LOOKING BACK: BELOVED RAPTURE
A look back at some classic Rpg Maker games
- 02/07/2013 02:47 AM
- 8634 views
What is Looking Back? A series of articles talking about those classic Rpg Maker games from the past.
Created by: BlindMind.
Made With: Rpg Maker 2003
Download: Final Release Here v3.0
Beloved Rapture is a cinematically-oriented, puzzle-adventure RPG. It emphasizes an immersive game environment, vivid characterization and dramatic storytelling. Originated in 2006 and put on indefinite Hiatus in 2009.
It concentrates on John, Crystal and Aiden, all young royalty of varying backgrounds dispersed by war and romantic affairs. Although their backgrounds are diverse as ever, they are brought together by fate to unravel the mystery of the new-order Aeon movement, increasingly threatening toward their home kingdoms.
Eventually their loyalties are tested in the face of political reorganization and a thirst for power, all while deepening their bewildering and intimate friendships.
Interview with BlindMind:
Who is BlindMind?
That's a tough one! I guess literally speaking, mostly just an internet persona I’ve used while floating around different online communities, etc. Perhaps disappointingly there's no real backstory, lol.
Me as a person? Probably even tougher. I’m a twenty-two year old male. I live and breathe everything of a stimulating or exotic nature. I love the provocative and unconventional. I've been a college student at a small liberal Arts School in Massachusetts the past four years, trying to find my way professionally and creatively I suppose you could say! ;)
Unfortunately I changed my major so frequently that I felt as though I'd literally never finish! It was sort of a confusing period for me personally. Sooo currently moved home working various odd-jobs, primarily brainless retail and nightlife photography—taking a short break from school. Assuming the finances fall into place, I’ll be moving to California in the Fall of 2013 to finish my degree at the Academy of Art in San Francisco via the Advertising program.
My hobbies are pretty diverse but I'd probably narrow some of the favorites down to image-processing, cosmetics and fashion, "retro" videogames, fitness, independent films, poetry, etc. ;D My love for Game Design was once a pretty substantial part of my life and probably still would be if I had the time to seriously delve back into it.
Over the years I've learned to take myself a lot less seriously. As a result I'm almost excessively nonchalant in how I tend to look at life, sort of silly in contrast to how a lot of people on RMN may have once known me. I'm very flexible, personal, go-with-the-flow and goofy. Feel free to find my Facebook if you want an answer that’s a little less vague? ;))
How did you enter the Rpg Maker scene?
It’s funny thinking about this question because I remember pretty clearly checking out different Forum threads on Gaming World where a lot of ‘oldies’ would peek from the dark corners of the site, spew out some nostalgia, make themselves seem ancient, etc haha!
Funnily enough, I guess I’m probably one of those people now? ;) I downloaded RPGMaker 2k3 in early 2004 and was instantly hooked. Like countless members here my childhood had been consumed with fleshing out elaborate fantasy stories, many in a visual or roleplaying form.
When it finally occurred to me to seek out other developers I recall joining a bunch of communities all at once; Charas.net, Gaming World, RPG Revolution, blah blah. Gaming W was primarily the community that I stayed with and became active on because of the friendships I made.
When did the idea behind Beloved Rapture come to mind?
My writing was pretty crazy and excessive as a child. I had several ‘storylines’ that I routinely developed and revisited, taking inspiration from novels, popular RPGs, and animated films in particular. But truthfully, BR’s concept was never 100% fleshed out. I took a lot of different ideas and basically meshed them together; ‘winging it’ and learning many things as I went along. This causes a LOT of reconstruction and me making things over again, literally more often than generating content. This was probably a large part of the downfall, I suppose.
I came into the community when the focus on visuals and aesthetic qualities in RPGMaker games was undeniably at its peak. Games like Philosopher’s Stone, Ara Fell, Sunset over Imdahl, etc. were crazy popular. I recall being literally in awe of them, blown away. Although I probably never realized it, it was always my intention to emulate these games in terms of scale, polish, and recognition.
