I just spent about 6 hours over the last couple of days playing the old, entirely working version of Miasmon... The version I made first, which is basically a Pokemon clone. The one that looks like this:
It's entirely playable and I enjoyed the experience quite a bit.
But I haven't released it! I made it back in 2011/2012, but then completely abandoned it and I can't even clearly remember why. It's such a shame, because I wonder how different my current position in life would be if I had released it. Or maybe it would have been unwise to release it at that time, as I was going through all kinds of emotional turmoil and other such things...
Maybe I should spend a few days polishing it up a bit though, and then finally releasing it... Not likely in any impressive form like as a Steam or mobile game or anything, but just as a free Flash release to draw attention to myself again. It seems better to do that than to just let it rot away unseen, wasting all the many months spent building it.
Several things bother me about it, such as the lack of plot, bland setting and characters, overuse of crude and sexual humour, and too-much-like-Pokemon mechanics... It's also not set in Alora Fane. And of course it's unfinished, with many missing monster sprites and skill effects and bugs here and there and stuff, and a plot that abruptly ends, never to continue. Also the game's screen size is annoying, and it doesn't even fit on one of my monitors, but changing it would be impossible due to every area in the game being built around that exact size.
If I release it as an explicit 'prototype' that I've ceased work on, then I don't know if that'd help... I might just get tons of people saying "no, finish it!" then complaining about a newer version that I make being inferior. Or it might just get a terrible reception due to being unfinished, because people are lovely like that and would shoot down an offering like this even though the alternative is having nothing at all.
I do wonder what to do with a future version of Miasmon, though... I'm still so uncertain! Do I make it as the mobile town-sim thing I talked about before? I do like the emphasis on the relationship between characters, and the pick-up-and-play nature of that. Yet I also like the adventure feel of the Pokemon clone approach, where you actually wander around as a character and battle trainers in your path. There's so much more opportunity for Pokemon references and parodying that way.
I could of course do both
... but I'm just one lonely miserable person already trying to do the jobs of multiple people for no pay, so I don't know how feasible that'd be. Not very, probably!
Anyway, for now, I think I'll fiddle around a bit with what I already have, and see if I can clean it up for a release! I don't want to promise anything, but it doesn't seem like a bad idea!
I just counted the monsters in the game at the moment, and there are 22 Essents that have corresponding Transient stages, and 17 Essents which do technically have a Transient stage they can evolve into, but those evolutions have no sprites and as such appear invisible or as a black box. I could just make it impossible for these Essents to evolve, or have them marked on the status screen with some kind of warning so you know not to be disappointed.
There are also several skills that have no particle effect, which is annoying. It's unlikely that I'll add any of these remaining graphics, though, because my art style has evolved since then and I don't think I can get myself back into the old mindset... The graphics had a vaguely 'realistic' look to them, while now I do things in a much more stylised way. Also, it'd take probably two or three hours for each sprite (and the right state of mind is required), which I can't really manage for something that will likely 'go nowhere' like this.
On another note, I've been drawing more characters from Miasmon! BEHOLD, Zaffre and Francis Marmalade: