Indie Crunch Mode and Forums!

August 24, 2010 at 10:50 am | Posted in Melolune | 45 Comments
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Hi everyone, after seeing keito’s comment I thought I should post something really quick so you don’t think I’ve fallen off the face of the earth or anything ^_^

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to update in a while, I’ve actually been in sort of a crunch mode with Melolune for the past couple weeks. For those who don’t know, Melolune is an indie-rpg I’ve been working on for the past 2.5 years and I’m almost finished with it… in terms of content, I’m about 90% done. But the thing that’s taking up the most time is balancing the darn thing! I redid the database a while back (enemy stats, equipment prices, gold and experience, character skills, etc.) and now I’m playing through the game over and over again to try and make sure the battles feel balanced and the cutscenes feel sincere. This takes an amazing amount of time… but I think it’s worth it.

Since the story is the heart of the game, it’s really important to me that the players feel moved when they get to the important cutscenes… and at this point, one of the most important scenes/turning points in the game (that happens right after the last demo) just isn’t there yet. There’s also a lot of music that I still need to compose for locations in the game! Since I’m hoping to get Melolune completely wrapped up this year, I’ve really got to dig my heels in and finish this last part (without over-taxing my wrists of course, hehe)… Anyways, please wish me luck! I’m summoning all my will power to get this done🙂

Let’s see… besides that, I’ve been writing new songs in the evenings. One of which I hope to share with you guys soon in video form (provided that I can get my World of Warcraft account up and running again in order to capture a few scenes to fit the lyrics, hehe ;)). I was also inspired to set up a forum for us; both for the purpose of giving Melolune-testers a place to post feedback, and also to give folks a place to talk (after seeing the dialogue that emerged in the comments section of the “Favorite Video Games” entry I thought it would be really cool). Since it’s still kind of under-construction (it’s just a free forum, but I’m steadily adding content) I’ll let you guys know about it when it’s ready!

Anyways, I hope you’re all doing well!

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  1. Good to hear Melolune is making progress! I’m really looking forward to it. I wish I had some time to offer to help you test it. Good luck! Testing is the hardest part!

    I can’t promise I’ll hang around the forums. I’m not very good at that unless they support RSS feeds. But I think it’s a good idea. You do seem to be attracting a following and a forum is a good way to keep people around.

    • Thank-you Nojh! Sorry if this is a really obvious question, but is there a way for me to tell whether or not my forum supports RSS feeds? I am using freeforums.org but I’m not sure if it has that function or not.

      • It’s not an obvious question. I’m not sure. I just checked their support.freeforums.org page which I assume hosts a version of their forums and that didn’t seem to support RSS. I don’t imagine RSS is a standard feature for most forums.

        Ahh. I did a search on their forums. It appears RSS support is only available via a “premium” service or something. Perhaps? I don’t suggest paying them for the forum just for an RSS feature. Not that worth it.🙂

        • Ah, thank-you for checking that out Nojh! Well I’ll definitely make sure to keep updating the website for folks who don’t do the forum-section🙂

  2. What a coincidence, I am crunching out a game of my own as well! Trust me, I know how it’s like — especially with the deadline being August 31, GMT midnight. It’s for a contest, so the pressure is quite tense.

    Good luck on Melolune! If the game goes into beta, I look forward to helping you test it.

    PS: If your keyboard is taxing your wrists, consider getting an ergonomic keyboard (the kind with a gap running down the middle). A plain one can run as little as $20 or less — it’s worth it!

    • Oh wow, that’s coming up really soon! I wish you lots of luck in finishing your game and also with your contest! Also, thank-you for offering to hep with beta testing, I’ll definitely need it🙂

  3. And all this time I thought you’ve been busy pwning noobs in Starcraft 2 all month! Is there anything we can do to help with Melolune testing?

    • Hahaha… I wish! Actually I have gotten in a few Starcraft 2 games in the past month. Usually if I can get a set amount of things done during the daytime I’ll play a few games in the evening with friends. I really want to play more though so I can learn the ins and outs of multiplayer (seriously, I still feel so in the dark when it comes to knowing what units counter other units and all that).

      Aw, thank-you for the offer ^_^ As soon as Melolune gets to beta I’m sure I’ll need help with beta testing, so I’ll be sure to post about that when the game is ready. Let’s hope I can get to that point, hehe😛

  4. Yay, welcome back Laura! I love reading your entries and watching your youtube vids so when you hadn’t updated in a while I was afraid you weren’t coming back😛 I think forums are a great idea. I have a feeling that there are plenty of people who will be really happy about having them (myself included). Let us know when you get those up and running and if you need any help with anything!

