Monday, December 24, 2012

Beginner: Low Res Character.

Here's a step by step on doing a basic low res character. 

It's generally a good idea to start with characters of this size before moving on to larger sprites. In pixel art, you need to get used to working on a very small level, and working with large sprites from the get go won't help you develop the skills you need as a pixel artist.

Also, if you don't have a tablet, it's a good investment. After learning how to use it, it will speed up your creation of pixel art considerably. Don't assume that just because you're working with low res sprites, that it isn't as relevant.

Some quick tips,

1.Try to keep your first sprites under 40 pixels in height.
2. Don't rip sprites and edit them, always work from scratch. You'll learn faster.
3. Don't constrain yourself to realistic proportions.
4. Avoid drawing sprites that just face right all the time.
5. Look at other sprites online and make observations. Create rules for yourself based on what you see and try to reproduce the same techniques without using reference. 

And just as a little bonus, here are some variations of eyes, based off the most basic shape.

Basic Pixel art tutorial


I keep saying I'll make some tutorials, so here you go. These are more or less the first things I tell people when they ask me about getting better at pixel art. The basics.


One of the most important aspects of art is color, and unfortunately it's one of the things that people struggle with the most. Even the most basic concepts are all but neglected in art classes, and so pixel artists sometimes go years without learning about them at all.

As an example, I make games with rape, but generally I try to avoid raping the player's eyes with a color palette like say, this, 

That's what happens when you use nothing but 100% saturation. Fill an entire screen with colors like that and you'll give your players a headache pretty fast.

To avoid choosing poor colors, there are three general rules of thumb you can follow when it comes to hue and saturation,

1. The darker the color, the lower the saturation.
2. The brighter the color, the higher the saturation.
3. Shift the hue between shades. (For instance, yellow can be used as a highlight for green)

Here is what it looks like with more neutral colors, with the hue and saturation shifting between each shade.

In addition to being much easier on the eyes, shifting the hue and saturation also gives you more freedom when it comes to shading, and how you choose colors will distinguish you from other artists.


Next on the list of beginner mistakes is shading. Specifically, what is referred to as "pillow" shading. This is when an object is shaded with no regard for it's shape. Like so,

Now, shading is a little more unique to each artist, but here are some general tips.

1. Avoid simply shading the center of an object. (Pillow shading).
2. Choose a light source.
3. Choose the color of your outlines based on the shades of your pallet.
4. Try to limit yourself to 3 or 4 shades per color (The base color, a highlight, a shadow, and a color for your darkest outline). Only use more when necessary.

Here is an example of how you can shade an object using 4 colors, based on a chosen light source.

Keep it simple. Too many colors will add more work when it comes time to edit or animate your sprites.

Soft edges

Last but not least, for today, is softening edges. if you make three shades run parallel to each other, it will appear square and boxy. Getting rid of some of the "outline" will make the edge appear softer, and give the illusion of a curve, like so.

Anyhow, that's all for now. I'll do a tutorial based around creating actual sprites, tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mini game progress

In case you missed the last post, I'm taking a break from the current game to work on something short and simple.

And how is it going? Well, in the past few days I did a bunch of graphics, created a few enemies, and began programming the game's engine. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that for the type of game I wanted to make, less than a months work wasn't going to yield enough content for a full game due to the nature of the gameplay. So instead, I took everything I had done so far and started turning it into a platformer, using the template I've been building up.

And so, I'm back to doing a low-res platformer. Surprising, I know.

The game will have 3 levels, 9 H-oriented enemies, and 3 bosses, at the minimum. If I keep my current pace, I'll be finished by the end of this month. Though, it will probably take an extra week or two to do CGs, the soundtrack, and testing, but I don't really want to have a game without those.

To be honest, this is probably what I should have done in the first place. High res games just seem to wear me out. This, on the other hand, will be done before I get the chance.

And yes, the protagonist this time around is a guy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Taking a break

I'm a bit disappointed with myself lately when it comes to making progress on the game. For whatever reason, I'm just not all that inspired or enthusiastic about it, so development is still slow. It's frustrating being being held back by what is essentially a non-existent problem. So, I'm going to take a break for a bit. And by take a break, I mean I'm going to work on something else for a while, something short.

