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I've always loved TBS games (or "tactics" as many games get released with.) Most like because of my love for P&P and tactical board games, including chess. For whatever reason (and they wont say, so don't bother asking) The RPG maker line has avoided them, going for the more user friendly jRPG style, but a few programmers have taken on the challenge for RPG Maker.
I'm still working with GubiD's GTBS for VX Ace in various stages.
Legions: Homeland (GTBS 2.3)
It's still lives. I'm removing some scripts I added and also removing the Save Game+, making the true ending available at the start.
Angai Prime: (GTBS 2.4)
Not mentioned this one before. It's a space themed battle where you run a spaceship named the Angai Prime. While trying to make a living salvaging, you are caught in the start of the galaxy wide war, with you a focus of all sides involved after you salvage something that wasn't supposed to exists.
War (no official name yet): (GTBS 2.4)
This is an attempt to make a tactical game that also emulates massive warfare. A rebellion has left the Jun province without any leadership, and you, as highest ranking officer, have command over the military. While liberating Jun from the rebels, you stabilize the local economy only to find the rebellion was not just in Jun, but country wide. The Emperor is missing, and now the provinces are starting to fight one another. Can the Emperor be found and the land unified once more?
Each "character" is a unit of troops, so the more damaged a troop is, the less damage they can potentially do.
While swords are common, upgrading to spears can help against cavalry, and archers don't hurt as well.
Troop types can handle different terrain differently, so use it to your advantage, and some even give bonuses.
Fall of Graces: (GTBS 2.4)
A more RPG based game. You play a retired soldier who has chosen to retire in a port of a new land live with beasts and Elves. Trouble within the elven clans finds you protecting the surviving heir to the main elf clan. Being an outsider, your endeavors with the elves don't go well and you find yourself trying to earn the clans trust, while the land around falls further into chaos.
Sadly GTBS is not supported officially since the main dev got busy with RL, but a few still work with it. MV is getting it's first looks at TBS with LeTBS.
GTBS (for Ace):
in Development for MV:
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The game Book of Phire is being put on hold for the time being to start development on another game, Dungeon Crawlers MV.
I will be posting more information about the new game soon. I will be looking for serious artists, and programmers for help with this new project as well. This is a commercial project and will take some time to develop. But I have an alpha almost ready for testing. Follow me to get updates on the progress of all my projects.
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So gaming has really been around since, well, imagination most likely. The first games were simple and involved storytelling. And Storytelling is key to the types of games we are all likely addicted to play or create. It's primitive in nature, and eloquent in design. The real bare bones of a game is in the story, even it's something you put a quarter in to play. Think of all the different types of Pinball games out there; if you've never been to an arcade and have Windows, just think about the pinball on windows 95 and later. Ya, it has a story. And you're always the protagonist.
I haven't seen to many games that had you play the antagonist, but if you think about it, what if Bowser was the Protagonist, and God had told him to capture the princess and prevent Mario (YOU) from impregnating her with the Antichrist.... Ya, it could happen.
To really captivate a player into a game, there must be a few things for any style of game:
Even if it is as simple as a single button and joy stick, Pong gives the player the ability to spin the ball. But we're not really going to delve into those types of games, we're interested in RPGs.
The list above still applies. It doesn't matter what depth you give those options, but number 1 should be something that makes the human player think there is quality in the gaming experience. It should not confuse or dwindle their interest. Now if you've no experience in writing stories, there are plenty of resources available for learning how, such as writing forums, and there are some members here that write stories for fun. I'm going to use some jargon I picked up from the writing world in my endeavors to be a published author.
Any good storyline has an inciting conflict. The way things fell apart. And before that, character driven turn of events which lead to that conflict. A story is massive really, it can be the entirety of all the universe, but for a book or game, we aren't interested in everything. Only what is important to the Plot.
Mostly, the storyline should cover the following:
- How did we arrive where we are?
- What must be done to prevent or achieve something?
- The Premise
Of all of those, the Premise is all of them, sort of, and the most important of all. So if you need an example of a Premise, Rescue the Princess from Bowser. Simple, right? Your game doesn't have to be complex, but the Premise should be something that hooks the player. I mean, even Pac man had a premise, and everyone has played it once in their lives, either on console, pc, or atari. So make a good hook, and you'll have players for a long time.
The plot is really key to getting the premise out to the player. You know, it holds the hook and all. It should also contain the setting. Mostly, the plot needs to have a few things, which give the player understanding, or should be shaped by the player, if you're going for something like that.
Now, all of those should be answered by the plot. Character driven plots are more rich in my opinion, where a character not going through a turning point determines one if not all of those for a given moment in the plot. But now to the meat of this article.
Players that really enjoy the classics might not like a fully rendered 3d version of the same game, although some do, and the markets reflect that. And not everyone wants to be able to make choices other than when to attack or how to attack, or if they should open a chest. But if you want to make something more complex, that means more investment on the part of the player.
Game design for RPGs have really evolved over the years. The Quest was the first RPG to offer any sort of real storyline to the player, that wasn't basic or primitive, and you got to fight dragons, which has been paramount to the RPG experience for many years. Later we got better graphics, and even more storyline content with Final Fantasy Series on Nintendo and Super Nintendo. Genesis wasn't really one to embark on the RPG experience to my knowledge, but please inform me if that is not true. Now we can create what we look like, and some even offer personalities based on race.
The further we advance, the more input is needed on the part of the player. Hardcore gamers love it. But the old school elites might not. But with engines like MV, or ACE we can offer modern experiences to the Old School crowd.
Now a lot of games offer trophies and achievements through their distributors, such as the PSN or Steam. But I don't see that as necessary to enjoying a game, so much as showing a friend proof that you died to a trap five times in Terraria. Real fun in my opinion is in the character you play as. No one wants to invest in someone they don't like alot. So the character by default should have some good qualities that are relatable to anyone playing your game.
There are more to Options than just how to kill. In my opinion, looks of your character for the game, as well as behavior when interacting should be something to implement, as well as a personal backstory. Now it may be difficult to introduce a way to write a bio for the player that isn't somehow a defaulted experience, but there are ways to introduce customization of the process. Such as having a journal/log of certain things not related to quests or battles, like how the character feels or thoughts about things.
Backstory can be things like prologues and epilogues, as well as histories of the playable characters. Those are really important in making the game convincing. If you want the player to kill a dragon for instance, don't make the backstory something leading us to believe its not possible, or a decision to be made by that character. give it reason and meaning.
Then you have to decide, how to handle skills and abilities. I for one, am a fan of investment style skill trees, or even investment style stats. That just offers so much more for the player to be able to choose their play style, rather than forcing them to play to the style of your game. This leads to longer development stages, and takes a lot more time to work out bugs and balance everything, but the time is worth it.
I will write up a follow up later.
Catch you next star!
Zenman Empire is the greatest nation in the world. It's located in the central region and surrounded by the bloodthirsty Martia Kingdom (formerly the Martia Tribes) in the north, the deceptively powerful Amazail Kingdom in the south, and the unpredictable House Lagidis in the west.
Each year, the vassal factions must pay a tribute with gifts, weapons, women and gold to the Zenman.
Its capital city, Zalumi, has been protected by the four most powerful noble families. Those four families are the Sutherlands, the Pantelakos, the Totens and the Rileys.
One morning, Leonardo, the only child of the Sutherlands, was nowhere to be found. The news shocked the whole nation.
People freaked out by the mysterious disappearance of Leonardo, a young nobleman with unlimited potential.
Meanwhile, in the north, Martia Kingdom has been staring at Zalumi for years. The Amazailian are also lurking around from the south.
Both of them are growing tired of being a vassal nation. They are getting tired of paying tributes to the Zenman Empire.
They have been watching Zalumi like a hawk, waiting for a chance to take action.
Sources from the Iron Eagle from Zuda Kingdom revealed that Martia and Amazail have been trying to form an alliance!
