General FAQ

Hello! I wanted to make a brief FAQ for TASQ, because there are questions I get asked a lot and it'd be nice to just have these answers right here for people to view, in a place that I can centralize and update.

Q: What is this game called?
A: The game's name is "The Transylvania Adventure" with the subtitle of "of Simon Quest", or TASQ for short! Heavy emphasis on "Simon Quest" being a name of the hero.

Q: Is there a demo?
A: Yes! Check the game page for the 2021 Bram Demo. There are additional notes for it's associated devlog.

Q: Will this run on NES hardware?
A: No- while this game was built with the NES palette in mind, it is not built for NES hardware. The NES aesthetic is simulated with palette limiters and other trickery, but the amount of 'stuff' going on under the hood is way too much for the hardware.

Q: What genre is this? Is it a Metroidvania?
A: This is an NES inspired Action Adventure Platformer. It is not a "Metroidvania"- the focus is not on getting upgrades to progress (even though there are upgrades to get), but rather adventuring to different areas and completing your objectives (getting what you need to enter and win the Mansion) in each one.

Q: Where can I follow development?
A: I regularly post videos on my Twitter - Damn near daily with some exceptions.

Q: Can I send you a DM on Twitter regarding TASQ?
A: If you'd like to send me a DM on Twitter, please specify what the DM is about when you ask and I will consider it. If it's regarding publishing, please read further on this FAQ. It's also likely that if I don't recognize who you are, either as a publisher or otherwise, I will probably not open my DMs (they're off for a reason), sorry.

Q: How can I support development?
A: There are a number of ways! Adding a tip amount on here helps a lot, but you can also check out my Patreon, which has some physical tier prizes too. There is also a ko-fi if you don't like the idea of a monthly sub! I do this full time with barely enough income to scrape by, so any amount helps a lot.

Q: What engine are you using?
A: I develop using Game Maker Studio 2 - I should also mention that this is my least favorite question, not because I think the people asking have any ill-intent or anything, but rather because it's a bit dismissive of the process. Early on in development, engine stops mattering entirely, and design becomes the driving force of development.

Q: What tools do you use for your art and music?
A: I use Famitracker for music, Audacity to trim the tracks, and I use Aseprite for graphics!

Q: Can I help with development/music/art?
A: I am not looking for help, sorry! Outside of some work @Jordizzle has done with graphics and the like, this is a solo effort and will continue to be so.

Q: I know a composer/pixel artist/etc that can help! (not a question, but happens a lot)
A: Same answer as above, but maybe some elaboration- things like music are always changing. For example, the original Bram theme was the *first* song I ever composed in full. I updated it last year and it's a million times better than it was. This project exists not just so I can make something I want to make, but also so I can improve in areas I'm less experienced in as well, and I think that's working. I don't want to rule out the possibility, but honestly- I already know great composers, pixel artists, etc that could help, I just prefer to do this on my own for now.

Q: When will this be released?
A: When it's done ;) Seriously though; this is probably a 5 year solo project, and I'm on year 3. If I'm lucky I'll be done on year 4.

Q: How far along in development are you?
A: About 60% or more. There are still 3 mansions to design, 3 overworld areas, 4 towns, 6+ bosses, and a lot of other polish yet.

Q: Will this be available on Steam?
A: My goal is to release on itchio, Steam, and likely EGS.

Q: Will this be on consoles?
A: This depends entirely on publishing, which brings me to my next common question-

Q: Are you looking for a publisher?
A: At the moment no. Full disclosure, I have sent the game to a number of publishers at their request, however it is with the understanding that I'm not actively looking for one. This is something I'll consider when I'm closer to being finished with the game, or if the conditions of publishing allow me to freely develop without oversight as I have been.

Q: Why aren't you actively looking for a publisher?
A: I want to develop this game on my terms, without compromise. When investment/publishing is involved, that becomes a lot more difficult. It's important that this game is in a near finished state before publishing is considered so I can make the kind of game that I want to make, and only then can I decide which publisher is right for this project. 
I've also invested 3+ years of my own time+money working on this, so it's important that incentive to publish through a 3rd party is worth that output (ability to have full creative control, proper marketing to make a return from self-investment, etc). If no publisher is right for the project, I will self publish where I can.

Q: Konami owns Dracula therefor you can't make this! (hyperbole)
A: This is something I used to get a lot that isn't so common these days, but I feel it's important to answer here: I have made a point from the very beginning to not use anything Konami has made or owns for the development of this game, and anything that was from any other game was used extremely early on for prototyping and was removed completely within the first ~10 days of this project's life. Shared elements are either from public domain sources, or are things they themselves did not pioneer/invent. It's important to remember this game is a genre parody that leans heavily on mixing campy, silly horror and fun NES games. I'm not using any characters, assets, or even stories from Castlevania/Konami, and the main character's name "Simon Quest" is a clear parody of CV2.

Q: I have these ideas I want to share with you/I have something that might inspire you! Will you check them out?
A: I appreciate the enthusiasm, however my answer to this will always be encouragement to pursue your own ideas in your own projects. I actively try to avoid polluting my inspirations with new games in a similar style to the one I'm making, so anything sent to me will always be backburnered until after I'm finished.

Q: I see your Twitter says "No C&C"- why is this?
A: There's an adage that nobody knows a game better than the person making it, and this is especially true for something that people are only consuming bite sized clips and small demos of without access to the full game. If I post a video/screenshot/etc, it's usually still a work in progress that I'll modify a number of times. It's impossible for me to take every piece of random feedback on a 1-2 minute video to heart and expect to have forward momentum when I'm not really at the QA stage of development yet. It's not to say I don't value the feedback, but until it's informed feedback from someone with access to the game as it currently is in development, it's a lot harder for me to apply. Remember that first and foremost I am making a game I want to enjoy, and when I'm ready for it to be consumed publicly then C&C/Feedback is fair game.

Q: Will there be another demo?
A: At the moment I have no plans for a demo that explores further than the demo I've already provided, however- that's not to say I won't update that one at some point as a number of those areas have changed drastically, and a lot of bugs from it have been fixed. Right now I am focusing on forward momentum with development though~

Q: Why is the aspect ratio 16:9.6 instead of 16:9?
A: I can completely own up to this one- this is a very simple error from early on in development that is entirely too late to change without spending an incredible amount of time on it. A result of developing on a laptop with a weird resolution that I didn't realize wasn't 16:9 and not paying enough attention to the numbers when I started this project. That being said, on release it will be 16:9 one way or another, depending on what looks best- whether it's cool border graphics or something else, or if toward the end of development I go through and adjust every room. It's just not something I want to be focusing on at this specific moment because it is a massive time sink.

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