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  1. I've been making one-shot comics for each of the characters in my game. Each comic will feature two characters! You can see more about them here.

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  2. 0803f26a5ca59cee07fe48845b2b22ec.jpg

     

    Oh man.

     

    Oh fucking man.

     

    This was a joyride, a rollercoaster of emotions that had me biting my metaphorical fingernails until the very end of the presentation. No other game has had me as captivated as this game, and Square Enix did a miraculous job with this title. I'll break the game down into several segments, consisting of story, gameplay, quality, and replayability, and judge the game on all of these criteria.

     

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    Story:

     

    "Everything that lives is designed to end. We are trapped perpetually in a never-ending spiral of life and death. Is this a curse or some kind of punishment? I often think about the God that blessed us with this cryptic puzzle...

     

    ...And wonder if we'll ever have the chance to kill him."

     

    NieR: Automata follows the story of two characters, androids who are fighting machines on the surface of Earth several thousands of years into the future. The story follows 2B, a combat model, and 9S, a Scanner model. Their target: a large massive machine that is classified as a Goliath-class Unit. Being led by several other relative Units, named YoRHa Units, 2B commences a strike on the Goliath class Unit, striking at its weakness.

     

    Afterwards, you meet 9S and team up with him to scavenge the abandoned factory for the large Goliath class Unit. The true enemy is swarming all over: machine lifeforms. After quickly dispatching them, 2B and 9S make their way to the very top of the factory where they fight and seize the Goliath class Unit.

     

    NieR: Automata actually has a really strong opening that gives you a sense of danger and loss immediately, which pulls you into the gameplay that much faster. It's executed very well, and from that, keeps you on a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. That, combined with storytelling from multiple fronts (we'll go into detail about that later in Replayability, as there is a lot to cover in that one). As you progress onward, you'll see that the machines start to form feelings of hatred, wanting to have families, conceptuality; almost akin to human emotion. With you, the player, as an android, you are sent to strike down these machines, but you wonder along the way...How did these machines start to develop feelings? Or should they even be allowed to develop feelings at all? Or to even understand what it means to have emotions and feelings?

     

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    As humanity was wiped out several thousands of years ago, the inhabitants were launched onto the moon and were forced to live there while the fighting between androids and machines continued on the surface of Earth. Remember that as we go along.

     

    Yoko Taro blends so many references together in a congruent fashion. You'll soon discover as you play through 2B's "route" (again, refer to the Replayability section), the machines soon become deranged, wanting to fell others to become Gods in their own right. And the mastermind behind this large scale attack? Two machines named Adam and Eve. Yes, the very same names from the Biblical reference. Eventually, before long, you kill Adam in order to quell the machine uprising, which however, throws Eve into a maniacal state and going on a rampage.

     

    And that's the end of Route A.

     

    And yeah, that's what I thought, too. That's it? That's the whole story? But then the game tells you to play it through again to experience the game from someone else's point of view.

     

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    Now, you play through the game again as 9S. The very same character that made his first appearance helping out 2B. You play through the story again, but as you play through the game...you realize that machines want to become human, more and more, displaying emotions that machines shouldn't exhibit. 9S however often reports that "machines don't have feelings" and that "the things they say aren't supposed to make sense". You'll see more development coming from Adam and Eve as characters than you did when playing through 2B's route, which gives Eve his motive for...you know, being an asshole. You also discover as you wake up from a strenuous fight one day while repairing your system as 9S that there is a confidential Bunker notice. It is explained throughout the game that YoRHa was established in order to fight the machine threat on the surface of the Earth. A separate subfaction, known as the Council of Humanity, was created to lead YoRHa along the right path. However, in the records established, there is no such thing as a Council of Humanity. Meaning that once 9S has access to this knowledge, he begins to become aware that something heavy is going on with YoRHa and the Bunker in general. 

     

    I for one personally had a problem with the fact that if something is supposed to be that confidential, what is it doing sitting in 9S' memory banks but whatever.

     

    You then kill Eve again, and unlock Route B.

     

    And then...whew, the game takes you for a wild ride.

     

    Route C, D, and E, are probably where you are going to get most of your "feels" from the game. Route C, D, and E lets you play as the rogue YoRHa Unit, "A2", a defective combat model who was originally in YoRHa, but left. Originally, when playing as either 2B or 9S, you run into A2 during the course of your travels, fight briefly, then she leaves with a very cryptic message. "Command was the one who betrayed you."

     

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    Now, Route C starts off with 2B and 9S acting as a guerrilla tactical Unit providing support to other squadrons throughout the city, who have gone on a rampage ever since Adam and Eve were destroyed. Their rampage, however, isn't caused by them dying, it's actually from being disconnected from the network, a vast port where machines reside. At least, in theory, it's never really explained that well in the game aside from Archives (refer to Gameplay section). After wiping all of them out, a group of machines comes in, and, to pretty much sum up about ten minutes of backstory, fucking wrecks your shit, infecting the YoRHa battalion and all the androids in the vicinity, leaving 2B with a viral infection that, you, as 9S, have to solve. However, it's not enough and 2B is ultimately left to the fate of becoming corrupted by the virus. She isolates herself by slowly walking her happy ass (refer to CTRL + F and then "pacebreakers") all the way to an abandoned commercial facility where she is ambushed by several corrupted YoRHa models.

     

    And this is where you take control of the rogue YoRHa fighter A2. By fighting them off, you are alleviating 2B of the responsibility of being a badass main character and shoving all of that on A2. Oh yeah, also, you kill 2B in the meantime because she doesn't want the virus to contaminate any more androids. 9S, however, is in the distance, and notices A2 killing 2B, and now he swears revenge on all machines and A2 for killing 2B.

     

    So edgy.

     

    After 2B's death, a giant tower struts up from the ground, mechanical in origin, which is explained later on as an "ark that is used to transport the memories of humanity to space to preserve their knowledge". Now the game gives you options: To fight either as A2 or as 9S. Both of them lead to the same conclusion, it's up to personal preference on how you want to complete it: 9S first of A2 first.

     

    On A2's path, you discover machines attacking other peaceful machines who have no desire to fight. A2 originally thought, same as 9S, that all machines need to be destroyed because they are the enemy, but she then quickly realizes and changes her stance when these peaceful machines want to help androids. A2 is a character that comes off as incredibly jagged, almost careless and only pursuing one goal, while 9S however deteriorates into a manic being bent on revenge on all machines and A2 for killing 2B. As 9S, your responsibility is to acquire "keys" which are needed to get inside the monstrous tower. As you do, a girl in red, called the Red-Girl Assassin in the game, calls out to 9S, stating "We cannot be killed. We are infinite, yet we are finite. We are the collective consciousness of all humanity. We are the embodiment of the perfect being."

     

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    As you play along, A2 and 9S eventually meet up, fight a large Goliath class enemy. The game rapidly switches back and forth between A2's and 9S' perspective in dealing with the huge threat, and eventually the two team up and destroy the Goliath together. I use the term "team up" loosely, because after the fight, 9S wants nothing more than revenge for what A2 did to 2B. And then, depending on who you choose, you get to see two different endings, with humanity's thoughts and logic being launched up into space. 