If the two indeed become allies and something happens in Zalumi, they will launch an invasion to Zenman. With their powerful forces, they should reach the capital in no time.
The once great Zenman Empire suddenly faced two big threats from both the north and south.
The conservatives in Amazail - led by Gaer Capulet, the General Eunuch - always want to maintain the status quo.
They always want a peaceful environment for economic development. They are against wars and want to maintain good relationships with neighboring countries, especially Zenman Empire.
The Amazailian conservatives obviously want to prevent the alliance so they can prevent the war from happening. It seems that they are the only hope to stop this madness.
The gameplay of Heroes of Shaola is very similar to Shaola (free game) with much cooler visual effects, more advance jumping system and minus the climbing system (we did a bunch of tests and get rid of it to simplify thing).
✓ Jumping anywhere, running, running and jumping farther, lock picking, finding secret treasures (chests), solve mysteries, explore hidden caves.
✓ Scripted side-view battle system with visible opponents (no forced random encounters or invisible monsters).
More aggressive beasts are going to chase you down. The bandits obviously will approach you. Less aggressive opponents will leave you alone, unless you attack first.
✓ A more realistic spoils system that make more sense. You won't see the "heroes" broke into people's houses, open chests and take the gold away right in front of the owners.
Specific Gameplay Features
✓ There are tools and gadgets for exploring secrets and finding treasures.
✓ A more diverse and non-linear boulder system for puzzles. You need some strength to push the boulder. You'll need more strength to pull it.
✓ Two simple Quest systems. One for Story Quests and one for Side Quests.
✓ Special treasure chests that required special tokens.
✓ Fun minigames to collect your treasures.
✓ Grinding is not necessary for level advancement. However, there are grind areas if you want to grind.
✓ Simple mining system and gathers natural resources.
✓ Advance scripted jumping systems.
✓ Good replay value. Multiple endings. Multiple dialogues depend on various game progress and party member availability. The endings will be decide by many variables, including multiple choices (like Visual Novels) and subtle triggers.
✓ Different mechanics on Gameover. You won't lose your progress.
✓ We focus on the growth of the characters, on not only levels and skills but also intelligent, maturity, confidence, mental toughness, and personality. The plots and dialogues will be managed very carefully to execute that plan.
Leonardo is the only child of the Sutherlands, one of the four most powerful families in Zenman Empire.
Unlike other spoiled brats that we used to see in royal and noble families, he is a nice gentleman with kindness and compassion. He never lacks of enthusiasm. He's been groomed to be the next great nobleman.
Unfortunately, during one morning, a servant brought food to Leo's room in the Sutherlands' mansion, and the young master is nowhere to be found. The Sutherlands and the Imperial Court have searched everywhere for him but have not find anything.
Rhyna is the daughter of an Amazailian noble and an Elf from Everland.
She always has a pure love for Leonardo. She isn't sure what kind of love is that, but it didn't prevent her from cling onto him and made him promised to have a big wedding with her when she grows up.
Elves sometime can be very lovely and straightforward. They don't hide their emotion like human does.
A long time ago, Rhyna's father, Frank Slade, tired of the political struggles in the Imperial Court and ran away from home. He also ran away from a pre-arranged marriage that his family forced upon him.
He traveled to Everland and met Rhyna's mother, Fydia. They eventually fell in love.
However, when Frank took Fydia home to introduce her to his family. His family freaked out because she is an Elf. Obviously, they were against this marriage.
Frank angrily left the house and swore to never return.
Frank eventually married Fydia anyway. They wandered around the world fighting corrupted officials as well as bandits and monsters. Later, Rhyna was born.
Years later, Fydia passed away because of an injury in a battle.
Frank is still taking Rhyna wandering around the world to this day. However, the death of his wife woke him up. He is unsure of their current lifestyle. He is not confident in his ability to protect his daughter.
He's been thinking about going back home to Amazail, but still reluctant due to his pride and ego. If he's really care about Rhyna's safety then he'll have to make some hard decisions.
Gaer Capulet is the General Eunuch of the Amazailian Imperial Court. He was Frank's teacher when he was younger. He taught Frank magic and the art of fighting.
Gaer single handedly defends the peace in Amazail Kingdom. He is the number one public enemy of the liberals, including the military leaders.
They want wars. Gaer wants peace.
The liberals and military leaders want wars so they can sell weapons, and so they can get huge military funds.
Gaer basically block them from making money on people's corpses. Therefore, he must die!
The liberals have been trying to assassinate Gaer for years. Nevertheless, he keeps on survive.
Some of the liberals and military leaders were also mysteriously vanished or perished.
Gaer is not a person who just stands there and doing nothing. He will retaliate.
He is a peacekeeper, but he's also one of the most dangerous person in Amazail Kingdom.
Wherever he is, wherever he goes, someone tries to murder him!
Yet, he's still here.
* An Eunuch is an official who is very close to the kings and the royal families. He helps them with day-to-day operations. Every Eunuch is either homosexual or had been castrated before they can serve the Imperial Court.
This practice is an effort to forbid the inappropriate relationships between the Eunuchs and female members of the royal families, as well as to prevent adultery and scandals in the Imperial Court.
As the General Eunuch, Gaer is the leader of all the Eunuchs in the Amazailian Imperial Court.
No one knows what her name is.
No one knows what she looks like.
Everyone refers to her simply as the "Orc Princess".
However, everyone knows her father, Murlock, the Slaughterer. He is the most feared humanoid monster in the world. He is a legendary leader and widely considered the Orc's greatest fighter of all time.
While her father locked himself inside the mountain to practice magic, she is the one who leads the Orcs and manages everything from top to bottom.
She has done everything behind the scene, therefore, no outsiders ever saw her.
There are rumors that she is hiding behind the mountains and never shows up in the public is because of her bad appearance.
People speculated that she's so ugly that she's afraid to show her real face.
The setting of this game is in Shaola, a different world in another galaxy.
Shaola is a world of love and war. It's a world of romance and power struggles between 1 empire, 8 kingdoms, 1 republic, 25 smaller factions and 4 main races.
Main human factions:
I. Zenman Empire, the largest and one of the oldest nations in the land.
II. Martia Kingdom, a nation of war and violence.
III. Ankania Kingdom, an old and weak kingdom that formerly a rival to the Zenman Empire in the past (thousands of year ago). At the present, it's widely considered the most cowardly kingdom in the world.
IV. Amazail Kingdom, deceptively the strongest and most powerful nation.
V. Zuda Kingdom & Kazen Kingdom, together, these two small kingdoms formed the Southern Double Alliance. They feeds of each other and watching each other's back. The northerners called them "The Twin Dragons of the South".
VI. Zokang Kingdom and Green Kingdom (common usage: Greendom) is located on Everland, an island on the Eastern Sea, southeast of the mainland. They have unique cultures and customs. The islanders dress differently from the mainland people. Therefore, the mainlanders called them "The Weirdoes of the Far East".
VII. Republic of Aquilon, the most civilize and technological advance nation in the world. It's an isolated country that located on the other side of the Great Desert.
In the past, there were some smaller neighboring countries but Aquilon conquered all of them, as swords and arrows have no chance against guns and bullets.
Except for Iron Eagle agents, no one from the other side of the Desert has set foot on Aquilon.
I. Elves are well known for their grace and mastery of magic and weapons such as the sword and bow. They are famously long-lived, capable of living much longer than the average human.
Slightly smaller and shorter than the average human, elves tend to be quicker, faster, slender and graceful, this is reflected in a bonus to Agility and a penalty to Physical Defense.
The Elves were divided into two basic groups: the Wood Elf and the High Elf.
Wood Elves are a reclusive race, preferring to the old ways of life in forests and jungles. They are conservatives who preferring old habitats in tropical woods. They are hiding and staying far away from human. Trees are their friends and wild beasts are their main source of food.
