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Man, there's going to be a LOT to talk about for this Devlog. Last week, I spoke about keeping the latest build of NIRAVASI clean, a bit about releasing a Launch Trailer for the game, and talking a bit more about the game's release on Steam (oh, and something about being busy for the next couple of days, I guess). Well, I've got some great news for everyone reading this today, so let's get straight into it, shall we?
The wait is almost over, everyone. After much time and patience (and a few unfortunate delays with the project on my end), NIRAVASI is finally ready to be released to the public. After almost two years of development, the Dark Adventure game I've wanted to tell will soon be in the hands of the general public on July 6th, 2022. To help better prepare you all for the release, allow me to answer some of the most pressing questions you may have.
NIRAVASI will be released on July 6th, 2022 on both Mac/PC platforms.
The game will be sold for $9.99 on all platforms (with different regions having similar prices).
NIRAVASI can only be bought digitally on Steam, itch.io or GameJolt.
Total playtime lasts for around 3-6 hours on a quick playthrough.
There will definitely be some additional details/hiccups I may have to look into or iron out, but I believe at this stage, the game is primed and ready for a full-release. When July 6th rolls along, I will be sure to get the game released as early as I can (around 12pm British Standard Time). But I'll let everyone know if that plans changes in the next few days.
Right now, there are still a few tracks that need to be completed, but I've told Adam (the composer) that if he's having trouble composing all of the songs listed before release, I'll just work with the tracks I've got so far and implement the rest in a later patch. Don't worry; most of the original tracks have already been completed; the rest (save for the two/three I'm waiting on right now) can always just use placeholder tracks in the meantime.
It's been really hard taking the time to write this Devlog, mind you. As the release date of the game approaches, I find myself beginning to worry more-and-more about whether or not the project's in a good enough shape to be released. The last thing I'd want is to release a game, only to find out that the build I've sent is irreparably broken. But I suppose most developers suffer this same kind of malady before releasing their games as well, so there's a comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one worrying about this. Here's hoping that when July 6th comes, you'll get your hands on NIRAVASI without any hassle.
So what happens to the project after it's released on July 6th? Well, there's still a bit of work that needs to be done before I can officially wrap up work on the project and claim it to be a done deal. Yes, the game will be released, but some of you might remember that I unfortunately had to delay implementing NIRAVASI's secretive third ending, due to time constraints. Once the dust settles after the game's initial release, my plan going forward will be to begin work on getting the game's secret ending sorted out (as well as a general bug patch that fixes most of the bugs still in the game).
I don't want to spoil you all with too many details, but to put it simply, the Secret Ending of NIRAVASI will take you on an brand new adventure, with a much more sinister narrative leading it. There will be some similarities between the base game and this ending, sure, but there will also be additional gameplay gimmicks not found in the main game.
In fact, some remnants of the Secret Ending can even be found right now in the base game. In NIRAVASI, a series of ominous-looking doors can be found scattered around the game. These doors cannot be opened or interacted with, and just stand there with an ominous heartbeat. As for what lies behind them, you'll just have to wait and see.
As you know, working with video games (particularly those that have a long development cycle) can be fairly expensive. Back in January 2021, I had hoped to offset a portion of this cost by getting the game funded on Kickstarter. But due to my inexperience and lack of further preparation on my part, NIRAVASI did not reach its goal of £3,000. I'm still incredibly thankful to everyone that did invest in the project, mind you.
Fast forward a year or so, I'm at the point in my life where the next few months will dictate what I'll be doing as a career. If NIRAVASI becomes a financially viable product (or even a mega-success), I'll definitely have the time and resources to continue work as a solo-indie developer, creating awesome game experiences for those who love games with a narrative-spin. But if that isn't the case, I'm afraid any future games developed by me will have to take a step back, as I try to find other ways of staying financially afloat for the future (on the plus side, the work I've done for NIRAVASI will look absolutely amazing for both my CV and portfolio).
But I may also consider starting up a Patreon account as a means of generating revenue on my end. Not only would it offer anyone who's a fan of my work to financially support the work I do, but it will also act as a way to grant people some special bonuses relating to my projects (whether that'd be access to a Discord server, or patron-only streams). Speaking of Discord servers, I've also been considering making one to better interact and communicate with NIRAVASI's fans, as well as find a place to gain and receive feedback on the work that I do. The server wouldn't just be about NIRAVASI, mind you, but all of the products under the SOVERAM brand. This may very well include BLANK and any future titles I may seek to work on.
But for the moment, these are all just rough ideas, and I can't promise you that they'll come into fruition over the next few weeks. I want to see how NIRAVASI is received after launch before anything else. Then if all goes well, I'll start looking into further boosting my online presence.
