Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Selatria - Full Team Roster

Full Team Roster that includes the following:


Art:

The art you have seen so far has been exclusively created for Selatria by these gifted artists!

- Jonathan Flynn

- Jennifer Gilliland

- “Gyreck”

- Hannah Bottenberg

- Cristobal Guerrero

- Erik Boismier



Music:

Various talented composers have contributed themes and music to help shape the atmosphere in Selatria. We have samples of their themes below!

- Luke Simpson

- Christopher Nuño

- Jabari Smith

- Jonathan Dishaw

- Elijah Lucian


Take a listen to some samples of themes that are in the game!

- Main Theme of Selatria composed by Jabari Smith and Christopher Nuño

- A theme for a future announced character composed by Jabari Smith and Christopher Nuño


Voice Acting:


We are proud to be one of the very first studios to implement voice acting into an RPG Maker game, and we have gathered various gifted voice actors to complement our characters and story! Below are the actors you can hear throughout chapter one. Of course, you also have the option to leave voices off if you so prefer.

- Jabari Smith

- Vikki Ceballos

- Kristyn Mass

- River Kanoff

- Jonathan Flynn

- Rachel Davenport

- Michelle Deco

- Bowie Alexander

- Anthony Hintzen

- Elijah Lucian

- Jonathan Dishaw

- Karen Elizabeth Wetherell

- Lindz Steindler


Return to Indiegogo Campaign



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Selatria - Meet the Characters

Face art by +Jonathan Flynn 

Meet the Characters
Protagonists



Voiced by: Jabari Lewis-Smith






“Yeah, yeah. Responsibility and blah, blah, blah! Thanks for the pep talk, Mom.”



Mage is an exemplary(?) student at the Availian Academy who is well on his way to graduating. But of course, before he can finish, disaster strikes that sends him and his best friend Melanie on an exciting adventure across the continents of their world. As both a narcissist and a sloth, he’s only gotten as far as he has because of his stout friendship with Melanie.




Voiced by: Vikki Ceballos




“Damn it, Mage! I said to be careful! Now look what you did!”



Melanie is THE star student at the Availian Academy. Even as a child, she had great skill and promise, and thus she was sent from her orphanage to one day become a powerful knight. She and Mage have been good friends since she joined, though Melanie has now taken it on herself to watch over him and fix his many, many, many, MANY mistakes.




Voiced by: River Kanoff




Listen here, you little snot! I’ve been saying this same damn line to measly adventurers like you for the past 15 years!”





The true star of the whole game, Luis is an NPC gone rogue, who has taken it upon himself to save the world along with his sidekicks Mage and Melanie. Tired of the days where he would just repeat lines to adventurers over and over again, he has now taken it upon himself to do what these adventurers could not.



(Disclaimer: Written by Luis)




Voiced by: Kristyn Mass




“I don’t have a name like you. They called me Number 016.”



A former assassin from the Dakk’rian region, her mission was to quell any resistance that Faylien might pose. However, she has one fatal flaw: she has empathy for the innocent. This leads to a realization that she has been manipulated and deceived by her country, and that is not something she can stand for.


  
Antagonists:



Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a story without determined and hard-headed foes. Here are a couple you’ll run into as you start your journey...



Commander Shaw:

Voiced by: Jonathan Dishaw




“You! You’re more trouble than you’re worth. I see now there’s no point in keeping you alive!”



As the commander leading the initial charge against Availia, he has taken it upon himself to crush any resistance and capture anybody with a semblance of magical power. He then utilizes this power for himself, and for his Emperor.



Number 015:

Voiced by: Anthony Hintzen




“The fall of Faylien begins today. It is a shame you won’t be able to see it!”



Number 016’s “brother” has been trained in much the same way she was. However, his loyalty, unlike his sister’s, is unwavering and absolute. He has taken it upon himself to hunt down his sister after her desertion.



