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Why I cancelled Vol II of Enelysion...

Been ages since I did a blog post here.

The majority of Vol I of Enelysion was through improvisation and making up stuff along as I made map upon map. Because it was my first serious game ( after I ditched my Phantasy Star one that was on this site back in late 2009 or so ), I didn't really plan that far in advance ( nor did I imagine the game would become so popular... ) and hence, didn't even flesh out the villians or even the plot ending ( hell, I didn't even plan how the game would end XD ).

This is an early version of the game. Like, REAL early.

Improvisation can be good and bad. Bad because it can lead to a TON of plotholes and loose ends, etc. For players who played through the full 7 or so hours, you would realise that the main villians only made their first appearance some 3 hours into the game, far too late for my liking and never appeared again. They weren't even fleshed out or anything. I was just making stuff up along as I went on, tying things together with the vague 'Drakustals' and Laine's reaction to them ( looking back, it seems really weak now, but only because it's been a good 2.5 years since I started working on the first drafts of Vol I. ). It wouldn't be fair to players to give them a vague storyline in Vol II and cover everything up with nice music and pretty visuals ( though Tristian now gives Enelysion a run for its money XD )

Screen from Tristian: Lady of the Lion

Maybe my standards are higher now ( it's to be expected when you get better at a certain task or hobby ) and while I have disappointed you guys by canning Vol II, I felt it was for the best. But some of you are still downloading my later games, so that still makes me happy. I'm surprised Enelysion still gets downloads. XD

Laine still has her fans, right? ;) Guess you have to turn to Ira/Tristian now, lol. I suppose I can throw in a reason why I left RMW as well.

The site is too commercial/contest-centric. This site... awesome community spirit. I didn't get this feeling from that site, sorry. I should have just stayed here from 2009 onwards and racked up Makerscore. :3

So that's that. My only goal now is to at least get a Featured Gam spot ( I've already had Community Spotlight thrice and PoTM XD ). and I want a Misao... ;_;

Jokes. I will continue to mak gams as an extension of my creative spirit.


Looking back

So today marks exactly three years since I posted Enelysion over at the now
defunct ( well, it's still active, but the site has gone to the dogs to due new admin ) rpgmakervx.net. While the game's 1.5 stint over there was some of my best of my RM-making days, I have to say that the community of three years ago and today is not the same. Look at the screen below and you'll see just how MUCH support games got between 2010-2012-ish.

As you can see, I haven't updated Enelysion over there since April 2012. XD

Developers will be lucky to even scrap 100 replies to their topics nowadays. And those replies weren't just useless filler or empty praise, they were full of feedback and encouragement. Virtually every developer back then had 'support' badges for their game, and it wasn't uncommon to see nearly every user have some sort of support badge in their signature. Indeed, Enelysion, Origin and Relic were some of the most widely supported games back then. And it's sad that many of
the games listed in that screen never got to the revered Completed status (Linus, AoA and hopefully Origin by that wacky Emmych are still in development so that's good ).

I wouldn't even consider Enelysion 'fully' completed since a sequel is in the works. The VX-era was pretty amazing... If I am brutally honest with myself, the game-making crowd of today doesn't seem to have that passion for game-making that I noticed back then ( noticable by the half-assed products developers put out, and it's even worse for the commerical market >< ). The screenshot thread at another site has gone to the dogs as well, sorry to say.

Where is your passion for map-making, people?!? I'm not active there anymore, but I lurk, like a fly on the wall and what I see is quite ah... disturbing.

Anyway, that's all I wanted to say. Enelysion will celebrate its third year on this site in late-March. But it has been a success so far, garnering nearly 1100 replies from two sites over the last 3 or so years. But it really peaked in 2011-2012. Don't we all miss those days as developers where your project became 'THE' hot topic... But like all things in life, all good things must come to and end. And sad to say, but Vol I of Enelysion has reached that point...

Hopefully, I'll reach another milestone ( 2000 downloads ). =) And I'd really, really like you guys to maybe share your moments here, what you liked, disliked etc. Sharing is caring, after all. =)


'Plus' Version to come.

Although Enelysion is marked as complete, I'd really like to release a 'Plus Version' or a Director's Cut ( there are several scenes I deleted, including cute ones where Patrick was playing the piano for Laine and a duelling scene between Laine and her mentor Rikard; which was how she got her scar on the right side of her face ) for the game some time later in the year.

What I want to know however, is what needs to be done to make it better than the original, or at least, more polished. Like battle tweaking, narrative direction, more siedquests/hunts etc. Maybe even a Scene Viewer ( if you've played Tristian: Lady of the Lion, you will know what I'm talking about.) And maybe an Art gallery. I am quite chuffed at the fanart the game got since its inception since Feb/March 2011.

