Hey everyone! I've finally accumulated enough content to be able to share with you the game I'm making: Black Crystals! ((Obligatory Advisory Notice: The game contains suggestive material and allusions to 18+ topics such as prostitution, alcoholism and drug abuse. Please proceed accordingly)) About Black Crystals is a hand drawn RPG. All assets in the game so far are drawn on paper, scanned and digitally enhanced using GIMP. Black Crystals is a passion project. The main characters were the product of my junior high days and have stayed with me ever since. Now, almost two decades later, It is time to tell their stories. Tumblr (official devlog): http://blackcrystalsrpg.tumblr.com/ My Twitter: https://twitter.com/yoraee RM.net Page: https://rpgmaker.net/games/10227/ ============================================= The Story So Far This synopsis covers the portion of the game that I am currently working on and plan to release as a demo. This can be considered as a "Prelude" or "Chapter 0" to the game: Starsio, a mild mannered occasionally sarcastic street performer, finds himself in the stickiest of situations. Starsio was kidnapped off the streets of his home town and brought to the raunchy brothel Paprika where he is forced to become a “performer” . One rainy night, Starsio gathers his courage and wits and plans an escape. He convinces Arthur, an apprehensive and fidgety new found friend, to accompany him. Starsio sets his escape plan in motion with one last song. ============================================= Character Bios 1) Starsio Spoiler: Click to View Starsio's Bio Story So Far Starsio is gifted with a beautiful voice. He worked as a street performer in his home town along with his friend, Melody. Starsio would sing his little heart out all day while Melody acted as the hype girl of the duo, gathering audience, getting the crowd excited and accepting/demanding money from onlookers. Life was hard for the two, but they managed to make ends meet somehow. Here’s a sketch of Starsio and Melody back in the good ol’ days. Melody doesn’t have a game sprite yet. Here are some sketches of her for the curious. Now back to the story! All of this changed though when one day Starsio was kidnapped off of the streets by a bunch of goons!!!! Starsio was taken to the cabaret/brothel “Paprika”. This establishment is notorious for human trafficking and forced labor, however is protected by the Law Enforcement of Capital City. Starsio was forced to become a singer at Paprika. The boss there had heard of Starsio and his voice and decided he would be the perfect change the establishment needed in order to boost business. All of this was very hard on poor Starsio. At first he was helpless to do anything, however, not long after he was brought to Paprika, Starsio awakened a mysterious ability. He could suddenly conjure fireflies that would do his bidding! Here’s a WIP of his fire fly magic! Starsio did not understand how and why he had gained this ability, but he knew one thing for certain: it was time to escape. On a rainy night, not very different from the night he was kidnapped, Starsio sets off his escape plan with one last song…. Personality Starsio is mild mannered and very polite. He gets irritated by things often but he never loses his temper. He is more of a passive aggressive type. He is also not a leader type of person. Back at home Melody acted as the leader of the two. However, Starsio steps up and assumes leadership when him and Arthur set their escape plan in motion. He also has an inner diva that comes out from time to time. Here’s a draft skill animation that kinda shows that side of him. Likes CANDY. Think of the most unhealthy, more artificially colored, suger coated with 20 layers of glazing, stuffed with 10 types of custard, dipped in 15 types of chocolate candy, multiply by infinity, and then serve to Starsio. He LOVES unhealthy candy. Glow in the dark and fluorescent candy is his favorite. In fact, candy items have bonus effects on him if used in battle! That’s how much he loves CANDY!!!! Fun Facts I originally created Starsio when I was about 13-14 years old. He was a character in a story I wrote called “The Legend of the Black Crystals”. In that story, Starsio was Italian and was a mute. This is what he looked like back then! Spoiler: Starsio's Concept Spoiler: Arthur's Concept ============================================= Features 1) The Interact and Talk System The main feature of the battle system in Black Crystals is that you have the option of winning the battle by means other than fighting. Either talk your way out of battle, or Interact with your environment and devise an escape route. Interact: Interact with objects within your battle environment to alter the flow and outcome of battle. Push objects in the way of your adversary, hide behind boulders to reduce damage, play with stray cats. Every battle has a set of different Interact options that affect the battle and all participants. It is entirely possible to win a battle by only Interacting to your environment. The main idea behind Interact is the ability to use the battle environment to your advantage while in battle. Using Interact, you will be able to climb objects, hide behind things, or use items around you to your advantage. In the example above, you will need to to stand on top of the box in order to further interact with the flying cockroach. Every battle has multiple ways of concluding the conflict without the need to engage in actual combat. Certain skills will become available in each battle, and it is up to you to determine how to utilize these skills in order to win! To make the Interact scenarios more dynamic, I added a timed input mini game for all Interact skills. You’ll need to hit the target area in order to successfully carry out the skill. Talk: Consult your teammates or beg your enemy to let you go. Every battle has a set of different Talk options. Coordinate Interact and Talk: Sometimes, you will have to utilize both Interact and Talk skills to be able to make the most of out non-fighting options. 