Posts about Phantasmaburbia:

November 17th, 2012
Comments Off on Phantasmaburbia Sale Extended + Some Sales Info

Phantasmaburbia Sale Extended + Some Sales Info

Hiya, guys!

We recently passed the 2-week anniversary of when Phantasmaburbia came out. Yippee! I’m just now stating to feel like I’ve fixed all of the game bugs :} Sales haven’t been doing super great, so I’m *extending* the launch sale to November 24, because I can! Some big sites only recently posted about us, so I also think it’s fair to give some chance to those who are still only just discovering us.


Continue reading…

August 30th, 2012
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Phanta on Steam Greenlight!

STEAM GREENLIGHT

This might seem sort of absurd coming off of the heels of our Kickstarter, but we actually need your support more than ever! This doesn’t require any money or anything–but if you have a Steam account, we desperately need your upvote to help get Phantasmaburbia on the Steam platform!

Getting on Steam means exposure to a much wider audience, something we need very badly. This is something we’ve been talking about a lot on the sidelines, and finally is there an opportunity for us to get there if only we garner enough support.
I can’t really overstate how important this is to the game’s ultimate success. So, pretty, pretty please…

UPVOTE US ON STEAM GREENLIGHT!

August 8th, 2012
Comments Off on New Blog; Big Phanta Update Coming

New Blog; Big Phanta Update Coming

Hey!

I did some redesigning here and rolled in a nice, new WordPress blog!

There are still a bunch of kinks to rough out and missing content (mostly for my individual games in the “Works” section) but this is gonna be my new home for blogging as well as my portfolio site. Feels good to consolidate. If you encounter any issues, let me know. Also, let me know what you think of the design! I’m still finalizing a lot of these things.

Also, there’s a big news update for Phantasmaburbia coming soooooon. I apologize for the sparse news in the previous weeks, but hopefully this will make up for it. Keep an eye out, especially if you’re interested in getting your hands on it…

Phantasmaburbia Trailer & Year 20

Hey! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I guess between maintaining the Phanta website and of course my now “official” site it gets harder and harder to manage this old blog. Which is a bit of shame, because I really do like it!

Well, work on Phantasmaburbia’s been especially strong lately. I actually finished the main game content this week–so the rest of my time goes to tweaking, bugfixing, beta testing, and bonus content while Jason works on the sound. And of course, I’ll be doing marketing! To that end I’ve actually produced a new trailer:
 
A friend did the excellent voiceover. It was a blast to record.

 I’m a bit miffed that I didn’t post around my 20th birthday, which was a couple weeks ago in May. I have a very proud tradition of those birthday blog posts. I suppose this one will have to count for my 20th birthday. The most amazing thing to me is that 3 years ago the post was about starting Dubloon, 2 years ago the post was about finishing Dubloon, 1 year ago it was about starting Phantasmaburbia, and this year it’s finishing Phanta. Seriously, that’s kinda crazy! Will the pattern continue forever? (I kinda hope not!!)

But in all seriousness I’m really excited about Phanta. It’s my biggest and most ambitious game, and a huge improvement over where Dubloon left off. I’ve grown so much as a game designer over the course of its development, too. This year’s looking to be a bright one!

November 27th, 2011
1 Comment on Ultima Origins

Ultima Origins

I got a question on formspring recently asking about some of the old old comics I did before I was making games. I’ve been discussing them a little more often lately because Phantasmaburbia‘s main cast is made up of re-invented characters from those days of yore. The question asked on FS was pertaining specifically to the villain, “Ultima,” who the characters were opposing.

Luckily I just so happened to be visiting home, and I had a stack of old comics readily available to scan (read: photograph and then touch up in PS). So I went ahead and uploaded some old drawings to satisfy your curiosity.

Warning: really terrible elementary school art ahead!


This was the first recorded appearance of the villain, I believe. This was in fact drawn NOT by me but by my good childhood friend Yoshi. We both drew comics and made a more-than-regular habit of borrowing each other’s characters and expanding each other’s canon. Ultima started off as such a snag by myself from Yoshi.

