*A Bit of Controversy?* (EDITED TITLE)

I’d like to clear up a point or two.

One thing that needs to be laid out on the table first is the fact that, since the beginning of 2016, and thanks to the continuous charity of an anonymous, caring donor, my attention is entirely focused on Eternal Eden. For this reason, I’ve sworn off wasting time on other unrelated game projects in a last-ditch effort to secure funds—which never really amounted to anything, anyway. So, I’m hitting on all cylinders to finish Eternal Eden. Be warned; the road is still pot-holed with a few challenges. It doesn’t matter because I’m facing them head on.

The second point isn’t really a big deal, but it has to be mentioned. I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again: summer has never been my most productive season. At the very least, it’s difficult for me to share significant updates, or work with some sort of deadlines.

Here’s what you should know about my engagement. During the cold seasons, from September to May, I usually spend more than fifteen hours a day on game development and various other studies. I live with circadian sleep disorder called non24, so it allows me to work for a longer stretch of time everyday. My sleeping cycle is constantly rotating for this reason. During the summer months, on the other hand, my work schedule is more or less eight hours a day. I even take entire days off during weekend days. In general, rainy days are favorable for game development. It’s the only time of the year I can regain energy and get rid of fatigue after months of excessive work. Definitely, I’m making progress; it’s just at irregular intervals.

ETA?

I’m certain we’re getting close to the release date even if it’s wiser not to reveal one right now. Ideally, I want to release it before the end of the year. As I said multiple times in previous monthly reports, the game animation is the biggest and most time-consuming milestone left to achieve. I was totally newbie in the field when I started in February. It wasn’t easy to learn every nook and cranny of an advanced animation software, but frankly I don’t regret it whatsoever because it’s a skill that will remain for future ambitious projects, notably Western Lords. That’s what’s fantastic about knowledge.

When it’s finally over, we can celebrate one very cool fact: I’ve created a full-scale Japanase-style role-playing game from scratch, entirely on my own. It’s my dream to complete a game with 100% authentic, hand-crafted assets and efforts. Using stock assets, like I did to a certain extent with the 2008 edition of Eternal Eden, is like the cheating equivalent of a lip syncing singer or athlete on steroids. I suppose it was acceptable for a first game, but I wouldn’t want the rest of my career built on this lazy characteristic. What a shamer I’d be. Seriously, The reboot will be much more special in so many ways!

Conclusion

With that said, the new website template is fully coded and ready. I haven’t decided on a particular date to publish it but there will definitely have updates this summer.

21 thoughts on “*A Bit of Controversy?* (EDITED TITLE)

  1. I have been following ur blog since the days you were developping E.Eden1 and to be frank, I sincerely think you are not realistic in your goals! You have been announcing EEE and EE2 for many times and have been posting screenshots for these games…..so why suddenly change to 3D? Isn’t this over confidence? You see 3d games require many people with talents and budget, but since you are just learning 3d, you really can’t possibly think about making a good looking 3d game that will sell well! The actual 3d models you’ve shown on your blog look really bad and this definitely reflect your actual modelling skill which is a beginner 3d artist. I am not discouraging you but I really think you should focus on what you are good with, 2d arts and pixel arts. Otherwise, it might takes years to finish a game that you have started ages ago! This blog was interesting when you first started EE1 but afterwards, I feel this blog has become a place for excuses and stories about why Eternal Eden keeps on been postponed. Each year has a new story about why the game is been developped at such snail pace. In my opinion, you should refocus on what you are really good at and finish the EE sequel with custom graphics on Rpgmaker or Unity. This will boost your self confidence and raise money for 3d. If not, I fear that you will fall into an infinite spiral many people tend to fall into because each time you will find something new to add to the game or say that the engine is not powerful enough like we have witnessed these past years. You really should finish 1 thing first before jumping on another one. After all, a 2d rpg does not need anything sophisticated to be completed. Hope you refocus to Rpg Maker and pixel arts and finish one thing at a time.

  2. “Using stock assets, like I did to a certain extent with the 2008 edition of Eternal Eden, is like the cheating equivalent of a lip syncing singer or athlete on steroids.”

    Wow, that’s pretty damn insulting to everyone who uses RPG Maker resources and to a whole bunch of great games.

  3. There are a few misunderstandings going on and I’d like to address them straight on before it blows out of proportion.

