Saturday, December 20, 2014

Still working.

Also, for those of you who are wondering,

I'm still working, still sorry it's taking so long. Work has been a little stressful lately, mostly because of my own shortcomings. Hopefully as I get a few more games under my belt, I'll be able to deal with them a little better and not be such an idiot -__-.

After I finish Noaika, I'll be starting that template I always talk about. After the template is finished, what I may try and do is create a game from start to finish, and stream the whole process. Perhaps that will help get me work consistently, and apply a little more pressure to keep things rolling.

I think it would also be kind of neat to do some strawpolls during the streams, to decide on certain factors. Starting from the beginning, including a lot of the gameplay elements, and character creation.
*Notices a few links to my blog from something on twitch*
*Realizes my game is on a schedule of game's to be speedrun'd in a charity event*

Life sure is interesting. (Looks like I missed it though -__-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thank you!

Just wanted to say thank you again to everybody who pre-ordered, I really appreciate it.

I don't really want to give an ETA on Noaika just yet, since that never ends well for me, but I will say that I do have some big plans for it, so it's still going to take a while.

I appreciate your patience, and I understand that it must seem like I'm taking a long time, (because I am). My number one priority after I finish Noaika will be to work on the template I've always mentioned, so that hopefully I never run into the issue of starting a small game because I'm worried about time, only to making the jump to a large game. It always results in a lot of fixing problems, and dealing with shortcuts that come back to bite me.

Anyhow, thanks again.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

You can Pre-order Noaika if you want to -__-

Well, since getting a bank loan probably isn't going to happen, and because plenty of people seem willing, I've decided to make Noaika available for pre-order. You can buy the unlock code now, essentially as a means of donating, and it will work with the game once its released.

To clarify, there is no benefit to pre-ordering other than supporting the game's development. There will not be exclusive versions or content. (Before the game is released I'll also be retroactively giving the code to anybody who has donated in the past.)

Pre-orders are closed, thank you to those of who who did! (or were about to right now -__-)

A huge thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered or donated thus far, you've been a big help. Seriously people, you are all awesome. (And don't worry, I read all your feedback and support, even paypal messages in other languages ^_^

Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Noaika" First Demo

Sorry it took so freaking long. Couldn't (and still can't) think of a suitable name. The title is tentative.

(Link used to be here. The demo can now be found on the side bar --->)

Edit: There's currently a bug that causes controls to become unresponsive in a couple ways. This is not an inherent flaw in the game, but rather an incompatibility that GM seems to have with certain computers and controller functions. I'll be looking into this at some point, and it will be fixed once the game is actually finished. If you experience control problems, try unplugging your controller as a temporary fix (hopefully.)

There's some temporary stuff, like the inventory, but for the most part it's just shorter than the final demo will be. There are also some other minor differences.

Any time you see blocks, that signifies that the way is blocked because it's just the demo. There is no real end to the demo, other than getting everything. The second checkpoint is where the game would normally progress to the first "level", though.

No idea how buggy it is. I've done a ton of testing, and other people play-tested it, but obviously it's easy to miss stuff.

Also, apparently Continue is misspelled...don't ask me how not only I, but also none of the people who tested the game didn't notice -__-

Problems I'm aware of,
-You can go through a wall,
-If your're mashing the attack button when you die, you might re-spawn by mistake.
-Some footsteps don't make sound
-You can hit the springs when knocked down.
-Pressing space during H-animations (a thing left over from debugging)

Many of it has been fixed, but I'll wait before uploading a fixed version.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Progress again.

Well, I have a song for the first area started. Ended up sounding like something out of donkey kong.
I think it works pretty well.

As for the rest of development (not just music), I wonder how long it's realistically going to take me. It took me days of making music, downloading instruments, and trying a bunch of stuff before I finally had a song I was satisfied with. I learned a bunch of mixing techniques, sure, but it also took me days, which in development is a lot of time.

And it's..11 days until the end of the month, again. My brain keeps going back and fourth between "that's plenty of time, you can finish it before then" and "who are you kidding, it took you 3 days to do one song."

11 days would be enough if I just used what I had. But I keep taking the time to change a few things here, learn a couple of new things there.. It's too easy to say "I'll just take a day to add better hit sparks", only to say "I'll take a day to make hits have more impact" a day later. They start adding up pretty quick, and I have to wonder how capable I am of working for 11 days without doing that. Even then, It's too common for me to finish something in half a day, only for the rest of the day to be spent testing, and adjusting it until it finally feels right.

At the very least, I can release a demo before the end of the month. There isn't much left to do in that regard. But I'm really starting to feel the time constraints overall. It sort of feels like every problem has a simple solution, and I know what they are, and yet I also know that to pursue them would be pushing my luck.

One of the reasons this game has taken so long is because I basically made something simple, and then spent more time redoing most of it. If I had just set out to make a medium sized game from the beginning, I would have come to this point much sooner, and with better results.

