Lusipurr’s Fountain of Perpetual Disappointment has been a project in some form or another since its inception as a joke on a podcast almost six years ago, but by the time 2012 rolled around, it became a serious and involved undertaking.
Even as a lifelong gamer and having a history in independent film-making, nothing could have prepared me for how massive an undertaking game development really is and I am both devastated and relieved to announce the official suspension of development on LFoPD.
If nothing else, I have learned invaluable lessons about game development and while I have been very lucky to work with a lot of talent over the course of the last few years, I have also come to recognize that I cannot gather the resources I need to reasonably complete the project while still respecting my vision for it. I also have considered and rejected the idea of creating a Kickstarter fund for the project. I do not believe it is the place for first time unproven developers to ask for money from others in that manner.
I do not have delusions about some need to produce a triple A title, but I have great faith in the game’s systems, characters, and script and also great respect for the code and art that was so generously and skillfully provided up until this point, and in order to continue respecting this work, it has become apparent that now is not the time for this game.
I came to slowly realize that I was only pushing forward with the project in an effort to prove I could and while I believe it is very important to finish what you start, I am not comfortable putting myself and the development team through more rigorous work in what would boil down to a stubborn act of defiance.
This experience has taught me that game design suits me. I love the abundance of creativity that is required and I love the medium’s unique challenges, and now that I have more perspective on the process of game design, I want to take a more natural path to eventually make the game that LFoPD deserves to be. The suspension of this project is the beginning and not the end of my game development career.
I am sorry to anybody who was looking forward to this game and I am grateful for your support, just as I am grateful beyond words to all the people who slaved over the title just as I have. But do not fear, Lusipurr will live to disappoint another day, just when you least suspect it. Or just when you most suspect it. Whichever is more disappointing.
With utmost sincerity,
There have been very few updates on this blog recently because I have been waiting for the release of our first trailer. Doing so will make me feel comfortable with releasing screens and other media knowing that I have a specific look and feel attached to the game.
But having the trailer as a specific goal has helped development immensely and I’m really excited to show everybody what we have. Of course, it’s also terrifying as well, but that’s all part of it. Until then, thanks for your patience! The trailer goes through colour-correction in August and should be up in the coming weeks.
As a treat to those who follow this dev blog, here is a very small sampling of the music I’ve been working on for LFoPD. Sometimes demos are more like a proof of concept and sometimes they are very close to what the finished product will sound like. These demos are far more similar to the former. The plan is to use orchestra samples for much of the soundtrack; although my soft spot for the piano will likely make it featured in most of the OST anyway.
Some are more rough than others. I think the first track is pretty much complete in terms of structure and melody. It just needs arrangement and orchestration. The second track has a much further way to go. I like the ideas and melodies, but I don’t consider it close to a finished piece yet. There is a lot missing.
The third track might end up completely different, very much the same, or it might be swallowed into another track altogether. I guess we’ll see. The final track is the piece I wrote most recently and although I like it quite a bit, I do not yet have a place for it in the game that I can think of. I also consider it unfinished in terms of structure. Enjoy and please leave any and all thoughts on the small taste so far.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Amion for the better part of this year. She’s the new head artist and she’s understood the game faster than I could ever hope for a relatively new artist on the project. One of the best examples of this instant teamwork is found in the artwork of Glenn.
Glenn is a character that we’re not going to reveal a lot about – I think his character arc is best discovered through the game’s storyline – but it’s enough to say that he’s the game’s secondary villain after Lusipurr. Is he Lusipurr’s lackey? Are they even in cahoots? That’s for the game to tell and for you to find out.
It’s also safe to say that Glenn is a very layered character and so I had a very specific look in my imagination for him. I knew I wanted to include the jester costume cliché, but it had to do so many other things as well. It turned out perfectly, I think. The costume is flamboyant yet dark, his face suggests that he his charming, yet twisted. It also implies that he is tired beyond what most sleep could ever fix.
Beyond the unbelievable art team (almost literally, I sometimes find it difficult to believe the wealth of talent I have working on the game), the game is in a bit of a strange point in its development.
