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<DEMO COMPLETE> Possible TV2 Fangame Opt-In/Help Recruiting; MW attempts to make a crummy video game!
Topic Started: May 12 2015, 12:42 PM (2,510 Views)
Imehal
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The Captain America of alien fighting.
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I mostly play/watch horror RPGmaker games, but I am totally up for being a playtester as I have no experience in the other things you might require.

I also give permission for Regina to be included into this fun project!
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Polibyss
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Brendan O'Toole, yes

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Yugikun
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maybe if you're lucky the random avatar will sync up to the character you're reading right now
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Hey, for music, do you want pieces to be character based or scene based?
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MurderWeasel
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Updates:

I've played with the program a bit more. My current plan is to try to do map design first and then build the game around that. TV (and SOTF as a whole) has the advantage of being very area-based, meaning that if I set it up so time passes, I can still effectively copy/paste the maps for each time cycle. The basic mechanics here are likely to be mostly be based around talking to characters and picking options off of menus; I don't think RPGMaker combat lends itself particularly well to an SOTF style. I don't expect stats/level-ups to hold any meaning or place for this.

Apparently RPGMaker XP does not allow portraits tied to text without a bit of finagling. That will definitely be on the list of things to do, but I'm going to be putting the visuals a ways down the list of priorities (but huge thanks to all who have volunteered to help there; I will get in contact if/when I hit that stage).

When it comes to audio design, I've thought a bit about this. I sort of like the idea of character themes for recurrent characters, but on the whole am unsure how many of those there will be and thus am going to say scene-based will generally be safer. When I settle on a few lead/recurrent characters, I'll note it and see what folks can come up with, though. I think on the whole it'll likely work best for most of the soundtrack to be based on events or locations, however. Also, the MIDI thing: MIDI only is a program limitation of XP, apparent--VX allows for MP3 and OGG but also looks like it requires way more legwork for sprites/tilesets/map creation, so I think I'm going to stick to XP (and thus be stuck with MIDI).

Thoughts on map design:

I'm going to be cutting the map down notably for the sake of keeping this to a reasonable scale. I'm thinking eight to twelve areas should be sufficient. I'd like to pick areas that are iconic, unique, and not too hard to create with the XP tilesets (though I'm going to do some serious digging for free tilesets because otherwise everything's gonna look like a medieval village). I'm gonna organize them with loose at best faithfulness to the TV2 map.

Right now, my thoughts for areas are as follows (please note that these are judgements on how I think they'll translate, not their use in the actual game in most cases):

Include:
  1. The Bull Craps Casino and/or The Cigarette Holder Theatre: The Casino has become pretty iconic for TV2, but on the other hand I'd have to find a tileset with slot machines and stuff. The theatre can be fudged with curtains, which are already easily available.
  2. The Bamboo Boardwalk: As an outside area with a bunch of smaller shops, this offers a lot of potential for sub-areas.
  3. Open Air Cabaret: A big outdoor area with an easy design and some room for visually interesting sequences makes this a good option.
  4. The Nature Walk/Orchard: Rolled into one or just flat out excluding the orchard. An outdoor area likely to be visually distinct from the others.
  5. The Lānaʻi Hotel: The hotel and the condos are similar in function/design, but the hotel has some more iconic trappings in the form of the piano and is also I think more evocative for this sort of thing.
  6. The World Oyster: Another varied area of smaller indoors sets. Potentially can be combined with the boardwalk if the shops there aren't interesting enough.
  7. Sunshine Tower: May be a pain to get looking good, but it's rather iconic and offers setting options not available elsewhere.
  8. The Ice Palace: Possibly reskinned to be more palace and less ice as tilesets permit. Another area that's immediately striking on a visual level.
  9. Palms Spa and Salon: Basically fills the same function as the beauty parlor, but with greater variation. A more typical indoor area.
  10. Tour Guide and Transportation Centre: The one I'm least sure of--largely a typical indoor setting centralized in one building.