     

    As you play through 9S' route, you discover that there is no more humanity. Nothing at all. Not even the people on the moon are real; their collective thoughts are stored on a consciousness on the moon. 9S begins to question the meaning of their existence if there is nothing to protect, as androids were tasked with killing machines and protecting humanity as their only values. Which...becomes the focal point of the story as you play as 9S. What is the meaning of life if there isn't something to protect?

     

    Yoko Taro does an excellent job blending so much together in a cohesive fashion, even if the first ten hours or so of the game felt like filler and then playing through Route B again made it all completely impactless and pointless. At the very, very end, though, once you struggle through the entire game, you start to understand and empathize for all the characters: machines because they want to feel as human as possible in a desolate, lonely world, 9S because there is nothing more to protect since his concept of revenge has been shattered, and A2 because she goes from being narcissistic and angry to caring about machines, and even 9S, to protect and preserve his memories.

     

    Overall: 8.5/10.

     

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    Gameplay:

     

    Alright, let's get the negative out of the way first.

     

    YOUR CHARACTERS ARE THE CLUMSIEST DUMB SHITS EVER.

     

    And what I mean by that is they trip over every single object that they can find, or they just run through bushes at 200 miles per hour and stop for no reason. Now, this is one of the biggest gripes I had in the game: Pacebreakers. I didn't care at all about the fact that when I'm trying to get from Point A to Point B that my character that I was controlling stops ALL of their momentum and trips over a bit of rock or sand or goes into a bush and stops all forward momentum. It's irritating. I want to play a game to get immersed into THE GAME. I don't want to have to be constantly watching my feet to jump over every spot of what might be considered a trip spot or a pacebreaker because that's not fun. I didn't want to have to walk at 2 miles per hour when I was controlling 2B when she was infected by the virus because it breaks the pace of the game and makes it much slower than it needs to be. I don't want to be able to lose all my forward momentum when coming off a Glide because that's also a pacebreaker.

     

    The world of NieR: Automata isn't as big as I had imagined it to be. Considering we are in an age of JRPGs with notoriously big areas and cascading plains, mesmerizing forests, and big blankets of snow areas, it disappointed me that the world of NieR: Automata only consisted of a few largely inhabited zones, but nothing really more grand-scale beyond that. I would have liked to have just a slightly more tad bit of variety with the maps. The Desert Area, however, was easily my most favorite area, tied with the Forest area.

     

    Alright, now that all the negative is out of the way, let's focus on all the things the game does well.

     

    The game can be split up into three different types of areas: 1. 2D top-down Flight Unit sections that function similarly to games like Galactica or Space Invaders, 2. 2.5-D Flight Unit Sections that function similarly to twin-stick shooters by using the Left Stick to move and Right Stick to Aim and fire, and finally 3. The RPG aspect of the game, where you are running around killing badass machines that are the size of skyscrapers.

     

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    And in those RPG sections, you can get 2D environments like this (which I didn't really care for), and other 3D environments which are gorgeous as hell.

     

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    The amass of enemies you can fight are incredibly vast, ranging from bipedal enemies to large cylindrical enemies that shoot out of all sides, to enemies that crawl around 2D environments like snakes. And then you have chances to fight insanely huge Goliaths in flight Units, making combat exceptionally large-scale.

     

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    Each character that you play as in the game has their own skillset and moves that you can utilize. As 2B and A2, you have a second weapon which you can equip that you can use with Y to keep your attacks going, and as 9S, you can hack into enemies with the Y button and get into a 2D top down twin-stick shooter portion, where you have a certain limit of time to defeat all the enemies in order to hack the enemy, dealing a shit ton of damage to them.

     

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    Unfortunately, I didn't like these sections too much because I'm horrible at twin-stick shooters. Don't expect me to be playing Metroid or any other twin-stick game in the future from now on. And the bullet hell when unlocking Route E....uggh. Never again.

     

    As for the actual RPG portion of the game, it's quite robust. There's a multitude of Side Quests you can do if you're ever bored out of your skull and want to kill some time. Given the size of some of these quests, some of them take literally like five minutes to do. I think the longest Side Quest was still Emil's Determination, and that only capped out at about thirty minutes give or take.

     

    You have a weapon selection system, ranging from Short Swords (Katanas), Large Swords (giant ass Katanas), and Spears (duh). I found Spears to be rather fun to use, but also clunky in some regards when fighting as 9S, but as A2 and 2B, Spears were incredibly fun. Short Swords are all around balanced and Large Swords favor more damage and swing really really slowly. Duh.

     

    The kick though is, each weapon comes with its own backstory that you can view in the weapon information tab of your Main Menu.

     

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    This adds a really flavorful portion to the game and making weapons have sentimental value, instead of them just being static icons with damage values and combo values. I really appreciated that little touch.

     

    There's a skill system in the game where you can apply chips to your characters to augment their combat abilities. But to be honest, once you have all the required chips, all of the other ones seem pointless. This is your chip setup for about 99% of the game once you get these chips: Deadly Heal, Vengeance, Anti-Chain Damage, Overclock, and any of the Maximum HP, Short Range, or Long Range Attack Up chips. Deadly Heal makes it so that you heal a certain percentage of your total HP after defeating an enemy, and since the game is pretty much a horde mode game where enemies come at you by dozens, except during Boss Battles, Deadly Heal is pretty much an auto-include. Vengeance reflects all damage back to the attacker, so it's also an auto-include. Anti-Chain makes it so that when you are hit, you are invulnerable afterwards for a brief moment. Overclock is whenever you execute a perfect Dodge, time stops for a brief amount of time, making everything trivial in said horde mode game.

     

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    All of the other chips are pretty novelties you can collect, like EXP gain, Offensive Heal (where you recover HP when you deal damage), and Auto-Collect Items (Hey, Warframe fans, there's your universal vaccuum). You can also remove your OS Chip and get a bad ending. And the hilarious thing about the chip system is that it works with flight Unit sections as well, so each time you destroy a dinky little ship after taking essentially 2 hits, you recover 50% of your HP, completely trivializing the game.

     

    Of course, however, this is all for a Normal Mode setup. On Hard Mode, enemies become much much tougher, and Lock-On is disabled, and in Nightmare mode, you die in one hit.

     

    And yes, I'm ballsy enough to try and do a Nightmare Mode run.

     

    There's also online functions in the game. For example, if you are connected to the Network, you will find the corpses of all your YoRHa buddies scattered all over the world. You can pick them up and get their goodies, which augment you with certain abilities for a time, depending on what they were wearing when they died. Or, you can alternatively repair them and they can become your ally for an extended period of time. Which is cool.

     

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    The combat is very fun paced and I thoroughly enjoyed the combat in some regards. The beginning of the game is much much more challenging than the end of the game because enemies scale with you. It reduces the need to grind basically and lets you gather chips you may need in order to completely roflstomp the game later on. Oh yeah, and you also get to fight a huge colossus later on in the game in a sort of 2D fighter fashion- MAN YOKO TARO IS A FUCKING GENIUS.

