Work continues, although partially in a new way. Let's see what's happening!
What another crazy couple of months. Lots of major personal developments which have been distracting (in a good way, at least. I got engaged, woot!), but I still got a few things done! Conrad's quest is finished up, so the character-specific quests are all set! With that done, I've moved on to the overworld maps and started filling in more details, although that's going to be a lengthy process for how big the maps are. Admittedly, I should probably be focusing more on the dungeon maps and fleshing them out, along with the associated eventing. The core plot of the game is proooobably more important than secondary mapping details, heh.
Anyway, here's the progress charts!
So nice to add more 100%'s to the chart...
In addition to all the quest-related NPCs I've added, a handful more flavor NPCs and their associated dialogue has been added. For example, here's a sign that children (and exasperated mothers) never changes.
I was also able to work in another character from one of the stories I'd previously written, although she's as mysterious towards Alex and friends as she is in the story, heh. Hopefully I can find more instances to work these characters in, it's always fun to write them (and pretty easy to figure out what they'd say in a given situation since their personalities are pretty developed, as opposed to figuring out a brand new NPC from scratch).
As mentioned, I've made more progress in filling in the first overworld map. It's been a curious struggle trying to find a good balance on distances between "points of interest". I've tried to be more realistic, especially with the larger overview maps (the map that shows the area the tutorial quest takes place in is pretty much the same size as the game Skyrim, but is only like 5-10% of the total area of Doramor). Terranis has roughly the same landmass as continental Europe, which is waaaaayyyyy bigger than pretty much any other game world out there. No, I don't plan on building the entire world in RPG Maker, you'll only be able to see a tiny fraction of areas, but I still wanted to give that sense of enormous scale. Conversely, I also realize it's a bit boring to spend extended periods of time simply running through mostly-empty ground, so I'm trying to keep that minimized as well.
Other stuff going on
Another big thing that's occupied my creative energy has been more work with the MidJourney AI, as well as resuming work on the tie-in novel! I'm nearly done with the first chapter of the revised draft, so I think I'm off to a good start. Among lots of other great things I've made with MidJourney, I've been able to put together some original "photos" of most of the main characters of the novel, and here they are!
As far as primary narrative threads go, the novel will be rotating between Renoir, Isaac, Hercule, Denia, and Esim (with a few small threads of other characters). Lyara also has her own standalone prequel novella I wrote earlier this year, which I'm deciding how I want to get that distributed (probably through the same channel as the novel once that's ready). She's probably my favorite of all the characters here, her novella was just crazy fun to write. But everyone's got their moments, their own motivations, their own quirks... After a while, it feels like I'm spending time with friends (even if some of them probably wouldn't get along with me if we met in person, heh).
I'll probably do some of the secondary characters as well in time (actually already did a couple of them), because MidJourney is strangely addictive. In barely two months, I've already generated over 10,000 images. Granted, like 8,000 of them were complete junk and I deleted them, another 1,000 were meh but not completely worthless, and only the last thousand (if that) have been even close to what I was trying to go for. It takes a LOT of attempts and tweaking of prompts and settings to get something usable out of it usually, especially if I'm going for something specific (like character photos that at least roughly match what's in my head). Each of those photos above was one of literally dozens of attempts (especially the male characters, I dunno why it struggles with men), and most of them needed at least a little cleanup in Photoshop afterwards, too.
Still, looking at the really good stuff it's come up with, I'm continually impressed.
Anyway, that's pretty much it for now. I'm looking forward to seeing what else I can crank out by the end of year!