Vis_Mage

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ManaStar_Logo.png

Engine: RPG Maker MV version 1.6.1

Overview.png
The story follows the young adult Merric, heir to the prestigious role of Archmage of Falter, son of Klaus and E’Claire Solarus.

Having much to learn to fulfill his eventual role as Archmage, Merric has spend the majority of his life in preparation for the title. Things have not been calm in the world, though. Unexplainable, magical phenomenons have been sprouting up all across the globe, putting extensive pressure on the magical leaders of the world to find the cause. However, while out on a research mission, disaster strikes. By the time Merric is able to make it back to this home, there is nothing left of the city. Everything and everyone having been sucked into an unknown magical void.

And so Merric, alongside his cautious and stern guard Tyra, set off on a quest to find out what's behind all the strange magical happenings, and find a way to save their home. Along their adventures, they'll encounter and team up with several others who have befallen a similar fate, coming together to save those they love, and discover the source of the mysterious events that are slowly consuming their world.


Screenshots.png
Main_Menu.png
Capture.png
BattleScreen.png
Moledrip_Cave_F2.png
Fishing_Minigame.png


Overworld_Mechanics.png
The game has a strong emphasis on exploring the world, with most objects being interactable for flavor text and item discovery. The items will most often be useful as ingredients for potions, or potions themselves for use in battles, as well as equipment and quest items. Some of the more useful items would only be attainable beyond obstacles and puzzles to be removed or solved with Wisp Skills. Wisp Skills are overworld skills you can swap between to affect the environment, such as destroying rubble with a fireball or lightning, or shifting from the real world into a mystic plane that might feature a secret path or new enemies.

Enemy groups roam around hostile areas and can have different roaming behaviors, and have awareness based on lighting in dark areas. Wisp Skills can be used to get their attention or avoid them, and when an enemy group is defeated, they are removed from the overworld. Players may choose to save or heal at a checkpoint, a Mana Crystal, however this will cause all enemies on the overworld reappear.

From the main menu, you can equip up to three wisps to each character. Each wisp provides a unique skill to it’s equipped party member, with this skill increasing in power for each wisp of that element that the party has befriended. This allows for additional character customization, and alters the wisps a character can call within battle. Obtaining new wisps is often tied to exploration and optional quests.


Battle_Mechanics.png
Battles take place in a side-view CTB (Charge Turn Battle) system. Instead of choosing the whole party’s actions at the start of the turn, each party member chooses their action and immediately acts in order of their speed. A turn order ribbon is featured to determine who will be acting in the next several turns, and will display how much an action will move a player down the ribbon after they do their selected action.

The player characters can attack, use skills, use items, view basic enemy information, attempt to flee, standard RPG fare, but the real star is the Wisp battle system. Players and enemies can summon a resource called Wisps, of which there can be any stack of elements, up to 5 different elements at a time, and up to 4 Wisps of each element. If an attack or skill is used that matches the element of a Wisp stack, that stack acts as a damage multiplier, and all Wisps of that element are spent. 1 Wisp is x2, 2 is x4, 3 is x8, and 4 is x16. Additionally, passive abilities can provide bonuses based on the number of Wisps, and some powerful skills might have a Wisp cost to use at all. The player must be careful with stacking too many Wisps for a high multiplier, however, as enemies may also put and use Wisps on the field, they are a shared resource.

Weapons and armor both play a larger role in combat than what is usually seen in traditional JRPG combat. Instead of a static Attack command, every weapon has 1-3 weapon arts, skills unique to that weapon that cost no MP to use. Similarly, some other equipment such as shields and talismen can change the standard Guard command into something more specialized for the types of encounters you are currently facing.

Lastly, item use is encouraged, as the intended battle difficulty is much higher than typical, but items are also limited. Not limited by how many you can collect, but instead by only being able to use the items you can bring into battle. The Battle Bag is the in-battle item inventory and separate from your regular Item inventory in your pause menu, and can be organized outside of battle.


Monsters.png
Likely one of the larger things setting the project apart from others will be the emphasis on monsters in the world, and the sheer monster variety. As of writing this, there are over 400 monsters already designed for the project, with over half of them already having both in battle and overworld sprites. Monsters aren’t just the baddies that dwell in caves and forests, they’re an integral part of the world and how it functions. Many types of monsters are kept as pets or companions, while others are domesticated to help perform tasks. Much of the world’s natural phenomena are dictated by monsters and their own unique abilities. Some are cute and friendly, others are a massive threat to nearby civilizations, and are treated as such. Some are even intelligent enough to communicate or barter with humans, and even have their own developed society. With a monster-fanatic leading the party, you’re bound to stumble into many misadventures exploring just what makes this vibrant world of creatures so special.


