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Progress Report

It's been 5 years...

Even Naia can't believe it.

Holy shiznits, it's been that long?

Ever since OMORI, RPG Maker and VNMaker consumed my life, I only find myself working on this game during December ~ January every year. And that's only because it's a self imposed "vacation"...and before I knew it, it's been 5 years. Time flies so fast.

After a long time of not being able to finish your game because you're too busy making and fixing everyone else's game, you start to go into a spiral of insanity. I think people who have similar experience as me will know that after a long day's work, you just want to chill at the support forum or something and then just give feedback to other people. It's less brain work than your own project.

I want to say I made a lot of progress, but that's a half truth. As years passed by, tastes change, your skill improves, and you'll notice old mistakes in your work that is just unforgivable to the new you.

Don't get me wrong, the VX/A RTP is great. I enjoyed making assets for it. I'm super thankful that it helped me get out of the asset making space and to actual game development. I learned a lot about feature creep, programming, project management and a whole load of game design. And I think most importantly of all, what kind of stories I want to write. The RTP was a great tool to actually make a game and understand what I want out of my own games.

So even if people were disappointed that I stopped making 100% custom assets for my projects, I wouldn't have met amazing people such as rhyme, Liberty, Decky, puddor, Yanfly, Dr. Yami, Kaliya, MaskedPlainview, NicoB and so on. There is no regret.

But as all good things must come to an end, the RTP is still limited for my vision. I want to create environments that fit my tastes. It becomes increasingly impossible for me to make consistent assets and evoke the atmosphere I set out to do since the inception of this project.

I finished a lot of custom game assets; as big as the RPG Maker DS Resource Pack itself. But as I improve further and refine my tastes, they're all useless to me and needs remake.

And that's not all, I've been practicing a lot on my anatomy, background, improving my pixel skills, picked up the violin and all that stuff. But I'm also a realist and if I want to be alive to finish this game, I would have to hire some specific people that can keep up with me. That's why for the past few years, I've been working 16 hrs a day with 2-4 hrs of sleep just to get enough money to hire some people that will help make this game a reality. It's still not enough.

I want to thank the people that support my Patreon (You guys know who you are!) especially since it helps me pay for my composer. And you guys and gals are probably the most quiet and most understanding supporters someone could ever have. You don't even complain that I'm a slow worker. <_<;

I especially want to thank Marimo for being patient with me and have to listen to my rambling and complaining about how I have no time to do what I want. Seriously the small arts she would give me would calm the raging storm within my soul.

And most likely, after the 15th, I will stay silent again until the "ber" months of 2019, but I want to try at least make small progress here and there.

Here's how my brainstorming sessions happen lately, I dunno how much people care about this but here you go.

Here's how I commission my composer and so far I have 15/30 tracks commissioned. He's been kind of busy. But his tracks are the reason I can keep going with this project. It's like you know you can make what you want with that music.

Here's also some of the tracks if you are curious:

Battle 01 ★ Crossblade Clash

Boss Battle 02 ★ Lighten Up

Since I scrapped most of my work, I'm reworking the graphics with my partner on the art direction + colors I want for the entire game. It's nothing substantial but you can see our first test here. The graphics are not final and are there for test purposes.

I'm still debating to myself if I want 8 directions or 4 directions. Because I don't want to spend an eternity just making characters and stuff for this game. Especially when I have this much body type variation:

I admit having 8 directions feels amazing when you play it, but I don't have enough time and money for these kind of things.

And finally, let's have a final art update. I don't like it when games only have facial changes for characters. I understand it's budget reasons, but I refuse to back down after all and ended up having this made:

Also here's how concept art is made now:

Also shameless plug, if you wanna buy my stuff I sell resource packs over here!

And that's it. Good night.

Progress Report

When life gives you lemons...(Part 2)

I-I got a game spotlight!

I felt bad that I haven't posted the second part of the blog, so here we go ahaha... I think I was talking about what are the list of changes that came into this project from its early iteration and how it rose up again from the ashes. Something like that. During the...dark days, I guess, I thought about what I could salvage from all the stuff that I lost. It turns out that I didn't lose everything and thank goodness that majority of my 'source files' were still intact. So the lost wasn't as devastating as Advent Cirno and Sacrificial Alice.

