RMXP Monster Catcher

Discussion in 'Ideas and Prototypes' started by KB, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. KB

    KB Veteran Veteran

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    First of all, I hope I'm posting this in the right thread. If not, feel free to remove it. I apologize in advance if this was posted in the wrong place.

    I'm a fan of the Pokemon anime and game series and got RPG Maker for the express purpose of using it along with a set of scripts and graphics folders designed for RMXP called Pokemon Essentials. Well, that was before Nintendo issued a "cease and desist" to the fan wiki that was helping interested fans create games. Everything's fine now. There's still a wiki, a place to download the software (I think), and a couple of forums to discuss fan games, but...

    ...that doesn't make it all any better for people like me who would rather not have years of their hard work shut down, so I decided just to make my own generic JRPG monster catching game; there are several, and they're all very similar to each other. Pokemon, thankfully, isn't the only one in the genre.

    (Without the scripts that came with PKMNE, though, I'm not sure I can do that, and I don't want to use PKMNE, because the people who developed it have designated it only for fan games, and it's against the rules to use any part of their source code for commercial purposes. That leaves me having to code in the monster catching mechanics and such from scratch, but maybe that's another topic for another day. )

    _______

    Before I do all of that, though, I think I need a good story line for my game to follow. I've decided to try to make a basic dungeon crawler with a monster catching element, but I'm having trouble thinking of anything I can really use in my game.

    Here's the game story I came up with so far:

    An exterminator tries to extract a wasp nest, gets bitten, has an allergic reaction, and blacks out. He awakens to a strange land where the citizens are being terrorized by some monster. The story then follows the formula of a basic dungeon crawler, the man agreeing to investigate, finding the strange monster, and defeating it.

    After the man defeats the monster, though, he blacks out again, hears buzzing, feels a searing pain, and dizzily listens to the voice of the wasp who bit him tell him what a hypocrite he was for helping those people, as he has a flashback about the bugs he killed...

    That's all I have so far. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    I wanted to incorporate a monster catching system (really, different bugs made to look like monsters in this guy's delirious state).

    I also wanted to have a twist ending where the guy finds out that the "ferry" or whoever has been helping him this whole time is actually the wasp that bit him.

    As you can probably see, I'm not familiar with dungeon crawlers. I don't understand skills, weapons, etc.
     
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  2. TheGreatApollo

    TheGreatApollo Side Character Member

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    Hello!

    Gotta ask some questions first before the worldbuilding begins! :)

    1. How serious is the game supposed to be? Given the context, with a pokemon inspired background, I'm under the impression that the game is going to be relatively relaxed with comical relief in how ridiculous some scenes are going to be.

    2. What is the dungeon crawling going to be like? Do you plan for human bosses further within dungeons with strong monsters at their sides? Or will there be flagship monsters per dungeon level can be caught?

    3. How big is the world you are planning to build?

    I read over what you had so far and some fun ideas came to mind:

    The player is the village's best bug exterminator. Undisputed and makes a living tearing down wasp nests and termite mounds. He's famous for his work as he uses a different method than all the other bug killers out there: he catches the bugs and makes them fight each other.

    One day the mayor comes storming to his house and demands he help the mayor. A huge nest of some kind has appeared behind the mayor's house and it needs to be exterminated immediately! The player agrees and heads out.

    To his disbelief, the nest isn't a normal wasp nest or termite mount. The nest is a mountain high, and seems to run deep into the earth. And the mayor still wants him to take care of it.

    I guess the journey is the player heading down to the bottom of the nest to exterminate the queen? That would be the entire pathway of the game, and it would be pretty short, but a fun passion project.

    Let me know if this helps! :)
     
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  3. Finnuval

    Finnuval World (his)story builder and barrel of ideas Veteran

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    You could also take a look at SMT games (that have been called pokemon for grown ups at times even though it's been around longer haha) to get some more ideas on the monster catching aspect of things. You'll never know maybe you'll get an idea that'll work for you :)

    Other then that TheGreatAppolo has laid out a pretty basic but fun premise you can work from I think.
     
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  4. KB

    KB Veteran Veteran

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    These ideas are better than what I've come up with, and it at least gives me a place to start.

