Monday, 30 January 2012

you stand at a crossroads

Okay, so. As you may know, Long Live The Queen is nearing completion. I don't expect it on sale until next month and there are many things still to be done, but the bulk of my work on it is going to be finished soon.

That means figuring out what I do next.

Obviously, there's a lot I'd like to be doing with Magical Diary, but I can't do anything with it at the moment until the artist is available again. Similarly, I posted a long time ago about a visual novel I was starting, but the artist has more or less dropped out on me. I am currently disinclined to start the whole thing over from scratch.

(Secretly, one reason I work with some off-the-shelf assets? Because I can guarantee that they'll actually be DONE.)

So, what will I be doing? I have ideas, of course, I always have far too many ideas. The problem is figuring out which ones are practical. At the moment the top concepts bouncing around in my brain are a VN about a reality TV show gone horribly wrong, or a rock-and-roll themed RPG. Do you know, I can't find any rock-and-roll CRPGs anywhere? There are music games, obviously, and some tabletop RPG systems (usually along the lines of "IN THE DISTANT FUTURE, FIGHT THE POWER OF CONFORMITY WITH ROCK", although I found one that was a tiny indie game about running your own depressing goth band and trying to get the most attention for your angst before everyone gives up in despair), but no rock CPRGs. Probably the closest is The World Ends With You, which has the right kind of attitude, but the characters aren't actually playing music.

Downside is that while Spiky and I both love Science Girls with geeky delight, it was not a sales success. There are many reasons for that, some of which we know how to fix, but it's possible that we just don't have enough of an RPG audience.

Will probably be prototyping some RPG gameplay to see if the ideas are fun before making any decisions.


GDI said...

Well I was one of the people who bought Science Girls and I will buy Long Live the Queen immediately, while I sort of avoided the more "girly" games (for lack of a better word).

There is nothing more I crave than a good steampunk game with a female protagonist. The games I was following such as Thousand Doors and Machina Jewel were shelved.

If you can make something like the What a Beautiful World Series (last one was Shikkoku no Sharnoth) that would make me very happy. Keep the gameplay (despite people mentioning they skipped it) but shelve the pointless long-winded repetition.

To me, steampunk combines the hardcore stories of science fiction while putting women and men in frilly clothes that are nice to look at: substance + style, a winning combination. My project is firmly in Dieselpunk realm, but I've always craved a good old classic Victorian brand of steampunk, and wish somebody would be up to it, and I might be able to help out in any way I can. Not that having 7 projects is any problem, since they were all started already and I'm interested in all of them so it's in my interest to help finish them. I don't have the energy to start a totally new project, but if you're going to start a new project regardless, and if it so happens to fall into this my realm of interest, I could allocate a bit of energy or even share some investment of assets with you. (You can probably guess who I am on LSF forums, since I practically don't check my gmail account tied with blogger).

Whiner said...

I like steampunk as an aesthetic, but I personally am not deeply enough involved with it to design a whole game out of it and do it well enough to please serious fans, I don't think.

(Coincidentally, one of the characters for the Reality TV idea is a woman who is involved in the modern steampunk movement, based off people I've met at events.)

Which isn't to say it could never happen but I'd have to personally be struck by a really exciting idea for it first. I'm not going to just wander in that direction and hope a game hits me. :)

Way back post Fatal Hearts we did some plot sketches for a really weird game which I cannot quite define as steampunk, closer to space opera but with some similar visuals, intended to be the same sort of mix of plot and puzzle, but it became obvious that in order to live up to the concept it would have to be too big to be practical for us.

Ian N said...

I’m glad someone else has had the idea for a music driven game. I don’t have enough experience with music but had a fun idea of an RPG with characters that fought with music, changing the tempo and genre to change the battle and to suit them. I had the idea a very long time ago and everything in it focused on rhythm and timing. I had more of Jet Set Radio vision in mind over The World Ends with you when I came up with it.

GMLscripts said...

The notion of a musical RPG is appealing. Ian presents some intriguing ideas. CRPGs and music games both seem so stale, they need some shaking up.

Even if it were only thematically musical, that's a great theme to explore that naturally connects to a lot of people. It also easily accommodates faction-like groups based on musical styles. That kind of relate-able, off-beat charm really worked well for Earthbound.