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 are established. And with that in mind, I’ll continue working on it and try to post more regular updates on it, mostly on Twitter.

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.

FIRST LOOK – Otherworld SGB: Through the Veil

Otherworld: Through the Veil
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This is the first look at the game I’m working on for Smile Game Builder. It’s a short, first-person supernatural thriller with plenty twists and turns, as well as some unique features.

Showcase Video

Credits

Unveiling New Smile Game Builder Game – “Otherworld: Through the Veil”

Otherworld: Through the Veil
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I’m unveiling my new Smile Game Builder project next month, entitled Otherworld: Through the Veil.

It’s a short supernatural thriller and is something I’ve wanted to work on for some time. It’ll contain a lot of the techniques I’ve used in my tutorials.

I’ll post more details next month, but in the meantime you can keep up-to-date with it (and other Smile Game Builder news on the Facebook page and the Otherworld MV Twitter account.

When Game Dev Goes Wrong, It Can REALLY Go Wrong! Haha!

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During my journey with Smile Game Builder, from its early beta-testing to its current version, and some truly strange and unexpected things have happened.

It’s a journey. One of discovery and rediscovery. Even bugs and other anomalies can teach us things, not only about game development, but also sometimes about ourselves, about our limitations and, perhaps, areas we need to improve.