And back! Nothing else to distract me from making further progress!
With the release of MV and I feel that it is of utmost importance to push a product out ASAP, so I will be making small side story games for specific time period from the big story itself. For those who reads manga, you might be familiar with the term “Gaiden” (外伝). The focus of these side story games is to:
- Experiment with boss mechanics and find as many variation and permutation that is popular with the general crowd. The default battle system is very limited and you can’t create anything very engaging/interesting.
- Get some response for plot twists. There was a huge discussion about player choices having an impact on the whole story instead of just simple cosmetic changes, and how the amount of work increases exponentially in relation to the number of choices we present to the players. Well, side stories are meant to be short, so I should be able to get some constructive criticism from this.
- Experiment with custom states. This is one of the big topics and I am determined to create more depth and raise the complexity with skills.
- More importantly, I am aiming to put bits and pieces together to map the actual world for the main story game. The main story’s world is huge, and being the only person working on this for the time being means that I have to do everything from the big stuff to the tiny details.
I have already created the initial setting for the side story I. Script wise, I have pretty much hammered out the ones that I will be needing. Character wise, I have decided on the major character sprites that I will be using. The next thing is map design. Since I have not experiment with mapping and map designs, I decided to start from there. Thanks to the community members and their positive and constructive feedback, I have learnt a lot and made much progress.
For the first side story, our protagonist along with two other companions gathered in a local tavern somewhere in the Colossal Ash Wood to discuss the threat posed by a group of zealots and fanatics in pursuit of dark powers in hope of using it to conquer the continent. The players will come in contact with two of the factions from the main story; the nature loving druids and priests that seeks to preserve the balance and harmony of the world, the Guardian of Avalon, and the unscrupulous group of individuals seeks to rule over the continent, the Iron Fist.
There will be hints and hidden features at time and place you least expect, there is no such thing as a useless skill (maybe there is, but trust me, they are not meant to be there if they are useless). In fact, the player will be presented with choices even during the start when we are busy trying to orientate and inform the player about the story. I have already drawn out most (if not all) of the possible scenarios and the things that will be altered depending on players’ choices.
Well, enough about the story, and moving to map design itself.
First up, we have the basic map for the tavern. I have darken the wooden floorboard since the default floorboard’s color is a little off; they are too yellowish for my liking. I have also customized 90% of the tilesets. I don’t quite agree with the default tileset since it is probably impossible to create a pleasant and realistic map. Tiles that are previously 32 pixel high (i.e. stools, crates, barrels, etc.) are now 64 pixels high to create the illusion that they are actual objects right next to the wall instead of a bunch of tetris blocks.
I am quite happy with the way things look. The candle and lantern glow effect is created using photoshop and they lay them over the map. I fixed the image in place using random algebra script. The initial criticism I received was about the rug underneath the piano. It does not suit the tavern setting. Other than that, I also think that the lighting is a little off; the room is too bright, and it is making the candle/latern glows look bad. I also don’t get the cozy/warm tavern feel.
I also wanted to have a bearskin rug somewhere. Priorities. I clearly have mine sorted.
Since no one have made a bearskin rug that fits my tile, I decided to take matter into my own hand. I created this bearskin rug based off Mack’s bear sprite. I personally like them a lot, though I couldn’t decide which one I should use since they both seem to fit in alright.
Placing the rung at the bottom of the stairway since I couldn’t find a better place to put them.
Since I couldn’t get the right feel using tints, I went back to edit the tileset itself. I created my own custom tavern tileset to get the dark interior feel. Some of the resources (the round wooden tables, and the playing cards) are made by Candacis, so I am not going to post the tilesets anywhere without her consent.
I think I managed to nail the look. Though I think I can improve this further by adding more candles at certain spot, but overall this is fine I think.
Script wise, it turns out that the previous update about the pet and summon system has a major issue. If you have reserve party members, the pet and summon script will crash. It has something to do with how the sprites are drawn in a battle. I asked around for a week or so without finding any solution, not till recently. Now I can implement my guild system where you have to visit “guild house” or some sort of “job center” to “hire” companion to join you on your journey (they are actually already in your party, but you cant change them through the menu because I have disabled formation from the menu in favor of this job center/guild house system). Companions in reserve party member slot will loiter around in guild house/job center, but they will disappear the moment you add them to your active battler group.
Going to keep the momentum going and push out content as soon as I can 🙂