*Takes a deep breath*

Next time, if I set out to make a simple game, I need to stick with it. Better to have a good simple game than a normal one that takes too much time to fix into something playable. And if I do a normal game, I need to do it from the beginning.

Anyhow. Gotta go make souundssss....

Monday, August 18, 2014

"presentation" issues.


For around the last 3-4 days I've mostly been trying to do some music. I've mentioned this before, but the problem with music is that sometimes you can work  for 5-6 hours straight and come out with nothing to show for it. It's really slowing me down, to the point where I've been spending too much time on it.

A big part of the problem is that the tone of the game is... all over the place..

So what kind of music do I make? Do I make it fast paced to match the gameplay, or slow and moody to match the atmosphere? Some kind of weird balance? In the past few days I've done a few songs, and none of them work. Some will be fine for other levels, where the player is supposed to feel empowered, but I just can't seem to make something that feels right for the beginning.

And even when I feel like I'm on to something,  and I start something that seems like it might work,

I listen to it in-game, and it just doesn't mix. The melodies aren't subtle enough, or the non-digial instruments don't fit, or it's too dramatic, or too sad, or the in-game sounds don't have enough reverb...etc...etc...

And the most frustrating part is, I was already in this situation with Kurovadis. What did I do then? I winged it. I just took a couple pads and bells, and made a song from beginning to end in about half an hour. No problem -__-.

Sometimes you're just feeling good, and you make something that works by chance. Other times, it's like hitting your head against a wall until it breaks. The time pressure doesn't help either.

I guess I'll give it another day of trying stuff, and if I can't come up with anything, then I need to just move on.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Streaming random work

I'm currently streaming some random work. First I'll be doing some minor spritework, then maybe some sound or music.

EDIT: Aaand the stream is over. Went on for about 7-8 hours -__-

Powerups, map progression..

Right now I'm in the process of adding the tiles to all the rooms, and choosing the locations of certain powerups.

It a little hard to decide where to put certain powerups, because of how much of a difference it makes to the game's flow and length. There are more or less two different ways of placing them,

The first extreme, is that only certain powerups are essential to the game's progression, and everything else is just optional.

This kind of progression would more or less be based around the idea that there isn't really a "wrong" way to go. Every optional path rewards the player's exploration. 

The other extreme is to make it so that most of the powerups are essential, meaning the player can't really go off the beaten path. Instead, powerups would have to be acquired in a certain order, and there would be frequent backtracking

In this case, rather than backtracking being a possibility, it becomes a necessity, since the player must obtain the right powerups in order to progress, some of which might be far back, and yet inaccessible in the beginning.

So the question much do you want the player to backtrack? Is there a satisfaction in seeing a blocked path, and then finding the solution? That image of something unobtainable in the back of your mind until finally you have the means to acquire it? Or is it better to give the player the freedom to explore? Does the player lose the satisfaction of finding the right way if there are too many "right" ways?

*head explodes*

Obviously, the answer is probably somewhere in-between. For instance, every powerup may not be essential to "progress", but you could make them essential to "explore", that is, finding certain non-essential powerups. Or, powerups that are essential to progress could also be used to find certain optional powerups.


With the current game, I went a bit too far towards the first extreme. Since I focused so much on alternate paths that can all lead you towards progression, there aren't many blocked paths that you see in passing. There are very few "Ah-ha!" moments wherein you obtain the means to enter a blocked area that had been constantly tantalizing you to that point.

Oh well, I guess. There's always next time -___-

Also, I'll probably be doing a stream somtime soon. Dunno what I'll be doing during it. I'll probably be tiling rooms, I could work on some sound, or some other stuff. (I still need to do music, but music would probably be really frustrating to watch..)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Still going..


Right now I'm in the process of finishing all the H animations,

In Eroico, the animations were adequate but they definitely felt kind of stock at times. There were a lot of side views, and even the sound was a bit mediocre. This time, I've put a bit more effort into the H-animation in general, though they have been taking longer. (2 animations for a boss can take up to a day -__-)

In total, there will be 6 enemies (with H-animations) in the demo, and one boss. Once the game is complete, including the bosses there are around 18 enemies with H animations.

So when is the damn game going to be done?

Looking at the way things are going, and how long the game is taking even without CGs,  I may end up releasing the game without CGs initially, and then add CGs in the following week. The initial version would cost $4, and the final version would be the regular $5. (Any version could update, of course)

However, this depends on how long it takes to get to the finished state in the first place. I only want to release an "early" version if I absolutely have to.

After the "final" version is released, unlike Eroico and Kurovadis, I plan on going back and adding in more content. Mostly stuff that doesn't need to be there, but enhances the experience, such as random rooms with various interactions.

That's all the info I've got for now, so it's off to work again.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


WIP images for a weapons screen...

Development is..getting there -__-

After I finish the main content of the game, I'll still have to do the CGs and music, so a release at the end of the month isn't really going to happen (At least, not the full game). It will take at least seven days to complete all the CGs, if I'm doing two per day.

