Feel free to get in touch anytime by E-Mailing admin@healingprocessgame.com . Thanks!
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#401. Working on the Menu

November 29th 15:05, (Tokyo)

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Currently working on the in-game menu. So far it only features one character... so I think I will wait until I have a few more pieces of art done of the other characters before I share it.





See you next time! Sam Louix

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#392. In-Game Menu

November 20th 11:31, (Tokyo)

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I am currently working on the in-game menu. Typically, I don't reference games directly for battle mechanics, animations, art or otherwise (and if you're wondering why, it's because I am really just trying to make something original). As for the in-game menu though, I am looking at other games. If you're wondering why - it's just because I have no idea what I am doing on that front haha.

Here are some elements I am looking at:

Here are some of the things I've been looking at from other menus. (You can see my mock menu in the middle and to the bottom right of the middle menu). I am currently working on two menus because there are going to be two modes. In the dreamworld you will be able to play as a single player with 2 support characters, or with one friend - in which case support characters won't be available.


Here we can see some things I have been interested in. #1 is the pointer from Chrono Cross. I really like this feature but don't really have any idea how to implement something similar into the game so I've currently left it out. #3 is the persona in the background (Persona 3) on the menu. This is a nice idea and this menu, along with Star Ocean 5's (#6) inspired me to add in full art of each of the characters as a main feature in the menu. I have heard that Star Ocean 5 is not particularly good, but this menu looks great - and honestly this menu alone made me want to play the game.

This realisation lead me to start making Healing Process: Tokyo's menu as good as possible.



Here's a rough layout of what I am working on. As you can see there's a full image of Charles (just an outline, haven't started drawing it yet), and it will eventually include whichever of the 2 support characters of 50 the player has chosen. It currently features Play Time, Enemy Kill Count, Area Discovery, Item Discovery and Dream Residents (should say 'Dream Characters', whoops) included. Of course this is a rough draft and I will most likely not share its final appearance until I do some crowdfunding, so you can look forward to seeing it in action in the trailer.

Sam Louix

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#391. Star Ocean 4

November 19th 10:05, (Tokyo)

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Albeit hearing mixed reviews about Star Ocean 4, I recently decided to take it out of the CD case in my drawer under the sofa and give it a chance. I have the PS3 version, which I bought years ago (probably 3 or 4). Anybody who reads this blog will know by now that I rarely ever play modern games. By this, I mean anything post Ps1, Ps2. I derive a lot of enjoyment from playing super nintendo and playstation games. Observing and learning from the limitations present on the Super Nintendo and the ingenuity required to overcome it is fascinating. Creating a great story and script, an engaging battle system and an amazing soundtrack in a world that engages the player is much harder when you have limitations. It doesn't need to be 'harder', but looking back on old games allows for objective criticism. If you're wondering why this is, it's because there's no pressure to buy or play the games, or buy them purely because of the 'new and amazing graphics'. Nobody will be surprised at the 'high quality' pixel graphics of a SNES game, for this reason - you need to look for something more in these games. The story, mechanics, characters, music and mood become to basis for this kind of introspection.

Getting back on topic, I decided to play Star Ocean 4. Most of the bad reviews, I realised were focused on how bad the voice acting was, and granted - I do remember playing the game briefly at my friend Grant's house... (probably about 8-9 years ago... :O ). I do remember that the voices were absolutely terrible. I also remember these voices were English. You know how mad anime dubs sound? Well it's almost the low end of bad anime dubs. This makes the game unplayable. Luckily I have the international version which has Japanese voices! (I am not sure if the original did, maybe it did). You probably know by now that I can speak Japanese, which is great. I changed the voices to Japanese straight away. So, the reviewers were also saying that the combat is one of its best elements. Great!

Starting the game, I saw all of the common anime archetypes (sigh). This allows for lazy writing. I do truly hate anime with lazy writing (95% of it), and you can imagine all of the character types and voices. I hated the music for Welch and her stupid voice even in Japanese. It's not funny. People can make the argument 'well maybe it's just a game made for kids!', 'why are you playing games anyway' - to which I reply 'go fuck yourself'. Let's look at some other media for 'kids' shall we? What about Toy Story? It's hilarious no matter what age you are. For that reason alone - a game can also be written well, being aimed at kids or not. In fact, KIDS wouldn't even like this for the most part as they are often looking for the best, adult-like games they can get their hands on. Final Fantasy 8 didn't have any of this shit going on. It was well written with good, original characters, as was Chrono Trigger etc, the list is endless.

