Author Archives: Tom Surette

The Road to Revahlen – Screenplay Milestone

Hey Everyone!

Tommy here, and if you follow me on Twitter (hint, hint), you would’ve seen my post that I just completed the first draft of the Revahlen screenplay. I’m really happy with how it came out, and it seems like the rest of the team is enjoying it as well. Obviously since it’s the first draft then there is plenty of work still left to do, but the first draft is where the majority of the heavy lifting lays. Pretty much all the major problems I talked about in the treatment have been solved, and it’s just a matter of tinkering around with dynamics and tone.

So what now?

Now is where I’m going to write side quests and go back and integrate them in the narrative script. How long is this process going to take? I’m not really sure, since I’ve never written side quests for anything before. I have a plan of what I want to do, it’s just a matter of getting it done. I don’t suspect it will take too long, which I realize is incredibly vague.

MEANWHILE (This is the part that most will be interested in)
The game production is moving along well. We have an internal demo, which is pretty far along in the process, and we hope to have a public demo in the very near future. And since I’m no longer writing large chunks of story, I can get back to bugging you guys on Twitter and Facebook. Exciting stuff will be released soon, it’s on the horizon.

Stay tuned!

Revahlen Treatment completed!

Hey Tommy here.

I was supposed to jump on here a few days ago and up date everyone on a few things, but I was extremely busy with a new addition to my family. As of Saturday the Revahlen treatment was completed. The process took longer than I expected, but I think that was about the approach that we took with the story. I’m not sure if I wrote this already – so bare with me if I’m being redundant – but Revahlen was originally meant to be three separate stories/episode, but they got combined during the writing process into one large game. Because of that, I think it took a little work merging some things together. In the end I like the move and I’m happy with the end result.

I’m going to begin working on the script at the end of this week, and I’m hoping that process will move quickly, but of course the same kind of hiccups could pop up as they did in the treatment so I’m weary of laying out a timetable. Don’t worry though, part of reason for the extensive outlining and treatment process was to allow us to work on aspects of the game concurrently. The game, at this point, is being worked off the treatment and we’ll fine tune it with the script.

I know what you’re thinking, as it crossed my mind as well, “If you’re working off the treatment, why is the script necessary?”  It’s because the treatment is good for major in game events and planning/designing characters and locations, but it’s not so great for pacing and story telling nuances.. Even though I won’t give a time for the script to be done, I can say that it usually moves fast despite the larger page and word count – all the decisions are already made, I just have to writer it.

Other news!

Did you guys check out the Geeks With Wives podcast that we were on?

The guys on there were really cool and we’re certainly grateful for the opportunity and promotion they gave us. The show is a fun watch so check it out. We revealed a lot of information on Revahlen and some of our future projects, in addition to some of the background information on Happiness. Anyways, check it out, we should have some more news on the horizon.

Till next time!

The Road to Revahlen continues…

Tommy here, to give you a bit of an update on how Revahlen is going and where we are in the process.


I’m currently about 2/3′s done with the treatment process – and if you missed my tumblr post on what a treatment is you can read it here. To elaborate a bit more on treatments, mainly because many people are unfamiliar with them, they’re were you begin to do more of the actual writing of the project, at least with more detailed ones, which are usually called Scriptments. Treatments can be sometimes frustrating because that’s where you start to see the project as a whole – Characters begin to flesh out, plot holes appear, dialog is trickling in – it’s basically where you learn how much work your project will actually be. If the dialog is there  or you see things that are  repetitive , then you can just trim that out before the next step. If you discover that your main character is flat or unlikable than you may still have a ton of work in front of you, playing with character events, history, and dynamics.

I’m here to report that the treatment for Revahlen, thus far, has gone relativity smoothly. Any problems that I’ve seen have been small. Some have been larger things that I want to change, but I wouldn’t consider them a problem more than smoothing out the story. Stephen King said in On Writing that when you’re writing a story it’s like walking through a forest. You see individual trees as you pass by them. When you’re done, you see the forest – meaning, you see the project in it’s entirety and things that sounded interesting may not sound so good with the rest of the project. Without finishing the treatment yet, I’m beginning to see some of those connections.

I’m hoping to be done with the treatment soon. I know what’s going to happen and what to write, it’s just a matter of getting it down on paper. The actual script work will finish shortly thereafter.

Other News

Did you check out our first interview with Australian Retro Gamer yet? If not check it out. The site is also a good visit for any thing retro gaming, solid quick reads with a clean website. I just want to take another quick moment to thank the team there again as that was our first third party published exposure.

We also have a guest appearance with Geeks With Wives next week. We’ll be promoting it on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr with more information shortly. So stay tuned!


FADE IN: The Road to Revahlen

Hey everyone, my name is Tommy and I’m writing Blue Key Games next project, Revahlen. Tim had  read a couple of screenplays that I wrote and asked if I could help him write a video game. I didn’t really have a grasp of how to write a game or the genre that he wanted to do, but I accepted as I thought the experience would be great and the game would be fun to make. Seriously, how many people get to make a video game? I initially thought Tim was using a program like RPG Maker for the project as I didn’t have much insight of the development side of the game. I had an unused story kicking around and tried to modify it to fit what he was looking for. The story had some cool ideas, but nothing really stuck as it was more a sci-fi militatent action game, where Tim was looking for something more fantasy and adventure based.

We tried again with a different idea and approach and ultimately failed, as nothing gained any traction. I actually dug out the synopsis and direction page for that project earlier today and was surprised to see many of the concepts and early character incarnations for our current project in that draft. Even though the project didn’t really go anywhere, I remember being excited about it. It had some really unique concepts for a retro-styled video game that wasn’t able to be taken advantage of in the early 90′s (which was the era the game was supposed to look like).

The topic of making a video game didn’t surface again for a while after that project fizzled out. Last summer Tim approached me again, around the time that he began work on Happiness. He presented me with the idea for Taiscrethea, which was pretty much the idea for the previous attempt, but he sort of left me in the dark with what he wanted as he was trying to give me greater creative freedom. He gave me a large document full of worlds, characters, and themes he wanted to present.

With all the notes to Taiscrethea in hand, I tried several passes at cracking the story,  but the story was a little too ambitious compared to anything I’ve written before – and equally as ambitious in size for designing too. We then decided to shift the project to Revahlen, which is the project that’s a lot smaller in scale – but by no means a small project. Tim hatched the idea after realizing that the scope of the original idea of the game was just too big, and none of us had the experience to pull it off. He came up with a way to use the characters, locations, and some of the themes for Taiscrethea and Revahlen was born.

The initial concept of the game was a little different from it’s current state. Revahlen was always destined to be a smaller game than it’s initial concept, as it was originally supposed to be a ‘prequel’ or a series of smaller side stories that were to lead into Taicrethea. I pitched the idea of it being a trilogy of games that would serve similar to Super Mario Bros. All Stars, that there would be three unrelated stories that used the same characters in episodic adventures. When I turned in the pitches for the ‘episodes’ Tim was surprised with the amount of material that I put in. He had envisioned Revahlen similar to a couple of episodes for a television show, whereas I always saw it as a film trilogy. The pitches were accepted, though the Mario All-Stars choose-your-adventure aspect was dropped.

I don’t really remember why, but Tim had a reason for wanting to add a fourth adventure that would unlock after completing the trilogy, However that adventure and the third infused together during the writing process and so did the separate adventures. Revahlen became one long story with three main story archs/quests to complete – which is the current iteration to the project. We’ll most likely share some of the material that we scrapped or earlier versions of stories as we get deeper into production.

Stay Tuned!


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