To further celebrate the upcoming release of NIRAVASI, I'll be doing a Developer Commentary Walkthrough of my very first RPG Maker game, BLANK. Released back in February 2016, BLANK was my first proper venture into both the RPG Maker scene and video game development as a whole, and it's a game I still see players actively play to this day. It's been years since I worked on the game myself, which is why I thought it'd be fun to go over and experience the game from start-to-finish (as well as give my unique takes and thoughts behind certain designs used in the game).
From the strange world of Transech, to the intimidating designs and themes of the game's bosses, BLANK certainly stands out in the RPG Maker scene. The plan I've got in my head is to start streaming the game sometime after 2pm British Standard Time on Friday, 1st July on my Twitch.tv channel, which you can find here:
That's it for this week's Devlog for NIRAVASI. Like I said before in my social media posts, this Devlog was always going to be significantly larger than the last few I released. This will be the last Devlog I'll be writing before NIRAVASI's released to wider audiences, meaning that from this point forward, it'll all be in your hands. I'll still be making updates as the release date draws nearer, but will refrain from participating in any larger discussions until after the game comes out. Nevertheless, thank you all so very much for reading and I hope you enjoy NIRAVASI when it's released in a week's time.
Man, there's going to be a LOT to talk about for this Devlog. Last week, I spoke about keeping the latest build of NIRAVASI clean, a bit about releasing a Launch Trailer for the game, and talking a bit more about the game's release on Steam (oh, and something about being busy for the next couple of days, I guess). Well, I've got some great news for everyone reading this today, so let's get straight into it, shall we?
It's official, everyone. After months of planning and preparation, NIRAVASI finally has its Steam release.
It should be noted that this is truly an incredible milestone for the game to achieve, as well as one I can still hardly believe is actually real. When I first started working on this game in August 2020, I could've never imagine I would reach a point where I would see this humble little experiment of a demo blossom into a fully-fledged video game.
Having NIRAVASI be on Steam also allows a much greater access for players to interact with the game, as Steam is generally a more accessible platform for people to pick up a digitally-distributed game like NIRAVASI. Sure, GameJolt, itch and RPGMakerNet are great ways to get an indie developer's feet wet, but having the game on Steam will do absolute wonders for my personal portfolio as well. Imagine walking up to a business interview and saying "I made a game, and here it is!".
And as an added bonus, implementing fixes and changes to the game on the fly is a lot easier than I gave it credit for. It not only puts to rest one of the biggest worries I had with implementing the game's cut Secret Ending back into the game, but it also allows me to quickly fix any catastrophic bugs that players may encounter on their journey through the lost city.
NIRAVASI's arrival on Steam isn't not the only piece of grand news I've got to share with all of you today. There's also the fact that the game now has a proper launch trailer that better reflects that kind of product that you'll be playing around on July 6th, 2022.
With all of the supporting marketing material like this complete and the game more-or-less being complete, the next month will be all about cracking down on those final bugs, as well making a big push to get the game out there in the hands of players/reviewers that either previously expressed interest in giving the project a go, or to newer audiences that just wanna know if you can pet the kitty cat (I'm afraid you can't, but I'm sure Mura would appreciate the thought anyway).
Now don't worry about what will happen to the game after it's released. I've still got a few things I'd like to add to the base game experience, as well as find the time to iron out any nasty bugs that players may run into as they venture through the world of Niravasi. But I'll do my best to remain as open and transparent with communications like this going forward, so expect more Devlogs for the game to come out after its release.
Finally, NIRAVASI's website has received a rather large overhaul in both its look and design. The original site was built to show off the game to any audiences that were interested in the project during its more quiet months of production (September-December 2021), but was also lacking in the kind of quality I ultimately wanted for the IP as a whole.
If you head on over to the site now, you'll see a much more refined and friendly experience for users wanting to know more about the project. We've got footage running in the background, better use of imagery, and even text that fades in. As always, I'll be keeping a close eye on the site as the months go on, so don't worry if you think this change will only be a once and done deal.
And that's about it for this week's Devlog for NIRAVASI. Now that I think about it, we don't have a lot of time between now and the game's release on June 6th, 2022. That's about two more Devlogs before NIRAVASI gets dropped into the hands of the public, so I'll have to have a good think about what to talk about in the next couple of Devlogs. Until then, thank you very much for reading, and I hope you all have a wonderful day.
We're back again with another NIRAVASI Devlog. And this time, I've got some really exciting news to share with you all here today (plus some important mentions I'd like to make before starting off the final steps for meeting the July 6th release date). With that said, let's get straight into it, shall we?
