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Progress Report

Upward over the Mountain

Heyyoo.

It's been a minute!

Just thought I'd post a bit of an update since it's been so long. I won't beat around the bush, progress has gone sloow since the last update. I know I made some vague promises about a new demo being released at the end of the year, but nope! Those hopes were firmly dashed against the rocks of laziness and apathy and the Good Ship Linus has been sorta... lost in a sludgy sea of malaise and general "I don't care!" for the past few months. Not to worry of course, I always do bounce back and have periods where I work on the game obsessively. Just gotta wait till inspiration strikes again. It'll happen eventually!

So, progress has been pretty slow, but this blog doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. I've decided to talk about a feature I've been hinting at for a while, and I'm super excited to announce what it is now that I know I can actually implement it.

To start off, I should let you know that Linus, the character, isn't the main hero/protagonist of this game. The game is named after him for REASONS, but he isn't controllable in any way. No, instead of you controlling him, the game itself is in control of Linus. All of his choices in the story -- from him deciding whether or not he wants to get out of bed on a certain day, to him being mean and or friendly to you the player, to him deciding what other NPCs he wants to grow close to, are governed by a pretty complicated "AI system" I've created. Using variables, the game will develop certain personality traits in Linus, all depending on a large number of seemingly inconsequential dialogue options he can make throughout the game. His choices at the start will be random, but with each choice he makes, certain traits will become more and more pronounced until the game leads him down a specific "personality path". The goal is to make Linus a unique character who makes his own choices independent of the player, which is an idea I fell in love with and decided to implement. This will result in the game having some pretty different storyline routes and a *shit ton* of writing. But thankfully, that's what I love doing the most. It's the other stuff that's boring. :p

To close this off, I've posted a new video showing some gameplay from later in the game. The "Linus AI" can be seen here, as the dialogue choice he makes in this video is controlled by the game itself, and not the player. Let me know what you guys think!




Progress Report

Blog of the Fireflies

Hello!

Here are 30 minutes of new gameplay from the upcoming release.



Miscellaneous

Blue is the Warmest Blogger

Lately I've been thinking a lot about subject matter. Are certain subjects too beyond the pale for 2d rpg videogames? You don't see stories about sexuality or mental health in Final Fantasy really. would it be interesting? would it reach people? would it be melodramatic and silly? i don't know. but these are important subjects to me and it would feel unnatural not to explore them in this game.


I've been very tired and depressed lately. both my creativy and energy have pretty much cratered this past month. writing one line of dialogue is enough to make me go "fuck this i need to go outside." that being the case i doubt i'll have the demo out by the May deadline i set for myself a few months ago. There is sooo much to do. But, I know how this trashfire brain of mine works. This will all pass! Eventually i'll rediscover my love for this thing and i'll be back on the machine.

in brighter news I finished a new area a little while ago. it's a refugee caravan made up of kids and old folks-- basically people who weren't drafted into the Aternellan army. You come here during the beginning of Capitulo 1, in a segment where you control Leigh and are traipsing through the countryside with Akiva and Konstantin. It's the first map in the game where the player sees actual sunshine and I think it looks really pretty. It's also a nice change of pace from all the horribleness that happens at the end of the prologue, so there's that too.




i'm a big fan of this grumpy little girl who sells you stuff at a 200% markup. she's great!



That is all. good day.

Game Design

All Quiet on the Western Blog

Hello again, folks/friends.

I figured I'd give a much-needed update on the status of the game and what's changed since the last demo release 4 years ago. A lot has changed in that time, both in the game itself, as well as my perspective on what kind of story I'm aiming to tell. The goal has always been to tell a personal story about a character's life, but I've since increased the game's scope to be something... different. What's important to me now is the idea of a single person affecting other people, including the player. It is a passive concept that involves the player reacting to the story, rather than being the one who sets things into motion. Interesting and lifelike NPCs are my favorite things in games (wassup Radiata Stories!), and I'm curious to see how it'd work out if an NPC was given a central role in the story as well as the capability to change the story themselves, and in turn, for the player to react to those changes. I think it's a neat idea that's worthy of being explored!

