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Ara Fell is finished.

  • BadLuck
  • 05/02/2016 10:41 PM

This has been the longest year of my life.

Almost a year ago to the day, I found out that RPG Maker 2003 was officially released by Degica in English, thanks to the hard work of Nessiah and Cherry. It had been a rough couple of years before that for me leading up to that moment. Ara Fell: First Light was all but dead. Operation Prophet, the shoot'em up we took on as a side project to gain some experience putting together a simpler game, wasn't going anywhere either. After two years of patchwork progress and (yet another) a half-finished game to show for it, I had noticed one morning that nobody on the team had done anything in almost two months.

Two months. Had I really let things get so bad? I called a team meeting. It was time to admit defeat.

Even after all this time, I hadn't ever given up. I still had plans for First Light. Operation Prophet was just a stepping stone, after all: a simpler game that could be made by a smaller team. It had been a long time, but it was also taking shape... and I really thought we could still pull it off. But two months... when I noticed it had been that long, it came to me like a punch in the face. We were kidding ourselves. During our team meeting, we all agreed that Operation Prophet was dead. And that was that. We were done.

It was a fortunate coincidence that the next day I found that RM2k3 was officially released. I woke up that morning feeling the bittersweet closure of having finally said goodbye to what had been, up until that moment, a huge part of my life. And then out of nowhere, someone told me RM2k3 was legal. Just like that, I had a reason to come back to this. I didn't know what to make of it. Could I really take Ara Fell... the only thing I ever made that I truly loved making... and turn it into something worthy of being sold? I didn't know, but I downloaded the latest version of Ara Fell and started playing.

Still, there was a lot wrong with that game... So much so that I found myself just sitting in my computer chair, staring blankly at the screen and shaking my head. But through all problems, I could see that there was something in there worth salvaging. And, moreover, I remembered being in love with it once. I remembered feeling something when I made it. And I felt it again when I started working to improve it.

I went into this expecting to just polish up Ara Fell a bit, give it a proper conclusion, replace the music and graphics I couldn't include in a commercial project and be done with it...

Instead, I spent the next year of my life rewriting every line of dialogue, reworking the entire story, completely overhauling the battle system, adding in new areas, new quests, new dungeons, having every battle animation made from scratch, new game systems, on top of the polished it already needed. I've been regularly putting 14 hour days into this project. It's kept me up at night, both working on it and laying in bed worrying about it. But it's finally done.

Charblar, beta-tester turned team member, insisted I Greenlight it on Steam. She was convinced it'd make it through. I wasn't so sure, having had plans to publish through Degica. And besides, I don't know anything about marketing. I don't have any contacts. She insisted she could do that, so I caved. She turned out to be right, by the way. We put it on Greenlight in January. I've known people that have had their work on there for months. Years even.

We got it in 12 days.

Now, here we are. Ara Fell launches on Steam June 2nd, the 9th anniversary of when Ara Fell went up on RMN for the first time. I completed it today, May 2nd, a full month ahead of time. One final wave of beta testing and we're good to go. I have poured so much of myself into this project over such a long time and it's surreal to see it completed at last.

My hope is that this does well enough that I can continue doing it. Now that I remember what it's like to love making games, I'd hate to have to give it up now. Rise of the Third Power is next. Ara Fell: First Light comes after that. But honestly? I really needed this. I needed to finish it. And now that I have, it's like a huge weight has been lifted.

I'll end this with a thank you. Many of you were around from the early days, and some of you weren't, but I've gotten so much support and well-wishes from RMN. I don't know if I could have kept it up with you. And I really want to thank Charblar for everything she's done. She volunteered just because she wanted to help and happily took over a ton of the work I just couldn't do. Marketing, press releases, the game's trailer, not to mention beta testing and a ton of other little tasks. I don't know where this would be right now without her, but certainly not Greenlit on Steam.

Anyway, here we go. Onward to June 2nd. Thanks again, RMN.

Below, I've included some side-by-side comparisons of the old version of Ara Fell and the new. Old's on the left, in case it isn't obvious.


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I remember reading a post of yours on some obscure long-forgotten forum detailing how you originally intended Ara Fell to continue, and eventually end. This was back in the mid-00s. Ancient history, yeah.

But I was really hoping your recent Ara Fell revival was going to take it to that point. A through-and-through epic, right up to that climax with the islands falling and the deity stepping in.
"wait you made this a career?"
this game sucks!
Congrats! I'll purchase it when it's released.
author=Dyhalto But I was really hoping your recent Ara Fell revival was going to take it to that point.

I think you'll find the ending pretty satisfying.
RPG Maker 2k/2k3 for life, baby!!
Amazing read!

Really glad you finished it! :D

One chapter closed.
"wait you made this a career?"
Amazing read!

Really glad you finished it! :D

One chapter closed.

and if we do well we have a lot of other chapters we'd love to write!
this game sucks!

charblar is the best <3

I'm so glad to see this on steam! And so glad to see you back heralding the glory days of the rm community and RM2k3 back to thei feet! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

That makes me really really happy. Gonna buy it as soon as its out! <3

by the way if yuu ever need help either with art or translation to portuguese, hit me up! C: <3/
I wanna marry ALL the boys!! And Donna is a meanc
The hype for the steam release is real!
You'd think MZ would use a dictionary for switches/variables by now?
Now to save up money and earn a part-time job! (again)
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
You're an inspiration to us all. I hope when my time comes, I can be half as successful as you've been.
I'm not there yet, but I hope the lofty view you have of this will come to pass!
I'm not there yet, but I hope the lofty view you have of this will come to pass!
Having a quality game + commercial would be success to many, haha.
notorious rpgmaker 2k3 shill
Congratulations, guys! That's some dedication.
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