This comic was one of many many series which he started, though never completed. Usually his protagonist was Yoshi, the Zelda/DBZ-like legendary hero. This was to be the story of his 5th descendant, Moshi. I went on to make use of the name Moshi in Phanta as the samurai ancestor of the protagonist, as a nod to this. It’s especially apt because “Moshi-Moshi” is a phrase used in Japan to answer the phone, based on an urban legend that if one were a ghost they would only be able to say “Moshi” once. So, saying Moshi twice proves you’re not a ghost to the otherwise unaware caller.

Anyway.

This was the first page, also drawn by Yoshi.

Rule 1: Eat healthy foods (unless you are Will) [[disliked classmate]]
Once the world was made…
By Ultima, that holds the Ultima power
40000000 years later…
(Moshi: This is it…)
(Moshi: Ultima!)
One day, Ultima turned evil (Ultima: Mwahahahaha)
Then the world turned evil… (Man: Eek!) [Comment: Wash your hands after you kill someone, or if you are killed]
And Evil

Et cetera. I took him and managed to make him even more generic for my purposes. It took a while to find a drawing that actually featured a full shot of the guy: here. This is just a piece of the 100-ish page spanning final battle between him and “Greg,” the OTHER Zelda/DBZ-like legendary hero. I promise you that this page probably had the most talking in it of the entire fight, because the vast majority went something like this.

And then later on I sort of “updated” the design a bit to make him ever so slightly cooler-looking.

His story as I told it was generally that he was this super-great god like demon who created Earth, but then a mysterious black liquid from space turned him evil. You know, like Venom in Spiderman. So he goes nuts. Anyway, it turns out he doesn’t have the full powers of a God anymore and that the power was kept in this big castle locked behind a sealed door than could only be opened by killing the 5 or 6 “chosen ones” who kinda represented the different seals on the door and passed on this seal to their descendants. So naturally he goes and kills them one by one, including the main character, Greg.

Greg has to go through a whole bunch of trials to get back from the afterlife, and arrives just in the nick of time as Ultima is about to get his grubby demonic hands on the god power. Just then, the famous/best wizard Sauron shows up in the nick of time as well and splits up the energy, casting it in pieces to the ends of the Earth. A piece of it goes to Greg, which makes him way stronger and a match for Ultima. Ultima takes out the super wizard Sauron in frustration, but then is defeated by Greg in a big final battle.

And then when he inevitably came back in later comics, the heroes of the day had to go on a big Zelda-style adventure and collect the pieces of the god power stuff to fight him.

That pretty much covers it! All this stuff about Ultima isn’t without parallels to the big bad in Phanta, though this is probably mostly because as a whole Ultima is pretty generic. When the game is finally finished and everyone gets to see how the story unfolds, you might enjoy finding the characteristics and plot stuff that crosses over between the two.

October 9th, 2011
Comments Off on Phantasmaburbia Pushed Back; Pollushot Video

Phantasmaburbia Pushed Back; Pollushot Video

As you can see on the Phantasmaburbia website, I’ve pushed back the release date to a yet undetermined date. Don’t panic, this has no malicious meanings or intents, we’re just taking more time with it so it’s better in the long run.

You can distract yourself in the meantime with Pollushot, which was recently featured on the front page of the Android app store and saw its sales skyrocket past 10,000! 🙂 To commemorate, I’ve created a video of tips/tricks/techniques to try in the game.

September 5th, 2011
Comments Off on Win Free Copies of Phanta + New Trailer + New Music Album

Win Free Copies of Phanta + New Trailer + New Music Album

OKAY.

We have some announcements here that have been waiting a very long time to see the eyes of the public. Brace yourselves.

First of all, our composer Jason Covenant has just released a suite called “Conscience of a Dreamer.” You can listen to it here, and never listen to anything else ever again. Naturally, most of these songs will make their way into Phanta as well.

Then there’s this.

