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Request

Recruiting Staff Members

First of all, a quick note. Storms of April started out as a personal project. It's based on a story I wanted to write way back in High School, but never got around to doing. Now I'm trying to translate the story into a gaming format via RPG Maker. If you play the demo, you'll see the problem with that (major issue: way too much dialogue and back story at the beginning). I see the potential in this story as a game and I really want it to see the light of day, but I recognize the need to change it. That being said - I am open to major changes in this game with the help of my staff. I am more than willing (in fact, I want) to relinquish full control of "my" game and to instead make it "our" game. I want this to be a full team effort and not just the creative musings of a dreamer who will end up driving it into the ground. I fully believe in the concept of collaboration, and I am very excited to be opening this up.


The following are the roles I'd love to help me with this project, followed by optional-but-awesome-to-have roles. This is a free game and therefore all work you do for me will not be compensated.

If you are interested in any of these positions, please send me a message on this website with samples of your work. You may apply for more than one position, and each position may be open to more than one person.

All staff members are expected to keep in contact with me in one way or another and also other staff members as they relate to your role. Communication includes e-mail, Skype, this website, whatever. Let's all be friends!

Finally: this is the first time I've 1) recruited and managed a team for RPG Maker, and 2) even been part of a team. Please be patient with me!

Directer: FallenLorelei (me). I'll be helping out all positions - you won't be alone :)

Needed / Urgent:
These positions will be able to help immediately with Chapter 1 as it stands now, so we can release a relatively decent version.

  • Creative Writer & Storyboarder: Responsible for creative elements within the game's story, including extra lore & history, filling in plot holes, and helping with dialogue. Also responsible for the planning and sequencing of main story elements within the game. For example: I have an hour of dialogue/introduction in the demo right now. Let's split it up and make the intro more engaging.
    * Note for this position: I already have the main skeleton of the entire game, Chapters 1 ~ 7, planned out. We can change it and flesh it out as we see fit, but you don't have to feel responsible for creating the entire story :)
  • Battle, Item, & Database Manager: Responsible for balancing enemy encounters with character skills, weapons, and armor (keep the fights interesting). Responsible for balancing gold and item drops, and to some extent EXP. Also may create items and weapons/armor (I currently have enough weapons/armor to last until around level 20, but feel free to get creative if you want).



Could Use...:
These positions I don't necessarily need right now for Chapter 1 mostly because it's already been completed, but if you're passionate about this project and want to change / fix up some things, feel free to apply. However, I will need these for future chapters.

  • Mapper: Look at the screenshots or play the demo to see my mapping style (after modern day introduction, as the setting is primarily fantasy). I like parallax mapping, but for smaller scenes, editor mapping is fine too. I'll simply need to see samples. This position is not urgently needed at this time because most of the maps are already completed for Chapter 1, but feel free to apply if you'd like to change them, or if you want to call dibs for future chapters :)
  • Scripter: This position is borderline optional, but it would be really nice to have some programmers in the project. Let's make this game unique and one-of-a-kind! Because this position is relatively optional, I don't have any plans for scripting to implement (I already use a bunch of free ones that are fine enough), but if you're interested - send me a message with your ideas!



Optional:
But really really want ;) These positions aren't necessarily needed but would just be amazing and great to have. Most of these roles are typically paid work, which is why I am not getting my hopes up.

  • Artist: Creation of busts and facesets for major characters and party members. Also creation of custom battlers for monsters.
  • Pixel Artist: Creation of sprites to match new busts/facesets assuming I have an artist, along with monsters to roam the map. Also creation of custom icons for skills/items/weapons/armors. If you can only do one or the other, that's fine too.
  • Composer: Want to make some beautiful music for my maps? That'd super cool, thanks ;)



Trade:
If you're interested in a trade agreement, here is what I am willing to do for you.
  • Mapping: You'll need to provide the tilesets, unless it is RTP.
  • Creative Writing: I'm confident in my abilities to come up with stories and lore, and helping you flesh out your own story. My weakpoint would have to be dialogue and making characters sound unique, unfortunately.
  • Editor: Me has good grammar, yes?

Game Design

Perhaps looking for teammates?

Hello, subscribers and random stumblers! I just wanted to pop back and touch base with everyone. I had hoped to have a decently made Chapter One by the time school started for me (I'm going back to school to work on my 2nd Master's degree... what's wrong with me!), but as you might have picked up from my previous blog, I went kinda apeshit with how I was making the game. I felt like I was running it into the ground with no hope for redemption. So I crammed it into an EXE and sent it on its way as a "demo" file. A little half-assedly, I might add.