So, I'll probably do the full release after I do around 11 CGs, and then add in some more in the following week. I want there to be CGs, but I know that they don't really matter to everyone, and some people would much rather see an earlier full release.

Other than that..meh..

My previous health problems still haven't been sorted out, so that's still a constant annoyance. In addition to that, I've started getting a lot of wrist and elbow pain, which isn't helping. After the game is completed, I'll definitely have to start looking into alternatives to using the tablet as a mouse, like a track ball, or something else. I may also have to start practising different ways of holding/drawing with the stylus, since I don't see myself using the computer less any time soon, and I don't want to get delayed by stuff like this in the future.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Business as usual

Well, progress is moving along fine, however this month seems determined to slow me down.

First power went out for 2 days, then I had to go to two different family events, and my own birthday will be coming up. I just want to work dammit -__-

4-5 days with less work may not seem like much, but it certainly feels like it when you're actually adhering to a daily schedule. I planned on having the main game done in 21 days, with the remaining days left to CGs, fixing bugs, and polishing stuff up, However, I'll have to work more than I already am if I want that to happen.

That aside, I've decided to add another element to the game. Familiars.

They'll more or less just float along behind you and attack when you do. There will be a bunch of variations, all with a different attack, and some with other functions. I have two options with such a game mechanic, both of which would be beneficial to exploration.

1. You find them around the map like normal items, and can switch between them.
2. They transform based on what items you give them. (which would look like point-style items, like food, money, jewels, etc.)

Dunno yet.

Anyhow, back to work.

Friday, July 4, 2014


Just a quick update,

I Just got finished adding a charged melee attack to the game, which basically works like the one in Crimson Brave (which is in turn is like the one in A Link To The Past, but in a platformer). I might also add different charged attacks based on which direction you're pressing when you release the button.

I'm still considering whether or not the player should start out with all of these abilities, or most of them. I suppose it's because I've play-tested the game so much, but combat feels pretty dull without all the moves.

The problem is that if I make the skills obtainable, the player could miss a lot of them, or play through the majority of the game without some of the more fun attacks. Or, if I make them all obtainable early on, it could set up false expectations of the game, making it seem like there's going to be a lot more skills than there actually are.

Haven't decided yet. I ran into the same problem with Kurovadis's mid-air downwards attack.

That aside,

Development is going about as smoothly as it can at the moment. My health issues still haven't been sorted out yet, so I'm trying to work through them as best I can. 

My current plan is to limit myself to 7 days per remaining area of the game, in order to stop myself from focusing on extra content rather than what needs to be done. After the 7 days are up, I need to move on to the next area, meaning I need to work as if the result is the final product. The remaining days of this month will be used to wrap up the game, and create the CGs, and remaining music.

As much as people will joke about having another month deadline, this is literally the last month I can afford to work on the game. I can pay rent for this month, and then that's it. However, this is the kind of pressure I thrive under, so luckily it doesn't stress me out too much, health issues aside.

I'm just looking forward to finishing this and thinking "Good, now don't let that ever happen again, dumbass."

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Color palettes

Was messing around with color palettes today, 

The game I'm working on doesn't look bad, per-se, but I feel as though it's a bit boring. Rarely do I step outside my boundaries and come with a decent palette. I tend to just play it safe.

I'll hold myself back this time for time's sake, however color palettes are definitely something I want to spend more time on in the future.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Daily sketches

Did more sketching today,

I want to make it so that you can see the contours of the face based on the shape of the eyes, however I need to develop a better method than what I'm using, since it doesn't really take the angle of the eyes into account well enough. You can see that the shape of the eyes works in the last picture because of the way they arc, whereas in two of the other sketches, they conflict with the shape of the face a bit too much.

I guess I'll practice that tomorrow.

The other problem is that my current method of drawing the face often makes me end up with something I have to tweak a lot. I want to come up with a method that gets me to that result in the first place, so the next time I do sketches perhaps I'll do the initial guidelines, make adjustments, and then draw guidelines over the result, to see what would have brought me that result in the first place.

There's also the mouth, which I tend to draw way off centre, when realistically it'd be more like this (and probably rotated inwards even more than this.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Another rough

Drew some more today,
I feel like I don't do a very good job of maintaining the look of the line art when I color faces. I tend to exaggerate the position of the mouth, so it makes shading sort of awkward. I might experiment some more with this sort of colouring style, though.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sketch again

Here's a sketch turned coloring experiment I did today.

Might try a similar style tomorrow but with bigger eyes. Who knows, perhaps I'll even draw a character who's gender doesn't confuse people -__-

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Another song

I'm probably not going to use this song in the game since I decided to change the tone of the music a bit (and I'm not going to be using Snes Soundfonts). So I figured I may as well post it here. Another Castlevania inspired theme.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


I did some quick sketches today. I'm trying to decide what I want the protagonist to look like in CGs, so that I can practice drawing her that way beforehand. Cgs in the past haven't really been the most consistent, because I ended up drawing the main character differently in pretty much every scene -__-

The first few sketches kind of sucked..

