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KARMA FLOW 5th Anniversary / Sequel changed!

- KARMA FLOW 5th Anniversary / Sequel changed! -

Hey, everyone!

It's the fifth anniversary of my game Karma Flow!
Time definitely goes by way too fast.

Full size here: https://patrickleo.art/projects/489q8Y?album_id=1050173

I've decided to celebrate with an artwork and an announcement!
Steel Skin has been cancelled. The official sequel now being Tears of a Ghost.

More info on this link:

Thank you!

- Pat

Progress Report

Progress Report #6: Moving On! Intro Cutscene / Maps / 'n Stuff

So, a lot of things have happened since my last blog post. Among all of those things... I found a job, and it's sucking a lot of my free time. Nevertheless, I managed to work on the game, although with a much slower pace. Thought it was time to update the gameprofile page a bit.

Up until now, my main focus was the gameplay engine, as I wanted the game to have a very strong and solid "prototype" before diving into the more important and "decisive" stuff. Now, the engine is basically done so... yeah, the whole thing is slowly taking form.

I began working on some of the game's maps and on its Intro Cutscene. Cutscenes in KF2 will be much more "animated" and better directed than the ones in KF1, at least that's the intention. Most of them will also feature animated artworks, like this Intro Cutscene I'm making.

Which is turning out pretty great! Much better than the old Intro Sequence I've released in 2016 made with 2k3.
(This one: https://rpgmaker.net/games/9472/media/5324/ )

I'll probably release the new Intro Cutscene as soon as I finish working on it. I'm now testing some things like playing with lights, shadows and with the camera in different ways. My aim is to learn to express feelings and communicate stuff using these "tricks", creating scenes that will fit every kind of situation. To know when a character is feeling sad and lost without necessarily communicating it through dialogues. That sorta stuff.

I'm especially trying to avoid too much unnecessary exposition, especially during the first hours of the game.

I've also made some new Concept Arts. Some of those are kinda spoilery, this one, for example, is not, so "TAKE THAT!":

But I won't say anything about this character. Because I'm evil.

And I would like to avoid spoiler, mostly.

I'm gonna keep on making!

"I'm Flories De la Muerte!"

Progress Report

Progress Report #5: Merry Christmas! | Working on the enemies' AI

First of all, Merry Christmas to you all! Had your fill? I'm stuffed and depressed. xD


I had to stop working on the gameplay engine for a while, as I had to work on a teeny tiny 2D Platform game with some friends of mine. (Perhaps I'll translate it and upload it here one day, we'll see).

I've recently resumed working on Karma Flow 2. It's a shame that I'm still this far behind schedule with the release, as I wanted to release the game in time for Christmas. As you might've guessed from some of the screenshots or the presentation itself (even though I don't remember if it was actually implied or not, hmmm), Karma Flow 2's story takes place during Christmas so it would've fit nicely.

It could've been the kind of game to play on Christmas! Like, "Tonight I'll rewatch Die Hard and, why not, let's play some Karma Flow 2 as well, later". xD

Unfortunately no, I'm still working on the structure, so no way the game is going to release now. But I'll try my best to release it somewhere around 2018.

As I said in my previous blog, the gameplay structure is ready on paper, and there's a somewhat working prototype on VX Ace, but it still needs to fully get out of the conceptual phase. I'm creating everything using VX Ace's own programming language, RGSS3.

The basics are all there, as I said before. Enemies are slightly smarter, have their own pathfinding and can also hear the player, Flo can now jump wherever she wants and that helps the player gain a lot of freedom of movement (imperative for this game that aims to be an "Open-Stealth", as I like to call it) and things like that.

Debugging a bit. In this particular case, the enemy tried to call for help "but no one came...". The graphics here are all placeholders, of course.

I'm now trying to finish programming the enemies' main AI. The most difficult things to program is when they have to form search teams in order to investigate a certain area. Enemies can finally hear noises and tell them apart! For example, when they hear footsteps they simply turn around, looking for the source, just for a bit, before resuming their patrol. If they hear an explosion, though, things are handled way differently. They know someone dangerous could be lurking around, at that point. So they form a search team and scout the area where the explosion occured. All of the enemies that hear that specific type of sound get some kind of "ID" which basically tells to each one of them "you belong to team number X".

I'll need to come up with some sort of algorithm for when the enemies need to split up and search around that specific area. The idea is to make them investigate places where the player is more likely to be hiding, and split up to do so in order to not get in each others way.

