Sunday, 3 July 2011

ConQuest Development Blog - Day 2

So, hey again. Long time no see, huh?
 
This here's is my development blog for ConQuest, a small game that I hope to be able to finish and publish in the not-too distant future. Just as a test of my skills and to try and learn how to script using a program I haven't gotten too deep into before.
 
I actually only started developing ConQuest yesterday, after thinking up the basic idea just over a week ago. I downloaded RPG Maker XP, or at least the trial, then set to work. My goal: create a decent game prototype within the 30 days that I have with the program, working little by little each day. Hopefully by the end I’ll have something I can publish for my followers to download. I’ll post bits and pieces along the way and try to document the process as extensively as I can.

Okay, so what exactly is ConQuest then? I basically had an idea of a game which summed up the atmosphere of your average geek convention. At first it started as a project showcasing all of the different people you could learn to hate at these conventions, from your typical hambeast to your hetalia fan to your Vic Mignogna fangirl and so on. But then it started feeling a bit too hateful, and I began to wonder whether I was just making a game for myself and whether anyone else would really want to play it. So I decided to show both sides of the spectrum instead.

I’ve mainly been busy figuring out the ins and outs of the program so far, so I don’t have all of the story arcs fleshed out yet. I think the initial idea was to have a game where you had to fight through a bunch of hambeasts or other such irksome con-goer before eventually getting to their queen and defeating them. So something like that, perhaps, but happier.

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Here’s a screenshot of the editor, and my first test level as it appears in the editor. Last time I used RPG maker I barely learned anything because I didn’t persevere with event creation - this was one of the first things I made sure I learned this time around.

Each of the little grey boxes above represents an event of some sort. Most are just text based - others will consist of a combination of things. Shaking the screen, making a flash, playing certain music, causing a battle to start - all that kind of stuff.

Ideally, the end game is going to have a *lot* of flavour text for players to be able to go through. The difficult part is that I want to give the game a humorous tone, and humour is one of the hardest things to achieve with videogames. I’m foreseeing a lot of script changes to get things right.

If you’ve seen the short film on youtube called College Saga? That’s the kind of tone I want to go for in terms of parody on the genre and whatnot. If you haven’t seen it, rectify your mistake as soon as possible. Watch it!

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Here’s how the battle screen looks, for those who haven’t used RPG Maker XP before. Static images of your fighters on the bottom and images of enemies up the top.

I realise it’s not too flashy, but it’s good enough for a small project like the one I’m working on here. The images here are placeholders FYI, and I don’t think I’ll be creating any enemy sprites which go this tall, either. The engine has animations for attacks which is good enough for me, though. Remember oldschool Pokemon? It’s a lot like that.

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Aaaand here’s one last screenshot for the day. Here’s hopefully how the game will start out, with you and a few buddies getting off a train out the front of the place. Placeholder art, again.

Goals for tomorrow:
  • script a “Name Entry” screen, before the player gets control
  • script a scene where the train rolls into the station and the player’s buddies run off, before the player gets control
  • finish the creation of an enemy sprite for battle
Feel free to leave feedback in replies or reblogs or in my ask box or whatever. Thanks for reading!

2 comments:

  1. Great to see you begin working on an RPG. Hopefully you will have something playable by the end of the 30 day period for us to check out. I would be interested in testing the game. My girlfriend used an older version of RPG maker a few years ago to make a little game. She never got really far into it because she wanted to personally create every single art aspect (she is a writer and an artist and thus her favorite part is drawing each backdrop, sprite, etc. She had less care of making a fun playing game and very little care for the programming aspects). It was always funny watching her get events stuck in infinite loops.

    I do have a question though regarding using RPG maker. I do not know a lot about RPG maker, but in general when creating a video game, is it better to create the game through a program such as this rather than write out each code yourself ? I had typically (and most definately naively) thought that RPG maker was a nice hobby tool but if you wanted to do "real" game development you need to script out everything and write all the code yourself. I remember the RPG maker released initially on the PS1 and renting it, getting flustered with the amount of customization, and then never renting it again haha.

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  2. It's good to have an engine to work with, at least; tools which help make development move a lot more quickly so that you can drag and drop stuff into a scene.

    For engines, it's really hard to code them unless you're at a high level with your programming knowledge, at least from what I can understand. However if you know OO then it's possible to modify existing engines with scripts to make things a bit better.

    RPG Maker has a lot of people using it so if you search online there's a bunch of scripts for lots of things. I won't be using too many myself - this project isn't really meant to earn a living or anything like that, it's just a learning process.

    The difference with the industry is that big companies will pay other companies to use their engines. For example, Mass Effect 2 used the Unreal Engine, and would have paid Epic a tonne of cash to be able to publish their game. For me the price if I want to publish is just $30. :P

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