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Man, did I have one hell of a time with a few bugs today. When I initially logged the bug, I thought it was going to be a pretty quick fix. Nope, that would be too easy. Ah, game development.

So I have this conversation with a party member that has a bunch of conditional branches. You know, the essentials of any WPRG... Nothing special. Now usually, when I handle these situations, I'm only looking or one value to test, so I use the existing plot checking framework. Up until this point, I've used this, and only this throughout the game. Well today, I simply needed to check a bunch of different conditons, so I created a standard issue conditional script. Now, even though I haven't used them in this game thus far, god damn, I've only created like 10,000 of them over my 2 games for Neverwinter Nights as well as Mysteries of Westgate for Neverwinter Nights 2. In other words, this is supposed to be business as usual, monkey work, if you will. Not something that interupts my attention while watching The Big Bang Theory.

At any rate, the issue at hand was that the branch was never showing up when it was supposed to. Hell, even when I defaulted it to return true, like so...

int StartingConditonal()
return TRUE;

...the branch still never showed up. I mean, I'm not getting all scientific and shit, this is pretty simple. At this point, I was definitely getting irritated. Then, I did a double take, and noticed that I misspelled StartingConditonal, and had left out an "i". Holy crap, really, DA editor? When I compile all scripts, that doesn't show up as a compilation error? Ugh.

Another small bug that took longer than it should have was with some recent VO I received from John. It was one line that just wouldn't play. I kept getting that default robo voice. After another 20 minutes of wasted time, I discovered that I had again, mispelled something. The name of each voice file has to be the line number that shows up in the conversation editor, and of course, that was wrong.

Yay for human errors!

In other related new, I did have success on other bugs, which was good. I've been knocking these out at a decent pace, and I expect to have everything that I want to fix finished by the end of the week. Hopefully, by that time, I'll have a draft of the Keeper of the Rose's backstory from Kelvin, so I can put the finishing touches on this intro cutscene. I expect to have received a large portion of VO from various actors by that point too. Busy, busy.


This week, I'm going to continue to keep it old school, going with some music from the Double Dragon series, one of my all time favorites. Today's theme is the main theme to Double Dragon 1. Enjoy!


1/29/12 -Sunday: SOLID DAY OF WORK...

Today was one of those old classic days, where I wasn't really distracted, and I just took care of business. It didn't hurt that there was no football on, and that I watched the Austrailian Open men's final really early in the morning (woo hoo for Djokovic avenging Federer's loss to Nadal!) As I've been doing for the past week or so, I continually knocked out as many bugs/tasks as I could get my hands on.

One of the things I was jotting down while playing were those little one liners that weren't voiced, as well as lines I literally just missed out of one huge conversation. So, I ended up compiling all of those into a list, and sending them out to the respective actor. For the lines within existing conversations, I'm a little mad at myself, because I know how hard it is to do a line, trying to make it sound like it fits with the others. To their credit though, all the actors have done a pretty good job at it.

Another VO related thing I did was normalize some of the audio of some wonky lines. Some lines that were done before I learned how to remove noise from the audio files had to be taken care of, and the volume had to be increased on some other ones as well. I told myself I was going to wait until I was in total polish mode to do this, but they were really, really bad examples, so I wanted to clean them up.

I was also able to finally go back and fix up some camera angles for some conversations. Again, I had told myself I was going to wait before doing this, but these were really quick fixes, so I just did it. As always, it's gotta get done at some point anyway...

I did run into one annoying issue today, which took up about 30 minutes of my time, unfortunately. So, I was parachute testing a conversation. The particular node of the conversation I wanted to test had a condition on it, so I was automatically setting this variable as soon as the game started. Still, whenever I talked to the NPC, another dialog node started up. I thought I was going crazy, until I noticed something... I had tried to make the NPC's initial dialog option be blank, so that the conversation could start with the PC saying something. Apparently, you can't do that. Every start to every conversation must have the NPC say "something". It's not a big deal, it was just a little irritating.

The only other thing I did was some light level design. There's this particular area that has a day/night version of it. A year or so ago when I initially created the level, the idea was to always make the changes to the day level, then copy that to the night version, and import some atmosphere settings to make it night time. At this point, being lazy, whatever I add in one level, I'll just copy the coordinates, and add it to the other level. It's a little easier this way, with the obvious issue being that I could definitely miss something, ending up with an inconsistent day/night level. I've been good so far, so I'm willing to take that risk.

Tomorrow, I hope to fix 2 P2 bugs. They're both related to conditional nodes in a conversation not showing up under the right circumstance. I've actually had issues with both of these conversations, and thought I had fixed it, but, well, here I am...

