Twelve, or Mein Gott! My Blog’s Almost a Teenager!

Every year when we reach this particular milestone there’s a wee bit of a shock for me.  “I’m still doing this?  The blog’s still going?”  Yes and yes, I say.  I really believe it has helped, it continues to help, and will keep on helping me improve my craft.  So long as it serves this purpose (and I keep enjoying writing for it) Welltun Cares Presents will continue.

As I don’t have much more to say on the matter, let’s discuss future events.  Or at least events I intend to have happen in the future:

  • I need to get back on the “post a day” wagon.  Or, failing that, a post here one day, work on a post for Welltun Cares Reviews the next.  The whole “one more hour” on Minecraft has gotta stop.
  • Complicating things a wee bit, I discovered that not only is there two Camp NaNoWriMos this year, one of them is being held in April.  Next month.  Now the Camps tend to be a wee bit looser than the regular NaNo, in that it can be “anything” written at “any length”, rather than one 50,000 word novel (thing).  I’m thinking of writing a series of sword and sorcery tales.  Might form the basis of a novel for the big NaNo in December.
  • Moving on to more complicated projects, I’m still stalling over the next Goblinstomper! Development update.  Part of the problem is that I want more expressive faces for what I’m doing than what the native Character Generator can give me (specifically, but not limited to, the eyebrows).  Which means I’m going to have to draw what I need myself, color it, and install it where it needs to go in the program.  I’ve already printed out an enlargement of our favorite red-headed Goblinstomper in extra-large format to get this task done.  Hopefully I can mimic RPG Maker’s style well enough to suit me.  Otherwise I might have to break down and make completely new parts for the whole generator (something I’ve considered doing anyways, but would rather not.)
  • Finally, RPG Maker MV has had an update, which includes a tutorial program that walks users through the creation of a game.  I’m giving serious thoughts to doing just that for the rest of this week.  While it’s doubtful anything new will be learned by doing this–I’ve been fiddling with RPG Maker VX Ace and MV for sometime now, after all–it’s better to take the chance of time being wasted over missing potential options and shortcuts.  Frankly I’m rather fond of Goblinstomper! and its crew.   I want it to be about the best it can be, and this could help, if only a little.

All that said, twelve years of sense and nonsense have come and gone.  The foolish young(ish) man who started this blog is long since departed and replaced by a hopefully wiser old(ish) soul.  Here’s to another year, a better year, full of success, excitement, and beautiful women eager to hang out with men with the initials C.M.M.W.

I will accept two out of three coming to pass from the previous statement.

Goblinstomper! Development Diary (XXIX) – All the Maps, Where We Stand, Where We’re Headed

All the Maps Save the One I Thought I’d Be Working On

So, in a week where nothing went quite as planned, is it a surprised that my work on the game didn’t pan out the same, either?

Let me explain.

Five days ago, RPG Maker Web tweeted the following:

I took one look at that image and the first words out of my mouth was, “No way.”

The second was, “I said no.”

The third was, “GOD DAMN IT!”

I fought for three days, then yesterday caved the rest of the way:

gs-development-077 gs-development-078

The first image is how the map look when I started.  The second is the way I’m toying with doing the maps.  It looks like I have more space, but there are issues here and there that need addressing.  I might break down and see if there’s a tutorial on the matter.

Assuming I go that route, mind.  It’s going to be more work… But I kind of like it.  It has design possibilities.

Where We Stand

While I haven’t hit the milestone I’d hoped for today, I figure I might as well talk about what comes next.

hero

Once I “finish” this section of the game (have everything playable from our Hero Hero (so wonderful redundant) setting out from the castle up to his… um… celebrated return) I have at least two more village maps to port over from the earlier game.  I then have two addition maps to draw, one a town, one an expansion on the Mysterious Elven Forest of Mystery.  All the necessary Events need to be added and check to see if they work.

This done, I need to break down and start working on spells, special attacks, weapons and items, monsters, and the characters themselves.  To do this, I need to read up on the basic mechanics of RPG Maker’s game, and that…  That’s going to hurt.  We’ll moan about that another time.

After doing those two things comes the fun phase: the Writing Phase.  I’m expanding on the various less than boss dialogue, filling out some ideas here and there, and so on.  This includes various dialogue for all the townsfolk present and accounted for (though I may hold off on at least one village for the time being).  A part of this has already been done.

