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Posts relating to Weekly Updates:

4 years ago

Weekly Update

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Hello there. After neglecting game development in general for quite a while, I've finally got back into it and started making good progress on Timid Cervid!

Rather than tediously explaining what I've been doing, I'll show you some screenshots; keep in mind the game is in early development so these don't necessarily reflect the finished work, and there are some really obvious issues and oddities:

I haven't done any tilesets yet, hence the spartan field here! The grass will probably end up being more like the sort I meant to use for Alora Fane, rather than this cartoony style.
This demonstrates the dialogue boxes and dynamic pixelated sprites though, which change based on what you have equipped, as does the animated dialogue portrait.

This shows one of the menus, where you can equip clothes, altering your appearance; it looks much nicer than my other games that had similar features, and the model at the side there changes as you roll over things to equip so you can see what it'll look like before you put it on!
The actual items in the list have bland names at the moment, and they have no little image things; pyjamas are not tablets! They're currently using sprites from an entirely different game that I was working on.
Also, the description for the Pyjama Top is wrong there.
(I feel the need to mention all these little details because otherwise there'll be one totally clever person who'll see the need to point them out, won't there?)

This is an example of a battle, though there's nothing really happening at the moment. The background is very temporary; they will be more detailed eventually.
Battles work similarly to MARDEK, except for the types of skills that you use (things like "Smile" or "Awkward Comment" rather than "Flame" or slashing with a weapon).

I've done most of the mechanical stuff now and should be done with it all by the end of the week... I hope. After that, it'll be all about story, graphics, and music, which I hope will go well, but I make no promises about anything.

On another, unrelated note, I've been learning more about Myers-Briggs types recently, and I feel the need to mention this here because I know I've been biased against certain types in the past, but my new understanding shows me that I shouldn't be... Or at least not in the same way.

I've been learning about 'cognitive functions' in particular!
I've talked about this before, a while back, but I'm only beginning to understand the *importance* of it now, so I'm mentioning it again!

You see, each Myers-Briggs type is represented by four letters... but the first and the fourth don't really *mean* anything by themselves.
For example, "INFJ" doesn't necessarily mean "you are an introvert, intuitive, feely, and judging/organised/whatever". Instead, the letters merely represent an *order* of eight 'functions'.

These 'functions' are divided into Perceiving and Judging groups, each of which has two types of functions, and each of those two has two variants, leading to eight.

Perceiving functions deal with how we take in information, I think (though my understanding is less than crystal clear, so I might be wrong).
They are iNtuition, and Sensing.
Intuition deals with the abstract, while Sensing deals with real things. Sensors tend to be good at taking in and interacting with the environment, or moving their own bodies skillfully, while Intuitives see many possible new ideas... or something.
Each comes in an introverted and extraverted flavour; the introverted ones deal with an inner world, while the extraverted ones deal with the outer world. So you end up with:
Se - Extraverted Sensing
Si - Introverted Sensing
Ne - Extraverted Intuition
Ni - Introverted Intuition

Judging functions deal with how we handle the information that we take in... I think.
They are Thinking and Feeling.
Thinking deals with objective facts, logic, analysis, etc, and Feeling with emotions and subjective opinions. I've talked about these often enough before!
Two versions of each gives:
Te - Extraverted Thinking
Ti - Introverted Thinking
Fe - Extraverted Feeling
Fi - Introverted Feeling

Each combination of four letters refers to an order of these functions. We all have all eight, but generally people have four that are strongest:
The Dominant, which comes extremely naturally to them, as if they were 'born to do' it;
The Auxiliary, which is sort of like the First Officer to the Captain that is the Dominant;
The Tertiary, which is largely subconscious but affects the way the mind works significantly;
The Inferior, which is also subconscious, and which tends to emerge under times of stress.

You can work out the functions of a four-letter type code by doing the following:

If the first letter is an E, then the Dominant is an extraverted function; Te, Ne, Fe or Se. If the first type is an I, then the dominant is an introverted function; Ti, Ni, Fi or Si.

If the *fourth* letter is a P:
...and the first is an E, then the Dominant is the perceiving function of the second letter; Ne or Se, and the Auxiliary is the introverted version of the third letter; Ti or Fi.
...and the first is an I, then the Dominant is the *judging* function of the *third* letter; Fi or Ti, and the Auxiliary is the extraverted version of the second letter; Ne or Se. This is confusing!1

If the *fourth* letter is a J:
...and the first is an E, then the Dominant is the judging function of the second letter; Te or Fe, and the Auxiliary is the introverted version of the second letter; Ni or Si.
...and the first is an I, then the Dominant is the *perceiving* function of the *second* letter; Ni or Si, and the Auxiliary is the extraverted version of the third letter; Te or Fe.

