Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

I'm not dead, and neither is this blog. More updates coming in November. Promise!

See you soon.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #35

Hey readers! It's been a few months, so I thought I should update with what's going on with the game studio.


First and foremost, we released the iOS version of ANTics along with a new trailer! You can check out ANTics at our page! If you don't have an Apple device, we also have versions available for PC, and Android!

Special thanks to Jessica Jacuinde for putting the trailer together!




State of Future Auditions

I wanted to start off by talking about the future auditions for the project. All future casting roles and auditions on hold while we work with the current cast on getting their roles completed with the project. Due to the large cast and amount of retakes, a large backlog of submitted lines and retake suggestions has built up, and that has taken higher priority than casting new people. Once most of the lines for the current cast are done and implemented in game, we will open up to more of our uncasted and missing roles.

Our goal is to change our recording development cycle for Selatria to which a casted actor can be compensated and completed with their role in a few weeks-couple months time depending on the severity of the role. Up until a few months ago, we were struggling with writing, as well as developing and editing. Since the story is written now, it takes a lot of burden off of us as we can cast with all of the scripts available to us.

And now for the new stuff!

I apologize for the long wait on new information on the project! We're currently fine-tuning the details of a new public demo for the game. This version will be 1.4 and will be the first demo we've released in about eight months! The new build of the game will include the new logo, various graphical improvements, new music, and some new features! Check out a preview below.  

Graphical Improvements!

The new build of the game will have upgrades to the look of the terrain and interactive objects.


Updated Environments!

The art shown was developed by Deborah Groves and Jennifer Gilliland. There will be more unique looking terrain and areas to explore going forward in development logs!

New Music!

Below is a new theme you'll be able to hear in the Pub areas in the updated demo build. Composed by Christopher Nuno.

Gameplay Changes for Upcoming Demo Version!

We have changed the term "Reserved Points" to "Reserved Selatria" in-game to better match the lore.

The Journal will be usable as an in-game item to be able to track player progress if they decide to stop playing for an extended amount of time and need a recap on what's going on. The player will also be able to get an inside glimpse of what's going on in the story from Mage's point of view.

And one last important picture, one that's been on the request list for many.

Players will be able to skip the intro with one button press if they would like to hop right into being able to play the game or if they didn't do too well in the Trial Cave and would like to start over quickly. In the last update, we had a menu button for this at the beginning, and it was cumbersome deciding through multiple windows. This actually took a while to implement, and I can't promise being able to skip every single cut-scene, but for extraordinarily long ones, you will be able to skip.

Possible Android/iOS/Mac release in the future:

Since the last development log, there was an announcement of a new RPG Maker engine coming out, RPG Maker MV, which allows exports to platforms other than Windows. Due to this new engine being in JavaScript rather than Ruby, it would be difficult to move Selatria over, but we also don't have enough information about the new engine to see if it's worthwhile. Music and story assets would be easy to carry over, but everything else would have a hurdle to it. So I'm keeping my eyes peeled and prioritizing finishing Selatria on the engine we have available.

Game Production being increased to three days a week from one!

For the last few months while going through a move, development of the game had to be cut to one day a week, while using the others to do managerial tasks with the team. As of this past week, it will be increased back to three days a week. Wednesday/Thursday evenings and Saturday noons. There will be a lot more content and more frequent development logs with the game as we get back on track!

That'll do it for this development log. Look forward to the new build of Selatria available to the public sometime in October!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Indie Game Developer "Bullying" Rant

So I am a member of a prominent Indie Game Developers page on Facebook. Fellow indies can post about topics related to the development of independent games, and others can comment here and there about the topic. For the most part, it's been very helpful, I always read the posts every morning and when I get off work for anything relevant to the development of indie games. Some of my team would probably notice I cross-post a lot of interesting articles that I find off of this group. Long story short, it was a group that I really felt connected to, and felt by contributing to the success of up and coming indie games made by other small people and small studios.

Until last night.

A post was made from a teenager asking for team members for a game he was working on. He was admittedly a bit naive, in the sense of he was promising unspecified payment for the game to his team members when it was done, without talking or how or when these payments would occur. The guy said he was 15 years of age later in this post, but what I saw in the comments were severely disturbing, even for "this is the internet standards". Grown men and women were bashing this poster, making jokes at his expense, editing this original poster's profile picture with making memes of jokes, and hardly any meaningful comments were given as constructive criticism to this individual.

I did my best to give this original poster the best constructive criticism that he needed to specify the genre and scope of the project and how exactly the team was going to be commissioned. But my advice was drowned out in memes, crude jokes, and harsh feedback that was, in my honest opinion, really uncalled for.

So I am going to be rescinding my membership to this group, effective this post. I considered posting this exact post on the Indie Game Developers Facebook group, but what would that solve? This post would be drowned in the same comments, memes, and brutal jokes that the post of this individual had to bear. Plus, I would not want the admins to bother dealing with people who are leaving anyway, I have the same philosophy with groups that I run. If they were on their way out to begin with, it's already too late.

As I was once a naive 15 year old developing crappy video games, I would see myself forever scarred if this kind of forum existed when I was learning the basics of independent game developing. We should be helping cultivate newer generations into wanting to make games and learning these skills and techniques that we're currently roughing out the edges. Those coming in to learn should have an easier time than we did.