However, it still didn't erase the fact that all my work from Chapter One onwards are gone. The first thing I thought of was to list what I had planned for this game. I was so focused on implementing features, which eventually lead to feature bloat, that I don't know what I was actually achieving for. It eventually boiled down to this:

Game Features

*Puzzles reminiscent of old school Zelda games.
*Exploration-centric gameplay. From battles to maps, the game has hidden secrets made for the adventurous types.
*Permanent Death, the loss of a character will lead to an entirely different outcome.
*6 Endings. Each path being unique from each other from beginning to end.
*No Leveling up. No Grinding. Your skills and equipment determine your worth.
*An alchemy-centric gameplay where crafting makes a difference to your survival.
*A deadline-centric game where you have to constantly win the favour of the King Ardius to keep sponsoring your expedition.
*A fame system that helps you prove your worth and be the change you want to be.
*A kill or be killed turn-based battle system that focuses heavily on the proper usage of your turns.

When I looked at the features, the first thing I thought was, oh boy, I fucked myself with this, but I'll gladly take the brunt of the force. However, I remember back during development, one of my biggest setbacks with delivering the illustrative narrative experience that I was aiming for, was the music.

I'm very, very picky with music. So much so, that when I look for a composer, I ask for so much revisions they eventually gave up or I compromised. I really gave up on giving information and just lead it the composer's creative output. I think sixe experienced this unfortunately, he's a talented musician and I regret not being a lot more involved with him when he was making the one track. The music is great though.

sixe's Porcupine Princess Opening Song

The closest I got was a user named, DJDarkX and I just asked him to remix the Rm2k3 Music somehow. And as amazing was our short partnership was, he eventually got IRL problems and that was that. We still talk and are good friends. So no worries!

I was really willing to give up to this point and make do with what I can find. I even had clashes with rhyme over some song usages (Ars Armandi for example). It did got me worried since we both had a similar taste in music over our specific 'Magnum Opuses' if you will. It wasn't until one of my friends, Crimson, came down from the heavens and introduced me to what would be the guy that made me want to fully dedicate myself to the narrative of this game. It was meeting 'TenseiMusic.' The first thing he told me was, "Archeia, this music is so you." and I was, "lol no way. My standards are like crazy high." And then this music happened.

Lighten Up, Pixel Princess Boss Battle Song

At first, I was like, "what...? THAT CAN'T BE POSSIBLE." And eventually, I got into contact with Tensei, signed some contracts and finally, started the development of the soundtrack. So, what made our partnership so successful? Surely, it just can't be that one song. To sum it up:

We both love Jazz.
We both love Battle Themes.

It seemed like a match made in heaven. But I wasn't fully convinced. I was still afraid of disappointments. But what really nailed the coffin for me? I asked him to compose me a remix of my favorite classical piece, Tartini's Devil Trill.

Syrn's Character Theme, Dance with the Devil WIP

This song alone, made me so happy I cried tears of blood and joy. And I knew that he was the man I was looking for. This theme contains so much personal feelings to me that I was absolutely floored. Over the 18 complete songs he made for me (and still counting), only one was revised. But that's only because I wanted it to be faster and nothing inherently wrong with it at all. I can only show WIPs because I want to reserve the awesomeness for later. But when I finally got a composer that can finally, finally, realize my vision, it made me extremely happy. You guys have no idea.

For my next blog post, I'll talk about the lore and character preparation that I had been doing for the past couple of years. Here's a preview!

Oh boy...

Progress Report

When life gives you lemons...(Part 1)

This was a project I had to put on hold. I didn’t know that it was possible that a thunderstorm to toast my internet adapter AND hard disk as a side effect despite being inside the house. I didn’t know it was even possible. I didn't also know that the packrat history of dropbox is only one year and for subscribed users only.

Needless to say, I lost a lot of work in regards to this project that hit my morale pretty badly. As well as some neurotic feels towards my art in general.

After many works and releasing some games with rhyme, I think I'm ready to go back to this game somehow, at least, release the rtp demo I had for this. It just requires a lot of polishing.

So what are the list of changes?

New and Improved UI for Higher Resolution
rhyme is an amazing graphic artist and I would always love the UI design they made for Porcup. However I already used it in Princess Princess: Another Story. But with our busy schedules and ongoing projects, it's hard to ask for a new iteration. I took it upon myself to redesign Porcup's UI and here are the results so far.

This was made with Luna Engine. However, for the animation transitions, a big shout out and thank you to TDS and Neonblack for helping my ideas come into a reality. I couldn’t have done the animation easing and manipulation of sprites without these two’s help. For those who want to do some similar styles with their game, there is a public script by Galenmerth.

