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Ascendence Resources

Every now and then people have been asking me for a permission to use the resources I used in Ascendence, or then they have used them without a permission anyway, so I put together a pack of resources I used in the game. Here you go:


There is a folder for resources I compiled myself and a folder for general resources that I've grabbed from wherever I've liked.

Unfortunately I'm not going to upload the last version of the project folder as the size is somewhere around 700 Mb!

But if you're wondering how these resources were used, you can take a look in the old demo version and the screenshots I've posted here on RMN. Here's also some additional screenshots of the areas that weren't included in the demo:


I make music

Yeah, I'm still wasting my time trying to become a videogame composer as I mentioned in an earlier blog post! The things is that now you can follow me on RMN forums also:


Go check it out! Maybe some day I'll be a real b- composer.

ps. You're likely to see me in the credits for music of some upcoming RM games also.


What happened?

First of all, I apologize I haven't informed about the status and the future of this project so far, nor really answered to any of the commentary and questions. This is mainly because I just haven't been able to bring myself to care enough anymore. This itself probably answers to most of your questions already, but to put it all simple: I have found I have simply no time to continue making games with Rpg Maker anymore.

Even though I really liked my Rpg Maker hobby, there are other things which now hold higher priority to me and which I enjoy more than working on Rpg Maker. My social life has become a lot more active, which is no big surprise to me as I don't spend all days by pc anymore. I've also got my own apartment, a job, and uh, girlfriend canditate. Things I didn't really take much care of when I spent all my time working on an ambitious Rpg Maker game.

This said, I'm just happier without spending all my time with Rpg Maker, so there's nothing in it for me anymore, considering I hardly play games at all anymore either. Everything else feels more rewarding.

So, even though I would love to see this game completed and all my ideas and characters fleshed out, I have no interest or time to get that work done. Earlier it was something I spent most of my free time and thoughts on, now I'm busy with my relationships and when I want to relax, I compose music.

I've composed music since last summer, so it's still pretty short time, but it is the new field I really enjoy working on and where I want to get as much experience as possible. I'm looking forward to have my pieces used in games, but it'll be several years before I'm good enough to be a professional. For now I'm practising and studying music and composing for an RM project.

Depending on my free time, I also offer my mapping and graphical abilities to aid other RM projects. For now I'm too busy for any requests though.

What comes to unreleased content of Ascendence and releasing its resources, I'll see about it next time I can update the blog, in case anyone is interested.

And I'll never sign up for writing for games again! or they'll be delayed... by years.

Thanks to everyone who played this game and supported the project and especially to all the people who were kind enough to give comments, feedback, reviews and even assisted at game systems and graphics!


The Italians are out to get me!

A look into Italian Rpg Making with Rei- ... or an interview with Rei- for the Italians?

Today I met two Italian guys who caught me by gripping me from the elbows and then dragged me into a room where there was no one else except the three of us. First I was worried and afraid, but when I raised my head and looked deep in their warm, brown eyes under their seducing, curly dark hair, they smiled at me and said: "Your game has arrived to Italy."


So yeah these two guys; Freank and Marco from RpgMker.net asked me for an interview which they could post to their Italian Rpg Maker community, and here it is!

It's all pretty basic stuff, and there isn't happening much of "sharing the secrets of a true mastermind to make your lives or Rpg Maker projects better." ought to be because there wasn't a mastermind, aahhah!

Anyway, here's my first interview I've ever given to anyone. There's some cool screens of Italian Rpg Maker games on the second half, which I was asked to comment on. Take a look at them, there's a few interesting looking games there!
And thanks for the interview to these guys, I appreciate this as somekind of acknowledgment for the work I have done so far. So the conquering process for my ultimate world domination begins from Italy! I follow the footsteps of the once not so great men...!
Okay, that was inappropriate. Let's get to the interview. Thanks to Solitayre for cleaning it up:

The Interview:

Where did your passion for RPG Maker come from?

