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A couple of couples

As the title states, I will be talking about relationships. Particulary of the romantic kind. On one hand you have TristianxDante ( Dantris ), on the other there is TristianxIanna ( Trianna ).

As the plot currently stands, it's been three months since Tristian was ousted from the Cerulean Order and has taken up the life of an arena gladiator, while Ianna poses as a priestess. Both of them, especially Ianna, are trying to come to terms with their new identities now, and they both realise how vast Ianna's birthright really is. Actually, the Kingdom is so vast that even Tristian/Ira has been unaware of the 'free-lands', i.o.w, tiny independant states that hold no allegiance to the crown. The southern desert regions are also supposedly playing host to a group of insurgents who seem hell-bent on toppling Duke Edmund of Bolingbroke, who is a royalist sympathiser. Ira's new job ( along with Ianna and Striker ) takes her into the heart of the freelands to uncover a possible plot by a rebellious movement known locally as The Mountain.

Tristian and Ianna have grown increasingly close over the three month period, but it really is up to the player to imagine how this has played out. One of the many things I love about time-skips is it leaves room for lots of interpretation. Did the two remain platonic, or has the seeds been sown for a possible romantic bloom? There are subtle hints ( in the new demo release, no less ) that indicate that the two might have romantic leanings towards each other.

But whether Tristian acts on it is another thing.

You decide.

Is it her duty that drives her forward, or is it something more? She can become deeply conflicted at times. Here is a soul ( Ianna ) who has lost nearly everything but Tristian. She has no-one to turn to but her lady knight, who now holds zero power. Tris wants to look out for her and protect her, but is concerned that her protective nature may pave the way for something that will only doom her and her princess in the long run.

I really want to leave the interpretation of their actual relationship up in the air.

While I have personally confirmed they are canon, I like it more when players give their own interpretations aka if TriAnna are merely very close friends with an unbreakable bond, or budding lovers.

I won't be writing any explict romantic scenes between them either. The scenes teeter more on the 'will they, or won't they' dynamic, and I love that.

Then there is the whole Tristian/Dante connection. I have to admit, I loved writing what little scene time they had together; I could feel their unresolved feelings for each other, particularly in that optional scene in Connaught's palace. It was rather apparent when Trianna went to Dante for the first time that he and Tristian were more than just mere acquaintances. They actually remind me of a doomed couple from Phantasy Star IV... Maybe that's where the whole bond stemmed from ( since Tristian does sort of resemble that doomed female hunter ;_; ).

But then it was cut short when Tristian was forced to flee after her aggressors became aware of her actions...

The best part about this? It will all be available in a new demo release, scheduled for some time early next year ( January maybe. December 2015 if I really push it ). The demo will start on that clifftop, btw. So it's an all new experience. =)

I'd imagine most of you are rooting for Team Trianna.

Or is it Team Dantris?


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Did the two remain platonic, or has the seeds been sown for a possible romantic bloom?

Lots and lots of scissoring.
Too bad for Dante. Time to start building a consolation harem.
I should probably stop with my bi-monthly updates for now.

I'm really not feeling this game anymore. I'm angry at myself for trying to do too much ( as usual ) and tried to take breaks in-between ( like messing around with MV or just goofing around with the Sims 3 versions of TriAnna ), to no avail.

I can't really call it being burnt-out either ( I've got amazing mental energy ), but I think this project is dying a slow, agonising death. While my blogs may hint at something else entirely, it's a different matter when working in the editor. I have been implementing what I've written so far, so it's not just all hot air. I'm tired of putting LoTL on hiatus, then coming back to it, then losing momentum again; it's a vicious cycle I've found myself in since the middle of this year.

But I don't want to cancel it either. God, no, I couldn't do that, as much as I want to. Because it would just become another failed project that would join the graveyard of countless other RM games that expired because their creators gave up on them. But this game isn't my Ara Fell. Enelysion is.
You're magical to me.
;_; I really hope this project doesn't die. I've been really looking forward to it.

I find it can be very useful to set a definite outline for a game, go and write down "Here's what's going to happen, here are the locations, and I'm sticking to this!" I did that for Luxaren, and while I learned that I could have told the story better if I had done it differently, it was still very good for me, because it kept me from scrapping the whole thing and starting over again (which is very tempting for me to do, but I have to keep myself from doing at all costs, or it'll start an endless cycle of that >.<;;)

Dunno if that helps at all. Best of luck! I hope you can figure out something that helps you get back into this! I'm cheering for you!
I think an extended time away from RM would probably do you some good, Luchi. You've been working on your projects for a while now and I don't think you've ever taken like an actual break. When you think about it, most game devs work in teams and you're working on these massive projects on your own, without constant feedback from team mates or anything to give you an emphasis to continue working. It's only natural that working strictly by yourself will lead you to become bored and unmotivated at times. Maybe you could walk away for a while, read some books, watch some cool stuff, play some games and get your inspiration and passion back? Come back and continue the fight another day, so to speak. :p

Anyway, I hope you can find your passion for this project again. Not just for your fans who love Tristian, but for your own benefit as a creator as well!

