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Announcement

Steam NEXT Fest Demo

Hi everyone! Some good news to report today!

After multiple years of work, I have released the first ever public demo of the new "commercial" BR!

Those who know me...know that I don't do this very often. I suppose RMN has taught me to hold my cards close to my chest, so to speak. xD

But with some nudging from my publisher, I decided to go for it! I'm very proud of the work we've done, and the time felt right to show it off! It's been a long time coming, that's for sure.

Giznads and I have collaborated nearly every day on revamping this project into 16:9 widescreen, and overloading the menus/battles with customization. In many ways, we pushed Rm2k3 further than I previously thought possible.

Rather than offer a gameplay "sandbox", I chose to let the player experience the first chapter of the game. (In total, 5-6 of them are planned). I have 3.5 chapters currently completed, but the 1st one stands on its own as a nice introduction to the mechanics and characters.

Since it's released as part of Steam's NEXT FEST, the demo will only be playable/available for a limited time. I expect the publisher will pull it after October 10. So grab it while you can, if you're interested! If you enjoy, you can Wishlist the final game due out in 2023.

Download Here!

Steam doesn't allow reviews for demos, but I believe RMN does! But if not a full review, any small bits of feedback helps.

Progress Report

We've launched on Steam! + Other updates

Yup, the title says it all. Hurray!

This has been a long time coming, but now in the final sprint of development, I'm excited to share that we've finally published this game's official presence on Steam!

BR is now available for preorder/wish listing. Early Access demos may be a possibility, eventually, and of course some RMN folks can feel free to request an early copy.

Steam uses very specific algorithms in order to determine how much to "make viral" new projects that launch on the Store. Any wish-listing will help us get noticed during the period after the game's release!




Widescreen Functionality

I originally believed this to be impossible, because of the limitations of Rm2k3.

But with a bit of experimentation, we were able to recalibrate the files for a proper widescreen experience, including battles!

An enormous thanks to Giznads and Cherry for help on this! It truly couldn't have been done without them!






New Menu System

Since the default menu looked a bit wonky in 16:9, we decided to take advantage of the additional space (+ the new Maniacs patch functionaliyu) and add a custom menu system!

Giznads did an amazing job elevating the presentation even further.




Progress Report

Patreon! + Chapter II nearly done

Hi all,

Despite my silence, things have been steadily progressing toward us finishing BR!
After an impossibly long time, I believe I may finally be able to finish in 2022 (but I won't jinx myself. XD)

Together with Giznads, we've used the Maniacs Patch update to push the battle system even further! We added fully-animated enemies to every battle, and patch up the bugs from the original demo.

Here are a few progress shots from Chapter II:










Patreon Support


As some of you know, we launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2019 to help revitalize this old Rm2k3 project as a newfound commercial game. We worked hard to replace every single asset (largely rips from Chrono Trigger and other titles), including new battle animations, pixel-art backgrounds, tilesets, and a full 16-bit soundtrack.

I've learned a few lessons during the time that's elapsed since then. Namely, that we may have underestimated the budget it would actually require to produce a full commercial RPG... (who would've thought? Heh heh)

We've made enormous progress since then, which I'm very proud of! (The game is now over 6 hours!) But on the flip side, a majority of the budget has been used up now.

I talked with my team, and we decided to launch a small Patreon page in order to give some continued support for helping us cross the finish line! I don't expect this to give anywhere close to the level of assistance we derived from the actual Kickstarter, and I take full responsibility for underestimating the money we'd need in the first place. I'll chalk it up to a lesson learned - and if I ever work on future projects, I'll be able to apply that lesson.

I know the followers on RMN, in particular, have watched this project for many years (some of you even from the website's beginning days), and for that, I can't even find the words to express my gratitude. :')

If any of you feel compelled (and able) to support our amazing pixel artists with their work, I plan to do everything possible to create meaningful rewards for our Patrons. I plan to distribute early copies of the game, and even involve them directly with creative decisions in development!

Patreon.com/BelovedRapture


Widescreen Support


As some of you may also know, the Maniacs patch for RPGMaker 2003 allows for customized resolutions, similar to the later engines.

We've began to experiment with the possibility of 16:9 widescreen.

It would require a tremendous amount of re-coding pictures and events, but the payoff might be worth it! How do people here feel about 4:3 vs 16:9 for retro-inspired/pixel games?

Announcement

RPGMaker Cola

Happy 2021, everyone!

Some great news! I've been chosen to appear as a guest on the RPGMaker Cola podcast! It's quite an honor!

RPGMaker Cola is a wonderful interview series (now recently resurfaced for Season 2), hosted by RMN's Cashmere Cat.

My co-guests are:
- Giznads ("Nihilo")
- KoopaKush ("Lakria Legends" & "Shadow Seeker")

What makes me especially proud is that all 3 of us are RPGMaker 2003 users - carrying the torch into the next decade, apparently. XD

If you have any questions you've been meaning to ask me (or my team generally), now is the time! Just leave them in the comments, and I'm sure Cashmere will be compiling a list.