     

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    So the overall consensus: The game difficulty is just about right for what the game presents. Fast fluid combat is balanced by expertly dodging and tactfully taking out opponents as they come at you. Or if you have Deadly Heal just go apeshit and kill everything in sight. It nails down some portions of the game completely right, but misses in actually immersing people in the game and WHY they want to play a game: to be able to run around fast and not be distracted by clutter on the ground.

     

    Overall: 7.5/10.

     

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    Quality:

     

    Compared to probably about 99% of the dumbass Steam populace that can't seem to get this game to work, I actually had zero problems with running the game.

     

    I just wanted to get that out of the way. You all have seen my computer specs. It's a fucking rig. And yet, I'm happy to announce that I had zero problems running this game at 60 FPS. The only time where my game would hiccup is during the City Ruins because it's a high foliage area, but otherwise, I ran everything at max settings and had zero problems. So...git gud.

     

    The quality of the game is probably THE BEST part of this game. The game is fucking beautiful, the script and deliverance of the lines in said script is amazing, the characters feel alive with intentions, and the best part is...

     

    THERE ARE NO SPELLING ERRORS IN THE SCRIPT.

     

    Compared to the last two games I've played, not seeing any errors in what the characters say versus what the game shows us as text is relieving.

     

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    Each zone you go to feels so alive and beautiful that words like "mesmerizing" and "beautiful" don't even begin to describe it. Especially in the Forest Zone where you see giant castles and giant waterfalls cascading the landscape. You can definitely tell work went into this one, compared to the two previous shitty games I've played that were probably released within two months after the first idea was conceptualized.

     

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    And here's the kicker.

     

    If any of you have watched the first twenty minutes or so of the recently hosted Game Awards show on Twitch, you will have seen that NieR: Automata got the award for the best OST for ANY game out of the year. And rightfully so.

     

     

    Regarding Voice Actors for the game, Kira Buckland completely nailed the part of 2B, Kyle McCarley fluctuating between a respectable Scanner Unit to a ravaging husk filled with revenge and yelling, screaming even, to get the full inflection of his emotions, and Cherami Leigh nailing A2 in it's most professional form.

     

    This is the first time I will have ever given a game 10/10 for its quality. Everything it does about Quality, it does right.

     

    Except for the people who can't get this game to work. But they should just git gud instead.

     

    Overall: 10/10.

     

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    Replayability:

     

    Alright, so, I mentioned before that Replayability was going to be the key of this playthrough. This game forces Replayability on you, and it blends in with the story exceptionally well. So while it's not a replayability versus story thing per se, there is absolutely a reason to go back over and play through the game again. You get a Chapter Select so you can easily go back and clean up any side quests you may have missed. On your first playthrough, you'll probably be playing just for the story, but on your second playthrough, you can go back and get any side quests you may have missed as 2B, plus a few extra on top of that. And on your third playthrough, you finish everything humanely possible.

     

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    You can pretty much get 90% of what you need done in a single playthrough. The other 10% you need a guide for, since there IS a missable achievement/ending that you can't get one way or the other. And filling out all of the Archives takes patience and time. My finally tally was getting all the endings except for that one missable ending (because I played through without a guide) and getting about 75% of all the achievements? Give or take.

     

    But yeah, in terms of Replayability, there is A LOT to have.

     

    But be warned if you're trying to 100% the game, the game will force you to delete all of your save data, so if you want to 100% everything, you have to do everything else first before you do that. Just a word of caution. You can go to the fextralife wiki and look up NieR: Automata if you ever need to confirm the location of something, or to get that side quest you need, or that one ending you need, before trying to clear your Save Data.

     

    Overall: 8/10.

     

    Now, it's time for the final wrap-up. In this section, I'll detail if this game is truly one for you, and if you should decide to play it or not.

     

    Would I recommend this game?:

     

    Umm. Yes.

     

    Just yes.

     

    Overall: 8.5/10. Amazing.

     

    While definitely not high enough to give a Game of the Year medal or anything like that, this was definitely one of the better games that I was waiting to get my hands on, but wanted it to go for a reasonable price because of all the intense negativity on Steam and not getting the game to work.

     

    Also, yes 2B's ass is good. Become ass gods.

     

     

  3. The impossibility of perfect encounter balance.

     

    Or maybe just my failure at it.

     

    Now that I've finished bare bones mapping for most of my act 1 dungeons, I was thinking to myself : Why don't you make some nice 
    encounters so you actually can get some playstesting done?

    I open up the database, create some basic enemy types (Skirmisher, Artillery, Soldier, Brute,...), give my characters some basic skills (fire, ice, darkness), and try them out.

    Now, I have been pretty anal about getting my stats right ( see my previous blogs), with HP's and so forth being determined by the amount of hits 
    I want the enemies to take before dying, and the amount of hits a player will take before dying.

     

    It all seemed so perfectly balanced on the spreadsheet, until I started playtesting my encounters.
    Which shows again , numbers are no substitute for raw playtest data.

     

    All went well until I tried basically anything beyond a basic damage spell or attack. Then the balance shifted into weird directions.

     

    After giving it some thought, I think I have found the 4 biggest disruptors for encounter balance, in rising order of complexity :

    1.  Multi-Target/Hit skills
    2. Status effects
    3. Randomness
    4. Interactions

    Today, I'll be tackling the first 2, the other 2 are for another time. Maybe next week. Because for these first 2 , I have found a simple tool to balance these out.

     

    1. Multitarget spells

    For a starter, Multi Target/Hit skills, abilities that hit 2 or more targets, cause problems because they are damage multipliers.
    Unless the damage is nearly neglectible, or the cost is excessive, any multitarget spell is just an order of magnitude better than any single target spell.
    Any small boost or debuff is felt way harder than with single target skills.

     

    An example : At level 20 the player is supposed to do 400 Damage per attack. 
    Now, as I am working on a one enemy per player character system, there should be about 4 targets.
    So easy, you say, just let the multi-target spell deal 25 % damage, so 100 per target.

     

    That's nice, but that means it is now useless in any stituation with less than 4 targets. Now, most enemies will have 4 players fighting them, so this solution works nicely for enemies.

    Obviously that does not work for Players, so in comes my good old friend : limited resources. 

     

    Any multitarget attack should just cost a certain amount of MP/TP, even if the single target version does not. How much MP/TP ?

    The easiest solution I could find was to just give each MP point an amount of damage it could deal. After long debate, I came to 50 % damage (or healing) per MP point spent.
    So assuming I use a multitarget spell when I have 3 or 4 , so 3.5, opponents, I deal 350%-100%= 250% more damage, so a multitarget spell costs 5 MP.

     

    What about high levels, you say ? Seeing as I don't believe in straight upgrades ( no Fire 1,2,3), I have an additional solution: Monster HP escalates way faster than player damage, 
    so by the time he can spam fireball, enemies dont take 2 hits, but 4 hits to take down, and he will need all the fireballs he can get. 
    It allows the player to grow without needing to replace his basic skills, as I combine it with a small MP pool, topping out at 110 MP for mages at lvl 100, and rising MP generation, topping out at 10 MP per turn at lvl 100. 

