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Formerly the Third Place Winner of the Indie Game Maker Contest 2014's RPG section, Cope Island returns rebuilt from scratch and better than ever.



Out now!


When one is faced with a desire to better themselves they are drawn to Cope Island. Take a limited amount of randomized weapons and battle your way through a series of trials in order to have a showdown with Your Demon. There are vast amounts of possible weapon combos and stat bonuses you may find per visit. Cope Island is full of secrets and it is up to you to stay on track, or break your way through the forgotten.

Take the plunge. Discover one's self.




- Fast-Paced Turn-Based Battles
- Randomly Generated Weapons
- Multiple Branching Paths
- All Original Pixel Art
- All Original Music




Cope Island has gone through many shades of development. This version is all new from the original and features vastly more amount of content. There are secret areas to find, a hub to view your progress of collection after each run, and over triple the content of the original.

Latest Blog

Afterword - Part I

Okay, this is a long one, where I likely reveal too much information about myself. I do want to start this off with a mega thanks to rmn for featuring me! This place is my internet home and I take this honor seriously and with pride.

I have rambled bits and pieces about the process of making Cope Island. Yet, now I think is time to tell the road I took to get here. I have felt the low and high points of my life while making this game. Cope Island: Adrift is not the longest game to complete. In the time I took making this, I could have made a long 20 hour epic. Yet it’s not. It’s not short, but it’s not long. I hammered this thing not to have you lose into something for a day, but to give an experience that resonated with who I am, in some small way.

I have preached this before. What gives my game flavor is honesty. Honesty of what I felt. Of what I wanted to be expressed. It’s my own form of a painting. My song composed my way. The right to share with you a portion of my mind is something that honestly helps keep me going, day by day.

So perhaps it is fair I be honest about my road getting here. This turned out WAY longer than I thought, so I decided to break this blog post into parts.

Intro


For many years, game dev was all I had. It was something that I was actually proud of. I never really had talent in anything. I never did any activities outside of playing games. People tried to take this away from me. Laughing at me for being proud of creating with RPG Maker. Saying it’s a silly tool to play around with and that I should only be proud of doing something that actually takes skill.

I had a friend online that I admired. He was 6 years older than me. He was 21 at this time. I was 15. He was in college to be a programmer. He wanted to be this mega successful game developer. I looked up to him, thought he was cool guy. I respected what he had to say. He had this whole community of friends he invited me to be a part of. I had legit no friends otherwise. They all had roles in his grand game dev team ambition. I was kind of an outsider.

He once started teaching me programming basics. He was an awful teacher, it went utterly nowhere. I always used RPG Maker, though. I was doing some eventing. It reminded me a bit of the stuff he tried to teach me with programming. I made a joke. I legit thought it was a joke and told him it was a joke. It went along the lines of “hey, this is kind of like programming!” and showed a screenshot. I forget what it even was. The hours that followed was him literally verbally assaulting me, making me feel like a piece of shit in every way shape or form he could imagine. Just because I insulted his pride. He was a REAL programmer, and to even JOKE about that was insulting.

I had no other friends at that point. I had legit no social life. I was already a school drop out at that point. I didn’t even talk to my brothers (I only had one brother that treated me like a human being anyway) I lived my life mostly in the middle of the night. And he did this in a group chat with his other fully grown adult friends, and they either ignored it or laughed about it, agreeing at how much of a failure piece of shit I was. I truly believed what he said. I truly felt like trash. If you’re still reading, you might ask yourself. Why is this relevant to Cope Island?

That took place in 2008. Let’s fast forward to 2014. I stuck around this person throughout the years. I always tried to be a part of his grand game dev ambitions. I wanted to be his music guy, but he said I was trash at music and should give up. So I tried to be a pixel artist, which I sucked bad at the time. Attempts at making a game with him happened a few times, all ended in pretty much failure.



An old image concept I made long before Cope Island. In game it was butchered beyond belief, but ah well.


IGMC 2014 comes around and he wants to give it a go. I had dabbled in RPG Maker plenty at this point, and he wanted to make a game in RPG Maker. So he actually came to me for some advice. He asked me if a mechanic was possible in RPG Maker and asked how to do it. It was only required simple eventing. So I did it and showed him the screenshot. His response: “Oh, that’s a lot like programming!”

It was many years later. People grow. (this guy surely didn’t grow much I tell you hwat) Yet, I remembered that night all those years prior. Being psychology shattered because I offended his pride. I was afraid to even bring up RPG Maker for years to him after. (to most people, actually, for different reasons perhaps?) I brought up to him that years earlier, he went batshit on me for JOKING about the same thing he had said. He didn’t remember. Maybe I was overreacting? Maybe it was just teenage silliness? No. That shit hurt me. It stung. It stuck with me. And it was like one of HUNDREDS of similar incidents with this person. I remembered most of them, if not all. It’s hard to forget stuff that leaves a mark on you. He forgot it all, because it didn’t matter to him.

