Friday, August 12, 2011

Designing a villa- helpful, benign ally

Be warned, Madoka Magica spoilers inside.

A couple things have inspired this. Mainly the announcement of "Sparkly Magic Adventure RPG", a wonderful title that sounds like it came from a very self aware design team, where its few screen shots suggest you play as the character, a concept already done once (though at the time of posting that link's down, but I played it earlier the same day.)

Mohikan5 showing just the beginning of things I've gone through trying to come up with this.

I should note, I will have to try to not give away too much, since I have players that read this place, but a mix of truth, misdirection and avoiding the issue will hopefully work well.

First thing's first, to decide how overt I wanted to go, here, I tend to try to avoid being too bad, there's a very fine line between homage/inspiration and copying, and I like to avoid the latter side of that line. And due to that, Kyubey's ideas about entropy wouldn't work. Plus my physicist player wouldn't shut up if I got a single detail wrong..

Still, it's a good idea. To have the character after something that's either not sinister, or a very good thing,gives an interesting ethical dilemma. A thing I like forcing on players. I took a while to lock onto this as the trait I liked most though.

For a long time, I couldn't settle on if I wanted to go with any sort of already established basis in myth. I was tempted for a long time to base the game heavily on fae myths, due to a fondness of Changeling The Lost, adding all sorts of obscure, exotic and varied mythology. Most notably in this character, a twist on the loveable Kelpie, taking girls on a ride across something dangerous, and then devour them.

Ultimately, that was left behind, when I found a fondness for vague greek mythology. I considered similar for Scylla and Charybdis, though their myths are less inspiring, even if appearances are not. All three did help when it came to settling on a sea creature as an appearance, though. The numerous creatures in the sea are often and rightfully characterized as many things, monstrous and evil, or haunting and beautiful, if not all the things at once.

Art by Stephan R

From there it was a very simple lookup for fish in mythology, I stumbled on the Koi, a popular pet, decoration and wild animal across Japan, perfect, as it's where the game was going to be set. They symbolize so many things, strength, courage, perseverance, hope. What could be a more perfect representative for the enemies of broken hearts?

To Buddhism, they represent humans, swimming through a sea of suffering, what could better tell the future that I have planned.

There's even a few myths they can, with enough work at a goal like swimming upstream, will eventually turn into a dragon. Just in case I need to pull a Final Fantasy end villain due to say, time, drama, or another need to end things with some closure.

With this many options and more, I had this set. It wasn't hard to derive sought after goals, and only a few details were left. Fancifying up the appearances, settling on the right polite, but freindly mannerisms mannerisms, revealing of information, and critiria it's after in the soon-to-be contracted magical girls, it was all amost complete.

The final detail was a name, and there's a reason that was last. I'm awful with names. Abysmal, and I hate picking them. I get by on characters because I make liberal use of name generators until I find something fitting. There's not many I've found for mascot like characters. Then a friend came up with a suggestion, maybe by accident, maybe by typo, while discussing this:

Reser. I loved it. It has that same charm as Kyubey/Kyuubee/QB. It has charm like it could be part of a word, maybe as it's spelt, maybe as it's spelt differently and that's just pronunciation. there's MANY words the sound in them, good and bad. Its even a palindrome. Something about that says magical creature to me.

Thus I settled on the character. Sorry I can't reveal so much, but maybe one day. This post is getting long enough as it is. Maybe once they're revealed (or lied about~) and it's more safe, I'll explain deeper points.

Linked before, but still perfect for what I'm after, by Inaba Taiju.
Now to see how it all works out.


  1. Sounds good so far. Also, what are the chances Sparkly Magic Adventure RPG will get translated? Below 1%?

  2. @Shaw

    I prefer to think of unlikely events could happen alongside rather then just raw percentages.

    World peace, for example.

  3. If its a good enough RPG, you can bet that one of many translation groups will work on it, although most of them are just working on older VNs right now

  4. I'm sure it'll turn out fine. :)