     

    Instead of casting fire (0MP) and saving his MP for the fireball (5MP), he can alternate between the 2 the moment he regenerates enough MP, maybe even casting regular fire a couple of turns, to save up for the big guns (25 MP/shot).

    Now, in the case of TP using skills, how do we balance this ? That is something for another chapter.

     

    2. Status effects, buffs and Debuffs.

     

    The core of combat: Action economy.

     

    In combat, in the rawest sence, players and enemies trade actions for damage. Given the way I balanced my game, equally levelled players and enemies recieve an equal amount of damage per spent action , it is just the HP's that differ.

     

    So in the strictest sence, the opponent has to spend a certain number of actions to win , and the player has to spend a different amount of actions to win.
    In a basic combat, the 2 cavemen beating eachother with clubs until one falls down kind, aka the attack spam battle, the players will allways win or the enemy will always win, with, outside of criticals, no variance inbetween.

     

    But that is not how real combats work. In a combat with multiple characters on both sides, both sides generate actions each turn , and spend them to kill the other side. Once one side has spent enough actions , that side wins.

     

    An Example:

    A 4 heroes against 3 rats scenario at level 5. The rats deal about 20 % of the players hp in damage each action they takeand can take 2 hits.
    So the rats generate 3 actions per turn, and need to spend 20 actions to win, the players generate 4 actions a turn and need to spend 6 actions to win.

    So however you slice it, the rats always lose in 1.5 turns, having dealth at most 4.5 actions worth of damage, but if the player focus fire having dealt only 1-2 actions worth of damage. 
    The worst case scenario is that all the rats hit the same guy, and he dies.
    This is a nice and safe encounter even if the player just divvies up his attacks evenly instead of focus-firing (which is pretty dumb for the player).

     

    Now, let's replace the rats by snakes. Suppose they have a poison attack, that deals no initial damage, but poisons with 20 % HP per turn damage , and a regular attack.
    How much more dangerous is this than the rats ?
    Assuming the same encounter, 3 snakes vs 4 players, equal level.
    The players still generate 4 actions per turn , and need to spend 6 actions to win. The snakes also need to spend 20 actions and generate 3 actions per turn.

    Supposing the snakes have basic AI and do not attack already poisoned players, is this encounter more dangerous than the rats one?
    Looking at it hrough an actions generated/spent lens might give us an answer.
    Nothing has changed on the player side, so were ignoring that for now, but the way the snakes behave is totally different than te rat behaviour.

    After poisoning the players, suddenly the snakes are generating damage on the opponents turns, in effect generating actions.

     

    A little turn by turn :
    Snakes spend 3 actions , to poison 3 players. The players take 3 actions worth of damage because of the poison. The players spend 4 actions and kill 2 snakes.
    The final snake attacks one player, the party then mobs him, but still takes poison damage twice. 

    So grand total : The players take about 6 actions worth of damage before winning, therefore this encounter is about 2-3 times as difficult as the rats one, but still nowhere near a danger for the player.

     

    Now interesting things happen when the number of snakes or rats changes.

    Suppose we have 3/6 rats, and the player focus fires to kill rats as fast as possible, and tries to kill a rat before it takes a turn, and the rats attack randomly:

    Round 1: Players spend 4 actions and kill 2 rats, rats get 4/1 actions.

    Round 2: Players mow down 2 rats, rats get 2/0 actions

    Round 3 : All rats die.

     

    Suddenly the 6 rats get off 6 actions, in opposition to the 1-2 actions if there where 3 of them. So the encounter with twice as many rats is not twice as hard, but up to 4 times as hard. Notice also how the 3 rat encounter is actually 3x easier if the players focus fire.

    From this we can conclude that encounters do not scale in a  linear fashion, and even adding one enemy does nasty things to an encounter.


    As a bonus the same situation with 6 snakes :
    Players focus fire on the 6 snakes, and the snakes spread poison as fast as possible, to a player that still has to take its turn.
    Round 1 : 2 Snakes killed, 4 players poisoned. 4 actions worth of damage.
    Round 2: 2 Snakes attack, 2 snakes killed. Snakes deal 6 actions worth of damage.
    Round 3: 0-1 snakes attack, 2 snakes killed. Snakes deal 2-3 actions worth of damage.

     

    So the snakes deal 12-13 actions worth of damage. So the 6 snake encounter is still twice as dangerous as the 6 rat one, and might actually heavily damage a party, seeing that 20 actions by the enemy kills the player.

     

    If the player spread his damage instead of focus firing, he would take :

    Round 1: 4 Players poisoned, 2 regular attacks, no snakes killed: 6 actions for the snakes.
    Round 2 : 4 regular attacks, 4 poison damage actions. 8 actions by the snakes.
    Round 3 : Kill 4 snakes.1 attack by the snakes. 4 actions worth of poison damage, and 1 regular action.

     

    For a grand total of 19 actions worth of damage by the snakes. The players might actually lose this encounter if they are really dumb and just attack spam to random targets. 

    Now why this whole explanation about rats and snakes ?

    Because they demonstrate that nearly all things can be calculated in an actions worth of damage, and to show that he who generates the most actions wins.

     

    This is an important factor in encounter balance. It shows that the more enemies you add, the more turns each enemy gets, so you have a near quadratic effect on encounter difficulty.
    It also show the importance of debuffs and buffs and status effects, once you start to see it as trading your turn for theirs, and why status efects are annoying if used by the enemy and useless if used by the player.

    "Wait what ?" You might say, but it is true. As we see in the 6 rats scenario, the players have to spend 12 actions to win, but the rats have to spend 20. 
    So each action for the players is 1.66 times more valuable than one from the enemies. Even if the player had a 100 % accurate stun it is only worth it if the rat would have lived 2 additional turns. And this is the best case scenario. 
    And forget the classical blindness spell with a 70 % succes chance and a 70 % accuracy reduction. That would only generate on average 0.7*0.7=0.49 actions per turn. Meaning, in our rat case, the rat would have to live 3-4 more turns before it becomes worth it.
    I easily solve this by having the player cast blindness spell also deal damage, but cost 1 MP. As I established earlier, 1 MP gets you 50 % of an actions worth of damage/effect/healing. 
    So with the same reasoning, the ice spell that deals regular damage and freezes for 2 turns with a 50 % chance costs 1 MP, as it negates a full enemy action (that's about 1/1.6= 62 % of a player action).

    Now when used by the enemies, it suddenly does become worth it. If an enemy action costs a player an action , he has traded up, seeing as the player actions are worth 1.6 times as much as the rat ones.

     

    It also poses a floor for healing spells. If a healing spell does not heal at least, in our example, 1.6 x as much as the enemy would deal, that healing spell would have better been an attack to end the encounter faster except when that character would otherwise die, then you're trading an action for an action.

     

    Buff spells suffer the same fate. A single target buff spell that raises another characters attack by 50 % is only worth it if the combat lasts 2 more turns to break even, and 3 turns to be better than a standard attack. 

