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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 (2,508 Views)
MurderWeasel
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This project has progressed and a demo may be found here.

DISCLAIMER: This may not actually happen. In fact, it probably won't.

Hello, all! This came up in chat a few nights ago at like 3 AM, but after some musing I've decided it's not as terrible an idea as I initially thought, so I'm going ahead and putting up a thread about it. Basically, I want to try my hand at making a TV2 Fangame in RPGMaker. I taught myself how to use the program in like thirty minutes last night, and used to use the Age of Empires 2 map editor, so nothing can possibly go wrong, right?

Anyways, more details below, but right off the bat I wanted to say that I'm picking characters for this purely through an opt-in process. I am taking only TV2 characters, and if you want yours in, you must post to this thread or the cross-post on Mini telling me so (or PM me or whatever). More than that, doing so does not guarantee that I'll actually use your character. It just gives me permission to do so if that's where the artistic muse takes me. If you have any particular stipulations about the use of your character (like you don't want them killing people or something), let me know those too right away. Being really blunt, too many/major stipulations will probably result in me not using them unless I end up with something that fits really perfectly.

The reason I'm making this opt-in is that I really wouldn't be comfortable with my characters being used for such a project without my permission (even though I'd basically give permission for anything anyways), and there are plenty of characters in TV2 to feature only those whose handlers want them in this sort of thing.

Now, to a bit more of the nitty-gritty:

RPGMaker makes ugly Final Fantasy 1-6-alikes and pretty much nothing else. This means my fan game will be one of those. It has some potential for use as a more purely narrative medium that I'll probably be exploring, which is to say I don't think it'll be about Austin White casting fireballs at wolves. But you never can tell, so maybe that's exactly what it'll be! I have some loose ideas for how to translate semi-gritty violence to RPGMaker but they may flop hard.

I have no idea what the plot will be. It'll probably be an extremely loose adaptation of the RPed version, with a lot of changes made to account for only featuring 20-30 members of the cast or so and having a PoV character/party who may not have hit Endgame in the canon version. I have absolutely no clue who the protagonist(s) will be--I'll pick someone who seems compelling from the folks who get submitted. Ideally I'd love to let you select a character from a few but that may be stupid amounts of work. I've seriously only spent thirty minutes or so on this program.

I'll be creating the plot and doing most/all of the writing and area design. I can be a really poor creative team player, so setting myself up as supreme dictator for life right off the bat seems the best way to have everyone's expectations at the appropriate level. I may ease off on that as time goes on, but the default assumption should be there.

The version of RPGMaker I have is XP. I have this one because it was less than two dollars during the Steam sale last year. I know little about RPGMaker versions--if there's a really good reason, I might be persuaded to switch to 2003 (which features a better battle system--not that I'll necessarily even use that) or VX Ace (which differs in some regard that is a bit unclear to me but may have prettier map creation but is also seventy bucks and that's a bit above my level of financial commitment to this project--it periodically goes on sale at ~fifteen dollars though so if I'm patient then maybe). Noting this in case those who know more than I have feedback.

This is going to be pretty low priority for me, to the point that I'd say the odds are better than not it will never get done/will be really small and crummy. I have all these grand ambitions, but those tend to crumble. I can't emphasize enough that this is a crazy idea with no promise of success or even progress.

That said, I'm looking for the following:
  • Characters. If people in TV2 who are cool with seeing their kids used for this sort of thing want to volunteer them to be mangled and mutilated and horrifically misinterpreted by my dubious creative prowess, that would be most appreciated. I'm keeping a list of potential victims at the bottom of this post. Please remember that volunteering, while super appreciated, does not mean your character will actually be used.
  • Art asset assistants. RPGMaker XP actually has a pretty acceptable set of built-in environments and stuff, with a leaning towards fantasy that nevertheless has room, I think, to make something modern. What it does not have is any sort of sprite creation stuff (though if it hit that stage I know a program that apparently sort of does this and is only like fifteen bucks) or portrait generator (though Facemaker is a fallback option). However, if anyone more artistic than I am could be persuaded to help with these things, I'd be super grateful. This is a very far-away interest check, because I wouldn't feel comfortable asking anyone to put time towards this until the rest of the project is basically done. It's pretty easy to dummy things with basic sprites and then swap them later. So, I guess I'm looking for people to long-term help with art and/or help teach me to do spriting stuff.
  • Music asset assistants. The same deal as the art, but for MIDI tracks. Also less important because RPGMaker has a decent selection of default music. But yeah, if anyone knows MIDI and wants to help me learn, I'd be very appreciative. I think I've found a freeware program to work on this.
  • Playtesters. Ideally only like two or three of these, because I don't want the entire board playing this at every WiP stage because then there will be no mystery left. I'd want people who a. have read a ton of TV2, b. know about RPGMaker and/or crummy games based on it, or c. ideally fall into both of the above categories.


So I know I'm forgetting a ton but I have to run to class for an eleven-hour day. You can also ask questions and stuff but nothing will be answered until ~12-13 hours from now. Again, to hammer it in: this is a low priority for me and it's 80% likely nothing will ever come of it, but that 20% is appealing enough for me to prod for character use privileges.

