User Experience

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 18:52 -- BlueWinds

So, believe it or not, I have still been working on the next sequel, and it's getting close to "demo-ready".

Over the last couple days I've been adding the market, where a player buys and sells cargo in various cities - the primary way of making money, other than completing storyline jobs.

The biggest thing that keeps slowing me down is iterating on the User Interface. I think a lot of amateur games consider it of secondary importance, "I'll fix it later" - but they never do, and in a game, the experience is everything. Cursed is a wonderful game, with great writing, but it's a horror to look at.

For a game like the one I'm developing, there's a lot of information to squeeze into not all that much space. How to present that information without causing "huge wall of text" issues is an interesting challenge, and one I keep iterating on. Lots of mouse-overs is one method - and unlike, the mouseovers are aimed at providing mechanical information, rather than flavor tidbits.

Another method is consistent colors / layout, hinting at what things mean without needing to make them explicit. Stats are always ordered a certain way, so when you see an empty box with a couple of dim numbers, it's readily apparent what it means - fill that box with a character matching those numbers.

Anyway, I'm still not 100% happy with some of my solutions, but I think when you see it in action you'll see how much I've learned in the process and agree how much of an improvement it is over my previous games. :)

Another chatlog

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:24 -- BlueWinds

Hello hello! Just thought I'd share a little something with you all. This is a bit cleaned up, but please forgive any mistakes or lack of flow - IRC chat tends to have its own rules for how and when people speak.

No, Laguiole is not my boyfriend either. Just some guy.

All names mentioned below are separate, real people. This started out in a public room. :3 The whole scene took about 3 hours - we typed a lot faster than the last one I shared.

(Artwork is from Meago, whose work I 100% love. Always so cute. I don't look like this girl, but I hope to someday when my hair gets longer and I find clothes like that)



Wed, 07/30/2014 - 00:23 -- BlueWinds

I am a much happier person now than I was six months ago. Or a year ago. Or two, or five, or ten, for that matter. I won't say I'm doing the best I ever have, since I had a pretty idyllic childhood, but the past four months have been the nicest of my adult life.

Why? Well, I think the biggest change is something personal I'm not quite ready to share with the wide web (ask again in another six months), but beyond that has been a very intentional attempt to be kinder, more caring, more upbeat, more charitable and more optimistic.

And you know what? It's worked. I smile more. I like people better (though I still don't like crowds - I'm more Hathawa than Wend, and always will be).


I've often been borderline depressive. Never diagnosed - but I suspect that's as much because I didn't have anyone close to me to drag me to the doctor's office when I didn't come out of my room except to eat for a month at a time. It was just normal, the way I went through life.

I still do feel that way, some days. The power of magical thinking isn't a miracle cure. But at least now I have a better baseline to compare against - to realize that "this is not normal, I am thinking strangely" when I decide that getting up to eat is more effort than it's worth.


Basically, every time I notice I'm having a negative thought - no matter how innocent - I ask myself: "Is there a better way to think about this?" Earlier, I had the thought that a coworker was an idiot for introducing a security hole. Then I realized I was being negative, and decided that I would instead think that he was clearly focused on the front-end, and I'll have to carefully look over any server work he does.

Same thought both times, equally true, but one makes me annoyed and the other reminds me of what he's good at.


This is not advice. I am not selling anything. I just wanted to share, because I like to share when things are going well. I hope you are all well too!

Maiden's Tea

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 20:53 -- BlueWinds

Allow me to abut the last post, a boring "I'm not dead yet" update, with something more interesting - a bit of world building.

Mentioned only once in, there is a special plant known as Maiden's Tea which has had quite an influence on the development of the world as a whole, and Vailia in particular.

Getting stuff done? Yes!

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 11:58 -- BlueWinds

Time for a status update!

While I haven't been focusing super heavily on working on the game, I have been making progress. I reached a big milestone about a week ago - when I click "Start", it puts stuff on the screen again. :D

Games also save and load properly, and this iteration colorizes images about a dozen times faster than the old one - no three second wait while the game starts up and puts together all the graphics.