    Meaning that I find that a single target buff should cost 0-1 MP (probably 0 to encourage buff use), but a partywide buff should cost 1 MP if it lasts 1 turn ,because you spent an action to generate 1.5 actions (3*50% more damage), gaining you half an action. 
    Any turn after that should cost 4 MP, so a 3 turn party wide buff should cost 9 MP. Now, to encourage buff use, because 90 % off players will still always go for the straight damage spells, I might just reduce this to 6-7 MP.

     

    Now comes the difficult part : The exchange rate between player and enemy actions shifts at higer levels. This is because at higher levels, the balance is different.
    At level 5, enemies deal 20 % of the players HP in damage and take 2 hits to kill, while at level 100 they deal 60 % of the players HP and take 7 hits to kill.
    So the players need to spend 28 actions to kill the enemy, and the enemy needs to spend 8 actions to kill the player. Suddenly the enemies turn is worth at least 3.5 times as much as a player one.
    This means that a player is spending at least 5 MP a turn (+250% Damage) to make his actions on par with the enemies actions, and should probable be spending about 10 MP per turn if he wants to win(By coincidence, that is what he regenerates in MP each turn). It also means that status effects become really important for the players to use, as each stunned/silenced/frozen enemy is worth 2-3 player turns. And I am ok with that. It just means that abilities that unlock later should be balanced for use at that level, and that some low level abilities become better as the levels advance, thereby keeping them relevant.

     

    So what I'm saying is to not stare yourself blind at the numbers in this article but maybe to try and see combat in terms of an action economy, with both players and enemies generating and spending actions, with a certain exchange rate between these 2 actions, and an MP cost to generate what amounts to extra actions.

     

    It simplifies the numbers to simple actions spent, and allows you to quickly mentally simulate important battles, and balance skills.

     

    This is most valuable in boss encounters, where you can actually start to see it on a timeline, and thus balance the boss way easier.

  4. Yeah, I could write out a long post, but I won't.

     

    What happened before will never happen again.

     

    I'll make sure to archive everything I say from here onward.

     

    Meant to do that for the lighthearted post but ultimately didn't think it was necessary. I was wrong for thinking so.

    It won't happen again because I won't let it. All my blog posts from here onward I will archive, and if such an issue arises, it will be mitigated and invalidated.

     

    May the Divine Twenty-Four guide the benevolent to their light...

  5. Deer! (Hi there!) I have add more CG for scene like

    Spoiler

    Lexar kiss Karen Ruby when they first meet at Promo Woods, Lexar abuse action Like Hit, slap, kick and many more.

    And I add some animated CG too! the first animated CG is

    Spoiler

    Lexar hold Jebraw Chidori(Lighting strike) with his hand.

    There will be more animated CG, But they won't animate in Gallery (Sorry I'm not much of a Programmer)

    Okay that's for now, if there something new again I'll tell you.

    Bye Bye! (I'm not going anywhere, If You feel like say hello or something just PM me or leave comment down below)

  6. FINISHED PLANS

    Smarter Enemy AI

    On certain enemies, they will be given a smarter AI which is manually critiqued by me.

     

    PLANS

    Side Quests: Going to focus a bit on side quests

    Drawing: Trying to learn how to draw for the project

    Enemy Graphic Reform: Redoing enemy graphics once I get good at drawing.

     

  7. Hello, everybody! Everybody's favourite ghostie here! I'm sure you're all wondering what I mean by "new and improved Aftermath: Gears of Hope".

     

    Long story short: I wasn't happy with the project. It didn't seem plausible, the more I thought about it. I wasn't happy with the fact that I had part of a certain fandom telling me to stop "copying" another game. So, I redesigned the idea, combined a few new ideas, brought back a few ideas from an earlier world design and started a brand new project.

     

    As I like to say, "Sometimes, you have to take a good long look at your project, think about it and realize that maybe you were right the first time."

    (Okay, I just barely said that, but it's good advice.)

     

    What's changed:

    The game no-longer has anything to do with a school or campus town. It takes place in a futuristic city.

    The protagonist has a set gender, name, nationality, past and personality.

    The game has been somewhat scoped down, so as to avoid being stuck in DevHell for years on end with little to no progress.*

    The game will now have pre-release builds to give fans ideas of what the game will be like once I begin getting stuff implemented.

     

    What hasn't changed:

    The game is still about being a cyborg spy.

    There is still an information broker.

    All characters will still be interesting and be able to be interacted with in an interesting way.

    The game is still heavily mission-based, but with player freedom.

     

    I don't really know how to describe it, but think about it this way - the game will have a lot in common with Mass Effect... Without the changes being saved between entries in the series and heavy player customization on the character. (When I release sequels, you'll have to answer questions on certain things. However, due to limitations, the sequels will follow a "canon path".)

     

    * - Don't worry, there will still be most of what originally got the game an audience.

  8. I still have a lot of work to do, but I think it's a good time to show off some story bits of chapter 0. ...Or, in this case, the whole thing. It's not entirely finished yet and there are still some bugs that need to be squashed. However, I'm quite happy with how it turned out regardless. I seem to enjoy making cutscenes look the best they can thanks to Galv's Camera plugin. The gameplay is every basic and I haven't gotten around to making any actions sequences, yet. This is mostly just to show off some bits of the beginning story. I might also try to get my topic back up again since I have some new stuff lined up, but I want to wait a bit longer just to make sure.

     

    Anyway, here's Chapter 0!

     

     

  9. Classes

     

    Each character has a class or job that not only defines their skills and combat style, but it is an important and defining part of the character behind. For example, Araken is a monster hunter. This means that he has a set of skills to reflect that: quick strikes, counter attacks, crossbow bolts with different effects, etc. However, being a monster hunter is part of who he is, it shaped his personality, has given him an objective, something to do and to accomplish in life.

     

    Classes are not just "I am a warrior because it says so in the menu." Classes are jobs, in the literal meaning of the word, not just the gaming term. Asher is a thief because he was raised and trained to be one. Sherr is a Druid because he was choosen to be one, something he accepted and welcomed with a smile in his face and hope in his heart. Karsten is a Judge-Knight because of family tradition and because he has a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. In general, classes equal to a job, an occupation the character has and likes. The character has devoted their life to that class/job, training hard to be better at what they do.

     

    Each character has a "class headquarters", where they can improve their weapons and armors, buy class-related items and accesories and complete quests and minor tasks. Of course, there will be a lot of NPCs to talk to and ways to learn more about the world and the lore. These "class headquarters" leads to the next element analysed in this section: job quests.

     

    Job Quests: New skills and weapons

     

    Each character belong to a class and has a corresponding "class headquarters" where you can freely travel. There is a set of skills for each character that are only unlockable through "job quests", a series of plot-related, lore heavy and character developing quests that have an increasing difficulty and offer great rewards in the form of the aforementioned skills and also new weapons.

