Sometimes I think a panel I’ve drawn looks really cool so I save a larger version of it. This is one of those panels.
I haven’t wrote a blog post in a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing.
I want to write a book of short stories, because I get a certain satisfaction from actually finishing something. I’m also still working on Scavengers and have been making decent progress.
This weekend I plan on seeing Prometheus, if that turns out to be as spectacular as I hope it’ll be I’ll probably write about that too.
I’m also going to take this time to show off my short story ideas:
The Duel – Set in the Scavenger’s universe, it’s a classic wild-west style duel with a slight twist. [The twist is that there is no twist. (I'm joking)].
Cold Hard Streets – A parody of the Noire writing style about a traffic warden.
Comic Book Hero – A guy/kid spends his life training to be a masked vigilante, but it gets more interesting than that.
Ada’s Brilliant People – A murder mystery/whodunnit style story set in a manor house recently purchased by the very rich Lady Ada. She assembles a team of the world’s most brilliant minds [including a masked vigilante] to solve the mystery for her own entertainment.
And that’s all so far.
In other news, I’ve been pledging to Kickstarters. Specifically 2.
Even more specifically, these two:
I really like the sound of Vacant Sky and I hope it gets its funding so it can do away with that RPG Maker look. What struck me in particular was the way combat is handled, building strategy around your character’s personalities.
“-Personality and Synergy: By reinforcing a character’s personality and interpersonal relationships in battle, you can unlock their true power. Dakura, whose nature is to destroy, gains energy by dealing the finishing blow. Sarian, who undermines, gains energy by exposing enemy weaknesses and allowing allies to exploit them. By acting in concert, Sarian can expose an enemy’s weakness to her friend Dakura, who can then finish it off – allowing both of them to gain energy more efficiently. Based on the relationship between two characters, whether they be friends, rivals, enemies, or lovers, the way they interact in battle is different. Learn the relationships between characters and use them to unlock everyone’s full potential.”
What I like about Magin is how HP is done, damage being dealt in percentages rather than flat numbers. I particularly like how it deals with potentially wasted potions.
“Raising a character’s HP denotes a change in his/her storyline–most commonly that of an age increase; in an era like Magin, life expectancy grew some as you grew older. Another reason is to decrease the feeling that some potions might be wasted. Because some characters will have naturally low HP and others will have high, a number of potion strengths are needed. ”
That and the creator is a pretty kick-ass writer.
As well as the information on their Kickstarter, Magin has also made a Google Doc public. While that is an intimidating wall of text, the ideas there are pretty good – hence my pledging to the KS. To see them implemented.
I was going to write this sooner, but then I drew a bunch of pirates and wanted to leave them on the front page a little longer.
I like today’s comic, my art style doesn’t really lend itself to visual jokes and while it is feasible for me to change it and move to a higher resolution I’d rather not ruin the “house style” I have going on here.
But I’m glad I could get a visual joke to work.
I took a brief break from writing Scavengers because I got to a convenient stopping point where I could just think about what happens next. I still have a brief outline that I have stuck to but keep building on and things are right on track. It’s taking a while to decide what to write next because I want everything to be written down for a reason.
I don’t want things to happen “just because”.
Part Three is set in Sinclair’s Wandering Market of Wonderment, a name I just made up but might keep. I really want to focus Three on how the Scavengers use currency and trade with each other.
So far each part has focused on something new and important, I don’t want Three to be any different.
In other news, I update the ART page to have some sort of navigation, it allows direct links to be sent without leaving the page and you can jump straight to a piece of artwork.
It’s still terrible to navigate though, which I should fix. I might just add a “Back to top” button underneath every piece.
I do need to get around to adding thumbnails.
Also games, I’ve been really getting into League of Legends lately. Recently re-discovered the Dominion game mode, I find it much more fun than classic. It’s less of a slow paced grindfest and encourages/forces more team fights. I like Dominion over Classic because stuff keeps happening. There is always something going on somewhere on the map, whereas in Classic it is possible for nothing to really happen for a good few minutes.
I’ve also purchased Blades of Time, this happened after I fell in love with the combat and wanted to see the weird places the terrible plot would take me. I swear I missed a cutscene at the start.
The game just dumps you into “DRAGONLAND” surrounded by living statues out to kill you, the first line of dialogue is:
“At last, DRAGONLAND, I’ve finally made it.”
I have no idea how I got to DRAGONLAND or what significance it holds, but at least I got there??
The main character is kind of a horrible person too. She needs to get to the treasure in the DRAGONLAND TEMPLE for no explained reason other than GOLD so she decides to MURDER this group of people who are only trying to escape DRAGONLAND. She doesn’t even tell them why or even ASK for the key to the gate they are guarding. She just assumes that they MUST ALL DIE.
So I don’t really blame half the enemies in the game for attacking her, she REALLY has it coming.
She seems like the kind of bitch who’d steal your parking space after you waited for some old lady to back out because she NEEDS TO GET TO THE SUPERMARKET.
I should write an actual review, because despite the plot being terrible and the voice acting being horrible the game is really, really fun. I would thoroughly recommend it.
I also peaked into S4League again to see how much worse it had got. There are still no good maps other than Neden-1 and even more terrible melee weapons.
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got.
Scavengers: A Village A Castle And A Disturbing Lack Of Water is now at 8700 words, and with that I give you the prologue:
“Tell me about the Ancients again.”
