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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


Now looks like this:


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.


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.


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:


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:


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!:


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:


All the Player sees initially are the following words:


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



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.


Hey you can’t just…

(shocked realization)

Wait! Are you… the Goblinstomper?


You know it!


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


Where else would it be?




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.


Welcome, welcome, mighty Goblinstomper. Your promptness

does you credit.


Thank you, Kingy!


(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.


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!


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.


…Hero? From the town of Hilrid?


You know it!


And you… somehow beat seven Goblin Warriors all on

your lonesome.


How I became the Goblinstomper! I stomped them good!


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

won’t be so strenuous.


Lay it on me!


He needs you to head to Genruitow Tower.



Hey, that’s south of my home town!


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.


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.


Don’t you want to know what the Mac 

Griffin is? Why we want it? Aren’t

you even curious about why we want



(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


(turns away)

Keep hope alive until my return!

Hero leaves. The moment he’s gone:


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

Behind him, King Genrist wakes.


Huh, wha–


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


Nothing of import, your Majesty.



Good. I hate missing out.



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


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?

Goblinstomper! Development Diary (XXIII): Going to Church

I made mention of this in passing yesterday, but it doesn’t hurt to go over it again (if only for Future Cullen when he randomly surfs his own blog).  During the kerfuffle in the Mysterious Elven Forest of Mystery, the story broke into two strands.  We have a little flow chart made demonstrating this:


Holy crap.  I screwed that up.  How the hell did I not notice I screwed that up?  Everything I’ve done has had it that meeting Nilbog puts her in the party.  So the flowchart should be like this:


You know what?  It’s Brother Eric’s fault.  If he’d been reading this series, he’d have caught it and I’d have corrected it before now.


That nonsense aside, I was tempted to go back to the post the flowchart first appeared in and correct things, except…

Wait a second.  We’ve been in the port section for two weeks?  All our two idiots have to do is get a row-boat?  How in the name of Robert Jordan and George R. R. Martin does that take two weeks to do?

Jiminy Crickets.  We’re going to blame that on Eric, too.

Anyways, while I don’t mind editing spelling and grammatical errors, and the occasional rewriting to clarify a point (and finish sentence fragments),  I think keeping a record of the gaffes big and small on this somewhat important.  Don’t ask me why.

Thus the little error stays.

Digressions done (ha, like I’ll stop digressing) the point is we have two possible plot lines.  One of them, the “True” one, has our heroes meeting Nilbog and (eventually) traveling with her.  The other one has them meeting and (eventually) traveling with Morty the priest.

I bring this point up because when designing this next part, this becomes a little more important.

Over three hundred words in and I finally got that point made.  Geez I’m bloviating today.

Let’s talk about where our heroes find their row-boat.  In a church, of course:


I’m not going to stick it in this post (it’s already going to be image heavy as is), but if you recall the previous looks at this town, you’ll not remember this building.  It’s brand new to the map and I kinda like its looks.

Bragging about it isn’t why I want to show you this, though.  Unlike a lot of maps for this part of the game, I don’t have a church map made up.  Thus today is going to be spent making that particular map.

In doing so, I want a basic shape that follow the one that appears above.  It shouldn’t be an exact match, but close enough to pass.

Now, I’m not going to start completely from scratch.  I have a map made for the local inn:


I figure that’s about the right size for a church.  I want to keep the walls, as it gives a sense of familiarity with the rest of the town.  Everything else must go.  On this I want to move the entrance to the center of the map.

This is the result:gs-development-064

Nice place.  Lots of space.

For this church I need a main place to worship.  I also want two bedrooms, as two people live here.  I also want to change the flooring to give it a more churchy feel.

Thus I drew this:


That done, it’s time to decorate.  We need an alter, a place for people to sit, as well as furniture for the bedrooms.

With that done, the place looks like this:gs-development-066

All this done, there are a few issues that I noticed.  Maybe you’ve noticed too, maybe these aren’t that big a deal.  However:

  1. 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.
  2. There aren’t enough seats there for the entire town.  I can add-on the sides or shrink the foyer a tad.  Or I can make the church a wee but larger.  Options a plenty.  I’m not doing any of them (want to move on quick), so this will do for now.
  3. The more I think about it, the more the church is missing something.  Like a kitchen for the resident priest and his assistant.  And toilets.  A simple staircase will fix this, but, again, that’s for another time.

Hopefully writing that down means I’m going to remember it.  At least this post will act as a reminder.

Assuming I ever read it again after hitting “post”.  Ha.  Ha.  Ha.

Next on the schedule is putting in the events.  This I haven’t done yet, but they’ll go something like this:


For the “False” Path: When our Heroes arrive at the church, they find the place empty, save for the priest’s assistant.  This would be Leaf.

