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Posts relating to Progress Reports:

5 years ago

What I've Been Up To

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Progress Reports
I think it's been a while since I last talked about my games, so I'll do that here, sort of!

I've been occupied over the last few weeks with applying to university, for a 'Game Art' course thing which I think will be very useful for me. It'll allow me to hone my game-making skills and art, I hope, as well as giving me the opportunity to finally meet some people who are interested in the kind of stuff that I am... hopefully. It'd be wonderful if I could even meet some people there who I could work together with, allowing me to produce things much, much quicker! Probably.

Because of that, I've not done a whole lot of work on games, I'm sorry to say. Mostly I've been working away at 'DreamQuest' and Miasmon (the newest version of that, which is set in the Alora Fane world), and while they're coming along nicely enough, I'm still trying to decide what to do about releasing and marketing them. I hate that part! I love MAKING things, but when it comes to actually trying to get money for them, well... If only it were as simple as finishing something then clicking a 'make money from this equal to the effort you put in!' button. Yes, I think I'm being realistic and pragmatic there.

Hmm, I thought I'd have more to say, but I suppose there isn't anything else! I'm hoping that once the university stuff is sorted out (whether I get in or not), then I'll get back on track again. SO MUCH HOPE.
5 years ago


◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
I think that I might start using this thing for just game development reports from now on! I shall now write about what I'm currently up to.

I've started lots of games over the last year or two or three or whatever, which isn't really the best idea, but maybe I'll finish one one day!! Maybe!! There's hope!!!

Currently, the ones that I consider 'in progress' are:

CLARENCE RPG, which is taking a back seat at the moment. I'm trying to write the entire script, but it's taking time because I want to actually make it funny, and it's not always easy to be funny if you're not in the right state of mind. It's not exactly near completion!

I don't really have any new images of this since the last time I showed it, since I've just been doing writing!

MIASMON, which used to be a top-down game, then I started work on the side-scrolling Beast Signer spiritual successor called Programon, THEN I combined the two so now 'Miasmon' refers to what will be an ongoing side-scrolling monster-catching RPG thing, with updates every week or something. Ideally.

I've done a lot of work on it, but I'm currently buggering around with other stuff and rethinking the plot and setting...

YOU SEE, I'm currently building this world called 'Alora Fane'... which in many ways is based on the game with that name which I was working on a while back, but which I, in typical form, never actually finished.

Essentially, Alora Fane as a world is a conglomeration of many ideas I've had and liked, but which never made it into full, finished games.
It's bothered me for a while how I set each new game I make in a different world... I mean, they're *sort of* related in that they're based in the 'Astrostles Galaxy', but that's a really wide scope so there's not exactly a lot of crossover. Arkus is unlikely to meet Mardek, for example, and then there's Clarence which probably is in its own silly universe.

The general idea behind Alora Fane is that it's a world in a 'pocket dimension' created by a race of magical aliens called the 'Aolmna'.
They're a hive mind, and so they've never known conflict; what one individual feels, they all feel, so they only know cooperation and never war.
They see other races wiping themselves out through senseless combat, and they FEEL SADDENED by this... so they try to solve the problem in their own special way.
They gather up genetic information of various warmongering races, and use that DNA to create 'children' of those races... who they plonk in artificial worlds that they call 'fanes'. They call those races the 'Barbari'.
These worlds are divided into several 'petals' - one for each race held in that fane, with the environment being the ideal for that race's specific needs and desires - surrounding a central multicultural city called the 'Nexus'. Each race is expected to stay in its own petal until it reaches adulthood... during which time each individual is taught spiritually in the ways of what the Aolmna call 'unisis'. It's basically just empathy, stressing that anything done to another is effectively the same as doing it to yourself, so BE GOOD and DON'T HARM. The 'gods' - the Aolmna - aren't distant myths like Earth gods are; they actually directly interact with their Barbari 'children' and teach them what needs to be taught.

Alora Fane is one of many fanes... and it was originally home to six Barbari races: Bold, Meek, Mhandisi, Sindrels, Varnyn and Elarna. I've mentioned all of these before!
The Elarna developed technology that could capture and train monsters (the gauntlets), and were by far the hardest race for the Aolmna to 'educate' due to their destructive tendencies. Eventually, they did some terrible thing that completely shattered their entire petal, wiped them out, and sent the entire fane tumbling away from the gods and away from the universe.
Hundreds of years have passed since then, and many of the Barbari have reverted to their barbaric tendencies. Some races remember the unisis concept and the Aolmna, but it's now seen as an old religion, which many don't believe.

This is a concept that appeals to me, because for one thing, it's a world essentially based around empathy! It also has a variety of races rather than just being white humans all the time... and I'm able to implement many ideas I've previously been working on; the ruined wasteland that was once the petal of the Elarna is Fracture, for example.