Basically I'm going to make something slightly different, and release it by the end of the month. I won't go into too much detail, but I will say this, it's not a platformer, the protagonist isn't female, but it's still a RoR hentai game. Except without the running part.

See you then.

And sorry I'm going so damn slow -__-

Monday, December 3, 2012


To clarify what I said my in my previous post, I'm not actually all that concerned with selling games to a more mainstream audience. I have no intention of censoring my games at a base level to appeal to more people.

That being said though, I don't like the idea of limiting word of mouth, or letting the content stop people who might otherwise want to play the game.  So, at the very least the game will have a toggle, since all it takes is a single line of code, and I'll need a toggle for certain content anyway, based on people's preferences. Beyond what, we'll see.

As for the game, it's getting there. Right now I'm trying to decide what abilities I want the player to start with, since it would be a shame to go through the whole game without some of them, and every ability you start with makes the game that much more interesting in the beginning. For instance in Kurovadis, I pretty much decided last minute that you should start with the ground punch, which was originally for destroying blocks. Then I added the passive roll attack to make up for it.

Anyhow, back to work..

Sunday, November 25, 2012

All ages dilemma

There's something I was thinking about today that I struggled with around the time I released Kurovadis. The question of whether or not I should release all-ages versions of the games I make.

On the surface, it seems as though there's no real reason why I shouldn't. Some people really enjoyed Kurovadis, but wish that there was an all-ages version that they could show to people who don't like certain content.

However, what happens when you search "Kurovadis" on google? Assuming you have safe search turned off, the first result is hentai from the game, or a link to my blog. In other words, it doesn't take very long for you to realize what the content of the game is. This may not sound like much of a problem to you, since chances are you're fine with H content. However,  imagine if you played a great indie game, only to discover that in the original game there was a lot of brutal racist content, or something that you saw as morally reprehensible on a personal level. Chances are that's the way some people might feel.

So, what would you do? Would you release the all-ages game under the same name as the adult version? In the all-ages version, would you make it immediately obvious that although not 18+, it's still associated with adult content? Or do you think it's better left as an 18+ game, but with an in-game option that allows you to disable all 18+ content?

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I did a random sprite today to see if I could imitate the style of a certain H game. (I'm sure you can guess which one)

Surprisingly, doing sprites in this style doesn't actually take all that long since there's more emphasis on drawing the lineart. Animation on the other hand, I can only guess. Assuming there's less frames, it might take pretty much the same amount of time as what I'm used to.

Perhaps I'll do something in this style later on. I doubt I'd go with proportions as realistic as the original artist did, though. (He's waaaay better at drawing correct anatomy than I am. And just in general -___-)

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Seems as though another developer has jumped into the fray of H-game development. He has a blog which you can find here,

Obviously, he's just in the early stages of development, but I can't tell you how satisfying it is to see that actual attention to detail has been given to the basics. The physics feel solid, there are transition animations, and the H animation isn't just 2 frames that cycle. I've got high hopes for this one.

Check it out if you get the chance.


My game on the other hand, well, it's getting there. I'm currently in the process of creating all the areas and finishing off whatever enemies I haven't done, in addition to optimizing some long standing problems. The game has a few parts that are playable, but I'm going to wait until the game is much more complete before releasing a demo.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Windows 8

With windows 8's release, I need to take OS compatibility into consideration for future projects.

If you have the time, I'd like to know if you plan on upgrading to windows 8, and if so, when. I've added a poll on the right side of the blog. This may also be a good time for me to consider including Mac support, which I'm sure couldn't hurt.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Email Troubles.

It seems as though my email has been hacked, so don't try sending anything to

If you have any technical difficulties with Kurovadis, use the email address provided on the site where you buy the unlock code.

As for the game, it's going fine. I keep running into one programming issue after another, but in the end they tend to be a result of my stupidity rather than anything else, so that's ok I suppose. The good news is that after I finish this game, I won't have to do much in the way of programming in a platformer for quite a while.

