NanoGenesis Proof-of-Concept Demo Releases

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Good news, everyone… You’re now reading the rest of this post in Professor Farnsworth’s voice.  Which is oddly fitting, seeing as how the core of the NanoGenesis, a survival horror first-person shooter, story revolves around a rather astounding bit of mad scientist crazy.

This is the first release of the proof-of-concept demo for NanoGenesis.  It was assembled over the course of about three weeks and serves as an introduction to the style and direction of the game at large.  It’s too soon to even think of a possible release date for the full game, but daily progress is being made.

You can download NanoGenesis here.  To play the game requires the installation of Steam and the free Source SDK Base 2013 Singleplayer.

Installation instructions:

  • Download the Source SDK Base 2013 Singleplayer
  • Download NanoGenesis
  • Extract the contained NG13 folder into your SourceMods folder (probably C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steamapps\Sourcemods)
  • Restart Steam

At this point, NanoGenesis should show up in your Steam games library under the title of “NanoGenesis PoC Demo.”

Common problems:

  • Game does not show up in your Steam library:  This is usually caused by an improperly-located folder, or a failure to restart Steam completely after installation.  First, make sure your “Steam\SteamApps\SourceMods” folder contains the folder NG13, and that folder contains such things as “bin,” “cfg,” and “maps.”  If it doesn’t, and instead contains another folder named NG13, simply cut the second NG13 folder and paste it over top of the first one, so the game content itself is in the folder “Steam\SteamApps\SourceMods\NG13″ folder.  Second, open up the Steam browser, go to the Steam menu, and hit Exit.  Wait for it to close out entirely (usually a few minutes), then open it up again.
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An Update!

Welcome, gentle viewers dear readers,

It’s been quite a long time since this was updated, hasn’t it?  I’m Henry Dorsett, lead programmer and VP of technology (prioritized in that order).  For the past few months, I’ve also been acting head of Public Relations.  This is partially because of a dramatic restructuring of personnel, and partly because…  Well, it was between Spartan and I, and I figured that if I took it, I could safely keep anything from happening.

So nothing happened, at least on the website front.  We took out the shoddily-designed website our old PR-boss had coded (seriously, that thing made me sad), and just let everything sit while we worked behind the scenes on our projects.  And work we have…

First on the list is “Project X,” officially titled Academy Daze, which has shifted from a VN to a 3rd-person 3D RPG.  Save the day!  Get the girl!  Survive a virtual military academy!  It’s fun for all!

Next is NanoGenesis, a survival-horror puzzle-solver that takes place on a (rather massive) derelict spaceship out in the middle of nowhere.  You are tasked with surviving the ship as things fall apart around you, all the while trying to make it to the bridge to gain access to the Captain’s Yacht and escape to safety.  Meanwhile, you navigate the perils of a spaceship which is collapsing, enemies of unknown origin, and the need to help (or hinder) the only other survivor you can contact – but only by radio.

Finally, we have Project Ghost, which is, in simplest terms, a hacking and recovery-console simulator.  You play a hacker-for-hire (as he likes to think of himself) who wakes up one morning to a dead computer.  You boot up the recovery console, rejigger it to boot your operating system, and…  Well, nothing’s ever that easy, right?

Most importantly, I’d like to take this time to introduce our new head of PR, Archon.  You may ask, why am I writing this if we have a new head of PR?  The answer is simple.  He’s so new, he hasn’t been fully briefed on the projects.  Really, only two people in our organization know all the details to our projects, and that’s because Spartan’s the boss, and I’m the guy in charge of making everything come together.  HOWEVER, now we have an official head of PR, who isn’t just taking the job so we don’t actually have anyone doing it, so everyone’s going to be better informed.  Because I am a terrible PR guy, and very thankful to no longer be doing it, in whatever small capacity that I was.

So, welcome to Archon, who will be taking over the Public Relations department.  More updates to come.

Diamanda Hagan reference

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Release Party!

As you all well know by now, I’m not horribly good about updating this particular Blog. I’ve been trying to not bother people with non-updates, and frankly, it’s not going very well.

So… Today (well in advance of the planned Friday update), I have some all-new fun for my three loyal readers:

Polymorphic Games has released a new game!

It is my honor and privilege to present to you…

_insert drumroll.wav here…_

The first-ever installment of Holiday Hijinks!

Come one, come all, to the greatest Haunted House ever!

Well, maybe not so much.

Nick and the gang have gone an a tour through the world’s worst House of Horrors– praying the whole way that they can get their money back. At the end, they find the single best special effect in the place…

Meanwhile, on the other side of somewhere…

Erin and Jack have come to investigate a house with a ghost infestation– or at least that’s what the townsfolk think. What perils await them in their quest for supernatural glory and profit?


Join us, as we follow along these two groups of innocent youngsters while they discover for themselves the hidden secrets of…

The House on Haunted Hill

We hope you’ll enjoy playing it as much as we enjoyed making it.

You can download it from Polymorphic’s website: http://www.polymorphicgames.com/?q=node/35

Just pick your favorite flavor, and enjoy.

Notice: This game is made with all-new materials, and does not consist a choking hazard. We cannot accept responsibility for lack of a sense of humor, surprise installation of the same, milk/soda/booze in monitor/computer/keyboard, or death by uproarious laughter. You have been warned.

Disclaimer: No butlers or otherworldly creatures, intelligent or not, were harmed in the making of this entertainment. Except maybe that one guy. But he had it coming.

This game and its assets are copyright 2012 Polymorphic Games. Download at will, but do be kind and not reuse the assets. We worked very hard on those, and we might get… Cross.