    • Thanks Alice! I’ll definitely make sure to let you know when they’re ready! And also thank-you for offering to help, I’m sure I will need beta testers pretty soon🙂

  5. I played your Melolune demo a few months ago and I really loved it. It reminded me of Final Fantasy VI in many ways. The music and story were great, and the demo’s ending really left me hanging. I want to go to Ciro! Anyways, I just wanted to say good luck with Melolune and I am looking forward to seeing the new forums.

    • Aw thanks🙂 I’m really glad you liked it. I’m trying really hard to make sure the post-demo story comes together well and doesn’t feel forced. But it’s so hard since I’ve already played it so many times!

  6. Hey, Laura! I wasn’t aware that you were working on a game xD
    But that’s pretty intense! I’ll be sure to try it out when it’s released.

    I wish you all the best!!

    P.S. I’m taking an Animation class this year X3 I get to make games at the end of this year or next year! I’m super excited.

    • Thanks Puddinguin ^_^ Hehe, yeah a lot of people are surprised when I tell them that I’m making a video game😛 I’ll be really happy if I can get it done! And I’m glad to hear that you’re going to get to make games at the end of the year, I’m sure that will be a ton of fun! Are you learning about Flash in your animation class?

      • It’s no problem😀 I wish you all the best in the game-making process! And yes, we’ll be using flash and some photoshop. We even get to use tablets! ^_^ That makes 2 classes I get to use tablets in😀

        • Oooh, tablets are so much fun! I have a tablet laptop and I feel like I haven’t had a chance to take full advantage of the tablet-aspect yet (although I’m always the latop to work on my game since I can take it to cafes and stuff). You’ll have to share some of your artwork with us!

          • I will! I plan on making my own website, I might use WordPress, since it’s pretty much universally accepted (whatever that may mean @.@;; )

            But yes, definitely, I’ll share my works (:

  7. So you’re not likely taking feature requests for Melolune but it occurred to me while I was reading some of the comments from this, have you considered making a commentary sound track for your game? I realize I have a lot of questions about what it’s been like to work 2.5 years on a game. None of my old video game projects ever even came close to that kind of fruition. I’d love to hear the challenges you remember having while making the game.

    Plus I have a ton of technical questions, but rather than ask them (and slow you down during crunch time! Yes I see you here, posting in order to slack off ; ) you could put ’em into a commentary track player could listen to on their second time through the game (not the first of course! We have to listen to the music!)

    Just an idea.

    • That sounds like a great idea! Though I’d love to hear from Laura about this.

    • That is a really cool idea Nojh, the only problem is that the game is about 10-15 hours long (it’s an rpg)😛 But I think doing some sort of commentary about the game would be a lot of fun, and a good chance to answer questions or talk about the development process. Perhaps once the game is in beta I can make a post about it and start a thread at the forums taking questions🙂

      You caught me… I was slacking, hehe >_< But overall I was really good today, I spent about 7 hours in total so far and I'll probably work a bit more tonight. *laura wants to play SC2*
      ;_;

  8. I posted this earlier, but it didn’t go through for some reason?

    If you need ANY help whatsoever with the forum, feel free to contact me! I’d highly recommend that at the very least, you host it on your own site — don’t get one of those “get a free forum just sign up and it’s really bad and nobody wants to use it!” ones! Whether it’s phpbb3 (recommended!), Invision Power Board, or punbb, it’s always better to have full control over it.

    I don’t know if you even need any help whatsoever, but since I’ve done this kind of thing lots of times, I thought I’d at the very least offer my assistance! If you’d like to see two random examples of forums I either own or have helped with in the past, check out http://lions.dongues.net/board/ and http://animecorporation.com/forum🙂

    • Ah, I’m glad I checked my spam folder today because for some reason your comment showed up there! I’m guessing that the spam filter saw your links and thought you were a spammer or something😛

      Anyways, thanks so much for offering to help! I’m sure at some point I’ll probably have questions/need help with forum-stuff. My friend actually mentioned that wordpress has a forum option, which is kind of cool because then I could just add it directly to the website (but I have to do some research on that first). But yeah, thank-you! If I have any questions or need help setting it up I’ll definitely come to you🙂

  9. It’s pretty cool you’re working on Melolune again! I’ve been seriously wanting to play the full game ever since I tried the demo, it seriously was pretty darned good in my opinion. Don’t rush yourself when making the game, take your time to sort out the details and I’m sure it’ll turn out swell. On a side note, I kind of agree with you on SC2, I’m not that good at all with counters😐 So far I’ve won 40 games and lost 50 >_> Anyway, good luck in Melolune, and we’ll be happy to help you.

