Gaming Pixie's Stuff - Ephemera

She Who Fights Monsters: Demo Progress

Yeah, I know: I already have an alpha demo out. But I called that one an “alpha” demo for a reason. I always planned to put out something more polished later on, and it looks like the time draws near.

The new demo will (like the old one) cover the game’s first day, albeit it slightly abbreviated. But there’s a lot more going on now and the scenery’s changed quite a bit. Yes, even beyond the recent update that I posted. Oh, and you’ll get to hear the game’s first piece of original music. Sure, it’s just a twelve-second loop, but I sequenced it myself and it fits the scene.

If all goes according to schedule (and it looks like it will), I’ll release the new demo Monday. Be on the lookout! ๐Ÿ™‚

Fighting the Monster: Development Progress

I’m making good progress with my first non-Twine game. Two months ago, I’d never used RPG Maker before and wasn’t even sure how to start; now, I have something that 1)is definitely a game with playable things in it, albeit an incomplete one and 2)is, in its way, pretty intricate as it slowly takes shape.

I’ve also settled on the game’s official name. It’s going to be She Who Fights Monsters.

I’d like to have a non-alpha demo done by early March. To give you some idea of what’s changed since the alpha, here are some Before and After screenshots:

There are still things to refine, art assets to make and songs to add (and game days to even START implementing), but I think the progress is clear.

And since RPG Maker’s character generator couldn’t give me quite the right color scheme, I made some noticeable changes to Jenny’s sprite. But I think I’ll save those for when the new demo comes out. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and as an added bonus, a peek at my Debug Room:

My Debug Room. (Won't be in the game.)
My Debug Room. (Won’t be in the game.)


Free Demo: Fighting the Monster

EDIT: This demo is no longer available. Get the full game instead.

screenshot03I got a free copy of RPG Maker VX Ace last December. Soon afterward, I got an idea: I would make a horror game. A horror game prequel to a certain other project that gets my focus next. But as I worked through things in my Game Ideas notebook, I realized parts of my own life were starting to bleed through.

I don’t really like to talk about my past–or my present a lot of the time. But I do like taking things and turning them into fiction. I started seeing the absolute worst parts of my childhood and wanted make something with them, a gameified version of what I went through and how I dealt with it. I started seeing how if I took that far enough, it could end up (hopefully) both really disturbing and rather unique.

screenshot04Though the main character isn’t necessarily that Jenny, she does bear the name “Just Because.” And everything you see and do in the game is colored by her perceptions, by the way that things can look through a child’s imagination. Closets, basements and what have you can become new worlds and adventures; confronting her drunken father is… well… It can be rather unpleasant.

The Alpha demo I just finished is a small, incomplete taste of what I have planned for this game. Many of the graphics will chance, and so will the music. The gameplay will be expanded and the whole house will ultimately be yours to explore. For now, though, the demo does give some idea of what this game is emotionally. I also plan to release a second, larger Beta demo once the game is closer to completion.

Please download the Alpha demo here. Get the full game!

Experimental Gameplay Workshop, huh?

So, very, VERY recently I heard of something called the Experimental Gameplay Workshop. Now, I can’t afford to go to conferences and such… but all I see on the page is that they’re looking for submissions, not that you have to be there.

Thanks to an interesting twist of fate (and being on Twitter at the right time), I got a free copy of RPG Maker from Madam Luna. Which, if I take a crash course in it, should let me put a game together in a relatively short time. I already have an idea. The only question is if I can make it serviceable by February 1st. I’m also thinking of sending in Eden and/or Shadow of a Soul.

“But Pixie,” you might be thinking (or at least I kind of am), “you’re total n00b. What makes you think you can do this? What makes you think that anything is going to come of it?” The answer is… I don’t. But I won’t know unless I try.

(Even if I can’t finish a prototype in time, this particular new game idea is something I really want to do. In other words… it’s going to get finished. One way or another.)


I think I’ve settled on all the technical stuff for Jenny’s game. I’ll be using Unity3D as the game engine. The graphics will be rendered in Blender. It’ll be a 2D sidescroller, albeit with graphics made in a 3D program. And the game itself may have some platforming, but technically, it’ll be more of a beat ’em up.

One reason I picked Unity (well, besides it being free) is because there’s a crapload of info and tutorials for it out there. If you’ve got a question, someone’s likely got the answer and it won’t be hard to find. With Construct Classic and especially IG Maker–which I assumed would be a good program since it came from the RPG Maker folks—not so much. (I’ve been kicking myself for months for not having gone with my first thought and bought RPG Maker instead. Oh, well.)

As far as Construct Classic goes, that has similar problems. I’m sure it’s fine for what it is, but there’s just not enough resources and support. But at least that one is free, and it IS easier to find tutorials for it than it is for IG Maker.

I also find Unity’s interface more intuitive in some ways, which is funny since working with Unity takes a decent amount of scripting and the other two programs are mostly WSIWYG. And if I’m going to have to learn a whole new system anyway, I might as well learn programming, too.

