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A Wild IGMC appears...

We had high hopes at the start of this event about finally completing Dragons but I think that at this point it's looking like even a new demo isn't going to happen. The biggest challenge and unexpected development was the surprise return of IGMC, we resisted at first but after a few days the allure was simply too great. Reworking old things (5 years old in this case) isn't overly fun when compared with making something new. We still hoped to complete both games but if you've ever completed an rpg maker game for a content you will probably know the feeling of the crunch time that comes at the end, ours was for the whole last week of the contest and at the end of it we were both burnt out. On the second last day of the contest Indrah distributed an encrypted copy of the game to testers and they all reported horrendous lag on the first major puzzle map which we eventually traced to the encryption being the cause. This meant redesigning, re-implementing and re-testing (multiple times) the whole of that section of the game (and staying up to the early hours to get it out to american play testers - who are awesome by the way). For me this certainly took a lot out of me and after subtmitting Abyssal Shine: Nevermelt we agreed to take a few days off - which very easily turned into a week. At that point we knew there was no chance of finishing In Search of Dragons in the time limit but we both reiterated our desire to see it completed.

While we have only put a good week (and a few bits since) into Dragons there was good progress, on Indrah's front certain parts of the story needed adjustments to accomadate changes in the Arum world, the whole final act of the story has been re-written, new areas mapped ready for eventing. On the first day alone Indrah passed me a document several thausand words long to review with the story. On my front things were a little different, it's not so much carrying on as starting something new but with a few restrictions based on pre-exisiting content. I had started something once before the last time we worked on Dragons (and my first time) but it wasn't that far into development and it was akin to the systems you would find in In Search of Immortality and being as Dragons and In Search of Freedom are probably the last VX Ace games we're going to do, I wanted to create something more interesting and the opportunity won't exist in Freedom. So I have effectively started over again. There are two key systems I was working on, the skill system allows for you to level up skills in three skill trees (which I only started working on yesterday), then you have the rune system which has multiple parts. The runes are going to make up the majority of enemy drops and some key finds - and I can't be the only person who hates databasing an arbitrary number of equipment - so the vast majority of the runes are randomised and generated based on a few key aspects. The runes will come in different types; stats, skills, class and item (if I had time). Stat and skills runes are largely straight forward, class runes would level up several skills at once (effectively acting as a base class you could customise with the skill system), item runes haven't moved beyond the ideas phase so I'll skip them for now.

To create a new demo I would have to finish all the custom systems first before moving onto all the other parts that would need updating - enemies etc. While I think it's feasible I could get the systems done there would simply be no time for proper testing and it would require another crunch time just three weeks after the last one and I really don't think I have it in me. If I do finish the systems I might try and throw a short gameplay demo together which shows off the systems but otherwise I am afraid In Search of Dragons won't be completed in the next month.

I will just add that we both loved the idea of the contest and that it was just unfortunate timing with the IGMC, I personally would love to see the contest return soon - though I understand some people were upset at there not being the annual horror game (maybe the ressurection jam could become the spring cleaning event where you clean your back catalogue?).

Thank you to everyone who supported us through these last couple of months,