The Wood Elves have been produced some of the finest hunters, archers and bowmen. Majority of them have been living in Greendom.
A Wood Elf in Greendom.
The High Elves were once members of the Wood Elves, the original group of elves. They are liberals who decided to go live in the cities with human. Other races commonly encounter them.
They're the most open and friendly of their kind. They believe in peaceful coexistences. They travel to everywhere, while Wood Elves stay in the woods.
The decision of the High Elves to leave the woods always has been controversial. Some of them have found success and happiness in serving human, even in the local government or Imperial Court. Some of them having great career as bounty hunters or mercenaries. However, others have been miserable, suffering from depression and having to endure unemployment and hunger. Some have sold themselves to the slave owners. Others have been forced into slavery.
The High Elves have been produced some of the best swordsmen in the land.
A High Elf serving a Human kingdom.
The Elves are the largest minority community in the world.
II. Dwarves are very short, but are wise and have great strength. They dwell in mountain and in the earth, and are good at smithing and mining. They are the second largest minority community.
Dwarves tend to be miners. They have a natural fascination with minerals (especially iron and gold) and feel more comfortable underground. They are much shorter and stockier than Men, Elves and Orcs. They able to withstand both heat and cold and have a longer average lifespan than the average human.
They are great metalworkers, smiths and stoneworkers. Fierce in battle, their primary weapons are hammers and have produced a lot of great axemen, but they also use many type of weapons including large crossbows, broadswords, falchions, pikes, slingshots and shields. Dwarves live in anywhere that has mountains, mines and minerals.
Dwarves don’t need to sleep as much as human do. They are diligent, hardworking and work in the mines through days and nights. All they need is few hours of resting. Consequently, dwarves are unaffected by sleep-inducing magic and effects.
While Men, Elves and Orcs generally hate each other, the Dwarves have stayed neutral. Their ultimate goal is to find their traditional ally, the Snow Palace on the Snow Mountain, a hidden and mysterious place that no one has discovered. According to ancient books, the Snow Palace are the Dwarves most trustworthy, reliable and closest ally from thousands of year ago.
"The Boss", leader of The Luxia, the world's largest international underground criminal organization. Yes, he is a Dwarf. He is also a leader of the Dwarves community. Everyone called him "The Boss" out of fears and respects. No one seems to know his real name.
III. Orcs basically are a large group of bully. They are the third largest race of humanoid creatures, behind the Elves and the Dwarves. They are brutish, aggressive, repulsive and generally malevolent species and generally pressed into the service of some evil powers. They are tall, big and strong who are used as soldiers, slaves and henchmen by the greater villains.
They are miserable beings, hating everyone including themselves and their masters, whom they serve out of fear. They make no positive things, but rather invent cunning devices made to hurt and destroy.
The Orcs led by "Murlock, the Slaughterer", a legendary leader and the Orc's greatest fighter of all time. He has claimed to united all the Orcs and fight for their freedom. He called for fellow Orcs to revolt and kill all their masters. He has even bigger ambitions to unite all minorities (Orcs, Elves, Dwarves, other monsters and demons) and declared war against the human.
Murlock and majority of the Orcs reside in Amazail.
In case you're wondering, this is a different character, not the Orc Princess. The Orc Princess' real identity is one of the biggest secrets and plot twists in the game. So, we don't want to spoil it here.
Q. What are the basic info and Minimum System Requirements?
A. Rating: Teen 13+
Operating systems: Windows 98 to Windows 10
Processor: 1 GHz or faster
RAM: 128 MB or more
Free space: TBD
Q. How do I get this game?
A. Once the game is ready for release, we'll go through the options and post the necessary links in our blog ( http://rpgfaction.com ).
My guess for now is the game will definitely available via itch.io. We'll also put the game on Steam Greenlight and see how it goes. Hopefully it will get greenlit.
Q. Is this game episodic?
A. No, it's not episodic. No prior experience with other games is necessary.
Dang son, week 3 of the Blog already? Intense!
Hello everybody! Its OneTrueMitch, and I have more updates. I've decided to uphold my word last week and dedicate this to more updatey updates instead of talking about the purpose of the blog.
Motivation has been a bit lacking for me this week. I recently went to London, Ontario to talk about my upcoming Video Game Design and Development course, and I learned of the difficulty I will face in this course. Sad to say, on May 1st, my time to spend working on Hero of Legend will be severely cut down (possibly to at least an hour a day) because of summer preparation in animation and modeling due to the course.
Anywho, that's enough outta me! Here are some updates!
- Message System
With the recommendation of Iliketea, I have implemented a message box that shows who is speaking.
This will certainly help the player know who is actually talking, and it makes the messages seem more complete. I'm still working on adding message boxes to the events though. I'm about halfway done, and they should be ready for the next update.
Its not easy for me to create full and good looking maps. I'm very much a story oriented guy, and mapping is very difficult for me. However, Iliketea has been helping me with my mapping issues, as she is very good at that. With her help, I've been able to change a map of Stalete Village that looked like this:
To one that looked like this
Quite a difference, no? I honestly cannot thank her enough, its certainly nice to learn off of. However, there is still a lot for me to do, and the mapping will definitely take a while. There will be a few differences in the update though!
As I said before, there will be an expansion of the storyline. It will include a few new characters and maps, but the quests will not be available just yet. I've also been busy working on the previous updates, so I've nothing to show just yet.
Samson has been given a buff in attack, as he was too weak to keep up with Sena and Melany. That's been changed! I have given him more attack as well as made some enemies take more damage against Samson. He is no longer a liability, but also far from an asset.
And truth be told, that's all I have for this week! Hopefully my motivation comes back so I can work on this more. Come back next week for more updates!
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I tend to gravitate toward RPGs with rich storylines and deeply interactive game worlds. I like talking to villagers and other NPCs to learn about the game world, and I really like it when the villagers have unique and memorable personalities. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many games like that anymore. So when I set out to create my own game, I wanted to make sure it appealed to my personal interests first and foremost.
One of the areas that I’ve spent a lot of time working on is the local inn and tavern in the starting village in my game. A tavern in a small, rural village tends to be a place where people gather regularly to share a drink or a meal while they talk about the latest happenings and gossip. It’s the center of social life in that setting, so I wanted to make it an interesting place for my player characters to visit… not just a place where they show up to buy some food or rent a room once in awhile.
In a real tavern, people come and go throughout the day. So one of the first things I did to make it interesting was to populate it with different villagers at different times of the day. For instance, here’s a screenshot of the tavern in the early morning. Notice all of the empty chairs. There’s only one lone villager just off screen to the bottom left eating breakfast:
And here’s what the tavern might look like in the evening:
I’ve spent about two weeks on my tavern so far, and as you can see I still have some empty tables to fill up. Sometimes certain tables may be empty, other times they may be occupied. I think it’s a good way to let players know that the tavern is an ever-changing place.
The second thing I did was give each villager a unique personality, as well as a myriad of useful or entertaining things to talk about. The player can eavesdrop on conversations, listen to the local news and gossip, and interject a question or two. It makes for a fun way for players to learn about relevant or interesting events in the game world, places where they might want to go, situations they may want to investigate, and so on.
Also, in order to keep players coming back, the topics of conversation changes as the game goes along. As the player finishes side quests and performs deeds that help or harm the village, the talk of the town will turn shift towards those events. Players may learn, for example, that something they did earlier has now caused something else to happen. And they may learn about new events that occur in the game world as time goes on, which may have nothing to do with what the players have been up to.
I think this is a good, organic way for players to receive side quests and learn about people, places, and items of interest, rather than the usual run-of-the-mill RPG where most NPCs have only one or two useful things to say (if any), and only a handful of key NPCs (like a merchant or shady character) are worth talking to. It takes a lot of time to set up, but I think it will be worth it in the end.
