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!

Jubilee Royale Soundtrack Changes

I plan to have a new blog post up about my recent progress on Four Eyes within the next few days. Before that, though, I wanted to discuss some changes I’ve decided to make to the Jubilee Royale soundtrack – note that I omitted the word “original” there. Save for the main theme (Tea in the Garden) and maybe a battle theme, I’ve decided that I’ll no longer be composing an original soundtrack for JR.

I know that certain people had enjoyed Tea in the Garden when I posted many months ago and were looking forward to hearing more compositions from me. I’m really flattered that they enjoyed my piece so much in the first place, but I think that this is what’s best for me and my game. Composing even a single song takes a long time. On top of everything else I’m doing for Jubilee Royale – from the writing to the eventing to the battles to the artwork to the spriting to the mapping to the…okay, you get the picture – a decently-sized OST would be far too much work on my behalf. Composing is fun and all, but it’s hardly my life calling, and let’s be honest here: I am no genius composer. I’m competent enough to write a track, but I won’t be winning any Grammies. I could spend all the time necessary to get really good at it, sure…but would it be worth it when I have so many lovely tracks stockpiled from resource packs I’ve purchased over the years? I could use that time to improve upon my writing and art instead, which are more important to me in the long run.

I had this idea in my head that if I can do something myself, then I should, which is why I decided to compose a sizeable JR OST in the first place. The time constraints placed upon me during Yaoi Jam forced me to forgo composing any tracks for Four Eyes, and I thought I would end up feeling upset about it – but I actually wasn’t in the slightest. I ended up loving the pieces I chose (many thanks to those talented composers!) and I think that some of them were an absolutely perfect fit for the areas they accompanied, namely the Nightingale and the first area Jett and Toa explore on the planet. Players also responded positively to the music in their feedback for me and felt that it fit the areas well.

The main thing that I had always wanted for Jubilee Royale in terms of music was a main theme. I’ve already written one, and I’m content with how it turned out – it sounds like it did in my head all the years that I imagined it. I’ll write a few more variations on it for use in different situations throughout the game; that way there will be one (hopefully memorable) track 100% original to JR that players can associate with the game. As long as I have that, I’m happy to use pieces that have been written by more experienced composers for the rest of it.

Anyway, I’ve rambled enough at this point. See you soon with some Four Eyes progress!