Saturday, March 30, 2013

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #9

Hey all, back with my ninth development log!

In the last development log, we were kind of hit with a bunch of obstacles at once, and it forced us to re-plan and prioritize what projects were better going forward with, and how to finish a mostly complete game project that had its intellectual property pulled from under it.

We've discussed how we were going to reform what we did own the rights to and talk about forming those ideas into a new game, and are going to present it tomorrow in the meeting.

Next development log you guys will see concepts of this mobile game in development, now called "Swarm", as well as art concepts from our upcoming action game "Angry Grandma".

Oh! I also made an interesting post about how Selatria is pronounced the other day. Do take a read through it if you please!



The fundraising for Indiegogo will begin soon. We originally planned for February 23rd (which was a month ago), but other projects had to take an emergency precedence, so it was pushed back. Now we are planning for April 22nd. It would be in our benefit to launch full-force on a Monday, but we also need time to polish and make the game look and play very well.

Oh, a new theme!

Here is a preview theme for the "Ice Cave", composed by Elijah Lucian. He's also the voice for an upcoming antagonist in the game as well!

And here is some unfinished footage of Chapter 2 that's still under development. When I get some finalized footage, I will begin showing previews on the official Selatria YouTube page. So please subscribe and check it out!

Voice Actors Involved: River Kanoff, Kristyn Mass, Anthony Hintzen, Karen Elizabeth Wetherell, Neil Stucky
Artists Involved: Jonathan Flynn, Jennifer Gilliland, ArtzBy Gyreck, Erik Boismier, Hannah Bottenberg
Music: Luke Simpson
SFX: Donald Brown
Designers/Programmers: Grover Wimberly IV, Matthew Estrada, Jonathan Dishaw

We're opening a new round of auditions for Selatria in mid-April at the studio!

Some roles that will be open - Pirate Captain, Pirate Grunt, Arena Announcer, Prosecutor, and a male main character role who breaks out into random uncontrollable rage.

I'll also post auditions on Voice Acting Alliance the same day I come up with a date for the in-house auditions. If you be interested, lemme know. This will likely be our last audition session for Selatria since we mostly have the characters and the cast finalized at this point. :)

And last but not least... juvenile jokes are not spared!

That's about it for this development post. Until next time!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Selatria : Lore Post #1

My first attempt at making a lore post! Well, it'll be a cross between lore and development. There may be some game spoilers afoot. I'll try and stop myself before going too far, but we'll see.

Name Pronunciation:

Given the nature of the word "Selatria", I've heard a lot of interesting pronunciations of the name of the game. The most common one is Se-lat-ria. With the emphasis on "lat". My friend who is an EMT pronounces it "Sel-atria" with "atria" as in heart.

The correct pronunciation of "Selatria" is Sell-a-tree-ya.

Name Ideas:

The name came up from a poll taken back in 2011 between a variety possible game names.

I was originally thinking "Mage's Tale" because at the time, we had literal names for each character. The main character's name was "Mage", the best friend's name is "Knight", etc... I was originally envisioning an old 8-bit era name convention. We eventually scrapped the idea, but I decided to keep the main character's name Mage because I liked the simplicity of the name and it could be something players can relate to.

It reminded me a lot of the simple names Nintendo came up for their characters that really didn't make any sense at first. "Red" for Pokemon, "Link" in The Legend of Zelda, "Cloud" in Squaresoft's Final Fantasy VII. One syllable names that are simple were most appealing to me for a main character's name, and Mage stuck with me the best out of all the other names floating around.

Anyway, we eventually settled on the game name Selatria. Jabari came up with the idea for the name, and it caused me to do some research.

"Sela" is Hebrew for "rock". "Tri" is a root word for three.  The "A" at the end romanticizes the whole word. So the name of the game could mean "Three Rocks". Selactic energy in terms of the game world is a magical essence that is released through ground sources across the world. It can escape in the form of energy that flows in the air, Selactite which is the energy trapped in a natural jeweled form, or the vegetation on the land.

But there are only two selactic sources in the game world... or are there? 


Friday, March 22, 2013

3/22 Gaming Rant!

Some rants about upcoming games. Stuff I'm looking forward to.

General Gaming Rant:

I'm going to spend some time during next week to finish Xenoblade Chronicles. It's been sitting on the shelf for some time. I believe I was halfway through, but the game is so vast that sometimes I get overwhelmed thinking about playing it before I even turn the Wii on. I want to finish the game just to get a sense of closure for the game collection shelf before the release of "A Realm Reborn". We'll see!
Other game I've been slowly working on is Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. I've said that I won't buy the 3DS one until I beat that one, so maybe it's a forced punishment? I don't know. I'm restarted the game since I got stuck by losing too many characters the first time around and have been trying to get through with no deaths at all!