Something like that. Props to Ronove for doing the super-clean lineart. ^^

Oh, and I'd really like the game to hit the 2000 DL mark by the 24th of March as well. =)

Any suggestions?


Happy Holidays

What a year it has been. It not only saw me complete Vol I of this game, but opened up ideas and ventures for future projects. I'd like to thank each and every one of you who has been behind Enelysion, Laine and the world of Tairngire from day one ( or hell, even if you're new to the party, I still welcome you with open arms =). 164 subbers and 175k profile views later. Thank you all so much.

Just a little thank you gift from me ( yes, I sprited everything myself. I should have done something for the Xmas Quilt, but anyhoo XD ).

Don't ask me why I dressed Pat up as Rudolph. XD

Even though I don't celebrate Xmas and I live in sunny South Africa, this is for the majority of you who do have White Xmases. :D

Happy Holidays and expect me to come out guns blazing for 2014!

Progress Report

Late b'day update

My first update as a ripe 26-year old.

Progress for Vol II has been a bit slow since I was pretty sick for the last couple of days, but apart from the usual cough, I'll feel as right as rain soon enough. Because my brain is still feeling a bit sluggish, I decided to dedicate some time to making maps rather than writing out cutscenes or doing the bum-numbing databasing ( overhauled the entire thing and did stuff from scratch ).

For all the prettiness, it just isn't enough to make me stand out as a dev...

I am pretty proud of my level-design skills and that the games I make all have a very distinctive look about them. Most people want to know how I get that atmosphere in my games ( and it is pretty bloody good, if I say so myself. Honestly, I just get drawn into the world of Tairngire whenever I put my headphones on and play the game in full-screen ) . Dunno if others feel the same way. I wouldn't know.

Music is my muse, guys. Music. And feedback drives me. Seriously, it does.

Because Enelysion is so steeped in Celtic mythology, I tend to listen to a lot of New Age tracks when designing my maps but most of the time I listen to Enya's early albums. It really gets my creative juices flowing. I wish I could do more with my abilities, but heh, I'm a lone wolf developer. Me against the 10+ team member games here... Which tend to be ridiculously overrated.

But I will come out guns blazing for 2014. I have a goal, after all. >:) And LoTL's getting no love. ;_; ( 77 downloads... Man, that is depressing as hell ).

Progress Report

Should Laine be...

Dubbed the 'Lightning' of the RM world...? Yes, her resemblance to the FFXIII heroine is rather striking, but her design was completely unintentional (but hey, she's sexy so that's all that matters, right? Right?) I don't even like FF ( I've only played 10-2 and 12 XD ). Anyway...

I've decided to make EvII a stand-alone game, so unfortunately, previous saves will not be compatible because I am overhauling Enelysion's ENTIRE database. It was a hell of a mess, and re-doing things from scratch will only serve to better the game's future development. While it may be slow-going for now, I'm am 100% positive that Vol II will be even better than Vol I. =) Some progress for EvII:

The first new area, the Shaded Glades. Still databasing the enemies for this section, then it's time to map a cave system as well.

And the message system got an overhaul as well. I'm using around 40 common events just to control the portraits for this evented system. I sort of want to make the portraits blink as well, but eh... I'll see how it goes. Oh, and location names too! And Man-Candy. Yum-yum.

A gamepage will only go up once I have a demo for release, so that won't be until March for the latest. Then again, March is probably a good release date ( Easter holidays and it will mark Enelysion's 3rd year over here ). So until then, sneak peeks of Vol II will go here. I like to share my progress with you guys.

Oh, I realised that the game is just 5 subbers shy of breaking into RMN's 10 most subscribed to gams! :D ( I need to beat Vacant Sky ).


1000th download! Yay!

Woot! Milestone achieved! I think that Hidden Gem Spotlight helped a lot. Thanks, kentona. XD

Now that the proper Review Ready version of Lady of the Lion is ready to release soon, I can now start diverting my attention to the second volume of Enelysion. Finally! <3

I was thinking of ditching some features ( like the Compose Item ), redoing some ( KGC's Stat Distribution does not allow the player to redistribute AP in the current game; Vol II will allow players to do so ) and generally, add more actor customisation options (since I know players LOVE breaking games with uber-powerful character builds XD. Okay, maybe not broken, but yeah... ) and generally, add more replay value to the game itself.