Alchemy.png
Like many RPG’s, you are able to gather up an assortment of ingredients to brew a wide range of potions. Instead of having fixed recipes though, all ingredients have a handful of traits. By combining at least two ingredients together with a shared trait, you can make a potion that inherits that trait. Combine even more ingredients with that trait, or add in ingredients that share more than just one trait, and suddenly you can have potions with all sorts of crazy effect combinations!

Ingredients can be found all throughout the world. Some can be gathered from the overworld, others are won in battle. Many ingredients are rare variations that can be occasionally obtained in place of their usual form, with more powerful traits. With over 400 ingredients, you’ll likely end up with plenty on hand. Fortunately, there’s multiple other uses for ingredients outside of just alchemy, one of which being...

Chuppo_Garden.png
Inspired by Sonic’s Chao Garden, you are able to raise and care for a number of cute creatures known as Chuppo. These little fellas will grow and evolve depending on how you care for them, be it through minigames, or crafting tasty treats from some of your leftover ingredients. These little guys aren’t just for looks, though. Each character can equip a Chuppo to aid them in battle. By building up their Friendship Points in battle, their Chuppo can unleash a powerful support skill, without using up that character’s turn!


Adjustable_Difficulty.png
As opposed to simply offering an Easy/Medium/Hard difficulty option, players are able to fine-tune a variety of aspects of the game, allowing people to play through the game just how they like it, and allows for built in challenge modes. Some examples of adjustable parameters include buffing enemy stats, preventing the use of certain gameplay mechanics such as wisp calling or item use in battle, preventing healing in battle, raising or lowering gold and item drop rates, disabling level ups, and even a perma-death mode for the truly masochistic!


Roles.png
My Role:
As the one leading the project, my role is to fill any roles that no one is interested in taking, as well as keeping everything consolidated. Most of the database work, as well as working with plugins, will likely still be done by me, as well as most of the world-building, lore, backgrounds, etc. Even for the roles that are taken, I’ll undoubtedly still contribute plenty of work toward those fields.


Roles:
Mappers:
Probably the role I'm most looking for at the moment. While I certainly plan to continue mapping as well, having another team member or two helping with map making would help drastically speed up development, and help me keep progress going at a steady pace during moments of "mappers block".

Artists:
Be it pixel art or more traditional art, having a few artists on the team would be wonderful! In particular, I’m looking for individuals to help with the creation of overworld sprites, sv battle sprites, and facesets. Although, if you’re potentially interested in tilesets or helping sprite monsters, that would be awesome, too!

Musicians:
I’ve been able to get pretty far on my own, giving the project it’s own musical identity is something that I would love to do someday.

Writers:
Another role that I would be contributing to quite a bit. I love writing fun little exchanges between party members and with NPC’s, but larger and more impactful writing really isn’t my strong suit. I do have a general outline of how the story unfolds, and there’s a lot of lore and story building, that I would be more than happy to help work alongside you with developing the story and it’s scenes.

Coders:
While not immediately necessary, having a plugin coder that could help further distinguish the project with custom plugins or edits would be pretty awesome!

With all that said, even if you aren’t able or aren’t interested in filling any of the roles listed, I’d love to have anyone that’s at all interested in helping out as part of the team! Whether it be as a beta tester, someone to bounce ideas off of, or something I haven’t even thought of, just let me know!

We also have a Discord set up for everyone that’s interested in helping out, or just wants to follow along with progress, so that we can all keep in touch easier. You can join us here: https://discord.gg/6sGtkR3


Thank_You.png
 
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Vis_Mage

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I've fixed up a few things in the OP, as well as adding detail to a few new mechanics.
 

Zerothedarklord

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the main character wants to fill his pokedex. I like it. but unfortunately it doesn't look like you need anything I would be able to do.
 

Vis_Mage

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Quick bump, I've updated the first post with a revamped story, as well as a few other changes and fixes. I'm especially looking for a mapper to help with the project, but I'd love any assistance you'd be willing to offer! :)
 

knightron

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Your game sounds really interesting. Do you have a showcase demo of any of the features. I'd really like to see a monster battle with your custom sprites.
 

BrainRot

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I'd love to help with writing! But I also feel I should be honest and admit that I've only just this year decided to actually start pursuing my passions after a little rut I've been in for the past couple years so I don't exactly have a portfolio to show for myself but if you want to throw some scenes at me to test me I'd be totally down for that!
 

