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    LaDestitute
  Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:09 am
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I've been working on tilesets for a while. Haven't gotten much done in the sense of like a full tileset but enough to pass for a test/mockup map. Currently working on the overworld tiles, then inside/house then finally dungeon tiles.

My project is nearing end of development and is feature complete so I want to knock this wholly necessary feature out of the way before commercial release and also so I can have a full safety video for YouTube, in terms of assets and copyright, etc.


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    ZenVirZan
  Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:11 am
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Xilef wrote:
Are you working on a collab game at the moment then?

I had a few break throughs with some Gameboy Advance related technology, specifically I wrote an ELF loader that can dynamically link & load executable code into whatever chunk of memory you want, which solves a major concern I had about some of the GBA architecture and how existing compile tools treat it.

I'm doing some preliminary reading and testing around the idea of potentially making an RPG for the GBA. I consider it cheaper than doing on for RPG Maker MV as there's less of a demand for technology on the GBA and the fact that it is a GBA game this side of the decade is a selling point.

I think it would be a good candidate for a community, collaborative game and I can see a path to market being selling collectable material. Game box with manual, cartridge, USB drive and poster. The ROM should probably be free with a donation incentive: Donate money, get to transfer something special to your game via PC transfer app and GameCube link cable + USB adapter, maybe a save file editor for those running emulator/flash cart.

I'll be doing a bit more reading and thinking about this, but I'd like to get to a point where I can propose a rough outline and plan for a community collaboration here.
that sounds sick, please do continue

id buy it & contribute if possible

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    Hybrida
  Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:48 pm
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I fell into the trap of over testing my game. It resulted in being extremely difficult. It's also suffering an identity crisis. Was an RPG, now it's just an adventure game with 1 huge map.

Omega Force Hybrida® is just a series of battles now. As of right now I'm drawing planets, cut scenes, and 1 huge galaxy map. The plan is simple. After every major battle, the primary story is told. The player will battle at key points in the story. Galaxy exploration can also result in battles and secret side quests. (Give a hybrid child chocolate cake, save civilians, and discover the ultimate being).

I dunno if I'll ever upload this project online to be honest. I'm more interested in other hobbies. Rpg Maker is my side ho currently.


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    coyotecraft
  Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:55 pm
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I opened up Rpg Maker MV the otherday and got a free DLC treat for christmas. Magic & Scifi Effects. Came with some Tilesets add-ons and neat visual effect plugins that animates a heat wave, radial ripple, or hologram scanlines on/around a character.

The Ship Interior looks pretty competent. The rocket leaves something to be desired.
According to the Read-Me file the Scifi tiles were made by Bit-O https://bit-orchard.hatenablog.com/
The Magic Tiles were made by metsss https://twitter.com/metsss0221
And the plug-ins were made by Sanshiro https://github.com/rev2nym
There's nothing on Steam or any of the English Forums mentioning it. Just the Japanese tkool twitter page.
I actually found that the japanese pages offered some free resource that aren't offered in the English side. Celebrating a million downloads. Additional monster characterset to go with the scifi battlers.

Still no "official" front view battlers for Harold and some of the other RTP. I watched the videos for MV Trinity on consoles, and it doesn't look like they're included there either. However they've got this daily reward thing for people who login regularly. So it's still a possibility, I guess.


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    Xilef
  Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:00 pm
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Building tools. I think I decided to use C# for tools development: much quicker to write compared to a fresh C++ project and has a load of handy libraries. I find C# much easier for doing GUI stuff too, if the need arises.
I've done a load of tools before but I think it is best to build new ones specific to the needs here.

First up is an image converter that will take an input image and generate a GBA optimised compressed binary with stuff like palettes sorted out automatically. My test is to have GameBoy Player detection working from a given PNG screenshot of the GameBoy Player logo; which is what the real hardware uses to detect if it is in use; the GameCube accessory literally scans VRAM checking to see if that logo is displayed with the correct palette and then sends some bizarre controller pulses (stuff like having all dpad buttons pressed at the same time) to say "I'm a GameBoy Player in a GameCube".

I've got a bitbucket repo going for this project now. Still consider it early stages. If someone (such as maybe ZenVirZan) wants to check out the project code then I can add them (need a Bitbucket account and preferably Git installed - project files are all visual studio 2017).

It contains instructions for getting GBA development going for Windows so send me a PM if you want in on that.


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    BizarreMonkey
  Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:35 am
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Spent most of today integrating the new portraits for Fyori.
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
Last one may be changed in the future, she's also lacking her wings currently, but that'll be fixed in due course.

I've also been working on the first of three animations I plan to make before disk 1's story is wrapped up.

As you can hear, the audio is all done, with the exception of Svoli's voice actor lines and instead my placeholder lines, the visuals aren't done yet either, as it goes black for a while.


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    BizarreMonkey
  Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:34 pm
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Thanks to EVENTS and some hecka inspiration, I used a shit-ton of me and my artists assets to make an AMV. This will likely play from the title-screen after idling long enough.


