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Mikka's Modding Project!


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  • 2 weeks later...
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Ah, astrology. My great love/nemesis.


Project is progressing. It had a slow down due to Skyrim, but I'm back to working on it. Due to the inability to be able to test because every second save has crashed, I haven't really been putting much stuff directly in the game, though- just goofing off with a combination of writing and my eternal nemesis, portrait editing.


Been working on Aaran right now, as he has an advantage over Miya and Antonio- he's not suppose to be attractive, in fact, looking sort of weird or spooky works for him. I've been debating the eye color issue for him, actually. In practice (and life), most people with albinism have very light blue eyes- a light pink is also possible. In media (particularly visual media), they have (while not usually bright) very obviously red eyes. Despite how I generally like to cleave to reality, in this case I'm thinking I'm going to go with popular media. As we do have a gal with pale hair and pale skin (and her eyes aren't that dark, either) with Neta, but she most certainly isn't albino.


He's still being uncooperative. I made the stupid newbie mistake, in which as I want his head tilted, I did the drawing of him looking straight at camera first to make eye alignments easier, but then tilted his head... which totally screws up hair, which of course lays very differently if you're looking straight ahead or if you have your head tilted sideways. Duh, Mikka, duh. ;_;




Writing, however, is more smooth. Been working on events. I'm not sure how much sense this makes, but I'm trying to make sure all events have at least four options if at all possible in the typical divisions: ignore (in which your character extracts themselves from the situation, often to the annoyance of the people involved in the events), force (in which your character solves the issue in the most direct means possible- straight out persuasion, brute force, magic), wit (which generally involves coming up with an outlandish solution- magic is often a good part, but heck, this is where you use all that art appreciation and harpsichord you picked up), and then wisdom (which usually involves pushing the one involved to find the situation themselves, using mostly your mental and social skills). If at all possible, there's seven options- the 'ignore' and then two of each kind.


Meaning no disrespect to Academagia (which I love), there's a certain event where one of your friends is walking around carrying a heavy box. I believe there's three options: Investigate what's in the box (which would open up something else, but I never succeed on that one), Ignore them (which I believe hurts their feelings- I have a feeling it's either Sheary or Magsa, but I don't know why), or brute force. I always wonder, why can't I cast a feather fall type Negation spell? Why can't I do coordination to help him carry the box between us easier, or even to grab a few other people? Why can't I, if I don't have the strength, then use acrobatics to at least spot him- he carries it, but if he starts to drop it, I acrobatically will be there to support it and put it on the ground until he can lift it? Or why can't I simply ask if there's something I can do? Why can't I find a horse or pack donkey for him to use, or even a small cart? Why can't I just revision him a cart?


(Obviously, the answer is: 'because I never submitted these as options, duh', as the Academagia staff is usually very happy to add more options to things if you ask, but bear with me.)



So... having a lot of options in events and adventures is what I'm trying to do. There's a few exceptions (most adventures don't have an ignore route, and there's a few times when you're at direct risk where you can't ignore what's going on... and then, there's a very few adventures where you have very few choices (Louise pushes you in which you need a fair amount either Revision, Forge, or Enchant, no other options, though she at least warns you that it'll be useful for the next step in an in-character way)), but that's what I'm trying to do. Options! Choices! Yay!



...Also, am researching the German language, in particular, how it sounds when spoken and different grammar rules then English (...and Italian). Complicated.

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Sort of spinning off of a conversation I was having with Schwarzbart, my explanation on languages:


My position on language is that, in general, reading out a foreign language in a source that has one language is confusing. It is forever ossisated with bad-fanfiction, for me. You'll be reading your ordinary book, and everyone is all,


"Oh, this outfit is so lovely!" says generic protagonist.


"Indeed," agrees generic mauve shirt character.


"Hai," says generic love interest who speaks JAPANESE OMG!!!, "Koi is kawaii desu!"


And then you pause, stare at it for a while, wonder why they're using the word 'is' in a line full of Japanese, grit out something about how just because in English you can use the 'Love' as a pet name you can't do the same in Japanese, and think that sentence is ridiculously stupid. But, hey, at least you're ahead of the majority of people going 'wtf is 'Hai, Koi, kawaii and desu' and 'what the heck am I reading here?'


This isn't to say that foreign language can't be used well in writing: in particular, if you're writing a story about a character learning said language, it's presence is almost necessary. It can also be used wonderfully to set a sense of isolation for the protagonist (if they're surrounded by those they can't understand), or even for the character who speaks the language (being surrounded by those who can't understand them). And there's a few other uses, too.


(For the record, in my opinion, this also applies for heavy accents and dialect- it's one thing to write a character that leaves off the g's in they're -ing's, it's another to write something so bizarre I can't even read it, may you rest in peace David Eddings but oh my god I still have no idea what Caalador was saying half the time in those books.)


So- despite this writing being about people who are foreign, and being foreign and travel being a heavy theme for all four characters (to a degree) I didn't want to make the mistake of using a lot of foreign language in events or adventures. Or even a little, really. I think the one Merilian adventure is enough for that. Thus, Aaran, who is borderline respectful, speaks purely Elumian (...or English, if you prefer, at least for outside the game knowledge) when he's speaking to another (he's mostly localized, anyway). Miya only occasionally uses a Japanese (or at times, Chinese or Korean) word to make something sound greater than it is (refering to common items that she owns by their Japanese name makes the item sound cooler, or so she thinks). Louise I think has two occasions where she can't come up with the correct Engli- er, Elumian word and uses the German one, instead (characters with some language background can catch on to what she's meaning immediately without having to play a confusing mime game with her). She does have a tendency to swear in German (or occasionally Russian), but as with most swears in the game, I don't actually put down what she's saying exactly, just that the words are very rude/very interesting/wince-worthy/need to be added on to your list of 'things to say next time a certain bully pushes you out a window' as usual.


