Let’s go to GDC 2017!

HELLO EVERYONE

I’m just going to leave a list of publications I’ve made this year if you’d like to support me! I’d love to go to GDC again, so any funding help you could provide would help me very much.

Also it feels good that I can see what I got done this year.




The Last Nine Years
PDF | Hardcopy

This was a project between me and my pal cephiedvariable over 2015-2016. We released it on PDF in February, and started mailing out the book in April.

It’s an Otacon/Snake Metal Gear Solid Fancomic. 108 pages.


Costume Fairy Adventures
Order here

Costume Fairy Adventures - Core Rulebook

I did a LOT of art for Costume Fairy Adventures, mostly over the course of 2015. You can get PDFs and print-on-demand copies on DriveThruRPG!



In Defense of Fandom
PDF

A small zine I made for TCAF this year, when there was some hubbub about artists making money on fan work at conventions. I had stuff to say about that.


Those Without Shadows

Minerva regards the viewer, a finger over her lips to quiet you.

Well, that’s a work-in-progress. Read it for free!


Snapback by Christian DeWolf
Order here

Snapback icon

Christian did a whole lot of coding for TWS over the summer, so in repayment I illustrated his book about Go. It’s very funny. Christian is very funny.


 

Playerprophet’s 2016 Sketchbook
PDF

Here’s a collection of the stuff I’ve been working on this year! Little snippets of the big things, but with all of the high-res images I’ve worked on for prints, commissions, and funsies. Please take a look!


Playerprophet’s 2016 Sketchbook 18+ EDITION

This is probably going to happen soon. Keep an eye on twitter for an 18+ patreon too!



Here are a few other ways you might also be interested in supporting me. Thank you all so much for your time and readership.

 Gumroad | Storenvy | Redbubble
Patreon | Kofi | Commissions

I will also happily review your game/comic/whatever!

The Last Guardian – Game of the Year please

If it’s not game of the year I guess I’ll have to play some other games.

I don’t want to talk too long about The Last Guardian. I do want to waste a little time on the storytelling, so I’ll get the gripes out of the way:

I agree with some of the typical criticisms. The camera was annoying, but it was the beast from an old system that was tried and true for Team ICO. In the future I’m sure they’ll try different ways of doing things. It doesn’t make the game unplayable to me. Let’s stop talking about it.

It appears that major criticisms of the game are polarized on Trico’s animal behavior. Your companion is a creature that doesn’t understand your language, although Trico is very intelligent otherwise. If you hate animals, especially cute ones that you’re working together with to get out of danger, I’d take a pass on The Last Guardian.

My major criticism is that there was too much old man narration. His puzzle tips were helpful, but I sometimes felt like he was spoon-feeding the story to the player. In fact, I bet that it was something they were forced to put in. Shadow of the Collossus had very, very little dialogue. Team ICO is good at telling a story without using words, but maybe gamers don’t have the patience to put it together over several playthroughs. I wonder if The Last Guardian suffered for being a triple-A game.

Sitting at my desk now, thinking about my experience with The Last Guardian, I feel a little overwhelmed. Team Ico is to games what Studio Ghibli is to film. Animated feature films have an older and more complex stake in the greater art world, but The Last Guardian features many aspects that Miyazaki incorporates into his own works. The Last Guardian and other Team Ico games hang tenaciously onto a sense of wonder and exploration. I believe anyone could pick up a system and learn how to communicate with Trico, if given the tools. They’re surrounded by a land that is wonderful, dangerous, and mysterious. What Ghibli has that Team Ico doesn’t is lengthy dialogue.

When I was playing, a friend of mine, Rachel, was also playing. When I finished it, she asked me, excited, what I’d thought of the plot.

I couldn’t think of what to say. It felt to me that the way The Last Guardian was built, proceeded, and came together at the finale.

The plot was clear, but the story was the play. It does, absolutely, tell a story, but The Last Guardian is even more interested in giving you stories to tell. Your adventures with Trico are yours, because you sat down and picked up your controller and engaged with it. The Last Guardian was about teamwork with an unlikely friend in order to flee to safety. The game doesn’t need to explain that much to you with words (although it does).

If you’re confused by anything in The Last Guardian, that’s okay. Take a break. Put it away. Next time you have the time, play it again, and your depth of understanding will increase. You’ll learn more, every time, and put the pieces together on your own. This is what the game wants from you, and it’s okay.

In fact, I’d say it’s great.

TWS Hiatus Questions – On Games!

Those Without Shadows, Hiatus Questions episode 2!

Why do you use games along with art and writing as your storytelling medium?

Whenever you meet someone who writes, it’s always interesting to ask why they write. Not as in some spiritual dreamy answer, but what inspired them to start writing. You’ll find that the medium in which they like to work is often (but not always) the medium that originally inspired them.