Till tomorrow...

P.S. I finally bit the bullet and ordered a new battery for my laptop. If not for anything else, now I don't need to see that flashing red X over the battery icon... As if the battery was fine "before" the red X...


The final music for Mega Man X is Sigma's Theme . Enjoy!


1/27/12 -Friday: CODEX WORK...

Besides some other minor things, the main stuff I worked on today was the various types of codexes unlocked in the game. Thanks to Amstrad Hero (sorry, I can't find where the hell his project is on the BSN that does this for you!) , I've pulled out all the Dragon Age specific codexes, leaving only mine. This is especially important since this game obviously takes place in my own thought up world.

Thus far, my codexes are split up like so:

I stagger the release of these codexes depending on the situation. For instance, systems ones like the aforementioned Bonds of Battle will be activated after you successfully earn from BOB point. You'll see some text pop up on the screen, and people new to the game will be like "What the hell was that?!". Then, the codex will be added, and then they can read all about it.

Likewise, with Art of War, when the player has successfully combined to abilities to create a Unison Ability, said ability's codex will be unlocked. Now, these last 2 are meta-game codexes. The next 2 however, are a little different.

For Characters and Culture/History, the main protagonist in the game will already know much of it in the beginning of the game. So the question is, how do you present that information to the player? I don't want them starting the game with 20 codex entries, even though the "protagonist" would already know it.

In the end, I went with a solution whereas as soon as the player meets a character, or learns about some history or something, then I'll add the codex. Because of the nature of the game, once you're past a specific point in the game, most, if not all codex entries will be all new to both the player and the protagonist.

All of that said, the damn codexes have to be written as well! Luckily, at least for the Character category, many of those are already on our WIKI, so it's just a C&P job, then activating them as soon as you're done talking to said character for the first time.

With regards to Culture/History, well, let's just say I have a lot to write. As always, I have general descriptions for these various items, but once I have to actually expand on it, that's when my creativity starts to flow. Plus, I can throw it on the WIKI, and one day, this website as well. So, I'm killing multiple birds with one stone. Good stuff.

Tomorrow, I'll continue with codex work, and then move on to things I normally can't do on the train, like level design and camera work for cutscenes/stages.

Till tomorrow...


Today's music from Mega Man X comes from Boomer Kuwanger's stage. Enjoy!



It's felt really good to just keeping knocking out alot of these issues I logged during my last playthrough. Especially the ones that add new content. For me, there's nothing better than seeing a vision become a reality.

I've stuck with the plan, handling the easy ones on the train, and when doing other things, like watching Federer lose to Nadal... Once again... *Tear drop*. I plan on spending the weekend to handle some of the bigger scripting related ones, level design changes, as well as ones dealing with stage camera angles.

In between all of this of course, I've been adding in VO whenever it comes in, which has been pretty much every few days. Also, within the past week or so, it seems like the final roles are filling themselves! I don't have access to my WIKI at the moment since I'm writing this on the train, and I'm not going to remember to look it up afterwards, but I think we pretty much only have 3 more major roles to fill, 2 female, 1 male.

Now, as I have been since I started working with VO, whenever someone does something, I immediately record it, convert it, and send it to the respective actor. What's amazed me is how critical they are of their performances. I guess it's one thing to record lines, but seeing them in game, seeing them interacting with other cast members, it gives them a better perspective on things. And you what? I love that! Look, there's a reason on triple AAA games, there's an audio producer, game designer, lead programmer, etc. I'm trying to fill all of these roles, but let's be honest... besides picking out the music (which I maintain is 1 of the 2 things I'm allowed to be cocky about!), I'm not an expert on VO. Sure something may sound good to me, but the actors are the ones that pick up on those little things that need to be corrected. And that's the good thing about working with people who are so professional about it. I can let them, the masters of what they do, well... do their thing. With all of the stuff on my plate, there's no better feeling.

And it doesn't stop with the actors... It's across the board. I mean, look at Oli. She messages me about something she is going to do, art wise, and she goes off and does her thing, and weeks later, I have all of that new art I showed in the beginning of the year (plus more surprises coming). Or Jason, who put together a FREAKING Rose of Eternity interactive timeline, among the other things he has done (editing, story design, etc.). Then there's Archon, who takes a simple idea I have for a custom icon, or makes like 3 for me to choose. Let's not forget Kelvin Lu, who has taken my simple idea of the Keeper of the Rose, and transformed her story into one hell of a saga.

You know what the most interesting part of all of this is? No one is getting paid! Obviously, my goal is to do this commercially one day, and these are exactly the type of people I would LOVE to pay to do this.

But, baby steps...

