Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The return of randomness

So I haven't been working.

What have I been doing then?

I've been playing Nocturne Rebirth!

It's a japanese RMXP game by Cogwheel and a plethora of other skilled dudes. Seriously, it's one of the best RM games I've ever played. Sure, I don't understand a word of it, but the game is so well crafted and awesome that it doesn't matter to me. I'm about 5 hours into the game so far and it's epic stuff. The battle system is awesome, the field handling is awesome, the level up system is awesome. Everything is just so awesome! D:

And it's HARD.

Random enemy groups can kill you if you're not at the top of your game. And bosses will slaughter you time and time again until you finally figure them out. Hell, the second boss had me raging for about 7 tries till I finally figured out it's gimmick. Right now I'm on the 4th boss and I just narrowly lost to it. :|

But yes, this game is a shining example of what RMXP can do if you're not a 'copy/paste 500 random scripts, make my game for me!' moron that seems to plague the western RM communities! If you don't mind playing in jp, then I highly suggest giving it a try! Click on Cogwheel's name under the picture!


In other news, our little circle 'Cloudreach' decided to start up a chain game. It's a sort of game creation event where one person works on a game and then passes it along to another person till everyone participating gets a turn. I thought it was an interesting idea, having everyone work on a chain story where the next person in line decides where to take the previous person's story. So I decided to have a go at it. I'm currently working on my part at the moment and I'm almost done. Once I am, then I'll pass it along to the next person and then I'll get back to work on SEM. In the meantime, have some screenshots.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Update

Christmas? Are you trying to make me laugh? Disappear from my sight...

I share Flann's sentiments by the way. But enough of that! Enjoy your materialism day, all of you people with normal, stable lives!


Moving on, I have an update for today. It was an idea I've had brewing for a while now. What is it?

I call it the Battle Ranking System. How does it work? Well you see; during battle your progress is actually being monitored behind the scenes. Once the battle is finished and you're back on the map, a battle report will show up and display how well you did. Based on certain variables in battle, you will get a score. Based on this score, you get ranked from either Rank D to Rank S. Depending on the rank you get, your SP/RP gain is multiplied anywhere from 2-5.

So basically it's to your benefit to do well in battle and get a good grade in order to increase your SP/RP gain! The values that affect your score are as follows;

Remaining LF: Each party member's remaining LF to taken as a percentage and that percentage is added to the score.

Remaining EP: Remaining EP is added to the score.

Souls Remaining: You gain or lose points based on if you've had no deaths, if you died a little, or if you died a lot.

Turns Taken: The amount of turns each member went is combined and then you gain or lose score based on the resulting value.

Brave Clear Complete!: This is a boss battle only condition. If you follow the Brave Clear Criteria during a boss battle, then you gain a huge bonus onto your total score.

And now for the Ranks and their multipliers;

Rank D - No gain, just the base value provided by the enemies, which isn't much on it's own. Ranking up will be a far off dream if you keep getting Rank Ds.

Rank C - Gain is multiplied by 2. It's more than Rank D, but it may not be sufficient for Ranking Up in a timely manner.

Rank B - The middle ground. Gain is multiplied by 3. It should be enough to comfortably get you to the next rank at average time.

Rank A - Gain is multiplied by 4. It's not Rank S, but this is just fine as well. This is usually what you plan to shoot for, since Rank S may be hard to consistently get.

Rank S - The best battle rank. Gain is multiplied by 5. You will get a lot of SP and RP with this Rank. Do your best to get this when possible. Usually you'll need Brave Clear Completes to get Rank S

Good news is, it's all set up! It's not just another throwaway concept. I think this will add more meaning to battles and the gaining of SP and RP.

Have a screenshot rundown! I'd post a video but I really don't feel like recording tonight.


In closing have some art. JIHAUS thinks that Luxuria doesn't have enough art. So he drew some.

And with that, away I go!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Menu Update

So I spent all of yesterday working on the main menu. I finished the front end of it already. All party member displays along with Next RP, ACT/WAIT, and Soul Alignment work, and SP digits are in. I ran into some annoying bugs here and there, but it's done and sorted out now! Here's a rundown.

Here we have what shows when you press Esc/X on the map. It easily displays the amount of RP needed to advance to the next rank, who's active or waiting, and which Soul Alignment each character is set to. No LF or EP is shown since those values are replenished after every battle.

If you press right once entering the menu, then your party windows will be highlighted. You can scroll through them from left to right as you please.

Once you get to the character you want you can press Shift to change their battle condition from ACT! or WAIT. You only need one character to be active at any time, so you can go forth and do your crazy self imposed solo missions or whatever else you may have in mind!

Now if you press Enter/Z on a character, then their Soul Alignment shifts to another stat. The stat displayed will be the one that the character gets more of upon Rank Up. This is your new avenue of customization!


I guess that's all for now. I'll be working on the status menu next. I can only thank god this isn't as extensive as SEB2. I can't wait to go back and start tearing down some walls once this is done, heh.

And to address the current poll. the amount of votes in each section will determine the frequency of puzzles. Judging by the current results, moderation seems to be the general consensus. Perfect. >:3

And I leave with art.

I cannot remember who did this, so fail for me!

What's that I hear? "What is this madness!? Caith's not in SEBR!"

Yeah? Well too bad!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Trucking onwards

Art by Jimmyly

Okay so freely grow clearly won the vote. I'll take that in mind when designing the Soul Evolution System.

My current 2nd draft idea for it at the moment was a sort of traditional level up system. Each character has a 'Rank', and when you win battles, you gain RP, or Rank Points. Once you gain enough RP, your characters will 'Rank Up'. Ranking up will increase a characters Life, PWR, PRY, and KNW each by /20 of their their current value.