Characters whose use has been approved (and lots of sprites)

Cross-posted from Mini because, hey, better visibility and maybe people who haven't checked Mini in a bit will toss their characters in/maybe people who've never done Mini nevertheless know what they're doing with this sort of project.
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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 Paíani 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.
V7:
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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:

Posted Image
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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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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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
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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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, Iíve come up with a rough to-do list for music. I am, of course, totally open to discussion on this end if thereís something Iíve missed that you think would improve the game.

By and large, Iím 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, Iíd 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. Iíve included some extremely loose notes for what sorts of things Iím thinking could be appropriate. Please donít feel obligated to hew too religiously to them; Iím not going to freak out if you canít play a strawberry, as it were.

Area Themes:
  • Casino Theme: Iíd 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: Iím 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, thatíd be perfect.
  • Nature Walk/Orchard Theme: Something a bit more relaxed would be goodóthis 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 itís 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. Itíll 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 doesnít 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 doesnít 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 youíll 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 someoneís 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 doesnít have to be too long, because itíll probably be used mostly for emphasis. Since Yugiís expressed some interest in providing music and he was Michaelís handler, Iím giving him first dibs on this one. (On hold--Yugi)
  • Scarlet Panthers Team Theme: If this could sound a bit like Michaelís theme but with a bit more fleshing out, thatíd be really sweet. Not necessary, though. Again, no need for this to be too long; itíll come up a few times when meeting teammates, but wonít be playing too horribly much. Yugi gets first right of refusal again. (On hold--Yugi)


Iíll probably be asking for some themes for recurring characters later too, mostly probably villainous sorts and groups.
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Fine by me! And yeah, if people just grad no more than, oh, let's say three things at a time? Just so everyone can get in on it. And quick reminder that RPGMaker can only take MIDI files.

Also, RC, you should let me know where you think the other song you whipped up would be good. But I'll probably PM you about that too.

Also, no hurry whatsoever on these. I'm still spriting, then need to do area maps, then need to do the actual game bit. This is a looonnngggg way from done.
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Sprites are complete through Shawn, sans Jewel. I stopped before Taylor because he's probably going to be a lot of work.
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All currently volunteered character now have sprites. Special mention to Taylor's freaking dress as the most annoying thing to do ever, since I had to manually adjust it to fit his frame at a pixel level. Also, not sure how Yagmur's missing fingers are looking, but I tried.

I decided not to bother with t-shirts for those male characters who wore them because the level of effort involved is huge compared to a minimal payoff (they would actually look worse than the current less accurate outfits).

I went through and made non-costume outfits for every kid, including those who were only in costume beforehand, because it's nice to have a base sprite and it may become relevant in the briefing scene.

These are still subject to change and revision, of course. Also, if any of the twenty characters not currently volunteered for the game get offered, they'll get sprites ASAP too. Once again, no promises that this will mean characters will even show up, but having them done helps my inspiration/creative process by giving me quick options, so yay.
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CondorTalon
May 24 2015, 08:19 PM
I could be up for making some music, if I had a program to do so.
I'm playing a bit with the freeware version of Anvil Studio, recommended by RC. The free version is fully featured for MIDI, and definitely ports to RPG Maker program.
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Thanks, Laure!

Further updates:

Played more with the game engine, got dialogue pictures displaying. Am currently placeholding with art plundered from the wiki, and will probably stick to that until I'm a bit more confident in the direction of the plot/major characters, at which point I'll toss up a priority listing for headshots and some direction as to size and possibly facing.

Figured out what Bik was talking about re: variables, so can probably not copy/paste all the maps five times to mark the passage of time.

Speaking of maps, still working on getting those smooth. I found some so-so tilesets online but am super paranoid about intellectual property rights even though in all likelihood only SOTFers will ever play this thing. Unfortunately, the RPG Maker community isn't too good about tagging what is or isn't free to use. I am looking into other options too, though. And the defaults aren't totally terrible, at least.
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Hey, everyone. It's been almost a year since I posted here. For the bulk of that time, very little got done on this project. RL took up most of my focus, and I lacked the attention or energy to do any work on this.

That said, I have an announcement to make:

Posted Image

Posted Image


The game is still a long ways from done, but you can download the demo here.

You'll need to extract the .rar file to play, but it should just run after that (open the game folder and click on "Game." to make it go). Also, some credits for the demo build: the loading screen art is my mangling of Frogue's amazing art of Michael, and the music is by the super talented and wonderful RC.

The demo covers the prologue of the game. It roughly replaces pregame/sandbox as an introduction to some of the characters and the setting. As mentioned somewhere earlier in this thread, I've chosen Michael Robinson as the perspective character for the game. As such, the prologue covers a snippet of pre-SOTF time in Whittree, Oklahoma.

All Whittree characters I've been approved to use are featured in the prologue, to greater or lesser degrees. The prologue lays out the rough style I intend to use for the whole game: largely decision-based, with some level of branching paths leading in many cases to different results.