Looking past these things... for whatever reason, I have been enjoying the game. From the get-go the delivery of the story has been good, despite the bad characters (99% of the voice acting isn't bad in Japanese, just to make it clear). Since Star Ocean 3 (oh come to think of it, I played that game in English and it had some horrible voice acting with some terrible recording quality)... anyway since Star Ocean 3, I have been looking for a game set in space with a story and world that feels large like that. I always want a good mix of direction in story with a large world to explore, and I don't mean 'explore' as in some huge badly designed open world thing. I can do with well-crafter mid-sized areas to look around. Having played for 10 hours, SO4 seems to be delivering on this so far.

Anyway, I am going to cut it short here since it's taking a while to write. I am liking Star Ocean 4 so far. It reinforces something I have been saying for a while now, which is that I really don't like reading reviews of critics, especially those who come at a game or a piece of music with little to no experience of the context of its creation. I feel Star Ocean 4 has gotten a bad rap for that reason. I need to remember that I should just play a game, or listen to a piece of music without listening to critics. I do the majority of the time, but I had been put off of SO4 for this reason, which is regrettable as it's pretty good. If you truly come into an experience with an open mind and you look for the good parts of a game, book or a piece of music - I think you can find it a lot of the time. I am finding it with SO4. The flow of the game, the music, the battle system alone are enough to warrant playing this game. OH and if you hate the cutscenes and voices, you can simply skip the scenes and it gives you a summary of what just happened! An ingenius feature which I am definitely going to consider including in Healing Process: Tokyo.

Anyway, I am going to leave you with a track and video of the gameplay from YouTube below, check it out!
The Track: Cosmic Voyagers (honestly if this doesn't get you excited for the game, better leave it out.)

Cutscene/gameplay: I'm giving you the Japanese voices to save your ears and sanity. This is the cutscene and gameplay from the first boss.


Seems pretty enjoyable, doesn't it?

See you next time! Sam Louix

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#387. Animation After Animation

November 15th 8:15, (Sheffield, England)

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As well as keeping the blog up to date, I have a list of roughly... 100 improvements across 54 scenes I want to make to the game before starting a Kickstarter campaign. When I say 'improvements', I mean animations etc. too.



After going solo I have been working on footage for the game and new trailers since the Kickstarter failed in late 2015... It's been a pleasure to be honest. Working on something I enjoy nearly every single day, but it's almost time to let the cat out of the bag, I think. I found the key is to just take it slowly (obviously) and just trust that you will improve through your shortcomings. Constantly hammering at something until you get somewhere. A lot can be said for incremental progress.

I am currently working on the animation for an attack known as 'Nature's Impaler'. It will use the surrounding level as the basis for its appearance and attack type. The main animation of Charles has 31 frames, remember I am rotoscoping though so the challenges are different than 'real animation'. Here's a screenshot of some frames:


Tomorrow I am going to upload some ad-lib of me playing the bass, or something. Stay tuned!

Sam Louix

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#386. 3 Years Ago

November 14th 8:49, (Tokyo)

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Around 3 years ago I made the decision to take HP:T on alone. A lot of things have gone on since then, the primary change being the birth of our daughter. While my wife Kou has been infinitely supportive of my efforts, as well as some close friends (I am looking at you, Vincent, Ethan and Alex), there is a sense of solitude which I hesitate to call 'loneliness' when making the game.

Since I was young, even from the age of about 7 or 8 I have thrived during the times where I was alone. I don't know if this is a concious stubbournness, which I feel like it is, or upbringing, or genetics. I don't know how we would ever know something like that. Anyway, the fact of the matter is that making the game alone makes me feel like myself. Knowing I have ultimate control of everything in the game, from the art to the music, to the way the game is programmed and the story unfolds. Now we might get some armchair psychologists thinking, 'he wants to control everything in the project because he doesn't feel as if he has control of his life'. I'd like to contend with that assumption off the bat by saying that I studied Japanese from the age of 16, and finally came to live in Japan from late 2013. I have worked as a composer since before graduating (a dream of mine since the age of 8) and have pretty much freely done as I have wanted with my life so far. So I don't think it's because of a lack of control or feeling of lacking control that I make the whole game alone. I like to be in control of all aspects of my life, and I feel as if I am. I do not feel as if controlling everything in HP:T is a trade-off for not being able to control other things. The word 'effort' and 'artistic integrity' come to mind.

I do want to know I have done something worthwhile and legitimate in my life. Maybe living my life with such control is a concious protest against the inevitabiliity of death and nothingness? Not that I feel particularly scared of such things.

Anyway, I am always saying I want to 'share more', so I am going to make a concious effort to do so.

Sam Louix

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#374. Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life

November 2nd 13:06, (Tokyo)

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Before I write this, I have to emphasise that I am an atheist and do not endorse a literal belief of the bible. However...



