Monday, September 30, 2013

Curtana Obtained!

Obtained a Curtana late Saturday! It was no small task, for sure.

Thanks to Kitana Masters, Icepenguin Frost, Augusta Musgrave, Sages Solomon, Zell Drakkengaard, Clayers Evermore and the now retired Elieris Zaelen for the help along the way!

As always, I will be putting the favor forward and do my best to tank for Viva Eorzea.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #20

Hey guys, back with the 20th development log. I have linked to this for our Indiegogo backers to be kept in the loop about the progress on Selatria as well. We've been very busy in the studio, and I've wanted to keep everyone posted about the projects we're working on and how close or far we are to completion.


Chapter 2 is now available for testing. Above are the five characters you'll get to play in the chapter. Mage, Melanie, Luis, Number 016, and Gobby. I've provided the link to play below. Take a look at some screenshots and a listen to some new themes you'll hear in Chapter 2!

Take a look at Chapter 2 Game Development Philosophy below for more information!

July round of casting calls:

Yesterday, we sent out our cast list emails for those who have gotten chosen for the new casting roles for Selatria. There were a ton of auditions, but we carefully cut down to who we thought would be a best fit for the role of the game.

As a Producer, I don't like to turn people down for a role, and we had a lot of very good auditions, I really hope that the auditionees that we didn't choose for the role come back and audition for our last casting call before the launch of the game. Our final casting call will be hopefully before the end of the year and the game is planned to be released sometime early next year.

Here is our casting call for the roles from July's audition casting call.

Calculon000 - Announcer
Shegorath19 - Captain Whatshisface
Miguel Moran - Dakk'rian Emperor
Alex Beckham - Faylien Capitol Guard
Katrice349 - Gobriella
A Theatrical Song Bird - Kitty Girl
xXSil3ntMavenXx - Resident
Holly Lindin - Susie
Alex Melius - Waltear

Regarding the roles for Gongoren, Roussell, Saewo, and Montegue, we feel that we didn't do an accurate job in explaining who the character is, and we intend to revise the lines and description of the character and have auditions for that before the end of the year in the final casting call I mentioned earlier.

Chapter 2 Game Development Philosophy:

We have recently wrapped up the base development for Chapter 2 of Selatria. It took about 3-4 hours to play through the chapter when we tested it in the studio. However, we'd like an objective analysis from testers to determine whether or not the content we've built for the chapter is too difficult or not. 

For Chapter 1, our philosophy in designing the game was to reel in people who are new to role-playing games, and holding their hand through the game and battle mechanics. We introduce them to the team attack system and reserved points and let them start the adventure. We end it with a boss that's somewhat moderate in difficulty.

For Chapter 2, however, we expect that the player has learned how to play at this point and understands the basic rules of how the game is played. The difficulty is ramped up greatly and the puzzles for getting through the dungeons test your memory and problem solving skills. However, some of us in the team are unsure of whether or not we made the puzzles and game too challenging. For this reason, we've made an alpha version of Chapter 2 available to play.

One other thing I'd probably like to mention. We're currently working on writing a new introduction to the game introducing new characters that took part in the initial conflict. As this was not mentioned in the original opening lines, it might seem a bit... off? I suppose. The new opening battle sequence is in, but we have new dialogue planned out to introduce the new characters in the opening better than what we have now.

Saved data accumulated in this build can not be carried over to the final version, and elements such as the art, music and voices are incomplete in this phase. Our primary focus is to determine whether or not the content is playable, a challenge ---yet doable, and not buggy.

You can download the build here. Please read the disclaimer!


Game Development Progress:

ANTics is nearing completion! We will be releasing soon for Google Play for 99 cents and then launching a Kickstarter to expand development of the game for an expansion. (See: Below)

 Here is an animation of our first boss of ANTics, the mischievous ant queen! By: Paul Diggs

Here are some in-development screenshots of the game. Gerren did an incredible job handling the programming of the game, we will have another development video to show as well as a PR media package for the game ready when the game is ready to be released.

Upcoming Kickstarter Campaign:

We're going to take a new direction in the philosophy of a kickstarter campaign for ANTics. Instead of doing a Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of a project, we would like to try a Kickstarter to expand the game to our original vision.

ANTics is almost complete and ready to distribute, but in order to release the game, we had to omit things we would have liked to appear in the game. These include

-More Boss Ideas/Models
-More CG sequences and more fluid animations
-Voice Acting for the Bosses
-More Powerups
-Survival Mode/Endless Mode
-More awesome orchestrated tunes for the game

However, the time to develop these elements would delay the game further and we would like to see if players would like the game we have set to develop. If we can get the support and players like what we have to bring to the table, we would love to introduce these elements into our game.

