Wednesday, August 17, 2016


What? A new blog post? Imagine that!
Today I just want to share a little bit of excitement over this game I'm making. It's called:

What kind of name is that?! Well, it's a weird game. With a weird name. And it's super-mega-ultra exciting, you guys!! It's going to be a visual novel. With an epic branching story that really makes your choices matter. And it's all kinds of cool.

Can you tell I'm a bit hyped about it?

Here, have some art (click to enlarge):

The two main characters. Aren't they cuuute? Especially the angry expressions, lol. :P

P.S. that logo is a placeholder I made in about 2 seconds >.<

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Havencall's Story: Magic, Philosophy and Aura's Journey

This is going to be a re-blog of my latest Havencall news article on IndieDB. However, I felt that this article was pretty important and deserved to be on here too! After all, the story is the most important part of Havencall, and the reason I am so passionate about this project. Also, here's the very first Havencall trailer that we released a few weeks ago, to go along with our IndieCade submission:

The Havencall Story: Magic, Philosophy, and Aura's Journey 
(posted 7/12/2014 on IndieDB)

 Aura is a girl with questions. Her small world is surrounded by an impassible space-time barrier, and she wants to know why. What is beyond the barrier? Can she escape and find the other world she dreams of? In this post we take a closer look at the Havencall story, focusing on Aura's journey, with some back-story and insight into our philosophical inspiration! Curious, imaginative and stubborn, excluded but tolerated: this is Aura, a girl with questions. Her entire world is just a swath of countryside and a single village, encircled by an impassible space-time barrier. Lore and literature tell her that there are more worlds beyond the barrier, but dogma tells her that going beyond will curse her forever. She has always been an outsider in her world, but every night she dreams of a place she belongs, another world, where a glowing figure beckons her into a beautiful haven.
 In this post we will take a closer look at the Havencall story, and reveal a little background as well some questions that inspired the story. We won't give any blatant spoilers, however reading this post may make events in the game more transparent, so if you want to play with absolutely no preconceptions, you may not want to read on.
 Aura is tired of being trapped in her tiny home world, but more than that, she also wants to know why her world is closed off the way it is. Who established the space-time barrier and for what purpose? There are some mysterious things around her that spark her curiosity and set her on a course to find out much more about her universe than anyone has known for centuries. Aura keeps her most important notes and observations in her hand-made journal (a new feature since our last update!), as she is on a mission to puzzleout the truth.
One of the first things you can find out in the game (by looking at a prayer book) is that the barriers were created by this world's "god," a being named Isoran who had power over space and time. But why would he divide up humanity into many small communities that they could not leave? According to the prayer book, Isoran was a "savior" who freed humans from the "time of Chaos," an age of war, disease, colonization, and all-around suffering. His solution to the problems was to section off tiny city-states from each other, much like sending feuding children to separate time-out corners.

 But now, the isolation has become stifling, especially for Aura, who has never fit in, with her mismatched eyes, uncertain parentage, and strange amulet. After a certain experience (which we won't spoil), Aura gains a power very similar to Isoran's: the ability to manipulate space and time! Using this magic, she is finally able to pass through the barrier and begin her search for the world in her dreams. But the journey ends up being more complicated and eye-opening than Aura expected.
 It turns out that (minor spoilers here) Isoran was not the only "god" to attempt to "fix" the problems of the time of Chaos. Two other gods established worlds of their own, not worlds divided into many smaller realms like the space-time world, but big worlds, with completely different approaches to fixing society's vices. During her journey, Aura travels through these other worlds, encountering people, beliefs, and practices wildly different from anything she has ever experienced. She learns a new power in each world that will help her move forward, and faces a "boss" in each, a manifestation of the structure of each world. At times shocking, at times mystifying, and sometimes delightful, these worlds slowly reveal their secrets over the course of the game, and Aura learns more and more about her universe.

 So maybe you are wondering: how is any of this philosophical? Havencall's story is primarily about Aura's search for the place she belongs, and is not blatantly, in-your-face philosophical. However, the universe as a whole and each world was conceived through musings on philosophical questions: "Are humans intrinsically good or evil?" Isoran, the creator of the many-world space-time realm, believed that people could only be good as long as they did not have the opportunity to do bad deeds. The other two "gods" had very different answers to this question. "If a moral system is accepted by a whole society, does that make it ok?" This question inspired the second world, which was created through life-death power and is the most shocking of the worlds. "Is human behavior more reasonable when we are focused on survival?" was the question that led to the third world, a world of thermal (heat/cold) power, and the most unforgiving and epic realm.
 By the time Aura has adventured through all three worlds, she has learned three types of magic, knows more than she ever imagined, and has made the biggest differences the universe has seen in thousands of years. But will she be able to discover the identity of the dream-figure who calls to her? And ultimately, can she find her haven, the place where she is meant to be? 

