UPDATE: Conflux – Change of Theme and Direction

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Conflux (SMILE GAME BUILDER) – Main Title Screen
My game for SMILE GAME BUILDER, Conflux (formerly named Confluction), was meant to be in a modern setting.

However, while writing the main plot, its overall theme changed.

I ended up adding some fantasy elements to it. I can’t help it: I just love those types of games where Old World meets Modern or ancient technologies are interwoven into fantasy realms. The clincher is that this change of theme seems somehow more appropriate.

Original Concept

I turned 50 in July, so Conflux’s original concept was born from the depressive state I found myself in. I guess it was some kind of existential crisis, wherein I started reflecting on my life, questioning the choices I made to end up where I am today.

Filled with what-if’s and if-only’s, my mind transported itself back in time to those key points in my life when I was presented with tough choices.

What would have happened if I’d taken the other path? Would things have turned out differently or would they have remained the same? These are valid questions, ones we all ask ourselves at some point in our lives, but there are no valid answers because we won’t know the answers once that decision has been made. There’s usually no backtracking.

And this became the premise for Conflux, where all choices matter!

At its core, Conflux is a philosophical view about these choices and their consequences, and why each decision we make matters in the grand scheme of things. Those choices – whether our own or others’ – determine our future decisions and shape our future, putting us on the paths we take in life. We’re often presented with two or more paths, each with their own perils and rewards, and each with a different outcome and consequences.

Choices Matter

Much of the content in Conflux – the events, incidences and influences – are based on my own life experiences. I intended it as a kind of autobiography from the start but from the perspective of addressing the what-if questions.

That means that there is no right or wrong path, no real success or failure. However, since choices matter in the game, whereas some decisions you (the player) make results in more successful outcomes but less propitious consequences, others might result in unavailing outcomes but profitable consequences. It all depends on those decisions, taking one path over the other.

The game also subtly focuses on the notion that Destiny is a fixed path, predetermined, along which you travel – and stray – but you always return at some points to its path. You either return to it on your own or certain events push you back onto it, often forcefully. You’re allowed to stray again and again, of course, but somewhere, somewhen, you’ll return to this path.

The end goal, your final destination, your death, is also a fixed point in time, except we don’t know when that is. The ultimate destination at the very end of the path is more open and malleable, shaped and formed by all the decisions you made, the consequences that arose and a combined measure of successes and failures.

Continued Development

Although development is slow, and updates are sporadic, I am still working on Conflux in the background when I have the time.

Actual game development stagnated for awhile and I couldn’t determine why until its theme changed from modern to fantasy-modern.

At the moment, I’m mostly focused on creating the models, especially now that the plot and theme is established. And with that in mind, I’ll continue working on it and try to post more regular updates on it, mostly on Twitter.

TUTORIAL: New Tutorial #62: Campsite Redux (Part 2)

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A new SMILE GAME BUILDER tutorial, #62: Campsites Redux (Part 2), is on schedule for this coming Sunday, further expanding the campsite idea started in Part 1 – Setting Up.

SMILE GAME BUILDER Tutorial #62 - Campsite Redux (Part 2)
SMILE GAME BUILDER Tutorial #62 – Campsite Redux (Part 2)
There will be a Part 3 and 4 (maybe more depending on how much further it expands) to flesh it out even more. It will be uploaded to both Bitchute and YouTube.

New RPG Maker Times Livestreams Page (Facebook)

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I created a new page, RPG Maker Times Livestreams, for my live-streams.

I will mostly live-stream SMILE GAME BUILDER game dev, including my own game, Conflux, as well as games – Skyrim, Witcher, Fallout 4, and other games (including indie games) – which will usually videos from previous live-streams.

In the beginning, however, I’m going to start test-streaming various games, classic, indie and new to see what works on my mid-spec rig. Details will follow.

We’re looking at streaming from this page. It’ll be either here or on YouTube. Stream themes and times are yet to be decided.

GAME DEV: Fog of War Effect In Smile Game Builder

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Here’s a nice little "fog of war" effect for exploring the rooms (in Conflux, the game I’m working on in SMILE GAME BUILDER).

This is a feature in my game Conflux, where when you enter the room it and all of its contents are revealed and when you leave it’s covered the contents are hidden again. Eventually, all rooms will have this feature.

I’ve been asked how I achieved this, but for now I’m keeping this method a secret and I’m neither confirming nor denying any guesses on how it’s done. Perhaps in time I’ll create a tutorial on it. For now, however, I’m not going to.

NEWS: Hi-Tex Megapack Vol. 2 – Terrains: Walls Release Date

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The Hi-Tex Assets Megapack Vol. 2 – Terrains: Walls is scheduled for release next week (earlier than anticipated).

Hi-Tex Assets Megapack Vol. 2 - Terrains: Walls
SGB Hi-Tex Assets Megapack #2 – Terrains: Walls

Megapack #2 Contents

It contains 206 exterior wall terrains and variations, as well as their corresponding stairs and slopes, comprising 41 different types.

