After years in the making, and a hectic month later, I am proud to release the pilot episode of "Butterfly Kisses," a heartwarming, sci-fi, web manga series. You can read it now on the Webtoons platform. This web version of the series is free for everyone to access and read. However, it would help me out if you could hit that heart button. Then, you can be notified when the next chapters come out.
Since this was the inaugural episode, I decided to make this all in color so that you the readers could get a good grasp of the world and the character's designs. The next chapters will be done black and white since this past month was WAY too wild. Lol.
Wow…. this GameJolt site redesign is tripping me up. For all you not familiar with that site, it is an indie Video Game Community. Since they tried their new layout, I found out the exact day that I committed to this project.
Episode 4 is 100% written, 80% Programmed, and 70% Artworked. If I can keep my focus for a couple more days, it’ll easily be released for the deadline.
Have you ever worked on something so hard that you physically feel ill when you just sit down, and think about working on it? That’s the stage I’m at right now. But I don’t hate this project. I just need to get a breather.
Though, it's surprising to see so much traffic coming to my site.... I'm glad I spent a significant time in the redesign.... but BOY, there is so much to do.
I’m pretty thankful for having a blog update on this site. You can see all the progress, or distractions that I ventured in. Gosh…. I’ve been so distracted… well, I guess I always had a larger idea for this, but it grinds my gears just to work on just one piece of it the entire time. I’d rather just do a variety… but then I never finish anything. Gosh! Self-discipline is HARD! :(
As for where I was two years before when I promised my grand vision (artwork, choices, story, gameplay)… I’d say… I’m about 50% there. After all the experience and practice I’ve gotten through writing so much, I feel like I’m miles from where I was before. I don’t think the first stories I wrote were very engaging at all. I’m still working on it, but for all you who have been with me since Day 1, it’s night and day. Episode 4 is going to be even better written.
But writing a visual novel is just half the story. What I never factored in was the effective placement of cutscenes and character movement/emotion. That really is the other 50% that makes Visual novels so enjoyable. I never knew that when I started, but since practicing, I’ve gotten some of the understanding of it…. Need to work on it a bit more…
Programming is the skill I’ve really grown the most in. Hopefully this version will have better performance than the others and more solid saving/loading (a feature that I have historically struggled with).
Art is WAY behind where I wanted to be. I haven’t even been able to draw in the art style that I really want to, and it drives me up a wall (I'm referring to the "Canterrella" or "RG Veda" manga art style). I’ve put in 100 hours at least trying to get art style right, but all I am is a little faster, but not much better. I think that’s the biggest thing that’s been holding me back… I just need to really practice and take more time with cutscenes. One day, I’ll get to the point where my artwork will look good and be fast, and episodes will come out much quicker… but I don’t think that’ll happen too soon.
Episode 4 will still be released December 14th.
After that, I’m going to take a break for the immediate future, and return to development January 5th. What happened, you may not ask but possibly thought about, is this:
I chose the second option, and it destroyed my social life. I need some time to piece it back together and learn to re balance my life. Work is killing me too (even if this says college).
Plus, I want to make a simple card game. I've already had the idea done, I just need to finish the artwork. It'll have characters from this series, but I just need time to create it.
Then, I want to get some Dorian-Gray artwork done too. That story is not dead. Just takes some time to get the right anime-feeling to it. Hahaha.
Anyways, time for me to pass out. Peace
Hello Wonderful people of the internet! I finally have some serious development news to share today!
//// DEVELOPMENT STORIES
You saw the title! Just had a manic desire to finish the dern episode 6. Therefore, the writing for episodes 4, 5, and 6 are completed. Episode 1 is getting a major reboot, becoming at least twice as long as it was originally. Episode 2 gets a bit more meat that adds to the world.
Wow, if I knew just how hard it would be to actually create a text adventure game, I would have rethought it in the beginning of this plan. But, it's hard to grow when you don't have anyone telling you their opinions. I truly felt bad that I wasn't able to deliver on my vision that I declared a year and a half ago, but I suppose this was the only way I could get this much better. Thanks for everyone who's stuck around still, and for the new people joining.
//// FUTURE PLANS
Now that all the scripts have been written, I'm gonna spend the rest of this month and October typing and revising the scripts. I really want to release an episode in November, but I'm pretty certain I'll be able to release episode 4 and redone episode 1 in December.
I will do a #30dayArtJam where I post a new piece of concept art or a cutscene each day for 30 days on this blog here. It'll start once I've gotten into a comfortable position. It'll be soon though.
Things are finally picking up y'all!
How are you all doing this month? I've doing absolutely fantastic. I took a 21 day break from working on this, but BOY, have I made up for all that vacation time these past couple of days!
//// DEVELOPMENT STORIES
Episode 6 of A Long Journey VN will have a major branching path, so even though it will say 4 or 5 chapters, in reality, I have to write for two more chapters, and then all the switch conditions that follow it. So let's say that I have Episode 6's 2 out of 7 chapters are completed.
