I Ramble: 24 May 2021

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Apologies for my absence on this blog. I have been kept rather busy working on my home project, which is being delayed due to my inefficiency and some laziness.

Anyway, you can follow the progress of my home project on my Instagram, http://instagram.com/MetropolitanMuslimah.

I will mostly be there for now until the project is completed.

And Allah is always fair. – MM


I Plan: Visual Novel Project – Title Screen Second Draft (A Singer’s Dream)

In the name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful.

Huzzah! So I’ve decided to pick up my visual novel project again. I just started learning about switches and variables in RPGMaker VX Ace, explained in Chapter 2 of the guide book I’m using. I’m barely into a few pages of it and I’m already having a headache now. There is quite a lot of information to absorb. However, I managed to figure out the very basic mechanics of having a switch that opens up a door and transporting the player sprite to another map by going through it. I was completely overwhelmed by it at first but after trying it and seeing the result, it just dawned on me how easy it can be. Like the lightbulb just switched on by itself after you tried so hard to light it up. Hahaha!

My progress is definitely going to be very slow but at least I managed to try out something new and grasped the idea of switches already.

Also, I went for a redraft of the title screen. Image and font used were taken from sites that allow their resources to be used for free, even for commercial use, and no attribution is required.

Psst! Here are my resources!

Fonts: http://www.1001fonts.com/free-fonts-for-commercial-use.html

Images: https://pixabay.com/

And here is my new title screen!

title screen

And Allah is Al-Aziz, the Almighty, the Self-Sufficient. – MM

I Ramble: 1 February 2017

In the name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful.

Holla, y’all! It is February already! January has been tiring for the worker in me. Yesterday was quite nice at the workplace with a few children. The best part is they are well-behaved! It was glorious, I tell you!

Anyway, yes, I am finally making an official announcement regarding my secret project. I have decided to develop Metropolitan Muslimah (MM) as my personal brand, defined by my web logs (essentially blog posts) and my video logs (now widely known as vlogs). Will it be a commercial success? I highly doubt so. Hence, really, I am just doing this for the fun of writing and making videos. It makes a nice distraction from everyday life. More candidly, it is a way for me to shiok sendiri, more than anything else.

Basically from now until 13 May 2017, it is kinda like the soft launch period for MM. After which, I will be putting it out there more shamelessly. Right now, I am a bag full of shyness and awkwardness so I hope by then, I would be able to develop some sort of a thick skin.

So…here comes the awkward part…

Feel free to follow this blog, follow my Patreon or if you feel generous, pledge as a patron, and subscribe to my YouTube channel and like or dislike my videos. I have placed all the links in my ‘Connection’ page.

Thank you very much!

And Allah is Ar-Rahman, the All-Compassionate. – MM

I Plan: Visual Novel Project – Title Screen Draft (A Singer’s Dream)

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

I need feedback. Should I fill the entire window with the title screen image or will the following do (with the black horizontal borders)? Any other comments are welcomed as well.

title screen shot.png

I also tentatively set the title screen music as one of A’s random guitar medleys. I realise I like the sound of his guitaring a lot. It soothes me.

I am going through a family financial problem right now and God only knows how much I wanted to smash my handphone out of sheer rage.

Well, I did slam it down against my Beginning RPG Maker VX Ace book and made a really weird rage noise but after that, I listened to A’s medley and I just felt better.

Maybe one day, my voice will soothe someone in the same way. That really is a singer’s dream; to have a voice that affects people.

Oh yeah, I bought that book by Darrin Perez from Book Depository. I really enjoyed reading and following the instructions he gave. He guided rather well with simple and clear instructions. Although the screenshots inside the book were in black and white, I was still able to follow Chapter 1 closely.

Chapter 1 mostly dealt with setting up. From there, I decided to meddle with the title screen on my own and I must say, RPG Maker VX Ace, which I shall now call RMVXA, is rather intuitive and newbie-friendly. Hahaha!

He Knows best. – MM

I Plan: Visual Novel Project – Opening Sequence ideas (A Singer’s Dream)

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

[White puffy clouds sail steadily across the blue sky, almost diagonally.

(Cue music: You Are What I Want by Nurul Huda)

(Protagonist’s Narration: “You are what I want.” That, is my principle and way of life. I always know what I want and I am always determined to get what I want.)

As the camera pans down from the sky to the landscape view of a town from afar, the protagonist’s narration continues.
(Protagonist’s Narration: Like anyone else, I have a dream. My dream is important to me.)]