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Several months later…

Okay, it seems that I’ve been lazing off again, and managed to be more busy that I should be getting other things done instead of keeping you all posted. I really should make more of an effort to keep that happening…

Anyway, I’d like to offer my three readers an apology, and a special thank you for trying to muddle through while the Studio works. A couple of worthy updates to share, and I’ll let you get back to what you were doing. From this point forward, I’m going to try and update once a week, on Friday or Caturday (most likely Caturday) to keep you abreast of the general goings-on around the Studio, and maybe, just maybe ask for an opinion or six.

Academy Daze is going through some growing pains as we approach the (very late) demo release. From there, we’re going to have something of a quandry– we’re looking at a few potential issues stemming from the way Ren’Py was put together and getting things semi-separated as far as the routes from the first game and how they affect the two games that were originally slated to follow it. The obvious thought is to stretch the final release date a year or three down the line and build the entire story as one large game (more work for me), or try and find a workaround that won’t kill anyone or lose any bits of story that are already established.

Of course, as with anything, there are pros and cons to this approach. Let’s start with the upside.

  • More cohesiveness can be had in the story by way of being able to perform static route control. We can also add a bit more in terms of time spent on other happenings, rather than pushing characters in and out of the story apparently at random. What have they been up to?
  • Avoiding sequel-itis. That strange disease in which later movies/games/books in the series wind up not being as good as the first one. There are examples everywhere of this, and it might be nice to do it all at once.
  • More for the monies. From the looks of things, no matter which way we go with it, we’re going to wind up having to ask someone to part with their hard-earned pennies for this thing, and making one large game will likely be cheaper than three little ones. Better say, $30 or $50 for one big thing than $25 each for three. I much prefer that math.
  • Fewer required resources. Most definitely on the part of the programming team, as they’re not having to lay out a new UI or other similar things for three games, when we can do it in one. It’ll take awhile for me to write, but there are repeated elements that wouldn’t be necessary to rebuild for each piece. Better one OST than three as well.

That’s just the ones I can think of immediately. There are others, no doubt, but it’s getting early, and I’m starting to run short of brain here.

Now for the downers:

  • Longer initial development time. This is the thing that’s going to bother me the most, because it lengthens the dev time for the game from potentially months to a year max out into the multiple years category. It’s not looking like the five-year adventure that some others have had, but it could take awhile.
  • Huge weighty thing. The finished piece all polished, tightened up and working smoothly would balloon in size from the hundred to hundred and a half thousand size originally estimated into something that may run towards the half-million mark. That’s going to take awhile just to write, never mind build art and music for. A fifteen to twenty-hour game turns into 70+ quickly like that, and that’s a rather ambitious undertaking. It can be done, but it means the whole Studio will have to really come together to work on it.
  • Engine work. The world of computing and software won’t stop. I certainly don’t expect the Ren’Py engine to stand still for anywhere near that long, and we’ll have to make adjustments to the code to match stable releases so we have the widest base for compatibility. Unless, of course, we change engines. Not really my preferred track, however.
  • Personnel. That’s a long time to ask people to devote to a single thing that we don’t know will make a profit. Most of the current staff is motivated, and I believe in them.
  • Added costs. For a longer game, I half expect to need a few things to liven up the overall experience, and as always, these things cost, either in time or cash. Sometimes, both. To that end, the programming of some minigames in Python and voice acting have both been suggested, and are being actively considered, assuming that we can achieve and maintain quality in case of either or both being approved.

As you can see, we have some hurdles to overcome in either case. There will be some fun to be had regardless of that decision. Ultimately, it’ll come down to two things: The willingness of the Customer, and what’s best for the game as a whole.

After all, we’re in this to tell a good story. If we can’t manage that, then everything else above isn’t worth the pixels this post is printed with. I think we can do it. Am I right? No idea. But it’ll be a laugh finding out.

PS: If you want to see what else I’ve been up to, feel free to stop by the storyblog: http://www.knightschaos.com You’ll have to go back to the beginning to see what’s going on, but it might just be worth it. It updates just after midnight Monday-Friday.

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Much ado about something…

So it’s been a few days since the last post, and the Studio’s been rather busy. We’re getting the (mostly) final coding in place on Academy Daze’s demo, and backgrounds handled. We’ve pushed back our release date for that until September first to give the art team time to do the job right, rather than rush and have to do it again later. That said, it’s currently shaping up nicely. If we have time and assets, we may be able to get girlside added now, rather than later. Not promising anything yet, though.

“Girlside” won’t be Alexis in a mirror story of Alex, but instead a second, intertwined story from Alexis’ point of view. Long story short:  If you select to play Girlside, you’ll get a different story. There are some parallels, notably if Alexis is on Alex’s path (the same events will occur from inside her head and not his), and the common storyline the same way, but since Alexis will be chasing the boys, the rest will entirely different.  Alex will still be the Officer candidate, and Alexis will still be Combat.

There was some confusion about that when I started asking for opinions on the matter, so I thought I’d at least try and clear that up now.

Next time, I’m hoping to have a working screenshot.

Enough about Academy Daze for the moment. Polymorphic Games is working on a couple more fun things that I thought I’d run by you:

Crown and Scale : A fun-filled romp through the life of Jeffrey, and his need to rescue the Princess from the clutches of the Dragon. But… Is it really that simple?

Time Stones: Five youngsters find themselves in an alien landscape full of unknown dangers. Can they keep it together long enough to figure out a way home?

Misguided Heroes- Katnip Kapers: For Cole, there are good days, and bad days. Today’s not going to be one of the better ones, unfortunately. Tasked with investigating the recent disappearances of girls around campus for the school’s newspaper, he gets far more than he bargained for. Cole the Human has a hard enough time– can Cole the Cat get through to the special girl that can turn him back in time to unmask the one responsible for the disappearances?

