Thursday, December 30, 2010

LA2: Towns

Towns in Lucid Awakening 2 are different than the ones in most RPGs. For me, towns are some of the most memorable parts of RPGs; I think of the ones from Final Fantasy 6 in particular. But there was always something about towns I didn't like--my OCD would kick in and I would have to talk to every NPC in the entire town and check every barrel, crate, and pot for treasures. While this is something exciting and memorable, there was still a feeling of anxiety that would come with visiting a new town--"Oh no, I'm going to have to spend 15 minutes doing everything I can in this new town...."

In Final Fantasy 12 towns were different. The cities were absolutely huge and the amount of people there was more than I'd ever seen before in an RPG, yet something made them much less stressful for me--not all NPCs had something to say; only ones with a mark above their head were ones you could talk to. I used this as inspiration as I started making my very first town today on LA2.

I've always had trouble with towns and NPCs when making RPGs, but I think I finally did what's just right for me as a developer and designer.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

LA2: Sentries

Sentries are a new type of enemy in Lucid Awakening 2. They serve one purpose in battle, and that is to protect the other enemies. Sentries can greatly weaken the strength of your attacks, put debuffs on your party, constantly drain your HP, and all other kinds of nasty things that can make winning the battle almost impossible. Obviously, the only real way to win a battle with a Sentry involved is to do everything you can to destroy it before even attempting to defeat any other enemies.

Sentries also protect themselves, but each Sentry has a weak point. Most will require a specific type of ability to destroy it, fortunately you will be able to see what Sentries weak points are outside of battle so that you can properly equip your party before the fight.

For example, a Sentry's weak point may be its back. The way to take it out would be to have Zeke change to the Acrobat class and use his Leap attack. Once the Sentry is destroyed you can continue the battle as you normally would.

Battles in Lucid Awakening 2 can sometimes be like puzzles. A lot of times you really have to think about the battle instead of the "Attack-Attack-Attack-Heal-Repeat" cycle you see in many RPGs. Sometimes there can even be multiple kinds of Sentries in one battle. You may have a Sentry that guards against back attacks, and a Sentry who is weak against back attacks; the only way to solve this battle would be to take out the first Sentry with its weakness first so that you can attack the second Sentry in the back.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lucid Awakening 2 - My dream coming to life

I guess you could say that development of Lucid Awakening 2 has officially started. I have a very talented artist, who I've never met, doing work for me. He has been doing a lot of character concept art for the three main characters of my game, Zeke, Silas, and Terra.

This is concept art for the lead character in the game, Zeke. In Lucid Awakening he was the main character Damian's little brother who got sucked into the dream world with him. He had a bigger role in the game that you didn't really find out about until much later in the game near the end; I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't finished it yet. It is amazing to me to be able to see people from a world that I've created grow up and change; it's a feeling that can't be explained with words.

Maybe this is just poor story-telling technique, but when I make a game I tend to simply make it up as I go along but according to a basic outline in my mind. I think that I have a gift for writing and creating stories based on this: sometimes as I'm making a scene in my game, I am actually shocked at what happens. That happened to me several times throughout the creation of Lucid Awakening--I would be making a scene and be surprised at what I had just wrote. Whether that is a smart technique or not, I find it very interesting that even as the creator I cannot wait to find out what happens.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Omega Twilight, my abandoned RPG Maker VX game

Two heroes must take their stand against the rising evil that threatens to destroy the world. Kain, a boy from a small island village; and Maria, a priestess of the church of Reijin. Though they may never meet, they will become the strongest allies in all history.

That was the story synopsis for my first real project in Enterbrain's RPG Maker VX, Omega Twilight. I had created Lucid Awakening using a legal version of RPG Maker XP, the predecessor to VX. Even though fans, as well as my own passion for the world and mythology created in Lucid Awakening, demanded a sequel, I had other ideas brewing around in my head which is constantly bubbling with all kinds of nerdish delights. These ideas were too different from the groundwork set in Lucid Awakening to implement them in the inevitable sequel--not in terms of story, but from a gameplay perspective.