He did not enter IGMC 2014. In fact, I actually showed him Cope Island before I submitted. He said it sucked. Told me to get help from someone who can write. (Cope Island is mine and I would never have someone write it for me) He had a total lack of faith in me.

After I won the third place of the RPG section, he came to me and demanded I give him the credit of “Expert Game Design Consultant.” saying that it would help him be accepted into a college program that would let him travel to Japan to study. He didn’t do shit to help. I was furious and had choice words with him. Yet, being the pushover I am. I did give him that credit and he used it. Since, I have took him out. Removed his stain from my game. I gave that credit jokingly to an actual friend of mine, because we make fun of it so much. (he has no idea I gave him that credit yet, lol)

I do not talk to this person any longer. It took me a couple of years after IGMC 2014 to finally rip that bandaid off, but he is completely out of my life. Years upon years of being wrapped up into this person’s bullshit, with him constantly telling me I was not good enough, that I was a failure, that I would never succeed or even get a job. That I would end up homeless under the bridge. That I should join the army and be fodder because that’s all I’d be good for.

This guy is just a mere example. I could write a novel alone on my experience with him. But that’s not the point of this blog. I had MANY different weights that held me down, he was just one of them. The point of this blog is what this game means to me and how I got to the finish line.

IGMC 2014


The story of making this game is not a revenge story. Actually, it’s about me finding good in my life WITH RPG Maker and accomplishing something that I never expected to happen.

I was in a long distance relation at the time. I had no job. No driver’s license. I lived in my parents house. I had no education. But this girl loved me. I loved her. We were dating long distance for a couple of years and at the start of 2014, she managed to get me a plane ticket to Norway to visit her for a few months.

From February to May, I stayed in Norway. I went from living in my parents house, barely leaving it, having no social life… To across the world, finally seeing the girl I loved in person. I had never flown in a plane before. I had never even been apart from my parents more than a few days before that. When I was stepping onto the plane, I felt nauseous. I thought I was going to die. Because I had no right do be happy. But I stepped on anyway, and went on to live the most magical three months of my life.

I’ve had so many lows in my life since. So many. None beat returning to Illinois after those three months in Norway. That was the most brutal pain I ever experienced. That was worse than my house burning down. Worse than my little brother dying. Worse than helping my wife through her brain surgery. Returning home that first time was the most pain I ever felt, as there has been nothing that compared to the high of being there those first three months.

Back in my parents house. Back with no job. Back with no driver’s license. Apart from the girl I loved, who spent everyday crying because she missed me so much. It was a truly awful time. Then this IGMC contest thing begins, and I decide to just, well, go for it. I had been dabbling with RPG Maker for many years before that, and finished projects. But I never released anything. I decided it was time to finally put my skills to the test.

I ran through my mind a tornado of ideas. How could I make an rpg feel DONE in 30 minutes? RPGs require a LOT of build up and pacing to feel complete. So I thought of tons of ideas. Struggling to choose one, almost panicking. I wanted to make a “castle” game. One dungeon. Multiple sections. Though I didn’t want just a normal castle. So I thought, hey, maybe an island would be fun! I made a song afterwards, and it was somber. I guess that was what I wanted to express at the time. An island sounded nice. I wanted to go to an island and just spend time with my girlfriend (later wife) at the time. Magically pulled away to it. Though that was impossible.

As cheesy as it was, making Cope Island was how I coped with the pain. The name Cope Island, I wanted to change it so much. But I’ve had various people tell me do NOT change it. It is what it is.

I like playing games and getting good at them. The idea of Cope Island is escaping somewhere, getting better, and going back to where you left of. That’s kind of my relationship with games as a whole.

So I make the game in a couple of weeks pretty much. The first week was mostly planning. I was already like a week late. I redid the game the last couple of days because I wasn’t happy with the results. I decided to make everything even faster paced, maps even smaller. I press submit and enter the agonizing wait to be judged.



Wow, look at this old thing.



New version of that, pretty much!


During the wait, I went to Norway again for a month, then brought her back to my home for the first time for three months. My home, well, it’s not Norway. She had to stomach a lot of unpleasant. She was shocked, to be honest. I tried to warn her, but, well… So being in Illinois with her, was very hard on me.