Well I've always been fan of the RPG genre when I was a kid, and I also liked to use my imagination to create and build my own things, so that eventually led into me wanting to create my own RPGs too.
I consider RPG maker just a silly hobby, even though I spend a lot of time on it. But when I'm working with it, I try not to be too serious.
I do have intentions of aiming my studies around game design or at least visually creative aspects of communications in the future, though.

What are the limits of RPG maker to you?

Let's see. The first limits I can think of are the graphical limitations. Use of 256 colors, and the biggest problem, the small resolution it uses for some of the graphics.
Though that's mostly just for RPG Maker 2003, which I've been using for my main project. But because of that I've started to like VX more and more.
I think the real limitation depends on what you're going for yourself, though. Making a game is a lot of work, and if you have ambitious plans, the real limit is the time.
For this reason I've started to consider working in a team in a positive light, because it makes the chances of getting the job done more realistic.
Especially if you're aiming to create "an epic" RPG that's solid on all of its aspects.

What are the most common drawbacks in games made with RPG maker?

Haha, I'm not the best person to ask this question, because I make a lot of mistakes too, but I guess everybody does. I'm still learning more about general game design formulas if you may call them that.
I mean, if you're aiming to create a professional, solid game, then you should probably try something else than RPG Maker. Of course it's not forbidden to aim to do that with Rpg Maker either,
but then it's about practice and about remembering the essentials of a game. I think maybe the biggest mistakes with RPG Maker games is that the creators aren't always focusing to the relevant:
they want to make their game look good to the others and match different standards - I say make the game one you would personally enjoy. It doesn't fix all the problems that might come along the way, but at least you're focusing onto making the game fun before you're focusing onto polishing it. If your game is all about polish, pretty systems and graphics, but there is no ambition, inspiration or idea behind it, it's not going to be very fun or memorable.

About teams: do you think its better working alone or in teams?

Working in a team can be beneficial in many ways, but if you're going to do so, you have to be prepared to be more organized than working alone. Planning in advance and task management both have an important role in team work.
I haven't worked much in teams myself while creating games before, but I'm looking forward to get more experience on that. Usually each of us is specialized in a certain task in game making,
like graphics, mechanics or writing, for example. If your team consists of several individuals who're each specialized to a certain factor, you'll get better results in the end, because everyone is able to focus onto their main choice of interest. What's important though, is to make certain that the person who is given a task, is confident he can match the standards, or requirements set for him.
In other words, that he has enough experience. If he's really uncertain, it can end in sloppy results for the game, or lack of his motivation to finish this task. Motivation is important when working in a team.
To ensure it, make sure everyone gets to do what they like, and that they're given a creative freedom and that they're able to match your standards. After all, none of us get paid for working with these programs, so getting someone else to do their job won't be that easy.

Do you talk about the Italian RPG making in America?

There's always some discussions about foreign RPG Maker games and the like, but not enough. I'm Finnish myself, so I'm from Europe, too. Usually the main image of European RPG Maker games is that we
focus a lot to the visuals. I can't deny that, as it seems to me that the communities in Germany and France for example, set very high standards for graphics in the RPG Maker games and spend a lot of time to polish that aspect, while in USA they usually keep talking about how important the game mechanics and gameplay is.
I think there could be more communication between these communities, as we would probably would have a lot to give each other.

Can we show you a few screens or videos of italian games and have you comment on each of them?

Sure, let's see:

Raldon by theoras

Seems like an RPG Maker XP game. Well, the first thing catching my eyes is the difference of style in the interface and level design. The level is very colourful, saturated and busy, while the interface:
the status bars and the like, are very simple in color terms, small and don't really stand out enough. With a bit more colors, some outlines and design that matches the "cartoonish" RTP graphics,
the interface would fit better. I also spot an icon from World of Warcraft. I recommend withdrawing from using resources that are commonly known. Though I do use some rips on some of my projects myself,
too, I try to avoid using them in a way where they make you instantly think the source game, like Shadow Word Pain (the icon) does: it takes you instantly back to World of Warcraft in your mind.
I would also like to add that the map looks very busy. It could use some simplicity and peace, like some open areas. When it's very colourful and there is so much to focus onto, it's kind of pushing you away.