As I explained before in the previous Devlog, I had roughly finished work on the game and began playing through NIRAVASI from start-to-finish to see if I could discover any potentially game-breaking bugs (as well as snuff out any pesky spelling mistakes that may have been lurking around). I'm happy to announce that I've finally completed this testing-phase of the game from my perspective, which means I'm now happy to start working on the marketing for NIRAVASI. The game's still rather dialogue-heavy at times, mind you, but I'm hoping these small little changes will improve the health of the project overall.
Now that doesn't mean to say the game is completely bug-free. There's still probably a few bugs flying around that players will have to deal with on release. But those kind of bugs can be easily fixed with a post-release update, and I'm hoping I'll be able to provide fixes to them swiftly. That doesn't mean to say I'm being lax with this mentality of bug-fixing, mind you. It just means that I, as a single developer, cannot feasibly spot and fix every error that may potentially exist in the game before a major release. NIRAVASI is my first commercial release, so there's bound to be road bumps, here and there.
But if it's any consolation, I'll also start conducting additional testing sessions of the game to various individuals (such as my family and friends) by offering them test builds of the game at a later date going forward.
While work on testing the game has been going along smoothly, I've managed to set up a Steamworks Account and can now upload a version of the game on Steam (should I wish to do so). However, I'm not quite at a stage yet where I feel comfortable updating the game on all the digital marketplaces you can play the game on (Steam, itch.io, Gamejolt) just yet. My main concern right now is getting a better demo build of the game sorted out, as well as launch a proper Trailer for NIRAVASI in the coming weeks.
That means I'll need to spend a bit of time next week recording video footage, as well as begin working on the final demo build of the game. NIRAVASI is a narrative-driven Dark Adventure experience with some elements of horror to it, so I want anyone who comes across the game online to be absolutely sure with themselves that it's an experience that they'll want to take part in before purchasing it. I'll still also be adding in relevant tag information for the game to use in its store pages, but this is just another extra layer I want to add to help build trust between myself and the game's consumers.
Unfortunately, the second-half of this week and June itself are going to be rather busy for me going forward. Later this week, I will be attending a family funeral and will not have access to my work station until Monday next week. After that, there will be two important birthdays coming up, followed by a mini-holiday and a larger holiday that'll take some more days off my schedule.
So yeah, lots of important dates will be coming up for me in the following month. But I'm happy to know at least that the game's in a fairly-complete state, and that I'm more than capable of getting the last few stages of work done fairly quickly. So to roughly recap on what's left for the game's development, here's a little list for you to enjoy.
Finish Final Cutscenes (Willow, Mother Veyja, and 50 Vigarium Artifacts)
Produce Launch Trailer
Create Final Demo Build
Contact Review Sites + Backers
Final Quality Control
Launch Game on Digital Marketplaces
That's about it for this week's Devlog for NIRAVASI. I'll be taking a break for the rest of the week, but still try to get around to recording some footage to use for the game's launch trailer soon enough. Heck, maybe I might start working on getting that Demo Build of the game sorted out as well, who knows? In any in case, thank you all very much for reading, and I hope you all have a wonderful day.
We're back with another Devlog for NIRAVASI. Now that I think about it, we're getting very close to the release date of the game (less than two months from now), so the content of these Devlogs may very well dry up when that time comes. But in the meantime, there's still a lot to talk about. Let's get started then, shall we?
I'm not sure if I mentioned this in the previous Devlog or not, but I'm currently replaying through the whole of NIRAVASI to nail out any pesky bugs that may potentially cripple a player's experience, as well as iron out some minor bugs like spelling hiccups and grammar atrocities. One of the most significant bugs I encountered while playtesting through the game had to do with how the game render the player's flashlight and general light aura (the radius of light around the player), which I go into detail below.
When I started working on NIRAVASI back in September 2020, I initially had a bit of trouble setting up the eventing for both the general light radius of the player and flashlight player beams. The RPG Maker MV3D plugin was completely new for me at the time and I had no experience working on other titles that utilised it. As such, it was a very much trial-and-error when it came to developing the Kickstarter build of the game, which often resulted in some stuff I'd change upon later revision. Since then, the game has flourished immensely and is now at the point where it could be comfortably released to the public (albeit, in a semi-incomplete stage). But one of the ways I found to generate lighting for the player was to create two parallel events that existed on every map that would generate these sources of light for the players. For those of you that don't know, Parallel Events are events in RPG Maker MV that run repeatedly while the game instance is still running, regardless of whether the player is in a cutscene or not.
While this worked well initially in the early stages, I began noticing a significant drop in framerate for players whenever they entered instances that utilised more parallel events (such as chase sequences and major story events). As such, it became clear to me that a solution would quickly need to be found before the game releases on July 6th. This issue has since been resolved through better ordering of the events on my part, which has resulted in a significant reduction in frame drops while playing through some of NIRAVASI's most visually intensive areas. And it's not just the lighting events that have adopted this change.
