Of Pieces and Memories (the official name of the game I’ve been referring to as Memories) is now available on itch.io!
I’ve been playtesting it all week. By about Thursday I noticed that I was getting really fiddly with the game (I’d make a change, play through one more time, then change it back). That was the point that I knew I was pretty much done, that this game is the best I can make it right now. Since most of the playtesting this week was devoted solely to checking all the dialogue options, I had a little more playtesting to do after I reached that point, but by Friday I was done.
From there, I had the unexpected problem of developing a page for the game on itch.io. I’ve never released a game on the platform before, and so hadn’t really thought about this part of the release. The biggest problem was that the page needed a cover picture and I had no idea what to use. I considered using the title page of the game, but that has art I got from the RPG Maker store (which I wasn’t sure if I could use as a cover picture). In the end, I decided to use one of my photos, which I altered using BeFunky to make it a bit more cartoonish-looking (and to add the game’s title). A bunch of purple flowers play a role in the game, so I thought this photo was fitting. 🙂
Now that it’s done, I’m going to take the weekend off to celebrate (I’m opening a special wine I’ve been saving). I also won’t be posting a #WriteTuesday post this week; instead I’m going to write a postmortem for Of Pieces of Memories, which will look at what went right and what went wrong as I developed the game. 🙂
Just a really quick update today. First, for the exciting stuff: one of the author interviews I did for TBPL Off the Shelf was published in a book! It was the Interview with Amor Towles – it was published in Contemporary American Fiction, Volume 3, which was edited by Harold Bloom. Contemporary American Fiction, Volume 3 is published by Bloom’s Literary Criticism, which is an imprint of Chelsea House Publishers and Infobase Learning.
Now for the less exciting stuff: I heard back from Mythic about “A Friend from the Deep” and they rejected it, too. 😦 Now that it’s been rejected again, I’m going to have to sit down with it and look it over. I suspect I need to give it a good edit before sending it out once again.
So now that that’s out of the way, I also spent some time over the weekend play testing a friend’s game. He made it with RPG Maker (and has been working on it a lot over the last while). The game was super fun, and I got quite into it (and then it ended because it’s only a demo!) 😦 I’m quite excited to see how it develops. 🙂
After playing it though, I wanted to get back into working on some of my RPGs. So I’m going to try to power through both my Sustainably North planning and the Make Your Way story so I can get back to one of my RPGs soon. 🙂
How’s your week been? Anything new and exciting? 🙂
So yesterday afternoon, I decided I was going to make it through all of my other blog’s Pinterest emails . Pinterest sends so many emails that I have a hard time keeping up with them sometimes, and I’d managed to accumulate a whole bunch. When I was down to about 15 (less than half left!) I decided to start reorganizing my boards. I’ve reorganized them once before, but I still thought they were far too vague. Over the course of the afternoon, I split a few and reorganized them into sections. I really liked how everything was shaping up and was almost done when my browser really started to lag. Suddenly I was logged out of Pinterest, and when I tried to log back in, I was told my account was suspended!
I’m not entirely sure what happened. I’ve contacted Pinterest’s help centre and hope to have it resolved soon (maybe the Pinterest bots thought my reorganizing was spammy? I didn’t think it was because pretty much everything I was working with at the time was already pinned).
After that happened I was pretty bummed out and didn’t work on anything else. But earlier in the day I started coming up with a vague plan for that blog moving forward. I’ll give a better update on that once I have a more solid plan in place. 🙂
Oh, I’ve also done some editing for a few friends over the weekend. The first bit of editing was at work last Thursday and Friday; I’m working with a radio-style script for a big project (sorry, I’m keeping details rather vague on that, but it’s a project I’m quite excited for!) I’ve helped come up with the story, but my coworker did the actual writing of the script. I did a read-through of it with another coworker (which was super fun) and we determined that the script was too long (it was interesting, at 18 pages it took us 27 minutes to read, plus we were told we were reading it too fast). So I’ve been trying to shorten it. So far I’ve brought it down to 15.5 pages (I was hoping to take it down to about 14, so there’s still a bit to go). But I’ve taken a lot of the repetition out of the script and just tightened up the dialogue. At this point I’d kind of like to do another read-through before attempting to shorten it any more (because maybe shortening the dialogue was good enough?) We’ll see.
Then on Saturday I edited another friend’s story. He’s been working on it for awhile and has asked me for editing suggestions. Finally, on Sunday, I started playtesting yet another friend’s game that they made with RPG Maker VX Ace; I need to finish playing through that still to let him know what I think (so far it’s been great!)
Wow, I didn’t think I had done much, but this last week was actually really busy! I’m hoping that this week I’ll be able to turn a bit more attention back to my own writing though. 🙂
I think I managed to fix the Witch Glitch!
A friend of mine came over for a bit this afternoon and I let him play through Tears of the King. Among other bugs he found, the Witch Glitch happened when I wasn’t expecting it to. So after he left, I set about trying to fix it and a few other things he found (like the fact that the woodcutter starts clearing the path to the Fairy Forest way before he’s supposed to). I ended up removing the ability to grab the first ingredient before you’ve talked to the Witch. As far as I could tell, having the ability to grab it either before or after talking to her was a big part of my problem because then I was trying to make things happen with two different switches. So rather than dealing with the two switches, I’ve simplified things for myself and only have to deal with one. As far as I can tell, this has solved a lot of the problems I’ve been having with my events.
I’m hoping that the way things are now isn’t too rail-roadey for players. But making the game more linear has helped to make things easier for me designing the game, and to get the player to the Witch’s house faster. When my friend was play testing, he wandered through the mushroom cave (without finding the mushroom), up to the tower, and got confused about where he was supposed to go until I told him he couldn’t do anything there yet. So realistically, allowing you access to the mushroom cave (or the tower’s base at the very least) early in the game wasn’t a good thing if it lets you get sidetracked and lost. But I’ll have to see what other people say when they play it.
Oh, and I’d like to give a shout-out to GrandmaDeb for her switch tutorial game! I played through it before deciding to take out the mushroom functionality.
In addition to all of these bug fixes, I actually did build another map last night. I’ve been needing to build a mine near Storm Point, which is where another of the ingredients is going to be. I was planning on sketching out ideas for a mine, but I ended up just building, which resulted in this:
Sorry that this picture is so tiny. The original picture was in 1/2 scale, but it’s now a lot smaller because I had to stitch two screenshots together in paint. Plus I had to shrink them so I could properly crop the map into one image. From here, I need to keep building a few more maps that connect to this one (basically the player will be going deeper into the mountain until they find the next ingredient). Oh, and I need to straighten up the path of that second big forest map I started (it’s still not finished, and probably won’t be for awhile yet). Right now the paths are too windy, which is a pain to walk on. After playing through parts of a different game made with RPG Maker, I’ve decided that I’m going to have as few diagonals in my maps as possible because they’re really annoying in a grid.