This will be available on the Gnome Treasure and Itch.io.

This is a placeholder for showcase images. I’ll update this area right before the megapack’s completion.

Prices on Itch.io are slightly higher to offset deductions from Revenue Sharing and PayPal fees.

Note About the Megapack #1

The Hi-Tex Assets Megapack Vol. 1 – Terrain: Ground is available for purchase for $12.99.

I’m redoing the stairs and slopes for the megapack, so anyone who purchases – or has purchased – the pack before they’re implemented will be able to upgrade at no extra cost.

And, since this megapack contains the previously released terrains volumes 1 and 2 (and the unreleased volume 3), those who have already purchased them can buy this pack for 3.99 (saving around 75%). Simply use the Contact Us form on the Gnome Treasure Store and select the subject Product Re-Request. I will then send an email directly and, once payment has cleared, will give a link for the complete megapack for you to download.

NEWS: Live-Streaming Smile Game Builder

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At the beginning of this week, I started live-streaming SMILE GAME BUILDER. And I’d like to make it a regular weekly occurrence.

Tutorials Live-Streams

The initial idea behind the live-stream was that it would be a means to return to the video tutorials, especially as it’s been quite a while since my last tutorial.

You can watch the video below or at YouTube.

More Smile Game Builder Tutorials

I’m certainly going to continue live-streaming the SGB tutorials, scheduling them every Sunday at 10pm GMT/2pm PST/5pm EST.

I had planned on making these live-streamed videos "official" parts of the Tutorials & Showcases Playlist.

This will probably not apply any more, since I’m inevitably getting back to the tutorials soon. And I’ll be able to draw on materials from the live-streams, as well as other sources, for them.

NEWS: Hi-Tex Megapacks

Smile Game Builder Hi-Tex Assets
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The Hi-Tex Megapacks are high-textured assets I’m creating for SMILE GAME BUILDER. Each pack contains at least 200 base terrains and/or models and, for terrains, additional stairs and slopes terrains are also included.

Scheduled Release Dates

These are the scheduled release dates of all the Hi-Tex Megapacks:

Vol. 1: Ground Terrains

Hi-Tex Assets Megapack #1 - Terrains: Ground
Buy this pack for
$12.99
Volume 1 was released on 15 July 2019 on Gnome Treasure and Itch.io.

This pack superceded the previous volumes because I’d initially planned on having three separate terrain packs, each with around 60 terrains. However, the third was never released. Hence, all three are now combined into a single megapack.

An add-on pack will follow some time in the future to include things like cave entrances, blood stains and fire burns.

Vol. 2 – Wall Terrains

This megapack, scheduled for release in August 2019*, contains all kinds of wall terrains, from brick walls to stone walls.

¶ The way development has been progressing on this pack, it’s likely that its release date will be brought forward.

Vol. 3 – Buildings Wall Terrains

Scheduled for release in September 2019*, this megapack will contain various exterior walls for buildings.

¶ I’m also looking into adding some unique matching wall "attachments" models for inclusion in this megapack.

House Pack Megapack

The original "House Pack", intended for release some time ago, was to contain interior wall terrains only: Stucco, Brick and Stone textures, including their corresponding lintels.

This new megapack will also include some wood panel walls, aged walls and wallpaper (at least that’s the plan).

After some consideration, I’m entertaining including additional generic household items (models) in this pack. Time will tell whether these are added or no depending on the resultant filesize.

¶ I have no release date in mind for this megapack.


* These dates are subject to change.

Prices on Itch.io are slightly higher to offset deductions from Revenue Sharing and PayPal fees.

NEW RELEASE: Hi-Tex Assets Megapack Vol. 1 – Terrains: Ground

SGB Hi-Tex Assets Megapack #1 - Terrains: Ground
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The Hi-Tex Assets Megapack Vol. 1 – Terrains: Ground for SMILE GAME BUILDER has been released for $12.99. It contains 203 ground terrains for use in your games. Stairs and slopes are also included in this megapack.

Where To Purchase

It is available on:

Prices on Itch.io are slightly higher to offset deductions from Revenue Sharing and PayPal fees.

15% Discount

Subscribers (I prefer "patrons") to my Subscribestar will receive an exclusive 15% discount. This applies to $5+ monthly subscribers.

Free “Subscribestar Uniques” Terrains

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I have three free "Subscribestar Uniques" high-textured Terrain for my Subscribestar $5+ patrons. These are free-to-use in non-commercial and commercial SMILE GAME BUILDER projects only. No strings. There’ll be regular giveaways there, just like this one, as well.

Subscribestar Uniques – Grass Wall Showcase

Note: Subscribestar has inanely set it set up where you won’t see the post publicly unless you subscribe. You should be able to see a "locked" post (with a title) so that potential subscribers can see potential content. Not just the "paying few". Patreon does it (no not going there), so why can’t Subscribestar do the same?