Tomorrow, I'll continue knocking out issues. I have new character lines out to some of the actors, so I anticipate getting some of them soon, but besides that, it's the issues list. Also, there is a scene I came up with after listening to this particular piece of music. It's nothing big, just a brief conversation between 4 family members. All I have is a general idea of what should be said, and that this music will officially become the family theme. Once I actually sit down and write it, I'm sure the ideas will start flowing freely.

Till tomorrow...


Here's some music from Mega Man X. This is the theme from Chill Penquin's stage, and was the piece of music where I realized that making the jump from NES -> SNES was one of the best things to happen to the series, musically... Enjoy!


1/24/12 -Tuesday: VERY STEADY PROGRESS...

I've been making very steady progress over the past few days, knocking out as many of the bugs a day as I can. As I initially sifted through all the items, I made an effort to handle the ones that could be done within 5-30 minutes, many of them closer to 5 minutes than 30. Out of the original number of 115 issues, I'm down to 77, meaning I've handled 38 so far. Not bad, I would say.

Now that most of the minor ones are out of the way, the next set are falling into the following categories:

  • Codex creation
  • Journal work
  • Conversation stage/camera work
  • Conversation facial/gesture work
  • VO normilization
  • Gameplay changes

Codex creation may be the most interesting one at the moment. I feel like I'll end up killing a few birds with one stone. Creating these new codexes for each group, place, etc. (which are split up into seprate tickets) will obviously add more depth to the game, letting the player know what this new world is really about. I'll also be able to leverage this work, and add these descriptions to our WIKI. Eventually, I'd like to re-do some of the site, and some of these things could make their way to this site as well. Also, I can imagine this would help VO artists when they do their thing. They've all been pretty good with saying words like Stramadon, without neccessarily knowing what it's all about. Then again, I guess that's a sign of a good artist. Speaking of artists...

...One of the others that I had reached out to got back to me a few days ago, with a recorded introduction, as well as some sample lines I had sent in the initial email. The intro was well done, as it let me know more about the person in particular, where they're from, the different types of accents they could do, etc. I appreciate the time they took to put it together, especially since it wasn't anything I requested. As for those sample lines, I immediately got them into the game, and they worked out just great. Getting ever closer and closer to full VO!

Next up, I'll continue to work on the aforementioned tickets. I also need to get back to John, Edward, Andy, this new person (who I don't have permission to name), as well as another ace in my pocket. In fact, I'll actually do this first, because as always, when working with others, they should always come first.

Till tomorrow...


So far, I've gone through Mega Man 2 & Mega Man 3. Truth be told, I've played the first one, and the 4th one, but those were the most memorable ones from the NES days. I would only play one more before hanging up my mega man boots... Mega Man X. Enjoy!



And so began another round of play testing. Now, whenever I do this, there are always situations where I get like 30 minutes in, only to find some game ending bug. Well, not really a bug, per se, but the remnants of my parachute testing. For example, I may have been testing a cutscene in a particular area, and hacked the on enter script so that the cutscene starts right away. Then of course, I forget to reset things, so when I play the game, things get screwed up. Things like that.

This time, I wasn't having any of that! So, I spent a good hour checking over all the on enter scripts, areas, and whatever else came to mind, to make sure everything was set up perfectly. I was not looking forward to having to re-do this playthrough many times.

For the most part things worked out. The only minor issues were situations where the music for a particular scene wasn't playing. The main thing that caused me to have to end the playthrough was that for the newest area that I was testing combat in late last year didn't have a transition to it from the rest of the game. So, that was as far as I got. Luckily, since I tested the HELL out of that last level, it wasn't a big deal. Sure, I would have loved to go all the way through, but you can't have everything.

Now I have to tell you, this play test was really, really successful. I logged 115, yes, 115 issues! These range from P1's-P4's, so it's not like the game is horribly broken or anything :) In fact, I would say most are improvements.

The other reason it was a success was because I was able to experience everything as a whole, and not piecemeal. When I develop in isolation for so long, I'm relying on my concept of the entire game (in my head that is). Sure, something I'm doing works for this scene, but does it fit into the entire game? Whether it's dialogue, combat, etc., I'm always worrying about is it too much/little.

Luckily for me, everything seemed to flow just fine. The best part was being able to see all the VO together. Whenever I inegrate new VO, I just do it for that one particular conversation, then move on. So seeing all of it together was great fun. I was also happy about the length of the game. Before I was forced to stop, I played roughly 4 hours. And there's still more content to come, so I'm happy with the length at the moment.

Tomorrow, the plan is to get the bugs into the tracking system, prioritize them, then start knocking them out. While watching football/tennis, I'll focus on the P4's, as that's just monkey work. I'll leave the higher priority ones for the train.