Antonio is more language based (his clique ability is all about that- which isn't all that useful, but it's much more useful then Miya's, which only slightly beats Zorzi on the 'incredibly useless' scale (...poor Zorzi)), so I do use some foreign languages (mostly Portuguese and Italian, though, as it's noted that the 'purer'/old language of Monteon is mostly lost) with him (originally, he had a habit of adding ',si?' on to almost every other sentence- I decided that was too much, but he still has the habit of turning statements in to (rhetorical) questions by adding ',yes?', ',hm?', ',agreed?' and various other catches). He, however, translates himself almost immediately for the benefit of whoever he's with.


(Unless you challenge him to a duel and force the issue, in which he completely loses it, but if that's the only time I go against my own rules for this, I think I'm okay.)



So. Instead of using foreign language or accents to make it obvious that none of the four speak Elumian perfectly, I use quirks- especially for the two girls. More and more events in this game use specific characters in events: in the ones that don't, it usually doesn't really have the characters saying all that much ("I've got you, CharacterName!"/"Thank you!" type stuff, really). Which means using speech patterns and quirks is more possible now.


I've already mentioned Antonio- he has the habit of turning statements in to questions (usually a sign of insecurity, but he would protest that). Other then that, he's a rather loquacious speaker- but, unlike Miya, his speech is also structured. He's not above using vocabulary slightly above the levels of a preteen, and he has a strange habit of speaking very bluntly while still taking every care not to offend... thus, you have very blunt and straightforward white lies.


Completely at the opposite is Aaran, who is a laconic, unstructured speaker. He prefers to rely on questions, quotations, and a bit of bleak, dry sarcasm to make his points, but he sometimes seems to get confused on getting from point A to point B (...unless one of his fate-obsessions has been sparked, in which he's always confused, as well as more talkative). I try to avoid using contractions when writing him, as well as occasionally making his dialog sound stilted and a bit old-fashioned (as the season comes along, think about the line: 'my true love gave to me a ...pear tree'- these days we would generally say 'My true love gave me a... pear tree', but Aaran generally goes for the more older wording).


Louise just speaks tersely. Tersely, but structured. She speaks exactly how much she thinks she needs to speak to make her point across, and little more. She generally uses simple words- she avoids using sounds that aren't easy for a tongue accustomed more to German, and she avoids using words that have layered meanings that could complicate an issue. More important is how she says it, though, and that's what I'm most careful with. Both the words she says and the actions she makes are written like she's in a fight rather then just talking save for in very specific events... but that's hard to really clarify till I start screen-shotting.


Miya has the most quirky things, not only in her habit of dressing up words, but also by her dislike for using others names. Everyone is a dear friend, wise teacher, beloved companion, eternal rival rather then, you know, 'Silke' or 'Alan' or whoever she is referring to (jury is out on whether that's a politeness thing, or she just can't remember all the confusing foreign-to-her ones). She even extends that to pronouns, to some degree- she'll use I, but does prefer to refer to herself as 'this humble storyteller', and she she again uses purple prose for people rather then the simple he/she. Purple prose is pretty common for her, actually, as she finishes the quad by being the loquacious but unstructured speaker.



I've also looked in to speaking styles and such from all countries. Like how English and German are stress-timed languages, but Spanish is a syllable-timed language (Japanese is mora-timed, but that's harder to write out). Or how English goes Subject Verb Object, while Japanese goes Subject Object Verb (that's very symbolized). I know enough Spanish and Japanese to get by there, though German structure is something, as said, I'm researching.


...Why all this work? Well, in truth, it isn't that much work, but it's also a worry of making sure the characters don't sound too much alike. Many different writers worked on all the characters in game, from what I understand, and wrote the events and adventures for them... including ya'll on the boards. :) That makes sure that the writing style, while kept to a certain standard obviously, different and unique, which also helps make the characters seem more unique. On the other hand, these four just have me working on them- and while I certainly am trying my best to curb my worst writing habits, it's still there. I overuse adverbs likely no one's business (no one will ever just say something- ever!), I use to many commas and overuse the semi-colon, and I tend to write rhythmically, and repeat things a few times for emphasis while only slightly rewording them.


(Also, I really like the word slightly. And obviously. Ah, adverbs.)


Bad habits all, if not damning, but due to how modding works (put something in to the machine, work on something else, put it in to the machine, repeat repeat), I worry that I will repeat things. (Har.) (I also use parentheses a lot, in case you somehow didn't notice. In grammatically incorrect ways, too!) By making the characters distinct, I hope the writing that isn't dialog then seems less samey, though you guys are going to be the ones to judge that.


Well. Anyway.



Skyrim has stopped being as much of a slow down, but I am actually finishing my move during this long weekend (also I have a date... EEEK!). However, knowing how my family works, I'll also probably be hiding as things go crazy around me, so I may have more time to write. Um. Tomorrow or maybe the next day, maybe babbling about how I do events? I'm not really sure what these posts are for. Mostly me babbling. Hm!

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I was going to say, is backing it up a good thing or a bad thing? XD Hm.


Aye, tis a bit of Chinese. Mainly because I imagine in my head, the China-analogue (which I'm still refusing to name any nations, as that's something the team will be able to do far better than I if they so wish) likely has a lot of influence on the countries surrounding it.


(Thus, I made locations up.)