     

    New skills

     

    Completing a job quest grants a new skill related that expands the role of the character in battle:

    -As a Priestess of Light, Narissa will learn "Prayers", a type of buffing skills which are very useful in battle. Complete all quests to get a powerful and permanent passive skill.

    -As an Expert Thief/Thief, Asher/Sherr will learn "Bombs", a type of throwing skills with different and explosive effects. Complete all quests to get "fragmentation" versions of the bombs hat target all foes.

    -As a Mage, Rashana will learn "Erudition", a type of soul based magic that consumes HP and PM in exchange of dealing a lot of damage. Complete all quests to get a useful permanent passive skill.

    -As a Judge-Knight, Karsten will learn "Shouts", a type of buffing skills that have an positive and negative effect on the character (e.g. raise max HP for 4 turns but lose 15% HP when it ends). Complete all skills to get a unique accesory.

    -As an Engineer, Laani will learn "Gunslinger", that grants bullets with different effects. Complete all quests to gain a new weapon.

    -As a Monster Hunter, Araken will learn "Elemental Bolts", which is self-explanatory. Complete each quest to receive new crossbows and all quests to receive his final crossbow.

    -As a Druid, Sherr will learn "Alchemy", a skill used to brew potions. Completing each quest unlocks new recipes and completing all will grant a recipe for permanent stat bonus potions.

    -As a Velaker (Scythe wealding blade dancer), Xander will learn "Shadow Magic", a dangerous but powerful magic. Complete all to receive his final scythe.

    -As a Paladin, Heidek will learn "Divine Protection", a new set of protective skills that affect the allies but not the user. Complete all quests to receive his final shield.

     

    New weapons

     

    In "Crystal Crown" you can't buy weapons nor will you find weapons normally in dungeons or dropped by monsters. The only way to get a new weapon is to complete tasks and quests for your "job headquarters". Each character has 5 weapons: first one is considered "regular", second is "normal", third is "average", fourth is "rare" and the last is "legendary". For example:

     

    Araken uses swords. Regular, usual, longswords. Nothing too impressive, but he is comfortable using them. Now, say that you want a new weapon for him. Just go to the Order of Monster Hunters Headquarters and complete "Hunting Missions" to achieve "Hunter points". When you ahve enough, you can claim a new weapon.

     

    However, this is not always the case: some characters will be asked to complete a series of quests either with the rest of the group participating or by themselves. Thieves will be asked to steal valueable relics from nobles and merchants. The Paladin will be tasked with heathen-dealing missions (in which you decide what to do, follow orders or not), etc. Sometimes you are asked to recover an ancient artifact as part of a "Job Quest", which will grant you a new weapon/armor/accesory.

     

    The important thing here is that the player will need to advance each character in their classes/jobs to get them new weapons.

     

    *Exception: Laani, the engineer, crafts her own weapons, but only after finding certain tools or after improving a weapon she alrwady own sufficiently. She will determine what she needs in order to craft a new weapon and then you will have to search for the materials and tools.

     

    WEAPONS AND ARMOR

     

    "Ok", you say, "I have a new weapon but is not that powerful. How am I going to defeat monsters with only five weapons?"

     

    The answer is: by improving them. Weapons can be improved at blacksmiths and artificers (also called "crystalsmiths") up to +10 or up to +5, depending on the weapon. There are many forging materials to do so and they can be collected from mines, caves, dungeons and finally monsters, which will drop parts of them (horns, hide, etc) that can be later brought to a city to be processed into forging materials. Some weapons have a heavy lore background, explained during the quest involved in its recovery or after being rewarded with it. Other weapons are related to the background and story of a character.

    Armors can also be improved, by the way. Some classes can wear various types of armor, but some others can only wear one type. There is head, shield, body, gloves and leg armor, in addition to necklace, ring, bracelet and earring slots. Accessories offer the usual elemental and state resistances, stat improvement, etc. I am working on a "full set bonus" for certain accesories and/or armors in the form of a passive buff or something like that.

     

    Blacksmiths

     

    There are several scattered across the world: in some towns, in each major city and in each "job headquarters". There are tiers for them, with the most basic ones being "Apprentice blacksmiths", who will only improve the first weapons of each characters. On the other side of the spectrum, "Master blacksmiths" can improve any weapon, except the final weapon of each character, which can only be improved by the blacksmith of the "job headquarters".

     

    There is an exception: Laani, the engineer, her weapons (and only them) can only be improved by herself, providing that she has adequate tools and forging materials. Additionaly, some engineer equipment can only be improved by other engineers.

     

    Crystalsmiths or artificers

     

    There a few, settled in some of the major cities and key locations. As with blacksmiths, there are tiers, with only the crystalsmiths from the Garkon Tower Education and Research Facilities being able to improve legendary equipment.

     

     

    Dev corner

     

    I used customised Yanfly's "Item Synthesis" to create the menus for alchemy, as well as weapon and armor improving. With the recipe system the plugin offers I created several crafting menus for armor/weapon improvement, potion brewing, item creation, etc. The fact that you can open up the synthesis menu for just one recipe is also very helpful and honestly, it has been a life saver for an otherwise complicated but rewarding system I have set up.

     

    I also use Yanfly's "Item Core" to add lore snippets on the info windows on the weapon/armor/item menus, sort of like Dark Souls do. I think it gives more meaning and life to the world, lore and item.

     

     

     

  10. When it comes to matters of faith everyone has their own beliefs and fairies are no different. What does tend to be different for fairies is the way faith is treated. In general the fairy approach to religion can be summarized as 'that which is worshiped or revered gains power'. It is in someways the opposite of the common human approach, which can be sometimes be thought of as 'that which is powerful is worshiped or revered'. Of course it's not that cut an dry on either side, but it works as a good general starting point for the difference between common fairy and common human beliefs. For a fairy, religious devotion isn't thought of as much as about 'belief' as it is about 'choice'. To choose to hold something sacred or holy is to invest power into that thing, the more of one's own energy one chooses to devote to something the more power it gains in their eyes. The more power and renown something has, the more it can do and therefor the more useful it is to worship, but this is often a secondary concern and many fairies believe that worship for purely pragmatic reasons is less potent then devoting one's self to something just because they genuinely want to. Fairies do often hold that such purely pragmatic belief is done in 'bad faith'.

     

    Fairies tend to also similarly look down on the idea of religion being some sort of 'duty' or 'obligation'. To most fairies any religious belief that demands worship or devotion is at best poisonous to the ones who follow it and at worse poisonous to everything around them as well. They also tend to be opposed to organized religious institutions (of significant scale at least) and especially opposed to anything they even suspect to be any kind of religious indoctrination by one. In fact fairies tend to shy away from the idea of having any kind of fixed 'canon' of teachings or beliefs, and instead prefer syncretically following whatever they feel fit. Most religious practices are often thought best carried out in private, and mass public displays of worship are often seen as disruptive or suspicious. This doesn't mean religious gatherings or places of worship don't exist, just that fairies rarely are that overt about prayer or other such rituals and preaching is usually kept to a minimum. Fairies tend to find most common human religions and religious practices to be repugnant, dangerous, or at least very very silly (especially Christianity, on witch there are also many historical reasons to bare a grudge), although most will grudgingly accept a person's choice in following one if they show 'true faith' as a fairy recognizes it.

