Let's Talk About E2
E2 is... strange. In the very beginning, it was actually more like E3, with a futuristic setting. Midgadden was even the villain. As I see it, the original E2 became E3, and E2 itself went through a number of radical revisions after that. The earliest of those was on a much smaller scope than the original: it was to take place exclusively on the raised continent of Eldoro. Sky, Monique, Cloe, and Leo were always there, but Monique was the princess of a kingdom called Francis, rather than Alavon (which is interesting because "Monique" is actually a French name). The towns of Circlet, Nanabash, and what would become Southport (though it had a different name) were there, too; just on Eldoro instead of Alavon.
The game was to have a more interconnected world; for example, a secret tunnel under a boulder in the field might've led to a locked cell in the castle dungeon. Actually, that probably survived as the way Sky enters Alavon Castle in the final E2, minus the boulder (and plus a sleepy castle guard). At any rate, the scale was much smaller than what E2 became, and I should've stuck with it... as then, maybe I could've finished it.
At some point, I conceived more characters for E2 and decided to expand the scope to the entire region of Adamaria, though it differed drastically from the original. Not only were Glymac and Fiyara connected, but also Haine and Alavon. Hobo and Behgar were even more devastated by the earthquake, and thus covered a lot less area on the map. Areas like Mesomia and Islan might not have had any place in the plot at all. Even this would've been better than what I finally decided on...
...which was basically a retread of the original game, only with a slightly different plot and additional (highly experimental) gameplay systems. I was just marching on, following the blueprint I'd created, having given no thought to the virtual impossibility of the task. I think one killer of my motivation truly was that I felt I was repeating myself, re-inventing my own wheel. This really hit me on Haine, and I never did get to the Lost Temple. It was just going to be basically the same thing as in the original, only slightly different like everything else. Why bother?
Now, I do want to give myself some credit. I'm very proud of what I accomplished with E2, including all the original resources I created. I love how places like the Great Wetlands and Mt. Marine vary greatly depending on the day of the week. I think it's awesome that I powered through the inhuman monotony of setting up the Party Houses (Mozart's music helped). I also like the more humorous tone of the plot, especially the character interactions. A heartfelt E for effort on all that. But overall, it was just too much. It only got bigger and bigger as time went on.
As you might have noticed, starting with E3, I'm not making my resources from scratch anymore, but using those I've purchased or my own edits of such materials. And I'm completely fine with that; there's lots of great stuff out there, and I'm happy to have discovered it. Most of it didn't exist even when I began E2 in 2013, and certainly not in 2006 when I started E1 (heck, there was only one commercial RPG Maker game out at that point, period). So I did the only thing I knew to do... put pen to paper (well, hand to mouse) and turn my dreams into reality.
As for the remainder of E2's story, I mentioned that I wanted to create a text adventure/visual novel hybrid to finish it. What I mean by this is, more than just plain text, but not as elaborate as a visual novel. I suppose it could have some RPG elements, like walking around and talking to people, maybe even a battle or two. But the focus is on the story, and finishing the characters' personal arcs. Maire would be the prime focus, as well as the narrator (her adult self, that is, recounting the events in her own words). It would cover her reunion with her parents, their account of the trial in Winstar, and of course the originally intended conclusion of the plot... as well as side-stories featuring the others, with flashbacks I never got to implement in E2. Trying not to get too far ahead of myself here...
I think I got this idea from Radical Dreamers, the original expansion of Chrono Trigger's plot that told the story of Magus and Schala. Of course, it was eventually superseded by Chrono Cross, but they're a multi-million dollar company. :P When I decided on the episodic format for E2, my original plan was to have Maire deliver intermittent monologues between each episode, and these will probably be used for the wrap-up project instead.
So now that's out in the open. While E3 is my top priority for now, this is still something I eventually want to do... just because, when you cut out all the fluff, there's still a lot of meaning attached to E2's characters, the stories they have to tell, and the overarching plot. Let's hope for the best!