According to Miya- who is, of course, a source that lies, lies, and lies (thus allowing all of this to be disregarded when and if Academagia turns that direction)- her nation (the Japanese analogue), the islands on which she was born and raised (...well, sort of- they left when she was very, very young), are in the middle of a civil war of sorts, if a somewhat sober one that relies mostly on duels and assassinations rather then army versus army. The northern part of the archipelago is rather traditional and demands freedom for the whole. The southern part of the archipelago, however, partially lies directly in the fastest fly-over path between the Onyx Isles and the Wall- which in turn means the southern half of the archipelago has pledged itself to the Friendly (...?!?!) Empire that acts as a China-analogue as something between a vassal and a tribute state for protection, due to the Empire having a much more centralized government (allowing easier- to some extent- military mobilization, as well as more manpower) as well as a protector of their own against the dragons, their Eternal Phoenix.


(While it only comes up like once this year, enough hints will be sort of strewn around that this so-called Phoenix may simply just be a powerful Dragon who basically controls the nation (if in the shadows) and its surroundings by luring opponents to it by this facade and then devouring them for power. Miya thinks that's true, though she doesn't say it outright, but Miya also thinks she's a princess every third day, and that is most certainly not true. So. You know.)


This allows the Empire a lot of influence on the surrounding nations, though it is limited. Smaller isles drift out of radius all the time, only to be found destroyed by a dragon attack (or completely controlled by them, depending on the dragon's temperament). People don't travel so much in airships as they do in air-caravans- a single ship may slip out of notice easier, sure, but a single ship is doomed no matter how strong the mages on board (or so all mages are told, though there are of course fables and legends). Dragons are just scary like that. So most people stay on their own islands, get angry about people on other islands, and fight bitterly as they can with both sides being afraid to leave home. While it would be wrong to say it's miserable (many people are very happy and live proud and well) or backwards (while behind most of the western nations in a lot of ways, there are also many things in the East that have yet to be invented or introduced to the West), life is often a bit less certain there then it is in Mineta and the regions surrounding it. The Dragons are around, and they are going to cause trouble, even if they're not directly distructive: everyone born in that area is aware of it, no matter what the nation and creed. Yet going East is only the path disgraced warriors go (...as an honorable way to die facing their death by Dragon-hand), south leads to territory just as bad, north is virtually unknown to them, and west... well, that's a far journey that involves some very perilous situations, finally ending when you have to go over the wall yourself without attracting attention of the dragons all heading there, too (and avoid suspicious guards who wonder if you're just dragon SPIES or agents (or just NINJAS)). So most people just stay where they are and resign themselves to living proudly, if under pressure. Tis easier that way.


Miya's family is one of the few to make the trip, making her, as noted, seen as very exotic- if suspicious. Most people don't generally like to think about the east beyond the wall: to them, it's all full of dragon-worshipping crazies. For Miya, all this really means, though, it's very unlikely she'll ever see the place she was born again, so she likes to make up stories about them having a reason to come after her and bring her back to them (grass is greener deal). Child's dreams, but they're nice to her.




So, while I'm talking about Miya... spoiler! Her utterly useless clique ability.

Smuggler's Expertise

Miya's rather colorful background (and even more colorful hobbies) have meant a lifetime of handling odd items. When you've seen as many magical items as she has, lack of formal training doesn't matter. If she can see and work with an item, she can easily figure out who she needs to talk to and what she needs to look up to have that item identified. It involves her hated bane, research so she'll only do it once a week- but once a week she'll identify three items her friends want identified with no harm, fuss, or catches.


Save for the 'letting Miya Hikari know what sort of items you're carrying around' catch, but that one is sort of a given.



(While a new player might find this nice, most of us Veterans are well aware of the fact that you can just go to any store, sell all your unidentified items, and buy them back identified for the same price... and that even if you don't want to use that, the table for self identifying an item (Trial and Error) never seems to hand out any 'bad' consequences anyway. If that first exploit is ever closed, though, this may become more useful- and each year, her ability will improve, allowing her friends more benefits.)



So... I said I'd talk about how I write events. It's sort of silly, but I'll do that this evening, as I have nothing to do but be on the computer today. ...Woo?

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Hmm, the situation in the China analogue is much more complicated than described (and varying Dragons hold sway there), but I am not sure how much I can comment on this yet. Your background easily fits into the themes of the lore, though, so I'd say: roll with it. :)


A quick note:


This region is farther to the east of the Onyx Isles (Dragons would not need to fly over it in order to reach Elumia, although I am sure they wish they could.:) )

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I have a few comments I want to make about that (all good!) and I did want to post about how I write up events/adventures, but life has been sort of crazy lately and I haven't had the time.


I'm still working on this, no worries, but I'm starting to get worried that I'm not going to meet my deadline. Moving is taking much more of my time then I expected it would, and my skills with portrait editing are once again leading me down the avenue of despair and ranting rather then getting stuff done. ;_;



...but I'll try to post an actual update soon. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Due to generic chaos, moving, and more generic chaos, I haven't really had time to do more then write out ideas on napkins for this, really. Sadly, that means there's no way I can make my January 2nd deadline.


But I am back to work on this today, and will continue to poke, prod, and struggle with it. So, we'll see where it goes.



...Real update eventually, as I can't really get away with saying soon anymore...

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Hey, I can always use a bit more pressure. :D Otherwise, I'd probably forget what I'm supposed to be working on... /shame



So, in thanks for the guilt, here's some Christmas Eve progress!


(And a Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it- as well as Happy Hanukkah, Peaceful Solace, and I forget the greeting that goes with Kwanzaa, but I hope you have a good one. As well as a general wish for you to have (or have had) an excellent time during any other holidays I missed.)