2) The Skill Potential System Both these mechanics are based on the fact that in Black Crystals you learn skills by using skills. There are no specific skills that are learned depending on your characters’ level, rather, skill usage is what determines what skills your characters learn. I chose this design because it allows for good flexibility and diversity when building the character, and because, in conjunction with “Skill Potentials”, essentially no skill will be rendered useless as all skills have the potential to becomes something much more powerful. Skill Potential is basically all the cool new skills you can learn by using a single or multiple skills enough times. Sometimes the potential of a skill is hidden, and you’ll have to find Inspiration to be able to find and unlock that potential. Inspiration can be found throughout the world of Black Crystals by means of items, conversation, dialogue choices and some plot points. Here’s a snippet of the skills menu, showing the potential window. 3) Spontaneous Learning System Spontaneous Learning relates to how the skill potential is actually realized. You learn and execute new skills in the middle of battle. This design choice is largely inspired by the learn system in Saga Frontier. I want players to experience the thrill of learning a new skill and unleashing its wrath on the enemies on the spot. Here is an example of the spontaneous learning system. Starsio’s “Strike” evolves to “Double Strike” mid battle. Learning a new skill is signified by the “lightbulb”. I still would like to add some bold lettering showing off the skill name for the first time so that its more dramatic. 4) Jigsaw Chain Coop System To fully understand the jigsaw chain coop system, let’s start by talking about the Skill Jigsaw Imprint. Skills are the building blocks of a coop skill. Each and every skill in the game has a jigsaw imprint. This imprint is basically a jigsaw puzzle shaped piece with a receiving end, a transmitting end and crux limiters. I will talk in depth about the Crux System in a future post, but crux limiters are basically the elements a skill can connect with. Some skills can connect with all elements, some with more than one while others are limited to one only. If skills with compatible jigsaw imprints are used in the correct order, a jigsaw chain forms and a coop skill is triggered. There are a number of rules that surround coop skills. To avoid abusing them, they are dependent on a coop counter which regenerates based actions taken throughout battle. They’re also limited by a rule that you can use a certain coop skill only once in the same battle. There are also other rules that govern the jigsaw chain system. For example, if two consecutive jigsaw pieces have the same crux color, a crux link forms. A crux link increases the effectiveness of the skill by a percentage proportionate to the length of the crux link. 5) State of Mind (SOM) There are two types of SOMs, Flourish and Destruct. Flourish SOMs are positive emotions. These SOMs result in boosting the character’s stats making them more effective in battle. Destruct SOMs on the other hand are negative emotions. As you’ve probably guessed by now, these detract from a character’s stats, reducing their effectiveness in battle. In Black Crystals you’ll find that your characters accumulate various Flourish and Destruct SOMs. The accumulation of SOMs and their overall impact on a character’s stats is shown in the menu/battle menu like this How long do SOMs last? That depends on a very important character state called the Retain. There are two retain stats per character, a Flourish Retain, and a Destruct Retain. Some characters retain Flourish SOMs longer than Destruct SOMs. Some are the opposite. Retains can be modified, but that is a story for another time! A cool thing about SOMs is that their importance is not only related to battles and fighting and stats, but they also add to the character’s personalities. You’ll get to learn more about the characters by the SOMs they obtain during specific situations. 5) Crystal Skills AP (Attuned Points) are a character parameter that decides how attuned a character is with the Crystals. When AP reach their max, the character becomes in an attuned state. While in this state: The character’s stats increase immensely, making them more powerful in combat. The character gets access to Crystal skills. Crystal Skills are special skills that are only available when in an attuned state. They cause massive damage or provide higher levels of support to the team, be it healing or improving states of mind. What Crystals skills are available and how do characters access them? That’s dependent on the character’s selected Octagon There are 8 Octagon types, based on their color. You collect Octagons as you progress throughout the game. Octagons are basically instruments that alter one’s ability to attune to the Crystals. Each Octagon determines how your character gains AP. A red or amber octagon for instance allows you to gain AP when using Offence skills. A blue or green octagon allows you to gain AP when using Defence skills. So an Octagon dictates how attuned points are gained, and each octagon releases a different set of Crystal skills. The effects (fire, spark) elements used in the Crystals skills shown here are part of a pack by RTFX on videohive More features will be revealed later!! XX) Hand Drawn Highly Interactive Environments Spoiler: Screenshot 1 Spoiler: Screenshot 2 Spoiler: Screenshot 3 Spoiler: Sample Battler Animations Plugins Used: In the process of compiling and updating list.