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Happy 1st birthday Story of Integra and happy 96th independence day Finland! How's The Godslayer?

So I finally gathered my courage and decided to write a blog.

Today (12.06.) it's a full year from the release of Story of Integra. "Wow." Looking back to the creation of my first game... it was quite an experience. When I started the project I never intended it for public distribution. It was just supposed to be a little experiment with rpg maker and creating my own game for fun. Originally it was just a little stroll in Sevallon ending with a fight with the vampire Rufus. Then some of my friends got intrested in the game and encouraged me to do a bit more, "What happened afterwards?". I was quite sceptic about continuing the story. I had just played a few rpg maker games and it felt like "I can never compete with these". I knew absolutely nothing about scripting and had no idea of the program's potential. Still it felt like I had opened a pandora's box that couldn't be closed that easily. "I'll do just a little more."

Quite an understatement comparing to the finished result.

So I started reading tutorial after tutorial, trying new things and discovering more every day. I knew that Story of Integra would never be a technical marvel in rpg maker world, there was just too much scripting to be learned to achieve that. But I had confidence in my ability to create a compelling story and intresting side-quests, lots of them. I had an endless sack of ideas, but most of the time no idea how to make them happen in the game. That's why there was a lot of compromising and even discarding decent ideas. As the production got more serious my friends started helping me a lot more by giving ideas, criticizing and testing, testing a lot. Through the production most of them finished Story of Integra at least five times, clocking at least 20 hours almost each time. I was also very surprised how kindly and full of intrest the community in rpgmaker.net welcomed a new developer, it was great encouragement to finish the project. There were of course times when I thought that the project would never be done and I was ready throw in the towel. I've come to realize that too many rpg maker games that get started are never completed. But after working for a year and probably clocking over 1000 hours in the making, I knew Story of Integra would be published.

After tweaking for over a month I knew the game would never be released if I wanted to fix everything. Frankly, I was getting sick and tired of it. And on the independece day as we were having beers and suprisingly, tweaking the game, I decided it was time to release it (The beer might have had something to do with it). The game had been published and we raised the beer cans cheerfully. Of course on the following day one of my testers called me said he had found numerous bugs, even game breaking ones. After a lot of cursing I gulped a painkiller for the hangover and started the rpg maker. "What a great way to introduce myself and my game to the community." Even to this day the game has some major problems that I wanted to fix or change altogether. Onbe of the biggest being of course the typos. It's quite embarrassing to still find those and even hear them being pointed out in a Let's Play. There are also few accidental "cheats" that will quite literally take all the challenge out of the game (thanks to the user BlackLilith for finding one). I will make a one final patch for Story of Integra at some point, but now my mind is focused on the sequel.

What leads me to The Godslayer.

The Godslayer is a serious project, it was from the start. No more compromizing or leaving something out because I don't know how to do it. If it can be done on RPG Maker XP I will find a way to make it happen. Even if the stock resources (sprites, battlers, music tracs) are very good, they are not original and I can rarely find what I really want among them. They were a compromise in Story of Integra just to save time. "Why was Saralyn's battler holding a lance even though she used a two-handed sword?" To save time. "Why did Integra's sprite have a ponytail even though she clearly had short hair?" The same reason. Many of these things didn't bother most of the players, but they were a nuisance for me.

Not this time!

I'm a decent drawer so I can create the battlers I want myself, even if there are hundreds to be drawn. It just takes a lot of time. I have much to learn with spriting so I may have to hire someone for that. If you have read the blogs that the composer Aleksi has written, you know the music part is clearly being taken care of. He's a very talented, easy to work with (even though I can be a bit of a tyrant sometimes) and really seems to know what kind of tracks I'm looking for. The dialog will be much more focused this time and I have more proofreaders so that means less typos this time (I hope). The last thing missing is the scripting. This is something I just cannot seem to figure out and I don't really have that much time to spend on taking a class. So hiring a scripter might be the only way. I don't mind spending a few euros to make my dream project come true but I've started thinking about creating an IndieGoGo page or something similar for the game. If I decide to do something that drastic it'll happen when I have a decent demo out for you folks to try out and that will still take months.

So these are my thoughts at the moment. I've been quite cautious about posting that many screenshots of the game, as I'm not that happy with current graphics. But I'm sure I can squeeze at least some pictures out sooner or later. I have two testers trying out the game at the moment and they have about 7-8 hours of gameplay time clocked. The feedback storywise is good, the gameplay itself is still lightyears behind.I really cannot tell when the game will be completed, I'd estimate it will take another year. Try to be patient and stay intrested. It WILL be completed!

-Matias "Tosi-Taku" Ahonen

And as always: Apologies for the typos :)