The INFERIOR is the 'opposite' of the dominant. It's in the same judging/perceiving category, but both letters are swapped. The opposite of Si, for example, is Ne, and the opposite of Ni is Se.

The tertiary has the same i/e letter as the dominant, and the first letter is the, uh, one that's not been used yet.

I'd be surprised if you could follow that; I barely could! An example makes it easier.

I'll use my type, INFJ.

It has an I first and a J last, so its DOMINANT function is the INTROVERTED version of the PERCEIVING function; so it's Ni: introverted intuition.

Its other letter is F, and since its AUXILIARY must be EXTRAVERTED, that makes it Fe: Extraverted Feeling.

Its INFERIOR is the opposite of its DOMINANT; the opposite of Ni is Se, so Se is the *fourth* function.

There's no T in there yet, and the tertiary has the same i/e letter as the dominant, so in this case the TERTIARY is Ti.

So you get: Ni - Fe - Ti - Se

The other four (which don't seem to have names?) seem to be the same as those order-wise but with the i/e letters swapped, so the eight that INFJ has are:

Ni - Fe - Ti - Se | Ne - Fi - Te - Si

I think those other four are generally ignored in writings about this kind of thing, though.

Do you follow?!? Of course you don't! Or rather, I'd be surprised if you did, because I barely understand this stuff myself, and I very much doubt that one confusingly-written blog post on a gaming website will allow it all to sink into peoples' minds...

I bring this up though because the way I was seeing the types before, INFJ and INFP seemed very similar to eachother. They only have one letter different, after all, so they must be very similar, right?

Well, let's look at their functions!

INFJ: Ni - Fe - Ti - Se | Ne - Fi - Te - Si

INFP: Fi - Ne - Si - Te | Fe - Ni - Se - Ti

So essentially, just changing that P/J letter changes the functions *drastically*, and INFJs four functions are completely different to the INFP's.
Fi and Fe are very different, you see, and the same goes for all the i/e things.
For example, Fi types might be very deeply emotional, but not really concerned about the emotions of *other people*, and able to independently conquer their own emotions, which they might rarely express, while Fe types might live to make others happy while neglecting their own wellbeing, often needing external help to deal with their own emotions, which they express rather clearly.
(My Fe leads to me 'venting' in order to 'let out' my emotions and to seek 'emotional support' from others, which I need in order to keep those emotions under control. A Fi type wouldn't have this same need; they would mostly keep their emotions inside, and would prefer to deal with them alone.)

It's interesting then to look at INTJ and INTP; the most common types on this site:

INTJ: Ni - Te - Fi - Se
INTP: Ti - Ne - Si - Fe

INTJ is very similar to INFJ, but with very, very important differences! Their Extraverted Thinking is their auxillary function, so they tend to interact with the world in an objective, analytical fashion. They have introverted feeling as their tertiary function, though, so this means that inside they might be very emotional, sensitive; they just don't *show* it, nor do they need external help to handle their emotions, and since the tertiary function is largely subconscious, they might not be really 'aware' of these strong emotions, or might not 'understand' them.
Both INFJ and INTJ share introverted intuition as their dominant function, so they develop ideas in similar ways; they also have extraverted sensing as their inferior function, which can lead to things like getting very stressed by environmental factors like loud noises when they're in a poor mood.

The way I thought of Myers-Briggs before led me to think that INTJs and INTPs had more in common than INFJs and INTJs, but this isn't really the case!
INTP runs on introverted thinking, so it's very big on logic and stuff, but cares less about external evidence, expert opinions, brainstorming, etc than the Te-oriented INTJ. Its Feeling function is all the way at the Inferior end, meaning that they are 'less emotional' than INTJs in some sense, but that they tend to be more emotional when under stress. Their emotions relate to the external world, and are subconscious, so they might have emotional outbursts when under stress without really understanding why, or feeling like it's not their nature to be that way, or they might require the emotional support of others in order to feel better. Or something. I don't understand all this stuff with certainty yet.

Interestingly, a type like ESTP (Se - Ti - Fe - Ni) has the same functions as INFJ, just in a different order, despite having the opposite letters, so *supposedly* they can get along well with eachother.
A similar type for INTJ would be ESFP (Se - Fi - Te - Ni), who, despite being extroverts with a F in their type, are emotional internally, but use the extraverted thinking that INTJs use.
That also means that perhaps ESTPs would be more 'feely' and compassionate to others than ESFPs, oddly enough! Or maybe not. I don't know.

Anyway, I found this rather fascinating, so I present it here in case anyone else would get anything out of it!