One of the other issues I faced while playing through NIRAVASI was the severe input delay whenever the player was escaping from special enemy actors (like the SARA unit and Red Sentry). This was in part because of two reasons:
The first was that those robots relied on a Parallel Event to continually move the actor closer towards the player. Normally that wouldn't sound bad on paper, but this event would repeatedly run for every FRAME of game time. This meant that the CALI wasn't just running towards the player once, but instead hundreds of times for every second that passed.
The second issue was that whenever a robot dealt lethal damage to you, the game wouldn't stop registering the damage calculation when it touched you. This would cause the jump scare death scenes to overlap with each other visually, creating many more frame drops for the player.
Now that these issues have been resolved, I can't tell you how it good feels to play through NIRAVASI without a giant robot crashing your game whenever it touches you.
Full Steam Ahead
Some of you may be wondering when NIRAVASI will have its Steam page set up. Well, there's still a bit of work that needs to be done behind-the-scenes first before I get it up and running. First off, I want to get the game fully tested on my end before making the time to work on a final Demo build of the game to show off (which will take you back to Old Hanirr). Additionally, I want to create a proper full release trailer for the game, which I'm hoping will really sell the game to everyone that's expressed interest in purchasing the game upon its release (as well as new audiences that haven't heard a thing about this little Dark Adventure game).
That's it for this NIRAVASI Devlog. I'll likely be unavailable to work on NIRAVASI in the next few days, as I'll be attending a very important family wedding. It's something that's been a long time coming and I want to do my best in any way I can with it. With that said, thank you all so very much for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful evening.
Been a little while, hasn't it? I'll get into the reason for my absence last week down below, but for now, I've got some exciting news to share with everyone here today (depending on what you deem to be exciting). So with that said, let's skip the formalities and get straight into the meat of things!
From Start to Finish
For those of you that have been keeping a close eye on the project, I've got some awesome news for you all:
NIRAVASI is now playable from Start to Finish (both the Regular and True Endings).
After almost two years of working on this game, NIRAVASI can now be completed from start-to-finish. From exploring the landing site near Old Hanirr to the very heart of the city itself, the adventure that NIRAVASI guides you on can now be completed from a gameplay perspective. Again, I keep getting chills just thinking about that.
So now what does that mean for the project as a whole? Well, it means you can actually complete the game, silly. There's still a lot of work that needs to be done at this stage (completing work on the Ending Cutscenes and Credits), but being able to play the game from the beginning to the end is still a massive milestone for the project. It means that for now, my primary focus on the game can be shifted to cleaning everything up and getting the game wrapped up into a nice bundle (Marketing, Financing, etc). But for now, I'm incredibly happy to have reached this amazing milestone after for so long!
Unfortunately, I also have a bit of bad news to share with everyone that's semi-related to the first announcement. Remember that Secret Ending I teased for the game? Well, looking at the current workload I have and the time between now and the projected release date of July 6th, I'm afraid that I'll have to delay any work that'll be done on the game's Secret Ending until after the game's release. Truth be told, this wasn't an easy decision to make. I was really excited to work on this alternate endgame path, and really wanted to give players a very unique/horrifying experience. But the workload required to make this ending is a little much for me to handle right now, especially with making sure that all other aspects for the game are set for the July release. As such, I've made the decision to delay the Secret Ending's alternate path until a later date.
So some of you may have noticed that I was supposed to have released this Devlog the previous week instead of this one. Well, the reason for this is that I contracted a pretty nasty illness two weeks ago that left me feeling rather iffy. I continually released updates for the game on my social media pages, yeah, but work on the game itself slowed down as a result of this.
I'm starting to feel better on my end, but I'm still having a bit of trouble hearing things (and I've got this persistent cough that won't make itself go away). I'll continue to take care of myself in the meantime, but I'm hoping I'll be able to at least get a majority of the game's ending sequences done before the end of this month.
That's it for this Devlog update for NIRAVASI. Sorry again for having this one be rather late and short, but writing this many words is still a bit much for me at this stage. But don't worry, for I'll continue to do my best to ensure work on NIRAVASI goes along uninterrupted. With that said, thank you all very much for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful evening.
Welcome back to another NIRAVASI Devlog. Last time, I spoke about some pretty exciting news regarding the project’s release and other additional goodies. I should also mention that I made a little bit of a mistake with the release date announcement for the game, in that it would be released on July 9th 2022. This was a mistake, and I meant to say July 6th 2022. But don’t worry, I’ll make a more official announcement for that when the time comes, so with that said, let’s get straight into today’s topic.
An End To Things
As of this moment, I am happy to announce that the majority of the seventh level is finally complete. Players are now able to fully explore the Palace of Nira Ishan, as well as face the horrors of AEON’s work in the form of the Imagos. But as you might expect, simply finishing the palace itself is not enough to conclude the story I have been working on for almost two years. Instead, I believe it’s time to start talking about what the final areas of the game will be like.
