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Messages - L.K. [Taikichi]

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Manga Art Gallery / Re: Kesashi's Gallery
« on: February 27, 2022, 02:00:15 AM »
So yes delays as usual. I had a bit more trouble than I expected with AI navigation. The AI is now designed in a way that it can operate any character I attach to it. In the past I would've made a unique AI for each character, but with the new customization options, that system wouldn't quite work.

And more character art



Manga Art Gallery / Re: Kesashi's Gallery
« on: January 11, 2022, 05:05:36 PM »
Do you have an ETA or a % progress on the project so far? I know that's always a tricky one :P

If things go on schedule then the next playable version of Blade Regalia would be public by the end of February this year.

Recently I've finished the systems that allow characters to be interchangeable in terms of their abilities. Because these outfits can be changed, and these outfits come with specific abilities, the characters have to have animations to reinterpret the abilities of the outfit. So in order to do this, characters were standardized as using specific weapons referred to as their "weapon mastery". So the weapon mastery defines the way that characters will animate and the outfit simply calls certain animations to happen and the weapon mastery gives its interpretation of that animation.

The weapons that characters used to have were almost completely unique to each character, for example, weapons like a Flail, Mace, and War Hammer were all just consolidated to a standardized "Hammer" and weapons like the greatsword, claymore, katana, were just consolidated to a longsword. An ability would call for the character to "Stab their weapon in the ground" for example to create some kind of magical field on the ground, and the weapon mastery would do whatever would be considered stabbing the weapon into the ground for that specific weapon.

There are a lot of core systems in that vein that I've finished recently. The biggest core system that hasn't been finished yet is the enemy AI, so there are no teamplay mechanics yet which are going to be central to the gameplay. I'm rebuilding the ai from scratch again, so the game won't be using the AI it was using before especially because the AI needs to be able to respond to the way that characters can be customized. So if there's gonna be another delay, it'll be over developing AI.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Kesashi's Gallery
« on: January 05, 2022, 05:32:00 AM »
Little bit of interesting progress to talk about. I've stopped doing 3D modeling and animation myself and I've started delegating that work to other team members or freelancers so I've started to develop a comprehensive set of character outfits as 3D reference images. For these pictures to be proper guidelines, they aren't drawn in perspective and only consider 2 axes.

For some of these I'll do additional sets with transparent sections so the 3D artist can understand what's underneath. For the sake of optimization, the full body does not actually exist underneath the clothing and I give a general guideline of where the body could reasonably cut off underneath draping clothing. The body is done separately from the head because characters have the ability to swap outfits with other characters if they have the same body type.

The Crystal Edge Regalia

The Blade Regalia


The Weeping Queen's Regalia

General Discussion / Re: How To Get Started As A Manga Artist
« on: November 18, 2021, 01:42:29 AM »
So this is a question that millions of people struggle with in every career path, and unfortunately the correct answer is the one nobody wants to hear: "just do it" but what does that mean? Obviously you can't "just become a professional manga artist" there are many barriers that you have break through first, and the issue is most people stop there.

A big example of this is youtube, many people say "I want to start a youtube channel and have a career as a content creator, how do i start?". Well when you think about it, how did PewDiePie start? He just did it. He made a video, earned $0 off it, and got no viewers. But he made another video anyway, and he kept doing that until a video suddenly blows up, 1,000s of views, and suddenly sponsorships appear and eventually youtube creates the partner program.

We tend to set goals for ourselves specifically so that we can fail them, almost like how certain people (not all) who never learned how to deal with rejection will be attracted to married men and women because rejection doesn't sting the same way from someone who is obligated to reject you. Like many first-time game designers say "I want to make an MMORPG" in the scale of world of warcraft, but when they realize they only have the capacity to create a mobile game in the scale of Angry Birds then they just give up, rather than creating anything.

Focus on what you can do and eventually you can do more. Like the old saying, a builder doesn't think to himself, "I'm going to build a house today", he thinks "I'm going to lay down a brick, build a door, finish the pluming, or wire the electricity" he thinks in terms of what he can do. Eventually he will build a house, but right now he can build a door.

You can't just become a Professional Manga Artist, but you can draw a picture of a character, a picture of a fight scene, two characters kissing, an environment. You can make a 1-page comic. You can start there and trust me nobody will care about the very first picture you make, you won't get paid for it, and your future self won't even like it because (ideally) you'll have grown so much as person. You are building your goal as a professional manga artist each time you do something.

