Goblinstomper! Development Diary (VIII): Apparently Not ANY Port in a Storm

So where were we?


That’s right.  Half done.  And the next task is… Acquire a row-boat.

The excitement never ends, does it?

All of this stems from the RPGMaker VX tutorial, which hits all the Japanese RPG buttons as quick as it can while showing the potential user how to use the engine.  And I suppose I could just make it that easy.  The party heads out, finds a rowboat, then starts rowing around the island to reach the ruins.

Boom!  Three fourths done!

Except it’s not that simple.

Let’s start with the “Cullen, you magnificant bastard, what’s wrong with you?” part of the proceedings.

Last time I mentioned how the previous forest map didn’t quite work for me.  This time:



That ain’t gonna fly.

It’s too cramped for one thing.  And while I didn’t intend for every building to be obtainable (on the theory I was making the place seeming bigger than it was), the one house on the left looks like you should be able to get in it, but can’t.

Very irritating.

So a brand new map.

Starting with the basic shore outline:


Nothing fancy, just a general idea of what I want.  Anything can change (and probably will.)

That done I then draw in some paths to mark out the basic structure of the port:


Next I put in some buildings:


A few things here.

You might notice a bit more terrain.  Makes the port more visually interesting.  I also had the idea of the row-boat owner living apart from the rest of town and that little outcropping there in the lower right came from that notion.

The paths, too, have changed, giving the place a more lived in feel.  At least that’s what I think.  Your mileage may vary.

I’ve also confined the Player a bit.  There’s no reaching the edge of the maps (save in two places/exits).  Don’t know why this feels right; just does.

Finally, we add the rest of the background.  Trees, windows and doorways for most of the buildings, the works:


As all towns need stores and inns, so I’ve marked places for them.  Thankfully the maps I previously made for them are perfectly sound, so they’ll just be connected with Events.  I might add a few items to it (like, say, chimneys) but that’s fine for now.  I’m ready for the next stage of setting things up: putting in the Events.

Which is a “Yikes!” for tomorrow.

Before leaving, though, I want to go back to the story side of things.

There are, to my mind, two choices console RPGs tend to give a Player.  In bullet form, they are:

  • The False Choice:  This one is no choice at all.  You have to pick the one the game wants you to make.  Better not to have this at all, as it makes the Player feel cheated (or at least this Player).
  • The Consequential Choice: This one has an effect on the game.  Sometimes it’s just advancing the plot, sometimes altering the course of the story.

nilbogLast time, I suggested that the Player have a second way through the problem the forest sub-quest set up.  Instead of heading through the forest and finding the person behind the problem (a character named Nilbog), I have a work-around in place that can by-pass the meeting.  The Player might never even meet Nilbog that way.

I like choices that aren’t blatantly apparent.  Decisions that aren’t spelled out for the Player.  Thus I set up a little branch in the game for passing Nilbog by.

Now I need a consequence.

The obvious one is that Nilbog doesn’t become involved in the quest.  While the heroes go off on their merry way, she sits around her forest, twiddling her thumbs.

So if she doesn’t come, who should?

mortyEnter Mortimer.

While I have some ideas about Nilbog, as well as the other female characters, I have just a vague thought about Morty here.  He makes a great “Maybe he won’t be coming with” character.  Probably even better than Nilbog.  Thus he gets the nod.

Sorry about that, By the Book.  But don’t worry, you’ll have a role even if Nilbog goes with the party.

Keep in mind just because these two are going with doesn’t mean they’re going with now.  I have no plans of adding either of them just yet.  When and if i keep this thing up I want to have things generally in place to ease installing the idea.

In the spirit of that, I made up a little flow chart to remind me of this change to the plot:


You might notice how basic everything is.  We’ll get into that another time.

Tomorrow, we will take but a moment to cover what Events go into this map (and why I’m crying right now about it), then move the plot forward for our Heroes.  Then maybe I can for real say I’m about three fourths done.


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