Tag Archives: Tears of the King

#WriteFriday – October 2nd

I was working all day on Friday, and then I had plans to hang out with a friend.  So I didn’t end up working on any personal projects on that day.  But I did get to spend a bunch of time writing during work.  I was starting to work on an article that’ll be due at the end of the month.  I was also working on organizing some interviews for TBPL Off the Shelf (I’m once again interviewing the authors who are coming to Thunder Bay for the IFOA), plus I have to have a book review written early this week, and I have two more articles due at the end of the month.  I’ve also got two articles that were/will be published (something in the Seniors paper, because the library columnist who usually writes the column is going to be away a lot this fall, plus an @ Your Library article which should be published in Sunday’s paper).  So the whole month should be quite busy with work writing.

On the projects front, I wrote “Just One More Level” for Apocalypse Madness Tuesday night and published it on the blog Wednesday afternoon.  I’m considering NaNoWriMo again this year.  I haven’t participated for the last couple of years.  I’ve kind of said (not on this blog I don’t think), that I’m not going to participate again because I currently have two messes of novels that I’m not sure what to do with.  But while thinking of it, I realized that I don’t have to write a particular body of work that equals 50,000 words.  I just need to write 50,000 words.  So I was thinking I would do some work on what I’ve been calling the Grief Project, which is one of my goals that I have not done any work on so far.  I’m not even sure how big of a story that’s going to end up, so I don’t want to commit to making it a 50,000 word novel.  I’ll also have to write something for Apocalypse Madness next month, so I was thinking I’d tack on the word count for that as well.  And probably any work I do on Tears of the King if I’m working on it (I may put it aside just for November, but we’ll see).

My friend and I finished Secret of Mana on the Wii Friday night!  I played it by myself around September 11th, but he offered to help me play through it after that, which I thought was great.  We’ve played it about once a week for the last few weeks.  I thought we *might* be able to finish it last week, but there’s quite a lot to the game and we had to hold off because it was 5 in the morning.    I think that was my first real video game RPG that I’ve finished, or at least my first old-school one.  I was looking at it from a game design perspective, seeing what I can learn to help me make Tears.  I need to choose another game to play now; I’m thinking either Chrono Trigger on the Wii or Whisper of a Rose on Steam.  I’m swaying towards Whisper of a Rose because I think it was made with RPG Maker.  Unfortunately most of the RPGs I’m looking at are single player, so my friend won’t be able to help me through them, too (so we’re going to find something else to play through eventually).

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#WriteFriday – September 18th

Since last week, I began working on the Fairy Forest map for Tears of the King.  I decided to make it a bunch of smaller maps like Secret of Mana’s Haunted Forest.  I’ve built the main parts of the map, with a path that connects them all from the entrance (which connects to the Mountain Forest) right to the Fairy Grove.  Beyond that though, I still have a lot of work to do on it.  The map is going to have a whole bunch of teleports, and I need to figure out where the other paths will take you.  I’m currently thinking most of them will just bring you back to the starting part of each mini-map, but some will take you to secret areas.  Since none of that is in place right now I will not be sharing a screenshot with you; you’ll have to wait until it’s all done to see it.

So today I started thinking about some of the characters in the game, particularly in the starting village.  I have an idea of what the two main characters of the game are like, but wanted to flesh out the minor ones a bit.  I also ended up playing with Game Character Hub, a program a friend bought me on Steam for Christmas.  I used it to build the main character for Tears.  Here she is:

Anna Face

After using Game Character Hub, I did end up just using the character generator that comes built into RPG Maker VX Ace for most of the other characters I created today.  I realized that, at least for the portraits, Game Character Hub basically just had the exact same graphics as the character generator, so it made more sense to just make everything within RPG Maker.

Here’s the other main character, who I ended up calling Eric because that’s the default first character that RPG Maker starts you off with (and it started to stick).  Of course he looks nothing like the starting Eric character.

Eric Face

Over the course of the evening, I ended up making five other characters (and I used two pre-made characters as well).  They’re all in the starting village.  Because I was adding the characters, I wanted to make sure you could interact with them.  So I added the starting functionality to everything, too.  The dialogue will need some fixing up, but all the basics are now in place for the very beginning of the game!

I just realized I’ve never taken a screenshot of the starting village.  Here it is, scaled at 1:2 because it’s a bit too big for 1:1.