But the reality was that I was sixteen and highly inexperienced—haha basically just in way over my head. BR was an overambitious and pretty generic game overall, with familiar fantasy themes and archetypes. Most of the first year (2005?) was “practice” for me—although I posted a lot of content and promotional material on the site, there was very little completed that was tangible. Instead of admitting my mistake I pressed on through it, rushing quickly toward a release. After my first demo I came to understand more clearly what my strengths (and weaknesses) were, and reevaluated things.
Has Beloved Rapture been a success or failure in your eyes?
Awh that’s another toughie. I think what defines success will always be inherently subjective because the criteria is different for every person. As a writer and artist my vision has always been a tad offbeat, and therefore so too are my judgments.
While I’m sure the argument will continue to rage on in terms of “Are videogames Art?”—for me, there has never been any question. This isn’t to say all games are art, or even contain artistic qualities. After a certain point, I consciously developed Beloved Rapture with that sentiment in mind. It was less about “is this game fun?” and more so “how does this make you feel?” - “Will you remember it afterward, and why?”
In that sense, I believe my efforts to have been pretty successful, even though they may never be fully realized or I may stand alone in saying so. I didn’t really have any desire to compete with games like the Philosophers Stone (or others) from the standpoint of a swift battle system or intricate dungeons, because I had realized that wasn’t where my heart was in the first place. All of my resources and time went toward perfecting the ambiance and cinematic qualities of the storytelling.
It was never about the “pretty maps” or original soundtrack, etc but rather the cohesiveness of the whole experience, the overall element of immersion. I wanted a project that had the atmosphere, the drama, and the vividness of a commercial game or even an animated film—although it may have never run quite as smoothly. Many people simply don’t interpret an indie game on that level, which I understand and respect.
I brought SO many people onto the project that were my friends in the community, in such excess that I can’t even begin to name them all now. I even went as far as to pay a professional manga artist from São Paulo to illustrate my characters/backdrops (although I eventually ran out of money because I was 16 and paying out of pocket!). At one point in my life, making the game flawless was truly one of my top priorities.
As one reviewer once put it, BR had visually become the “Ara Fell of ripped tiles,” for many players, with the connotation being primarily positive. Although I look back now and roll my eyes at a lot of my design choices back then, there probably wasn’t anything more encouraging that could have been said to me at the time.
What is to become of Beloved Rapture?
After my third demo was released in early 2008 (I think?), I promised myself not to post in my forum topic or do anything more with the game publicity-wise until I finished it outright. Once it reached 4000 downloads, I removed it from RPGMaker.net in anticipation for the full game’s download.
Long story short, it took me a LOT longer to bring this into fruition than I realized. Coupled with the fact that I began college in the Fall of 08’, my free time basically just evaporated. I worked on the game on and off during holiday and summer breaks, but regrettably it wasn’t a huge part of my life at that time.
What became of the project ultimately was pretty upsetting for me! The laptop I worked off of at the time experienced a complete hard-drive crash in the spring of 2010, essentially purging the overhaul of work I had done with the project since its 2008 release. Basically, almost two years of work. In frustration and anger I pulled myself out of the ‘scene’ for nearly nine months, and cancelled the game indefinitely.
Given the circumstances I likely would have reacted in the same way even now. It was truly heartbreaking for me. I toyed with the idea of starting ‘new’ projects with the multitude of experience I’d gained, but simply didn’t have the free time to make that commitment. All that remains of BR sadly are the promotional images and various material I have kept online at RMN, and whichever old downloads might be floating around somewhere, which I haven’t really looked into.
What's next for Blindmind?
Hmm! Unfortunately my presence in the community has dwindled down to almost non-existence, lol. I saw the message from Tau asking to interview me and I was honestly taken aback. At this point I have no way of knowing what may happen in the near future in terms of making a complete reappearance.
More professionally, I’m finishing my BFA to ideally move my way into the Advertising industry. At AAU I’ll be focusing further on image processing, fashion photography and copywriting. The move to California is simultaneously the most exciting and terrifying thing in my life.
