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Over the past few days, I've been knocking out little bugs/tasks/enhancements I had recorded during the last playthrough months ago. There really hasn't been anything major, but it's sure been fun working on something that is not the intro cutscene :)

At the moment, there are 3 P1 bugs, 1 of which I won't be able to solve until my next playthrough (I need more evidence), another of which will be a bitch to fix, because it has to do with some pathfinding issues in this level. So yeah, that'll mean making changes the level, waiting close to an hour for the level to export, test, rinse, repeat. The last P1 bug, I'm not even sure how I'm going to fix it. It's not game breaking, but it's still a P1 because if a player runs into it, well, it would be embarassing :) I also have 3 P1 enhancement issues, but those can wait until after this next playthrough.

Hopefully, I can solve this level pathfinding issue tomorrow, and get started on the playthrough. Actually looking forward to it, so I can see how the game is flowing.

Till tomorrow...




9/21/13 -Saturday: OKAY, TIME TO MOVE ON...

Okay, folks, I think it's time to move on. I had to go back to the August 2013 page to see how long I had been working on this cutscene, and it's been damn near a month! Granted, it's the most important cutscene in the game, and arguably, the most important of my career. However, there are other parts of the game that need to be looked at, and most importantly, I don't have the VO from Alexander for this scene yet. Things shouldn't change that much when I do get the lines from him, but I'd rather put the final touches on it once I have everything I need.

So what's next? Well, I'm going to sift through my bug/task list. because hell, it's been a while. Gotta remember, I worked on this cutscene for a month, and I also didn't have my laptop for like a month or more. Once I'm done going through the list and fixing what I think I can knock out in as short a time as possible, it's time for another playthrough.

With the cutscene more or less done, the game is now feature complete (for the most part). Even though I've played through this game so many times, I still need to see how it ebs and flows now that I finally have everything. From that playthrough will comes many bugs/tasks/enhancements. Then I'll go through those and try to knock out as many as possible. Then, I will finally release an ALPHA to the world. It's weird, because with Cry The Beloved, I was having alphas like 3 months into development. Of course, back then, I was coming off the success of The Coming, and already have an army of people ready to help with the sequel. This time, I'm starting from the bottom again :( If I can get 5 or so, I'll be happy.

Till tomorrow...


Ah, memories! Brings me back to a time when things were so simple... Enjoy!


9/20/13 -Friday: AH, FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT!!!

So, remember that little issue I've been having, where certain props and other such things don't show up properly in the cutscene? Well, while I was messing around with the cutscene properties, I noticed something: Use Master for LOD. LOD is clearly "Level of Detail". What is "Master", you ask? Well, on the cutscene timeline, it's the object used to add things like fades, narrator lines, and camera switches.

Now, by default, if you have Use Master for LOD set to default (false), it will use the center of the cutscene as the starting point, and render accordingly. And if the prop is out of the radius, you're screwed. However, if you set the property to true, then it will render from wherever the master object is in the cutscene. From there, you can move the master object around to make sure everything is rendered in all of it's glory. And so that's what I did. I essentially mirrored the movements of the camera, and BOOM! Played the cutscene in game, everything showed up. Good times. Now that I know this, I'll make a point to go through all the other dozens of cutscenes in the game and make sure everything is being rendered properly, and if not, fix it.

At any rate, I was very happy to get that settled. Of course, that interfered with the work I had planned for the day, where I was going to create more unique clothes/face morphs for the extras in the scene. So yeah, I'll have to push that work to tomorrow. In the end, it's just monkey work, so I'll be doing that while watching all of my favorite Gametrailers shows (Invisible Walls, The Angry Gamer, etc.).

Till tomorrow...


Today's music is from what I guess started my journey in the world of RPG's, Dragon Warrior (Quest, for you purists). I mean, this was literally my first RPG. I remember borrowing it from my friend's Father back in '89, and god, to this day, I remember fighting gold golem after gold golem, just so I could save up enough gold to buy a broad sword. Good times :) Enjoy!


9/19/13 -Thursday: ADDING IN THE LITTLE TOUCHES...

Today, I spent all of my time adding all the little touches to the cutscene. VFX's, animations, extras, and even some level design.

With regards to he VFX, I already knew what I wanted going in, and already had used them before, so it was easy to add them where needed. For the animations, well, it was a lot easier than I anticipated. While I knew what I wanted, as you all know, it's not always so easy to find what you want. However, I guess I just got lucky, and was able to pretty much add in all the animations within an hour or so. I'll take it!

