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.
This video goes through features updated in Version 1.12.2 (released 29 January, 2020).
This is a short demo of a feature in my game Starborn: The Fallen for SMILE GAME BUILDER.
This video showcases the different phases for building the house. The building time is sped up for the purposes of the video.
The basic idea behind the house-building is to gather materials to build a house in the same style as many other building games. It’s part of a larger, more comprehensive crafting system, where you gather materials to build houses, craft potions, upgrade weapons and armor, and so on.
The "Book of Stats" for my SMILE GAME BUILDER game Starborn: The Fallen is complete, now with a working Karma System. Decisions MATTER!
Each of the stats updates during the game. I’ll post more about them and the Karma System later.
Game Development will continue with a basic farming/crafting system next.
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.
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.
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 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.