    I'll think about my story and try to have some answers to those questions; I'll also check out SMT.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  5. Finnuval

    Finnuval World (his)story builder and barrel of ideas Veteran

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    There are a lot of possibilities here story/plot wise, imo.
    You'll need to decide on that first before thinking about things as how/why doe the 'monsters' join the player.

    To illustrate the potential story lines this can have : what if you change the beginning and at the end the exterminator turns out to be a bug himself? What if the bugs aren't bugs and the player is actually killing his fellow villagers in some hallucinatory haze? What if there is no twist though the 'ferry bug' keeps telling the player there is? What if... Well, like I said a lot of possibilities.

    It can be hard to choose what story you want to go with so let's ask this question : What is it you want the player to experience? What do you want the player to get from this story?
     
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  6. KB

    KB Veteran Veteran

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    Wow, SMT is really dark. I don't think I'm going to go with that angle, exactly. I think I did come up with a story idea, though. Please tell me what you think?

    Plot:

    A teenage boy obsessed with aliens is in need of money to buy the latest alien collectors video game. It kind of starts out like Pokemon, where he talks to his mom in the living room, and she tells him that the local exterminator might be looking for summer help. (The exterminator, of course, replacing the Professor in the Pokemon games or the guild in other JRPG's.) The boy goes in and gets the job after answering a few cutesy questions, like:

    Hmm, do you know what bugs are?
    Can you handle a spray gun?
    Are you at least sixteen years old?

    The boy gets the job, and is told he can start work immediately.

    The real story begins with a cut scene. A teenage boy is trying to spray a wasp's nest, while his overseer tells him what to do. (I'm not a good artist, though, so I don't know how I'm going to animate a cut scene if I want it to be more than interaction between over world sprites). The wasps get stirred up, he gets stung, and he falls off of the ladder where he's working and blacks out. He wakes back up, presumably a few minutes later with his overseer frantically waving his arms and screaming.

    When he comes to, he gets his first mission. There's a larger wasp nest in the city, and his job is to find it. The mission starts off pretty mundane and introduces the character to some game play mechanics--talking to NPC's for information, how to kill bugs, or catch them for study, etc. The player eventually finds the wasp nest underground, though, only to discover it's a massive labyrinth.

    (This is where his journey down the rabbit hole begins)

    It turns out the wasp problem was bigger than they first thought, and a hive has taken over a nearby city. To combat this problem, he's fitted with full armor and super-hero style bug killing gear and flown to the problem site via helicopter. It turns out that, contrary to what he believed, he's actually a very good exterminator, so good that he's been admitted into the bug catching special ops (a la Men in Black!), complete with his boss revealing that the extermination company are secretly a group of alien hunters!

    The boy's mission is to now take out the boss bug without being detected by other members of the hive. To make his disguise complete, he's fitted with an exoskeleton and antennae that allow him to communicate with the natives of the hive. After the first mission, destroying a giant cockroach that reminds him a lot of his old principal for some reason, he gets yet another more dangerous mission.

    It's also revealed that these new bugs are immune to poison, so the only thing he can do is use a specially trained bug that was confiscated from the hives to fight them and catch them (a la Pokemon, but I wonder what the catching mechanism for giant bugs should be? Maybe I could make it silly, like the bug jars are actually mind control devices?). The boy is also informed that the bugs that are caught undergo a retraining process and can be used in future missions as party members.

    The game play is pretty standard monster catcher after that. After a little while, though, the player meets a mysterious woman with antenae who also has mutated bug slaves and wants to fight. This person challenges the player over and over again in the various hives he visits and sometimes offers helpful hints, a little too helpful. She seems to show up any time the player needs help or advice, actually...

    At the end of the game, it's discovered this mysterious person is the big bad boss bug controlling his mind! The player beats the boss bug and wakes up at home, this time for real (we think). The boy's mother also informs him that he was paid for his first day, despite blacking out (so he can now buy that video game if he still wants it!).

    At the game store, though, he meets a mysterious woman who has an oddly familiar voice...

    How does that sound?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  7. Finnuval

    Finnuval World (his)story builder and barrel of ideas Veteran

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    That sounds as a decent idea to work with. Can go real humorous to. As for caching the bugs, how about a spider ( web)?

    I recommended smt (yes it is dark lol) for it's mechanisms not it's story like having to negotiato for example .
     
