[09/01/2014 Update: Added screenshot for the real world.]
Hi, everyone! I am still around and working on new games, or at least one game in particular. I’ve just been busy with my [really stressful] day job and only have so much to give after I get home. I am making progress, though, and here’s what I’ve got so far.
First off, I’ve determined that Raziel will have some kind of karma system. For whatever reason, that seems to be my thing: giving players the chance to make moral choices. There will also be hints in the game about which side of the scale you’re tipping towards. But in most cases (as in life), unless you’re aiming for a certain outcome, you’ll probably end up somewhere in the middle instead of at the Good or Evil extreme.
I’m still working out the details of the combat system. There won’t be a lot of battles (and probably no random ones), but I do want to include some confrontations that fit the game’s themes. As a hint, people in Raziel’s world are dependent on the virtual realm of Otherworld. Your ultimate goal is destroying Otherworld. So, naturally, at least some of those people are going to want to defend it — one way or another.
And finally, the screenshots!
Early version of Otherworld.
More finalized version of Otherworld.
First glimpse of Etherworld.
They’re all tests of tilesets. The first is an early version of Otherworld. The second is the version I think I’ll use in the game. And the third… is your first glimpse of Etherworld, which is my favorite concept in the game so far.
You can get a few more details about the realms of Razielhere. Also includes original concept art.
Here’s some new concept art for Raziel, which currently in development. It depicts two dimensions of the game: Otherworld and Etherworld. The third aspect (the normal world) doesn’t need it at this point, though I might change my mind before the major work starts.
Basically, in this cyberpunk-themed game, you’re going to be visiting three realms. The normal world is our world, though the game will show a grayer, blander version of it. Otherworld is the cyber-world where people can live their fantasies. Thus I’m making it a place of wild, surreal colors partially inspired by the color schemes of Killer7. As for Etherworld, it’s basically a land of junk data that, normally, no one accesses or even knows is there. It’s weird and chaotic and creepy-like… and you’re totally going to need to visit it in order to finish your quest. (Funnily enough, Etherworld also takes some inspiration from Killer7, namely the Vinculum Gate you pass through every time you confront a midboss. I think the concept is really neat and, taken one step further, it fits this game nicely.)
My next non-Twine project is a game called Raziel. As I said before, it was born as a Twine game and I planned to keep it that way… but I kept getting more and more ideas that either went beyond Twine’s practical limits (i.e. “Yes, I could do this in Twine, but is it really the best way?”) or just plain weren’t possible using that development tool. So I started thinking and wondering what the best means was to do all I needed to do.
Oddly enough, I kept coming back to RPG Maker XV Ace. All of the ideas I had were possible with that, and unlike with Unity (which will indeed be necessary for some long-term plans underway), I know my way around it thanks to working on She Who Fights Monsters. Since I want to get this game finished in 3-6 months, that tips the scale in its favor.
Sure, I’ve got a love/haterelationship with RPG Maker. And I’m a little ambivalent about using it again. Overall, though, it can do what I need it to do in this case without too many surprises or a new learning curve to follow.
I’ve got big plans for this little game. Details to follow… when they follow. 🙂
Note (6/20/2014): The current version is now 1.101.20. It includes a minor dialogue fix for an issue I didn’t learn about until AFTER I uploaded version 1.03. But everything else posted here (in particular how I don’t plan on making any more non-critical updates for a long time; hence the version number jump) is current.
Further edit: Exactly one day after my posting 1.10, someone noted other minor, non-gamebreaking bugs and, being me, I couldn’t rest until I fixed them. So version 1.20 it is. But seriously, I’m done with this game for now.
Howdy, all! I’ve uploaded a new version of She Who Fights Monsters that fixes a save glitch where in certain installations, you can’t save. It basically happened because when something is installed to the Programs directory, it can’t be written-to unless it’s run with Administrator privileges, at least in certain versions of Windows. (Having jumped semi-recently from Windows XP to Windows 8 (stop laughing), I didn’t know this.) And by default, the free installer program I’m using installs things to that very directory. To avoid future confusion (and my apologies for any inconvenience, past or present), I fixed it by remaking the installer so it installs to My Documents by default instead.
The new version also contains a steam banner by Raven Maurer, who actually first made it at the request of someone else and, in the process contacted me for some of the game’s artwork. I liked their work enough I asked if I could include it in a future version, and here we are. 🙂
I’ve also updated the end-of-game credits to include Madamluna, and I’m embarrassed that I forgot to include her earlier. After all, she’s the one who gifted me RPG Maker. So if it weren’t for her, She Who Fights Monsters might not exist.
Overall, I’m proud of this game, but I’m tired of looking at it. This means aside from game-breaking bugs, there won’t be any new fixes for awhile ’cause I need to work on something else for the sake of my already-questionable sanity.