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    Nathaniel3W
  Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:17 am
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Hey Biz, did you hire a different artist for Fyori? Have you been refining your skills? Whatever it was, she looks great.

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    BizarreMonkey
  Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:40 pm
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Nathaniel3W wrote:
Hey Biz, did you hire a different artist for Fyori? Have you been refining your skills? Whatever it was, she looks great.
Same artist as the Lumi, Koko... everyone in Fantasia portrait artist (he hasn't gotten to some yet.) But yes he did seem to jump a couple of levels of quality with Fyori.

Currently dealing with composer struggles, might actually have to legit hire someone before long. Unfortunately Max's life is just being a dick to him and it's largely effecting his work.

HowEVER. While progress has been slow, I did finally finish Kara's fight in entirety.

Had a lot of fun voicing all that. That said, there is WAY too much pre-battle dialogue. Some of the obscure references and factoids from I314 can be skipped, too.

Currently I'm finalizing the concept for Pexepe before my artists go forward. Or more, the concept is finalized. My artist Xiie gave him a lot more ideal and easier to draw form.
Image
Looks a lot darn better than the previous split incarnation.

I myself between keeping my eyes peeled for a composer, have been rewriting a lot of Disk 1 dialogue to flow better, as well as giving Esperia and Fyori character introductions and then questions you can ask them.
ImageImage
ImageImage

Before long I'll be getting to work on the Rolly and Tristy boss fights. I just don't want to rush them. Much as I've not dared to rush the Pep, Svoli or Kara Boss fights. For people who played original installments in my franchises where these characters have become fond memories, I don't wish to do these characters a disservice. To disservice them is to disservice the hopes and dreams of my fans, and I'll not be doing that without merit or reason.


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    BizarreMonkey
  Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:17 am
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Composer issue resolved, Jake "Moneymenace" Gamelin, the muse behind the Intelligence 314th Clash, Perseverance Full Clearance and Menagerie Remastered OSTs is back in action for Fantasia: Surreal Cosmic Progeny.

Want to witness what he has done so far? Very well~



Once again, the gears are all rolling back into place...

The pieces on my board of life are returning to the fold.

Demo 2 is fast approaching... you can not stop it.

Nothing can.

I'll show you, we'll show them all.

What TERROR really means!

A game called Fantasia...

is drawing ever NEAR!


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    BizarreMonkey
  Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:42 am
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Bumping this back up to the top since I did not intend for my agenda thread to be that much of a superimposition.

Thankfully, I have quite a bit to show.

Firstly, Kyoshi has a grand and awesome battle theme, courtesy of Jake "Moneymenace" Gamelin.


And a bunch of scenes I've been doing editorial voicing for.


Demo 2 on 3/14 is unlikely, unfortunately.


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    coyotecraft
  Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:48 pm
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I started outlining a fan game idea. At first, it was a really loose idea. I tried not to get hung up on names so I just stuck with "The guy" and "the thing" for the first part of my draft. But by the second half it all started to flow. Names came to me. It was like, one metaphor lead to another symbol, to another pun. I was really on a roll. I thought about it all morning and figured out a comedic ending.
Idk. I guess it all came easily because it's half a joke game anyways and I don't need to be serious. I got to channel a lot of sexual innuendo with suggestive names like "The Morning Wood"
It also helps that I started off with a central theme and message. Normally I struggle for weeks debating what I want a story to be about or how to use a character and I never get anywhere.

I'm eager to start drawing art for it.


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    BizarreMonkey
  Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:34 pm
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Okay that sounds epic.

SPEAKING of sounds.

Yasondre's regular theme was composed recently. Check iiit~

For those who have played Intelligence 314th Clash, they may recognize the leitmotif used here, as Yasondre's theme Miracle of Life. Good thing about having Jake on board is that he already has several powerful and recognizable leitmotifs for a large variety of characters.

Xiie and Pjcr are also slowly but surely chipping away at their work. Pep now has a sprite, courtesy of Xiie.
ImageImage

Meanwhile, Pjcr has finished Fyori's wings, and they look truly spectacular.
Image
As may be obvious, thats a cropped version, click the image to see its fullest glory.


Last edited by BizarreMonkey on Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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    coyotecraft
  Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:56 pm
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Perseverance "The Hanged Man" Interlude?
I just wanted to write a story that explored Pep's brother more and put into perspective his psychological underpinnings.
Of course it's fan fiction set in a dreamland. So needless to say, it's not canon and "didn't happen". It revolves around the "The Hanged Man" tarot card and means to paint Sven in a certain light. In Perseverance Full Clearance it doesn't seem like he contributes much, he is afraid of heights, and chooses to stay behind at one point which feel like the opposite of "perseverance".
So, I wanted to proved a story arc that does him justice.