After the Writing Phase ends, I have to put in all that text into the game, test it out, the works.  I might even set up battles to test those out (though I might hold that off until closer to the end, when I’ve finished everything else.)  Whatever I do, when I finish all that, it’ll be the end of the First Act.  I’m thinking about two more Acts after that.  Maybe three…  not quite sure.  No more than that, though.

A hell of a lot of work.  This whole project is probably too ambitious for one man to work on, in fact.  But it’s been fun so far.

Where We’re Heading

All of this is nice and all.  Sounds like I might actually have my act together.  However there’s one small, small area I’m not exactly certain about.  That’s the story beyond the First Act.

Here’s where I am, at least in my head.wizard

Hero and his companions succeed in claiming the Mac Griffin (whatever that is.)  After returning the borrowed row-boat and its tag-along back where they belong, he and his new best friend (not really) Wizard head back to the castle, where no doubt a grand ta-do awaits their return.  Or at least a hardy handshake and an “At-a-boy!”val

At the castle, Hero spots a certain purple haired woman.  Though she doesn’t see him, her presence makes Hero uncomfortable.  He excuses himself and heads off to points unknown, promising to return in time to see the King.  Needless to say, the time comes and he’s nowhere to be found.  Wizard has to see the King (whom he’s never met) all on his lonesome.

He heads to the throne room, where he discovers that the local government has had a major shift in power.  To be more precise, someone’s dead.  Murdered.  And guess who gets the blame.

There’s more, but that’s where I start to look a little nuts.  More so than usual.

See, I like the idea of having a random element to the game.  I don’t know if I’m ever making another one after this one, so I want the most replay ability I can put in.  Thus I’m thinking that the victim might be

  • The Chancellor
  • The King
  • Or the previously unmentioned Queen

I think I can do this branching with minimum extra work.  I’m also thinking about making the murderer a random choice, too.

Whoever dies, Wizard finds himself charged with murder and thrown in the dungeon.  After a day or so he’s visited by the Chancellor.  Unless he’s dead, then it’s the Queen.  Whoever it is, it’s revealed that an Ancient Evil is on the rise and the murder is just one sign of it.  In order to deal with it, three sacred artifacts must be found.  The Mac Griffin has a connection to these things (and Wizard does make a comment on how similar this is to what he’s just been through).  In any case, while he’s out doing this, all efforts would be made to find the real killer.

Wizard has no choice but to accept the offer.  However, there’s one sticking point: He can’t just be freed.  Too many questions would be asked.  Instead, he has to escape the dungeon on his own.

I’ve got a few more ideas on future plot, but this post grows long and I might need post boosting in future.  To tease it a little, Hero isn’t who he claims to be (no shock I know) and the actual truth is further signs that I’m too ambition.  Or nuts.  Or both.

Next time I post on Goblinstomper! it’s will be a little comic of sort, “celebrating” the thirtieth post in this series.  If all thinks go according to plans (and surely that will start soon, right?) I’ll have that done as well as a little more to talk about next week.

So far so good…

Goblinstomper! Development Diary (XXVIII) – Fiddling, Puzzle, Doors

Time slips away from us all.  I apparently thought I had more hours today than the actual 24, and didn’t get all done what I intended.  But I did get some work done.

Another Fiddling With Maps

One of the great things about writing, in general, is how fluid it can be.  Ideas that seemed great one day are replaced the next by hopefully better ones the next.  And if those better ones aren’t so hot, they can always go to the wayside.

For instance:

gs-development-070

This was the original map I had the first time I tried making a game.  Not too shabby, I thought then.

I reach this point last week, though, and I thought better.  I wanted puzzles.  Not great puzzles, maybe, but something.

My first thought was switches and doors.  Flip the right sequence of switches to open the door.  That sort of thing.

In fiddling with that, I made closes walls and doors, as mentioned in the earlier post.  I also dumped the door idea and went back to calling up a bridge, like I’d done at a MUCH earlier stage.

All of these ideas lead to a change in the map.  Like so:

gs-development-071

Not too shabby, but, as I said before, I’d lost the maze aspect to the proceedings, and I liked the maze.

