Hey! I know it’s been a while but we’ve got a something new on the site! The first chapter of our new interactive short fiction series, Daydreams is now available. Check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments!
Manyara has gone through a redesign since she last appeared on this blog. As her character has evolved her style has changed as well. Character design is one of my favorite parts of working on this project. I expect this process to continue throughout development, as I’ll need to make all the aspects of the character, from visual design, to writing, to gameplay all fit together into a believable whole. This includes thinking about how characters will change depending on their experiences during a particular playthrough.
Story-wise, I think we all prefer characters with some level of mystery or hidden depth. Still, I appreciate the value of using visual design sometimes to make it easier to identify a character’s role in gameplay. For example, I intentionally gave Nia a more “neutral” look as she will have different development paths depending on the player’s choices.
Manyara, on the other hand, hopefully now looks like the swashbuckler she is at heart. I originally envisioned her as someone who was bored with her life and didn’t feel sufficiently challenged being a small-town guard. Of course, people who don’t like their job tend to move on given the opportunity…
Special thanks to Fuzzimo for the leather texture!
I just got back from the “Business of Africana in the Popular Arts” panel at Onyxcon! It was great to learn from more experienced artists. Even though they didn’t have someone who worked in video games, I found that most of what was said applies to me as well. This was also my first experience doing any real marketing for Nia’s Journey, although I actually hadn’t planned on it at all. Next time I’ll have to bring flyers!
One of the biggest questions I left thinking about was how I define success? Each of the panelists had their own perspective on this topic, and now that this game is moving forward more rapidly, it’s something I need to consider.
For Nia’s Journey, my goal is for players to feel like they are part of the adventure. I want to make a world that feels real, regardless of the technical limitations of the RPG Maker engine. When I first started working on this, my motivation was to make a game where people of color, and especially women of color could see themselves represented as leaders and heroes, instead of as sidekicks, token characters, or most commonly, not at all. Representation is still important to me. But somewhere along the way, I realized that I’m capable of doing much more. When it’s done, Nia’s Journey won’t be known for being a “Black” or “Afrocentric” RPG. It will be known for having pushed the genre forward.