I develop games and I write. I have a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and journalism. I like writing speculative fiction, horror and literary fiction, sometimes all blended together. You can find elements of my writing in my games, because I consider my games to be stories just that happen to have gameplay.

I post updates on my Facebook and Twitter:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dark-Gaia-Studios/365139189465
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/DRobertGrixti
Legionwood 2: Rise of th...
A sprawling J-RPG game and direct sequel to Legionwood: Tale of the Two Swords.


Language in Games

Hey all,

Just thought of something interesting (or not) that I'd like to get your opinions about: how appropriate do you feel bad language is in your games? What is the absolute point where you will draw a line? What do you consider to be "bad" language?

I ask this because, to some, it seems to be an important issue. Now, I don't generally have a problem with it (unless there's a fuck in every sentence and it loses all meaning or something like that) but I recently received an email from a player claiming to be under the age of 16, who was pretty offended to see the words "damn" and "bastard" in my games.

He/she raised the point that "40%" of my players are people in the same age group, and that although these are relatively tame words, they may be considered inappropriate to some players (to the extent that he/she claimed my "popularity was rapidly dropping" because of this.

Basically, this was my response to the player:
Dude, chill out. I'm a writer. I've published many stories with "bad language" in them and have a book with similarly "bad" language. I don't write or make games for kids, I make games for mature people who can handle mature material. I don't get paid to make games, and to be honest, I don't care if my popularity is "dropping".

I expect people who access my material to make their own judgments. If you don't like the content of the material, don't access it, and I trust that any parents who feel that my material is inappropriate will also not allow it to come into the hands of their children.

That's my stance: I at least expect people to make their own judgment. If the word "damn" offends you, don't play. I use the words that I feel are appropriate.

What do you guys think?

Does negative feedback deter you?

Hi everyone.

I was recently doing a little bit of experimental writing for a horror writing wiki called SCP Foundation to get me into the mood of writing as I resume the second year of my BA in creative writing, and I quite simply had the story I posted (which was an attempt at an adaptation of one of my games' stories) eviscerated savagely.

This didn't really affect me too much (I've learned to cope with negative criticism) but it got me to thinking: I've seen far too many times in the RPG Maker community where people absolutely freak out at the sign of any negative feedback, even to the point of cancelling their projects. I'm guilty of it in the past, and I'll admit that not everyone can handle negative feedback gracefully.

As someone who studies creative writing, and as a published author who has (literally) papered walls with rejection letters in my quest to sell my works to literary journals and publishing houses, I understand that negative feedback can be extremely useful for improving yourself and the work you create. When developing Legionwood, I began to take on board every word of criticism I received in good spirits, and thanks to this, I was able to implement changes to the game that have made it quite successful today (to the point of being on Wikipedia and in magazines, anyway - I don't particularly consider it to be the best RM* game out there), but that's just me, and I was very curious to pose this question:

How do you feel is the right way to express negative feedback? What do you feel is the right way to respond to it? And has negative feedback ever deterred you from pressing on with your project?

Do you guys still acknowledge your early projects?

Hey there everyone.

I'm sure all of us have that one game from our early RM* days that is so terrible that the only thing it's good for is making people point and laugh. Sure, such a project was (hopefully) a valuable learning experience for us, but if you're anything like me, now that you've improved and become a somewhat respectable developer, you'd rather forget that your crappy first project never existed.

So, I'm curious to know; what exactly do you guys do with those old, crappy projects that pale in comparison to your current games? I have an old project myself (Tales of Worlds) that has been absent from the internet for about two years now out of shame. Nevertheless, I remember that I still spent a good six months getting the game to completion. Is it a waste to simply abandon all those hours of (relatively) hard work?

Gaia's Epic Love Poem

Hey everyone! As everyone around here probably knows, I like to write a lot. Specifically, I write short stories and novels. However, I occasionally take a crack at writing a small poem. Usually, I don't get very far - I can write short, one stanza poems that read fairly well, but I've never been able to go much further.