What's the twist here? Well there are a few. The first is you can set each character to focus on a certain stat so that upon Rank Up, they gain more in that area. For example, you can set Priel to focus on KNW and then upon Rank Up, Priel will gain KNW equal to /15 it's current value rather than /20.

The second? There is no 'Rank Limit'. You can go past Rank 99 and keep growing your characters as you feel. Though as a limit of the digits I plan on coding it'll technically be Rank 999. But I doubt anyone will get that high...maybe.

The third is that you gain special passive abilities from Ranking Up. for example, at Rank 5 let's say a character will gain an ability to nullify critical hits. At Rank 10, a character will be able to use their Exceed Limit. At Rank 20 Revive Time is cut in half. And then at Rank 30 a character's Finish Burst/Sacred Will is available to use. These aren't exact values, but an example.

That's my plan at least.


In other news, I've been doing spriting STILL. The amount of spriting that needs to be done seems endless, but I'd rather not think about it and just do it. It feels less like a chore that way. Have some previews.

Updating Gunnar's field sprites. Once I finish that I'll have to make misc field action sprites. Fun.

This one here is special. This is Veili's Ice Demon form. No worries it's not a spoiler. The intro will blow it up quite quickly. It's going to be funny. 8D


And speaking of Veili's Ice Demon form. Here's the concept art for it.


That's all from my end. Back to work!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fun with sprites + Question # 12839712

So I've been working on sprites, I'll show some now.

Remake of Gunnar's last OB, 'Element Sword'. It's one of the only two OBs that he kept from SEB1! We'll see how it turns out in the new version!

This is an enemy sprite sheet. There isn't much because monsters don't need much. one or two sets of attack frames for enemy FBs should do.


Well it looks like Exploration is winning the quest method poll. I think it's decided then, thanks guys.

Next, I have another question for you all.

I'm working on the character growth system at the moment. I was discussing with someone about stat caps, and he got disappointed that there were going to be caps on stats.

In SEB1, there was no limit to stats, you could get to 999 in everything for every character if you tried. While I don't know of anyone that actually did that, it was very possible.

My new idea was the enforce character stat caps on advancement. Here's a snippet from my design document on the matter

----- Character Stat Caps -----

I've decided to enforce GUST/Atelier style number scales with my battle system. I choose this to make larger numbers mean more down the road. It's not impressive to see your characters bust out 1000+ damage right at the start. But when they start out hitting for fives and tens, when you finally start doing 1000+ damage. It will be much more rewarding. Plus I think it ups the challenge and it feels more exciting.

That's the idea at least. It's already been implemented. Now to see how it turns out in the long run.

I've also had the tentative idea of enforcing stat caps that are different for each character. I figured this would be good to make characters good at something and bad at something else.

Here are the caps for everyone.

--- Gunnar ---

LF : 336
PWR: 345
PRY: 207
KNW: 385

--- Veili ---

LF : 445
PWR: 330
PRY: 245
KNW: 190

--- Priel ---

LF : 480
PWR: 465
PRY: 290
KNW: 120

--- Patchoulli ---

LF : 305
PWR: 185
PRY: 215
KNW: 430

So now I come to you, what do you prefer? Unique stat caps for each character in order to accentuate their strengths and weaknesses? Or cap free stat advancement with no negatives?

I'm putting up a poll on the matter so let me know! Thanks


And finally, have some art.

Art by Rairy

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Video MK III

Have a video. I made a ton of really subtle changes so it may not seem like much, but it operates fairly differently underneath.

The big new change would be the new number scale for the game. I lowered everything by one digit in order to be similar to Mana Khemia/Atelier series. I think it works well and makes things more exciting. Plus when you finally do manage to start throwing out 500+ damage, it'll be worth it.

And for those wondering why your characters are just randomly reviving. That's another underlying system that's in place. There are no revive spells and no items in the game. Instead. Each character comes into battle with three 'lives'. When a character falls, they come back after 10 turns with some LF and EP returned and they lose a 'life'. After that particular character runs out of 'lives', they're done for the battle.

And have a sprite!

Original Sprite by Jimmyly, Edits by Skie.

And away I go! *whoosh!*

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Starting on the menu and other musings

I know we've all been calling this game SEB Remake and SEBR and so on. But this game actually does have a title. It's...

Logo by Hanzo Kimura

SEBR is it's 'Devname'. But when it comes time, this is what'll be plastered on the title screen and everywhere else.


So I'm currently in the process of simplifying the game. I've now come to the menu. This is what I have so far.

All pointless menu options have been cut out. I've mashed all the character growth systems into one revised menu to make it simpler than hopping from menu to menu all the time*cough *SEB2*cough*

There are no HP numbers on the party because there are full recoveries after every battle. Is this okay? Or MUST there be character HP shown? :V

SP digits will be shown once I get to that. 'Act!' and 'Wait' are merely indicators to tell who's in the battle party and who's not. The player will be able to adjust who can fight from here. Finally, 'Objective' will tell you what your current quest is and where to go, so that you don't screw up and forget like an idiot! >:V


In other news, you remember that quest menu I was working on? I'm thinking about scrapping it. I was working on the main menu last night and I got to thinking.

"Why should I constrain myself to handing out quests through a limited menu?"

So now I'm thinking about scrapping it. My alternate approach was to have NPCs in town that had an indicator over them that would show that they have a request to be done. You could just talk to these people, accept or deny, and then go off and do it!

No going to some arbitrary menu to do that stuff. What do you think?

Actually. I'll just make a poll. You can tell me that way. Or you can comment. Both work!


On the graphical side of things. We have these!

Why am I showing Kell here? Well, let's say she's relevant to SEBR.

Art by Nessiah

And have some sprites!

I think that's everything for now. See ya~