The best were the top left and the one on the right, I think. Though if I want to draw bigger eyes, I need to practice making them more "focused". Whenever I do big eyes, they always seem to be looking in a vague direction. I also need to make the hair conform more to the shape the head, since I've found myself making it too straight in the front.

Geh. Second sketches kinda suck too. I need to practice more..

Friday, June 20, 2014

Health stuff

Geh, I hate talking about personal issues, however I feel as though I should at least explain my current condition, given how it's been effecting my ability to work properly for a while now.

A month or so ago I briefly mentioned that I was going to get a medical issue checked out. Without going into too much detail, that medical issue is basically "I have to use the bathroom like every 5-10 minutes". There are other symptoms as well, however that's what's been affecting me the most, for obvious reasons.

It started around a year ago, and slowly got worse over time, so I didn't really notice it until it started affecting me on a daily basis. At this point, there are around 2-3 hours after I wake up where I'm fine, and then from that point it basically happens all day, and interferes with my ability to sleep. Early tests at the docter's seem to indicate that it's not something that will be fixed by popping some pills, however I don't think it's something that will require surgery.

A pretty lame sounding medical condition to have to explain to people, and possibly something that will be easily fixed in a couple weeks, however it's incredibly frustrating, especially right now.

As a result, I may look into hiring an artist to help finish the game. I don't really have enough money to risk hiring someone with the money I make month to month from sales, however if I need to, I might sell some audio equipment so that I can hire the artist I planned on working with during the next project. While I'm sure I'll get the medical condition sorted out in time, I don't really want this game's development to go on for much longer in this condition. Working like this sucks.

Just so I'm not leaving you with "Things suck right now, goodnight!", here's a WIP of a song I started for the game. Not sure if I'll go with this sort of style, or something else.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Progress report

Still actively working on the game..

I've mostly been doing tileset related stuff over the past few days. I wasn't really satisfied with what I had done initially early on in development, so I expanded on it a bit. At this point I'm more or less done with tilesets.


I may end up doing a couple more parallax backgrounds, however. They take quite a few hours each, but they make a big difference to how a game feels. Honestly, if I hire a pixel artist I may end up making them a higher priority than enemy sprites, simply because of how much of a difference they make. I can do great enemy sprites when I put the time into it, but my backgrounds just end up looking passable, with the same effort. 

As for progress...

How far am I into the game? It's hard to say, honestly. Last month I was around 75% done, but now I'm 75% done again, because rather than moving closer to the end of the game I keep changing or adding to the mid-game content. In addition to that, I've still got to do the CGs, which will be animated, and all the music, which I'm having trouble with.

I've tried quite a few times in the past few weeks to create some music, but thus far I've yet to do anything I'm satisfied with. It's frustrating, because unlike pixel art I can work on songs for 10+ hours over the course of a couple days, and still end up with nothing to show for it. I could pull songs from abandoned projects, but I feel like the result wouldn't be very cohesive, and I doubt I'd be satisfied.

So all in all..things are going... okay. If had to describe my current state, it would be "tired". I usually end up getting sick of "mid-development", and I've been mid-development for the past year, with all the games I've worked on. It sort of creates a constant feeling of not having time for anything, which can become very tiring. More than anything, I'm just looking forward to that magical day when I can release the damn thing and sigh in relief. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Looking at Offbeatr and alternatives.

I was thinking about Offbeatr again today. I feel like it has some things that make it really viable, but one thing that makes it sort of iffy.

If I were to use it, I could hire artists that are a priority using my own money, and create an offbeatr project with stretch goals for things that, while not a requirement for the game's release, would improve the game considerably. For example,

$2400 - 20 extra CGs
$4000 - Second H animation for every enemy
$4800 - All enemies voiced (monster girls)
$6000 - CGs are animated.

Rather than the Offbeatr project being about raising enough money to create the project in the first place, it would be about raising the exact amount required to hire artists to make extra content. In other words, it would basically be like pre-ordering the game, and ensuring that what you spend is going straight towards content.

The first problem, though, is that people couldn't pay for exactly what they want. If it's based on the stretch goal order, some people would be annoyed that voices are before animated CGs, for instance.

However, the biggest, problem is that they take 30%. Meaning if I need $2400 for 20 CGs, then the stretch goal would need to be $3120. Doesn't seem like a massive difference, but that's a lot of money to just lose entirely.


I don't like it when pre-orders are blind purchases of a game, or pre-ordering for minor bonuses, but I like the idea of paying for elements that you care about. Which, makes me think of another alternative.

