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Version One - Project Leviathan

As I mentioned in the last entry, I wanted to give an introduction to the Spiral Island storyline. I figure I'll start this off here by telling how I have gotten to this point.

Each of my game projects has a project name. The project usually is a codeword to represent it, and is usually the working title. The usual naming convention I go with for standalone titles unrelated to anything else are a string of letters to make up initials, and for the series titles they usually refer to their place in the game. For example, Phobia project I am working on in XNA, Genome Prototype, goes by the name Project Zeropoint, because it actually comes before the game I had designated as the beginning of the storyline, which I call Project Fear for that reason in particular. Spiral Island's project name is Project Leviathan, due to it's unusual origin.

Spiral Island began as an extra credit project for my World History class in 10th grade, which I was failing due to botching up some other assignments and tests in the class. The game wasn't anything at all like the final version at that point, but was instead a project on Greek Mythology, a game I simply titled Leviathan. Not having any real programming experience on any modern platform yet at that point, I was making it instead with a game maker known as RPG Maker 2000, which at the time I didn't know was an illegal translation of a product sold only in Japan. My whole intent of this project was to find a suitable game maker to restart another game I had started, a project called Team Rocket which I had taking place in the Pokemon universe.

Leviathan originally involved a fictional character, a teenager named Amy Carter, who was traveling in a fictional world learning about Greek Mythology. She had gone to a monarchy-ruled country known as Croshid to visit their antique library, which was more a museum and had a lot of things from the Greek rule. This was an island nation, and the characters were traveling their by sea, when they were attacked by the sea monster Leviathan, and fell through a magic portal and were transported into ancient Greece.

The problem with this project was the dependancy files of RPG Maker 2000, it required a massive amount of other resources be installed in order to actually run anything made with it. I was looking at other game makers at the time to try and avoid this, and I had downloaded a number of other free and possibly open source utilities that existed back then. The only one I remember at this point is the next one I experimented with, an older - and also illegally translated - version of the first, known as RPG Maker 95. This one didn't rely on the resource packages that 2000 used, however it's translation was much worse, and I found myself unable to create any new maps to work with for cities and the like. Stuck with only one map, I cranked it up to the maximum size of 200 x 200 tiles, and thought of a way to be able to most effectively use the space in just one single map for the longest play possible. The result I eventually came up to was a landform shaped loosely like an Archimedean spiral, leading to the creation of a spiral island. Walking around my creation in RPG Maker 95 took a long time, and my annoyance with the land, with nothing to do there, proved to me that I had an interesting concept here, and I decided to continue it. I had first mentioned it on November 13 of 2000, simply describing it in a news bulletin in this way: "Fifth, I have yet to find a RPG maker good enough to handle the remake of Team Rocket. However, I am making an annoyingly hard little game that will tide us over until I do."

I turned out able to pass with the other extra credit I was doing, ending up with a final grade of C+ for that quarter. Leviathan was no longer necessary, and the ideas coming to me for the "Spiral Island" project were intriguing, so I went on with it, shelving the Team Rocket project permanently and focusing on this new project. The game Leviathan was gone, and in its place had begun Spiral Island, the rebirth of Project Leviathan.

Date posted: 27 July, 2008
Tags: anacondasoftware names programming software spiral_island writing
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