Originally I was going to have Miranda gain a different form in the imaginary worlds. After considering it and looking at my available options I instead opted to improve her animation frames...
Now she has 32 frames of animation in each direction, and grows and shrinks based on map depth.
A lot of this decision came down to having limited available assets that didn't look terrible. So rather than waste 6 of them on Miranda I wanted to use them for actual characters in the world. Plus now just her run is 256 frames of animation so er... Imagine that for 6 different forms. Yeah, I'm just going to use particles/filters/Effekseer animations to represent the other forms.
Let's talk about the worlds, and my updated vision of them...
Your home in the mountains. Features rocky foothills full of mountains, trees, streams, lakes, and chasms. A harsh wilderness of a country, but full of incredible natural beauty. This area is largely going to serve as the tutorial, and setup for the story. It's 100% complete in level/map design... I'm merely working on animations and story for it at this point.
As there are five stages of grief, there are also five imaginary worlds...
It's the bright colorful world you see in 90% of the screenshots. It's perfect, except when it's not. The plan is to slowly reveal the machine underneath it until you come face to face with the machine heart of Denial itself. Omnia is perfect, the problem is with you. You will be perfect!
This area is around 60% complete... I need to remake a few maps and design a couple more. After that it's all story.
Here's the first map of the new style for it...
A hellish world of violence, and rage. If looks like it stepped out of Diablo... That's Insania. Expect to see destroyed buildings, fire, and blood. Here everybody appears as your enemy, even your friends. Better be careful who you hurt, lest you regret it later.
I'm working on the initial concept map for this one right now. Artis is a world in the clouds... However it wants you to stay, and is willing to change for you. So as you progress Artis will become more and more accommodating to you. So much so that you might not be able to leave at all, and really Artis is fine with that.
Mechanically the world will visually change as you accept or deny Artis' offers of help. If you deny an offer the world gets harder, but Artis becomes weaker. If you accept the offer the world becomes easier but Artis becomes stronger. Artis can be the hardest world in the game or the easiest, it's your choice. Will you take it's Artis' Deals? And if you do, will you be able to defeat it in the end?
A dark, dull and lifeless underworld. Negantia slowly drains the life out of those silly enough to visit it. You'll need to keep moving as the very light is being drained from your screen... If it goes dark, Negantia has you. Welcome... to nothing.
Standing tall above other worlds, Tempus is a massive grandfather clock reaching to the heavens. You'll need to climb it's clockwork interior to find the top, where you'll come face to face with your salvation or downfall. And a choice so horrible, you might not accept it. But don't worry, you don't have to... You can always stay forever. After all who would accept such a choice?
1. Make concept maps for Artis, Negania and Tempus.
2. Add story in for the real world.
3. Create animations for the scenes in the real world.
4. Add the extras into the falling sequence that transitions to Omnia.
5. Update the remaining Omnia maps to the new style.
6. Create the remaining Omnia maps.
7. Create enemies and the combat areas of Omnia... I've got test areas setup so far.
8. Add Omnia's story in.
9. Add animations for Omnia.
10. Update Omnia's boss.
11. Add animations and story to Insania's first map...
12. Release a demo?
Not only does this video feature the world of Depression, Negantia, but it also shows off the new movement system which actually causes the player to get larger or smaller the closer they get to the bottom of the screen. Plus it allows the character's Z coordinate to dynamically change, thus allowing the character to perform "impossible" parallax maneuvers.
Also.. I added "Walking" animations, and now running/walking is 32 frames of animation in each direction. 15 frames for the idle. It's not showcased here but I've also added in a jump that will probably just be for puzzle situations... But it too has 15 frames of animation.
Also not shown here, this same system is already in place for enemies/NPCs. Which is a huge upgrade because since switching to MZ I've been stuck using just a single particle to animate anything besides the player. Which is a lot of why I haven't really bothered showcasing combat or general gameplay. It's not perfect, but armed with that and a Betweener program, I should be able to make the game look amazing even in combat.
This is absolutely gorgeous. The visuals are just PHENOMENAL. I really mean that. The PVG poser-style "3D" sprites shouldn't work with the sumptuous, vivid hand-painted backgrounds, but somehow they do (for me, anyway). The style of the graphics reminds me of some real old games I'm going to reference because I'm the RM equivalent of a boomer: The Way (this looks much, much better) and Sunset over Imdahl/Wilfred The Hero by Teo Mathlein. Sunset Over Imdahl is one of the most impressive RPG Maker games of all time and criminally underappreciated. I love the sense of depth and vertical distance (I think "foreshortening might be the word I'm looking for?" created by the pre-rendered backgrounds. Lovely, lovely stuff.
I didn't read too much about the story or the gameplay I'd rather learn about that by playing it, when that is a thing we can do (if u couldn't tell already, DO WANT).
