Mylla's Ongoing Journey


Mylla the Mercenary was a project with a limited scope from the start.

A few years ago, I had a dream about a young man who was a shapeshifter, a dragon, but who was fighting his body's instinct to change. He was battling vicious foes in the snow, and the cold made his body want to change, but I knew it was over for him if he did. When I awoke from that dream, I couldn't get it out of my head. Idea upon idea attached themselves to this dream until I had what needed to be a fairly lengthy RPG. At this point I had not successfully developed a game yet, though I did have a good chunk of Undone written. However, this idea had come up so organically and inspired so much passion in me that it seemed a crime not to work on it. I still have a good deal of this dream RPG planned, but as I planned back then I became increasingly aware of my own limitations. I would have to get some experience under my belt, first.

Not long after this, Humble Bundle did a bundle that included RPG Maker VX Ace for quite cheap. I grabbed it and began working on what I saw as a prototype version of my grand RPG. It would be a prequel starring the game's secondary protagonist and exploring her background. Thus began Mylla the Mercenary.

My boyfriend also got RPG Maker, and we spent a lot of time working on our games together. The good part of this was that his energy fueled me, and vice versa. The bad part was that, when one of us began to run out of fuel, so too did the other. We both dropped our projects after many hours of work. My ideas never left me, though.

I always try to do some sort of creative project during the month of November. Traditionally this has been participating in NaNoWriMo, but that has become somewhat unsatisfying as there is still so much work to do on a novel after a first draft. I wanted something that could be started and completed in 30 days. So, during November 2019, I completely rewrote the game's script, recreated each area, redesigned the game around three boss battles, and released it at the end of the month. 

RPG Maker can be frustrating to work with for anyone with ambition but without skill. I ended up going with MV this time instead of VX Ace, and was able to get the game a little closer to how I wanted it as a result, but there were still challenges. There are many mechanics that I have planned for my dream RPG that were left out of MtM for the sake of keeping things simple. Even some of the things I did include came out a little rough, like the antagonist's mid-battle transformations. This has solidified what I already knew: my dream RPG cannot be made alone. I need it to look better, feel better than MtM, but I am only a writer, and I run up against the limits of that pretty quickly. Still, it's because of RPG Maker that I was able to make this at all.

My game projects for the foreseeable future will continue to be technically light. I will continue to use Twine and other programs made with ease in mind. I may have to embrace a sketchy art style for my sloppy art skills to come across as good or interesting. And, for my dream RPG as well as other imagined projects, I will need collaborators, people with the skills I lack who believe in my vision. Either that or I spend a lot of time learning new things. 

I hope one day Mylla's journey will be allowed to continue.

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