Several users have privately messaged me about their desires to go commercial with their RPGMaker games. I'm excited to unpack my decision-making a bit more thoroughly, but for any more specific questions, I'm happy to tackle 'em.

------

Progress Report

Summer 2020 Progress

Wanted to share my most recent update from Kickstarter with RMN as well. Hope you’ve all had a safe & enjoyable summer thus far!



This update is long overdue - so I’d like to thank backers for their extraordinary patience! This month marks one year since we launched on Kickstarter!

Development Hurdles

Our team has suffered a couple of unforeseen setbacks during the past months. Rightly or wrongly, I was reluctant to post an update until it felt appropriate to share what’s happened.

Unfortunately, our lead pixel artist became quite ill for several months, leaving him unable to work or generate any new content. Although he was committed to staying involved with Beloved Rapture, his sickness left him unable to concentrate for long enough periods of time to complete the monthly assignments (new tiles, monster sprites, etc).

We tried to work around this by designating more of our monthly budget toward music/audio, and toward miscellaneous artwork. Like much of the world, COVID-related personal concerns diminished a lot of our free time - resulting in less mental energy for the project. I ran into a level of emotional/creative burnout that I hadn't felt in a long time.

The good news? He’s made close to a full recovery now, so we’re back on track in terms of preparing for the demo!



The Steam Demo

We're expecting that the demo will be finished by the end of August/Early Sep, and released on Steam shortly after that time.

  • It will last approximately 40-60 minutes - essentially, most of "Chapter 1" in the game.
  • Includes battles, bosses, & 1 Full dungeon

We intend to submit this demo to a publisher, so I wanted to be certain that it achieved a level of high detail that resembles a finished game.

With that being said, I'd like to showcase a few cut-scenes / gameplay tidbits here - any criticism is welcome while I begin to maximize polish.



Chapter 1 Opening Scene

Some of you may remember this scene from the original Kickstarter trailer (as well those of you who know me well enough to have played the old prototype demo XD). Well, we've added in the finalized music track!

I may tweak some of the dialogue to improve pacing, but I'm pretty happy with it.






Dungeon 1 Preview

Similarly, here's a quick glimpse of the game's first dungeon.

I tried to establish nice rhythm in terms of puzzles -> exploration -> battles, etc. The cave comes as a moderate initial challenge, while gently introducing simple jRPG mechanics.




There are still a couple of small bugs/the combat is relatively unfinished, but it's pretty close to the final version.

Dungeon & Battle Themes

Here's the full audio track for the cavern area. Andreas was inspired by both Mitsuda and David Wise for the 'soundscape' and style of these instruments. I referenced the audio style of DKC2 in particular in my track notes; as I wanted a song that could feel both melodic and atmosphere-setting.




The battle theme was finished months ago, but we've refined the instruments since that time. Find the updated track below.

Progress Report

Prologue / Demo & New Teaser

Hi all-!

I hope you've all been holding up well, and staying healthy during these long days.

One small silver lining to this past month's lockdown in the US: much more free time for development! I'd say we've hit a new stride, in fact.

Prior to Kickstarter, I worked on various cutscenes / dungeons that would span the entire game - in the hopes of showing off some visual diversity for the campaign (plus, testing out new resources).

This past month however, we've hunkered down and focused specifically on the game's prologue section, which spans the first 2 Hours of BR. I believe the Prologue can be a proper demo in its own right - which is my eventual aspiration for it. Ultimately, it'll include numerous exploration maps, battles, a village, a full dungeon, and plenty of whimsical exposition scenes.

Here's a quick montage;




I'd like to have this segment finished by May / Early June at the latest! It'll lay the groundwork for the rest of the game's progression, so it's a good place for our team to start evaluating the pacing, battle fundamentals, writing, visuals, music & other elements.

As everyone knows, the game was rebuilt from scratch with the original assets, so I want to gauge whether it feels at the level of a true indie this time around!

In addition to my team and circle of friends, I'd like to have at least 1-2 folks from RMN help out with the testing. I'll probably make an announcement when it's ready to send!

When it came to RPGMaker, a bad habit I struggled with over the years was designing my content out of order. I'd create a map from the beginning of the game, then start a cut-scene that occurs hours later, etc. XD In that vein, it'll be gratifying to make our recent work more continuous, playable from start-to-finish.

Miscellaneous

Small Retrospective + Old Screenshots

Hey all!

We're back to development full-throttle now that we've reached out Kickstarter goal! Feels pretty fantastic to be so reinvigorated with the game, after a bit of a lull period. :D

As we finish BR during the next 12 months, I thought it'd be cool to take a moment and reflect on the project's long history. For the sake of nostalgia, I'd like to keep some of the images from the classic freeware game saved here in this blog post. This is the only place they'll be available. I'll post them in chronological order, so everyone can see the evolution!

I know some people (all three of you) might be disappointed they'll never be able to play that version of the game, but I hope everyone can trust me when I say the revamp will be superior in every way possible.

I've learned a lot about script-writing and design over the years, and I'm glad to put those lessons to use with a bit of a "blank canvas", if you will. The wonderful team I've accumulated have added their talents, expanded the vision past anything I could hope to do on my own.


Comparison


Early RMN Era Images

The earliest major demo of BR that I released was back in 2008-2009.

At the time, I was still an extreme novice with Rm2k3, so most of the design choices were questionable at best (..and at worst, downright awful).

I had a lot of ambition, but zero idea how to actually create a game. Nonetheless, I learned quite a lot from how game was received - the reviews and comments were notoriously polarized.












Post-Hiatus Revival (2015-17)

Late in 2009, I suffered a pretty severe hard-drive failure, which lost nearly ten month's work of progress. Out of frustration, I effectively cancelled BR as I began my first year of college, putting it out of my mind.

It wasn't until nearly 7 years later that I was able to recover the files (little did I know a friend had the folder saved), and with the legalization of Rm2k3, I was spurred to start work on it again.

For better or worse, I only shared that version with about ten people, all of whom were from RMN.






Announcement

Our Final 24 Hours!

We've reached the final day of our campaign! Hurray!

It's been quite the wild ride, that much I can say. I started off extremely skeptical we'd even be funded, and now we've just surpassed our second stretch goal with the third (embellished portraits) now in sight!

It means the world to me - as everyone on RMN knows, this game is my baby; something I've developed on and off since high school/college. To finally be able to complete BR in its most polished form as an adult feels both overwhelming and cathartic.

Here's a teaser video for our second gameplay trailer.

Announcement

80% Funded! And our own Discord Channel

As of September 1, our Kickstarter campaign is less than 2,500 away from its total goal - with ten days to spare! We're all very excited about this wonderful news. XD I honestly never expected so much support from the community, it's made my heart melt a little ;__;

I want to thank RMN from the bottom of my heart - truly - for believing in what we're trying to pull off here. It's a risky endeavor to make a commercial RPGMaker game, let alone using an engine that's nearly two decades old.

In celebration, I decided to open up our Discord Channel (previously used only for the development team) to the general public. A lot of KS backers have asked for this, and I thought I'd extend it to RMN as well.

Join Discord here


Announcement

Kickstarter Has Launched!

At long last, our campaign is live! :D

View it here!

I've also finally wrapped up our first full trailer of the remaster, which you can watch below.




It's been a long and arduous road over the past 12-15 months of remastering Beloved Rapture as a commercial title - and of course the journey is far from over. It's been unbelievably humbling and rewarding. I've held off on over-posting here at RMN, as quite a lot of the game had to be rebuilt from the ground-up, and that took considerable time.

While I initially thought I could simply "swap out" the tiles from the old version, my team collectively made the decision that we should give it our very best effort, so over 80% of the content has been created from scratch. I wanted to take everything I've learned over the past ten years - not just RPGMaker familiarity, but my developing skill as a writer - and put it to its best use.

I've dipped my toes into the wider Indie world while attempting to market the game, and that in itself has been awesome to experience as well. More passion (and competition) than I ever could have imagined.

If you can, help me spread the word! It's been my dream for a long time to not only create a full commercial game with Rm2k3, but a prove that it was possible to design one with entirely original graphics and music. And we seem to finally be moving steadily along that path.

I've gone ahead and removed all of the old screenshots from the game, to avoid any confusion for new players.

A few people I want to thank as well!
  • Chuck Simpson (Tardis) for the game's logo, concept sketches, and various pixel commissions.
  • Willy B for his pixel art contribution.
  • Becca Bair for her contribution.
  • BadLuck of Stegosoft Games for being a good friend and mentor to me.
  • #MeridianDance IRC / Discord channel.
  • RPGMaker.net staff.
  • Kentona for just being awesome.
  • Jordan Chin for his interest in BR and willingness to collaborate on music.
  • Brandon Abley for his involvement.
  • Lily Croffi for supporting my vision since the very beginning, and for her wonderful character designs that endure in the project to this day.
  • Yioshka for her wonderful new art.
  • Joseph Seraph for moral support, and for contributing superb spell animations.
  • Vagrant Pixels for the astonishing portrait work.
  • Tau for mapping assistance.
  • Lian Wu for the Chibi artwork.
  • DragonHeartMan for his support over more than a decade.
  • Dethmetal, Little Wing Guy, Ciel, Giznaps, Dyhalto for past beta-testing.
  • LordBlueRouge for being an enduring friend to me, and for his boundless (and often inexplicable) enthusiasm for making Beloved Rapture the best it can be. Through his immaculate beta-testing and script re-writes, LBR persuaded me to go full-indie with BR, and for that I am forever grateful.



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