UPDATE (9-2-14) The Patreon crowdfunding campaign is now live! You can find it at http://www.patreon.com/eromancer As the description states, expect the first release to be toward the end of the year (this means you will not be charged a dime until then). If this changes I will post about it here. Expect additional rewards in the future for those of you that would like to pledge above the current highest reward tier. Hello! I'm a newcomer to these forums, so I want to give an official greeting to everyone here! I'm excited to announce a new game that I've been working on for quite awhile. I don't plan on releasing too much information yet as it is still early in development, and I want to save some of the goodies for the crowdfunding campaign that I plan to start sometime down the road. Read on for details! Note: This is one of the first places I have announced the game, so please feel free to spread the word! If you have any recommendations on other places I could post about this please let me know! Screenshots! What kind of game is it? The game is called Malise and the Machine and is an episodic RPG that utilizes RPG Maker VX Ace. This title has professional quality production standards and will be in development for quite some time. Already, over 10,000 lines of custom scripts (not including integration of dozens of community scripts) have been written to enhance RPG Maker to push this game to the next level and to make the experience something unique, both visually and gameplay-wise. The goal is for the game to be sold in both English and Japanese. I speak limited Japanese, so I will eventually need a translator. Why should I care about it? One of the major goals of the game is originality in as much as possible. Characters, enemies, artwork, the story, tilesets, and even the soundtrack are being custom made for the game. If you've been waiting for a H-game with virtually non-stop combat-oriented H content that draws on gameplay aspects from classic RPG greats such as the Phantasy Star and Final Fantasy series, then you should care! Is the gameplay any good? The gameplay *is* good! A key element is the custom active time battle system that features fully animated enemy sprites and unique, highly detailed character artwork for every action. Characters have access to different outfits and weapon types that will modify their stats, play-style, and most importantly how battle H-content gets carried out. Here's a brief summary of gameplay elements that are either integrated already or are being planned/designed: - A fast paced active time battle system featuring a party of two with real-time H-content - Complex skills, status system, balancing, and actual challenging gameplay (gasp)! - Quality AI - A fleshed out story told through events with detailed character artwork - An array of armor types for each character with their own unique visuals and play-styles - Crafting - Armor and weapon upgrade system - A whole lot of loot to feed the crafting and upgrade systems - Non-linear story/quest/progression elements - A custom user interface designed to maximize effectiveness of the biggest feature: H-content What's special about the H content? What will this game feature? This is where the game really shines. The design goals of this project aim to overcome the design drawbacks of many of the H-RPGs that have come before it. Instead of H-content feeling like it has been tacked onto the gameplay, this game is being heavily designed around the H-content. Many games demand that you lose to see H-content. While it situationally makes sense, it is completely counter-intuitive to what makes a game fun: progression and overcoming challenges. Discovering a new enemy only to have to wait for a game over screen to collect H-content simply isn't that fun. In this game, you are rewarded with H-content by surviving. Most of the H-content occurs during battle scenes, and does so using a completely original system. The game features a struggle system not unlike many RoR titles (Shinobi Girl, Witch Girl, etc.) built within the active time battle system. This opens up a whole new realm of gameplay possibilities such as skills and stats designed to affect the outcomes of the struggle system, as well as story/event battles designed completely around this system. While there are a ton of details I could go into (and yes, many details left to be fleshed out as well), here's a basic summary of the H-content elements that are being designed for the game: - Real time battle H-content that is strongly influenced by characters' armor, level, and stats. - A unique in-battle struggle system that combines the best aspects of RoR titles with traditional RPG H-games. - Unique clothing destruction system featuring resistances and vulnerabilities that are dependent on the aesthetics of the characters' equipped armor type - Unwarranted amounts of happy jelly. - Highly varied enemy types that are both unique and yet span the gammut of traditional enemies seen in H-games. - Vore, beasts, tentacles, and more will be included. - A ridiculous amount of highly detailed artwork - A gallery system to view higher quality versions of the ridiculous amount of highly detailed artwork Different armor and outfits huh? So you just mean we'll see the same artwork with different outfits tacked on, right? Not at all! A lot of games in the past utilize picture overlays to simulate different clothing/outfits. In Malise and the Machine every outfit truly has its own unique artwork, and every single H attack has different artwork for each character and outfit (and many times the attack changes entirely!). I'll release more information on this aspect of the game, as well as the clothing destruction system later on. Who are you? How many people are working this? Have you made any games previously? I've mainly been working on this project by myself, but would like to expand the team eventually (ideally after the crowdfunding campaign gets started, as I don't expect people to work for free). Due to the extreme nature of the game content and the specific skill sets required for making the artwork (and coding my ambitious ideas) the pool of candidates is very small. I'm a professional programmer, but this is my first game. If things go well financially with this title, then I'm sure it will not be my last game. I'm quite new to the languages required for this game, so literally everything so far has had a considerable learning curve. I am not quite a professional artist, but I do have professional quality standards for what I put out. The artwork looks unique, but how is one person expecting to make all of it? As I mentioned, the game has been in the early development stages for about a year. A big chunk of that time was devoted to experimenting with art styles, programs, processes, and even seeing if fully animated scenes would be viable for the game (answer: they are possible, and I have some great examples, but RPG Maker was simply not designed for it and it would degrade the gameplay a lot to try to force it without devoting gross amounts of time to coding... down the road though I'd like to make this a reality, when I have the resources). The art style I've settled on uses pre-rendered graphics made from 3D models. I'm using a highly customized set of shaders and post processing combined with hand painting in Photoshop to achieve this style, and the result is that I can create highly detailed artwork relatively quickly without being a master 2D artist. Using 3D models doesn't mean that the quality will suffer however, as anything that can be accomplished with 2D art can be accomplished with 3D (if you are creative about it and not lazy). This route also allows me to pay to license models/parts from artists and customize them to my liking for use in the game. This isn't a magic button that does the work for me by any means as a lot of customization goes into everything, but it is the next best thing to having a team of artists working with me. I do think that I will need help with the artwork eventually (even if it is simply preparing models and rendering), but since it is a highly specialized procedure I will need someone with a developed 3D and 2D art skillset. Conclusion and Crowdfunding Campaign: The game will be in development for awhile. I have no idea yet as far as a release timeframe is concerned, nor do I want to burst bubbles by setting a date that can't be met. The next step is the crowdfunding campaign which I currently plan to run on www.patreon.com. Due to the arguably ambitious nature of the project the final quality will indeed depend on the financial resources I can accumulate for development. I want to make sure that you have a lot of incentive to see this project succeed, so you will be seeing some great rewards such as full access to early versions of the game, digital and printed artwork, and more. Feel free to suggest ideas for rewards. I have not set a date yet for when the Patreon campaign will occur, but get hyped about it, spread the word, and keep an eye out for updates here! I'm really interested in your feedback and will strongly consider any ideas you may have! Check back here for updates!