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.

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.