Hence, it came as a big shock to me when, in the middle of my Anthropology class (of all places) when I became struck with the urge to write an epic love poem. It's currently not finished, and the title isn't yet final, but I'm tremendously happy with the six verses I've written so far, so I thought I'd show it off!

As usual, this work is protected by international copyright law and remains my sole property and cannot be reproduced without my permission by any entity other than myself.

The Heart's Last Battle

Where nothingness exists,
What lies beyond the sun?
Nothing but a heart of darkness,
Where inner demons kiss.
I shall board a ship to blackness,
Make a journey to the unknown,
To where danger lurks just beyond my sanity,
And the only safe place is at home.

I cross a river of blood,
In a land where there is no love,
But emotions have their birth,
And I am drowned in despair,
An ever surging flood.
Swept away in a maelstrom,
But to me escape is impossible,
Because I fear of being wrong.

So now I stand upon the precipice,
Trying to figure out how to proceed,
Assaulting a nightmarish edifice,
Where no paths seem to lead.
Each step is fateful,
Can lead to euphoria or madness.
Indecision is hateful,
But I am not insightful.

At the castle's gates a battle is waged,
Light and darkness clash,
Twist together in a demonic embrace.
I watch the soldiers fight from afar,
Their numbers swell and fall,
But the outcome cannot yet be determined,
So my heartbeat slows to a crawl.

With baited breath I wait,
Hands clasped upon my sword,
For the right time to come to strike,
Before it is too late.
I parry the blows that come from Death himself,
As the forces of light prevail,
And I plunge myself into the dark depths,
Where all will be revealed.

As I journey through the darkness,
Iron resolve lights my way.
I press onward, fighting my demons,
My courage keeps them at bay.
I keep fighting this battle I cannot lose,
I'll fight the forces of Hell itself,
If what I'm fighting for is you.

VX's dash feature

Firstly, I wasn't sure exactly where to start this thread, as it's a somewhat trivial and seemingly dry topic, so sorry to the staff if I've broken any rules.

I'm interested in knowing what people think about games that deliberately turn the dash feature in RPG Maker VX off. I've seen some people complain that it's a stupid idea to disable the dash function, but users of RPG Maker XP and RM2k/3 have had to put up with a static walking speed for ages, so is it really such a bad idea?

The reason that I ask is because my current project (Undying Eternal) relies heavily on atmosphere to immerse the player into the game, and I find that if players rush through an area they won't really have time to soak up the scenery and the music etc. Thus, I want to disable the dash for this reason. Of course, the cost of disabling the dash means that backtracking through locations or travelling through less engaging areas becomes monotonous.

Opinions? Is the dash really needed?

Not Another Let's Try Thread!?

Hey everyone!

Personally, I love the idea of Let's Try - it encourages me to play games and I get to give feedback on the fly without having to organise my thoughts into a review. It also kills time, and I was bored, so I thought I'd make this thread in which I've LT'd a grand total of 1 game so far.

You know the rules of an LT by now... I'm not here to entertain you or give tips on how to beat the game, I'm just giving feedback to the developer in hopes that their game can be improved. I hope nobody is offended by any negative comments I might make.

You can request an LT of your own game if you wish, or else I'll just do random games I feel like trying. Peace!

Also, please don't mind the sound errors and choppy framerate. I use Hypercam 3. Yes, I fail that much at video recording.

Completed LT's

Dragon Kingdoms V (Cancelled)
Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwFq34Tjk9g
Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZLNLy0VJfU

Possible Future LT's/Requests
A Nightmare in Sunnydale, California

If Every Day Were Monday

Also known as Dark Gaia's pretentiousness in prose form.

If Every Day Were Monday is a piece of short fiction I wrote about two months ago. It ended up being published in a short story anthology and is currently in the running for the John Marsden Young Writer's Prize. John Marsden is a famous Australian writer. It is strongly influenced by Orwell's 1984 and it explores the theme of identity versus conformity.

