Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Operation: Grandma -- Action/Stealth/Comedic Game Concept

Hammerhead in Twisted Metal III - blame this for part of the inspiration.

I felt like I wanted to post this here, in fact I could care less if people take the idea and decide to further develop it. (I don't think people will care enough to even bother taking my concepts, but just covering my bases.)

Those who know me well know that I have a very strange and absurd sense of humor, I want my next project to be less serious and  way more lighthearted. I also want to try something that's not an RPG! I was given a lot of different game concepts, but I want to try something a bit different.

How it started:

So, a few months ago I pitched a game concept to the IGDA Facebook board about a game centered around a grandmother as a protagonist. In the response, I was just looking to be creative, but in the time since then I've been thinking about the game concept and I'm looking to expand it further maybe late-next year after Selatria is completed.

Given the launch of the upcoming OUYA console, I would really like to start developing games for that console with my independent game label.  I'm thinking this would be the perfect game idea for that.


Tired of her boring life stuck in a retirement home after being placed by her evil son-in-law, 89-year old Betty plans to escape. She has to overcome obstacles sneaking out of the place, and has to maneuver around town avoiding officials and family members who want to send her back.

She'll have to learn technology, city streets, and the modern world in order to keep her freedom and avoid the prison that is her retirement community.

Possible Weapons:

-Purse (Hard hitting, but lose some money every-time it is swung)
-Cane/Walker (Several different weapons)
-Painkillers (Cause temporary invulnerability)
-Shopping Cart
-Glasses, if dropped or broken, vision can become blurry.
-Baseball Bat
-Smartphone - Contains GPS that tells her if family or the administrators from the retirement home are nearby and looking for her.

Given that the person is elderly, there will have to be a stealth element in the game. It will be less of beat-em-up and running, but more of strategic hiding and maneuvering while moving slowly around town.

Possible Game Features:

-Reputation bar. Goes up when doing favors for different people in town. Goes down when you beat up people with cane/weapon.
-3D Open world
-Ability to date different people. Ranging from fellow  seniors, to acting as a cougar and going for younger guys. Can affect reputation positively/negatively depending on actions done.
-Adult kids driving around looking for you at random to which you'll need to avoid.
-Recruit grandchildren to do some of the bidding/missions for you.


Anyway, I'm going to continue developing this idea, I don't have the development manpower (nor the time) to develop the game any further than a concept at the moment due to other commitments, but when time opens up and I get the OUYA next year, I'm going to begin developing this concept for it.

If you guys have any suggestions or may be interested in joining the project when it comes to fruition, let me know!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Selatria - Special Announcements + Main Theme Revealed!

I needed some inspiration on working on the game, so I wanted people to like the Selatria page promising that there would be a special announcement if there were 100 or more likes on the page.

That went through fairly quickly, so I revealed the special info late last night and early this morning.

Special Announcement (1/3)

Selatria is going to release on August 20, 2013 for a discounted price of $2.99 on the first week only!

Special Announcement (2/3)

The first 100 people who liked this page will receive special thanks credits in the ending of the game. Thank you so much for the support and liking the page!

Special Announcement (3/3)

This is perhaps the most special one, and apologies that it came the morning afterwards, technical difficulties!

A sample of the main theme of the game composed by Christopher Nuño and Jabari Smith!

Thanks everyone for the support!!!

Here is what the main theme of the game will be. Any suggestions for the name of the song? I love it. It's beautiful.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

New Project that I can finally talk about.

I've been working on it for a while, but I can finally talk about it.

Check out Hell's Kitty!

I'm doing the game design and uncredited as co-programmer, while my friend Matt is doing the programming of the project. It's going to be hitting this Winter for android phones.

Programmed in Java.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What RPG Maker means to me

RPG Maker will always be a program that I hold dear. I first learned about it when I was 10 years old going to EBGames for used PlayStation games and found a copy of the original RPG Maker on the PS1 console. After being initially confused by the mechanics of it, I played Gobli's Quest demo and learned how events worked and I was hooked after that.

In 2005, I picked up RPG Maker XP and began working on my first game I had designed on paper. I was going to work on that game for the PS1 iteration, but it turned out to be too limiting. I'm ashamed of it now (it's cheesy, trust me), but I worked on it for six years and I now feel like I mastered the art of XP eventing.

In 2008, I graduated high school, and because of making these games in my spare time, I wanted to go into the realm of game development as a career as well as a hobby. I took up Computer Science and Game Design and learned the ins and outs of standard programming which I used those fundamentals to understand the Ruby scripts in RPG Maker. I just graduated with my degree this past summer and I'm currently working on my own independent game development label!

