Friday, July 4, 2014

Project Status

Hello everyone.

I just said that the project was in hiatus in the sidebar, but I wanted to take some time out to write a comprehensive answer.

I'm currently searching for a job irl, and though I believe I may have come to an end on that, I can't rest until I'm actually working. Last month in June, I also spent a ton of time I really didn't have to make a game for a contest. It was an offshoot of SEM known as Sacred Earth: Promise.

You can check it out here:

Sacred Earth: Promise

Download it and give it a shot if you feel up to it. It's basically a porting of SEM's concept into RMVX Ace. And while it was an interesting experiment, I don't think I want to continue SEM there.

However, I did do something in that version that I do want to port back to the original. Namely the way trap and bonus tiles are handled. In SEM these are handled on a case by case basis, and it becomes very tedious to work with. In SEP these tiles are more organized and run through a single code, determining what reward or trap the player will run into by randomization.

It lessened the workload for sure, and I definitely want to port this logic back into SEM. It would make Symbol Maps less of a hassle to work on by a good margin.

The other change I think I want to implement would be the multiple portrait conversation setup. In SEM, all events only show one portrait on screen that shuffles in and out. It's kind of dull, so while I do think that setup has merits. Especially in sprite based event scenes, I will try and implement the multiple version in BG based event scenes.

Going forward with these changes, SEM should be hitting it's stride again. Truthfully, I'm not even halfway in game progress yet. Working on Day 5, the story progress has only just started to pick up. I mentioned scope creep in my last entry, I need to stay conscious of that and just do the work I can do.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Musing and Progress

It's been a while...as usual.

I haven't actually gotten a phenomenal amount of work done, but I'm getting back into the groove of things. With the technical side of things out of the way, I've just been left to work on story segments. ...And boy, there's a lot of them.

SEM, by this point, is essentially a glorified visual novel with RPG mechanics to break up the story segments. You'll be seeing a lot of character faces talking against backgrounds with each other about themselves and the world around them, and the plot points. More than the battles and symbol maps I wager.

I worry that the game might bore the contemporary RPG player, but I also realize that the point of a visual novel is to....read. So as it is, it's not entirely possible to keep said contemporary RPG players hooked if they're the impatient types that just want to kill stuff and run along maps. The latter, which simply does not exist in this game anymore.

I know that I'll kill myself if I try to reel in that type of player. So really, all I can do, and care to do by now, is to tell the story in the format I have set up. I've probably mentioned this a lot by now, but the lack of walk-able maps and obstacles, which were cut from the project ultimately, will likely forever haunt me.

I can definitely say that the scope creep snuck up on me with this project. But rather than fight to try and make the next big PS1 inspired hit with all the usual JRPG bells and whistles, it's more logical to make concessions in order to properly handle the current scope. I still don't intend for this game to be something ridiculous like 40+ hours or something. But the story's scale has certainly grown from the original SEB, which was so much simpler in intention and presentation.

...And yet also it was terribly executed. But that's beyond the point.

Enough of that though. I guess I should talk of my progress. It's nothing I really can convey visually I think. There's only so many screenshots you can look at of characters talking on backgrounds before you get the point. That's probably the drawback to it. But I hope I can make up for it with entertaining writing and characters.

That said, I suppose a few of those aforementioned screenshots wouldn't hurt anyway.






Okay, that's it from me. Once I finish up a few more scenes, it's off to make the next symbol map dungeon and the events within.

Till next time.