I thought about putting a Dream Drop Distance spin on it since Bizmonkey has a lot of Kingdom Heart allusions in his games. Or maybe a Chain of Memories card mechanic, since Sven isn't really a fighter.
In keeping with "The Hanged Man" imagery I plan on filling it with hang-around-ish characters. Like a bat, and a chrysalis "dakimakura" type character that might be the closest Sven ever gets to having a girlfriend. Just thought of an opossum character I should add.
Esperia, naturally, will be there to torment Sven although her efforts will be rendered ineffective by a certain self-insert comic relief character. She'll be running The High Noon whorehouse that shares a building complex with Censors' Bar (get it?) which then turns into a gambling house.

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    BizarreMonkey
  Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:14 pm
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Oh gosh when you said fan game I did not expect it to be about characters from my universe! xD

Sven is given relentless nightmares by Esperia, and he's not very perseverant, which is exactly his gimmick. He's not a crazy feckless sort, he's probably the most human character because he doesn't feel he can do much against all these super-demons, undead liches and other nasty types.

That being said, he still does what he can, and his sacrifice so that Nola and Pep could live is such an example of this. He does get a moment in the spotlight after the first naxon Bossfight when he sets the Black Sacrement alight and destroys it, thereby severing the corruptive hold naxon had over the general populace, which allowed for Pep's revolution in Act 4.

I have drawn him with his eyes open like... once, they look pretty much like Pep's.
Image
Only time I'm pretty sure where his eyes have been open. back in his old get up. oh, actually, he opened them quite a bit in a prequel-esque non-canon comic thing I did a while ago, called Pigs and Perpetuity.
Image
Now it's just sorta his gimmick that his eyes are closed all the time. It's likely he fears immensely Esperia repeating the trick on him that she so enjoyed pulling on his father... (removing his eyes from their sockets.)

Quote:
Bizmonkey has a lot of Kingdom Heart allusions in his games.
Oh no! someone noticed! Dx

But yes, the card thing might be most effective, but depends how difficult it would be to implement. I'll support the idea from a distance, I never imagined people would think of making fan games or fanfiction of my work. :O

I do definitely have some inspiration from Kingdom hearts occasionally, possibly the best example being Corporation XVI, who have large parts in the optional content for Menagerie, as well as a large role throughout Intelligence 314th Clash. Fantasia they are completely absent, possibly murdered by Yi Hellrider for causing so much temporal damage. Impetuous Sussuration does get a little bit involved in PFC, but to an incredibly minor degree, not unsurprising he found Pep, given that he recruits Pep and his three friends into the Clash in late Intelligence. He's also alternate future me, which means he likely saw Pep in a dream and assumed at first Pep was a character he made, but then after discovering dimensional matrix theory, realized he didn't create somewhere, but went somewhere astrally and met the furball, if only briefly. Thus allowing him to use it in games that would prophecize and alter the future. Most of my alternate selves do seem to at least be heavily into game development, it's one of the variables that never really changes. But not all of the alternate Bizarre Monkey's get a fortunate ending, my twelfth dimensional self erased himself to avoid having to live or suffer an immortal death to wait out the inevitable truth he'd learned, ironically, Universe XII is actually saved from the Bizarre Monkey from Dimension IV, but he arrives too late to know of, let alone save his other self.

I sometimes get called the Infinite Biz, the reason being is that a version of me exists in all dimensions. Many die, some live, some few become heroes. it's become pretty clear I am not the Bizarre Monkey of Dimension IV, despite the immense amount of similarities. I did want to be him, but it wasn't to be. It's impossible as of the current timeline, it was prophecized that on Pi Day 2018 I would discover the fourth wall, and via use of its manipulation, be able to bring my friends into my same physical space. Then we'd go on to save the world via the use of some extra-dimensional help from a duplicate of Universe XII, that later me and the corporation would escape too and call the Equation Unsolved. From here we'd begin meddling in the affairs of the Twelfth Universe, throughout various periods of time, we'd recruit many who wanted to join our cause. And eventually the 314th Clash would become, and we'd help it succeed in our various ways. Though thinking i might get erased by Yi after the fact, I'm kinda glad I'm not that member XII.

Anyway, talk about getting off topic!

Here's a screenshot from perseverance Full Clearance, in regards to the upcoming widescreen patch.
Image

Also a bit of old news, but here's the 22 Main characters and their tarots from Fantasia.
Image


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    coyotecraft
  Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:29 pm
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:v
I did my research. I figured that was just an early prototype Sven from a different continuity. I think in your earliest version he's only 10. And it's set in a completely different year than whats stated in another thread.

I haven't played your other games in so long. Maybe it's explained in them. But like, what happened to the humans? They "left" and there was a war of "indifference". Wolves didn't sign the treaty, and I guess they're still feral? Idk. Wasn't sure how I was going to
implement a Coyote character. If it should blend of "coyote" legends.

Actually before I settled on Sven, I briefly thought about doing a story about Kara's Brother. He's nonexistant as far as I can tell but he got the Etheral Blade from somewhere, right? There must be a story there. The Angular-sight reminds me of a myth about Coyote, and how he was once "the moon" at one point. But he was able to spy on everyone and tattle-tail whenever someone did something bad. Everyone got together and decided that's something the Moon should be able to do. He can't be "The Moon" and "Justice". I figure the etheral blade could be related to "Justice".
It's interesting you correspond Kara with "The Moon". When talking about archetypes you'll find synchronicities everywhere.