I think the thing that took the longest was the addtion of extras. The core issue is that I don't currently have that many variations of extras to begin with, so once I started copying and pasting, while I thought it wouldn't make that much of a difference, it definitely does. So, I'm going to have to diversify them up, adding in different clothes, as well as more face morphs. Also, I need to once again change up the animations on the timeline a bit so it doesn't look like they're all acting in unison.

The last thing I did, which still isn't even done, is some level design. I got rid of stuff that I won't need, added in some extra stuff, and tried to get a replacement for the prop that sometimes shows up in the cutscene. I only added 5 of them (out of like 14) to get an idea of if they will appear or not. If they do, then I'll go ahead and add the rest. And the reason I say I'm not done is because I started the lighs rendering/level exporting late, and I won't be able to check things out until tomorrow.

So, so far, so good. I said I wanted to tackle this in 2 days, and the first day was really a strong effort on my part. Hope I can keep it going.

Till tomorrow...


While I never owned this game, or even completed it, Blaster Master will always hold a special place in my heart. At the time, and damn, maybe even now, it just had the most unique gameplay. Side scrolling areas where you get to ride around in your car, which can be upgraded throughout the game. Or you can walk around on foot, though more likely to do. Then the dungeons, which were in that top down fashion.

But we're here to talk about music, and the stage 1 music was just perfect for the beginning of the adventure. Enjoy!



Well, I had all sorts of things tempting me to not finish this work today. Friends texting me about how great Grand Theft Auto 5 is, general lazyness, and my ever filling DVR. However, I got it together, put on my headphones and some Secret Garden, and just kocked it out. And when I say knocked it out, I mean it. I essentially wouldn't get up to go to sleep until I was done. A few hours, my goal was accomplished.

As usual, the plan I had going in changed a bunch of times until I got something I liked. I think that indecision burned about an hour... Oh well... Now that I'm done, I can go back and add all the little things to the cutscene to make it complete, starting with animations. And of course, with all my bitching about not finding animations yesterday, I immediately found 3 different animations that were perfect for one particular actor. Figures :)

So off the top of my head, I figure I'm going to need about 6 different 3 animation sets, maybe 7. From there, I'll need to add some extras to the scene. I'm hoping I can just copy and paste existing actors, who already have animations asscoiated to them. You'll be seeing a lot of the extras from a distance, so I think I can get away with it, and not have it look silly.

Also, now that I have the shots I want, I can go back to the level, get rid of superfluous lighting, props, vegetation, etc. Also, if you look closely in today's screenshot, you can see some holes between the snow and the mountains. So I'll have to plug all those holes where needed.

There's a bunch of other things I'll need to add, but you get the point. Would be great if I could knock this out in the next 2 days...

Till tomorrow...


No, your eyes do not deceive you. I've got music from Chip 'n Dales Rescue Rangers for the NES. My friend had this game, and I'll never forget the first time I heard the music of the last stage. Enjoy!



Man, I spent so much time looking for a certain type of animation today. Unfortunately, all of my searches ended up in vain, and tons of wasted time. Oh well...

So now that I know I'm stuck with some generic animations, the final bit of the cutscene is coming together. I already have the main actors in the right place using said animations. I've also added a bunch of extras to the scene. I actually pretty curious how many actors I can get into the area without the performance going too crazy. I know Dahlia Lynn had a shit ton of actors in her Alistair's Royal Wedding, so I should be good, since I don't need that many. Still, I wonder what the limit is...

Anyway, I ended up passing out on the train ride home today, so I didn't get as much done as I wanted.I work from home tomorrow, so as soon as the work day is done, I'll jump right into finishing off this damn prototype. Once that's done, it's all about the little things I need to add. Facial expressions, more extras where needed, more basic animations, etc. Also, once I'm 100% sure that I'm done with the scene, I can start stripping out components from the level that aren't seen. No point in having them in there, draining resources and such.

Till tomorrow...


Here is the final song from Super Dodge Ball, the music that plays when you're playing another person. Remember those days? Playing games with people in person? :) Enjoy!


9/15/13 -Sunday: SLIGHT CHANGE OF PLANS...

