Five years ago,
I decided my previous casual projects were enough to start making what I had dreamed to create since the 90s: a Role-Playing Game. More specifically, an Action-RPG.
And I started making Dreams of Ylina.
Words, Images, Sounds, Paper
I love writing and creating stories. I'm not saying I'm an expert, but I love that. And creating a story-driven game was an idea I definitely liked.
I love poetry, painting and music, I have studied all of these at different levels, and I believe they all can have an fundamental role to play in a story, inside a video game.
Over the years I tried to improve the visual aspects of the game: the terrain and vegetation, the underground caves and ruins, but also the overall atmospheres. I tried to include meaningful musics that I composed, for most of them. I also included stories or cutscenes about the History of the island, especially as rewards for side quests.
I started making this game on Unity 5, starting with just a random island, to try functionalities: talking to people, searching a chest, managing inventories, dialogs and quests...
The first steps though, were on paper: drawing the map of Ylina, listing potential side quests, and writing the main story. From the beginning I tried to keep in mind I should keep it small: an open world, but on a small island, villages, but not crowdy cities...
I learned a lot about the whole process too: several times I thought I could finish the game earlier, while the demo is just coming out of the oven these days, after many, many corrections and improvements.
After that I designed things and at the same time I was discovering tools that could improve my workflow. The project could have been developed faster using them right from the beginning, but that is also learning.
I code now better than before, and in some other projects I was able to write the same scripts that took me weeks at the time, in just a day.
In a few days, the demo will be available on Steam, and I'll start a small Indiegogo campaign, not to fund the entire game development, but to cover the fees for some elements in the last part of the production process (voiceover, etc.).