A point can be made that I could apply to be an admin for this group, but I am busy working on my own projects and groups, I would love to given the time, but unfortunately that is not the case.

For all of the useful resources that the group has given me, I will cherish and use going forward with the team. But I cannot be part of a group that will resort to online bullying of its peers.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Change in Life Direction: Part II

Change in Life Direction Part I (March 2015)

Hey all, it's honestly been a little while since I've had time to write down some thoughts. I thought I'd give somewhat of a large update to what's been going on with life. What better way to knock out two birds with one stone than taking the blog out of a much-deserved hiatus and updating?

Life and Relocation

First and foremost, since my last big post, I've up and moved about 200 miles north to Las Vegas. It's a move that I've personally wanted to do for about five years (it's really gotten to the point where one friend in particular said I was sounding like a broken record about it), so I finally found my chance and I went to act on it.

The final straw which caused me to want to move was me visiting my grandfather in Los Angeles and meeting with the composer for Selatria who lives not too far from said relative. I left in the morning to visit both people, and left towards home in the afternoon. It was a 3 1/2 hour drive to go 60miles. In that same 3 1/2 hour drive I could be going to/from Vegas, and so I looked for a way to go there. I've visited Vegas pretty often for the past 5-6 years coming for anime conventions and buffets, and we had one FFXIV guild meeting here as well.

I will say, I do absolutely love it up here. The heat isn't much of a change from what I'm used to, but the people are really nice, my neighbors are fantastic with helping me out (and I do the same to help them), and don't get me started on the food. I'm worried if I'm going to gain a lot of weight from pigging out at all of the local eateries. But I am balancing that out by picking up my jogging again. I am currently maintaining a 20 minute jog each morning around the condominium complex in order to burn off what I ate the night before. I am kind of concerned with my metabolism slowing down (finally!) and gaining weight, I'd rather stay relatively skinny and not let myself go. I'm currently living alone, but I may get a dog in the foreseeable future, so it won't be so quiet around here. (The companionship would be a nice plus!)

I'm currently heading back to San Bernardino roughly every two weeks to meet my family and my friends and catch up with the studio folks in person. I'll get to the studio and independent game development in a bit.

New career: Softvision

The new opportunity that I jumped for was a Software Quality Assurance Engineering position for a company called Softvision. I really enjoy it here. The co-workers are great, I get along very well with my bosses, and they have a great work hard-play hard mentality, which keeps me in high spirits throughout the work day. The casual, friendly atmosphere up here is a nice change from the position in the company that I left last January. Some of the newer QA engineers are straight out of university so I take time to help them out with learning the QA process, and I still have plenty of time to get work of my own completed. It makes them happy because they have someone helping out rather than reading a guide from a computer, and it makes me fulfilled that I am helping someone succeed. It's a win-win!

Especially with how I posted about my burnout episode with all of the unfortunate circumstances that caused me to resign from the last company I worked for in my last life update, I expect people reading this to be somewhat concerned about why I'd so happily take another QA job. I honestly believe this situation and circumstances is a lot different. The gracious relocation time I was given, mixed with the far less commute (10 minutes versus 2+ hours a day) and not having to deal with Los Angeles traffic on a daily basis was reasons enough to where I don't think I could suffer another burnout as badly as I did in January. Taking care of my own needs will be first priority going forward.

Independent Game Development

I set up a home office with all of my computers and I'm currently directing Selatria from here during the week. I make a point to work on studio-related work at least an hour a day. I try to aim for doing it when I wake up before my jog so I am going to the office happy, but if I get up later, I will focus on it when getting home.

Going forward, for at least as long as I have the ability to, I am going to fund the games we create in the future on my own without having to crowdfund or rely on external financial support. I would like to commission people out of pocket to do assets for the game to continue production, so they can be studio IPs. Due to existing contracts with Selatria, this cannot be done, but the next game I will direct will be doing this.

As for Selatria, the game development is coming very nicely. We just finished writing the story last month, the music is almost complete, and we're in the midst of casting the remaining voice talent. The game development and art is going to take the largest amount of time to complete, and that's not something we want to rush. Selatria will be done when it's done. I am looking into porting the game to Android/iPhone/Mac with the new engine coming out, but with the announcement that it's going to be in JavaScript instead of Ruby, that's going to be a massive undertaking. Not to mention upscaling the art to match the new resolutions. I'm currently thinking about it, but I don't want to be discouraged with putting out the game as it is for PC, and working about a version for that sometime after release. We'll see how it goes.

I am going to start looking into streaming my development for games next month as well as get in touch with the Vegas Indie Collective and meet/network with other indies out here. May establish new connections and team members! :)

Viva Eorzea

Viva will be coming up on its 5th anniversary in September. Crazy! I've been leading this group for a fifth of my real life years. I will say, there has been many of times when I've considered stepping down, but I am glad to been involved with keeping the group together this long. I am looking forward for having our third real life group meeting in late-October or early-November.

I also think I made the right decision moving the FC towards a progression/achievement group. Doing everything the game had to offer multiple days a week was one of the major contributors to my burnout earlier this year. It was causing me to get agitated during events easily and super mad over little things. I lost a few good friends over it, too. Since January (?) or so I've been keeping Viva events to two days a week, and it's done wonders for my mood and patience.