Till tomorrow...


Today's music from Mega Man 3 is the ending credits theme. Enjoy!


1/20/12 -Friday: VO IS JUST ROLLING NOW!

My apologies for a lack of posts this week. Don't take it as I haven't do anything though, which couldn't be further from the truth. I usually update this blog for the previous day on the train ride into work, but this week, it's been filled with VO integration, because it's just rolling in at a great pace.

Once Edward got settled, he's been knocking out stuff so fast, it's crazy. I feel like I send him lines, and an hour later, I have a response with audio files that are just perfect. Since coming back to help, he has knocked out all lines for 2 previous characters he was working on, as well as another new one we just set him up with this week. This last cast member, I've been wanting him to be cast for god knows how long. Now that I finally get someone to voice them, and it's already done. Well done ;)

With John, I went back through the game and scoured for anything I left out (which it turns out, was a fair bit). As usual, he knocked it out pretty good/fast. As an aside, we're both Giants, and he's been doing the VO at a certain time all week, because everytime he does it like that, the Giants progress in the playoffs. So, looks like New York has found their lucky charm, and that's something we're not about to screw up!

As for what's next, it's time for me to go through the game again. It's been a while, and when you develop in isolation for too long, you start to lose the feeling of how the entire body of work, well... works. I need to make sure there are no inconsistencies, the game is flowing right, there is the right amount of combat, custom ability acquisition is appropriately staggered, etc.

The most important thing will be logging issues into our bug tracker. I haven't done that in a while, and I think I'm due for another weekly pass where I just fix a whole host of issues. If I'm satisfied with the end result, this could be the next alpha. This time, I'd like to actually distribute this alpha externally, so if you'd like to alpha test the game, hit me up at

Till tomorrow...


Today's music from Mega Man 3 is the 2nd stage of Dr. Wily's castle. Enjoy!


1/16/12 -Monday: I'M ALL OVER THE PLACE...

Since I had my final long weekend in 4-5 months *tear drop*, I decided to take care of some really important things I've left slide for far too long...

...and it's not game related, sorry! No, I needed to sync my Microsoft Money transactions with my actual bank account. I'm pretty anal about wanting to know where every single dime I make goes, since it allows me to then cut back when needed. Sometimes, you never really know how much those lunches at work add up until you actually... add them up! Anyway, as anal as I am, I'm also lazy, so I hadn't actually done it in months. So, I had to download statements from my bank's site, and go line by line adding them in. The plan was to do one month a day, but I sort of got into the zone, and just knocked it out over about 6 hours or so. Whew, one less thing to worry about!

On the gaming side, well, as you can tell by today's screenshot, the concept art continues to roll in. I love how she included a gate, which presumably is the gate to the Garden of Roses. What's great about working with her, and others that I've known for 6+ years is that they know the game just as good as me. So, when she says she's going to do some art, I dont have to explain much.

I was also surprised to receive not 1, but 2 sets of files from 2 of our voice actors, Edward and Andy. The former had lines spread along 3 different conversations, while the other just had lines for one big conversation. It's always a joy to get lines from Andy, because he has a nice sense of humor, where he will interpret each line's meaning, and name that file with some funny phrase. And with Edward, as always, the quality of his recording equipment continues to amaze. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: he's snuck into Bioware's recording studio or something! Oh, and his acting as well is very good. Next up is for me to send the next set of lines to both of them, as well as John.

Besides the above, I didn't do much. It was the divisional round of the playoffs this weekend, so that took up a lot of my time. And of course, my Giants defeated the 15-1 Super Bowl defending champions, the Green Packers, at Lambieu Field no less. We're peaking at the right time, and we're only 2 wins away from a 2nd Super Bowl win in 4 years.

Then of course is the Australian Open, which my god, just sucks he life out of you! There's like 11 hours of daily coverage for at least the first 4 rounds, and I can't help bu get sucked in. The only bad thing is the timezone issue. Being on the east coast of the USA, matches don't begin until 9PM here, when it's 11AM over there the next morning. So, their night matches (which usually include the matches I want to see) don't start until 3AM our time, which I can't stay up for during the week. That means I need to go into information lockdown, avoiding pretty much everything on the internet, so I don't have a scoreline spoiled for me. It's actually pretty hard to do, as I'm usually spoiled with something at each grand slam. Oh well...

Anyway, since I'm on a roll with VO at the moment, I'm going to keep that focus. Plus it's monkey work for me to do while I watch these opening rounds. So, that's what I'll focus on these next few days.

Till tomorrow...