When we release ANTics in the next few weeks, we're hoping to release a free demo as well, which we will include when you check out the page. We will also put the demo for free on our upcoming Kickstarter page. Backers for the expansion of ANTics will also get our current version of the game that we have included with their backing.

I have noticed that game creation Kickstarter campaigns are far more successful when they actually have a demo or playable section ready when the campaign is launched. It's not so much about "What we want to do", but to build confidence, those interested in backing the project want to see what they have already.


Anyhow, expect to see a retail version of Selatria to hit in early 2014, and ANTics to go live for download on your mobile phones in October.

I think that's about it for this development log. Until next time!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Viva Eorzea Linkshell/Company Group Picture 9/2013

Picture of the Viva Eorzea Free Company.

I'm in the center with my Paladin AF. Hopefully going to work on getting relic gear and Darklight now. More to come in the future!

Logo is courtesy of Sages Solomon.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Viva Eorzea Linkshell/Company FC/LS Leading Philosophy [ARR Edition]

Terms you might want to care about before reading:
Legacy Server - Players that transferred from the first version of Final Fantasy XIV. The server we're on (Hyperion) is a mix of Legacy players and new players who are trying the game for the first time.
Linkshell/Free Company - Our "guild", so to say. We formed in 2010 and we're called Viva Eorzea.
[Version] 1.0 - The original version of Final Fantasy XIV.
So it's just been a little over two weeks since "A Realm Reborn" was released, and it happened that the server we transferred to (Hyperion) became one of the most crowded servers in all of FFXIV. No one in our original group nor myself foresaw this coming. At least, I assumed that because it was a Legacy server (server filled with characters carried over with the original 2010 release), that we would kind of be sequestered away from new players with all of the "ugly Version 1.0 players". However, that was not the case. Hyperion got a lot of new players who either joined to play with their friends who played 1.0 or joined Hyperion because they didn't care whether or not they joined an old server or not as long as they got to play the game at all.

My philosophy for leading Viva Eorzea kind of mirrored this. As we started as a giant group in Version 1.0, a vast majority of the linkshell quit due to the dissatisfaction of Version 1.0. What started as a large 120+ LS with four leaders quickly shrank to a 30-40 man linkshell with just me. The remaining members and myself kind of had a small group going to which we did events like hard primal battles and the storyline. I had a feeling that the launch of "A Realm Reborn" that the current members had a few friends each that would join the game and we would keep the team fairly small.

Those plans went upside-down fairly quickly.

The free company/linkshell exploded almost back to its original 120+ member size with friends wanting to invite friends wanting to invite friends and it got way out of hand to the point to where a lot of the officers and myself didn't know who a lot of these new people were.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mind new people in the linkshell/free company, but it was getting to the point where no rules were set in motion to who could be invited and everyone was just asking the fellow Officers for invites to the free company to be a part of Viva Eorzea. It became essentially shout recruiting without actually shout recruiting. 
Shout recruiting is when someone [typically a recruiter or leader of the free company/linkshell] will shout in town looking for prospective members to join. Typically used while finding new members for your group. I despise it. Though I am guilty of doing it for my linkshell in Final Fantasy XI years ago, I feel that in XIV, I have enough friends that we formed our own without having to rely on that to keep Viva Eorzea with a healthy guild population. 
However, since our roster has grown to the size that it has, and as of this post we have 109 members. I feel like I have a responsibility to get 108 others to the point where we can do content, and it's admittedly a bit unrealistic. Most of the new content is either 4 or 8 man. Even  with our most dedicated members, we simply can't fill the demand of the FC's needs. Though, I also don't believe in booting people out just for the sake of booting people out. It's definitely a complicated conundrum, especially if I aim to also improve my own character and not spend all of my time on game helping people. (But don't get me wrong, I love helping people.)
So for those who are sticking around in the free company/linkshell and to the new people who I haven't really been acquainted with just yet, I set a road-map to those who would want to consider Viva Eorzea their full home.
You can read it below or at this link.
This was the message posted for the linkshell/free company posted in its entirety. 
Hey all, I'd like to give a brief rundown for the future of the linkshell/free company. Please read over if you plan on sticking around with Viva Eorzea for the long term. I apologize for the long read, but I want to make sure this is "crystal clear"? (Get it? Because it's a Final Fantasy game... never mind.)