Side Characters:



Hat:

Voiced by: Bowie Alexander


“I am here for you, Master Mage.”



A mysterious Hat that Mage found during the course of his final examination. It can grant its user special skills and magic that any magician would be envious of. Though it seems there are other secrets contained within his tattered folds...



Talker:

Voiced by: Bowie Alexander






“Hello! I am Talker!”


A talk show host recently put out of work, Talker wanders from town to town giving talks at the local pub. Always a giver, he lets you use his Voice Communicator to silence him [and all voices, for that matter.


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Monday, April 29, 2013

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #12

I'm completely burnt out!

There's no denying it, the Selatria Indiegogo campaign is not going so well. I vastly underestimated the importance of PR. That's about the worst possible thing that could happen to a project. Worse than bad publicity (because at least the game gets around for being terrible!) But that's what is getting us. No publicity.

I'm getting out there posting more videos, clips, music, getting in contact with indie game companies, reactivated my twitter to get the word out, and the team came up with a tumblr.

But I'm kind of concerned about why people aren't contributing. Is it the low percentage that takes away from confidence in the project? Are we asking for too much to get the game off the ground? These are questions that I'll need to find the answer for.

We're going to be meeting at the studio and planning a new game plan tomorrow and find out exactly where we're going wrong. I've talked to Jennifer Gilliland, one of our main artists for the project, and we're going to plan to release a ton of art assets that were used in Selatria's development. If not for this campaign, next time we try for funding for Selatria, we will be ready. And we won't be tumbling out the gate. No one said this was going to be easy, and it's certainly an uphill battle, but I'm also not one to give up on anything so easily.

Not now.

Check out some of the Selatria art in progress!
Art presented by Jennifer Gilliland









Check out some new videos we've posted!
See the video descriptions for composers involved!


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



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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Feelings

I miss having feelings for someone. I don't particularly miss the people I've had feelings for, but the feelings themselves in general.

Friends are absolutely awesome, don't get me wrong. I've had my share of being friend-zoned and have friend-zoned people myself, but still that sense of loneliness comes every now and then.

Maybe I just need a hug.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Indiegogo Campaign FAQ's - Selatria Indiegogo Update #1

Hey guys, I just wanted to post about some of the FAQs about the Selatria project.




What happens if we don't reach our goal of $5000?

Selatria will still see its way to completion whether or not the goal is reached. If you pledge an amount for a reward, you will get what has been promised to you. If the $5000 goal is not reached, however, we will not be able to use our work days to be able to finish it in a reasonable September time-frame. Development on the game will continue much as it has been before the campaign; largely in our free time. 

How far is Selatria in development? 

-The story/lore is mostly complete. We have all of the main events and plot planned out. The second half of the game still needs to be broken down into individual lines for the voice actors.
Dialogue for the NPCs and different characters for the second half is yet to be written.

-In the case of mapping we have between 180 and 200 completed maps. These maps vary between whole floors of dungeons, house interiors, weapon/armor shops, save point rooms, and hidden areas. In order to finish Selatria, we would need between 40 and 50 more maps for the rest of development of the main story, sidequest areas, more towns, etc... So we're currently between 75-80% done with the mapping.

-In terms of the cutscenes and events we're currently about a third of the way through.

-For voice talent, it depends on the role. Most of the main roles are about halfway done with the game. 

-About half of the music of the game is currently composed.

 As an estimate for the whole project, I would say we're about 40% complete.



Why RPG Maker? What are your sources of inspiration for creating and working on Selatria?

RPG Maker is seen as an undesirable tool by some serious developers and gamers due to its widely accessible nature and many games that freely steal resources, are rushed, or are of poor quality overall. 

However, we would like to join the new trend of games that dispel this notion. Recent successes of games such as Aveyond, To The Moon, Eternal Eden, Legend of Erthia, and Deadly Sin (which were all developed on the RPG Maker engine) were an inspiration to develop Selatria.

