A Gamer's Refuge

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A Gamer's Refuge

Journal's Purpose: The purpose of this journal is to allow me to publicly write down notes of my role-play projects, upcoming role-play projects, and updates on them. This is the single best place to check up on those type of things. That's why I don't want comments being posted up here, but rather if you have one then it's better to PM it to me. There are a lot of other reasons why I prefer that instead and I will not get into those details. Some entries may contain more than one subject within them while others are simply rants about general stuff. I will keep the material mainly in the category of role-playing. Do keep in mind when PMing me your comments, concerns, and questions that I'm not going to answer negative stuff. It's a waste of my time and this journal is mainly for me to record things. Comments anyone has that I find very thoughtful will be covered in whatever the next journal entry there is. So if you want a small spotlight in one of my journal entries then please make a thoughtful comment to me in a PM. I swear I won't bite, unless you're a lady. Razz

Table of Contents

11-9-2009 Gates of Requiem: Entry 1
11-12-2009 Character Portraits: Entry 1

Last edited by Tkwiget on Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:02 pm; edited 4 times in total


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A Gamer's Refuge :: Comments

Post on Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:15 pm by Guest

To fundamentally explain my current RP RPG project on FOG, I must first explain the origin of where the idea came from of a RP RPG.

The Beginning:

The principle behind what a role-play makes it a role-play is much different than what makes a role-play role-playing game what it is. They have a few things in common but the differences are what make them completely different at the same time. A role-play has progression points, like a game, but lacks that element of visual information that expresses how powerful or weak your character is. How much damage that character can sustain before dying or how much his attacks can deal to an enemy. It is those things that make a RP function much different than a RP RPG. A normal RP lacks the rigid structure of a typical RPG and because of that are more likely to suffer from characters having their abilities grossly over emphasized in strength. The reason for this is because those people that play that swordsman, marine, or jedi character have absolutely no idea how it really would affect the human body when they are in combat. The physical stamina needed to run across a field while being shot at with arrows, lasers, or bullets with possibly getting hit is something that many role-players failed to actually express through their writing. It is for this simple reason of these kind of things that I find RP RPGs more appealing. You know exactly how much damage you're taking and because of that can gauge tactically whether to withdraw or continue fighting.

This is why I will most likely work on RP RPG systems for my role-playing needs instead of normal role-plays. I'll be real honest with everyone that's reading this, I can't stand hosting them. I much rather host a RP RPG than a normal RP. The way I plan to run them is very rigid with chapter, act, and campaign progression stages. Nevermind the character leveling system, just how the story will be divided into different branch parts will make it easier to organize the information. I could never really setup a normal role-play like that without it feeling really awkward.

The first RP RPG project that I actually put any devotion towards was called Gates of Prophesy. It was a very complicated project for how simple I got it to be. It had over sixty classes that were meant to have twenty-five class abilities each. That's over one-thousand abilities and it was very difficult to do that on my own and not much easier with help. It was a huge task to under take and I even make a guild on Gaia Online to help out called Creative Legacy Network (which is a topic for another journal entry). Progress was slow right from the beginning and it made me believe that perhaps my little helpers didn't understand the project's underlining importance. It was meant to be the catapult for the guild's launching and help spring board it to the top of role-play guild searches. The idea was to beat the guild that is considered to be the best literate role-playing guild on entire website, called The Literate Roleplaying Guild (which is also another topic for another journal entry).

As time went on I found myself growing more distant towards the project. Once and a while I would find a spark of interest but nothing that would last more than that single day. I moved on to another RP RPG project that I was waiting to work on after Gates of Prophesy was completed and I named that one Gates of Requiem. It was a much smaller project to work on and manage. One that I could, within a reasonable time, finish on my own. I posted an interest check thread here on FOG to see if anyone was interested in it. I did get some responses and it helped catapult my motivation to work on it. So ideas started to brain storm, spent countless hours late at night shelling out the foundation of the game's mechanics, which classes I wanted, how I wanted the classes to play out, and the story for Act 1. Things looked very promising for this project and as more work was finished the more I knew that Gates of Requiem would help be the catapult of my Gaia Online guild's launching. It would be my first RP RPG project ever completed and I've been working on the idea for the past couple years too.

Gates of Requiem: About

Gates of Requiem is a RP RPG project that is meant to be Advanced Dark Fantasy Epic. It's designed to allow plenty of combat to occur and generally is a good idea to incorporate one or two large wars into the role-play's story. This project blesses players twelve class choices that are uniquely designed to play much differently than one another, to offer one style of play that another class doesn't offer.

Gates of Requiem: Development

How I came up with this project's idea was by looking at all the reference material that falls under medieval and fantasy and analyzed it all. This includes movies, books, video games, board games, card games, cartoon shows, etc. Things that resemble fantasy and medieval settings. After sifting through all this material for a starting point, I came to the conclusion that I should first establish all the classes available. I was then presented with another problem: how many? The answer came to me when I wanted to place classes into categories but I didn't want any of the categories to be short one or two classes because of it. It resulting answer became twelve and it has been working out well so far.