The reason I've been toying around with this concept is that... well, I am honestly tired of always being the all-powerful Dragonborn/Space Cop Jesus/Chosen One hero in games. You could be the hero in Linus, or maybe someone else could. :p

I have some ideas on how to implement this and I am incredibly excited to see if it all works out or if it becomes a horrible nightmare. Either way, I'm sure it'll be a learning experience.

Besides that, I've started implementing a certain gameplay system for the game's Etonmarch chapters. For those who don't already know, Etonmarch is a military college the main character, Linus, gets sent to when he is 13 years old. He then spends the rest of his adolescence in this school making lifelong friends/enemies, getting into trouble, doing cool shit, suffering horrible tragedies, ect. Basically, it's Harry Potter meets Suikoden. Anyway, I am planning on implementing a Persona-style calendar system here, with each day of the school year offering a choice of different activities and events for the player to partake in. Either they can hang out with comrades, train, explore, sleep, or what have you. This all sounds like a ton of work but it's been in the planning stages for years and I am very much looking forward to getting it in the game.

That's about it. Thank you for reading and for being interested in my anti-power fantasy!

G'bye!






Progress Report

Blog in an Empty House/The Search For A Battle Coordinator

Hello.

In this blog you will find an update for the videogame Linus.

I am working hard on it. The next demo will be released sometime in May, 2018. It will feature the game's first four chapters.

In other news, I am currently searching for a battle coordinator to help me implement the game's battles. This would allow me to focus more on writing/mapping/everything else and would speed up the dev process quite a bit. Also, it's fun times working with other people!

If you are interested in helping me with designing and implementing the battles in this game and don't mind doing it for free, let me know. :)

Thank you!

Progress Report

O Blogger Where Art Thou?


when will i be playable? :(



Hi.

I guess I should apologize for going so long without an update. I honestly am not good at caring about anything to do with the game besides the actual development, so things like blog updates and posting screenshots are a bit of an annoyance to me. That being said, I should be 100% better about keeping those who are interested in the game up to date about how development is going (especially since it's been so long!), even if I do find it a bit irksome.

To start with, I've spent the last year and change working on LINUS as well as a few other projects. Progress has been slow, but there's a reason for that. LINUS is now being developed on the VX ACE platform. ACE is just all around more comfortable for me and it allows me a lot of creative freedom to take the game in interesting new directions, which wasn't possible when the game was on VX. Despite it being "rebooted", the plot of the game will still be the same and the existing content (the prologue demo) will still play out in much the same way. Narrative-wise, the game will be 90% the same as my original vision. When it comes to gameplay, I've chosen to take LINUS in a completely different direction.

When I first started this game, I was obsessed with telling a massive story and if that meant that the player had to sit there and read tons and tons of text for minutes on end without any form of interaction with the game, then so be it. These days, I'm still interested in telling a massive story, but in a way that gives the player more agency in the telling of said story, which hopefully will result in the game being a much less passive experience. I am working on some really cool gameplay systems that I hope will elevate the game into something much more memorable in that regard.

Besides that, I've also been working on a new turn-based tactical battle system that I'm really excited about. I won't go into too much detail here, but in essence, I'm aiming for a battle system that involves the game having a fewer number of battles, but making those battles truly memorable. The battle system I am hoping to implement won't just revolve around players choosing commands from a menu, but will also introduce narrative and action elements into encounters as well. Hopefully it will be neat!

That's about it for now! I know it's a bit of a short update but I will try to make use of this blog more often in the future. Thanks for reading!


Progress Report

Good Will Blogging

I've uploaded a new preview of Chapter I.



This part of the game follows Teign as he remembers his childhood. It's a reworking of the original introduction to the game, which was a dialogue-less cutscene which showed Teign and Athelia's past together. This re-imagining of that scene still follows the same story beats but makes it playable instead.

Besides the beginnings of Teign and Athelia's awkward childhood romance, you'll also see bits of Teign and Akiva's friendship while they were both members of Wren Division, their class in the Etonmarch Military Academy.




Game Design

On The Blog

Hi.