Check out the links below for more Havencall updates!
Havencall Facebook page 
Fancy Fish Games on Twitter
Official Forums

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Today I decided that I don't do enough art just for practice, so I opened up the speed sketching program my hubby made (just for me! <3). However, I suppose I ended up ignoring the "speed" part somewhat...

The environment took about an hour and the portrait about 2.5. They're both from photo reference. I started with color for the environment, but monochrome for the portrait. While the monochrome approach was somewhat nice because it let me place the features accurately without having to worry about color early on, it also made the whole process a lot longer. So if my goal is speed (which it has been for a while), I'll either need to find a way to do the under-painting faster, or eliminate it completely.

In other news, life's been a bit crazy, I've been writing Deity Quest and drawing Havencall environments (more updates on all that soon!), I posted this sketch of Aura on Christmas:
And, I am very excited to move forward with our projects this year, the year we plan to release both Deity Quest and Havencall. I have a feeling 2014 is going to be awesome!

Happy New Year!

Obligatory kitty picture: =^_^=

Monday, October 14, 2013


I recently realized that I have a misguided idea that it's only appropriate for me to blog when I have something big and/or important to say. Well, that's just silly. And since it's pretty much just me and my hubby reading this blog anyways, who's to say I shouldn't post about mundane stuff like what we had for dinner last night.

Just kidding, that might be a little too boring after all...

But...if it were really delicious and I posted the recipe maybe it could be interesting...hmm...

Anyways, I digress. The point is, I'm going to be posting about anything I feel like from now on, not just things that seem "worthy"! So if anyone is actually reading this, look forward to more posts (probably, if I get time to write them) from here on out!

On to the update!

So, things have been pretty crazy lately...thankfully in a good way! The summer and beginning of fall have been largely dedicated to game development around here - both fun "indie" development and less fun but more profitable freelance projects. The Rhythos RPG Builder kickstarter didn't succeed back in May, but David still has plans to move forward with the project and try again at some point. However at the moment he's focusing more on Deity Quest. And I'm doing the writing for it (but not the art)!

Deity Quest is an awesome new game that David designed over the summer.The game is an RPG, with elements from dungeon crawlers and roguelike games. You play as a young new god named Tyrus, who recently graduated (#2 in class) from the Ethereal Academy after 100 years of study...and you have to convert/recruit followers, use them to fight enemies, and compete with your rival, Ryga (who graduated #1 in class). It has some similarities to Pokemon since there are over a hundred different follower types, and you can "convert" enemies to become your followers, level them up, give them new equipment, etc. etc. The game is super fun and addicting, even for us developers, which is a good sign! Also, we are working with some really talented guys on this project: Chase Bethea is doing the music and sound, and Santiago Ocampo has been creating the original artwork.

The writing for Deity Quest has been very enjoyable so far. I'm working from an outline written by David, so I basically get to jump right into my favorite part of writing: details! The game is in eight parts/chapters, and I've finished the first part, and hope to get to at least part 4 within the next few weeks.

While I have been doing some writing for Deity Quest, most of my time lately has gone into "real" work, and Havencall! Havencall has been progressing a little slowly, but definitely moving along at this point. We recently decided to move the release date to March 2014, to give us enough time to make it great. Here's an IndieDB article from a couple days ago with a bunch of new art, info, and updates: . The article features this new background that I finished recently:

I'm becoming increasingly aware of a problem with the length of Havencall's development - the longer I work on this game, the better at art I become, and the worse the earlier scenes start to look in comparison. By the time I finish the game I feel like I'll have become so much better that I'll want to go back and re-do all the earlier stuff...

But I guess if I keep improving that whole cycle would then start all over again!

...In the end though, it's great that I'm becoming a better artist, so I'm not going to complain too much. Here are some more Havencall scenes from the article:

Lately, I feel like I'm developing a much better grasp on the visual direction with this game. Earlier I was mainly focused on just getting the scenes done in a way that worked in the game. Now, I'm constantly asking myself: "how can this scene be as interesting and unique as possible, while still working in the game?" You'd think I would have started off by asking that, but sometimes we don't think of the obvious when we're doing something new and a little out of our element. But at least I got there eventually. And good things are happening with this new perspective - it makes me more flexible and makes the work more fun, too!

I could probably write a lot more about what's going on in my life the past few months, but for now I'll leave it here and save other things for other posts.

Except for kitties. They belong in every post. : 3