Thus after what passes for a lot of thought with me, I went back to the old map.  But with some changes:

gs-development-073

I’m going to call this done for now.  I can fiddle with things until the cows come home and still want to fiddle some more.  Best to set it on the shelf and move on (though I might get some Door Events ready just to give it a better look while I test it out.)

My work here brings up two further points I’d like to discuss with you.  If for no other reason than to keep this from being two posts in a row on the same flarking area.

Puzzling Out Some Puzzles

One of the things holding me back on this part was the puzzle.  I kept thinking that it had to relate to those little matters I set up in the woods.  Needed to be switches, that sort of thing.  Only how many of these things could I make without them becoming derivative and cliché?  Which wouldn’t be long, as sequence switches are ALREADY derivative and cliché.

Just like them, is all.

Anyways, to circle back to an earlier point, I suddenly changed what this first act was about.  This was the tutorial act.  The act where I show the various features of the game, then expanded on in the later acts.

Thus inspiration came.  Go crystal:gs-development-075

The Player touched the crystal and a bridge appears.  Or a door opens.  Depending on the situation.

Not any different from a switch, you say?  Well on the next floor I set up three crystals.  Turn one off and the one next to it turns on or off, depending on what lit or not.  It’s no more original than the switches, but, again, I like it.

For the next point, allow me to draw your attention to the lower right corner of the above image.  You know what’s there?

Obviously a Door

Sure, it’s a door:

gs-development-076

This brings up an interesting little point.  Or at least it was an interesting point for me; you’re mileage might vary.

With the perspective of this game, you can’t just have doors in just any wall.  It needs to be demonstrated to the Player to be used by the Player.  Am I right or am I right?

That’s where those silly shadows on the floor come in.  Put in the right place, they say door just as surely as a doorway.

The shadow could be drawn a little smaller than that.  I considered it a bit, then rejected it.  Didn’t look right to me.

Still, it behooves me to show what the gap in the shadow means.  I was thinking of redesigning an earlier map anyways (LATER!), so I’ll no doubt do it then.  Might even have it in a few other places, just to be sure.

Not the greatest point, again, but who knows?  Maybe it’ll be vital for me to know and now I have a place to look for it.

When Life Hands You Lemons, Tell Life You Don’t Like Lemons and Hand Them Back. Unless You DO Like Lemons. In That Case the Polite Thing to Do Is Thank Life For the Gift.

I had a whole Goblinstomper! post raring to go.  Was happily writing it up in my head, getting screen shots, the works.  Only when I sat down to write the post, I learned that a vital screen shot was absent.  The only way to get said shot would be to remove all the work I’d done, and, ha ha, I love this site and all, but not that much.  So no post on that.  Suffice to say the game advances, and hopefully I’ll get something I can share with y’all tomorrow.

It might be script work, it might be game, I dunno.  It will be Goblinstomper! and it will be me moving forward.  That’s what matters about that.

This leaves me with a lot of nothing to talk about today.  As that was the worst thing to happen to me, We’re going to put February 17, 2017 in the good day file (fingers cross for the few hours remaining.)

As I vowed not to have posts up that just say I have nothing going on postwise, it behooves me to come up with something to talk about.

Thus a couple of things spring to mind:

One:  I’ve mentioned elsewhere that they’ve canceled the potential Friday the 13th reboot/remake/sequel/thing.  That same link gives you my thoughts on how a reboot etc. should go, so I won’t go into it here.

However, today the website Bloody Disgusting (such a name) posted a synopsis of the proposed film, and mein Gott have Friday the 13th fans missed a bullet.  A complete disaster, that’s what that sounded like.  You want a perfect example of over thinking what should be a very simple premise, here it is.  Three killers!  One after the other.  There’s no way there’s going to be anything close to the original series standard of characterization.  A particular bar that’s oh so very low.

Two: While looking up the link for the previous thing, I discovered that there’s going to be a new series based on Stephen King’s Castle Rock.  Sounds like it has possibilities.  Which is the only thing I can say about it, as there’s nothing else to it.

It really depends on how many King stories the series draws on.  I rather doubt any of the novels will be adapted for it.  Hopefully there’s a chance for some of the stories making it.

And that’s all I gots for today.  Sorry about that!