The thing is, there doesn't need to be stretch goals. I could set up a page for pre-orders, the same way I sell games now, but instead of a single payment option, I could let the customer choose what "pool" to pay into, and how much. For instance, you could choose to buy the game, and pay into the "in-game H-animation" pool. This pool wouldn't actually need to meet a certain goal to take effect. Meaning if it only makes $500, that's still 25 hours of work I could pay an artist to work on H-animations, or around 5 CGs, if it's the CG pool.

Just a thought. I won't be doing this now, mind you, but I might consider it for the next project I work on. Tell me what you think, or if you have any other ideas for such a system.

Friday, May 30, 2014


Basically what I have left to do,
-Design final area.
-3 bosses
-2 songs.
-Remaining sounds
-One tileset
-Apply tiles to rooms
-9 H-animations
-CGs (5?)
-Ending sequence

So, still quite a bit. If I hadn't been sick for the past week I'd probably have more done. But that's life -__-

If hiring an artist solves anything, I hope it solves that feeling of stagnation that always seems to hit near the end of a project. It's like the feeling you get when you've played the same game too many times. It just gets boring after a while. The benefit of working with other people is that I'll be making a game with assets that aren't all mine.

As for a demo, I'm not sure when I'll release one. Before the game is done, for sure, but I still don't want to go as far as applying tilesets until the layout is final. I'll probably release a demo after everything is made, but before doing the CGs, music, sound, and H animations that will be in later areas. Meaning the demo will probably be around 10 days before the full game is released.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Another day, another major change to gameplay mid-development -__-

Specifically, I've made it so that enemies don't hurt you when you touch them (sort of like Kurovadis), but I've also made it so that enemies will flinch from attacks, interrupting their attack patterns.

I often thought that making enemies harmless upon contact limits the game's level design. After all, it removes enemies as an obstacle, and makes them easy to bypass. What would Castlevania be like without such enemies, after all?

Well, that kind of thinking is dumb, and now I feel sort of silly.

The thing is, certain games would suck if you made enemies harmless, but that's because the games aren't designed around it. Harmless enemies only make a game too easy if you're still make them move as if they hurt the player. As a designer, when contact is harmless you can make enemies move faster, and in more extreme patterns, because you don't have to worry about how it would effect the player directly. You also can have more enemies that actively pursue the player without it becoming impossible.

Likewise, making enemies flinch seems like it would make the game way easier. However it just makes things different. Including flinching means that there's more emphasis on enemy positions. For instance, you can have enemies attack from both sides, because the player can split their attention between the two, focusing on interrupting their attacks simultaneously. In combination with not getting hurt on contact, it allows for more scenarios where the player has to deal with multiple enemies, and act a bit more strategically on the fly, rather than thinking through a single action, and trying to execute it without messing up.

Also, I just noticed in that gif that there's 1-3 frames of the idle animation in mid-air. So...I need to go fix something -__-

Monday, May 19, 2014

Maps, rooms..

Just thought I'd go over my current method for making the map. So far, the process has been much different from previous games, and I'm still kind of new to this kind of planning.

Step one is to determine how many rooms you want, and come up with a vague idea of the shape of the map (the blocks don't actually represent the shape or scale of the rooms themselves) . This would be an example of a single area.

Next, I decide where locked "doors" will be. These can represent abilities, key cards, etc.

Then, I make a list of the enemies, traps and platforming based objects. Just simple visual representations so that I don't have to refer to a different list while brainstorming.

Starting with enemies I listed (black), I decide where each one might be first encountered. Since the player might be going in different directions, there are usually more than one of these "first encounters". These numbers signify where those encounters with the corresponding enemy are, and where I can start using that enemy in proceeding rooms. (for instance, since the first room is where you encounter enemy #1, it can be encountered anywhere.)

I try to space them so that the player will be encountering something different every next room or so.

Next, I do the same thing with traps, and other gameplay elements. I try and make it so that in any room where a new enemy isn't encountered, you encounter something else for the first time.

After this point you would add powerups, but I think you get the idea. This is just an arbitrary example with no real thought behind it, but it's basically what the planning process ends up looking like. It's more or less just a means of giving you a framework to work with when designing the levels, rather than feeling like everything is uncertain.

 After all that, I design each room in a basic form, and test them.

After testing the rooms, connecting them, and testing them together, balancing them, etc, I finally add the tileset. You could get someone else to playtest it before adding the tileset, but I think that in this kind of game, the appearance of the areas plays a part in the experience.

Friday, May 16, 2014


"Oh, yeah, that looks about right"
-Dark Souls 2 artist

Monday, May 12, 2014

Metroidvanias, loops

It's pretty difficult to make layouts for metroidvanias. Interconnected areas, alternate paths, it's something that requires a lot of thought to do well. 

A lot of people call Kurovadis a Metroidvania, but I think it lacks a few of the key elements. For one thing, with the exception of one area, there are no alternate paths, it's linear. The most you can do in Kurovadis is go somewhere that you aren't supposed to be yet, and get a minor power up (which are the same as just leveling up) so you aren't just reaching a dead end. Another element it lacks, is any interconnectivity. Every "stage" has one only entrance, the exception being the mansion, which has an entrance you can't go back through, and an exit. It's still basically just entirely linear.

