Tag Archives: Fleeting Infinity

Intro to One of my Novel Ideas

Up until this point all of my posts have pretty much been related to Game Development in some way or another. They likely will stay that way, too, but I just wanted to try something. Going to put some of my writing out here and see if it gets any response or what people think of it. I actually wrote this piece quite sometime back. It’s the introduction to one of the novels that’s still in the brainstorming stage in my mind. It’s not even the novel I’m currently working on writing. That all said, here goes:

Elves, dwarves, fairies, werewolves, vampires, especially the sparkling variety, none of these things exist. They’re just stories, fanciful and wondrous ones sometimes, but nothing more than tales. Something from those stories is true though, something that shows up in almost every story in one form or another. It has fascinated people for ages, but it’s always been held as belonging in the realm of fiction, magic.

Magic is not fiction, it’s the one thing from all those stories that does exist, or at least it did. Where is magic then if it used to exist? It couldn’t just disappear, and that’s why no one believes in it. Illusionists of today are not magicians, they do fanciful tricks, but magic is something far beyond that. Magic is an ability beyond description, beyond definition.

The reason why you do not see magic today is because it’s sealed away. I don’t know how it happened, at least not the first time. Well, I’m not even sure that was the first time, I was quite humbled by just how ignorant I really am not too long ago so I’m first to admit that I don’t understand. All I know is that somehow it was sealed away, because it’s dangerous.

If I had realized that before I probably could have saved myself and so many people a lot of trouble. Of course maybe I’m giving myself too much credit, it’s possible it could have happened without me. I’m sure I’m not the only person out there with the level of fascination I hold for magic. Not just to the point where I loved reading about it, but to the point where I would regularly imagine myself using it in my daily life.

Maybe other people had that same feeling, and it still would have happened with or without me. Maybe if other people did not feel the way I do it never would have come to pass. So many maybes, just a number of ifs, if doesn’t matter though, it happened. This is the story of how my fascination with magic finally stepped out of my dreams and into reality. This is the story of how I was shown that I’m ignorant of so many things, and that some things are better left alone.

Dragons. I’m not saying they’re real, but their depiction has always been one meant to inspire wonder and fear. Their very mention and thought brings to mind power, mystery, and danger. Most people would not approach a dragon if they were real. Sure in the stories there tales of knights facing dragons to save damsels, but even in the stories they did not always win. So if there really was a dragon, I don’t think many would go out looking for a fight with it.

I have not seen a dragon, but that depiction, that wonder, the feelings inspired by their presence must be why it was what I saw. I’m not sure if it is how anyone else would have seen it, but it was how it appeared to me. Sometimes when I thought of magic I glimpsed in my mind two large towering doors, nothing overly impressive about them. Simple dark wood, but no handles or knobs. Instead in the middle where they met there was the gigantic head of a dragon, obviously ornate as it was fashioned of some sort of metal.

The dragon’s head glimmered, and when it appeared closer in my mind each scale was visible in the metal, finely sculpted somehow in that soft grey metal. The ridges portrayed empty metal circles, eyes that even without pupils seemed to be staring and boring into me. Its mouth open and long sharp teeth glinting in the dark. It was abnormal enough that the door hung in darkness, but the way those teeth shone should have put more fear in me. The vision of the dragon should have driven me away and kept me away, perhaps it had for many over the years.

For me I knew immediately what was behind that door without the handle, without any seeming way to open it. I knew that for some reason and somehow it sealed away magic, and that was why no one could use it, no one could touch it. Magic was real, but it was just not within our reach, it was kept behind some sort of door, seeming magic itself. I never imagined myself actually standing before that door, even now I think it perhaps just the way my mind saw whatever it was that sealed it away. The way I chose to envision and understand the protection that kept it out of our reach.

The first time I saw it I was much younger, and I didn’t try to reach past it or at what was behind it. Maybe I unconsciously knew then what I had forgotten when I grew older. There had to be a reason that it was sealed away like that. Some reason that magic would not be out in the world. That perhaps the seal was not to protect magic from us, but to protect us from magic. Dreams of touching it, controlling it, and having it sought me out more over the years even in waking.

