RM Skill: Undisclosed
This month's theme is: Spring! Below is the winning entry for the most recent R3 Art Competition.
.::R3 Staff News & Views::.
- kaz - I would formally like to welcome Kread-EX and X-M-O on board as Directors. I know most of you know they have been promoted, but I realised I never announced it. Thank you to them both for agreeing - I needed the extra help!
Starscream is away travelling until April, and as he has not been around for a while I am moving him to the Gold Member group (so his inbox does not explode).
We now have a full updated Staff List. This will be updated when staff positions change. We also have a proper FAQ that will be posted out in the next week or so.
- Kread-EX - I have recently discovered that I can touch my tongue to my nose, but only after eating something very sour. In other news: there's lots to see in the VX Ace area of the forum, if you're working with Ace, be sure to drop in for some nice scripts!
- X-M-O - Thanks to everyone who contributed to yet another Official Issue of the SNaV! Everyone seemed to love the first Issue, and I'm hoping they continue to enjoy all the hard work we all put into this. This is our second Issue - yay! R3 Music Competition 3 is here!
shinyjiggly's RM2K3 Corner
All right, so my last article was on how easy it is to trigger emotion. Now I'm going to tell you not to do it. Or rather, to control yourself with it. The player isn't simply a Woody doll that you're pulling the drawstring of, throwing them from emotional extreme to extreme. But you don't want a blankness throughout your game either.
So the compromise I suggest is to use music for atmosphere instead of mood. Now this may cause some confusion as the two are so complimentary their practically symbiotic (mood is as much a part of atmosphere as atmosphere is a part of mood). So here is a quick definition of the two terms and what distinguishes them:
-Atmosphere is what surrounds you. It's the drip in the cave. It's the skipping child's laughter. It's the wind creeping in through that crack in the wall. It's not merely sound effects, but it's consistent with the other elements of your surroundings.
-Mood is a feeling; for the player it is spurred on by the atmosphere, but for the creator it is often the inspiration for the atmosphere.
So what I'm suggesting is that you shift focus. Music can be as effective a manner of telling you about a place as its map, the plot, the NPC's. Consider how games like Fallout and Bioshock convey the time period through music, well not even the time period, but what the point of divergence in the time-line was. How scientifically advanced they've become but their use of decades old music shows what their culture's focus is.
Also question how the level of technology of your game's world will affect its music; -What instruments exist? You're not gonna hear an electric guitar before Edison came along. -What is the quality of the recording equipment? Older recordings are a lot quieter and lack the clarity of modern equipment. -What is the quality of the output device? Ever hear the crackle of an old record player?
Also, and this is just a personal preference, try to define where the music in your game is coming from. Fallout's Pipboy has a built-in radio, a couple of games feature a jukebox that you use to select music, maybe there's a bard in the corner of the tavern. It doesn't need to be consistently diegetic (the reason doesn't always need to be on-screen) but try to find an explanation for the existence of your music. All these contribute not to a single areas atmosphere but to your game's atmosphere.
Positive Comments: 1.) Quest Journal. 2.) Custom menu, battle system, and World Map. 3.) Ability to purchase new skills. 4.) Visuals and audio are vibrant.
Negative Comments: 1.) Some of the tiles clash. 2.) Balance in combat leans more towards the easy side. 3.) There's not much of a story.
OVERVIEW: Lihtan is Oceans Dreams' newest rpg, a game that both her and her friends decided to make within a few short days. By indie standards, the game stands above other VX games I have played in both mechanics and game play, and the visuals are quite impressive. By normal commercial standards this game falls short by a few degrees (namely due to the game's length and the lack of story), but still holds a candle against some of the more prominent titles.
For those who have never played any of OD's games before, I would strongly suggest giving them a test-drive. You may be surprised with how good an indie game can truly be.