     

    While fairies do often worship many gods and other spirits (as personalized representatives of abstract concepts and as beings in their own right), they aren't necessarily thought of in the general sense as much more then a human might think of famous celebrities. In other words, often awe inspiring and worthy of respect for their power and fame, but not beings beyond understanding or reproach. To a fairy, gods and other spirits are just like any other being, at least in that regard. A fairy might just as well worship another fairy they are a fan of, or even a human in rare cases, living or dead. A fairy wouldn't necessarily see much difference between a fan convention and a temple, a cosplayer or a priest. What matters to a fairy is the devotion and energy put into something, not the exact form that devotion takes. That doesn't mean that that's all fairies worship however. To fairies anything and everything can be a target of worship, from directly worshiping abstract concepts to revering inanimate objects and everything in between. The wonders of nature are a common choice. Fairies often make little shrines of a sort out of things like a refreshing spring or well, a waterfall, a neat cave, a particularly large tree or pleasant grove, a small hill, anywhere that seems like a nice meeting place. Sometimes fairies may put up some altars made from a pile of stones or standing stones marked with runes. There might be entryways marked by Stonehenge-like gates. Sometimes it's just decoration, but sometimes it means a fairy felt the need to protect a place with magic and a barrier will keep out any who don't go through the gate. Sometimes these gates act as portals to other places.

     

    Well loved objects are thought to be in some sense holy as well. Objects with sentimental value are prized and said to hold lots of power. Indeed, magically a well loved object can be very powerful, and can hold many blessings or sometimes powerful curses. An object's history and it's connection to the history of others is very important to many fairies. Though they don't truly exist in the fairy world, museums are also places a fairy might think of like a temple of a sort. One not only holding precious objects for display, but also in charge of understanding and explaining their history. Many fairies tend to be hoarders of artifacts that they personally find important, even if no one else does. It is even not that uncommon for fairies to, rather then revering or worshiping any particular thing, devote one's self to a concept or ideal. To a fairy someone who devote themselves to something like 'justice', 'love', 'science', 'power', or 'pleasure' are simply putting their faith into something like any other personal belief. And of course, many fairies choose to put their faith in only in themselves or sometimes in nothing at all.

     

    Ritual can also be very important to fairies, both magically and spiritually (in fact magic and spirituality are often seen as deeply connected, but not always truly synonymous). Fairy rituals are often personalized or are part of a large collection of haphazard folk beliefs and practices. The form rituals take often doesn't matter as much as the function they serve and the feeling behind them, and fairies mostly encourage experimentation and improvisation over strict traditionalism or sticking to any one set of rules too strictly. This often extends to 'social rituals' such as manners or protocol, especially for solitary fairies (to a point anyway, there are still basic guidelines to follow if one doesn't want to be seen as rude). The exceptions where traditionalism and/or following a set of strict rules is expected are mostly for those within the Seelie courts and occasionally when fairies need to have a formal meeting, trial, or duel.

     

    Since fairies are practically immortal they don't tend to care much about the idea of an afterlife. Many fairies find the idea silly or disdainful, but often acknowledge it's possibility. Most fairies who care to think about such things might say that things can create echos that might linger long after they are gone and leave it at that. Fairies also don't tend to care all that much about the origin or meaning of existence as a whole. There are speculations about it and a few scattered legends, but many fairies would say that how things came to be doesn't really matter, and what things mean is up to every person to decide. If fairies have any generally agreed upon explanation about existence as a whole, it's that existence is about, if anything, existing. That everyone and everything that exists, real or unreal, is fulfilling whatever role it may have for it's own sake and not for the sake of some higher purpose or god. Often fairies believe that happiness is truly found in loving one's own existence for it's own sake. Loving one's own existence doesn't necessarily mean only loving one's self, but also can include the world around them and everything in it. It also doesn't necessarily mean one can never be unsatisfied or upset, just that maybe one shouldn't let negative feelings ruin their passion for existing. And it certainly doesn't necessarily mean one shouldn't ever strive to change themselves or the world around them, just that maybe they should remember and appreciate where they are and what they are doing. Of course most fairies wouldn't say that in so many words, but it's really kind of important to us. After all, when a fairy doesn't care about existing anymore they die for good. 

     

    So in the end, to a fairy wonder and passion can be found in all things great and small. All you have to do is look!

  11. Symphony_of_Carbon.jpg

     

    The next Seasonal update is here, and this new blog format is kinda strange right now. Oh well, I'll get used to it.

     

    Anyways, the game has another chapter, 4 more elements, a barracks at your town, and lots of rebalancing. And oh, the game is on Steam Early Access as well.

     

    Time to rest my brain and get my mind ready for the next update in December. I'm not sure what it's gonna have exactly, but it's not gonna focus on story. It'll mainly be new areas, monsters, and equipment.

     

    Good luck and don't die too much.

  12. It has been a long time since I have done a proper blog post.  This one is the first part of a multi part series of importing Tiled maps to AGK.  I use AGK in Tier 2 as a game framework using C++.  This is the real draw to AGK for my use, as I have the simplicity of AGK with the power of C++.  However, this tutorial is written using an AGK Tier 1 snippet as there is no need for any added complexity.  I will eventually write a C++ variation that is more flexible, but none the less, let’s start part 1 of this tutorial.  It is important to note that this does not only work with Tiled, it can be used to load any tileset/atlas image easily, but Tiled is my motivation for making it.

    Tiled.png

    Tiled is an open source tile map editor for use in any engine.  I will be making maps using Tiled and bringing them into my AGK Tier 2 project.  The first step to doing this is to import the tileset images individually using the same ID’s that Tiled does.  If you select a tile in Tiled, the ID in the property menu is always 1 lower than it’s exported ID.  This makes ID 0 equal 1, ID 2 equal 3, etc…  What this means is that the top left sprite ID = 1 and counts up going from top left flowing to the right then down.  Something like this:

    1  2  3  4
    5  6  7  8
    9  10 11 12
    13 14 15 16

    Using this code snippet, there are 4 variables of interest to turn all uniform tilesets into an AGK compliant file.

    002  tileWidth = 128
    003  tileHeight = tileWidth
    004  numHorizontalTiles = 16
    005  numVerticalTiles = 16
    • tileWidth — Change this to the width of a tile.
    • tileHeight — If the tiles are square, leave as is.  Otherwise, set to the height of the tile.
    • numHorizontalTiles — How many tiles are from left to right.
    • numVerticalTiles — How many tiles are from up to down.

    From there, just run the script and a file will appear in C:/Users/<<UserName>>/AppData/Local/AGKApps/<<AppName>>/media/myfile

    Copy this file to the same directory your tileset is and rename it to “<<TilesetName>> subimages.txt” and you will be able to load the tiles in just fine.


    Just to prove it works, I will demonstrate loading the tileset in AGK Tier 2.

