Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It's been a while...

Quite a lot of things happened, I feel like.  I've been doing well in general, but the past few days haven't been very great -- just in terms of a general feeling.  Pretty sure it's just stress...I can feel it in my chest sometimes.  Annoying...

I made an effort to get some additional sleep last night and almost succeeded but I think something ended up waking me up and it wasn't quite a success.  So I didn't end up waking super easily, but on the plus side at least I don't feel lackluster in terms of energy level, so that's definitely a start.

I've been doing a pretty good job of bringing food to work almost every day (though I didn't yesterday).  It feels great knowing that I'm saving money by making my own food...initially the reason that I wanted to cook lunch for myself at least once a week was just because I like making my own food, but after a while every time I went out to buy something for lunch I kept thinking about how much more expensive it was and decided that I'd do something about it.

JaSmix date still isn't solidified, but I'm really hoping that it ends up working out.  Last Friday I worked out a bunch of my current toolbox of figures that I'd potentially go over in a workshop, which was quite interesting because I discovered that my leads on a lot of them actually are very imprecise in terms of timing and followers' footwork.  That's actually more or less fine in terms of just getting them to work, but it surprised me just how much I was glossing over even for figures that I do on a regular basis.  So I learned a lot there, though not necessarily things that I'd actually go over in the workshop itself.

Perhaps the most exciting thing happening right now in my life is OneShot, which has proven to be a real gem of a game.  Before I write anything about OneShot, though, I should take a moment to talk about Rakuen, which I played through and finished.  Rakuen was...honestly, kind of disappointing and overhyped.  Which is not to say that it wasn't enjoyable, and I think it had some nice moments, but I really don't feel like it was deserving of such high praise as I heard it lauded for.  I honestly felt like the game design as a whole wasn't as "clean" as it could have been and I think the storytelling in Kan Gao's games (To the Moon, Quintessence) was actually much better.  As a whole Rakuen was a lot more formulaic and played into many more RPG tropes (in a not so great way).  But I do think that it did some things right.  The way that you went around everywhere with Mom and could talk with her every so often was super nice and I think the relationship with Mom was actually really sweet and well-done.  The little stories that Sue shared with you too, I think that was another highlight of the game.  So I mean, it's not like Laura didn't put any heart into the game, or anything like that -- just that I feel like it definitely has its flaws too.  And I think that as artists we can try to hold ourselves to a better standard.  Ah, but of course, that's easier said than done.  Making games is difficult after all.

Speaking of which, I'm slowly making more progress on Rhythm Quest again.  So far I've added two additional enemy types and even designed a whole second level/song, which is great progress.  My next to-do items are dealing with the issue where the expected timing of the sword slash notes doesn't quite match up with what players are expecting visually -- probably because the sword slash animation extends a bit longer than the hitbox.  So I might need to adjust enemy placement a bit.  Also maybe toning down the difficulty of the second level.  Definitely a challenge to adjust difficulty for these things, but hopefully I can manage to get it right.  If nothing else I'm making sure to put a lot of checkpoints in the early levels, so that should help.

Anyways...OneShot.  I wasn't quite sure how much to expect out of it at first, but it's certainly managed to deliver in a big way.  It's reminiscent of Undertale in more ways than one, and so far I'm really appreciating almost everything about it, including both the storytelling and worldbuilding, as well as the narrative choices interwoven with player agency.  It's been quite tasteful and I'm really digging that.  I'd definitely recommend it.  It's something that has been something that I look forward to in my days, which is great.  The plot has been nothing short of gripping.  The emotional flow, too, has been really good.

Trying to get back in the swing of drawing again...I think I realized the thing I'm really interested in is drawing characters and cute things, so even just doodling things I think would be fun.

I released my "Sentience" album finally and it's been doing quite well so far!  I'm really happy with it and also pleased that other people seem to be enjoying it, even though it's not normal fare for me.  I'm also happy with how the CD prints turned out -- they look pretty cool!  Not really sure what is next for me in terms of be completely honest I'm not in a great place to work on artistic things at the moment, though.  The anxiety that's in my chest is really not conducive for it. =(  Hopefully that can go away soon.

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