---Viva Eorzea's Purpose:---

We're a free company/linkshell that is focused on having a core team of friends from real life, other MMOs, work etc, that come together and clear content at our own pace. My ideal vision for the FC is to be able to do dungeons one moment with relics, and another moment help out a friend of an FC member who is just starting out the game and is doing Satasha for the very first time.

We're not a world-first rush fest, and we're not an endgame group, we're a group of awesome people that goes at our own pace and welcomes friends of any level.

---Event Scheduling:---

Long Term Goal: Getting together a good team to be able to accomplish anything in the game.

At least until the first patch, there are steps in how I'm scheduling events.

Goal 1: Getting to the end of the story. Most of the first couple of weeks are meant to help people get to the end boss and help people clear the story. I am not one to rush people, as an avid player of single-player RPGs, I believe you can't rush through the story, and I gave a large window for people to be able to level up and get 50 without being left out of our events.

Goal 2: Getting members geared up to be able to tackle the events. Starting Sept 16. and going until October 1st: We are going to get Vivaers geared up with the jobs of their choosing. The hard mode primal fights and relic fights unlocked by completing the main scenario require good gear and coordination in order to complete content. AF gear is a nice start to level 50, but it's not going to cut it. That's simply how the game is designed. That means I am going to be scheduling events meant to get people geared up and get those Allagan tomestones to be able to get Darklight and level 50+ raiding gear ready for the new content. Our events during this period will be centered around getting people Amadyor Keep access, Amadyor Keep, Wanderer's Palace, and hard mode primals.

Goal 3: (Kinda overlaps with Goal 2, but this will be starting on October 1st): We will begin scheduling relic quest tasks into our Linkshell after this point. If you need Chimera or anything, FC members will be happy to help you out, but after Oct 1st is when I will be leading the charge and getting a lot of members up in their relic quests.

Goal 4: (Fall - To be determined) - The final goal will be to have our established group of players to be able to work towards completing the Grand Coil of Bahamut and the slightly easier Crystal Tower that comes out next month. I personally don't like Duty Finder pickups and I'd like to be able to use the FC to complete this content, but by this time we should be able to learn the playstyles of our new folks who joined us in ARR and have a mesh team of old and new Eorzeans alike.


So, that's our Viva Eorzea goals. My personal philosophy for this MMO is to be able to complete everything the game has to offer at least once without having to join a dedicated hardcore FC. The attitude of hardcore people goes against my personal philosophies, and I believe we're here to play a game and have fun. Yes, sometimes I do get frustrated, but it takes a lot more than that for me to give up completely, just takes time to cool off and try again the next day.
-Grover Eyeveen, Viva Eorzea Linkshell/Company Leader, Hyperion Server

Monday, September 9, 2013

FFXIV: Looking for better gear than PLD AF?

I did Wanderer's Palace with the FC/LS yesterday. Went up against the final boss, took us two tries but we were able to down it. Fun times!

As you can see, our gear is getting up there. Correction: Their gear is getting up there! I did get two pieces of gear which is known as Vermillion Gear. Way better than the PLD AF I was wearing. However, the pieces I got went to the feet and legs, so they aren't seen too clearly in the picture.

Until next time!

Grover Eyeveen
Viva Eorzea Linkshell/Company Leader, Hyperion Server


Saturday, September 7, 2013

My stance on the expression "[I/they] have no life".

I don't like it when someone says to another person or referring to themselves as "having no life" when referring their passions/interests. To me, that's the equivalent of saying that being dead is better than doing something you love, and I think that's a nasty thing to say about someone/yourself.

You're reading this, you're a living, breathing human being (unless you're a program that's parsing this blog entry to send to marketing) so spend it doing things you love doing and not waste time throwing it away on people who don't respect what you do and disregard it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

FFXIV Main Scenario Complete!

Completed the main story of Final Fantasy XIV! Thanks in particular to Augusta Musgrave and Ois Zalure who are my FC friends and were willing to assist/help along to get me there. I went comparatively slow in order to go at my own pace and really smell the roses.

Now for postgame content! In a future post I will talk about what I think of some of the storyline, but that will be full of spoilers and I'd rather not ruin the fun for anyone currently playing through.

And, of course, this awesome mount. Developers are showing the FFVI love!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Our dog passed on today. I was glad to be there with the family in her last moments. There were many memories to be had, and 16 years of stories to tell and filled with love and happiness.

I'm going to go offline for a while and cope with said emotions the way I know best, writing them down the old-fashioned way.