Goblinstomper! Development Diary (XXVII): Unnecessary Work Undone and Other Tales That Witness Madness

Unnecessary Work Undone

Let me show you something:gs-development-067

gs-switch-002Last month I talked about Switches.  Specifically I talked about my Stage Direction Switches, Switches I used to control cut scenes.

Now, as they will be used throughout the game, I figured I needed something to shut them all off, making them usable for the next cut scene.  Thus I hammered out the above Common Event.  When running, the Common Event will turn off all my switches.  This particular one covers other things, such as variables and the like.

Very nice.  Very handy.

Now let me show you what I discovered last night:gs-development-068

Bear in mind I’ve used the Control Variable window here.  A lot.  So I’ve seen these options.  A lot.

That range option?  The numbers involved?  That’s like the Variables given name.  What I call SD: A is actually Variable 2 (or, to be precise, Variable #0002)

This nice little feature is also in Control Switch flavor.

Which means I’ve done a goodly amount of work for no real reason.

In multiple projects.

Anyway, this:

gs-development-067

Now looks like this:

gs-development-069

My great triumph of the weekend.  He sighs irritably.

Moving the Plot Along (Kind of)

I made mention a few updates back that I had a cut scene made.  As it keeps you in formed of where the plot is (in its basic form, natch), I figured I’d let you in on it.

morty

The cut scene pops up the moment Our Heroes step off the row-boat at their destination, taking the Player all the way back to the church.  There, no matter what Path they’re on (for the curious, this explains that), Mortimer will be the one in the church, doing whatever he does when there when no one’s around.  Practice sermons, maybe.  Or polish something.

No matter what it is, it’s by the book.  It is his way, after all.

val

Only a moment is spent setting up the scene.  Then into the church comes a purple haired young woman.  It’s our last playable character, Val.

Val is there to borrow the church’s row-boat.  The very same boat our Heroes have taken.  Learning this doesn’t please her.  But that’s nothing compared to learning a certain red-headed Goblinstomper was the one who claimed the boat.

Her response to this is a rather interesting “Not again!”

And that’s the scene as it stands today.

Screaming At the Screen

And now back to impotent rage.

But first!  Check this out:

gs-development-070

This is the first floor of the Genruitow Tower, where our Heroes were head for.  Or, rather, it was.  Originally.  These days I’m all about the Puzzles, and I felt I needed some space to puzzle things out.

So today I did a quick reworking of the floor.  Came up with this:

gs-development-071

I’m torn.  This is nice.  Symmetrical.  Functions real well.  But the other one is a maze and I love me some mazes.

We might go back.  Nothing’s keeping me from going back.  I’d just need to think through the puzzles first.

But I did mention impotent rage.  Let’s start heading in that unpleasant direction.

 You might notice that these rooms actually look like rooms.  Unlike the church, which has open areas at the top, everything’s closed off.  Like this:

Now the reason for the open areas before was… hang on, let me quote myself from before:

 The rooms have no doors, nor are they really enclosed like rooms tend to be.  That’s because RPGMaker keeps the Player from walking through walls.  All walls.  No matter what.  So if I have a door in a wall, it’s going to impossible for the Player to walk into the room.  There are workarounds (at least two that I know of), but for this quick project (that’s taking all month) I’m not worried about it.

Well, as I was noodling out the tower’s puzzles, I considered doing something with doors.  The particular doors I liked didn’t match the square shape I was going to have to use.  And one thing lead to another, and I ended up creating tiles.  This tiles match up with the ones the map already has in place (call them Wall Tiles) but are placed game-wise over the actors.  Cut-and-paste job, mostly, but the result… oh, the result!:

gs-development-072

Look at that little blue hat poking up back there!  Like someone’s behind a wall or something.  Heh heh!  This is great!  Why didn’t I do this before!  Lemme work on the church nexT!

Do the exact same steps, and presto changeo, I’m ready to test.

Where I find the colors of the new tile set don’t match the colors of the original Wall Tiles of the Church.  At all.

Clear noticeable difference.

Oh yeah.  That’s why.

No matter what I try, the colors don’t match.

Impotent rage time!  Whoo hoo!  Haven’t felt that since…  Five minutes ago!

I might have anger issues.

Typing this out, I’ve thought of a possible solution to the problem.  I’m going to check it out tomorrow.  After I’ve cooled a little.

What’s Sissy Doing?

