Veteran’s Day: 2017

 

This year I decided to do something a little different to honor Veteran’s Day. My long-time followers (hi both of you!) might already know that I generally honor Veteran’s Day with humor; I figured a playful little set of Soldier: 76 Play of the Games from Overwatch would be a fun way to celebrate this year.

And as always, my fellows who are serving, have served, and may serve in the future: There is no greater honor than knowing you are out there on watch.

Also, GameJutsu starts, in earnest, on Monday the 13th with Episode 2.  Expect weekly releases, every Monday at 0730 hours — err, that’s 7:30am for you civvies.

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Game Making Blooper: Nasud’s Bloody Scooting

I mentioned it on our Facebook page, but in case you don’t follow us on there here’s the story…

You see, I’d just wanted to give everyone an idea of how making games works sometimes.
One of the changes we’ve made for Monster: DC is a minor visual one, but it was important to us.
After the final boss battle we had wanted the boss to wander away from the battle wounded, leaving a trail of blood behind him. But we hadn’t had enough time to get the blood trail to work properly before the original release date.
We’ve implemented it now for the Director’s Cut, but when we were doing it I’d had some trouble getting it to work right.
So, I made an empty chamber to test the feature in. This was attempt #8, and it gave us the information we needed to make things work. However it had its own humorous bug to tweak out, too.

Just one of the many implementations we’ve had to debug.

~RCS

Game Release: A Desperate Mother’s Love

As I’ve been mentioning on social media for a while now, we have submitted a game for the IGMC 2015 contest.  The game is a prequel to the one we released for the WAG Challenge, In Over Their Heads.  BTW, you can watch about a minute of the opening in a Let’s Play style video, being played by a Jupiter Hadley.

The IGMC game is called A Desperate Mother’s Love.  The story follows Roy, the detective from In Over Their Heads, earlier in his career when he is hired by a Hispanic woman to recover her kidnapped daughter.  A pretty simple job, just trade the ransom money for the girl.  But there’s a catch!  The mother borrowed the money from the mafia and can’t pay it back, so Roy has to get the girl…then track the kidnapper and get back the money.

Roy decides to hire some help, but in 1930 USA the only people he can find willing to work for the limited pay he’s offering is an unemployed university graduate, Angie, and a down-on-her-luck former socialite, Vonnie.  Roy quickly begins to realize that there’s more to the story than he’s being told.

With two endings an a few branching decisions in between, there’s some replay value, just like In Over Their Heads.  The game’s available for download from the contest site that I’ll link to again, for good measure, and of course it’s available for free.

A couple of our favorite voice actors returned to help out on this project, Cary and Sara, whom you may remember as Yachiro and the Narrator from the Audio Trailer for the first story in Escort.

If you feel up to it, go to the contest page and give us a vote (requires registering an account), play the game a bit, and comment on it a bit.

ADML-Title

~RCS

BTW, the anniversary was good.  We went for a little dinner cruise on the river.  The food was good, the sights were see-worthy (haha, get it?), and the company was spectacular!

In Over Their Heads Released For Wag Challenge!

Remember all the comments we made about the Wag Challenge this past month?  Well we entered it and are awaiting the judging process now.  If you’re interested in seeing what we managed to accomplish in a month’s time of game-making, take a gander on Itch.io right here.  The game is called In Over Their Heads.

NoirTitleScreen

The game is a bit of a 1930s detective story and plays about 10-20 minutes.  There are 4 branches through the game that culminate in one of two different endings; a good ending and a bad one.  Don’t worry, if you get the bad one the ending credits have a subtle (subtle like a hammer to the skull) clue about how to get the better ending.

Hope you folks enjoy it!

~RCS

A Wild Trailer Appears!

I made a pretty rough version of a trailer for Monster: Director’s Cut.  And I figured that since I haven’t said much about it on the site, here, (been talking about it pretty regularly on our Facebook page) I’d put the trailer up here.

Basically it is the original game, Monster.  But it’s going to be fully voiced, the combat system will have a few adjustments, and we’re planning to put Developer’s Commentary into it, in case you’ve ever been curious as to what we do.

So, without further ado…here’s the trailer:

~RCS

Gaming 4 Charity With Play2Save!

Hey, just wanted to let everyone know that a couple of my buddies are doing a 24 hour marathon of games for charity.  They started at 8am today and will play through to 8am tomorrow.  If you’re interested in donating to the cause of the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, then you can stop by their charity gaming site; their goal is $1,000.