It is proving to be kind of hard to make, but I'll manage somehow. If worse come to worst, I'll try something different. I hope I can make it work as soon as possible!

As soon as I have a fully working gameplay engine with all of the intended features, I'll create a mission for testing purposes and maybe show it to you through a gameplay video or something else.

I was also thinking about releasing a patch for the first game, Karma Flow - The Prototype. I wanted to change the 100% completion bonus in order to tease the sequel a bit with a little extra something and I was also thinking about implementing support for the Xbox360 Controller. I tried PepsiOtaku's plugin, that allows this, a bit and it worked like a charm, but I've never implemented it in KF1 yet. Fact is, I wanted to release it together with a few other fixes. We'll see about that.

See you soon and, again, have a happy Christmas!

Progress Report

Progress Report #4: Cutscene and gameplay structure complete... in VX Ace

Kept you waiting, huh?

No, okay, let's keep this serious. More or less.

- Progress Report #4: Cutscene and gameplay structure complete... in VX Ace -

It's been a while since my last report. Since then, I've worked on finalizing the script and then moving onto the game's cutscenes and gameplay structure.

It's... all done, wow.

Expect lots of story.

I've worked in tandem with my team. I showed them the cutscenes and made adjustments in order to balance them, trying to avoid too much exposition as much as I could.

Together with finalizing the cutscenes, I came up with the game's main missions and some of its gameplay elements.

Finally, all I needed was the gameplay structure. A prototype to work on.
The initial idea was to stick with RPG Maker 2003 and work a lot on the engine's optimization in order to implement the new features I had planned for KF2.

After trying some things and doing random stuff with other tools, I managed to complete a working prototype in VX Ace. For now, it works like a charm so, yeah...

... Karma Flow 2 is moving to VX Ace.

Of course, I want it to stay true to its predecessor art style. So no VX Ace style graphics.

The mix between RGSS3 and event programming give me so much flexibility that working on the structure is now a joy. Really. It's great!

A lot of new features have been implemented. Guards are now smarter. When they spot the player, they alert everyone in the vicinity and then chase him without getting stuck anywhere. They return to their former patrol route when the alert is over.

They can also hear you. Footsteps, gunshots... those can give your presence away.

The player can now jump anytime he wants. A fake-3D jump algorithm has been implemented.

I'm now working on implementing a method that allows enemies to form search teams in order to scout certain areas. We'll see about that.

But it works. And like a charm too. No lag at all (tested on large maps with lots of enemies in it).

Direct Link: http://i63.tinypic.com/1zw4zq.png

Direct Link: http://i66.tinypic.com/2mcj7nk.jpg

Direct Link: http://i68.tinypic.com/dg2ixe.jpg
Working on the gameplay structure. The graphics I've used are all placeholders, of course.

The conceptual phase of the game is now complete. One step closer to the end.
Can't wait to show you all of the new cool features I've got in store!^^

'Til the next update!

Progress Report

Progress Report #3: More Concepts and Game Design stuff

- Progress Report #3: More Concepts and Game Design Stuff -

Some progress update regarding the development of the game.

I'm still working on the Game Design Document and some of the game concept arts. I want to be as thorough as possible with the "conceptual part" of the game, before real development starts.

I'm over a hundred pages done with the GDD. However, there's still a lot of writing to do and there's still a lot that needs to be adjusted properly. Sooooo, it's nowhere near finished, unfortunately. But it's going well.

As for the "Concept Arts" part, some more characters have been designed.
Here's two of them. A redesign of Old Major (which is still very similiar to his Karma Flow 1 design) and a whole new mysterious character.

#1 Old Major

Direct Link: http://i65.tinypic.com/2yydtes.jpg

#2 Mysterious Character (woooo)

Direct Link: http://i63.tinypic.com/zt6w0p.jpg

I hope you like them!^^

Also, have you seen one of the new splash art I made? D'you like it?

Direct Link: https://rpgmaker.net/games/9472/images/76615/

I'll carry on! I'm really hyped for this! After I finish the GDD and all of the concept arts, it will be time for the real thing!

Progress Report

Progress Report #2: Klarice Kealborn / Random stuff

- Progress Report #2: Klarice Kealborn / Some random thoughts. -

Some more updates regarding the development of the game and some sweet pixel art. Also some random trivia.

Lately, I've been working on the game's storyboard/GDD and I'm trying to include everything in it in detail. The goal is to deliver good storytelling and maintain a fair balance between cutscenes and gameplay segments. It's proving to be a bit difficult. There will be occasions when the game will feature long cutscenes. But I will try to not make them too frequent.

