Games are also about art experiences.
Let’s talk about… Accomplishments. Let’s talk about those you’ve managed and those you’ve managed not. Let’s put both on a scale and measure your weight as a significant individual amongst all of us. The amount of value you have, today, in relation to what you’ve promised minus what you’ve fulfilled.”
It was cold this morning. I regret washing my socks yesterday.
200 days. 229 to be more precisely. When you think you are saturated and your learning curve has started to shrink, you realize that there is more to it than you initially imagined.
Some people say that IABO is difficult – hellish difficult. Indeed, it is meant to be. The difficulty in IABO is a tribute to some of my favorite games: games that hit you in the face from the start. It is not without reason that I always play any Tales on hard mode. Difficult games are that fun – and the sensation of achievement of playing hard games is incomparable to easy games.
When I decided to make writing a serious project and then finally set off with the 33 Left Hand Stories, I had already another project going on. As you may be aware, I recently got back on drawing because games inspired me and because I decided to become a game developer to put my ideas into practice. That said, I have two point-and-click adventure games in the oven, being written, drawn and thought of everyday. However, the project I am talking about now is different from those, and it is more related to willpower than anything: 100 days ago (111, to be more precise), I decided I would submit a drawing daily to /r/SketchDaily, and here I am. Basically, taking part on this subreddit has helped me build a varied portfolio and made me believe that I can pull stuff off.
Writing has always been something I really liked doing. Handwriting not as much, because I could never do beautiful curves. However, doing this writing project in the most analogue way has taught me three things mainly:
a) it is important to think slowly (and that is why I still take notes the old way);
b) ambidexterity is an illusion (at least for me);
c) I can produce stories (meaning, I can in fact write).
Writing with my non-dominant had – what a silly idea!, one could think. There are studies about using the non-dominant hand for daily tasks, and the issue of ambidexterity is controversial (see this, this and this). I never ceased to be curious about it, though, and recently I have been bothered by the fact that my right hand does everything. I started feeling too dependent on just one hand, and soon enough I realized that some things on the right side of my body were different from the left one. My posture, for example, is inclined to the right, due to the fact that I carry purses, backpacks and folders only using that side. Then I thought with myself: “that won’t do”, and started exercising my left hand to wash the dishes or brush my teeth. It didn’t take long until I started scribbling with it – then I had the idea for a project I could maintain for a month, more or less, and share it so other people could see my work. I had been looking for the right moment to start a writing project to develop my skill of writing on demand, and this training sounded like to perfect opportunity.
The number 33, however, is almost arbitrary.
It was difficult at first. My left hand would involuntarily fidget sometimes and I had to breath and calm down to finish writing the story. This led me to taking it slow: I’d take my time thinking about the story and the characters, on how I could develop the plot in that restricted amount of lines. As I said before, this was really beneficial, because it helped me to control my impulses on writing simply what came to mind. I could notice how stories, or any account in general, could be changed on the fly, without previous notice, to fulfill certain requirements (in my case, the number of lines). I also realized that the more lines I had, the more comfortable I felt; but the fewer lines I had, the more creative I was compelled to be.
I think writing practice for stories in small portions is consistently productive for game writers. Not that I don’t like verbose games. I do like them, actually (and my scripts are so far wordy), but being under a kind of narrow-space, not-many-options pressure helps you use words and constructions more effectively, avoiding garrulousness and padding out. You go straight to the point you want to express in your narrative, and you have more control to leave blanks for player interpretation when desired.
When I was taking a discipline in college about narrative theory, the professor used to say that writers have absolute control over each and every word during the writing process, and that skill is something that requires practice. Of course, it is easy to practice with a smaller text than with a long one. Therefore, although the small stories didn’t give me much room for development, they indeed helped me to think about the efficiency of conveying a story with just few words. Basically, when confronted with only one line or two lines to convey a narrative, and having known that other people already tried this, what I asked myself was: why not?
