Been tinkering with ideas for another shot at a game project. Basically, I want to try and make a less on the nose The Guardian Legend homage featuring a half-dragon who wanders the countryside trying to help people out with monster infestations. I… like drawing her a little too much considering the other projects I’m “supposed” to be working on.
Speaking of, it has been a while since I brought up Irrgarten, hasn’t it? I’ve been kicking around what works and doesn’t between the major revisions and I’ve decided to more or less ‘roll back’ the game to the old style and ditch the secondary stats so it can play nice and fast again. I liked the idea of the marching order a lot but in practice each player getting four actions per turn plus monsters’ turns was getting ridiculous without some kind of initiative rolls or something going on. When I get some time, I plan to buckle down and get a playable v3 out for people to try out, then maybe, just maybe- figure out how to get this thing *produced.*
I’m a little under the weather but feel like I’ve been weedling away too much of my free time lately on games, so I put a little time into Clip Studio Paint. I’ve had it sitting around a while since picking it up on one of its many sales, since the idea of a comic specific program sounded good, but the version I got of course doesn’t have the multi-page manager tool I wanted. The panel drawing tools are pretty cool though, and speed up the process of setting the initial layout up just a little. I’ll try and integrate it into finishing the next comic I’m putting together, maybe that’ll help me get more used to it. If it’s going to be more print/e-publishing friendly, that’s a nice plus.
Been a bit more active on Twitch lately, in part to try and show off some of my old favorite games and as a way to get through some of my Steam backlog now that my computer’s good again. Last night was my second session of Slayers for the SFC, and even though I’ve played part of it in Japanese I’m only now getting around to actually playing it with the full English translation patch that came out in 2010. It’s got this graphic inconsistency to it my friend Richie pretty accurately summed up as looking like a Saturn port of a game that added cutscenes to an early 16bit era title- the sprites basically look like something from the NES with slightly more shading, then the menus and character portraits are much more detailed renderings of Araizumi’s artwork, creating kind of a clash. The writing is pretty amusing though, and the game has this knack for being downright trollish in places that helps make it feel like a genuine Slayers product- at once taking the piss from fantasy tropes while being its own entity.
I’ll be taking a break from it tonight since my throat is pretty much shot, but it seems like weekend evenings are working out as pretty good times to stream. Drop by sometime! Follow me at https://www.twitch.tv/thethreetwo to get notifications until I find some kind of widget for showing when I’m online on the page.
Been having a spell of computer trouble off and on over the past couple months, that’s why I haven’t been especially productive on the art front for a while. Basically, my work computer was randomly losing sound, which was annoying, but not horrible, then eventually it got into a cycle of randomly shutting down or resetting itself which made streaming, gaming, and even drawing aggravating. After updating, uninstalling, reinstalling and working around my NVidia drivers about a bajillion times, I more or less resigned to using the laptop for anything ‘serious,’ but since it’s getting on in years it has the wonderful tendency to overheat frequently and has the combination of a loose power cable and a battery with under a minute of life, streaming has been pretty much out.
But! My friend Dan who is the best and most awesome guy lent me his old video card to test my little problem out on, and now I’ve got my audio back, tested OBS without the computer shitting itself, and even test ran a game to see if it would do that forced reset thing. I think tonight I may celebrate by streaming a while (I know, right!?) after dinner. Afterwards, I’ll try my old card out again and see if it was just poorly seated or something, but for now I’m drunk on accomplishment because up til now I’ve been afraid of opening my case for anything but dusting.
So, drop in if you’re free when I begin this evening, I’ll probably just doodle whatever and maybe work in a game break somewhere because I feel like geeking out over my niche bullshit. Let’s say about 6pm EST.
Oh yeah, I also had a birthday this week. Three-Two is now 33. Also this site can legally smoke now. Holy crap, I’m old.
I had a pretty good time this weekend. The getaway alone was badly needed, but to spend it among gamers, dorks, and creators was just great. I think I feel more at home at gaming events than when I went to anime cons, it’s hard to put my finger on why. But I did get into anime via games, sort of, so you could say I have more roots in games than that.
