Readying the Kickstarter and Searching for Interns!

Hi everyone!

Futuretech: Space Combat Academy is about to get on Kickstarter by the end of July! Exciting! To all who have been following our project – thank you so much! We hope to see you guys interested in our tier packages when the campaign goes live…we’ll have art stuff, T-shirts, stickers and more for you!

Also: this is the last chance to request any kind of paraphernalia! Have something in mind you want to see in a reward tier? Let us know either here in the comments or on our Facebook!

AND….

WE ARE LOOKING FOR INTERNS! 

Social Media Marketing/Brand Copy Intern

Right now, imminently, we are looking for someone who is interested and/or has experience in marketing – specifically to online communities and managing that via social media. This involves creating engaging posts regularly, communicating with followers, updating the visuals, coming up with ideas for popularity influx – like contests/polls/giveaways, designing/sending out newsletters and emails when needed, and various clerical duties.

Even better if they are familiar with the Kickstarter campaign process! We need someone who enjoys exploring ways to interest the public in a product (ergo, a game – our game, haha) and help us elevate it!

You would also be listed in the game credits as part of the team! 😀

~G

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Happy 2017!

Hey everyone! Gen here!

Hope everybody had a lovely New Year’s! I think most of us are happy to start afresh, and not unwilling to let 2016 pass us by. But lots of great things happened too; lots of milestones made, social issues brought to the forefront, environment and animal protections and of course, our art/entertainment industry is growing and changing for the better.

And so have its independents! 😀

A lot is planned for 2017 for us, so this year should prove to be exciting in that regard. As for one of the initial goals for this year, the official trailer for Futuretech Flight Academy will be coming together! That will definitely be thrilling to see!

Otherwise, at least for my corner, working on final touches to that trailer script and storyboard set. It is mostly organizing and re-editing the content I have for Legacy after that!

Will blog again soon with updates!

~G

Importance of Diverse Characters!

Hey all!

Gen here! Again!

Just some thoughts on story development and character design. Of course, at this point, everything is fairly thought-out and nearly in its final stages for the Futuretech Flight Academy upcoming game. There’s some amazing concept/modeling/design art happening in regards to vehicles, weapons, environments…and characters!

There are, basically, unlimited discussions everywhere that analyze the significance of representation in all types of entertainment media – but especially within the realm of videogames now. This is natural, as it is a massive genre that has exploded along with the advancement of technology. Videogames are so versatile, and can really be almost whatever the audience wants – whether it’s a simple game of online Scrabble to Robot Unicorn Attack, or from Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto to VR gaming. There are fitness games, self-help games, adventure puzzle games and violence/horror simulators. This is a genre approaching the vastness of film and literature.

Yes, I know I’ve said this very same in a previous post some time ago. But it has only grown more true, I think.

This is why it is important to appreciate their power. Videogames are now part of the Humanities. They have been for a long time. The simple fact is, they significantly influence culture; especially our culture.

It is extremely important to recognize this.

Depending what the overall goal/purpose of the game is, there is a measure of responsibility upon the creators and the fans. (Yes, the fans. The great and terrible forces of fanbases are not to be underestimated!) It is always important to include all types of people in all types of life. It is important to represent them in our characters that we relate to and identify with in our media; in our humanities. It is particularly important to include diverse characters within games – because we do not merely stand by and watch; we take part in them.

Of course, the story may not support as much as is needed or wanted, but then questions need to be considered. We need to ask ourselves why. Is it for marketing purposes? Is it for historical accuracy? Is that version of historical accuracy accurate itself? Are stereotypes played into for a statement and/or purpose or just because that has been the status quo?

Obviously, no one is perfect. And group projects always must come to a compromised result/end product – that is the nature of them.

But it is our goal to always improve. This is only one area, of course. But we as humans tend to be drawn to the characters of a story, of a realm – so it makes the most sense to start with their transformation and development. Diversifying them and making them relatable both – is the key.

 

 

PAX EAST 2016!

Gen here!

PAX East 2016 was a blast! This post is a little delayed because unfortunately, I contracted the “Pax Plague” and was sick as a dog for nigh on two weeks right after I returned home from Boston. BUT I HAVE NOW RETURNED TO THE LAND OF THE LIVING.

The convention itself was great – it was my first time ever to any sort of Con, and I had a wonderful time. For most of it, I helped man the booth for Legacy, but the rest of the time was dedicated to exploring the vast space. There were hundreds of new games, both indie and not, and everyone I spoke to was extremely kind and enthusiastic about being there. Very crowded during all three days; but that spoke to the zeal of the audience for videogames – within Boston, especially the transportation locals, it was nice to see the convention goers with their badges proudly displayed and having fun. It was just really a good time, overall! Worth the trip!!

But in relation to Legacy, specifically, our booth looked amazing and we received a steady stream of people curious about the game. It was the same for those who played the element demo! It’s definitely encouraging that people were intrigued — and even more encouraging that they had primarily favorable responses to the gameplay! We had a system for feedback; a simple 10-question survey that they had the option to fill out with questions relating to the game, what they want to see in it, and to gauge their level of interest. Nearly every person who played the demo generously provided us with feedback! Some developers left us their cards, which was exciting!

(I took some turns playing the demo too! It was so much fun and satisfying to see how far we’ve come and to experience some part of the near-end product!)

Tori, one of my fellow interns, had even cosplayed as an EDU soldier, she got quite a bit of praise for that!! It was an awesome way to generate interest and advertise the game!! She looked spectacular!

An excellent, successful trip, I’d say! I would definitely go again, once I generate the funds, of course.

And this time I will know to bring vitamins and antiseptic.

Lots of antiseptic!

Pictures on Tumblr and Facebook!

Start New Level. (Sort of)

 

Gen here!