If I could just have magic my life would be different, it could bring some meaning into it. I had no desires to conquer the world, nothing villainous in mind to do with the power. I simply wanted to have it, because I knew I could do good things with it, that it would make my life better. I don’t know if it was all me, I don’t doubt that I’m entirely capable of greed like that, but maybe somehow the magic had reached me from the other side of the door? Perhaps it wanted to be free as much as I wanted it to be.

Magic isn’t human, but I think in someways that it might be sentient. It’s not possessed of feelings or emotion, it as a force is not good or evil. Magic does not choose who can control it, when it is free it is simply a force there to be touched by any who wish to use it. It’s just like a gun, anyone can pick it up and shoot someone. You don’t have to know how to aim it to kill someone, and the gun is not at fault for what happens. Magic is dangerous in that way, that anyone can touch it, anyone can control it. Except that magic is far more dangerous than any gun.

This is the force I would unleash on the world, unknowingly, but it was still my fault. I just wanted things to be different, I just wanted some meaning to my world, wanted my life to matter. It definitely would come to matter, and I did something very important, but I can’t be proud of it. Because in the end it was all my fault to begin with. I caused it all to begin with, I brought magic back into the world.

Why All the Hate for RPG Maker Games?

I love RPGs, anything with an amazing story that will grab me I’m glad to sit down and play through. One big problem with RPGs though is that there seems to be far too much time in between the great ones, that or if you’re like me you’re too poor at sometimes to buy all the ones you want. That was especially true for me when I just got out of High School. Fortunately I happened to find the RPG Maker Community back then. At the time it was not quite like it is now, RPG Maker games were all made using programs that had been translated to English and thus 90% of the time not legal to sell even if the developers had not primarily reused sprites /music from other games.

That said, the things that some of these people did with their games were just positively amazing. Anyone who has played any of the old RPG Maker Games is familiar with “A Blurred Line” and the sequel “A Line’s End” that will likely never see the light of day. There are a number of other greats from those years that I could mention, but that’s not the purpose of this article. Eventually, about the time of the release of RPG Maker XP, Enterbrain realized they had a vast untapped market in the West. So they translated the software officially and made it available over here. Now people outside of Japan could create their own games in RPG Maker and actually sell them commercially.

Now, over the years the community has grown, and as communities grow they start to become more visible. To the point that you even start to see RPG Maker games on Steam. That’s right, now we’re coming around to the point of the article. All the hate on RPG Maker games. Why does everyone hate them? Most of the time when you see someone bashing an RPG Maker game, they’ve never actually even played the game itself. Often they have not even looked at the screenshots or the videos, they simply bash it exclusively for its connection to RPG Maker.

The reasons I’ve come across vary, but mostly it comes around to people thinking that RPG Maker is the “easy and lazy” way to make games. That the developers don’t have to put any time, passion, or work into making the games. Those people are so very wrong. Are there RPG Maker games out there that were released simply for the chance to make a little money? Sure, but honestly they’re the minority, not the majority. RPG Maker is an Engine, just like any other. It’s the same as Unreal or Unity, it’s just geared toward creating two-dimensional RPGs.

The most recent version of RPG Maker, RPG Maker VX Ace actually has rather in-depth scripting capabilities using Ruby, although technically Ruby has been in it since XP. If you go into the Engine and start looking at the scripts the sheer amount of things you can change and add is overwhelming. Just start browsing around the community, oh and yes there’s a HUGE community. The RPG Maker Community is more helpful and available I’d say than any of the communities for any other Engine out there that I’ve seen.

You have people who have created custom battler scripts, custom characters, maps, all sorts of things. Sometimes they just give it away to anyone who wants it, but it also offers them an opportunity to market their skills if they so choose. People can buy these things from others or even hire them on and work together to develop games. There are a number of amazing games in the works, and yes some of them are being sold commercially, but most of the people who make RPG Maker games are not making a living off of it. They’ve just found a way where they can tell this story that they had inside of them.