Yes, it is a good book. There are a few things I come away wondering though... Peterson never comes out and explicitly says 'I believe in the literal existence of god and the happenings in the bible', but he doesn't say the opposite either. He has obviously tried his best to push the bible without enforcing literal belief in it. It's a very clever endorsement of the bible.

I like it though. A lot of my atheist/liberal friends have told me 'don't drink the coolaid Sam!', 'he is pushing an agenda', I do not agree that is 100% true. I do believe he is doing his best to only look at facts and bring them to their logical conclusions... well 95% of the time, bias is inevitable as a human on earth (however, he does account for this in my opinion). No, it's not about 'drinking the coolaid', but it is about leaving your beliefs at the door and trying to read the 'damn thing' with an open mind. If I read the book with the mindset that I definitely won't like it, I won't. It's like when I was a child, I used to hate vegetables and even throw up when trying to eat them because I hated the idea of them so much. It wasn't the taste. It's the same with this book. I believe if you want to truly understand someone you have to leave all of your reservations at the door and just, in a sense 'fall for it'. You avoid 'drinking the coolaid' by writing notes about each chapter and reconsidering what is being said once you are back out of the book afterwards. Why would you do it this way? Because if you are half in your own head and half in the book, and debating constantly while you're reading it, you are not going to give the person reading it a fair chance. If you don't give them a fair chance you will dismiss what they say as they're saying it, and never truly understand where they are coming from or how to debate against what they said. Most importantly, you will reject the very real fact that they do have ideas to bring to the table which can be improved upon. This is the major problem of both the right and the left in modern society. You need to let the good and bad in and wash yourself of the bad parts afterwards. In fact he even has a chapter stating you should assume the person speaking knows something you don't, because everyone, no matter where they are from or how old they are have some kind of experience you can learn from.

This book can basically be boiled down to:
The cold hard reality of science has not left room for other personal 'truths' that people have experienced. Science teaches fact while religion/personal experience helps push us towards being better. We have hundreds of thousands of years of social growth and lessons, and these are boiled down into the bible and other old texts, we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, we should keep one foot in order (tradition) while flirting with chaos and bring back the rewards that chaos brings'.

It's a good message. I am sure if people live the way that Peterson outlines they will lead a more fulfilled, or at least - goal oriented life, shedding unnecessary vices and addictions they may have and giving themselves some direction. You don't need to be religious to benefit from this book.

I have seen a lot of leftists purely labelling him 'right' and therefore what he is saying is 'bad' or 'wrong', or god forbid, 'old fashined', but none of these are a legitimate argument. It would be interesting to discuss it with someone on the (far?) left who has read it an understood it.

Sam Louix

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#373. Started Quora

November 1st 18:06, (Sheffield, England)

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I know I'm a bit late to the party but I have started answering questions on Quora. Feel free to connect with me if you want to here!

I will be answering a lot about Japan, Japanese language, pixel art, music and game development!

Sam Louix

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#370. Enjoyed

October 29th 3:16, (Sheffield, England)

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I greatly enjoyed this at 3am. First time recording/performance ever, I believe.


Sam Louix

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#360. Pan-down Scene (Continued)

October 19th 22:55, (England)

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So on the 9th I shared some progress of a scene from a cutscene I am working on, it's a scene that pans down from the moon to the water. Today I'd like to share with you the current state of the image, in video form. I really like how the water has turned out in the parallax panning. It's looking pretty 3D despite being completely made up of animated 2D layers and parallax. The video quality is really bad because my computer doesn't have the sufficient power to record any kind of high quality video :( I am currently working on building a new one. Anyway here it is!

See you next time.

Sam Louix

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#359. Disgaea 2: Inspiration

October 18th 12:33, (Sheffield, England)

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I make a conscious effort to not let other games effect Healing Process: Tokyo too much. Having said that, recently I have been playing Disgaea 2 (PSP), and it really keeps my attention, enough to get me to buy Disgaea 1, 3, 4, and D2 too! It is rare for me to buy almost all of the games in the same series.



While trying to work out why it keeps me so entertained, I came up with the following reasons;
1) It allows you to mingle with really strong and dangerous enemies early on, mostly at your own will. You don't feel like you are being treated as a complete idiot, and having to avoid these enemies or find your own special way to overcome them is fun. Either that or you have to wait and you can see what you will be challenging later on. This gives the player an incentive to really grind, which happens to be really fun in this game. The amount of time I spent levelling up just so I could kill those annoying judges that shout NO when you propose something new to them would probably be embarassing to share.
2) It lets you find 'your own' way, and it's completely unrestricted. Games in the Disgaea series allow you to level up not only your characters, but any level and item too. The 'item world' is a place inside the item of your choice, allowing you to boost the stats of the item based on how many floors (levels) you complete. The great thing about this is you can then 'break the game' by giving weak characters strong equipment and level them up quickly. You can also level up stealing items 'hands', improving your chances of stealing amazing items from the aforementioned high level monsters.