Well, folks, looks like we have a slight change of plans... The way I wanted to end this cutscene didn't exactly pan out the way I wanted it to. Now, for some good news: The issue where some props from the level weren't showing up in the cutscene sort of just... went away? Granted, I'm using a new camera angle, but they're there. All the VFX are not showing up, but with the new way I'll be showing the final scene, it may not make much of a difference.

But yeah, back to the topic at hand... As I started creating the camera angles for the final 45 seconds or so, I realized that it just didn't work. It's not that it looked bad, but for me, I need to have that "feeling", that "yeah, this shit is amazing" feeling. And I didn't get that. So, back to the drawing board for me...

Luckily, I was able to come up with something with an hour or so. Actually, during that hour, I was doing small things to the cutscene, like adding in more lighting, creating custom face morphs for the more unique actors in the scene, and other things. Once I was done with those small tasks, I pretty much knew the direction I wanted to go. And that's what I'll be doing tomorrow.

I just wanted to finish up today's entry and talk about my experience apple picking with my wife today. We usually go to this place called Meadowbrook Farm, which is like 20-25 minutes south of us. This time, we decided to go across the river to this place called... shit, I can't remember. Weed Orchards, or something like that. At any rate, in terms of scope, the latter blows the former out of the water. This new place has more than just apples. They've got peaches, grapes, all sorts of vegetables I don't actually care about, and more. Nothing better than eating grapes right off the plant. Funny, but it had a sweeter taste than what I would get if I got it in the grocery store. Good suff.


The point is that while there, I got my brainstorm on. First off, the actual groynds of the orchards were beautiful. There were some picturesque mountains in the background, and that hint of autumn in the air just brought everything together. Oh, and as it turns out, there is an region in the world of Rose of Eternity that's supposed to look and feel just like this. So you know I was coming up with all sort of scenarios. So while my wife is busy picking apples, I have my headphones on, listening to Hayley Westenra, brainstorming, and entering in stuff in m phone's notepad app. Always nice to flesh out the world :)

Till tomorrow...


Ah, the standard issue fight your shadow boss fight. How many times has this been done in old school NES games? Hell, even I used it in Cry The Beloved :) Oh well, at least the music was great. Enjoy!


9/14/13 -Saturday: MORE BEAUTIFUL CONCEPT ART!!!

Okay, so frequent reads of this blog should know that whenever I'm in talks to work with someone, until I have their permission to use their name, I keep things as vague as possible. I had a situation years ago where I used someone's name, and they were offended. That's all it took for me to put in this policy of mine. Well, it turns out that the person who created this beautiful concept art doesn't mind if I use their name at all. So, without further adieu, I present, Matilda Geijer. You can find her Deviant Art page here.

As I said before, I was referred to her by Alexander Baxter, which seems to be the way I've been meeting most of the people working on this project: through references. And hell, in my eyes, there's no better way than that. I'm so busy with everything else that I do that it's hard for me to spend too much time looking for talent.

But back to this work... I really am in love with it, and hopefully, we can work something out so she can do a couple of vistas for Rose of Eternity. Oli Ferrando really took the torch, and ran all over the world with it, with regards to her work on character portraits, character concept art, the official logo, hell, this damn website! Hopefully, Matilda can supplement that work with some beautfiul scenic vistas.

In fact, I already sent over some screenshots of an area in the game that I think would be the perfect start. Off the top of my head, there are 4 areas in this game that could definitely use some artwork... But, baby steps, folks :) I don't want to press my luck too much, so I'll just stick with the one level, and go from there.

Here's hoping *rubs hands together gleefully*

Till tomorrow...


Today's music from Super Dodge Ball is interesting. I really, really loved it way back when (obviously). For me, not knowing much about the then USSR except for whatever stereotypes I was fed via games and movies, this just "sounded" russian. Or, I should say, "sounded" like said stereotypes. Point is, for an 8 bit game system, I was impressed. Eh, anyway, enjoy!


9/13/13 -Friday: ALMOST THERE...

Ah, I can feel it... Almost there... I was able to finish off the 2nd half of the animation heavy section of the cutscene, and move on to the final 2 shots, which will be pretty simple.

The first of the 2 shots I pretty much did on the train ride home tonight. For the most part, I'm happy with it, but there are some little tweaks I'll have to do to be happy with it. Once I do that, I'll finally be on the final shot...Speaking of which...