Featuring music from said suite is a new “official” Phantasmaburbia trailer. There’s a lot of new little things in this I haven’t yet shared on the site, but it all moves pretty fast. Most importantly, this summarizes the basic story and whatnot for people who are still a little confused on what this whole dealie is all about.


To get all the deets on winning a free copy of the game, you’ll have to visit the game website. This is because entry involves posting on that website!

Good luck!

Introducing Clair!

[Reposting this from http://phantasmaburbia.com/2011/08/27/introducing-clair/]

Whelp, there’s a hurricane heading towards me, and my form of emergency preparation seems to come in the form of a new gameplay video. Lucky for you!

Fun fact: the dog is voiced by my sister. I’m starting to make a minor tradition of having my sister submit cameo voicework in my games, it seems.

And of course now you can watch all of the introductions for each character in the game on YouTube, excluding (somewhat ironically) the one that’s actually publicly playable. I dunno if I’ll ever put a video of his intro on YouTube, since it would seem sort of unexciting now with all of this unreleased content just begging to be seen.

Anyways… enjoy!

Phanta Website, Release Date & Price

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Check out the new Phantasmaburbia website at http://phantasmaburbia.com!

With the new site, I’m ready to say that I’m aiming to release the game on October 31, 2011 with a starting price of $9.99. Those of you who have been paying a lot of attention to my stance on release date and price may find that this is a little later and a little more expensive than I’ve sometimes lead people to believe up until now. This isn’t me trying to stab anyone in the back, rather, it’s a result of the game’s scope expanding far beyond what my initial vision was for it. My most recent post concerning the dungeons provided a taste of that.

In addition to the new site publication, I’ve gone and updated the free demo available at GameJolt and YoYoGames. As is usual, there’s no new content available but there are plenty of changes to bring it closer to what the final product might be. Changes you might notice include:

  • Numerous speed optimizations & bugfixes
  • Updated victory music
  • Updated tiles, as seen in the above screenshot

You might be wondering what happened to the yellow, desert-like landscape that used to be characteristic of the early game Spirit Tunnel. I’ve moved it to a later part of the game, into a dungeon that fits it much butter:

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PS: I can’t say when for sure, but check back here a lot if you want to catch the impending release of Pollushot to iTouch and Android app stores!

Phantasmaburbia’s Spirit Tunnels

I’ve been putting off making new posts, holding out for news on Pollushot and some other upcoming things, but it’s been getting on for a bit long and I’m itching to share some stuff. So here goes.

From day 1, I planned out Phanta specifically to be a game with good replay value. Generally what that translates to is that each time you play the game, things can be played pretty differently. That mentality’s spilled over into a lot of the game’s aspects, but none so much as the game’s dungeons. Let’s talk about them a little!

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The game’s overall structure is fairly unusual. The first half of the game introduces each of the protagonists individually, slowly raveling each of their yarns towards a critical moment which joins all of the characters and sparks the game’s second part. From there the game opens up quite suddenly, with a wide berth to explore around freely.

Completion of the game’s second half involves beating 4 different dungeons–or as they’re called in the game, Spirit Tunnels. However, I’ll actually be designing and including 8 dungeons in the game. You’re given a lot of freedom with what dungeons you want to challenge and what order you want to do it in; but as some dungeons are completed, others will be closed off to you. What dungeons you do beat affect what powers are available to you in combat, as well as some other gameplay factors.

The dungeons themselves will be very, very reminiscent of those in Zelda. There’ll be a healthy balance of combat (and I’ve made a lot of effort to have a cast of diverse enemies who each present unique gameplay) mixed with puzzles that make use of your ghost powers. I might get into a whole post some other time about the actual specifics of the puzzles and the joy of puzzle design, as it’s actually one of my favorite aspects of game design. What’s important here is that these are more than just mazes with enemies in them; each dungeon will have a unique set of puzzles based on environmental interaction, and it’ll be worth your trouble to actually play through the game more than once to see everything.

