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It's Up

The first three chapters are now uploaded. I'm probably never touching this again.

Feel free to Let's Try or review or whatever.


Cattle Call

If you haven't seen the Lions in the Forest video, click here!

This is a small blog, mostly because it's not about gameplay mechanics! This is more about gameplay playing.

I've already approached Neophyte to be a tester, and he has agreed, but I'm interested in having one more person that's not of the little inner circle around me and my work. All this person needs is three hours, the ability to read, and an eye for little niggling things.

I'm picky about testers, so don't feel bad if you're not chosen. There can only be one! Also, an AIM account is welcome for direct communication.

Understand that the testing version is, well, a work-in-progress. As you can see in the videos, a lot of stuff is finished/polished-up, but there are some things to work out still. The game is fully functional, but, well... yeah.

Summary: I need another person to play the game and say "this is fun/this is not fun."

Reply here or send me a PM, either way is fine.


New Video - Lions in the Forest

Presentation is basically 95% done. Still have a few little niggles ("information" part of the status menu needs some loving, etc.) but, well... yeah. I added an option in the System menu that lets you choose whether or not your skills are auto-sorted in-battle, and it's enabled here. (You can equip eight of your learned active skills at a time.)

This optional boss is, of course, harder if you don't already know what the lions resist/use/etc. Of course, that doesn't stop them from using F***ING ENFEEBLE asklfnaklsdngklasnglsagljasgljasdgljsaggasdlnglsajkg. Enfeeble, if you don't realize it by watching, locks you out of our weapon attacks (aside from the normal attack). Yeah. Lun has a passive "hit me please" skill equipped that makes enemies just love to Enfeeble her... even though it's a physical attack that does awesome anti-Creature damage. Grrrr.

Mmmm. Lion meat. They'll drop a really good healing Gem in the actual release; I was just testing for difficulty in this case.

Fun code romp go-go-go sparrow blade!
  def sorted_combat_skills

mysidia = combat_skills; rydia = []; leviathan = []
for mystic in mysidia do rydia.push(mystic.id) end
rydia.each { |i| leviathan.push($data_skills[i])}
return leviathan


Four (Times Two) the Hard Way

As heard in the Castle Defender video, the midboss theme ("Way")

How's this for an oddity: In Praise of Peace only has eight speaking roles in the entire game. Those eight characters on the Dramatis Personae page? Yeah. Even Visions & Voices has nine major speaking roles, and then the various shopkeeps and demonic texts. In IPoP, nobody except The Eight talk.

Considering the party only ever consists of the same four people, that means interaction with... anything is going to be odd. Or not! I think I've made it work so far. What this essentially does for me is make it so that I have to focus on the characters and how they react to, well, everything. It should also be fun when I get to the next dungeon, which is one of three that has a "sidekick" NPC occasionally helping out in battle. Actually, this happens during chapter III's major boss battle too, so~!

It also helps my cause that there are no towns or anything like that in the game. Well, let me rephrase that - there are no explorable towns in the game. There are scenes that take place in taverns and whatnot, they're just done skit-style (see the screenshots for what I'm talking about).

Should be an interesting way to further the story! Goodness knows I have enough practice telling everything via character diablogue through three iterations of Diablocide.

Progress update: going to start adding battles and chests to chapter III today. I hope to start chapter IV by Wednesday.

Want to grab some glory? Read the end of this blog post.


In Defense of Peace

"Familiar," the theme of devotion between siblings.

In Praise of Peace is set during a war, but is not truly about war. The war is there, it is present, it is a catalyst for the events of the game, yet the story is not about the war, its resolution, or even the other countries involved. In Praise of Peace is about displaying the epitome of betrayal - being betrayed by those you trust, those you love, and those you are forced to love. The theme of betrayal is examined deeply; the war simply allowed for the nature of humanity to show itself.

So, why set the game during a war at all? There are no senators in this game. There are no generals, no commanders, no leaders - and barely any heroes. The male lead is a devouted assassin and the female essentially a glorified sellsword. I think my answer is purely that of me wanting to... tease the player? Maybe not. More like show that the game's events are important, that what the characters do matter, but that it's only a small part of a larger picture. Yes, you deal with a manipulative prince who covertly plays a major part in the war, but you never learn what he's done.

I guess what I'm trying to say in this blog is "don't start playing In Praise of Peace with any sort of preconceived notions about where it's going to go." Not that you'll have the game in your hands for a few months, but hey. Might as well say it now.


If you can tell me what the blog title is from, you'll get a cameo as an optional boss. First come, first serve. If you are chaos, Darken, Ark or Silv, don't bother; you've already had your optional boss cameo in Visions & Voices! And WIP got a weapon named after him.