We also have our own guild airship! The FC voted on Facebook for the name "Flight Club", so it is as so.

The Viva Airship - Flight Club

Here's to many more good years to Viva!

Frequency of Blog Posts going forward

I'm not sure why I'm currently sticking with the title of "Grover's Semi-Daily Rants" when I'm clearly not posting every other day. Going forward, I'm probably going to be making only a few long posts per month rather than a lot of short ones.  I like to rant and have a large information dump available rather than a few short bite-size pieces. We'll see how it goes.

I hope that was a sufficient life update! This sure as hell couldn't fit in a simple status update or twitter post. 


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #34

Hey everyone! Back with the 34th Whim Independent Studios development log!

A few weeks ago, the team and I had a chance to attend this year's E3! Given that a lot of team members work remotely, this was the first time a lot of our team got to meet each other face-to-face. Following last year's picture, we took several pictures this year of our team.

From L to R: Vee Ceballos (Voice of Melanie), Geno Quesada (Logo Designer), Deborah Groves (Selatria Co-Artist), Matthew Estrada (Co-Lead Game Designer), Christopher Nuño (Composer), Michelle Deco (Voice of Morgen and Leonari), Jennifer Gilliland (Co-Artist), Myself (Producer/Director), River Kanoff (Voice of Luis), Paul Vela (Administrative Director), Ryan Homme (Writer), Jonathan Dishaw (Co-Lead Game Designer), and Gerren Willis (ANTics Lead/Programmer)

Above is our picture with Shadoe (far right), our Sound Engineer

And above is our picture with Paul Diggs (left), the modeler for ANTics!

We will be making another appearance as a team at E3 next year. Hope to see you there! Now for some new information on our ongoing projects!


Updated logo!

With some team and player feedback, we have decided to modify Selatria's logo once more (shown above!). The new logo emphasizes the pronunciation of "Selatria", shows the colors of the two opposing Selactic sources, and addresses concerns about the readability of the previous logo. The updated logo has also been developed by Jennifer Gilliland.

Changes to $20 Indiegogo Tier:

I wanted to start off with my most important point. Those who have supported us in our indiegogo campaign in 2013, we are going to be making a change to one of our tiers:

For the original $20 tier, we originally promised exclusive content releases one week in advance as well as access to previous tiers.

We as a team found that it was hurting our visibility of the project. Given the expansions to our team, and new personnel on our team handling social media, we have decided to change this tier. We will be providing a virtual book showcasing character and monster art from the game as well as previous tiers. For anyone who contributed to the $20 tier and would not like this reward instead, we will be happy to offer a refund.

For this time, the other Indiegogo rewards will not be changed, and we will provide/ship the rewards as they become available.

New Art:

Some of the new pirate antagonists you may encounter in Chapter 3! Character Design by Deborah Groves

Oh yeah, and not to mention this fellow:

The three characters I posted above are all voiced by the same person! Look forward to more information about these characters in future development logs!

Next development log will show new screenshots/videos of the project! The environments are in the midst of a redesign and it will be fair to show things when it's more final. (Including before and after screens)

New Music: 

We are nearing the end of having the whole soundtrack composed. Some themes you may have played in previous demos have been converted from .WAV format to MIDI in order to save file space.

Here's a preview track of one of the themes that will be heard in Chapter 2. Composed by Christopher Nuño

And another theme that will be used later in the story, a video of it in development!

Story and Game Design:

We're happy to say we are currently writing the ending to Selatria. After four and a half years, we're wrapping up the main details to the main scenario of the project! When that is complete, we'll be moving on to developing side stories for each of the characters.

Every main character will have some sort of unresolved issue set out during the main scenario that can only be resolved through doing the sidestory quests of that character, after which they will be rewarded with that character's signature weapon. The signature weapons will have unique art and graphics as opposed to the other weapons you can buy from stores.

Due to storage and progress constraints, while the main scenario will be mostly voiced, the sidestories of the characters and any sidequest content will not be voiced.

New auditions available soon:

I take the blame for the wait on this one. Over the past couple of months, we've had to recast some voice actors who were dropped for not finishing their role, and we're having to balance the upcoming and current casts with auditions we've received while putting together auditions for the roles we're planning on replacing. We apologize for the wait on auditions, and we're going through the last batch.

The next round of auditions will cover any missing roles we did not cast from the last audition round and offer re-casts for roles that were cast and dropped from the project. I do not have a set date for when this will go live at the very moment, but it will be during the latter half of July.

We will also be changing our policy for incoming voiced roles that they will not be fully compensated until all lines are done for the project. When we've had to cast roles in the past, we didn't have a time line for when the story and dialogue would be completely written, so we have had to leave our voice actors waiting over months while being compensated while we were writing new lines and chapters for these characters to voice.

Pre-Orders and future Promotions:

For those who missed our Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns and would like to obtain the rewards we offered in the past, you will get the opportunity to do so. We will be offering pre-orders for Selatria when we are in the testing phase once the game has been fully designed/implemented and we are deciding on a release date.

We also have a plan in place to be able to get the game at a discounted for participating in a Share/Retweet/Reblog campaign, details about this will be made in a future Development Log!

Thanks for reading! Until next time! :)


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bahamut Coil Complete!