Poket Quest by Testament

Okay, this one works much better. There is some simplicity and hence, there aren’t too many points in the design that all fight together for catching your attention - it's easier for eyes.
The clear text with distinct outlines makes the interface work a lot better, and you don't have as hard a time trying to follow the important stats going on the screen.
The graphical style also seems pretty coherent, which is important.

Pokemon Garmet by Mercury

Not much I can say. Great use of colors and the design is simple - nothing stands out too much. It's pretty harmonic, though this is a screen of a map that is straight horizontal line, so it has a little advantage to it!
If the creator of this one can make all his maps as pretty as this while making them work mechanics-wise so that they remain interesting and fun to the player, then it's going to be visually very enjoyable game.

Tales Of Caledon by Sabaoth Team

The game itself seems visually great. If I would have to pick a few things that brought it down a little, they would be the sprites and the menus.
The sprites go along well enough with the surroundings, but to make them work perfectly, their colours would need to be adjusted accordingly. As for the menus, again, they look like something out of World of
Warcraft because of the button color and shape design - I'd personally change that, but it's no biggie. The animation seemed great though, really really smooth. The game seems interesting, but the trailer doesn't do it much justice.
The trailer uses a way overused track: Requiem for a dream. Everyone's heard it way too many times and this is why it seems pretentious whenever someone is still using it. It's like they wanted to match that
some certain "ooh cool trailer" group, while they just could be original and come up with something that everyone hasn't already heard before - as in, actually entertain the audience with something fresh.
Also, the video should show the highlights of the game and something to look forward to, but it focused a lot of moving a cursor in menu, which isn't too exciting. And in the later parts it was cut too much while the
player was moving around on the environments. It made it look like the video or the game was lagging, or something - it just didn't work that well. In conclusion: the game looks pretty interesting, but the trailer doesn't do it justice.

Element of Chaos by Val

It looks alright, but there really is too many graphical styles clashing here. The lighting style varies too much in the different objects and the sprites and the portrait from Fire Emblem make it clash even more.
They need to be edited a lot further to go well together. It's a lot of work to make a lot of different styles work together - a lot of editing and trial and error. In this screen there is good effort, but it still needs
more work. Alternative choice is to pick one style and go with it - it might be less troublesome.

The stone of Punishment by Seto

I really like it. There still is something little wrong with it that is not very easy to tell first, though. I think it's the color scheme of the dialogue window - it's very rich, while the rest of the graphics are much more
composed colors, and not as much shaded (the sprites for example. Compare their hair to the dialogue window, for example.) But generally I like it a lot. Changing the saturation of the dialogue window
could just work some wonders.

Remothered by Chris

Okay, this is beyond amazing. The video was very, very impressive. A great use of the visuals, sound effects and all. I'm simply running out of words. The atmosphere was very creepy. I'd really love to play that
game and I'm sure many other people would love too. If they've got the guts, that is.

Fifth Era by Lollo

The graphics used for the map look good, but the objects stand out too much. they need different shading and colors to go well along with the map. The interface bit on bottom right corner of the screen clashes
too. It looks generally good. If those little bits were taken care of, then I'd say it would look graphically pretty solid game

Tenshi by Fenrix

Blocky! I'd definitely take out the square outlines from the bushes at least, considering the ground tiles are supposed to be flagstones. As it is now it looks too much like some grid or something.
Other than that it looks generally nice. A bit empty perhaps, but maybe that's because it's a town but the player sprite seems to be the only living thing in there. The interface bit doesn't go very well with the map,
but that's a quick fix - just some exposure changes.
Last but not least : Valiant Dreamers by Ally

This particular screen looks pretty cool because of the awesome ship. The little sprites look so cute in it... But I can't say for the rest of the game. Does it use the same graphics all the way?
Anyway, the ship is great and the sprites go very well together with it. The dialogue window could be a little more fancier, though. Maybe give it a background pattern, or try some different frames.
I'm just saying the awesome map totally outshines the dialogue window. To give the screen some balance, make everything equally awesome.

Thanks for your time, we are very happy for this interview! We hope we gave you a good impression of Italian game making!