GAME PLAY & LEVEL DESIGN: Lihtan features a variety of options, some very well-placed scripts, and few gaming bugs. Everything about this game is simple and easy to understand, and yet it offers enough entertainment to drive any player into the late hours of the night (or the wee hours of the morning, as in my case). While there is not much to the story, the game play was well designed, with plenty of quests to take part in, and several beautifully mapped areas to explore.
Menus have been custom-designed to offer more variety, including a quest journal to keep track of your progress. Each character has a unique spell list, and new skills can be purchased through a local guild or by completing side quests for the individual characters.
The world map itself was very impressive, a parallaxed image that required you to move around from one location to another. There are no enemies of any kind on the world map, as its only purpose is for navigating between areas. In my personal opinion, this is how a world map should be designed, unlike the games of old that had you faced with numerous encounters between dungeon and town.
While the dungeons are a bit more linear in nature, the game more or less allows you to explore each dungeon at your leisure to a certain point. By this I mean, you might have access to a particular dungeon, and you might be able to explore that dungeon quite a bit, but at some point your path might be blocked as a result of needing to finish another quest from another dungeon in order to receive a key item of sorts. Because of this, there are some instances of back and forth travel. However, each dungeon has a crystal at about the halfway point that allows you to then teleport back to the entrance and vice versa, making navigation less of a chore.
While not a true open-ended rpg, the player has access to most of the side quests right away, and can generally complete them at his or her leisure. I’m not a big fan of fetch quest rpg's, however, there was something compelling about this game that had me playing through it in one sitting.
That's not to say the game play doesn't have flaws, but the few flaws that distracted me from the adventure were very minor. A couple of times RGSS2 suddenly quit without warning, and the game ended up crashing. I've only had this problem on rare occasions with other games, and while I'm not sure why this is, it only happens with selective games. However, I made it a habit to save often, so this was never a problem. The only other problem I had with the game was its length. Several features were introduced that could have been greatly expanded upon, had the game been longer than it was. In most cases, each shop only has one side quest that will allow you to upgrade your items, skills, or equipment just once. In a longer game, I can only imagine the possibilities should newer side quests be introduced the further into the game you are.
However, if you are like me, short on time, and you want something quick and simple, then I urge you to download this game and give it a go.
STORY & WRITING MECHANICS: As I've mentioned earlier, there is nothing to write home about on the story. The plot is more or less revealed within the first few minutes of the game (your heroines must save their mayor from a band of bandits by completing quests and earning some ransom money), and the rest of the game is spent fulfilling that plot. There are no twists and turns, no sudden revelation into the mechanics of the bad guy's inner thoughts, just a quick simple story that has you focused more on the game play.
However, some attention to the story would have definitely helped, and again I'm left with the impression that the game, while complete in itself, could have been something much larger. Most of the game takes place around the town of Lihtan (thus the game's title), and you will spend the majority of the game fulfilling side quests and exploring dungeons.
Because of the game's short length, the lack of story and development, and also the fact that the world map is much bigger than the places you are able to explore, I've always thought of Lihtan as a sort of introductory tale into a much lengthier rpg.
Regardless of the story, however, there was never a dull moment and sometimes it is better to have no story than a long and boring one.
AUDIO & VISUALS: Second to the game play, the audio and visuals were very appealing. The audio is never boring, and the layout is beautifully handled and looks to be a mixture of both parallax and tile mapping, using what appears to be a combination of both Celianna's and Lunarea's parallax tileset. There were some areas where the tileset seemed to clash (as in the chest and clock compared to the RTP table), but this did not bother me all that much.
COMBAT SYSTEM/BALANCE: There's not much that can be said here. Most combat in the game is random/turn-based encounters, aside from the few boss battles. While the battles were never dull, they were not as well designed as the rest of the game. For the most part, the balance was a tad too easy, and so level grinding is really not needed. By the time you've completed the side quests and upgraded your characters skills and equipment, most battles could be won in just a few turns, and boss battles did not fare much better. There was one enemy that gave me a run for my money, but after completing a side quest or two and gaining a couple of levels, the difficulty went away. It's certainly better to have an easy battle system than one that is impossible, but some strategy would have been nice. Because of the lack of difficulty, some of the skills you find late in the game become useless.
