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While I'm pitching the game, our team is working on the games tirelessly, both the free project and the commercial project. The progress is going well.
I have uploaded couple of videos that demonstrate the concepts, gameplays and sound tracks of the current game (free project). You can watch the teaser right here:
We also have a brand new domain name. Please follow us on our site at http://rpgfaction.com for latest news and information.
Scarlet Fletcher is the second of the game’s two main characters. She is Ithran’s best friend. She is also mischievous, and a bit of a prankster. She delights in teasing Ithran and getting him into mild trouble. At the start of the game, she doesn’t take life too seriously, but she will mature a lot through the course of the story.
Scarlet is the ranger in the party. She is an expert tracker and hunter, and is skilled in herb lore. She can recognize herbs, roots, and berries that are useful for healing, which will come in handy throughout the adventure. Her skills can be developed to include the identification and usage of rarer herbs, as well as brewing useful non-magical potions for healing, curing diseases, counteracting poisons, and so on. She can also be trained to craft clothing and light armor.
Her only weapon is a bow, but she is very skilled in its usage. The player will have the opportunity to develop her archery skills during the course of the game, and she will be able to learn a wide variety of trick shots to use in battle.
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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:
There is a growing body of research that supports using video games for learning. This is good news for rpg maker users. I have made several contacts with DGBL researchers, and hope to have some publications in peer-reviewed journals at some point this year.
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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.
- Read more...
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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.
Ok after looking at the suggestions from my other Blog Part one
i knew i had to fix the corners , was just working on getting a release look to people
i listened to one persons comment on it looked Dull ,
they might be right ,
Now with a bit of tweaking i present the knew color
Also added bonus of the Corners are now fixed
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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.
Back with an update.
I scrapped one of my newer projects (Fall of Graces), and have given more time back to this project.
Yes! It's still alive.
As you can see in the picture, I have added Khas Ultra Lighting to the project, which also meant I had to restart my test games. If you tried Khas' normal lighting and found your program lagging, the Ultra Lighting script is much smoother.
I've also been going through the game and cleaning some of the switches that weren't working properly when you made certain choices. Along with that, also added more chat options that can add, or subtract, from their, or your, friendly meter.
I've been fleshing out the Alchemy class. Item throw is a little funky, so I'm making skills that simulate items (a little weaker) using mana instead.
On it's Greenlight (concepts) page and Steam Workshop page, I'll be updating some of the pictures.
On an aside, I decided to venture through the greenlight area. I can honestly say I haven't been pressing too hard on the project because there are so many RPG maker items going through greenlight that aren't looking so great, and want to be sure it's ready when I make that push.
I should look into getting some proper face sets for my characters, and maybe some full screen splash images for here and there, but can't afford it atm. I can't complain too much. Outside of time, I've probably spent just under $400 as is (including the RPG Maker program, but not the fact I own 4 copies of it).
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So I'm just continuing the news, and announcement of the beginning stages for the creation of a new game, that encompasses the entire Earth, called Classical Age World (Working Title).
Once a team is assembled, we will enter the Alpha stage.
50 BCE, Earth
Earth is chaotic, with under developed cultures, and dominating Factions. War threatens every corner of the Earth, and peace is unlikely, if not impossible. You are a newcomer to South America, one goal is finding your home territories, and learning about your own culture. But it's not egocentric. There is plenty of opportunity to learn about other cultures. Interactive quests to delve into the culture is optional, but is recommended, as there are benefits to adapting to new cultures, such as magical items and skills (which are limited in the game to a few cultures), as well as benefiting the longevity of a culture, and protecting them from invasion.
As of now, there are two epic quests to complete, as well as five main quests in every city, and there are a lot of cities. (53 factions alone, not to mention the cultures). and fifteen side quests. The main quests help achieve the epic quest objectives, essential for becoming Legendary through the world.
Every culture has an easy quest line, that have their own difficulty arc as to not destroy the player in their quest for power. Some quest rewards include the power to obtain titles, and positions of power. The title names vary from region to region, and do things like lower prices at markets and shops, and grant more privileges with for the benefactor and gifting city. Most of the quests help the player find places in the game.
All information on who has a quest available, can be located in the Barracks of the City/Village, and is the arms trader. if you go to the wrong merchant, the Shield merchant will tell you where to go, usually to the right.