Back to work/sorting out email issues.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Business as usual.

For those of you who are wondering, the game is still in development. Though, plans have changed quite a bit along the way.

Initially, the game was going to have adventure game elements, and a world map. However I've since decided to strip things down and go with a metroidvania setup once again. The switch from being an adventure game is mostly due to my reluctance to have so much dialog in the game, and the added burden of translation that would come with it. That, and I was starting to feel as though much of the story and quests would be better suited to a full action RPG, and a different gameplay style.

So, I've basically set aside some of content that I've already created (some tilesets, enemies, NPCs, other graphics), to be used in a future game, and shifted my focus a bit.

So, where does that put the current game? Well,  at this point it's going to be a little closer to Kurovadis, albeit with more content. Unlike Kurovadis, which at it's core isn't actually a metroidvania, my goal this time around is to make everything feel much more interconnected and non-linear. Since there are more areas, weapons, and moves, I can fill what would have otherwise just been empty space with secondary goals, giving the player a bit more incentive to explore. Though I still want to retain the feeling of playing through a coherent "stage", even if it's more fragmented. I'm not a fan of having too many flat planes with enemies scattered about at random.

That's about it, really. When will a demo be out? No idea, still feels a little far away. Though I want to be completely finished before the next two months are over. (And this time, I don't plan on taking a break afterwards. You're up next, Kurovadis 2)

Back to work...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Someone was asking about Kuro's design, as a few people have in the past. Truth be told, there never really was a definite design. I could never decide. Either way, here's a quick sketch for you, at the very least.

If you recall, the only other real image of her was this. I never actually did any concept art.

Game progress

The current game's progress is going a bit slow at the moment. For some reason I'm just not all that enthusiastic lately. I'm currently working on tilesets and enemies.

Other than that, a few days ago I did a mockup of what the raising sim game might look like. I'm eager to try a style like this sooner or later.

(I have a bad habit of always looking forward to what I'm going to do next, rather than whatever I'm working on....)

Anyhow, that's allll.....back to work...Well, sleep, actually.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Hobby project

I was initially not going to post about this as Kyrieru, but I kind of fucked that up pretty quick on another forum, sooo...

Basically this is something I'm going to be working on in my free time every now and then as a means of practising drawing and writing. It's going to be a simple visual novel engine with action RPG battles.The battles will be sort of like punch out, but with rpg elements, and magic, and H content

You can try out an example of what I've done so far in the past couple days. It's just an example of what the combat side of things looks like. But there is no actual combat yet.

Hold pp/down to shift the view
Press left/right to weave,
Press space to attack (changes with the direction)
+/- and A/D to test the enemy's depth and movement.

On the visual novel side of things, it will consist mostly of quick sketches, of varying quality, with text overlaying most of the screen. The quality of H CGs might be a little higher, though, and I expect the quality to get a bit higher as I go on.

After I've finished the "engine" in game maker, I'll probably just release it so that people can make their own content. Or something like that. I don't really expect this to be something I try to sell, unless sometime down the road I choose to do an actual polished version.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Since it's time to start animating all the enemies and it's nearing the end of the month, I figured I'd just get it all out of the way at once. This coming month, I'll be animating one enemy per day, or more, if I can. Meaning that in the end there will be 30, in total. (obviously)

As for progress, it's been so-so. Things have been going a little slower than usual since I've been trying to find optimal ways of doing things that I can use in future games, rather than the "whatever works right now" mentality I had with past games, meaning I get stuck sometimes. Ideally, when I create the next platformer, programming will just be an afterthought.

Next Game

Speaking of which, I know it's still a ways off, but I thought I'd ask anyway. What game would you like to see me work on after this one has been completed? Keep in mind it will be a platformer no matter what, though. 

1. Kurovadis sequel: With this, there are two options. The game could either follow the original protagonist, Kuro, or one of the other two fighters like her who have thus far been unseen (I like the idea of using all three and having a trilogy). Either way, I would be expanding on the story's universe a bit and explaining the events of the first game. The game would also have higher res graphics than Kurovadis.

