This is a new evolution of a concept I’ve been kicking around for a while. I wrote up an actual rough draft of a concept doc and thought “Hey, why not share?” so here it is.
Concept: Working Title “Pollen”
Pollen is an online party-based JRPG-style game where players can visit the worlds of their friends to take part in epic battles.
Entering your Pollen homeworld, you see that a nearby village is being attacked by orcs and is in need of help! You direct your heroes to travel through the world from location to location, en route to the village.
Upon arrival, you are pulled into a fierce battle with an enemy party of orcs. You manage to disable the orc shaman using your own conjurer’s Sleep ability while your knight uses Provoke to focus the orcs’ attacks on himself. As your victory draws close, the orcs call in their leader: an elite orc berserker! The tide of the battle turns against your party, but by cleverly subverting the berserker’s attacks with your thief’s Distract ability, you manage to claim your victory. This victory is especially sweet, as one of the rewards earned is the ability for your heroes to assume the role of berserkers themselves!
Heading back to the world map, you receive a notification: one of your friends has angered an elder red dragon! The call to arms has been sounded, and you are quick to respond. You summon yourself to your friend’s world (which is completely different in shape and content from your own), and claw your way through hordes of lesser dragonkin to face the elder red dragon. You, your friend, and many others may take part in this extended campaign over the course of multiple real-world days in the hopes of working together to defeat this legendary enemy.
Exhausted from battle against the dragon hordes for the time being, you come back to your homeworld to discover that you are able to construct a waygate to an as-of-yet undiscovered land. You resupply your heroes, and send them through the waygate to discover what challenges await, and what rewards there are to reap.
- Strong emphasis on cooperative “hands-off” social gameplay.
- Collection metagame, in terms of collecting new jobs, items, enemy data, etc.
- Simple to learn combat mechanics which reward a player’s tactical choices.
Genre and Style
Pollen is a blend of traditional JRPG aesthetics/mechancs and online social gameplay. Out of battle, the game functions much like Final Fantasy Tactics and the like (albeit with a smaller party size), but battle itself is more like the Dragon Quest series.
Platform and Target Audience
The interface for Pollen is designed with touch in mind, being targeted primarily at mobile devices. The experience draws the player quickly into the action when they begin a play session. Meaningful progress can be made whether the player has 5 minutes or 5 hours at a time to play.
The target audience for Pollen includes those who are interested in the kind of party-based mechanics and character advancement that exist in many JRPGs and tactical RPGs, and who are interested in the cooperative aspect of social gaming, but who may not have the time nor inclination to play a fully-fledged tactical RPG.
(So, Pollen is targeted at players who enjoy games such as: Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy: Four Heroes of Light, Dragon Quest. It is unclear if any cooperative social games exist in this area.)
I’m just posting these to this tumblr until I can get the site up and running. I’m marking them all with #necropolispage so that they’re easy to find. Enjoy!
NECROPOLIS updates every Thursday at 3pm PST
ookaaay. i didn’t wanna post this at first. but some lovely friends helped me realize it’d be good for me if I did if only for other people who may feel the same way. anyhow, bad haircuts, eh?
Aaaaaa this twitter is horrifying aaaaaaa
To all you young artists out there: this sort of thing is likely to come your way at some point! Don’t be fooled, rare - RARE - is the job where the “exposure” is worth a lack of/very little pay.
This year marked the last one I’ll ever do comic work for free. The time and effort involved in making art that I don’t get anything for isn’t worth it.
This Twitter is hilarious and depressing at the same time… lol :/
- Player now has to continue holding toward a ledge to keep ledge grabbing
- Player aimers are now team-colored in Team Deathmatch mode
- Fixed brambles spreading incorrectly across screen wrap
- Added 4 new awards: Eagle Eye Award, Overachiever Award, Bank Shot Award, Cause and Effect Award
We finally got it! /o/
No, not the PS3. That ti~ny little box behind it.
It’s so little~ And it gets super hot. (._. ) The controllers are really comfortable to hold, but sometimes there’s input lag.
We’ve been playing TowerFall, and teaching my daughter to play. She enjoys it so much, especially when her character gets wings so she can fly around. Reminds me of being really little and playing the Atari. Weird to think that the games she’s playing now will be super old and nostalgic to her when she grows up.