3) The game basically lets you cheat. You are allowed to challenge (almost) any enemy at any time, you can rearrange the level's panels to give ridiculous amounts of experience for only hitting an enemy once... the list goes on.

4) Every part of the game is executed creatively. You can level up... any item and weapon, you can even go back to previous levels from the story and challenge them again. The story is well written and genuinely gripping, this can be said of Disgaea 1 and 2 too, maybe not so much the rest, I've heard good things about 4, though I haven't gotten around to playing it yet. The character designs and personalities, despite being anime are pretty unique in D1 and D2. You have to go to a court to ask for permission to improve your characters, unlock secret places - and you can even bribe the judges, beat them into submission or BECOME a judge yourself! There are so many weapons and items with creative and funny referential names and descriptions, not to mention all of the unique designs of weapon which are reflected in your player's sprite (this is a must-have). You can create and rename characters, making them the apprentice to existing characters... it really goes on and on. Every aspect of the Disgaea games, especially 1 and 2 should be heavily praised for their unique approach to gameplay.

5) Despite all of the above, the game is STILL challenging. Why? Because even if you spend tens of hours on levelling up your characters in various ways, there is (almost) ALWAYS someone stronger than you. With the massive amount of secret content and enemies to face, it always feels like there is something to do, making the game feel massive, which it is.

I have learned 3 things that I wish to implement into HP:T.

1) Include high level enemies and really challenging mini games from the start, to give the player a glimpse at what lies ahead, and give them something to aim towards. It can also be scary and force them to run from enemies that they will want to come back to later in hopes of being rewarded (note to self: don't forget to include the reward).

2) Make the mini games challenging and WIDE in scope. I have a great idea for this with the 'battle statues' mini game. This mini-game was ironically not inspired by Disgaea 2 in its creation, despite being an SRPG type mini game, it was more inspired by Final Fantasy 8 and 9's card game. I feel the need to mention this now just in case anyone gets the wrong idea about it being inspired by Disgaea.

3) Keep every aspect of the game in-depth, unique and somehow tied in with the overall theme, even if it's just a minimal link.



Oh yeah, the music to Disgaea 2 is amazing too, check it out:


That's the end of that for now, I feel like this post as been a little more insightful than usual hahaha.

Sam Louix

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#358. Going back to England

October 17th 16:52, (England)

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We're currently visiting England as a precursor to our move back here. Everyone says the same thing: 'Whaaaat you want to live in England over Japan!?'.

Yes, I do. I have lived in Japan since September 2013, over 5 years has passed since I got my first apartment there and to be honest, the positive doesn't outweigh the negative. I disagree with the way they work, their education system and the general distance and coldness between people. Many a Japanese native would say to me 'you just don't understand Japan'. Well, unfortunately that's not the case. My wife is Japanese, my kid is half Japanese - and I am now part of a Japanese family too. I have nothing bad to say about my Japanese family at all, don't get me wrong - but I do have a good insight to many different parts of Japanese culture and society. It is not a good thing to be considered 'different' or stand out in Japan, unless you stand out by being at the top of some kind of pre-existing system or for being a 'type of character'. Originality is seldom praised, I feel like we celebrate our differences a lot more 'in the West', and honestly I do think that's better. I don't believe in the collective over the individual, and I don't believe in educating everyone to stomp out their individuality rather than encourage it. Being marked down for what you can't do, rather than being marked up for what you can (not only in education). Anyway! Japan is great for a holiday, I cannot encourage living here, although you might need to if you want to overcome your obsession of the place.

I don't agree with the 'perfect service' idea, where the lower level employees of all companies are basically walked all over by both the ill-tempered customer while being simultaneously spat on by their managers. I don't agree with the way of life in Japan. The sole goal is to go to work and make money for the majority of people. Money is the way men are valued, while women's beauty (genetics) is the main way they are valued. I would like to raise our daughter in a more open and accepting society and education system.

Sorry for the post being a bit of a downer, but I don't feel like I'd be a responsible parent if I were to raise my child in Japan.

While my opinions may effect the story of HP:T, they will not hinder the progress of the game. In fact, a more relaxed life in England will most likely help me finish it more efficiently - not that I will be rushing or anything!

See you next time!

Sam Louix

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#357. 'So what are you trying to accomplish then?'
October 16th 19:03, (Sheffield, England)

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Visiting England, we have been spending a lot of time with my grandma -'Nana', and Granddad on my mother's side. We are doing our best to visit them and give them as much time with Lottie as possible.