2. Quick platformer: Using the template I've made for this game, I could make a short, simple, and yet solid platformer in a very small amount of time. It would take less than 2 months to complete, if I worked at it. With this one taking so little time, I'd probably focus on trying to achieve some visuals with a bit more character and style. (they wouldn't be low res)

3. Action rpg: That is, something with a bit more depth to it. For instance it might have multiple characters that can turn into weapons, and there could be a bit of a social or raising aspect to the game. Or emphasis on developing your character in a unique way.

3. Raising sim platformer: Ever play Wonder ProjectJ? Or Pacman 2: The New adventure? Combine those two and that's what it'd be. You wouldn't control the character directly, rather she would move around through areas and interact with things on her own. How she interacts with objects (or characters/enemies) would be dependent on her mood, personality, and intelligence. The player's actions would be limited to giving positive/negative responses at any given time during gameplay, which would be how the character learns. You could also tell the character to look in a direction, in order to make her notice certain things, or move in different directions. The girl's personality would also be effected through more traditional interaction with the player, such as talking to her and answering questions, or buyings gifts and items. etc.

4. Something else

Anyhow, back to work. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Kurovadis D-pad fix

For the joystick controls in the new game, I simply re-used the method I used in Kurovadis. I've since made it so both the d-pad and joystick are usable, so I figured I may as well go back and update Kurovadis since it's just as simple as copying it over.

Also, I fixed a bug where a particular atk+ doesn't appear. Other than that, nothing else is changed.

Even though I'm pretty sure it doesn't mess anything up, I figured I should test it before putting it on the download page anyway. Give it a try, if you'd like, and let me know if you run into any bugs (that weren't already there). Saves from V6 are compatible.

Kurovadis V7

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Spoil alert: I'm forgetful.

*Forgot to update on Sunday again, gives up on that plan already*

Well, not much to show. I've re-learned that I don't like spoiling things that will be in the game. So, yeah.

As for what I'm doing at the moment, I've started creating all the attacks for the player. I can create like 3+ moves a day if I work at it, so the only real limitation is running out of practical button combinations. It's funny trying to decide which move get's the classic hadouken spot.

The other tough part is making all the moves practical. What looks awesome isn't always the most balanced, after all. The last thing I want is to make a game where everything is so flashy that you get de-sensitized half way through.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012




*completely forgot to post something on Sunday*

Anyhow, here are some examples of 32 x 32 tiles I've done so far. Lately I've been trying to make tiles with a bit more texture to them. Before now, some of my tiles lacked texture, so they came off as a bit too metallic. As an example, this was a tileset from Crimson Brave.

As you can see, some of those stone blocks may as well be chunks of steel, given their color.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Camera - Super Mario World

In many of the best retro platformers, rarely does the view remain static, centered on the player. It moves and adjusts based on particular circumstances.

Today I was taking a look at Super Mario World's camera and how it works, since it's a bit different. It can more or less be divided into 2 catagories, which I'd refer to as,

1. Fixed
2. Vertical

However, before explaining the difference let's take a look at horizontal movement, which is more or less consistent throughout the game.

Horizontal Movement

In this picture, the red line represents where Mario is oriented in the view. The blue area represents a sort of buffer zone. If the player continues to the right, Mario will always stay oriented on the red line. That is, Mario will remain slightly off-center. This gives the player a slightly larger view of what's ahead.

If the player moves back into the buffer zone, the camera position remains unchanged. This keeps the screen still during moments when the player needs to move backwards temporarily, keeping the focus on what's ahead.

If the player passes through the buffer zone, the camera shifts to to where the player is and the camera's orientation is reversed, with Mario now slightly to the right. The buffer zone is also flipped.

In this way, the focus is always on what's "ahead" of you, and doesn't switch simply because you go back a few steps. It only re-orientates itself if you leave the buffer zone, which is the game's way of deciding which way the player is going to go at a constant pace, rather than just temporarily.

With that out of the way, let's take a look at the first type of camera tracking.


In the fixed camera mode, vertical movement is not tracked. That is, the camera does not oriented itself based on Mario's vertical location. Since the level is horizontal and ground based in nature, that's where the camera remains.