Finally, the other day I wrote a dinky little essay over at the sister site on how a Friday the 13th reboot/remake should be handled.  It’s real short, because it’s a very basic idea.

And no, I didn’t simply say “There shouldn’t be one.”

But now I wish I had.

Goblinstomper! Development Diary (XXVI) – Grand Opening

Twenty six installments in seems like a weird place to put an opening, but that’s how it is.  Today I wrote up (in semi screenplay fashion) the opening scenes of the game.  I’m not putting it in the game quite yet–want to be a little further along before doing that–but the moment came to mind the other day and I wanted to make sure I had it down and ready for when the right time came.

For the record, here is how the scene now goes:gs-development-045

Below, then, is the full deal:


BLACK SCREEN

All the Player sees initially are the following words:

???

This is it! (beat) Time to take my destiny in my own hands!

FADE IN:

EXT. CASTLE GENRIST – DAY

A red-headed young man hurries towards the castle’s main gate. Two guards stand beside the gate; one of which steps to block his way.

CASTLE GUARD

Hey you can’t just…

(shocked realization)

Wait! Are you… the Goblinstomper?

???

You know it!

CASTLE GUARD

Thank heavens! You’re expected in the throne room.

GOBLINSTOMPER

Where else would it be?

FADE OUT

FADE IN:

INT. CASTLE GENRIST THRONE ROOM – DAY

Typical noon day. KING GENRIST sits upon his throne, sleeping. Meanwhile CHANCELLOR SYCHO stands at the top of the stairs, dealing with the day’s business.

The GOBLINSTOMPER strides through the room confident he’s being hired for something earthshaking. The GUARDS pay him no heed, as if nothing interesting is going on.

CHANCELLOR SYCHO

Welcome, welcome, mighty Goblinstomper. Your promptness

does you credit.

GOBLINSTOMPER

Thank you, Kingy!

CHANCELLOR SYCHO

(A beat process that)

There seems to be a small, but most understandable,

misunderstanding. I am Chancellor Sycho, ever so

humble servant to our most royal Majesty.

GOBLINSTOMPER

Whatevski! I heard someone’s got the squeeze on you guys

tighter than a boa constrictor coming off a fast! I’m the

man who can get you out!

CHANCELLOR SYCHO

Hmm. Tell me, are you…

Here the Player will be able to change the ACTOR’S NAME. From here, though, it is assumed HERO was chosen.

CHANCELLOR SYCHO

…Hero? From the town of Hilrid?

HERO

You know it!

CHANCELLOR SYCHO

And you… somehow beat seven Goblin Warriors all on

your lonesome.

HERO

How I became the Goblinstomper! I stomped them good!

CHANCELLOR SYCHO

I’m sure. What his Majesty has in mind for you, though,

won’t be so strenuous.

HERO

Lay it on me!

CHANCELLOR SYCHO

He needs you to head to Genruitow Tower.

HERO

(exclamation)

Hey, that’s south of my home town!

CHANCELLOR SYCHO

Yes, I know. The King needs you to go there and reclaim

the medallion known as the Mac Griffin. You are to claim

it and return as soon as possible.

HERO

Zoundsabound! I never thought I’d be heading back east

so soon! (beat) Oh well!

Hero turns and starts back the way he came in. Chancellor Sycho stops him midway, puzzled.

CHANCELLOR SYCHO

Don’t you want to know what the Mac 

Griffin is? Why we want it? Aren’t

you even curious about why we want

it?

HERO

(turns towards throne)

Not really! What Kingy wants is what Kingy gets!

Oh, and I’ll take standard Hero rates!  Half the

kingdom, the hand of a Princess, or something like

that!

(turns away)

Keep hope alive until my return!

Hero leaves. The moment he’s gone:

CHANCELLOR SYCHO

What a moron. I’d heard rumors, but I had no idea…

Behind him, King Genrist wakes.

KING GENRIST

Huh, wha–

(beat)

Oh there you are, Sycho. Did I miss anything?

CHANCELLOR SYCHO

Nothing of import, your Majesty.

FADE OUT.

KING GENRIST

Good. I hate missing out.

FADE IN:

EXT. CASTLE GENRIST – DAY

Hero at the front gate again, rather pleased with himself.

HERO

Well. Guess I had better start heading back east.

Control of Hero goes to the Player.