Ten is a good number, at least for me. Diablocide X has ten Demons; In Praise of Peace has ten chapters.

I titled this blog post "X" for a number of reasons. The most interesting one for you Crazegame fans is that I am planning on finishing (or at least working hard on) DX after the summer. Karsuman and I are already cooking up our next game* set in the universe of Visions & Voices that we're going to dive into after the summer, so Diablocide might take a while... but it will get done.

This is because IPoP is a prequel to DX, and helps set up the game world for a potential third game I've been thinking about. Hm. I guess we'll just have to see how that turns out! Note that the games are still very, very separate; about a hundred years between, but it is the same world and there are definite connections. You will not need to play both games to get the full story or anything like that (although the third game will be much more intriguing if you played/beat DX, and I will probably allow you to use a DX save to unlock bonuses in the third game)**.

The catch is that my work with Karsuman comes before my personal projects, with this exception for IPoP. Basically: you WILL see a completed DX someday, just not today. Or tomorrow.


While Chapter III: Services Rendered doesn't really have any gameplay yet, I have about a third of the mapping done, almost all of the dialogue written, and locations of mini-bosses/optional bosses/etc. mapped out. It has been an interesting challenge for me since it is an RTP forest. Screens will be coming shortly so you can judge whether or not it works.

*I say "our next game;" while I'm gone for the summer, there is a chance you might see another game set in the same universe come out without my direct input... you'll just have to see!

**Oh, what's that? That is the beautiful ringing of the Ruby Bells. They are sounding out "scripting makes your 2k3 games completely obsolete."



"Greetings" is the name of one of In Praise of Peace's bosses!

Short and sweet: I'm partway through chapter III at the moment; progress is steady. I haven't had stable internet access, so I've been bad about blogging! I'll make a real blog tomorrow.



Fifty Dead Innocents

The second chapter of In Praise of Peace (now complete!) has you escaping through a bandit-infested tunnel. Due to a certain prior event, they aren't as hospitable as they once were to Padrick's team of divine justicars. As such, you have to fight them off as you run through the tunnel - turning around would place you right into the hands of the Salenar military.

This means that you kill a lot of people. Innocent people. Currently dead innocent people.

Sometimes, you can't always practice what you preach, even if that preaching is Padrick saying that you should only kill those who absolutely need to be killed. This eventually tears Padrick apart as Salvation (the aforementioned team) continues to spiral away from its original goals.

Killing people: it matters in this game.


Walk This Way

I do two similar yet very important things in this screenshot. I'll give you two hints to help you figure out what.

1) The red line/arrow is the dungeon's entrance.

2) Read this article for your own good.


What do I do here? I provide mostly subconscious indications for the player as to what can actually be walked over. In this case, it's the small grass clump and the pebbles. You have to walk over them in order to progress anywhere in the dungeon. The player learns "oh, I can walk over small objects, including small clumps of grass!" This seems silly and trivial, but it's important. If people don't understand your design, how can they truly enjoy your game?

Probably of more general interest: I am very close to (like, about two hours of writing/testing away from) wrapping up Chapter II: Enter Argot. Steady headway gets a game done!


Now's the Time to Strike

Finding time to work on your project can be frustrating at times. Today, I fully intended to do another map or two for In Praise of Peace, but then I... didn't.

So, instead of working on the game (although I will probably playtest a boss I recently tweaked a bit again before bed), I am writing this short blog.

Basically, my advice to you developers out there is this: make yourselves a pseudo-schedule. Don't make a set-in-stone schedule, as something always will go wrong and screw the timeline up. Do set limits, however, on how long you can work on something. There are two very important reasons for this:

1) You need to move on. Working and tweaking the same map or animation for three days is only going to drag out game dev time considerably. I am positive that at least half of decent RM* games are cancelled because the creator loses steam over the small things. Just do something relatively well, and come back when you're far deeper into the project and have a more objective mind.

2) You need to get it done. Dilly-dallying and procrastination are the death of projects. Keep a steady, manageable pace.

My general schedule during the week consists of two days involving two or more solid hours working on a game, two days involving one-two solid hours of work, and at least two days where I usually make a blog post instead of working. The final, seventh day tends to be a wash or intense work. I do my most work on weekends, but I force myself to do a map or fifteen minutes of testing almost every day so that I am always in the right frame of mind.

I also doodle the characters and think of interesting interactions during class and whatnot. I will talk about about Craze's Index Cards(tm) in a later blog.

Make your game, and finish it too!
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