I'm currently working on a game called "Selatria" with a mixed team between my friends, hobbyists, former classmates I've met in university, and professional and aspiring voice actors, musicians, and artists. I'm currently using a mix of scripts that were freely distributed (with permission of course) as well for the first time, Ruby scripts that I have made on my own.

If it weren't for RPG Maker, my whole career path would have likely been much different. I wouldn't have been interested in any game development, and would have gone down a totally different route in life (likely business or a more conventional field.) I'm very grateful that RPG Maker was a starting step in order to go into professional game development, and I'm hoping very soon my hobby will become more of a dream career.

Screenshots and videos are below: 
Also check us out on IndieDB, Facebook, and YouTube!
Check out RPG Maker Web: Make Your Own Game!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chapter 2 Development - 10/23

Soon, a sample of the main theme of the game will be posted. Check for that later this week. It sounds beautiful.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

I'm using that Baker's Halloween Book.

Okay, so there's this local fast food chain called Baker's Drive-Thru that sells this Halloween book every year that has $300-ish worth of free things you can get and do at various different locations around Southern California.

For the past (hell, for as long as I can remember), I would just go for the free food and leave all the others at the wayside. That ends this year. There's
going to be a day where I'm going to set aside and do as many things as possible in that book [within reason].

I've already set the day. It's going to be on Black Friday. Who's with me!?! Gonna be fun. :D (Maybe might make it a yearly thing.)

(By the way, if any of you have kids, I'll give away the Child's only admission stuff for free. Damn me being too old.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Selatria will probably be my last RPG project.

I've determined that Selatria will probably be my last RPG project.

I'm pouring my heart and soul into the game and feel like I have done what I wanted to do with the genre. I've been in a team with very talented and understanding people and the project is coming along very nicely.

I have every intent to finish it by August 2013 with the best quality of a game that I can, but after I think I would like to develop more casual games on other genres. I would like to look into development for the Ouya since it's Android based and I can exercise some practice in Java.

I would also like to mention that I bear no ill will to RPG Maker or RPG Maker developers. I love the program, I think it's a great tool to simplify the complexity in all of the coding that is needed to make a RPG. My philosophy is not the engine or programming used to make the game (assuming not plagiarized or illegal), but the fun of the game itself.

That's all. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ask Questions.

I had my feelings thoroughly hurt earlier today. I heard some unflattering things college classmates talked about me during my time in some of the courses.

I won't name off the courses it involved or the people involved with doing it, but I have two main philosophies.

1. I never say anything behind a person's back that I wouldn't say to their face directly.

2. Always ask questions. A stupid question is one that's never answered.

The first example is this person involved talking about my performance in a class in which I was this person's lab partner. The professor mistakenly assumed that everyone in the class had basic Electromagnetism experience and made sure they knew circuit diagrams.

At the time, I haven't taken the course, so trying to understand the lab instructions, I asked my classmate and they were not very much help.This continued on for the whole quarter or so, with me feeling stupid that I was behind that I felt like I haven't taken the relevant courses needed to feel successful in the class.

The second example was that I was put into a group with this person in another class. I, not knowing the language that they were doing this program in, decided to ask a lot of questions about it on their group forum that they made for the group project. I guess, one of the questions they determined to be too stupid and proceeded to laugh about it. (This was the one I just talked about.)

And this person proceeded to have a class with one of my friends afterwards and grilled me to the point where even he said he felt ashamed to be my friend.

That was probably the straw that broke the camel's back and made me want to write this.

Anyway, my philosophy. Always ask questions. There's always a right and wrong answer, even if someone says there isn't one. The wrong answer in that case is the one they do not want to hear.


I guess that it was a few years ago now, so it's all water under the bridge. It's not likely that I'm going to see these people again, so I'm not going to publicly bash them on the interwebs. I'm not that type of person, that's why I kept the names and relevant classes out of it.

But I like to learn. I like to ask questions. If I don't understand things, damn well I will make it known.

It's never cool to be the subject of the guy that everyone is laughing at though. Makes me want to further improve myself. Expect some industry-related posts in the future. (Mostly for my reference)


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Selatria Auditions: Part III (Updated: 10/16)

Updated with new roles --  October 16, 2012
Updated with information on types of files accepted -- October 16, 2012

(Pronounced Sell-a-tree-a!)


Selatria is an independently directed and produced role-playing game (RPG) published under the RPG Maker VX engine. Unlike most RPG Maker games, Selatria uses a completely original soundtrack, original monster art, unique sprites, an original spin on the battle system, and utilizes voice acting. Selatria has been in production since January 2011 and is expected to finish in August 2013. A demo of Chapter 1 can be played here.

The story revolves around two teenagers who are exiled from their home when it is taken over by an invading empire. Confused and enraged, they adventure and obtain the help from others who are involved in the conflict to try to reclaim their home and find out who and why this empire is attacking.