During my stay I have been showing Granddad the game, and although he is impressed with my progress over the years, he is obviously worried. He is worried about the outcome and whether people will like the game or not, but the bottom line is he doesn't want me to have worked on the game for 8 years to not have it sell well.

I don't think he really gets the point of making the game, which is to make the game - make something as original and enjoyable as I can, and constantly improve it. To enjoy making it, and enjoy everything about it. While he sees me spend hours and hours of my time on it every day, he feels like 'hard work should be rewarded', but he isn't convinced it is something that will be 'rewarded'. Basically, he doesn't realise that making the game is its own reward.

If we were to think about the game as a purely financial project, which I hate to do - I'd just like him to know that it's the first game I'm making - I will continue and hone my skills as time goes on, and it can always be improved and re-released - and discovered by people as the years goes on. A good book stays a classic forever - and I do believe that if it has some merit, it will float to the top of the pile for years to come. Who knows if I can make something like that? I think I can, I think I am respecting the project and what it needs to make it great, but I am still learning as I go along.

One thing that does annoy me is that he 'doesn't want ME to be disappointed', I won't be disappointed on the release day, because I will know I have done my utmost best to make the game as best as I can make it, and it will be an honest product of my effort and what the gameplay and story is supposed to be about (I won't release it until I feel like it's there). Sales are meaningless. If I get some nice feedback, and the game touches people in some way- whether it be 1 person, friends who are lending their voices in the voice acting or the supporters who are with me now. I will look back on the project's development, and be proud of what it has become, I am very confident about that.

One thing that disappoints me is that I know some people will never understand that money andd popularity isn't the main aim for me, and they will go on to measure me in that way - rather than ever really looking at what I've made. Oh well, 'that's life', I suppose.

Anyway - see you tomorrow!

Sam Louix

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#356. Why education fails some people...

October 15th 19:44, (England)

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I didn't do particularly badly in school, and once I left to study at the music studio (Red Tape Central), it got much better. I would always do really well, or really badly depending on which class I liked. Some people who get great grades in everything, and seem to be quite capable at everything, I feel kind of bad for them in a way. I have a few friends who obviously felt as if they needed to prove something, taking a ridiculous amount of A-Levels (that's the last 2 years before you go off to University in the UK), and it was as if their whole life was hinged upon those grades.

I left school, took a year out and then went back to College at 19/20 for a year. This college was the music studio, in which I did incredibly well, because I was interested - and because I wanted to fill some holes in my self-taught knowledge.



At school you learn information, concepts - and then are expected to use, or even replicate them on paper. I don't like learning this way. To me, learning is achieved by 'doing it my own way' and then once a problem arises that I can't get my head around, I try to work it out, or look up 'a way' to do it. In education, if you are learning to do something - you don't learn 'a way' to do something. You learn 'the way'. Everything you do is fundamentally structured around a method that you didn't create, and I don't like that. I think a lot of people find this very limiting. I believe originality comes from doing things in your own way, not by going exactly by the book, and then when you need some pieces of glue to hold it together. You find this glue either completely by yourself or by researching the necessary information. I do NOT find it appealing to create art based too strongly upon existing structures. That isn't to say you shouldn't be insspired by others, of course, but let's present it in our own way shall we?

Sam Louix

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#355. Filling in holes in my knowledge.
October 14th 16:26, (Sheffield, England)

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I am not primarily an artist. I started working with two other artists when I first thought of this game, after a year they were off the project and I was alone. I wanted to manage everything and make sure they were up to my own standards. I wasn't happy with the way the game looked. For this reason, I started drawing every day, in my own way. It's still an ongoing process, but from the very start it was just constant movement. Sometimes I'd stop, not knowing how to work something out, and until recently I figured out 'the way' or as I prefer to say 'a way' or 'my way' to deal with these things. There were some problems that I simply couldn't get my head around, until recently when I found this book (unfortunately it's in Japanese, sorry):




'Haike irasuto, meiking kouza'
, or 'Scenery Illustration, making structures'.
This book revealed several tricks or 'secrets' about how to draw that I simply just hadn't thought of myself. I will share some of these later, closer to release of the game. It has several methods of how to draw 'haike' or 'scenery', it's part of a series and I have a few of them now. I flick through them occasionally to get some ideas, but one simple trick from the book above gave me one of the most invaluable drawing tools and way of thinking that I've ever seen, I truly recommend them. In fact the diagrams are so good that even if you don't speak Japanese you can probably get your head around what is being explained.

