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    Amy
  Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:27 pm
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Now in beta release: www.afar.ws

Afar is a free to play MMORPG created in RPG Maker MV.

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Afar has been officially launched in a very early Beta form. Please take this into consideration. There is not yet a lot to do: there is no battle system, no trading, no shops and no enemies.

What there is is the very basic early game and various multiplayer enemies built into a solid base from which to build from. This includes a built-in chat system, in-game forums, and various server-side saving of data systems.

Everything for the MMORPG functionality has been created by myself. Community resources and scripts are used for other aspects, but the core system is of my own design and creation. as such, if you would like help in planning your own MMORPG, while I do not have time to do your work for you, I am happy to answer any questions and offer my thoughts on your systems and their design.

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Afar is intended to be what I call a Cooperatively Created World Game. What that means is that the actions of players affect all players. If you beat up a merchant, that merchant will be unavailable to other players, unless they heal them. This expands to an entire world level, and if players are on average losing to vampires, vampires take over more of the world. This is not yet implemented, but keep in mind that this is the end goal.



Afar has a lengthy history starting with my first RPG Maker projects back in 2004. I won't bore you with the details, but it is the spiritual successor of relatively successful games Vengeance Online RPG and Afar, the latter of which I have continued the name of (and which I will now call Old Afar). Old Afar was online for five solid years and amassed 1,500 players, being created in JavaScript and PHP. It was not a fully graphical game and while complex had various issues that meant people didn't stick around for long.


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    Amy
  Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:37 pm
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Some off the hat thoughts:

- Javascript IRC scripts exist. I can implement IRC quite easily within RPG Maker.
- iPhone and other platform capabilities from the word go.
- Slightly larger resolution.
- Wiki guide implemented within the game.
- The database from Afar can be used, so this can be an extension of the original Afar. Or could. Maybe.

From a sneaky quick graphics point of view, as they're 16x16, REFMAP graphics can immediately be used, just a case of 3-upping them instead of 2-up.


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    Amy
  Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:55 pm
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I have thought about perhaps having the game partially open to modding - mainly graphical, certainly not anything that would affect public profiles. But allowing the curious to have a play around with certain aspects. Any thoughts on this? It would also make some things simpler, such as not encrypting graphics folders, but that's certainly no reason to do it or not to. I know that a lot of games have substantial modding communities... but it's somewhat different for a little RPG Maker game.


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    Amy
  Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:51 pm
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Graphics options:

1:
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2:
Image

3:
Image

4:
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5:
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    ZenVirZan
  Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:56 pm
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I vote 2 or 3.
Preferably 2.

Modding is an interesting idea. If there's no reason not to, I'd say go ahead.

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    Amy
  Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:31 pm
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3 or 5 would be the easiest as they're native to RPG Maker MV. The rest would require importing maps made in Tiled.


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    Jason
  Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:03 pm
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I'd say 3 or 5, something about how zoomed in they are really appeals to me for some reason...

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    Amy
  Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:58 pm
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Have just seen Despain's graphics so I am probably going to use those instead. They're beautiful.

http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/a/graphics/time-fantasy

Will edit them somewhat to tailor them to my game of course.


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    Amy
  Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:39 pm
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Playing around with said graphics.

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    Juan J. Sánchez
  Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:56 pm
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That looks awesome. I liked 3 by the way.


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    Amy
  Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:58 pm
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Des's graphics are 16x16 doubled up, so I could use these as 48x48 and replicate #3 but with these new graphics. At that point the menu becomes a little out of place though as it's 1 pixel compared to 3.


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    Juan J. Sánchez
  Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:02 am
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I think the closer and bigger the tiles make the world more expansive. When you can see everything that's near you, it takes away the surprise element and you can't appreciate the small details.


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    Amy
  Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:34 pm
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MV comes out this year, not next, now. And I have been doing some, er, editing, using firebug, of the online rpg maker demo: everything I want to do is immediately doable. This is gonna happen!


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    Amy
  Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:47 am
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RPG Maker MV comes out tomorrow, so production of this will start. I am thuper exthited.

The question is: should data transfer over from the original Afar?

There is a lot of data. Player levels and EXP, merchant skill EXP, items owned, the items themselves, etc.

Some of it will be unusable - where players have got to in quests, for example. But many things, such as owning a super rare Christmas release item... is it worth keeping these things and transferring them across?

If I do this, I will duplicate the database today, and keep the original Afar online. So anything earned in future in the original will not transfer across, but anything earned up until this point will.


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    coyotecraft
  Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:27 pm
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Probably more trouble than it's worth. You could just provide compensation like an exp bonus item or something.


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    Amy
  Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:02 pm
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So I was a little too hasty. I'm lost in plugins. I expected a script editor like RPG Maker XP.

I'll work it out but it'll take a little longer.


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    Jason
  Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:51 am
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... There's no script editor in MV? o.O

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    coyotecraft
  Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:20 am
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I know, I've got all these notepads open trying to find the functions I want to modify.


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    Juan J. Sánchez
  Sat Oct 24, 2015 9:10 am
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More info!


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    Amy
  Sat Oct 24, 2015 10:03 am
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Just realised testing the game locally is going to be annoying. You can't Ajax to a different domain. I'd have to set up a web server too (easy enough, but annoying) if I want to test anything locally (which I do).

