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Posts relating to Alora Fane:

4 years ago

AFC Progress!!

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
I've been neglecting this place recently due to schoolwork, real life concerns and the drama that seems to have been going on here, but I am posting now to show that I've not abandoned the place or anything!

I also have some news relating to my frustratingly delayed games that I still totally make!!

I mostly finished what's now called 'Alora Fane: Creation' months ago, but I've been held back by the story since then; I've written about this before, I think. However! I've now FINALLY decided on enough details to start work on the plot properly, and since all the resources already exist, it's merely a matter of assembling them into something playable. By which I mean that a release is HOPEFULLY close!

It's a shame to think that the community and renown I'd built up following MARDEK has become so fractured and dramatic over the last few years, due to my own personal problems, the shifting attitudes of the site, and the fact that I've gone so long without producing any games... I took about this long between MARDEK 2 and 3, but I think I actually TALKED about games during that time, whereas I've said little here about my development recently despite the fact that it's been very much happening.

I'm thinking about changing that... Perhaps I'll write in depth about the process of development, and the frustrations and challenges that need to be overcome and such, which would of course include showing off finished assets or at least hints of what's to come.

I'd like to write about my work like that, and if people would find it worthwhile, I'll certainly give it some thought. I make no promises however, since I don't know whether I can spare the time, what with all my schoolwork and real life concerns and game-making and such!
4 years ago

About Alora Fane

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
I've not updated this in a while because I've been busy with university stuff, but now that the term's basically almost over (or I've at least just handed in the last bit of work that I needed to worry about), I have more time to myself and will spend some of it explaining my current plans and progress here!

A recent incident made me aware that I might not have explained the whole Alora Fane concept properly here... so I'm going to try to do that as thoroughly as I can.

Essentially, Alora Fane is a fantasy world setting, of course, and a website that's roughly based around that setting. It revolves around six races and six 'sentiments' that are used instead of elements. You may already know this!

The website will hopefully, HOPEFULLY have different values to what this one has always had, and as such, not everyone from here will be allowed to join there... I'm really sorry about that, but I'd rather not go mad from frustration, if it's all the same to you.

I've currently got two or three or two-and-a-half or whatever games set in the Alora Fane world.

One used to be called DreamQuest, but it's now more likely to be called Alora Fane: Creation. It was conceived as a map editor sort of tool that will allow people to make their own relatively simple 'quests', as seen in ∞ a YouTube video ∞ that I posted a while ago. It's actually changed a bit since that video, but the general concept is the same.

However, it will also contain six pre-made quests by me, telling a story that'll probably end up being about six hours long or so. That means that even if you're not interested in the editor, you'll get a new, full RPG by me that was made using that editor.

This concept is essentially the spiritual successor to 'Fig Hunter Online', which I worked on years ago. It's a much more refined version of the ideas I explored in that, and that means that there'll never be a Fig Hunter Online because, well, AFC will be it, just under another name.

AFC is my current project. It's been taking ages to be released simply because I keep losing interest in it due to various real life distractions, though I'm really hoping that I can get my six quests finished soon and then I can finally release it! Once it is released, I imagine it could keep people occupied for a long time, because of the user-made content. I'd also add new assets to the game regularly, and would take requests for what people want to see.

The second game set in Alora Fane is Miasmon. Its setting has always been a world called Fracture, but while this was originally some ruined planet with chunks of its crust orbiting a naked core or whatever, now it's simply one of the six 'petal' worlds of Alora Fane, once home to the sixth race, who are now extinct.

I keep changing my mind about what to do with Miasmon, and I'm still not sure. I'll have to think about it more. It may even end up being an app made in Unity or something.

The third sort-of-game is called Wyrmholes, and I've got a story planned for it, vaguely, but I've not yet decided what to do with that, either. It may even end up becoming a webcomic!

I'm devoting basically all my game-making time to this Alora Fane world at the moment. This doesn't mean that I'll never return to my non-AF games, like MARDEK! Currently, I'm just trying to set up a foundation that will generate me enough money to give me security, and which might bring together a community that I can genuinely enjoy being a part of... Once I have that set up, it won't seem as unwise to spend large chunks of my time working on a stand-alone game like MARDEK 4 that will only earn money once.