Exclude:
  1. Lernean Beauty Parlor: A reasonably evocative setting rendered redundant in a smaller-scale project by the probably-more-interesting spa.
  2. The Aqua-Museum: Cool area that would basically be impossible to build without extensive digging for tilesets/creating custom stuff.
  3. The Paani Sports Centre: This one flew oddly under the radar until late game, features a good number of specialized things, and seems potentially frustrating in a less-interactive medium (by which I mean not being able to steal stuff would suck and being able to do so might take a ton of work).
  4. Aloha Daycare Centre: An interesting area but not one that really beats out any of the other interesting areas or seems totally necessary.
  5. The Beach: Wide open areas without much going on can be tricky to make non-ugly. Might be combinable with the boardwalk.
  6. Space Bam Alley: Of the three clustered specialized areas (this, the casino, and the theatre) this is both the most problematic to translate and the least iconic feeling.
  7. Mauna Loa Condominium: Basically fulfills the same function as the hotel. Large, multi-story building with a bunch of rooms.
  8. Cabana Cul de Sac: I feel weird about cutting so many of the residential areas, but this one is a bit less appealing than the more distinct areas and would be a lot of work due to multiple inside spaces.


If you have strong feelings that an area should or should not be included, though, let me know. No promises I'll agree, but I'll at least listen.

Also, if you have any sources for tilesets that are free and legal, I'd be very grateful. Will do my own research in the coming days.

The Plot:

Basically, to best feature a bunch of characters and to some extent capture elements of the SOTF experience, I think the most logical plot will just be the game. The player will control one character--ideally one with some ambiguity of intent and some internal conflict (I have a few ideas here) and then will be left to fumble around. I can almost certainly rig interaction trees with most characters, allowing you to, among other things, try to attack them and meet with either success or failure (which may or may not mean death). I'd super love to let you recruit allies and bring them along/have them influence interactions, but whether or not such things are feasible remains to be seen. I've played RPGMaker games that do basically this, but they don't involve as many forks as I'm expecting this one to.

Most characters will probably feature briefly as encounters. Likely there will be a few time cycles, and different characters will show up at different places doing different things at specific times (like, maybe in the first cycle a couple characters are at the orchard. Then one kills the other and runs off--the body lies around the orchard for the rest of the game and the character who flees may be found in some other area in a later cycle).

This is probably way over-ambitious, and I may well scale it down more/the depth may just not be there. I don't want expectations high because, once again, all I know about what I'm doing is intuited by playing a bunch of other people's RPGMaker games and playing with the program for a few hours. This also will not be a speedy process. I just wanted to give a slightly more concrete explanation of my aims here.

Also, cross-posting this for the benefit of folks who only check one site.
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Yugikun
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maybe if you're lucky the random avatar will sync up to the character you're reading right now
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Feel free to PM me if you need me to make a character/scene theme.
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TwelveFourtyFive
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These updates look cool!

Also, Taylor DeVasher 4 protagonist 2015. Become a villain or a hero!

EDIT: BTW, will there be new teams? Because it's hard to imagine that every team is kept the same. And will the announcements keep the same? Like, will there be off-screen deaths or will every corpse be seen?
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MurderWeasel
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re: teams, I'm not sure. I think I'll probably stick to the canon teams to avoid tweaking stuff too much, and it'll just be that some of the teams aren't represented in full.

As to announcements, that's gonna be ridiculously tough. Basically, there will almost certainly be offscreen deaths. The announcements may not actually be functional, though, because if there's variability of who dies when, that'd mean I'd have to trigger a bunch of different lines depending on the situation. It may be practical, but it also may not. We will see as I explore.

Also, huge thanks to Bear, who passed me a massive wealth of resources tonight including a key to VX Ace from last year's Bundle and also a website for the artistically-impaired to make sprites in (may contain neither English-language text nor any method of saving sprites except screenshotting).

I stress-tested the latter with one of TV2's more distinct characters and the results came out pretty acceptably:

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The cloak makes the beard a bit hard to see, but it's a WiP draft anyways. So I'm probably going to use this for spriting since it takes an absolutely massive chunk out of the work entailed in that, and I can make any touch-ups in Photoshop (because in their infinite wisdom they only include an ethnicity slider for female sprites, among other really baffling decisions).