    Eternal Eden isn’t turning into a 3D game. It’s heading in the same direction as before.

    It’s a fact that I’m using Blender, a 3D animation software, but the final result will be flat, pixelated and painted-like artworks. The game will still have a SNES or PlayStation One vibe. The tool is only a mean to improve my work-flow.

    Wow, that’s pretty damn insulting to everyone who uses RPG Maker resources and to a whole bunch of great games.

    Oh, I was talking about my personal boundaries. It didn’t mean to disrespect other beloved games or developers. Here are three honorable mentions of mine:

    Amaranth Games: Invested time and money to create successful games. It’s the most professionally oriented developer in the RPG Maker scene. It’s sad that Amanda left the industry. She was my biggest inspiration when I decided to use RPG Maker in 2008.

    To the Moon: this game mostly used stock assets, yet it’s the only RPG Maker developer who fully delivered on the emotional level. Lots of lively details. It deserves the masterpiece award.

    John Wizard: also mostly used stock resources for all their games, but unlike many other developers John Wizard have shown a sheer level of creativity in all their games. I was glad when Daniel let me know via email that their first game, Dawn’s Light, was inspired by Eternal Eden.

    There are of course many other developers out there with sincere aspirations. Unfortunately, I’ve seen greed get the best of some other developers in the indie scene. They are mass-producing games with very little efforts, sinking to the ‘cash grab’.

    For me, the wake-up call was when I saw free games with much more quality and efforts invested in their production. Why couldn’t a commercial developer show the same devotion? Something I know for sure about myself is that I want to get known for what I can truly deliver, not for the pre-built stuff I can download and paste in my game and then trick myself into thinking I’m successful and talented. Maybe that’s just me, but that’s the way I feel about it. EE1 was a great accomplishment in 2008, but sadly only a tiny portion of the whole game is ‘my’ creation. It’s a mistake I want to redress with the reboot.

    In the end, dear followers, it’s up to you to know if you’re following me for principles that match yours.

  4. “Oh, I was talking about my personal boundaries. It didn’t mean to disrespect other beloved games or developers.”

    Well guess what, you did. Whether you meant to or not, you made a sweeping generalization that anyone who uses stock resources is CHEATING. You insulted Amanda, John Wizard, and anyone else who puts a lot of love and effort into their games and happens to use some stock resources.

    Honestly, your posts have started to sound a little arrogant lately. “Oh, my engine is so much better than RPG Maker!” “Look, I’m not using stock resources, hooray for me!” “I’m making a gigantic super-amazing RPG all by myself, look at me!” I’m starting to agree with Pegasus here – it seems like you’re always coming up with some reason to delay the game even further and yet you keep expecting everyone to be impressed with how amazing it’s going to be. You know what, I don’t CARE if a game uses stock resources so long as it’s a good game. In fact, EE1 was a great game as it was and I don’t really see the need for a reboot, especially when you’re working on the reboot and the sequel at the same time.

    I’m not saying these things to be mean – I’m trying to let you know that your tone is starting to turn people off.

  5. I don’t know what else I can say. I’m sincerely sorry that I came off as being arrogant or almighty. I’ll meditate on the best way to compose future updates, maybe using an impersonal tone. It’s best I remain silent until the substancial uptates. The reports, behind-the-scenes and updates-on-the-fly aren’t doing any good anyway. I’ll keep working on what is needed to meet my objective and keep all of you informed in due time. All I can say is I promise not to give up, whatever what your perception of me and my goals are.

  6. I don’t know guys… I really don’t see what’s so insulting about Elder’s words unless you secretly had the same feeling (about stock resources) and he’s just said that aloud.

    As for his engine – isn’t it natural to be proud of one’s work? I do agree that until we can “touch” these results ourselves they’re almost as good as nothing, for us. But do you think that a person can be working like crazy on something that he’s not proud of? If anything can be more weird about Elder’s current state of affairs it’s if he kept on working for years in total silence.

    Nevertheless, Pegasus has made the point and I’m sure each of us feels the same, more or less. Excuses have been Elder’s specialty for last 4 years. I hope he knows what he’s doing but even if he doesn’t – there’s no point in be offended, it’s not your life nor your game.

    And you don’t have to feel you’re cheating by creating an RPGMaker-based game just because he’s said that.