Also, Dragon Age... long term game goal. I've gotten a decent chunk done, but just need to get on and play more... when there's time!

Also a remake of Ducktales was announced this morning! For the XB360, PS3, and WiiU. It seems like a 2.5D game, I hope they make a 3DS downloadable port.

Final Fantasy MMOs:

Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin

I have talked about for a while that I was on the fence about joining FFXI again for the Seekers of Adoulin expansion. I am ultimately deciding against it, for now.

I think a lot of people see XI with rose-colored glasses, and comment about how the experience has changed. Consider me a more casual gamer than I used to be, but I don't want to go back to the game with the dated interface and having to wikipedia up the most basic of things. I'm going to be watching from the sidelines to see how the storyline is.

If I see some really badass cutscenes and a storyline that wows me over as much as CoP or WoTG or FFXIV Seventh Umbral Era but doesn't take years to complete, I may give it a shot!


Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

I showed this picture to a new LS member who never watched the original 1.0 cinematic. Creepy looking, isn't it?

I'm still bound by a nondisclosure agreement, so I can't say anything other than that I'm a legacy member, and legacy members can get in on Phase 1. The NDA is lifted in Phase 4 according to the Beta Test roadmap.

Here's how well my laptop can run the game using its official benchmark. I don't know how YouTube messed up its quality. It looks very similar to how it is in the embed mode, but not as grainy looking if you see it in full-screen.

I will be reprising my FFXIV 1.0 character and roles as Level 50 Paladin/Level 50 Black Mage/Level 50 Warrior main. I will also play Blue Mage if(when?) they release that job. I also have level 50 Dragoon/Monk/Bard/White Mage and have plans to level Arcanist/Summoner to 50. However those jobs will not be a priority on gearing up, at least until after PLD/BLM/WAR is done, anyway.

I am looking forward to adventuring with my Viva Eorzea friends once more. There's so much content we will need to do, places to explore, raids to complete. 

Speaking of which, Clayers Ray found a screenshot of when we won the last battle of the 1.0 Seventh Umbral storyline. Hot damn, it was closer than I remember!

I'm looking forward to returning to Eorzea soon enough!

Until next time.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #8

Hey all! Happy green day! Back with the eighth development log.


Point of No Return: 

I wanted to start off by talking about what I call "The Point of No Return". I consider the Point of No Return to be the area where you get so far in the game development project, it would actually be more work to scrap it and cancel the project than it is to finish it. There's really no defining point in knowing exactly when the Point of No Return takes place, but you just kind of know.

With all of the people involved with Selatria, luckily we probably have passed the Point of No Return likely a few months back.

However, other projects developed in the studio don't share the same stroke of luck. Some get to the design phase, some have unintended difficulties or underestimated hurdles that cause a game project to be scrapped or sent to another team to finish it. Other reasons how games never make it past the point of no return can include: Insufficient knowledge of the game engine/tools that can cause delays, lack of constant communication between the development team and the producer, and when the wants and needs of one individual/party outweigh the goals and vision of the team.

There can be cases where a project passes the Point of No Return, but can still be scrapped by the people in charge. Those games unfortunately don't get to see the light of day, especially if developed within large conglomerates that own the intellectual property. However, when there's unused source code that the independent developer still maintains the rights to, it can be adapted and changed into a new unrelated game.

In the legal world, when life gives you lemons, you may not be able to have the rights to turn it into lemonade. So you change it into orange soda instead. 

That's all I'll talk about on that subject for now. Onto our projects! :)



Development of Selatria is coming along very well. We're doing a lot of polish and spending the majority of time getting ready for the long-delayed pitch for Indiegogo and eventually Kickstarter. I'm going to be meeting with one of the voice actors on Tuesday to record the lines for Shopkeeper and the Engineer roles, and another voice actor on Thursday in order to record one of our to-be-announced characters! Lots of fun.

I've posted this in one of the previous blog posts, but I'm going to take bloopers of some of the VA roles to post on our official YouTube page.

Here are some aspects of the game we're currently polishing.

A/ Making Mage's three spell classes more balanced and useful.

 It was common feedback from the first version of the demo that there was not enough diversity in Mage's three formes to justify changing unless it was absolutely needed to in the game. One of our game designers Jonathan Dishaw came up with an interesting way to balance the three classes and re-purpose them a little bit.

Changing of Elemental Spells: 

Elemental strengths and weaknesses will be amplified in upcoming versions of the game. If the player can figure out the elemental resistance of the foe, the damage will be amplified. 

Magician: Will have tier 1 and tier 2 Healing and Elemental spells. But will gain new spells deriving from the new "Psychic", "Spirit", "Light", and "Dark" types.

Psychic, Spirit, Light, and Dark spells will have a high base damage, but the damage from these spells will be lower than if one were to hit them with the proper elemental spells.

