An interview with the creator of Villnoire

  • Cap_H
  • 08/13/2019 11:32 AM
Hello and welcome!
Featured Game, Featured Dev is a series of interviews on rpgmaker.net. My goals are to further promote RMN's featured games and creative minds behind them!

This month I managed to interrogate ever nice and humble Little Wing Guy. After years of relative silence, he stormed out with Villnoire and captivated the community with its lush meadows and rich storytelling. The response was very positive and a glowing review quickly followed. Villnoire is an old school epic JRPG about conflicts both big and personal. It features original assets alongside masterfully applied first seed chipsets. You can read a better description, ogle at screenshots and download the game here.

Thanks for agreeing on this. Could you introduce yourself?
I should have known this question was coming! How do you write about yourself these days without it sounding like a Tinder profile? Well, my name is Greg I'm 28 and I live in Norwich, a fine city in the UK. It goes without saying that I'm a big RPG fan, though there are tons of mainstream games I've never got round to playing. My first RPG was Pokemon Blue. I still remember picking that game up, looking at Blastoise and thinking to myself "Huh, that actually looks like a final boss I could beat!" and I bought it without really knowing what it was. After spending half an half stuck in the first house, I eventually went off on a Pokemon adventure with a team of Rattatas and fell in love with RPGs along the way. Anyway, if you like the sound of my profile, please swipe right.

You worked on Villnoire for quite a while. Congrats on finishing it and congrats on getting featured. How does it feel? Was positive reception important for you when working on the project?

Thank you! Obviously the best thing about getting featured is having alone time being interviewed by you. Getting it plastered on the front page for free publicly - those are just small details, haha. In a more serious answer, Villnoire is the biggest thing I have ever committed to in my life. Whether that is good or bad I don't know! It feels great to finish it, because for the longest time it felt impossible. It sounds a bit embarrassing to admit this, but my hands were actually shaking for a good 10 minutes when I realised it was actually complete. But yeah, having a featured game has always been a secret goal of mine.
I'm not going to lie, of course I wanted the game to be liked. I don't care if it gets a huge following, but if I get the occasional message of someone telling me they liked the game, then it was definitely worth all the hours making it (and believe me, there were many). Villnoire has a lot of personal themes close to my heart, and I injected a huge amount of my own thoughts/feelings into the characters. I know this might sound weird, but If someone doesn't like the game, it almost feels like that don't like me either (god I like to waffle on).

What were some of the obstacles you had to overcome when working on the game? In other words, why did it take you so long to finish the development?
When I first tried to make the game, I had only just downloaded RPG Maker, and I was high on my buzz of all this potential in front of me. I didn't know what I was doing. I had this story in the back of my mind but I had no idea how to approach it. If I'm being brutally honest, I wanted to release a complete game and have all this glory given to me - but I didn't want to put the work in. Also, I was about 16 and I was just an idiot at that age, haha.

What is the part of Villnoire you're most proud of?
That's a really tough question for me, that fact that it exists at all still feels like a miracle, haha. I think I am most proud of the story and the characters, I've had people message me saying how much they liked the characters, and even though the story was simple it made them feel genuine emotion by the end. That's the biggest compliment they can give. There were times where the dialogue was just so easy to write because I was essentially talking through my characters (and if you can't tell already I can talk for England) saying what I wanted to say. Villnoire isn't supposed to have this huge statement on real world issues or anything too pretentious, but I think the story resonates with people because I'm covering issues I actually know a bit about. Well, maybe a little pretentious - but I am passionate, you've gotta give me that!

Do you think Villnoire has reached its audience already?
Villnoire definitely has a target audience, and a lot of people that I had secretly hoped would play it already have, so I'm happy. That being said - Villnoire isn't going anywhere, it's always going to be on RMN, it's always going to be free so new people can always discover it. I came on Discord at random points and saw a few RMN regulars actually discussing it! I didn't say a word to anything that was said, the good or the bad. I just sat back and watched people talk about it like some creepy stalker... and that was just awesome.