But, providing this uploads successfully, I've at least created the basis of the online system. Just a script that handles Ajax, so I can communicate between JS and PHP, so can use a mysql database. I can use Afar's old database: instant content!


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    Amy
  Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:24 am
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I want to show off the epic scale of towns such as Tiben that I failed to get across in the original Afar.

Afar MV will start off within Tiben Castle, in the Great Hall, which will act as a lobby for the Beta. From this hall various corridors spawn off leading you around a fully functional castle, which will have a dozen or so quests, hundreds of NPCs, four dungeons and a large outdoor courtyard within the castle walls, themselves explorable.

Some progress: have converted Despain's Time Fantasy tileset for use in RPG Maker MV. If anybody wants the tilesets, PM me with a proof of purchase and I will send them you, although it's easy enough to do it, just hit up IrfanView and do a batch conversion, advanced options, 150% resize.


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    Amy
  Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:20 pm
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Progress

- Implemented login using text boxes
- Implemented character creation (hair style, hair colour, skin colour)
- - which includes server side saving of user variables.

We're getting there.


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    Amy
  Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:20 pm
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Chat is now implemented, however I am having trouble with input keys. Will get there.

In short, RPG Maker MV uses space key as an additional enter key, and I can't manage to disable it. It also disables the backspace key for seemingly no reason (and I can't enable it). I'll work it out eventually.

Chat works though.

Edit:

All done.

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    Amy
  Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:50 am
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Sadly my laptop is broken, so there isn't going to be any development for a while. I know that's a low blow given the promises I made of a quick release.

It's giving me some time to think about the direction of the game though. One major thing I need to decide is whether it's worth... Leaving work to work on Afar full time. *gulp*

If I did do that I would have to monetise it, and quite early on. It would still be largely a free game.

I have time to think about planning now, because I can't do any development. That can be a bad thing - it's easy to create a vapourware that way.

But as far as making money from the game, here are my thoughts:

- I want to be as unobtrusive as possible. Rather than barriers saying give us your fecking money, instead the events just won't show, and there'll be a little symbol in the bottom right of the screen just to show there is premium content in this area hidden from you.

- The main game would be Pay As You Like, with a free edition too. Choose your price from £1 and you become a Knight.

- Pay £10 and get a Sorcership, which is a sort of one up on a Knighthood and gets a few perks.

- Pay £25 and get a Deityship, which is a one up again and has a few perks.

There would be boxed editions of the game:

- Game in a box: £15, includes Knighthood and Sorcership
- Collector's Edition: £50, includes Deityhood, plus some collectors items such as inspirational art book, certificate, game guide, badges, poster, and various other items
- God edition: £100, for people who really want to support the game. Includes a t-shirt.

This is all conjecture at this point of course. There's no game yet. I'd absolutely only feel charging money if the game was "finished", and was getting daily updates.

Which is the other thing. If I was working on the game full time, there would be a guaranteed update schedule.

- Daily update: new items, new enemies, new areas to explore: every day something new.
- Weekly updates: more substantial - a complex quest, big feature, etc.
- Monthly updates: major expansions or quest arcs.

Hmmmmn.

Sorry, I'm just dreaming again.


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    Xilef
  Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:03 pm
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Get some solid planning done. Take a look at other similar projects (Runescape is probably the most successful one - mostly because it was the only browser MMO at the time and was the most advanced with 3D graphics).

Get done what needs to be done, don't focus on time-frame until you have everything you need to do written down and break each thing down into steps. You should be aiming to complete each goal within half a day, so that should give you an idea on how fine you should break down your planning.

How much experience do you have with project planning?


Also for quick releases this is what you should be looking at; https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bya3nBvCQAASBGi.png

Separate features into development sprints and try to capture the features that will encourage growth (social aspects).


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    Amy
  Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:36 pm
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Having another of those existential crises game making wise where I'm not sure I'm going in the right direction - graphics wise.

Maybe parallax mapping with high res would be better?

Image

I don't even know.


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    ZenVirZan
  Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:57 pm
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Princess Amy wrote:
Having another of those existential crises game making wise where I'm not sure I'm going in the right direction - graphics wise.

Maybe parallax mapping with high res would be better?

Image

I don't even know.
they dont have to be super high quality, they just need to be consistent.

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    Amy
  Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:08 pm
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This is the kind of thing...

Basically this:

Image

vs This:

Image

Could reuse a lot of old Afar's assets then...


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    ZenVirZan
  Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:17 pm
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Princess Amy wrote:
This is the kind of thing...
Basically this:
vs This:
Could reuse a lot of old Afar's assets then...
I vote whatever is easiest for you to make, and most convenient to source assets for.
People won't know what it could have been; they'll only know what it is, and I don't think it makes a big enough difference either way to make mapping more difficult for yourself.
I personally really liked that example of how you made towns seem alive, and the whole aesthetic of it.

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    Amy
  Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:56 am
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Well, this would be the easiest:

Image

As it's what I've been using for the past five years in old Afar.

I have tons of assets for it.

Issue is it's very large at 48x48. Wonder if there's a simple script to make it 32x32. Think 16x16 would be a bit small.


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