SUMMARIZED VERSION: The game features some excellent game play mechanics and well designed maps, in spite of a couple flaws. The audio and visuals are impressive, and it's easy to immerse yourself into Lihtan's world without letup. Unfortunately, there is not much of a story to write home about, a fact that is easily forgotten as you are going from one adventure to the next, and the game feels more like an introduction into something much bigger. The balance in combat leans more on the easier side, but considering that the game's focus is not so much on the combat as it is the exploration, this is easily dismissed.
Game Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Not everybody will be a fan of fetch quest rpg's, especially where story is lacking. However, the game is short enough and entertaining enough for even the most jaded gamer to play. As long as you look at it as a sort of hybrid platform adventure, you can't go wrong.
.::Editorials & Entertainment::.
QUOTE (KD648 - Member Submission)
When it comes to anything creative, but especially game design out here in the independent scene, we get tricked into thinking that our work is only "good" if everyone that plays it likes it. Which is bullshit. I'm going to throw out a list of games, and you're going to recognize the first thing you think about each. Ready? Here we go:
Braid. Halo. Fable. Skyrim. Final Fantasy 13. Gears of War. Civilization. Resident Evil. Mass Effect. Devil May Cry. Grand Theft Auto. Minecraft. Mortal Kombat.
I assume you had a variety of reactions to each game. You probably loved some, didn't care for others, and maybe you even hate one or two. Yet, despite our educated, logical reactions, every single one of these games is wildly successful. Personally, I have a man-crush on Todd Howard and everything Bethesda does, a pretty strong distaste for Gears of War, and frankly I just don't "get" Minecraft. And yet all three are making gobs of money and have tons of fans. But how can these games make so much money and have such a strong fan base when they all have such gaping flaws? Skyrim is a technical disaster, Gears of War couldn't write its way out of a paper bag, and Minecraft expects the player to do half the work that the game should be doing.
The key to their success is that these games aren't trying to be "good"; they're trying to be unique. They're successful because each one offers something that no other game does. But most important of all: they're not trying to "fix" everything.
Can you imagine how boring Skyrim would be if they spent all their time fixing their glitches and animation and instead had a world only one third the size with a built in class system? There would be nothing to separate it from all of the other western RPGs. And as much as I hate Gears of War, the series would lose its success if they spent all their time fixing their awful story and detestable characters. Why? Because that would take away from the time they spent on enemy design and ridiculous, exploding set pieces. And that's what people buy it for. Without those, it's just like every other look-alike, cover based shooter. Each flaw lost each game thousands upon thousands of players, and yet their ability to overwhelm us with their strengths is what made these games behemoths of the industry.
When I first began to study musical theatre (yes, I'm going to talk about myself for one second; I'll keep it short), I was overwhelmed by how much more "talented" everyone else was. I had no idea how I'd ever hope to sing as well as what's-his-face or dance as well as so-and-so. As a result, I devoted myself to learning any and everything anybody had a mind to teach me. I learned a lot and implemented all of it. And I wasn't getting cast. I couldn't help but assume that it was because everyone else was so much more naturally talented than I was, so I became even more desperate and worked even harder to get rid of my "flaws". It shattered every bit of confidence I had managed to scrape together over my lifetime. I was devastated multiple times by multiple rejections. I cried more than I would care to admit.
And then I looked at the people around me who also weren't getting cast, and I realized we were all trying to be something we weren't. In our desperation to be "good enough", we did everything anyone said we should without stopping to think about whether or not we agreed. There was no reason to cast me over anyone else because we were all the same. We all sang the songs people told us to sing and tried to sing them exactly how we'd been told to. So I stopped trying to sing as well as what's-his-face, and I stopped trying to dance as well as so-and-so, and instead I started to focus on the few things I did that no one else could do. I stopped doing what the "successful" people did and started doing what I did. And I started getting cast. Not in everything, and rarely in the role I had envisioned, but regularly enough that I had to start turning down opportunities.