Here's what I would call a basic metroidvania "loop"

From the location the player starts in, there are two alternate paths, both leading to the same key item. However, both also contain optional items. This gives each path it's own significance, as opposed to simply being alternate "routes" to the same goal. That way, even if the player gets the key item and knows where they can go in order to progress, they may want to explore further.

Simple right? However, it isn't always so simple.

Sometimes the loop encompasses multiple paths, or parts of other loops, and the player may enter the loop from different locations.
And that's just coming up with the layout..

What if you have an enemy that's seen by the player for the first time in that loop? In a linear game, the first encounter is often the easiest, and the player adapts to harder encounters with the enemy over time. But in a loop, the player could be coming from multiple directions. So where do you put that "first" encounter with the enemy? Everywhere? At every entrance? Do you put on your sunglasses and tell them to deal with it?

The answer is the all encompassing vague game design answer "It depends..."

Thus far, making a good layout is something I'm still struggling with. However, I think it's also something that's very important for me to learn to do properly. The more I know about making a good map, the more I can go back to worrying about making good rooms/levels, without being unsure of their place in the grand scheme of things.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Trial and error.

Just thought I'd show you what it looks like when I create a character without anything in particular in mind, and the the many steps of "this is isn't good enough" until until I eventually come to a point where I'm satisfied.

Generally the initial stages look awful, and I have to sort of work out what I'm even going for. You can see that as it gets narrowed down, it becomes increasingly more difficult to decide what changes are making it look better, and which are just "different". This stage is the hardest, because you could spend a long time tweaking stuff.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Drawing practice.

Seems like lately the length of my work days end up being dictated by how long it takes for my hand to get sore -__-

I feel like having something good to play on my second monitor is often the difference between being able to focus for hours at a time, and being distracted by my own thoughts. Unless I'm programming or making music, something like drawing doesn't actually require too much attention. It seems like even if your mind is elsewhere, as long as your eyes are focused on the artwork, your brain can just sort of connect the dots in the background.

I need to find more stuff to listen to while I work. Something with a huge backlog that will last....weeks..
Twitch streams tend to be handy. They're often 2-3 hours in length, so I can get through an entire large sprite or two.

Any recommendations?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Now then.

Okay people! *clap* clap* back to work, show's over! Move along! The last thing we need are monitors hanging from the ceiling, strung up by computer mouses.

Now that that's out of my system, I'm going to get back to work (Well back to working "more", anyway. I work everyday). You won't be hearing much from me until the game or the final demo is done, so until then, let me leave you with a different subject.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, after I finish this game I will not be returning to the previous game immediately. I want to work on another game in the span of 2 months, but with an artist to speed things along, returning to the previous game after it's completed. Then I can hire an artist , as well as a writer or someone to do cutscenes.

However, as much as I want to try the whole rogue-lite idea next, that's unfamiliar territory for me, at least in terms of finishing one. So, chances are the game I make after this will still be another platformer. That said, what sounds more interesting to you.

-A game based around interacting with items and enemies through throwing (think mischief makers), picking them up, throwing them, seeing how they effect the environment. An example would be catching a missile in mid-air and throwing it back, or grabbing an apple that fell from a tree, and using it to lure a monster away from a chest. Or throwing a wooden enemy into fire.

-A game based around hand-to-hand combat. Launching an enemy into the air, jumping off of him as a platform to reach an airborn enemy, hitting that enemy with a combo, ending in a downwards smash that hits all the enemies around you because you were so high. This sort of combat works well with leveling up and increasing stats, because enemies can take more hits. Unlike Kurovadis, where enemies can just go from taking 3 hits to 2, to 1, etc. You would a much more gradual, but instantly noticeable difference when leveling up.

-A game based around teaching a character stuff by using items or actions, and then watching them deal with scenarios based on what you taught them, having only a small degree of influence over physical objects yourself. Is there a heavy rock in the way? Well, she tries to move it and fails, because you never increased her strength. So, she goes a different path, only to encounter a mugger. Luckily, you gave her a frying pan when trying to get her to cook, and she's aggressive, so she just hits him over the head with it. Or, perhaps you sabotage her by distracting her before she hits him. You bastard. The game would probably be short, but have a lot of different paths and things to do.

- A stealth game. Because ninjas. Fighting would be sub-optimal, but very deliberate and possible with skill. Gameplay would be mostly based around one-shotting enemies from stealth, hiding, stealing, using tools, etc. Might have situations based around wearing disguises, and needing to do things in order to infiltrate buildings. For instance a soldier approaches you, and you could seduce him and take his keys in the process. Or you could just murder everyone, whichever..

There are other concepts, but I want to wait until I've got more people for those.

Anyhow, back to work..

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Good day, perhaps.

I might be working on a form of media at some point today. The protagonist is a male/female inanimate/living person/object who may or may not interact with other such entities. No promises.