All titles are unique, and have the option of being consumed to change the nickname of the player to the name of that title, however one should do it once they have achieved a Power of Position. The names of the titles are dependent on the culture or faction.
Cultures are essentially people with common beliefs and language. Vaguely united under diplomacy through family ties. Every culture has at least one city (the capital) and four villages. Each culture has a unique in game map item, that can be purchased at Chief's house, usually located above all the rest of the buildings, on a plateau.
The number of cities/villages is dependent on the size of the faction in question. Generally united under some form of government, and religion. The make up of the social orders of the faction determine how the NPCs interact with the player.
So there is a passive tax system in the game. Usually not placed on things for sale once titles or power of position is obtained, but when new to a place, things for sale cost generally more than they resale for. Town Centers have a tax for entrance. And capitals have an entrance tax as well. The tax is fixed at first, and then reduces in ammount depending on how many titles you have obtained for the region.
Taxes go towards the funding of wars, armies, and more weapons.
Position of Power
So Positions of Power are similar to titles, but instead of just lowering prices in an area, they grant the ability to the player to have power in an area. Such as advising the Chief/Emporer/Saltan/whatever. A position of power is kind of like a job title, and citizenship certificate, as it allows the player to buy or rent a room or home in any village or city in the culture or faction.
Politics and Diplomacy
So, there is a political aspect of the game. Not quite like elections, unless the nation in question have those. For instance, Rome has a senate, judiciary branch, and elected official.
The game will at times, declare states of war, neutrality, and alliances among nations. This depends on the vulnerability level of an area, and the average vulnerability of a nation. Quests can improve that rating, as it eliminates unnecessary dangers and hazards, and often times involves paying a tax to complete an objective.
So it's rather late, and I will continue to post more as the game develops. And if I missed anything, I will get to posting the rest on monday.
Good news is, I may have found an artist, and someone said they would like to help in developing the game further. So yay go team!
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"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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Commercial project Blog: Indrah's Week 1
Hello, I game make.
I did maps! I did writes!
I should mention this whole dev blog thing is really new to me XD I've never really written down anything like informal progress reports before, so meh, we'll see. We'll probably move these weekly blog entries somewhere else where all four of us can make them in one place.
So! We've finally started development for a commercial project we had in the shelf for a month or so. We're aiming to get the first half of the game done by the end of June at least in an unpolished capacity. This first week is a bit uneven because we had the meeting on thursday and didn't get the full week, even if I started mapping a day or so early.
Initially we wanted to get the script (the writing kind, not the code) done first, but since Maki is out till Monday and intros are HARD, I just made the terrible first draft then flipped a table and left it alone till Maki comes back and we can go over it for real.
Writing aside my main task is mapping (surprising no one). I've been doing decent progress so far. Out of the roughly 13 areas needed for the first half of the game (ahahah...I'm gonna die) I got around 2 and 1/4 done. Maybe?
The first dungeon (a mossy cave) is done! But needs recolouring. And half of the second area (roads) is done too! But needs finishing coz the DS tiles are an absolute bitch to deal with in nature locations (swear to god curse you non-optimized damn tiles). And since I got bored of the roads (hiss) I started the Mines, which will actually hold puzzles and are more complex layout wise. Still working on the basics of it and how progression through the area will work, through thankfully the tileset for it is done. I even made a silly little engine for it:
Choo choo here comes the shitty franken train engine~ Just imagine Sabin suplexing it and it'll feel a lot more professional XD
And...I don't know what else to say. I mapped! I wrote a titty bit (yes that was intentional and childish, so bite me). That's about it, really. How about I just throw you some screenshots and run?
Some tiles are placeholder/unedited, and the color palette has not yet been adjusted. It will look a lot less random later I promise, it's just not finished.
Here's the difference in the recolor (made by maki very quickly, not detail work). Also curse those DAMN shaky-ass A4 wall tiles.
Uninspired and bland ROADS. Damn the DS tiles are BS for nature. Curse you tiny inconsequential trees!
A random shot from one of the lesser mines rooms. Nothing special.
Sorry there's nothign that fancy. Next time maybe I'll have some nice and impressive shots. Or not. We'll see ;-;
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