Mario can even leave the screen, and the camera will not move vertically.

It's also important to note that the camera's view does not go very far below the ground. (the lowest point where the player can safely stand). This is to avoid wasting the upper portion of the screen.


Like fixed mode, upwards vertical movement is not tracked just by moving. Unlike fixed mode however, it does adjust based on platforms. When Mario lands on a surface higher than where he was previously standing, the camera shifts upwards to his location.

It's also interesting to note that when jumping up to a higher platform, the view seems to orient based on where the center of the screen would be if you were to ignore the hud, allowing you to see above and below equally. (since the hud obscures things above you somewhat, I suppose.)

Falling works in a different way. It's tracked a little more like horizontal movement, wherein you have a small buffer below you. I suppose this is so that the camera will not re-orientate itself if the platform you jump down to isn't that much lower than the one you were on.

After passing the buffer, Mario remains oriented slightly lower on the screen.

If you land on a lower platform from a higher one, the camera does not re-orientate where Mario is on the screen, since you're basically still at the end of the buffer the game uses for falling. This means that falling onto a platform orients Mario lower in the camera's view, whilst jumping to a higher platform put's him higher. (still with me?)

That's it.

To put it simply, the purpose of camera orientation is to avoid wasting important screen space, and to direct the player's attention. Mario uses the two types depending on the type of level, and where the player's attention needs to be, fixed for flat,  horizontally oriented levels, and vertical for levels with a lot of vertical movement. (I'm ignoring the camera movement when you use the cape, since that's a bit different.)

In the end it's a bit difficult to describe well, so next time you play Mario, or any other good platformer for that matter, try focusing on the way the camera moves, where the player is oriented on the screen, etc. I think you'll find that they tend to be a bit more complicated than just centering the player in the center of the screen, and it's one of the things that makes them work so well.

Anyhow, back to work -___-

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Graphic preview July 21

Another quick update. I figure I'll switch to giving these little graphic previews every Sunday, to stay consistent.

Partway through doing the obligatory forest tileset. One of the first areas will include a waterfall with good ol falling logs, so that should be fun to animate.

As for the rest of the game, I find that after doing Kurovadis the programming side of things is significantly easier than before. Now it's less a matter of how I can do something, but how I want to do it. I'm still doing this game as a template, so I'm constantly trying to work out how I want to do things from here on out.

Anyhow, that's all for now.

Iris Action

Well, Iris Action has been released, and it's a game many of us have been looking forward to. Of the H-games that exist today, very few meet the standards of a commercial quality game, so it's a breath of fresh air when something comes along that raises the bar for the rest of them. Iris will no doubt do exceedingly well on DLsite with it's level of quality. (It already has, unsurprisingly)

Everything aside, the adult content is fairly well done and varied, the gameplay is leagues above most action H games, and I'm sure it will more than satisfy player's of this genre. That being said, I'd like to take a closer look at the game's design.

Breakdown and critique

To summarize, Iris action is an action platformer. You have a variety of short ranged attacks, and a limited number of throwing knives to attack enemies with. It's progression is level based and linear, and with the exception of health upgrades and coins, your only objective is to make it from check point to check point,  reaching the end of each stage.

With that out of the way, let's take a look at the individual elements that make up the gameplay.


Normally I'd start with the basics like movement and attacks, but so much of this game's design is effected dramatically by the view.

Quite often you'll reach blind spots where you can't really see where you're going, taking leaps of faith as a result. This is also an issue when it comes to dropping off ledges, since many of the enemies are small and low to the ground. Something like this could have been better dealt with if the view adjusted based on what part of the stage you're in, rather than staying centered all the time. If there's nothing below you, shift the player to the bottom, if there's nothing above you, shift the player the the top of the screen, etc.


Next is movement.

The player's horizontal speed is quite high, in fact in most cases you completely outpace your enemies and anything they throw at you.

Likewise, the player's jump height is also fairly modest (a little over twice your height), and along with your horizontal speed you can jump rather far. However, it's a little hard to control, as you can't really change direction in mid air so much as stop yourself somewhat before you hit the ground.