  7. And how exactly is accusing people who use stock resources of cheating NOT insulting, pray tell?

    And actually, I and many others DO have a stake in whether or not he ever finishes the games given that we preordered EE: E YEARS ago when he had the Indiegogo campaign and haven’t seen anything for our money. I paid twenty dollars for a game I still haven’t gotten. I understand that making a game takes a lot of hard work, but it seems like he keeps starting over and making new engines and new graphics and it’s gotten to a point where it’s feeling a tad ridiculous.

  8. Hey, Liesel. As I said, there’s a misunderstanding. You’re interpreting things in a way I certainly didn’t expect, but of course my article was surely badly written in the first place. I should have edited more times before publishing it.

    I’m absolutely not accusing Amanda. How many times have I praised Amanda in the past in my articles or online interviews?

    Here’s what I wrote in my article:

    It’s my dream to complete a game with 100% authentic, hand-crafted assets and efforts. Using stock assets, like I did to a certain extent with the 2008 edition of Eternal Eden, is like the cheating equivalent of a lip syncing singer or athlete on steroids.”

    I put the blame on ‘me’ and ‘Eternal Eden’. I allege that I’ll feel like a cheater or a shammer if I release another game with resources that I didn’t create. That’s the honest voice inside me. Certainly, the line of acceptance on this topic is pretty blurred. Some developers will feel perfectly okay with the use stock resources after a dozen game releases, while other will prefer to customize from scratch. In the end, what other developers do and how they think is their choice.

    Bottomline.

    I strove to develop my engine and own assets for years, and I’m sorry that during the process I possibly came off as rude. It’s true that I’ve seen greed get the best of a few developers in the indie scene (two of them, actually) to the extent of changing my principles in general regarding the use of stock assets in RPG Maker and other engines like Unity, but I must stress out the fact that I have absolutely no disrespectful feelings against Amanda, John Wizard, Freebird Games, Dancing Dragon Games, and any other developers with ‘sincere’ aspirations. Please everyone, don’t take things out of context.

    we preordered EE: E YEARS ago when he had the Indiegogo campaign and haven’t seen anything for our money. I paid twenty dollars for a game I still haven’t gotten.

    The words to express how bad I feel about it are beyond me. The indiegogo failure makes me feel like I’m a scammer. Not that I wanted things this way. If I could go back in time I would do things differently. I shouldn’t have set the campaign to flexible funding, at the very least. 5K wasn’t enough to allow a smooth development beyond the scope of one year. Then the big financial trouble started and sabotaged at least two years of my life and development. The bright side is that someone is helping me right now, it’s not over.

    The actual 3d models you’ve shown on your blog look really bad and this definitely reflect your actual modelling skill which is a beginner 3d artist.

    For that whole matter, I’m glad you guys think my previous arts are really bad for the simple reason you’re judging something that I’ve created. My only hope is you’ll like my improvement and that some kind of bonds will develop between us.

  9. Sorry to say, Elder, but the fact is you’ve bought in to the kind of elitism that’s plagued the rpgmaker community, or arguably the entire game industry, in recent years, and it’s no wonder it’s offended people. While you’ve spent years and years trying to raise yourself above other devs working with that engine and those resources.. they have been creating memorable games for us to actually play; like eternal eden was.

    Maybe you’re satisfied with yourself and the route your project is taking, but ask yourself who it is you’re working for: yourself or your fans(and to be fair, I think that’s already been made clear to everyone). I’ll always watch to see what you create regardless, because I think you are a talented game designer; but I wish you hadn’t let insecurity get the better of you and you’d actually been creating and releasing things instead of always working towards bigger and better.

  10. I read the whole thing, and to be fair.. the insulting part is kinda unneccessary, however I do agree on the excuses and postpone part… i’m not surprised if people have given up on the game by now. I’m still waiting because game 1 was good, but until 2 comes, i too feel content with just the first game.

  11. Just wanted to say that I hope you don’t take the comments of a handful of vocal critics too much to heart. You have to live with yourself and your legacy; others can’t dictate what that should be. I would prefer to see you never release at all than to see you put out something you’re not happy with. Keep working in your way at your pace, be proud of your learning and accomplishments, and know that I and many other fans of EE support you.

  12. I really hope you succeed with Eternal Eden 2. Not only because I loved the first game but because of the amount of work you’ve put into it, it would be a tragedy if it did not.