Now here's the problem. Do I make Vol II standalone, or just tack it onto Vol I as an 'expansion pack'? This approach will allow players to keep their current save games and they wouldn't need to download the whole game again ( at 194mb, it is fairly large >< ) with Vol II inclusive. The game would remain unencrypted for easier patching and expansion. On the other hand, this approach will probably result in the whole of Vol II's game balance being wrecked due to the numerous stat boosters found throughout the game for your characters in Vol I. Either I make the enemies real powerful and more of a challenge, or I do an entirely new project, which truth be told, is even more of a headache. >< Given that Vol II isn't a sequel sequel of sorts where it takes place centuries down the line ( new characters, locations etc. ), it would probably be more prudent to keep Vol II as an 'Expansion Pack'.

So? What do I do? A little guidance perhaps? ;_; ( me still waits for a review for Vol I of EHD... How am I doing, people? Crappy? Great? So-so? Some feedback? Pleeeze? I left RMW because of this, just so you know. If I could exchange those ridiculous 'Likes' for feedback, I would have had over 600 feedback replies by now. )

Btw, which game do you think I should prioritise more? LoTL or EHD?


Optional Artsies

If, for some reason, you do not like the original art for the game, you can download the FE Art pack in this post and just replace all the necessary files.
It consists of the portraits I was using before I started using the original art from around May last year. The FE edits also served as a base for the current original designs.

Note: The Area Location name is not available in the current game.

Laine is more emotive with her FE art set, only because the edits are easier to do than the hi-res artwork. =) Also, I am far more likely to call Siglud man-candy
in his FE reincarnation. So smexy.

You can get it here:


Game Design

Mapper's block. Ever heard of it?

Yeah, that's what I'm going through right now as I continue Volume II of Enelysion, titled Black Tempest. After over 200 maps and using just the standard/default VX tile format ( TileA, B, C etc. ) and absolutely no parallaxing or TileSwap scripts, I'm starting to run out of ideas for new areas in the game.

Towns aren't a problem for me, but the nature areas are proving to be a tough nut to crack.I would confess I'm a self-proclaimed 'Level 99 Tileset Mapper' ( the title I have myself over at RMW/RPGMakerWeb, where I'm more active. I swear, my number of 'likes' I get will soon topple my post count of around 750. >< All due to the Screenie thread ) since like a level 99 character, I just can't push the boundaries anymore.

But I never started out with mapping skills like this. I was pretty bad in the beginning ( at least, that's what I thought, now that I look back ). Enelysion has undergone so many changes that very few areas have remained the same since the game's inception in February 2011 over at RMVX.net ( curiously, I joined that
site exactly one year after registering here at RMN. Yeah, I've been here for FOUR years 0_o. But I'm still a relative unknown in the comm

Early screens

Recent screens

Pretty much everything Laine wants to know gets revealed in the first ( lengthy ) cutscene with Altreyu. There is the usual world-building stuff for those of you who like lore and whatnot. After that, she begins her path of redemption, which is what Vol II is all about. And of course, her reunion with (spoiler).

So this Volume has a lot of magical influences, and I need to reflect that in my maps. I suppose the Shaded Glades ( one of the first new areas ) will be a cross between the Forest of Pan and the Ulaid Forest.

I do use one of Enya's tracks for this area ( from her 1988 Watermark album ). Given that the game is steeped in Celtic/Welsh myth, it would make sense to add it to the New Age/Celtic influenced soundtrack of the game.

I prefer posting my updates from here on now. Replies over at RMW are worse than a sloth... But it's happening everywhere. Replies to game threads have plummeted over the last 2 years. I remember over at RMVX.net, there were at LEAST five games that had over FOUR HUNDRED replies each, with two going over SIX HUNDRED ( mine and HK's VS ). I don't know what's happening to the comms nowadays. But that's another story.

Btw, I CAN parallax. Just so you know ;)

And have you guys ever wondered why the game has such a curious title?


I bash thyself.

Really, I don't know what to do with this game anymore. I lurk a lot on these forums, and I was actually quite surprised to see this game on a list of possible future Featured games. But in all honesty, if I am brutally honest with myself, this game doesn't deserve it. I am my own worst critic. I don't find the characters engaging anymore, the story is slow, gameplay is a bit monotonous. The only stand-out features are the visuals and the music, and that's about it ( and the world-building ) but... that alone doesn't make a good game.

I don't know about the rest of you guys. It was just rotten luck I uploaded the Completed game during a lull season ( September/October, then there was the Halloween event ) and it could explain the severe lack of feedback so far. But I know you guys have lives. =)

I don't regret making it though. Its just... the passion I had for it way back in 2011 has died ( and it seems that the game's fanbase has taken a dip as well ) and it means I will never continue it. Ever.