You'd expect the movement speed and jump height to give the player too much freedom, but this isn't really the case in Iris Action. Together with the view, your speed actually discourages you from bypassing enemies. It's often a bit unreliable to jump, since it's quite easy to overshoot your target, or hit an enemy by accident, and with the limited view, jumping over an obstacle is a bit of a gamble, since chances are you're going to run into something off-screen that you couldn't see. Running forward also results in getting hit by a projectile or enemy, unless you stop every few steps to check what's ahead.

This creates an environment where it's usually wise to deal with anything that's directly in front of you before attempting to progress, since everything ahead is unknown. Though it does pay off sometimes to take the gamble and do a long jump over numerous enemies

Back to jumping, another issue with the speed is running off of ledges by mistake. Iris action works like the above picture, wherein you can only jump while directly on top of the platform. Since you run so fast, it's difficult to judge where the edge actually is vs where it looks like it is, and sometimes this results in just running straight off. Repeating the same jump numerous times to try and reach a particular platform.

Many platformers compensate for this by making it so that the player can still jump a split second after they've gone off the platform. In game's where you move quickly, the player doesn't really see the difference, but they feel it. Mario is a good example of a game that does this. 


You have a pretty good variety of melee attacks, some of them have distinct uses and trade-offs. For instance you have a 3-hit combo that ends with a longer ranged attack, but you can also do the long ranged attack by itself, in case you need to do it faster. You have a flip which is effective against hitting things above you, a stronger but slower attack, etc. In addition, you also have a backflip for quick dodging, and an aerial kick which hits enemies below you. Bottom line, you have a good degree of choice.

The aerial kick ends up being used a lot to avoid landing on enemies, compensating somewhat for the fact that you can't always see what's below you. It can also be used in quick succession as an attack, but it doesn't really do as much damage as well placed regular attacks, and can sometimes put you in a bit of a bad position.

On the other hand, the slide is practically useless. Against some enemies it does nothing, and sometimes using it results in the enemy dying, yet getting hit yourself. The distance is also pretty shallow. As an attack it's a little baffling as to why it's there.

That being said, with the variety of attacks, you can attack enemies coming from nearly any angle while you're on the ground. On the other hand, your aerial attack has a very limited hitbox and jumping isn't really precise, so the player is encouraged to face aerial enemies from a standing position for the most part. 

The other part of combat is the throwing knives. They're more or less your "I don't think I should try dealing with that" attack. There are a few cases where using melee is a bit risky, so the knives work as a good contrast to this, and it's one of the few powerups in the game, so they help to keep things a little more interesting.

Hit Boxes

A general practice in platformers is to keep the hit boxes of everything the player wants to avoid smaller than you'd expect, and make the hit boxes of positive things larger then you'd expect. That being said, the enemy hit boxes in this game are rather unforgiving , and some enemies will even harm the player without actually touching them. Again, like with the ledges, this is more of a sense of feel than difficulty, player's like to feel that every hit was fair.

As for what they do for the rest of the game, the hit boxes push the player into being a bit more cautious, and it's part of the reason why you inch along so much, despite being able to run like the wind. 


As I've mentioned, despite the ability to move quickly the gameplay is, for the most part, based around dealing with things before you progress. Many of the enemies are either static or repeat a pattern, so in a lot of cases it almost becomes almost puzzle like, forcing you to consider what you do before you do it rather than dealing with things on the fly. A lot of the enemies are more akin to traps, than things you have to actively react to. Most importantly, though almost every enemy is placed with a specific role to any given scenario, rarely does it feel like things were just thrown around randomly.

It's also important to mention, you don't get much invisibility after getting hit, and given the amount of health you have and the size of hit boxes, there's never really a situation where rushing in and flailing ideal. There's no outlasting enemies here.


Well, that's all, not gonna go too in depth.

When it comes down to it, the game has some flaws. But at the very least it's design is focused. Everything seems to limit you're quick movement and encourages you to take it slow, but the challange of going fast is always there regardless, a choice available to the player at their own risk. In addition The layout often funnels you into confrontation, and you usually need to face enemies rather than avoiding everything, but there's also a good mix of cases where the solution is more or less open to the player. Over all, it's not bad. Leagues above most other H games.