This might be a screenshot.

Not of the form of media as it will be when it might be released, but what it is now, or rather what it was when I took the screenshot, if that's even what it is. I can't say for sure...they are watching..the semantic snipers....

Anyhow, I think I'm hungry (when I wrote this), so I'm going to try and go eat lunch. No promises.

That out of the way, I "will" not be refraining from talking about plans in the future. This is a dev journal, that's the point. However I "will" try and refrain from saying "will", because apparently some people interpret a development journal as a form of legal document. "May" and "might" are all the rage these days.

In other news, here's what needs to be done before the game reaches a minimum amount of completion. (not talking about a demo)
- 2 or 3 more H-enemies
- 5 non-H enemies
- 3 bosses
- 3 songs
- 2 areas
- 4 small tilesets
- 4 destroyable props
- 3 animated CGs
- Re-implement options screen from previous game
- Gallery
- Non-permanent powerups
-The sound design for all of the above.

At this point, the "framework" of the game is done, outside of minor powerups, and now it's just a matter of adding the rest of the content. Getting to this point is generally the most time consuming, because it involves the most programming and design oriented problems. It may not be much more work theoretically, but generally I'm more productive when creating things from scratch, as opposed to trying to get something to work for the majority of a day.

The only thing that will still require more attention is the bosses, since they generally behave differently than other enemies, or have more complicated patterns.

No ping pong bosses this time, I swear -__-

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Balancing, Falling over.

Well, the demo is at a stage where it could be played mostly normally, with the exception of a few areas being blocked off. However I still don't think it's ready yet.

Honestly I think this will be the last time I plan on releasing a demo before the game is done.

Part of the problem is that areas...overlap.. in games like this. When you explore around, you want the player to see elements of what they'll be doing later, or be able to explore other areas before they can get through them completely (mostly to find more items). But when you plan around a demo, you have significantly less to work with. Quite often, you can't put in that kind of stuff because it either doesn't exist yet, or you haven't planned it out completely. You can plan it out from the beginning (which I do), but generally things tend to change for the better throughout projects. As it stands, I think the demo is too sparse, not to mention there are no CGs or the boss yet.

I'm considering just forgoing the early demo and just proceeding with the rest of the game until it's done, because making a polished area only to have to redo parts of it later is a pretty big waste of time.

I know it's disappointing, and I know some of you are thinking "fucking typical, excuses", but honestly, I need to stop caring about that sort of thing. I don't think it helps me at all. I need to just focus on finishing the game as best I can. Perhaps it wouldn't be so frustrating if there were other action H-games to play, and trust me, I wish there were. (I wish a game like Unholy Sanctuary came out every other week..)

That said the following is not a promised schedule, but here are my current plans, and what I want to accomplish in the short-term. Including what I'll be doing after I finish the game.

1. Finish this game. Sell it for $4 if it remains simple and takes less than half the upcoming month, $5 if it becomes more complicated and takes longer. I don't want it to extend beyond the end of the month.

2. After finishing the game, immediately start another game, working on a template to be used for all future games (I STILL havn't done this, but I can, and need to). Hire an artist to work on enemies so I don't procrastinate, and make a game in around 2-3 months.

3.With profits from that game, go back to the other game I was working on. Have artist do remaining enemies and backgrounds while I focus on events, story, music, etc. Finish it in 2 months.

4. Work on new game. Don't know which. 

Now that I've annoyed a bunch of people again, I need to get back to work. There might not be any animations for a while, because I need to focus all my time on working on the game.

Edit: Also just to clarify, there's still going to be a demo, just not an early one. I'm going to wait until I've finished more of the map so that I have a better idea of what I can section off as a demo. I do the layout first, so applying tilesets to what may not even make the final game is more or less a waste of time.

Hell, I know most people wouldn't really mind if the demo was just a room with an enemy in it. I know I wouldn't, if I was playing someone else's game. But your perspective is pretty different when that game is something you want to be proud of.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Daily Animation 3

This will be the last time I do an animation in Flash, I think. Someone suggested TVpaint in the comments, and since I hadn't used it in a while, I gave it another shot. It's much better than Flash for my purposes. The drawing tools are less laggy, and they lack the annoying line correction that holds back Flash. Though it is slightly more confusing.

In other news, for the heck of it, I thought I'd talk about a game concept I've been thinking about.

Rogue-Lite H-Game

I think a genre that would work really well for H-games are Rogue-lite's, or rather, game's with elements of Rogue-likes. Specifically perma-death.

One of the problems in games where you have a choice like "resist/don't resist", is that you're essentially just choosing if you want to see an H-scene or not. You're not choosing "don't resist" because of a threat, your choosing it because you want to see an H-scene. Your motives don't really line up with the character's.

The benefit to a game with perma-death, is that such situations might actually pose legitimate threats. Sure you could fight off 5 guys at once, but it would be tough. Do you risk it? Or do you do what they say and escape in the night? Well, perhaps you  do what they say, and now your purity stat went down. That angel-girl familiar you found a while back won't be following you anymore....