When we first introduce our game, and our passion, to the public and start taking a look at the games others have made, it's natural to be insecure. I still get nervous when people give me feedback. Hell, I was shaking when I found out RRR did a preview of my game and I requested the damn thing. Feedback has power, and if we let it, it has power over us.
While we're on the subject of feedback, whenever I hear developers talk about criticism, I hear about how negative feedback is empowering, improves your game, and helps you grow as a developer. I hear that a developer should feel nothing but unbounded gratitude for the people pointing out his flaws. I hear about how negative feedback is a gift in an ugly box, and that every time you get criticism you should give thanks to the universe for helping you come one step closer to your goal.
It makes me think I'm crazy.
The first thing that enters my mind when I get negative feedback is how awful I am, what a waste of time my game is, and on a bad day, how I'm incapable of selfless love and am probably one eighth cancer by now because of that pop-tart I ate this morning. That's not even including what I start thinking about other people. Frankly, when the feedback is spot on that just makes it worse, and the reality is that it isn't anyone's fault. Someone could write a five thousand line Homeric Epic on all the things my game does right, and five seconds later a single comment on an ugly sprite will ruin my afternoon.
Feedback makes us vulnerable, and when we're vulnerable it's easy to look our imperfections, make a list of all the things that are "wrong" with us, and say "I can never commit these heinous deeds again, no matter the cost!" And then we feel better for a little bit. And I don't know about you, but then I go eat a cookie.
But look at the games we talked about earlier! Do you think the people at Bethesda didn't know Skyrim had bugs? Of course they did. They're not stupid. And I'm sure they tried to fix those bugs, but they chose to spend more time building a huge, open world and the best character creation system ever because that was more important to them. That was what made them special, and they accepted the consequences. Do you think Epic Games doesn't know that their writing is a literary abomination? They didn't go through months of playtesting without someone bringing it up, but then they went back to improving the set pieces and gameplay that Gears fans love! And I can't even imagine how many times the Minecraft guy listened to someone who just didn't "get" it, but that didn't stop him from making the game that he wanted to make. Great games aren't about doing everything perfectly; they"re about doing one thing better than anyone else! And unless you're Jesus, the time you spend making that one thing special is going to come at the cost of something else. (Don't worry. I'm not Jesus either.)
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not giving you permission to avoid your weaknesses or ignore feedback. I'm not championing an easy way out. When something about your game doesn't work, you don't get to throw your hands in the air and think: "Oh well, I'm not good at that. I guess I'll just let it rot like a dead woodchuck over there in the corner." You're going to have to spend a weekend at the library and learn how to do it right, or else the smell from that dead woodchuck is going to make the rest of your game unplayable. What I am doing, is I'm giving you permission to say no to your peers. It's about looking at the price tag of what another layer of improvement will cost and deciding if it's worth it.
I've heard about what a shame it is that I use the RTP more times than I can count on two hands, but do you know what would happen if I made my own graphics? I would spend months learning how to do it right and then the "artists" still wouldn't like it. Why? Because it wouldn't be very good. Because I'm a shitty artist. But do you know how much more I can improve my writing in a single week of hard work, let alone the months I would waste grappling with my visuals? My capacity for writing is much higher than my capacity for artwork. It takes less effort for me to have fantastic writing than it takes me to have mediocre art. Now, I'll give everything I have into making my maps cohesive and easy on the eye, but they're going to use the RTP. The end.
I'm still deeply afraid that every artist will read that and judge me for being unwilling to make the "sacrifices" it takes to have great art. And some of them will. But the writers of the world will thank me, and a few people that love me will go a lot farther than a lot of people who think I'm "okay". Likewise, there's someone out there that's my polar opposite. It might take them months at a library to learn to bump their writing up a notch, but they could parallax map an entire dungeon in a weekend. Focusing on their art probably won't get my attention, but it'll sure make fans of the people that didn't want to play my game. And without sounding cold, unless they become Hemmingway overnight they probably won't make a huge impression on me either way, just like how I'm not going to be able to truly please the aesthetic purists. In a way, we're lost to some people simply by virtue of who we are.