With the number of classes and categories for those classes decided, it left two things unanswered: what kind of classes do I want in each category and how many abilities per class do I want? I had to review through my materials again for ideas. I knew immediately that I wanted Fighter, Ranger, Paladin, Mage, Cleric, Druid, and Thief. I wasn't sure about the other class slots and kept looking. I read through some D&D books and game manuals about Bards and thought to myself it might work well to place a class like that into the project. However, before I made that decision final I needed to figure out why I was doing that. I didn't just want a class that would play out like it typically is viewed. I knew I wanted to keep some of it's core abilities intact but wanted to emphasize on them a little more with spell casting abilities. The result was great for my initial idea: magical songs that do stuff.

It was the answer I got from realizing it was used inside another role-play that I'm currently in on Gaia Online called Tales of Inari: Requiem Va'or (which is also where I got the project's name from). The idea I got was to re-engineer the Bard class's spell casting and bard song abilities. The two needed to be the same thing. So I thought of Tales of Inari in this regard and the Sages in the story use magic to help channel their elemental magic to form spells. I figured that I could take that idea a step further with my Bard class. By no means do I have any Bard class abilities typed up or written out at his point, but I will and I promise to anyone that is reading this that they will not look weak by any measure. To often have I seen people pass over a Bard class in RPGs because it looks weak or hard to understand. The fact is I'm re-engineering the class to be more aggressive in my project.

Gates of Requiem: Project Update

Recently I've been working heavily on the Gates of Requiem website and through some help from Mustakrakish, I've been able to get things moving even quicker. He has been a great help in making class abilities for me that I then fine tune with re-wordings, re-namings, etc. Because of this I've been able to work on other aspects of the project without feeling so overwhelmed in the amount of work this project demands. A RP RPG project that requires twelve classes to have at minimum twenty class abilities for each of them is quite a lot of work by itself. So far I've been able to get Fighter and Ranger abilities nailed down pretty nicely. Musta is working on Mage and Thief abilities while I'm hammering out Paladin. That's a total of sixty more abilities being fleshed out at least. That's a huge turn out compared to my other RP RPG project that I had recently replaced with Gates of Requiem.

I plan on working on the Bard class abilities after I finish up the Paladin ones. I'm really looking forward to working with Bard material in shelling out one really cool bard class that will not just play aggressively as a spell casting thief, but be just as formidable as all the other classes. How I plan on doing this is looking how the class functions in the reference materials that I have (mainly D&D related things) and look at what they make the class lack. From what I remember, bards were a very fragile melee fighter. I think this was a mistake in how many games portray them as. They should have similar damage to their other rogue brothers with the ability to swoon people with the sound of their musical instrument. I mainly plan on making the bard songs function as buffing or de-buffing effects. Possibly even some kind of regenerating effect for Mana, Divine Power, and possibly even health. I'm also thinking that illusionary magic would be very helpful for them as well in their melee combat. Perhaps a spell that de-buffs the target and makes them believe they're fighting multiple copies of the same person when really they were placed under some kind of illusionary spell that screws with their eye sight.

Since I've got the idea down with re-engineering the way the bard class plays, I've done the same with classes like shaman and warlock. Shaman wields special magic called Ward and Rune magic. Ward magic isn't necessarily protective or restrictive magics, but rather area of effect zones that allow the shaman to affect enemies within it. Rune magic is to enable the shaman the ability to engrave runes into his weapons and armor to strengthen them. These Rune spells are temporary, like the wards, and will disappear after combat ends. The point is to allow the Shaman a more aggressive play style. A lot of the shamans I've seen in games are either magical spell burst turrets, fighter wanna-bes, and cleric/priest healing wanna-bes (except in World of Warcraft, Resto Shamans are pretty damn good). I wanted to do something different with the class and I couldn't help but continue to think 'totems' when I thought of Shaman. This is how I came up with the idea of Ward and Rune magic instead of the nature-obsessed Shamans that I'm so use to seeing. It gets kind of annoying to see the same thing over and over. This change to the class's appearance will work well for this project.

Warlocks have always seemed like a demon magic spell caster class to me. I liked this approach and wanted to take it another step. In Age of Conan, the Necromancer can summon up like a dozen little zombie and skeleton guys. They are pretty weak from what I've seen in videos (I've never actually played the game but it the pvp looks fun) and I wanted to explore a similar idea for the warlock class. To summon five or six weak demons, maybe just three or four moderate demons into battle. The demons would act as one single demon (through their total health) but individually would be much easier to kill than one big powerful demon. Aside from the demon summoning abilities, I've been thinking of giving the class its own type of magic as well, similar to what I did with shamans and bards, and that would be demon magic. Because warlocks worship, summon, and surround themselves with demons and dark spirits all the time, it would make sense that his dark allies share their knowledge of demonic magical arts. Because of this, it would give warlocks impressive capabilities in battle.

