Friday, March 28, 2014

Recommendation: The Gray Garden, Waker Update, New Project:Void Hero Blues

Item Number 1:
Recommendation: The Gray Garden

The Gray Garden is an RPG by Mogeko, translated by vgperson, who also translated Standstill Girl and Mad Father . It takes place in a world in which, in the aftermath of a great war, angels and demons learned to coexist peacefully. Hell, they get along so well that God and the Devil flirt with each other - it's pretty great. You spend most of the game playing as a demon schoolgirl who lives an innocent life, up until her town comes under attack by flaming bats sent by the devil of another dimension.

The combat's stupidly easy, and it's a bit cheesy, but this doesn't detract from a surprisingly engaging story - it's one of those visual-novel-in-an-RPGs-clothes sort of deals. Combine that with dark humor, quirky loot, and a unique take on Christian mythology, and you have a damn worthy narrative experience.

You can download it for free. It's an RPG maker 2003 game, so it'll require downloading the RPG maker 2000 runtime for it to work. Of course, if you're the sort of person who likes these sorts of games, you've already got it installed, now, don't you?

Item Number 2: 
Waker Update

Sound production on Waker has begun - my audio guy (Ashton Morris, check out his tunes!) is sending me some sick music and sound effects. On top of that, I'm done revising the pre-existing section, finally moving onto actually progressing the story. To be totally honest though, I have to admit that Waker will probably remain in developer hell for longer than I've last estimated (November 2014) because of...

Item Number 3:
The Void Hero Blues Announced

So, I was having trouble this semester motivating myself to work on a year-long student game project. It was essentially just a multiplayer arena game, which I found dreadfully boring to even think about working on. While technically more impressive than anything I had worked on before, creatively, it felt like a step backward for me. I'm ready to move on and make games that are more experimental, political, and self-aware. It was also a problem that, on the seven person team, I was the only one willing to program. It was a depressing situation, but my professor rather kindly allowed me to work on a solo project. That project is The Void Hero Blues.

The Void Hero Blues is a first person shooter game about the objectification of strangers. Every time you kill an enemy in the game, you will be alerted to a bit of personal information about them. One enemy is an avid stamp collector, another is a loving parent, and this information will be made known to their killer - you. Maybe it'll be funny, maybe it'll be sobering, hopefully it'll provoke thought about objectification and violence.

I should have some levels made in three weeks or so, will show 'em off then. It'll be my first project made in Unity, and my first (truly) 3D project since I was a teenager (sadly, all of the first person shooters I made as a kid are forever lost) (and Empty Chambers doesn't really count). It'll be done by December.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Waker Update

     Now that "Digital Toilet World" is done and behind me, and I'm figuring out how to handle this semester's workload, I can resume serious work on Waker. Today I'm working on polishing up the latest build to send to my new audio guy - I'm looking forward to sharing some of the game's tunes as they're made. More on that later.

    Above is a bug I just discovered - the old black n' white character is never actually destroyed and persists from room to room. He's usually hidden outside of the view, but if you try, you can get him to appear. I'm surprised it took me this long to find him! Bugs can be lots of fun sometimes - part of me almost wishes I didn't catch this one and left in it. 

     I've mostly been rewriting dialogue, lately. The story itself has barely progressed for the past seven months, but I've spent enough time improving the beginning section that I'm ready to proceed. No matter what happens, I'm going to leave the dialogue, graphics, and game play up until this point alone, if there are no serious flaws with it. It's about time I abandoned the work as it currently exists and build upon it.

     God damn, I wish I knew what I was getting into.What a monster this is. A sexy monster, but a monster nonetheless.