There's such judgment about accepting imperfection in creative culture, but we aren't accepting imperfection. We're just not going to waste time apologizing for what we aren't.
There's an old saying: "If you try to be everything to everyone, you'll end up being nothing to nobody." We are all so desperate to be special, unique, and "good enough" that we take all negative feedback to heart. Then we implement every suggestion without question, not even stopping to think about whether or not we think we should. We spend so much time fixing what people tell us is "wrong" with our game that we don't have any time left over to focus on what we think is right about it. And so we all become the same. We all fall into the trap of overall "goodness", where everything is decently written and good looking and balanced and customizable and possibly has a crafting system, but nothing is special because we were too busy spending time making sure we wouldn't be disliked. But, at our core, we don't want to not be disliked. We want to be loved.
Am I going to play your game if the writing is bad? No, I'm not. I don't play Gears of War for the very same reason. Strangely enough, they seem to be doing just fine without me, and if you're not a great writer, you'll do just fine without me too. When we don't kowtow to the preferences of individuals, and instead focus on what makes us special and what makes our game unique, we have the freedom to accomplish greatness. We need to accept being disliked for what we aren't before we have room to be loved for what we are.
Ars Harmonia: Swallowed Alive by the Demon
Chapter 4: Chiral Charity
"If you stare at it any longer, you're going to burn a hole in it." Fira pulled her eyes away from the pendant she had been gazing longingly at when Jamison playfully rebuked her.
"Um, I'm ready to go if you are."
"Don't you want to try it on?"
"Huh?! W-Well, I... It's not like I could afford it."
"Oh, come on. It doesn't cost anything to try it on." Fira reluctantly agreed. Jamison indicated the pendant she had been ogling to the jeweler. Fira held her breath and froze as he stood behind her and carefully put it on for her. She had to struggle not to laugh as his hands tickled the back of her neck while fighting with the clasp of the pendant.
"There, got it. Let's see how it looks." Fira shyly turned around. A sapphire pendant was now suspended from a silver chain above her chest.
"What do you think? ...Hey! What are you doing?" Jamison had taken out his cell phone and was pointing it at her.
"What does it look like? I'm taking a picture. Hey, stop hiding!"
"I look silly in pictures."
"Nonsense. You look cute."
"You’re right. There’s something missing." Before Fira could object, Jamison stood beside her and threw his arm around her, pulling the two of them close together as he snapped the picture. "Take a look. You look great." In truth, she looked terrified in the picture, but she had to commend Jamison on his ability to take a well-focused picture while holding the phone at such an awkward angle.
"Do you take a lot of pictures? It looks like you know what you're doing."
"I love taking pictures. Do you want me to send it to you? What's your number?"
"Here, it's-Oh! The movie's starting in ten minutes!"
"What are you doing?" Jamison asked as she hurriedly began to remove the pendant.
"I like it and everything, but I just can't afford it..." Seeing Jamison pull out his wallet, she felt her heart skip a beat. "Oh, no! I don't deserve something like this!" Deaf to her objections, Jamison purchased the pendant and turned to smile at her. The sight of that kind smile made her face heat.
"What's wrong? Don't you like it?"
"No, I do! I really do! I, I just don't know what to say." Fira twiddled her thumbs and looked away, an adorable gesture Jamison had come to associate with her shyness.
"You don't have to say anything. Aren't we going to be late for the movie?" The two hurried to the theater. Along the way, Fira occasionally chanced a look at Jamison, admiring the look of calm kindness on his face and wondering what those handsome, enchanting eyes saw in her that convinced him to buy her such an extravagant gift.