So yeah, just another little update/some heartening progress when it comes to actually being able to sprite characters. Though I still have to figure out how to import them and all that good stuff.
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MurderWeasel
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Update! I'm going through and doing sprites for all the okayed characters in alphabetical order and have made it through Brendan (I've done a few out of order but am picky and won't be putting them up until I hit the appropriate part in the sequence). I know this is not the most efficient way, but it really helps me to be able to visualize things. Also, this lets people let me know if I've made any grave errors. Please note that some of these are going to be looser interpretations than others as a function of what my sprite-generation site offers. The premade stuff has good variety, but a few totally baffling omissions (long sleeves for girls, short sleeves for boys, ethnicity for boys -_-). Photoshop is a mild nightmare (thanks, Angie's pink hair!) but workable for the big deal stuff, but I'm not going to spend half an hour to correct light grey to normal grey, say. I'm looking into other generators too so may redo some/all of these, but figured it'd be fun to post them for folks to see.

Also, please note that my making a sprite for a character in no way implies they'll show up in the game whenever it's finished. It's just a way to help me visualize and plan. Right now, I hope to use at least one character from each handler who's volunteered them, but that's in no way a promise or guarantee, and what role and how much of one any given character has is likely to vary wildly from "shot in cutscene" to "main character of game" according wholly to whatever whims strike me as I work on this. Also also, if you'd still like to volunteer your characters, I'm absolutely still taking opt-ins.

As a further note, I'm going to be assigning characters roles roughly based on their time in TV2 and their potential to make cool encounters/scenes, not my personal feelings about them and how they were written. This probably goes without saying, but this isn't going to be a platform to take potshots. I want it to be something cool for the community.

re: Music, RC has volunteered a couple quite cool tracks. As before, there are no promises this will ever see completion, but if anyone else wants to work on things early with the major caveat that there's no promise anything will come of it, I'll be drafting a list of area, character, and situation themes I'm looking for. These should be MIDIs, probably in the 45-second-to-two-minute range, and ideally should sound okay looped (though if there's a pause and then restart, that's fine). There's a chance this may get moved into VX Ace if the event coding is a lot easier, in which case the program would take certain non-MIDI files, but since I'm as yet very unsure and since the MIDI aesthetic works well for this style of game/graphics anyways, I think sticking to MIDI is best for now.

Also, please note that progress on this isn't likely to be too speedy, as I'm doing a bunch of other school/site stuff and my motivation and focus therefore waxes and wanes.
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Un-Persona
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Mains Shaggy Verde
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Oh yeah, forgot to say you can use my kids as you see fit.
V7 relationship thread! Say hi to my kids!
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MurderWeasel
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The first twenty characters (everyone through Eden) are up. I jiggered a way around the ethnicity issue using another program. It is a huge unholy pain in the neck, but it works. Any male character supposed to be wearing a t-shirt is currently wearing a sweater. That may change if I can manually adjust it, or they may get swapped to a long-sleeved shirt or sweater as seems appropriate. Un's characters are extra specially un-spriteable--Ashley took a ton of manual adjustment and Davis took creative liberties, because there's no tool for frohawks or jerseys. I went ahead and let his hair be more red to compensate and give him some attitude. Characters are ending up in street clothes in most cases, but I'm doing costumes if it's way more iconic (say, for AnArchy) and alternates for some characters ('cause everyone's done bunny Bunny, so I did too).

Will poke at these more over the next bit and do some areas work soon as well. Music comments forthcoming, possibly tonight but more likely in a few days.
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Yugikun
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maybe if you're lucky the random avatar will sync up to the character you're reading right now
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I'm kinda disturbed that the program you used had "playboy bunny" as an option.

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decoy73
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I forgot. I give you permission to use Sarah Miller.
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MurderWeasel
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Yugikun
May 23 2015, 02:56 AM
I'm kinda disturbed that the program you used had "playboy bunny" as an option.

You would not believe the stuff it has.

Catgirl? Sure! Fallen angel? Absolutely! T-Shirt for men? What sort of program do you think this is? You want us to break the bank?

Also, added through Gabe and retooled Ashley to be non-ugly using a new process.
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MurderWeasel
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Finished through Lucia except Jewel because my systems pitch a fit over the color black and there were some really notable clipping issues. Since she's my kid, I don't have to worry about snubbing anyone by skipping her for later.