After lighting one (or all, if you’re eager for a more complete ending) of the beacons within the Palace of Nira Ishan, AEON will welcome you into the very final room of the game. Taking a trip by elevator, Mura and AEON make their way to the darkest depths of the mountain the city was built on top on, eventually reaching a great chamber hidden from all. There, they’ll find the Heart of Niravasi, the city’s greatest treasure and the object that is responsible for keeping the malevolent AI tethered to the city. It’s also this treasure that Willow Eugenics originally hired the teams that Mura and Clovis worked to find. I don’t want to spoil any details specifically, but know that it’ll be unlike anything you’ll have seen before in-game (with the exception being a certain relic found at the end of the Stepwell level).
It is at this point where the player holds one final conversation with AEON, which ultimately will decide the fate of the player going forward. These will be given to the player in the form of three endings.
Normal Ending: Escape
True Ending: Acceptance
Secret Ending: Reincarnation
This is the default ending for NIRAVASI, and the one you’ll get if you simply play the game from start-to-finish. Here, AEON will continue his plan of showing Mura the Heart of Niravasi, before a great disaster strikes. In the ensuing chaos, Mura finds himself in contact again with Clovis and Lynx, who warn the Antherian that things within the city are going crazy. In the chaos, all of AEON’s machines begin to shut down and the Harvester itself becomes prone to glitches.
Wasting no time at all, Mura grabs the treasure and makes a mad dash towards the elevator. This in turn will result in a final escape sequence, where Mura must escape the Harvester one last time before making it to Clovis and Lynx’s ship safely. In the final confrontation, Mura and his friends escape the city of Niravasi, resulting in AEON being trapped once more within the lost city.
Sounds like an ideal situation, right? Well, that’s because it is. One of the main design philosophies I wanted for the endings of NIRAVASI was to not punish the player in how they chose to play the game. I’ve seen a lot of other RPG Maker Games that penalise the player at the climax, just because they didn’t go out of their way to pick up some additional details/items. NIRAVASI’s goal has always been simple and I wanted to reinforce that with this ending; find your friends and escape the city of Niravasi. Now if you’re more of a completionist, you’ll be instead focusing on the True Ending of the game.
Following the same path as the Normal Ending, Mura will have a final confrontation with AEON. But instead of going through with the AI’s plans, Mura instead will have the option to ask a very simple question of the great machine.
Scattered throughout each of NIRAVASI’s levels are a specific set of areas that I call the Tragedy Rooms. Each of these rooms contain a rather sad story involving the tragic end of a former citizen living in Niravasi. For example, the first level contained a sad fate regarding a group of survivors trying to escape the chaos of a dying city. These rooms play a pivotal role in the ending of the game, as they highlight the key concept behind the game’s narrative that there is no such thing as a Good Human or a Bad Antherian. There are good and bad people in the world, and the Antherians themselves are no different from the humans they co-exist with. Mura will come to this understanding only by experiencing all of the tragedies within these rooms, before posing a very important question towards AEON.
The results of this conversation surprisingly will lead to a fairly peaceful resolution between Mura and the machine, resulting in a end of all hostile encounters within the game. After which, the player is free to collect the treasure of the city unopposed, resulting in a very similar ending to that of the Normal one. However, if you truly are a masochistic individual, you may perhaps be interested in the game’s Secret Ending instead.
Now I should warn you beforehand that this ending in particular will be vastly different than the other two. I don’t really want to give away too much about it, so instead I’ll just throw a few little teaser points here and there.
During previous demo releases, some of you may have noticed some very ominous looking doors in each of the game’s levels. While seemingly unimportant at the time, these doors play an important role into how the Secret Ending of the game will work, resulting in some very bad stuff happening. My hope for this ending is that it’ll completely break any semblance of realism or solid footing in terms of the narrative, resulting in an experience that’ll be truly out of place.
That’s it for this Devlog for NIRAVASI. I know it wasn’t as significant as the last one’s was, but a big part of the work that’s gone into the game now has been with wrapping things up before its release on July 6th 2022. I’ll have to admit that I’m getting quite nervous about this on my end, but I’m certain that as long as I keep my head in the game, NIRAVASI’s launch will be a great success. With that said, thank you all so very much for reading and I’ll speak to you again next time.
First off, I'd like to apologise for the slight delay with this latest Devlog's release (as well as the general lack of updates this past week). I've had a fairly busy weekend and also had some things I wanted to wrap up in a nice bundle for what we're going to talk about now. Strap yourselves in, everyone, for this is going to be quite the Devlog update.
