I am only blogging so often at this point because it really saddens me to look at the vapid wasteland that is currently the Cblogs. It's probably because it's summer, but it feels like there are scant few entries that aren't advertisements for some nefarious product from a country that may or may not even actually exist, and that is a bit of a bummer. I don't even remember the last time a blog got promoted, and there have been a record number of non-topsauce days as a result of the result slump.
Criticism of the Cblogs aside, I've been trying my hand at game design, an endeavor fueled by a total lack of any sleep and liberal amounts of foods that are bad for my body. The rapidity at which my fat flesh vessel is physically deteriorating is borderline obscene; sex with my wife has turned into some kind of bizarre amateur double-pregnancy fetish video, and my hair is getting so long I look like a member of Five Man Electric Band. I just can't keep my shit together, and it hurts, but it's become serious creative fuel in a way; I can't imagine putting my energy anywhere else right now unless it's towards the creation of some kind of new innovative snack food that is funneled directly down the throat and into my grotesque feedbag, so it feels good to at least be doing, well, something.
Actually sitting down and attempting to design a game has lead to a lot of thinks; prolonged thinks, taking place in front of my computer with me usually petting a cat or staring at a ceiling. I decided to start real small just so I wouldn't overwhelm myself; with a program like RPG Maker, it is very tempting to just make some grandiose epic that you can never possibly finish because you way overestimated your drive to actually see a project through, so I'm aiming for an hour or two of gameplay at most. The most surprising element of the project was realizing that a lot of the ideas I thought I had completely flew out the fucking window the second I put my hands on the mouse and keyboard. It's pretty easy to imagine a vast epic with interesting characters and worlds until you actually sit down to produce the thing; when it unfolds before your eyes, the end result is often a lot more disappointing than you originally hoped it would be in all your excited optimism. I decided to start small there as well, and expand as I went along.
POO TOWN may or may not be a placeholder name. Haven't decided yet.
Another thing I've been thinking about lately is female roles in games, which is what originally led me to (perhaps somewhat cynically) choose a very cutesy, girly theme for my own game. I wanted a main character that my daughter could someday relate too basically, so I tried to keep that in mind when jotting down ideas for her personality; strong and outgoing, but young and occasionally emotionally fragile. She lives with her dad, who is the mayor of the first village in the game, and whose over-protectiveness of her (in all aspects of his life, which actually led to him founding a walled town to protect his family from the outside world) revolves around the death of his wife. He is damaged but loves his daughter, and will do anything to keep her safe, but his passive role (he is not even present at the start of the game) in the story becomes far less so as the game progresses. Mako, like all Magical Girls, is charged with a rather bittersweet task; though her natural curiosity and spirit of adventure propels her to help the people around her, it's a pretty big bill for a little girl to fill. I'm definitely not breaking any conventions here, but the idea was just being unapologetic about crafting a game with a female lead without trying to project my own sensibilities on her or the story too much. I'm basically trying to preserve the same sense of escapism I had when I watched Sailor Moon as a kid, in secret, embarrassed, but always thoroughly entertained despite the fact that it was a "girls show."
It's been a lot of fun so far, and I'm really excited to see if I can get it done. I'd love to share the end product when its finished and hope anyone who is willing to give it a shot will ultimately enjoy it.
Since I am totally new to this, it's interesting to sit on the other side of the fence for a change, and rather than criticizing products others have created, learning how much thought and time really does go into games, even if it is just a small pet project in RPG Maker like mine is.
LOOK WHO CAME: