replies, so I figured I'd do it here as well.   The Four C's of Story Writing:   Creativity, the beginning of the other three C's Creativity is the most powerful tool a story writer can grasp, it gives life to a world, depth to a character, and resolution to conflict.   Context is what gives meaning to the story without it there is no world, and no basis for a character, nor reason for conflict.   Character is what give the story emotion without it there would be no reason to care about the world, without it there would be no hero, no villain, and no conflict.   Conflict is the reason the story is there without it there would be no drama, no goal, no reason for the hero to fight, and there would be no point to the story.   All of the C's can come from, and enhance each other, you can have little creativity until you, by chance, create an intriguing character who gives you ideas for the world, and the conflict that will arise in the story.   All of the C's are required for an interesting story, but there are also others that fit into the equation. I will elaborate on those later.   (Leave me your thoughts, and maybe give some thoughts on what game, or books you have read that incorporate the four C's well)

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

 

The Enemy is Adapting!

Hello everyone. LordSquirrel here for my very first blog post!   Today I wanted to talk about something I was planning to post in the Theory and Development, but decided that it may be more appropriate to do as a blog post. I wanted to talk about enemy adaption in rpg's.   To clarify. I'm talking about how enemies adapt to the party's level, members, or health. I've currently been working on a game that I've given the codename of "The Plague", if you're wondering what it's about, don't worry, I'll be posting something either on this blog or the Theory and Development board detailing the outline of the story in a few days. Anyway. In the game you have several party members that can be recruited throughout the game, each character has a specific role in progress, (damage, healing, buffing ect...) and a thought occurred to me as I set up a early game boss battle, "What if I had it adjust it's moves and behavior based on what actors are in the party?"   What I mean is, what if I had Crow (A character that specializes in ending battles quickly with either instant kill attacks, or by breaking through the enemy defense) in the party while the party is fighting a Boss who primarily focuses on turtling and waiting for the party to drain their MP reserves? Well the fight would be pretty easy as Crow can break through the Boss' defense fairly quick and then the battle would just be a few powerful strikes away from completion. And while I do like to reward my players for bringing the right tools to the fight I also like making the fight as difficult as I can.   Started to add in some events that would check which actors are in the party, and would add, or remove skills based on which actors there were. While I was doing this a thought struck me, "Will people like this, or will they say it's just annoying?" after a while of thinking it over and getting nowhere I decided that I should ask you guys which you like more: Boss' that actively adapt to your party no matter what, or do you prefer it to be something that only happens on specified difficulties or special modes?   The main reason why I ask is because I can't actually think of any game that does something like this.

LordSquirrel

LordSquirrel

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