The End is Coming
That's right, you read that correctly. After months of speculation and half-hearted assumptions, NIRAVASI finally has a release date. Mark it down on your calendars, as the full-game experience will be released on July 9th, 2022. Now some of you may be wondering why I chose this date instead of the original February/April release dates I had proposed before. And the answer to that is that I wanted to give myself the time to get the game as polished as it could be before releasing it to the general public. Right now, the game is almost complete, with the seventh level of the game likely finishing production by the end of April. But from then on, there'll be a large period of time that'll allow me to run the game through a bunch of quality checks, as well as stamp out any bugs I may have missed. Furthermore, the extended duration also allows me to push the game's marketing into overdrive and getting it out there for everyone to see. I made a push like this when I launched the game's Kickstarter campaign, but I feel like I can take what I learned from that and put it into practice here.
Speaking of experiencing the game, you're probably wondering how on earth you'll be able to get your hands on it when it comes out? Well, I'll be releasing the game commercially on Steam, itch.io, and GameJolt. The itch.io and GameJolt pages are already up and will continue to be updated whenever necessary, but I'll be waiting to get a full build of the game roughly complete (as well as a proper Demo/Trailer) before making a push for a Steam Page for the game. I currently have no plans to make a physical release for the game, but we'll see what happens as time goes along.
Change of Heart
Some of the more observant users/fans of the project may have noticed that the game is no longer being marketed as an Adventure/Horror game (instead being represented as a Dark Adventure). This was something I'd been deliberating about for a while during the game's development. A fairly common sentiment most players had about the project was that NIRAVASI to them felt more like an Adventure game with horror elements, rather than a full-on Horror game. I initially chose to market the game as such as I had planned to aim towards a more psychological/theoretical sense of Horror, rather than an outright visual horror story. Other games made with the RPG Maker engine like Yume Nikki and OMORI had taken this approach, so I felt the project was fairly safe to fall under the same umbrella. But as work on the project continued, it's clear that people couldn't shake off the idea that NIRAVASI was an Adventure game. And if they felt this way before the game was released, that also meant there was a risk that I would be misrepresenting the game to any potential newcomers when the full release comes out in July.
Because of this, I've chosen to remarket the game as a "Dark Adventure", instead. This won't change anything within the game and is more of a formality for newer players, looking to see what this game is all about. There will still be the jumps and scares found in previous builds on the game, but the game overall won't be as heavily marketed to be one.
Finally, I just wanted to say that after some tinkering around with RPG Maker's controls, I've managed to make it so that NIRAVASI supports Gamepad controllers (Xbox One and PlayStation 4). If you're sick of playing the game through Mouse 'n' Keyboard, the game now gives you that option to plug in your controller and experience the world it sets out to create that way. I'll also be updating the Instruction Manual featured in the game to change if it detects you've attached a controller to your PC (I won't be able to determine what controller specifically, so I'm afraid I'll just have to list it down to a set of generic inputs). Furthermore, you won't be able to rebind your inputs to whatever you desire, but who knows what the future may hold?
I'll also be tinkering around to see if it's a possibility to get the game working with Nintendo Switch controls, but that's definitely a big reach at the moment. For now, I'm just happy knowing that players can experience the game with a Gamepad (saves everyone a lot of hassle, really).
That's about it for this Devlog for NIRAVASI. I'm extremely excited to get the chance to show the game off to everyone on July 6th. My goal right now is to get the seventh level complete as fast as I can, as well as sort some other things out outside of the game's development. With that said, thank you all so very much for reading this Devlog and I look forward to the next one.
It's me again, back with another NIRAVASI Devlog that you all enjoy so much. Last time, I spoke about the Palace of Nira Ishan and what you'll find wandering its halls. To that end, I'm happy to report that a majority of the outdoor sections of that level are finally complete (with additional tweaking to be followed should the need arise). With that said, I wanted to bring things back a little bit for this week and instead talk about the concepts behind NIRAVASI and how they evolved into what they are today. With that said, let's get straight into it.
The Lost City
At the end of 2017, I was preoccupied with working on The Spirits Within Expansion for my first RPG Maker Game, BLANK (which I ended up cancelling later on for personal reasons). But during my time on its development, I was batting around ideas for another video game project that I held interest on creating. One of them was a reimaging of a much older project I was worked on called "OSIRIS", a story about a crew of survivors discovering an ancient human civilisation deep within the deserts of a distant planet. While there, they would be hunted one-by-one by nightmarish creatures living within the ruins. While I ended up scrapping the project early on due to a lack of experience in my part as a content creator, the idea of a lost city buried beneath the sands was something I still really wanted to create.