There's a running joke with this game, I forgot exactly how it started but people just tell me if I add enough sparkles I can confuse people into thinking it's a good game. Jokes aside, I hope to take players through a very visual adventure, relying far more on imagery to tell the story than simple words. Which honestly fits with the story's themes more anyway.
I can't say I've tried those other RM games. I'll have to YouTube them and see what they're about. But I'm a pretty big fan of point and click adventures, which usually still use pre-rendered backgrounds to this day. So there's definitely some serious inspiration coming from them in at least visually, we'll see on gameplay.
Speaking of gameplay... Oh wow, the look on your face will be priceless when you finally see it. While the story areas are going to rely heavily on pre-rendered stuff, the unusual gameplay happens in the "space between" which is a broken, disintegrating world. So it's randomly generated out of bits and pieces themed off nearby locations, and it's being constantly torn apart and rebuilt in real time. Going to be quite the wild ride.
As for the PVG sprites, it's no accident they fit in... Unless by accident you mean lots of filters and blending work in Krita. You should see how much work I've had to do to make the other characters fit in, Miranda here is a fairly normal looking young woman...The inhabitants of those worlds however... Well...They look like they live in those places. Which pretty much required beating PVG assets with a stick until they submitted.
Also... it's better you haven't read the story yet. The first post needs serious updating as I've revealed way more information about the story in this thread than it. Unfortunately since I'm a solo dev... that kind of fell by the wayside. But soon! Soon I shall wow people with a great story! Or if that fails impressive sparkly visuals.
Seems like it's time to put up a video of the whole "action RPG" thing... I can't just be an art gallery for sweet maps all the time... I guess.
So let's talk about the video...
The basic premise of the level is to collect all the puzzle pieces by getting them to the portal and assemble an image of the next area, then make it through the portal before it's eaten by the Nihil. Which is that darkness that's slowly consuming the map from the left. (I've got it coded to come from other directions as well, but that's not shown here).
The Nihil will also hurt the player and send them flying away from it. However you can combat it by bringing a hourglass to the portal. Doing so will return it to it's starting point, and regrow the map. There is of course a limited number of hourglasses on a map. So it's very possible to render a level impossible by using them all up too fast.
At this point, people probably know about the paths... They pull objects along them towards the player, and they also hurt stuff. However a path explodes if it is touched by an enemy, and thus anything it's pulling is no longer being pulled. So you'll have to loop back to reclaim control of whatever you're collecting. There's also a path power up that increases your maximum number of paths for the map by one per power up.
Finally I'll mention the "Denial" power which is the glowing ball of light. It has limited use, but is regained over time. Using it destroys all of your current paths, however you ignore all terrain, hurt mobs you touch and can kind of pull objects though not as well as you can with the paths. It's also twice the movement speed. However if it runs out and you're over an impassable area, you're thrown back to whenever you first initiated it. Which can be quite the time waster.
Though I took a bunch of time off making it to work on the interface and combat. I'm also working on this map. The heart even beats in the background. I just need to finish some stuff on it then I'll post the animated version.
I've also got a decent storyboard setup now.... I've got 12 of the 25 maps I need for the first episode completed. It's possible there will be more, however definitely going to aim for quality over quantity so I don't want fluff story maps. The plan is to encompass the story all the way through Omnia leaving the player at the first map of the next area.
Then the next episode can fix things people didn't like in the first episode, and expand on stuff they did... Plus the game will actually get released, like probably this year... Probably... Maybe... Hopefully?
So I got to messing with Daz3D and made a new character.... That's when I realized the assets I was using before... Well they were nice and all, but these just look better. Also now I can custom make any animation I need... Which takes surprisingly less time than one would think. In two days I not only learned the program but made 24 animations.
So anyway, I'm going to redo the characters using the assets I have available for Daz3D (which I've been secretly collecting for over a year). It will take a minor bit of time, but really surprisingly not very long, and you can see in the MP4 there the results there are worth it.
Isn't she amazing? Almost like a princess from that group ruled by a mouse that shall not be named.
I must admit my experiments with Daz3D have yielded results far beyond my expectations. Now I don't need to make awkward throw togethers of PVG's character frames to get the animations I need for story. I can literally animate her doing whatever I want.
-Terrax lightning should have another step for the flashlight, between up down left right.
-Also Online mv from Nelderson should emit the flashlight from the other player.
-Animation needed for killing the zombie...
Before adding it to #crypchania.
Working on a case. Get all the evidence to prosecute some bad guys.
But, the game development schedule delayed.
The moral of the story: No good deed goes unpunished... I guess...
Except that, nothing to see here.
just beat ff7 original for the first time since 2010. having played remake last year, I have a much better appreciation for the original oddly enough. I still like some of the character presentation in remake more, but the original's got a lot going for it.