Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Musing and Progress

It's been a 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 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.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Progressing Onwards

Somehow, in the midst of being eaten by irl, I've been managing to get work done on SEM. Especially recently. Thankfully I've managed to clear away all of the bothersome menu work. But while doing so, I also made some minor changes as well.

Caith's presence has been added to all the growth systems and menus. So that's finally out of the way. Re-arranging things to make room for her was a pain, but I managed to push down my irritation and finally just do it. It took almost a year of procrastination and slowly chipping at the wall to get to this point though. I feel that maybe I shouldn't gotten here sooner, but alas. Motivation is a fickle thing.

Secondly, some changes have been made to the Advancement System. The menu where skills and abilities are learned. Specifically in terms of learning spells. Before, all characters had ten spells, but only five Ether Ranks. Which meant they'd end up with any combination of those ten spells by their choice.

Well now, I've changed it so that the player will need to learn every spell in every tier in order before they can proceed to the next Ether Rank. So now, Gunnar will need to learn Thunderbolt and Shade Imperial before his Ether Rank progresses to 1 from 0. That way, more advanced spells are kept away a bit longer and earlier spells will be available to use.

The main point of this change is that you will never end up potentially missing an element you may find yourself needing down the line.

And that's pretty much all. This update's been entirely about the boring coding side of things, so I don't really have anything to share there. But with all of this crap out of the way, I can finally get to work on the story again. The menus and walls of code are finally out of my way as far as I can tell!

...But additional spriting remains. But that can...probably be tackled over time.

But let me throw this in.

It's a more modern(but drawn a while ago) rendition of Patchoulli's SEM design.

And with that, I bid adieu~