But the Lost City I had initially envisioned back then is a far cry from the city of Niravasi today. In fact, I seem to recall that the style of the city of old featured a much heavier influence Egyptian/Mesoamerican architecture, with the story behind it being a place created by an alien race that worshipped a dark god that later ended up wiping them all out, leaving only a legion monstrous husks that would continually hunt the player down. Fun fact: A large part of the assets I made for this early prototype would end up being used for the Temples within Old Hanirr. But as I worked on this idea more and more, I felt that this idea had lost a lot of the impact I had initially envisioned for the project. I wanted the city of Niravasi to be a character of its own, and not just some ancient ruin created by a nameless alien race. To this end, I looked towards the ancient histories of both the country of India and the religions of both Hinduism and Buddhism.
Almost two years later since that decision, the setting of the game has definitely taken a dramatic turn (one I believe resulted in a more impactful environment for the player to interact with). Also, speaking of maladaptive machines, let's talk a little about the concept behind A.E.O.N. and his blood-thirsty robots.
Unlike the city of Niravasi itself, the conception stage behind A.E.O.N. is a bit of a mixed bag. I don't want to spoil anything too much, but the primary idea behind this character was a result of a conversation I had with my brother in regards to something called "Instrumental Convergence". For those of you that don't know, Instrumental Convergence posits that an intelligent agent with unbounded but apparently harmless goals can act in surprisingly harmful ways. Or in layman's terms, a machine or artificial intelligence can potentially endanger human lives as a consequence of being given simple tasks. To give you an example, let's say that you create a machine that's only purpose is to create paperclips. Sounds good, right? Well, let's say that the AI runs out of metal to use. It still wants to make paperclips, so it looks for other materials to use instead. And as this cycle continues, you eventually figure out that the AI may in fact look towards biomatter like skin and bones to use in the future. That would obviously be very bad for humanity as a whole, so it's time to shut this machine down. Well, the AI figures out that if it's shut off prematurely, it can't make paperclips, which would be in violation of the directive it was given. Therefore, the AI has no choice, but to eradicate all human life on the planet to keep making more paperclips.
Using this idea as a basis and reading up on the story of Frictional Games' SOMA and its approach to artificial intelligence, I wanted to create a machine that was built for one purpose; protecting and perfecting humanity. How would the machine interpret this directive? How does this machine know what it means to perfect people? How does something that was created by imperfect beings know what it means to be perfect? From this concept, A.E.O.N. was born; the Artificial Ecological Overseer Network of the city of Niravasi.
Now we get to our adorable little protagonist, Mura. Antherian Archaeologist and Explorer Extraordinaire. So what was the founding basis behind this little guy? Well, that's a little harder to explain clearly, so I'll try my best to summarise it up as best as I can.
So before Mura was, well, Mura, I wanted to create a character that was significantly out of place within the Lost City, but still intelligent enough to rationally get himself out of some nasty situations. While working on BLANK, my intention was to create a young girl that was largely naïve and eager to protect her hometown of Finima, but still strong enough to face some of Transech's more horrific opponents. But when BLANK was released to the general public, one of the biggest points people made was that Veta as a character was surprisingly short-sighted and dim-witted at times (with Let's Players often calling her "not very smart" or "very, very dumb"). While this did initially end up working well with the setting of the game, I really wanted to avoid making another character like this, so I got to work on drafting up a character design that would fit better with the new narrative I wanted to create.
I knew I wanted the character to be skilled enough in their craft that they could still get around, despite being put in such a horrible situation. I also wanted them not to be human to better reinforce the concept behind wanting to explore an ancient city in the first place. If you were an explorer and discovered some alien ruins, wouldn't you want to explore them to your heart's content? Also, they needed to have both a recognisable and charming design that would contrast against the darker environments that the game would explore. One of my earliest concepts was a Jackal-like human that could run long distances. I ended up scrapping this design as it looked too goofy compared to the rest of the game's setting. Unfortunately, my solution behind Mura's design would come from the tragic passing of a Cat I absolutely adored; an adorable ball of fluff called Pooka. Thinking back on it, a cat was the perfect candidate to use as a basis for Mura's character. cats are naturally agile and perceptive creatures and hold the ability to walk across large stretches of land, all of which I wanted my game's protagonist to have. Plus they're a cat, and most people love cats.
That's about it for this Devlog for NIRAVASI. It was a lot of fun writing this one and I'll definitely be talking a bit more about some other concepts/designs I had for the project in the next Devlog. But with that said, thank you all so very much for reading and I hope you all have a pleasant day.
I'm back with another NIRAVASI Devlog to discuss with you all today. But first I want to apologise for the delay with this Devlog's release. I was all ready and prepped to get it out on Tuesday, but unfortunately fell into a rather sour mood later that day. Because of that, I couldn't really find the energy/enthusiasm to sit down and properly convey my thoughts in written form. That's why I decided to take a few days off to relax a little bit and regain my thoughts (as well as play some Destiny 2 in lieu of the new expansion's release). But you're not here for that, are you? You're here for NIRAVASI news.