In the Episode 1, version update, it will have twice the original content and more to deal with the story of the characters. Why they are the way they are and what happened to their first encounter. There will be much more action scenes in this one.
But most importantly, I've FINALLY been able to tell what my story is going to be, and what I want to happen! Like, you don't know how long, I don't know how long, I've been struggling with finding out how to evolve the plot from day 1 to the last day, and this breakthrough has pushed development into a REALLY accelerated track. My goal is to have episodes 4 - 6, 1, & 2, completely written/rewritten before I can announce a release date. However, it's starting to look like there will be a new episode released in December.
//// ART CREATION
There is a reason why I can't release anything too soon, and that is because I'm signing up to take some drawing classes from September to October. I'm also doing an insane amount of anatomical studies so that the fight scenes actually look dynamic. That's the real hold up. But when I'm done with every cutscene... BOY, it is going to look much better!
I'll be adding a lot more content to the website then with those pictures. It's just right now.... I really just need to git gud.
Some things I'm coming up with are the character designs of four very prominent "antagonists," which will be coming up in the later episodes of A Long Journey. We have Bautista, Eugene, Garian, and more updates on Alexander. There, I've told you there names, but you'll have to wait to find out who they are exactly.
If you all have been to my official website before, I'm pleased to announce a new web redesign for it. The site host FINALLY made my ideal design a reality. It looks a lot better and the navigation is better. Not too much more content, other than, flash is no longer playable on the web page. You will have to download every episode instead, at least for the time being. That security hack from flash some weeks ago made me nervous, and I'd hate for y'all to get a virus. If Flash lives in November, I'll bring back the seperate pages.
Also, I'm paying for the domain name now, so the official site is now: thelegendofaufere.com . No more weebly! HUZZAH!
Aight, that's enough from my end. I'll be back in October with an action packed story then. Toodle-oo!
The first three episodes are officially completed today!
It’s ironic, as I complete my last day of schooling, I also have completed the first three episodes of “A Long Journey.” That’s right, Episode 2 has been majorly updated.
Here is the series's trailer:
///What’s new with this re-release?
Well for starters, it actually makes sense now. I was rereading the story and even I had no idea what I was trying to say. So a lot of the writing has been redone, as well as adding in some better visuals, and a couple of cutscenes.
I had thought that since everything is in place, episode 2 wouldn’t take too long to remastered… I was wrong. Seeing what I had done only months ago, and how much I’ve improved since then. I can also see why it didn’t do as well as I thought it would before. It’s kinda cool, seeing what you had inside your head finally start becoming a reality. Despite my previous failures, these successes easily overweight them. I guess I can call myself an indie game developer now…. That’s awesome!
I can’t remember if I ever said this, but I love creating games for people to play them. But in actuality, this feeling didn’t fully hit until I was poisoned in the Detroit flood of 2014. I was so sick, and I couldn’t really move. My mind as stressed from the trauma. Thought I was financially wrecked at that point. All I wanted was for something to take my mind off of the situation. That’s when the free games other people had made really brightened my day. I know I’m not the only who gets sick, or just super stressed, so I wanted to give back to the world, just as other people had helped me out in one of the most toughest times of my life.
As of today, I had to turn in my computer I was borrowing from my school. Right now, I have no computer nor publishing software. That being said, this series will still be in development. I’ve already starting writing for Episode 4 – 6. As I was mentioning before, the writing is such a key factor in Visual Novels, more so than the artwork, and I need to nail that. So, for the next few months, I’ll be making sure the story is solid and some cutscenes done.
Once I can get a job, I’ll be able to get back to actually releasing the episodes again. Wish me luck in finding one!
Now for the reason why I missed the second update in April. This guy: A New Character: Bautista
I wanted to finish him before the month was over, but my exams took over too much of my life, and I just finished him this morning. He’ll be introduced in Episode 4, and becomes a very important character in the series.
Some special news: This game on Gamejolt has had over 1000 plays as of this month. That’s AWESOME~! We have 103 followers, and we’re still going strong! And I know there are a lot of people following the website as well. If I didn’t have your support, I think I’d still be making really terrible games. Because I have you, I work harder at these games than most of the things I do right now. So thank you all very much, and I hope you guys will continue staying with the series.
To those of you graduating, congratulations, and for everyone else: HAPPY SUMMER!
I’ll talk to you later!
That's right! After being about 5 days late, I have released Episode 3 of "A Long Journey" VN.
And now for the news portion of the update.
////EXPLANATION FOR THE LATE RELEASE
Aight, so when a game dev suddenly goes quiet, it's usually one of two things: 1) they gave up or 2) they are ill beyond comprehension. Mine was sort of like the latter..... as you all know, I have a bad tendency for estimating how much time it takes to do something. This time, I had planned over 20 cutscenes in this one episode, (most were towards the end), thinking I could knock them out in half an hour each. I was completely off about that. Takes a good 2 and 1/2 hours to make one of decent quality.