Thanks to Azu La, Gily Oscifa, and Raigne for helping me with the clear! And Elieris for putting up with my silly learning parties.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #33

Hello readers, welcome to the 33rd development log!

Development of our studio is coming along very nicely. In the past few months, one of our team artists, Deborah, has doubled as our new social media administrator. She has been keeping our Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr pages up to date with all new information about the game. Be sure to say hi! Like and follow our whimindie pages and show your support!

Also debuting this upcoming month is our new enhanced studio logo! Designed by Geno Quesada, it contains the lettering of our old logo, with our new blue ring design around it!

We will also be making our second appearance as a company to the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2015 from June 16-18. Some of us will be wearing t-shirts with our logo on them. Be sure to say hi!


Chapter 2 now available for Indiegogo backers!

First and foremost,
at the time of this posting, we also have a playable section of Chapters 1 and 2 available for play for Indiegogo backers. During the summer, we will have a test period available. If you supported us in the Indiegogo campaign, please check your email and download the game and give it a try! Thanks to your support, we were able to make the game fun and challenging up to this point! 

New character art: 

Check out some of the new characters that will be featured in Chapter 3! Art by Deborah Groves -

New in-development screenshots: 
Below are some of the new screenshots in development of the game. Terrain Art and Spike Shield monster designed by Jennifer Gilliland, and the Wisp/Ghost monsters presented were designed by Deborah Groves! Also pictured below is the new toggle tooltip developed by Leigh-anna Griswould!

New music!

Take a listen to a sample of one of the new themes in development for Chapter 3! The Uncharted Waters theme composed by Christopher Nuño. This track will play if you wander too far off the edge of the Overworld on Ship and you're "out of range", so to say.

Tumblr Page now available!

As mentioned in the preface, we now have a Tumblr page available, managed by our team artist, Deborah Groves! She is posting new information about the game every day, and we will use that platform to show off new videos, images, and character profiles as development of the game progresses! In fact, when the Selatria tumblr gets 30 followers, perhaps we will have a new reveal for you?

Story and Auditions:

Ryan Homme and I are currently writing the last section of Selatria’s story to bring the game to a grand conclusion. We’ve casted a lot of new people to roles in preparation to send them lines for the game, and new auditions for roles will be springing up in the coming days.

As of this development log, however, we’ve temporarily closed auditions while we go through all of the ones that were sent in the past couple of weeks. New roles that will be posted in the future will include the main role of Hat, the minor role of Mage's mother, and supporting roles of other chapters that aren't quite ready to reveal at this point! I am coming up with new audition lines for these, and they will be posted after we go through the lines from the last round.

If you would like to audition for a voiced role in Selatria, book mark our auditions page at and feel free to contact us!

Upcoming Changes to the Battle System:

We have some changes we're going to be implementing for Selatria's battle system in the near future.

We have plans in mind to have Melanie be able to be two-handed Greatswords as part of her equipment. Greatswords will allow for Melanie to be a hard-hitting damage dealer, but at the expense of large defense and speed, as well as not being able to equip a shield.

We are going to be making a lot of changes to Paramedic class for Mage as well, in future versions, we are going to add a healing potency to every single one of Paramedic spells, combine all of the status purification spells for Paramedic into one solid “Purify” that covers healing every status effect, and change “Negate” to cancel out boosts to enemy stats.

Mage's Elementalist forme will feature an increase to spell potency so Elementalist spells will do a greater amount of damage.

For expansions on the Team Attack Battle System (TABS), we will be introducing new characters in Chapter 2 and on that are hybrid characters. Characters that can chain off others as well as execute trigger attacks of their own. We will expand more on this in a future development log!

Game Design:

As for the current game design, we’re currently developing the end of Chapter 3 going onto Chapter 4. Each Chapter of Selatria will have a different gameplay focus, as Chapter 2 will have dungeons with a focus on puzzle solving, Chapter 3 will be more mini-game focused.


Development of the PC version and iOS client are underway! They will be coming out this Summer! We will have a new video that will accompany those releases, and we’re currently looking for a home to be able to release the PC client! More information about ANTics will be coming in future development logs!

That's it for now. Until next time!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bahamut! I am coming for you!

With the help of Azu La and team, I was able to complete Turn 12 last night.

Next step, the finale of Final Coil. I'm coming for you, Bahamut!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Friendly or Flirtatious?

What's the difference between being friendly and being flirtatious? I seem to have them backwards when it comes to people I don't know too well. In most instances, I'll play it safe and assume every one is friendly unless they outwardly say otherwise or the hints, at least what I perceive, is something more.

I've seen far too many stories of people who are labeled as creepy because they mistakenly thought wrong on the flirtatious concept, or thinking someone was flirting the whole time. Being rejected is fine, but is it worth gambling your reputation to have that "creepy" label? I don't think it is.

To some, being just friends is seen as an insult or hurtful. Maybe it is because they don't want something more, maybe it's a hit to the ego,  I don't really know the answer. I think having someone as a friend, or someone considering to be your friend is an honor that they're willing to sacrifice their time and energy to be in your presence. You matter to them and vice-versa (in varying capacities).

Anyhow, just felt like typing out what was on my mind.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Regarding self-deprecating nature

I feel like it's time to get something off of my chest.

I put somewhat of a persona on in the real world and on my Facebook interactions. In the real world, I put myself out there as being very self-deprecating and make a lot of jokes at my own expense, partially to make myself appear to be personable. As someone who can easily be approached.