So yes. That's what Alora Fane is, and that's what I'm up to at the moment. The Alora Fane site will be opened to the public with the release of Alora Fane: Creation, whenever that may be. Hopefully soon! But I simply don't know. Writing a plot I'm satisfied with is no easy feat, unfortunately.
4 years ago

DreamQuest, Strict Moderation, and Gamer MBTI!

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Alora FanePersonalityThe Site
I have three things to talk about today!

First of all, I'm making progress with 'DreamQuest'... which I'm probably likely to rename to something like "Alora Fane: Creation" for various reasons. Probably. Perhaps.

The actual quest-making aspects of it have been 95% done for a long time now, but what I want to do before releasing it is to make and include some quests of my own that tell a hopefully interesting story. There'd probably be six of them, each maybe about 15 minutes long or so, so it wouldn't be some immensely long thing like MARDEK or anything, but that means it wouldn't take as long to make.

I've been trying to write the plot over the last few days, and I've got the basic skeleton sorted out now! I just need to flesh in some details, then get to work on it making quests from it, which shouldn't take all that long... though I'll be getting Pokemon X tomorrow, hopefully, so I'll probably be distracted by that for a while!!

I haven't got anything particularly interesting to say about the game other than that, but when it is released, that's what you'll be able to expect: not just a game-making tool, but also a full story by me set in the Alora Fane world, with a probably similar feel to MARDEK. Sort of.

When that game is releasable, I'll also open up the other site that I've been working on. The one with the four factions and such. I've talked about this many times before, but I really do want to ensure that it ends up being the sort of place that I can enjoy, rather than a place I have to endure or seek escape from.

Moderation on Fig Hunter has always been very lenient, giving troublemakers and pests far too many chances. I always feared some kind of mutiny, since it seemed that everyone jumped to the defence of anyone - no matter how vile they were - the moment a ban was suggested. However, I'm going to be much more strict with this new site. ∞ This thing ∞ is, I think, a good description of what happened to Fig Hunter, as well as a good way of ensuring that it won't happen again.

So that's something to keep in mind. It means that some people won't last a day there, much to the delight of many others.

Finally, I was in a lecture for my Game Art course thing today talking about game design and players and such, and the lecturer guy started talking about MYERS-BRIGGS at length. You can imagine my elation!!1 He went on about how it corresponds to different play style preferences, or 'Bartle types', which are basically the four 'temperaments' (not THOSE temperaments) that the Myers-Briggs types are commonly classed under (Protectors, Creators, Intellectuals, and Visionaries).

These Bartle types use two different dichotomies: 'change' and 'structure', and 'internals' and 'externals'. They are:

Killers - These types correspond to the SP Myers-Briggs types (the yellow ones; ISTP, ESTP, ISFP, ESFP). They are SENSATION-SEEKING and like EXTERNAL CHANGE; basically they want to alter the state of the game world through force. They tend to prefer games that are about visceral sensations, like killing things, blowing stuff up, fighting things, etc. It doesn't necessarily need to be violence (though it usually is); anything that essentially makes them feel like they have power over the game or other entities in the game. A quote:
Killers (or, as I prefer to call them, Manipulators) ... can be difficult to understand in a gameplay context because most virtual worlds have encoded rules that marginalize their play style as "griefing" (i.e., upsetting other players) and try to prevent it. As Bartle puts it, "Killers get their kicks from imposing themselves on others." He also points out that Killers "wish only to demonstrate their superiority over fellow humans."

They tend to prefer FPS, action, and Fighting genres, probably.

Achievers - These types correspond to the SJ types (the red ones; ISTJ, ESTJ, ISFJ, ESFJ). They are SECURITY-SEEKING and like EXTERNAL STRUCTURE; they are concerned with things like building stats, getting achievements, gathering resources, either building or hoarding or things like that. Essentially, they like to COLLECT stuff, and build up foundations that give them security. They're actually fond of grinding, which other types might consider an arduous chore.
"Achievers regard points-gathering and rising in levels as their main goal" and "Achievers are proud of their formal status in the game's built-in level hierarchy, and of how short a time they took to reach it." Leveling up, leaderboards, and the accumulation of vast quantities of looted items are all behaviors that are driven more by a security-seeking motivation than by other motivations such as powerful sensations, understanding or self-growth.

