I know there are a handful of people who like what I do. I’m happy to have those people. But the simple fact is almost no one plays my games. The one I’m working on is vastly different from anything else I’ve done… but Raziel was vastly different from the ones that came before it, and it basically got no attention since it couldn’t be readily linked to an issue or cause. (Though a friend did do a Let’s play of it. Thanks, Friend. :)) What I’m working on is even more “just for fun” than Raziel was (and probably less unique in gameplay terms), but it’s going to be an action-y game instead of RPG Maker. The latter might give it a boost; the former might doom it to even greater obscurity, especially without the media connections that would bring people to it. I also hate this feeling I get that I have to make games about IMPORTANT SOCIAL ISSUES for people to think they’re worth mentioning or playing. And I do know it’s possible that what I do just isn’t that special.
Basically, I’m trying to figure out what I want from all this and how much effort is worth it. I have other projects going, too, namely writing–and writing is my first love, something I’d do anyway whether or not anyone sees it. In fact, for some time now, “or not” is mainly what I’ve done. :p Maybe it helps that the results and rewards of writing seem more instant while game development (especially the kind that takes a lot of pre-planning) takes more patience before you get anything useful, especially when you have to learn a new dev tool to get going.
I’m pretty sure I’ll finish the game just to prove to myself that I can. And besides, it’s the kind of game I’d like to play. I just don’t see what difference it makes if it’s next month, next year, or next decade. So I probably won’t be posting much about it for a while.
Just to let everyone know I’m alive and still (slowly) working on stuff, I thought I’d throw up some concept art from my current project. It’s going to be something wildly different from what I’ve done so far; instead of an RPG maker game or a Twine text project, I’m using Game Maker for this. It’s the first game that I’m planning out in advance instead of just playing it by ear. I’m making all the art assets myself. And it’s going to be much more classically “game like” than it’s predecessors. That is, assuming I can actually pull this off.
I refuse to announce it officially until I’ve gotten a lot more work done, but for now… here’s this. Click to view full-size.
About a week ago, I tried to play through Undertale’s Genocide route, a common name for killing EVERYTHING. Toriel wasn’t too bad, even though I liked her. It might be because she handled things like I expected: shock, betrayal, even a bit of bitterness. Killing the Dogi… was not fun. Mowing down a loving couple isn’t exactly my idea of a good time, especially when one is so heartbroken over losing his partner that he loses the will to fight back. The rest of the battles ranged from “Meh” to “This sucks, but I can do it. I must stay DETERMINED.” I wanted to see for myself what story secrets this path revealed; I wanted to fight that crazy-hard battle at the end of it, just to see if I could. And all I had to do to get there was keep going.
Then, I ran into a roadblock I wasn’t expecting: Papyrus. (more…)
In Raziel, you help a hacker called Glitch who was called to Otherworld (a virtual realm that shines brighter than life) to slay a fallen angel. A fallen angel named Raziel who was once a human being. But if you end his suffering, what might you unleash?
This game is short and sweet: you can finish it in a few hours. Features surreal scenery, a thought-provoking story, two different endings and NO random battles. Exploration is highly encouraged.
(This game is donationware. Donations are appreciated (especially if you like the game), but they’re not required to play it.)
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Raziel is basically done. Sure, I’ll be checking for dents and kicking the tires a few more times before I send it out on the road, from the looks of things… it’s done.
I’ll be making a pre-release video soon and posting it by Saturday. In the meantime, here’s a short teaser I put up a while ago.
Making this game has been quite a trip. It started with a very short, very simple Twine game made for my first game jam, the Cyberpunk Jam from… last year. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot: more about how RPG Maker works (and how much I’ve already learned from making She Who Fights Monsters), more about the design process (short version: I probably need one), more about myself, and definitely more about the infamous “feature creep.” I had so many BIG IDEAS for this game that, in the end, it didn’t actually need — and getting wrapped up in all that stuff only made me want to work on it less.
Technically, I could’ve stuck with my original idea of just expanding on the Twine I made. But what I have now is very, VERY different from what that would have been and I have to say I’m proud of the results. A few small details about the upcoming game:
I am indeed on track to get this done by the end of the year. Yay!
There is no karma system, but you can make choices sometimes. They just might not have the effect you’d expect.
Somewhere along the way, Glitch became more than a player stand-in and developed a personality. So s/he got to keep the name Glitch.
Veering from the original plan, Glitch’s gender affects the ending and some small things along the way. But their capabilities are identical and their personalities extremely similar.
There isn’t much combat in the game (and no random battles), but there is some towards the end.
I know it’s been a while since I’ve written about this game. I apologize for the lack of updates; hopefully, this will help make things better.
First and most important, progress IS being made. It’s slow to the point of glacial sometimes (sometimes for lack of energy; sometimes for lack of time; sometimes for lack of having Clue One how to proceed and wishing upon wishing I had thoroughly planned this out beforehand, but this game was supposed to be soooo simple… funny how that works), but it is still progress. Optimistically, I’d like to get this done by mid-November. Realistically, I’d say “By the end of the year” at the point. But I really like how the game is shaping up, even if it’s grown into something of a hydra compared to the short, easy affair I thought it would be at first. (And it’s actually less complicated than some of the crazy stuff I’ve left on the cutting room floor. I want to get this cool-game-I-never-really-planned-on-making knocked out before the turn of the decade.)
And second… here’s some fun process type stuff on how it’s getting made.
Just to emphasize: I want this thing finished. I want it finished; I want to move on. I also want it to be good enough to meet its basic potential. So, I had to figure out how to just get it done without sacrificing stuff that was genuinely essential. The biggest essential in Raziel is what the realm of Otherworld means to the people who go there. Not the fancy gameplay whatsits I’d thought up early on: the people, plain and simple. So, the most important thing was to give these people stories.
Those stories will be kept pretty straightforward since it’s not going to be a long game. But I hope the way I tell them will get the point across. Also, Otherworld itself is a living, breathing entity — a character in its own right. I’m trying to make its identity (as well as its creepy subconscious of Etherworld) as certain as anyone else’s through its visual design and the soundtracks that I’ve chosen. I want it to be understandable why some people want to stay there forever and why they would fight for that… which is probably asking a lot from a game made by in RPG Maker by a no-name weekend designer on a budget of about $60.00. :p
Nonetheless, as much as I want to wrap up this project for good, I really like what I’ve come up with so far and I’m still enjoying the process of bringing it to life. I plan to have a short trailer(!) posted by the 28th.