Wow! I hope you all are doing well! It’s been years since making any progress on the stories planned out for this site or since picking up “The Sims 3”. August 20, 2017, was the last time I published any new content on this blog. We’ve seen some unprecedented changes, maybe described more accurately as upheaval, during those five years. One thing which has not changed, however, is my love of storytelling and, to some degree, art. The other side of my brain enjoys writing software and has been somewhat prolific in coding professionally for more than twenty years. It was only a matter of time before all these things were mashed together. For the moment, it is mostly formless and unrecognizable. What I have in mind will take time, involve some measure of a learning curve, and require a bit of my hard-earned coin. All do-able!
Cutting to the chase, I have spent the last five years in a sort of evolution in the use of my free time. During most of it, I invested myself heavily in volunteering for a youth organization at the national level coordinating volunteers for five states. While fulfilling, it became more like a job, and I had to scale back and hand the reigns over to somebody else. Then, I found I had quite a bit of non-productive time on my hands. I’m really bad at idling, so I picked up an art tablet. That was quite a bit of fun and I’m continuing to rediscover my art chops.
I also rediscovered manga and anime, and discovered a new (new to me) form of media called “visual novels”. It started with “Everlasting Summer”, then the entire “Muv-Luv” anthology, “Fruit of Grisaia”, “CLANNAD”, “Little Busters”, “If my Heart Had Wings”, and “Summer Pockets”, among others. The “nakige” (crying game) genre really appealed to my method of storytelling. I became interested in how these “games”/stories were made and downloaded an open-source visual novel engine called “Ren’py”. I began to play around with the engine and started learning python (which, coincidentally I am now having to learn for work within Azure Databricks). I also experimented with drawing some sprites but found that creating the range of emotions I was looking for to be both daunting and limiting.
Enter Daz Studio. It is a powerful 3D engine that leverages Nvidia’s Iray rendering toolset (with spectacular results, I might add). Daz is free to download. They make their money on the Daz shop, which sells 3d models for use in the software. So, after plunking down a healthy sum on this new hobby, I’ve begun writing again. It feels a lot like the early days with the Barimen Legacy. But now, I’m able to completely cut loose with the scenes that are being formed in my brain (so long as my wallet can endure) rather than settling for what the Sims 3 is able to produce.
With all that jazz out of the way, I’m happy to introduce to you “Nash Must Learn” a photoreal visual novel that features Moira McAllister (Kacey and Adam’s daughter from Barimen Legacy) and a new main character named Nash Vossen. It will take me a LONG time to finish developing part-time. I will be doing all of the art, writing, and programming for various mini-games and features scripted in python for the game itself. My plan is to document the process; the writing, the art, the technology, and the coding, here on this blog. Here are a few pre-alpha renders from the opening scene and title page.