But the best thing about Unity is it makes cross-platform downloadable games while Construct Classic and IG Maker only export to Windows and Flash. With Unity, my Mac and Linux-using friends won’t be left out. ๐Ÿ™‚

I decided to go with rendered graphics because despite the learning curve and initial time investment, I think it’ll ultimately be easier for me than drawing/animating sprites by hand. I know how I work and what I [don’t] have patience for. I could easily spend ages perfecting a 3D model, but drawing the same thing over and over would eventually drive me bonkers. Besides that, there are ways to make 3D art look cartoony—and that would be a lovely look for what I have in mind.

As for why the game will be a beat ’em up (think old school Splatterhouse), that’s because it suits the main character and what I’d like to do here—namely make something that’s fun to me with plenty of gratuitous violence.

Twine Tutorial: Hidden Links

Prompted by a question from my friend Matthew, here’s a Twine tutorial on how to create hidden links that the reader/player won’t see until they mouse over them. Click here to see what I mean.

JavaScript and HTML

First, you’ll need this snippet of HTML and JavaScript from Glorious Trainwrecks:

<a href=’javascript:void(0)’ class=’internalLink‘ onclick=’state.display(“PassageName“)’>Link Text</a>

Where it says PassageName, use the name of the passage you want to link to. Where it says Link Text, substitute whatever words you want to use as the link.

Now, here’s where the fun starts. Where it says class=”internalLink”, change it to this:

class=”internalLink hidden

With hidden being the name of the special class you’re going to apply to this link. (You don’t have to name the class “hidden”. I just picked it because it’s convenient.)

CSS: Hiding the Links

Now, create a passage with the tag stylesheet. (more…)

Concept Art: Jenny

(If you just want to get to the picture, keep scrolling. If you’re on the homepage, click the post title and then keep scrolling.)

Here’s the main character of what, in all likelihood, will be my first non-Twine game. Her name is Jenny (it just kinda stuck), and it took me a while to pin down her appearance. The coat, boots, black lipstick, meat cleaver and ponytail were always there. So was the idea that she should look kind of badass. And I always saw her as more-or-less racially ambiguous. It’s the other details that got me: her height, her features, that sort of thing.

The first sketch didn’t feel quite right. I liked her attitude, I thought she looked too butch. (Butch women are great, BTW. That’s just not how I saw Jenny.)

The second looked more like Jenny’s face, but she wasn’t having enough fun. She was also much too tall.

The third sketch was almost there. Almost, but not quite. And after I scanned it an loaded it up in Manga Studio, I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why I just couldn’t ink it. Then, it hit me: go back to the source. The thing that helped inspire the game. The problem was I was drawing this more-or-less in my usual style. If I was going to make it work, I’d have to adjust some things. (more…)

Next Project: “Jenny”

I have a new project underway–and it’s not in Twine. I want to make it an action/platformer type of thing; for now, I’m going to try to make it with IG Maker since I bought a copy a while ago with an unexpected windfall. If I can’t get it to do what I’d like it to do, I’ll try Construct Classic instead.

Anyway, the game’s working title is Jenny the Homicidal Maniac. The inspiration comes from exactly where you’d think it does. I don’t have a real title yet or an exact story, but Jenny just kinda showed up on her own hacking things up with a butcher knife and enjoying what she did. I don’t know precisely why she’s so messed up; once I get that figured out, the details of the gameplay mechanics should fall into place.

Hopefully, I’ll have some concept art of Jenny done by the weekend.

Twine Tutorial: Conditional Questions

A friend on Twitter recently asked me how I did the question/answer part of my Twine game Eden. Basically 1)once you’ve asked a question, it’s marked as having been asked once you return to the list 2)asking certain questions makes new ones appear and 3)you only get the option to stop asking questions once at least one has been asked. Here are a few screencaps to show this:

Anyway, the steps involved are a bit lengthy to post on Twitter. So I figured I’d write this article for anyone who might find it useful. Please note that this tutorial assumes familiarity with Twine and some familiarity with Twine conditional statements. If you need a beginner’s tutorial, here’s an excellent primer from Auntie Pixelante.

The Tutorial

For demo purposes, I (more…)

Shadow of a Soul

Oh my. Where to start with this one? I guess you’d call Shadow of a Soul an erotic horror Twine adventure(?) game with BDSM themes.

Anyway, this is a dark, weird, kinky game. You play the role of some poor damned soul who must either please their new demon master/mistress (which appears is up to you, as are your gender and sexual orientation) by doing… something unpleasant… or face eternity as the plaything of their older and more sadistic brother. Or perhaps an even worse fate. Along the way, you may need to replenish your strength, but don’t worry: that’s part of the fun.

Made with Twine. Features a good soundtrack, a fair amount of original artwork, and a decidedly dark atmosphere. It also has more than one ending.

(I created this one because I wanted to. No other reason, really. And yes, I had fun in the process. Maybe I’ll try making another naughty game someday.)

[Play Shadow of a Soul]

There’s also a downloadable version.


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