As a little aside that I don’t think anyone knows, I actually had planned out a second project to follow up BR with! I had talked at different points about collaborating with DragonHeartMan, whose game I respected and who was a good friend of mine in the community at that time! ;)
We had such polar opposite approaches to design (functionality vs. aesthetics) that I knew it would lead to an intriguing combination! Haha but maybe unsurprisingly that never progressed beyond rudimentary outlines and story drafts, because of the huge time commitment his game required and my sudden leave of absence from the community.
If I ever did make a return, I’d certainly be open to the possibility of a similar collaboration. Haha I mean truthfully I’d love the opportunity to contribute whatever insight I still have toward a younger member who seems promising enough to work with. I’ve quite literally experienced countless older developers reach down and lend their wisdom to me, many whose games I idolized. To this day I’m still not positive what small ounce of talent they may have seen, but it’d be selfish not to do the same. So you never know! ;)
What Rpg Maker games are you fond of or anticipating?
As I said I’m not much in the scene anymore! A lot of my favorites date back pretty far. But still are most certainly worth checking out!
BadLuck became a good friend and mentor to me years and years back. I loved every one of his games for their truly uplifting energy and overwhelming polish. Ara Fell and Rise of the Third Power are still on my flash drive somewhere!
I adored Wilfred the Hero—the whole concept of it. The bizarre and zany art style had me absolutely hooked, even though I never clicked 100% with its mechanics. Truly a project ahead of its time, though.
Balmung always stood out to me as a benchmark of what to strive for on RM2k3. It looked and felt entirely professional.
I also had a secret thing for horror games because of their shock-factor and emphasis on atmosphere. The original Backstage scared me a lot when I first played it, haha. I also LOVED a sort of lesser-known foreign horror project called TAUT, which is still one of the scariest fucking indie games ever. ;)
Any words of wisdom for the community?
Steve Jobs stated it more eloquently than I could hope to:
"Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Always have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become (or create). Everything else is secondary.”
Be unconventional, and never place your work into a box. No matter how unoriginal your game concept may be, never approach it with an uninspired or mechanical mindset. Not only will others be able to see the staleness pretty opaquely, but your own creative growth is stifled. Even if your intentions are never noticed (or accepted, or praised), try not to lose sight of them. In the end, they’re your greatest strength as a designer, artist, and creative mind.
Alsoooo just want to note how privileged I feel to be featured alongside Lachsen, Lysander, Teo, Kentona, DHM, Max, Brandon etc! Definitely some of the most influential faces in the community, ever. Tau does a great job with these!
(One of the original hype machines of the community. Sadly it fell quite short of that. But it was still a very impressive game for it's time.)
"... And he will be reborn, a pure-blood Kydor prince, a closure to the holy war, that his Grandisre ended, Mordicant will rise again... "
~ 842.LD Shinital Prophecies.
Great Article and Beloved Rapture is actually my favourite 2k3 RPG simply because of the cinematic, enigma codes, atmosphere and the way it was professionally presented. Whilst the game suffered from poor game-play, it made up for this with the fact it was supposed to be a puzzle orientated visual masterpiece instead. In terms of what BlindMind set out to achieve, kudos. I just wanted to say I was largely inspired by the game, it's what stepped up my creativity and thought for visual presentation for my own games.
The link for Beloved Rapture doesn't work. Good article btw, it's always interesting to learn more about the people behind these games.
Should work now, strange it went away in the first place :/
Hate to be a pain, but the BR download link doesn't work again. Takes me to a Media Fire page about a book I can buy on amazon. Said something about "Permission Denied", too, if that helps at all.
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
We really need an archive on rmn... or direct access to segnin's harddrive.
@Oblic - I don't know what to say man, it works perfectly fine for me?
i love you aaron
@Oblic - I don't know what to say man, it works perfectly fine for me?
It says permission denied. I guess you have permission and we don't?
Yeah, I can't access it either, Tau.. :(
Nah yeah I just saw that Mediafire has placed it as a copyrighted file and can't be shared? I have no idea how that happened. What's another good place to upload?
i love you aaron