The Overwhelming "New Project" Button

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SwarleyPilgrim, Mar 15, 2019.

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  1. SwarleyPilgrim

    SwarleyPilgrim Internet Billionaire Veteran

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    Hey all! It's bee quite a LONG time since I've taken a deep dive into RPG Maker, but I can feel the addiction in my bones. It's time to make something wonderful!

    One thing I wanted to ask was how do you guys get started? When you create a new project, you start with the classic green square, and an abundance of pre-created battlers, effects, characters, and skills. Do you erase everything, and start fresh? Do you use the pre-made stuff as a placeholder while you build around it? Or do you simply slowly replace everything given to you over time?

    This is something I've had trouble with since I started years, and years ago. Never know what to do with myself with a new project =P
     
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  2. Archeia

    Archeia Level 99 Demi-fiend Staff Member Developer

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    I delete everything and make a template project out of that.

    When starting a game, I decide what mood and atmosphere I want the game to have.
    Then I start with the final boss and then design characters. And make a few maps that aren't exactly final.
     
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  3. SwarleyPilgrim

    SwarleyPilgrim Internet Billionaire Veteran

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    That's a neat way to do it! I like the idea of starting at the end, and working your way back. Getting the atmosphere just right is nice too. Cool!
     
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  4. Archeia

    Archeia Level 99 Demi-fiend Staff Member Developer

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    Yeah. I personally think the most important aspect of a battle system is what Game Feel you want the player to have.
    Dread? Powertrip? Strategy? etc. cuz that affects everything.

    So getting that feel and atmosphere just right from gameplay on get-go with the strongest opponent would serve as a baseline for weaker enemies leading up to it. Since I do think that the weaker enemies should serve as some warning / tutorial on potential tricks the main antagonist will have. (of course there could be red herrings too)

    I realized that after I tried using SMT's PTB. If it wasn't for SMT's atmosphere, their battle system is one of the worst to design for. The entire game's system and feel is focused around the feeling of dread. Whereas games like Mana Khemia is all about fun time power tripping with some minor strategy. If battles turn out too long for any reason, you get tired of it since there's not much else in the strategy side of things.
     
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  5. SwarleyPilgrim

    SwarleyPilgrim Internet Billionaire Veteran

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    I feel like setting it up this way is perfect for all of these reasons! If not just having a good base to set every other fight off of. Teaching the player tricks as they go along the game is SO clever, I love that!
     
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  6. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    I deleted everything (including animation database). Then start by making the prototype of the gameplay I want. Build up from there.
     
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  7. SwarleyPilgrim

    SwarleyPilgrim Internet Billionaire Veteran

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    Seems like this is the way to tackle it! Creating everything from the ground up is exciting, but also daunting. Yikes, it's a lot o work, hey?
     
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  8. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I use the initial stuff as a placeholder. So yes, that means for a while my actors will be the default party with default skills. What I do instead is I get the story fleshed out first, then once that is decided on I then work on things like the maps, battle system and the battles. And, until that is done, I will often make all enemies have 1 HP and 1 in all stats so they are just there as a placeholder (even bosses).

    Once I get far enough along that I'm convinced the game will be actually finished, then I go and replace the placeholder stuff I used, like the music, actors, graphics, etc. Until I hit that point though, all I ask is it doesn't make my eyes bleed. Which is why in The Book of Shadows, Sarah was in a maid outfit for a long time as that sprite worked well as a placeholder.

    @Archeia : I've always felt that SMT's PTB battle system is one of the most broken battle systems ever made myself.
     
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  9. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    Yes, absolutely it's a lot of works. But the database has never been a problem because there is no reason why the default database stay there because I will not use them anyway. If you have a clear vision, it doesn't feel like a lot of work.

    Also, @bgillisp that sounds like an approach plan, I might want to try it later.
     
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  10. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    You might like to browse this section of the forum for several threads which discuss this topic (how do you start a project). That way you will get a wider range of opinion.
     
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  11. fallenlorelei

    fallenlorelei Veteran Veteran

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    This is basically how I do it too.

    My games will typically have something that's unique about it in some way that goes against default RPG Maker capability, so I have to go in and program that (and by "program," I just mean, find literally all the things that will make it work the way I need to; I can't actually make plugins).

    Then once everything's good and working as intended, I'll start eventing the story that connects to the system. Or if there are multiple systems (for example in my current game, the battle system & the shop management system), then the story that connects those multiple systems. This eventually acts as the first 30-minute or so tutorial of the game.

    I think it's good design to have the "major aspects" of the game close to the beginning so you're not introducing anything super radical toward the middle or something. That sometimes come across as bad planning.

    So, I've forced the "unique systems" together into a "tutorial/introduction" of some sorts. The writing needs to be good enough to be convincing. And then, as Theo said, I build up from there. Continue with the story. I've found that this is the easiest way to "start."

    The introduction isn't done, but it's evented and it will serve as the skeleton for the rest of the game.

    Always go back and revise, revise, revise. But hopefully after you've made your prototype, you have all of the plugins you'll need, and all you need to do from there is plan the rest of the story.

    Note that this is just a basic intro to how I start games. There's also planning the story and the characters that you need to figure out! But that can be before hitting the New Project button :)
     
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  12. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Veteran

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    I leave everything that comes in the "default" database intact, but I build my project basically from scratch, using what's there only as a "placeholder" to more quickly get a feel for the game I'm creating (for example using placeholder default enemies so I can get the feel for running a single dungeon), always replacing these placeholders later on.

    Sometimes when I hit the New Game button I already have the general idea of the game I want to create. This does let me hit the ground running with a lot of vision, but it can be frustrating as the game comes along really slowly. Sometimes, I hit the New Game button with just a few ideas for elements of the game I want to play around with, and I figure out later, after I've created some of those elements, how to craft it all into a coherent whole.
     
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  13. Torisu

    Torisu Veteran Veteran

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    It's very scary, took me a week to hit the button. I found that as soon as I felt comfortable with the concept of the story from start to finish and have a good idea who is who in the story it made things easier for me. From there I built a strong backbone for the game such as what system you can ( I made a dot list of things to add in the system) And built it from there, I then leave mapping and events later.
     
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  14. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    I also empty out the database of pretty much everything, except for the RTP tilesets that I will either use for the final game or keep as placeholders for mapping.
    I have a good feel for how I want my characters, classes, skills, items and systems to be when I start a new project, and defaults don't work for what I want in my games.
     
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