Everything you've talked about are real barriers that you will encounter, but you cannot allow these barriers to be an excuse to do nothing.

You have too many ideas - Draw all of them - write down all of them - do them one by one
Get tired of an idea - publish it unfinished or leave it there until you're interested in it again, start the next one.

And the thing about motivation is that we are all motivated to do what we really want to do. A great example is the common meme format where a girl asks her boyfriend to hang out and he doesn't want to, but when she mentions that she's home alone, he suddenly has the motivation to cross mountains to get there. When you really want something you're going to make it happen, but hear me out.

Sometimes you have to do it in order to be motivated to do it. And that probably sounds crazy, but there might be something in the process of becoming a professional manga artist that you really want that you didn't know about until you tried it.

My personal experience with art is just like this, I thought that I had a passion for Art but I was rapidly losing motivation for it, but deep down, I had a greater passion for "Design", and I really enjoy the role of a designer. In order to make art usually you have to "design" it: meaning you have to figure out what it is, what looks nice, and what makes it interesting whereas the artist part just deals with the physical work of drawing it. This is something you're going to run into as a manga artist because when you're figuring out how to setup the panels and the size of the book (or dimension on a web page) you will be doing Graphic Design, not illustration. In the process of building this career you're going to end up doing things like social media marketing, customer service, computer science, probably a bit of chemistry and logistics if you were doing hard copies, and somewhere along the lines you're going to find something you really enjoy, and you probably just haven't had the chance to try it yet.

So if you're not motivated to actually doing the career, be motivated to finding your motivation.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Kesashi's Gallery
« on: December 05, 2020, 09:41:00 PM »
I added a news update to the website covering some upcomming changes. The Command Wheel will be an in-combat solution to controlling your AI's behavior. You'll be able to send direct commands to your entire team to help them out of danger or ensure you're all working together. You will be able to make extremely specific commands and put them on your command wheel as custom commands. A specific example is commanding a specific teammate to use a specific supportive ability on you.

This next update is one of the largest fundamental changes to Blade Regalia and its the change of the protagonist. The original protagonist, Katherine, escapes from a controversial experimentation in the antagonist faction and this new protagonist is the person who escapes with her. This person goes by the name Specimen 5 (codename: Keagan) because taking away your real name is a core part of the experiment. You will get the option to pick Specimen 5's gender and skin tone but obviously, the glasses are non negotiable. The gender is actually not just a cosmetic option because when regalia-sharing comes into play it will have a big influence on what regalia Specimen 5 can access. As you can see, their features are very different so they will match very different regalia.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Kesashi's Gallery
« on: November 30, 2020, 05:40:30 PM »
I must apologize for not commenting here sooner... I've been aware of your really diligent work here for a while but never hopped in on the discussion for some reason... Anyways, I checked out your website for Blade Regalia and I found it to be pretty interesting read :) As an avid gamer I have some feedback also if you would hear me out.

Thanks for the feedback, and if I'm honest, this is the kind of feedback I would pay money for.

Consider adding at least an option for a comicbook outline reshade.

So on the topic of design I spent a lot of time considering how the characters should be rendered. I did actually try using outlines in the past, but I felt like it was better if it matched the 2D art style in the end. But I'm personally neutral on outlines or not, and so that's why i think you're idea is an absolutely great idea. Philosophy-wise, I'm a big supporter of players being able to choose the most fun way to play. It's something that I wish other game developers would do more. It would be fairly easy for me to add those kinds of options to the settings menu even having hatching and manga-style shading.

And yes virtually every background element is a placeholder, I've spent more time figuring out how the background should be rendered than anything else, and honestly I do think Breath of the Wild figured it out for me. We'll probably go for some kind of flattened, colorful, environments, but not actually cel shaded. I avoided cel shading the background because it ends up having very little depth.

I hear that Genshin Impact is doing really well.

So Genshin Impact has been an interesting topic of discussion because at first glance it seems like complete degenerate game design by the fact that it duplicates Zelda Breath of the Wild in almost every possible game mechanic, and then adds on awful mobile game mechanics and gambling. But the problem with writing it off is the fact that it is making millions of dollars very quickly, so that says to me that gamers like the things Genshin Impact is doing.

One thing I would say is very important to consider with the success of genshin impact is a theoretical topic that many failed games don't address. When you're working for a charity or non-profit trying to collect donations and you ask someone for $1, you don't know if they could afford to give you $100. So a lot of people collecting donations will start high, and then that person might say, "all I can afford to give is $10", or they'll say "give as much as you want."