Selatria doesn't use any illegally ripped or stolen resources and all of the assets have been created by scratch or a license is owned to use that resource. We are trying to make the game assets be original as possible.




Steam/Desura Release?  What about Macs/Mobile?

Unfortunately, we do not have any current plans to release on Steam or Desura. However, we have plans to launch on indie-friendly game websites such as Amaranth Games and Aldorlea Games.

A native Mac version would be a giant undertaking and developing a version specifically for that platform would require much more than we are asking for. We will look into developing a Wine wrapper for Selatria to have it run on other platforms. If you have other suggestions on how you may be able to assist us in legally bringing Selatria to other platforms other than Windows-PCs, please contact us!


When do you plan on releasing the game?

If we make our goal, we are confident that we can release the game around the end of summer 2013. If we do not make our goal, we will work on the game when we can, and it will be released when it's finished to our satisfaction.


Return to Indiegogo Campaign




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Monday, April 22, 2013

We're live on Indiegogo!

Check our project out on Indiegogo! Our goal is 5000 dollars to use in order to finish up and release the game as polished and complete as we would like it to be.

We would greatly appreciate your support!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Selatria Team Bios

Here are the bios of some of the team!

In-House Developers:

Grover “Hot Snow” Wimberly IV is the Producer/Director of Selatria and the founder of Whim Independent Studios. He started Selatria in early-2011 while in senior year of university and continued the project with a steadily growing team until present. In Selatria, he came up with the original game concept, battle system, dungeon and overworld designs, the characters, the rough draft of the dialogue, and ensures the game remains consistent within the team.

Matthew “MME” Estrada is one of the lead developers of Selatria. He is a programmer/scripter, game designer, and event planner for the game’s various scenes. He has developed the boss encounters, NPC dialogue, scenes and character interactions, and dungeons.

Paul “Mr. Fun” Vela handles the human resources department of Whim Independent Studios. He ensures the project operates within legal boundaries, makes sure that everyone in the team is up-to-date with the legal mumbo-jumbo and will handle the budget and percentage allocations. He allows the team to focus on the actual development of Selatria.

Jonathan Dishaw is our current writer, dialogue planner, game designer, and part composer. He currently writes and plans the dialogue, area designs, script animations, balances the abilities and characters, and designs some areas on the side.

Jennifer Gilliland prefers to be called Jen or Jenny by her peers, because it makes her feel less old! In Selatria, Jen took her first shot creating sprites and had a blast doing so. She also helps concept environments and characters, because she really enjoys characters, painting, and improving! She went to Digipen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA and after a ton of boss battles she graduated with her B.F.A. She aspires to be a Texture Artist or Character Artist in the video game industry. Her blog can be found here.

GYRECK is a digital and traditional artist, as well as a writer and Electrical Engineer specializing in Robotics and Digital Circuit Design. His contributions to the Selatria project included Sprite Editing and Status Effect Icon Design. On The Interwebs: http://gyreck.deviantart.com, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Art-By-Gyreck/161991937211988, https://twitter.com/GYRECK

Donald Brown - Sound Designer don.brn47@yahoo.com

Featured Voice Actors:

River Kanoff is an aspiring voice actor in the Southern California area. He's currently being mentored by voice actor Zach Hanks (Soundawg, AVO Talent), recording for commercial projects over the internet. He also has an amazing Fiancee who is super awesome and incredibly good to him. No one could ever live their life without her. River is so dependent on her, but that's okay, because she loves him. Megan is his main support, and without her, River would be lost, and stuck living in his car under a bridge. River is a loser, and should really learn to love corn and bread. But especially Corn Bread. That is all. Megan rules.


Return to Indiegogo Campaign



Friday, April 19, 2013

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #11

Hey guys, back with the 11th development log!

Face shot of Melanie, by +Jonathan Flynn 

The first part of the big pitch for Selatria is coming soon. We have a rough draft of the pitch ready for Indiegogo and if everything goes to plan, we're to launch Monday. I'm very excited about it!