Because of the self-deprecating nature of how I act, I am mistakenly seen as someone who is not very intelligent. I can see where people can draw these conclusions, and it's why I prefer to be a recluse most of the time.

I would say how I act in these blog posts and how I present myself here gives a more accurate representation of how I perceive myself and how I truly am. I'm not really sure where I was going on this subject, and kind of started to ramble. I just wanted to put this out there, because that was on my mind.

Anyhow, some not-so-legitimate links on the meaning of these things can be found below.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Grover Eyeveen's FFXIV Adventures - May 2015

(Warning: Spoilers are contained below in the "Final Coil" sub-section!)

It's been a little while since I got to talk a little about my adventures in Final Fantasy XIV. Come this September I will have been in Eorzea for five years. Time really flew on the adventure.

Though I really don't have a lot of play time as much as I used to in my XI days or even in the 1.0 era, I'm still working on my achievements. I play FFXIV as a whole as an Achievement Hunter, which gives me the desire to want to experience everything in the game, even if only once, so I can get as many clears and achievements as possible.

I recently hit my original Heavensward goals of getting a Paladin Zeta Weapon and finishing the Zodiac Weapon questline as well as obtaining 5000 achievement points! Top-tier player I would be considered based on the ranking, but I still consider myself a mid-core player at best.

Paladin Zeta!

I've also gotten far better at Triple Triad and Chocobo racing, and I have working on those as secondary to my progress in the Final Coil of Bahamut. I also got my personal chocobo some cool looking Dragoon barding in preparation of the upcoming expansion!

My chocobo "Wonder" and the Dragoon Barding

But perhaps the biggest piece of recent news as I'm shifting my own free company and goals to match my personal playstyle and preferences going forward.

The Future of Viva Eorzea:

Viva Eorzea - Taken January 2015

In the past few months or so, Viva's been on the downward trend. A lot of friends have left the free company because it's not what it used to be, the player mentality not only in our free company, but as a whole as shifted. I wouldn't say it's worse than what it used to be, but it's certainly different. I want to say that the downward trend started around the release of the game Destiny, but it could have been earlier or later than that, at least that's when I noticed said changes. A lot of the regulars went into hiatus and stopped playing. Scheduled event attendance went into all time lows with frequent event cancellations, and the Coil Statics formed for the regulars had to be cancelled/disbanded due to waning attendance and an all around drop in participation. Our Ventrilo used to be full of members and dropped down to mostly myself and Elieris with Sutaki popping in here and there.

After a few months of this, and a lot of talking Elieris and Sutaki, we decided that a change was necessary if we wanted to keep Viva running for the future. From 2010 until now, I was creating events with the lowest common demoninator in mind. (I don't mean this in a derogatory tone). Events were originally designed to help the members furthest behind to catch up to current membership so we would constantly have participation from those willing to backtrack and people who need wins. Due to the bonus soldiery offered to first time winners and drops from these encounters that were still useful, we would have a full house most nights.

Due to the rapid power creep introduced every two patches and echo being added to current endgame content, tomes were increasingly seen as an obsolete method as a bonus incentive to keep people willing to help, and rare drops like ponies or others aren't a good enough factor to keep people reeling in the content. Mix that with the downward trend in attendance, and events were more or less a ghost house.

For the reason above, I made the announcement a few days back that Viva Eorzea was going to have a format-flip of sorts come June, shifting what used to be a mid-core do everything Free Company, to a progression-based Free Company. While current members from Viva will be grandfathered into the new paradigm, those coming back from a break or hiatus will need to catch up to relatively current content on their own or ask on non-event hours. There will also be an expectation to fill out their character information on a Progression sheet and have voice chat available for attending events.

My open letter to Viva members

This change will personally allow me to enjoy FFXIV way more, reduce overall stress on attempting to keep everyone on a same page, and redefines the goals and expectations of Viva members, and allows us to focus on events on the current members who regularly attend events to be able to progress further every week come Heavensward to be able to see all new content at a reasonable pace.

New Expansion!

Heavensward is releasing in June, can't wait to finally see Ishgard and fly in the sky. I won't be changing my race, but I hope to explore Alexander, Floating Continent, and playing around with the new jobs!

My benchmark results on my laptop which I call "Cosmo".

XIV Heavensward Benchmark - Grover Eyeveen (Hyperion)
Directx11 Benchmark Results - So beautiful :)
Posted by Grover Wimberly IV on Monday, April 27, 2015

The Final Coil of Bahamut:

After having trouble getting assistance working through Final Coil of Bahamut, I've found a group that is working on learning and progressing through the turns, so I can get a chance to learn it. I don't like being carried through the content and like earning the clear. I found a group of players called the Friendly Coil of Bahamut, and invited Elieris to join with me. When I feel like I've learned enough of the encounter to hold my own, I ask my real life friend Azu who also plays (and has extensively cleared Coil) to help out with the final leg or whatever phase I was having trouble with in progression. Though I'm not a world first player by any means, I'm grateful to have a group to practice with that I can go with at a more casual pace and still be able to complete the content.

Adventures in Turn 10

With the assistance of Friendly Coil of Bahamut linkshell, I was able to learn the phases of Turn 10. With Azu and his static's assistance I was able to complete Turn 10 and 11. And now I'm working on Turn 12.