Starting Village

I also added in functionality for one of my key items (one of the ingredients you need to collect), the mushroom.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually mentioned it before, but the main story of Tears involves collecting a series of ingredients to create a potion.  The ingredients are scattered around the island that Tears takes place on.  Adding functionality to the mushroom was actually what started me on building characters and adding events to the game tonight.  In the case of the mushroom, you can pick it up both before and after you talk to the witch.  At this point the witch doesn’t say anything important though – she’s still got the same place-holder dialogue I gave her from two years ago.

Thinking of dialogue, I was planning on writing everything on Scrivener then transferring it over.  But that’s seeming a bit unwieldy at the moment, especially since I’m already playing with switches and whatnot.  So I’ll probably try to write everything in RPG Maker for now, and see how well that works.  I’ll probably have to use Scrivener for Untitled StoryNexus Project, whenever I get back to it because that’s going to be much, much bigger, dialogue-wise, than Tears and I’ll want to make sure everything is perfect on it.

So I think the very next thing I need to do is fix the witch’s dialogue up so it actually works with the story to this point.  Once that’s done, I’ll either get back to the Fairy Forest, or start work on another map.  I’m rather excited – I’m almost at a point that I can get friends to start play testing a bit!

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#WriteFriday – September 11th

I’m being pulled in many different directions right now, which is making it hard to work on writing.  That’s actually a large part of why I decided not to write anything last weekend.  It was a long weekend, and rather than write I spent the time getting caught up on some things around the house I’ve been putting off.  Like uploading all the pictures I’ve taken this summer to Flickr (I really didn’t think I had taken that many…)

When this weekend rolled around, it became another really busy one.  But that’s okay: I still managed to fit in a bit of writing yesterday.  Well, “writing” is a bit of a stretch; “planning” might be a bit more accurate.  On August 23rd, I shared the map I had finished for Tears of the King, which link the town you’ll start in with the witch’s house map.  There’s one more map that I made prior to Spring 2013 which I have called the Fairy Grove.  Here’s the Fairy Grove scaled at 1:2 (it was slightly too long to fit in one screenshot at 1:1):

Fairy Grove

I’ve always loved this map.  It seems like a really nice and peaceful place, with little fairies or butterflies flitting around.

So my next challenge is to connect this to the Mountain Forest map.  I was debating between making a big map that’s a maze or making a bunch of smaller maps that you have to puzzle through (kind of like the Haunted Forest from Secret of Mana).  At this point I’m swaying towards making a maze; I plotted out a path with the intent of starting to make the actual map soon.  But the more that I think of it, I may switch and go with the smaller maps, just to change things up, especially since I’ve got the Mountain Forest right beside what will be the Fairy Forest.  And where else in this game would I be able to make a series of smaller maps that are a puzzle?  At this point in development, I’m thinking no where!

Thinking of Secret of Mana, I bought a Wii earlier this week just to get access to the Wii Store and older games like Secret of Mana.  I’ve played some of it in the past, but was never able to finish it.  When I get home later tonight, I’m going to restart it. 🙂

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#WriteFriday – August 28th

Yeah, this is a bit late…

I ended up writing outside in my notebook on Friday.  I had determined that I needed to either firm up the plot of Tears of the King or else work on characters.  I sort of ended up doing a bit of both, depending on where my thinking took me.

I can’t remember if I noted it here or not, but my characters for Tears of the King don’t currently have any character (by that I mean I have vague ideas for what they’re like, but they need a lot of work).  So with that in mind, I started looking at the king because in some ways, the game sort of revolves around him.  He still needs a lot of work (for one thing, I still haven’t named him), but I now have an idea of where to go from here with him.

Beyond that, I did do some work on the plot, which in this case is very much tied to game development.  I wanted to figure out what was going to be where in relation to the witch house hub.  Like I said, I was kind of going back and forth between characters and plot, but once again I have a bit of an idea of where to go from here.

Oh yeah, earlier last week I also worked on map building for the game.  I now have my first new maps since 2013!

Here’s the interior of the cottage I made on my “Mountain Forest” map (that’s the one I showed you last time).

Fishing Interior

And here’s a cave map I made (which you also get to on the Mountain Forest).  I’ve scaled it at 1:2.

