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Eye of D’akess store pages are up!

Eye of D’akess store pages are up!

You can find them on Steam:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/2220040/Eye_of_Dakess/

And Itch.io:

https://whitecat.itch.io/eye-of-dakess

Go give them a wishlist and a follow! 

The finishing touches are now being worked on, with most of the graphics finished and ready. Some final polish on a few maps and some of the menus, as well as effects and sounds in combat are still to be done. But it won’t be long now…

What is Eye of D’akess?

What is Eye of D’akess?

“Do you hear it….?”
“Do you feel it… pulling you ever closer.”
“Calling you towards the one thing… that you must find.”

Eye of D’akess is a small “short story” RPG, focused on letting the player play through a self-contained story in a few hours. 

The Story:

The story centers around two people: Ricki Alena, the girl who has come across the map and begins the search for its secrets, and Edmund Willis, a local young man who decides to help her find her way there.

As the journey takes them from Edmund’s home town and into the untamed wilderness beyond its borders, old secrets long forgotten are uncovered once more. To the depths of the ruins of D’akess…

Gameplay:

A 2D rpg with turn based combat, Eye of D’akess takes the players through level 1 to a maximum of 20 as the characters traverse through the different areas of the game, fighting monsters and navigating their surroundings to reach the end.

When is it out?

Some time this year, 2022!

All the other stuff:

Eye of D’akess is intended as a small rpg story experience that can be played through without spending 10+ hours, and forgetting where you even got to last session. There is no endgame to grind for, nothing that changes on a second playthrough. What you see when you play it to the end the first time is the full and finished experience.

It is also very much a passion project starring one of my own favourite, personal characters going on an adventure – an adventure I can only hope that others will also enjoy taking her on. 

The game is made in RPGmaker MZ, with many of its graphical assets created ground-up by myself. If you ever wonder how such a small game can take a good while to put together, this is why! Don’t try this at home, kids! (Actually, please do. You’ll learn a lot!)

While Eye of D’akess is still under development, you will often find me working on parts of the game live on Twitch, most often on fridays. If you’re curious in any way, feel free to stop by and say hello, and ask any questions you might have!

Until then, please look forward to Ricki and Edmund’s little journey.

End of Mini-RPG January

End of Mini-RPG January

January ended a little while ago, and that meant the end of my little self-imposed deadline to try and knock out a prototype of a mini-rpg in a month! So, how did it go?

Success, more or less? The prototype exists. I ended up spending the last week of December+January on this, simply since I couldn’t wait, and now have a game where the story can be played from start to finish, with an easy boss to punch in the face for the victory screen. It’s an ugly skeleton, it has nothing resembling balance in it, but the story is there with functioning cutscenes, and the combat system and monster encounters are in place as well, along with a few pieces of graphics even. And that’s pretty much what I was aiming for!

Also, it has a name! “Eye of D’akess.”

So what’s up next? The skeleton is in need of a skin, as well as some serious grease in its joints. Hopefully I can sort those last bits out in the very near future, and have my little “rpg short story” ready for the world. And during that time I will also be slowly returning to work on Angelic Orbs as it has been entirely ignored for this past month, and we can’t have that!

Placeholder graphics are great….

All in all taking some time off to work on this has been fun, and I learned a lot. That first week in the holidays was mostly spent on re-acquainting myself with the RPGmaker engine, getting grips on how to make all the little gears turn. During the rest of it I’ve gotten a greater sense of how to approach the parts of a project like this in general, something I’d very much like to make use of again in the future, after this one is done. So I’d say it was generally time well spent – not to mention that I’m excited to actually finish this little story and send it out into the world! I hope you will all enjoy meeting Ricki and playing through her and Edmund’s adventure.

I’ll keep sending out little updates on twitter and the like when some worthwhile progress on this game happens, and there will likely be many streams dedicated to adding said skin to this skeleton as well.

And that’s it for now!

Blue Rose ~Reprise~

Blue Rose ~Reprise~

It’s announcement time!

Blue Rose Reprise, an updated version of the fantasy otome visual novel, is coming soon!

It has been quite some time since Blue Rose first saw the light of day (2013, time flies!), and so I have recently been working on creating an updated version of the game for new and old players alike.