As they ran for the theater, Fira wasn't worried at all about being late for the movie. This strange, bubbly feeling like floating was more than enough for her. She was sure that she'd be happy just as long as she was able to hold onto it for a little bit longer. Surely, she was the happiest girl in the world.
"Doctor Eigermann? You're still here?"
"I was just on my way out. Her condition was worse than I anticipated, so the procedure took quite a while. I hope you can forgive our intrusion."
"It's no bother. Will she be all right?"
"Oh, she'll be fine. She's a tough cookie. I was actually wondering about the sheets on the guestroom bed."
"What about them?"
"Could I buy them from you?"
"Why would you want them?"
"Well, it's kind of hard to explain..." Erich scratched his chin and tried to think of a way to convey his intentions to this woman without arousing her suspicion. Just as he opened his mouth to speak, someone interrupted their conversation.
"Is that the one who's missing?" Fira’s mother turned around to see the woman with white hair, still wet from showering, looking at a picture on the mantle.
"Yes. That's my older daughter, Nori."
"Let him have the sheets. In exchange, I'll find your daughter." Gasping, Fira's mother grabbed onto the woman's robes and looked up at her in desperation.
"Do you know something? Do you know where she is?"
"Not yet, but I will if you'll lend me your help."
"Are you some kind of detective?" Even as she asked, Mrs. Laveau doubted any self-respecting detective would dress so outrageously.
"Something like that. Is Fira home?" Right on cue, the front door opened and Fira walked in with Jamison. The two were laughing and discussing a movie they had just seen.
"Mom, I'm home!" Mrs. Laveau let go of the stranger and turned to welcome her daughter home. Fira saw that their guest was on her feet again and smiled at her. "You look a lot better. Are you staying for dinner?"
"If your mother will permit it, yes." Mrs. Laveau bit her lip and looked at the stranger uncertainly.
"I can trust you, right?"
"I vow to find your daughter at any cost. I will find her with or without your help, but having your help will make it much more painless." Fira's eyes widened.
"You can find Nori?"
"If you will lend me your aid, then yes. Will Jamison be staying for dinner?" The youth standing in the doorway looked surprised at being directly addressed by this bizarrely-dressed stranger. How did she know his name and why was that any concern of hers?
"No, I don't think so. It's getting late, so I should probably head home before my mom gets worried." Jamison waved and started out the door. He and Fira exchanged looks and he paused, each of them waiting expectantly for the other to speak.
"Um! I had a good time. Thanks for bringing me along."
"Thanks for coming. We'll have to do it again sometime."
"Yes, please. Goodnight!"
"Night!" After Jamison was gone, Fira breathed a long, dreamy sigh, and collapsed onto the couch, hugging a cushion. Mrs. Laveau entered the kitchen to prepare dinner.
"With your permission, I would like to stay here until I find your daughter," said the white-haired woman. "I'm from out of town and staying here will help me gather the information I need."
"Go ahead. Will Dr. Eigermann be staying here as well?"
"Yes. He's very reliable. Fira, this is my partner, Erich. He'll be helping me find your sister." Fira sat up on the couch and waved to the red-haired doctor. Erich extended his hand to Fira, but the latter shied away upon noticing the bloodstains on his labcoat.
"Um, your coat..."
"Oh, silly me!" he laughed. "I completely forgot. I can be kind of scatterbrained, you see. Nothing to worry about. I only stab people when they ask for it." That did little to put her at ease. Erich's partner rolled her eyes.
"You'll get used to his poor excuse for humor. I haven't properly thanked you yet for helping me this morning. I really appreciate it. I was really quite lucky that you happened to be walking by."
"It's no problem. I’m glad you're feeling better."
"That's a nice pendant. You weren't wearing that this morning."
"O-Oh, this? I just got it," Fira murmured, fidgeting shyly. The goofy smile on her face along with the reddening hue of her cheeks said everything that she was too shy to explain with words.
"Ahh, there's nothing as sweet as young love! …Oft-misguided, but sweet nonetheless," Erich remarked with a wistful sigh.
"I-It's not like that! We're just friends!"