I think it would create a lot of possibilities both in terms of gameplay, and in terms of H-content.

However, like most rogue-lites these days, this kind of game would require randomization. A long, linear game doesn't work with this concept, because starting over all the time and going through the same sections multiple times would be frustrating.. The game needs to be what I tend to refer to as "session" based. That is, you're generally expected to lose. Not always because you did poorly, but because the circumstances of that run just weren't in your favour. Sometimes,the opposite happens, you find a bunch of good items early on, and feel more of a connection to the "session", and you don't want to lose. The beauty of this kind of gameplay is that if done well, the player will look forward to starting over even if they lose, because it means a fresh start with new opportunities. Of course, there might be some sort of sustained progress, but that's only if there's a spefic end-game. Otherwise, multiple endings would work better, I think. (perhaps with each ending bringing more events into the next run? Hmm)


Really, this kind of game isn't much more difficult to make than anything else. But it is very different. Less thought needs to be put into level design, and more needs to be put into emergent gameplay, and random generation. It's certainly something I want to do at some point.

Daily animation 2

The voice actress finished recording the sounds, now I just need to sort through them all.

I'll have to make any necessary edits, and then export them individually. There are around 80+ to go through. Then I need to load them into GM, etc. Once that's done, the demo will be ready.

Don't ask what today's animation is. I have no idea.

Friday, April 25, 2014

daily animation

I did my first "daily" animation practice today. I just rushed through a lot of the details that would normally take up a lot of time, otherwise it would be a time sink to do these every day. Even simple poses like this take a while if you're making sure everything (like the arms) are moving correctly down to the line.

Though really, that's the point of these. Ideally once I start animating more I'll be able to do finished pieces in the time it takes me to rough it out now.

Though, I'll probably focus on the motion more next time, since I sort of messed it up with this one -__-

Also, if you're wondering about the line quality, the brush tool in Flash is awful, so I just animate with the pencil tool since it has the least line smoothing/correction. I don't need pressure sensitivity, since in a finished animation I'd be doing the lines in something else, like so,

I'll be animating every day, but I don't know if I'll be posting it every every time. It depends what I end  up with that day. I'm assuming nobody wants to see faceless  guidelines having sex -__-

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Just waiting to get the voice clips for the main character now. Once I get those I'll be ready to release the first demo.

In other news, I was drawing a lot today and trying some animation, and in doing so I finally found a method of drawing the body that I'm comfortable with. Part of my problem when it comes to art is that I'll spend a bunch of time trying new methods to draw correct anatomy, find one I like, and then not draw for weeks, bringing me back to square one. This time I want to remember and practice this method, so I might start uploading some quick animation doodles every now and then. Developing it while getting more comfortable with certain kinds of animation. (It'll mostly be H stuff, since I can loop it)

Perhaps if I start doing it daily, I'll start taking requests for pairings. Could be fun.

In other-other news, I'll be getting a medical problem checked out in a couple days. It's something that's been happening for the past year, but I've only identified it as a problem recently since it's been slowly effecting me more over time. I won't go into details, but let's just say I'm amazed I ever get any work done at all. I don't think it's anything life threatening (unlike last time), but it certainly wastes more of my time and focus.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Well, got the whole GM thing sorted out. Sort of. But at least I can work -__-

Progress is going okay. If I can get in another good week like the first week of development, then the game will be finished before the month is up. However, I doubt that I'll meet that pace.

At the very least, I'm glad I started this game. Looking at the way things are going, the other game would have taken too long, and I'd have been in a bit of a tough spot eventually. I'll be much more confident to pick it up again once this is finished.

For now, to release the demo I need to put in the save function, place the savepoints, and place health.

The way I make games, I have unlimited health when I test them early on. Then, after the areas are put together, I do a run through and see where I tend lose health, and I make assumptions about where people are likely to have trouble. Then, I go through and add health where needed, try again, and get some people to play test. I also tend to make the difficulty I come up with for myself the hard difficulty, since I represent someone who is familiar with the game.

With checkpoints I used to think that I needed to have them before any area with new enemies. When some players see a new enemy they want to see what it's H-animation looks like, but if it's in the middle of a long section then they may not want to risk losing progress to see it. However, that sort of limits the level design, so I'm trying to work around it. One option is "unlocking" it for a gallery as soon as you see it or defeat it, but that assumes the player knows that the gallery/area even exists, so I need to make it clear early on.

Also, I may do one CG for the demo, but I don't know. I might just release it before then.

Anyhow, back to work. I may look into hiring a voice actor today, so I've gotta get that done.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Working on the game,
GM crashes.
Can't use it, can't fix it.

Formatted my computer.

GM works!
Working on the game,
GM crashes,
Can't use it, can't fix it.

Submit my license and get a Steam code for the Steam version
Code is invalid.