One of the side-projects I’ve been working on is a "useable phone", where you can call a phone interface and select its apps to toggle certain settings ON or OFF (such as Party Train) and call certain functions (such as the Save Menu) from within SMILE GAME BUILDER.
Development HistoryWhile development initially began more as an experiment for a unique icon-driven custom menu, I quickly realised how much it resembled a cellphone layout, with all its apps neatly laid out on-screen.
So I began redesigning the layout and interface to look more like a typical cellphone. And I began planning which features could be used as apps.
Although it’s still a work-in-progress, I will continue work on it over time. There are plenty of bugs and some of the routines don’t quite function as intended, so I still have a long way to go before a fully functioning phone custom menu.
Some app functions, such as the Equipment and Jukebox, may not be viable or achievable, so they might need removing or replacing.
Custom Menu Online Classes/Tutorials
At the end of July to the beginning of August, I’m going to start work on a series of courses or online classes dedicated to creating custom menus for SMILE GAME BUILDER, which will be available on the Gnome Treasure store.
During the course, you’ll learn how to create unique custom menus from start to finish, from a simple "settings menu" to something more complex like the phone custom menu.
I’m not sure of pricing or format yet, but that’ll develop over time, and I’ll make the announcements here and on Twitter.
Those who follow me on social media already know about the various projects I’m working on, including my games.
Various Game Engines
I’ve tried my hand at various genres and storylines, inculding a quasi-biographical game entitled Confluction, but none of them really progressed beyond initial concept. There are numerous reasons behind this, but the main one seems to be that they haven’t felt "right".
In a recent announcement on the SGB Discord, I stated:
My problem is that I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head and not enough time to implement them all. This then becomes fingers-in-too-many-pies syndrome and none of the games actually reach completion. So to resolve this, I started looking closer to topics I’m interested in and conversant with, and eventually settled on a theme.
Game development on "Starborn: The Fallen" will most likely migrate to GameGuru MAX (official release September) and development on "Relationship Sim" will be for SMILE GAME BUILDER.
The next goal was to determine which engine to use for the overall feeling and outcome. I settled on SMILE GAME BUILDER for "Relationship Sim" (a previously planned but now resurrected game idea) and GameGuru MAX for "Starborn: The Fallen".
Why GameGuru MAX? Why Not Unity?
Someone in Discord asked why I’d use GameGuru MAX for Starborn: The Fallen rather than Unity or the Game Creator asset for Unity (interpretably haughtily).
My answer was probably rather terse, so I thought I’d expand it here. What I won’t do here is extol GameGuru MAX’s virtues or lament its drawbacks.
Now I responded that I wanted to try something different. Since I’ve been using GameGuru (not necessarily intending to produce a game with it) on and off for awhile, I saw the potential for a small yet simple horror-style game because of its post-effects, like lighting. Furthermore, some of the models in the add-on packs were (are) perfect for this purpose.
However, as before the "feeling" just wasn’t there, so the motivation dwindled. I continued creating the maps for the game – sometimes from scratch, sometimes randomly generating landscapes – and soon realised that some of the maps bore a striking resemblance to those in Starborn. This was purely subconscious; I wasn’t planning on it.
This then prompted me to delve further into GameGuru as a whole. Although I still need to learn its programming language, Lua, it is more lightweight than the C# that Unity predominantly uses and, while not primarily an object-orientated programming (OOP) language, primary classes and tables can be used to store data and create objects. I wrote a very simplistic script to store some basic information for an equally basic quest log (admittedly partially functional and very buggy).
Completely by accident, I saw a trailer for GameGuru MAX so decided to preorder it in February and recently received the first alpha release. This seriously lacks in actual content but it is a vast improvement on its predecessor, with a better, more intuitive interface and a built-in character creator. I even tried importing some of my own hi-tex models into the engine and was impressed with the results.
So, I made that executive decision to migrate Starborn to GameGuru MAX. I’ll continue working on the game (intermittently) until its official release in September.