"You must be very close friends if he bought you jewelry and took you out on a date."
"It wasn't a date!"
"Was it your first time?"
"Going on a date."
"Aaah! You guys suck! It's not like that!" Fira exclaimed, running out of the room with her hands covering her face. Erich chuckled and gave his partner a playful nudge.
"It's hard to believe that even this Snow White ice queen used to be a blushing teenager."
"Hmmm. That was a long time ago."
"How long ago?" In truth, Erich had trouble putting an age to her face. He wouldn't be surprised if she said she was twenty, thirty, or even forty. Considering he was her physician, fundamental questions about her person were rarely brought up.
"It's rude to ask a woman her age." Of course, he received the response he expected.
"Could it be that you have kids of your own? I can hardly see you as the motherly type." His partner responded with a rare laugh.
"I would rather die than have children. They would only slow me down." In truth, Erich expected that answer, too. She walked as lightly as she could, leaving behind as few footprints as possible. She took with her only what she could carry and left behind nothing but the memories of her passing. She led a fleeting existence, never staying in one place for long, and took care to leave no permanent record of her presence.
Although they were partners, Erich knew that this woman did not consider him a friend. He had been trying since they first met to break through the shell that she erected to protect herself from forming attachments to other people, but he was gradually coming to realize that her defense was just as perfect as her offense; she was truly a warrior against which victory was impossible. He had come to make the somber realization that this woman could love only her work and that she regarded anything unrelated to it as meaningless.
Indeed, her indifference to the feelings or desires of other people is what made her so effective at what she did. Seeing the scene in the foyer play out was like watching a master at work. As a fellow artist, he admired her craftsmanship. As a human being, he was terrified at her cunning.
Here is an issue that always seems to appear in any genre of game. Though I suppose it isn't really a huge issue, I understand why it is done. It extends the playtime of the game and gives the players an actual reason to explore the level. However, my issue with this is that the object that is blocking the path is never really that much of an obstacle. Take, for example, Pokémon and those darned small trees. God forbid that Ash use an axe or a saw to cut it down - or better yet - simply walk around it! After I wrote this comic however, I thought to myself "Well, I only really remember this in old games and Pokémon. Maybe it isn't really a thing today?" That line of thought was soon abandoned while I was playing NeverDead, a recently released PS3 game. I had to find the key to a locked door. The immortal demon hunter, wielding a sword larger than his arm had to find the key to a locked door in an abandoned asylum. I'd be a bit more understanding if damaging the property was an issue, but moments later we're tearing up the place to cut down hordes of demons. (How they got past that locked door I'll never know). And it isn't as if this door was particularly strong either, it was just your standard wooden double doors. Merely minutes later in the game our friendly neighborhood demon hunter is literally cutting straight through concrete pillars. My initial plan for these articles was to discuss possible solutions, but in hindsight there isn't much to talk about here. Just don't do it. Or find a better reason to need to do it. This is especially easy in fantasy games - magic. You need the magic key to open the magic door. (Though even this fix is kinda weak, if the Big Bad didn't want you getting somewhere he just wouldn't leave a way to get in lying around). Or perhaps stealth? You want to take the Big Bad by surprise, and blasting down doors on your way through his (or her) lair is not going to achieve the desired effect here. Or maybe this is someone else's property, and it would mean bad news for you if you damaged it? (Though this fix is also weak, saving the world is KIND OF A BIG DEAL, YOUR PROPERTY IS NOT.) Before I go: NeverDead is super fun and you should all be playing it RIGHT NOW.
QUOTE (Spirit_Master_X - Member Submission)
This is Soukei Baku. It is a traditional Japanese series that has been created by a group of talented writers and artists. It tells the tale of two rival clans who shown no mercy throughout decades of battle; the Amaretsu clan, who walks the path of the samurai warrior, and the Makato, who walks the path of the ancient ninja. Lead writer and artist, Spirit_Master_X, along with his team, has been hard at work for producing an intriguing and unique story.