Leaf is a little nervous (as well as a little shy) and doesn’t want to screw up (having had plenty of practice doing the wrong thing before hand).  The church’s row-boat costs money, after all, and she doesn’t want it lost or damage.  So she decides to go with the two to their destination to make sure nothing bad happens.

mortyFor the “True” Path: When our Heroes arrive at the church, they find not only Leaf in attendance, but the town’s priest as well.  This would be our boy Mortimer, or as he’s more commonly called By-The-Book Morty.

Speaking of the book, the book says that church property can’t be just handed out to lay people.  Of course he wants to help the King, it isn’t that.  However the rules are the rules.

Thus someone from the church must go with the row-boat.  He assigns Leaf the task, as he can’t leave the town at that time.

In either case, the heroes get the row-boat and, as an added benefit, a character that can cast Healing magic.

Having multiple paths like this complicates matters.  My intent is when this pops up (and I want it to pop up) I handle it in a way that a.) makes sense and b.) is relatively small and simple to carry out.

With the row-boat, the three Heroes move on to the final stage of their task: the Mac Griffin Ruins.gs-development-checklist-003

Freaking FINALLY!

Goblinstomper! Development Diary (XXII): The Story So Far


Okay, I now have villagers, doors, and various other things in the port.  I can walk about the place, even enter a store or two.  No problems with any of the links.  Nothing is boss, but in this case nothing needs to be.

Tomorrow I move to the next step: the gaining of a row-boat.

Before that, though, I thought a small refresher on how the plot now runs.  This is (more or less) direct from my Scrivener notes and, as everything here, can change at any time.


Summoned by the King, Hero the Goblinstomper arrives in the Throne Room right on time, like a good Hero should. Waiting for him is the Kingdom’s Chancellor, Sycho, who has taken charge of the meeting.  Behind him the king dozes, as is his wont.

Sycho tells the Goblinstomper that the King wants the return of the Mac Griffin (formerly the Mac Gruff’in), a statue of historic relevance supposedly in the dangerous Mac Griffin Ruins to the east. Countless dangers stand between Hero and his goal (okay, that might be hyperbole), but that doesn’t matter.  A true Hero like the Goblinstomper stops at nothing!  Just another notch on his belt.

Hero leaves.  As he does, the King wakes briefly and asks what has been going on. Sycho tells his Majesty that nothing of import has happened, which is an odd response if the King really wants the Mac Griffin.

Unaware of this, Hero finds his travels take him through the Mysterious Elven Forest of Mystery.  Typically a nice little tourist destination (so long as you stay on the path), he expects quick passage to his destination.  This, though, is not to be.

Why?  Well, every month the local guard, one Mac Leftun, take his partner Archie Wrightward’s wages to him through the forest.  And for at least three months, each time he did this, the local bandit the Green Elf popped out with her Goblin crew and robbed Mac.  It’s happened so often that Archie has gone on strike, refusing to let anyone through his end of the trail until either someone deals with the Green Elf or he gets his wages.


Arriving just ahead of Hero, though, is a Wizard named Wizard.  Wizard, too, wants to head to the Mac Griffin Ruins, but not to remove the statue.  He needs to study it in its natural environment as part of his studies.   Had he his druthers, he’d just wait until the path opens up again, but the combind effort of Mac and Hero convinces him to at least enter the forest and look for the Green Elf.

Currently there’s a mild fork in the plot.  The Player can, in theory, work up enough money to pay Archie and get access to the port.  This is Wizard’s preferred means of doing the job, as it seems more expedient (not to mention safer) than looking for a known criminal in said criminal’s home turf.  The “True” path, however, has Hero and Wizard explore the forest and battle a massive Goblin Guard.  This Guard, named Wilbur, is the Goblin Hero claims to have stomped.  Thing is, while Wilbur doesn’t quite remember the incident, he’s fairly certain that the Warrior who beat him had purple hair and not red.

nilbogIn any case, the two beat Wilbur and move on to next face the Green Elf.  She is perfectly willing to fight both of them… right up until she catches sight of Wizard, whom she fails instantly in lust with.  After a quick (and patently false) attempt to play victim, she gathers up Wilbur and flees the scene.

Job done, the two continue to the port town.  On the way, Wizard learns that Hero is also heading to Mac Griffin Ruins, and decides (reluctantly) that it’s better to stay in each other’s company.

At port, the two learn no ships sail to that part of the kingdom.  They will have to take a row-boat instead, and the only row-boat still in town belongs to the local church.

Which is where we pick things up tomorrow.  Also tomorrow, I draw the inside of a church.  It’ll be fun!

I think.