This semester at Penn State University, an eleven member research team is discussing Sydney's World each week as a potential game to do projects/research on. The team focus is on using video-games to engage students in learning. I had a video-conference with the team (comprised of education and games researchers) where I fielded questions for about 30 minutes. After the conference, six members of the team requested Steam keys.
WIndies Random Resources blog!
Well , i'm not dead i just had to buy a new computer ..........
yeah someone stole mine . GRRR but other then that i'm back and making resources again
So why would they steal my computer well cause they wanted too i guess , thankgod for cloud drop box did not loose anything and good luck to the person that stole it as i have the encrpty key to open the computer up lol.
What have you been doing since we last saw you.
Good question , no much , teaching , working , waiting on new super duper computer.
What have you made for us today
Well , it was boring having only one overworld road tile right , so i made you guys and gals some more.
How long are you around for now
Well if i die , i die but for now , i will haunt you all with new resources till i chroke.
How long does it take to make your resources
God , this one took 2 hours of work , last one took days , just depends if i like the level of desgin of the art or not.
i do make lot of strange resources titles till i get the right look.
Ideas for new stuff
yeah post them too me , or pm me , i will consider all requests. some i will do straight away as they interest me.
Pictures of the new kids on the desgin block , LOOK mum new paths !
Thanks all for the pms
your friendly artist
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I've written a tutorial that shows you how you can start building an ATB from scratch (with MV as the base)
You can read it here: http://himeworks.com/2016/01/tutorial-designing-a-simple-active-battle-system/
Upon completion of the tutorial, you will be able to make videos like this:
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December 2015: I remembered RMW has blogs!
This is the second of three blogs I plan on writing for the development process of Aubade, I think I'll save characters, all the world lore and stuff for next time so I guess I should just share my thoughts surrounding this project and moving forward. Aubade is the first part of a duology of games I'm planning on making with the follow up being called Serenade, Aubade being the 'morning' part will be a love song to the games that I played as a child; mainly Final Fantasy 9, Golden Sun and Phantasy Star IV, that have influenced how I develop and approach game design with Serenade being the same to games that I played later in life.
To be whipped by the winds of the west
On to development news; it's looking like getting a demo out will take a little bit longer than anticipated which is only due to the fact that I've been working more hours than I thought I would but I'll be able to dedicate a little more time to development after the holiday madness dies down. I've settled on what I want to include in the demo and where I can cut it off without it being to abrupt, which sadly doesn't include my favourite area of the game, and I've made strides on fleshing out the game in areas where it was lacking a little before, mainly battles and how the classes will interact. Speaking of which, one of the bigger changes I've made is switching over to side view with an ATB system pretty much because I think it feels right. I've figured out on how to get VX Ace to use a 16 x 16 iconset so now the icons won't overlap the selectable area and fit in a little better with the line height and spacing.
And spiral through another day
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I mentioned the Kuro RPG in a forum post recently and made this very long blog entry to give some info on it.
What is Kuro?
It is a paper and pencil RPG that was released originally in French by 7th Circle and now has an English transplanted version that was done by Cubicle 7.
The game has a meta-plot that runs and evolves through the RPG books that make up the line and you want to buy the books in order as the later ones build upon things introduced in earlier books.
The meta-plot story is set up with a beginning, middle, and end, but a GM can stretch things out and doesn't have to follow things in it. The ending may not necessarily be the end too and some options on counting the story at the end are given.
The main meta-campaign adventures don't need to be run at all and the meta-plot campaign, etc. can be ignored by a GM.
The game is set in 2046 Japan and is best described as a combination of cyberpunk and Japanese style horror.
Japan is under a U.N. blockade and cut off from the rest of the world due to a series of events that occur and the incident that caused Japan to become blacked out from the rest of the world is known as the Kuro incident.
The word Kuro, which means "black" or "dark" in Japanese, is used to refer to this black out from the world and that supernatural things are being reported appear after it.
Circle 7 and Cubicle 7 have a couple of sample PDFs of sample the core book you can read and one of the English PDFs has the entire backstory about the Kuro incident and the history that leads up to it. So I'm not going to retype something you can read for free that gives the basic details of the setting.
They also did 2 YouTube Videos )The long one is the best ones as it shows of various portions of the core book in it.)
Cubicle 7's (English Version) site is at:
The Downloads for Kuro on it are at:
The 2 YouTube Videos (The longer one is first and you can download MP3s of the video's music the download page ,mentioned above.)
Circle 7 (web site is at French Version's)
The Kuro section of it which is now hard to find is at
(Note: if you can't find Kuro in the Circle 7 web store just do a search for Kuro in it and it will send you to page with the 3 French Kuro products.
You can see some art from the books by going to the French publisher's preview gallery. (Just click a picture to see a larger version of it)
The game has things that you would expect to see in a typical cyberpunk setting but also has a supernatural elements in it.
I won't go into much detail about the supernatural stuff as that would contain spoilers. However, I will say that as the meta-plot campaign advances the supernatural elements become more prominent.
In the Kurro core book and Makkura are more in the line of the supernatural is dangerous and Characters are not well prepared to deal with it. (Think, Dark Horror RPG )
When Kuro Tensai occurs the game changes drastically so that the players are better equipped to deal with the supernatural and actively seek it out to combat it. (Think, Heroic Combat Against Supernatural Forces RPG)
The events of Kuro Tensai are entirely optional and GM can chose to not initiate the radical changes Tensai brings when running it. These are triggered in the last adventure of Makkuara if the GM wish to change things to take things into the Kuro Tensai setting.
How many product that exist for it:
For The English Version
Kuro Tensai (Available for pre-order for the print version currently. The PDF version is out now and you get it wihen you pre-order the print version.)
The Last Stop (This is a free PDF demo adventure for Kuto with pre-made characters available at RPGNow.com)
GM Screen (Not released and status is unknown as printing cost and printing quality concerns put it on back burner.)
For the French version:
Makkura (Note: That it comes with a GM screen)
Also, note that the French fans made a lot of high quality free PDF supplements for it, well over 40. One of which is a yokai guide book that included a complete authorized French translation of the now non-existent Obakemono Project website, which is invaluable resource if you a French speaker and wishing to research yokai. (If you can't find the a copy of this PDF online and want it send me a PM and remember it is French.)
Most of the French fan materiel can be found on Vox Ludi.
Are the book still in print and where can I get them?
The French version can still be found and 7th Circle is releasing the French books available for purchase in PDF forum when the no longer are available in print form.
The English version is available in both print and PDF versions. Cubicle 7 sell the print versions, and you can buy the print version sat most book stores, Amazon, and hobby shops. RPGNow sells the PDF versions.
If you plan on buying an English copy of any of the products I recommend you buy a print copy directly from the Cubicle 7 website store, since Cubicle 7 will also send you a coupon code to get the a PDF copy for free with your order. (They do this with all the print RPG game products they produce.) (Also note, that the print version of the English Makkua had some minor corrections that are not in the current downloadable PDF.)
What sort of dice does it use?
Standard 6 sided dice used in most board games are used.
What are the differences between the English and French versions of Kuro?
The French version is a soft cover book with different cover art.
The interior of the French book is blue and white and had some color pictures.
The English version is in black and white, and the color pictures are only in color in the PDF version. The color pictures are in black and white in the hardcover version.
The English version incorporates some of the French Makkura’s text into it, the equipment chapter, and handles Characteristic Checks differently.
In the English version Characteristic Checks allow you to add double you’re Characteristic to the role instead of just the Characteristic.
Initiative is a Reaction Speed (REA) Characteristic Check so that is affected too.
This doubling also applies to Supernatural Power rolls if they are considered Characteristic Checks.
This English version made this change to make the game more balanced and to make supernatural threats more dangerous.
The Contacts Skill Area is part of the General Skills in the French version. This was changed in the English rules to make Contacts its own Separate skill Area and Skill Category.
