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Posts relating to Plans:

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.
5 years ago

Weekly Update

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Whoops, I meant to write this yesterday, but then... didn't. Oh well.

I *tried* to work on Chamaeleon this last week... but it wasn't going well. I've been rather emotionally tense and distressed and needy and things recently, due to lovely Life Issues™ and wondering about the place I am with things at the moment, and it's hard to just do work as normal because of it. Those of you who have or have had Depression may understand how debilitating that can be. (I wouldn't go so far as to say I have that myself, but I have been feeling very emotionally 'distracted'.)

It's largely because I lack any kind of real friends, which I've gone over many times before in these blog post things. I know that this site is full of people who'd love to be nice and supportive, but... while that's all nice and good, it's not really filling the hole that I have, or something. Like how you'd feel if you really wanted, say, a PS4, but were bought a... book... instead. I don't know! Maybe you'd appreciate having anything at all, but it's not the same because it's not really what you are looking for.

I say that since, as I've also said before, I'm interested in people around my own age who I can really *relate* to, and preferably not males just because I'm so completely sick of knowing essentially only males my whole life or something... Again, it's like being bought a book if you already have your own personal library, but wonder what video games are like and have little experience with them. Getting more books won't fill that longing. Yes. A totally perfect analogy, that. Totally.

I'm not just sitting around complaining about it though. I've actually been working on another project that may hopefully bring me closer to receiving some kind of emotional fulfilment, maybe, perhaps. Or it might just be a waste of time. I don't know.

I'm making another website - which, I should stress first and foremost, will exist *alongside* this one rather than *instead of* it; I'm not abandoning Fig Hunter - which will be more socially oriented, in a way, but aimed at a rather specific audience.

I am introverted and shy and lonely and all that, and places like Facebook bother me because they seem so *extroverted*... People are constantly going on about the social lives that they have, making 'status updates' about their promiscuous antics or what concerts or parties they went to or whatever (maybe; I am making wild assumptions here based on lack of experience with that site), and if you don't have A Life, then it's easy to feel left out and like you don't belong there.

I've also been to places like dating sites before (while not even necessarily single or Looking or whatever; just out of some curiosity about those sites that claimed to find matches based on your personality), and it seems that everyone there claims to be 'bubbly' and 'laid-back' and 'easy-going' and 'fun-loving' and things like that. The same on 'find friends!' sites, too.
Many of them probably *aren't*, but they feel they have to say they are because introversion is regarded as a handicap, while extroversion is seen as a positive set of traits that everyone must at least pretend to have...

So I want to make a site specifically aimed at introverted, lonely people who don't have many or any friends, and who are looking to find like minds, just for online conversations if nothing else. It'd say that there was nothing wrong with introversion, and encourage people to be open about those traits of theirs rather than hiding them and putting on a 'fun-loving bubbly laid-back' mask to appease others and fit society's expectations.
I have this longing for a place like that and have yet to find one, so maybe others are like me and would appreciate such a place.

It won't be for everyone. I'd also very much like to attract an older audience than there is here - it's not a site for young teenagers - and I'd hope to get more of a gender balance too (rather than 90% male).
If the site's not about an interest like Flash games, then maybe this will be not entirely infeasible, but I don't know, maybe most lonely people are male because females find it easier to find others, I don't know. I can but wait and see.

I'm also hesitant to even mention it as an *idea* in its early stages here, because the whole reason I'm making it is to have a community that *isn't* Fig Hunter. There's nothing wrong with most of you (I say 'most' because I can't help but think of the trolls who seem to be constantly causing me pain... >_>) as people or anything, and I don't mean to suggest that there is, but a community of mostly 'teenage boys' isn't really what I'm after at the moment... I mean, there are some things I do get out of this community, and I appreciate it for that, but like I said... books and PS4s and stuff. Yes. That.

But I fear that people from Fig Hunter will just move over and join this introvert site whether they fit the requirements at all, so I'll get a bunch of people who aren't even lonely or introverted, all young males, just following me because it's a site that I made, and the whole thing will be pointless and stressful and months of planning will go down the drain as I end up with two Fig Hunters full of trolls and young males to manage...

Anyway, I can understand that it can't be pleasant for the, uh, teenage males, or extroverts, to be hearing that I'm looking for a place where you aren't... I'm truly sorry if this causes offence, and again I want to point out that I don't think there's anything wrong with you, or that I feel you're not 'good enough for me' or things like that.
It's just that all my life, I've been surrounded by young males, 'gamer' types, and like someone who grew up in a library and never played a video game, I am curious about these other things I've missed out on rather than just... getting more books. Yes. I keep using that silly, poor analogy! There's nothing wrong with books though. I've just grown tired of them... Of books. Yes. Right.