Beside that, I'm including all of the features and mechanics the game will have. Things for now are turning out great. There are a lot of ideas and stuff waiting to be implemented. I'm looking forward to it.

Moving on, HROT, the game's pixel artist, came up with this:

A pixel art showing Klarice Kealborn and some of the female models who work for her agency. More information on this character can be found in the "Synopsis and Characters" section of this gamepage.

She's the new Kealborn sister who will be featured in Karma Flow 2, a really important character. I've been planning to make some room for her in the first Karma Flow, but I didn't had enough time to properly introduce her and make her a significant part of the plot there.
Removing her from that game worked for the best, as the story of the first chapter was already "overflowing" despite its short campaign.

Just like Florien, Klarice had to become involved with the criminal underworld of Rolsara in order to provide for her family. She is constantly in competition with Flo, but at the same time they work together for Mary's sake.
They have some kind of "love and hate" relationship. Also, she's very useful as she can provide the player with information regarding his next mission, for the right price.

Random trivia time. She originally appeared in another game of mine, a 3D non-linear investigation game I was developing some years ago called Project Cleaners.
You can see her VEEEERY old design for that game in here:

Direct Link: http://i64.tinypic.com/2wnwtvc.jpg

That is some really bad 3D and artwork. xD
She was called Klerika Derend in that game. Klerika, just like the antagonist of the first Karma Flow. When it comes to recycling from failed project, I do recycle a lot.^^'
Ultimately, the project was cancelled, but I liked her design so much that I decided to come up with another version of her for Karma Flow.

Here are some old Concept Arts (prepare to puke^^') of Klerika:

#1 (2013):

Direct Link: http://ssafropat.deviantart.com/art/PC-Character-Mess-Colored-Part-1-380839849

#2 (2013 - Christmas version):

Direct Link: http://ssafropat.deviantart.com/art/Very-Merry-Christmas-422169795

#3 (2013):

Direct Link: http://ssafropat.deviantart.com/art/Project-Cleaners-Yet-Another-Klerika-Derend-Art-437092849

#4 (2015):

Direct Link: http://ssafropat.deviantart.com/art/Karma-Flow-Another-Character-2-SKETCH-576690744

Last Concept Art and Design:

Direct Link: http://i68.tinypic.com/2q034vl.png

My next goal is to try and make her hat look better in her artworks. xD That's something that needs to be done.

After the storyboard is finished, the next step is to test all of the new game's mechanics in order to see if they work properly.

I'm thinking about uploading some of the artworks in the "Images" section as well. I'll see about that, there is already an artwork section after all.

That's all for this update!

Progress Report

Progress Report #1: Title screen

I'm trying to keep working on the game non-stop even during this period of time where I should also study for my exams. Eeeeeh.

I came up with an idea for the game's title screen so I decided to do that next. It may remind you of the title screen from the first Karma Flow. It's Flo staring outside the window again.

It's animated. It still needs some improvements, but it's a start:

It's in Italian, for now, I know. Forgive me.

The game will also feature a second version of this title screen starring the second protagonist, Steph.

I'm also thinking about extending it in the future. I would like to draw all the parts missing on the right: the desk and all the stuff on it, like that radio (that may broadcast the latest news), various papers, documents and photos. That portion of the title screen will become some sort of a "central hub" where player can view the targets' info, choose a mission and do other things like that. Some sort of an "HQ within the title screen". It's an idea that I have in mind, in order to make a complex title screen. But it's just that, an idea. I still have to see if it's worth the effort.

I really liked how this title screen turned out to be, despite the improvements that need to be done to make it look better.

See ya on the next update! :D


It has begun

Let the dance begin!

The development of Karma Flow 2 - Steel Skin is officially a go!

The release date you see in the main page is a placeholder one, but I will try my best in order to release the game somewhere near the end of 2017 (or at least make significant progresses by that time). KF2's story is set in winter time after all, so it's fitting.

I will try my best in order to reach the game's full potential. With this chapter, I want to concentrate on the flaws of the first game and fix them while improving every other fields. I'm trying to implement a lot of things for Steel Skin: such as a much more intricate and fulfilling plot, improved gameplay mechanics with lots of freedom, lots of ways to tackle a mission and improved graphics especially when it comes to mapping. These are my main goals for now.

It will be a challenge, and I'm scared to make all of these promises but let's just hope for the best.

For everything else, I'll just... redirect you to the "Introduction" section, in the main page of KF2, as I'm just repeating myself. xD

Thank you and stay tuned for more updates!
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