Semester Finals & Screenshots

(Friday Updates: I’ll post updates from my projects every other Friday).

Well, another semester is over as of yesterday. It was an interesting few months at DigiPen – I worked on a tabletop RPG in an independent study class with a professor, worked with fellow students on another game project, worked with a second team on a physical escape room, and had my first experience with music theory.

The tabletop RPG is called InBetwixt, and will incorporate combat focused maps with a deeply branching narrative set in a purgatory world. I’ll share more information about it once it’s a bit more polished.

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A (slightly outdated) screenshot from Negativity.

My team game project is called Negativity, which is a puzzle platformer based around the concept of two characters existing in each other’s negative space. It’s a two player cooperative game where both players must work together and solve spatial puzzles to reunite. I work as one of three designers on the team, which also includes a group of talented programmers and a dedicated artist.

Production on both games will continue into the next semester.

I’m still plugging away at my personal projects, including Glass, as well. I’ve also been dabbling with Degica’s new Visual Novel Maker engine and some new ideas for RPGmaker MV. Glass’ next demo should be up early next year, but here’s some screenshots of the next town in the meantime:

Happy holidays!

Tides (Poem)

(Thoughtful Thursday: Every other Thursday I’ll post a poem or atmospheric piece.)

Tides

Tides

Feet sink into the sea,
washing off sorrows,
but never quite cleansing the bone beneath the skin.

The waves suck in breath,
and sand retreats beneath heels,
sucked away like time stealing joys and griefs.

A grand, blue world below.
One we’ll never see.
Earthbound Infinity,
touched by our toes.
Stretching so far beneath,
out of reach,
like fingers chasing the sun.

Not even this is forever.
Even the ocean changes.
Its tides its beating heart,
its flowing veins,
its exhaled breaths.

We’re surrounded by lives we’ll never live,
only slivers of the universe offered
to our shaking fingers.

Yet we’ve our own oceans within us,
washing and breathing and flowing,
surging and shifting,
alive,
changing with our tides.

 

Monday Blues: The Magnus Archives

(Monday Blues: At the start of every other week, I’ll recommend a new world – a book, a game, a podcast, etc – to escape into. Or at least to look forward to after a hard day’s work.)

The Magnus Archives

The Magnus Archives Logo
A Podcast by Rusty Quill

What It Is: A fictional horror podcast, created by Rusty Quill productions, which centers on the Magnus Institute, a paranormal research company that collects statements from anyone who claims to have encountered the explainable. The Institute’s new Archivist delves into one of these statements in each episode, recording them onto tapes. What starts as a simple task, however, becomes sinister as the lines between statements – and reality – starts to blur.

Why You Should Listen: The Magnus Archives is the total package – great writing with interesting stories and characters (and some beautiful wordcraft at times), quality production and performances, and an eerie atmosphere that inspires its own sort of wonder.

It also takes advantage of its medium with its conceit of recordings – made particularly effective by small details such as static and interference – and is genuinely creepy fiction. The stories themselves run the gamete of horror tropes, so whether you’re most afraid of spiders, ancient entities, or the inevitable approach of death, you’ll likely find something to keep you awake at night. Still, I’ve also found it to be less uncomfortable than some of the other horror podcasts I’ve tried out – thus far, there hasn’t been any sexual violence or…well, there is plenty of gore, but it’s used purposefully. Instead, it focuses more on atmosphere, psychological horror, and the supernatural. My only complaint is that some stories end anticlimactically after all the tension they build, but this varies depending on the episode.

Perhaps what makes this podcast stand out the most from others like it, however, is that it offers the best of both anthologies and serials – while each episode focuses on one self-contained statement from the archive, there is an overarching plot and lore that fosters a level of emotional investment and suspense not present in pure anthology structures. I’ve found myself replaying certain episodes, looking for connections between them and forming theories. It all adds up to a highly addictive show that I’ve binged late into the night…against my better judgement.