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One thing I didn’t want to do was have multiple endings. I find that when making a selection that affects the story, it’s almost always a little forced and the effects of your decision are very obvious before you’ve even made it. Generally speaking, when presented with branching story paths, players will try to “win” by making the decisions that create the best ending, and it becomes very little about role playing or exploration. Once you’ve seen the ending where everyone wins, why would you play again? Or for that matter, what if you play through the entire game only to see a bad ending? Even in situations where “there are no good endings” and every conclusion is equally bittersweet, your actual effect on the game is very superficial–all you’re basically doing is seeing one cinematic in place of another at the same juncture in the story. Some would argue that’s not even part of the game.

I like decisions that have an affect on gameplay, meaning how you play and what mechanics/abilities are available to you. The actual bulk of your time spent with the game involve actually playing in it, so decisions that impact how you’re playing the game have a much more substantial impact and are all the more satisfying to make.

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I think I’ve said enough for now. Look forward to some more posts in the coming days/weeks.

New Phanta Teaser

Sorry for the blatant cutting/transitions/occasional audiovideo misalignment. Experienced some tech fail in trying to record, which is also why it’s taken me so long to actually post this! 🙂

Development is a lot farther along than this might suggest, so look forward to seeing more in the coming days/weeks. I’m thinking of doing some long ranty posts about the design process, or maybe get into stuff about the game’s structure (which is/will be pretty unique) or the story or something. Does that sound like something you’d be into?

PS- News on Pollushot to come, I think.

Art Dump Summer 2011

I’ve been waiting for a decent time to throw some of this stuff up online, evenly spaced between other progress posts on Phanta. And I guess now’s a pretty good time. Here’s a select collection of pieces I made for school in the last few months…




LEFT: A black and white painting of Clark Gable. RIGHT: This is a self portrait with solid black & white dots. We had to design a “value scale” and then tile out an image of ourselves over a photo. This one is a little hard to make out, but this was considered a fairly inventive solution because I didn’t utilize any gray and used a totally consistent pattern.


Possibly my magnum opus for the year, this was my final project for my 3D modelling class. The class was 10 weeks and was my first time ever using 3D modelling software of any sort, so I’m pretty proud of the results… the assignment was to design a setting/scene/space/room that had to contain at least 5 unique models (nothing organic/alive). I made a fancy restaurant for monkeys. I lost a lot of sleep over the course of many weekends to put this together (while staying productive on Phantasmaburbia, no less!)


So that’s that. I’ll close this post with a new Phanta screenshot, for kicks.
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And with that, all 4 of the primary human cast have been revealed. 🙂

Demo 2 About to Close!

This is just a friendly reminder that the full second demo of Phantasmaburbia isn’t going to available in 24 hours. Better grab it while you can!

In the meantime, I’ve gone and added the “partial” demo 2 to GameJolt and YoYogames.
In addition to all the updates that came with the full 2nd demo, I fixed a number of new things. Namely:

-Running is faster, and there’s now an option to “Run by default,” so that holding right click makes you walk instead.
-To use a SPEC item, you can simply right-click the target object. This makes puzzle stuff way faster and cleaner, and I love it.
-Doesn’t reload sounds and stuff when you return to the title screen, which makes it way faster and avoids wasting memory.
-Fleeing from battle is now animated.

Not huge changes, but they make the game a lot more playable. Thanks to everyone who’s played and commented on the full demo 2! 🙂

Oh, and…… one more thing……

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(Click)

Just a teeny sample of what I’ve been working on in the last 10 days.

Phantasmaburbia – Demo #2 FULL

Here it is! The full second demo for Phantasmaburbia!

Get it HERE!
Note that this link will EXPIRE on June 25, exactly 240 hours from this posting. Get it while you can!
Things to note: This game is WINDOWS ONLY. In addition, it uses some effects that might not display as pictured on every graphics card.