The first thing I did Sunday was squeeze into the throng at Nintendo’s booth to try out Star Fox Zero, and got a strong impression of… eh. I don’t totally hate the idea of tilting the gamepad for precision aiming, but then when you reach the boss, the camera locks onto it, and well, you see- a fighter jet tends to constantly move forward, which is a lot different than other games that try this because you’re usually controlling a character who is able to do things like side strafe, or just stop fucking moving for a second. You’re forced to use the first-person view on the tablet, which restricts your field of view but is about the only way to really tell what the hell you’re doing while occasionally glancing up to make sure nothing’s coming from your side. The only thing I can think of this accomplishing is making the fight look neater for other people in the room for you. It also reminds me uncomfortably of the first-person missile aiming they crammed into Metroid: Other M, and reminding people of Other M is probably unwise.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions: #FE was also on display alongside Kirby Gets A Robot and Monster Hunter Generations, though Capcom cheated a little by putting MonHun in their booth too. I’m on to you…
I didn’t really see as much stuff in the vendor floor that I just *had* to have this year. I got the Barbarossa card game out of a combination of morbid curiousity and wanting to prove to Dan that it really does exist. I was happy to finally play AEGIS for real with the makers. It was a little complex, but I imagine a few games in once you get a feel for the units, it becomes faster paced. I’ll probably share some links and stuff as their project enters the Kickstarter phase, so brace for the shilling. I gotta do what I do for that combining-robot fix.
All in all, I didn’t really test Irrgarten much after the first test run brought up a couple serious flaws and playing by myself in the room afterward I realized that turn order needs to be more of a thing since ‘do everything then tally the end result’ seemed to be harder to keep track of. I kind of instinctively want to remove a character who’s lost all their hit points even though they’re supposed to ‘exist’ til the end of the round. I’m thinking next revision I’m going to see about combining item cards and tokens into one entity so there’s less chits needed, and maybe it’s time to cave and incorporate dice since even though it’s technically more ‘pieces’ to the set, six sided dice aren’t especially rare or anything.
Oh, funny story to wrap this all up with. I got picked for a bag search on the way home, and sat off to the side looking at the x-ray trying to figure out what set it off. I had the charger to my older laptop, which is outdated and massive, my 3DS with charger,and the rest was basically t-shirts and other laundry save the uh, copy of Barbarossa I picked up.
“What’s this at the bottom anyway? Cards?”
Yyyyeah. So I was sitting off to the side of the TSA agent watching him run the sniffer all around the box of cards, then turned it over reading it rather intently. “It’s a gag gift,” I said.
“You’re ok, go ahead.”
So apparently, novelty playing card games are something to be careful about taking through airport security. Little protip for anyone else who decides to go on the road with a copy of Tanto Cuore or whatever stowed in their bag.
After class tonight, I’ll have some time to breathe and work on my own junk, so stay tuned the next few days, and if you’re not already, feel free to follow TheThreeTwo on Twitch or plain ThreeTwo on Picarto for my gaming/drawing streams.
Today I bucked my tradition of just kind of sitting on the sidelines spectating to actually get in line and demo some stuff. Wound up spending a good chunk of the midday in line with Square Enix waiting to play I Am Setsuna and Star Ocean, but still made time to finally get some hands on AEGIS time and got a PAX-exclusive robot card.
I Am Setsuna is a pretty sweet looking RPG with shades of Chrono Trigger in the play style, but rendered in kind of an HD Bravely Default visual style. The demo section had the hero’s party wandering around a snowy area and town where people were talking about a failed pilgrimage attempt. Not really a whole lot to bite into story wise, but just enough to make it sound interestingly bleak. I wonder how many psuedo-throwback games like this until Squeenix decides to shift focus away from supermodels beating on really busy CG monsters and blaming Eidos for losing money.
Star Ocean was a pretty darn long wait to play, possibly because the ‘demo’ was really just them loading a random save and letting people play through a boss encounter with a bandit boss and his cronies. I haven’t actually played a SO past the second one, but I liked playing it more than watching it, which I think speaks well.
Finally playing AEGIS was nice, if a little daunting for a first match. It’s a game about combining super robots battling it out. Energy management plays a big role, as does being careful to avoid/make interesting use of friendly fire (for instance, I got a tentacled robot who could pull or push other units that could be used to offset the lack of mobility on my missile launching unit. I lost pretty handily, but I think I get the idea.
Hit a couple panels, a meh one about comedy in games writing, and a board game panel that turned things over to questions a little too quickly for my liking, but still had good info. I’ve already got some thinking to do about how to make Irrgarten more quick and fun to play. The “oh shit” moment came not when I realized I left HP off some hero cards but looking in the pouch at all the counters and chits I’d cut out. Maybe I should go with a different angles and treat items like resources/energy for special attacks and ditch the coins as another *thing* to count.