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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My new project for SMILE GAME BUILDER is entitled Confluction. This is a working title only at the moment, and it might change during the course of its development, but it’s kind of sticking!
Confluction is an obsolete word for "confluence", the "coming or flowing together, meeting, or gathering at one point".
Our destinies are fixed, but we forge our own paths. We might make choices that cause us to stray from the path of Destiny and deviate from its course, but we’ll always return to it at some point. And that’s the subtext for the game.
Many events in the game are loosely based on events in my own life; I’ve taken certain creative liberties with them. The choices you make in life do matter!
Most of the models are being custom-made for this game.
I’m aiming for high-texture models and assets, so this is what will probably take the longest time to create since I create many of them by hand.
The focus will be on most of the models first, then the game itself. And then most likely at that point, I’ll work on character animations as and when they’re needed. This will be the biggest challenge for me; I’m not good at animation.
So when it comes to the perfectionist in me, I’d want to make sure all animations are smooth and fit well with the game!
Patrons (subscribers) will start benefiting from additional perks, including tier-specific Discord roles/titles, and unique content, game dev insights, exclusive content, such as demos, and more.
If you would like to support me there, either as a patron or donator, it would be greatly appreciated. All moneys will go towards several goals and will give an extra incentive to continue with the project.
I will try and update this more regularly, with more regular content and some patron-only content soon!
What About Relationship Sim?
The project I was working on before Confluction is Relationship Sim.
However, I decided to continue on THIS project first, and then resume with "RSim" when the new SGB is officially released to take advantage of some of its new features! (At the time of this post, no, I can’t say what those new features are outside of what SmileBoom has already announced publicly!)
From now on, I’m going to live-stream SMILE GAME BUILDER only to continue building Tutoria, a game created from scratch, start to finish during the streams.
I’ve wanted to do this for quite some time; I just wasn’t in a position to do so. Since upgrading my computer and Internet speeds, it’s now viable to live-stream at a decent speed and quality, usually at 1080p.
As many of you probably know by now, I already started live-streaming SMILE GAME BUILDER, intending on creating a game from scratch, start to finish, during the stream. So far its schedule has been every Saturday at 10pm GMT/2pm PST/5pm EST, but I’m now aiming for twice per week to continue its development.
Next week the stream is scheduled for Friday and Saturday. However, as of the week commencing 25 March 2019, my work hours change, so live-streaming will be rescheduled for Thursdays and Fridays Sundays.
The idea behind developing Tutoria is to creating a full game from start to finish, including any necessary graphics during the stream.
It also serves tutorials and additional techniques in SGB, some of which are based on many of my old tutorials (updated to the current version) and some are new ones.
During live sessions, viewers will be able to offer suggestions for shaping the way Tutoria evolves. Although I’ve written an outline for the underlying storyline, in the beginning I probably won’t worry too much about it. As the game develops, however, that plot will be adhered to more as it’s gradually fleshed out.
Viewers can also ask questions about SGB in general in chat (or talk amongst themselves) and I’ll answer as many of them as I can – if I can!.
The reason for this is simple: I don’t care for Twitch. Sorry!
I’ve tried to stream on Twitch – and, indeed, tried to like the platform – but I simply can’t do it. Until now, I’ve multi-streamed on both platforms, sometimes smoothly, sometimes with a few hiccups. Many people like Twitch; I don’t.
Twitch tends to "expire" videos after a set amount of time. One way to bypass this is to "highlight" videos, which is somewhat of an inconvenience. YouTube does no such thing. Besides, I’m more established on YouTube and, rather than having too many fingers in too many pies, as a sequitur being able to eat one pie is better and easier.
When the game is finished (however long it takes), it’ll be fine-tuned – including post-production through Unity – and released for all SGB users to play.
The link will then be available on my Itch.io account and it’ll be freely available for download.
I’ve been going through my extensive "To Do List" and tackling one thing at a time, slowly but surely, starting with the more graphic heavy stuff. That is, now that I know exactly what my new computer is capable of!
There won’t be a tutorial this week, but starting next week the tutorials will resume as normal. And also next week (or the week after that) I’m going to start live-streaming. I’m moving more towards streaming Elder Scrolls Online and will also try some Smile Game Builder stuff.
To Do List Progress
For those who are interested, this is what I’ve crossed off the To Do List so far:
Hi-Tex House Terrain Pack
The pack is almost finished. I’m doing some final tweaks and adjustments before its official release. There are 291 assets in this pack (69 Stucco Wall, 69 Stucco/Red Brick Wall, 69 Stucco/Orange Brick Wall and 69 Stone Wall terrains), 11 Floor terrains and 4 models (1 matching lintel model for above doors and 3 table variations).
I’ve been working on revamping the format and layout of my tutorials (hence the delay), including some in-between movie sequences. This is taking the longest time, of course, but that part is almost finished. And you can see some of them in the next tutorial.
Testing Games & Assets
I’ve received a lot of SGB games and assets over the past year. Unfortunately, because Dinosaur wasn’t quite capable, I wasn’t able to record and play at the same time. The new computer can do just that, so to start, these are the games I’ll be play-recording to begin with over the course of the next few months:
» In Vitra (finally!) » I Am Here » A Healer Only Lives Twice (from the DLC).
Because I have Thursday through Sunday off, most activities will take place on these days. With the exception of Sunday’s regular tutorials, there probably won’t be a regular schedule for the other things, so I’ll keep you updated here.
Bear with me with the tutorials, they ARE resuming soon!!
The Pumpkin Hunt mini-game was created for Halloween 2017 using Smile Game Builder. It’s just a bit of fun, but this downloadable file also serves as a tutorial to see the techniques I used.
You can download the mini-game and either play it or view the techniques used from Smile Game Builder (or both). The file size is around 10 Mb, so is comparatively small.
I’ve included several Easter eggs as well, references to literature, mythology or movies; some are more subtle than others. Unless, of course, you know your stuff! See if you can find them all for an extra challenge and comment them! (Hint: There are 5!)
You can watch the mini-game in action (a walkthrough) on my YouTube Channel directly or the embedded video below.
I spent the past few days playing through some of the Smile Game Builder games now available. This is for the Top 5 Showcase video I’m planning. This isn’t as easy as it should be because many of them are really good games.
The list of games I’ve played or will be playing are (in no particular order yet):
Smile Game Builder has been out for some time now. So, it’s inevitable that there would be a number of games available for it.
Sometime next week, I’ll be showcasing some of the games currently available in Smile Game Builder. This includes both free and paid games. These are all in English since I don’t speak Japanese, but a number of Japanese only games have been produced as well.
None of the games in the showcase is a full review; it’s simply a video providing details on the games, which I’ve ranked according to atmosphere, playability, storyline, and enjoyment.
I won’t spoil the "surprise" by listing the games; you’ll just have to watch the video when it’s uploaded.