Relationship Sim (SMILE GAME BUILDER)
And I will resume development on my SGB game, "Relationship Sim", which I started some time ago. This was loosely based on and inspired by an old tutorial I did, #16: Relationship System.
I particularly like those kinds of games where choices matter and actions have consequences, which result in multiple endings based on those choices.
Relationship Sim is no exception in that you can follow the path of faithful boyfriend or cassanova. Each path has a different outcome and different influences on other characters.
Susbsequently, the "relationship system" is potentially quite complex. SGB’s limitations at the time became one of the major reasons the project was placed on hold. Now, with some of the newest additions (notably displaying text as images and string variables), it’s more viable to create a specific HUD style without having to rely exclusively on graphics for names, relationship status, etc.
My SubscribeStar patrons will also gain access to "mature" or "adult" content. This won’t be sexual in nature, not gratuitous but more inferred, and it’ll be optional content for those who want it.
With that said, I’m going to start development on Relationship Sim from scratch, expanding upon and improving its old system to accommodate the new updates.
Working on both projects at once – plus my tutorials, my model packs and live-streaming – will demand much of my time, but with proper micro-management of time I should be able to juggle them successfully.
Although there won’t be updates on Starborn: The Fallen until September (when it’s officially launched), updates on Relationship Sim will be posted on social media and in the SGB Discord.
There is no new SMILE GAME BUILDER tutorial until after Christmas 2019. However you celebrate it – and even if you don’t – have a happy 25th December!
Lots of changes coming in 2020, including to game development, YouTube (and Daily Motion/BitChute) and other game dev areas, more assets next year.
The game I’m working on for SMILE GAME BUILDER – for those who don’t already know – is entitled Starborn: The Fallen.
Its current game dev home (for now) is on Gamejolt. You can follow the project there if you want to keep up-to-date with its progress and development.
Here’s a game dev showcase video for the game’s intro scene.
The video is hosted on DailyMotion, but you can also view the YouTube version if you prefer.
Game Development Notes
Game development will continue with fleshing out the story first before focusing on graphics, 3D models and animations, so will use many default models for now. Over time, I’ll add more custom assets (including models) and will showcase them in future videos.
SMILE GAME BUILDER has a new update! I will do a tutorial or livestream (probably the latter) on Friday. We’ll continue game development the Tutoria maps created for the Campsite tutorials, utilising the new updates, including some tips and tricks.
- You can now create events that operate under specified conditions during battles. (Battle Events)
- You can change equipment forcibly. (Event Panel: Change Equipment)
- You can leave memos in event sheets. (Event Panel: Note)
- You can change battle damage formulas. (Weapons and Skills)
- You can specify motions when characters use their skills.
- You can call common events when characters use their skills.
- You can specify skills for item effects.
- You can call common events when characters use items.
- You can change the window image in the battles.
- You can use 8 directions for 2D animation.
- You can edit colors, bold and italic for messages and dialogues.
- You can display strings as images on the screen.
- We’ve fixed an error: sometimes it doesn’t import FBX models properly, when you use the automatic optimize importing.
- We’ve fixed an error: even if you make items of "Recover from KO" and "Recover HP", you can not use it unless a member is in the state of KO.
- We’ve fixed an error: it does not remember the last skill used during the battle.
- We’ve fixed an error: if the data size of Data-pack exceeds 1GB, an exception error of "system out of memory exception" occurs when launching the "Export Public Game File".
- We’ve fixed an error: an error occurs when pasting maps between projects with different terrain materials.
- We’ve fixed an error: some event panels are not completed when composing complex events.
- We’ve fixed an error: the images of the East and the West on the compass common event were opposite.
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.
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!
Custom ModelsMost 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!
I now have a Subscribestar account.
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!)
Don’t think there haven’t been updates to SMILE GAME BUILDER?
SmileBoom has been busy but fairly silent on news about updates. However, they released a tantalizing sneak peak on their Facebook page.
TRUST ME! Although there is no official release date yet, it’s going to be something worth waiting for, so just be patient. And, of course, I’ll thoroughly go through it and tutorial-ize it!