No worries, no long ass ramble this week. XD I thought I’d check in and let you all know what I’ve been up to. It’s kinda exciting because I think I finally found the perfect software to be able to make the visual novels/interactive novels I’ve been looking to make.
But first, Wendy has a sexy new book out!
FREE IN KU!
The slave harem is all. If you enter, you can never leave. Contact with the outside world is forbidden.
With a secret talent for seeing auras of physical and emotional arousal, Ren, a sought-after pleasure slave, is sold to a mysterious master in a foreign land where he will become part of a collection of beautiful men.
Though the men appear welcoming, there is competition and jealousy among the ranks. And their mysterious master who is heard but never seen elicits more questions than answers.
One friendly slave, Li Po, helps Ren settle in, but it is the voiceless man, Zanti, who draws Ren’s attention. With his wicked beauty and bratty scowls, Zanti is the least welcoming of them all, and Ren’s training and control are put to the test.
Gay harem, slow-burn, enemies to lovers. Extraordinary and strange. Hot and cold. This book explores the many levels of sex, lust, loneliness and belonging. And maybe, just maybe, there can be love.
That back burner project…
I’ve been thinking about visual novels and interactive novels for a while, but I’ve been dealing with a lot of little roadblocks. And I’m not just talking about my current writing responsibilities which I consider to come first (or my health issues which keep smacking me down whenever I get complacent.) My biggest concern is time– Okay, let’s be real, it’s money, cuz if I had crazy $$$, I wouldn’t even have to think about juggling. XD But I live in a limited reality, and time is my current currency.
The two current problems holding everything back on developing visual novels were:
1) How do I make a game on a time schedule where I’m writing other stories at the same time?
2) How do I make pieces of a game and be able to share it on the website without having to distribute it in big patches?
For a while now, I’ve had ideas on how to solve these problems but nothing solid. The last half of the month I have found what looks to be the answers to both problems, and it’s pretty fucking exciting!
Solution to problem #1: 3D Modelling for fast, customizable art
With time being an issue, I realized I didn’t want to make character art by hand the traditional way. I didn’t want to draw a dozen different poses for each character (the Demon Virus visual novel starts off with about ten main characters and expands as it goes. @[email protected]) The amount of artwork required just seemed mind boggling. I knew the answer was 3D avatars or modeling so I could design, dress, and pose a character into all those versions, and that way I wouldn’t have to draw it all.
I’d been doing a little research off and on, keeping my eyes open. Then I realized the software I’d been seeing people pose avatars in could easily be used to actually sculpt characters. With a free program, I could make completely unique characters in my style. The last couple weeks I’ve been teaching myself Blender 2.8, and yeah, I think this program is going to be the answer to the art situation.
My First Trial Run
This is a one of my little footlings or ‘Lokies,’ small spirits that jump into the bodies of less complex life forms and walk around being brats. ^^ I learned a lot just sculpting this little guy, and currently learning a lot retopologizing (so boring but essential if rigging is involved =_=) and soon to be texturing/coloring.
I’m just in the preliminary stages of understanding the program, or 3D modelling for that matter. Been watching a lot of youtube tutorials to figure it all out. Conceptual art stuff that I just think as one thing is now all these separate stages in the art process, such as lighting, the viewpoint, surface texture, colors and materials, rigging a character to pose, etc. It allows for so much more versatility than a 2D image, but I have to learn it all first along with all the damn menus that go with each aspect. Eventually, I may be able to do little animated cut scenes, which would be super cool for a visual novel. I don’t really want the characters to look 3D, but I think there are tricks in lighting to help make the 3D model look 2D in the end.
Right now, it feels kinda tedious, but at the same time, I’m well aware how much work it takes to make a character look like that character from a zillion different poses and I am just beyond the patience at this point in my life. So I’m learning 3D modelling, taking the time to save me time later, so I don’t return to the path of neurotic details as an artist. I’ve got better things to do, damn it.
Solution to problem #2: A web browser based game creator
While researching game engines/software, I kept coming across wonderful final products created in Ren’Py. It’s a versatile program I think would be perfect for my needs of the final game. But it’s not what I want in the development stages. I need something I can smack on the website and update as I please until it’s finally ready.
I think I may have found it in the name of an open source program called Monogatari. I just found it the other day and I haven’t delved too deep into the functionality and limitations of it, but it looks like it’s going to be a good fit.
Why a web based storytelling mode? I could regale you with smart marketing shit about how having people show up at my site to play a game helps brand me into people’s minds so they will come back to read books, etc. I mean, it’s a perfectly valid reason… but this is more about avoiding problems in terms of content.
Let’s be real, some of the stories I plan on making could be problematic if they’re obtained in ways without proof of age of the consumer. As much as I cry foul when it comes to all this insane, Puritan based censorship, I have to because some people end up fined/in jail over sexual drawings of characters. It’s one of the reason that, although I’m an artist, you don’t see a lot of sexy art from me ever since I started writing erotica as a business. Looking into the business side of things revealed to me the disconnect when it comes to the laws in my country and the understanding of what is real and what isn’t. It might be a modern world, but some peeps are still running on drone minds who think drawings are people, and when you draw something, it must mean you want to do the same in real life to real people. It’s a problem in our laws I’m too aware of to ignore.
Having these sorts of things contained to my website, stuck behind a paywall that involves the acknowledgement of age and the viewer’s responsibility if lying about age protects me as a creator… and I guess it protects people from ideas they can’t handle. I’ll have less mature demos on the main site where no one needs to log in to read, but the fun stuff is going to be exclusive until a final game is built. And some content may be forever exclusive and never sold when I get into the more taboo subjects because of very real fears. (The moment imagery gets involved with erotic content, free speech is labelled obscenity and targeted. Text alone seems to be ignored outside of censorship, but images are what gets people thrown in jail if not careful.) Until the world gets better or I can afford a better legal understanding, it’s just safer to cover my ass.
Life keeps moving along
That’s about it for now. I’m still trying to figure out the answer to the apathy. I’ve had super good days and some really dead inside days since I put out that last newsletter. Being real here. Spicy food, or at least capsaicin may be a helpful tool in battling the problem. It seems to release serotonin in the gut and spark dopamine, and I’m seeing positive results with it.
We’ll see. I’m not giving up. I want this problem solved so that I don’t have to fear my creativity slipping away. I’m sorry that it means I’m less active as a writer atm, but again, to be real about it, if I don’t figure this shit out, I may never want to write again, you know? Apathy steals motivation, drive, lust for life. I gotta win this asap. Every time I ignored the problem because I felt good, the apathy slipped back in and I wasn’t prepared with a way to battle it. I’m hoping I’m more prepared now with what I’m learning.
I hope you’re all safe with the crazy weather hitting. Stay out of burning fires and heat waves and rainstorms flooding giant swatches of land. I’m in a relatively stable area atm trying to enjoy some sunshine (in very limited doses to my vampiric skin. XD)
Oh, and I hope everyone enjoyed the free 24 hour pass. That was a super cool promo I have a feeling I’ll be doing next year given the great responses. You guys rock! Ttyl, babes! ^.^