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Posts relating to Miasmon :

5 years ago

Animated Miasmon (edit 1)

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Art FlashGame DesignMiasmon
I've been playing Pokemon Black 2 lately, since I did eventually acquire it. It was Pokemon Black Version that inspired the start of Miasmon, and I hope the sequel can inspire me to complete it.

Annoyingly, though, seeing the fancy animations in this Pokemon game (which aren't exactly new since Black had them too, but still) has made me feel that the static monster sprites in Miasmon are so flat and lifeless in comparison.

Out of curiosity, I tried animating one of the monsters - Gruul - in vector form to see how it'd look, and to learn how long it'd take... and I was rather pleased with the results! In fact, now that I've seen this, it feels very difficult to want to keep the pixel sprites.

So I think that I may indeed try to convert the existing pixelated battle graphics to vectors, like this!
It'll be a refreshing change that'll no doubt re-motivate me to work on the game... and it'll look much better, too, I hope.
The non-battle graphics won't change, and battles will still use pixelated GUI stuff. It's sort of like how DS games have 3D graphics, but pixelated menus and stuff!

It may take some time to convert the current sprites, but it seems that making one of these animations takes just as long as making a pixel sprite; it might actually be quicker! So if I need to add new monsters - and I still need to add many - then this method seems a good one.

Unfortunately though, I've been having some really frustrating problems with Flash's new-fangled motion tweens, which replace the ones that I've been familiar with for years. It's still possible to use the old "Classic Tweens", but I can see the benefits of this new one and feel I should get used to it. I felt this years ago though, when trying to make Chimaera, but just became too frustrated with it because it seems so... fickle. Unreliable.
Each keyframe now stores transform methods like movement, rotation, scaling, etc separately from the rest, which causes tremendous pain when I want them all to be stored together. It's possible to create keyframes with all transform states set (by pressing F6), but even then, it seems that sometimes (and only sometimes, seemingly at random) when I rotate a MovieClip on one frame, when I release the mouse it suddenly jumps a few pixels up and to the right... And if I drag it back into place, it alters the location of that MovieClip on previous keyframes! So frustrating!

If you have direct experience with Flash CS5 and the problem that I'm attempting to describe, and understand and managed to solve it, I'd be very interested in hearing from you.
If however you've never used this specific version of Flash or encountered this specific problem, then I don't want to hear your 'I reckon' or 'have you tried' sorts of 'help', because it's condescending and not at all helpful when you assume that I haven't thought of something that even someone completely inexperienced would think of without any effort.
"I've never used whatever you're talking about, but have you tried [something really, really obvious]? How about switching to another program entirely? Hope this helps."

ANYWAY, look! Animated monsters!1

(They seem to display at a weird size here, making the pixel sprites beside them look really unpleasant... I might try looking into that.)

Edit: Another one:

This animating problem seems to be getting worse though. I'll show you what's happening; I bet it'll totally be understandable!1
Each of these models is made of various parts on different layers. For example, here, the feather on top of the Meep's head is selected: ∞ Fig Hunter ∞
I want to rotate it slightly - very slightly - so I do so using the Free Transform tool... and this happens instantly: ∞ Fig Hunter ∞
Not only has it jumped to entirely the wrong position (I didn't nudge it at all; I only tried to rotate it), but it's also apparently messed up essentially all the other keyframes in the animation, as you can see from the significantly different X, Y, rotation graph things in the Motion Editor at the bottom.
It makes no sense at all. If I try to do the rotation using the Motion Editor - by dragging a little node on the graph - then it works! So why would the Free Transform tool mess it up so very badly?!?
5 years ago

Various Things

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Halcyon DreamsMiasmon Personal
I have a few things that I want to talk about here; some personal, some relating to creative things.

It's really nice to see that for all the criticism I feel I've been getting lately (I say it like that - "I feel I've been getting" - because I know that it's often not meant horribly at all and I 'overreact'), I've got emails and private messages and things like that from quite a few people, either thanking me for producing work that has had an impact on them, or generally wishing me well and telling me that they're supportive of me, or even offering their hand in friendship.