Which other media inspired you, when creating the game? Had the influences changed a lot during its development?
Let me tell you, I am a sponge when it comes to influence. I took inspiration from anything and everything, nothing and no one was safe haha. I think that's the best way to be. If we're talking about media specifically, if music counts that's been the biggest thing for me. I love to go out walking with my dog, headphones in and really listen to the lyrics, the tone of the song and how it makes me feel. The good thing about technology these days is that you've pretty much always got a way of playing music and writing things down on your phone. In fact, I've even written cutscene dialogue on the train to work before. You should just grab all the moments that strike you. Now there's no excuse to not work on your game, even when you're not at your computer! Wa-hay!

I guess walking your dog out on the beach might be one way a specific place affects your creative process. Are there any other ways living in a picturesque town in east Anglia impacted the game?
Yeah, definitely. I can actually think of a pretty direct example too. There's a pub called "The Anchor" near to where I'm from, and I used to have to walk past it everyday. There's nothing special about it really, but one day I guess the local teenagers got bored, so they stole the "A" from the sign (wasn't me I swear). The owners took FOREVER to bother getting it replaced, and as I kept walking past my brain started putting different letters where the "A" was and I liked how I imagined it with an "I" in front. Eventually I named the final town in the game Inchor, which is basically an little in-joke that reminds me of that sorry little pub. There you go, a bit of useless behind the scenes trivia that you never knew you wanted, haha.

Would you like to futher explore the game's world in a follow-up project, eventually?
I have thought about it recently. I sort of wrestle with myself whether or not I have another game in me. By no means is Villnoire perfect, but I gave it everything I had. Do I want to do that to myself again? There's a chap called Kaempfer on RMN, who is nothing short of brilliant and he recommended that I could do a prequel set during an important event in the game (which is only referenced and never seen). I really like the ending to Villnoire, and I'm hesitant to do anything that takes anything away from that. A prequel could be possible though, so watch this space (but don't watch too carefully as it will probably be another 11 years).

Let's talk about your older projects. Is there any game of yours you feel gets overlooked?
If anything, I think both my other projects have been given too much attention. White Magic is a cancelled directionless project, but people really liked it. People randomly message me about it even now, and I still don't quite understand why. Recently someone gave it a glowing 5 star review, and I'm convinced they meant to upload it on April Fools. People like what they like, and I'm not complaining - but as the creator of the game I can quite easily say it does not deserve 5 stars. Swan Song is an interesting case because I bashed that out in one week for a contest without a great deal of effort, and it ended up becoming a huge valuable learning experience for me. Just knowing that it was possible to complete a game, no matter the size meant I could go on if I put my mind to it. I never expected people to play it much, but it's got thousands of downloads. I even recycled an NPC from Swan Song straight into Villnoire (because I thought no one would ever notice) but Frogge caught me red handed! Serves me right.


Do you play other RPG Maker games? Are there any games you would recommend to us and any creators, who inspire you?
I do. Now I've completed a game, I feel like I can finally enjoy other RPG Maker games without feeling guilty about ignoring my own! How could I not mention Theia: The Crimson Eclipse? That games deserves all the praise it gets. I was actually scared to play it while I was making Villnoire because it sets the standard of RPG Maker 2003 to almost an unreachable level. Games I feel are overlooked are: Evoker, Vermilion and Deep 8. Deep 8 is insane. I don't even know how to describe it. I implore anyone who knows anything about RPG Maker 2003 to go and play it, it will blow your mind. In terms of creators, there are too many to mention. RMN is full of many talented people. I always used to see people like: Blindmind, Dyhalto, Badluck, Happy, Roden and Tau just to name a few, as my RPG Maker rivals. Not as in a "I'm better than you. Smell ya later" rival (sorry I'm full of Pokemon references today) but people who in my mind, I was harmlessly competing with and wanted to be compared to. These people spurred me on, and I doubt they ever realised it.