Sam Louix

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#350. Pan-down Scene

October 9th 10:33, (England)

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Hello everyone. I am here in England and working on some more stuff. It's really quite relaxing to spend all of your free time drawing art and programming a game. As long as you don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself, which I see people doing far too often.


Upon 'awakening' in the dream world, Charles finds himself plummeting into a huge lake. The arrival door has been misplaced. One of my greatest fears is being in deep water with other large water dwellers. Well, let's see what happens in the game shall we. I'll keep the blog updated with my progress on this one.

We are currently visting my grandparents and they have met our daughter for the first time this trip. It has been a good experience for her. She slept for 14 hours last night haha <3.

See you tomorrow.

Sam Louix

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#345. Hit a good schedule in England

October 4th 12:33, (Sheffield, England)

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As I have been reading old books (you can get them for free at archive.org) I asked my brother to get me one for my birthday, so he did. He bought 'Moonstone' by Wilkie Collins is in the tweet below, being printed in 1932! Amazing! I also got an ooold copy of 'Where the Blue Begins' and 'The Netherworld', both books I have mentioned here before. If you want to know the secrets of the storytelling in Healing Process: Tokyo, you'd have to look to old literature to find them.



Sam Louix

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#332. In England

September 20th 10:23, (Sheffield, England)

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We are currently visiting England with our daughter Lottie, she has met her Grandad (my dad) for the first time. It was extremely moving. I need to update the backlog of what I have been doing recently, and will do so ASAP.


Until then...

Sam Louix

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#328. Scene Backdrop

September 16th 10:23, (Sheffield, England)

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So here's a screen that scrolls. It's only a few seconds of a longer cutscene, but I still want to make it look as good as possible. There's much more detail to add. We are going to England soon, so I need to work out a schedule for updating and working consistently there too. It's going to be a bit hard, but I'll be here.



Sam Louix

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#320. Cars

September 8th 08:15, (Tokyo)

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Just making some cars:


They'll be in the trailer!

Sam Louix

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#314. Implementing Animations / Levels

September 2nd 14:56, (Tokyo)

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So it's been a long time coming but I am finally implementing all of the new animations / levels into the game. Charles' walk animation is super smooth at 25fps, and I can't wait to share it with you guys.


Sam Louix

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#313. New Month, New Movement

September 1st 08:50, (Tokyo)

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It's a new month and time to get some serious gamedev on. Did you guys know it's been 3 years since the failed Kickstarter? That is so crazy to me, but so much has happened and I have grown so much since then.

Great news, the animations for the Tokyo side of the game are looking incredibly smooth at 25FPS. It took a lot of work to get them done (not to mention the height of each sprite being a mighty 360 pixels), but my god it's so worth it.

Sam Louix

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#312. To My Hero, Mick

August 31st 05:43, (Tokyo)

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I have recently been making a contact list of people related to Mick Karn, who I am looking into making a documentary about. If it all goes to plan, I should get the opportunity to meet a lot of cool people including some of my heroes. I'll be going to England soon and traveling to all of the places I can find from his book 'Japan and Self Existence'. I am looking forward to it, to say the least.

Sam Louix

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#311. Old Games and Game Soundtracks

August 30th 14:09, (Tokyo)

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I have recently been looking over the Japanese Amazon to see what deals there are, and you can buy old games such as Jade Cocoon for $1 including delivery! The original soundtrack for Final Fantasy 8 goes for about $7... man, you really could start a whole collection of stuff with as little as $100-200.
Looking over this merchandise that I still want to buy right now, it really does make me want to release physical copies of both the soundtrack of the game and the game itself upon release. I think I will have a limited print done, maybe just 50-100 copies of each.

Sam Louix

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#310. Overworld Small Progression

August 29th 02:14, (Tokyo)

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Just a bit of progression from the overworld/worldmap. I just add a couple of buildings a day!



Sam Louix

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#309. Animations...

August 28th 13:45, (Tokyo)

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I've currently been spending a whole day animating one 5-second scene of some cars going along the motorway ('highway' for you Yankees) :D...

Gamedev life is fulfilling. I also finally took a video documenting posting 300 times on the blog, awesome! I'll upload it soon, and I aim to upload more videos soon, it's been a bit hard with the baby and everything.

Sam Louix

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#308. Theme Songs

August 27th 05:24, (Tokyo)

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Here's the main theme song from Persona 3. I think it's really effective (mainly because I have been listening to it for 10 years). While the mood doesn't fit HP:T it's another reinforcement to the idea of giving the game a theme song with a vocalist. Others are 'Suteki da ne', 'Melodies of Life' and especially 'Eyes on You' from Final Fantasy 10, 9 and 8. This is one thing that Japanese games do especially right.