- The name of the project has changed from "LINUS" to "LINUS: The Forgotten Days". This change came about because I got sick of the game's title being auto-corrected to "LINUX" in google searches.

- I am still working on Chapter I. Recently I've been focusing on some scenes that hint at the strained relationship between Leigh and his father Teign. I'm trying to convey how a seismic change like the dissolution of a mother and father's relationship would affect a child.

- I've decided to post more information concerning the world's lore in future updates. I did have a tab for lore some time ago, but the story has changed a bit since then so I decided to remove it. Hopefully the upcoming entries will give everyone a bit more info on the history of this world.

- I am done writing the history of the religious state of Galbraia and am happy with what I came up with. The following is just a bit of a preview.


***

Galbraia is a small, secluded nation that was once a part of Lorimaris, the crown state of the empire. It is ruled by the priests of House Galbraith, a dynasty founded centuries ago by a second son of House Lunet, the empire's ruling family.

Galbraia exists on the western edge of the continent Erebis-- on a long, narrow stretch of land that juts out into the storm-wounded sea. The lands of House Galbraith are a darkened frontier scarred by deadly storms where few human settlements can survive. Their seat is a secluded temple known as The Shrine at Land's End, which has stood on the precipice at the edge of the continent enduring gale and storm since before the time of the empire's founding. Their house words are "The Lightning Must Destroy," a phrase which reflects their belief that the Storm will eventually consume the world and all will be powerless to stop it.

House Galbraith and their flock are adherents to The Silent One, an all-powerful deity they believe exists hidden somewhere beyond the Storm. Their religion is a more extreme version of the one practiced by the rest of the Greylands. Most Greylanders live in awe of the Storm and spend their lives treating it with reverence, but Galbraians take this belief to an entirely different level.

Galbraians are a silent, ominous people and it is rare for them to be seen outside of their sacred homeland. They spend most of their lives worshiping the Storm and to this end they take part in rituals that other Greylanders consider strange and extreme. The most infamous example being a sacred practice known as The Sending, in which specific children, once reaching a certain age, are placed in a longship and cast off to sea where they journey to as close to the Storm as their ships allow before the boiling waves consume them. Most of the fated Galbraian children who are chosen for this rite consider it a high honour.


There is quite a bit more to House Galbraith which I'll cover in future updates to the world's lore, including their bloody history with House Lunet and House Milhaven, which is an aspect of the story which is pretty important.

Anyhow, that's all for now! Thanks for reading!

Game Design

the Man in the Iron Blog

Hey all!

Here's a preview showing the first ten minutes of Chapter I. It does contain some spoilers for the prologue demo, so be warned.



You'll be playing as quite a few different characters in Chapter I, as this part of the game is split between different viewpoints. For this first part of the chapter, you'll be playing as Leigh, Teing's son, as he tries to find his father, who has disappeared following the events of the prologue.

Progress Report

All Blogs Go to Heaven

2014 was a great year for me, both in the game-making department and in my personal life. I managed to enter a field that I love and find a job that I find super rewarding, but I also managed to put out a demo for LINUS, a project that hasn't had a playable release since 2011.

The response to the demo has been encouraging, and I wholeheartedly thank all of you who took the time to play it and give us feedback. I don't want to make this sound as though I'm tooting our own horn, but there hasn't been much criticism so far, which I find slightly worrying Still, I'm incredibly happy with the response the prologue demo has gotten. I'm probably inviting more negative feedback by saying that, but hey, I welcome whatever critical opinions people have about the game.

So, what's next for LINUS?

There are tentative plans for the release of another demo in the next year. This upcoming demo is planned to include the first several chapters of the game in addition to all of the main gameplay systems I have planned. It's the full-fledged demo that I've envisioned releasing all of these years-- a big slice of the game that will tell one part of Linus' story. I'm not sure how long this demo will be, but I'm aiming to include several hours' worth of content. I know the last demo didn't exactly feature a lot of the characters and scenarios that people originally gravitated to in the first release of the game, but this next one will have a deeper focus on that part of the narrative.

So yeah, that's about it for now. Once again, a big thank you to everyone who played the demo!
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