You will only get as much as you ask for. So you should ask for more than what you need. Based on statistics most Genshin impact characters are worth about $20 each, and some characters (5 star characters) are worth up to $300 each. Imagine a game having a $300 DLC that just adds one character, it's no wonder games don't do that. Genshin Impact gets away with it because they turn spending money into a game. During the death of a game called Gigantic there were many fans who wanted to support the game financially, but the developers didn't have any avenues available to them. There were few micro-transactions in the game and the game itself was free to play which resulted in the development team working for months with no pay.

What sets apart Genshin Impact from other gambling games and even Zelda are many key factors just base on my assessment of it. 1) The developers are very passionate about the game, and people can echo that sense of passion. They work pretty hard on it and it shows. 2) They copied a good game, sometimes we take that for granted when games do copy other games. 3) The anime aesthetic. This is a big one, people want anime games. A lot of people would only play Dark Souls if it looked like Code Vein which is why Code Vein was successful. If Hyperdimension Neptunia released another game I'd buy it for no reason.

Genshin impact will suffer for a few reasons. It has some awful mobile game mechanics even though it's essentially a single player game. It has an energy system meaning you can only do a certain amount of actions per day (even if you pay money for more energy there's still a limit). If a game clones genshin impact and removes the energy system, it would absolutely decimate Genshin Impact. You should always put the customer first, and the player is the customer, and the customer does not like it when the game tells him to stop playing. This is exactly what Jeff Bezos would say is the most important factor of the success of Amazon is its dedication to customer satisfaction before anything else. The second issue is genshin impact punishes you for playing multiplayer. Much of the game is locked into single-player and it completely disenfranchises players from playing together. Blizzard Games makes basically all of their money off the idea that people like multiplayer gaming.

On top of this, your combat needs to be really well refined, responsive and just plain fun.

Combat mechanics are very important to all of us and the main thing I'm a fan of is responsiveness and control. This is the reason why I would never introduce an ability like "confusion" that changes your controls because it's mostly just frustrating. So I fully support animation cancelling, obviously some abilities can't be cancelled. Sometimes you have to commit like with an ultimate ability. In real life, if you wanted to do something you would just do it, you wouldn't do some crazy step-back, punch, crouch, combo to do a special attack like they do in fighting games. It should be pretty close to just as responsive as your own mind in my opinion.

The RPG elements of the game are interesting. It looks like you have characters with base ability sets, and then you can unlock different regalia outfits for each that alter the abilities. There are a few pitfalls to watch out for here. Firstly, I don't think you want to completely change up a character's role, nor lose what a player likes about them

Initially we were conflicted over how to handle Regalia in the game vs the canon of the story. I personally think with all its strengths and weaknesses it will be something that helps blade regalia stand out. A core part of blade regalia is the idea that their fashion choices are meaningful with respect to combat. In other games cosmetic options are always purely cosmetic, but in blade regalia this will be different. So currently, the way it's being handled is that getting a new regalia is like basically getting a new character. We also plan on introducing a regalia sharing system where heroes with matching features can share regalia. This makes it reasonable to bring down the workload from 450 regalia (3 each for 150 characters) to somewhat fewer since there will be so much overlap . The main reason why the workload is so high is so we can continue to introduce new content over the next few years after its final release. So I would like for the game to feel complete even if it only has 20 characters, and every new character is just a welcomed bonus.

A big thing for me, which is why I stopped playing games like Warframe and Diablo III, is the requirement for constant narrative hook. If your game is going to be singleplayer/coop then player impact on the shape of the game world is just a necessity.

This is something we plan to cover when we start implementing narrative elements into the game. We definitely do have big plans for how the players will experience the story. Essentially I want for a player's personality to play a big role in how the game unfolds.

I believe that content in the game should always be unlocked by playing the game

I would definitely agree that it can be very un-fun when the game asks you to break from the regular gameplay to do something else. Looking at Genshin Impact again I find it hilarious how they try to set a precedent that your character is a 10,000 year old diety who battles dragons and then you're being asked to catch same random girl's pet cat. I understand that's a very MMORPG-thing to do. Since blade regalia is an action-adventure game, most of the conflicts are going to be solved through fighting and exploring. I can see how some developers think they need to mix things up and just end up making things worse.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Kesashi's Gallery
« on: November 27, 2020, 12:26:09 AM »
I'm going to be making sure there are regular updates about the game on the website here so you can always read about what's happening even though I won't always have much to show. My team and I are interested in making the story telling in the game more interactive in a sense. The state of the world changes based on what you do in the story, and to unlock certain characters requires you to follow a certain "path". This means getting antagonists on your team won't necessarily be canon, but you can get them if you decide to follow a different path.