I've currently got a book deal to publish a collection of six of my short stories. This story is one of the six that will be in the book.

Despite that, I'm not too happy with it. I think the writing's a bit too heavy handed and tends to be long winded. Characterisation is stilted too, but that isn't really the focus of the story. What do you think? I think my main strength is writing imagery and describing locations, though something just doesn't sit right with me about how this story flows. That said, the publisher didn't point anything out so maybe I'm just nitpicking...

It's a bit long to copy here into the post, so here's a PDF, uploaded here:


Something wrong with downloads?

Hi all...

I think there might be something wrong with RMN's downloads which is causing game downloads to become corrupted.

See, in the last two days or so, people have been reporting bugs in Legionwood which never used to be there (including missing files) which is strange because prior to this, people were (myself included) reportedly reaching the game's ending without experiencing these problems - playing the exact same download.

I haven't uploaded any new downloads for about five days, so there isn't a chance that I uploaded a broken version. Also, I had people then download the game from a Megaupload mirror and it worked fine!

Could someone please take a look at this? It's either RMN somehow or WinRar acting up.


EDIT: Okay, the RMN download is .1 of a Megabyte smaller than it should be. The megaupload one is 66.1MB and the RMN one is 66.0MB. Both of these downloads are the exact same version, uploaded on the same day and created on the same day. What the hell is going on?

Trouble accessing my game's downloads!


I'm encountering a problem when I use my "Manage Games" button. Although everything works as it should for most of my games, for two in particular (One Night 2: The Beyond and Legionwood 2: Legacy Of Taltarus) trying to access the "Downloads" tab to add new downloads brings me to a page saying
"Internal Server Error: The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.
Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@rpgmaker.net and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.
More information about this error may be available in the server error log.
Apache/2.2.3 (Red Hat) Server at rpgmaker.net Port 80"

Could we somehow fix this? Is there something wrong?

Post your dead projects!

Yeah... We've all done it... We've all started projects which were tossed by the wayside in order to make way for something bigger and better. Most never leave the planning stage but a few get decent work in before they're tossed away. Let's honor the fallen today and post any screenshots you may have of your cancelled projects, with a brief description about them. I'd be interested to hear about the projects people tossed away.

I'll start with mine:

One Night Isolation (AKA One Night 1.5)

The original One Night was what I would say quite a successful horror game, remaining even today the most well recieved of my projects. I had intended it to be a once off game but some players were bugging me with requests for a sequel, so I started one, which was named One Night: Isolation.

It was going well... It was a direct sequel to the first game and expanded on the idea of "merges" featured in that game's storyline but when I reached about 60% completion, I realised something; the main draw of the original game was solving the mystery of what had happened and Isolation did not offer this, its story involving pretty much the same events of the first game merely in a different location.

Thus, I restarted. With most of the same characters and some of the same maps being used, I knocked up The Beyond instead.

Chaos Genesis: Paradoxical Political Drama

With its name somewhat inspired by Phylomortis 2, Chaos Genesis was a futuristic themed J-RPG about a maniacal dictator who had come from the future to create a world war by starting conflict between two of the world's great nations. The twist was that the villain was in fact a future version of the protagonist, who defeats him and lives on knowing that in order to preserve the time stream he must one day go back and become his own nemesis.

This was about 20% into development, then a hard drive crash utterly erased every data file it was contained in.

Fated Genesis

Fated Genesis was a side project I had worked on alongside Chaos Genesis, and it was a psuedo spin off of that game which although taking place in an alternate world and having an independent storyline linked in heavily with Chaos.

It was actually a nifty little project. It had a completely custom menu system, and a fully functioning real time battle system too. The story was about a time traveller called Sameal who took it upon himself to change history to suit his own personal liking.

Again, this was wiped out in a hard drive crash in 2008.

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