...There is this irritating issue where something I place in the level doesn't show up in the cutscene. More specifically, these props and visual effects, which are pretty damn important for the final shot. I noticed in a cutscene I created years ago (has it really been years that I've been working on this game :( ) something similiar, but I just haven't addressed it yet. While I was able to avoid it in the other cutscene, I'll be doing no such thing here. Honestly, I have no idea what the issue could be, but I'm hoping it's simple, some property of the prod I need to check off or something. *Crosses fingers*

Oh, and while we're on the subject of irritating things... It's been a while since I made a cutscene this long, and one thing I totally forgot about (but was reminded plenty of times today) is that when you're selecting the timeline after say, the 3 1/2 minute mark, the performance of the editor slows down to a crawl. Let's say you place an animation for an actor after that mark. It takes like 6 seconds for the game to recognize it and allow you to save it. So what kept happening is, I'm moving very fast trying to knock things out, and if I press to many buttons before the toolset has a chance to catch up with me, the toolset gives me the middle finger and crashes. Once I realized what the issue was, I just adapated, and move at a snail's pace. Do one thing, save the cutscene. Do another thing, save. Rinse, repeat.

Tomorrow, I'll improve upon the first of the last 2 shots. Then, I'll figure out why these damn props aren't showing up. Then, assuming I can fix it relatively soon, I'll finish off the cutscene.

Till tomorrow...


Here's another great track from Super Dodge Ball. Enjoy!


9/12/13 -Thursday: REVELATIONS...

Ah, some nice revelations came out of pretty much no where, which is actially par for the course with me. But before I get to that, I'll just quickly go over what I did today. Because, you know, that's what I do in these journal entries :)

So, I was able to finish the final half of the animation heavy portion of the cutscene. In the end, some things had to be cut, shuffled around, etc., but I'm happy with how things panned out. I still have some cleanup work to do, like a little actor re-alignment, as well as some other minor things. But the core of it is done, which is what I wanted all along.

Another thing I had to do was integrate the narrator lines (later to be recorded by Alexander). The funny thing about that is, the game tries to approximate how long it will take the speaker to say the line, so when you add the line to the cutscene timeline, it creates a bar that represents how long it will be on screen. By doing this, you can add multiple lines from the conversation editor right into the cutscene, and make sure that everything that will be spoken matches up with the music, camera angles, etc.

The only issue is: what if Alexander wants to change the lines? What if he recites a line longer/shorter than the game aniticipated? These are the types of things I need to keep in mind. Because of this, I try to give myself a little extra room/padding when adding the lines, just so I can accept anything I get from him, without having to change much in the cutscene. It doesn't always work, but the closer I can get to it, the better.

As for the revelation I had... It's more of an idea that came to me in the weirdest of moments than anything else. I guess I call it a revelation because it has to do with a particular important part of the game, something that has had the most vague of descriptions thus far. This idea allows me to expand on this description, and give something tangible to the player. Cleary, I can't say much, so sorry for the vague description (damn right, pun intended!).

Till tomorrow...


Ah, the Kenyan team. If memory serves me right, we played on dirt/mud, so it made running around hard. Anyway, enjoy!



9/11/13 -Wednesday: HALF OF NEW ANIMATION WORK DONE...

Note: I forgot to upload yesterday's update, even though it was already written. So, you may want to start with that one, then come up to this one.


Back to animations... So, after the work I did a few days ago, with regards to setting up/syncing the animations between the various actors, it was time to fully integrate it into the game. As I said, I just had them in this "scratch space", where I could test things out. Now that that was done, I still needed to put on the right place in the timeline, and setup the camera angles.

That work ended up being pretty easy, actually. I already had a good idea of what camera angles I wanted, so I just had to set it at each important part in the animation, so I could get exactly what I wanted. After a little work, I was able to get 50% done, which essentially means one of the animation sets. There is another one, slightly shorter, that still needs to be done. I essentially ran out of power on my laptop on the train, as I think I could have knocked it out in 30 minutes or so.

So oh well, first things first, I'll finish that up tomorrow. Then, I'll need to add some better lighting to this particular part of the level, becasue it's looking quite suspect at the moment. Since I'm working from home tomorrow, I'll add the lighting in, then just render light maps/export the level while I work, since it takes a while anyway. Once I'm happy with it, I can finally move on to the last piece of the scene.

Till tomorrow...


Well, what a great way to start off the dodge ball tournament, music wise. Ah, memories, how I love you :) Enjoy!


9/10/13 -Tuesday: CONCEPT ART, WORLD MAPS, AND VO...