So, here's the deal: all things that need to be written have been written (in to a word document, not just on napkins). That includes the percentage breakdown for each kid (Miya has a 10% chance of attempting to steal an item for you during rivalry blah blah), all their skills and background and familiar information, four duel adventures, four normal adventures, and and around seven to ten events each that have the student as a major figure in them (clocking out around 35 events total). Some extra content has been written as well: two 'extra' adventures, around ten more events that involve the students in step by step ways, a bemusing emotional state that you may end up getting during the course of an adventure, a small amount of extra exits for already existing content, and three new locations that tie in to adventures/events. There are also some extra content outlined that I may or may not end up throwing in with this, depending on if I get them written up soon or not.


Only a small portion of this has been coded, and Louise is the only one that has anything near a portrait.


The coding will not take too long. I am actually considering waiting for Mod Base 3/DLC 15, and thus being able to throw the code on to the new base. This will involve retyping some things in (in paticular, the students themselves) which will be as annoying as anything, but it'll also make bug reporting a lot easier. Run in to a bug? You can check the modbase yourself to see if it's a mistake of something I added, or a mistake of the Academagia team. This will also give me access to the new skills (Numerology and Dispassion primarily), as well as making be feel more confident in adding those extra exits without too much worry over breaking anything.


I don't think that will cause too much of a holdup, if the plan for the modbase is still January. The holdup is, as always: portraits. Stupid, stupid portraits, which again are slowing me down.


As usual, if you can give any help with them, let me know.


For now, I'm going to try relaxing and actually testing and playing a bit. It seems I haven't had time to actually finish a game in a long time. :)



I want to give spoilers of some kind, but... I don't really know what to spoil, or what people may be interested in. Feh! Well, tell me if anything comes to mind, and I'll see if I can do so.

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I imagine you are indeed teasing me, but I do want to give quick assureance that I certainly do not think Academagia is a bug filled or mistake-crazy game. <3 I was more thinking of the issue where one of Leopold's Adventure Step's checked your relationship with (CURSE YOUUUUU) Lambert rather then with Leopold. That sort of thing- linking mistakes and the like- are probably the biggest sort of bugs I'll be putting in the game...


(I say with crossed fingers and hope!)


...but I don't want people reporting my silly linking errors to you guys, thus the Modbase would be useful so they can check and go, "Yep, Mikka screwed up, not Academagia team! Tsk!"


Etc, etc, etc.



...I still don't know what sort of spoilers or interesting things to share, so I'll babble a bit. Babbling is fun!


I debated the idea of having these four (well, three of the four) having their programming set to try and specifically make friends with certain people. That's mostly used in game for characters with crushes (Casper tries to raise relationship with Magalda and Oliva with Cyrus), but there's a few other cases- specifically, Corradin tries to raise relationship with Catherine, and while there may very well be some feelings there, I imagine it's more he tries to befriend her because she's the most obvious student on the same social status as her and it is very much expected for him to be close to her (the goal is called Keeping Up Appearances, after all).


(Besides, Corradin's story would be more interesting, as would Catherine, if they fell for someone below their social status, don't you think? Or maybe that's just what literary tropes tell me.)


Yet after some thought, I did drop that. Instead, in the students adventures and events, I just often wrote them being in the presence of students I 'thought' they would get along with (with a quick prereq to make sure they didn't have rivalry going on with that person, of course).


Miya spends most of her time with the Theatre brats- Catherine, Piccolot, Tabin, and yes, Antonio (I'm not sure you could say she gets along with them exactly, though her and Catherine are more alike at the core than either probably are comfortable with), but she also seems to do well with most of Godina: there's a three separate Rimbal Events with her and Zorzi (with some help from some of the others in the collage), she and Silke seem to hang out often enough, and there's quite a few events with her and Alan (of course, they're usually the two of them bickering, but you can't have everything).


Aaran interacts with five people in his events besides the teachers and your character: Ana, Cyrus, Avgust, Malacresta, and Oriabel. (This is to help with the impression that if you do make friends with him, he can be quite clingy towards your poor (likely long-suffering) character.) To my great amusement, though, despite nothing being programmed, around eight times out of ten he seems to end up in a clique with Ana anyway (baring the player character stepping in). I'm not sure why that happens, but it makes me smile all the same.


Antonio ends up in the weirdest cliques (he sets out to raise relationship with people he has the lowest relationship with depending on his rolls- it's more common if he goes in to vendetta mode, but he'll do it at random sometimes, meaning he often is on the good side of bullies and thus cliqued witht hem). I've actually used that as inspiration for a few events... "He's in a clique with these three? Whaat? What do the four of them even talk about or do?! ...Aha, event time!" He seems to mostly hang out with gals, oddly, especially those that share a Monteon heritage (though that never turns out well for him when Joana is involved)- and then, in collage, he's often with Aymeri and Emilia, who take the Durand Threat Seriously (if you see the event where Emilia's put up her traps, you can later find one where he's been expanding the idea of trapping the every hallway in the collage using her ideas, which... actually, ends pretty badly, too). An Aranaz student who follows through their Aranaz adventures (and sees a few house-only events made for him) might note that he and Emilia have something of a low-key friendly rivalry in some-ways, though, about how they think Aranaz should be acting. It's not all that big deal, but he does resent her for not inviting him to the awesome let's-sit-around-in-cloaks-and-plot-Durand's-downfall meeting.


Louise, then, is the one I didn't think of as the person who would have any 'try to raise relationship with a specific person' type abilities... and, truthfully, like the others, she doesn't. (She does only attempt to make friends with gals, though, although she does hang out with Marc in some events.) She, however, ended up going the other way. Get her in to a Vendentta? You'll notice that not only does she do her very best to make your characters life miserable (Miya does it halfheartedly (Ooo! Shiny distracting thing!), Antonio tries to be your friend despite the Vendetta, and Aaran spends most of his time trying to obscure himself and increase his skill at hiding), she also at random lashes out at some others- specifically, Corradin and Catherine.