Yeah, there are several interesting looking projects! Thank you for the review. If you're interested to check out my current project, check out Ill Will on Rpgmaker.net
It's a side project I begun with two other people in December and it's going to be finished in the two following months. Once it's complete I will return back to working my main project.

Thank you~

Sorry for another blog post with no real relevance to progress updates on Ascendence! You'll see those around summer. Thanks for your time. Feel free to comment, point out and discuss any of the contents of this post. =))


Is she cute, or is she cute?

Another one colored! Great job by meh_ch!

Here's Carol:

She's soo cute *coughcleavage*

What comes to Ascendence otherwise, it's kinda on hold untill Ill Will for Game Chill is complete. Which is not long anymore.

Check Ill Will meanwhile: http://rpgmaker.net/games/1647/

Getting back to Asc right after.


meh_ch deserves lots of love!

As some of you might know already, this wonderful person known as meh_ch here offered to do the coloring for the art of Ascendence cast some time ago.

I'd just like to show all of you all the great work she has done so far, and thank her for bringing my characters alive with colors!

Here are the characters colored so far. These are just preview versions, and all the sizes mightn't be correct in comparisons, but that will be handled in the final product.

There are still few complete linearts waiting to be colored, but I still need to draw few more characters.

However, the Ascendence main cast isn't that far from being complete in visual terms, anymore.


Thinking outside the box


Jeez, I had already forgot for a while, that I was supposed to keep up a blog for my game here. I just happened to notice that while visiting Ascendence's former dev blog, where I had written that I'd continue updating the blog only in RMN from since when I abandoned the former one. I must admit I had probably forgot that particular promise.

I might have posted a small update here every now and then, but nothing special - only something very insignificant, such as character design or something similar.

Therefore, now here's the first so called "proper update" to Ascendence's RMN dev blog, since my former blog.

What I mean by "a proper one", is that I try to write about the game features, plans concerning them, ideas and executing them in a more diverse manner.

So far you haven't seen many posts that would acquaint you with origins of my ideas, or process of their development, because I have kept them only to myself, and inside my head, to some degree, always untill it has been the time to execute them. Probably because I consider them complicated, partly overly detailed, and sometimes too ample. I'm too lazy to write about all of them, instead of working on them directly!

Though there lies a slight problem with the fact, that executing many of my ideas shift onto later point in time, because I am still working some of which appear earlier in the game for the player.
See, in this case I'm likely to forget details in my ideas sometimes, even though I could allege I have them largely stored into my mind. I'm still not so crazy, that I wouldn't write down any notes
at all. I write them all the time, but I'm still somewhat impractical person. I know what I want to do, but I'm lacking some sort of task management or systematic execution to carry it out.
I'm too lazy to explain my working methods or organize them, because they always change depending on my mood or inspiration.

In other hand, I'm not complaining about anything, but to achieve the best outcome regarding the subject in question I've got to think of different working methods all the time. Because of this I try to experiment different methods in every aspect while working on my product. Let's start first with the writing.

To the point:

When it comes to expressing yourself creatively in writing - and any part of it, or simply - thinking at all, is in question - I've tried to find new ways of approach. What I mean by this, is that I constantly provoke myself to think in ways that are unnatural to myself. With this I try to keep the style of expressing my product fresh, and varying. Because by absorbing more options, also my variety of choices increases.

Where I'm coming to with this, is the so called "thinking outside the box." The way I am trying to do this myself, is basically to consider all my ideas bad! Well, not entirely bad, but bad in the form they're at their first state, only because at this point they're still "basic" ideas. For many of you this sounds self-evident, but there are also a lot of people, that are satisfied with these "basic" ideas, and think they're all original and great, only just because those ideas struck their mind a moment ago, so that obviously means they created them, righ!?! No - most often these are the ideas everyone share.
Well, this is hard to avoid, and there is no great evil doing something that has been done before, as it's somewhat impossible to avoid it, but here's where we're coming to, when I was using the word "basic" idea. I'd call these "basic" ideas so called "generic cereal" - okay, generic tropes perhaps. In any case, with some effort you can shape these ideas into unique execution and composition, carrying the product in totally new direction.