I feel very grateful of these things, and want to thank everyone who's offered their support in this way! It does make me feel less like everyone's against me, and I do feel better as a result. It's lovely knowing that there are nice people in the world who'll do things like this... Sometimes I forget that.

One thing that I want to mention though is, uh... Well, it's something that I feel really bad about, and I've probably talked about it before, but not everyone would have seen that since it was a while ago.
I mentioned that I have no friends in a recent blog post... which is true. I don't. I have no 'life' to speak of, and I lost any in-person friends that I had when I moved from Australia to Wales about five years ago. My best friend, who was also my girlfriend, has grown distant (I don't really want to talk about this in any detail at all or to hear comments about it), which has been a hard blow to bear, so there's that, too. I have various online acquaintances, but don't talk to them directly; I just recognise them from their comments on my stuff here or on my private introvert site thing.

The main reason that I don't have Friends though is because I'm really picky. All my life, all my friends have been male (except my girlfriend, who I was rarely able to meet due to living in different countries, and a small number of people I've talked to online but never met). Almost all the people here are male, too. I have nothing against males, objectively speaking (I am one, after all)... but I have personally grown frustrated - sexually frustrated in part, no doubt - by the fact that my life is so lacking in female companions and stuff.
I've used the example before of someone growing up in a library, who does love books... but all their friends have video game consoles and they're really, really interested to try one, but can't afford one. If someone were to try and cheer them up by offering to buy them a book, it probably wouldn't work; they don't hate books at all, but they're so familiar with them and it wouldn't satisfy their longing for this new and different thing. Or something. If anything it might just remind them of how books are all they can seem to get.

I find friends generally draining... I was the sort of person who would dread my (all male) real life friends contacting me to 'do stuff' on weekends, preferring instead to sit inside learning how to make games, and I never went to parties or made the first move to contact people or anything like that.
It's because I crave the ability to really strongly relate to people, rather than just having 'anyone' to talk to or do things with. And if I feel I can't really relate to someone on a deep emotional level, they're likely to be an extra worry rather than a mood booster... even if they mean well. It sounds horrible, and I mean no offence by it; I suppose it's just hard to explain.
I suppose I'd also prefer someone I could 'flirt' with in some way... which I would not want to do with a male.
Wouldn't it make you feel happier to hear "I find you really interesting" from the opposite sex rather than someone of your own sex? o_O

Age and nationality are usually factors too... Many of the people who wish to be my friend are American and usually around a decade younger than me, and the cultural and generation gaps would be too unpleasant for me... It might give a young person an ego boost of a sort to think that they'd be talking with this 24-year-old games developer that they respect, but I can't say that I'd get the same ego boost from talking to some 15- or 16-year-old stranger... It feels embarrassing, as it might if your only friends were half your age or something. Young people have less experience, different life issues, often focused around school, which I no longer go to.
Would you wish to become close friends with someone 8 or 9 or 10 years younger than yourself from the opposite side of the planet? o_O

Anyway, my point is that many people have offered to be my friend over the years, but I invariably turn them down because they're almost always young males, usually teenagers... I appreciate their offer - I really do! - but I don't want to take them up on it because it'd be an emotional drain for me, even if they have a very similar personality to my own. I feel so bad about that and don't want to hurt or reject anyone heartlessly... which is why I've tried to explain it in so much detail. I'm really sorry...

"But Pseudo, you can meet people through people, so even if you make male friends, you might meet girls through them" is something that I hear a lot. It'd take too long to explain in detail why that's not appealing to me, but basically it's the 'emotional drain' thing.

On another note, I've been trying to work on this webcomic thing that I mentioned before. I've planned and made mock-ups of 7 pages so far... and none of them are funny! o_O

It seems that webcomics come in two main flavours, with many exceptions, but these are what I notice usually:
"gag a day" comics, which have a row of panels and a punchline at the end, usually with minimal action and a caricatured cast and 'zany antics';
and "arty" comics, which are more cinematic, have less dialogue, aren't necessarily funny, and can spend two or three pages on a character drinking a cup of tea from various extreme angles and so on. They tend to be in a taller-than-it-is-wide sort of format, often with freeform panels rather than a set template.