The French version of Makkura is sold with the GM screen. The English version of Makkura and the English GM screen will be sold separately.
The Engish version of Makkura doesn't have the parts in it that have already been incorporated in to the English version of the core Kuro rule book.
The adventure Fugu in the French version of the core book is not in the English version. It was included in the English version of Makkura and is also available as a free download preview PDF for the English version of Makkura.
The covers of Makkura and Kuro Tensai are different from the French versions. Makkura also had an additional page to show some symbolism to adventures and the days of the week and a list of characters that is found in one adventure was made so a GM would now who is in what adventure, if any those characters how up in, and so the GM could make a player hand out of the names to give to the players when they find it.. (A few similar free PDF listings were made by French fans as a campaign aids, and the English publisher opted to include one because of how popular the French fan ones were among French Kuro players and GMs.
Most of the errors found in French Makkura adventures and in Kuro Tensai were fixed in the English versions.
A lot of little and one or two big errors got introduced in the English version of the first book due to translation and editing errors. (All of these have been identified and corrections were posted in the Kuro FAQ/Errata thread on the Cubicle 7 forums.)
Other changes were noted in the FAQ/Errata thread that was on the Cubicle 7 website. (I also have all of this stuff in a Word file if anyone has trouble finding it as I compiled and wrote the FAQ/Errata thread I mentioned.)
What do you mean by meta-plot campaign?
A meta-plot campaign is a campaign that greatly influences the main setting of the game and is designed to tell an epic story with a start, middle, and, end. The adventures are designed to cause the players to become key parts in the earth shaking events of the setting and bring about things that cause the entire setting to evolve and advance the overarching plot of the setting.
Other adventures and campaign can and do occur in the setting but they don't have the same impact the meta-plot campaign one does in the end.
What sort of characters can you play?
Kuro has no character classes and the creation system is a point based on. The book does give some pre-made archetypes for quick play and as examples as the type of characters you can make.
Do keep in mind that unlike most RPGs Kuro characters are meant to be mostly just ordinary typical people of 2046 Japan who find themselves caught up in extraordinary situations and must deal with them. They are not adventures seeking out fame, fortune, and adventure as in other RPGs.
Kuro Tensaai on the other is very different as characters are extraordinary people, in most cases, and it has specific archetypes (character classes). Tensai characters are created like Kuro ones generally but with many added additions to cover the dramatic differences between the two. (More on Tensai latter)
What books must I own to run Kuro?
You just need the core rule book to run the game.
However, do keep the following in mind:
If you buy the French version I recommend you also pick Makkura as it has some corrections to the core book listed bellow the credits in it and has a big chapter covering weapons, equipment, cybernetics, robots, and occultech (things that are technology combined with the occult or just occult based) items in it (The French Kuro core book doesn't give many weapons and much equipment in it and you'll be glad to have it just for this, and the damage for hand to hand attacks is on the screen (as this got omitted from the French core book). Additionally the 1st adventure in it picks up shortly after the last one in the core book if you are running the meta-plot campaign adventures.
If you get the English version your good unless you want to run the main meta-plot campaign of adventures as your not going to know what to do after running the one adventure in it and have lots of questions about what is going on with some things that are explained in latter adventures.
You don't need Kuro Tensai at all until you decide to run the last adventure, Kami, in Makkura as your given the option of evolving the setting to the Tensai stage and your going to have a lot of questions after you read the adventure on what happens next.
Having Kuro Tensai can help foreshadowing somethings and it does have a good amount of additional yokai and things you can use in a normal Kuro game.
The Kuro Tensai part is entirely optional as it drastically alters the setting and the characters in it.
You seem to know a lot about the game setting. What is the story with that?
I first bought the English core book and then got copies of the entire line in French as I keep noticing little errors in the English version, which were a result of translation errors and typos in the English version.
I ended up compiling a FAQ/Errata thread for the English Kuro forms and also reported all the know errors and clarifications that were on the various "official" Kuro French forums so that when the English versions came out they would have these fixes in them.
I also made numerous posts explain details explain Japanese culture and of things to keep in mind when running Kuro.
I'm listed in the Special Thanks of the English version of Makkura., and in the print version I'm also listed as a proofing section, because of this.
I'm going to get listed as a proofing section when the English print version of Kuro Tensai I've been told when it is released as I have reported some errors that are currently in the PDF which are going to be corrected before it goes to print in Spring of 2016.
Warning The Next Few Questions & Answer will contain some minor spoilers. Stop reading if you plant to ever play the Kuro gane as a player. If you plan to be a GM you can keep reading.
So how long is the main meta-campaign and the adventures that make it up that runs in the various books?
The Kuru incident occurs on May 4, 2046.
6 months are indicated as occurring since it in the book in the core book in numerous places.
The 1st adventure in the campaign that runs in the books occurs in October of 2046.
The Kuro Tensai stage stars in (early) December of 2046 (seven months after the Kuro incident, according to the books in both languages but it actually 8 months latter.)
Some adventures in it are indicated as occurring in certain months, and some adventures have specific time frames given as to when they occur in relationship to others in it.
The campaign does have places in it for a GM to put his or her own adventures in.
No exact date is given when it ends and it can last for a short amount of time or a very long amount of time.
After the "conclusion" the campaign can still continue and the final adventure gives some things that the players can do in the aftermath of it.
A GM can moves ome things to occur on latter dates in order to stretch out the timeline.
Can you tell me more what is Tensai setting like? What is the deal with Musashi that you mentioned on the forums?
Ok, first stop reading this if you every plan to b a player in a Kuro campaign as it contains some spoiler,which is why I put it last.
Tensai characters are human hosts (the keshin) that are inhabited by a spirit of an ancestral spirit from history that has been venerated and elevated to the ranks of a god (ujigami). The character has special abilities because of this. The ancestral spirit and the vessel the inhabit are in conflict over control over the host body.
The more control the ancestral spirit has the greater the special powers the character has, but the less knowledge of modern things, of the less of the hosts original 2046 personality they have, vanishes as the host loses its humanity and the ancestral spirit takes over.
The ujigami also belongs to a certain archetype (character class) which dictates what these special abilities it has are.
The archetypes (character classes) given in Kuro Tensai are onmyoji, miko, onna musha, samurai, duelist, and oniwaka. (Note: A ujigami can be a "samurai" but the archetype used for them and that dictaes what abilites they have can be another one instead of the samurai specific archetype.)
Kuro Tensai gives an example detailed ujigami for each of the 6 archetypes (character class). The 6 example ujigami are Abe no Seimi, Himiko, Lady Tomoe, Kusunoki Masashige, Miyamoto Musashi, and Saito Musashibo Bekki.
(You can see pictures of some them, which include the Musahi one, in the French art gallery link I gave earlier,)
(Note: A Ujigami may be a gaijin character, if one person is playing a gajin, that got trapped in Japan, you just have to say the ujigami has some sort of very distant tie to the character's ancestry.)
Tensai character can also be onimachines which are oni that have chosen to inhabit the bodies of androids and robot and have chosen to rebel against their "evil ways" and fight against the "evil" supernatural threats.
You can also just make an ordinary normal Kuro character to.
French fans also created rules for tengu and kitsune characters too if you more choices.
Tensai supernatural enemies are much more dangerous than in the early products and they players are actively and heroically fighting them to end the persistent threat of supernatural things once and fore all.
The Child and the Poet - Mapping and Scripting
See the above? Ya that took me from November 14th tie December 15th at 5:45 mountain time to finish. The detail is unprecedented. The events, total 868+ and only ~10% of that is parallel events The other are touch specific.
There are regions to stop the NPC’s from walking all over the place. There are regions for sound, there are regions for specific bosses.
This isn’t something I threw together in 5 minutes. Every tree, rock, fence, building has a reason for being where it is.