Mountain Cave

This last map is the one I’m proud of.  It’s the one I’m considering the first new map since 2013 because it took a lot more work to make it than the cottage interior, which basically involved me looking at the village houses I made back then.  I made a slight switch to the Mountain Forest: there’s now a river running out of the lake that goes into this cave (hence the small waterfall in this map).  This map is going to serve a couple of purposes – there’s an item you’ll need to get on one of these islands, plus there’s a way up onto the mountain from here (which is going to be needed later in the story).

From here, I basically just have to keep going on both the map making and on hashing out the details for the game.  I’m not sure if I’ll be doing much this Friday because I’ve got some plans; if I don’t write anything then, I’ll make a point of doing some more work on this game over the weekend!

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A Finished Map!

My map is done!  😀

Northern Forest

There are still a few areas I may add to, but for all intents and purposes, it’s done for now.  I stayed up pretty late finishing it.  I made this screenshot by scaling the map 1:4; I still had to take two separate screenshots and put them together because even at 1:4, this map is big!

So now that it’s done, I have the starting town and the witch’s house map connected through this.  Now I have to start building the next section of the game world.


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#WriteFriday – August 21st

I’m not going to lie – I didn’t really do any writing this Friday.  I had every intention of writing.  I went to my brother’s house with notebook and laptop in hand.  He was going to read, I was going to write.  At least, that was the plan until I got there and we ended up talking politics for most of the night.

Earlier in the week, I did some work on my RPG, Tears of the King.  Back in 2013, I planned out a large forest map that would connect the starting village and the witch’s house map.  I started building the forest map, but stopped working on the game before it was finished.  Now, it actually almost IS done.  Looking at it now, I’d say I’ve got to finish up about 1/3 of it.  The stuff I’ve added this last week includes a small lake, a fisherman’s cottage, and a graveyard for the village (for some reason, I always tend to build the graveyards outside of my villages…).  I’ve also added in some spots for eventual secret areas (most likely chests and dungeons).

After that, I sort of got distracted by reading.  One of my goals for the year is to read 50 books off what I call The List, which is a list of fiction books I currently own a physical copy of.  My brother pointed out a month ago that I am rather behind schedule.  So I’ve been trying to read a lot more.  This week alone, I’ve read three books (one was a graphic novel, one an excellent YA, and one an older fantasy I’ve had for over ten years).  I admit, I feel like I’m cheating a bit because I’m trying to read all the short things I’ve got on The List in an effort to catch up.  But I’m still 15 books behind schedule, so that currently means I need to read about 2 books a week to make that goal.

Well, this became more of an update than a #WriteFriday post!  Let’s take this back to writing – by talking a bit about Apocalypse Madness.  It’s once again nearing the end of the month, so I decided to work on something for that today.  The quote I posted for this month (“His dreams of flying and breathing fire like his idol will never be realized.”) comes from Hearthstone’s Oasis Snapjaw (you have to go into your card collection and click on the cards to find the quotes).  Literally, the quote is talking about a reptile who comes to realize he isn’t a dragon.  I thought there was some hilarity in that.  But I also thought the quote suggested much more in the way of talking about idols who let us down.  So that’s exactly what I wrote for this month, using some of the characters from my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel.  I thought this quote would let me do a character sketch of one of my characters, using an event I knew had happened in the recent past before the NaNoWriMo novel began.  I ended up switching the names for two of the characters (Ryan and Danny) back in June, so I had a bit of a hard time keeping the characters straight (making this another good exercise for me).  Like my City of the Dead Short Story, there’s a good chance some of the details in this story may be inaccurate (and I may have to change the names back because I still think of Danny as Danny).

I really suck at coming up with titles.  Hence the terrible title for this story (“She Shot Me!“)  This time I didn’t end up even trying to write a microfiction, hence the almost 600 words.  I think it was worth it though, as it gave me a chance to think through this rather defining moment in the lives of my characters.

I had another idea for this quote which I may write if I have time during the week (or possibly next Friday since it’s still August then).  Otherwise I’ll probably go back to Tears of the King.  And reading.


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#WriteFriday – August 14th

I decided to put what I’ve been calling my Untitled StoryNexus Game on hold.