Vis_Mage

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Your game sounds really interesting. Do you have a showcase demo of any of the features. I'd really like to see a monster battle with your custom sprites.
Hey, thank you for the interest! :kaothx:

I'm afraid I don't have much of a playable demo at the moment, though. Within the last couple months, I've been doing some restructuring to the story and gameplay, trying to lay it all out ahead of time. I do have most of the mechanics working as I'd like, with the main hang up at the second being getting a new intro area and sequence put together.

Fortunately once I get past the new intro, I've got at least a couple hours worth of locations that should mostly just need polishing and tweaking to fit the updated narrative. So hopefully, I won't be floundering without a demo/screenshots for too much longer. Really hoping to have something worthwhile put together by the start of summer, ideally sooner.

Also, while likely to be changed later on, I'll get a few screenshots added to the post here shortly, alongside some of the updates that have been made to the story/mechanics.
 

Vis_Mage

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I've gone through and started updating the original post, including adding some screenshots, and adding the new title and logo for the project, Mana Star!
 

geovanie

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@Vis_Mage Were you able to get that discord set up? I'm looking for a project with legs I could contribute to as a programmer.
 

Vis_Mage

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@Vis_Mage Were you able to get that discord set up? I'm looking for a project with legs I could contribute to as a programmer.
Hello, sorry for taking so long to get back to you, things have been a bit stressful here up until just these last couple days. We'd be happy to have you join the team! :)

And yes, I have gotten a Discord set up for the project, you can join it here: https://discord.gg/6sGtkR3
I've also added it to the main post (mostly since I forgot I hadn't already added it, oops :p)
 

ST0RMTiger

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So you have a coder already and i am sure not as good as geovanie as i am not a professional. But i really like what i see here and i will watch your project! Maybe there will be an opportunity to be helpful occasionally.

Looks promising!
 

Vis_Mage

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I've made a few small updates to the main post.

At the moment, we're especially looking to bring on a mapper to really help with speeding up progress, but as always, any form of help from those who are interested is greatly appreciated. :kaothx:
 

Dama_de_la_Luna

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Are you still looking for mappers? I can do that, your project looks amazing.
 

ShadowDragon

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the game is intresting so when times allow and yours, I can be a beta
tester to squash bugs :)

while my art is special, I cannot help in any roles, but look forward
to your game developement. =)
 

Vis_Mage

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Are you still looking for mappers? I can do that, your project looks amazing.
Aww, thank you! And we are indeed. Would you be able to PM me a few pictures of maps you've worked on?

the game is intresting so when times allow and yours, I can be a beta
tester to squash bugs :)

while my art is special, I cannot help in any roles, but look forward
to your game developement. =)
Thank you very much! We're still a while off from having a proper demo, but I'd be happy to have you beta test once we do! Feel free to either follow along here, or over on our Discord (link is at the bottom of the main post)
 

Dama_de_la_Luna

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@Vis_Mage
I have some, but I rather make something for you. I was able to see you guys are using some of REFMAP tilesets, I have a VX/VXA version of those tilesets. I'm sure I can port them to MV, if it's just for a test.
What kind of maps would you like for you to make your decision? =)
 
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Vis_Mage

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@Vis_Mage
I have some, but I rather make something for you. I was able to see you guys are using some of REFMAP tilesets, I have a VX/VXA version of those tilesets. I'm sure I can port them to MV, if it's just for a test.
What kind of maps would you like for you to make your decision? =)
Ah, sounds great! :kaohi:

We're currently using a pretty large range of tilesets, including REFMAP/FSM, so that would work just fine.

What sort of maps do you prefer to make/feel most comfortable with? Be it a busy town, a sprawling dungeon, or peaceful wooded wilderness.
 

Dama_de_la_Luna

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Well, I'm more used to making towns and forests than dungeons, but I think I can manage with those too.

EDIT: Hey, I have some bad news. My processor is not cooperating with me this evening, I can't transform VX tilesets to MV size. If you're fine with that, I'll do the maps in VXAce. They won't be useful for your project, but at least I'll be able to show you my skill. What do you think?
 
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Vis_Mage

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@Dama_de_la_Luna
Ah, no problem. Was just curious what you felt most comfortable doing.

In that case though, perhaps you could create one town and one wilderness map, to showcase your experience with both. I could give a bit of direction for the two if you would like, but otherwise feel free to get pretty creative with them!
 

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OK, I'm alright with emulating the potential working situation of being on a team with you guys. So, let's make it the same way you do it with your other mappers. That would the best idea, IMO.
 

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