Now what determines the direction I should take these ideas of mine into? Your personality. Well, that is a hard influence to define, so let's also mention the so called "thinking outside the box." How to "think outside the box" and have it affect your "basic" idea?
First, emphasize the thoughts and themes that you hold most important to the original idea in your mind. They can be pretty much anything, varying between having dinosaurs fighting alongside with the pirates to defeat the oppressive ninja empire, just for the sake of having something as fucking weird as that, or maybe you want tell about something specific. Really, there's no limitations to what these "important things" to your idea might be, because you determine them.

Though, it is always something you want tell to the audience of your product. Think about what you want them to think. Think about what you want them to feel and experience.

For me the things I want to get over to the audience don't differ much from what I just mentioned above. I want to make them feel, experience, and provoke them think things I want to tell about.
Well, now that we have some important points from the original "basic" idea I want to take into my product, let's give it a whirl and create it even more unique. Let's "think outside the box."
For that we need to take elements and influences to the idea from external sources. Not only those you're already familiar with and which exist in your mind, but fresh influences which give you new thoughts and enhance your existing ones.
To get these you just have to experience and sense new things - basically, set your thoughts subject for the outside influences. Now you gain new fresh thoughts, which will become part of your original idea and thoughts that influence the execution of your product, and hence become a part of the inspiration for it.

Why do I have to take these new "thoughts" and have them influence my original idea? What are these fresh "thoughts" anyway?
Let's mention that the origin which gives birth to all your thoughts, is the outside influences, in a way or another. It's always the interaction between you and the world.
Now let's categorize these influences into three categories that are important to the idea and execution of your product. The criterion determining the category for the influences will be the point in time the influences were in contact with you. in other words, let us categorize all the outside influences into three categories, depending on when they influenced on you. Now, we're not supposed to focus on the subjects - the influences, but the categories.

But still to make it clear: the reason we're talking about influences, in other words, external sources that affect you, and which you will react onto - in this case in your mind, with your thoughts, and why I want to familiarize you to the importance of their point in time affecting you, or in otherwords, their "freshness" is that it is related to how deep these influences have "sunk" into you.
Or should we say, how much you feel cohesion or familiarity to the thoughts these influences have given you - how big part of you these thoughts have already become. This is what we can determine by categorizing these outside influences.

Let's name the outside influences "X." The longer the time that "X" has been affecting to you, the more connected you have become with it. At the very first time in contact to X, it might appear very different to yourself, or at least something totally new to you, hence it it provokes a lot of new thoughts in, and for some people very concrete and strong thoughts, depending on what the X is.
After a while in contact with X you're already getting familiar with it. For some people the stronger, and more concrete opinions and thoughts mighn't have started to form untill now. But in most cases, now you already know X partially, but it still crosses your mind occasionally. Now let's say it's been long time since X affected you. At this point it might have already become a big part of what you are now, and you might not even remember X anymore, or be aware of its influence to you.

Now we have categorized everything influencing your thoughts in three categories by their point in time influencing you.

- The oldest thoughts, which have now already changed you in some way you might not even be aware of anymore. They've changed your mind in a way or other and made you form opinions that have already had a lot of time to develope into consequential paths, possibly making you very different kind of person these days.

- Partly familiar thoughts. A lot of which you're thinking occasionally about and still maybe forming into theories or into anything you generally might want to talk about, or to tell people about.

- And the most "fresh" influences, that still give you totally new thoughts, and aren't a part of you yet. But if you apply these newest influences to the previous two categories you multiply all your existing thoughts by possibly giving all of them a new way to develope into. This is a great way to create something unique, because your options for different routes of thoughts extend and you're more likely to end up onto a route never seen before - which we call an unique product - created by "thinking outside the box." Mind you, you box.

Now this all was just an overview into how I personally consider one may create to some degree unique product, and what I personally think "thinking outside the box" is. It's also very ideal, and doesn't focus on the techniques. And this can be applied to a lot of things that revolve around creativity and expressing the world from your point of view. Not only writing, at all.