A way that they can share their world, their game, their characters with other people. Is it worth giving them a little money for the insane amounts of work they put into it? You better believe it is. They spend just as many hours, months, and years in some cases developing the games as any other developer does. They’re Indie Developers, just because the graphics might look a little old-school, don’t let that fool you. Most of the games have demos or videos available, take a look at it and immerse yourself in the game. You’ll see the passion the developers have for their games and you’ll see why you shouldn’t hate RPG Maker games, you should embrace them.

Lunar III – Or How a Game That Does Not Exist Made Me a Game Developer

I’ve had this article written for a while, but I was holding off on posting it since I thought it was going to be posted on another site. Since I haven’t heard back from them in a while and the time they said it was going to be posted has come and gone I figured I would go ahead and post it here. If they still want to use it after they’re welcome to, but I don’t see any reason I shouldn’t put it out there for others to read in the meantime.

The year was 2000, a friend of mine and I were chatting online. We were talking about a series of games that had just found a new audience a few years ago. The Lunar series, a game I myself had been exposed to back in ’94 on the Sega CD. There was nothing like it. Sure, there were a number of other great RPGs out there, but nothing was the same as Lunar. Nothing was able to blend humor and a deep and sometimes tragic story and make it flow so perfectly. Humor wasn’t just for comic relief, it really gave depth to the characters and situations.

(If you have not played this amazing series by now though, what are you waiting for? Go play it now, then come back and finish reading this. If you’d rather finish reading the spoiler-less portion of the article before playing Lunar, it continues past the next two paragraphs.)

For me there were few villains like Ghaleon, yes he was a megalomaniac and he had the intention of destroying the world, but he had every reason to want to. The Goddess had asked his best friend, one of the few people he cared about to lay down his life to save her people. Since the Goddess had taken Dyne from him, he wanted to take the world from her. You get a glimpse of the real him when you see the fairies inside of his tower and the sanctuary he created for them. He doesn’t hold them culpable for the fault of Althena’s children, humanity. So he is kind to them and protects them from the death he has planned for the rest of the world.

Of course in the course of the game you find out that Dyne is not dead, he simply lost his Dragonmaster abilities in order to defeat the Black Dragon. When Ghaleon finds out that his friend was still alive it was too late though, he was too far gone. He makes up for it in the second game in the series though. He guides Hiro, and saves him on numerous occasions. He helps Hiro and his friends become the heroes they had to be in order to defeat Zophar.


There had been talks and rumors of a third Lunar game since before Lunar Silver Star Story Complete was re-released on the Playstation. Nothing had been seen of it though. My friend and I started talking about what we would want to see in the game. It started with just throwing back and forth ideas, but eventually it moved from just
conversation to actually developing and fleshing it out. We had the story, we had the characters, we had the entire structure for a game laid out before us. One of us jokingly said we should send it to Working Designs, I don’t remember if it was him or me.

Then it was not so much of a joke. This was really a game, I mean sure, who were we? I had just graduated High School not long ago, and he was in his last year. We certainly didn’t have the experience of all of these developers, but what if they actually took it and made a game out of it? What if sending this to them brought out Lunar 3? So I actually looked up an e-mail address and put together the information and sent it off to them. I’ll tell you the not so shocking news, we never heard anything back from them. We didn’t really expect to, but we had designed a game regardless.

It was the spark that started something though. At that moment I knew I wanted to make games, I wanted to be a part of making something that could make someone feel as strongly as I did about Lunar. I had always loved games of course, to me they had always been an escape just as much as a novel. Except that with a game I could be a more active part of it, I was a part of the story and had a real effect on it. Now I felt that I could give that to someone else, make something that hopefully they could enjoy as much as I had.

Many years later, life has slowed me down a bit, but I am working toward my dream to be a game developer again now. I want to make games, games that people will love, and maybe someday I’ll get an e-mail from someone telling me about a game. About how they had sat around and dreamed it up. I probably won’t make their game, but I’ll reply to them. I’ll tell
them what I think of it, what could be better, and that they should keep it up.