Last, but certainly not least, we present once again:

Troubleshooter Tales: Continuing from where we left off with a new and improved Prologue (previously released as Out of the Friend Zone), Troubleshooter Tales will be a more freeform, sandbox type of VN, where the character of your own creation progresses through missions, and explores the Hegemony along with a variety of colorful characters. The initial release will be the Prologue and a pack of four missions, plus the framework with which to add additional mission packs as we get them ready. We’re hoping for one a month over a few years, but stick with us if we don’t quite make it. It’s going to take awhile to get the framework together properly, but we think it’ll be worth it.

We have lots more coming down the line, including the full version of Academy Daze, and the sequels we have planned, Deep Space and Crisis. The last two are working titles, but who knows, maybe they’ll stick.

Anyway, looks like I’ve taken up enough of your time. Be sure to visit us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/PolymorphicGames and our Forum http://www.renaigames.com/forum

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Project X…

Okay, maybe that’s a bit too dramatic.

The gang’s been really busy over the last couple of months, and the Academy Daze demo is getting it’s artwork together. The plotline from the demo is essentially unchanged from the original game: It pretty much is the original project without most of it’s endings.

In the interests of putting out the best game we can, we’re going to expand on the original- Adding two more Acts to the main story, and possibly putting back the choice of Main Characters, this one telling the story from Alexis’ point of view. Everyone is still in their roles from the main storyline, including Alexander as the Hansen in Hansen’s Hammers.

With the Alexis side-story, we’re looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 words for the entire thing. There won’t be any BL or Yuri routes, but Alexis will be getting a set of her own routes, including a BFF route for her. None of the guys will be exempt (unlike Alex, who will have one girl on the team he won’t get to date).

In the meantime, we have a treat or three for you. Starting with… Mock Screenshot!

The final UI hasn’t been turned in yet, so this one will be updated. However this should be roughly representative of the finished look. The nice lady in the picture will be appearing, but I’ll save the details for a later post. We have new designs coming, and I’d like to get everyone updated at the same time.

Onward, to victory! I have a couple of fresh pieces for you as well– Art generously done in free time by Graph and Patty from the Lemmasoft Forums. This time around, we’re featuring artist’s conceptions of one of our favorite power-couples:

Seems to me like Alexis isn’t in her happy place. I’m just going to hope that a paper target downrange…

From Patty we have:

Now I’m not sure what just happened here, but he’s got to be up to something. Hopefully he doesn’t get Alex in too much trouble in the process.

These images, and a number more like it will be included in an unlockable gallery with the Demo, which is currently slated for wide release July first. I’ll be back before then with some more updates. In the meantime, I’m gonna get off my soapbox, and let you get back to your day.

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Break’s over *crack!* Back to work, slave!

Okay, okay! I’m going!

Dear readers, it is with a heavy heart I write today, for once again I have neglected you for months on end.

Sorry ’bout that. I’m trying to be a better person. Really.

In the meantime, NaNoRenO has come and gone, and Polymorphic managed to release not one but two games this year: Out of the Darkness, the tale of a young man that heard too much, and the young lady that loves him, and Super Otome Quest, the tale of a lovelorn High School Student with unlimited potential– and a want for Kieth Hunkmann.

Those may be found over on the Lemmasoft Forums:
Out of the Darkness and Super Otome Quest

In addition, the Spartan Build Team launched a new Series in February, Troubleshooter Tales. The first entry in what is intended to be a far-reaching series of one-a-month short builds, was completed in just 24 hours from the time I sat down to my keyboard.

Out of the Friend Zone is the story of Kevin Datana, who *FINALLY* gets himself enough together to realize he’s in love with his partner– Only to discover that someone else is after the same quarry. Can he get himself Out of the Friend Zone in time? We’ll find out today!” The currently available is V 1.0.1, the one with the bulk of the really evil typos dealt with. v1.1 is promising to be something truly special, when I can get it finished.

This week, we’re doing the second game, Lemming Check. Did a high-profile politician really off himself, or are more sinister forces at play?

As for our older projects, both Crown and Scale and Academy Daze are being revamped, with a new hand at the Art helm: haven9270. Academy Daze is being expanded, some excitement added, and a darker undertone to our favorite villains.

Crown and Scale is also getting a darker coat of paint, and a bit of grunge. More politics, and older characters. I’ve had a lot of fun batting it back and forth, and I suspect Haven, Sven, Nero and Shira all have too.

With that, I think I’ll run away and let everyone be for a couple of days. Be sure to visit our new games, and leave many comments. We’re always up for input, after all.

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Has there been an update? Say it isn’t so!

No, I won’t do that. There’s been plenty of forward motion on things Academy Daze, as well as Deep Space: Academy Daze 2.

As of today, we have more than 50% of the BGs by number for AD sitting on the Forum, waiting for plugging into the software. By scene, this is closer to 80%, as a few of these are used repeatedly, especially the Barracks Interior scenery.

As for Academy Daze 2, I’ll let you judge for yourself.

Joy Elliot:

And Alyssa Morrison:

Designs are complements of h3llomiko, and lovely work it is. Next up will be Takahiro Nigase, as I recall.

So… Sorry about the short post today, but there’s something I need to go do. I may make a followup post here later. Until next time!

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Recruiting of fun!

Well, once again, I’ve been blog-slacking, and it’s been forever since updates have been in the offing. My three readers keep checking back, though.

Therefore, let’s make the waiting not in vain: Update time!