We have a rough draft of it mostly written and the business bank account is being opened in the morning in order for the contributions to be processed at the conclusion of the crowd-funding phase if it goes well.

Thanks to Jonathan Dishaw, he also filmed a section of us against the art wall talking about the game and we are going to have commentary that will go along with game play.


Composer Christopher Nuño stopped by the studio this week to work on some themes for Selatria and Codename: SWARM. The music of Codename: SWARM I shall show in a future development log, but check out the theme for an upcoming character for Selatria, named "Harmony".


 
 
As for the art for Selatria, Jennifer Gilliland has been working on the design for the Emperor. Check out her progress on the character on her blog. Do keep in mind some of the designs are tentative and will change on its way to the completion of the game. The mask for certain we agreed will be more of a chrome color than a brown color, for example. Speaking of which, some of the team and I are going to meet her in person in May to carpool to a video game development meeting down in Aliso Viejo. Fun stuff!


 
 

Last but not least, check out some of the new models for Codename: SWARM by Paul Diggs:

They're coming for your food!

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What about my future plans?
After the pitch goes live, I'm going to be designing many more team attacks and assisting with the writing of the final chapters for Selatria. I also have some dungeon ideas that I would like to implement in the game for some of the middle chapters.

There are also a lot of team attacks to design and figure out who chains with whom and draw up with a web of many different chain attacks. That'll actually be really fun, until the balancing part comes in... Oh, and mapping new areas. Lots and lots of mapping!

There is much work to be done! I hope this all works out. I have my fingers crossed!

That's it for now. Until next time!




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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

RE: Gun Control Laws being kicked down in the Senate

I'm interested to know why the U.S. government doesn't pump more funding into hiring more on-site psychologists and people to help those who need it instead of going into gun control policies.

Anyone more knowledgeable on the issue willing to clear things up for me? I'm not defending those who went and committed all these hurtful acts, but... I mean there's all kinds of mentions of school shootings/theater shootings and avenging those who were victim to those attacks but no mention to helping those who need it and stopping them from committing the acts in the first place.

New Blog URL!

I've retired the ultimatespamgrover username for most of my websites.

With the upcoming game projects and this blog being more of an emphasis on in-house projects in the future and I expect a lot of people to be checking this site in the future for crowdfunding campaigns, I don't want gamers to think ultimatespamgrover is a link to a scam or anything non-legitimate, so I've changed the URL.


The new URL groverwhim is my first name and a pun between my last name and the name of the company that we've started: Whim Independent Studios.

Monday, April 15, 2013

RE: Boston Marathon Bombing

My thoughts go out to the people of Boston. It's heartbreaking to see what transpired today.

Kickstarter/Indiegogo Pitch for Selatria is soon!

This week is going to be a fun one! Indiegogo/Kickstarter pitch preparation. It's been many (too many) months in the making! New trailer, filming of game footage, cropping out game data for a new demo, and finalizing the team.

Then... it's all up to the interwebs.

New screenies! Some of the areas were developed by Matthew Estrada and/or Jonathan Dishaw. Face art done by +Jonathan Flynn.












There have been a lot of people involved with making this project as best as it can possibly be. I'm really hoping that Selatria becomes a great example of what can be done with RPG Maker and pushing it to its ultimate potential.

On the other hand, I've lost quite a few friendships over the game over various disagreements in the team or the views on the development of the game. I can't fault them for not willing to go through such a risk of taking on a project so ambitious or not having the time for it. I've spent lots of weekends and free time doing nit-picky things to the game and trying to get it near perfect. I know others have too. If you've seen the art, the music, and the dungeon design, I hope you guys will appreciate it too. :)

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #10

Back with the tenth development log! We're currently working between three game projects. Selatria which will begin its fundraising phase later this month, Codename: SWARM (project title) which is being developed in Flash/ActionScript for PC/Mac/mobile platforms to release this spring, and Angry Grandma (project title) which is in the conceptual stage and being developed for PC and Mac.