So many parts are so far along that it feels a bit like a child who has outgrown his clothing. There is one type of art asset that will change everything for the game. It is one of the reasons this blog has seen so few entries. The rest of the game is far enough along that I don’t feel I’m properly representing it without screenshots at this point. I want to show how all the wonderful art works in conjunction.
I think I’ll be talking battle system in my next post.
Our very talented monster artist has a method for creating the game’s monsters which I like quite a bit. First, he’ll go off the suggestions I’ve made for types of designs in the different areas of the game. A standard start, but after he’s finished, he’ll look at the design and say to himself, “how can I make it more unique?”
In my mind, his designs are already unique, but going one step further shows why he’s such a good fit for the team. This is the debut project for most – if not all – members of the team, and we’re all looking to make a really good first impression.
The Bomber Squirrel is one of John’s first pieces, but it’s still one of my favourites. There’s so much personality packed into such a common animal.
Like the game itself, John and I are trying to find the happy mix between serious and silly with the monster designs. The Bomber Squirrel makes an appearance in the first area of the game where the party is able to battle, and I think it sets the right tone.
We’re looking to pack close to 70 monsters into the game, so look forward to more monster designs here.
The thing about making an indie RPG as a first-time project with lofty art ideals, is that the beautiful art comes at the cost of a few things.
Firstly, time. The game will take a lot longer to make.
Secondly, organization. LFoPD has four artists located in four different locations who all have other priorities in addition to the game. This makes it difficult to maintain a schedule and consistent art style.
This is all to explain the reason for slower development blog updates. We’ve recently had to transition from one artist to another. It was an amiable process on all ends, but also a stressful one.
However, now that we have a new main artist and are very pleased with the work, look forward to new updates here. Not just art updates, but I’d like to reveal some classes pretty soon too. With names like Street Vendor and Hipster, how can you not be interested?
Whether it gets released this year or not, 2012 is the year of LFoPD.
Because LFoPD started as a joke between friends, and because a number of the characters are still based on real people, it became a legitimate concern whether the game would be relatable to the lucky people who have never met Oliver Motok.
For Lusipurr himself, I knew it would be easy. The man is so much larger than life that directly porting his personality to the game would make for a more interesting fictional character than I could ever conceive of normally.
Nate is known for saying “farts” a lot. I thought that was pretty transferable.
When considering Oliver, however, I knew it would be easy to resort to long-time inside jokes. But stuffing the dialogue with references to how he was born after Blue Dragon and claims that there’s no exploration in Metroid would just alienate the vast majority of gamers.
But there is a reason he has made a small-time splash in the niche gaming community, so I looked at the qualities which have made him the occasional focal point.
For one, he is pessimistic and reluctant. That is certainly relatable for a stereotypical RPG hero. There’s also a romantic centre under the layers of apathy, a necessity for any budding love stories. Plus, the man stores up small offenses and hurt feelings like nobody’s business until they finally get released in a hurricane of rage. That has GOT to make for an amazing cutscene.
The reason I kept these three characters with their dispositions relatively unchanged is because I think they actually make for intriguing characters with interesting dynamics. It’s just a matter of properly introducing them to the audience instead of assuming they know the cast as well as I do.
I’m Ethan and this is Lusipurr’s Fountain of Perpetual Disappointment. It’s a labour of love that started as a joke and grew into a legitimate project.
In fact, that’s a good way to sum up the game as a whole. LFoPD is both an opportunity to poke fun at RPGs, but also a love letter to the genre. Things that start off as jokes in the surreal game world end up taking legitimate roots.
On a more practical level, LFoPD is a 2D RPG in the style of the Super Nintendo Final Fantasy games, except with hand-drawn art.
The titular villain, Lusipurr, has transformed the real world into an RPG in hopes of ruling a world run by order and simplicity. The downside? The population is slowly being transformed into mindless NPCs. Lazy, good-for-nothing Oliver fits the cliché of the reluctant hero so perfectly that he is thrust into a quest to confront Lusipurr and his unusual scheme.
I’ll be revealing character and gameplay details on this blog along with occasional screenshots. Check back to see progress!
Lusipurr’s Fountain of Perpetual Disappointment is being developed for the PC and while no exact pricing has been announced, gamers can expect to pay under $5 for the title upon its release.