March Progress Report

This is a story from long ago.

Within a palace in the city, there lived a girl who bore within her the power of the goddess, and with her a man—a magician who had been charged to protect her.
Her golden eyes brought ruin to all they touched, for their power guided those who drew near to the truth to their demise.
They were known as “Ecliss.”

One day, the man told the girl that she was like a flower.
For one such as him, who had traveled far and wide, there was nothing more pitiful than someone confined as if planted in a tiny garden, their hopes and dreams naught but fallen petals carried away by the wind.
But, with a smile, the girl told him this.

“Flowers do not need your pity, for they have no hearts.”

A flower lives ignorant of the truth of this vain world.
Yet despite that, it bestows happiness upon people.
That which is truly pitiful the belief that a flower is to be pitied.
For to believe that is to imbue it with a heart that can know the loneliness of solitude…

February Progress Report

Shockingly enough, I’ve been working pretty hard lately. Unfortunately, it’s on something I’d rather not write about on this ostensibly professional blog. (It’s a fan translation, which is technically an illegal copyright violation.)

I wonder why I have an easier time applying to things like that than to the games I supposedly want to make. I suppose because the path forward is always clear—just translate the next section—and because I know the effort I put into it won’t go to waste or be unappreciated. I need to get over this fear of failure. Or rather, the fear that someone might consider what I’ve done a failure.

Hopefully I’ll have progress on something I’m willing to report on next month.

Game Review: Ar nosurge

Ar nosurge ~The Song that Prays for an Unborn Star~
GUST CO., 2012

No pictures this time, because the PS3 can’t take screenshots. Sorry, you’ll have to wait for the professional reviews. Or watch videos.

Is there beauty in imperfection, even in games?

I find it difficult to begin this review, because I know the conclusion I have to come to—Ar nosurge is objectively a bad game, and is likely to disappoint to all but the most fervent fan of the Ar tonelico series or of JRPGs in general. Yet I don’t personally find myself disappointed by it, and I wonder if there’s something I’m failing to realize… about the game, or about myself. Am I blinded by nostalgia? Do I just like bad games? Or can a game be worthwhile solely on the basis of what it tried to accomplish, no matter how many fatal flaws it has?

Those questions should be left for later. First, let me explain why Ar nosurge forces them to be asked.

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Presenting SPCLoopFinder

SPCLoopFinder is a utility to find loop points in audio samples at offsets divisible by 16 for use with the SPC700 (the SNES’s sound chip.) It can also find loop points at other locations for use when working with samples in general.

SPCLoopFinder1 SPCLoopFinder2









You can download version 1.0 here. Source code is included but it hasn’t been tested on OSes other than Windows. You’ll probably need GtkSharp to compile or run it. Some features are not implemented at the moment, but nothing critical.

Game Review: Ciel nosurge

Ciel nosurge ~The Song Offered to a Lost Star~
GUST CO., 2012

In the interest of full disclosure, as of this writing I have only played Ciel nosurge‘s story up to about the point where Ar nosurge‘s diverges from it, about two-thirds of the way to the end.

Ciel nosurge

On one day, a perfectly ordinary day just like any other, you turned on your portable game machine to relax for a while. But instead of the system menu or a game, what appeared on the screen was a girl’s face. Instead of music, what came out of the speakers was her voice.

IonShe told you that her name was Ion, and that she had just finished repairing a multidimensional terminal, which formed a connection with your game machine and allowed you to see into her world. Mind you, it’s not the world of a game that she’s from, but a world as real the one you’re in right now. The abilities of her terminal are different from your game machine; she can’t see or hear you, but you can project your thoughts to her, whether to communicate with her or just think about how much you want to give her a hug.

Ion needs a hug. She lives alone… not just alone in her apartment, but truly alone. There’s only one other person in the same world as her, and that person makes for less than ideal company. She can’t remember anything from before the time she started living there, though it hasn’t been for very long. So you discover a way to get those memories back. You venture into her dreams and repair her broken memories, reliving them along with her.

Ion costume

As you and Ion discover the secrets of her past, from a time when she was a living symbol of the hope and salvation of an entire civilization, the two of you grow closer and closer to each other. Even though your ability to perceive and communicate with each other is so limited, the bond between you soon becomes far more than simple friendship…

That’s what Ciel nosurge should have been. (Almost straight from the creator’s mouth.)

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