Why? Well, you could ask, but she'd probably just lock her jaw stubbornly, cross her arms, and stare at her feet for a while. If you do her adventure and see the two events you can get if you have a moderate (4+) friendship with her, though, you may be able to piece things together.

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  • 1 month later...

Just a quick update:


My plans are currently, as soon as Modbase 3 comes out, to rush through and put Louise in as soon as possible (Louise is chosen because she is the only one with a portrait, she's probably the most likely to be able to be included as a part of a DLC due to having really nothing out of the ordinary in her background, and because all events that have her and Antonio, Miya, and Aaran (though I don;t think there are any of the latter) in them are really the events of the other three more then her). Depending on the day it comes out, this could be a three day process, or it could take a week. I'll then immediately ask for around four testers to run through the game with her, hopefully with at least one person willing to go rivalry.


After you've tested it, I'll make the changes everyone has advised and fix bugs, and then send it to the Legate, to see if he and the team could find a use for her. If so, then, well, I'll immediately start again- Miya and Antonio together for second, and then Aaran and all the group adventures and the like as the third stage.


(As I'm done with writing, basically, I've written up outlines and the first few steps for a Durand gal and Morvidus guy, but if there's a fourth stage, it'll be a while coming- that's seriously on the back-burner. And I have no idea for Hedi yet...)


If Legate and team can't use it, I'll probably release Louise on her own as a mod, but the next update will be all four kids together unless I made a really stupid bug that's later caused.



As I don't think we have too long to wait till the next DLC, if you are interested in testing, feel free to let me know. However, I want to make this warning clear: I CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT ANY GAME YOU USE THIS MOD WITH WILL BE IMPORTABLE IN TO YEAR TWO. I will do my very best to make it compatible, and I'm sure the Academagia team is doing the same for mods in year two, but as we don't have year two, I'm not sure how the mod import will work- especially if she turns from a mod in to a canon NPC. So I give the disclaimer as a just in-case. I certainly hope it'll work fine, but, well, you can never be sure until you can test it. ^^

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For some reason, playing Paradox Games makes me want to mod for Academagia. They're associated together in my head. So I've been fiddling with some adventures and events yesterday and today between bouts of painting the USA red in Victoria II (Gasp!). As I said, I'm basically done writing- and I say basically because there's always something else I want to tweak or change or add. :)


Later today (or tomorrow, considering how I usually work), I'll give the names of the adventures included and what they're about. Spoilers! D: :D



On another note... do you have any questions you would want to ask these four? I figured I'd open that up. I'll write it honestly and without the silliness of the answer I gave Creme: ask a question, and I'll have all four answer it in their own words (it'll also be a demonstration of their speaking styles and a fun little writing exercise for me). Ask about their family, their relationship with their mentor, who they have crushes on, their favorite color, what they think about their houses Regent, anything else that comes to mind- I will force answers from them, unless it's a subject directly focused on in an event or their adventure (...which is a pretty rare thing). ^_^




Er... guess that's it for the moment.

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No fishies biting at the "ask questions" bit? Foo. Well, the offer is still open if anyone has any questions. ;_; Gives me practice writing them. Though I think I've gotten pretty good at that by now... :D




* Phoenix Rising Duel, Gentleman's Duel, Duke's Duel, A Refused Duel (Ilican Courtesy, once you get past the first info-question... if you do): in which they are exactly what they say on the tin. No, seriously. They really are.

* A Most Elegant Challenge Letter (Miya's Adventure) - In which Miya decides the best way to show her fondness for you is by stealing from you. It's a bonding ritual, or so she says.

* A Plea For Help: Promising Tedium (Aaran's Adventure) - In which Aaran asks you to come along on the most tedious, annoying, and frustrating 'adventure' he can think of, with visits to the Mineta City Hall included. If he's exaggerating, it's only slightly.

* The Girl Who Wanted Wings (Louise's Adventure) - In which Louise is sick of Academagia, her family, and everything save for perhaps your character, and vows to run away. Or 'escape', as she calls it.

* Plaguing the Plagued (Antonio's Adventure) - In which Antonio has complicated motives that seem to have something to do with Monteon, keeping people healthy, making it clear who he's not dating, and a desire to make friends, but really, the adventure is all about avoiding the notice of some people and lying to the rest.


(Two adventures that really don't need to be in this set, but are anyway, as I wrote them and, well,k why not.)

* A Brilliant Enterprise: Dog-Walking - In which your character has the insane idea that to earn money, they'll try taking all the dog familiars of their fellow first years for a walk. Unfortunately, familiars don't like leashes much, so it's like hearding cats, only worst, because at least the cats can be easily distracted with food.

* ...Currently Unnamed... (the only non-finished adventure, called cardgamesftw in the file because I'm a nerd at times) - In which a new trading card game is making the rounds at the Gamers Guild, and your character takes it upon themselves to become the number one player at the school- no matter who that means they must challenge!


(...and two more complicated adventures (I'd like to think of a third, that involves Louise in some way, but so far have only had ideas)

* The Play's the Thing - In which you find yourself in charge of Catherine, Luti, Tabin, Miya, and Antonio (plus practically the whole first year depending on your choices) as you prepare to perform a play that seems like a cross of Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, with some Les Misérables thrown in for flavor. It very likely doesn't end well.