If you’ve been following events on the Lemmasoft Forums, you may have figured out by now that we’re getting Polymorphic geared up to start some serious production, and as a result, recruiting like mad. As of oh-really-dark-thirty this morning, we have a writer for the as-yet-officially unnamed Project Destiny, as well as an artist and an editor. I’d love a coder for the Build Team, but I’m not going to worry about this ten seconds. Without a script, a coder wouldn’t have that much to do right away.

More on this mystery story as it unfolds. Personally, I’m really looking forward to seeing how it comes together. Seems someone’s been murdered…

Crown and Scale is creeping towards completion. Lady Choklit is working on the final two human sprites for that, and a volunteer for the remaining one, so we should be okay with that at some point in the forseeable future.

Academy Daze has been a huge flurry of activity. We have new backgrounds, and a dedicated pair of artists working to bring this admittedly large project to fruition. Mugen’s been doing some basic character designs, and SuperLexx has has been donating her not-so-copious spare time getting things inked and finding fashions that work for our Ground Team.

Even Academy Daze 2 has been seeing a little forward progress. We have a very talented artist working on basic character designs for the bold crew of the Discovery, and to the victim go the spoils: She will be doing the very first design for the alien species that will eventually be known as the Soldarians. They’ve been needing some sort of visual for decades now, and h3llomiko has drawn the short straw.

For myself, I’ve been keeping busy. Sorting out school, and writing my little butt off have been eating up most of my spare time. Timeline, short stories, chunks of VN plots… It’s been a busy month. :)

Sorry to cut it short, but I need to get to something here. I’ll be back later with some additional fun.

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In the Future… People will work on storybook programs!

Yes, yes I’ve been watching Minion’s Quest. http://www.illwillpress.com

It’s a week farther down the line, and a half-dozen backgrounds later, Academy Daze is looking better, with a playable prototype(without art) all debugged, I can tell my three readers (or is it four now?) that it’s about time to start plotting the next project.

In this case, there are two on tap: A followup to Polymorphic’s first release, Mobile Food Madness, and a sequel to Academy Daze.

This one will be Katnip Kapers, and fishy is safe in his aquarium this time. Instead, Inukun steals Nekochan’s catnip mouse, and it’s up to our Heroine to get it back. Wacky hijinks are sure to about with a whole new (and expanded!) catalog of devices to make Inukun’s life miserable, as well as those to try and get Mousy back. Much fun and grand zaniness will be had.

In the Academy Daze sequel, Deep Space, we’re going to advance the Academy Daze storyline and get a little further into the world that surrounds Stryker Academy and the future of the cadets, old and new alike.

We’ll get to see some of our old favorites, but this time, the focus isn’t on them.

Meet the crew of USS Discovery- The Starship Operations crew to match Alex’s Ground unit.

Joyce “Joy” Elliot- Our MC. Age 19. She’s been dreaming of going into Space since she was a very little girl. Today, she gets her wish… Complete with some extra excitement.
Miranda is short, Perhaps 154cm(5’1), and weighing in at a whopping 50kg(110lbs) She’s well-built without being overly muscular. She’s large enough in the chest and hips to never be mistaken for a man, but not big enough to create back and hip problems. Red hair in a pixie-bob cut, and bright green eyes. No freckling.

Alyssa Morrison- Age 22, Chief Engineer. She’s been with this ship on a regular basis since the day her keel was laid, and knows every duct, cable and switch that’s ever been installed. Complete Eidetic memory.
Alyssa is a traditional Size Zero, although she’s not quite as flat/straight. 181cm(6′) and 61kg(135lbs). She’s too busty to make an effective fashion model, which would have been her first choice. Lucky for Miranda, I say. Hair is honey-blonde, worn in a long ponytail. Eyes are brown, with a gold fleck in the left near the iris.

Takahiro Nigase- Japanese by birth, and a distant cousin of the Strykers. Age 19, Ship’s Navigator. Withdrawn and spacey on his best day, but a superior mathemetician. In the simulator, was able to deal with everything the Testing Crew could throw at him. This is his first time with the Prime crew: His counterpart suffered a nasty head injury three weeks ago, and still hasn’t awakened. While grateful to be on the Prime crew, would much rather not have arrived here the way he did.
Takahiro is a slightly pudgy, short man of 156cm(5’2) and 145lbs(66kg). He’s well-muscled across the chest, but not as much as you start looking southward. He has dark hair in a high-and-tight cut, and dark eyes, typical for pure-strain Japanese.

Amelia “Amy” Sage- Age 21, Ship’s doctor. Like most doctors, has a dislike for ‘action’ and is easily disturbed by tales of combat derring-do. Gets along well with the Combat Group. May or may not have a thing for Jinjiro. More on this later.
Amy is trim and muscled, but not grotesquely so, standing 166cm(5’6) and 54.5kg(120lbs). She keeps her auburn hair shoulder-length, and her yes are a brilliant blue

Robert Young- Age 19, Communications specialist. Has a gift for languages, and is looking for the Holy Grail: A language with no affinity to any language on Earth. Learned ExoSpeak as a child- One of a small handful of Humans ever to do so.
Robert is our “pet” bodybuilder. He’s spent far too long in the gym and it shows. At 173cm(5’9) and 110kg(242lbs), he’s huge and mostly fat-free. He is shaved bald, bespectacled, and green-eyed. Nobody knows what his hair color is… He has no body hair of any kind. He swears it was an accident.

Olivia “Katt” Shinma- Age 19, Exotic, Helmsman and hotshot fighter pilot. There’s nothing her helm can’t do, and she’s not making a secret about it. Sports a collar with a little bell on it, claiming it reminds her of Dear Old Dad. Not huge about having to work with Nigase, but will tolerate it for Capt Elliot.
Olivia is an exotic, and therefore has a few appearance-related things outside the Human norm. She’s 169cm(5’7) and 55kg(121lbs), with very long hot pink hair and feline yellow eyes(normal pupil).The collar should be black, with a silver or gold bell. If we want to throw them for a loop, change the color back and forth just because.

