Happy New Year everyone! It’s that time of year again – time to look at the goals I set for myself last year and set new goals for this year. Last year, my goals were:
- Read 40 novels. Success! I read forty novels, a bunch of graphic novels, and a bunch of comics! 2017 was a great year for reading!
- Write four polished short stories. Yeeeah….partial success I guess? I did write one. But that was it. I did start on a second one, but I discovered that Imezza isn’t in as good shape as I thought; I got a bit bogged down in worldbuilding, and the story ended up really blah as a result.
- Work on Tears of the King. This was nice and vague. I worked on it a bit this year (it’s no where near being finished). So partial success? I don’t know if I built another third, but I did make some progress.
I apparently also set a fourth goal, which I managed to forget about (it was to spend an hour a week on writing). 😦
2017 saw me start two new RPG Maker Games (oops): Memories and a second one I haven’t actually talked about on here yet (oops, I’ll have to remedy that). It also saw me working on a freelance project which I’m still unable to talk about, which was very exciting. It also saw me slowly and unexpectedly move away from my second job. So for 2018, I’m going to work on freelancing a little more than I have.
So with that in mind, here are the goals I’m going to set for 2018:
- Read 25 novels. Well, novel-length books. I know that the 40 novels from last year was my only really successful goal, but I need to back that off. I found that 40 novels was a lot of pressure while I’m trying to accomplish other things. I also found myself shying away from any books longer than around 300 pages, so making this goal less should help me tackle some of the longer books I’ve had for years and have ignored.
- Write two polished short stories. I wrote one, so this year I will aim for two.
- Finish a bloody RPG! Like I said, I currently have THREE RPG Maker games on the go. So this year, I want to get SOMETHING finished! lol I also have to not start another RPG Maker game until I get something finished!
A couple of final notes for the upcoming year:
- next weekend I’m going to be participating in my first ever game jam! I’m really excited for it! I’ll have to blog more about it. 🙂
- I am not going to make a goal for “so much time writing” this year. Instead, I’ve currently got one guaranteed afternoon off from work, so I’m going to try to use that time for working on things, be they writing or researching (although it’s also a time I use for other things like vet appointments, because I know it’s a time I don’t work). Depending on how the year goes, this can change, so I’ll have to be flexible with it.
So that’s it. Hopefully 2018 will be a good and creative year, giving me the flexibility to work on different things (and actually get some stuff finished!)
So what about you? Have you set any goals for the upcoming year? 🙂
Filed under goals, Updates
Over the last week, I have created a few new maps for Tears of the King! I’m pretty excited for them – I think they’re the first new maps in a year and a half.
First, here’s a brand new city (the Imperial City):
This map is loosely based off of the Kingdom of Pandora city in Secret of Mana in that it is built on a couple of islands. Plus there will be a castle you can go into (you can see the base of the towers) in the top right of this map, again like the Kingdom of Pandora. That similarity was due to the way I laid everything out (and because I didn’t want the castle to be physically in this map). The castle isn’t built yet, and neither are the insides of the houses.
The Imperial City should be the final city in the game.
Also here’s a dock, complete with a ship! (I had to buy extra tiles to make the ship happen).
You reach the ship through either of the two paths in the right side of the Imperial City.
So what’s next? I have some more maps to build (the castle, the insides of the city houses, and an island where the ship will eventually take you). But I also need to go back over my notes and actually replay the game that I have made so far; it’s been so long that I only vaguely remember what still needs to happen.
There’s still a bunch of work that needs to be done, but I’m rather excited to see that the end (of map building anyway) is in sight! 🙂
I should have written this post a few weeks ago, but I had to put Memories aside for a bit. I’ve thought about it long and hard, but I still don’t know how the game is supposed to end. So on the advice of my brother, I’m putting it aside to work on some other things for a bit. Hopefully with a bit of distance I’ll be able to figure out where the story is supposed to go.
I honestly feel a bit like a failure. I was really hoping to have the game done by now. But that’s not how it’s going, so time to focus on something else!
Life is pretty busy right now (when is it not?) but over the weekend I pulled out a short story I’ve been wanting to edit for quite awhile. The story was written as part of my NaNoWriMo blob. I originally wrote the story for a friend after his dog passed away, but I never felt right giving it to him (and let’s be honest: it was a super rough first draft that was crap – I wouldn’t want anyone to see it until it’s rewritten and edited). I came up with some editing ideas for the story last March, but never got around to implementing them until today. Even if the story doesn’t stay the way it currently is, I’ve added 300 words (it was originally about 600 words and is now over 900), and it is shaping up a bit (it’s definitely stronger than it was!)