I love comics. Frequently, it doesn’t feel like they love me back—but I, like most fans, can take it. I can weather the bloated crossover events, the gimmicky romances, the deaths that you know won’t last before the bullet even leaves the gun. I can take artists who only draw three faces and X-TREME BLOODSHED and a million animal sidekicks.
But god almighty, I am so tired of crappy fashion in superhero comics.
Call it a nonissue. Call it a frivolous concern. I call it a massive missed opportunity and offer the critic an insouciant flip of my hair. When Bryan Lee O’Malley tweeted this a while back, I nearly stood up and cheered: “A cool thing about comics is FASHION = CHARACTER. you can convey personality through clothing. Why do 90% of western artists ignore this.” He gets it—and unsurprisingly, Scott Pilgrim is one of the only Western comics I can think of that uses fashion to effectively convey characterization. Through a character’s clothes, the reader gleans insight into their insecurities, ambitions, social status and more—y’know, the basics of subtle characterization. The titular Scott is a slacker geek dude in reference-happy t-shirts and jeans. Flighty, jaded Ramona is a mercurial hipster pixie with ever-changing hair. Wry Wallace Wells dons monogrammed polos and boxer briefs. Knives Chau starts out a meek schoolgirl in kilts and an overgrown ponytail, then graduates to a slightly-less-innovative version of Ramona’s wardrobe and a big red streak in her hair when trying to win back Scott’s affections. The cast of background characters actually look like the Vertigo-reading, concert-going, Banksy-coffee-table-book owning chic geek set of today and the story is more emotionally resonant because of this immersive realism. THIS MATTERS, YOU GUYS.
But year after year after year, the comics industry ignores it. Male characters are dressed as blandly as possible, or come clad in weird, baggy approximations of early 2000s fashion. Female characters exist in a world where—surprise!—most clothes are tight and sexy, albeit oddly out of date and in clashing colors. Their civilian lives seem more flat and unreal as a result, their emotional entanglements more eyeroll-inducing because honestly, they look like the cast of an old daytime soap. Fashion impacts our lives every day, at every turn—we judge people based on what they wear, where they wear it, and where they bought it, even if we aren’t consciously doing it. When I say I want more thoughtful fashion in comics, I don’t mean that I need every character looking like they stepped off a runway—I mean that I want comic creators to think about who their characters are, what they would be most likely to wear, where they would buy it, their relationship to their body, and how they want the world to see them. I want them to think about their characters on a deeper level. I want them to make good comics.
Good examples of fashion in comics are so rare that I remember them by individual issue, and one such example comes to mind now. Cliff Chiang is a fantastic artist in general, and as I discovered at San Diego Comic-Con 2013, a pretty stylish dude himself. His current work on Wonder Woman features a lot of mindful clothes, but it’s a comic he illustrated in 2010 that really comes to mind. Brave and the Bold #33 featured a melancholy story about Zatanna foreseeing Barbara Gordon’s wheelchair-bound future, thus inspiring her to take Babs and Wonder Woman out for a ladies night of dancing and drinking. It’s a lovely issue for a lot of reasons, but I found myself truly impressed by the way he dresses the three women for their night on the town. They each wear cocktail dresses that actual real life women would wear today, but moreover, each dress fits each woman. Barbara, pretty young thing that she is, sports a hot pink bandage dress. Zatanna’s look is, appropriately, a little more witchy and avant-garde. Diana wears a draped piece that incorporates more structured, Grecian elements without screaming IT’S WONDER WOMAN SHE’S A GREEK AMAZON, GET IT?! It captures who they are, how they see themselves, and the world they live in simply and succinctly and the issue shines because of it.
Fashion matters. Clothes matter. They inform our social lives, our self image, our class consciousness and our goals. Comic creators owe it to their art to care about this more—there’s a reason other entertainment industries devote entire departments of people to this task. For now, we wait—cringing at a world where every female character owns thirty midriff tops, every little girl has pigtails and puffed sleeves and men can only be the Everyman Hero in jeans or the Billionaire Hero in a generic business suit.