I've also done my share of RPG Maker-related programming and implemented high-res somehow. While it's not crazy high, I think this is the right size for me.

Redone Graphics
I would let this image do the talking:

I've done a lot for the past few months, and to the point I have to redo this entire game page. But this is as much as I can cover for now without flooding this entire blog post with too much text. Thanks for reading :)


Game Design

Let's talk about...Development HELL

P.s. Nightwish is awesome.

I asked a few friends what to blog about, hey I told you I'm going to rectify myself, and so a development blog it is. While I didn't want to reveal anything about the development until the end, I guess Development Hell is not bad to talk about :D

I learned a few things during the 'hidden' development of PorcuP and trying to work behind the scenes. Here are some interesting things I actually -knew- but I didn't follow.

PLAN PLAN PLAN. But make it flexible
- Ah yes, planning. When we first started out, I asked rhyme to create a world map and we can plan the scenarios based on them. Except...The map was huge...I had a crazy schedule set up for it alongside with self inflicted hard mode work for my university projects. The game was planned with each other holding hands. Except...

- So when one of us had to go due to...life, I was quickly trying to gather my bearings and thinking what to do. A few more and then we found that the game is too big after all (specially with the constant deadline changing). And the only reason I did so well on quickly shifting the game to Porcupine is because I decided to make it part of my main lore (Division Heaven). Which can -also- mean as a dead sentence for any game I dubbed thee as part of it. Because I'm someone who wants the best when it comes from that lore too. orz

- And because of it too, skillsets and items must change, even the UI (thankfully just a quick color change). And what's the best way to finish database works as fast as possible? Get your closest friends and go to Google Docs. Expect craziness though:

Good times.

Freedom is evil, stop adding features!
- What made Rm2k3 awesome back then? Limitations and working around those limitations.

- Freedom is great, but it's also very evil in terms of development that -should- have a deadline. I found myself being able to do most of the things I want. What I found is that because I was new to VXAce and how easily some things are replicated (from VX -> VXAce) and BETTER, I got off the rails and overdid it, sort of, with the feature spamming. And friends giving suggestions didn't help with that. Or when the story starts writing itself...

- Point is, I have to be held back because it was too much and/or will take a while. And partly for other reasons... As much as features are great and how you can go all out, working under a deadline isn't good. Finish the game first, make the next one better. Is what they would say.

- Connected to the first point and what I found about planning is that, it is really important for the scripts to be as finalized as possible. If you think it's going to make the game easier to make and is more time efficient. Do it. Just look for people and beg to your knees if you have to, do it. Or else you'll end up with something like this:

From this:

To this:

- Doesn't look like it should matter right? Except imagine redoing 2 hours worth of dialogues and it's going to make you cry. All for the sake of proper line spacing... orz

- While I actually failed on this regard, I'm happy with all the features the game has now. Even when I'm way overdue. Haha.

- I CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH. REALLY. Just, just look at this:

Let's just say inside those folders there's more New Folders. I curse my laziness u.u);
At least the inside of the game isn't that bad.

But this is also connected to the NUMBER 1 POINT. I should've added more spaces between the characters in case of emergency activation skills. ;_;)

Anyway, it's 2 am and I have work to do.
That's it for now =w=)b


And an action was taken...

Let's just say it began with this:
3 <Nessiah> but I did porcup work :D
07 * Decky pats :D
<Decky> nessy
<Decky> http://rpgmaker.net/games/3827/blog/8323/
3 <Nessiah> hahah
03 <Nessiah> ;3;
<Decky> two-line blog
<Decky> naughty lady :P

I have an argument as to why I posted only a two-line blog post, but I disgress. I will now rectify myself with an elaborate blog post. While I was going to let the game explain all of this, I figured I might as well write it here for people who likes world building posts and things like that.

Porcupine Princess is a prequel to Princess Princess. It will also explain the connection between Princess Princess: Another Story to these two chapters as well. The goal of the heroes in this game is to end the 30 year drought and make it rain.

Set into the fictional world of Galatea, the residents are divided into two main factions. Which is crappily illustrated below:

The Aviarian Domain is lead by the Aviarian Queen, Isabella. Aviarians can be summed up as people who have the "ability to fly" and would often be referred as Aesir and Vanir. Aviarians are also said to be the ones responsible for rain. They also have a tradition of giving flowers to beloved people. The more flower motifs you have, the well-liked you are. Let's see how many flowers our beloved Queen has...