* Someone Else's Destiny - In which Aaran has come up with a foolproof way to become suspended for all eternity, and invites you to come along for the game. Really, really probably won't end well.


The last one is the Mastery adventure: interest in Mastery being while Aaran has many of his quirks, and more pointedly, why he's taking Glamour despite having the Charm of an inanimate chair (of course, he has the fitness of the already dead, so...). That was a major part of the motivation in forming him: why is your character the only character who is interested enough in forbbiden magics to actually attempt studying them (unless you Mastery everyone else to learn Mastery/Gates, anyway), I asked? In first year, his programing is tight enough that I've never had him actually cast a Mastery spell (which is what I was attempting- with the Avila first year boys seeming to have their own rooms, I assume he practices there on his familiar), meaning he'll be able to avoid attention from the authorities... in later years, well, we'll just have to see, won't we?


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...I realized I do have a third more 'complicated' adventure to work on that could involve Louise: the adventure where your character attempts to become the apprentice of a famous swordsmaster of Mineta in a charged competition for the last spot. Mhadi is your main competition (due to the cultural ties it has to his homeland), but both Vincent W (who is interested in the dueling aspect and learning techniques that will be of help in magical duels) and Louise (who just likes swords). The adventure was around one-fourth written and fully outlined, but I abandoned it after learning there was no chance of a Fencing skill appearing in Year One... however, I think I can still make it work by having the first year being about making swords, breathing techniques, and simply mindset before you're actually allowed to pick up a sword for 'real' dueling (rather then occasional practice).




In honor of this, I wrote an event with Miya and Mhadi, and poor poor Marc. It's about swords. Curved swords. Any Skyrim shoutouts totally intentional. >.>

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am rewriting things just to rewrite them. >.>


With the DLC being pushed back, I'm at that lazy point where I'm not doing much but, well, rewriting just to rewrite. I don't want to build on Mod Base 2- I've already built adventures and events using the new skills, I want to be able to edit a few tiny adventures to add the new kids in them (the Avila boys and Godina ones coming to mind the most, as well as the last step of doggy's adventure). So... I'm waiting. :) I am sorry for the delays, though.

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Oh, yay, someone's still reading this! Heheh, I avoided the arrow line. That one was pretty easy to avoid- everyone has heard every joke about it in the universe, so it's easy to step around. The "What, did someone steal your sweetroll?" line was harder not to use. I try to make events that are minor tributes to other things, though, not full step 'THIS IS AN EVENT ABOUT SKYRIM'.


(For instance, there's an event inspired by Dragon Age that takes place during rhetoric class where your character tries to get a story about griffons to be told. There is some whining, begging, and a line about naming one Fluffles (if one so desires), but there is no 'swooping is bad' line, as we've all heard those jokes, too.)



I said a long time ago I would talk about outlining, so, um, I guess I will today. :)


Outlining is the only real way I can write full adventures without having them hang somewhere in the middle as I stare at them crosseyed trying to end them. I hate outlines- I hated them in school, and I hate them now (structure, oh how I despise your... structure-ness!), but for me, they're neccessary.


I dcn't want to get too spoilerly by outlining a full adventure, but here's how I write an event, in basic.


The example being used: Louise's low relation event. Each character seems to have one, but it's very rare that you see them (Amada's is the only one I see commonly- I have absolutely no idea why). You need to have low relationship with the character- I believe in some cases, you need to be in rivalry state (and some require you not to be, IIRC, so, er, yeah). The problem I find is that if I'm at low relations with a character, I generally either push them in to the positive real quick or I take them to 0, duel and challenge them and then usually get them back to positive real quick anyway. I think many others play that way, too.


Then again, maybe I see Phillipe's or Joana's more then I think and I just don't notice because I'm used to seeing hostile events from those brats. Hm!


It's far more likely that someone will end up with negative relations with Louise then with the other three students, so her event took me the longest to figure out. In the end, paticularly considering how aggressive Miya and Antonio's events are (Aaran's is more neutral), I decided to go the opposite direction. If you rival Louise, she ends up showing herself as a bully and a jerk. Thus, I wanted there to be one chance for someone going the rival route with her to see there's a bit more to her- thus, I wanted to write an event with her being vulnerable.


And for girls her age, vulnerability can be shown easily with tears.


What would make her cry? Without going too much in to spoiler-territory, Louise has problems with her family. That was a start. I then outlined the event as though it was an adventure, as I wanted to make sure I had what I wanted. I don't have an exact copy of it anymore, but I remember it went a lot like this:


  • Louise has a meeting with her Regent. Her Regent conveys some unpleasant news from her mother, and Louise takes it badly.
  • Louise takes this badly, and flees the office in tears in to a mostly-empty hallway. (Her being in Vernin is a good choice for this- it's one of the few Regents that she can probably do that. Some of them would take too much offense at a student basically running from a conversation before being dismissed, and some would probably try to keep the student there to comfort and talk to them. I imagine V's Regent fits more in the first group, but he never demonstrates all that much competence nor that much emotional force to make her listen *NOW*- I believe Louise could run away easily enough, though she'll probably be in for a lecture of sorts later on if not worse.)
  • Unfortunately, the player is walking down the same hallway, the reason it's only mostly-empty. They get the full picture of Louise in practical hysterics. They also get to notice that the two of them are going to bump shoulders as she runs.
  • Louise attempts to run past the player without having to speak, show how weak she's feeling, or adjust her path and slow down- she just wants to get somewhere safe and continue to bawl her eyes out. The player has options.
  • Stop her!
  • Let her go by.


Hm, UBB code or whatever the heck it's called isn't that good for making detailed lists.


