YOUR TIME IS COMING MR. JONES
BE PREPARED FOR TAKE OFF
It's been 2 years since Trainwreckers to the Rescue, one of my so well produced games for this site, mainly for the people here on Glorious Trainwrecks, and it was good enough to keep it there for now, until then i now wished for a SEQUEL, yes, you guessed it (or maybe not), a freaking SEQUEL!!! Because i was tired of playing the same stuff of the game again and again, and while i was outside of the work i made many thoughts for this game, and then, since i was guilty for using Flerppy without permission, our fellow creator of the character (and his other famous series, Mulder and Bolder) Jonny Smeby has gave me permission to use it, but he stated i shouldn't contain much violence, obscenity, swearing, etc...yeah, i found out i was a dumb ass at the dialogue that in few scenes i included swear words and i am afraid i might run into a risk the next time if i certainly do put swearing again (and yeah, i don't bet i can add lots of violence), because i've been taught that this game would have not contained vulgarity, but yeah, i noticed it, not to mention that the platform movement is also old and crap as you'd expect, and i have planned the sequel will certainly try to fix the problems from the game as possible.
The sequel will may promise many things:
- An accurate and new story plot which will take place after TTTR1, where SpindleyQ is disappeared due to an evil occurence by a mysterious evil organization.
- Possibly a cleaner and beatiful GUI, instead of that no-border gradient bar, i'd expect a more graphical bar.
- New characters, yeah, certainly with sprites by someone else who is great than me (i have everythingstaken who is in my service).
- I will try to get used with the Platform Movement Object, as it offers a better platform movement and no bugs (however the problem there is the collisions and there has much events to be made)
- Instead of just making (long) levels, there will be Worlds, no this is not even a Mario fangame.
I will likely start working on the project whenever i get enough stuff to work on the game.
I'm afraid i'm still getting bored even when i still was working on Mr. Cat 4, but due to me playing again the Waligie series, i'm desperately thinking of doing a Waligie fangame. I'm sorry, i have a number of projects i couldn't finish because i keep switching stuff, that also goes even for Mr. Cat IV.
I was making a Waligie fangame before but i was lacking ideas and it was going to be more serious, but i'll try to promise to be comedic like the original series.
Boy have I had a great time this week. I jumped into TyranoBuilder and started making stuff.
First I started making an EXO fan-game. The narrative comes from a vivid dream I had and some thoughts on how to make it more interesting. I decided to do image-searches and crop things out of the photos in order to just visualize how I wanted the eventual sprites to look. This lead me down a really interesting path. I was hanging out in the IRC and I played ghettoshamrock's game Zyphrandomora http://www.glorioustrainwrecks.com/node/9342 while chatting with them. Seeing that you could put animated .gif into TyranoBuilder was kinda inspiring so I quickly threw something together by using gifcam to capture some of a funny dog faces video on Youtube, taking a photo I had in my personal collection for a background, sampling a bark from an online file using Audacity, and using one of the place-holder sprites that I had already cropped for the Exo fan-game.
The results were very exciting for me. I don't know if I have explained this to y'all, but there is a certain something about a lot of the games on Glorious Trainwrecks that seems to emanate from this community. It's something I have a lot of respect for, but have not yet been able to achieve. I'll go ahead and call Destroy Your Home out because it is probably my favorite example of this quality.
I felt that I achieved the quality I have thus far been envious of with Duchess. That was very exciting for me. Then I decided that I didn't like how it didn't have an ending and the ending turned into a manifesto.
Appropriating images so freely was intoxicating. I fantasized about how I could do this for a while and quickly get results, some of which may be good. I like the look of Duchess. But I am vaguely aware of cultural norms and possible legal concerns in game-development. I'm not hyper aware of them, I just have noticed over the years how sometimes people get super mad and indignant about stolen assets or lack of credit. This is just not a personal concern of mine (having people steal and use my shit is something I WANT to happen). I have a hard time understanding it and to be honest, most of both the legal and taboo aspects of this massively controversial issue seem to be based on double-standards, superstition, and greatly varying amounts of enforcement. So I started a thread about it.
I'm pretty radically liberal on this issue and underestimated how many people are significantly conservative on it. I think that underestimation made my original post appear like an intentional desire to inflame. To be clear, I do feel passionate about appropriation and the constraints of intellectual property-rights (and expectations of them), but I can understand why the original post was so off-putting for some. I started to see that I want to ask people about a bunch of hypothetical situations so that I can suss out what it is that an individual bases their personal feelings on appropriation (mostly image-apropriation). But doing that would make it look like I'm just trying to set up an ad hominem fallacy by making people with opposing views look like hypocrites. Still I want to present the hypotheticals, and a game-form seems appropriate especially since people can do it in privacy and so much of this is about how one personally feels about it. I think of this appropriation-game as something that I can populate with more examples and probably make some much more subtle once I have gathered perspectives on appropriation. It's a work in progresss that will supplement the discussion.