This is mostly handled mathematically and I don't intend for it to be like a branching path game where you get a few options to branch away, because that would require me to introduce a lot more assets and story telling for possible paths. It's difficult to describe exactly how I want this to work, so I'd like to wait until I can introduce the system to the game to explain it further.


Redesign for Reina.


Manga Art Gallery / Re: Kesashi's Gallery
« on: October 25, 2020, 11:23:50 PM »
I think it would be great with a bit more fog to show less of the white characters in the distance
My only criticism is that the chains (are they chains?) holding the white characters sort of wobble madly when at max tension. (in the video 0:36 on the right for example)

I was hoping no one would notice that. No I'm joking, I wasn't able to find the solution until recently to get the chains to be more stable and I found out the issue was that the chains were colliding with the statues that they were coming out of. So for the time being I just turned off the statue's collision and in the future I'll make it so specifically the statues and the chains' collisions ignore each other.

That is also the exact reaction the chains would have if they're stretched too far which is why it was so confusing to fix. I've also made it now so they won't shake so much and should look much heavier.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Kesashi's Gallery
« on: October 24, 2020, 09:01:14 AM »

I've done some work on Level 4 of Izabel called "the prisoner" where you're going to get introduced to a new character who I've drawn before. This video is something I showed for a class.

In even bigger news I'm days away from releasing the first public demo of Blade Regalia.

And @Suuper, I spent a lot of time looking into the error you got for Izabel. One thing I found was setting that indicated that the engine was designed to render using a DirectX 12 which is exclusive to windows 10, and your system was windows 7 meaning it needs to use DirectX 11 or lower for starters, so I've enabled multiple hardware rendering options. But of course it's a strange error and there aren't many definitive answers for it (you know it's bad when the top answer is *update your drivers*). I don't think I've ever had a computer issue where updating the drivers actually solved it, typically things are always up to date by force anyway.

The second issue I looked into was performance. I got reports of very low frames so the game will now launch on minimum or at least close to minimum graphics. So people with $1,000 PCs will have to upgrade the settings when the game launches, first world problems. Immediately, you'll be able to change the settings on the main menu and also at any time during gameplay. Still no option to change the controls yet and the other languages will (ideally) be available in the next version which I'll probably release a few weeks after this one. I'm actually waiting for my translator to be able to play before we finish the translations.

Members Workshops / Re: Inktober 2020
« on: October 15, 2020, 06:38:09 AM »
I think this is my Day 3.

So I was joking around earlier with the other developers about how Jianna is severly overpowered and that she needs a weakness, so I decided rabbits would be her weakness. Black Bunnies for Blacktober

Members Workshops / Re: Inktober 2020
« on: October 07, 2020, 09:47:18 PM »
So I'm getting behind and I decided I'll start working with pre-existing Blade Regalia characters. The process of designing them takes a lot longer than the process of drawing.

So this character is named Jianna and she's an end-game antagonist who's already playable in the game, and the reason why I introduced her into the prototype is because I did a poll with my community a while ago and she was a character that a lot of people really wanted in the game.

Members Workshops / Re: Inktober 2020
« on: October 05, 2020, 05:08:27 PM »
and also, TIL that's a thing XD
very nice, glad to have you on board Kesashi!

It's a fun little way of avoiding controversy. I got the idea because some of my friends are doing it too. I'm also behind on black and asian character designs, specifically characters from those homogeneous factions. Actual blacktober is mostly just people re-imagining white characters as black characters which I don't think is interesting enough to do for 30 days straight. Because I don't actually have to change existing Blade Regalia characters because there's still tons who haven't been done yet.


Your past few artworks have been very ambitious for Inktober, but I do hope you continue to pursue them. I can tell you've gotten very comfortable with sketching and you also have a good habit of working the whole drawing up rather than small sections at a time. The advantage of that habit is you create a drawing that you could argue is finished at literally any point in time.

