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Man, am I glad I made my protagonist female. That is all. Avoided a major debacle there...



Aim for the eye! Kill it with fire!

Waddup? I haven't posted on this blog for a while... It's been neglected for Leo & Leah's lately, but that's understandable. Well, I compiled some clips from A Home Far Away, from mini-games and boss battles. Ch-Ch-Check it out! If you've played Leo & Leah, you might notice something cool.



I'm pregnant!!

Also, 2000 downloads.


A dream accomplished

Penguincasso doesn't waste time talking shit. Talk to him and he just grins and continues painting.

Yeah, this might not be the best game or even the best I could be capable of making, but I like to open it up every once in a while and just browse through everything and maybe play through for 5 or 10 minutes or so with old saved files. Most of that time I just spend walking around Willow Town, which I think is the most detailed location in this game, and it is definitely what I spent the most time on when making this game.

If I had to change anything, I would tweak the story a bit, give Danais and Farrah more development, make Skarsgaard a little more believable, give Cap'n Grizzlybeard more scenes, alleviate the chores at the beginning and maybe add a little more detail to Everdale. Oh, and make only about 3/4 of the quests mandatory. I guess I'd also try to get more custom music and graphics, but I think it works fine with the rips as it is.

Even with all those changes I'd make if I had to do it over again, this project still meant a lot to me, as I'd always dreamed of making a complete video game since I was a little kid. I can understand why some people would love it and why some would hate it. At the end of the day, to me, this is approximately 1.5 years' work and one dream accomplished. And I just wanted to thank everyone who helped me make this.

But anyway yeah, any of you guys feel this way when you look at your games? Or do you feel regret, like you've wasted your time?


Ocean wave panorama

Title: A Home Far Away.
Developer: Strangeluv.
RM platform: RM2k3
Reviewed by darkhalo.
Download link:Click here.

The good
An RPG set within a rich and charming world
A fair abundance of game challenges

And the bad
Storyline somewhat shallow
No character development
Too quest based.

So let's begin
Firstly I was pleasantly surprised when I played this game, not only were the graphics appealing
but I was also impressed with the number of diverse locales that felt alive and vibrant.
The story start's in a small sleepy village called Everdale where everyone seems happy enough
getting on with their daily chores. Then one day, a young boy called Danais is robbed and
frantically runs after the robber (called Skarsgaard) and accidently falls off a waterfall and into
a river. From here on, it does tend to become a little cliche sadly.
A worried sister called Farrah searches in vain to find him...and so starts the adventure.

There were moments it became frustrating especially with the mini games which demanded alot
of persistence due to it's high challenge level. For example, I gave up counting the number of
re tries when in the gorge swimming. Perhaps just leave in the fish at first, but to add a targetting
sight over you and blasting huge -HP at you was verging it on the impossible...but eventually I did it.
The items were a tad too expensive at the start of the game I thought, and not as much coinage
dropped by the monsters as I would of liked, though arguably this added a notch to the challenge
factor. It is clear that the game's author has a grasp of what makes a good game design and here
I mean not just the game quests in their own right, but the fact they had to be completed to move
along. Mapping was spot on in most cases, and just enough save points to keep you immersed
without tearing your finger nails out. The option of buying a map was a nice inclusion too.
The game has a good splash of humour too, the pirates...well lashings of it if you pardon the pun.
Characters were interesting, but besides Skarsgaard and Grizzlybeard, the story would have been
more interesting with a few more....as it stood, it seems NPC's were more the main feature at times.
What was interesting, and akin to Arafell was the night/daytime feature which provides a time line
which enables you to open certain events according to day or night.
Overall, the game design was flawless, and more than enough features to keep the mind well oiled.
Dialogue was also well done, and Strangeluv has made full use of colour text in those area's where
emphasis is required to support those important facts during game.

Again, this was an area that really impressed me. Quite a diverse range of chipsets, some from
Legend of Mana and Suikoden to Wild Arms. Also a huge borrowing of chipsets from Naufragar
Crimson, but that only adds to an eye candy set of maps.
Particularly liked the swaying panoramas of the ocean waves, and also the mountain tops at Feather
Hill Heights were designed well too.

Expect many mini games...easy ? Nope !

More Breath Of Fire style than anything I can think off. As it was, it works well although I think more
could of potentially gone into this, not so much the screen action but for the lack of armour and
weaponry. To a point, stats increased through capturing strength up events in game etc, but adding
certain armour and so on would have made it more interesting for the characters and thus the gamer.
As well as the usual 2k3 battle commands, I liked the idea of the charge system which balanced well.
A good array of spells too, which admittedly I used quite a lot throughout the game.
Levelling up was typically average for this RPG, but not too much grinding.
The boss fights were well thought out, though again using spells, they could of been a little more
challenging as they were a tad on the slow side, but maybe thats not a negative...as they were still
able to knock off serious Hit Points.

Admittedly, first thing I thought here was Arafell when I was in Everdale, its the same music, not that
its a bad thing. Generally however its other music I've heard from the usual commercial RPG OST's.
However, they work well...such as the shelter in the west of Willow for example.
Sound effects are incredible....top notch in that department.

Definitely recommended. Expect a challenging game ahead of you, but the rewards of completing
this game are simply relieving yet self satisfying...trust me on this one.
As to 7 to10 hours here as Strangeluv suggests, expect around 15 with all the side quests etc !

Verdict 7.5/10



To those who have played this game (not just the ones who have beat it, but preferably the ones who have made it to Willow), would you mind telling me which quests gave you the most trouble? Please put spoilers in Hide tags! Also, if you have anymore suggestions or comments or anything, you can post them here!

Also: check out my newest work-in-progress. Not much there yet but I'll release some new screens and blog entries as time goes on:'


RPG Moses has descended from Mt. Koltz.

Please also check out my ongoing "Gaming Manifesto" article series. The "gaming manifesto" is a detailed document on how to write for your video game. This is a 6-part series of articles that should give you some detailed insight on how to improve various aspects of writing and planning your RPG.

This series will consist of seven parts, excluding an introduction and a conclusion. They would be:

PART ONE – General Plot Outline
PART TWO – A Look at Conflict
PART THREE – Cutscenes, Focus, Mood and Theme
PART FOUR – Dialogue and Characters
PART FIVE –Shaping Your World
PART SIX – A Brief Note on Storylines for Short Games

Articles up so far (click images to open article):


Touring the detailed Willow Town.

A look at some of the sections of Willow Town in A Home Far Away. Instead of making many towns, there are only like two towns you get to explore in this game but I've tried to make them as detailed and involving as I can. Think about it like Clock Town from Majora's Mask, I guess. Video also gives a glimpse of how the day/night system affects the town, and a brief look at the Quest Log.


How the Whole Mess Started...

A video of the 15 minutes of "A Home Far Away" cut down and exposed in 2 minutes. It shows Danais trying to do his assignments for the upcoming birthday party and chasing Skarsgaard into the forest and the eventual fight that ensues.

The music is "The School Bell Rings" composed by C.S. Vallero for the game's soundtrack.


Captain Grizzlybeard and some artwork

Here's an old comic I dug up that TFT made about A Home Far Away. Cool Shit:

ALSO, some artwork by Hima (Danais, Farrah and Skarsgaard):

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