I checked anxiously every day for judging to be done. I had zero hope. I even found an error in my game. It was rare to get, but it gave me massive anxiety. I felt I lost my only chance. I also played a lot of other entrees and lost total hope. Remnants of Isolation, I played and thought “if any game beats me, I hope it’s this” Still happy it won. I also played One Shot a bit and felt “this is COMPLETELY out of my league.

Finally, the results were in. I clicked and saw Remnants of Isolation. I was super happy for them. I scrolled down to finally get rid of the anxiety. I was really considering quitting game dev because it just weighed on me too much and I felt I wasn’t that good. I saw “Cope Island” and was like “WHAT???????” My gf, later wife, was startled. I showed her and she was so happy she legit picked me up and spun me around. She has viking strength.

Degica emailed me, saying I need a bank account to get the money and offered me a commercial contract. All those years of using RPG Maker, feeling proud of doing what I did, having so many people tell me it was a useless waste of time and not a skill to feel proud of… After all that, I accomplished something with it. I didn’t earn a bunch of money, but that was my first $500 I earned in my life. Now that I have a job, that’s nothing. Yet, at the time, it was so much. I had a contract with an actual game company too.

I decided I wanted to make the game I wanted to make. Not let down the minor success I had. I wanted to release the best version of the game I could make. No time limits. No settling for less. I wanted to make my own pixel art and to show those who said it was ugly that I CAN map.

The next four years, well, a lot happened. The contract more or less vanished as Degica ghosted me. I finished the game on my own, but while waiting for them to respond, I made Three Ghostly Roses. Then I scrapped the second version of Cope Island and made a third version. I have a lot to say about these 4 years. So much that, well, I should break these in parts as not to drown y’all in a wall of text at once. I’m sure this is long enough already, haha.

That’s Part I of the Afterword. I’ll write Part II soon, and express the struggles of MAKING Cope Island: Adrift. The highs. The lows. The lessons I’ve learned. How my life greatly impacted each second of dev time. How my life drastically changed during that time as well. So many major changes. Some fresh and hard to talk about. All of it affected the final product, hopefully in a positive way.

Until next time, while I die from embarrassment from revealing a lot about myself. I feel like my story should be, you know, told? Maybe some people can relate to it. Maybe it can help others understand people like the younger version of myself who had nothing.

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Posts

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Red_Nova
The all around prick
7478
IT'S FINALLY HERE!! INSTA-SUBBED
I've been waiting for this ever since you posted about polishing the original version. Super excited!
CashmereCat
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
10222
Such an exciting game to look forward to with all anticipation! My friend has painstakingly crafted a marvellous sculpture with his mere intentions and a mouse, keyboard and monitor. And his brain. I can't wait to sink my teeth into this proverbial sandwich of a game. To admire its soft, succulent lettuce in the game. To inspect its tomatoes of game. To thoroughly investigate the nooks and crannies of its game-y sesame seed buns, and condiments game. This game is like a sandwich you won't belieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeve. Thoroughly looking forward, backward, sideways and upwards to this game. I never look down. That's where the - okay, I must go. There is danger lurking. On Cope Island: Tokyo Drift: The Game: The Gamepage: The CashmereCat Comment: The Movie. It's a game.

Edit: Edit.
i think this will be zds' best game since mownt
Wow, good work! Glad to see this getting cared for the way it should be!
AtiyaTheSeeker
In all fairness, bird shrapnel isn't as deadly as wood shrapnel
2653
You've done it. You've finally gotten this far. You glorious bastard, you. When I have disposable income again, I shall take the plunge once more when all is said and done. *_*

EDIT: Thought it was ready by now. My B. ^^;
author=Altered
I guess I gotta play it

Wait fuck, I don’t have money
kory_toombs
I won the RMN 2019 Stanley Cup Playoff Pool. Now I will never stop bragging about it.
12577

Congratulations on getting you first game on Steam!
I recently purchased this from Itch.io, and have been enjoying it, and I think I have made it to the endgame, but I am stumped on how to finish it.

I am at 90% completion of the island, and have all the torches in the main room lit except for the topmost one. I tried beating the other routes again to no avail, and I think I softlocked after beating The Thousand again because the people that appear in the following scene were already there and blocking my progress in the dark hallway and I had to abandon the run. Any hints on what to do would be appreciated. I also don't have any of the secret weapons other than Edmund's Friend, and I am not sure how to get them either. I found two spots in the underground where I could talk to the water, but couldn't find anything else after that, and I tried not doing anything to the bath mirrors, but it didn't seem to lead to anything either.
zDS
Besr Richard Slayer
4616
@FGSFDS88

SHIIIIT, sorry about that soft lock, uploaded a fix just now. You'll have to abandon the current pilgrimage you're on if you want to do that ending again, though. Either way, to finish the stuff you need, you don't need to. Still, sorry about that.