What is this game?
Phantasmaburbia is a JRPG with point-and-click elements about a group of teens in modern day suburbia battling an invasion of ghosts and evil spirits, armed with weapons found in their houses and mentored by friendly spirits of their ancestors or former residents of their homes. It’s my current major project, with my self-imposed deadline for completion aimed at late September.
The final version of this game will cost a modest sum of money to purchase and only the first 20-30 minutes of the game will be available as a free demo. However, from June 15-25 I’m making the first hour of the game available online for free. This is that demo.

Gameplay video:

Some screenshots:


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Phantasmaburbia Demo 2 Coming Soon! [Details Enclosed]

Set your calendars, folks! The free demo for the next part of Phantasmaburbia will be posted here and will be available only from June 15th to June 25th.

Why’s that, you ask? When the final version of the game is released, a lot of the stuff in the next demo won’t be available in the free demo that accompanies it. So I’m making the availability a little more exclusive, BUT this is your chance to snag more free playtime out of the game before the final release!

Once June 25th rolls over (or probably before then) I’ll be updating the version currently online with improved engine/gfx/music/etc, but it won’t contain any content/playtime that wasn’t present in the already released demo. Past that, I may or may not offer any more free content to the public until the final release!

To commemorate the impending release, here’s a gameplay trailer we put together.

Phanta Progress Update 5/25

I’ve made a number of changes to Phanta this last week and I’ve been sharing them around on forums, decided to collect all the info and post it to here for posterity! A lot of this has been in response to some very helpful comments by players, so I want to give a big thanks to everyone who’s been giving me crits and pushing the game to improve.

-I’ve altered the lighting engine to create more colorful scenes, and you can see an example of the new color scheme below (from back when I still had some programming kinks to work out)

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(Click)

-I’ve updated the mouse movement and made it a little more “smart,” so characters will typically circle around objects if they’re mistakenly guided into one.

-Battle speed has been played with a bit to make faster, more dynamic battles. What this translates to is:
1- When you’re not selecting an attack, battle speed is bumped up 4x so that the turns quickly fly by. Once your selection menu is up, though, it resumes its usual speed so you have time to select attacks.
2- The fewer party members you have, the faster battles move since you have less to select for
So battles go by a good bit quicker now, without becoming more challenging.

-Enemy “death” animations now show them becoming smaller ghostly versions of themselves and rising up offscreen, something more fitting of the ghost theme.

-Made a number of edits to dialog boxes, making them better match in quality with their portraits:

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(Click)

All those in addition to numerous little tweaks, bugfixes and housecleaning to tighten the game. I’ve made pretty decent progress as far as plot/cutscene stuff goes as well. A demo might be fast approaching once I have a lot time to sit down and crunch on the game again.

Here’s a parting little screenshot with background art I’ve just done today;

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(Click)

19 Years

Whelp! Today’s my 19th birthday. All in all it’s a pretty godawful boring year. I’m not quite in my second decade, and I can’t do anything I couldn’t do when I was 18, legally speaking. I’ve essentially resigned myself to having a boring year to reflect a boring age. Or who knows, maybe it’ll be awesome!

One thing that’s looking to make this year a good one is Phantasmaburbia! Let’s talk about that for a bit, shall we? (It’s really interesting if you juxtapose this birthday post with the one I did last year and even the year before that, when I was finishing and starting work on Dubloon, respectively.) I’ve been working on it as diligently as possible, but I must say, school has been a much larger timesink than it’s been in the last couple years (which is why I’m writing this post a few days in advance just to ensure it is delivered on time!). I guess that’s college! I’ll get out of classes in June, which will definitely mean a rapid increase of production rate.

But there’s cool stuff to report! We’ve introduced a new member to the “team,” and he goes by Mack151, or sometimes, Rockythechao. He did a really excellent Let’s Play series on Dubloon (the original!) and Escape from the Underworld, and he’s volunteered to offer his beautiful art services to the game in the form of new character portraits! Look at these beauties (click on them!):
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So that’s the big news of the day! I look forward to sharing more as this little project continues…

PS Have you seen The Room? It’s my current obsession. You can find it online for free with the right Google searches, just saying.

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