The thread is going well, I think that people are realizing that there is a huge variance in opinion on the subject (myself included) and it is provoking valuable thoughts for me personally. The thoughts being expressed in that thread is having a formative effect on how I see myself as an artist who uses computer-games as a medium. Just this morning I realized that a big part of my emotional reactions in the discussion is the confusion between my personal ethics and the cultural norms. I'm realizing that I do care about cultural norms when I prefer to think that I only care about my personal ethics. Coming to terms with the influence of cultural norms that I don't agree with (and have problems with) on how I go about my creative-process is helpful and empowering. It is orientating to realize that there is a very real boundary that I feel the need to push. I'm not saying that all of my games are going to be about this subject, but some of them will certainly be informed by this experience. A good example of the influence this discussion is having on me is that I found out about reverse image-search and spent an hour drawing pictures just to see what similar ones on the internet would look like. It's super fun.
This morning I started going through my decade and a half of digital photos, looking for assets that I could share with the TyranoBuilder community (which is freaking out because they don't know how to create or find character-sprites that they would be satisfied with (or how to become satisfied with them)). I became excited about how my older cell-phone pictures have certain looks to them. After trying to make a sprite, I realized that the TyranoBuilder community probably wouldn't want to use it, but I would. I can't say what it is that did it exactly, but something about the appropriation-discussion has made me more excited about the images that I create. I think it's that as I'm exploring the threshold and forms of source-material-obscuration the games-culture seems to be permissive of, I'm enjoying the idea of performing those same techniques to my own photos. It's been an interesting week. I'm hoping to get back to my EXO fan-game this week. My break from my break was a great idea though because I ran into some technical problems in TyranoBuilder that I was able to send samples of to the developer, and I am more familiar with the engines idiosyncracies. I'll make the EXO fan-game a goal, but only for direction for the week. I'll probably get distracted again.
Hey guys, it's been a (big) while since i was gone due to a mass of projects i had to do.
After i know the success of Mr. Cat 3, i planned yet another sequel of the series, and it's going to be more tense than you think.
The sequel will be named: Metal Gear Meow: The Mices of Fate...no it won't be another spin-off.
As i was going to say, it's based off Metal Gear Solid, and i might be going to add text to speech voices, just to feel like it.
For now, here's a screenshot above.
So here's a tiny Knytt Stories level I just finished today. It's called House Key and it's a gloomy little number. Won't take long to play; just remember that you can enter doors by pressing down!
I've been out of "work" for so long (4 years), I'm like i'm done looking. I freelance now. I like getting up at 9am, exercise, drink tea, eat a pleasant breakfast, read the paper, then settle into work. I hated the long commutes (I don't own a car) and office politics and getting up early for a job I hate just to pay the bills. Ew. No.
I would tinker on my games as a hobby, now I'm just going to publish them for profit, cos why not. I have fun coding and I don't have to be bothered with other people in a work setting. It annoys me to be interrupted for trivial things.
I finally recovered files after a hard drive crash. Got new computers from china, only for the power supply to burn out. Using an old universal power supply that was for an ibm thinkpad, so yay for that.
Some of my game images went missing, had to redo them. I'm still working on games from 2012.... I have some games that's older than that!! :P I got old QB games I want to clean up for QB64 and get that published. Fun times.
WARNING: The following letter is written in a deliberately inflammatory way! Please do not read if you are pregnant or might become pregnant.
Anyway, I'm doing this thing called Bad Bang, where you have to write the worst fanfic illustrated by the worst drawings. Because this is an exchange type event, you have to write a letter to the person who was assigned to write for you, so they can get a good read on your likes/dislikes? I didn't, though, or at least not for this exchange. Anyway, I figured at least one person would get a kick outta this, so here it is! Made in Twine, natch.
In case this is necessary, here are the fandoms I requested for Bad Bang:
Strong Bad, Strong Sad
Inferno Cop, Hellfire Boy, Mecha Cop
Zone of the Enders series
Green Chomper, Juni
Bruce Wayne, Terry McGinnis
Magus, Frog, Robo
Aaand my vetoes, the all important stuff that the writer can't write for me.