Also, due to my financial situation, (I'll talk more about that in just a bit), this could be the last chance I get at making another full episode. I know a lot of you have been following me for a while, and I needed to at least give my very best to prove to you I am worth your trust. My dream is to not be just a game developer, but to be a game developer with a reputation for trying my best for all you guys and gals out there. The reason I became a game developer, was to try and create a little bit of an escapist's haven for whoever plays my games. With each iteration, I feel like I'm getting closer. There's no way I'll give up.
Have you ever pushed your physical limit? Not only that, but did you keep pushing it without a break? I had to do that in order to reach my vision for this episode. I'm incredibly sick right now from pushing myself so hard for so long, so I'm going to recover for a few days.
Honestly, I had so much fun drawing and creating a different story than what the trends are following. The cutscenes were especially fun to make. I used to be a comic artist, and so being able to go back to drawing action scenes really brought back some good memories.
We've come a long way from where the series began. An awesome youtuber by the name of WendelBurke5 made a let's play of my game back when I had just gotten to my first full version. I don't know about you, but when some takes the time to make a video for your game, as a developer, I am overjoyed that you would go to such lengths. It really made my day back then, and it gave me motivation to make a game that a youtuber could maybe one day make a name off it. Here's his video: youtube.com/user/funnytimeyahb
TIP: When you're reaching about 80% - 90% of completion, START SAVING AND BACKING UP! That's when all your technology will fail! (Literally, my computer was deleting files off my harddrive that I was using too much).
A little bit of bad news, I'm afraid. As I mentioned about the financial situation. My college loans are piling up, and I need to get a job first. The only reason I was able to pursue making this game was because I had borrowed the school's powerful computer and software to create these games. With my graduation in May, I'll have to return everything, and thus, I won't be able to publish any new episodes for a while until my financial situation is fixed.
I've started a Patreon Campaign here: https://www.patreon.com/roxioxx
I don't expect you to become a Patron, but benefits include behind the scenes work for the creation of the game. That's all I'm going to say about that. I don't want to sound like a telemarketer. Anyways.
While I can't publish, I did not say I would not keep working on it. I'll be making more concept artwork and keep working on the writing. So that when the time comes, I'll have things prepared to be released like on a que. I think I'll even work on some cutscenes during the mean time >:D Oh boy..... never underestimate the time it takes to make one cutscene...
Oh, Episode 2, for those of you wondering, will be getting a massive update.... but I'm not going to tell the deadline because things are really stressful. I'll send out a news announcement for when I release it. My plans for updating are to add a better beginning, and fix the ending. Not pleased with it right now. (If you'd like to see the current build, go to: http://thelegendofauferre.weebly.com/alj_ep2.html )
Well, I'm exhausted beyond belief right now. For those of you who have been following along with the series, thank you so much. You make a struggling college student's dream come true. I wish you all the best as well.
Have a good one!
How's it goin? I'm pretty happy (and very tired).
The GOLD-PLATED episode has been released. It was what I had envisioned a year ago, and in hindsight, I should have waited a year so I could get this level of quality. I won't say it's perfect (partly because of the Flash Engine and Partly because of my own inexperience), but the feeling I was trying to convey is there. /////BUG FIXES
Thank you all who pointed out the bug that the text was getting cut off. I improved the coding, however, it's not completly gone. What happens is that sometimes the script gets a little stuck while processing. It shouldn't be a common occurance but if you face major problems, let me know.
You know, when a job asks for 'attention to detail,' it's a lot like chopping a tree down with a toothpick. I spent the last two weeks trying to weed out any weekness in the tweens, just adding small things to enhance the words and it's been a monster. I had one of my major art files deleted, but luckily, I had it backed up the night before.
And then I had originally planned for 80 hand drawn cutscenes, but that was ENORMOUS and I opted to use tweens to tell what happened instead. I think it turned out better this way too because static images can get kinda boring.
I've added in a downloadable desktop version for those with slow internet (or want to keep the game). It's a AIR file while means it's like a .exe file but it plays on both PC and MAC. Of course there is the online SWF file as well. I do have a android version made, however, I need to test it out first. It'll be released at a later time.
I want to try and Aim for one episode realeased in March, and two to be released in April. That's my plan seeing as how the coding engine is mostly completed, and the base assets are done. The biggest time consumer is proof-reading. I honestly proof-read my game 16 times just so it could be as good as I could get it.
////BUT WHAT ABOUT EPISODE 2?
I did get a report on the errors of Episode 2, and when I do a major update, all those errors will be pulled. Thank you all who helped find the bugs.
////DO YOU HAVE A GAME?
I want to take a break from making games. I want to play your games now. Just leave a link in the comments and I will play your game, and comment, and rate too if you want. Just let me know. :D
All righty then. I've been up for a couple of days, so Imma sleep now. If you find a bug, please let me know. I really appreciate the help.
Have a good one all!
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