Like, The Hanged Man is always affiliated in someway with ice. Understandable, being "stuck" and "frozen" are basically the same thing. You've got Sven and Icy Esperia, and Sven is part of a resistance hiding from a spying eye .
Luke, in Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back, is representative of the hanged man. The first time you see him, he's hanging upside down, captured by a snow beast, On the planet Hoth, the rebels new base. He's got to take out a search probe. I get a little scared when I see synchronicities like these. I mean you didn't intend for Sven to be "the hanged man". But I see it as validation. Some kind of common denominator that symbols have. Or conformation bias.
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    coyotecraft
  Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:33 pm
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Oneiroi are these bat like dream spirits in the sleeping world. Still exploring their look, I think I'm going to lean more towards black.

I figured a bat would make a good foil character for Sven. I learned that bat's aren't that strong to lift off the ground. They got to drop from branches and such to get in the air. So this foil character has a fear of being on the ground, crawling and exposed like he might never get back up, which is a mirror version of Sven's fear of heights and thinking he might never get back down.
Image

Tentatively, the idea is that Esperia has captured the other Oneiroi. Or at least any she comes across, that allows her to shape dreams. Sven's got this "Dream Nail" aka "heart thorn" sticking out of his chest. It's his metaphorical attachment to the dream world and allows him to connect with Oneiroi. Maybe just the one character in particular, who I've currently dubbed Sonar. But I'm thinking maybe all the bats will have fruity names. I'm not sure how this "connection" with oneiroi will manifest as gameplay. Maybe just skins for Sven to wear, or navigation tools if I want an adventure mechanic. I have echolocation in mind. Or echos might be memories.
Anyways, Sven can't wake up with the nail so he's got to head to Censor's Bar to get "hammered". It will be a very pun-y game, yes.


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    coyotecraft
  Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:57 pm
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I got distracted watching videos of bats eating fruit.
"Research"


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    BizarreMonkey
  Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:14 am
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coyotecraft wrote:
:v
I did my research. I figured that was just an early prototype Sven from a different continuity. I think in your earliest version he's only 10. And it's set in a completely different year than whats stated in another thread.
If there's any version where he's that young, I've severely screwed up somewhere, in Canon during the time of PFC Sven is 14-15, Pep is 12-13 and Nola is 13-14. A year passed during the window of the game. ROLLY however, is 10 Years old when Intelligence starts.

coyotecraft wrote:
I haven't played your other games in so long. Maybe it's explained in them. But like, what happened to the humans? They "left" and there was a war of "indifference". Wolves didn't sign the treaty, and I guess they're still feral? Idk. Wasn't sure how I was going to
implement a Coyote character. If it should blend of "coyote" legends.
Intelligence 314th Clash covers that, in PFC it's not very important to the story, as humans only show up when they are Heldathian- like Esperia and her soulcatchers. To tell you the basics though, the humans left on an exodus to escape the frostlord Maw's wrath, that was in 2032, shortly after the animals, mostly the domesticated ones, grew the intelligence courtsy of Blu the Spellweaver to become the dominant species of the planet. Since cats eat birds, dogs ate chickens and carnivores were a THING, fear was spread and further fueled by the instigators of the Great War, Naxon and Esperia. The war went from 2040 until 2070, during this time Tristy was born, and brought the war to a standstill all the while also containing Maw, the Insurrection of Great Britain starts around 2064 (if I'm remembering right) but yeah after the war a grand union was brought about, ambassadors of the mammalian races signed a treaty that would forbid the eating of other creatures, Saxxis Bufudyne had found a means to make mock meats using scientific research from his earlier years to give the same sort of boost and chemical reaction to eating meat as one would typically get, so yeah basically tofu is the thing that is meat for everyone now. HOWEVER, Wolves were like 'nah dawg that shits fuckin stupid we outie' so they all went and curled up in the woods and sometimes go for live prey, I guess.

coyotecraft wrote:
Actually before I settled on Sven, I briefly thought about doing a story about Kara's Brother. He's nonexistant as far as I can tell but he got the Etheral Blade from somewhere, right? There must be a story there.
Kara's unnamed bro is elusive as they get, I don't know their name myself, but if I had to guess it'd probably be Raka. As for the Ethereal Blade, I'm sure it came from somewhere that isn't in earth, most of the crazy bullshit swords are, although it's possible Lazarus was behind it, as he's made similar swords for varying warriors in the past, such as Zardari's sword. The swords he makes have matter manipulating edges, meaning what the sword cuts doesn't damage the sword, as its being cut right before it makes contact. Kara's sword does not seem to have this property, though. I'd have to go astrally travel around and discover it for myself.

coyotecraft wrote:
The Angular-sight reminds me of a myth about Coyote, and how he was once "the moon" at one point. But he was able to spy on everyone and tattle-tail whenever someone did something bad. Everyone got together and decided that's something the Moon should be able to do. He can't be "The Moon" and "Justice". I figure the etheral blade could be related to "Justice".
It's interesting you correspond Kara with "The Moon". When talking about archetypes you'll find synchronicities everywhere.