This new version will include the following:

  • Higher resolution (1920×1080)
  • Updated script
  • Tweaks and polishes to the artwork
  • A whole new UI
An example of one of the art updates.

Especially the script was in need of some dire first-aid, and it is the hope that this update will raise the game as a whole to the level it deserves.

One part that has especially been on my mind since its original release, is the somewhat disappointing and unclear resolution of Erin’s route. While the changes in this version are not major, I hope that they will at least help solidify the feelings and intents of the route, and give Erin the ending she deserved all along.

Upon release of Reprise, the updated version will be available for free for those who already own the game. There is no release date yet, but stay tuned for more updates and possibly other exciting news about this upcoming re-release!

Character Introduction: Kiyoshi

Character Introduction: Kiyoshi

Name: Kiyoshi
Age: 18
Human

“Anyone else could be doing what I do… many could do it better. But I’m what she got, so I have to try. I have to do better this time.”

Kiyoshi is the second of the four protagonists in Angelic Orbs. After a devastating event a couple of months prior he has been a lone traveller, going from place to place in search for answers. Until, one day, he comes across a strange girl who fell from the sky.

With calm and friendly mannerisms, Kiyoshi prefers to keep words sparse about his own circumstances and objectives. Nevertheless, he will always be there to fight for his friends if needed.

Character Introduction: Tia

Character Introduction: Tia

Name: Tia
Age: ?
Angel


“But it’s okay. It’s what I decided when all this began… if I can at least do a little to undo the damage, then that is all that matters.”


Tia is one of the four protagonists of Angelic Orbs, an angel fallen from Heaven who is determined to look for ways to right the mistakes that put her into exile. Kiyoshi discovers her shortly after her arrival on Earth, and quickly becomes her guide in a world mostly unknown to the sheltered girl.

Young, hot-tempered, and inexperienced with the human world, this girl would not at first glance seem like someone capable of causing world-changing calamities, and the exact circumstances of what happened is something she keeps as a close guarded secret. However, in spite of her shortcomings and doubts, Tia is strong-willed, good of heart, and eager to make things right at any cost.

Angelic Orbs – Character Introductions

Angelic Orbs – Character Introductions

It’s been a while! Although this place has been quiet for a while, work on Angelic Orbs has still been ongoing. As can be seen on the (almost) weekly art streams, a lot of this work has especially been going into sprite art for the different characters in the game.

Which means, it’s about high time to start letting you all know what these characters are even all about!

Apart from a few general overview posts about the game itself, I haven’t been talking much about what the story of Angelic Orbs even is, or who you will be taking the journey through the game with. To rectify this, I will very soon start updating this blog with introduction posts about some of the more important players in the story, and try to keep them coming somewhat regularly.

So stay tuned!

AO: Fallen Star progress update

AO: Fallen Star progress update

It’s time for a more concise report on how work on Angelic Orbs: Fallen Star is going. (For those not entirely sure what the deal is with this game, head over here for a general overlook at what it is.)

Anyway here we go, as this is the first one, it will be a bit long…:

Script:
The script itself has been done for quite a while. There has been some trouble with gaining a reliable editor, but outside of that it should be pretty much done, bar a puzzly section that I think needs some cropping down to become less frustrating for players. Development focus is therefore now on creating art assets, as well as coding all parts together.

Art:
I have been working on sprite sets for the main characters of the game on livestreams lately, and have more than half of the most important ones done so far.

In the case of how many poses and variations each sprite gets, I’ve gone with the same general principle as I did with Blue Rose: The core set of main characters get at least 2 different base poses each with their own set of variations, while less important side characters get just one to keep things manageable, unless something really demands an extra for story reasons.

In reality this means that for almost all of the core characters, actually 3 poses are needed. There are many action-based scenes in Angelic Orbs, and outside of normal poses and variations, one is needed for such confrontations as well. And let’s not talk about someone like Tia, who requires different sets of clothes, wings and disguises as well…

If you’re interested in how I do these things in practice, feel free to hop by my stream on fridays where I always work on game art, or have a look at the archive of previous art streams.

I am thinking of making another blog post on the nitty gritty of sprite creation as well, or at least of how much I know of it, in the future.