I read about it when I started wondering whether my type was INFP instead of INFJ... o_O
I know now that it's not, but reading about the functions in isolation made me wonder, because I could relate strongly to Fi, which INFJ doesn't have in its first four functions, but INFP runs on it.

Reading the INFJ and INFP descriptions on this site made me certain I'm INFJ though: ∞ LINK ∞

I strongly recommend reading about your own type on that site; it's very enlightening and useful, and perhaps the best description of each type I've found so far!

Speaking of INTJs, Captain Jean-Luc Picard is a good example of one of those! I also painted a picture of him today. Here it is, to take the edge of all the Myers-Briggs rambling:

4 years ago

Weekly Update

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
I haven't been working on Miasmon recently, I'm sorry to say. I found that I was just completely burned out from working on it for so long, and had no passion about it... Having to do animations for all the monsters was a pain, too, especially since Flash was coming up with those frustrating animation problems.

My new computer will supposedly arrive by the 21st (pfft, I was hoping when I ordered it WEEKS ago that I'd have it within days), so I'm hoping that when it does, my work will feel very much refreshed. It'll be so nice to use a computer that doesn't lag and stall constantly, and if Flash can export in less than the two minutes it takes at the moment (which doesn't sound like very long, but I need to sit there twiddling my thumbs for two minutes every time I want to test some minor addition to the code), then that'll make working on games a lot more joyous than it is currently.

In order to not just be completely wasting time until it arrives, I've actually started work on another game. I thought I might as well do that rather than nothing.

I lack passion at the moment about Miasmon, partly because I have to do so very many monsters, but also because I feel nothing much at all for the characters. When the cast is bland, writing the story doesn't come easily... but I'm stuck with the characters now and despite trying hard to tweak them to make them more appealing through various quirks, I just can't feel *excited* by them. Especially since you necessarily have to wander around alone all the time, so any plot events have to use contrived reasons to bring all the key players together in one place. It's much easier with RPGs where you have a party trailing behind you, because they're always there when they need to be without making excuses as to why.

A few months ago, I secretly started working on an RPG sequel to Clarence's Big Chance. I found the concept hilarious, especially since the battles weren't based around violence; they used the same mechanical concepts - hit points, skills that deal damage, turns, etc - but rather than representing bloodshed and spell flinging, they represented *social interactions*.

I'd been wanting to do a non-violent RPG for ages, because it really bothers me how when I complain about violent games, people can fairly say "but you make games with violence in them!!"
Since Clarence is a socially incompetent oaf, and the game would be a comedy, it seemed to fit.

Rather than having HP, characters would have 'willpower' instead, and rather than having elemental skills like fire, water, etc, each skill would have an emotional 'flavour' like 'happy', 'angry', 'friendly', 'disgusting', and so on. Characters and enemies would have weaknesses and resistances to these like creatures do to elements in MARDEK; a wandering Thug might shrug off your angry tirade, but if a female character winked sexily at him, he'd fall apart.
Skills themselves would have names like 'Smile' or 'Jiggle' or 'Insult'.
And rather than having stats like 'strength' and 'spirit' and 'speed', characters would have 'Charisma' (to determine the power of positive, friendly skills), 'Obnoxiousness' (to determine the power of negative, annoying skills), and 'Perkiness' (speed).
Clarence would have terrible charisma but very high obnoxiousness, of course.

It was really absurd, and I thought it was great. I'd done all the necessary planning, written the whole plot, and coded the whole engine (being able to base it on the 'VersaTile' engine I built specifically to be reusable sped up development by weeks).
It was coming along great... until I hit a wall when it came to making graphics. Tilesets and things. It's set in the modern day, of course, like CBC, and apparently I've never done a modern city tileset before! Trying to make one was draining because I'm a perfectionist... The plot itself was a bit of a bother too, because while I thought it was very silly and amusing, it was based entirely around amoral, selfish actions, which I felt was fitting for someone like Clarence. All the characters who joined you were nasty people in their own ways.
I got tired and returned to Miasmon about two weeks after starting on this new game. That was a few months ago. I didn't mention it because I didn't know if I'd go anywhere with it, but felt the need to at least try.

I do want to finish it! Because I do think it'd be received well, for humour alone if nothing else. Though I'm not going to work on it at the moment or anything...

I've been drawing a lot recently, and getting into things I've never done before, like anthros (if you don't know what they are - and I don't know whether to assume everyone would or not - they're basically animal people; furries), which is interesting. I'm learning a lot and developing skills that have been stagnating for years.
While drawing, and while longing lonelily for emotional satisfaction that I wish I had, I came up with another idea for a game with a very similar system to the Clarence RPG thing, but with a much nicer, gentler feel to it.

It's similar to Alora Fane in that it's based around my own personal emotional issues in some way; this makes it emotionally satisfying to work on, because the whole point of doing creative work as an ~artist~ is self expression, and this is a great way to go about it.

