Wednesday, January 23, 2019

No meltdown today, but I really got close

Today was the closest I've gotten to another meltdown. People have been telling me I've been doing too much, and working too much, to the point of exhaustion. I think/I thought I could have handled it, but all it took was me forgetting to turn on the heater last night for me to get sick. Although I'm mentally OK, I think my body couldn't handle it any more, so I'm taking time off today to recover and focus on feeling a bit better.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Retiring current savage tier FFXIV raiding - a second time

I've retired from doing current tier savage raiding in FFXIV, probably for good this time. I personally feel as worn out as the Warrior of Light in the Shadowbringers trailer. I think I'm tired of doing the same few arena fights for a few hours every week just for the gear to be obsolete in 6 months as well as the intense pressure to fight and give it 100+ while being exhausted from real life responsibilities.

Unlike the last time in mid-2014 when I had a meltdown (both in real life and in-game), I left this static group on good terms with everyone and now I'm relaxing and playing the game far more casually. I am also remaining in a side group called Backwards Compatible where we clear older content for the same rewards when there's stat boosts and better equipment making the fights a lot less stressful on everyone (including myself). I'm not worried about never getting these battles done, I know I'll complete it sometime in the future, well as long as they keep increasing the gear rewards.

Until Shadowbringers expansion and maybe even past that I'm going to enjoy Final Fantasy XIV with activities that I personally find enjoyable. The main story, leveling up other jobs and their associated stories, Deep Dungeon (why don't they add more 4 player content that's exciting?), learning primal fights, doing older raids and going for their mounts, Eureka (NOT Pagos), and leveling B...Bl....Blu... Now I'm sad.

See ya around in Hydaelyn


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #49

Hey all - back with the 49th development log and the final one for 2018! I'm sitting in Christopher Nuño's studio in Los Angeles working on the log while some new music for future content is being created. I hope you are all having a happy holdays so far.

This development log entry will primarily be devoted to the up-to-date progress of Selatria going into the new year.

I'd like to start off the post with a very important announcement. As of 7:32 PM on 12/28/2018, all of the main scenario dialogue has been implemented into Selatria! It's been a long time and with a lot of help from the studio team. The dialogue for all of Selatria is several hundred pages and that's just for the main scenario alone. It took almost eight years of tweaking and editing to get all of the dialogue into the project, and now we can focus on other aspects of the game and not be tied down by having to implement pages upon pages of main scenario content.  That being said...

The focus for the rest of the development cycle is as follows.

We are prioritizing making parts of dungeons that contain story cut-scenes before completing the rest of the dungeons. Cut-scenes are the most time consuming aspect of Selatria to create and we are creating the areas with cutscenes before finishing other incomplete sections of dungeons.

We are planning to implement unique victory poses for each character. The art has been completed, but implementation of this will happen in January.

Expanding the testing team to test Selatria and give feedback on implemented content to minimize the amount of bugs and errors leading into release. Over the course of 2017-2018, we've had two testers, but we're looking to increase it to a team of 4-5 people.

• Research Steam achievement API and see if implementation will be feasible (Q1 2019)

• Finishing and adjusting dungeon content (Ongoing)

• Finishing and adjusting battle content (Ongoing)

• Finishing and adjusting story and cut-scene content with related voiceovers (Ongoing)

• Finishing and adjusting art content (Ongoing)

Here are two shots from one of the dungeons in the later chapters of Selatria. This is from an upcoming dungeon called the Mirage Temple. The team will need to return to a newly discovered section of the Mirage Forest to track down an artifact for the story. 


For this next part, I'm taking a different PR approach and outline what will NOT make it to the initial launch and what may be designated for post-release content. This is going to be a spoiler-free version of the development timeline for the rest of the game and may still be subject to change leading up to the final launch of the game.

Cuts to the original plan and scope of the game are going to be necessary in order to reasonably finish the game on time. We know there were grand plans for some of the dungeons and obstacles but we are going to be putting focus on what gets the game done while still being fun and enjoyable. So I'd like to dive in on some of the necessary changes coming to the Selatria project in 2019.

What is going to be cut from the vanilla game to make the 2019 deadline for completing the game. This is not a final list, but I’ve been doing a line by line breakdown of what we want to do to get this game done.

• Final chapter dungeons are going to be cut down in scale and reworked with an emphasis on fun over complexity. One major recurring mechanic rather than multiple mechanics.

• We are planning on cutting down the planned level for which the game is to be completed. This will help us balance the characters and make every few levels gained to be meaningful.