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  8. TheGreatApollo

    TheGreatApollo Side Character Member

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    I love it. It sounds ridiculous, over the top, and full of humour. With a comical and laid back storyline in mind, it seems like the game will have a lot of personality :)

    For a catching system, you could go with bug nets? Or Bug cages? Use that system to replace the pokeball system (ie. Plastic bug cage is pokeball, metal bug cage is great ball, etc)
     
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  9. KB

    KB Veteran Veteran

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    Okay, now that I have a general idea of my story down, I guess I could start working out game mechanics? I do want it to be sort of a Pokemon clone, but there are some things I need to take into consideration with RPG Maker.

    Mainly:

    Side view battles
    A monster database and party limit
    A catching mechanism
    A "trainer battle" event--for the player, it's probably going to be swarms of bugs, not so much people.
    Terrain based random encounters (maybe, I could probably do without this feature, really).
    Maybe a feature that allows the player to interact with the monsters outside of battle (like Digimon)?

    (Yes, I could probably do some of this using PKMNE, but, as mentioned earlier, I don't want to use PKMNE because I don't have the right to use it for commercial purposes. Plus, it's so similar to Pokemon that if I used it I would probably have an unofficial Pokemon game, not just a clone--I would have to change everything from battle perspective to font style.)

    ...not to mention I still need to find tile sets for my various hives.

    I would also like a shortcut to spriting the animation needed for the cut scenes, if it exists. Good JRPG monster catcher games have an engaging plot and good animation. Unfortunately, my character renditions are a step-up from stick figures.

    SMT was mentioned for mechanics, and I did like some of the animation I saw. It looked like a pretty simple set-up that I could probably do without adding a whole bunch of scripts. I might go that route, but I do at least want side view battles, where the players are enhanced a bit from their normal over world sprites.

    I realize this is probably not the thread for all of that, but I'm kind of wondering where to look next.

    I have a full copy of RMXP and a trial copy of RPG Maker MV.


    Also, if you have further suggestions for my story's plot, feel free to let me know.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  10. Finnuval

    Finnuval World (his)story builder and barrel of ideas Veteran

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    Sounds like a plan!
    Can't help you with the technical stuff though haha I'm an idea guy ;) And don't even get me started on spriting... :o (runs to the hills)

    Good luck with the project and don't forget to keep us updated via games in development once you've started :)
     
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  11. beenbaba

    beenbaba Slowly getting there Veteran

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    I think it's more about what you do to innovate on those established mechanics that will be the defining aspect of the game.

    Making a clone is all well and good in theory (especially something that people like and find fun, like Pokemon) but what is to set your game apart from its inspiration? If it is simply a clone then the only thing that separates it from the source is 'different stuff that is functionally the same', which isn't usually enough to make people want to play it over its already established source.

    Also, everything you mentioned you need to do is available through plugins and some complex eventing. I know cos I've just done it in a project to see if I could. May take the project further or might not.
     
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  12. KB

    KB Veteran Veteran

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    Well, I guess I'm basing my game off of how I felt when I played one particular Pokemon clone that was extremely close to its source material. What set it apart from Pokemon, aside from some game play mechanics and features that actually made it inferior as far as game play goes, was the story telling. The story was engaging, and I wanted to know more, so I kept playing.

    Pokemon, on the other hand, doesn't normally have a super engaging plot. Yeah, stuff happens, but that's about it. There's nothing to really tie things together and game play focuses mainly on the mechanics. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I think a quality clone adds a lot to the story and thereby improves the experience.

    Of course, once I get the bones of what I want to do, I can work on fleshing it out more and maybe adding different game play options as well.

    You mentioned plug-ins; could you give me a few links?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  13. beenbaba

    beenbaba Slowly getting there Veteran

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    The plugins would be for MV as that's what I did it in as I don't use XP, if that's alright?
     
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  14. KB

    KB Veteran Veteran

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    Sure, my understanding is they're all in RGSS, at least it would give me an idea if nothing else.
     
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  15. beenbaba

    beenbaba Slowly getting there Veteran

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    MV plugins are written in Javascript, so different from the other engines that make use of Ruby.

    EDIT: also, I was meant to reply to your other thread about game clones and not this one :o
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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