I Swear I’m Alive

So, I recognize that I’ve been rather quiet over the past month or so on all platforms. Normally I’d apologize for that kind of thing, but…well, this time I think it was justified, so I’ll resist the urge. I’ve been finishing up my undergraduate degree and wrote a ton of both creative and academic pieces. I also got into a master’s program, had one of my pieces published in a student literary magazine, and put together a portfolio! That was all pretty awesome and boosted my confidence a lot. It’s been a very good month for me personally, even if I’ve also been super busy. 🙂

Things are calming down now, though – I only have two exams left – so I’m back to work with game development! Vera’s sprite isn’t quite done yet, unfortunately, but it has at least been started. I also revamped and finished the town of Ivanport, which has a blue and red colour scheme that can be seen both indoors and outdoors. The old version had quite eye-hurting tiles, but I think that the new ones look much nicer. I had a ton of fun designing it! Here are some examples:

On the Four Eyes end of things, I’ve received some beautiful new fanart and even fanfiction by PowerBurger! Here’s a sampling of the amazing art people have shown me:

By Kerotamaftw (featuring characters from Nami’s her tears were my light in the second image!)

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By Konoi

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By Hirschlein

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By Cheyenne Victory

I’ve started a Deviantart collection and a Tumblr tag to collect the fan creations that people have made. Thank you so much for your wonderful tributes to Four Eyes – and even Jubilee Royale, too!! I love each and every one of them, and I save them all on my computer to look at when I need motivation. ❤ Be sure to check them out and follow those super-talented artists! There’s also been some lovely fanart that’s only on Twitter, such as Mimironi’s drawing and Yoyo’s pixels! Thank you!!

I nearly apologized for the brevity of this update and then remembered I wasn’t going to do that this time. (The Canadian instincts are strong…) Next time I hope to have more to show you guys, since school won’t be getting in the way as much!

Cybil’s New Looks

Woah, it’s a Jubilee Royale blog post! I haven’t written one of these in a while. It feels good to be back on my main project. 🙂

A few of the last JR screenshots I’ve posted here, as well as on Twitter and Tumblr, have featured a WIP sprite of Cybil, made with the custom sprite base I created for Four Eyes. I’ve finally gone and finished that up, and I’m quite happy with how it looks!

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My favourite thing about it is that her cowlick bounces when you walk. I was too lazy to make a GIF to show this, though, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

To ease my way back into JR development, I’ve made a few new expressions for Cybil’s portrait and little events around the castle. It was fun to use these objects to insert optional lore and explore different sides of Cybil’s personality! She may act like a conceited brat, but she can be a bit sensitive at times.

If you do want to, you actually can play a little tune on the piano. Cybil needs to get to the throne room, though, so her parents might have something to say about it if she dilly-dallies! (There won’t be any actual consequences, don’t worry – just a slight dialogue change.)

As for something less Cybil-centric, a while ago I also mapped a little seaside Flaucinian town. Here’s a peek at that! And yes, the houses will eventually have doors. I’m getting to it.

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My general plan from now on is to slowly move through the game from the beginning, revamping things here and there based on lessons I’ve learned through working on Four Eyes. I’m not going to do all the sprites, art, maps, events, etc. at once in chunks, because when I did that for 4E, I got really bored and frustrated. I hope that by completing a variety of tasks to make the game playable bit by bit, I won’t get as burned out with JR!

Hopefully Vera and Shaelon will have some sprite makeovers I can show you guys next time. Until then, take care!

4E v1.0.1 and Full Guide!

It’s been a whole week since release! I will have a lot of sappy words to say about that soon, but first, let’s cover the news-y stuff.

I sent out an updated version of the game last night at ass o’ clock in the morning, which includes a few minor fixes. I’m actually astounded that these were the only issues people had. I guess it goes to show how thorough my lovely playtesters were! (Or maybe how rushed my initial demo release was. Either one. In my defense, it was a game jam…) Here are the changes in v1.0.1:

  • An error where Toa’s name was displayed instead of Jett’s was fixed
  • The text sound effect volume was lowered slightly
  • A confusing line of dialogue was clarified

The updated version of the game is available on itch.io, GameJolt, IndieDB, and RPGMaker.net.

More importantly for those of you who want to get the secret ending – or just got really stuck – I finished a full walkthrough of the game! You can read it right here on good ol’ Google Docs. I hope it’s helpful, and be sure to let me know if anything is confusing or inaccurate.

Now onto me being a mess of tears and gratitude, as usual. So, WOW. I’m really blown away by how sweet people have been after the release of the full version. Some of the comments I received really got to me – as a writer since childhood, it means so much to me to know that something I created actually affected people emotionally. I couldn’t ask for more, so thank you to everyone who left their feedback! I also received some helpful concrit from folks – you guys rock too. I love getting feedback that’ll help me improve.  🙂

What especially astounded me was that people wanted to donate to me. One person requested that I turn on itch.io’s pay-what-you-want feature so that they could leave me a tip, for which I was incredibly grateful. I didn’t think anybody else would use it, but then people…actually did?! I’m just happy that people are playing and enjoying something I created. I can’t believe people think it’s a game worth throwing money at me for, and I’m just…wow. WOWWW. That’s about the only word left in my vocabulary. (To clarify, though, Four Eyes is and always will be a free game. I only turned on PWYW as a completely optional means of donating to me.)

A lot more people have downloaded the game than I expected, too. I was flipping out a bit on Twitter about it, but I’ve realized that I should probably stop posting exact download numbers…maybe it comes across as a bit crass. I’m honestly just excited, because this has been my dream for a long time and…yeah, okay, I’ll stop all of that, because it’s probably getting annoying and repetitive.

Anyway, what I really want to say is just THANK YOU! There have been people sending me messages and comments saying they’d like me to make more games, and I absolutely will. Jubilee Royale is going to be my focus again now that this game is FINALLY out of the way. (Don’t read through all my old blog posts where I promised 4E would be done months ago. It’s embarrassing.) I’ll work hard to make it as fun and adorable of a game as possible!!!

Four Eyes FULL VERSION Now Available!

Download the game for free on itch.io and GameJolt!

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Well…it’s here. I’m an absolute bundle of nerves right now, but the game is done and out there.

To everyone who cheered me on as I (slowly) completed my first-ever full release, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know I say that a lot, but making games has been a longtime dream of mine, and it means so much to me that people are supporting me now that I’m putting my work out there.

I sincerely hope you all enjoy the full version! Please let me know what you think. I hope this is only the first of many full games to come for Opal Starlight. I might make a longer post with more thoughts about it later, but for now I just want to go calm down, haha.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day! Have a wonderful day with the people you care about. ❤