Today's music from Mega Man 3 is Dr. Wily's Stage 1 theme. Enjoy!



So yeah, let's get the obvious out of the way. Here is some more art. Those that played The Coming & Cry The Beloved should know who this is. Those that haven't, but will play this new game, well, you'll find out ;)

Anyway, it's been another couple days full of emails, reading, setting up conversation for actors, etc. I'm happy to say that out of all the people I reached out to regarding VO have gotten back to me. All but one are on board, and that one person not totally committed may or may not be able to, depending on some certain circumstances. I'd call that a success!

One of the good things about 2 of the people who got back to me is that we've already had sample work from them, so I already know what I'm getting: Good VO! At any rate, as I have been doing all week, I spent time giving them lines, creating videos of the scenes they will voice and sending it to them for context, and all of the other minor stuff I need to do. Then of course there's existing actors who are constantly cranking stuff out, like John.

It's been one hell of a long road with this whole VO thing, but it's been well worth it. I learned a lot, I met a lot of new people, and best of all, it just makes the game that much better. I guess I can erase this from my "daily things to worry about" spreadsheet (such a sheet does not exist!).

Finally, I have been working Oli in another secret endeavor. I'll readily admit it's all her idea, but hell, who am I to say no?! All I can say at the moment is that it involved me listening to one particular piece of music on repeat for like 2 hours last night. Yeah, I know, not much to go on, but that's all I can say.

Tomorrow, I finally hope to get back to development! I'm going to start off slow, and create some ambient one liners for some npc's in a particular area. After that, there's some plot related scripting I need to do, which may or may not include a 10 second cutscene (still thinking it out). Obviously, all VO related things will take precedent (rightfully so), but if I do have time, that's what I'll be doing.

Oh, and it's football playoff time again this weekend, with my Giants playing on Sunday. At least I have Monday off. Then again, the Australian Open also starts that day. Yes folks, tennis never ends... Sigh...

Till tomorrow...


Today's music from Mega Man 3 is from Magnet Man's stage. Enjoy!


1/11/12 -Wednesday: LOTS OF ADMINISTRATIVE WORK...

It's been a few days full of administrative tasks. In other words, I spent most of my time reviewing documents, artwork, writing emails, brainstorming, vo related things, etc., instead of any normal development where I actually implement something. One thing I've learned is that when these type of things come up during development, they NEED to be taken care of first. If it was just stuff that didn't involve other people, that would be fine. But as soon as other people, with their hectic lives and schedules are involved, they ALWAYS have to come first.

With some of the writing Kelvin has done for me, I've combed through it with a fine... well... comb ;) I've sent him as much feedback as I could, but I still find myself going back to it, trying to absorb as much of it as possible.

Even though I haven't talked about it as much, even while I'm creating this game, I'm always thinking of the big picture. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury that professionals have, in order to weave these huge worlds from scratch, before even working on an actual game. A perfect example of this would be David Gaider from the Dragon Age team. It's my understanding that him and his team created the world first, then decided to place the first game in the country of Ferelden. Even at this time, they had already created Orlais and other countries. The same thing goes for R.A. Salvatore and the work he did on the world for Kingdoms of Amular. He created the world and let the designers pick which time in the history they wanted to set the first game.

With me, it's been the opposite. Everything has been coming together as more and more games are developed. Luckily (at least from my biased standpoint), none of the history has come off as contrived, or forced in. In fact, most of the things we've been adding are isolated parts of the history. Where I may have glossed over something in The Coming, now there is more detail that doesn't take away from anything in The Coming.

The other thing that I certainly haven't been shy of talking about is making a commercial game in this world. When I get to that point, I'll certainly have more options on where to set things in history. So, in other words, all of this work we've been doing is going to benefit everything going forward, not just this particular game.

Right, so what else... Oh yeah, so I'm sure you notice the new artwork for the screenshot of the day. Yep, Oli's still at it. There is so much more stuff, but I can only show so much at a time, so you'll have to be patient. But everything dealing with the new artwork is coming along really good. I think what has amazed me the most is the speed at which it's getting done. Good times.

The last major thing I've been doing is VO related things. First there is the process I could pretty much do in my sleep, which is the integration of new files. It's definitely a time consuming process, but still, something I can systematically do on a train ride, maybe 2, depending on how many files/lines there are. Next is creating the new lines for people. I did this for Andy and John. Usually, I do it one conversation at a time, do the integration when I get the results back, then send the next batch. I also have this down to a science, as I have a pretty well defined format for sending out the lines.