VETOS: noncon/dubcon, underage, explicit sex scenes, incest for Steven Universe.
On the right side is a list of 20-21 games I want to make before August. It's sort of a schedule for myself for when they should come out and how long it should take to make them.
This is also a good opportunity to ask for feedback. I get some comments sometimes on my games, but I was wondering how people thought I was doing. Give me some criticism. Come at me!
I'm not quite sure what's on the right side of the paper. Also, I didn't draw that cat.
So my goal for 2015 is to experiment with character-driven narratives in games, emphasizing romance. Really, I want to make a romance in a game that I can get into. At first I was going to try to do some rapid-prototypes, but I quickly realized that any romance in a single rapid-prototype is going to be trivial and unconvincing. I am a big fan of Korean-drama romantic comedies that follow a 16-episode format. Usually it takes at least 4 episodes (4 hours) for them to manage to make me care about a ship. So I decided to make a larger scope narrative in a game so that a romance could form in context of a larger story. I'm not happy about having to make a larger game, but I do want a believable romance, so I'm doing what I find necessary.
I am using Unity rather than Ren'Py because I like focusing on Unity and C# and there seems to be more potential for gameplay that is not exclusively visual-novel-esque. I don't know what extra gameplay I want to put in, but I like the idea of having some gameplay to break up all the reading. I've spent a lot of time trying to build a system in Unity that would allow me to script the animations and dialogue in a convenient workflow. I basically want to be able to write it as if it was Ren'Py. So for instance, in my StoryScript.cs I can write
Say("Hey there I just came in from the left side of the screen!");
I also included some commands for options that jump to different parts of the dialogue and stuff. I keep thinking that I'm finished with that system, but then I start writing more dialogue and realize that I want to program something else in. The difficulty is largely in programming this stuff that takes simple lines and converts them to various arrays of instructions that are eventually enumerated through during run-time. It is by far the most ambitious programming I have done.
As far as the narrative goes, I'm learning a lot. There are many things I did not consider and trying to create awesome characters is far more involved than I expected. I don't have much finalized, but I have a pretty good idea of how the arcs of 3-5 of my characters will go. I also have a pretty good idea for a main narrative-arc that expresses something that I think other people would benefit from understanding themselves. I'm very excited about how much work I have done in thinking about my characters. When I play a lot of hobbyist games, I often feel that they are lonely or isolating. Even when NPC's exist, I rarely have an opportunity to or interest in getting to know them better. In trying to do it myself, I can see why it is rarely done. In order to have characters that you can get to know, you have to have interesting characters that are interesting to know, and they need to be engaged with the other characters in the world (I'm not doing much of this with emergent systems, I'm doing it with authored narratives). But it is already paying off. Regardless of whether or not I finish this game, it is satisfying to have a roster of interesting characters (that I can call mine) to use in other games and stories. It really is a craft.
I'm going to start my dev-diary here. I'm becoming annoyed with not being able to feel small accomplishments. Part of it is that I'm not keeping track of my progress and part of it is that I haven't been showing any of y'all what I'm working on! BUT I'm not going to concern myself with hiding spoilers, so if you want to be able to play my resulting game in the intended way, don't read this blog. The game's appeal is largely discovering the world and the characters and you can only do that once. There won't be much replay value.
This is a much larger project than I am comfortable with, but I'm going to push until I get something cool or it collapses. One thing I find myself doing is trying to integrate other game ideas I have into this one. The way I do that is this:
-I have an idea in the shower for an awesome concept for a game's story.
-Instead of starting a new game I ask myself if I have a character in *The Witch's Tree* that can express that narrative with their attitude or narrative-arc. If not, I get to make a new character that you may run into!
Thus far, it has worked beautifully.
I'm still unsure how much refinement I'm going to put into the art. Right now, everything is placeholders that I can easily open in Gimp to make further adjustments. So for instance, just this week I decided that the protagonist will be of Peruvian genetic-descent and so I'm going in and changing her skin color. But in doing so, I find myself getting bogged down by whether or not I should go ahead and do something less cartoonish. This is the type of workflow I have.
Usually what will happen is I'll think of a character idea and then try to figure out why they would be going to a magical school of mythical creatures. I'll do some character-sketches and write a sample section of dialogue that gives me a better idea of who this character is and how the interact with the protagonist. Then I'll make a placeholder background and character art to put them into my visual-novel system just so I can see if the dialogue I wrote works well. It usually doesn't, but that's fine because having any dialogue gives me something to mess with and change into something I like.
I'm going to publish some playable builds here as I progress further. Here is the first one.