I have a good bit of the intro written, even.

Next up on the list is adding a couple of screens - assigning jobs and hiring crew. Once those are ready I can do a whole lot more content, maybe even enough for a demo.

Anyway, for now just enjoy an image that I'll be using, from the amazing MitTeam. :)

Female main character only?

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 19:18 -- BlueWinds

Allow me to preface with the fact that this is already decided for my next game - the poll is merely to determine how people feel about it.

I've made this decision for a couple of reasons. First and foremost is that as I'm aiming for a more coherent storyline, having a protagonist with a defined gender makes that much, much easier.

Second, less variants to write of any given scene means I can write more scenes! Nothing is free, and having to remember to make every use of he/she, his/her, Natalie/David switchable is a lot to keep in mind.

Third, I'm a woman, and a lesbian, and I find it easier to write about women being attracted to women. Never fear - there will be plenty to straight sex if you want it. Wouldn't be a game of mine without the opportunity to act like a total slut.


This is all good news though, because it means that I'm actually doing work on the sequel again! At long last, some of my enthusiasm has returned. Partly this has to do with the fact that my boyfriend is a little jealous of the random people I play with on the internet, so I'm cutting way back on the erotic roleplay - which, in turn, means more creative / sexual energy to channel into this project. :3

Soon, very soon, I will show of some more game art. I have a shiny new logo as well that I'm just dieing to share. But not yet. :)

An IRC log

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 15:10 -- BlueWinds

Hello hello! Just thought I'd share a little something with you all. This is a bit cleaned up, but please forgive any mistakes or lack of flow - IRC chat tends to have its own rules for how and when people speak.

No, Switch is not the boyfriend I mentioned previously. Just some guy.

All names mentioned below are separate, real people. This started out in a public room. :3 The whole scene took about 6 hours.

Release 1.03

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 08:21 -- BlueWinds

This is unexpected.

I have a boyfriend. I'm a little confused, since I didn't think I was attracted to men. I've still never met one I was physically interested in - this is a long-distance (the longest distance!) relationship. We've known each other for a couple of years now, but recently things have been getting a bit... heavier, I guess you could say... and I decided to be bold and ask, butterflies filling my stomach, if he was feeling the same way as I. The schoolgirl confession was just about as cute to live through as it looks in anime - I'm not a schoolgirl anymore, but it sure felt that way. :3

We've never met in person, nor have we yet exchanged pictures - but we're hardly strangers. Will the wonders of the internet ever cease to amaze? I sure hope not. :)



But that's not why you're here. Or maybe it is. Anyway, here's a new release of the game.

- Bugfixes

- Talking with Hilde and Katri

- A couple more bugfixes

Sorry for not responding to everyone who messaged me - there are a lot of you! Just for a sense of scale, I get 5-10 messages weekly, even now. It's manageable when I keep up daily, but when I take a break for a while... well, they pile up. If I haven't responded to you yet, and your message still applies or your bug still exists in this new version, please contact me again or post here.

I'm also uploading this release to the online verison - sorry I forgot to do that lost time. ^^;;

I am fed up.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 10:10 -- BlueWinds

Well, it took a couple of tries, but the TSA has finally convinced me to never fly again. I will get on one more airplane - the one that finally takes me out of this fucking country forever.

In addition to the usual indignities of taking off your shoes, emptying your pockets and having your body photographed and stored in a database, they're also now swabbing palms at the security gate. I mean, what the actual fuck? Oh, and of course you can pay $26 to skip the line - that's an add-on offered at the checkin counter now.

That's leaving aside the asshole employee who groped me on my way past. Not the "enhanced pat-down" thing, but actual honest sexual harrassment. On the way out of the scanner, I felt a hand on my ass, feeling me up.

In case you can't tell, I'm rather upset. Congrats, TSA - you've just cost the airlines another $1000 / year in business from me. Want to know why airlines are having trouble staying in business? Find a mirror.


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