My own comic - which is called "Halcyon Dreams" - is tending towards the 'arty' form, though I don't actually have the art skills to pull it off very impressively, at least at the start, though the reason I'm making it at all is to improve my art (which I know isn't bad, but I also know - objectively - that it is not as good as the work of others and I know what I can and cannot do), so it should start looking better over time.

It tells a story, and delves deeply into personalities... The main character is a girl who has a personality and life situation very similar to my own - I am writing what I know and using this as a way of expressing my own thoughts and feelings artistically - and the first four pages have quite a bit of text showing her internal thoughts.
On page 7, though, she's warped away to a strange alien world, and soon develops the ability to shapeshift into animal forms and cast magic. She meets some big tough warrior guy, and ends up travelling around with him for various reasons; much of the early plot and scenes would be them essentially getting to know eachother and realising how different they are, so it'd be more about exploring personality differences than about events or 'zany antics'.
Maybe this will be disappointing to some people, but then again it might be particularly appealing to others. It only stands to reason though that I would write about something I'm passionate about.

I have drawn rough, rough mock-ups of the first 7 pages, as I said, but I need to reread and revise THE HELL OUT OF THEM before I'm satisfied enough to draw and colour them properly... I don't know how long that will take.

Hmm... I wasn't going to do this for fear of criticism or misinterpretation, but oh, I might as well. Here's the rough, rough mock-up of the first page:

It's very scratchy and crude and lays out the parts where they might go, but it's only an idea; the finished version would have much neater text boxes, revised wording, and much better drawings. It'll be fully coloured too.
I only show this here as an example of what to expect. I know that my games have been funny, and I will be injecting that humour into this comic as it comes to me, but I won't be forcing myself to make it amusing or to give every strip a punchline. Much of it may even be angsty melancholy sort of drivel that appeals to me as an emotional and moody person. We'll see.

I have been worrying about my 'reputation' recently, especially considering how I handled recent events.

I hear about certain website owners, webcomic makers, and other people who gain fanbases getting ripped to shreds by haters behind their backs for their personality flaws or the ways in which they handle things ("he bans anyone who criticises him", "he has an overinflated ego", "he's a paedophile", etc).
Tim Buckley of Ctrl+Alt+Delete comes to mind... I've heard that he's not a very nice person at all.

I worry a lot about becoming one of these people who others love to hate... Who has enough that's obnoxious about me to spawn forum threads talking about how horrible I am, what a flawed excuse for a human being I am, and so on and so forth. About how only my 'fanboys' defend me, while anyone sane wouldn't dare go near me, instead preferring to mock from a distance.
I imagine that some people already have such conversations about me... and it's a painful thought, though I have only myself to blame.

I don't want to be the sort of person who bans people for criticising me, or who seems to have a huge ego or severe problems or things like that... Maybe I should be aware of this and try my best to improve how I interact with this site. It is emotionally taxing... but as much as this site drains me, it's not fair to take it out on others.

Finally, I should be getting Pokemon Black 2 today... hopefully. It's not arrived yet though, which is worrying. Irritatingly, Americaland got it days earlier (even though I seem to remember Europe getting Black and White versions earlier), so I've been having to wait for several days for it. Grr.

I don't want to hear or talk about it or anything - I'm ultra-sensitive to spoilers, you see, and the less I know about a game, the more I enjoy it (I've been avoiding looking at the telly when adverts for it are shown!) - but I mention this because I'm hoping that it'll renew my interest in Miasmon, which I've been struggling to make progress with lately due to general lack of passion.
It was Pokemon Black Version that made me start on Miasmon in the first place, so maybe Black 2 will be the thing that makes me finish it.

To be clear: please don't even mention Pokemon in your replies!! I want to know absolutely nothing about it, even your vague impressions of it. Just hearing that people have it when I don't yet is annoying, actually.