Members Workshops / Re: Inktober 2020
« on: October 04, 2020, 08:18:23 PM »
I'm going to be doing #blacktober. So I'm going to be working on the black characters in Blade Regalia (and also izabel). Here's a second Regalia option you'll have for Arcturus, an end-game antagonist. This was originally created by my second character designer where he takes the power of a Hydra in the story called the Jet Black Dragon. So I'll be playing catch-up shooting for 31 designs.

Develop Your Story / Re: The Raven of Rowe
« on: September 22, 2020, 05:13:45 AM »
One thing to consider would be the significance of each element of the story.

"The world was formed by the heavenly being Ea, who in turn created 7 gods"
We can all except a premise where someone creates the world for no reason, but Ea's second decision seems odd. Why? Why make specifically 7 gods? What's the significance of that choice. Obviously one of the reasons is that it will move the story forward, but other than that there doesn't seem to be a reason to do that. It could be:

-There are 7 things that needed to be governed.
-Ea wasn't capable of, or didn't want to, do what those 7 gods did
-The people asked Ea for 7 different gods to rule over them for 7 different reasons
-The number 7 will be a repeating theme
-They have 7 unique personalities like say if god#1 wasn't a tyrant, god#2 was extra evil, god#3 created new things, etc.

Greek Mythology is based on the idea of man being god, the significance is that relatively inconsequential choices that humans make, like cheating on their spouse, have a cataclysmic impact on the entire world. The idea of having a creator who grows old and dies is interesting because it brings up some interesting questions like, "who created him?" "what happens if no one replaces him?" "does he need to be replaced?" and finally "who will replace him" which tends to be the only question most Demon Lord anime tend to answer. These are problems human beings have to solve, but actual universe never has to deal with these problems.

"They succeeded in killing their oppressors."
This statement is dangerous here because what you're essentially saying is in the end none of that matters. They're all dead now, and the world is completely different. If the significance of that was to setup a divided world, it would be reasonable to skip it entirely, and start off with a divided world and say "as long as we can remember we have been divided into 6 nations". However, the significance could be:

-They will need to unite again to defeat a common enemy, like how the Hero of Rowe and the Elven Prince united.
-The gods will return
-History will repeat itself

You are setting yourself up for something interesting, but it may be easier to ignore things that may not be significant and work directly what they setup.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Kesashi's Gallery
« on: September 18, 2020, 09:55:52 AM »
More Blade Regalia Art. Mainly focusing on improving preexisting character designs. In the game I've been working on AI so mostly nothing visual to show unless you like visual scripting and I can talk about that too.

For programming savvy readers, I've done a lot of work to change the AI systems from using variables to choose their actions to using arrays and the purpose of doing that is to make it so the AI can "weigh" multiple options against each other and choose the best one.

Previously AI would always chase and attack the nearest enemy, now the AI weighs all visible enemies against each other with a simple mathematical equation that divides their "impact" by their distance and health ratio. What this does is mimic a natural player's target selection, so as distance goes down "weight" goes up and as their HP goes down their weight also goes up. So the AI will prefer targets with less health, it will also prefer targets who are closer, and above all, it will prefer targets who have the highest "impact". Players would prefer to target the most likely kill, someone who has little health left, is very close, or is being too impactful should be the first target.

Impact is a variable that goes up each time the target damages the AI or each time the AI's target gets healed. So this means the AI will focus healers even if they're farther away, but they'll only focus healers that are actually healing the target the AI is trying to kill. This all goes away after a "persistence" variable goes down. Which goes down every second that the AI can't see you. So the AI can still track you behind walls for a few seconds. So it's similar to an Aggro system in an MMORPG, except you can't manipulate it by "taunting" the enemy.

There are 6 characters in a faction known as the "Destruction Children". One important thing for these characters is to hide their identity and so I'll be introducing "Destruction Child" outfits for each of them along with some improved art. Many of these characters were last drawn in 2017 (not including story illustrations). These are Early-game Super-Villians and I'm working on them because they are relevant to the upcoming release. Ruth of course, being the adorable bundle of anger that she is has her regalia more themed around her fire-based abilities. And Jeremy's "unblockable" sword now appears more like you would imagine a sword that magically can't be blocked. Yes, this means in the game you can't block his attacks and you can only dodge them.

Some other characters in the upcoming release are being redesigned and some new characters are being intorduced.




Sachiko "The Red Fox"


General Enemy Soldiers

Eleanor "The Shy Swordbreaker"

Luciana "The Poison Master"

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