Like, The Hanged Man is always affiliated in someway with ice. Understandable, being "stuck" and "frozen" are basically the same thing. You've got Sven and Icy Esperia, and Sven is part of a resistance hiding from a spying eye .
Luke, in Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back, is representative of the hanged man. The first time you see him, he's hanging upside down, captured by a snow beast, On the planet Hoth, the rebels new base. He's got to take out a search probe. I get a little scared when I see synchronicities like these. I mean you didn't intend for Sven to be "the hanged man". But I see it as validation. Some kind of common denominator that symbols have. Or conformation bias.
Image
Oh, I just based Kara off the moon seeing as she's got a lot of lunar stuff going on, she's got moon runes on her sword, just about everytime you fight her it's in the presence of a full moon. I'm tieing the characters to tarots based on what complete beginners would expect, rather than anything directly tieing into the tarot themselves. Also I tink if not Sven it would have been Sped, but for me i always associated the 'hanged man' with characters who are totally fucking screwed. In that- they're gonna be hung metaphorically. So Sped makes a fit since he dies in act 2, but Sven works even better in a way due to that his death wasn't all that surprising. Sped also fits the Magician much better, given that one of his famous quotes is "Because I'm magical!" Pep also gets a spell in late Intelligence named after his fathers tarot, it also tends to be his best single target damage ability in that game.

Also, Esperia can already enter peoples dreams, it's kind of a natural skill of Soulcatchers, BUTT I'll pretend that isn't the case, you've already stated the fangame isn't canon so that's fine, lel. While I've only quoted your first post I've read the second one too, it feels weird having more attention to concepts being put into a fan game than I put into the full game itself. xD

This may help with timeline stuff. It certainly helps me out.
Timeline Pre-2012
Timeline Post-2012


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    BizarreMonkey
  Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:36 pm
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Progress is going well, I'm up to the End of Disk 1 Cinematic, this epic will be 6-7 minutes long from my calculations. It will also, like FS09-- have lip-syncing.

Here's my 30 seconds of progress so far.

Tristy's and Pep's portraits aren't done yet, when they are, they'll be used in place of what you see here. Fyori nor Tristy's voices are official. I've already got a VA for Fyori and I've contacted her post-haste. Tristy may pose a challenge but if my friend comes through then she'll have a mighty good voice.

Other characters being introduced without a voice actor yet: Lyza. That's it. She's an alien, so any exotic girl with an accent will do just fine.

Jake has been quite productive! He's done three tracks of music.



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    BizarreMonkey
  Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:21 am
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Finished one cutscene that I was procrastinating on for a variety of reasons, mostly the level of frame-by-frame animation I'd have to pull off. Finally i bit the bullet and did it all. Now you can see Svoli get all PTSD about things and lashing out, then regretting it. :0


In other news, Xiie finished Pexepe. Pep's Cherubim form. She started by getting a concept done that didn't have that obnoxious split shit that i had going on, which is over done as heck but i just couldn't thinkm of a better concept, thankfully- Xiie did so.
Image

Once I gave her full clearance, she got to work on the sprite. They were finished, too!
ImageImage


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    Xilef
  Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:49 pm
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I'm currently rewriting libgba in C++ (currently called libgba++). libgba has some licensing concerns that makes it a small legal headache if I wanted to make a commercial game with it, so this work is unfortunately needed.
Means I can make GBA development a little bit more modern and cool, though. I've already got a good abstraction over the 16-bit button input register.

Expand to see the code.

There's also pressed_any and pressed_only functions, returning true for any button in the mask or only the buttons in the mask.
What I'm most proud of here is that the data sizes are still 16bit. The first implementation bloated them to 40 bytes, which destroys the GBA's performance if you're copying data that large, so getting them back down to 16bit was important.

There's all sorts of fancy C++ crap you can do with this too; the mask can be initialised with a list of keys, or it can be bitwise modified to add/remove keys from it. All this compiles into code equivalent to the original libgba, so no run-time performance lost compared to C.

libgba has some complex additions related to storing button inputs of the previous frame for detecting key raises and held events, I am unsure if I want to implement this as I feel some parts of libgba do too much - at the same time there's an opportunity here to write a cool C++ event system for the GBA using IRQs or similar.


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    Nathaniel3W
  Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:46 am
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I can't remember where I saw this. Xilef, did you point it out to me? It seems that video games tend to sell very well when you put them on a physical medium for an outdated console. Are you able to manufacture an actual GBA cartridge?

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    Xilef
  Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:16 pm
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Nathaniel3W wrote:
I can't remember where I saw this. Xilef, did you point it out to me? It seems that video games tend to sell very well when you put them on a physical medium for an outdated console. Are you able to manufacture an actual GBA cartridge?