Or if you just want to check it out and watch them play games (maybe donate while you’re there, of course) you can watch them play an assortment of games from Payday 2, Civilization 5, Titan Fall, and whatever else…you can stop by their twitch page to watch them, live.  I’m sure if you want to watch them play something for a bit a little bit of cash their way would get your point across, too.

~RCS

Have You Ever Heard of…Peter Hollens?

Aaand it’s been a while.  I blame that on three things…

1. I was on vacation for a while.  I intended to get a bunch of work done, but really just became background vegetation in the story of my own life for a week.

2. I was doing a bunch of research and such for my latest WIP which I hope to have finished by October 25 (it is a sentimental deadline because the timing of the story would be October 25th, if it was set in the modern-day).

3. And I’ve been sick for about a week, too.  Along with my wife, who was supposed to be caring for my wussy-ass, but got even sicker than me and my corpse had to take care of her.

You can read all three of those points in simpler terms, too, if you have an issue with your attention span:

1. I’m a…

2. Lazy…

3. Douche!

What? Nine Thousand?!

Seriously, I’m surprised I had 9 views in 2012.  I’m getting near 50,000 views.  Who are you people?

Soo…I figured my last few posts before dying and disappearing from the face of the earth were about the games we’ve made (more behind the scenes stuff from Dynasty Heroes is coming; and I believed I’ve figured out my audio issue, too) and a few political things.  So today it’s going to be some nonsensical fan-girling.  Err, in my case fan-boying. If you aren’t familiar with Peter Hollens, take a little trip over to his YouTube Channel or to one of the numerous places that sell his songs so you can buy them all.  He does A Capella covers, and a few covers with other singers and instrumentalists, and even has an original song or two (Sleepwalking is one of my favorite songs of all time).  His new album is available for pre-order now.  I’m a huge fan of his.

Not like, this is on my wall with lipstick imprints kind of fan. I just listen to his music almost non-stop.

Not like, this is on my wall with lipstick imprints kind of fan. I just listen to his music almost non-stop.

Well I’m sure you also know, if you’ve followed me for any real period of time, that I am also a huge fan of the game Mount&Blade.  And I was playing one of the mods for Mount&Blade: Warband, called 1257AD.  As you can imagine it’s based in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Minor during the year 1257.  I was just screwing around and I wound up hitting the randomize button on the character face-creation screen.  I wound up with a character that looks almost disturbingly like a sour-faced version of Peter Hollens.

I have named him Sir Peter of Hollensberg.

I have named him Sir Peter of Hollensberg.

Hair color’s a little off, and his nose might be a bit too wide.  But overall I think it’s rather likeable to him.  I know he’s a gamer, too, I wonder if he’s ever played Mount&Blade?  If he has, I wonder if he’s found this particular arrangement of facial choices and played as himself?  If you’d like a side-by-side comparison, I scruffed Sir Peter up a bit…

The hardest part was trying to get him to look in the same direction, actually.

The hardest part was trying to get him to look in the same direction, actually.

And I’m sure we all remember the video he made for the cover he did of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now.

Unfortunately there aren't any sweatband items in the game.

Unfortunately there aren’t any sweatband items in the game.

Here he is in full armor, Sir Peter of Hollensberg the Earl of St. Ives!

Peter of Hollensberg

I’m not a nerd; I’m a level 12 A Capella Singer!

And here he is shirtless with his sword in his hands.

Which we all want to see!

Which we all want to see!  Err…wait, what did I just say?

So I’ve been playing as Peter Hollens, I guess.  And Sir Hollens, should you ever find this post…your digital self has a message for you…

Like as in..."Do a legit cover of Carry On My Wayward Son." I can only assume.

Like as in…”Do a legit cover of Carry On My Wayward Son.” I can only assume.

~RCS

Dynasty Heroes Developer Commentary Part 3 Is Up!

Like the title suggests, part 3 of our developer commentary is up.  Check it out…

~RCS

Nic3Ntertainment Presents: Monster!

Well, I had hoped to get the first video of Monster’s Developer Commentary up and viewable before we released the game, but you fine folks have been waiting long enough.  And I figured I’m not going to get anything accomplished this week because of my birthday, anyway (and the first legitimate day off I’ve had in about a month, no less), so I figured I’d just go ahead and give Monster a birthday release.