Every object has had a “passibility” layer painted don it, every place where you think you cant walk, you probably can get there via some other route, and yes that makes for placing chests and “glowing” events all the better.
You might be thinking - Oh gawd, why?
Because I can - Actually, because there is a story to be told here. See this map is 20 years in the past (in my game), a map that tells a specific story, or set of. Dashing has been disabled for this map.
Thats right, no dashing from one location to the next, I want you to take your time, talk to NPC’s and play out the story as it happens. There is a reason you are brought to this map. And I am going to explain why.
Lets get to it
The story is told in pieces, through various peoples eyes, but mostly through a character known as the poet. The poet is a prophet of sorts, he is a story teller. You get to play him on this map.
There is a group of people known as the Soulless Ones, they are a set of people who have lost there souls due to the fat that they let the heart break of their past over whelm them, they let the pain of their past haunt them, turn them into twisted and bitter, angry and hurt people.
Only “The Children” know who they really are. Only “The Children” can save them, innocent children who have never seen heart break, never seen hurt, never experienced the pain these adults have.
“The Children” and the Soulless Ones play a huge part in this world, specifically on this map. You also have some other stuff happening, The Federation, The Judges and the people of WoodBurn (the map you see) all have their own events playing out around you, some will impact your game play directly and others indirectly.
How ever at the end of the day you are here to save the soulless ones and learn more about “The Old World” and how the past is impacting the present.
Who’s the big bad?
No one, there is no great evil. There is no god trying to destroy the world. There is no Demon trying to suck the world of its magic.
So what do we fight?
Monsters, specifically those with powers like “Negative Slap” or “Toxic Hate”, both of which have a chance to cause a new state called “depression”. It works like sleep, you become so depressed you cannot move, you cannot attack, you can only wallow in your own pain and misery.
Theres also “Victimizing Slander” Where you become a “victim” (think of berserk) you become angry at every one around you, you essentially play the victim, lashing out at every one around you.
There is a character in the game, a character I have chosen not to name as of yet - Maybe it wont get a name. Not a big bad, but not a good guy either. A character who's lost, emotionally, physiologically and mentally. Lost to pain, lost to hate, lost to anger, lost to rage, lost to the shadows of their own mind.
So now we understand some of the story that will take place on this map, lets talk about the map its self. Lets discuss some of the mechanics and the challenges that I had.
Map Time Ladies (and gents)
This map … Was insane. It was ambitious. It was crazy. It was … It is … Never happening again.
I want to thank Lunarea, Celianna and every one on the Rpg Maker Forums, some of your assets I couldn't find names for as they have been pulled from every where. But if you see your stuff in my map, let me know below in the comments and i’ll add it to my credit list.
This map … Drove me insane. This Map killed me, dramatically, emotionally, mentally and psychologically. Not to mention the mechanics of such a map.
If we look at the following image:
Note: Game play may differ from passibility you see above. this is due to me actually testing this and creating this map in stages, I went back a lot of times to fix up a lot of small issues, so something you see here may not reflect actual game play experience.
We can see the passibility has been painted on. Now this might be off from what you see in game or encounter in game but it gives you a 75% understanding of where you can and cannot walk on this map. Anything that sticks out to the sides or above the brown squares are the top layer.
See it again with the top layer turned off
It’s disgusting, I know.
Another thing to note is the water you see on the map is not the same water you will see in the game, in most cases it is in some it's not. The way the river flows is the same but the depths have changed, For example, top left, there is a Skeleton and the log in the water, you might think that log looks off, in game the deeper parts of the water actually extend to this.
Another thing you don't see are building shadows. This is a bit tricky as there are trees by some buildings, items and so on and I have yet to decide if I want to handle that or not (Chances are, nope)
You mentioned 860+ events ….
The mechanics, what a fun topic to discuss.
In game I use regions (thank you Yanfly) to denote where the player can and cannot walk and where the NPC can and cannot walk. So that part is covered. This allows me to have “invisible borders” around the towns and camp sites so NPC’s don’t go wander off.
Rivers were another challenge. At first I created events, one for turning on the music and a switch and another for turning off the music and the accompanying switch.
Well, RPG Maker only lets you have 999 event son a map, this alone ate up 80% of the events. So - I created a script to handle this, its called “Play music on region touch” What this does is exactly what you think it does.
I outlined specific sections around the rivers and lakes where, as you passed specific locations the sound of river would play.
As you got further way the sound would fade out.
Another issue was how do you tell the player what location they are in, like when they enter a town or a set of ruins?
Well, thats where events came in handy. I have events that as you walk over a switch is thrown and a Flare Notification event is played, this will tell you where you are.
So now that I covered those challenges, what about when a player dies on this map? If this map is set 20 years into the past, what if the character telling the story dies on this map?
This is where Game Over Event gets triggered. Essentially you are recovered and placed directly where you died and a common event I have created gets played.
I use the rest of the events for things like NPC’s, weather effects, tinting effects and so on. Theres still a lot of work in game to be done but I have most of the regions built out and the events are in place.
There are tons of hidden items and there is even a few of these guys around:
They mostly contain herbs, herbs give you permanent stat boosts on the person who uses them.
Some contain special items, some don’t. There are also “hidden” items like this:
Yes there is something there, Hint, I am facing it
There are tons of little things every where, specifically in places where you think: “I cannot walk there” Actually you can … Maybe try a different route, I've tried it and I can get there
This map, these events, this must be SUPER DUPER MANUPER GADOOPER ZANOOPER LAGGY BAGGY SAGGY
I have a quad core i7, dual core i7 and a dual core i5 from 2008, one Quad Core is from 2012 and the dual core i7 is from mid 2010 (both macs), the i5 is a windows 10 machine.
All three of my computers can run this map with no lag, no issue. Now I understand that some of you wont have such “fancy” machines, but unfortunately theres nothing I can do about that. The game is targeted for Windows and Mac computers made with at least a dual core i5.
If you start directly on the map you do get the “now loading”, if you transfer in, there is a chance you might get it for a split second. I mean come on it’s placing a png as the background and a png on top.
There will be no other map this big in the game. The only other size map this big or close to it would be a city map and even then it would only be 75 x (maybe) 75
Now that we have that out of the way, lets turn it over to you. Are you excited to explore this map? Find its hidden treasures? Explore the rich story and find out who these characters are?
I know I am …
So whats next?
We’ll I am done mapping for a while, I thought I would flush out the actual story of this map and get events in motion. Theres a lot of work to do yet. I am working on an icon sheet, grabbing monsters and playing around with numbers to make sure things are balanced and fun and not grindy.
As always, I want to hear from you, leave your comments below and start a discussion
So first things first, where am I at since the first blog post.
The story is pretty much as flushed out as I need it to be.
65% of what will be the Demo is already mapped.
The intro and first 20 minutes of the game are mapped and evented.
The main classes and first enemies were balanced and completed, but I’ve gone and done a complete overhaul of the class system so back to square one there.
Running Poses, and a bunch of other cool poses are currently being made by the great Shewolf, along with a bunch of other stuff because she’s just that good!
So maybe I should list some Features, or at least explain the game a bit
You will play as Rime, and be able to choose 1 of the 4 starting classes, as well as a sub class in which you can equip 2 abilities from.
Each class has a unique style that should give a good blend to the combat. Along with other abilities that can be purchased, or gained through other means the player will be looking at 7-8 abilities with the option to change certain ones out if the player chooses to do so.
The player will also be able to change their weapon in combat, and this change will be visible as you can see in the picture below, the players weapon is on the top right hand corner of the combat scene.
When the player changes a weapon in combat they will gain stat bonuses, new abilities, and a passive depending if they have an offensive weapon or defensive weapon equipped.
Since you will only have one member in your party at any time, this will make balancing a lot tougher. For the current build I’m keeping any abilities like stuns and paralyze away from the enemies, until I get a good grasp of what these four classes can handle.
Let’s show of some of these poses!