I did a feasibility study: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=79764
Put it all on hold whilst I interviewed for a job at Google - which required so much time, effort and energy that I still feel burned out somewhat...But I'm trying to get back into the swing of things.

The conclusion my study came to was to attack the retro/collectable gaming market with a physical game that has high production quality inside and out. Actually have a read of that thread in general if you didn't see it the first time round, I had a quick re-read just now and I don't think the situation has changed. I wrote about the cartridge situation, even this morning my brother sent me a video that actually featured a reflashed GBA cartridge from an Etsy seller so it's surprisingly accessible.

I've had great success with building out a modern GBA C++ library so I'm definitely going to commit myself to this once more, but I'll make more formal posts when I've got something more visual for people to inspect. I'll eventually have a YouTube video of me making a map in TileD, exporting to MV, adding events, then running it on an actual GBA console.


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    coyotecraft
  Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:30 am
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I've been "researching" game theory and the theory of mind.
Lately I've been wanting to do something other than an RPG, like an adventure game. But I didn't know how to approach designing objectives, and I started wondering what really classifies adventure games as games in the first place. In my mind, adventure games are just you bumping around in the dark until you find a square peg to put in the square hole. What do you call that? Luck? Skill? Is it even a challenge?
I realized the skill involved here is working memory. So layering complexity upon that could be one approach to designing.

But reading into working memory, I'm terrified to learn that people can seemly relay knowledge and an understanding of "rules" but then be unable to follow them or switch between them because of working memory defects. What they know and what they do is totally different. It's scary to watch in action and makes me question every social interaction in my life. All these times I thought I was just bad at explaining things. I'll tell someone to "think of it this way" but apparently that requires cognitive flexibility. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink...or can you? :devil:


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    Nathaniel3W
  Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:06 am
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coyotecraft wrote:
... In my mind, adventure games are just you bumping around in the dark until you find a square peg to put in the square hole. ...


I remember when Final Fantasy IX was new. One of its innovations was a little exclamation point that appeared over Zidane's head when he approached something he could interact with. A review at the time contrasted this with the previous two games, where you had to "run around humping everything with the X button."

I haven't played an adventure game in years. I remember the puzzles being long, complicated, and often kind of stupid. There was one game where you had to chew some gum, put the chewed gum on a string, lower the string into a sewer grate, pick up a coin with the gum, and then go trade the coin to someone to get something, and trade that thing to someone else, and eventually get the thing you need. (Was it the Star Trek game on NES? For some reason I think it was, but the bubble gum seems out of place in that setting.)

I think that games like Scribblenauts handled puzzles much, much better than the arbitrary, even random, combination of actions that would solve puzzles in most adventure games. In Scribblenauts, you could experiment, and see how things interact, and predict what will happen when you place certain objects into the game. When you can form the solution in your head before you implement it, that feels fun and rewarding. And even failure can be fun because you still learn something, and you might be surprised at how things go wrong. There's nothing fun about clicking every item in your inventory and trying to use it on everything else until you can proceed.

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    Nathaniel3W
  Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:18 am
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Another thing to keep in mind is level-design as a tutorial. Games like Braid and Super Meat Boy were good at this: They introduced you to an ability in a simple setting where you can see how your ability works. And then you have to use that skill to solve a problem. And then they put you into a situation where you have to take the skills you've learned and use them in a new way.

There's a place in Super Meat Boy where you learn that you can wall jump, and you mostly jump left, right, left, right, until you're on top of the next platform. But then you get to a wall where there's nothing else around and nothing else to do, and you are forced to learn that you can wall jump and reattach to the same wall, and wall jump again.

See if you can teach your players the skills they need to have using level-design. And maybe give them reminders and practice areas before they're forced into a situation where they won't be able to progress. Also, if you can, give them goals that are out of reach at first, that they have to walk past a few times, and then after they learn a certain skill, they know how to reach the goal. That gives them a sense of accomplishment when they can do something they previously couldn't.

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    BizarreMonkey
  Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:22 am
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@coyotecraft Conveyance is key, Egoraptor did an exellent documentary on how you can do tutorials to teach players how to play your game with only one stage and next to no dialogue, he uses Megaman X as the ideal example.

As for "adventure" games, mostly there's a reason why that genre is dead, it's because the logic of them was lost on those without a similar mindset as the developers. A good example fo an adventure game that actually has rules is oddworld Abe's oddysey, as it didn't have a HUGE amount of different items, and the ones it did have were all easy to understand. Just play like, the first LEVEL of oddworld to see an adventure game done right. I'm pretty sure on steam you can grab a demo.

Myself, PFC (perseverance full clearance) was me applying as much on-screen conveyance as possible. You likely can't recall any tutorials where I told you that 'A' is to attack, or 'S' is to shadowdash, or much of that- because there was no need. All that information was embedded clearly-enough in the HUD
Image
The exceptions were the options to listen to the LeakiCorp tutorials on weapon and item switching. As that was a little more complex.

So, much update! Let's begin with something that is quite undeniably EPIC!