If you haven't picked up Iris Action, consider it. Hopefully the developer will continue to make platformers, improve even further, and continue to raise the bar for everyone else. Iris Action isn't perfect, but I'm interested to see where he goes from here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Since a lot of what I've been doing thus far has been programming, it's been nice to finally start animating the player sprites. Usually I start with them, but only because I tended to start new games on a whim, so it ended up being random sprites turned game project.

This time around I had to have a few things planned out before I started, but it's at the point where it's important to have the player animated before going any further. I really helps you get the right feel for the controls, and how everything is going to work around the player's movement.

Here's one of the attack animations, though it's not finished yet.

I also started doing some of the world map tileset, since the game is going to have some adventure game elements. 

That aside, I'm mostly programming, at the moment. It will be quite a while before I release any kind of demo.

Anyhow, that's all for now. I'll try and post some pictures every week, to keep things interesting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I thought some of you might be interested in this, whether it be from the standpoint of a gamer, developer, or both. It's called Ouya, and it's a new game console currently in development.

What it is, essentially, is a stand-alone gaming console that runs on an Android OS. This means that any existing games or apps for Android can be played through a TV or monitor, in HD. Since it can run apps, this also means that it will be possible to emulate many different consoles, simply by downloading the apps for it. Most are available online for free, and can be installed without any modification.

However, what this really does is take Android, which has primarily been a mobile platform for casual games, and bring it to non-casual gamers, opening the doors for Android developers to develop console-based games whilst still benefiting from the same framework which has made mobile games so successful. 

The Ouya development team has made it clear that one of their primary goals is to make it as simple as possible for independent developers to sell their work. Unlike The Xbox market place or Steam which have harsher terms and requirements and SDKs that must be integrated, it will be possible for nearly anyone to create and publish their work. 

Game Maker Studio has the ability to export a game for use on Android, meaning at any time I could publish a game and sell it parallel to the PC version. For existing developers, it may also mean a shift away from casual games, and a return to smaller teams working on console based games. We'll see, I suppose.

 And who knows? Perhaps they'll have a thriving adult section, the controller does have a touch pad after all..*cough*

Anyhow, I probably don't do it justice, so you can check out the kick starter page for more info. For $99 you get the console and a controller, so even if you just want to support the project you're still getting the  system once it's released.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Design VS Fun.

I was reading a forum topic about an H game the other day. In the topic, some of the players were complaining about the fact that the main character couldn't run.

The first thing that came to mind was that the player's movement was limited in order to complement the design. After all, there's a big difference between something like Castlevania, where you can't jump over most enemies, and Mario, where you have more freedom of movement but cant take as many hits. Hell, if you could just run and jump over everything in Castlevania like you could in Mario, you'd probably finish the game in a flash, and all it's subtle design considerations would be blown out of the water.

Of course, none of that really matters to a player when the first thing they think is "I want to run". Would they enjoy that H-game more if they could run, even though it would kill the design as intended by the developer?

This got me thinking about design in general, and how what I look for in a game has changed over the years. I used to like games where your character could do, for lack of a better word, "cool" things. Freedom of movement, fast paced combat, acrobatic moves, what I was looking for in a game wasn't sleek design or challenge, I just wanted to do things that seemed cool and fun to me. Anything that wasn't just going around and hitting stuff with a single attack, like Casltevania. As a kid, if you asked me if the original Castlevania would be better if you could run around doing flips in the air, attacking in multiple directions and doing multiple hit combos, I would have thought it would be way better.

Now, however, it's the opposite. Anytime I see something with more linear and refined design, it's like a breath of fresh air. I want every hit to count, I want every part of a level to be there for a reason, I want to have to think before I approach any obstacle. I'd play Castlevania Rondo Of Blood over something like Symphony of the night any day.

