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Further apologies to the contest winners, I realize it’s been awhile between updates, just please be patient. You WILL get your rewards, I’m still in a bind trying to find enough freelance to make up the difference left over from my part time job, and unfortunately staying out of debt takes precedence.
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First of all, I want to thank the remaining 2 contest winners for their patience in me getting them their prizes. This month has been insane.
The good news: I am employed! For those that didn’t know, I have for the past year made a living as a freelance 2D artist, however the going has been tough and I’ve constantly been looking for work in the meantime. I’m the Lead Artist at To Mars games, a small startup based near where I live. They’re in the process of finishing up their first major title, which I will be working on. It’s called Ant City, and you can check it out here! I’ll be totally redesigning the User Interface basically, as what is currently there is little more than placeholder art.
The bad news: Unfortunately, this past month has been incredibly taxing on me financially. Freelance has not come in as steadily as I’d like, and my job will only be part time to begin with. It’s been less than fun in that regard. Hopefully that all changes sooner rather than later, so fingers crossed.
I will update you guys this weekend on when I hope to get the contest winners their rewards! Hope everyone is doing fine, thanks for your patience!
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togashi101 asked: Everything alright? You haven't posted in a while. o_o;;
Ack, sorry everyone, I know I’m REALLY behind on a lot of stuff right now, I’m in the process of (hopefully) getting a job. I will try to get you guys some info on the contest winners shortly!
Sorry guys! Personal issues are going to keep me from livestreaming the winner’s game development, its nothing terrible, but I simply can’t do it today.
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LOOKIT THE MAGIC WE’RE MAKING IN THIS STREAM.
Get in here already!
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Get ready folks! It’ll be in the next hour or so once I’ve had lunch!
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Here’s some older art I did for a project I was never fully paid for!
Let that be a lesson kids, freelance isn’t always fun. Sure, you get to pick your projects and have less rules than a full time job, but when push comes to shove, getting a client to pay you who is just a reprehensible human being to begin with is hard work and probably not worth your time in the end!
You take the good with the bad.
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My last post on game design was about why I think diablo clones like torchlight are dumb games. I used Monster Hunter as an example of how to make loot meaningful in a game, as well as the ways to procure it. Well, I also purchased Recettear during the Steam Sale, mainly because it’s something I’ve been meaning to purchase for forever because I REALLY loved the concept. Short version: It did not disappoint.
For those that don’t know, Recettear, apart from having an obtuse name that is kinda sorta supposed to be a pun, is a game where you play the owner of an item shop in a traditional JRPG town. If that sounds like an exciting flipside of what you normally play, then you are 100% correct!
You play Recette, a young girl who’s father has disappeared, leaving her with a massive amount of debt to pay back in his name. Tear, a fairy and the person in charge of reclaiming said debt, helps you open and run an item shop to repay your fathers loans. The game is mostly about stocking shelves, haggling over prices with customers, and identifying customers buying patterns.
It is also, similar to XCOM actually, a brutal time management game! Which I REALLY LOVE! Every day is split into 4 “turns”, and what you do during that turn has real, lasting effects. Because this essentially means you only 32 turns before each bill is due (your bills are due every 8 days, and get exponentially bigger as time passes). You could open your store, which costs one turn and is obviously the best way to make money, but you need to stock up on items for your store, which you can do by going to the town square and picking them up, OOOOORRRRRRR you could hire an adventurerer to accompany you into a dungeon!
Yes, in addition to the item management, Recettear has a very serviceable dungeon crawling aspect to it! In fact it’s better than many other dungeon crawlers I’ve played that solely focus on that aspect of the game. Kind of an interesting thing to say about a game that is supposed to be about item shop management!
The neat thing is how this is incorporated to the rest of the game. Hiring an adventurer requires that you have first gained their trust. Then you pay a certain amount of money to hire them out. You CAN lend them equipment for the adventure, but that means you cant bring back as much loot, and that means less profits, so your better off giving them good deals when they come into your item shop so you can be sure they’re well equipped!
So why does all of this boil down to a game that is almost entirely about collecting and selling loot, but is also better than lootfest rpg’s?
A couple of reasons actually! For one, in most RPG’s, currency (be it gold, gal, credits, or kamas) is next to worthless. Buying items from a shop is either extremely cheap or totally worthless because you can find better loot in the field from monsters or treasure. In Recettear, money (pix in this case) are literally the most important thing in the game, because you will have to start all over at the end of the week if you cannot pony up your debt payment!
Secondly, it means that all of this loot is actually really important, even the cheap low-level items, because the game is very good about giving you ways of quickly selling them off as you progress. First, there are orders, which is when a NPC asks you to have some items ready for them on a specific day. You want to keep a stock of all types of items so you dont make them angry if you forget, but you could also buy a few high priced items so you can have them ready for that guaranteed sale. Later in the game you also can get vending machines, which you cant haggle over prices on, but can sell many items quickly, allowing you to get rid of the otherwise worthless items that would clog up your inventory!
What’s the TL;DR of this? What is the takeaway?
If I had to simplify, which I am, it’s that while average games, or good games, can rely on a single streamlined goal to entice the player into continuing to play, at the end of the day, thats not the mark of a great game. A great game is about managing numerous assets and resources in order to gain an upperhand where you would otherwise be overwhelmed attempting to take on your goals!
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ask-kavyn asked: How long did it take you to make this one sprite? :)
About an hour, the initial drawing takes the longest period of time usually, but in this case I had the character already designed for me, (and it’s a really cool design too!) so that cut it down quite a bit. The coloring is a bit easier once you establish the pallete. If I had to do the whole thing from scratch it would take me about an hour and a half.
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