The fight with the Insidious Architect now mimicks the Immoral Messengers, as it gets progressively more difficult with each shield bar depleted.

1 Shield bar Depleted:
Bursting Star: Yi will start summoning bursts of Orbs around her that make getting close to her riskier than it already was.
2 Shield bars Depleted:
Zero Universe: Will begin periodically casting an Arena wide sequential AOE.
3 Shield bars Depleted:
Scattered Shards of the Relinquished: She will cast a continuous flurry of projectile attacks from the middle-top of the screen, and this will show no pause until she is defeated.

Some attacks do become less frequent as phases move on.

I think my favorite of her new abilities is Zero Universe, as it gives a real sense of OH SHIT!!

In other news, my composer got two of three Svoli themes done.


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    coyotecraft
  Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:21 pm
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Actually, I was thinking more about the "why" than the "how". If I made a maze then why should the player complete it? And what makes a maze a game in the first place? Because its a question of motivation, you'd think it's all about hacking the brains reward center so they feel accomplished at the end.

So many RPG Maker games begin with an asinine fetch quest. There's a reason to do it - it's the only way to advance the story. But not all games have story. What can you do with fetch quests? Game theories deconstructs the mind down to challenges, chance, and connections. From an emotional perspective games of challenges and chance are sparking competitiveness and hopefulness; both require a kind of social and probability awareness. As a game designer, I think you have to provide that "mental space".
Games involving connections is stirring understanding. It's a little abstract and difficult to talk about, but within the mental space the player is finding meaning.

So going back to a Maze. As a challenge, there could be a time limit or a race with other players. As chance, there's got to be something obtainable that's outside the player's control. As for connections, maybe the solution to the maze is a solution to another problem - metaphorical reasoning.

In retrospect, it's called being a game designer. Not a reason designer. I shouldn't worry about giving the player a reason, you can just assume it's already there. You're digging ditches and building tracks. Not proving the water or the train that needs to be diverted.


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    BizarreMonkey
  Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:08 pm
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It's definitely an interesting thought process. Personally I've not done fetch quests in my game much, except when the 'fetch' is for a macGuffin, I like to think out most things the player would do as a thing that surely the player character would do anyway. For instance, in early Intelligence: Rolly's belly is growling, and pep announces its market day, due to Rolly's appetite, Tristy, one of their newer friends, suggests swiping things without paying, it doesn't phase Pep incredibly much, but Rolly seems to disagree largely with the notion of stealing, Pep reminds rolly that if he wants to be able to eat enough to actually feel satisfied, this may be a lot more able to provide than simply eating the from the discarded plates of wasteful market-goers.

Pep states since he's got an element of stealth that he'll do it, although in the version where the story is revised, I have Tristy do it. So, yeah- it's a fetch quest, but with meaning.

A maze can often have a 'why' attached, a good example is a maze that holds no reason to be solved beyond just needing to be navigated to get from a to b. One good example of mine is in Intelligence, the Darkvoid, the maze isn't hard to get lost in, but doing so usually leads to treasure, and you'll get the layout pretty quickly, there's also a way to solve it on both routes. Getting all the sparkly treasure chests is the reason for the player to complete the maze, and most likely the characters, as well.

When a players and a characters goals are one, and the why means the same to player character in union, that's when you can create a real sense of establishment with your player to the characters.

Now, say a race, that can easily be done in a way that makes both the player and the character seek to win, if the character is a sort who is competitive- and the player's emotions come in line with theirs, especially if there's a character they are racing who they desire to outpass, this can become a mutally beneficial player-character experience. There are numerous examples of this in many big games, the first example that comes to my head is the race in Kingdom hearts 1 with Sora and Riku, who is immediately settled as the players rival, and is Sora's as well. So obviously, you don't wanna be second best, and any chance you can to become number one, you'll take.

As you yourself said:
Quote:
Games involving connections is stirring understanding. It's a little abstract and difficult to talk about, but within the mental space the player is finding meaning.

To provide meaning for why both the characters and player may want to do something, the character you're playing must be fairly readable, because to relate to their wants and desires, the player must want and desire the same.

All of my games have a simple objective in the overall arc, and it's a prize that would be hard to say is undesirable.

Intelligence: Accomplishment
Hellcat: Understanding
Menagerie: Acceptance
Exile: Belonging
Perseverance Full Clearance: Liberation
Fantasia: Freedom
Boned: Survival
Crowfeast: Power

To give you a brief summary of each.

Intelligence: You start out as bottom feeders, feeling like the world is doing its best to make you into nothing, you have energy but nowhere to spend it. This changes and eventually you began to feel bursts of accomplishment, like player like characters.

Hellcat: At the beginning of the game, you're just chilling out round your house, walk outside and fall into a pit, next thing you know you're in Heldath, and having no understanding of how you got there, bit by piece you and the character, who knows as little as you do, begin to piece it together, and get invested in the new world and vy to understand it like the one before.

