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Archive for September 2017

I recently stumbled upon the comedian Whitney Cummings' entry for Tim Ferriss' book Tools of Titans, who candidly states: 
In order for art to imitate life, you have to have a life.
And again:
As a writer, you have to be vulnerable. Before, I was so overworked, I was such a chronic workaholic that I didn't have a life. And in order for art to imitate life, you have to have a life. 
For me, art was imitating art because all I was doing was working.
Terribly true for me. For the past ten months (by the way, this website is now a year older!), I scheduled my days as there was nothing else beside my irl job to pay rent and bills, and Serenade development. No time at all destined to social life (my irl job is very social anyway eheh), or Netflix and other pastimes. When I wanted to refill my imagination with new stimuli, I'd search for an anime that would serve the purpose. I had no meaningful interactions with other people and I felt strong because, since nothing was happening, my emotional balance was safe and I was fully productive. But I recently found out it was an illusion.

As someone probably noticed, August posts weren't regular. As they say, life happens, and I found myself reprogramming anything in my life according to recent events (nothing bad happened, don't worry!). For I became "vulnerable". I had a truly great time back in July, when I was inspired by some anime episodes, or songs. I came up with exciting ideas for Serenade and I felt like I was "doing it right". It was a great period. And when it ended, or better, when it was completely replaced by life's unpredictable turn of events, I felt lost. All the script I wrote during the past months came out pretty good in my eyes. But as Cummings says, I was imitating those anime I was watching to get inspired. Good or bad, I don't know. But, conscious of this new awareness, it may lack something in the process after all.

Enough with talking. From now on blog posts will resume regularly : D. So, this past week I worked on concept sketches for the script I wrote since early July.

First part of scene V is set at the university cafeteria. Since I want to use the "visual" feature of the game the most I can, there will be plenty of items showing up besides characters' sprites. In this case is food and a notebook, that will come in handy later during the "free roaming" part.

Second part of scene V is set in the clinic Kairi is attending to cure his amnesia. I've already featured a sketch of Doc. Isahai in a previous post and in the upper right corner of the page you can have a glimpse of his office. Don't want to add more to leave some suspense eheh.

Next week (25-1) I'm going to work on Doc. Isahai sprite itself. I ended up planning three poses which it's a lot for a secondary character, but I'll explain my decisional process better next time. See ya : D

A weird post + September sketches

The good news is, the script for the short demo is finally finished. It lacks some more revisions and opinion from some external reader, but I'm done with it. It follows the original flow of events I've come with for the first draft of Serenade, and this is reassuring on one hand, on the other, I still have to figure out whether it effectively works fine or not. As they say, it's better to choose from several versions and ideas, after all.

More in detail, what I fear of missing to convey are two things in particular.

  • Reasons for Kairi to be emotionally involved in what's happening are enough? I hate to talk about things only I know, but, I'll try to touch this matter from a more general point of view, as the thing that I'm most concerned with at the moment, is to write down my doubts as a writer. The second half of the demo is indeed the part where Kairi shows some emotional weakness for the first time. Even if I've previously shown him being vulnerable to some extent, he always recovered thanks to his cool blood in every situation I've put him in. But now I want to make him "collapse" a bit and find some real reasons for his decisions. Easy to plan, difficult to convey.

  • Reasons for the player to be involved are enough? Same goes for the potential player. Events happen, but are they interesting enough? I've got confidence in some characters and dialogues I've worked on, but, unfortunately, I don't feel the same yet towards the flowing of events. One thing I did to prevent the lack of interests from the player is to make them decide how they want to proceed in the story through a branch of directional choices. Therefore, the player will be busy in exploring the story with their own unique taste rather than experiencing it. But what happens next? What happen when they reach the "climax" and the "definitive choice" is, alas, Kairi's duty only. I've tried to mask this in a simple way. After all, after several menus of choices, the player can't really be sure about how much he influenced Kairi's decisions. But, as I'm not sure how this will be perceived by a player, I can't do nothing but wait for my partner to test the story. (Last thing I want is to openly deceive a player. As soon as it works as a suggestion I believe it's fine, though.)

Before I can send the draft to my partner I need to finish some sketches for the backgrounds and characters expressions, so that she can have a better grasp of the game itself. Nothing very new this week. I leave you with part of the branch map for scenes 6 and 7. Upcoming week will be a bit busy for what concerns real life, but I'll try to work on said sketches. See ya! : )

Short demo script is finished

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