Still chugging away on the story elements.
In the meantime, I thought you might like to see my writing process.
There isn’t one.
I start at the beginning and when I’m done, I’ll know it. I’ve always written everything like this. Ever since I was a young boy I’ve been told that the correct way to write is to work out an outline, then a rough draft, then an edited copy, then a final copy. I’ve always felt like that’s total bullshit. Yeah, it might make some things a little better, but when I take the time to sit and work all of it out, it hurts the work overall. Nothing fits together as well, and it’s much easier to write (dialogue especially) when it feels like I’m finding out things at the same time as characters. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a lot easier to think of the way people would react to someting that’s happening if I don’t know everything that will ever happen to them.
One result of this is that my maps don’t get made until they’re necessary. Check out the current world map:
It seems a bit sparse.
As the story moves on, I will of course add more to it. I just don’t need any more continents at the moment. My continent bag is full.
There is a reason for the peculiar shape of the island up top, though. It’ll all be revealed soon enough.
Goddamn, I can’t believe it’s been a month.
Anyway, I’ve been chugging away at the game, mostly with behind-the-scenes stuff. I’ve been working on some different event-scripting skills with the help of the friendly folks over at RMVX. Sad as it is to say, considering how easy the engine is, I didn’t really know what the hell I was doing beyond some basic stuff. Thanks to RMVX member Aindra’s RPG School game/tutorial (the bunneh rocks), I’ve learned how to do a lot of basic stuff. Through practice I’ve actually gotten to the point where I can write my own cutscenes, which is good, because otherwise the game would have sucked. I’ve made a video on the Your Tubes internets website demostrating a little bit of what I learned (don’t worry, it’s spoiler free, not that you cared):
It’s embarrassing to say that everything in this video took me about an hour to actually do. It’s some fairly complicated scripting, though, and with what I’ve learned, I shouldn’t need to take time out from story development to learn anything else for a while.
I’ve also updated my town, which you may remember from this post. In addition to some general updates and changes, I’ve also added an entire new part of town, which I haven’t totally finished yet.
Here’s the new northern side of town:
As of right now, the town is called Foxtrot, but that (as is everything) is subject to change. That big house up top belongs to a rich fucker who will be a catalyst for the beginning of the story. Other than that, there is an armor shop run by a paranoid old dwarf-man, and a couple of houses.
In addition to all this, I’ve completely finished all of the transfer events that lead to you actually being able to go inside of a building, which isn’t a major step, but is necessary. Here’s a piteous little aside regarding my skill as a “programmer”: One feature of RMVX is the “quick event”, which allows you to add a commonly used event quickly without having to actually add anything to it yourself. One of the quick events is the “door” event, which adds the graphic of a door, then the scripting to have it open upon touch. I added this event to every building in town, then went into the event scripting and added the locations I wanted to move to. This worked fine until I actually came back out, at which time, for some reason, the character would take a step forward, freeze, then teleport back under the door’s graphic. I couldn’t figure out why it would do that, because the character isn’t literally coming out of the door, he just touches a tile from the inside of the building that teleports him back out. I worked for a fucking hour to realize that what I had done was I had added a transfer function at the end of the first page of events, which concluded with a switch which, when triggered, moved your character forward, then teleported him to a location that was supposed to have been chosen when I created the quick event. So, in effect, I caused this problem myself by just not paying attention, just like the time I crashed my car through a Walgreens because I hadn’t noticed I had drank 28 beers. The cool side of this problem, however, is that I realized that, with a little modification, I could use that second page of events to make it look like the character was walking back out the door, which has already saved me a lot of time.
Now that I have all this mapping bidness finished, I’m going to move on to finishing the first part of the story.
Look for an update soon with my first dungeon. It will be drawn in crayon. I’m sure you can’t wait.
Well, I’ve finally sat down to write about what I’m doing with this game. This is the first entry in what I hope will be a long, interesting, and most importantly, money generating diary. I never thought I’d get an opportunity to write one of these myself.
Anyway, enough bullshitting; you came here to hear about the game (or by accident while searching for “catchy name for newspaper”). I haven’t quite thought of a title yet. The (very tenative) working title is Navaratna (for some reason, things named after Indian concepts fail at least 100% of the time). The game is about the legend of the Nine Unknown Men. An ancient organization referred to in Sanskrit myths and related by 19th-century author Louis Jacolliot (or possibly just completely made up, scholars in the 19th century were careless assholes), the legend goes that, around 270 BC, the Indian emperor Asoka the Great had a change in philosophy after a horrible massacre in a battle intended to unify India, in which over 100,000 men were killed. After converting to Buddhism, Asoka took it upon himself to do everything in his power to prevent mankind from damming itself with advanced technologies (in some versions of the legend, his motivation for doing so was also influenced by the tales of the Rama Empire, a legendary Atlantis-esque Indian society with incredibly advanced technology that was ravaged by its own progress). In this spirit, the Society of the Nine was formed. For the past 2000 years, these nine men (or, presumably, their descendants, unless they live forever, which is also possible, I guess) have gathered knowledge they consider to be dangerous to mankind if allowed to reach the wrong hands. Nine books were made, each entrusted to a different master and each concerning a different topic. These topics were (direct quote from Wikipedia, for I am lazy):
- Propaganda and Psychological warfare
So, now that you know the legend (or, alternatively, now that you’ve wasted 10 minutes reading about something you already knew), I can talk about what it has to do with this game. Navaratna is set in a world that isn’t intended to be any particular time period in reality, as evidenced by the fact that the skies feature both airships and planes, an impossible scenario that could never happen in reality.
The Hindenberg Disaster is an example anachronistic impossibility of airships and planes sharing the skies. As a result of this paradox, the ship simply ceased to be.
In addition to being completely original, this setting also allows me to write in whatever anachronisms I want, from swordfights with guns to riding a horse to a laser rock show. Additionally, it makes it slightly more acceptable for me to use everything in the RTP (for those of you not familiar with RPG Maker, the RTP is the set of components included with the program, and releasing a game to the RPG Maker community using only the RTP is like going to a fashion show wearing only Hefty bags). If I ever find someone who’s good at designing tilesets at the very least, then hopefully it’ll look a little bit more unique. (Anyone who feels up to the job can feel free to submit an example to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All I really need are tilesets.)
I don’t have everything created yet, or even tentatively laid out (I just don’t work that way) but here’s an example map I’ve made, from the first town. Again, it’s still tenative, so don’t freak out that it doesn’t have a river running through it or whatever:
Please note that there aren’t a bunch of completely random placements of grass and flowers. Despite what the community seems to think, I think randomly laying out a bunch of flowers and tall grass to make it look less planned makes the town look like it’s filled with garbage. More realistic? Perhaps. But considering I’m making a town in a video game and not bringing up from the Earth a town created in my own image, I don’t think it’s that bad of a problem if I sacrifice a little realism for the sake of superior aesthetic value. I kept it looking a little random, but just planned enough that it doesn’t look like I just took the tile brush and waved it around randomly. So there.
I’m also not totally finished with the characters, but I have finished the Nine…
Pretty cool, no? What? You want to hear more about them? Too bad. Wait until next update. Or the one after that. I pull the strings here. ಠ_ಠ