This wasn’t an easy decision.  I’ve spent the last few months working on this game.  And now that a good chunk of the background work is done, I’ve really been looking forward to building it.  But after I made the decision to build the game in RPG Maker, I realized that I haven’t actually touched RPG Maker since 2013 when I put the RPG Maker game I was developing at the time on hold.  That game, which I called Tears of the King (apologies, I never actually titled it anything on this blog before now), was put on hold when I was going to make “Grassy Fact” with friends (which unfortunately also did not happen).

So instead of building the game I’ve been working on for the last few months, I decided it was a better idea to go back to Tears instead.  Tears was supposed to be a much more basic game than I envision Untitled being.  So it makes sense to go back and finish the old game before jumping into building the new one.  Building Tears will help me get reacquainted with RPG Maker VX Ace.  Of course, going back to Tears has other advantages too, like the fact that I already started building it back in 2013!  Sure, I still have a lot of work to do on it.  But I’m not starting entirely from scratch (a couple of maps are already built).

So with that in mind, I’ve spent this week trying to locate my old notes for Tears (which thankfully I managed to do – I had some plans in a notebook, and also a few sketches of maps on loose paper).  The loose papers are now organized, and anything that I deemed important has been typed up into a Google doc so it’s all in an easy to access place.  I love using Google docs for what are basically my game design documents because I can access them from my phone when I’m away from my laptop.

Then today on #WriteFriday, I started thinking through the world that Tears takes place in.  I don’t want to make anything too fancy (especially because I don’t want to get stuck doing too much background work on this game, too), but I will do whatever I have to to make sure this game works story-wise to my satisfaction.  Luckily I already started some of the background stuff prior to putting this game on hold.  So tonight I was working on fleshing out more of the world, figuring out why things are the way they are (and how they got to the state they’re in).

I’m going to be working on Tears some more tomorrow too.  I’m thinking I’m going to start working on my characters, but we’ll see!

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Developing a New Game

Apologies, I’ve been pretty quiet on here over the last few months.  But I’ve been leaving some updates on Twitter so I thought I’d give a larger update here: a couple of friends and I are designing a game!

Last night, my programmer friend, artist friend and I sat down and really worked out the details for the game engine.  I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but I got nominated the lead designer when we started this, so I’ve been pretty busy trying to figure out the game mechanics and the art direction.  My artist friend has done some great concepts and has started working on the character models (they’re going to be 3D).  We just got another friend on board to create the music; he’s already got one piece finished (which sounds great!) and we’ve started discussing what the rest of the music should be like.

I’ve never actually designed a game from scratch like this before, so the experience is pretty exciting.  Along with mechanics, I’m going to be developing the story and designing the levels (all with help from my three friends who are making this with me).

Unfortunately this means that my RPG has been put on hold indefinitely.  This also means I’m going to be readjusting my year’s Writing Goals as I definitely didn’t plan for this.  But it was an exciting opportunity that I didn’t want to pass up.  So wish me luck as I tackle designing this game with my friends!


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The Map That Started it All

While I’m on the subject of maps, I thought I would share the map that started me on this RPG.


And yes, this is the witch’s house.

Like the map I shared in my last post, this is a work in progress.  I’ve actually been changing it a bit today and it’s already quite different.  The stuff on the right (including the house) is mostly the same, but the area in the bottom left has been filled in.  The left side in general has seen the most changes, including an area that this screenshot didn’t capture.

My current plan for the game is to develop the world, then work on the events and plot of the story.  I have an idea for how I want the game to look, and the locations will really matter for the story so I’m going to be spending a lot of time on that over the next while.


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RPG Setting

Do you remember back in November when I said I had an idea for an RPG?  I honestly didn’t forget about that idea.  I just didn’t work on it during November (or December or January).  But the idea hasn’t gone anywhere; it’s been percolating in my mind over the last few months until finally, about a week ago, I put pen to paper.  Here’s what I came up with:

Island Map

I’m sure this wasn’t exactly what you were expecting.  But yes, I doodled myself an island (or seven islands to be exact).  I was reading How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card; Card said he liked to draw maps.  I remember years ago that I liked to, too, so I grabbed an old notebook and started doodling while watching Grimm.  The first map I drew was a continent that sort of reminded me of Europe.  But on that map there was an island shaped vaguely like this one.  So I played around with that shape, ending up with this one, which I was pretty happy with.

This isn’t the final version of the land my RPG is going to take place on, but I believe it’s a great start.  I’ll share more updates as I continue to work on the game.


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