I am a person who learned to love storytelling with video games. Like your average millenial I didn’t think this through to consider programming as an employable goal. I didn’t want to make games, I wanted to write stories. This is one of the reasons TWS has the format it does.

Read more

TWS: Hiatus Questions – On History and Evolution

[Those Without Shadows HIATUS QUESTIONS: episode #1!]


[Why are the animals reptilian?]

All of the animals in TWS that are non-sentient are either based on bugs, fish, reptiles or amphibians! This is because the world is young, and evolution hasn’t had much time to change things.

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Consent, Compromise, and Cost – Ladykiller in a Bind

In 2014, my wife and I binged on Christine Love’s work. I watched her liveblog it between layovers on my way to Helsinki, and once I arrived she made me sit down to read Analogue: A Hate Story and Hate Plus. Those two games remain high on my list of visual novels that I will recommend to anyone. When Christine revealed her next game was going to be a exploring the themes of manipulation in dating games for women, I was thrilled. I’ve been watching the development closely ever since.

Today, I finished every route. I feel like Ladykiller is impressive and should inspire visual novels to come, but LoveConquersAll Games has bit off more than it could chew. The theme of this review is going to be an apocryphal line by Samuel R Delany:

“If you’re going to fuck the dog, put it all the way in.”

(The review below contains spoilers, discussion about rape, and nudity.)

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Chapter 6 Update and Game Prep Hiatus

Hi everyone!! I hope you’re enjoying chapter 6 so far!

As you see in the subject line, this will be the last update for this chapter until the next game segment is ready. It isn’t very long, but it does have some new features we have to figure out. Please bear with us!

As with last time I will make the offer: if my patreon reaches $50 per month, I will post the entire second half of Chapter 6 when the game is posted. What do you say?

Thanks everyone!

-Dawn & Team TWS

Save the Past! – Storytelling in The Silver Case

I’ve been starving for adventure games for a long time now, and I’ve been particularly interested in Suda51’s adventure past since playing Super DanganRonpa 2. In October we finally got one of Suda’s long lost adventure games in English for the first time: The Silver Case, and I dropped the full price for it on release day.

For The Silver Case, I’m not going to talk about the story. Elements of it have been harvested into pop-culture which may lessen the blow of the plot on modern readers. In spite of that, there are other structural features in the game that we can still learn a lot from. I want to talk about how the medium tells the story in The Silver Case, with art direction, the Film Window, localization, and the Transmitter/Placebo separated narratives.

OKAY maybe I’ll talk about the story a bit, but more about it’s construction than it’s contents.

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Mystic Messenger: East vs West vs the Romance Genre

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If you’ve followed me for at least a year, you’ve seen how excited I was for the Mystic Messenger release early this summer. Due to technological issues caused by both my outdated phone and cumbersome bugs in the app, it took me until now – October 2016 – to complete all five good endings and both secret endings. In that time, I saw the game grow in popularity and I am so happy to see Cheritz hitting mass appeal (even if it means giving up the mythology built in Dandelion and Nameless).

Cheritz is a company based in South Korea that advertises “sweet solutions for female gamers”. So far, each of their titles showcase romantic routes that encourage personal growth. According to their page on the visual novel database, Mystic Messenger has only been localized from Korean to English, where Dandelion was also released in China and Nameless in Japan during the initial release. Cheritz is one of very few otome game developers that releases their games in English for the west, while others outsource translation and localization, or are adapted by fans (Nitro+Chiral, I’m looking at you). As a result I can only assume that westerners make up quite a bit of their market, which cannot be ignored when you look at their motivations when constructing Mystic Messenger.

Instead of a review this time, I’m going to go through many of the events, themes and characters of Mystic Messenger and assess where the appeals are stacked. Is this for Western audiences in the Americas and the UK? Is it for Korean audiences in Cheritz’s home field? Or is it something indicative of the romance/Dating sim genre? I’ hope this may explain why certain elements in the game didn’t appeal to me or you, and why that is.

Please be aware that this post contains potential spoilers for all endings and routes. Read at your own risk.

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TWS:M Chapter 5: COMPLETE. Chapter 6: Call for OCs

Thanks for your patience! As of last week, Chapter 5 The Refuge is complete!

Today TWS won’t be updated, after making a decision to add a game segment to Chapter 6. As you may know, these things take some time, so I’m trying to get it situated. The Chapter 6 cover page should be released on October 12th!

For the upcoming game, I’ve released a call for extras. If you would like to see your OC have a cameo on Those Without Shadows, please let me know! Check this patreon post for more information.

Thank you!

TWS:M The Refuge!

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Welcome to chapter 5!

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