Next project: Raziel. Which, to my own surprise, I think might be best-served as an RPG Maker game now. But that’s a topic for another blog post.
So, uh, I found out last night that a very nice LPer who goes by Razorhog is Let’s Playing She Who Fights Monsters. I’m flattered and overwhelmed and half-convinced there was some mistake because he says so many nice things about the game and my website and stuff. But, uh, here’s part one.
(Yes, this really happened. And thanks, Razorhog!)
Once upon a time, I hastily threw together a thing in Twine for something called the Cyberpunk Jam. The thing-I-threw-together has since been taken down [edit: It’s back!], but I always wanted to turn it into something more. Something on the scale of Eden and Shadow of a Soul that plays like, well, a full a game and has things like music and custom illustrations and many more possibilities.
Raziel will be a cybepunk-themed game where you go into a virtual world to track down the mysterious figure who’s been haunting your virtual dreams. Who is he? What does he want? And once you learn the answer, will you think it’s worth the price? There may be other questions, too, if you know where to look.
This game will be made in Twine. Not only is Twine cross-platform; I know it pretty well, and I think the intimate feel of a Twine game is ideal for this story. After all: most of it goes on inside your head. [Edit: Due to getting lotsandlots of new ideas, I made it in RPG Maker instead. :p The end result is very different from the original Twine, but in a good way, I think.]
A few days ago, I learned of something interesting called the indiE3 Project. It’s brand new and I was sad I didn’t have anything to share… until the creators assured me that 1)you don’t need to submit a big, polished presentation and 2)yes, it was all right for me to present a recently-released game and not just a project in progress. So I’m going to be submitting She Who Fights Monsters there and maybe my next game, too. (Yes, I’m working on another thing!)
What makes indiE3 interesting is that it seems tailor made for smaller, lesser-known developers who may not have the financial or social resources to get the exposure they need. This includes those who aren’t close major industry contacts (personally or proximally) and/or can’t afford to go to expensive conferences. Since it’s a virtual event, anyone can submit their stuff, host a panel, etc., without ever leaving their home or paying an entrance fee.
I hope this event is the Next Big Thing — and judging from the interest it’s generated in the few short days since its inception, it very well could be. Every dev deserves a fair shot at having their creations viewed and their voices heard.
After all this time and a bit of wrestling with the peculiarities of RPG Maker VX Ace, She Who Fights Monsters is finally done. You can download the game here and since it’s donationware, payment isn’t required to play it. But donations are always welcome as a show of support for my work.
For the uninitiated, this is a semi-autobiographical game about a little girl surviving seven days with her alcoholic father. In it, you uncover her memories and shape who she becomes along with solving small puzzles and taking in a fair amount of disturbing atmosphere. It’s not all gloom and darkness, though; after all, Jenny is a spirited little girl who makes her own fun where she finds it.
This game has three different endings. Which one will be yours–and hers?
Note: There is now an expanded version that includes new features, new areas, new endings, and new graphics. You can find it here.
She Who fights Monsters is a survival horror game of sorts. It uses some JRPG conventions, but isn’t a JRPG; its main inspirations are Yume Nikki and the Silent Hill games, though this game is rather short and not quite like either.
Your goal is to help little Jennifer make it through seven days with her alcoholic father, collecting and unlocking memories and determining who she becomes. Also, there are three different endings. Which one will be yours–and hers?
(This game is donationware. Donations are appreciated (especially if you like the game), but they’re not required to play it.)
Astonished as I am to say this, She Who Fights Monsters is almost complete. As long as no truly catastrophic bugs show up during playtesting, I should be releasing the game on May 31st. Not a new demo; the full game. I’ll be offering it as donationware so that anyone who wants to play it can. (And if anyone DOES find a game-breaking bug once the game is out there, please feel free to tell me so I can fix it.)
Making this game was and still is quite an experience. And no, I don’t mean the aggravation of dealing with RPG Maker’s idiosyncrasies. I’ve taken this from a shaky alpha demo created on a whim all the way up to (at least to me) something rather special that I hope a lot of people will find value in, even those who didn’t grow up with alcoholic parents.
Over the course of the game’s creation, I’ve smiled, I’ve cried, and I’ve screamed in frustration over game creation software that doesn’t always function in what I see as a logical way. And as things came together in the final stretch, I’ve sat back and marveled and thought, “I’m really going to finish this.”
As I tested certain phases, I’ve felt the joy of nostalgia. Or mood whiplash I didn’t expect to happen as it did. With other parts, I’ve felt surprise at exactly how dark they came across when fully assembled, surprised to the point I thought of changing it so it might be less controversial. Then I decided to leave it alone because as it was, it was honest.
Overall, I’m proud of this game. I know I’m too close to both the project and the subject to be subjective, but… I’m proud of it. This is my first non-Twine game. And I think I did good.