Well, it turns out that some of you think it doesn't suck! Which is great. It has its flaws, yes. Some irl friends couldn't get past the beginning. Too much dialogue, not enough spell-casting. And of course, there were continuity errors, item issues, questionable decisions, and odd characters. But - overall - it didn't suck. Hooray.

But here's the thing: school is starting and (here's what you'll hate me for) I started development on a new project.

Don't freak out! This new game is a short, concise, casual project. I've storyboarded the whole thing out - there are 4 party members max, 3~5 boss fights (depending on how things go), 4 main villages with a basic forest/cave/mountain in between... What I'm trying to say is that it's not the big project that was Storms of April.

Storms of April, by the way, was my first project in RPG Maker. Like, seriously "Project3" in my folders, with Project 1 and 2 being me messing around with events, the RTP, scripts, etc. trying to learn. I thought I could handle the large magnitude that is Storms. Which is fairly large, by the way. After she finishes this Rain chapter, it'll be Snow - then Wind - then... well, spoilers. A lot of places, a lot of things to do. That's my fault. I was dumb when I first started RPG Maker. After lurking in the community's shadow, I realize that now.

But I'm not giving up on it. It's a decent story, and it's got a good skeletal framework for now. I started it in 2013, dropped it due to real life, then picked it up again earlier this year. It's my baby. I don't think I'll ever "cancel" it.

So here's what I'm thinking: Open up this project to a whole team of people who are just as excited about this story as I am. I have the the spells, the weapons, armors, and items all databased up til level 20. And while the storyboarding is more or less fleshed out, I see its flaws - and I am more than willing to discuss changes with a team. Not only story changes, but changes in mechanics as well. I'm open. I don't want a project with this magnitude to be doomed to be worked on by only one person. I think that's where the issue lies.

What do you think? Open up this project to a team? Or sit on it for a little while longer?

Request

Looking for some Testers

I've lost a little bit of steam in my game, mostly because this thought keeps popping into my head: I've spent so much time on this game, what if it sucks?

I'm now seeing every flaw in just the first chapter. There's no hooking introduction scene that other games have. It's not clear who the villain is until the end of the chapter, which by then might have left my players confused and directionless. There's story, but maybe too much of it. And do I want to make Chapter 1 longer than it is? Or do I want to get straight to the point?

And when I sit down to fix these issues, I get exhausted. What if this wasn't the right choice? What if I was okay the first time? What if I'm wasting more time?

So, I've decided to simply save my game as is, in a demo alpha-testing kinda way. It is not finished, and there are quite a bit of loose ends, but at least the player can explore, see what the introduction offers, and can give me some insight of what works and what doesn't.

I don't want anyone reviewing and judging my game in its unfinished form. I want to fix it, make it enjoyable, before a real demo release. So therefore, I am asking for volunteers who are willing to test my game - those who know when to let issues slide but also tell me about them so I can fix them. Only those who would actually be interested in helping me out, and not those who just want to point fingers and laugh.

Sorry, haha, I guess I'm a little embarrassed. This is my first RPG and I'm a little self-conscious about it ^_^

Anyway, let me know! You can send me a message or post a comment here, and I'll send you the link. :) Thanks guys!

Edit: I've decided to just go ahead and reveal the link under Downloads, and hope the community doesn't rage and throw rotten tomatoes at my face for its incompleteness. =[ Mostly because I'm going to be away for a few days and don't have time to find testers until I get back, and by then I'd like to have at least a smidgen of direction on how to fix this game.

There have been worse game downloads on this site before, right? Right??

Anyway - just in case you don't read the download's description, here it is again:

Please be constructive with your criticism. I am aware of its weakpoints, but I'm just not sure how and how much to fix.

The story ends at the quest "Rainforest Excursion" but that is also when sidequests open up to explore the Rainforest. You are also free to complete the Water Dungeon, although I have not added any quests for it yet.


Known Bugs:

- The quest updates above the character's head don't entirely work at the moment
- The Plant/Slime quest from the Adventurer does not update past the Lower Rainforest
- The Satiated & Well-Rested states (increased EXP) aren't working
- When you level up in battle, the battlers are from MOG's LevelUp script as placeholders. That will be fixed! =P
- The Mirror of Water's text "Do you want to transport to the Rain Kingdom?" does not show up, but if you spam ENTER, it transports you all the same *shrug*


Other Issues:

- There's some story continuity errors in the school introduction, I'll fix them
- I plan on adding more interactions to objects to keep the clickers happy
- The Crafting screen color has not been changed from the default, I'll get on that eventually =P
- Level 4+ abilities have not been tested - (I plan on adding cooldowns to Lightning Bolt, for example)
- There are no side quests for the Water Dungeon but there will be.
- The credits in the text file are not updated, I'll be sure to write it all out before the real demo release.


