Sometime in early 2013, I started experimenting with UDK on another project and I wanted to make a fantasy RPG that would let the player take not only weapons and spells into combat, but also allied squads that would follow the player’s commands.  I made squads that would turn in unison and move to wherever the player pointed.  I thought it was a cool effect, but the game concept was well beyond the reach of what I could accomplish on my own, and I just worked on it as an educational hobby.

By the middle of 2013, I had to go through some pretty horrible experiences at work and I decided that I had to move on.  I didn’t really know what else I could do because my work experience was pretty useless outside of its narrow field, and I was pretty depressed.  Sometimes when I feel like that, I want to retreat into video games.  But instead, I decided to channel my time and effort into a game that would–I hoped–make me enough money to start over in a new place in a new career, and give me the experience I needed in order to start that new career.  And I started working on a project that at the time I had called Princess Quest.

I looked at a few options for my game engine, including RPG Maker.  And although RPG Maker is a great program for what it does, I felt it was too limited for what I wanted to do.  So I borrowed some assets (which I later learned was expressly forbidden by the RPG Maker terms of use… apologies to any Enterbrain and Degica folks reading this) and used UDK to make my own 3D game using 2D characters, like the characters in Final Fantasy Tactics and Ogre Battle 64.

I fleshed out the game more and more, adding little pieces of functionality or optimization in my free time–about an hour a day over the course of a year.  At first it was just some level assets, a third-person camera, character controls, a menu system, and character dialog.  Later, it was indoor-outdoor level transitions and adding characters to the party.  After that, it was navigating a squad around a battle map.  And eventually, I had a full-fledged turn-based battle system.

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In early 2015, work needed to know what my leave plans were for the year, and I wanted to take unpaid leave to work on Himeko Sutori full-time.  I couldn’t afford the time away from work, but I thought that maybe I had enough of a start to launch a Kickstarter campaign.  Unfortunately, I fell far short and had to press on developing Himeko Sutori in my free time.

And that brings me to where we are today.  I’m going to relaunch the campaign, but there’s a lot that I need to do first.  On this blog, I am going to chart my progress on a few very necessary steps before I can hope for a successful Kickstarter.  For starters, here’s what I think I’ll need:

  • More varied characters (including men and nonhumans)
  • More armor, weapons, spells, and character classes
  • More menus to show off the inventory and level-up systems
  • And my penultimate goal is to get a playable demo out, showing off conversations and plot progression, battles, character progression, and basically a 100% functional game, differing from the final release only in the amount of content

I’m already on my way, making more characters and more content.

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If you take a look through the other pages here at HimekoSutori.com you’ll see some of the other things I’ve been working on.  And if you check back later, you’re sure to see more.