Sir Redd of Novus: He who made Prayer of the Faithless that one time, and that was pretty dang rad! :D
This may be of some interest to you: http://rpgmaker.net/articles/821/

I've been following this blog's advice for a long time. Each time I feel drained or unmotivated, just one or two of these solutions is enough to get me back on my feet. In particular, the point about playing something inspirational. Sometimes, when I need a break, I just download a few games here and give them a play. It's amazing how much someone else's work can give you that spark you need again.

Hope any of this was somewhat helpful. I hope you find that drive to work on this again.
Well, you don’t have to write a brand new blog post every two weeks or so just because you have to. Why not take a little extra time off for yourself to have some personal me-time and just enjoy working on the game whenever you can and save any future progress updates for later on? I mean, it’s great to see that you’ve been working on this so hard and always want to appease us with constant updates to make all of us all happy and see that the game is slowly getting worked on and all, but, honestly, maybe it’s probably for the best that you just save all future blog posts for maybe once a month or so. I mean, you have to admit; a lot of these screenshots and factoids do feel and look a little samey some of the time…so maybe it’s best to tone down the updates for a little while and just go have some fun…whether it be working on this or doing something else completely.

As for the game itself, I think one of the biggest turning points that I feel that's let to this project getting slowly done and being in the developmental hell that it is right now is because you decided to ditch all your pre-existing work in exchange for your own custom created resources and change everything from the ground up when you had so much done already that it didn’t make that much sense to basically start all over again from scratch. The original build was pretty good at the time and was looking pretty promising that I didn’t fully understand why you wanted to suddenly change everything mid-way through and do all the resources done by yourself. I mean, yeah, you wanted this game to have your own artistic feel to it and all, and I get it, but that means that the amount of workload just went up by a thousand and that could be why you’re experiencing such a burnout from doing so much work.

I think you just need to personally sit down with yourself and that big, juicy brain of yours and decide if this project is really such a good idea to continue going forward with or not at its current pace. I’d say yes, because you’ve worked on it for a such a long time now and giving up would really damper the ol’ spirit there and could affect you with future endeavours, but you definitely need to channel what it took to finish Enelysion off and just, as Larry the Cable Guy says, “Get-er done,” even if it that means dropping the whole custom resources act and just making it a bit easier on yourself.

Luchino, you’ve done this shit before; I know that you can muster enough mustard and free Tristian from her box of deliciousness and bring the unsalted taste of Tristian’s Crackers to everyone! As your boss and one of the many shareholders in this, I order you to take a week off and then get back to this with a fresh new attitude, pronto!

"The graveyard of countless other RM games that expired because their creators gave up on them."

Holy shit - is there really such a place? “The RM Graveyard…” Sounds like a place that I don’t wanna really go to but I’m sure that I might find Lysander or YDS hanging around somewhere there, lol.
I'll take a week-long break ( again ) and see if my zeal re-appears. But what I really need is a RM- project-buddy. Someone who shares my enthusiasm for this project, someone who already has a wealth of knowledge RM-related. Someone who can be my... personal motivator.

Yes, I'm putting out a plea for someone to be my partner-in-arms, or project partner. I'm tired of working alone now...

It's probably the only way I'll dig myself out of this rut.
You're magical to me.
Wow, interesting! What sort of things would you like your partner to do? Any sort of specific skills that they'd need to have?
You're magical to me.
EDIT: Whoops, doublepost ^^;;;;
Preferably a jack-of-all trades, so we can pick up the slack or chip in with advice on how to improve each other's skills. I suppose it would be a huge plus if I could get in an artist but... I can't really pay them. ;_;

But I'm really looking for someone who can help with what I consider my weaker areas of game development ( writing, gameplay, gimmicks etc. ).
But I'm really looking for someone who can help with what I consider my weaker areas of game development ( writing, gameplay, gimmicks etc. ).

What you talking about!? Writing is certainly not your weakness.
I'm rotten with plot structure. >< Dialogue and everything else is fine as it stands. But if the plot suffers, then the whole game suffers as a result.
I was gonna say, Enelysion’s whole plot structure was just fine to me, so I don’t really think that general writing is your overall big weakness. In fact, everything that you just mentioned above is kind of fine overall, IMO. I just think that your biggest issue is just trying to do too much by yourself and beating yourself up over it when in reality you’re doing just fine as it is in the end. All you have to do is just a find a way to get it done.