Darren Jackson- Age 20, Science Officer. Dark-skinned Exotic, has issues with keeping his head together in a stress situation… And then fails to understand when he should be stressed out. Enjoys studying any and everything, and is forever spouting various bits of useless trivia.
Darren is your stereotypical lab-coat geek with the glasses and the pocket protector. The tallest at 186cm(6’1) and 73kg(160lbs), he’s a rail. His clothes seem to just kind of hang off. Unkempt brown hair and brown eyes that only light up if there’s someone listening to his random trivia or he’s got a new puzzle to work on. He seems to always be running a million miles a second, and is nearly never without food nearby.

This group is smaller, and has much less in terms of required assets. With seven characters and only three outfits apiece, I’m hoping the sprite artists won’t want to kill me in the face quite so much. I know they were in some shock after they saw the original spritelist for AD. Sometimes the issues with space travel pay off. There are four total supporting characters, and three of those are going to die as the game progresses. The last one, well it needs to die too, but that’s not a guarantee. Sometimes being the antagonist has it’s upsides.

With that, I think I’m going to wander off and stop talking before this turns into a TL;DR situation.

Until next time!

Okay, I lied. I have one more project series I’m doing research on: Tales of the Rusty Dagger. It’ll be a series of Fantasy projects connected to Academy Daze in a rather surprising way… You’ll see when we get there.

Until next time!

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Academy Daze, Vapor no more!

My three readers over the last while and a half have heard quite a bit about this project, Academy Daze, but to date, little or nothing has been seen. Today, I think, we can change a little of that. It’s been a long road since my last post, but that magic light at the end of the tunnel has finally been spotted.

She’s a lot smaller than the original specsheet called for. Originally, it was six weeks long, with a choice of two MCs (Alexis and Alexander), and endings for each of four ‘classes’ times the chance to chase any of the eleven people for a relationship no matter who you were. Way overambitious, as I said in an earlier post. Now, it’s down to a week, and I not only have the initial script done, but the base coding as well.

The art has also started to filter in, and we can now introduce a few of the people that inhabit Stryker Academy, in sketches:

Meet our Main Character, Alexander “Alex” Hansen. He’s a rather confused lad, but is on the receiving end of a pile of potential. Will he find love, Bromance, or Death at the Academy?

Alexis Harmon comes to the Academy from America as well, and would have been the other MC under the original Spec. What doesn’t she know about her past?

Jinjiro Takaya is a backup man for his close personal friend, Masamune… Or is he?

Junpei Minori is a former high school baseball that caught one too many balls with the side of his head. He’s Alex’s firm backup man, and good in a pinch.

Masamune Stryker is the son of the Company’s Patriarch, and proud of that fact. He’s accustomed to having things his way, and takes exception when that doesn’t happen. Will he finally get what he wants, or will his ambition be his undoing?

Mitsuki Sato is the oldest of the Cadets at twenty-three, and comes to the Academy with a secret. What is she hiding, and can it help Alex in the end?

Nanami Takahashi seems bright and bubbly at the surface, but there’s a deeper truth hidden within. Can Alex discover it?

Ninette St. Evermonde is a girl that just doesn’t fit. She certainly can afford to be elsewhere. Does she really like Alex, or does she have some other motive at play?

Noriko Morioka is a fun-loving anime and video game fan, seemingly thrust into this environment. Is she really the goofball she seems, or is there something more?

Rumiko Tanaka is a shy girl, preferring the company of her books and fantasies to people. Will she find a permanent home in the Library, or will Alex drag her out of her shell?

Yoshio Watanabe is a puzzle boxed in a mystery, wrapped in an enigma. Who is this quiet young man, and why does he know things others would rather not have revealed?

One last thing to to show you: The first of our finished art, compliments of Polymorphic’s newest friend, mugenjohncel

This is the pool for the swim test. There are others coming in the next few days, such that I should be able to cover about half the game here shortly. More later as we approach a playable demo :)

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Wow… Busybusybusy.

All righty then… It’s half past four in the afternoon in the middle of Summer, and for some perverse reason, I just had to turn the heat on. What’s wrong with this picture? I live in a part of the country where 80+ degree temperatures are common this time of year. What’s up with that?

Needless to say… /brrr.

In other news, I’ve managed to break through the writer’s block, and now all the characters have distinct working paths- Even Junko. I went back to nearly nothing and rebuilt the timeline/flowchart, and reduced the timeframe of the entire VN from a month and a half to just a week. Gone are the scenes of the Boot Camp Horror, and it’s gotten a little more college-like, with some military features as opposed to the other way around. I built a semi-flowchart of the new setup in a couple of hours. The first step was the program logic in a list of scenes, and define how the scenes go together. Each playthrough for the various endings becomes a very different read as you make decisions.

Saving to get to various endings won’t do you much good, though. The selection branching is kind of complicated, and there’s only one point where a save state will do any good for skipping the early part of the game. Mind you, you’d only be saving yourself about three minutes at that point.

It’s going to be a complete pain for my poor Sprite artist, but I think she can take it. There are nine major characters, including Alex(who may or may not have a sprite of his own), Two Significant Characters, and a small group of Minor Characters that only get a scene or two tops. Major Characters have a full set of scenes across all playthroughs, between ten and thirteen scenes overall. Significant Characters appear at least thrice, but no more than five times. Minor characters appear once or twice, and never seen again. Most of those are in the back end of the game, as others have to be introduced to round out individual Paths. All in all, it’s still going to be a huge piece of work, but nowhere near what it would have been under the original spec.