My Thoughts:
- I'm asking for a more overall critique rather than little ones meant for polishing. Is the introduction too long and boring? Is the crafting too grindy? Is the Rainforest too small? Is April too Mary-Sue? Is there not enough excitement?

- I want to add an introduction cutscene to introduce players to the main conflict (spoiler: a war), but there's already an introduction in which April gets kidnapped, so I am torn. Do I really want to add more cutscenes?

Progress Report

Getting there! Finishing up loose ends~

Oh man. I never thought I'd be able to say this, but I am almost done with Chapter One of Storms of April. Almost. Heh.

I still need to...
- Add boss fight to the end of the dungeon
- Add various sidequests
- Add various items (mostly the recipes for making various items, all of which have been planned out in advance)
- Balance EXP / Gold / Monster difficulties (I might need some help for this if you're interested)
- Event some cutscenes for important scenes
- Polish like crazy (sound effects, background music changes for mood, interactions with objects for those who are Enter-key crazy, etc.)

The list looks like a lot now that I'm looking at it XD but all in all, the game is very playable at this stage, just lacking story elements and things to do.

There are still some aspects I might want to go back and change.
- One being the battle system. The combat is currently very dry. I'm using the Battle Symphony script, so it looks a little nice, but it's not at all unique. I want to look around at scripts to see how to spice it up a bit.

- Artwork. I've spent a lot of time on this game and it'd really suck if the RTP generator faces are what keep people from playing. I'd love to find an artist to draw busts for me. Meanwhile, I started using Celianna's Faceset Generator and came up with these:

BeforeAfter
April
Tarin
Alec


What do you think? I love Alec's. But I am not sold on Tarin. April is alright =P I couldn't get her hair the same as before without making her look like a little boy. No eyelashes or different face shapes in the generator.

I might end up using these faces just because of the emotions. Have to convince myself to spend the money on busts >_< Unless someone wants to for free? Ehh? :D :D

Anyway, that's all for now! Thanks guys for staying patient with me!

Progress Report

Progress for Demo, aka the First Chapter

Ever since I came back to RPG Maker, I have been re-hooked. It's amazing how that happens. I don't work this summer, so I have plenty of free time. So far I've done a lot with Storms of April from the first version (which was purely introduction content).

I've...
- Rewritten all dialogue from the beginning
- Restyled and made it more consistent
- Added an extra scene to the intro to make things vastly more interesting
- Organized the rest of the story to fit into "Chapters" (if you've noticed, there are now 7 installments)
- Added even more to the introduction, including a crafting system using Falcao's MMORPG Alchemy & Extraction script. I almost wish I hadn't because now I feel like balancing the items and the recipes (although completely optional gameplay) will take even more of my time. Regardless, crafting and gathering added a huge element to Storms of April, and I think it's just what it needed.
- Completed all 9 maps of the outside forest
- And various other additions possibly too subtle to even remember at this point

Still To Do for First Chapter:
- Complete the "main town" map (interiors)
- Complete the final dungeon map for the first chapter
- Balance the combat system (I haven't even started this one *shudder*)
- (I really want to re-map what I worked on years ago but I might scrap that idea due to time)
- Event, write, quest, event, write, gather, event, write, craft
- Testy test test test

As I've said before, the story itself is done. Now it is putting it to RPG form! Creating these maps will take a while, but I'm glad I got the important part out of the way. :) Depending on how you see things, anyway ^_^

I am sorely hoping to finish this first chapter in the next month so that I can get feedback and fix it up before my semester starts in the fall (working on a 2nd master's degree because I am a super dork). I'm probably being naive in the entire process thinking it'll only be a month, but hey. A girl can be optimistic!

Progress Report

Wow, 2 years later. I'm here!

I don't know if I mentioned in my 2013 blog post, but I was a full-time Graduate student with a part time job. I put this game on the backburner and I honestly forgot about it until just recently. Looking at my screenshots, I'm inspired to start this back up again.

I replayed my intro. The exposition is so forced, it hurts. I may or may not need to gut it, or at least add some more interesting scenes...

Anyway - if anyone is still there with me - stay tuned! ^_^

Progress Report

Underway!

Progress is slowly but surely under way! I have everything "planned" for the demo, which will go up to the 1st boss. I need to map and event everything, which is taking a little long. Each map is a parallax to make things as "unique" as can be without having a specialized pixel-maker. In fact, I am the only person on the team, right now ^_^

If you're interested in joining my team, for any role, let me know somehow! I'm comfortable taking care of the game by myself, but if you want to help me, make sure you have some samples of work that I can look at ^_^;

Anyway, just wanted to blurb something for the first blog.
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