The protagonist is a female deer girl anthro thing in a world full of other deer people; she goes to a school of sorts, actually. She's really shy, though, and every social encounter with a stranger is like a TERRIBLE BATTLE to be endured until it's over; I found this an amusing metaphor for neurotic introversion, or social anxiety in particular. My hope is that it'll really speak to people like me because of that.
The plot is very short and narrow in scope; it spans a single day, during which you have to prepare for some big exam sort of thing which involves talking to people around the school. Which of course is difficult! And emotional stuff comes up along the way, etc.

I've written pages and pages of planning about it, but I won't go into any detail just yet. I can't promise that I'll finish it, but so far I'm taking a very different approach towards making it that I'm *hoping* will be successful.
Usually I get stuck on graphics, you see, but I'm using a new mentality about art which allows me to climb over these walls when I come to them rather than just feeling defeated.

While no doubt the majority of its audience will end up being the usual thinky teenage boys, as is always the case with any game (especially 'Barbie's Fashion Show 3'), I'm hoping that the feel, the setting, the characters (female protagonist, heavy focus on emotion, all without being 'pink and girly'), will all appeal to a certain audience that I *want* to attract, so it's emotionally satisfying to think of using it as a 'lure' in that way. Thinking that if I finish and release it, I might have a greater chance of finding what I'm looking for.
Oh, and if anyone feels the need to tell me that I *won't* find what I'm looking for by doing this, then I'd like to please ask you to jump out of a window instead of saying that. Thank you. It'd only harm my motivation and frustrate me. Please don't. I bet someone does anyway though. Ugh. It'll still be frustrating if you try to joke about it.

I'm not artificially making the game specifically to try and attract a certain audience though, like some creep. Instead, I'm pouring almost everything I really like into it, so it'll very much be based around things that are deeply appealing to *me*.

Another thing about this game is that I'm *minimising resources*. MARDEK took years to make because it had a huge cast and a huge world, and its plot spans many chapters. Miasmon is taking too long because of all the monsters that I have to make, and it too spans several chapters, which makes me feel like I need to plan three games before finishing the first to make sure they work well together. Clarence RPG was on a smaller scale, with a cast of 6 (or 7 including the villain), but it had a somewhat lengthy plot.

This game doesn't have varied monsters or anything; instead, your characters are all these deer anthro people (who I'm calling 'cervids'), and so are almost all of the enemies. Their clothing can change, like in Deliverance, so it's easy to create variety. I just need to draw and animate two base models - a male and a female - and then drawing clothes onto them would be easy. It feels wonderful to think that I might be able to do almost all the work for battle graphics in one afternoon!

The cast is 4 characters - narrowing it down even further from Clarence RPG - and as I said, the game spans only a day, so its plot is short. It doesn't expand into other chapters, either, and is very personal rather than a 'SAVE THE WORLD!!' plot.
It's also set in a fantasy world, which I'm more familiar with making the graphics and music of than I am with a modern setting for Clarence RPG, and the characters are all based on archetypes that are close to my heart and which are specifically designed to be really easy to write for.

So all of these things have been planned to make it easy to finish.

I've stolen Clarence RPG's code and adapted it for this game; most of the engine is done now after like two days of work (I've been working on it for longer than that, but mainly just doing art to plan the graphics, and writing down plans for the plot, setting, characters, mechanics, etc).
So that's promising!

I know that the idea of me working on *something else* is not the nicest news in the world, especially if the game is going to be self-indulgent feely drivel (WHICH IT IS), but I'd rather do this than nothing, and *feel* like I need to make a game like this at this point in my life in order to feel emotionally satisfied.

I wasn't going to tell any of you about this until I'd done more work on it... But I have anyway. I suppose it's a way of saying "I am actually doing something!"

Once it's done, I'll return to either Miasmon, Clarence RPG, or even MARDEK 4 if I feel up to it. We'll see!

Oh, and it's called 'Timid Cervid', by the way, at least for now. I might change the name later.

...I'd also like to ask anyone who's planning to reply to this by brutally expressing their distaste at my choices or my idea to defenestrate themselves too. Thank you.
I am seriously thinking about banning people who reply in an unproductively hurtful manner.
4 years ago

Weekly Update

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Weekly Updates
I haven't done any work on Miasmon this week, either.

I do have some other idea, but nobody will like it so I won't talk about it yet.

Also, I'm scared to read comments in my inbox here.

(EDIT: It is the insensitive criticisms and objective analyses of my emotional expression and the way I handle my personal problems, as well a the unwanted advice, that make me scared of reading my messages, not the fact that people are hounding me to finish things.)