Man, what a day... I did not get any actual development done today, but I was still busy as hell. A few days ago, I made a "Positions Available" post. I don't go into the process thinking I'll get a lot of replies, but since it only takes a few minutes to write, I think, "what the hell, why not?". I mean, some of the most important people working on this project have joined because they saw some post of mine asking for help, so that's a win in itself.

Anyway, pretty early in the morning, I received a message from Alexander about the fact that he may have someone who could do some concept art. He pointed me to some of her work (as seen in the screenshot of the day), and I immediately fell in love. There's no guarantee that she'll even join the team, but just the thought put so many ideas in my head. In fact, I already know what scenic vista I would want created first. This is something I've wanted for a long time, so here's hoping that things work out.

While I was checking out her work, I came across this other guy, who happens to do fantasy maps. Well damn, I need/want those too! His stuff looked great and varied. I didn't count the total, but it seemed like he had done well over 100 of them. So I may end up reaching out to him. Of course, I would need to finish my map sketches first... Oh, and while perusing his site, I came across this site, called The Catographer's Guild. 1000's of map makers at my disposal! How could I have missed things like this for so long...

Finally, to complete the trifecta, I received a BSN message from a very well known female actor, someone I had hoped to work with a while back, maybe a year or so. Her schedule had recently opened up again, and she wanted to know if I had a new for her talents, which of course I responded with a resounding YES PLEASE! It's still early in the process, but I sent over a character bio, all the details she would need to know for each scene, as well as videos showing those scenes. Hopefully, we can come to some sort of arrangement soon.

Finally, Alexander is stepping up and taking on the role of the voice of Rose of Eternity. Narrator for the trailers, narrator in game, etc. He's already owned his previous 2 roles he took on, so I thought it would be a natural fit for him. Looking forward to see what he comes up with. Of course, it's still on me to get him some material!

So yeah, it was a really busy day, but a good day, nonetheless. Gotta have days like this every once in a while to change things up a bit. However, barring any unforseen events, I'll be back to finishing off this damn cutscene.

Till tomorrow...


Today's music comes from one hell of a classic game: Super Dodge Ball. I can't remember the company off the top of my head, but they created tons of games that had these characters that all look a like. River City Ranson, Nintendo World Cup (NES & Gameboy), and some volley ball game who's name I can't remember...

Anyway, Super Dodge Ball on it's own was just freaking awesome. Then you add in this music... *Drools* Whenever I had the chance, I had to borrow this from my friend... Enjoy!



As I mentioned a few days ago, I decided to not take the easy route, and do some difficult and time consuming work with a certain set of animations, animations that take 2 actors into account. Making one animation work is already hard enough, syncing it with another person's animations is enough to drive someone crazy! And thus, my fate on the train was set for today: Animation work, or die! :)

To be fair, it wasn't exactly difficult work. It was just more time consuming and meticulous than anything. I already knew the animations I wanted to use, and once they were set, it was all about moving the actors into the right positions, and firing off the animations at the right time so everything looked to be in sync. It didn't help that I had to do it on the train, where every bounce of the train could possibly mess things up with the mouse...

Anyway, by the time my battery was dying on the trip home, I had more or less finished everything. I still need to fully integrate it into the scene, as I was just testing it at the beginning of the cutscene with a test camera. But, I've already written down the actor coordinates and animation start times, so all should be good when I shift them into the right spot in the timeline. Once that is done, I'm on the home stretch. Just the final minute and some change of time, and I can call it a wrap. Well, not a wrap, really... I still need to get VO into the scene. And do some other things. But prototyping will be done, which is the big goal.

Till tomorrow...


Here's the quintessential last stage music. Classic. Enjoy!


9/8/13 -Sunday: POSITIONS AVAILABLE...

Hello all. What a great and lovely Sunday. Oh wait, no it's not. Football season has started, and my arch-nemesis, the Dallas Cowboys have defeated my NY Giants. The only thing that can make things worse is if Rafa Nadal takes out Nole Djokovic in tomorrow's US Open Men's final... Sigh...

Moving on...

So, as I close in on things development wise, I've had some things I've wanted to do, or at least think about, and since I didn't do anything today worth discussing, I figured I would put up this list of positions that are available.