MoraTitle

Monster is the story of a fourteen-year-old girl, Mora, who was abandoned by her abusive father at the age of ten.  She is a Summoner, a person with the ability to reach into the spirit realm and manifest creatures of mythology, such as Minotaurs, Genies, Nymphs, and Dryads, to do her bidding.

When the century-long peace on her home continent shatters with the western kingdom of Zapad invading Mora’s home kingdom of Stredni, Mora realizes that her status as a Summoner, which has made her an outcast her entire life, will now make her a beloved hero!  She gathers up a crew of powerful creatures and heads out to stop the invasion and put an end to Zapad’s plans for war.

But with every corpse she casually passes by, she gets one step closer to the truth.  In the end you, the player, must decide who or what really is a Monster.

 

It’s free, so click on the tab at the top of page labeled Monster, or just click on the title image in this post to go to GameJolt and download it.  It’s a JRPG-style game filled with humor, sorrow, loss, and it has a female protagonist to boot.

Monster is a game about a young woman, created by a young woman (my wife, Mimi).  So give it a try and enjoy the story, the fully voiced scenes in the last half of the game, and play through to the ending.

Thanks for coming, and thanks for playing!

~Rich

Game Dev: Character Development for Parody

Now that Dynasty Heroes has been released I figured I’d do another of these Game Development posts.  This time we’ll be talking about some of the things I touched on in my Developer Commentary videos on YouTube.  One of the things that we worked on a lot for this project was the character development.  As with any parody, we were working with established characters, in this case from Luo Guanzhong’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo Yanyi).

Dealing with any parody of RTK, though, is a pro/con situation because there are already so many different takes on the original.  Look at our main character, Xuande, and all of his different characterizations, alone:

Picture based on the original story:

Xuande, painted during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

Xuande, painted during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

For reference, this is what we went with for Xuande:

Xuande-1

So…how did we get from the Tang dynasty painting to Dynasty Heroes’ version of Xuande?

Well, the first thing we had to do was simplify the names.  You see, in China everyone has a thousand and one frickin’ names!  Our main character’s real name is 劉備.  But unless you actually read Traditional Chinese characters, that means nothing to you.  So you translate it to English, called Romanization; and you’ve got a dozen different ways to Romanize the name.  Liu Pei, Lou Pei, Liu Bei, etc.  We always go with the Hanyu Pinyin style, by the way.  So that would be Liu Bei, and since Asian cultures put the family name first, that equates to Bei of the Liu family.

But Liu Bei also several other names; his courtesy name is Liu Xuande, or just Xuande.  His posthumous name was Zhaolie.  As king he was known by his title, Hanzhong-wang (King of Hanzhong), his posthumous title was Shuhan Zhaolie Huangdi (Zhaolie, the Emperor of Shu-Han), or even by the title of Xianzhu (First Sovereign).

So as you can see, it can get kind of difficult in remembering even who you’re writing.  So our first step was to simplify the names.  We decided everyone would be known by their Courtesy Names.  This simplified the names to a single name, instead of two names for each character, and gave a bit more room for uniqueness.  You figure that even Mimi can’t always remember the difference between Xiahou Dun and Xiahou Yuan, but Yuanrang and Miaocai are a lot easier to tell apart.

With all the names figured out we then had to determine what influences we would parody and how we would turn the character into our own.  We’ve been talking about Xuande, so let’s continue to look at his progress.  There are several versions we could draw from…

LiuBeis

Originally the story began as a straight, legitimate story, but after the script was started we decided to switch everything to a parody.  As a result we decided that somebody in the parody had to not be in on the joke; that was Xuande.  He was written to specifically be the straight man of the joke.  So we decided that making him physically look out of place would be funny, so we decided to dress him anachronistically by putting him in Heian era Japanese clothing.  This parodies two things:

1. The fact that a lot of Americans don’t realize that Japan and China have different cultures.

2. The fact that the straight man is so out of place in the story of the joke, so he’s incredibly out of place in his clothing.  He lives around 200, China; his clothes come from around 900, Japan.

Another point we took was that KOEI has been basing their renditions of Xuande (Liu Bei) on the younger years of his life, lately, making him more youthful and androgynous.  So we made him a bishy pretty-boy.  We also wanted him to have kind of an annoyed look.  And, ultimately, we wind up with this…

Xuande

~RCS

BTW, Developer Commentary Video Part 2 is up, as well.

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