The art wall is progressing very nicely, don't you think? :)


 Mix of Selatria and Swarm concept art courtesy of Cristobal Guerrero and Paul Diggs



Codename: SWARM Project:

We can now post some details about our upcoming mobile game, codenamed "Codename: SWARM" for now. It will release this spring for PC/Mac and mobile phones.

This particular game came from the ashes from one of our canceled projects, and Jonathan Dishaw came up with the concept to bring the game back with original characters and a new plot on the existing framework we had. Gerren Willis took the role as lead programmer and ported the code to a new ActionScript/Flash engine, Paul Diggs is handling the art direction for the project, Christopher Nuño from the Selatria team is composing the score, Donald Brown from Selatria is doing the sound effects, and Matthew Estrada and I are assisting with the game design and programming.

Details of the game will be posted in development logs to come, but here is some in-progress concept art courtesy of Paul Diggs. Enjoy!


  
Angry Grandma:  

Our other game that's currently in its conceptual phase is a game tentatively called "Angry Grandma" about an elderly lady who is confined in a retirement home by her evil children and makes plans to escape. Unlike Swarm which is a casual pick-up game and Selatria which is an RPG, Angry Grandma is going to be a humorous action game. 

This game is currently being developed by Robert Reynolds as programmer, and Matt Douglas as lead artist. I came up with the original concept for the game, and the Swarm team will be merged with the team when that game is complete.  

Here is some in-progress concept art courtesy of Matt Douglas! :)





Selatria:

Last but not least is progress on Selatria! We're currently finalizing negotiations with the team for commissioning in order to proceed with the fundraising phase for Indiegogo and Kickstarter! I would be lying if I said I am nervous on how the campaign turns out. We're currently doing our hardest to try and have the best possible footage for the trailer compiled, the best gameplay shots available, and a near perfect revamped Chapter 1 demo for potential backers to download.

The hopeful goal is Monday, April 22nd to launch on Indiegogo, but my plans never seem to come to fruition.

River Kanoff (voice of General Gaius in Dust: An Elysian Tail, and the voice of Luis in Selatria) came to visit the studio on April Fool's Day. We spent the better portion of the day doing Luis's lines for Chapter 2 and 3 and the collaboration session was a lot of fun.



Recording Session at the Studio!


Luis Bloopers!


From a game-play standpoint, the character Luis was redesigned almost from scratch, even though some elements from his play-style from his original iteration in last year's demo will be similar. He'll remember more spells as he levels up, and he will learn new abilities that help his deficient memory. Also, there will be a variety of funny voices that pop up if a spell is forgotten. I hope you'll enjoy it! :)

Here are some Chapter 3 and 4 areas in development. The volcano area and the arena were designed by Matthew Estrada, one of our head designers for the Selatria project.

The white squares are event tiles, meaning "something special" happens on said tile. What do you think it could be?



Alas, a seemingly-peaceful cavern with a canoe nearby. There can't possibly be anything lurking under there that warrants a save gate nearby, does it? 



Ah damn, it's almost 2AM. I'm heading out of town in the morning and going to use the ride to and from to write the rough draft for the Indiegogo and Kickstarter pitch. I have something in mind for a template but I'm going to make it very special for Selatria.

Until next development log!



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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

RE: IGN's Article on "Is it worth doing a degree in video games?"

One of the reasons I went for a general BS in Computer Science instead of a BA was that I didn't want to be stuck in one expertise in-case the dream career path never worked out.

Even though this article talks about universities in the UK, universities out here still have a lot of tweaking to do in a game design curriculum. There needs to be more emphasis on good scriptwriting/dialogue, a basic copyright law/business course to effectively "market" your game idea to your consumer(s) or team members, and more emphasis on working in teams/software engineering.

You can see IGN's article here.