Yet, as a game developer I need to keep in mind that it's not all about super refined challenge-based design. Sometimes people just want to do fun stuff. Sure, in Mario you don't need to jump on a bunch of koopas in a row to get a 1-up, but you try anyway because it's fun and satisfying in and of itself. You throw a shell up in the air and then catch it again, hitting 3 enemies out of the air, even though they posed no threat, not because you had to in order to proceed, but because it was just fun.

It seems that achieving the perfect balance between what the player wants to do, and what you want them to do is the real challenge. Balancing the challenges players present themselves with and the obstacles you set before them, and making the means to overcome either fun and satisfying. I've yet to do something like that.

*Thinking out loud concluded*

Monday, June 18, 2012

Same Old Story,

Tell me if this sounds familiar,

You come up with a simple idea. Something that could be easily executed. However, the more you think about and develop it, the more interesting or unique it becomes until finally, you feel as though it's an idea that shouldn't be wasted by a botched attempt. Twists and interesting concepts will only have the greatest impact the first time around, after all, so it's easy to come to the conclusion that you should set such an idea aside and pursue it in the future when you feel you have the skills to do it justice. Even if it means having dozens of concepts locked away that the world may never see.

I guess only time will tell if 10 years down the road this kind of mindset pays off or not. In the meantime though, it's making my job very difficult. Though I suppose an abundance of ideas is better than a lack thereof, so there's that.


Anyhow. Since I've decided to do something simple, focusing on execution rather than complicated gameplay mechanics, my only hurdle is coming up with a story idea that doesn't spiral out of control in it's premise and complexity. Seems to me that it's about finding a balance between story, and self contained events. For instance, consider the following example,

"At the behest of the king, a hero sets out to slay a demon lord who wishes to claim the throne."

As long as the story remains so simple, the actual plot is merely what happens along the way. Perhaps the hero comes across a village of vampires, or is captured by bandits. As a plot it's nothing more than a series of circumstances that the hero must face in order to accomplish her goal at the end. However, when considering such a story I instantly think,

"Perhaps it's revealed that the demon lord is actually that same hero, who has come back in time in order to rebel against the king, having stood by and watched as her homeland was destroyed under his corrupt rule?"

Suddenly, the purpose of the plot changes. Does the hero experience doubt? Does she feel guilty over the actions of her future self? Do her goals change along the way? This becomes the plot's purpose. It's about the development, where everything leads. The end is the outcome of an encompassing story, rather than the accomplishment of a simple goal that has been established and maintained since the beginning.

So the question is, where to strike the balance? Is it about the story as a whole, or individual scenarios tied together by a simple goal? A combination of both? I guess it all depends on how far your willing to take the story, and how important it really is to the game as a whole.

Anyhow, back to work.


Edit: And no, I don't need help with the story, or advice on creating one. This is just me thinking out loud. -_o

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Tower of Indecision

Well, it's been a while since my last post, and thus far my thought process has looked something along these lines,

That is, a mess of ideas.

I'm not going to bore you with the details of why I'm having a hard time deciding what it is that I'm going to make. There have been some technical difficulties with Game Maker when it comes to Japanese Fonts, priorities have shifted around a bit, I've realized some things about myself that in the long run will prevent me from...limiting myself in a few ways that I may have. Overall the last month has been a whole lot of thinking, drawing, and making sprites. Also, writing blog posts that don't get posted because they're too long and convoluted.

So, where does that leave me? Well, I've decided what I'm going to make. Though it may disappoint those of you who were expecting something exceptionally unique or different, it's not anything special. My goal is merely execution, and setting a high standard for any games I create in the future.

"....Uhhh, that's vague, so what are you doing exactly?"

You'll see. 

"You haven't actually decided yet, have you."

Pfffft, what? Of course I have. I know...what I'm not going to do, and that's almost the same as knowing, right?

"No, stop procrastinating. We want to see pixels fucking each other. Iris Action is taking too long." 

ALRIGHT FINE, I'm starting tomorrow. Sheesh. I'll have a precise list of everything that's going to be in the game within a week, as well as the initial player sprites. I'll also have some concept art and a run down of what I'm going for in terms of style, tone, etc.

Happy? Good.