“Mirror” is the idea behind the title screen…
Aero (I like drawing Leebles if you can’t tell).
I’m writing up GDC stuff here this week. Most of the sessions I’ll be going to will be about story writing, game design, and audio stuffs… I wanted to find some good business ones for independent developers, but unfortunately none of them seemed that relevant.
Yay, so now the first 3 main characters have their own personal sprites. For some reason Achaius took forever to make. I think because his outfit has so much tan and brown that it was tough making it so that he didn’t appear washed out. Tomorrow is the first day we’re going to GDC. It looks like there will be a lot of interesting sessions. I hope I have the energy to make it through the whole day; it’s been a while since I’ve gone to an all-day (several days in a row) event like that. Maybe one full day of adults will be the equivalent in energy exertion as spending 3 hours with kindergarteners? I hope so, because I can handle the kindergarteners.
I also tried to revive my shigi.wordpress.com site in case I need to give it out for business-reasons. It has samples of all my VGM work, so it’s the closest thing to an online resume that I have right now. I wanted to have a page with comments and reviews that have been written on the sound/music for games I’ve worked on, but I didn’t have time. Right now there’s a blog too, but I really have nothing to write in it… between this space, livejournal, and the fact that I just don’t write as much as I used to, I have nothing left to write about, haha. Perhaps I’ll let it be the “news” section. Websites are so complicated these days.
Oh, and today my car alarm battery died on me at the grocery store. My car was announcing to the entire parking lot that I was trying to break into it, but thankfully we were near a Longs so I was able to change the batteries and get back in without causing another ruckus. Oh and incidentally, even if you set off the alarm, you can still get back in so long as you have the key. I wasn’t aware of this until today. Perhaps everyone else already knows about this… oh well, better late than never.
GDC starts next week, and while I’m going to be looking for an artist while I’m there, George suggested I enter the G.A.N.G. Derby Demo. It’s this guild of video game musicians, and members have the option of submitting a 60 second demo for review. I’m not entirely sure if it’s a competition or not, but I think it’s good practice to do things like this. So in the process of making this demo for submission, I’ve learned that you can’t do a whole lot in 60 seconds. In fact, as hard as I tried, I still came out 1:02:13 which I’m not sure is allowed. I was just planning on time compressing it in Soundforge, but the quality went down, so I might have to find 2 seconds to shave somewhere… it’s tough though, because it’s already so cut down that I feel like everything has a place. Oh well, more of a challenge!
Here is the original 1:02:13 version… it is a sampling of 3 pieces from my game: Premonition, Sweet Unlucky (the battle theme), and Dominic’s theme (Carya de mio).
Perhaps posting this will help remind me to shave off those 2 seconds before GDC.
Okay, so a couple weeks ago I finished somewhat of a preliminary demo of my game. I had George play through it, and I took about a page full of really tiny notes on bugs and various changes I wanted to make. I spent a few days after that going through the list. Then I had my mom try the game. My mom has played Animal Crossing for the DS, and she’s really taken to World of Warcraft, but she’s never really played nes/snes games. Her playtest revealed a few things to me: 1.) If I want people who aren’t familiar with snes-style rpgs to enjoy my game, I need more instruction early on (things like “you can move around using arrow keys,” and “this is how you use a tonic,” etc.), and 2.) the beginning just wasn’t exciting enough. She wasn’t picking up on key elements of the story that I wanted her to pick up. I felt kind of discouraged, but then I got back on it and redid certain parts of the beginning. I decided to reveal certain scenes in order to get the player more excited about what could happen later. Especially concerning the Gleemers…
Anyways, so today Jeremy came over after work and tested it out. He played the full demo, from start all the way to meeting Dolby in the Melolune Caves. Not only was it the first time someone made it that far without encountering a game-stopping bug, but he actually enjoyed it! I told him several times that he could quit if he wanted, but he kept playing. In fact, he picked fights with monsters in order to level, and took extra care in equipping all the characters. He ended up playing for about 3.5 hours (which would definitely be the upper register). I asked him if he felt drawn in after the first hour, and he said he was curious about Dominic’s past, and wanted to know more about Gleem. I think the best thing was that the changes made to the original demo allowed him to more fully absorb the parts of the plot that I want the player to come away with. Yay!
I was feeling so discouraged before, because it’s tough to know if one’s own game is interesting… especially since I know the story, I know all the secrets and plot twists and story arcs… and I’ve played through it so many times. Amazingly, I still managed to amass another page of bug and change notes (in really tiny writing no less). But I’m really motivated about hammering out the next section of the game, and redoing some of the artwork that I’ve put off (like the title screen, some of the facesets, and main character sprites).
I also have to figure out how to properly port the game to a playable demo so I can put it online. Last time I tried this, the encrypt-option didn’t encrypt anything I had added to the original RTP. I’m sure there’s a way around this, so I’ll probably post that question on the forums tomorrow along with some of the other random things I haven’t been able to fix on my own. Ahhh… I have so much new music too that I have to upload! Yay for being back on track.
Pansola… anytime you want to play, it’s ready!