Whereas foes will have their own set of weaknesses to the elements. The weakness to types will be based on the type of enemy. Humanoids will be weak to Psychic. Ghosts are weak to Spirit, Undead is weak to light, etc...

B/ Chapter 1-5 Modifications:

Another common issue that players have brought up from Version 1 was that falling off the edge in Mt. Onyo in Chapter 1-5 was unfair. It originally kicked you out all the way to the Overworld. I had many different changes in mind. Taking fall damage and going to the beginning of the room, having a confirm menu asking if you really want to make the choice, but I ultimately settled on somewhat of a fun approach. I guess you could argue that this would be spoiling a secret, but leaping from different ledges produces different results. Anyhow, I posted a YouTube video to test it out. Take a look!

C/ Art

The best for last. Lots of new icons and town art will be in the new version. I would like to post the Team Attack changes and modifications into the demo as well, but it's not a super-priority at the time due to the amount of work it will require to change before the pitch begins. It will be in the final release version for sure! We'll see how it goes and do our best to fit it in on time.

Jennifer Gilliland is currently working on all the town designs and making them look polished for the upcoming build. She's been really hard at work on it all and I've been happy with how it's been looking! I'd rather not post incomplete screenshots but I will show it when we're both happy with how it comes out!



A few development logs back, I mentioned that we were developing a 3D game in Unity with the codename of "Figment". Unfortunately, plans for that game fell through, and the game had to be thrown on the back-burner for now. We may consider reviving it as a much smaller 2D project with some redesigns and a smaller team. But outside circumstances don't allow me to speak any more about it than that.


Codename SWARM:

Straight from the ashes of one of our pulled projects, we still have good base code to use for upcoming mobile game projects done in the studio. We're going to be using the base coding to produce a new game coming out for mobile phones.  Most of the programming team from said pulled project will be carrying over and some of the Selatria team are carrying over to do the art, music, and sound effects for the game. We will debut on Google Play sometime in April for 99 cents. 

I'll provide more info about it when it's ready. Expect the info in a future development log!


That's about it for now. Until next post!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Selatria VA Bloopers Episode 1: The Phantom Melanie

First in series of different bloopers! I'll try and upload more in near future. :)

Melanie's Voice: Vikki Ceballos
Face Art: Jonathan Flynn
Logo Art: Derrick Frainee

Background Voices: Different Selatria Dev Team Members

Keep up to date with the Selatria Project!

Director's Blog:


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Part 1 of things I don't appreciate.

I don't appreciate it when people bring up a problem that they have and then state that it's because "other people" in the group bring it up. It's a level of passive-ness that I don't appreciate.


Person: "Some people" don't like that you're doing x.

Me: Some people? Who was it? Why didn't they talk to me directly?

Person: Well, because I'm talking to z, and they thought they would talk to me, it would be more comfortable.

Me: Well, I'll talk to that person and see if I can clear things up.

Person: No, no, no. What if it isn't z? Why do you assume it's z? Maybe it could be y.

Me: I talked to y, and he/she seems fine with it.

Person: Oh... well some people don't like that you're doing x.

Me: Okay. I'll keep that in mind.


It's YOU that doesn't like what I'm doing. I would appreciate that. Not that I would change what or who I'm involved with, but I would appreciate some direct-ness than try and "rally" up this "invisible" force that doesn't like what I'm doing. That'll be the end of that.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #7

Hey guys! Back with the seventh development log. In the weeks that we've really started to get the projects off the ground and the studio set up, I've had my hands tied doing about four different projects: Selatria, Hell's Kitty Mobile Game, and two other games that will be announced soon! Hell's Kitty Mobile game should be landing soon! We've had several factors that have gone into delaying the project, but an Android and desktop version is almost complete.

Since the last post, we've also devoted one of the walls to the artists for our projects. The north wall of the studio we'll start to pin up concept art and everything that has been used in our games. It's pretty blank right now, but we'll start putting up everything for all of our projects. It will fill very quickly!

 The Art Wall

Anyway, it seems that I've been spending my time developing games more than actually playing them. I have so many games I want to actually spend time playing through and the stack of to-complete games is rising quite a bit!

Down to business! 


Selatria Progress:

Chapter 2 Cut-scenes:

Matt has been working on the majority of the Chapter 2 cut-scenes, and they're coming out great!
*Cut-scenes and screenshots shown are tentative and subject to change.

Below is an example of an upcoming dungeon. Each dungeon is going to have a different challenge or puzzle that needs to be completed. With the limited tileset size provided by RPG Maker VX, we still want to create a quality looking dungeon with lots of different things and activities to do.

In fact, the constraints is kind of what makes it fun. How far can we push the events and Ruby scripts to do what we want it to!? It's really exciting.


