Weekly Writing Report/The Joy of Being a Positive Influence (07/22 – 07/28)

My God, this has been a roller coaster of a week, but it’s ending on a fantastic note, one that I hope to keep up. And I hope to spread some of this optimism to you guys. If not optimism, hopefully I can inspire some of you to at least find something to look forward to and keep holding onto it as you go through life, maybe to find a new appreciation for aspects of life you may not have had before.

So, first of all, let’s take a look at what’s been done throughout the week!

I’ve taken a bit of a long break from Black Crystal – The Essence mostly because my inspiration for other projects has taken over in the best way. To begin, I want to talk about the progress I’ve made on the soundtrack this week. (Well, between Saturday and today, since Saturday is apparently the start of a new week for me.) On Saturday, I composed the first song in literally an hour. Yeah, I got it done that quickly. Granted, it’s a simple piano part with some rain in the background and it’s not even 50 seconds long, but the length is perfect in-game since it plays during the intro cutscene. I call it “Regret“, and I’ll probably do a bonus blog entry tomorrow with links to the new songs.

The second song took longer to compose, but not much longer; it only took about three to five hours this time. (I can’t quite remember exactly how long it took.) It had three parts this time, four if you count the fact that the picked bass and contrabass are playing the same part as separate instruments. It was fairly simple. I composed the guitar melody, and once that was done, I composed a viola melody to harmonize with it. Then I did the bass part to follow, and added a contrabass to emphasize the bass section since I loved it and wanted it to be louder. The duration is about 1 minute and 20 seconds, and once again, was perfect. It was catchy, moderate, and there was a shift from major to minor at the tail end of the song that I fell in love with. I call it “Theme of Jilian Winters“, and as you can tell by the title, it’s a character’s theme. I definitely plan on using it as a motif later down the road, and you guys will know why someday, and hopefully it’ll blow your minds as much as it does for me.

And as for the third song, my goodness. This is a song that I’ve been spending the past few weeks on. I wrote about it before, though I forget how long it’s been now. Two, maybe three weeks ago? It’s a song titled “Numbers“, and I wrote about it in my entry about how our own work can potentially affect how we feel in general. Back then, it was somewhat simple with slightly complex background work. It was to be a demo song to show that this game’s concept is darker than it previously was (though I foresee it being the source of many other songs later on), but it took an incredible mood shift right around the 2-minute mark. It went from being this ominous song with interesting instrumentation (with some inspiring orchestration within it) to a very catchy rock/orchestral/electronic piece with parts that flow together so well, and the song is just moving constantly. I’m so proud of it. It’s nearly three minutes now, but I have no idea when the song will stop. Maybe it’s just gonna keep going. Who knows?

The next project I’d like to mention is the game itself. DATABASE – Thank You For Calling. (I think I’m just gonna stick with that name.) My goodness, this was an amazing week for the game. I believe it was this week that I made all the progress, but let’s start with the script. I finished the script for the Prologue chapter, meaning that I finally have all of it outlined. All the lines, branching dialogue paths/different outcomes planned, the general design of each map, and even some of the concepts the Prologue introduces. I’ve even got a good start on Chapter One, which I’m hoping is longer than the Prologue, naturally. (My plan is to have the demo of the game go from the Prologue to the end of Chapter One, or maybe Chapter Two depending on the length. We’ll have to see.) All I know is that I’m honestly damn proud of my work right now, and it’s just beginning. I know it sounds weird that I love my own work as much as I do, but I really do. I love the characters, the story, their backgrounds, the settings, the concept, the gameplay, I even love the music! I mean, if you don’t enjoy your own work, instead of giving up, figure out why you don’t enjoy it and fix it. That’s my mindset. If DATABASE – Thank You For Calling doesn’t rank among my favorite games of all time, then I won’t release it until it is. I could even figure out a way to change the visuals and make it more original instead of going with the default graphics of the RPG Maker MV engine.

That was enough of a rant regarding the script. As for progress with the game’s development and programming, I’ve made so much progress. Granted, the game is only five minutes long, but a lot went into those five minutes. There’s an intro cutscene, you already meet some of the main characters, I’ve programmed plenty of items and some equipment, branching dialogue paths that change the course of the story depending on your choices, a side story, and I’m currently in progress with developing the first “open” maps, and hopefully by the end of the weekend, I’ll be pretty well into the first dungeon. I definitely want to get some music done; I’ve been in love with composing music for this project. I hope it’ll be as diverse as the soundtracks of Persona 5 and Mother 3.

All-in-all, I’ve been making strides in my projects lately, and I love it so much. I’m not rushing my work, nor do I have intentions of making set deadlines for myself. I seem to work better when I have goals as opposed to plans. I’ve noticed that I’ve also been very productive when I give myself all this creative freedom. I tell myself I’m not required to sit for hours on end working on one specific thing, but because of that, I do so without realizing it because I get so into it! The more I work on it, the more passionate I am about it. And the more passionate about it I get, the more I fall in love with it.

About my personal progress this week, I was feeling absolutely awful until last night. Last week, I tried too hard to be happy, and it backfired. It made things worse. Things hit me so hard that I had to just collapse for a while until I could make a comeback, and I did. I found out that the voice actor James Arnold Taylor (the English voice actor of Tidus from Final Fantasy X) is a motivational speaker. I started watching his videos, and it started really helping me out emotionally. His words still resonate with me and make me smile when I remember them. And then last night, I finally started working out because I was tired of being so damn tired all the damn time and I plan on doing so nightly. I don’t plan on becoming a bodybuilder, but I definitely want to just increase my stamina in general and have the energy to be happy, passionate, and awake.

Speaking of which, I found that I was incredibly happy after just half an hour of power walking on a treadmill. (And the gym I go to also has these incredible massage chairs that are awesome for when you’re done.) Getting physical exercise, even a little like I did, increased my mood and made me wake up this morning in a wonderful mood. So wonderful, in fact, that I managed to film a quick vlog with some motivational words and post it to YouTube before I had to leave for work.

I’ve come to notice that one of the things that makes me happiest is making others happy as well, even if it’s just people within my small circle. Or even with these blog entries. I hope they’re reaching at least some of you, providing some sort of joy, inspiration, or at least entertainment. That’s all I ask—that at least some of you get something out of these. And if that’s the case, I am content, and I never intend on stopping. You guys are incredible. I don’t know how many people will read these since I’ve noticed that the Weekly Writing Reports don’t really get readers, but for those of you who pulled this up and read it all the way to this point, thank you so much. You’re incredible, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. Keep it up. I will see you guys next week; have an amazing weekend.

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