I have started work on a few of the scene illustrations as well, commonly known as CGs. Mostly those needed for the prologue of the game, with the aim of having some mostly-finished version of that to use as a demo. Some of these have also been made on stream, though at some point I imagine that a lot of these will have to made offline, so as not to spoil future events. There is still a lot of work to be done here.

But then what about backgrounds? So far all I have are placeholders, quick sketches made by myself to generally indicate what needs to be there, so I can get an idea of scene setups as well as what I’ll need to have as finished background art in the end. I will almost certainly be outsourcing this, as drawing and colouring character art is already taking a sizeable amount of time, and background art is not my forte either way. Hopefully I will soon be able to start reaching out to other artists for this.

Sound:
Music is another thing I wish to outsource for Angelic Orbs. Composing is something I am most definitely unable to do, and while there are many great sources for free music to use in indie games, I still believe that one of the best choices I made for Blue Rose was to get an original soundtrack. I hope to be able to gain something similar for Angelic Orbs, creating a personality of its own.

There is still no composer connected to this project, but this will be what I reach out for next, after work on backgrounds has been settled.

As you can see, Fallen Star still has a lot of work ahead of it. Having a script ready is important as it is what sits at the heart of any visual novel, but is still far from a finished product. I’m aiming for this to be the year where I can hammer most of the bases of the game into place, and finally see things coming together properly.

In terms of art and sound, a lot of this will also set the base for the next Angelic Orbs games to come, even if those will also have bucketloads of new assets to be made. But especially because of this, I feel that it’s important to get these fundamentals in place, so everything can come together as a great whole.

Here’s hoping we can create something great for you all in the coming months!

I Stream Art!

I Stream Art!

In the distant past before the days of Twitch I tried streaming my art a couple of times to some friends for fun. It meant I only had a couple of viewers if any, but it was an interesting thing to try, especially as I eventually ended up living so far apart from my other art-inclined friends. It never became more than that though, in spite of the thought of it being in the back of my mind once in a while.

But a few months ago I finally decided to give it another go. I had been talking with some new art-interested friends about how to go about this and that, and got the idea to try and stream a piece of mine to better show I personally went about things, and because doing it together could be fun times. I still had my old streaming playlist lying around with the thought of “what if some day I’ll need it”, so I stuffed some new additions on there and looked into how to make this all work on Twitch.

And I’ve been doing it since! I now try to stream at least a couple of times a week, with Fridays reserved for work on art for my game to make sure I keep up steady progress. I’m a very small streamer-fish and don’t even always have anyone watching, but it’s turned out to be a great motivator in general to get drawing, and it has even gotten me back into contact with a few old friends from years ago as well, so it’s been a good time so far.

In general I treat it as an exercise in focus, along with teaching myself to be less secluded about showing off my progress and work. I’m terrible at getting my stuff out there. Answering people’s questions along the way is a fun added bonus!

So! If you’re interested in seeing how I go about things art-wise, are curious about how assets for Angelic Orbs are made, or just want to listen to some chill music, feel free to drop by and say hi!

Resolution: Year of the backlog

Resolution: Year of the backlog

As we swiftly move towards the end of January, I thought I’d briefly touch on what ended up being my personal resolution for 2020. 2020! Such a catchy number, and we’ve only got it for one year.

At first I didn’t intend to make any resolutions at all, and instead just commit to the general concept of “Keep going!” with some of the things I’ve managed to get started lately. But as the new year closed in I ended up thinking of one thing I keep wanting to do and never manage to stick to for long. A resolution I’ll most likely fail before the year gets properly going, but trying never hurts, yeah? So here it is:

I’m not allowed to buy any one new book/game/similar kinds of content without having finished two I already own. Finishing counts as reading the book until the end, or otherwise exhausting the content of whatever it is until a point where I feel I got what I wanted out of it (in the case of games and such that have no definitive ending).

At first I started with a one to one scale for this, but then decided to make it harder for myself by upping it to two finished per one new acquisition, with the goal of actually lessening my backlog of “things”. Some of this stuff is old man, and still waiting to get its turn! Will I succeed?? Probably not, as much as I like shiny new things that go on massive sales much too often. But at least I’m going to try! I’ve made my public dedication to this now, so let’s see how long it lasts. 

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