In the middle of this project I also realized I had more ideas than I could put into practice. I had to make a choice of character and settings I’d like to use. Many of those are still in my idea plan, but some of them I managed to conclude. That is the reason behind a “girl’s week” and a “boy’s week”, in which I feature only girls or boys as the protagonists. It was, more than anything, fun. Writing on the behalf of other, unreal beings spawned a some main characters that I’d like to see on a game (Tracy McMillan, for example).
I also took the opportunity to make use of the last two entries to write support stories for both of our upcoming games. The stories are diary entries by our two protagonists, Enid and Aoi. I can say that they give background to what is going to be played, and I’m planning to feature both texts in-game as well, in a reviewed and expanded version.
I am not thinking of another writing project to publish here. I am thinking of leaving this one to “cook” for a little while – in the future I will certainly go back to it. I am thinking of using one of these stories (or many) on a game, expanding then in a sort of short story, working with another illustrator to make the drawings, this sort of stuff.
On a final note, remember that I am always open to criticism. Bash away!
Thank you for keeping with the project. Hope you enjoyed and I hope you enjoy the next ones even more!
In this project, I’ll write a story a day with my left hand (I’m right-handed). Each story will have as many lines as the day of the month it was written in.
This is meant to be practice for:
- Writing with my non-dominant hand (which I have been training for this for the past few weeks)
- Improving my writing and narrative skills.
Everyday, for 33 days, a new story will be posted here and a link for it will be listed below. :}
I’ll scan the page I’ve written the story in and transcript (errors included) it below the image, so you can also see how I’m progressing in the left-hand writing department.
Note that those stories are written in one go and in ink. Corrections are not allowed. This should make this endeavor a little bit more exciting.
Day 01: Nov 27th, The Round and the Cubicle (with bonus drawing!)
Day 02: Nov 28th, Rebeliving (with bonus drawing!)
Day 03: Nov 29th, Hair (with bonus drawing!)
Day 04: Nov 30th, It’s your First Time in the Sea
Day 05: Dec 1st, An Empty Escape (with bonus drawing!)
Day 06: Dec 2nd, Skin
Day 07: Dec 3rd, Misplaced (with bonus drawing!)
Day 08: Dec 4th, Revolution (with bonus drawing!)
Day 09: Dec 5th, Legacy (with bonus drawing!)
Day 10: Dec 6th, Feelings (with bonus drawing!)
Day 11: Dec 7th, Nonsense
Day 12: Dec 8th, The Jar of Gold
Day 13: Dec 9th, Lara (with bonus drawing!)
Day 14: Dec 10th, Tracy McMillan
Day 15: Dec 11th, Lorena (with bonus drawing!)
Day 16: Dec 12th, Barbara
Day 17: Dec 13th, Justine (with bonus drawing!)
Day 18: Dec 14th, Marie
Day 19: Dec 15th, Amabile
Day 20: Dec 16th, Bad Breath
Day 21: Dec 17th, Andrè
Day 22: Dec 18th, Pierre (with bonus drawing!)
Day 23: Dec 19th, Marco
Day 24: Dec 20th, Raffaello (with bonus drawing!)
Day 25: Dec 21th, Jude
Day 26: Dec 22nd, Haruyuki
Day 27: Dec 23rd, Dave
Day 28: Dec 24th, In The Dungeon
Day 29: Dec 25th, Party Postmortem
Day 30: Dec 26th, She’s not here anymore
Day 31: Dec 27th, Finale (with bonus drawing!)
Day 32: Dec 28th, Ghosts (with bonus drawing!)
Day 33: Dec 29th, Aoi’s diary (with bonus drawing!)
The day after: Postmortem
This is my very first drawing project! In it, I’ll draw people as cats following SuperSugoi’s shape template (standing cat, round hands and feet) and my own interpretation of the person.