I don't plan on making any single class more powerful than another, but I certainly will probably make mistakes along the way and need to patch certain things. I'm sure there will be a class that has a lot of powerful abilities and will need to balance or re-balance them in order to maintain quality among all the classes. Unbalanced games is one thing I've experienced dozens of times throughout my PC gaming career. I've seen great concepts emerge from the Internet and become poorly executed or horribly managed. I plan on making sure Gates of Requiem is finely tuned to perfection before working on any other RP RPG projects. It would simply be rude to all my play testers, RPG players, and myself if I just worked on something else while this remained unbalanced, which it will be upon launch but hopefully not to bad.

Gates of Requiem: Future Projection

I project in the future that this project will be very popular in 2010 on FOG. I'm uncertain when Creative Legacy Network will launch but with Gates of Requiem getting completed and then launching will help catapult the guild to the top on Gaia Online. I conclude that Gates of Requiem will be a huge success and leave me with something to be proud of when I reflect back on my personal accomplishments.

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Post on Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:42 pm by Guest

Fantasy Character Portraits: Chainmail and Scalemail Texture Techniques

I came from Gaia Online's current best literate role-playing guild called The Literate Roleplaying Guild. There I met a young man that was running a pretty interesting role-play called Tales of Inari: Requiem Va'or. He is one of FOG's OOC Moderators – Kalon. Because of him I actually was introduced into a very handy thing to develop my photoshop skills on and that was making portraits out of Fire Emblem portraits; which I got from a website that probably ripped them straight from the games. It was because of Kalon that actually stirred up interest in making these kind of things for fantasy, medieval, and possibly other genres of role-plays as well; which I'm working on.

So when I started Tales of Riv'nar, I began making character portraits for all the characters. Some were simple and others were slightly or vastly more complicated. It was because of my skills as a graphic artist and knowledge in photoshop that helped allow me to analyze Kalon's end result works, replicate them, expand on whatever techniques he used, and actually produce better portraits. I've come a long ways and have recently found the time to step away from Gates of Requiem for a moment and reflect on a technique I learned from a photoshop map maker in making textures for fantasy/medieval character portraits.

So I took one of the official Fire Emblem portraits, modified it slightly of its colors and made this.

The sword is from another portrait and then scaled to be slightly bigger in size. At the time I liked this picture for how simple it was and for the purpose it was originally intended. However, times changed and I just kind of let the file collect dust in my computer as I worked on the role-plays I'm in and other personal projects of mine that were more important at the time. Now that I actually took a short break from projects and axed some of my RPs that I created, I found myself obsessed with this idea for this portrait. What surprised me the most was the technique to gain the result that satisfied me was not originally for the portrait idea's creation. But I liked it nevertheless and have also discovered that it can also work for another texture idea as well.

As you can see the two pictures are completely different, however, this picture is a heavily modified version of the first. I added armor, a different weapon, and replaced the shirt with chainmail. The texture that I researched originally for map making was meant to be able to paint in trees, however, I thought that if it worked for trees it could work for chainmail and it indeed worked. The idea was to make sure the pixels showed through randomly on a small scale on a small picture. It would give that random effect of grays, whites, and blacks all over. This texture had lots of white in it and it worked great for the more highlighted areas of the original portrait when I paint over those areas. I needed a darker version of this texture pattern and for that reason I took the first version of it and simply took a gray to the white background. It made it dark as I wanted it and made it useful for the darker areas on the shirt.

I think I captured the very essence of the chainmail shirt. If I wanted scalemail I would have doubled the pattern size to 10. The good thing about using this texture was that's very flexible and fixable. It also wasn't very hard to setup after I made the texture. I still have much work left to do on this portrait, but it is far from simply being done. I have battle damage to place on the armor, possibly a helmet version of this portrait as well. I might even find a way to put a shield in; which I doubt I'll do cause my last attempt was pretty much epic fail. But the way the chainmail looks, it appears I slaved away with the brush tool using three colors when I really only brushed the texture in.

I do plan on using this portrait's final version in my up coming RPG project for my own character. I also plan on using this texture technique for future portraits in future fantasy and medieval role-plays. I do plan working on making modern, futuristic, and possibly shinobi portraits as well with the use of Fire Emblem portraits.

Future Development: Textured Character Portraits
The above picture will be even more heavily modified through texturing of the skin, hair, and armor. I even need the weapon to show a small amount of texture as well. The point is to make the portraits not to cartoony but at the same time life-like as well with their features being highlighted through the texture techniques and coloring methods I've learned. It could very well mean that a single portrait could take anywhere from one to seven days to finish. I'm totally fine with this and if that means people have to wait for their portraits before I can get it to them, then I guess they will have to wait.

My belief on my graphic art is that if I'm not pleased, satisfied, or even proud of the piece of art, then I consider it a failure. A prime example is my Tales of Riv'nar map. It's horrible. I plan to replace that with better mapping techniques to help give everyone in that RP a better picture of where things are geographically. It's because of my graphic art believes that make make it seem like I rarely finish anything. In fact, I finish things a lot of the times but don't bother showing anyone either because I don't think it's a good work or because I know I can work more on it to make the final copy that much better.

My artwork belief is much like my role-playing belief: quality over quantity.

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