Turn 12 Adventures

Currently I've progressed to getting Phoenix to just about the start of Phase 3.

The very first time I entered the turn, before practicing with the group, my tank friend Elieris and I queued up in duty finder hoping (at least in my case) to learn the fight without being judged by people who know me. After watching the 5-7 minute cutscene, I was grouped up with some very nasty rude players who were Duty Findering expecitng a farm run. Bad idea, and a catch-22 of sorts. How is one expected to ever learn an encounter if they've never seen it before?

That's why I'm all for having a "Practice/Watch Cutscenes/Never Cleared" option for the Duty Finder. I would like to be able to practice with like minded players without being chewed a new one.

Other than that, my Final Coil experience has been a lot more easygoing and fun than the Binding and Second Coil runs. While I do appreciate the people I've ran with in past static parties, and they are certainly very skilled players with good playing chemistry, there was underlying tension between certain people which caused a fallout from the others. A few friendships were lost along the way, too.

It may also be the case that Turns 10 and 11 are just outright easier and more forgivable then Turns 6 and 7 were in the same progression. 6 and 7 our group was stuck on for a very long while and it took a lot of time to get anywhere and wore down the group and morale as a whole. 

Though I don't have any current realistic goals of beating turn 13 in time for Heavensward, I would at least give it an honest effort and then get help with it at the very least after the hype for the expansion dies down a little bit.

I think that covers my current adventures in Eorzea for now. Until next time!


Monday, April 27, 2015

Life Update - April 27, 2015

Hey readers!

I kind of left my blog last on a somewhat somber note. But I feel I should put in at least one more post for the month.

I've been improving my work/life balance lately, and finally feel up to the task to start making my life a bit tougher by potentially taking on new full-time work. If hired, this new job will potentially allow me to work from my local studio office most of the week, which frees up the time I would have spent four hours commuting to be able to work on my game projects.

As for gaming, I've finally overcome my burnout with Coil and undertaking the Final Coil of Bahamut. I've completed Turn 10 (no echo) and Turn 11 (5% echo), and going to start learning Turn 12.

I also completed Lufia 3, and let me tell you, it has a really bad localization.

I'm also working on Mario Kart 8 DLC. Attempting to learn what the best Kart for me is so I can finish the 150cc, Mirror, and unlock 200cc!

Also, my Heavensward Benchmark Results!

XIV Heavensward Benchmark - Grover Eyeveen (Hyperion)
Directx11 Benchmark Results - So beautiful :)
Posted by Grover Wimberly IV on Monday, April 27, 2015
Until next time!

Friday, April 10, 2015

My views on "the friend zone"

The friend zone is an okay place to be in, I'm not exactly certain why people think it's this vile place or an undesirable state to be in. People have friend zoned me, I've certainly had my share of friend zoning others.

The issue isn't the friend zone, so to say. The issue is feeling entitled to be out of it.

No one deserves another. You can't change someone's feelings, if they don't see you as a friend, then you have to accept it and move forward. Feeling that a person is supposed to like you because you're nice to them doesn't make a relationship, it creates resentment. You shouldn't be nice to someone because you want them to do something or manipulate them, you should do it because you're simply that, a nice person.

An equally bad person is one who eggs on the attention knowing they're leading someone on. That is just as bad as someone who feels they're nice because they're entitled to someone.

Friend zone isn't the problem. Entitled people and attention-seekers are the problem.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #32

Hello readers, back with the 32nd development log!

Development Team:

We recently had a group picture of our development team. Not all of the members of the team are featured here, but pictured is a good variety of the types of talent we have working with us on the studio grounds!

The Whim Indie Development Team
Back Row (L to R): Leigh-anna (Programming Intern), Paul (Business Admin/Executive Producer), Jon (Game Designer/Programmer), Myself (Producer/Director), Cameron (Game Designer Intern)

Front Row (L to R): Deborah (Character/Sprite Artist), Shadoe (Sound Engineer), Matt (Director/Game Designer), Jennifer (Quality Assurance Intern)

Additional pictures of us at work can be accessed on our Team Pictures page.

A special thanks to Patrick Davidians for providing the photography for our studio!



Development is going strong on our main RPG!

Auditions are currently live for voiced roles for the game, we are currently inviting potential auditionees to come to the studio and try out for a role. A list of roles can be found on our auditions page! We are going through the first round of auditions on April 18th and making a decision on any current auditions or decide whether to open them up to Voice Acting Alliance.

As for the development on the game, Selatria is being developed in four phases: The Story, the Art, Game Design, and the Music!

While we're wrapping up the base development on Chapter 3 and moving onto Chapter 4, we're going to soon be releasing Chapter 2 content as an exclusive to our 2013 Indiegogo backers (who contributed to the respective tiers) in May!

This will be the first time pushing content out exclusively for our backers, and we apologize for the two year wait. We wanted to take the time to upgrade our visual style of the game since the campaign, as well as provide a quality experience with the funding obtained in the past two years.

More information on the Chapter 2 playable content as well as a release date will be available in the next Development Log, but I would like to show you a preview of one of my personal favorite scenes from the chapter. (For the voice of the fairies, we took the voice actor of Melanie's laughing and made it really high pitched and fast. Worked out well!)

