Knowing him, probably on someone else’s feet, wondering what was all the carping about.
But that’s neither here nor there.
We have hit the end of Act One Phase One. This means I have a “game” that can be played to the finish. Almost. Kind of. I skimped the end and need to draw two more maps, but that involves switch puzzles and I’m tired of switch puzzles.
What happens next is Act One Phase Two. This involves a whole slew of other work I don’t wanna do but has to be done in order to make this the game I want it to be. It doesn’t have to be the best game ever made out of RPG Maker, just as better than the worst. Preferably much better.
Let’s cover just a few of the things I’m doing right now:
I’ve mentioned modifying tiles in another post. Basicaclly, RPG Maker has a nice range of tile that come this close to being everything a game designer needs. To the point that when it misses, it’s frustrating.
Oh so frustrating.
With the image on the left, we have our first castle as it originally appears. On the right is the new freshness. Players can now enter and leave the castle grounds and it has a little more depth to the proceedings. A bit more solidness.
Spent several hours working to get this right, and it’s still not perfect (there’s some jagged edges on the right side of the gateway and no doubt some on the left side as well.) Still, it’ll do for now. I’ll touch it up another time.
We mentioned in passing using RPG Maker’s Character Generator as a means to add life to the game, and in Act One Phase Two I’m starting the long, painful slog towards making expressive faces for every possible bit of dialogue. Or, rather, all the potential expressions in this particular Act. Above is the first set for our Hero Hero, covering most every look he’s bound to give his fellow actors.
I don’t have to do this for every speaking in the game Thank God. Just all the main characters, a lot of the people they talk to, a few they don’t talk to, and so on and so forth.
Lotsa work, in other words.
As with the tiles, RPG Maker doesn’t quite do all my work for me. This I have to add/modify the art I’ve been given. The images on the lower left are an example of this, with me trying to ape the original style. The lower left corner only has the eyebrows done, and frankly looks decent. It’s partner isn’t quite as good (eyebrows, eyes, and mouth are mine) but I believe it’s a near thing.
My hope, my dream, my inner most fantasy, is to be able to alter what RPG Maker has given me and not draw have to draw my own stuff. That much extra work makes my palms itch. Especially the thought of drawing clothing. I hate drawing clothing.
If it turns out I have to to do this job right, then by God I’m going to do it. I just hope it doesn’t. To the right is a practice run at Hero’s walking sprite. Original on the left, mine on the right, as if your own eyes couldn’t tell you that. It ain’t good, folks, but first steps rarely are.
I’m also writing and “programming” the various cut scenes that tell the game’s story. Some has already been written, one has been done and doesn’t need touching up.
I plan to do these in order, so to keep us all on the same page as where I am in the work, here’s a title list of the cut scenes I know I need at this point:
- Grand Opening (written but needs rewriting)
- First Fight
- The Green Elf
- Against the Green Elf (written but needs rewriting)
- Finding a Boat/True Love’s Course 1
- Leaf Joins the Party (written but needs rewriting)
- On the Beach
- Homecoming (multiple parts here)
- Gaps in Knowledge (Done and programmed, with minor mechanical work to keep it running smooth.)
- The Thief of Purple
- The Plotters Plot/True Love’s Course 2
- Leaf Leaves
- A Hero’s Got Places to Be
- The Deed is Done
Wow, that’s a lot more than I thought.
Anyways, “programming” the scenes aside, this is my favorite part of the proceedings. Especially when it works. Always nice when it works.
In addition to this, I’ve got to populate towns, staff stores, do more maps for the areas that weren’t need for Act One Phase One but are important to the game, as well as figure out what the new non playing characters that I’m making will do and say. You can see why I’m breaking it up into Phases; the work involved for this part looks endless as is, without considering the whole.
It’s taken about a half year to get this far. Hopefully I can pick up some speed now that the puzzles have been tabled (for now.)
When Act One Phase Two ends, we’ll start Phase Three, which involves laying out the mechanics behind the basic game. Creating items and weapons the Player’s can use, spells and attacks that can be performed, and foes to fight. Not nearly as fun as the previous Phases, but hopefully with some charms.