Anyway, this was probably good enough start for my new blog updates, because it should give you the idea ... of my ideals. But how well do I follow that ideal with my presentations? It's for you up to see in my products, but at least you now do know a part of my goal, or at least what I consider when choosing my goal.

I'll get back to you with more in-depth focus on some of the features themselves later on. Oh and I've been experimenting different technique in writing recently. I do it all in finnish first, and then a long time to manually translate it. It helps me hold all my thoughts together while writing, and write about them in better variety of words and sentence structures. Though, I don't know about the sensibility of my text to you. :)

I hope it's understandable! See ya.


New character lineart - Gaz'oh

Hey there, I finished a new character lineart today! It was already a pretty long time since I did last one.
Here it is - Gaz'oh, a well built butler, guardian of young master Lucas. One of the main characters:

I'm almost done with Lenna, too. Then I just have to do Lucas and Midnight and the maincast is ready. 2 ½ more to go that is, and that leaves only the side characters anymore!



1000 downloads? What on earth, people. Thank you! I'd say something more, but I'm about to leave my house just now and go out celebrate Friday.

Anyway, I'm very surprised of the attention you've given this game, and even the very earliest sort of demo.
Just wanna thank everyone for playing! I'll get back at you, and if I have to think something to announce of next (?) demo, I'd guess there might appear something by the end of the year, or on the first half of the next year.

What comes to that I was looking people for some help, I'll get back to you asap. I just finished my summer job, and I'm getting less busy. With this night as exception as I need to go out with the girls and partaay.

Yeah well, have a fun weekend.


Fellow developers ahoy!

So, I came to think my working methods efficiency for Ascendence, and the general time usage of the project this morning. As the game was originally aimed to be a project for 3 people. In the end I was left (almost) all alone again, and I can't help but to feel it's going to take me at least three time as long to finish, as originally planned!

When we begun, there was 2 people bouncing off the ideas for the story, and two, in head of directing the game. At least that produced a solid plot-line and direction for game. There was also 1 person assisting with the gameplay mechanics and oh, one more person doing a few maps.

Now as most of the game seems very clear to me in my mind, and I see all that needs to be done, I just sometimes feel overwhelmed of the workload (again.) So all the plans and the instructions are there! The workers? Only me.

Now, I don't mind doing it alone at all. Actually I do prefer it from my creative point of view, and keeping my project independency in mind, but being totally honest to myself and thinking of getting the entire game done (which is the most important matter concerning the entire project) I could really use some help.

Now, I'm still thinking of which parts I could hand out for other people, or which aspects they could help with. I've got used to cover every aspect, and have ideas for all of them. Also, I consider my standards high, at least if we consider the subject I am judging, as an average Joe creating a solid RPG.

Of course I've got my weak and inefficient parts too. Right off, writing and number crunching being two for example. I do have 2 persons helping me a bit with writing already though, but that leaves out number crunching, in other words, gameplay mechanics, or to be even more precise. RM database.

Now don't get me wrong. I do work around database and try to see a lot of effort to polish all the database parts too, but when it just comes to time usage, it's abysmal timesink for me. I can do it alone, but I am writing this blog entry with finished game in my mind.

So, if you think you could be up to cooperate with my ideas and assist developing Ascendence in way or another, please do contact me. In priority, I am firstly just looking for someone to cover a part of the database work, ie. skills, items, enemies, and other cool stuff like that. So if you feel creative on that part of game developing I'd be glad to hear out your ideas and share some of mine.

Though I must mention this again. I've got the basic structure and ideas for gameplay aspects covered, so you don't need to worry about getting the whole load on your shoulders. I am just looking for a person who has some fresh ideas and could help with some tweaking, and adding more to the gameplay sector.

Artist and people who feel comfortable working with pixel graphics and sprites ahoy, too. I've sure got something for you too, if you want to help the complete version of Ascendence see daylight some day.

All in all, artists and geeks, do contact me. Preferably those with several years of experience on whatever aspect you're offering to help me with. I have personally been working my own games for 7 years and I'm highly inspired and positive of finishing this one. Preferably in the next three. =)
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