I suppose it would be a huge plus if I could get in an artist but... I can't really pay them. ;_;

You can pay them with just crackers and jellybeans! (Well, at least Ocean would probably settle for that...)

Hey wait a minute – what about Ronove, wasn’t he helping you out originally with some portrait work earlier? What ever happened to that lazy bum? (Kidding.)

Either way, there’s nothing wrong with just sticking to the edited Fire Emblem portraits and original resources that you were using before you decided to go all custom, if that makes it easier on you to do.

And I would be that RM project buddy, seriously, but I’m not as well rounded in VX or VX Ace as much as I am with 2k3, so sorry… Plus, it’s hard enough as it is for me to get anything done these days on my own with everything that I have to do, so whatever free time I have is spent working on as much as I can on my own stuff. I don’t think I could really seriously work alongside somebody else with my strange erratic schedule of late, but I'll still continue to support the project in whatever other ways that I can, if you wish.
In spite of the crucifixion you received over your Phantasy Star 4 fangame, all you did was come back and make Enelysion. Now Tristian is one of the top subscribed-to games on the site.
You might be temporarily out of steam, but you've been this way before and you didn't throw in the towel that time either. Take as long a break as you need. My faith in you returning and producing another masterpiece is utmost.

And while you take a break, I'm going to go the other way :)

edit : Also, if you want some help with plot structure, I may be able to be of service. Big picture is kind of a specialty of mine. In every other category you seek, I'm useless :D
That PS4 fan game was a bad, bad, bad idea. >< But like my user title suggests, I will be taking a break. From Tristian, that is ( since I'm working on an MV game that has yuri, orcs that turn hapless townsfolk into cookies and... cookies! )
All of our first time, older games were bad, bad, bad ideas back then, so don’t get so down about that.

And that MV game that you’re currently working on sounds quite yummy, actually. :P
Right now, it sounds to me like you have created characters that you like more than the game that they're in, and any sort of creation that you do that doesn't serve that interest is more of a chore than anything else. Everything in the game need to be in direct service to what you want to express with these characters, or the characters have to change to serve the game you want to create now. Anything else will end up feeling like filler.

Just ask yourself what you really want to express with this game, one solitary idea, and cut out the chuff that doesn't enhance that in anyway. Trust me, I've been in this exact same situation before and it took years for me to learn anything from it and to start producing again with it. But, as long as you think you have a story worth telling and a game worth playing you'll come back to it... or it will eat away at you.
S#!ts a trap I tell ya...
Yes, you're absolutely right in that regard. Thing is, I love all the characters I create. It's just, I need to find that niche for Dante, because he is still a key player later down the line, even if he isn't a playable character. Worse case scenario, he merely exists as having that dreaded love interest-tag. But there is that sense of mutual understanding, perhaps even more, when I do the dialogue between Tristian and Dante.

And I am trying to cut out characters that serve as nothing more as filler ( I've already nixed about three characters from the earlier versions of Tristian, maybe even four ) because I'm constantly refining the writing of the plot and the characters themselves ( it also explains why I tend to get writer's block a lot >< ) until I get a draft I'm happy with. Which I finally have now after 2.5 years of development. So full steam ahead, I say.

Is that Dante and his lovable female side-kick from Adela Isra I spy with my eyes...? I loved that VX-game!
That's good to hear. Most maker projects are killed because of bloat, and even a finished games will still feel weighed down by it. But I'm not exclusive talking about story bloat. Does the map exploration enforce the core idea? Does combat enforce the core idea? When everything works towards that cohesion, it's easier to stay invested on the creation side and leaves less creative black-holes in it's wake. What matters the most is that the core is strong.

Also Adela Isra was never a really a game, just a collection of pretty forest maps presented as if there was some deeper meaning behind it, because the core was weak...also his name is Ezequiel now
Absolutely. I don't believe in filler at all in my games, or useless features ( fishing, slot machines, creature breeding, crafting etc. ), or shunting in other stuff just because every JRPG has to have them. I don't even have puzzles in my games. Basically, anything that blows a 5-10 hour game into a 40-hour 'epic' is a no-go in my book.

I tend to design my games around my core strengths, rather than what is expected of a traditional JRPG.

Tristian may end up being even shorter than Enelysion for that, and not just because making custom assets is such a pain, but because LoTL's plot tends to be a lot more streamlined now, with more focus going into the motives of the people/players who dominate the world stage, rather than thrusting them into a save-the-world scenario, a plot that we've come to see in virtually every JRPG since the late 80s.
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