  1. Female actor to play the Keeper of the Rose. Yeah, it doesn't get bigger than this, really. While she doesn't have that many lines, she's the damn face of this game. While she doesn't have that big of a role in this particular game, with regards to the overall story of all the games I have made thus far, as well as anything else I do, she is without a doubt, the most important cast member in the game.
  2. Map artist. I had someone take a crack at this back in 2005/2006, and the results were good, but they weren't able to keep up with it. As I have a broader idea of how all the various countries fit together, I'd like to get some sort of map created. I've looked at map makes and the such, and I guess those are good for me to give as rough drafts to the artist to really do their own thing. But anyway, as more and more lore is created for the game, a visual aid is going to be useful for both us developers, as well as those playing the game.
  3. Concept artist. This could be anything from character sketches, to scenic vistas. Much like the map art, it gives us developers something to look to for inspiration, as well as something for the players to get into.
  4. Website designer. I am quite fond of the work Oli Ferrando did on this website, and actually don't want much changed. I actually just want to solicit for ideas on how to manage multiple games on one site. At some point, I need to remove all these references to The Coming/Cry The Beloved, when talking about this current game. At the same time, I want to be able to go back and show the older stuff, for those who are still playing the older games. I'll end up doing the hard lifitng I'm sure, I just need to ideas.

If you want to help out, or know someone, hit me up at, or through the Rose of Eternity Facebook Page.

As an aside, while I stayed strong with my proclamation that I would handle all level design for this game, I know for a fact that when I start my next one, I'll be on the outlook for someone to come in and own that role. I've done enough to understand how it works in case I need to make changes, but now, I need a specialist. I could be doing so many other things...

Finally, I guess I did do one thing worth noting. Ive been adding notes around the world, just little insights in the pysche of some of the people you encounter in the game. It's by no means revolutionary, but it does help round out the gaming experience.

Tomorrow, I'll hopefully have more to show with the cutsene still in progres.


Leonard Bedner


Man, what a way to start out a game. Thunder and lightning, great graphics (in my opinion at the time, as a 10 year old), and this music. Enjoy!


9/7/13 -Saturday: I'M IN THE ZONE AGAIN...

Yes, folks, it's that time again... I'm in a good place, development wise. I'm in the zone again. And, this is across the board.

My every waking thought is about Rose of Eternity. Every day, I sit down, put my headphones on, and just knock out as much content as possible. Hell, I'm even sort of writing these journal updates on a daily basis, taking the irony out of things. Frequent readers of this blog know that when these waves hit, I need to ride the shit out of them. I don't know how long it will last, but dammit, let's ride!

So today, I was mostly focused on adding animations to like 12-14 different actors. Using Beerfish's excellent animation spreadsheet, I was able to find what I needed pretty quickly. The problem was that there were only 5 animations to use among the different actors. Plus, the animations didn't last that long, so I needed to string 2-3 of them together. So, I had to do both different combinations of animations, as well as stagger the time when they start, to effectively make the large crowd of people look realistic. Nothing would spell amateur more than having 14 actors all using the same animation at the same time.

Once I was done with that, I knew exactly where I needed to go for the next minute and 20-30 seconds of the cutscene... And then, I abruptly did an about face, and changed things up. Since I'm in this zone thing, I decided to not take the easy route, and add some more complexity to the cutscene. This involved playing around with a lot of animations again. What makes these animations more difficult to work with is the fact that they come in sets, and are supposed to be added to 2 different actors. That means positioning plays much more of a role in settings things up.

And that's where I'm at at the moment. I need to continue to play with these animations and get them sync'd up properly, and then add them to the cutscene.

Till tomorrow...


Okay, now it's time for some semi obscure games from my past. Let's start with: Strider for the NES. Man oh man, did I love this game. Sure it had all sorts of glitches and bad frame rate, but I lived the RPG elements they added in, and of course, the music. This first song, which is the intro theme, shows a pretty cool (for the time) cutscene introducing the story and characters. Enjoy!



I'm making very, very good progress on the cutscene, as I have officially finished prototyping half of it. And after listening to the music that plays during the scene a bunch of times, I have a very good idea on how things will end. The last minute and a half is pretty much set in stone, so I just need to fill in a minute and 20 seconds, and I'll be good to go.

To that end, I started with more level design tonight. I was essentially building out a litle area for some actors to interact in, surrounded by some more buildings. Lucky for me, I've had different buildings put together by using different structure sets saved in my "groups" folder, so it was very easy to just drop them into the level. Hell, they even had the lighting attached to them. That's definitely one of the better features of the level editor.

