Adam’s 2016 Birthday Wishlist

Today marks a special day for me: the anniversary of my birth! Woot!
And with today being my birthday and it being the start of a new year, I’m going to start up another string of ‘themed’ posts!

So what’s the theme?

Looking ahead!

For the next two weeks, each member of the Cohort will dish the dirt on something they’re looking forward to in 2016! And since it’s my birthday today, I get to start!

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If you know me at all, you know Aerith is my favorite video game character of all time. Final Fantasy VII, like many RPG gamers today, was one of my introductions to the beauty of JRPGs and changed my life. So, naturally, with the announcement of the remake at last year’s E3… I nearly cried of extreme happiness.

And then, the PlayStation Experience trailer…

I wept.

This was the game that I had seen all of those years ago. Everything. Perfectly stolen from my mind’s vision.

A lot of hubbub has circulated after Square Enix’s decision to release the remake as a “multi-part series,” but I’m overall just excited for the fact that this exists. They’ve gone on record to say that 2016 will still be a year of preparations… but I can still be excited!

And you can expect a few articles about my excitement over the course of the year. *hint hint foreshadow hint hint*

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On the topic of episodic games, PlayStation Plus introduced me to the awesomeness that is King’s Quest late last year. Sierra’s fairy tale epic franchise returns with such a beautiful grace, it alarms me that I didn’t discover it sooner.

Something about the Princess Bride­­–style delivery of a story within a story fills King’s Quest to the brim with nostalgia – even if you don’t have a history with the franchise. Feathered with personality, puzzles, and puns, King’s Quest captures the whimsical needs of our inner child while rewarding exploration, interaction, and silliness. Despite some obvious illusions of choice, the game does a surprisingly good job of making the majority of choices feel important – even if only for a different punchline to end with.

With the release of Chapter Two just a few weeks ago, King’s Quest promises to be one of my highlights of 2016. Even if it’s simply a guilty pleasure to feel like a kid again or to laugh at the terrible, terrible puns.

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Another release of last year that I’m finally jumping on the train with, RPG Maker MV is the newest installment of the game making software by Enterbrain, Inc. The ‘game’ works as a tool simple to create epic adventures with minimal coding knowledge. And, considering awesome games have been created using previous editions of the software (such as To The Moon!), there’s no denying the potential!

MV steps up its game by allowing game makers to install plug-ins to modify and customize their games beyond the default. Previously, scripts and coding knowledge were required to add unique features to your game, and now it’s as simple as knowing which plug-ins to combine in order to get your desired effect. Pretty genius.

So, why is this on my wishlist? Well, simply because of the constant stream of new content for the tool. I have been addicted to several YouTube channels that update almost daily with tutorials, tips, and new plug-ins for your benefit.

Needless to say, the community is amazing. And encouraging. And extremely talented.

If 2016 promises to be anything for me, I hope that it is the year that I can rock out on this tool and showcase my creations for you on the Cohort. Because, oh yeah, MV allows your games to work on web browsers in addition to PC, Mac, iOS, and Android!

Pretty sweet!

So, there it is. Another year older. Another year wiser. But still a gamer at heart.

Feel free to use the comments below to wish me a Happy Birthday. Because, I’ll appreciate it. Haha.

Originally posted on The Writer’s Cohort, January 5, 2015