    Cheers!

    • Thank-you Stephen, I’m really glad you enjoyed the demo🙂 I can’t wait to share the full game; I hope folks will like it! Wow, you’ve already played 90 games of SC2? Lucky, hehe😛 Once I finish Melolune I’m seriously going to read up on all the strategy websites and play more so I can get better at multiplayer.

  10. Wait, did I read that correctly… are you making a song about World of Warcraft?!? Ahhhh, that is so cool!! Now I’m really curious😛

    • Hi Sheila! Yup, I’m writing a World of Warcraft related song😛 It’s actually about something that I’ve talked about before on my blog, you might be able to guess what it is, hehe… Unfortunately I still need to get my account restored (it was hacked twice!!), so hopefully I can take care of that tonight.

  11. Any Melolune news is good news.

    • Thanks Piccolo! I’m really glad there are people who are interested in the project, it helps to motivate me after working for so many hours in a row🙂

  12. I hope your “Melolune” game is done AND ILL HACK THOSE HACKERS!!!!!!!!(MEHEHEHEH!) >:)

    • Hehe, thanks Vincent!

  13. LOL, i want melolune😛

  14. i hate those hackers😡

    uhmm.. laura im glad when i read your update🙂

    • Me too! Hackers, grrr… Hehe🙂

  15. hi laura, im the leader of the uruguayan fan club of you!!! and im offering to traduce your game into spanish, i now perfectly how to traduce, do you like the idea? send me an email
    i cant send you an email (error in the page) please, i want all my friends and fans of you, have the game in spanish

    • Hi Nico, thank-you for your comment! Wow, I’m honored that there are people in Uruguay who like my music ^_^ And thank-you for the offer to translate the game. Right now the game isn’t finished yet, but if I ever need help with translation I’ll let you know!

  16. Well, after all the Melolune blog updates, and being a fan of PVZ, its music, and you Laura, I decided to have a go at the game.

    I’m not really a big fan of RPG’s, only having played the Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic series, and Final Fantasy 8.

    I have to say, I’m really loving the game right now – from the cool intro (Laura’s/Sunflower’s voice ftw), to the characters, the settings, and ESPECIALLY the music. I have to say, I felt both sad, happy and excited when I was playing. And that’s rare for me when I play a game, seriously.

    I haven’t finished the demo as of yet, but I can’t wait to finish it, and start again when the full game comes out!😀

    Also, my fav bit of music is the one when you win a battle, the end of that reminds me of the end of Loonboon I think from PVZ.

    Anyway, looking forward to when the game comes out. Keep up the great work Laura!

    Btw, where can I go to give you feedback on the game? Just a few small things I want to point out, nothing major🙂

    • Hi Dean🙂 Aww… I’m really happy to hear that you’re enjoying the game! As for the feedback, I’m actually setting up a forum so that folks can have a place to do that. I’ll post the link on my blog as soon as it’s all up and ready to go! And thank-you very much for taking the time to play the game and leave comments, I really appreciate it ^_^

  17. Hi hi!🙂 Just checking in to say I’m very much looking forward to playing Melolune too. I absolutely LOVED the demo. ^_^

    I’d love to help out playtesting too. I don’t know if I’ll have enough time to be of much use, but I’ll definitely try. ^_^;;

    I wish you lots and lots of energy to finish it! =)

    • Thank-you Rob! I’m always super happy whenever anyone enjoys the game since I’ve been pouring my heart into it for the past few years!

  18. Hello, is melolune getting an online release like to sites like bigfish or a physical release? How will people be able to buy it?

    • I’m still not sure how I want to distribute it yet… I think I’ll probably set up a store right on my site so that people can buy it here. I’m also thinking of going through Amaranthia.com (the girl who runs that portal is a game designer herself and has made several rpgs, so her portal is kind of catered towards people who enjoy those games).

  19. the game melolune, we have to pay? is freeware or no?😦 there are pay metods for uruguay¿?

    • I will probably sell the game from my website using some kind of simple internet service like paypal or plimus perhaps… although I don’t know for sure yet. I have to do some more research once the game is finished🙂 I’ll try my best to find a service that can be accessed by Uruguay.

  20. is no easy get a service avaiable in uruguay, we are a poor country😦 but im very happy with your responses, my favourite singer answer me😀, i love you game, but i think thath is imposible for me get the game😦

  21. Haha, glad you didn’t fall off the earth Laura😛 Sounds like you’ve been busy, and I am really looking forward to Melolune when it comes out, and I’m guessing that its soundtrack will be amazing. Let me know if you need help with beta testing🙂 Good to know you’re back!


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