I also went through the annoying work of adding this particular weather effect in layers throughout the level. One of the downsides of this game is that for rain, snow, etc., they're actually static VFX's. Hell, at least in NWN, you could just set the weather to rain, and boom, you're done. With DA, you have to place these individual square VFX's all over the place. The worst part is, when placed, it's only so high. So, for those high camera shots, the VFX needs to be stacked/layered higher, so you can still see it.

After doing that, I messed around with some special lighting effects, and then started the hour process of rendering lightmaps/exporting the level. Besides the funky lighting effects (I'll need to lower to diameter of it), everything looked good.

Tomorrow, I'll start filling in the area with some actors, and create the next set of shots. Getting closer...

Till tomorrow...


Oh man, now this music from Super C is definitely the most memorable. I remember fighting this spider like robot creature with this music playing. Enjoy!



I've made some very good progress on cutscene prototyping, if I say so myself. As usual, I always go in with a mental storyboard, and that's before I even start the level design. Once the level design gets underway, that storyboard changes where needed. Then, once I start the cutscene itself, even more changes occur.

Lucky for me, things seem to be just working as expected. I did come up with some new camera angles, as well as decide to add in some new actors, but the overall cutscene is coming out more or less how I intended it.

At this point, I'm about 25% through the cutscene. That shouldn't be confused with being 25% done, however. I just mean that the cutscene will last 4 minutes or so, and I've prototyped 1 minute thus far. I still have a lot of animations to add to the scene, as well as the obvious 3 more minutes. The shots from 1-3 minutes will be the most difficult ones to do, but I'm looking forward to the challenege. I've made so many cutscenes over the past 7 years that I know something that seems "impossible" will be "possible" once I put my all into it.

So yeah, tomorrow, I'll be doing that. Putting my all into minutes 1-3. Once I have that under my belt, the last minute will be easy to knock out, and then I'll get started on adding the proper animations and such. Almost there!

Till tomorrow...


Now, we switch gears from Contra -> Super C. I have fond memories of this game, just not as much as Contra. I do remember the music, however, and that is good enough for me. Actually, I think this first stage music is better than Contra's. Enjoy!


9/1/13 -Sunday: I HAVE TO KEEP PUSHING...


I think the theme of this month's State of the Union is pretty simple: I have to keep pushing...

While it's tue that every game I've ever worked on has had it's own major setback, such as...

  • The Coming - Actually almost quit development, wasn't mentally prepared for how difficult it was
  • Cry The Beloved - Laptop broke a couple of times, leaving me to use an old ass desktop that was slower than hell. Hmm, sounds familiar...
  • Mysteries of Westgate - Stupid Atari decided to delay our game damn near 2 years just to get some DRM on it, DRM that was cracked within the day. Oh, and said DRM was removed a little bit later after we proved to them it was a bad idea

...The latest setbacks I've been dealing with have been the toughest I think. However, I think because of my maturity level (i.e. I'm 33 versus 25 when I was working on my first 2 games), I've sort of taken it all in stride. Had this happened in 2006, which was a pretty high stress year for me, I think I would have imploded. Now, I just tell myself, "There is nothing I can do about it", and keep it moving.

With regards to the actual state of the game, well, it's more or less the same as the last time I talked about it. I have to finish this intro cutscene, which involves the most level design work I've ever done. There's a decent amount of minor VO that needs to be recorded. Alexander needs to finish up some lines for his major character, and then I need to cast someone for the last major role. After that, barring any other "bright ideas" I try to stick into the game, things are content complete. From there, it will be play through game, fix bugs, rinse, repeat, until I'm happy.

Then, there's the marketing blitzkrieg I'll have to unleash upon the world :) There's much, much, MUCH less of an audience playing story based mods in the DAO community, versus the NWN community. Of course, there aren't many story based mods to begin with, so yeah, there's that. Either way, I'll need to drum up some noise so people even know I've released the game. Back in 2006, it was easy. Put together a press release, send it to Maximus at NWVault, and boom, I'm good. I already was coming off of a pretty well received The Coming, so all was good.

However, it's been 7 years since the glory days. I'm sure many people have forgotten, or just simply don't care. So I'm sort of starting from the beginning again. I've already mentially prepared myself for the realization that I'll never get the NWN numbers I was used to getting. However, I'm still going to do my best to let people know I exist. It's the least I owe myself and the others who have worked on this project.

Till tomorrow...


Here's some more Contra goodness. Enjoy!


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