Both options aren't that simple, of course. You can do the nice route (I always try to leave open nice and cruel routes, even if you're already their rival or friend): the easiest way to do that is choose the Composure route and let her go by without meeting her eyes and while pretending you don't notice anything is wrong. The much harder route is by doing a wrestling/befriend to give her a cool-down hug, but as that is Not WHat She Wants and You Are Not Friends, that is quite difficult.


More on the shade of rivalry, you can let her go by but make a perfectly placed Insult as she disappears, or you can Wrestle her down and then Tease her. Or if you're really skilled, you can just hit her with a good old-fashioned Intimidation and freeze her in her tracks so you can tell her off for daring to almost bump in to you. The horror!


(I come up with ways to respond to events mostly at random. I try to always allow one social, one physical, and one mental, but this isn't exactly an event that really leads itself to mental- you could ARITHMATIC your way out of the path, sure, but the focus is on your response to what she does (There's a Character Study investigate for a bit of bonus success, but nothing more). I've been trying to use some skills that aren't all that common, but there are many common skills used, too- though as said, Aaran's adventures are full of Ethics rolls if you want to be a goody-gal or guy, and Antonio seems to have a lot of Gambling slipping in at random to go with the Passion and Dispassion. (And Miya likes Storytelling!) But seriously, I just sit, squint, think "How could someone respond?" and come up with the skills from there. I think most people do for event writing. I have a picture of someone using a dartboard, though, and choosing skills by what the dartboard lands on, and that amuses me.))




I guess that's all to say today. I'm still goofing off with rewrites and the like, though not really concentrating on it. I figured out a Hedi student idea, so after I've done these four, if they get a positive reception, I'll probably do three more, but that's so far in the distance that it's... well, almost not really worth mentioning. :)

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Well, I appreciate your posts! I tend to get worried no one is reading this and/or no one cares about this project. I know it's taking a while, but, er, it'll be fun! I swear!


/waves arms around over-dramatically



So, my weird thing for the day. As I said, I tend to start out with an outline, as given above. Then I fill out that outline, giving it a bit of a base. What I do, however, is write in the very dramatically wrong tense- I write the event from the characters point of view, not from the actual used second-person viewpoint.


As an example, how I started for the event above:


How dare mother do that to me! After everything I've done, I can't stand it, I hate her, I hate her, I hate her- cutting off contact like that, she knows how much this would upset me-


Can't let the Regent see me cry. Can't let them see that I'm being a stupid girl. I have to get out of here. The hallway, the hallway should be free. I'll go out there and run around towards the Aviary. That should be safe. I'll find my familar, and-


Wait, what is CHARNAME doing here? Stupid CHARNAME! I hate hir, too! Blast and bother, s/he can see that I'm crying, can't s/he? And they're in my way, too- no, Louise, don't look weak, don't get out of the way, make them move, then they know they're weak, too, so it's not a big deal. Just have to stay calm (can't stay calm when crying, blast), and get past them...


->Athletics (check so easy everyone can make it, investigative). They move out of the way! Hah, see, I was right, but they better not look at me- oh Heavens, they're looking at me, right?

---->Composure. No, they're not looking at me. Maybe they didn't see? No, they're not stupid, they're just pretending- that's sort of... it should be mean, but right now, I guess that's sort of kind. +relation!!

---->Insult. They're looking at me, they're looking at me, they're... what... what did they just say?! They... ooo, I just can't deal with this right now. I can't. -relation!!

->Wrestle (investigative). They're not moving- wait, why are they grabbing me? Ow, hey, stop it stop it, I just want to get by you stupid jerk why won't you let me keep running-

--->Character Study (investi). Did they just stare at me? They stared at me! What are they trying to do? +suc chance

---->Teasing. ...Because they want to make fun of me for crying like a baby. Who allows these sort of people in to the Academagia? And now I'm crying harder and they're going to tell everyone I hate them I hate them... -rel

---->Befriend. ...What are they doing? They're just holding me? Is this some creep wrestling move? I'll elbow them in the face, the bas- oh. Oh. A... hug? From CHARNAME? Why? But... I'm just so tired. Whatever. +rel

->Intimidate. They're not moving. They're not moving. Why are they... maybe... maybe I should slow down. And go around them. Maybe. Yes. +int and stuff



Most events are not of course as stream-of-conscious as that one (...well, okay, all Aaran's events are written like that at first, who am I kidding), nor as basic. But I take that, start using the ideas from it, and then rework on writing it with correct point of view and with a more fleshed out a description.


So... yes. Proof that I'm sort of odd, but that's just what works for me.



(Still in bad need of portrait editors! Haven't begged for a while, so figure I'm about due.)

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I'm sort of using this as my personal blog on creating characters, now. I hope no one minds.


I also did some writing up of the Durand, Morvidus, and Hedi concepts, because it's not like I have other things to write (okay, I still have the swords!! adventure and the card game adventure, but those are the only two things). I can't decide if the Hedi concept should be male or female, though. Keep going back and forth on that. Might end up male, and then I'll make another Avila student, only female, as Avila could really use more students and I play them more then I play Godina, the other house that needs more students. Again, though, those three or maybe four will be released (and really started) after these first four are released. So... what, around DLC 20?


(That is an exaggeration. I am sure they will be out sooner: after all the work I've played with the toolset so far, I've discovered it's not as hard to make students as I originally thought, just time-consuming. I truthfully expect these four to be out in less then a month, unless I end up waiting for portraits, in which it make take forever and a day. Sigh. Any one with graphical knowledge, please? C'mon, at least some of you were willing to help with Louise... <3)



So. Uh. Topic for the day: childishness and writing.