Side Characters and Villains!
Music, the heart of the game!
Let’s drop some names to tease them a bit!
Main Side Characters
Time Sorceress Gwendolyn
Some more Screenshots
Thanks for reading
Sorry for the delay. The last two weeks weren't really sucessfull in terms of working on my game. So instead of a progress report i want to share something different.
A presentation made by Dan Wells on general plot design or story structure, how he calls it. While this was aimed at authors, writing novells, it can still be helpful for rpg-authors, as the design of a plot is the same, regardless of the medium you are telling the plot in. It is actually a bit ironic, since Dan Wells took his inspiration for this presentation from a guidebook about storytelling in a PnP-RPG.
The whole presentation is around 50 minutes, split into 5 videos. I recommened to watch them all.
Some interesseting key facts i took from this presentation:
- Start at the end. Knowing the goal of your story from the beginning can help you to focus your story, so you don't get sidetracked. And it means you already know when to finish.
- Interweaving subplots. When i was younger i tried writing my own fantasy stories, but never went really far. My main problem then was that i was only using one single main plot, which just wasn't enough to fill a whole book. The example of the first matrix movie Dan Wells gives was a real eye opener for me.
- When do you need an intro? Some nice remarks here about having a prologue (which could translate into an intro in a RPG)
- It's okay to sound cheesy. I think a lot of people have problems when they are describing their story because it might sound bland or cheesy, but that's because the plot is described on a very low level - and it's okay for this level.
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Recently, I've found myself working on getting decent-looking battle backgrounds. I am drawing from both graphics I have on hand, as well as the default MV graphics. There is, however, a catch - the styles are quite different. The graphics I have are more of a rough painted style, while the default MV graphics are quite detailed.
What is one to do?
Initially, I attempted to make the MV graphics look like the other style - this attempt did not go as I had hoped. Part of this, I realized, is there was more than one style within this artwork. Another roadblock.
Eventually, I tried the same process on both types of graphics, and the results looked pretty close to the same, and should definitely be unique. However, I wasn't sure about their usefulness as a background. With the detail gone, would they still be effective? After a quick test, I would have to say yes.
(Please forgive the spoiler rather than thumbnails - it appears uploading in general at the moment is rather out to lunch.)
I find that I rather like how these turned out - it makes the background exactly that: background. It helps bring focus back to the interface and the enemies; the post important parts of the battle.
This also ends up being a good opportunity to show off some of the early enemies in the game: the Slime, Cave Bat and Old Fungus. I'm actually quite excited at how well they go with their background. I am sure you guessed - their first appearance is in a cave.
I feel like you can likely see them well enough in the screenshots - posting individual images of them might be considered sharing, and I am not allowed to do that with these. I'd also rather not mess around with watermarks.
My only concern so far about the enemies is size - I may yet make them a little larger.
The backgrounds here have been scaled down such that they are not likely to be usable as, once again, I am not allowed to share some of the resources I use. It should at least give an example of the work done. From the unique backgrounds I am using and from the retouched MV backgrounds, I have selected a forest, castle interior and volcano-type to show here.
Okay... so it's not really Day 2 and still just Day 1. However I wanted to separate this post from my list of self imposed rules. Rawr.
Just because an RPG is going to be short, doesn't mean it's entirely devoid of plot. The intro to Lufia had stuff that got straight to the point in a, "these are the heroes who saved the world," kind of thing. Since what first got my attention in MV was the character generator, and protagonists are integral to these kinds of games, I'll begin there. Our party of intrepid adventurers are these individuals:
They were all created using the MV character generator without custom content. It's a fun and flexible tool. Kudos to the people who developed it.
The fellow on the far left will be a Sword Saint. Fast initiative and all the cool sword skills. I'm thinking he's DPS. The lady with the red hat will be a Shrine Maiden. Spellcaster who focuses on light and dark themed spells. Let's break convention and make her the Tank. Both of them hail from the Shadowlands, a grim region where all people have blue hair and red eyes. The blonde will be a Gunslinger. She's native of a mountainous arctic continent in the west, where elves built a technological subterranean empire. Another DPS contributor with some status effecting gadgets. Last but not least, the fellow on the far right will be an Elementalist. He specializes in the classical four (air, earth, fire, water) and a nomadic wander without a village to call home. I'll break more convention and make him the group leader main hero. Yup, an old man who's never touched a sword in his life.
So there you have it: our party members who'll save the world. Next post will be about the monsters they gotta slay to make it happen.
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"Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man's will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.”
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind
Finding a fitting name for my game was not easy for the story I wanted to tell. There were many possibilities I considered. I started with "The Inari murder case", pointing at the location where the game should take place and also implying a central part of the story. However, this did not reflect the main topic of the game really well. After that some lame names like "Time Collapse" and "Jumping Fall" came to my mind, which covered the main theme a bit better but were simply not right. After some time it hit me – what I was searching for was "Days Untold". This name can be interpreted in two different ways. First there are the days that are going to come in the future. They are not yet told, since they have not happened yet. And then there are the days of the past, that were already told. But what would happen if someone was going to change them? Alter their stories or tear them from history entirely?
Bide the Days Untold for these may be the last that get carved into history.
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For quite a long time, I’ve felt much like an outsider in this gaming world. My not-so-secret is that I’m not a gamer. I’m a person who likes game and always has, but I missed the mark on being a real gamer. Growing up, we just didn’t have money for a lot games and game systems. I remember the Christmas my sister and I got an Original Nintendo system, you would have thought it was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow the way we reacted. And that was the only system we ever got. To my parents, it was enough and we never asked for more, as even new game cartridges were a luxury that was reserved for special occasions.
So during the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s when many were getting hooked on the Final Fantasy series, we were plugging along with Mario and Luigi, Tetris and Duck Hunt and the odd random games we rented from the video store (yep, that was a thing) or borrowed from a friend (I loved visiting my friend who had the Duck Tales game). My only taste of RPGs came in the form of borrowing the Legend of Zelda from a friend for a period of time. Even though I never got to finish playing the story, there was something even then that I liked about exploring the world, defeating the enemies, the maps, and most of all, the story.
I didn’t touch an RPG again until much later in life, when my first daughter was born. She was not a good sleeper as an infant and often would only sleep while being held. So while she fed and slept, I would sit in the comfy armchair at our computer and play games. At the time, I had a membership to Big Fish Games, when I came across a game called Aveyond. It seemed interesting, so I got it. And played it. And played and played.
I’ve always been an avid reader, the one who would stay up reading “one more chapter” until suddenly, it was 4 am and the end of the book. The stories of these RPGs hooked me and I avidly sought them out. I did not realize it at the time, but any time an RM made game came up on Big Fish, I would get it. Some were better than others obviously, but I played as many as I could, the whole time thinking, I could make stories like this.
One day, at the end of one of the Aveyond games, I actually watched the credits (gasp) and noticed a small statement “made with RPG Maker” or something to that effect. And well, things have not been the same since. I found the software and began exploring the community. And while I feel I’ve found my place here and I’ve made many great friends, there’s always been those moments where I’ve definitely felt on the outside – when discussing many mainstream games.
I’ve contemplated playing some of them. Some of them, I simply have no time for, such as MMOs. As a mom, it’s not something I can dedicate the time to being online for so long. So I finally decided to bite the bullet and after much conferring with those more knowledgeable, I purchased my first Final Fantasy game – VII. And thus, my journey into (and possible addiction to) a classic franchise has begun.
I decided to start this blog with my thoughts on it, as so many have expressed interest in knowing what my thoughts are. I suppose it’s partly to see if it really does live up to the hype or if nostalgia has them seeing it through rose colored glasses. Or maybe they just want to relive their enjoyment of such a great game. Whatever it is, I will try to share here as much as I can. And I might possibly stream a bit, if I can figure out how to make that work.