Also, a few overall conceptual things:

Right now, I think the game is going to focus on a single character's journey through the game, hopefully with the opportunity to bring in party members but that may end up overly complicated so no promises. For that character, I've tentatively selected Michael Robinson, who's a really interesting character with a wide range of possibilities in his story and a pretty diverse set of motivations. It also helps that most of the Scarlet Panthers are okayed for use here. My ideal plan is for the game to follow Michael's time on the resort, giving him the option to be peaceful, make alliances, or turn player. How in-depth it all goes will depend a lot on the technical limitations that present themselves during the game/my own ability to figure things out. I'm mostly sharing this (still quite tentative) information so that the next bit, on music, will make sense.

The following is something I whipped up last night but neglected to post:

Quote:
 
Alrighty, folks. After some musing, Ive come up with a rough to-do list for music. I am, of course, totally open to discussion on this end if theres something Ive missed that you think would improve the game.

By and large, Im looking at area-keyed music, with a few themes/tunes for specific recurring characters or scenes. Most of the character-keyed themes are TBA until I actually start working on the writing side of things. For area music, Id love to see themes land in the 45-seconds-to-three-minutes category. Ideally somewhere in the neighborhood of a minute and a half seems likely to be best. Songs that loop semi-neatly are quite appreciated, but not strictly speaking necessary. Ive included some extremely loose notes for what sorts of things Im thinking could be appropriate. Please dont feel obligated to hew too religiously to them; Im not going to freak out if you cant play a strawberry, as it were.

Area Themes:
  • Casino Theme: Id like to see something with some energy to it, but also a hint of the sinister. After all, bad stuff happens here and this area becomes more important as the game goes on.
  • Theatre Theme: Im thinking something a little dramatic might work well here.
  • Boardwalk/Beach Theme: Something a little towards the quiet end, but with an edge of creepiness or menace? There are a lot of hiding places around here.
  • Cabaret Theme: If you can make something kind of dancey and kind of sleezy, thatd be perfect.
  • Nature Walk/Orchard Theme: Something a bit more relaxed would be goodthis will be a large, open area without too many people.
  • Hotel Theme: This can be basically anything. Perhaps a hint of tropical sound?
  • World Oyster Theme: This can be basically anything. Maybe something varied or international in flavor, to match the varied restaurants?
  • Sunshine Tower Theme: This can be basically anything. Maybe something with a lot of up and down variation to fit the height? But not totally crazy, since its not too exciting an area really.
  • Ice Palace Theme: RC has given me a draft of this!
  • Spa and Salon Theme: This can be basically anything. Maybe a bit luxurious?
  • Tour Guide and Transportation Theme: This can be basically anything.


Event/Character Themes:
  • Announcement Theme: This should ideally be really obnoxiously cheerful and peppy. Itll probably be used for the briefing scene too, and since the announcements may end up with quite the amount of text to scroll through, this should probably be on the semi-long end so it doesnt get boring. (On hold--Yugi)
  • Start Menu Theme: Something that gets the feel of the whole shebang. A bit creepy, but with some energy and oomph to it. This doesnt have to be too long because really, how long do you stare at the Start Menu?
  • Game Over Theme: Something sad and failure-emphasizing but not too annoying because youll probably be hitting this a lot. This does not need to be very long.
  • Credits Theme: This is the absolute lowest possible priority and can easily be recycled music from elsewhere in the game, but if someones got tons of time, extra music never hurt.
  • Michael Robinson Theme: Michael is currently pegged as the PoV/main character of the game. As such, he should have some a theme! It doesnt have to be too long, because itll probably be used mostly for emphasis. Since Yugis expressed some interest in providing music and he was Michaels handler, Im giving him first dibs on this one. (On hold--Yugi)
  • Scarlet Panthers Team Theme: If this could sound a bit like Michaels theme but with a bit more fleshing out, thatd be really sweet. Not necessary, though. Again, no need for this to be too long; itll come up a few times when meeting teammates, but wont be playing too horribly much. Yugi gets first right of refusal again. (On hold--Yugi)


Ill probably be asking for some themes for recurring characters later too, mostly probably villainous sorts and groups.
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Yugikun
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maybe if you're lucky the random avatar will sync up to the character you're reading right now
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aww yeahhhhhhhhh B)

(I'll try to make a draft of michael's/scarlet panthers' theme before a weeks time, I'll also take the announcement/briefing theme, if thats okay)
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