So yes... I spent months planning this other site, but have started work on it now. It's still in its early stages, but when it's done, I don't know if I'll publicly announce it because I DON'T want everyone from here pouring over there. I have other ways of attracting people in mind, though.
I was originally intending to keep it a secret, in fact, but people will find out anyway so I might as well mention all this here now.

It may be that some of you would feel a place like that would meet your own needs - if you too are lonely and introverted and crave to find like minds - in which case, as long as you're older than around, say, 16, then maybe it'd be okay if you joined, when it was ready... It's not like I don't want ANYONE from here to join. Just not people who aren't who the site's designed for, joining because it's a site by me rather than because they are lonely introverts.

I'll probably spend this week working on that site too, rather than games - sorry - because I feel I really do need to finish it to at least have a hope of happiness to keep me going.

Now, I wonder how many
- people will offer me advice I never asked for
- extroverts will get annoyed at me, or tell me how I should be friends with extroverts
- people here will get offended at what I've just said
- people will criticise me for doing this or thinking the way that I do
- people will tell me to 'get over it' or 'deal with it' or 'stop being picky', etc.

And, of course, I wonder how much I'll regret writing this at all, since the faceless crowds and demented trolls of the internet can be so harsh, sigh.
5 years ago

Other Music?

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: MusicPlans
Thank you for the comments about the music in the last post, those of you who commented! While I don't frequently respond to comments, I do read and appreciate them all nonetheless.
I'm glad people liked that music.

The positive reaction to it made me wonder whether I should release some more music like that... so I might indeed do that over the coming days! I've certainly been doing a poor job of sticking with the Miasmon Bestiary drawings, but with this, I actually do already have a bunch of never-before-seen things that I've composed, which I've been wanting to show off for a while now...

They're in several categories:

New Miasmon Music

This is the music I've just recently composed. Either I could show off all the pieces, one at a time, or you could all just wait until the game's released... I don't know what people would prefer. Whether it would 'ruin the surprise' if I showed things off now, or not.

Old Miasmon Music

I've been trying to compose for the game for months, with many failed attempts along the way... Some of these 'failed attempts' are full, finished pieces that just didn't sound quite right to me, not appropriate, but they might be worth showing off anyway for the sake of interest.

Chameleon Music

There's that game called Chameleon that I've almost finished, but which is currently postponed. I've done most of the soundtrack of that, which I could show off before the game is released.

'Gentle' Album

A few months ago, I had the idea that I could make a musical album thing sold using the Bandcamp site, made up of all-new pieces that were composed purely for the album rather than taken from any of my games. It never had a proper title or anything, but the general feel to it was gentle, pleasant music, and the folder they're stored in on my computer is called 'Gentle', so I'm referring to it as that.

I only composed three or four pieces for it, of middling quality... I wanted to do about eight before releasing the album, and kept delaying it to the point where I've no interest in returning to it now; it feels like my style has developed a lot since the stage it was in when I started.

So maybe I'll show them off anyway... though they'll probably just be insipid, pansified fluff to people who are used to the power and energy of rock and metal and things like that. o_O
I'd been learning about yet more music theory at the time when I composed them, so they probably show that I was 'learning new things' in their construction, hmm.

I don't think the album would have sold, anyway. I expect that people would have listened to it and said it was alright, but them actually paying money for it seems hard to imagine. I mean, I bet that a big reason anyone ever bought the MARDEK albums was because they liked the games, but without any emotional mooring, these 'Gentle' pieces would be very forgettable. It's a bit disappointing, but completely understandable and stuff.

'Quest' Album

At about the same time, I tried to do another standalone album thing for solo piano...
I did the MARDEK Piano Collections thing, and tried to start on a second one, but I'd learned more about music theory, and found the MARDEK music hard to adapt since it wasn't structured very intelligently (I didn't even fully understand what chords were when I composed MARDEK's soundtrack)...
The first Piano Collections thing was also too hard for me to play - I'm not a very good pianist, OR arranger - so I tried to make this album a lot simpler; within the range of my skill level. It was only sort of successful... since I can sort of struggle through some of its pieces, at least.

Years ago, I composed a long piano piece called 'Quest 1', which told the story of an adventure via music, so this album was based on a similar theme, with each piece representing a character or location or event or something.

There were meant to be ten pieces, but I only finished six of them, so the 'story' just ends without having gone anywhere. Again, I can't see people wanting to pay money for them, and I can't see myself finishing the other four either, so I may as well release them in blog post things rather than just letting them go unseen completely.

There's a lot of music there... If I released a piece every day in February, I'd probably not get through them all.
I don't know where to start though! I'd consider releasing the newest Miasmon pieces first, but I do wonder whether that would be too spoilery and undesirable for some people.