Sam Louix

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#307. Writing to a Specification

August 26th 17:48, (Tokyo)

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It can be quite difficult for a composer to write to a specification. This might be the same for other types of artists such as illustrators and writers.

Now I don't want you to misunderstand me you see, it's about the tedium that comes with working on someone else's vision. The chances are, when doing commissioned work - you are not going to be 100% invested in the work of the employer 100% of the time. This isn't something that people feel they can control (actually it can be controlled if you offer your services for free to projects you actually want to work on). People are usually working under the pretense of getting paid, which is unfortunate. It's unfortunate that everything must be driven by money.

I am going off track anyway, the tedium that comes from working on someone else's vision usually comes from not a lack of skill, but a practised and tried method. For example, you may be asked to write a 'sad song' and you'll do just that. You'll whip out the minor chords, the sad strings, and the soft piano. It's easy, it's done. It envokes sadness. The main problem is, 95% of customers will be fine with that, and their game/TV Show/movie's supporters will 'fall for it' every time. The problem with this is, you have been paid to 'manufacture' music. For me personally, if someone tells me 'write a sad song in D Minor', I'll do it, it will work, and I'll feel bored and crappy during and afterwards. It's boring. It's BORING, it's boring a hole in my head just listening to it. So what can we do? When specified to work on this kind of stuff, switch it up - use different instruments, portray sadness and some other feelings too! Experiment with it! No wait, that doesn't work. You've gone and had too much fun with it, and it doesn't fit the director's narrow vision of what it should sound like. Yes that's right... get back to the initial template and you'll get paid. Unfortunately this is a sad truth for a lot of those working in the industry, and this is people who are GOOD at what they do.

The real solution:
'Okay idealistic Sam, what's the true way to deal with frustration that arises from lack of artistic freedom?'. Well, I thought you'd never ask. Thank you for putting it so consicely. The solution is to simply 'stop working with money in mind'. What?! What is this madness? Yeah, that's right. Forget about being paid. You'll only receive a fraction of what you're worth for mediocre work anyway. What's the point? You know all of those people who 'make it big' in an instant, on some 'dumb luck' because it's their first project? Well it's not dumb luck. They most likely created something amazingly transcendant, and you haven't managed to realise that yet. If you make something mediocre, you will be thought of as mediocre and you'll forever be filling that mediocre roll on that mediocre project. Hell, you might even get to work on a good project, but you'll still have very little control over what you're doing.

Okay, it's an extreme fix, just trying to make amazing works all day long and expecting no pay. Yes, I am aware that you need to pay the rent, that's why you (and I) write this mediocre crap for people you don't respect. But that's just it... do as little of it as youc can, and whatever you do - do not let it overtake your personal endeavours of making incredible art. You should be doing your project 95% of the time or 90% of the time, and that other stuff 10% or so of the time.

How to fulfill your potential as an artist.
You've got to work on something amazing, with someone you respect, and someone who respects you and your work. But guess what, that's never going to happen unless you do something amazing first. My fix was to take Healing Process: Tokyo into my own hands and make everything. Healing Process: Tokyo (and my band Autocoders) are the only projects I have ever felt I am able to pursue my curiosities as an artist 100% of the time. You don't need to write to a specification. You write a great piece of music that you love, and then you can assign it to a scene afterwards. I don't know about you, but for me - just writing a plan on a page for a track as: 'sad, feeling regret over ___ ' etc. as a specification to myself for a song doesn't work. I make the music first. The feeling I get while making that music as a musician is a much more in depth account of the initial emotion. Far greater than anything I can write in words. You are always going to be better at one thing than something else, and you are always going to be writing better music when you focus on the music itself rather than your ideal image of that music in words. Once you have finally finished your track, think about the world you have created. How does the track REALLY make you feel? Not just sad. Not just 'happy'. It's not just 'an upbeat track for a club scene'. No, you can see it in your mind's eye. This track is for that one specific scene where character A attacks character B, a great truth is told and a plot twist occurs. You've made the perfect track for the scene you've just imagined, in fact - the music itself has shaped the scene, embracing it and delivering it far more effectively than you could have ever hoped for from a track made to a specification.

To me, art is showing honesty. The music must convey the emotion, first and foremost. This emotion can ironically only be captured when you are not thinking about the project, you must then patchwork it together afterwards. This is my way of keeping myself entertained and my art honest.

Thanks for reading.