"Failed to load data" - "unexpected file format" - a few of you have already got those messages when trying to open their project, and repairing that project then often results in partial data loss.
The only way to prevent this is to use backups. You might read my starting point tutorial for this as I've linked automatic backup scripts there.
But why does this happen? Especially why does it happen to RM more often than to other programs you own, and still is a Windows problem that no one can solve?
To understand that, you first have to know how windows and your harddrive work.
Saving (and reading) data from the magnetic disc inside your harddrive takes time - it is one of the slowest tasks that a computer performs, and that usually slows down a lot of other processes.
Because of this all harddrives use a special cache to speed up the acces - that is RAM memory where changed data is temporarily stored for quick windows access while the slow harddisc falls behind.
One of the reasons for the shutdown sequence of windows is to give the HDD controller time to save that cache onto the magnetic harddisc before it is lost by power off.
If that time is not there (for example due to a windows crash or because you cut the power instead of waiting for shutdown), then the data from the cache is not saved to the file, and the file can't be opened again later. You can only replace it with a backup file.
But because it's Windows and the HDD Controller that handle the cache and the data saving from cache to magnetic disc, nothing inside the RM editor can influence this or prevent the data damage.
But I can almost hear your questions "why does this only happens with RM and not with my other programs?" or "why does this happen to RM so much more often than with other programs I work longer with?".
No, RM is not unique in this - but it belongs to a special group of programs that need a permanent file access. Most database programs (for example Filemaker as another program with the same effect) require this because they need to handle data in a different way.
Your other programs? They can load the entirety of their data into your RAM and then close the file while working with the data. Some programs use temporary files to handle this while closing the original file.
But with most database programs that is not possible, they need the database files permanently open to access all data. And as long as the file is open for access, the HDD controller can not write the cache parts to the magnetic disc and close the file.
That is what increases the risc of a damaged file whenever windows crashes while the editor is open, or even if it crashes a short while after the editor is closed.
But we cannot change that - the disadvantages of regular file access in case of programs that handle a lot of data would cause more problems and riscs.
So I suggest you learn to keep backups of your game projects.
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I thought it might be of interest to some people to talk a bit about the impact of different scripts on the process of game development. I'm not sure how many I'll do, but there's an obvious candidate to begin with.
My latest game A Timely Intervention has just come out (as if you couldn't guess the name with that pic up top!). At the very heart of it is the mechanic of 2 separate parties, each with their own objectives, neither really aware of the existence of the other, until their objectives collide.
The story is told through switching back and forth between the parties, each time bringing the particular party nearer to its goals. In terms of game play, the actions, stats, experience, equipment etc. etc. of one party must not in any way impinge on the other, until the moment of collision, some 15 hours or so into the game. At that point there must be a seamless merging of the two parties into one, together with their full inventories and gold, stats and everything else about them. For the rest of the game there is only one party.
Planning this out was initially a nightmare - working out how to have completely separate inventories when switching from one party to the other and then back again, repeatedly, was already threatening to put me into an early grave. The number of variable switches that would end up being in use was beginning to spiral out of all sensible proportions. Mine was a complex story, and the game has all you'd expect in terms of diversity of enemies, gear, side quests, secret rooms to find, optional dungeons, and so on. If it had been simply branching story lines, then it would have been comparatively straightforward to do. However, these are two stories, about 2 groups of people, being told simultaneously and then merged. To be honest, I was beginning to think that maybe I would have to drop the idea and therefore the whole story, as I could not see a sensible way of handling all the data that would be required.
Then - a bit like the cliched cavalry coming in over the ridge of the hills - salvation appeared in the form of a post here on the forum which casually mentioned a Party Manager script by Tsukihime. I looked into it and saw that it did everything I wanted, in a simple, uncomplicated way - well, simple and uncomplicated from the user's point of view, not the scripter's.
I found that I could keep everything totally separate by basically doing nothing. All I had to do was to set up the parties, do the appropriate script call each time it came to a party switch and the script took care of everything else. From a developer's point of view, that comes fairly close to bliss, as far as I'm concerned. It left me free to concentrate on all the other aspects, knowing that my core mechanic was being taken care of without any effort on my part. Yet it is key to the whole development of the game. Without it, this particular game would probably not exist, as I think that the margin for error with all the variables and other work arounds would have been too great to confidently release it, particularly as a commercial game. As I happen to think that it is a great story and game (but remember, I am biased about that!) I'm glad that, all thanks to one script, I didn't have to drop it.
If you'd like to have a look at it, with some nice screen shots, the thread is here but I thought I'd put a couple of screen shots here which I didn't have room for on the thread.
And if anyone is interested in looking at the script I've been talking about, it's here.
Here's a different arrangement of some of the character art
The guy speaking here had to be the least likely person ever to succeed at being a monk. By the time we meet him he's been thrown out of his monastery.
Some places can only be described as weird.
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I've decided that I'm going to try to get this project of mine in full swing... Mostly focusing on the story first. I've never written a horror theme and I'm more or less writing it in a script format with some notes of mine into it. I'm also color coding it. This project will be released for free for everyone to enjoy if and when it is finished.
For example, a light green is for character's talking. Red and blue denoting special notes. Red being a priority, while blue being a suggestion/possibility. I tend to be a bit random with those two. I'm currently writing this all on my own with basically NO EXPERIENCE in writing a story, much less a script. I am open to suggestions and ideas for how the story currently is portrayed and I am looking for advice on how to make it better.
My current Goals:
- To get to at least 50 pages and up to a maximum of 100 pages of the script written.
- Come with with a title for the game Idea
- Try to find someone to help create some art/sprites for how the characters should look for RMVX ACE. (I would like it to be the tall size like from RMXP
- Find someone to help critique the story from beginning to all new parts added.
I'm still in the middle of writing this stuff and just now reached at least 11 pages. To be honest... I don't know where I want to go with the story, but I do have a type of ending in mind. My overall goal is to try to at least make everything to be not what it seems overall... but as I've said before I've never attempted to write something like this before. But all day yesterday, I hit a snag until sometime today on how to continue the story itself. What I have in mind is a story driven game... and the story is the one of the last things I ever want to skimp out on.
Edit: Link to script has been removed until I'm done re-working it and finding people willing to give me their opinion about it and maybe help me make it better. I've been getting some new ideas that may or may not change how the script is currently.
Please leave constructive criticism about it.. and please be gentle. =(^.^)=
Health is wealth may as well be Olga's motto as it's what her skills and development system have been built around. Her main skill is called "HP Loan" which loans an enemy some HP (regardless of if he needs it) on the condition that the HP accumulates interest and that Olga can have it back anytime she wants. While it's not really optimal to heal your enemies this does more damage in the end (usually - exception being enemies on low HP but why are you healing them?). An enemy's debt is displayed on their health bar so you can easily see when they owe all their HP to you.
Well with that brief look at skills it's time to look at how Olga gains stats and learns new skills. If Olga reaches full health or is already at full health when she cashes in a loan then the excess HP is converted into currency based on the enemy's difficulty. She also gains a small/generous (I'm not sure which at this point in time) of currency at the end of battles. Outside of battles she can spend her currency on increasing stats and learning new skills.
The HP cost of skills isn't implemented yet... Really I should only have got 40-50 Zinc from that battle.
As you can see there are eight currencies available through the game, at the moment it's a currency for every five levels but that could change. Also as you might have spotted the smuggling option is a list of shops you've visited and means you don't have to walk all the way back to a shop in an obscure location just to buy a weapon you couldn't afford earlier (why you would want to do that will be revealed with the next character blog post), though there maybe be an additional fee if you are in a dungeon at the time.
Anyway I hope you liked this brief look at Olga, if played well she'll be a valuable member to any team combination you use. I'm slightly behind where I hoped to be in terms of development but hopefully I can catch up a bit over the next week. My next entry will either be about Koren's gameplay or about skill mechanics. See you soon!
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