“I’ve already told you so many times, there isn’t much more to say to you. Not in the context of a vague overview, anyway. I mean, I could tell you specifically about things about the Ancients but I-”
“I like hearing you talk about what you know. Perhaps then a vague overview of our story so far would be nice.”
“Well if you insist, where should I begin?”
“Just how ancient are these Ancients?”
“Oh, thousands of years. They lived thousands of years ago. Of course they’re all gone now, though no one is entirely sure why. Well I’m entirely sure why, but that isn’t a part of the the vague overview.”
“You’re ruining it by being too meta.”
“Okay, so thousands of years ago the Ancients lived. They had fantastic technology and magical powers, but for whatever reason they are gone now. The civilizations they created too are lost in the sands, but their buildings remain. Their technology still works. Well, some of it anyway. And after some tweaking. So I guess their technology doesn’t really still work, we make it work. We, the Scavengers, that is.”
“And what do we Scavengers do?”
“We survive, we recreate. We ask our lovers to tell us vague overviews of our story so far. But lately the surviving part has become difficult. A great drought has settled in and refuses to budge.”
“How does this vague overview end?”
“I’ve got some ideas, but you’ll have to wait and see.”
So I submitted myself to JustTheFirstFrame as it is a most excellent site. It takes the first frame of a comic and then links straight to the original source. Which is just excellent.
I’ve also been writing a book called [for now] Diego, I have hit 16 pages and am really enjoying writing. What I’m really trying with Diego is to create interesting characters, and dialogue that is fun to read. In books I often see dialogue that is kind of flat, as if it is all coming from the same speaker. I’m trying to avoid that while still making it easy to follow. I think the hardest part with writing Diego will be coming to an ending. The story doesn’t exactly lend itself to a climax, so it’ll be hard deciding where to end it. I don’t want to end to abruptly, or to drag it on too much. But I guess I’ll get there when I get there.
Anyway, JustTheFirstFrame, check it out.
Here is an issue that always seems to appear in any genre of game. Though I suppose it isn’t really a huge issue, I understand why it is done. It extends the playtime of the game and gives the players an actual reason to explore the level.
However, my issue with this is that the object that is blocking the path is never really that much of an obstacle.
Take, for example, Pokémon and those darned small trees. God forbid that Ash use an axe or a saw to cut it down – or better yet – simply walk around it!
After I wrote this comic however, I thought to myself “Well, I only really remember this in old games and Pokémon. Maybe it isn’t really a thing today?” That line of thought was soon abandoned while I was playing NeverDead, a recently released PS3 game.
I had to find the key to a locked door.
The immortal demon hunter, wielding a sword larger than his arm had to find the key to a locked door in an abandoned asylum.
I’d be a bit more understanding if damaging the property was an issue, but moments later we’re tearing up the place to cut down hordes of demons. (How they got past that locked door I’ll never know).
And it isn’t as if this door was particularly strong either, it was just your standard wooden double doors. Merely minutes later in the game our friendly neighborhood demon hunter is literally cutting straight through concrete pillars.
My initial plan for these articles was to discuss possible solutions, but in hindsight there isn’t much to talk about here. Just don’t do it. Or find a better reason to need to do it.
This is especially easy in fantasy games – magic. You need the magic key to open the magic door. (Though even this fix is kinda weak, if the Big Bad didn’t want you getting somewhere he just wouldn’t leave a way to get in lying around).
Or perhaps stealth? You want to take the Big Bad by surprise, and blasting down doors on your way through his (or her) lair is not going to achieve the desired effect here.
Or maybe this is someone else’s property, and it would mean bad news for you if you damaged it? (Though this fix is also weak, saving the world is KIND OF A BIG DEAL, YOUR PROPERTY IS NOT.)
Before I go: NeverDead is super fun and you should all be playing it RIGHT NOW.
I’ve been doing a thing over at RPG RPG Revolution where I highlight a non-issue in game design and talk about it. I’m also posting them here on a delay.
I’ve always found it odd that, despite the havoc that these Chosen Ones cause for the Big Bad Guy, he doesn’t seem to care all that much. A prophecy predicting your downfall at the hands of specific persons? Bah! Throw some slimes at ‘em!
Now, in terms of general game design, this is not a bad thing. It only makes sense to face off against the weaker enemies first. But in the context of the game world and story, it just doesn’t make sense for the Big Bad to throw his most powerful foes at you only until he’s given you enough practice to defeat them.
An obvious solution, of course, is to make the Big Bad oblivious and have the heroes face off against common monsters not loyal to Lord SuperDeath. However, I have a different solution.
This was an idea I had in one of my long-abandoned projects (because God forbid that I actually finish something). It was based on the cliché that something goes horribly wrong. See Final Fantasy 3 (I think; it’s been a long time).
The idea was that these monsters don’t know anything about the world; they’ve come from a dark land full of different threats. While they get accustomed to their new land, they’re going to be fairly weak. Perhaps all monsters come from slimes who gradually adapt to their respective environments. This could lead to enemy variants or mutations in random battles that are both advantageous and disadvantageous.
A wacky example would be a fish with legs. It is a land encounter, but is also immune to water attacks. As the game goes on, the monsters become more suited to the world and adapted to its dangers, making them progressively more difficult to kill. Essentially, they’re “levelling up” with the player outside of a design context.
There are, of course, many other solutions, but I’m not going to do all the work for you.