I am also accepting commissions for this project. Each cat drawn costs just 5 USD (bitcoin and paypal accepted). If you want to be drawn as cat (or have someone drawn as a cat), you can send me a picture on [email protected]
Follow my tumblr for immediate updates of this project. （ΦωΦ）
Working on a long-held idea is somewhat of a challenge: upon reflecting, you are constantly arguing with your past self. The down side is that it is but a one-sided argument, as your past self can’t really reply; the good is that your past self can’t really reply. For a few moments you feel like you don’t need to justify your choices to your past self; sometimes you feel that back then you were safer and more confident than now, and that you should, even if reluctantly, trust your past self’s notes more than anything.
Thankfully, my handwriting is still the same, so at least I have no problems reading it. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what I was thinking, so even the most legible lines may sound like a drunk person’s laments. And I wasn’t even drunk or anything at that time. I was just inspired, and inspiration – especially if it is really sudden – can result in haphazardly organized notes and hazy connections for your ideas.
But all of this accounts as learning, and I should once and for all incorporate documentation not as something I need for my current job, but something to carry on for my entire life. And learning this, at least for me, is sort of the pinnacle of my game development self-apprenticeship.
As for the story, it has, as one would expect, changed from what it was two years ago. Not deeply into its structure (such as changing the main events or characters, for example), but its tone has matured, become cohesive and leaned towards a proper, not-blurred, game objective.
The main character has now a face and a name with a meaning: Enid. She has a background, a story to tell, people she knows and conflicts she has to solve.
The game, which was first written and designed to be a text-based adventure is now a point-and-click adventure. It now has expressive graphics and a calm (but with a unsettling feel) soundtrack.
The pieces are coming together for what I expect from UNMISTAKABLE. We’re heading for the post-production phase, and I’ll keep you up for any developments.
This is Kongiku, by Alter.
I’ve used her as an entry for the orange challenge on G+, and a friend requested a wallpaper of the photo. Although the figure is not one of the favorites of my collection, she is quite a piece when taking photographs. She has a lot of details sculpted into her, and although the has lots of plot her pose is rather delicate and behaved.
I still could light her lantern, though. (￣。￣)
As always, let me know if you need any other custom sizes on the comments section bellow or on my G+ page.
Note: Right click the thumbnail and select “save image as” (or the equivalent in your language) to save the image.
The source Images
Meatballphobia, by Protomni Multimedia, is amusingly bizarre.
Someone on G+ allegedly suggested that I turned some of my pictures into wallpapers, so here it is! (°∀°) Let me know if you need any other custom sizes on the comments section bellow or on my G+ page.
Note: Right click the thumbnail and select “save image as” (or the equivalent in your language) to save the image.
While the development of SELF is proceeding steadily, we decided to indulge ourselves in another point-and-click.
Why can’t we be happy?
It has been a while since I have last written about an AAA title, and when I usually do that I complain about it. Maybe because I have high expectations over games that are made by a great number of people, hoping that the numbers will guarantee the quality. It pains that this time I am writing about a game from one of my favorite series: Tales of Xillia.
Since our last post we had the chance to implement other features in the game.
As the development process progresses, dedication will pay off and we will start seeing results from our works. And I must confess that I was hesitant to believe in the project for a few moments.
I’ve been collecting figures for one year and a half, and I currently own almost 60 of them. I have some words of experience to share.
Being a figure collector for over a year, I felt that I need to broaden my horizons and start taking pictures of my figures in different places. The thing is that I am lazy, and any problem I encountered discouraged me to engage in the practice of taking pictures outside:
This post is about the process of developing a story, in detail.
Yes: we have finally started developing! After months of researching, studying and planning, we decided where we should start, and we saw our first opportunity here: The Edge Get Into Games Challenge 2013: ‘Do no harm’.
It has been a while since the last time I called myself an otaku. I grew up in a society in which teenagers and young people would find an apparently clever noun to label themselves and then appear to the society as a marginal, sub-cultural group where the general rules of society wouldn’t apply.
The most recent game I played was Home, from Benjamin Rivers.
To put it simply, it is a choose-your-own-adventure game. The problem is that I only realized that when I finished the game.
I think every blog will someday go through a testing period, a maturation period and a identity crisis period. SuperSugoi was no different, and I think those changes were for the best.