A wild devblog appears! For the past couples of months, I've taken a bit of a break from the regular devblog-style posts to cover some related topics instead. Each one was important to me, but there's another reason for the hiatus as well: behind the scenes, things were shifting gears in a big way. It's taken time, but the foundation is laid and I'm now settling into the process of building with tools, not just building tools. It's been enlightening to place myself in the shoes of a consumer using VNgen in ...

Update 35: Building (With) Tools

It's hard to believe almost a year has passed since XGASOFT's main site first went live, and along with it, the unveiling of Yugure no Kagami to the world. Since then, however, my development efforts have been laser-focused on completing VNgen, the engine designed to make it possible. It might've looked like nothing was happening, but the planets are aligning and it's time for that to change. And change it has: xgasoft.com has been completely revamped from backend to frontend, and is about to see a lot ...

Say Hello to XGASOFT 2.0!

VNgen is a visual novel and animation engine for GameMaker Studio. Using a custom scripting syntax, it is designed to produce premium content quickly and easily on a wide variety of platforms. It is currently being used to create both first-party and third-party indie games of multiple genres. If you value my work, please consider supporting me on Patreon. Your support will play a critical role in the ongoing development of these and future projects. Stay tuned to the end of this post for details! I'll be ...

Finding Success in Failing Health - A VNgen Post Mortem

For the past year-and-a-half, ThinkBoxly has been exclusively a devblog of my progress on developing original commercial content like VNgen. If you've followed me during that time, you've probably gotten used to the absence of editorial and feature-style posts (if you were ever aware they existed around here at all). But this is my blog, dang it, and I get to write what I want*. And as you can probably guess from the title, today's topic is hardly unrelated. Valve, it's time we developers had a little ...

On Steam, Valve, and Indie Developers

I hate delays. I hate my delays. If something else is delayed, I can wait. There's plenty to do in the meantime. But when I'm the one that has to make the call, it's a different issue. If you know me very well, you'll know I'm terrible at giving ETAs, which is why I hesitated to give one for VNgen until the very last. And to be fair, based on what I anticipated VNgen 1.0 to be at the time, it was a reasonable estimate. But the more I thought about it, the more I became convinced VNgen was missing something ...

Update 34 - I Hate Delays

Way back in the summer of 2014 I began writing my first visual novel engine. Not VNgen, mind you, and not even Edge VN. This was a third, unreleased engine—and for good reason: it was a horrible, broken mess. You see, not only was this my first visual novel engine, but the first program I had ever written from scratch. I've come a long way in four years, leading my work to be praised by developers even with many more years of experience than I have. But while my coding practices may have changed, the ...

Update 33 - The End of the Beginning