So I'm basing games in that world at the moment. Not ALL of my games will be based there - Clarence and MARDEK won't, for example - but I might adapt some other old game concepts to fit in this new world.

Miasmon is set there, of course, and you'll be able to play as any of those five Barbari races as you explore the ruins of Fracture.

Another notable thing about Alora Fane is the ELEMENTS that it uses! My games like MARDEK used fairly standard things like fire, water, air, earth, light and dark, as well as the more idiosyncratic aether and fig elements.
Alora Fane's elements are based on EMOTIONS, however.

Monsters form from the miasma, you see... this is something that's been established since MARDEK, and it's true for Alora Fane too. Essentially they're caused by strong feelings agitating the omnipresent miasma; if someone fears wolves a lot, then a snarling wolf monster might appear from thin air before them, for example. 'Species' form when thoughts occur a lot and form natural vortices or 'patterns' that the miasma more easily manifests as. Different feelings affect the miasma in different 'elemental' ways.

Magic, then, rather than simply being "magic because it's magic", without explanation, is similar; mages essentially amplify their own emotions to the degree that the miasma takes on their form; they might feel a deep surge of sorrow, for example, which might make the miasma form into a brief eruption of pure 'sorrow' energy. Emotionally sensitive people make the best spellcasters in this world, because their emotions are stronger and more easily triggered.

The six elements - or 'sentiments' - are Courage, Fear, Bliss, Destruction, Creation, and Sorrow, with each one of those being strong against the next one in the list (Courage beats Fear, Sorrow beats Courage, etc). So a person might be 'Courage elemental' rather than 'Fire elemental'!

I'm rather pleased with this system, since it's relatively novel and allows me to focus things around EMOTIONS, which is meaningful to me anyway.

Oh, and each of Alora Fane's races is associated with one of those sentiments. The Bold are Courage (they're a race of gutsy fighters), the Meek are Bliss (they're a race of gentle priests), the Mhandisi are Creation (they're gadgeteers who live in a steampunk city), the Varnyn are Fear (they're lupine lawless thieves who lurk in the shadows), the Sindrels are Sorrow (they're toga-wearing moody reptilian artists who live in ivory towers amongst crystal cliffs) and the extinct Elarna were Destruction (which is WHY they're extinct).

DREAMQUEST - I haven't decided on the name of this game yet, but it's the one that I'm currently devoting the most attention to.

It's mainly a map editor of sorts, similar in concept to the 'FHO' thing I've been planning for years. It's set in Alora Fane - or rather, it includes the five Barbari races and the six sentiments and such - but you're able to make your own 'quest' things which you could share with others.

It would have many limitations! It would NOT be suited for essentially 'making your own games', or for making grand, epic, hours-spanning adventures full of complex twists and turns. It'd be simpler than that, and more suited towards making short, possibly amusing quests instead. It's more like a 'level editor' than a 'game maker'.
I'm hoping that it'll be a lot of fun to play around with, though.

Here are ten screenshots of it!!1

As you can see, there are things that aren't done yet - the battles take place in a brown void, for example - but there's also a lot that IS done, and I've only been working on it for about a month (which also includes time spent doing other stuff like TRYING TO SORT MY LIFE OUT and so on).
Mostly what's missing are art assets, like music and many graphics, which I'm working on slowly but steadily.
Here's the Main Theme, for example!1 ∞ Fig Hunter ∞

So yes, as you can see, I'M NOT DEAD, and while I've STILL not released anything in ages, I'm getting a lot closer to that point and seem to have a better idea of the direction I want to go in now. Things look hopeful!
5 years ago


◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Oh, sorry, I've been avoiding this place recently, so I keep forgetting to add Weekly Updates.

I've been doing more work on Programon, but I've also resumed work on the RPG sequel to Clarence's Big Chance. Working on two games at the same time seems to be working well enough, because when I lose the motivation to do work on one, I can switch to the other for a short while, and I end up juggling them between days like that and getting more done than I would if I just spent that 'developer block' time procrastinating and praying to my heathen gods for some kind of magical motivation boost.

Clarence RPG is fun to work on because it's a pure comedy game, so I can just be silly without worrying about too much really making all that much sense. Rather than rambling on about it, I'll show you a dozen screenshots:

I've also been doing concept art for Programon... I can't remember whether I've mentioned this or not already, but you can make your trainer one of five different races. It's a purely cosmetic choice, because your trainer probably won't DO anything (or if they do, your race won't be a factor), but I thought it'd be a nice bit of customisation for players to enjoy.

Here are five sketchy drawings of the as-of-yet-unnamed races:

So yes! Screenshots. Progress. I'm still alive, and so on.