Menagerie: it starts with four outcasts, who have no real homes, even if they may have physical ones, Fyori doesn't belong, fatty is not at home, Gerald had never felt at home, and Spooky left his out of disgust and is now trying to find his own place in the universe, but he knows to do that, he'll needs go along with his mother's plan. All of them find acceptance in each other that they did not find from others, Spooky starts out as cold and demeaning, but quickly begins to warm up to and respect his peers, even Gerald- albeit in subtle ways. The others have similar situations. Fyori starts out feeling out in the cold and like she's agreed to help a cause with no stakes to her, however she quickly learns of a reason to aid, Fatty is one of the first really on board, and loves the thrill of adventure, and so happily volunteers, he also takes a liking to Spooky, since dwarves are hardwired to measure hostility as sass and enjoy sass immensely. Gerald is the most unsure for a while, but states that if there's a chance the world is in peril, then he'll act in the name of Yor, but promises Spooky no stay of execution one it's all over, as he deems Spooky a dangerous being. However, after Spooky lends him his time racer so he can go and do something foolish, he finds himself wondering why, Spooky states that there'd be no stopping him, so it's best he make it quick as he can, not to mention that gerald's experience may kill him, or may make him more competent, both are good things in the eyes of Spooky, Gerald accepts, After a while he begins to see Spooky is empathic, and just has trouble showing it, and while the two continue to bicker, it's done in a more friendly fashion.

Sorry that one went on a bit... NEXT!

Exile: Alien is sent to Earth for crimes against her own people, we are never told what these crimes are, but suffice it to say Lyza simply wants to find a place of belonging, she eventually finds it in helping a revolution overthrow the Australian monetarists and founding a new world order with the power of people at her side.

Perseverance Full Clearance: it's obvious from the first that living in a society run by the Naxonite Order is hellish, so throughout the game your goal is to liberate your country (britain), and then yourself in some way after Britain fails to be liberated.

Fantasia: Created for the sole purpose of being slaves, with a couple helping hands, the protagonists, Lumi, Lilac and Koko, seek out a way to ensure freedom, and for the cosmos to keep going on, they fight for Surreal Cosmic Progeny, for the freedom to be odd. For the right to be crazy, to teach even Goddesses that their rules will be defied if they are unreasonable enough.

Boned: Basically you're woken up from your kingly meditation by your mother, who states one must also practise food eating to live a happy fulfilled life, not long after, she asks the protags dad to help her grab a Deathly ichor, a needed ingredient, he however, is clearly too comfy to get out of his chair, using Richard's Kingly-knight-complex to his advantage, Richard's dad asks that he go on a quest to stop his most mild cold from getting less mild. The quest goes on many interesting twists, with lever puzzles that need to be solved to progress, it's a maze in a game, with a few very easy battles. only one of which you can lose. The goal being to obtain the deathly Ichor for a dish that will help you survive. Which is funny considering Richard is a skeleton, but that's never really gone into. In a flavour text he says food sticks to their ribs, this is likely meant to be comical nuance, but also might tie into some belief Skeletopians have. Food may work like magical nutrition, it's hard to say. Other skeletopians like Limbo seem to have no issue disregarding the rules of life when need be, but seeing as most skeletopians enjoy the pleasures of partying, it's likely they get some benefit from food.

Crowfeast: My, this is a good one to experiment with. In most games, the goal is to stop someone getting enough power to become unstoppable, however in crowfeast the magalomaniac is you, and the struggle for power is given to both the player and the player character, Mira. While her goal may be beneficial to the peoples of her homeworld Shale, she personally has her own motives, and the player shares in these, which they share in the most may well impact the route they take. Mira has only two combat abilities, Quell, and Execute. Quell is a silent KO, while execute is a Murder. If she quells all, she cannot allow Berk to feast on their misery, meaning her power never really grows. In this route, her main goal is to avenge her family's deaths and make some kind of understanding out of things.

Her Ravenous route, is quite different. She intends in this route to strike down anyone in her way, and absorb them for whatever they are worth, this is a route that rewards ruthlessness, as the more you kill, the more crazy your challenges get. Both however, are a power struggle, one is against those who wronged you, the other is against all who could potentially wrong you.

If you're a player who doesn't like killing people, and just getting done what needs be done, resolving things through diplomacy rather than violence, the Ghost Route is the ideal. But for those who would rather see Mira succeed to her fullest, and feel powerful alongside her, they can choose the Ravenous route, and while an official choice is never given, it becomes clear pretty quickly (before it's too late) that Mira is a tough pill to swallow when it comes to her more ravenous side, so you can choose to switcharoo if you don't want to get locked into one or the other.

Likewise, sparing people, or ghosting them, also isn't good for the player who likes to be in control, the only way they can be in control is via channeling themselves through Mira's ambition. In the Ghost route, Mira often gets cornered, and usually has to plead or excuse her way out of a situation, so if you don't like to conform, it will become clear pretty quickly which route is for you.

Anyway, hopefully this spiel resonated with you, somewhat~ I've naught else to show off yet.


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