As such, I imagine they're fond of things like RTS, stat- and loot-heavy RPGs, and perhaps MMORPGs?

Explorers - These types correspond to NT types (the green ones; INTJ, ENTJ, INTP, ENTP). They are KNOWLEDGE-SEEKING and like INTERNAL STRUCTURE; they enjoy things like understanding the world's lore, or might want to try to talk to every NPC they come across in order to have all of the information available.
As Bartle describes Explorers: "The real fun comes only from discovery, and making the most complete set of maps in existence." Of the core motivations -- sensation-seeking, security-seeking, knowledge-seeking, and identity-seeking -- exploration as "discovery" is most closely aligned with the Rational's knowledge-seeking preference. For the Rational/Explorer, once the principle behind the data is revealed, that's enough -- understanding is its own reward. These gamers can enjoy imparting knowledge to others, but no extrinsic reward for doing so is needed or expected.

I bet they love the Elder Scrolls games!!1

Socialisers - These types correspond to the NF types (the blue ones; INFJ, ENFJ, INFP, ENFP). They are IDENTITY-SEEKING and like INTERNAL CHANGE; they enjoy plots, social interaction, character growth, etc.
Socializers are described by Bartle as "... interested in people, and what they have to say. ... Inter-player relationships are important ... seeing [people] grow as individuals, maturing over time. ... The only ultimately fulfilling thing is ... getting to know people, to understand them, and to form beautiful, lasting relationships."

In the lecture, we each had to mention our FAVOURITE GAME, and while I almost totally said MARDEK (totally), I ended up saying Xenoblade Chronicles. It's not my favourite game ever, but I did enjoy it a lot, and thought I'd have some interesting things to say about it if I was asked. And I was asked! One of the things I said I liked about it was how the innumerable sidequests actually affected the relationships of NPCs, which they did; each town place thing had a bunch of named NPCs, and a special menu thing showed a web of their relationships with eachother, like ∞ this ∞. Doing quests changed these relationships; you might get two people to fall in love, or hate eachother, or maybe one person's respect for another would increase and so on. That was infinitely more satisfying to me than just getting a bunch of loot or experience or whatever (I think you also sometimes got items, but I barely cared about those at all).
And in MARDEK, I included the talk-to-your-allies thing and focused a lot on character and dialogue and so on because, well, they're the most important things to me.

Killers want to beat people;
Achievers want to collect stuff;
Explorers want to learn about stuff;
Socialisers want to learn about people.

OBVIOUSLY we all have many different, overlapping reasons for playing games. Obviously! I know that I enjoy marveling at and exploring fantastical worlds; it's one of the reasons that the aforementioned Xenoblade Chronicles really appealed to me. However, we might find that if a game doesn't have our preferred gaming style thing, then we're not likely to enjoy it very much.
I've played - and to some extent even enjoyed - fighting games before, but I would never count them amongst my favourite games because they lack 'social' elements like a plot or character development. I also hate games like Tetris or Angry Birds because they're devoid of the whole reason that I enjoy games at all. This is something I've always known, though it's interesting how it lines up with personality types like this!

Interestingly, I think games that tend to be liked by the widest variety of people - Zelda games, for example - tend to appeal to all of these four gaming types. Zelda has story, stat-building, combat, and collection, so it caters to everyone... though different people might be enjoying it in different ways. I'm reminded of how I'd always raise an eyebrow at people who talked about loving FFVII, then talking about their party's build and how they'd reached level 99 and so on and so forth, since I would have said I loved it because of the plot. Surely they would have liked the plot too, just as I got at least something out of beating Ruby Weapon, but I suppose our *priorities* were different, leading to us talking about the experience in different terms.

This is all just something to think about, really! It makes me aware of how better to structure my own games, though!