• Redundant/underused abilities are going to be removed from the game for all characters. Taking feedback from Selatria: Advent of the Dakk'rian Empire release, we as designers don’t utilize all the different status effects enough and it’s difficult to make one spell for each specific instance. Paralypur, Poispur, Sealpur, etc, is going to be consolidated to one single target spell called “Purify” and the area spell “Purify 2” will be changed to “Cleanse”. We also want to avoid long ability lists as players will be inclined to not use weaker abilities at later levels. For those who plan on carrying their save data over from Selatria: Advent of the Dakk'rian Empire, these changes will be automatically applied when the save data is loaded into the full game.

• We plan on having post-release content that expand on character backstories. These updates will be FREE and will not be marketed as purchasable downloadable content. I cannot promise the backstory content will have voiceovers. That will depend on how Selatria performs sales-wise.

• There will be one optional super difficult dungeon at launch and one optional super difficult dungeon in one of the free updates post-launch. More details on these dungeons will come in development updates in 2019.


There's a lot of exciting announcements coming for our studio in 2019. As of January 3, it will have been 8 years of development on Selatria, and 2019 will be our final year of working on the full-initial launch, with more post-release content to come after. I'm glad we're on the last stretch to the development of this project and I can't wait to show you what else we have planned come next year. Happy New Year and I'll follow-up more in 2019!


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Happy 6 years to whimindie!

Six years ago I asked my friends to help me clean out the Groove Time building so I could start a small video game development studio. Only Paul and Matt showed up. Wouldn't have been able to start or go this far without them and I am very grateful for that.

And thus whimindie was born! Setting up the studio changed my life in many ways for the better. Opened up new opportunities for myself and those have worked with us over the years. Not to mention we released three games in the process. Happy 6 years! We will finish Selatria soon!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Gaming Laptop Keyboards (Or not even gaming laptop keyboards ... just laptop keyboards)

My one big gripe with gaming laptop keyboards is that companies want to sacrifice either the size of the shift key or the arrow keys to make things fit (and they can keep a rectangular design). Both shift keys should be large, rectangular and consistent on both sides. Arrow keys need to be large and square shape with all four directions being consistent in size!

The only non-compromised gaming laptop keyboard I can seem to find is Alienware (Dell) - and that's really unfortunate. Please don't sacrifice the integrity of the shift key, arrow keys, or any other commonly used key. Our niche audience needs you!

Current Toshiba Qosmio laptop. Most of the keyboard is good but they put some keys into really weird locations. (Print Screen requiring FN key). Toshiba has left the market for good laptops so replacement parts and repairs get worse as time goes on

Also small arrow keys.

Studio touch screen laptop for big mobile game demonstrations. What's up with that arrow key design, HP?

Forgive the dust, this is a really old retired Toshiba laptop from college

Full keyboard, no compromise in key sizes. The important keys have their own keys. Arrow keys decent size. Shift key and numeric keys aren't compromised

All I ask is for some consistency and care when designing keyboards for laptops and test popular and commonly used keys before trying to design a good layout.

I'm not getting into the debate between gaming laptops and gaming desktops. Please save that for a different discussion. There are many reasons why I don't have a Desktop including but not limited to: Game jams, IGDA meetings, game dev meetups, and back and forth between California and Nevada every two weeks. Just because I travel a lot does not mean I shouldn't have to deal with poorly thought out laptop keyboard designs.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Get yourself out there

I just got out of a 2-hour conversation with a female friend of mine who is frustrated that she cannot get anyone to date her.

It frustrates her when I tell her she's not doing enough to put herself out there to find anyone, but I honestly feel like she's not putting enough effort in. Go to meetups, converse with people, get to know them. Go on dating sites, lower your standards. Find what you like and don't like.

If you want someone to date, there is someone out there for everyone. I don't understand how she finds it to be difficult.

Go vote.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Rant about weight and self-image

I really don't consider myself to be overweight. I commissioned my friend to do art for me holding a Nintendo Switch and being angry (showing fake gamer rage) but he made my face look completely round and my body all pudgy -- I didn't think it looked like me at all.

When another friend drew me, it looked far closer to me. Maybe my friend thinks I look fatter than I am? I'm not sure. It's kind of a motivation to work out and lose some pounds, but I don't believe in dieting. If I eat something unhealthy, then I balance it out later in the evening by eating something healthy. Simple as that.

I was going to say more, but I think I got that off my chest. Go vote tomorrow.