On the one hand I fear it’s too long.  On the other, I think it’s pretty boss.  It does the job of characterizing the speakers and it gives the Player everything needed to advance the game.  I’m not certain where I could prune it even if I wanted to.

Anyways, it’s done, it’s on the Devil Box (and here) and can rested in the old bean for a while as I move on to other matters.

So What’s Up With Mr. Waters This February?

My track record for planning things out is abysmal.  I’ll often say I’m going to do something, only not to follow through.  Sometimes with cause, sometimes… less so.

Let’s see if I can change that.

Above and beyond posting something every day, I plan to do the following:

  • I’m still working on Goblinstomper.  I’ve cut back with Mom in the hospital (the heart really isn’t in it) but it hasn’t really left my thoughts.  I don’t want to stop out right, either, as that’s the way my projects tend to die.  So my intent is at least one progress post every weekend.  Saturday, maybe.  I reserve the right to post any time on the matter for any reason.  Oh, and the thirtieth post on the subject will be a joke post.  I think we can all guess why.
  • I’m considering building an anthology of sorts here on site, collecting my best stories and maybe even my… ugh… poems.  It’ll have its own page at the top of this site, and serve as a sort of sampling of my writing talents (or lack thereof (except my best stories are really, really quite adequate, so I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of there.))
  • I want to watch at the very least one movie this month and do a review for it over at the Sister Site.  So there might be a few “ads” for that.  I might “take a few days off” to do a Whale or some such (expect snark on comic art and/or more babbling about Power Girl.)
  • I’m also working on novel outlines this month.  If I learned anything from last NaNoWriMo (hell, the last eleven NaNos) is that I’m not a pantser.  I can’t come up with a story on the fly.  I need some structure, some place to hold up the proverbial coat and hat.  I’ve been fiddling with a process involving the ideas and advice of some of the better writers out there.  It helped a little with last year’s NaNo (though not enough) and hopefully it’ll put me closer to sealing the deal.  I intend to have three outlines written by the end of this month, and I figure I can maybe make some entertaining posts out of the process.
  • Here’s where I prove I’m insane.  I said three outlines, I have a purpose for them already.  One will be for the NaNoWriMo in November; another will be for the NaNoWriMo they have in July (Camp NaNoWriMo).  The third (and here’s where I step into the land of crazed) is an attempt at writing a novel in three days.  60,ooo words, three days, from a guy who thinks a 2,000 word day is just awesome.  It’ ain’t happening, you know it, I know it, but I’m going to try it anyways.  If I don’t hit three days, I’ll try to finish in a week.  Then two weeks.  Or some slightly more rational amount of time.
  • There will be no posts saying I’m not posting that day.  If I have something to say (even if it’s minor), I’m going to say it.  Otherwise I won’t.  A daily schedule only helps if I actually do my job.  Shocking thought, there, I know.

That’s the plan.  Whether or not any of it comes to plan or I explode or something, I can’t say.  As a deucedly handsome fellow once said “Here’s to hoping that something fun develops.”

This February and beyond.

Real World Woes

Last night my Mother went into the hospital.  This is the third time we’ve done this, the last time being last month.  Each time its been for an infection, one she’s not shaking very well.  A part of this might be her age, a part might be other problems she’s been having.  I don’t want to get into that.

This time we got here in far earlier than the last couple of times.  She’s on the antibiotic that quelled the problem last time, things look positive.

Except I’m worst case scenarioing every possible outcome like mad in my head.

Something I do without reason quite enough, thanks.  That there may be cause for alarm just gives it that more of a “DO NOT WANT” favor.

With this mind-set, I’m not sure I can blog the way I’d like to blog.  The funny does not come, and I’d like these to be reasonably funny.

The trouble is, this month I’ve tried to get into the habit of posting at least once a day.  Stopping isn’t conducive to that.  On this, just because my silly brain keeps harping on the negative, doesn’t mean the negative will come.

In fact, its track record have been quite poor and you’d think it would realize this and stop by now.  But.  No.

So until I can resume posting on Goblinstomper the way I want to post, I’m not doing any write ups for it.  I’m still working on the game (I’ve been fiddling with puzzles for the ruins today).  I’m just not talking about it.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.  If not… I’ll deal.  Not like I’ve got a choice in the matter, right?