I had a pretty fun couple of hours working on it. First I brought a notebook outside with me (it was a beautiful day!) and started writing. But after a page and a bit, I ended up grabbing my laptop and bringing that outside because I needed to be able to move some things around and expand on other things a bit. I took a break to go for a walk, then worked on it a bit more. I’m thinking tomorrow I’m going to print it out so I can do another editing pass on it (I prefer to edit on paper, at least for the first while – it’s satisfying to mark things I need to change up with pen!)
Just a super quick note – I got the final memory functioning in Memories tonight! I had a couple of weird snags getting it working (and the dialogue is super clunky). But everything seems to be functioning! 🙂
I also found a fantastic piano song that was available to license under the Creative Commons; that song is going to be the song that plays during the game’s menu screen, as well as during the actual memory events.
So the next task is to figure out how the game is going to end. And unfortunately I have no idea. And neither do my characters!
This is literally the last conversation currently in the game!
But that is a problem for another day!
I actually managed to get a lot done while working on Memories over the last few days. And the title of this post is quite literal: I managed to get two new memories working within the game, bringing the total functioning ones up to 3 out of 4! I had a bit of trouble figuring out what would trigger one of the memories, but after a few hours of thought (and playing with my cat), I came up with something that works (at least for now). My next two priorities:
- Get the final memory functioning.
- Figure out how the game is going to end (I don’t want a big climactic battle because this game isn’t dealing with battles, so I have to find a satisfying other way to end it).
Once those two things are in place, I’ll need to fix up the dialogue and most likely clean up the game in general. To that end, I’ll need to get a few friends to play test it once the basics of the game are all built and working.
I was also thinking about making it so you can choose how to respond to NPCs in different ways depending on what memories you have remembered, possibly using branching dialogue (similar to what I did in Tears of the King but without a loop), with different options triggered by different switches. I’ve actually put the basic switches that would enable this in place within the game; I will just need to go back and have them trigger things. But that’s a problem for after I have the final memory and ending of the game in place.
So after my paper prototyping adventures last night, I felt like I was ready to actually work on a few of the important cut scenes in Memories. The only one I have somewhat built is the one I showed you in my post about tinting the screen (and that literally has “blah blah blah” as most of the dialogue). I didn’t feel like writing the cut scenes in RPG Maker right now because I wanted a bit more flexibility for editing. So first I thought to try using Chat Mapper, but that wasn’t a great fit when I started (I was thinking about the mechanics of how the program worked more than actually writing). I had the same problem with Twine. And then I remembered: I have Final Draft! Why not write the cut scenes with that?
Sure, it took a few minutes to remember how the program worked (it has literally been YEARS since I last used it), but that was no big deal; I was back up and writing in no time!
I forgot how easy it is to read a script for dialogue. Final Draft has been the perfect tool for my current needs because I don’t have to think about formatting, I can just focus on writing the words right now (and I can very easily edit whatever I write). I managed to get a couple of key scenes written before making dinner (and quickly edited one after dinner). Once I am happy with the text, I’ll be able to copy and paste it into RPG Maker. 🙂
I have created and named the NPCs you will encounter in Memories. Here they are:
I don’t know for sure at this time that these will be all of the characters in the game (plus Briana). But these are the ones I think I’ll be needing. I decided on the design of most of them over the last week, but I didn’t name everyone until last night (with the exception of Bella and Briana); it was rapidly becoming very tough to write dialogue without names.
I always try to give my characters unique names so there’s no confusion as to who is who. I tried to choose names with an Irish or English origin, in the hopes that the names will sound similar (and tie the characters together geographically). But in this case I also decided to give people from the same families names that start with the same letter. I think the names are, for the most part, different enough; I just hope that this won’t confuse anyone who plays the game!
Ten of these characters were created with RPG Maker VX Ace’s built in Character Generator. The other five were chosen from the characters that come with the software. You may actually recognize Wulfric from Tears of the King; I chose the same model for the Tears woodcutter (seen in the video in my Jan 2 2016 post).