Chapter 1 Trailer:

Main Characters:

Expected Release Date of Game:

August 20, 2013. We are hoping to make a debut at AM^2 anime convention booth in Anaheim next year.


None currently. No one in the current development team is currently being paid for contribution. There will be a profit-sharing plan in place once the game goes live, and each team member will have a percentage in ownership of the game. Most of us are using this as an opportunity to expand portfolio/resume.

Roles Available:

*Denotes a long term role. The game has six chapters and each chapter takes roughly two months to complete. New lines may be provided every two months until completion of the game in August 2013. Keep this in mind. We may keep in contact with you!

***Prospective voice actors and development team members must look over and agree to our development team agreement after being cast.***

-Narrator/Morgen (Old friend of Luis)* (Male or Female) (Audition Script
-Evil Dakk'rian Emperor/Empress* (Male or Female) (Audition Script)
-Cannoneer (Male or Female) (Audition Script)
-Resident (Male or Female) (Audition Script)
-Heiveir City Chairman (Politician like role) (Male or Female) (Audition Script)
-Doctor (Male or Female) (Audition Script)
-Delusional Fairy (Male or Female) (Audition Script)
-Engineer (Male or Female) (Audition Script)
- (NEW) Young Morgen (Male or Female) (Audition Script)
- (NEW) Faylien Soldier A  (Male or Female) (Audition Script)
- (NEW) Faylien Soldier B (Male or Female) (Audition Script)
- (NEW) Faylien Soldier C (Male or Female) (Audition Script)

Other Positions Available:

If you're looking for other positions related to the game that aren't voice acted. We can use you! Please come to this link for details.


Submissions for auditions can be emailed to "" or "". Please use subject line "Selatria Audition: [Insert Role Here]".

Alternatively, submissions can be sent via the Voice Acting Alliance thread Jabari will be posting. (I'll provide the link once it goes up.)

Formats for submissions accepted: .mp3, .WAV, .ogg

Deadline for submissions will be Thursday, November 8, 2012 at Midnight (Pacific Time).


Good luck on your auditions! I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

-Grover, Selatria Producer/Director


Monday, October 8, 2012

Selatria Team

The one problem with having an ambitious project is trying to keep a constantly changing team motivated throughout the whole process.

You know, that's arguably harder than developing the game itself.

In the future, I'm going to stick to projects much smaller in scale. Ones that can probably be completed in a year or so.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Game Design Philosophy: Open-World Content

See also: Eastern RPGs vs Western RPGs

I've been playing a lot of Xenoblade Chronicles lately. ...A lot. What really attracts me to the game is the nice vast open world gameplay. Something that's really missing from the newer eastern-RPGs. (I think you all know what I'm referring to when I mean that.)
(Xenoblade Gameplay -- by CoreysCollection)


Final Fantasy XII does a similar world-design concept, and I think Xenoblade was heavily designed by it. XII was then inspired by XI's world design, which was an MMO, to give the player an impression that they had a lot of areas to explore. That there were areas to go to that weren't even part of the main scenario.

Players are encouraged to explore not just the areas they have to go to, indicated by the pointer in Xenoblade or the icon on the minimap in XII, but to check that crevice to the side, those mountains over there, or to just uncover the map in order to find new things or secret monsters.

(Final Fantasy XII Gameplay -- by aalsebti)

I'm also a giant fan of Rockstar's games, Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Midnight Club, etc. Their various games have a lot of content to do in an open world that gets wider as you progress through. Midnight Club stands out as a racing game which allows you to go whereever you want and not along a defined track, as long as you the racer hits all of the checkpoints along the way.

The Zelda games particularly stand out as a sore thumb, but to the opposite extreme. I think I was turned off by those games by the un-explained nature of the earlier games. You're kind of just thrown into the middle of the game and expected to find things on your own. I was told this aspect was fixed in the later games in the series, but haven't had a chance to get around to them just yet.  

As much as I love exploring and searching every little thing in games, one thing that stands out in most of the examples is that the beginning is treated with a little too much freedom. I believe that the early parts of a game should be hand-holding you through the process and kinda push you where you need to go until all of the basic game mechanics are explained or at least your main quest/objective is outlined.


I almost forgot to mention western RPGs into this equation. A lot of those games do the very things I like. Open world gameplay and lots of freedom-of-choice. But I guess what keeps me from enjoying them is that there's no emphasis on a central story. I like seeing a game that has a story and the side-quests are used to advance the overarching plot.

I would like to see more games out there like Xenoblade. Games that have a central emphasis on a plot with well-defined characters that are present of eastern-RPGs, yet have the open-ness and freedom of western-RPGs.

That would be one hell of an obstacle given that one aspect inevitably takes away from the other.

Anyway, what games do you guys suggest that has a good balance between character development and open world story content?