Another aspect of the upcoming playable demo will be the first demonstration of using the in-game Journal. For players that take a long break between play sessions, we want to make it easy to catch up and be filled in on where to go in-case one gets lost. In the May demo, we will have a basic version of the Journal implemented for Chapter 1 and 2 content.

Preview of Journal Implementation. Subject to change.
Preview of the Journal. Content shown is for demonstration and is subject to change!
Last but not least, we wanted to provide a preview of one of the themes of a dungeon that will be played in the final chapter. This is a theme that will be playing in one of our Ice Dungeons. Composed by Christopher "H2o" Nuño



A screenshot of the new Paid Version coming soon to PC. Can you beat my records?

A new version of ANTics has been uploaded to Android. This includes some changes:
  • More than one sugar cube can now be places simultaneously
  • Removal of levels/shop and restructure of the game into a high score/survival mode
  • Powerups are now only obtained by smashing rare ladybugs
  • Tutorials and music can now be toggled in the Option menu
  • New "Boss Mode" which includes the bosses from the old version are now only in the Paid Mode with a requirement of 250,000 high score from the standard mode.
We implemented these changes in order to encourage re-playability and reduction of massive installation and load times. Feedback from the first version indicated that beating the 20 levels had little replay value and the app was then de-installed. We wanted to address these concerns for a more enjoyable experience.

The new Android version can be accessed here: Free Version | Paid Version

On another important note, ANTics will be coming to iOS and PC! The version being released will include the changes made to the Android version. A trailer for release on these two platforms will be soon released, and we are currently looking into avenues to which we can release the PC version. The iOS version will be going public on the same day as the release of the trailer. More information on release timings will be available in the future.

For pricing for iOS and PC version, please refer below:

For iOS: Paid Version is 99 cents (No Ads) and a Free version will be available that has the boss section locked with advertisements.

For PC: Paid Version will be $1.99 and a Free Version will be available that has the boss section locked.



Last but not least, we have started offering our studio's services on Fiverr! If you would like to commission us to help production on your game project, we are happy to assist. For the time being, we are only offering limited character concept and QA services for projects. But we would like to expand in the future to do other services.

See how we can help your projects on our Fiverr page!

We will soon be showing these services off to other forums and Indie Game Developers' pages.


That's about it for this Development Log entry. Until next time!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Game Design Philosophy - Mario Level Design

I shared this with my team a few days back, but this can apply to anyone wanting to make games. I think this is a great insight on game design philosophy. If I am ever invited to give another talk to CSUSB about indie games/game design I'm going to reference/cite this video.

I hope this person makes more videos of this type. ‪#‎GameDev‬

Friday, March 13, 2015

Change in Life Direction (January 2015-Present)

I finished this blog entry about two months late, but that's alright. I really needed time to calm down and compose my thoughts together and write this when I wasn't in the middle of all of what was going on, the heat of the moment if you will.

My blogging has been a bit sporadic the past half a year or so and I'll get into the why in a moment, but for the past two months or so I've been trying to try out a new life plan that works for me.

The Past:

The past year (2014) I've seen myself trying to live to others' expectations for me all the while denying my expectations for myself. It caused me to feel very apathetic, somewhat cold to others, and a bit resentful. I'm hoping to change that and go towards living a life to where I see myself not only being a productive and contributing member to society, but also live one to where I am fulfilled. There are two recent life scenarios to what made me really think about this:

At the very end of 2014, a good friend of the family and business friend of my dad's passed away in Japan of a freak accident. He was taken away far far too soon. In the time he lived, however, he did what he set out to do. He set goals for himself, which he achieved and much more. 

Last year, I took a promising full-time position for a QA tech company. There were a lot of small factors that ate up my happiness and desire to work there. What was a 40-hour a week position on paper (I was estimating 50 hours due to what was perceived as a 1 hour commute) turned into a 60+ hour a week job that was slowly tearing me apart and causing me to get really upset about life. It came to a head in January where I was offered a promotion, but was on the other side of town. (The commute becomes exponentially higher in the city.) I initially accepted it, but dealing with all of the incoming changes that would have required caused me to burn out and break down, I left in the middle of January.
By the last week of my job there and also working on my start-up company, I was pushing 71-72 hours a week working over a five month period. Before my job at this tech company, I was working 24 hours a week for the family business and 24 hours a week working on my own business.

The Present:

To cope after my breakdown, I accompanied my dad to Japan to attend the memorial for our family friend, and came back with a renewed sense in self-worth so to say. I set out a new life-plan (for now) that accomplishes my needs and wants. In the job that I left above, one co-worker was telling me that I "need" this job and didn't "need" my alternate business. I had a different opinion in that I didn't need either position. These are considered wants to me. I wanted to clarify my view on wants/needs:

Needs (Equal Preference):
  • Food
  • Water
  • Shelter
  • A mechanism that can provide for the above three (Any Paying Job/Career/etc)
  • Sleep/Rest
  • A good Support System (Family and Friends)

Wants (In my order of preference):
  • Personal fulfillment (My start-up business)
  • A desirable job
  • Entertainment
  • Time-Off/Benefits
  • Romantic Companionship
  • Eventual family (in the distant future)
If I'm not personally fulfilled with my life, I'm not happy, which will not cause me to get a desirable job, which means I'm not entertained, most desirable jobs contain time-off and benefits to where I'd have time to pursue happy relationships with people.