So yes. Thoughts. Understanding - rather than harsh opinions delivered as if they're objective facts - would be appreciated.
5 years ago

Weekly Update

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Yes, this is one of those Weekly Updates that I write every week without fail, weekly. Indeed.

Anyway, you may be relieved to hear that I'm finally making good progress on Miasmon again!1 Hooray and so on.

I've been wanting to rewrite the plot for a while, and was struggling with it due to general lack of motivation and life distractions... I'd written a new plot idea, but was reluctant to start working on adding it to the actual game until I'd planned every event for all three chapters in detail, which was proving tedious and irritating.
I've only planned chapter 1 at the moment, but I have a vague idea of what will happen in the other two chapters, and I'll write their plots in more detail when I get around to making them.

It is annoying, writing plots for games, because, well, coming up with the 'big picture' is easy, at least for me - something like "you are archaeologists trying to discover what fractured Fracture; your character comes from an off-world colony to join the Daring Delvers; along the way, X and Y happen and your characters learn Z - but the difficulty comes in converting it into little steps, individual events, excuses to go into dungeons, that kind of thing. Choosing the exact words that will be used, choreographing each 'cutscene' thing... It's things like that that delay me.

But I'm getting there now! It shouldn't take all that long, I hope, to reach the end, now, and I'm glad that I did this 'rewrite' because the plot is certainly better off for it.

I've also been adding new monsters to the game in the delay, so that's a good thing too, as it'll give people more to play around with.

On a personal note - which might make some of you "I'm just here for your games" people groan and throw your monitor at the wall - I mentioned going to an art course thing a while ago. Annoyingly, I'm no longer going to that; I dropped out after basically the first class. The reason for this was that I didn't fit in; all the others in the group were middle-aged or older women who had no art skills. So much for finding friends.
At least it'll give me more time for game development. Oh joy.

Now I'm still struggling with loneliness; I just hope that it doesn't get in the way of my game development too much.

(Hmm, I should add a request thing at the bottom of all my posts saying "giving me advice or trying to come up with 'solutions' to my problems is no way to help me"... says I, in anticipation.)

Another thing is that I'm thinking about doing something with Fig Hunter in the coming weeks. Miasmon is my priority now, so I won't be doing it just yet, but this site is toxic to me - something I've made clear before - and that's just not right. The home that I built for myself online shouldn't be a place that I'm scared to visit.

I very much dislike the judgemental, 'thinky', pretentious atmosphere that the place has. Most of it is my own fault; I did include all these systems like orbs, blurbs, FLIGS, etc, in order to encourage positive contributions and discourage negative ones, but they likely scare away the sensitive types that I'm eager to meet while giving the sorts of people I don't like a reason to feel superior to others or to be hurtful, and things like that. It's essentially a system based around 'constructive criticism', which I hate.
I'm also not fond of the dank and dismal 'basement' feeling that the colours here give.

If I were to remake things... I'd probably use brighter shades of the same colours (that is, a brown which is more like aged paper rather than this deep chocolate sort of thing, and purples that match), and I'd get rid of many of the things like orbs, blurbs, FLIGS... and I'd replace them with systems that encourage, but don't discourage. For example, a system like FLIGS, but with only positives, and an option to mark comments as 'abusive', which would serve as the negative version... or something.

I haven't got anything planned in detail, so please don't ask me about things as if I have. At the moment, it's just a vague, wispy desire for change, to make this place more accommodating for my own sensitive, feely nature and others like me.

I imagine that the demographics and general attitude wouldn't change drastically if I were to make these changes since most gamers are young males... but I do know from first-hand experience that two gentle girls that I admire for their personalities have told me that they don't like posting here because of how it feels, how it works, etc, so I do know that the site as it is now is scaring away the sorts of people I'd most like to meet.

I want the site to be a nice place to visit once I've released Miasmon, so maybe I'll try making at least *some* of these changes between now and then. I don't know.

It wouldn't surprise me to hear that some people would be resistant to this, and prefer things the way they are, but what are they going to do, argue with me that this place should be more like they want and less like I want?

I feel like the site as it is represents and appeals to a stage of my life that I've grown out of now... and like I need to change it to really develop further.