90% means you only need one trial left. Besides the Prison, which of the late game trials did you complete? One of the trials requires you to use the 'Gold' you find. The other has something to do with the Orb you found and the items that follow. If you want a full solution list of, like everything including the secret weapons and whatnot, feel free to ask!
@zDS

Thanks for the prompt reply and the fix, I have the island talisman from the gold and did the trial associated with it. I also swapped out the sunlight and starlight orbs, and have tried placing the starlight orb in the beach trial post, and after I did so I saw two or three different sparkly spots on the ground in various locations that gave me the same message about now being able to find the truth at the end of the pilgrimage, but after that I haven't seen anymore on subsequent playthroughs even if I place the starlight orb. Also unlike the island talisman, the starlight orb doesn't show up in my starting inventory even though I am always able to place it at the beach trial on subsequent playthroughs. There is a star shaped indentation near the beach trial, I assume I need to place something there, but I have yet to find it.

I have also found some extra scenes by going behind the waterfall in the bath trial, going down the stairs that appear when you repeatedly smash doors in the beach trial, and by using the return shortcut in the cliffs trial when you have the clinger talisman, do those pertain to getting something I need for the last trial?


As for the secret weapons, I don't want a full solution, but I just want to know if they are chance based like Edmund's Friend, or if I can always get them on a playthough as long as I meet the required conditions.
zDS
Besr Richard Slayer
4616
FGSFDS88

Not a problem! The sparkly spots, after talking to them all, should give you a key. That key never goes away. If you place orb make sure its at night or it doesnt work. You have it more or less figured out. The last path is all to do with that. (also orb should stay oops lol) Let me know if there is issues with that. I never tested placing orb and leaving before getting key.

Those scenes you found have nothing to do with unlocking the final trial. Each NPC has a secret scene like that. More of a just for fun thing.

Only Edmunds Friend is by chance. Other ones are by doing various secret stuff.
@zDS

Thanks again for the tips. I think I have enough to go on to get the next trial now. I read your Afterword post too, and on top of being a good read I also found a hint there to get the Islander sword, haha.


EDIT:
Looks like I am having issues with getting the key, I placed the orb at night, but the sparkly spots will not reappear.I traversed the whole island at night, but couldn't find any more.
zDS
Besr Richard Slayer
4616
Oh no. I'll fix that as soon as I get home from work in 4 hours. Sorry I didn't see that until now!

EDIT: uploaded fix, hopefully that works. so sorry for that :S

you might have to finish the run you're on before it works the next time, sadly ):
This game has come along way since the 2014 entry. I was happy to see that when I beat the game I had barely scratched the surface. I need to play more to write a review but I'm very intrigued how the routes you take affect the outcome.

Some random notes:

Nice low res pixel art. Really nice music.
Lock description weapon has an extra o
Sfx are very low volume by default.
Maybe a way to personalize the experience more like in Earthbound in the beginning?
You can use skills if you don't have enough power but nothing happens? Not very good feedback.
Passability error on bottom of beach trial map: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tdlqhlm8rrvvcmh/Screenshot%202019-06-10%2018.55.40.png?dl=0
No good indicator of which turn you're on. If you back out of a turn you might not realize which one you're on.
There is a lot more to the game after first beating it!
The droplet turning into flood surprised me. Love the new music!
zDS
Besr Richard Slayer
4616
Hey stoic! Glad you're enjoying!

The using skills without sufficient points and nothing happening is kind of a deal with the devil I made. See, it greatly makes the game flow smoother. It's so you can predict when points will be added so you can use skills without waiting for the next turn. I'd rather have a message that appears that says "You did not have enough Weapon Points." or something but I don't know how to lol. It's a weight on my heart. :S

Also, I would love to figure out a turn count + which actions are available. I found a script that did that, but it drastically changed the gameplay so I had to jump ship on that.

These are both fixes that, if and when I figure out, I'll add right away.

All in all, good feedback! Just when I thought I got all those passibility issues, another one creeps through.

Hope you enjoy the rest! I had the most fun making the Below stuff and they're probably my favorite trials.
author=zDS
The using skills without sufficient points and nothing happening is kind of a deal with the devil I made. See, it greatly makes the game flow smoother. It's so you can predict when points will be added so you can use skills without waiting for the next turn. I'd rather have a message that appears that says "You did not have enough Weapon Points." or something but I don't know how to lol. It's a weight on my heart. :S


I realized that later once I was able to act more than once per turn which made combat feel much more tactical. But the lack of feedback when I tried to use a skill and didn't have sufficient points didn't sit right with me. If you need help getting that implemented send me a DM and we can get that weight lifted. <3
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