To support my needs and wants, I split an arbitrary number (40 hours/week. Equivalent to standard work week) - 25 hours  goes towards fulfilling my needs. 15 hours goes to fulfilling my wants in the order of preference.

So for the foreseeable future, 25 hours a week is devoted to doing something that gets money to support my needs. 15 hours a week is devoted to my personal projects and studio. 8 hours on Saturday, 5 hours on Friday, and 2 hours separated over the rest of the week in order to keep current.

The leeway on this plan is that it does not exceed 50 hours a week. Otherwise I can go into the same problem that I had while I was employed with the long commute. Once I finish my ambitious project later this year, I'd like to ideally change this 25-15 plan to a 30-10 plan. I would like for the game to make money on the side for us while I do other jobs that make money to fulfill my needs.

We'll see how it goes. Life is what happens when you're making these plans. This isn't set in stone. This is what I'd like to do. 

The Future:

Luckily I am in a position where I can freely make these decisions. I feel my biggest regret in life will not be giving my start-up business a chance if I continued where I was going in my past life direction with where I was working. I felt like I didn't give myself a chance to let my projects grow last year when I jumped at this job opportunity without realizing how much time it was going to take away in the commute between the business there and my game development company two hours away.

If this plan does not work, then at least I can say I gave it an honest chance.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #31

Hey all - back with the 31st development log. There's a lot that I want to talk about, and even more so that happened in the past couple of days.

Studio Development Method:

In the past couple of months, we've embraced our modified version of a SCRUM/Agile format for our studio. As our studio is used as a stepping stone for team personnel to be able to get the experience needed for the game or professional software industry, I want the team to go and learn some of the processes that they may not learn in college to prepare for other jobs in the future.

During the week, we have one nightly SCRUM where we talk about what team members were able to accomplish, set goals and guidelines for the future, and talk about what we need to improve on for the studio process.

We use the development day to execute these goals as best we can, and report the next time in the same fashion. We also combined all of the different checklists for each team into one. Previously, we had an Art Checklist, a Music Checklist, Programming Checklist, and so on for every team in a separate text file. We replaced that idea with a standard spreadsheet that everyone can see with different tabs for the different teams.

When work is completed, it's highlighted in green. This way if we are ever used as a reference, we can give the spreadsheet of all of the tasks the person has done for our company and our team and it would look great for them.

We are always moving forward. I think the process has worked very well and we work efficiently and everyone is on the same track to get things done.


I have been inspired to work and improve on some of the cutscenes and boss fights for Chapter 2. In the past couple of weeks, with suggestions from team members, we decided to revisit some areas we've hastily made or didn't have much inspiration at the time, and improved the quality of the cut-scenes. Though no one outside the team has played it, we want to ensure a quality experience is given to the player by the time it reaches them.

Jennifer W., who is our in-house quality assurance tester is also giving us very good feedback and suggestions on the pacing and bugs in the game. For this reason, we are able to work faster than before on the creation of new content.

Here are some preview pictures of Chapter 2-4. The name of the area is the "Abandoned Path" and it's filled with ghosts and undead monsters.The grass terrain and wall terrain is final, but some of the other terrain is subject to change. Art by Jennifer Gilliland:

Our method for creating undead monsters was uploading to FotoFlexer and making negative versions of them and re-exporting into the engine. Makes for a very nice look when we give them a ghostly semi-transparent fade! I hope you'll enjoy it.

 As for new characters coming up, here are some new faces that Deborah has been working on:


If you already have ANTics installed on your Android phone, you may have noticed an update posted about a week ago. We changed a lot of how the game works due to the feedback from IndieCade and other players. Gerren released a new version, and we're currently getting it verified on iOS. The release should not be too far off. Unfortunately, it will not be available on iPad yet!

Once the iOS version is verified and posted, we will be posting a new trailer and advertising the new release of ANTics. Enjoy it if you already have it installed!

We will also be working on a Windows 8 touch screen port of ANTics so you can enjoy the bug smashing at the comfort of your desktop or laptop! Expect to see these ports in the near future.

Some new screenshots (screenshots from upcoming iOS version will vary slightly):

Studio Break-In:

Perhaps the biggest event that happened yesterday was that our studio was broken into between our SCRUM meeting and Friday. The power was cut out when we arrived and all of our equipment that we kept there (a studio computer, a laptop, and all of our VA recording equipment) was taken, as well as our doors kicked in. There was extensive damage done to the studio as floorboards and wallpieces were ripped out. The studio is in an unworkable state, so we moved anything we could salvage and took it elsewhere to keep it in a secure location.

All of our project data that was on the lost computers are backed up not only on the cloud but on computers away from the studio as well as on GIT. Hardware and unopened software we planned on using was our biggest losses and set us back quite a bit. Not big enough to close permanently, but enough to make development difficult for a while. The Selatria team is working from home (including myself) and I turned my small place into a make-shift studio treating today just like I would have been working there.

I started Selatria from my room in my spare time four years ago, and now it has come full-circle. Who knows how long this will be, but we will rebuild, we will be stronger for the next time. We have the capability, w̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶t̶e̶c̶h̶n̶o̶l̶o̶g̶y̶.

Until next development log!