Sam Louix

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#306. Social Interactions in Fire Emblem

August 25th 04:33, (Tokyo)

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As a long ongoing franchise, Fire Emblem has had the opportunity to create a system where all of the characters interact, and you really get a chance to see their personality bloom as you through the game. Once characters support other characters in battle, it opens a 2-way dialogue between them treating you to their dialogue together. This in turn strengthens the two when they pair up in battle and can even lead to having children and learning new ability, all of which incentivise you to pair up different characters and make your gameplay more diverse. It forces you to branch out with your playing / tactics style. This is a very interesting way to deal with a lot of relationships between a lot of characters which also isn't forced on the player as they can skip the dialogue. It's good.

While I am strongly against copying anyone in anything, be it music - or games, etc., with HP:T having over 100 characters with backstories, it would be interesting to see if I could implement something similar into the game. I would like them to have a scene rather than just a 2 way dialogue, but that's a hell of a lot of work, so maybe once the interaction ends, it could end with just 1 scene between the 2. However, thinking about it that's like... 100x100 cutscenes... 10,000 cutscenes? Forget that. Haha! I'll see what I can do.
Sam Louix

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#305. Writing Believable Characters

August 24th 15:18, (Tokyo)

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Reading old fiction recently, I find that there are a lot of characters with really detestable characteristics. I think this is especially hard for someone to write. Creating a character with values different to yourself is one thing, but executing their dialogue and behaviour is another thing.

Let's say we have a character who is racist. I think people feel they will be judged if they write a character who makes a lot of racist remarks, as if it would somehow reflect badly upon themselves as a person. While people should 'write what they know' I don't think this should necessarily extend to reflect badly upon the author when they have pushed thsemselves to write someone so deplorable. They may even be searching for the good in that character despite their flaws.

In games and anime culture in Japan, it is not uncommon to find a villain who rapes and kills characters within the story. However it is hard to find human characters who are just plain ugly. The world is created in a bubble where most characters have huge breasts and most enemies are handsome or beautiful, it's interesting to see how when working within the medium the artists/directors feel they have to pacify the characters for the viewer. This reflects on the culture asnd the artist equally, and this is one trap I do not want to fall into with HP:T. this goes for ugly personalities as well as ugly faces.

When making a game I wam trying to think of it from several angles, especially those outside the world of video games. Trying to pick up some stylistic tendancies from within myself and from old novels, or just basically anything out of the game culture is important to me and a much better way of making something new than looking at what everyone else is currently doing and copying that.

Sam Louix

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#303. Finished for now!

August 22nd 10:53, (Tokyo)

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I have spent a lot of time on this piece, and posted about it earlier on. This is by no means the final version as all levels and all individual parts of levels will be improved before release. HOWEVERRR I can finally place this on the 'done for now' pile, and come back to it before release in 2022 or so when I am more skilled than I am now. I have many areas and scenes to get through, this being 1 of around 230-250 areas planned so far. I'll use this post to emphasise that I do not use tilesets in the side-scrolling parts of the game, everything is hand drawn. And of course, all of these Tokyo sections are also hand drawn. It's a lot of work, but I believe it will pay off for the uniqueness of the areas. Personally, I would feel bad just presenting levels put together from tilesets. I want the player to have new stuff to see each time they get to the next screen.



Sam Louix

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#302. To be honest...

August 21st 08:57, (Tokyo)

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... I can't wait to get out of this country.
Sam Louix

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#301. Lily Chou Chou

August 20th 11:14, (Tokyo)

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This movie is one of the earliest exposures I had to Japanese music and culture. The beauty and tragedy within the story were so perfectly opposed, and I used to love that feeling. While I still love the music (the beautiful side), I find it hard to like the rough nature of the characters and cold unloving nature of Japan... While I have kept the happy parts of the music, the happiness the music makes me feel - and the memories it brings back, I just can't bring myself to watch the movie without feeling bad. I think the movie was a necessarily tool for growing up, but if I watch it now it's confusing.

The soundtrack by Salyuu is magnificent and the sound will probably work its way into the HP:T soundtrack, whether I intend it or not.





Sam Louix

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#300. 300 Days

August 19th 22:16, (Tokyo)

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Okay I have to get this out of my system first... WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I have been updating this blog constantly for the past 300 days. That is insanity. I used to be so unfocused before I started making this game. I'd be creating all of my music etc. with no real direction, but ever since creating Healing Process: Tokyo, I have been able to focus on making it theway I like, and keeping the updates flowing. Even if I have spoken about things off-topic, this blog has been a HUGE help in keeping me focused on the game. Last but certainly not least, I want to thank you guys who have been supporting me in my journey making the game. Albeit this going into my 4th year creating HP:T, I have only been providing updates for the last year. Already, I have found a great group of people who support me in what I do. Vincent, Googol, Taizen, Enzo, Mike, Emilsinclair, Skaven and Dondo - you guys have been here since the start of the discord group and I really appreciate you sticking around. Thank you guys!
Sam Louix



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