Hey, all!!! It’s been a long time since my last blog post here (I, uh…sure say that a lot, don’t I?) but this time I don’t feel entirely guilty about it. I took a long break from game development this summer, but that’s not to say that I wasn’t productive – in fact, I think it turned out to be quite the opposite! This update is going to get rather long, so let’s get some headers going on.
My Summer of Art
Thanks to my joining Toyhou.se and getting involved in the Deviantart community again, I ended up drawing a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I think I drew more non-game-asset pictures this summer alone than I have for the past couple of years in total. I feel like I’ve improved a lot as a result, and with that, I feel more confident about producing art for my future game projects! If you’d like to check out the art I’ve been making lately, you can go have a look at my Deviantart account. (Psst: I’m currently open for commissions over there, and I periodically open art trades as well!)
Thanks to my art improvement, I do plan to redo the Jubilee Royale character portraits at some point, as they’re rather outdated in terms of my style at this point (mainly the hair and shading…). I intend to redo them as busts rather than half-body drawings this time, though, so I don’t die. It was kind of a terrible idea to try doing half-bodies for everybody in the first place. Why, past Whiona??
An exciting new thing I’ve walked away with this summer is a beautiful mascot (and pseudo-persona of sorts?) for Opal Starlight! Her name is Opal, naturally, and she was designed by my dear friend and fellow gamedev/artist, Cheyenne Victory. Here are a few pictures of her – the first two are by Chey, and the last is by me! It’s probably the picture I drew this summer of which I’m most proud.
Here’s a brief profile for her!
Opal is a princess born from the remains of a dead star. She has magic powers which allow her to travel through space unharmed at high speeds. Her favourite thing to do is tell stories; she can create shapes in the air made of golden stardust, which she uses to illustrate what’s happening in the story. She travels from planet to planet, sharing the tales she’s made up to put a smile on people’s faces.
Chey designed her based on my personal aesthetics, and then I went all the way and made her a self-indulgent character based on my passions and interests, so there ya go. Maybe she’s a little silly and embarrassing, but I love her lots, and I’m happy to have her representing my creative endeavours.
Extended Character Profiles
On my Toyhou.se account, I’ve been writing extended character profiles for the main characters of my games. These include detailed descriptions of their personalities, basic information such as their heights and nationalities, and fun trivia! So far, the following characters have completed lengthy profiles:
Dromir and Deliane’s profiles are soon to come, followed by Toa and Irene. Each of my characters also have fanart galleries on there, and you can check out the gazillion other characters I have for future projects and/or giggles. It’s been a ton of fun for me to write, so do take a look if you’re interested! I even decided to use a cool design someone on the forums gifted to me for a key goddess in Jubilee Royale, so the site has been a great help from a gamedev perspective. (Thank you again to SSTwins for the beautiful Sephia design – I can’t wait to finally draw her sometime soon!)
Lost Without You
The final thing I have to announce from the summer is that I’ve started working on a Twine game as a side project. It’s going to be a rather short and basic choose-your-own-adventure browser game, but I hope you all enjoy it regardless! I originally started working on it for SuNoFes, but despite the incredibly generous amount of time that particular game jam offers, my time was mainly spent on work, art, and Persona 5 instead. Whoops. I’ve decided to keep chipping away at it as a side thing for when I get bored of working on Jubilee Royale, so who knows when it’ll be done. Sometime, I guess?
This is the main character, Rika Tsukade. She’s a noble family’s daughter who would much rather be a knight and practices swordplay in secret. One night, she sneaks off to fight monsters by herself in the woods, but manages to get horrifically lost. She runs into an old friend from school there, Arden Sigrah, who’s become a cartographer and is trying to map the forest – but their guard has sadly been eaten. With Rika as defender and Arden as navigator, will the two make it out of the forest alive, or will they succumb to a horrible fate? That’s up to the player! (Rika and Arden were originally designed by Starsheeps – thanks again!)
It’s been fun to put my HTML/CSS knowledge to use for once in a game, and I like how the dialogue boxes turned out! Doing the art in a more chibi-esque style has also been lots of fun. It’s probably a better idea to have a side project in a different engine, because working on Four Eyes didn’t feel all that different from JR at times…
Look forward to seeing more of that in the future!
My Fall of Game Development?
Whew! That was a whole bunch of stuff. Thanks for sticking with me for so long!
Looking forward, I’m ready to get back into working on Jubilee Royale after my art break this summer. I have officially started my master’s program now – which is both exciting and terrifying – but I’ll try to be as productive as I can with whatever free time I get! I’ve already jumped back in with a major forest dungeon now in the works. I’m parallax mapping it, which means I hate my life the entire time I’m working on it, but I’ll inevitably take a billion screenshots to share the results when I’m all done. I have to begrudgingly admit that they are worth the effort for detailed areas.
Also, while I mainly stopped working on my games over the summer (save for a bit of LWY progress), the incredible feedback on Four Eyes hasn’t slowed. Thank you all once again for your comments, messages, Let’s Plays, fanart, donations, and even a freakin’ Toa cosplay. Seriously, that happened! I’m still in gleeful disbelief that somebody dressed up as my purple alien boy. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the wonderful feeling that swells up inside of me every time somebody leaves their kind words or shows me some kind of fan work. That sounds cheesy, but I guess I’m just a cheesy gal.
Until next time, take care of your lovely selves, and please pray for my grad school survival. (Kidding…sort of.)