The final VO related thing I've done is reach out to about 4 actors asking for their help. 1 has replied and agreed to help, and I've since sent her some lines. We had actually had some sample lines from her, but that was back in August. I integrated them anyway, and have always loved them, so I'm glad to have her back on board. Another replied, but is quite (understandably) busy, so ithat is sort of up in the air. The other 2 I have not heard back from yet. Then again, I just sent out the messages ;)

And as always, if you'd like to lend your voice to this game, hit me up at

Tomorrow, if I don't have any more of the aforementioned tasks, then I'll get back to some good old normal development. What exactly I'll work on, I'm not sure, but I'm sure I'll figure something out ;)

Till tomorrow...


Today's music from Mega Man 3 is from Hard Man's stage. If I had to choose one stage, I'd say I like this music the most. It's also still making the argument that this music is better. Enjoy!


1/7/12 -Saturday: BUSY, BUSY, BUSY...

Man, I've been all over the place these past few days. Busy, busy, busy...

I spent a lot of time making some custom tints for some of the cast members in the intro cutscene. I went into things thinking I would just need one, but as I continued, I ended up creating more. Meh, it happens. Normally, creating custom tints is a quick process, but for whatever reason the way the colors are laid out on different pieces of quipment is... well, different. So, it was more of a try and see approach I had to take. Anyway, I'm feeling good with what I have.

As usual, there was a lot of VO to integrate. One of the conversations that John did lines for, Andy did lines for another character in the same conversation months and months ago. Sometimes, you get situations where one actor is much louder than the other, so you have to normalize that audio, and other things. Just annoying stuff, really. Luckily, I didn't have to do any of that. It was nice to have the full conversation between the 2 npc's work out.

Now, another conversation John did lines for, well, it didn't work out as well, though it had nothing to do with him. As has been the case for a lot of the areas in the game, the background music was way too loud, as were the sound effects. So, you couldn't hear any of the spoken words. So, it was pretty much a back and forth situation, trying to find the right balance between the VO and the other sound. I think I have something that works, but I'm sure I'll come back to it at some point, most likely the polishing phase of things.

The only other thing I did was go through some more of Kelvin's writings. We have a great foundation, but like any great writer out there, he is constantly striving to make it better, hence the iterations of work. Either way, what we have is already great, so anything passed that is just the icing on the cake.

Tomorrow, I have a laundry list of people I need to send VO related things to. I'm pretty sure that will take up the majority of my time, but we'll see.

Till tomorrow...


Today's music from Mega Man 3 is from Needle Man's stage. The more and more I re-listen to this music, I'm leaning more towards this having the better music... Enjoy!



...maybe not. Okay, clearly I cannot make a profit off of this upcoming game, or my previous ones. Though to be fair, the ultimate goal is to make a commercial Rose of Eternity game one day. I'm not doing all of this work for the hell of it!

Anyway, as you would expect, this is Oli at work again. I can't go into all the details at the moment, but it should be pretty clear to everyone that we've got something in the works. With this particular piece of work (which is very much a work in progress!), I love how she integrated so many things into it. I mean, you've got the BRC Productions on there, the website URL, a few screenshots, the story of the game that appears on the front page of this site, and hell, even a freaking rating!

As an aside, I never gave much thought to it, but I guess this would be an 18 and over game. If not for anything else, there is a scene in The Coming where Aramus comes across a Ministry of Justice soldier about to rape a woman. He can either kill the soldier, or he can accept a bribe, and look the other way. I won't pretend to know how the ratings work, but I feel like I've seen somewhere that if rape is even mentioned, it's an automatic 18/Mature. But I digress...

In other related news, the VO process continues to roll at one hell of a pace. I've been primarily working with John as he knocks out conversation after conversation for the cast member he's doing. I integrated 2 more conversations worth of lines from him recently, and as I was doing it, I realized that were actually damn close to being finish... with his character, that is. Then again, his character has the most lines by far, so it's a nice accomplishment nonetheless.

All of that said, I still have a need for some major cast members, so if you'd like to lend me your voice, ping me at

The only other thing I did was some light level design. As I've previously reported, the foundation for the level is done, so it's just adding a prop here, a structure there, some lighting here, etc. After adding a new building and some trees, I decided to load up the level and run around a little, and was a little surprised to see that the performance wasn't as good as it previously had been. Now, the good thing about this level is, since it's only used for a cutscene, the player won't actually see every part of it.

For instance, there are trees behind this one particular building. Maybe once the cutscene is done, I won't end up using a shot that shows them. If so, I can safely remove them. I'm sure you get the point I'm trying to make. At the moment, I'll add as much stuff as possible, so I have more to work with with the cutscene. Once the cutscene is done, I can trim the fat and increase the performance. So for the time being, I'll have to deal with it. I guess I could turn down the settings while testing...

Okay, as I'm writing this, I realize I lied... I did do one more thing... I sifted through some P4 bugs from our tracker, trying to knock out as many as possible. I usually leave the bug fixing for when I'm putting together an ALPHA, but I had about 20 minutes of free time, so I thought I could knock out a few. It's gotta get done at some point!

Tomorrow, I'll try to finish off all the work on this level. Then, I'll need to create some custom tints for the armor of some new NPC's that will be in the cutscene. Then, I'll have to create said NPC's. At that point, I'll be done with the scene until Kelvin delivers another revision of the backstory we're creating for her. From there, I'll be able to start working on the final cutscene. Even though I know how the cutscene will play out, Kelvin has already shocked me with some nice additions that have made me change a few things here and there, so I'd rather have his final work before moving forward.

Till tomorrow...


Today's music from Mega Man 3 comes from Snake Man's stage. Remember when I said I sometimes give the edge to this game in terms of music. This stage is one of the reasons... I always picked his stage 1st, so it was the best way to be introduced to this new music. Anyway, enjoy!


1/3/12 -Tuesday: OLI KEEPS IT COMING!

Man, I have to tell you, it's feeling like late 2005 again! That was the time that an artist by the name of Olaia Ferrando sent me an email saying she had played The Coming, and wondered if I had a need for an artist. Clearly, I said yes, and what followed was weeks/months of new art flooding my email, each one more inspiring than the next. With the last two pieces, that tradition has begun anew.

So today, I spent all of my time integrating some new VO from John into the game. While certainly not the largest conversation in the game, it was quite lengthy. The dialog in question was written months and months ago, sometime during the summer. While I wouldn't say it's the most important conversation in the game, it definitely is for the cast member it's for. This is at a point in the game where you get to know said cast member more than ever before.

Once the VO was added to the game, the only other thing I had to do was adjust the volume of the music and other sound effects in the level, so you could hear the speaker as clear as possible. Unfortunately, until I figure out how to properly integrate music into the game (where it would automatically be lowered when a conversation started), I'll have to resort to doing things like this. In this particular situation, the level is only used for the conversation, so it's easy enough to lower everything, knowing only a conversation takes place. In other areas where the player has control, running around and whatnot, that's where it gets a little irritating.

With regards to the ongoing effort to expanding the Keeper of the Rose's story, I finally sent out my response to Kelvin's initial write up. I tend to take my time when responding to things like this, especially since I didn't want to miss any details in the 4 pages of stuff I had to look at. Of course, he got back to me with 4-5 other questions, so I'll have to answer those tomorrow, most likely during my lunch break.

As such, I won't be doing any cutscene work on the intro for the next few days. It's not an issue at all, because I still need to do more work on the actual level design. Heh, it'a a funny thing, putting all this effort into a level the player won't even be able to explore. But for me, when designing very important cutscenes, I'd rather have more stuff to work with, than less. As usual, I'm sure I'll get ideas for other camera angles that I'm not thinking about right now, and if I have more stuff in the level to look at, it makes it that much better.

The last thing to consider is getting the Keeper of the Rose to sing. While she won't be singing throughout the entire cutscene, like the other 2 I've done, there are 2 parts where she does sing some words. I'm totally pulling this out of my ass, but the going idea is that I can record myself singing the 2 different lines. Once I've done that, I can integrate it into the game? Why, you ask? So I can generate her lip syncing. Once that is generated, I *think* I can simply remove the actual audio, and when she gets to that line, you'll see her lips move, but nothing come out. Then, all I need to do is sync that to the music, and voila, it all works. Or so I hope...

Tomorrow, I'll get back to some good old level design. I do have some more lines out to John, so if those come in, that will take precedent. But besides that, I'll just be adding more and more content to the existing level until I'm satisfied.

Till tomorrow...


Today's music from Mega Man 3 is the music that plays while determining which stage to start off with. Enjoy!


Well, it was a pretty good start to the year. The Giants won the division over our arch nemeses, the Dallas Cowboys. I don't care what we do in the playoffs... We beat the Cowboys!

Oh, and something else happened. I received the above work in progress sketch from Oli Ferrando, the person responsible for the design of this website, the Rose of Eternity logo, character art, etc. To say she's been a major factor in the presentation of this game is a huge understatement.

At any rate, it's been some years since she has done some original artwork for the game. Recently, I received a message from her saying that she had some ideas for some new stuff (I can't go into all the details right now now), and of course I jumped at her ideas. All of the art that all people have done for this game has meant so much, because it makes this game series seem more real, if you will. Plus for me personally, it's a great inspiration. I have 4 pieces she did back in 2005-2006 framed, sitting above my desk. When I'm working on the game, and getting down, I can glance up, and immediately be inspired again.