Lucid Awakening [Complete RPG Maker XP Project]

A world once whole, now torn apart.
A great evil now wishes to bring the worlds together once again.
If the worlds merge, both will fall to ruin, and all life will be turned to darkness.
  • Download both files provided above.
  • Install RTP package to computer.
  • Extract
  • Install font, BLACKCHA.TTF, included in Lucid Awakening zip file.
    • (Drag BLACKCHA.TTF to C:\\WINDOWS\Fonts.)
  • Play Lucid Awakening.
Here is a review for my game: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Interacting With Our Lives and Culture

I wrote this back in April of 2010:

I'm really glad I'm making these decisions in my life to take risks. To some people it sounds like a childish dream to say "I want to make video games."

I've been doubting myself lately too, thinking the same thing--that maybe it is just a childish dream that has no purpose. Something very small that just happened is changing my mind though.

As I had all my music on shuffle, a song from Final Fantasy 7 came on. It is a song that plays during a couple touching scenes, I seem to remember it playing when Cloud and Aeris are riding a cable car at a festival or something.

Anyway, just hearing this song from a video game that I played when I was young is triggering all kinds of memories and feelings. It brings me back to a time in my life where things were very simple and free.

For some people, like me, video games are a big part of their lives. They are therapeutic and can be very soothing. They are also a sort of "landmark" form of entertainment. On a personal level for the players they can become ingrained as a trigger of a certain time in a person's life (hence, "landmark").

They can also be a landmark for something bigger.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wii Vitality Sensor: WTF or WTAwesome

If you have no idea what you are looking at right now, you're not alone. This is a Wii peripheral Nintendo showed off almost a year ago; strangely though, we haven't heard anything else about it since. It is called the "Wii Vitality Sensor," although I would have named it the "Wii Finger Nom" if I had the choice.

Apparently, you simply clamp your smooth, CGI finger into the device while holding the Wiimote like you normally would in your main hand. From what I know, it basically just reads your pulse. You might be thinking that Nintendo is reaching for an even older, sicker demographic than they already have been. In my opinion, this is partially true; consider this:

Case 1: An older gentleman wants to play a crazy new game where Link and Mario team up to fight off hordes of zombie Pokemon [I already have a patent on this idea, so back off, Nintendo]; the only problem is that he fears a game as stressful as this wouldn't bode well with his heart condition. His sadistic, bratty grandchild finally convinces this aged individual to try out this [incredible] game.

The game boots up. The amazing title screen flashes on. [Grandpa is already feeling a little nauseous]. Pap Pap decides now is a good time to choose "Grandpa Mode" on the main menu. The game prompts him to mush his wrinkly finger in the device and close it. [Grandpa is a little claustrophobic]. The game takes a brief reading of his stress level, then proceeds to the game.

"Grandpa Mode" is a mode designed for Grandpas in case you didn't figure that out. This means that the game will adjust its difficulty and level of things happening on screen to keep Grandpa's stress level at a safe place. When five zombie Pikachus attack Grandpa his stress level goes way up; the next wave only consists of three zombie Pikachus and one Pichu because it realized that five was too stressful.

But enough of Grandpa Mode, it's time for Cardiac Meltdown Mode.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Hello everyone, welcome to Momiji's Gamer Blog! A friend suggested I start blogging, so here I am.

I'm not a professional writer and I don't plan to be. This blog is just a place for me to vent, rant, and explain all of my feelings on things that are happening in the ever-evolving video game industry.

It seems like every day I am in a state of utter excitement over something new, whether it be a new game that was just announced, a surprise sequel no one saw coming, or something as simple as a new character announced for a game roster. It also seems as if every day there is something new that gets me in a state of rage, or maybe just strong dislike.

The video game industry is constantly changing and transforming at such fast rate that it is hard to keep up; I'm here to keep you up to date by offering a point of view on every topic from someone who has grown up as a gamer all his life.

If anyone has any questions, or a topic you would like me to research or elaborate on, just send me an email or Facebook message and I will either respond to you via messaging or post a new blog entry about it.

Thank you everyone, and I hope you enjoy this gamer's point of view.