How is it already halfway through November? Where did the year go?! I can’t answer those questions for either of us, but I can at least tell you what I’ve been up to in the game dev department.
Over the past few weeks, I decided to slowly take on a task that I had been putting off since the start of this current version of Jubilee Royale. Which means December 2015-ish. Yikes! What had me so freaked out, you may wonder? Grab onto your nearest loved one and/or pet for dear life before you read the next paragraph. It was…
Custom menus! AAAAHHHH!
Yeah, so, it doesn’t sound too spooky. But unlike anything else I had done before in Jubilee Royale, to truly get the game’s menu screens to look distinct from other RPG Maker games, I knew that slapping on a random script from the web wouldn’t do it this time. As always, I wanted to create more work for myself when it wasn’t entirely necessary so that JR would look the best it could – it’s my baby, after all. That meant using the wonderful Luna Engine to customize the menus myself, which in turn meant editing the game’s scripts. Scripting? Me? Now that seemed scary. I knew how to code webpages, sure, but programming was a whole other beast.
Nevertheless, I knew I would have to do it sooner or later if I wanted to be able to record video of the game (which I really hope to do eventually!) seeing as I’d likely have to open the menus during any sort of gameplay demonstration. It was about time I dove into the basics of Ruby – and armed with Codecademy, that I did! I worked the Ruby lessons in between…well, my university lessons. It’s certainly been a big month of learning for me! And while I’d hardly call myself an expert now – or even intermediate, really – I now understand enough about Ruby that I was able to dive into Luna Engine and produce this:
Hooray! It took many hours and plenty of fumbling around, but I finally programmed my very first custom menu – and it doesn’t even crash the game anymore when you open the Quests menu! (That was around 30 minutes of troubleshooting in itself.) I’m pleased as punch with the outcome, and you know what? I actually had fun doing it, too! I’m excited to get started on the other menus so that Jubilee Royale will stand out even more from the other RMVXA games out there in the universe.
If you’ve been following the game and looked closely at that screenshot, you may have noticed something pretty different about our leading ladies, too! Since my art has improved a lot since I last drew Cybil and Vera in January/February 2016, I decided to go back and revamp the
lovehatebirds. As a refresher, here’s how they used to look – but please don’t stare too hard at my old art…
And here are their brand new, sparkling portraits. I think there’s a big difference in Cybil’s hair in particular. 🙂
You may notice that not quite so much of their bodies is showing this time. While my initial rationale in drawing them as half-body rather than bust portraits was to show off as much of the work I put into their designs as possible, in actuality, the game’s message window cut them off around the waist anyway. I figured I may as well save myself the time and effort and just do busts this time around. I hope it’s not too much of a disappointment to anyone, but ultimately it just doesn’t make a big difference in-game – and it saves me hours of work if I don’t have to draw
hands the rest of their bodies.
Incidentally, I also gave the message window a new coat of paint so that it looks consistent with the main menu.
Hey, what about Lost Without You?
That’s still a thing, too! I’ve reached the first major branch in the storyline, as well as the first of many, many ways our dear, sweet Rika can die. 😉 She’s got a good chunk of new expressions…
…and her companion, Arden, finally has a face, too! (In case you didn’t know, their original design is courtesy of Starsheeps.) Here’s what they look like, along with a brief profile I wrote for them:
An old friend of Rika’s from school whom she hasn’t seen in years; they’ve become a cartographer. Though very book smart, their street smarts – and people skills – leave a lot to be desired. They’re the sort who would rather stay at home with a good book than go to a party or go on adventures. However, they’ve been hired to explore and map the Axeman’s Woods, forcing them to step outside their comfort zone – and rely on Rika to keep them safe once their original bodyguard gets eaten by a monster!
While Arden may be hard to get to know, they’re a great listener when they’ve made a connection with somebody. They encourage others to follow their dreams, especially Rika, and they were the first person to take her seriously when she told them she wanted to be a knight. Sadly, they tend to mistakenly assume that other people don’t want them around…
Aaaaaaand it has a logo, too, because of course I had to make one just for a short browser text adventure.
Sorry to bombard you with so many images this time around! I hope the length of this post on the page isn’t too much of an issue in the end. As always, thank you so much for supporting my projects. I say it too often, but it really does mean the world to me that people are showing interest in my stuff – getting creative is what gets me up in the morning, after all. ❤ (BTW, can you believe that Four Eyes is getting translated into Portuguese?! Too cool! Thank you for offering to spread my game around the world, Irisura!)