  13. I’m okay with people expressing their concerns, but this is too much.
    I personally think Elder has the right to do things his own way and I support him in his choices so far.

  14. And how exactly is accusing people who use stock resources of cheating NOT insulting, pray tell?

    Don’t you have your own opinion? If yes, why do you care? If no, then it’s time you get one. In any case, feeling insulted is always the problem of the insultee.

    I paid twenty dollars for a game I still haven’t gotten.

    You didn’t pay $20 for the game, you paid for the mere possibility that your contribution will make it possible, or easier to produce the game. Kickstarter and all sane crowdfunding platforms clearly state that they’re not online marketplaces where you are guaranteed to get something in return for your money. If you felt that you couldn’t afford to lose $20 then why did you support Elder instead of getting some nice, ready-made game from GOG or Steam?

    Elder’s not the only indie game that’s been in the works for too long.

    Pegwards since 1997: http://pegwars.blogspot.com.by/
    Inifinity since 2004: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinity_(upcoming_video_game)
    Voxel Quest since 2014, it was funded but the developer ran out of money and closed the project: http://www.voxelquest.com/news/another-update

    Heck, there’s a guy in Madrid who’s been building a church by himself since 1961!
    https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catedral_de_Justo

    Elder might be making some… unoptimal decisions but he has all the rights to decide his life. I’m sure if you are so concerned about your $20 bucks he’ll be able to refund it in no time.

    When I wrote them I thought the vibe would be perceived as a form of optimism.

    Duh, I just think some people here are too sensitive. If anything, your writing style encouraged this discussion – that’s the first post in the years with multiple participants and so crisply expressed opinions. You’ve got a feedback on your 3D skills and future expectations – isn’t that why blogs exist?

  15. I just want to mention that Liesel have been one of the most loyal members since the beginning. I’m definitlely the one at fault here. I’ve revisited my past blog posts and it’s true that some sequences here and there sound cocky. When I wrote them I thought the vibe would be perceived as a form of optimism. Now that I know about this issue I’ll be more careful. I also think everyone got the point about the long work so I’ll stop with the excuses and stop makingl comparaisons with RPG Maker to express how much work is needed when you create everything from scratch versus using stock assets. Everything will be fine. Thanks for commenting everyone.

    Remember to stay around for ongoing updates, and share comments as well. I must confess that sometimes my motivation to share updates is low, especially when some other updates didn’t receive feedback. As an example, when I shared this video, https://youtu.be/ldRGVkDDydo, I concluded it sucked because no one reacted to it. So of course, I wanted it to feel better. Again, I was limited due to RPG Maker and there was no room left for more details such as adding shadow. Anyway, with the new funds I’m fully back to my engine, and with no lack of respect to the RPG Maker community, things will be better this route.

  16. I think I speak for everyone when I say, aside from anything else: we do sincerely appreciate you listening to our opinions and showing humility in the face of criticism; that shows character. Looking forward to some more positive community interaction, and hopefully before too long some games we can all enjoy.

  17. Elder, I just want to say thank you for being mature in your responses to criticism and willing to learn from it. :)

  18. Who cares? Why are you taking the time to ridicule his work/posts/whatever it may be? I just want the game. Don’t show me the labor pains just give me the baby :D nah but seriously just keep the motivation up. I was only joking.

    A lot of us paid into the kickstarter. He hasn’t forgotten us and will get the game to us when it’s ready. I check back every 3-4 months myself. Just don’t make it ridiculous like the new crap that comes out today. haha

  19. I don’t think EE2 will be released at all. For those of you who have been following the blog all know that the developer has made and broken countless promises. All the release dates are just ghost release dates and all you will see just another excuse..

  20. How about either finish and release the game or forget about it? I have never seen a game take almost a decade and promises every year of it almost being done. It really is kind of past its time at this point.

  21. I understand your anger so perfectly, Susie.

    Just a quick mention. Although I’ve juggled with many indefinite projects in the past, this new version of Eternal Eden (previously codenamed EE:Ecclesia) was started around 2012. It’s a misconception to think the game has been a decade in development because the first game was released in December 2008 (8 years ago). I took a full sabbatical in 2009. EE2 was only in the thought process during 2010. But yes, starting 2011, the whole mess we know today was on the horizon.

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