It's also really great that she's doing new work for the Keeper of the Rose (amongst other things) , right around the time that Kelvin Lu and I are working through ideas to add to her story. I mean, it's the perfect supplement for it really. Just looking at this unfinished piece brings all sorts of ideas into my head.

So yeah, things are off to a good start for the year.


Well, it's been one hell of a year, I have to say. As expected, it didn't go the way I anticipated, but hell, does anything ever work out the way I think it will?!

Level Design

2011 was filled with LOTS of exterior level design. While I had did some minor stuff in 2010, most of it was interior based. This time, I started to feel the pain of how long it takes to exteriors. It was a slow process, but as I continued to work on more and more levels, I got better and better. I actually got so much better, that I'm thinking about going back to some exteriors I did in late 2009/early 2010, and touch them up a bit. Now, I always had the idea that I would reach out to the community and see if I could find someone to do them for me, but I'm glad I decided to tackle it on my own. It was a great learning experience, and now, if I do decide to ever bring someone in on another project one day, if god forbid they cannot finish, I won't be left sitting there with my thumb up my ass.

Combat Design

I took great strides in this category throughout the past year. I wasn't just creating the aforementioned levels for scenery. I had to populate them with balanced and varied combat, which I think I succeeded in (though the end players will have the final say in that!). Each combat sequence had to be just a little different than the last one, and either have some different combination of enemies, or new enemies all together.

But what's new combat without new custom abilities? I ended up creating over a dozen of these, fully integrated into the existing Dragon Age framework, custom icons and all (thanks Archon!).

I also did my fair share of actual combat testing as well. Perhaps a little too much... Anyway, the next steps are getting it into the hands of testers.

Voice Overs

If I had to think of one dominating force the past year, it would be VO. The entire process, from writing dialogue, to getting it edited, to writing it up in a script, to getting an actor to read said script, to handling any and all integration of audio files in the game was well... Let's just say I may have lost a month of actual development, just dealing with that.

Now sometimes, I question how well this blog serves me. I see the number of visits I get which is a nice amount, but it also takes time out of a busy day to actually write them. Well, that question was answered when I started to received emails from people saying they wanted to extend their help to me with their vocal skills, after reading my blog posts. From John taking on the biggest role in the game, to Edward with his ridiculously high tech recording equipment, to Andy Mack and his hilarious outtakes... It wouldn't have even happened if I wasn't yapping about VO on this blog for months and months on end.

Before all of that, VO scared the SHIT out of me. Seriously. Still does ;) Look, it's just a sign of the times. No longer can you skate by without VO, so what can you do? *Shrug*

All of that said, I'm glad that I've found people like them, not to mention the people Jason reached out to. In fact, he did the majority of that work, scouring the internet for potential candidates. So yeah, shout out to him for that!

So what was the end result? A lot of VO got integrated into the game, I learned a lot, and there is still a lot more to do. Simple as that, really.

You Tube Channel

This is something that recently started to happen towards the end of the year. It was something I had been wanting to do for quite some time, and finally, once I had some time to myself because of a pretty long end of the year vacation, I was able to start recording/uploading videos.

I started with videos from my older games, because, well, those games are done. The long term plan is to flood it with footage from this current game. Trailers, gameplay videos, etc. I'll want things to be in a better state before I start uploading said videos, but the groundwork is done.


You know, I had a bunch of categories in my head for this section, much like the above year in review section. But you know what, screw all of that. My goal is to complete this game. I could use the excuse that it just takes longer than do things in the Dragon Age toolset, but the truth is, I didn't do as much as I could have. There are many reasons, including one big one I cannot reveal at the moment, but enough is enough. I need to channel the energies of the 2005-2006 version of myself, and close this out.

Then, I can have some much needed rest.

And after that, I can start all over again with my next project...

Till tomorrow...


For my first game, I created a credits bink movie, which was just "okay". For the followup, Cry The Beloved, I pulled out all of the stops. After such a long game (relatively speaking), I thought it was only proper to finish things off the right way. Oh, and 95% of the artwork used is from Oli. Just another reason why today's screenshot is something I'm really happy with.


P.S. The very last frame still haunts me every time I see it. I really believed what it says :(



For today's music, I'm moving up to the next game in the Mega Man series, Mega Man 3. Now, pretty much everyone will argue the merits of Mega Man 2 over part 3, including the music. For me, it's damn close, and more often than not, I give the slight edge to part 3.

Anyway, here is the intro music. Enjoy!


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