When I write, in general, I'm used to writing young adults. I'll put that as a range anywhere from 15 to 25, though generally towards the middle of the score. These four kids? Are twelve- actually, Toni is only 11 (he hates that nickname, if you care). That's a lot younger then I'm used to writing. I also had to adjust to the world of Academagia- Toni, Louise, and Miya will all have their parents choose their marriages (ignoring that Louise has no taste for men and Antonio no taste for woman), baring the player doing something weird/awesome involving them- and they'll likely be married as soon as they leave school, at least for the two gals. Excluding Louise, all seen combat to the death, and seen their parents kill. Every one of them has very real fears about losing those close to them in everything from war to ninjas to dragons. Aaran's lived with what is basically fantasy-tuberculosis (mostly like normal tuberculosis, only slightly more annoying to cure with magic, huzzah) while trying to survive as a street kid. Miya's lived with everyday being a fear that the constables will take her away from her parents or that those her parents are running from will catch up. Antonio's life has been a constant 'will dad come back from battle today?' Louise is much more sheltered, but even she has worries and concerns. It's a tough world.


At the same time, Academagia is a bit idealized. (My joke is what sort of twelve year olds, given the amount of freedom they have, aren't getting drunk, drugged, sexed up and killing each other- which is crude and unfunny, but has some element of truth to it: the kids at Academagia are as a whole pretty good at heart (even Phillipe pets kittens!) and ignoring their pranks, very well behaved.) So I definitely didn't want this to be the story of 'A bitter girl and three incredibly depressing people with bad pasts'. One way to avoid that problem?


Make them act their age.


Aaran has sort of the 'wise beyond his years' act going on (though he's not too good with it), so it's not as much of a concern with him. Giving him a good sense of humor helps balance out the depressing things going on with him, as well as making it so that unless you dive in to the Mastery adventure (...and you shouldn't! Mastery is banned! Bad CHARNAME!), you only get pieces of what's going on with him is also helpful. Childishness for him is mostly shown in the little things, which... I'm having trouble getting examples for at the moment. But basically, it's the little actions and beliefs that show that he's still a kid underneith the more mature exterior he puts on.


Miya, on the other hand, almost has the opposite problem: she is incredibly childish. Showing that she can be mature is more of the struggle (especially as her adventure is her at her most bratty and difficult). That ties in a flaw post I'll probably make tomorrow or in a few days.


Louise and Toni were the ones that thus gave me real trouble.


It's events like the one I sort of just outlined that seal things for Louise. She may act aloof and even sophisticated, but she does things for very childish reasons. Most of us gals know it's okay to cry when you've had a real upset (sadly, guys still sometimes have trouble with that one). Not Louise. Crying makes you weak! Why? Because, well, it does! Don't ask stupid questions! Most people are well aware that it's okay to want things, and be disappointed when you don't get what you want (within reason). Not Louise. Why? Because, well, that's selfish! Because it is! She's a little girl who picks up bits of what adults act like, and then decides she's going to be an adult by acting similar without getting the reasons behind adult actions or their motivations. She's not reserved, she's shy. She's not set in well-founded beliefs, she's stubborn. She's not stoic, she's bitter. She's not hard to disappoint, she's just decent at hiding disappointment. None are horrible traits on their own, but they're all stacked up: she's not a miniature adult, she's a little girl pretending to be one.


Toni, on the other hand, is a bit more mature. He still has issues- he doesn't quite get that being a diplomat doesn't mean he needs to be a doormat while at the same time having difficulty with understanding he can compromise to get what he wants and let others be happy to rather then needing to cling to the golden ring with all his might (two faults that sort of contradict each other, but people are full of contradictions). So he went the other way: he just enjoys being a kid. Being an adult means fighting for causes you don't believe in and marrying someone you don't love in order to bring up children to repeat the same cycle. He finds that boring and depressing. Better to enjoy that you can get away with jumping on beds and causing chaos and doing stupid unreasonable things now then rushing towards that future. He's more like Miya then Louise in that.



So... yeah. Childishness. Important! Tomorrow or someday soonish, flaws.

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Childishness - flick somebody on the forehead


Maturity - Er... Offer to clean up messes?


Yes Academagia is a bit idealized, but that is to be expected for a game made for kids. It is made for kids right? Even though most of us must be older than we are pretending to be.



But I want light-hearted stuff first then let reality set in. That one adventure involving a certain evil book was ... really inappropriate ... in my opinion. Too dark and edgy and really unexpected.


Anyways keep going. And I can't help with the portrait, I have no skills there so tongue.gif.

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Hm, I'm not so sure childishness is entirely appropriate considering a lot is seen from the point of view of a child. To a child, their stuff is important and adults just don't understand. Sure, they have some different ideas of important but they act as if it's all the same.


If you read World of Darkness books (PnP game) there's a book called Innocents, that's based on creating and playing with a child character. And since the world is actually quite appropriate in its name, it puts them in front of odd, creepy or strange situations. Sort of like the Goosebumps books (other must-reads). So for inspiration, I'd point you there. If you want, gimme a message and I'll send you some stuff from it (or the book itself if I manage to find the CD). Also, if you can, check out the Flavia de Luce books.


And I'm not sure Academagia is that idealized yet. Most students are 11 or twelve. At that age a lot of kids still act like kids. It's the 13-14 year old teens that start trying to act more mature. And that's more to blame on the Internet since interaction with adults and adult themes is easier. And television, of course.

These kids are still surrounded by kids their age, have adult supervision and live in a world that's wondrous on its own. There's no 'being bored' because there's always something to do, hence adventures. They also can find themselves in dangerous situations that require wit and a smidgeon of responsibility so they are obviously more mature than...say, me. And I'm in college.

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