Updated icons! I programmed the icons into the menus in battle, and Jennifer Gilliland worked on new icons for the "Items" bag and "Trigger Attacks". Unlike the original demo, "Trigger Attacks" will now be shown with new icons you'll see below. White means Healing, Red means Damage. Blue will mean Buffing Team Attacks. An example is shown in Melanie's move-set below.

The next phase on modifying the Trigger Abilities will be showing visual chains and giving EXP and damage bonuses. In the demo, Trigger attacks would only allow other party members to chain for more turns to be executed in one go-around. To emphasize the important of Triggers and Team Attacks, they will give an EXP bonus, there will be a visual "Chain #1", "Chain #2!", "Chain #3!" with appropriate EXP multipliers and an ending damage bonus.

It's not determined what it will be, but it will be fair enough so that it won't be game breaking for those new to the RPG genre or are unlucky with Team Attack combinations.

Due to the new icons, we will likely change the "Trigger" command to a new name that can account for abilities that aren't Trigger abilities.


Indiegogo/Kickstarter Draft of Backer Rewards: 

We'll be publicly launching soon on Indiegogo first and then Kickstarter later, and I'd like to post a preview of rewards for backing the project. We're still currently working on the pitch itself and it should be shown later down the road. Here are some of what we have planned out. I'll post all the tiers but the later ones will be kept secret for now. Need to have some sort of surprise when the pitch launches, eh!?!

$1        Contributor Credit + Preview of the Main Theme

All backers will featured in the credits with their first and last name as a “Contributor”. All backers will also be given a downloadable copy of the main theme of the game composed by Christopher Nuño to listen and enjoy as thanks!

Total items provided: Contributor Credit + Free Download of the Main Theme

$3        Early Adopter Pre-purchase (Limited: 250 claims)

The full vanilla version of Selatria as a DRM-free downloadable copy at a special discounted price. We’ll even throw in the copy of the main theme as well for thanks. Thanks for supporting us early!

Total items provided: Full Game DRM-Free + Contributor Credit + Free Download of the Main Theme

$5        Full Game

The full vanilla version of Selatria as a DRM-free downloadable copy. We’ll even throw in the copy of the main theme as well for thanks.

Total items provided: Full Game DRM-Free + Contributor Credit + Free Download of the Main Theme

$10      Full Game + Soundtrack of battle themes

The full vanilla version of Selatria as a DRM-free downloadable copy. Thanks for supporting us! We’ll toss in a special downloadable folder of all of the battle themes the vanilla version of the game has to offer for you!

Total items provided: Full Game DRM-Free + Soundtrack of Battle Theme Download + Contributor Credit + Free Download of the Main Theme

$15      Full Game + Entire Soundtrack

The full vanilla version of Selatria as a DRM-free downloadable copy. Thanks for supporting us! We’ll toss in a special downloadable folder of every theme the vanilla version of the game has to offer for you!

Total items provided: Full Game DRM-Free + Entire Soundtrack Download + Contributor Credit + Free Download of the Main Theme

$20      Above  + Preview of new game footage and soundtracks one week before general public

Thanks for supporting us! You’ll get the full vanilla version of Selatria as a DRM-free downloadable copy, a downloadable copy of the full soundtrack for your listening pleasure, AND you’ll be provided with trailers of special game footage and music previews of Selatria one week before the general public!

Total items provided: Full Game DRM-Free + Early Access Pass to Game Footage and new previews one week ahead of time + Entire Soundtrack Download + Contributor Credit + Free Download of the Main Theme


$30 [ Secret! ]

$40 [ Secret! ] 

$50 [ Secret! ] 

$75 [ Secret! ]

$100 [ Secret! ] 

$250 [ Secret! ]

$300 [ Secret! ]

$500 [ Secret! ]

$1000 [ Secret! ]



Last but not least. Selatria is officially copyrighted! I cut out what I deem is confidential information, but you get the point!

That's it for now. Until next post!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Friend Zone!

Have you ever seen a woman complain that there's no good guys out there in the world? And then all the nice guys are like "Hello! I'm right over here!" yet are only ever seen as a friend? Ahh, the dreaded friend-zone. Once you go in, you are never coming out!

I wonder if women say the same thing about guys they're attracted to. I don't think I've friend-zoned anyone except one person in particular from high school, but that's only because I was not really into her, she was way too flirtatious for my tastes.

But anyhow, if that's the case, please speak up because apparently I'm normally completely oblivious, or so I've been told. Well, at least don't tell me here, I'd prefer it privately.

In fact, I'm going to disable comments on this post to avoid potential controversy for anyone that might fall upon this post.

That's the end of that!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy March!

Happy March!

Thanks for the feedback/messages/comments/complaints on the demo of Selatria over the past eight months. A new version of the demo is coming soon, addressing a lot of issues and adding a ton of new features!

Here's a preview of an upcoming re-design of a certain boss... :)
Art by Cristobal Alberto Leingod Guerrero