She seems very well loved, yup.

The Arcanian Domain on the other hand is actually a divided nation. There are what they call the 7 Overlords, which are considered to be the leaders of each continent. They do however have a superior, and that is Ardius, the Overlord of the Mainlands.

This wonderful person right here~

The Arcanians are divided into different races as well. The Humans and The Demons, also known as Earthblood residents. These two races are in conflict due to their primal needs. So what do I mean by this? Well, there have been rumors (if you played Princess Princess 1.5, this should be obvious by now!), that Earthblood residents are cannibals. They eat humans and their own race alike. So a "witch hunt" was conducted and now Earthblood residents are believed to be a few and almost non-existent.

Due to unknown circumstances, Aviarians have stopped letting rain fall down to the earth. While the Arcanians, confused and angry, stopped delivering earthly goods to the Aviarians in retaliation. It lasted for 30 years and both sides are on the brink of starting a war against each other.

But of course, this is all backstory. Some people, like our heroes, are more concerned of solving the matter at hand. And that is to make it rain. And thus we enter the story of Porcupine Princess. Where our main goal is to enter the Tower of Creation.

The Tower of Creation is also known as the Home of the Fairies. They are known as the kindest and Goddess's second creation, aside from Angels (which are the first). In there lies hidden a mighty artifact called the "Aiglos." It an artifact that is known tohave been used by the Goddess to cause an Ice Age. It's also been divided into two parts. One is sealed on the Aviarian Domain and one here in the Arcanian domain.

The next-in-line Overlord of Shalza, Syrn Gehalde, abandoned his duties as a prince for this quest and to do something worthwhile for his people before he becomes an overlord.

If you remember this guy, he's also the very same, optional boss that kicked the asses of many over here:

We meet again.

So yes NicoB, that answers your question why they're not saving the princess despite the fact she's just next door.

While there is tension between the two nations, thanks to Isabelle and Ardius's interference, the Aviarians and Arcanians can still interact with each other. But a lot of people are saying it's not going to last long. That is why Syrn is doing his best, along with his mentors, Alphonse and Emily and his slave, sidekick friend Citrus, they're almost near their goal to the Aiglos.

However, whispers of an entity called, The Overlord Slayer, have been spread around and the Ames family has caught up to it. Said to have murdered the Overlord of Astroia, there had been concerns about the safety of Syrn and the rest of the overlords. Which is constantly getting in the way of Syrn's goals much to his irritation.

What became of this person is unknown...

And that's where the story of Porcupine Princess starts~

Progress Report

Icons :D

I was making some icons for...reasons and a friend asked me for a tutorial because of reasons. I thought I'll post it here as a blog post instead of an article because it's well, not that helpful haha.

Progress Report

Never ending arts

Still have a lot to do. Stupid Cutscenes :I

Ragnarok Online Remix – Mintjam
Persona fan remixes
Ar Tonelico Loki
Atelier Ayesha Battle

Length: 2 hours and 11 minutes (33 minutes ish for video)
Still incomplete since I have to draw some effects, etc. But it shows how I color, hopefully. Done in a livestream session.

Tools used: Paint Tool Sai, Brush and Pen Tool. Nothing else.

Total Amount of Layers: 69

Progress Report

Choo Choo

Progress is getting there...slowly...but surely.

It's always been a dream of mine to have a DVD+booklet copy for a game I'm involved with. I wanted to give hard copies to everyone involved in the game's development as a souvenir too. We'll see how it goes ;w;c)

Thank you to rhyme (ILU, let's walk under a field of stars my twin sister <3) and Penta for the wonderful job they did for this game!

Progress Report

Some changes here and there

Mostly some game design changes, some nice people gave me their input on PrinPrin 1.5 and what they liked and what I should change.

One of them is the Press A to active conversation and the gab windows. After talking to them and the reasons why they prefer it, I have made all the gabs to Press A's for focus-sake and completely skippable without taking away your attention. It also made me a bit more creative to how the portraits are moving and so on. (I scripted guys, omg!) :)

Number Two, I decided to make a lot of tutorials that you can access optionally or discover them on your own. I really like the idea of Old school RPGs where you discover new things and exploit them. And I really, really, REAAALLLY hate spoonfeeding. But not everyone is like that so I added it!

Number Three, we finally finished designing the final boss...100% including hard mode. Good luck guys!

And that's it for now. Chiao :)
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