Have you managed to play any noticable on-site realeses this year so far? Would you consider nomination any of them for the Misaos?
I'm going to have to mention Theia again now, aren't I? I feel like such a fanboy! I know you can never tell, but I think it's going to do well at the Misaos (and I hope it does win a few). I've cast about half my votes already and I've tried to be varied, but Theia has at least two of them. I've heard good things about Tales of Yuria but I haven't got around to playing it. If either Exile's Journey or Beloved Rapture are released this year, they could be game changers and shake things up. Some people have mentioned 2019 feeling like the year of RPG Maker 2003 and I am inclined to agree! It may feel like Craze's version of the apocalypse, but there's life in the old program yet. Some years you could see the Misao winners a mile off, and the voting felt routine - but this year isn't so clean cut, and that makes it more exciting to be included in the contenders.

How do you reckon your approach to game development differs from other people? What makes it unique?
I suppose I don't really know how other people go about making their games. Not fully. I've never tried to make a game with anyone else (mostly because I am an insufferable control freak). Even when I speak about game development with someone, I never seem to get a sense of how they approach everything. For me, planning was key, because that's where I had gone wrong previously. I know it's such a cliche to mention planning, but it really is so important. I knew every detail of this game, even before it was in RPG Maker. I knew the obvious stuff, like the amount of towns and dungeons there would be, but I knew even the smaller details beyond that. I knew the exact items and weapons the shops would sell, I knew the average level people would be in certain areas, I knew the monsters and their types of skills, I knew what every treasure chests held and so on. Going so in depth meant I always knew what I was doing, I couldn't get lost because I had this giant list in front of me 24/7. I know what you're thinking, and yes, I really am fun at parties.

What is your stance on going commercial?
I personally have zero interest in going commercial. I think it stems from the fact that I found RPG Maker over 10 years ago, and going commercial wasn’t on my radar because it wasn’t possible. Even though it’s an option for me now, I put to bed any intention of selling my games a long time ago. I think it’s great for the community though, and the legal release of 2000/2003 seemed to re-ignite the passion for a lot of people who I thought had given up their RPG Maker days. In my years I’ve seen a lot of topics saying things like “I want an original soundtrack and artwork. I won’t pay you, I expect this for free” but now people can sell their game, they’ll hopefully be more willing to support artists around the community. Also, going commercial myself would mean I’d have to commission and make battle animations from scratch myself, and that is a world I don’t want to live in.

Anything else you would like to share?
Thanks for taking the time to interview me. Keep up the hard work, RMN needs dedicated people like yourself. To any poor souls who actually sat through this interview (if you're still awake) my advice would be to remember RMN as a community. I spent the first few years floating around the site like a ghost, talking to no one and accomplishing nothing. Once I opened up more, started hanging out on Discord and making friends, that was the same time I became more productive and actually did GAME DEVELOPMENT. I don't think that's a coincidence. So say hello the next time you see me - we'll get you working on that game of yours.

Thank you for a lovely interview! It was my pleasure to talk with you and I wish you all the best with whatever you end up working on next. Till next time.


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I wanna marry ALL the boys!! And Donna is a meanc
Great developer, great person, great read! I'm happy I finally managed to read one of these interviews thanks to it being for a game I've played, and Lil Wing really made his answers entertaining, and the questions were none the less great. And hey, thanks for that shoutout on calling you out, Lil Wing :D
I totally agree with you and I love it when someone puts an effort in their answers and shares more than absolutely necessary.
I totally agree with you and I love it when someone puts an effort in their answers and shares more than absolutely necessary.

Yes. Totally!
It's really sweet to see, and I especially loved the blurb about inspirational games and creators (Hi DEEP 8!)
Nice interview, Little Wing Guy! I agree with the others about the thoughtful answers. Reading this interview has inspired me to gam mak, so thanks for that!
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