That involved Alexander and Alexis as separate Protagonists, with paths for each and every associate character. It was also six weeks long, which when running things day to day would have made for much more work. It was intended originally to be something short and fun and not overly complex, and I can comfortably say that even after chopping out as much as I did, I’ve still failed in that endeavor. On the other hand, it’s now a nice solid story of a length and size comparable to most professional-grade VNs.

I’m a little worried about the sheer volume of artwork required for this sort of undertaking, and I’m not the only one. Poor choklit is going to get a bit snowed under. With a little luck, she won’t just refuse, or if she does, she’ll be okay with negotiating. It’d take me months to do all the sprites in 3D, and that’s just the render time. Not that Poser artwork looks even remotely right in a VN. OELVNs have a bad enough rep already without adding fuel to the fire.

Anyway, with that, I’m off. I’ll be back after the slaughter with more information.

Until then!

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Craziness in 3D

So… Modeling practice is going along well, and today’s project is the Library of Kravenwood Manor, for the lovely people at Dreamslayer Artworks. All sorts of fun, but I thought it might be worth covering the high points.

Kravenwood Manor is, by all accounts, a rather odd place, and designing it has proved amusing. The Library looks to be the better part of a wing, upper and lower floors. The upper level of the Library is where the Stacks will wind up. The lower floor has a staircase to the upper floor, a desk for the Master of the House, and the most commonly-used books to line the walls. I’m shooting for the large-scale creepy effect, as you come into the room, the denizen of the desk exuding power at the other end of what is essentially a wide hallway of creepy lighting.

Is it going to work that way in the case of any given User? Probably not. But it’ll be a neat effect in the promos. Just have to make a Persona-style Igor to occupy the desk… lol

It’ll make a nice set too, for Academy Daze. I’m thinking of a special scene that the Library will be perfect for moving along a particular relationship… Same one that will leave another character gunning for a chunk of Alexander’s hide. More on that sub-plot later. Probably much later. In the meantime, work continues on Noriko’s path.

She’s proving much more difficult to pin down than I first thought. I’ve never been a huge Otaku, so Being One with her headspace is proving strange. That, and my apparent complete lack of exposure to recent anime isn’t helping. She’s a weird bird, for sure. Lack of sleep probably hasn’t helped my writing skills either. Score one for naptime.

On to other paths, I’m going to involve Yoshio in Nanami’s path, as a way to move the story along. Making nice with the guy who knows where the bodies are buried is better than pressing one’s would-be girlfriend to bare her soul when she’s Most Definitely not inclined. That tends to lead less to confessions, and more towards Traumatized Disinterest.

Junko might wind up in the dustbin. She has way too much going on in her neurotic headspace to make time for dating. Or maybe it’s just a cover. Watch this space for more on this one.

Mitsuki keeps switching from Mommy Older Student figure to Instructor and back again. I think her ADHD is starting to rub off on me… Or is that the other way around?

Alexis, while kyute and a fun thought as far as blocking attempts towards Alex getting one of the other girls whilst being unavailable herself, needs a twist. The hook for her isn’t sinking in. Maybe I should do a M/F parent trap? They look pretty similar, after all.

I’m missing one girl in the original spec, and she to this day remains nameless. Nevertheless, she remains as part of the mix. No game of this sort would be complete without a raging rich-girl beauty-queen She-B***h. She wouldn’t be approachable unless people had already run out of Other Endings, and even then most attempts to connect with her would only rouse Masamune to do Mean Things. More or less Masamune with curves.

In the meantime, the work continues. Hopefully I can get that and the Humanoid model I promised DSA done sometime this next week or so. I welcome any and all suggestions as far as the current character difficulties. Especially rich-girl names. I have a serious lack of them today.

So, I will now wander off yet again, and leave my three gentle readers to ponder the news in peace.

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Slackers, Classes, and new VN projects

Okay, I can now honestly say I’ve been super-slacking. More than seven months without a blog post probably has the three readers I had before despairing of ever seeing an update.

Well, sorry to disappoint, but I’m still alive, still working, and for some strange reason, back to posting here. Funnily enough, I had for a time forgotten this was here, despite having gone into my FTP at least three times a week after something since my last post all that time ago.

If my three readers are in fact still paying attention, I apologize for leaving you that long without news. I’m a lazy, evil, cruel person that needs an attitude correction.

Okay, moving on. Summer just started, and with that, I have an appalling lack of homework, and a really offensive amount of time on my hands, particularly after Mini passes out for the night. Since that time is right about now, it’s time to get typing. NaNoRenO went well: Polymorphic released Mobile Food Madness, the tale of Nekochan and her attempts to secure herself a snack. I’m doing some looking into another installment in the near future. Tomorrow, I’m going to continue the writing for Academy Daze, rather a bit simpler than not only the original version, but the simpler version from several months ago. We’re now down to one Main character. Alexander and Alexis now have entirely separate stories, instead of two vaguely similar stories. Alexis is a potential Romance now, as are all the ladies. Most of the menfolk from the original cast have been regulated to secondary roles, except two: One to backstab Alex, and one as a Romantic Foil Bond (Sort of a Bros before… You probably know the rest). Will be involved in one of the Bad Endings. Just not sure yet exactly how that one we will play out, but it should be hilarious. At least, I hope so. I’d like to think I’m funny, at least.

We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ve been having more Modeling classes, and they’ve been going particularly well. Took the second stage over Spring Quarter, and did even better than I did the first go around. I’ll take the last one in the fall. It has a nifty certificate that goes along with it, and maybe I can turn that into some sort of job in 2012. At least I’ll be able to build models to assist my artist in her sketchings of the craziness I call VN storylines.

