What’s in a (Variant) Logo…?

With Four Souls Saga under development, I’ve been thinking of quite a lot: The plot, character designs, dungeon designs, whether to make custom tilesets or use parallax mapping for dungeon maps, learning JavaScript…and, of course, designing a variant logo for the game’s opening splash screen.

What? You don’t think the last one is important? Oh, but it is! Big game development and publishing companies have put quite a bit of energy into making their logos look good onscreen when their games boot up. Well-designed logos, flashy animations, thematically appropriate variations for different titles…there’s a lot that goes into that from the design side! And that’s not even getting into the logo for the game itself and a new custom image for the start screen…It’s daunting and exciting at the same time!

But, I have two drafts for the splash screen logo already. One on a white background, and one on a black background:

Personally, I like the one on the black background a lot more. The typeface for “Gaming” is much more appropriate, and I like how the outer glow on the main logo highlights the word “Studios” with a ghostly kind of light. The first one was my first attempt, and it is admittedly kind of bland. The idea is there…but the execution is not. I’ll probably make a couple more drafts before a design is finalized. I might even try it with my classic circle logo:

Ah, just looking at that old logo makes me nostalgic for my Newgrounds days…

Well, it’s back to the drawing board for me. After this coming week, my calendar is going to free up significantly, so I’ll have a lot more time to work on all aspects of this project. You know, like refining that opening theme song, getting the next two towns and dungeon all mapped out, finishing up the custom character sprites…and, of course, trying to get this alternate logo squared away.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any advice, opinions, or just want to sound off about the logos featured in this post, don’t be afraid to comment below (I don’t bite, I promise). So, until next time, have a great day/night!

Main Character Overworld Sprites: 1/4 Done!

It took a long time, squeezing it in between other projects, but I’ve finally done it. Fang’s overworld walking sprites are now complete!

Isn’t he adorable, folks? And, yes, werewolves in the world of Four Souls Saga do have tails 24/7. Since Leeah’s character design is pretty much finalized, she’ll be next after I’ve done Fang’s battle sprites.

Luckily, I’ll soon have much more time on my hands to work on this project. Things are winding down with my current assignment and the summer is going to be relatively calm. Honestly, I’m tempted to use a plugin in RPG Maker to increase the animation frames for smoother movement…but, then, considering that I’ll have to add extra frames to my template and apply that for other main characters and all of the random NPC sprites (that’s two genders, four age groups, four races, and different costumes for soldiers and priests/priestesses)…uh…maybe later…

Well, that’s it for this short mini-update. Stay tuned for more development news and don’t be afraid to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading and have a great day/evening/”Every moment has blended together so endlessly that I’ve lost track of what day it even is, let alone what time it is!”

A Programmer Is Me!

After reading the first few chapters of JavaScript for Kids and watching a bit of SRDude’s RPG Maker plugin tutorial (and a bit of frustration) I’ve finally created my first plugin! The name is kind of generic (I’ll change it later), but its one and only function is fixing the text box size in RPG Maker MV. I’m quite proud of the result.

I thought I had finally learned enough JavaScript to take on a plugin, but the frustration and run-around I experienced just trying to figure out how to make something this simple has taught me that I still have only scratched the surface of the language. I understand some basic principles, but writing and modifying code is more than just serving up some hot, steaming coppypasta. It’s a true logic puzzle! It’s kind of daunting, but also exciting to see how much I still have to learn to master JS and get the most out of the RPG Maker engine.

Thanks for tuning into this short update. Be sure to come back soon for more news…or to watch me sweat and struggle through all of my trials and tribulations, either one. If you have any comments, tips, or feedback, don’t be shy about leaving a comment below. Have a great evening/day/mind-bending time warp!

The Saga Continues: First Look at Town #2

Hello, loyal readers. Boy, have I been a busy Bee! As you saw last week, I’ve got the intro to the game up and working. Well, shortly after I recorded that video, I realized something…the enemies in the woods weren’t regenerating! So, I did a bit of troubleshooting and, long story short, I had some switches that didn’t need to be there that were causing the trouble. Once that was fixed, I added the NPC homes to Tillia Village, including this odd scene…

And, yes, that house IS full of bread and I still have yet to figure out how to resize the text box so that it’s not sprawled across the whole screen (time for another Google search…).

But, with the majority of the intro portion done (still need to go back and add some book text…but I have a lot of bookshelves and not a lot of time), I’ve been designing the second dungeon (currently, it’s only down on paper) and the town it’ll be in. Introducing the town of Darisa, a former tourist town which hasn’t been the same since the Empire conquered Orlaya.

Its major claim to fame is its extensive waterworks (See that river and those ponds? Totally man-made!) and sewer system, where the Orlayan people made their last stand against the Empire’s forces. After the war, tourism dropped off, the town’s economy tanked, and things just haven’t been the same since. Some say organized crime has been gaining a foothold here in recent years, in fact…

The town still needs some more decoration and a few other tweaks, but the basic layout is there. Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think in the comments below, and have an awesome day/night!

Javaaaaa…Script

Ah, the joys of learning computer programing. I’ve been looking around for a while now for a good resource to learn JavaScript with in order to do some custom coding for Four Souls Saga. Unfortunately, I came across so many text-dense and terrifying resources are out there it was making my head spin! I’m not one of those people who can look at a page full of code and text and be just fine. I kind of need to be…eased into it.

Fortunately for me, I found the perfect book on my trip to Barnes & Noble today. (Yes, the actual store, not the website. I like actually buying physical books at a brick-and-mortar store like a cavewoman.) It’s called JavaScript for Kids, by Nick Morgan. Don’t be fooled by the “for kids” part of the title, though. In the first couple of hours with this book alone, I’ve already learned how to use variables, increments, decrements, plus-equals, minus-equals, and how to manipulate strings!  The laid-back, light-hearted tone and cute, colorful illustrations really help ease you into learning the material and makes you feel comfortable from the start…unlike the cold, text-heavy tutorials I’ve been finding online. Plus, since it’s a physical book, there’s no flipping back and forth between tabs or windows when you’re doing the examples. Instead, you’ve got the book open right beside you and all it takes is a simple turn of your head to check your work. Plus, since you’re not using a tablet or a Kindle (I’m sure there’s an ebook version for those who prefer that), there’s no frantic dash for the charger because the battery is critically low. There’s a method to my madness.

So, if you’ve thought of learning JavaScript before, but quickly backpedaled after taking one good look at the most recommended online tutorials, then you should definitely give this book a look. I mean, the author is a backend engineer for Twitter (yes, that Twitter) and the technical reviewer is on Twitter’s UI Framework team and not only blogs about JavaScript but has a couple of books on the subject under his belt as well. Believe me, you’ll be in good hands with this book!

Thanks for reading! Tune in next time for more updates on our RPG Maker project and other Cat Dragon Studios news. Until next time, happy creating and have a wonderful day/night/timeless eternity!