In the previous update, I announced that the Perfection Complex Demo was going to arrive soon, as well as discuss a little bit about the Palace of Nira Ishan, the final level of NIRAVASI. For this update, I'm going to go over a few more things, before getting deep into narrative details in regards to the Palace of Nira Ishan level. Let's get into it, shall we?
On February 16th, I announced that work on the Perfection Complex level was finally complete and that I would be sending out Demo builds within the hour. As of this point, the 6th Level of NIRAVASI is finally free for all players and available to get your hands on. I'm particularly proud of the work that's gone into this level, so I'm eager to see what all of you think of AEON's maladaptive lair of doom.
But it's also come to my attention that over the recent months, a number of you are all holding off from indulging in Demo spoilers and instead patiently waiting for the final release to make its debut. That's definitely an understandable position, considering NIRAVASI at this point is almost complete (recent playtests of the game have logged the journey between Levels 1-6 at the 2-4+ hour mark).
That's why I'm making the announcement that from this point forward, there will be NO Demo Builds for the Palace of Nira Ishan Level of the game openly (Demo and Full). While it's important to gain player feedback in regards to the design/feel of these levels, it just wouldn't sit right with me if the latest Demo build of the game was in fact the very ending of the adventure I set out to create over a year ago. NIRAVASI is my first real attempt at releasing a commercial product, and I don't want Full Builds of the project just being sent from person-to-person for free. I'm incredibly thankful for the support you've all given me so far, but it's coming to the point where I'm ready to release the game in full to make its mark within the industry. I apologise to anyone hoping for a Full Build of the game when the Palace of Nira Ishan is complete, but this is a decision I believe will snuff out any complications in the future.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I think it's time we spoke about what it is you'll find within the Palace of Nira Ishan. Right off the bat, it's the highest point within the city of Niravasi, and where you'll find the core of AEON, its caretaker. Once serving as the home of Emperor Nirav Ishani, the Palace of Nira Ishan was built as a testament to all that was great with humanity. But as the twilight of the Great War descended upon its people, the raw and ugly side of the city's denizens came to light. In combination with the planet of Aetherius breaking apart, the Palace found itself quickly falling into ruin.
But when Mura arrives at this place, it's anything but abandoned. You see, in an attempt to revitalise the spirit of the city, AEON did everything in his power to recreate the experience of what life was like back in humanity's prime. As you might expect from an Adventure/Horror game like this, it doesn't really go so well. Sure, it looks the part from a quick glance, but it's all wrong upon closer inspection. Whereas the Palace was once a place of wonder and enrichment, it's now become a desolate mockery of its former glory. Empty rooms filled with the memories of those long-passed, Proxies mimicking servants, etc. But most importantly, the Imagos that patrol the empty hallways, stuck in an eternal limbo.
Some of you may remember from my previous Devlogs that I introduced a mysterious new robot in the form of the Imagos. Where once their purpose was unknown, the truth behind their creation is revealed in this final level of the game. I won't get into too much detail about this, but just know that they'll certainly freak you out when you spot them for the first time.
Calm After The Storm
Right off the bat, the Palace of Nira Ishan won't be like any of the other levels you've played through before in NIRAVASI. Within the Palace, you'll find a slew of AEON-controlled robots, but none of them will pose a fret to you. After escaping him for so long, the overseer network of Niravasi has developed a sort of admirable respect for the player, and officially invites you to showcase the wonders that humanity as a species had to offer (as well as tell you why you're a horrible person). As such, you'll not actively be chased by CALI or any of the other machines in the game here.
There'll still be some moments of danger (particularly towards the conclusion of the Normal Ending), but for the most part, you'll be safe to explore the halls of the Palace in peace. This will be a very narrative-focused level by design, so there will be lots of areas for the player to explore and interact with. All that will be required of you is to visit one of the four places that AEON wants to show you. If, however, you decide to visit all four of these places, there'll be a little surprise waiting for you.
That's it for this Devlog update for NIRAVASI. I'm sorry if it wasn't as meaty as some of the others, but it's really due to a combination of both starting work on a new level, and getting things prepared for the game's release. There's still a lot of pre-production work that needs to be done, so I can't really show you anything concrete at the moment. Other than, I hope you all have a good weekend ahead and I'll post another Devlog later on.
At long last, I've finally updated the last Demo build to that of the game's 6th Level, the Perfection Complex. As always, you can find the update demo link on the Downloads page. As a friendly reminder, this is only a playable demo for the sixth level of the game ONLY.
There's no additional video to go along with this release, as a lot of work went into both the visual and narrative design of this demo. Please let me know what you think as you play along this build.