I have lots of ideas, but the general plan at this point is to get the current project list done before we start new projects. Of course, if I try to build the models myself to create new artwork with, it’ll look kindof off. I’m not particularly good at faces just yet. Hands are better.

Feet, on the other hand, are a complete pain in the tukkis. The last Humanoid I did had a two-toed foot, and somehow the mesh got so mangled it took me three hours to get cleaned up. Somehow, I even managed to catch a connection or six in his hip and head. Problem fixed and sorted now, but it was a complete mess at the time.

Just wait until I try it again. That should be hilarious, and hopefully not nearly as complicated as the last time. I think I’ll get on the MechaCat Mascot one of these days, presumably immediately after the sets for the next project.

Anyway, I’ll leave you to your own devices for a day or two, and get to the rest of the work. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get a move on and make you all some custom-built cheesecake. Or maybe a Cheezburger. I haven’t decided.

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Christmas freebies from the Poserverse, and more Cheesecake!

With Christmas approaching, the idea of presents starts worming it’s way into the collective consciousness, with the rabid commercialism that goes with it. So, in the spirit of the holidays, I’ll point you to a place I’ve mentioned before here, and a way to get this year’s Published Artist’s gifts to the world in general.

Even I caught the bug, putting in a complete package or two for the downloading sometime this month.

So, without further ado…

Step by step instructions:
1) Go to http://www.daz3d.com and sign up for an account.

2) Download DAZ Studio: DAZ-Studio

3) Navigate your way to the DAZ forum and get logged in. You’ll find the links for all the pieces released to date. The final day is December 24, and the thread will get un-stickied, so you want to stay on top of it.

4) If you like it, comment. We the PAs like to hear what you all think.

Now for the Cheesecake… Meet Nanami, the cutey that goes to pick up Alexes in Academy Daze. I haven’t posted the final Alex, but I’ll get around to it eventually. Scripting is proceeding apace, even if said pace is a little slow. Most of the sprites and etc are being produced via Poser at the moment, and then we’ll get them through our Artist and get them up and running. I’ve pulled the music already, so that’s all handled, even if it is in royalty-free material.

With a little effort, and some willpower, I should have the script done by the end of the month, and ready for artwork. I’m adding music as I go, and I’ll probably wind up tracing rendered BGs. At least I have a nice printer…

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Monday again… Ugh.

Well, it’s Monday again, and more than a week since my last post.

Gawds, I’m such a slacker.

Snow here in the Northwest, and on the whole, I’d rather be nearly anywhere else. I hear Texas has some nice weather this week. Not that they can drive in the snow to save their lives.

Wait… The people here can’t either, and they get snow pretty much every year. Go figure.

Now on to the fun stuff. Crown and Scale is nearing release time, and Academy Daze may see the light of day in Demo form in the next two weeks. There’s been an internal Demo for C&S for a little while now, so it’s a working proof-of-concept… It will be finished, and the team’s been pulling together brilliantly for this first foray. AD will be considerably more complex, and the one that comes after, codenamed Rogue, will be more complex yet.

Over time, our Team is planning more and more ambitious games, which leads me back to school: Modeling and texturing assets is where it’s at these days, in addition to writing, so when I get around to building the final chapter of Academy Daze, it’ll graduate to 3D modeled TBS right along with our kiddies.

In the meantime, SpartanWorks the Poser makers will be re-opening, while I devote some of my time to making assets for sale. Should be entertaining.

Wish us luck!

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Can GxB and BxG ever truly co-exist?

I’ve been digging through the Lemmasoft Forums of late, and it’s got me to thinking: Is there a case wherein you can get both GxB and BxG to play nice in the same project? It seems to me that it should be possible, with nothing more than a switch in the early going to make it so. Need there be all this fighting, honestly?

In response, I’m making an announcement: We have music, writing and art lined up to complete Academy Daze. Most of the work is still on me, since I have to select the musics and do the bulk of the writing. My erstwhile editor gets to kick back this time around and do what I did to his project: Nitpick. At any rate, there’s still lots of work to do, although at this point it seriously looks like it’ll be assembled and in Beta in time to pass around as Christmas gifts, for those that approve of Christmas, at any rate.

It turns out that Alexes are very choosy critters, and have opinions on nearly everything.

Oh, and there are some… Interesting surprises in store for the people that choose to play. Someone’s out for revenge…

Cast your vote in the comments. For those of us that are just catching up, the characters are as follows:

Alexis: Seems cold and calculating on the surface, but can be funny and cute when someone really connects with her
Junko: Neurotic and terrified of failure.
Nanami: Miss Cute, Light and Fluffy.
Mitsuki: Instructor with a serious case of ADHD
Noriko:Utterly un-military otaku queen. Forever in some sort of cosplay.
Alexander: Charming and Friendly, although unsure of himself and why he’s in this mess.
Jinjiro: Class slacker and all-around wunderkind. Never studies, but passes tests with ease.
Junpei: Former HS baseball player, jock, and idiot. Can’t study to save his life, and his grades have seen better days.
Masamune: Would-be General, if he had his way. He’s the son of the current Stryker Patriarch, Johji, and as such believes himself entitled to anything he likes.
Alexander and Masam will likely come to blows at some point.
Oh, and Yoshio, who’s that quiet guy in the corner. Nobody knows much about him, but he’s sure as hell seen the skeletons everyone else has in their closets.

So… Who’s the stalker, and who’s the target?

Next time, I’ll start posting Artist’s Renderings of the Cast, if I can get authorization from the artist. If not, I may have to subject you to my own crap until we get the first good WIP in place.

