Well, here we are. First anniversary of the site (well, more specifically, the blog) and all.

And what a year. Partially because of the reasons behind the LACK of stuff here. The anxiety which I spoke of briefly in my first-ever post is still with me. It’s much more manageable now (up until March or so it was frequently a day-to-day struggle), but I still get the idea I’m in this for the long-term. And this is my final year of college and all, so I have my part-time job, and preparations for when I leave college and enter the big ol’ world out there. So yeah. Busy!

Jack’s Run has all but been shelved (I do have sort of a plan for it, but I’m not too keen to start anytime soon), things of note I’ve completed this year were this website (of course), Peter Tefft Saves The World, 3D Maze, an HTML5 Tetris tutorial/game, and the neat OSU Dining Map, which is actively updated each term. sketch|fall+ was also posted, although it was done far before this site started (I couldn’t submit it to Newgrounds for some reason, so it just sat there for half a year until last July).

Today, I’d like to usher in what should be a better year by officially unveiling the Flash Visual Novel Engine. I’ve been working on this for the past few weeks, and I’ll be using it in what I hope is a large-scale (relatively speaking) game. I got fed up with not wanting to do anything because of how Jack’s Run has been sitting there, each revamp of code fixing something but breaking something else. Eventually my will to make games started taking a hit, but then I started this, something which I knew I could do.

Anyway, the VN Engine is based on Ren’py, another visual novel engine, a far more robust one right now, but is not completely identical to it. Mostly because the Flash engine has only been in production a few weeks vs. a few years, but there are also differences based on what would be easier for me to program and what would seem easier to the end user. Take a look, it’s still growing and I definitely plan to support it beyond what I need it to do for my game.

VN Demo Pic

I first unveiled it on Twitter when version 0.2 came out. Today version 0.3 was finished. You can use the engine to make kinetic (linear) novels with art and music. Check out the demo – everything I can do, you can do (better :P). The next big update should bring with it variables and if statements so you can make branching paths in the novels.

In other news, I have made two new Space Jam mashups, for a total of four. And since I think this is something that might happen again, I made a page for it. I also uploaded the MP3s for your jamming pleasure.

And may this next year be way better than the last.

Although, to be honest, it’s going to be very hard to beat being an actual video game hero. That was awesome 🙂