When it comes to overall game design, I'm trying to scale my ambitions to a reasonable level. As such, the game will allow you to play through and interact with the TV2 game, but it's not going to give you total freedom at all times. I hope to offer multiple choices for almost every interaction, but their results may end up the same in some circumstances. Characters will be killable, but it won't be all characters and it won't be every time you meet them. I hope to achieve a satisfying level of complexity without driving myself insane. Think Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book instead of, say, Morrowind.

In the interests of open communication, the prologue is basically the sum total of the completed work thus far. It took quite a whileóI spent most of my free time over a week writing the script and implementing it in the engine. This means the overall game completion will not be speedy. If it's done in six months, it will be a miracle by any measure. It may take years. It may never be completed. RL has a way of getting in the way of things, and this isn't the center of my life. I do want to keep expectations low.

That said, I have narrowed down the arena to a manageable number of areas to be featured, and I have the first phase of the game summarized and planned. I expect the game to include a prologue, seven phases on the resort, and then maybe an epilogue (or ten :P).

A few thoughts:

If you've expressed interest in helping in some fashion, I'd still love to work with you! When I was swamped, I lost track of a lot of things. I've contacted a handful of people since, but I don't think I've gotten to everyone. If I missed you, I swear it's not personal and if you still have any interest in participating I'd love to have you on board in some capacity.

If you are a TV2 handler whose character is featured and something really bugs you about the way I've treated them thus far, this is your one and only chance to get in feedback and help me right things (or to withdraw usage permission, though I'd much rather work with you to make sure everything's satisfactory). I'm making choices, cuts, etc. to fit the overall story and the game medium, but I do want to try to leave folks satisfied. Please drop me a line within a week if you want to address concerns.

If you are a TV2 handler who did not offer your character for usage, but now you would like to, there is absolutely 100% still room. The prologue itself has two open desks still (hidden through crafty camera angles at one point) and adding another row is trivially easy. And that's not even touching the Davison characters, who haven't turned up yet! Because I only have the first phase sketched out, and because even that has not progressed to scripting, it's really easy to fit characters in. Let's say there's a soft one week deadline for this, too; characters can still possibly be added afterwards, but are likely to be shunted into pretty minimal roles or get their stories and arcs tweaked more than they otherwise might. I make no guarantees your character will show up at all if you ask after a week from now.

A character's rough level of screen time/importance is quite likely to roughly mirror what they had in the actual TV2 game. There are absolutely some exceptions, but don't expect too hugely much variation, I guess is what I'm saying. There are a number of reasons for this. It's harder to stay true to a character's concept and feel while fabricating events for them forty deaths after where they kicked it in the actual game. Also, any major branch carries potential ramifications for the entire game from that point forwards, which means if there are multiple potential fates for each character in each phase that echo through each other event, that leaves me with something like a hundred variations for absolutely everything that happens in the game, which again goes back to the "this is not my life and I'm not going insane over it" side of things. I'm mostly trying to keep expectations reasonable with all these caveats.

One feature is not currently and may never be implemented: portraits during dialogue, which I addressed a bit in past comments. I'm sort of torn on it. Basically, the issue is as such: there are a lot of characters featured in the game. We've got over fifty students, plus up to two dozen supporting cast members (currently about ten, with a lot of potential for more to crop up near the end of the project/in epilogues). I might look into using Facemaker to create portraits, since I think having portraits does look better and makes certain dialogue exchanges easier to follow. I need to figure out what the usage permissions for Facemaker are, though. There's also a portrait maker in a different RPG Maker engine, and I do have access to that. I haven't played with it much, but it could also work.

If someone wanted to create art, I'd be super grateful, but there are some catches I feel obligated to mention. Basically, I feel like the game's aesthetic will be best served by being consistent, so I'd really want all portraits done in the same style/by the same person. This, again, runs into the issue that there are like 60-70 characters with speaking roles in this game, which I imagine is a ridiculous amount of work, even if we're talking fairly small square portraits. I'd also want to make sure everything looks decent, so at the very least solid scans would be necessary. Finally, there's zero guarantee this game gets completed to any degree further than where it's at right now, so there could be no payoff for the aforementioned massive effort. If you're interested anyways, PM me and we can talk, but I'm all sorts of iffy here just because of the amount of work and my own track record of being inconsistent.

I think that's the rough overview of where everything is. I'd also love any feedback, comments, things you liked, things you didn't, etc. I hope I'll be able to finish this and make it something cool!

There was at least one other really important thing I wanted to discuss, but I can't remember, so stay tuned. P.S. Seth, check your PMs! I promised RC I'd send you something related to this.
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MurderWeasel
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Thanks to Espi for instantly finding a soft-lock I missed. It's been fixed. If you downloaded before I posted this, you have a build that will soft lock if you walk down when you first gain movement controls. You may want to download the new version which does not do that. Everyone else: the link leads to the new version now.
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Thanks for the support! <3

I'd love to have you involved in any way you care to be.
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