Note to self: recruit a BG artist, or get stuck with it yourself. Need to finish this project.

Until next time!

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Nano-huh?

Well, it’s November again, and I’m off to an Inauspicious Start for NaNoWriMo. Asrial’s story isn’t coming together as well as I’d hoped, but at least I have a good base to work from, even if I should fail. I just need to push through, and pray I can make wordcount.

In the meantime, work on Academy Daze is going well, to such a degree that it’ll be done long before NaNoReMo in May. How sad is that? It looks like I’ll have to finish up Girl’s Day Out for May, or maybe NanoEmpire… But that would require I finish that book up first.

Assuming I can find the notes. GDO is done, as a chapter of Knights of Chaos.

New character designs are in the offing for our Hero and Heroine, compliments of Choklit from the Lemmasoft Forums. Polymorphic Games has done very well to recruit her, and I’m sure we’ll see great things from her in the future. I’m already really happy with what she’s done thus far.

I’ll have to ask her at some point if I can repost her designs for Alex and Alex here, if only as an excuse to save them in perpetuity.

Speaking of, I have the first part of the script finally done, and I can move on to introduce the school here soon. Just need a picture of the inside of the car, and I can get on that part. All the artwork I have done now is extremely temporary, pending Choklit’s pencil.

If I’m half as good as I think I am, I should even have a WIP sometime towards the end of the month.

Now if we can just get through classes…

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Road Rants: People with More Money than Brains

So… It’s been over a week since my last post, mostly because I needed to cool down a little since my last “adventure.” For those in search of an update for Project information, you’ll have to bear with me for a little while. I have something to say first.

Now, there are a few things that drive me completely up trees, and one of those is idiot drivers. Be they drunk, high, or merely devoid of intelligence, drivers on the road who think themselves invincible drive me batty.

Now for those of you who aren’t in the know, ’round about last Friday, I got myself into my first major accident since possessing a driver’s license. The little bint decided that the 20mph that was posted in front of my son’s daycare center wasn’t going to get her to class fast enough, that rain and fog and whatnot don’t require headlights(because *she* can see), and that the side of my car bashed in means I hit her.

What I fail to understand isn’t any of the above… That’s just standard idiocy. Nearly anyone can be guilty of that.

What I don’t get is why on earth someone would put an expensive two-thousand pound battering ram in the hands of a child. This girl was no older than nineteen(theoretically an adult), and for reasons unknown to man nor beast was not only driving a BMW no older than three years, and was promised another one by her local mother (who was herself driving a $50,000+ pickup truck) as soon as the insurance money came in.

In the meantime, I’m hanging out on the side of the road with a dead car, my family stuck, and a broken collarbone for her efforts.

Is it me, or is this scenario a little lopsided?

First, this girl has a horribly expensive car, that her parents presumably paid for(as your average 16-y/o cannot afford such things, nevermind a 19 y/o college student), Mom’s hushing her with the promise of a new one, despite the idea that the damage to her car being fairly minimal. Alongside Mom’s oversized vehicle, I have in the last week come to a conclusion that these people suffer from a far-to-common disease in the American Middle Class: Far more money than is strictly healthy for them, and insufficient intelligence to figure out what to do with it.

Myself, rather than buy status symbols, I would prefer to find some sort of reasonable investment vehicle with a minimum of risk and a reasonable return. Even lacking that, I have far better uses for $100,000 US than a pickup truck with tires with a bigger diameter than I am tall.

Maybe I missed something, but isn’t gas expensive these days? I couldn’t afford the gas bill on something like that, never mind the payments or insurance.

But then, I’m pretty much broke all the time. I have a better grasp on budgeting within my means than your average baby boomer with a pile of credit cards I couldn’t afford on my best day.

But then it could be that I’m just a cynic.

So, as promised, on to fun stuff. Alex and Alex have their character designs now, and I’m working on the script. I have a Linux box that’s being used at least in part for writing. I may have to reinstall Linux, as I managed to muck something up, however.

That being said, I’m learning something new every day, and I’d like to think that I’m not a complete idiot. Even the mistakes of others can lead to wisdom one wouldn’t have otherwise.

In other news, it seems PyTom has managed to get Ren’Py at least partially working on a Droid phone… Thanks to him for making the effort to provide us Ren’Py for free, and leaving the code open for the tutorial.

Far easier to pull apart thataway. :)

Until next time!

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Lest the Ladies

Yes, I did an almost Bad Thing last post, by putting up a picture of a blonde girl. So, then, for the edification of the rest of the audience, I give you…

This is a prototype of Alexander Hansen, the Male version of Alexis. Not a final, by any stretch. He still looks entirely too much like DAZ Micheal3 for my comfort. Therefore, there’ll be another version at some point in the near future, probably in the Group Shot. All the assets are going to wind up getting used anyway, since the spec for the game sum total has all of the characters regardless of which one you choose.

If you choose Alexis, Alexander will be among the others you meet, and vice versa. On the other hand, the adventures these two unlikely heroes have can be *very* different, dependent on a host of other things, not the least of which is the gender you want to play through.

One of the two will be a bit harder than the other, although I’m not sure which just yet. Much as it’s tempting to make Alexander’s the harder path(if only to encourage Alexis players), I feel I’m running the risk of awakening the ghosts of chauvinism. But! I don’t want to discourage Alexis Players. Or I could drop the whole idea of difficulty as too politically charged, and just make it even.

Meh… I’ll work it out. There’s going to be somewhat different content for each anyway. As of today, the general story of each is laid out in a nice outline, and I can start scripting here soon-ish. Maybe. If I can keep the ADHD enough…

OOooh! Look! A Kitty!

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