Just dropping in to share more of the game progress, at least in my part of the writing area!

At the moment, there are a few projects being worked on, but they pertain more to the methodical aspect than creative. At my day job, I work at a museum in a sort of open secretarial/retail-esque position. This of course, includes quite a bit of multitasking and a lot of customer service. However it further involves interpretation of substantial information, task organization and execution of solutions to problems. So…there are tons of record-keeping strategies, lots of paperwork and office thingies to do, etc.

This sort of thing is also part of the game process. I know, I know — that’s common sense, right? Everyone knows that, or figures that it’s part of reality. Well, yes. It is. So far, I’m starting officially on the central game design document, now that most of the content is fairly fixed in nature. There is still much to finish, but the main storyline is hashed out, there is a set artistic design to the worlds and characters, there is some gameplay staged out…

So. It is time.

Now, I’ve been taking some online classes to educate myself more about the gaming world and specifically how one operates within a game design team, where the goal is to produce a game. This is how I’ve learned that it is essential to create a central document that describes everything about the game: how it will work, the story, the synopsis, the information sheets about anything relevant or extra to the story, the level stage designs, the movement patterns/plans, research to reference, concept art, etc. It should all be included.

Technically we have all been doing that, but in more contributive sense through shared documents and information items. However, it is time for a condensed, cleaner version. This particular game is heavily story-based, so a clear point of reference is needed: like an encyclopedia of sorts. The game design document is a reference blueprint of the game itself.

~G

 

A Happy Mishmash Post!

Hi guys! It’s Gen again!

This is going to be a post of a number of things; a lot has been happening, as all of you well know – if you’ve kept up with the last couple of posts! (This one was supposed to be another February addition; mea culpa.) There are PAX East preparations (I’m so excited and a little nervous too – this will be my first convention of ANY sort. I know, I know – I’m a newbie), the upcoming pre-alpha demo that will be shown off and playable in April, and then in my area — the completion of the cutscene scripts. YAAY!

To start, I just want to say a little something about this entire gaming world. For any writers out there, or aspiring writers/artists with a passion for games who don’t think their work is applicable for the gaming world, I just have to tell you: that is not true.

Now, of course there are variables that should match, or match enough, like a passion for what you’re doing or a similar vision/interest as what the focus of the project is, just like there has to be a matching element in jobs with their employees. But, if you want to join the industry, there is no reason why you shouldn’t. I was lucky – I did not have much experience with games when I was first hired, but I had some knowledge, an interest in the genre and a huge passion for storytelling. I wished to find an avenue to be a part of a collaborative creative project where I could contribute my skills. And here I am!

I think a large part of it all is to fully know what you can do, what you are willing to learn how to do and how you can apply those talents to what you want to do. This is oftentimes very difficult, but it is necessary work. This will make it clearer to yourself and whoever may end up assessing you. Another factor is constant application to various positions, much like job hunting, in which you can demonstrate those abilities. But these days, with games quickly growing into a massive industry that is soon to rival or actually does rival film and literature, there are many opportunities out there that must be hunted down. Just don’t give up and try not to be disheartened by rejection or refusals. Harder to do than to say, but it’s true. In the mean time, just keep learning. Keep trying to advance your knowledge, do more. And keep applying. This industry is growing constantly, incorporating tons of people with talent and skills you might not expect – you never know who may have need of you.

Okay. Big lecture is over.

Now for a happy bit! The cutscenes are done!! YAAAY!!!! Finally, right? It’s a benchmark that has been reached! A level that has been completed. (Ha.) But of course, it is still not entirely over. They may need revision even so. If there is one thing about creating a game, and being a cog in the machine that is creating it, it is that shifts are made all the time. So that is to be expected. But for now, they are done. Now to start on altering the game design document…

~G

Villainy.

Hey all!!

Just some thoughts and discoveries from one of the game writers! Particularly on an interesting subject. Muahaha.

So.

Aside from our protagonists in the story, we have quite a few villains – or some “grayer” characters that provide opposition in some way to our heroes/heroines. These figures create tension, which engages the audience’s attention and interest in the story. Usually, the more complex the relationship, the more engaged the audience will be. Of course, there are quite a few other variables involved, as well as a balance of information and intensity to invoke the general player’s peak enjoyment, but that is another lecture for another day, haha. Depending on the type of game, the villains or villainous force(s) may vary from simplistic and flat to dynamic and complicated. As is in the case of Legacy, there are multiple storylines with obstacles for each one – and they are brought together in the end. There is also one or more villains for each part; we have included the “ultimate evil” character, a sympathetic if psychotic antagonist, a charismatic yet brutal religious leader, an invisible traitor, and one who has to decide where their loyalty lies…

In the midst of writing each story, in blending and tying everything together in one coherent mass, it was both surprising and not to realize how in-depth and how different each opposing character actually was. In theory, it’s easy to imagine the diverse aspects that have essentially built each one, such as background, personality, function, motivation, etc; but when it’s time to convey that within tight dialogue and limited cutscene material, it’s an entirely new organism, so to speak. There is an extremely brief amount of time dedicated to each; in some cases, not even a spotlight or a voyeuristic point of view.

It’s painful, too – to an extent. Aside from the ultimate evil, most of these creatures are incredibly damaged, with varying levels of relatability. They reflect their environments, the needs of the beings they are in contact with, and they are ultimately a product of maligned progress, each and every one. At the risk of sounding too pretentiously deep, each personified obstacle to “good” and/or to our protagonists represents some problematic, overarching, humanist topic; either political or social or mental. Or a combo.

But I suppose that’s the goal, eh? We’ll see how well they are conveyed, in any case! The ultimate judge is the audience after all, and all we can do is have fun and improve on the way!

~G