That is all the idea I have for now for the opening sequence. There is quite a bit of thought that I have put into it. I started with something bright and light, right? (Sorry I couldn’t resist the rhyming.) So I thought A’s composition would fit in perfectly. He has shared with me a piece that evokes in me a sense of having found a rainbow. It is light-hearted and gentle and heart-warming. However, I was very clueless about my protagonist’s personality and profile besides being a female. What should she be like? Cutesy? Dark? Both seemed too generic. Nora suggested something normal. Okay normal is fine but not boring, right? What would make the character normal yet special? I then thought, aha! Let’s begin the narration with a quote and let’s see where that takes us. Then I saw my current mobile wallpaper, which is the image containing the quote, “You are what I want”. I thought it clicked. The title is after all ‘A Singer’s Dream’ and a dream implies a sense of grit and determination that ensues a clear direction. As I began to shape the protagonist’s personality, voice, and speech, I recalled that the main inner struggle that she will face is desire versus sacrifice. Hence, the last line of the monologue purposefully reinforced the protagonist’s desire to achieve her dream. Coincidentally, the visuals complement the monologue; the view of the town and the phrase ‘like anyone else’. There is that theme of mass versus individual that echoes sacrifice versus desire laid out perfectly there.

Another theme of the VN is the juxtaposition of light and heaviness — the bright sky with the heavy steely quote — and of darkness and light-heartedness — which revolves around the protagonist’s happiness of working towards her dream at night.

So yep. That is enough brain-cracking for today but progress nonetheless!

And He is Knower of all things. – MM

I Plan: Visual Novel Project – Title Screen (A Singer’s Dream)

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Not much update, really. Basically, I procrastinated important work due Wednesday by using Paint for my title screen idea.

a singer's dream cover

Also, Windows 10 sucks monkey balls because I couldn’t install my Write Your Own Novel program.

Okay fine. I shall just use Microsoft Word then.

I shall revert back to Windows 7 one of these days. Grrrr….

And Allah is Knower of all things. – MM

I Plan: Visual Novel Project – Working Title (A Singer’s Dream)

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

A has been a major influence in my life lately. I find myself getting interested in the things he is passionate about. The best part about this influence is that he also has a radical amount of belief that I can do the things he is super pro at. He would absolutely deny he is skilled at them of course because that is how humble he is and he always acknowledges his skills are only a loan from God.

I love coming across people like him because they give me a lot of reminders in staying humble and massive support in boosting my already established self-confidence.

What I really like about our friendship is that our interactions are healthy. No joke is lame, no comment is stupid, no opinion is dismissive… even if we have disagreements and differences, we simply acknowledge that it makes the other special or unique. To sum it up in his words, we are in a League of the Weirdordinary. There is absolutely no pressure to live up to the other’s expectations because expectations are not supposed to be placed. It is all about tossing an idea and igniting a spark to it. If the person wishes to let the flame burn, then the other will continue to fuel it. If the person wishes to let the flame die, then the other will simply leave final words of encouragement.

It is all about the passion.

This, I now realise, is the type of friendship I absolutely thrive in. All of the wonderful people in my life has allowed me room to grow. Yes, including my ex. They have simply allowed me to be the weird person that I am yet at the same time see the person I could be.

Wow, I just churned out a ramble post when the subject of this post is about a plan.

Yes, A has planted the idea of making my own game into my head. Well, his ambitions for me were bigger — to create games that would impart Islamic values to children through stories about prophets and caliphs. However, he remains pragmatic towards his vision involving me. He shares his support in letting me create a game on a smaller scale first — I’m thinking of a linear Visual Novel (VN) — and he reminds me that for my first attempt, I should just write about whatever comes to me.

I shared this with Nora and she is supportive of my wish to create a VN too. I was feeling quite clueless on embarking on it so she suggested that I write out my story first. I will be sharing the story here as well as my progress in creating the VN, kind of like uploading my production notes.

Basically, the working title I had in mind is A Singer’s Dream. It is about a girl who aspires to be a singer but each time she makes a step forward in realising her dream, life keeps pushing her two steps back.

That is all I have right now. I have yet to think of the aesthetic concept for my VN as well. I suppose that will be the next thing I will be working on after the script is finished.

I am blessed with the fact that I have the software I needed for the job. Right now I have:

  • Write Your Own Novel for writing the story,
  • RPG Maker VX Ace for creating the VN format,
  • and a tonne of audio software for producing the background music (BGM) or ‘official soundtrack’ (OST) — Cakewalk, GameLooper, Music Creator 6 Touch, Rapture Session/Pro, SONAR (which exports easily to RPG Maker VX Ace), and Z3TA+2

Come to think of it, the processes involved in creating this VN encompass my interests and passion.

I will definitely ask A and Nora for help throughout. I read up on creating a visual novel; it is usually done by a team rather than an individual because of the various areas of expertise and skills needed as well as the huge amount of time needed in creating one. A linear VN may take up at least three months.

That is that and we will see how it goes.

And Allah is Knower of all things. – MM