The story also revolves around one of the most popular Japanese martial art known throughout history, Koden Einshin (Kenjutsu) which utilizes special movements with the katana sword.
Though Kenjutsu is one of the main focus points, in terms of combat, there are several other styles that have been incorporated inside the story as well such as Aikido, Shurikenjutsu, Ninjutsu & more. The story revolves around a group of friends who has no previous history about the war between their clans. History often has a way of hiding itself until those in power come to teach it. History that tells of the bloodshed between the clans has been stripped from public record after a peace treaty, trusting that the war would not continue. In response to the peace effort, both clans established an academy to help fully develop the martial skill between students.
The students of both clans are forbidden to spar with a member of the opposite clan, train, or even date. The segregation between both clans grew into a spiral of confusion amongst the students. They did not fully understand why there was so much segregation because information about the wars in the past has been withheld from them.
Series creator, Spirit_Master_X, and his team, have written over ten literature works for each episode, detailing the story as much as possible. Now he and his team are hard at work at creating a comic book series that will give illustration to each literature work told. As of now, the first comic will tell the story of Episode 1, which sets up the series with one battle that will never be forgotten; Takamori Amaretsu & Hsou-Saijin of the Makato.
"Soukei Baku is just something I came up with one day after watching dozens of older Japanese films. After I read that traditional Japanese films were on the brink of dying, I just had to support the genre by including some of my own points of view. Soukei Baku has the potential to becoming something serious and I think the key into doing that is presenting a story that holds no punches. Hsou-Saijin and his army wiping out the Amaretsu clan; and injuring Takamori's wife, Yhemae, is an example of that. I think if people are willing to read some of the literature works and pay close enough attention to the series then I think people will really enjoy it as we enjoy creating it." said lead creator, Spirit_Master_X
The team also mentions that each literature season will include ten written episodes. Season two has already started and the team is willing to write the story first before sketching it.
"One day, someone asked me why the series has a lot of pain; and has a lot of anger in terms of expression. I told them that it's because I'm an angry person. Those who suffer the most end up expressing it through whatever form of art they are entitled to. I suppose I'm just unloading mine in this project."
Feel free to join the blog, post comments on your favorite literature work, and view the artwork. Stay updated by submitting your email on the blog.
Team Credits: Spirit_Master_X (Anthony Johnson) - Lead creator, writer, and artist. James McRae - Color artist, photoshop editor, writer Andrew Smith - Series management Christopher Armstrong - Writer Yer Thao - Writer, Manga studio editor Chris Blue - Organizer
Special Thanks To: kaz: Updates and Staff List! KD648: Contributed another amazing article to the SNaV! Kread-EX: Stuffs for you! Sailerius: Ars Harmonia Spirit_Master_X: For his contributions to the SNaV!
I think you should change title X-M-O, just adding '#2' or something, make it a bit clearer there's a new one out. Anyways another stellar performance guys, looks much nicer like this than on the submissions page
"everyone knows when you use caps that it's serious business"- Tsutanai
"Like I said, our current market breed ferocity, it breeds a cruel and callous kind of people, but that doesn't make them guilty of anything other than being dickheads."- Sparrowsmith
I think you should change title X-M-O, just adding '#2' or something, make it a bit clearer there's a new one out. Anyways another stellar performance guys, looks much nicer like this than on the submissions page
Or put the date in the title- we used to do that before.
Love the setup of the the new mag! Everything is wonderfully neat and plain awesome!
Keep up the hard work and dedicated contributions~
I Support these Projects~
...If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails....
Group: Local Mod
Type: Event Designer
RM Skill: Masterful
Rev Points: 30
Wow.... Great read once again! shinyjiggly's info was not needed for me. I always implement those small waits in my game Still, great presentation! Interesting point Kaust. I'll keep that in mind. And that was a wonderful submission, KD648. I'll be sure to think over that. Great job everyone! I can't express how awesome these reads were! A+ Lations congrat U Any of those!