    Blog Post Image 1.png

    Tileset and Subimage file side-by-side

    Once the generated file and tileset image are both in the same directory, you can then proceed to load the image and subimages to AGK.  I included a very simple example code of loading in all 256 images (in my case).

    std::list<g::Sprite*> s;
    ...
    unsigned int image = agk::LoadImage("media\\Tilesets\\Grassland\\Grassland.png");
    for (int i = 1; i < 256; i++)
    {
    	s.push_front(new g::Sprite(agk::LoadSubImage(image, std::to_string(i).c_str())));
    	agk::SetSpritePosition(s.front()->GetSpriteID(), (i-1)%16*128, (i-1)/16*128);
    }
    

    This code makes a list of a Sprite class that I made for my project and loads up all subimages of the tileset into the list and places them from left to right, top to bottom.

    Blog Post Image 2.png

    Tileset loaded and placed, one tile at a time. Link to tileset.

    There we go.  Tilesets and Atlases made and loaded into AGK far easier than slowly typing out the subimages file manually.

    Part II in progress, I will link to it here when done.

    -Maindric


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    (Dredges up old review blog to prevent people spending money on junk)

    Good. An unbiased intro.

     

    So, I just want to preface this by saying this is a review of the re-release and not the original game. So the review is going to be pretty short and, hey, I do actually love the original release; To me, FFIX is pretty much the peak of the JRPG genre; it handled equipment/skills with more thought than its predecessors, had excellent side-content, and an iconic villain that, amazingly, is barely cringeworthy considering his near two decades old flamboyance. And since its just a re-release all that great stuff is still there. Its just everything else that's bad.

     

    So, to address the elephant in the room, how does the game look? Actually, pretty darn good. Or, the bits they touched at least. Which is just character models, and most of the cutscenes and most of the battlebacks I've encountered have been worked on too. Now, that sentence already provide two issues:

    Firstly, yes, I omitted the maps from that. Square would have you believe that Zidane and co. have selective cataracts where all sprites and objects of note (ie. chests) are in startling clarity against some blurry wasteland. I considered providing examples of the most offending maps but as this has been a subject of much controversy I'd imagine finding screenies of this shouldn't be too taxing.

    And secondly. not even the entirety of the cutscenes and battlebacks have been upgraded (a vast majority, but definitely not all) which at first notice provides shock and outrage followed by bitterness as not only did Square only do half a job of updating the graphics but they didn't even fully complete that half.

    Heck, the game still runs in 4:3 so I'm not sure if it even can be classified truly as 'HD' although in fairness it does not officially market itself as such (just in spirit ;) )

    Now, credit where its due, the character animations, in battles specifically, are wonderful. And a lot of on-map animation and design is much easier to notice, although part of that is no doubt in virtue of playing on a screen approximately three times larger than my eleven year old self was privy to. Oh and the Tetra Master cards have been touched up too which is nice.

     

    As far as the UI design. Well, they changed the menus. Can't say they're functionally, or even asthetically any better. Square clearly felt obligated to act but I just don't see why, particularly since they don't seem to have been too interested in it themselves. The cynic in me thinks the devs just wanted something you're constantly confronted with, and in confrontation with, to say 'hey, look we did do stuff so that's why you paid money'.

    There are a few much bigger afronts that overwhelm that inner voice with, err, another louder inner voice. And they're all to do with the on-map exclamation mark alerts. Firstly they are everywhere. Like, for reals. For some reason Square thought it would be a good idea to provide an alert to let you know you can talk to NPCs. It actually provides you with two so that you also know which ones are available to play Tetra Master with. Both are obviously something that sounded good in principle to somebody but should have immediately been noticed in testing as a terrible idea as you wander around Treno in a swarm of irritating bubbles. Oh, and interacting with one of these bubbles now leaves a negative of it for a few frames. Sexy ¬.¬ .

     

    The gameplay additions were actually pretty interesting, I thought; The ability to move faster, remove random encounters, and all of that. Square showed an excellent awareness of the fanbase even if they failed to understand them. See, all these features are geared towards the players who go for different kinds of perfect saves and, often, need to reach Memoria within twelve hours for Excalibur II or remain at level1 for the majority of the game. A considerable amount of the appeal of these playthroughs, ofc, being the challenge. Which these features strip away from an otherwise very easy game. In fact, Square seem to have done this compulsively, making the theatre swordfight easier to max for the first Moonstone and...a couple of other things I've forgotten in this thirtyish hour blur. You're not obligated to engage these features so there's no real harm in their addition (except that if you were to accidentally activate one you're unable to turn it back off) but its just disappointing that what is arguably the best addition with excellent intentions is inherently flawed.

     

    I'm going to end by disregarding a rule of reviewing for me. Or adding a clause to it perhaps. I hate when people bring the price into a review of a game; its an aspect that is entirely external to the piece. However, since what I've been writing about here is the disparity between two packages of the same game and not really about the game itself I'll come out and say that this is not worth the money. It just isn't. If you don't own an existing copy of FFIX then I'd say its an incredible game and you'll enjoy the heck out of it; if the re-release is the best way of accessing the game for you then so be it. But if you do own an original copy this version brings so little to the table for the price that Square is asking for (it is also rarely on sale and, so far, never generously so) that you might as well continue enjoying Kuja Trance and Steiner x Beatrix, the Lifa Tree and Chocobo's Lagoon, on your original disks because that's what the game is about, not a couple of redone character models.

     

     

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    Recent Entries

    I just wanted to post and say I completed a simple sewer valve puzzle. I'm pretty proud of it.
    :D

  13. Purple Phantom
    Latest Entry

    The test subject in question was a girl of about 15. Due to an incident involving some bioweapons rather recently, she'd lost the ability to walk. She'd been taken into the underground facility and put into lockdown, in case any other symptoms arose. Charlie glanced at her colleague.

    "Are you sure about this?" she asked him. He smiled that daring smile of his, brushing his nearly white hair back with his fingers.

    "I'm sure," he replied charismatically, "This girl will no-longer be wheelchair-bound once this kicks in."

    Charlie sighed, hoping he was right. She watched as he strode into the room and talked to the girl, then injected her with the syringe of liquid. Nothing happened...

    ...Minutes passed...

    ...And then, the girl stood up.

  14. So today I'm gonna talk about how TOD 3 is gonna be 10x more fun than the first 2 Games.

     

    But before we begin, I know I harp on the first 2 Games like they are trash and not worth playing, but there's is a legitimate reason as to why these 2 Games are the way they are. And as much as I tell myself that they could be improved upon, they aren't really that bad! It's just something you can do a 1st time Playthrough of and never play it again.

    But the reason, why they are so lackluster is actually a little complicated and has a lot to do with the 3rd Game as well.

     

    tl;dr. Basically symbolism and laziness.

     

    !Spoilers... kinda for the whole TOD series ahead!

     

    So... these 3 Games represent the 3 Alignment Types. The first Game representing being a Good Guy, the second one being a Bad Guy (Though that is extremely vaguely explained) and the 3rd one being Neutral.

    The Neutral Route being non-linear, symbolises that you have choices and can go whereever you please and whatever you can do.

    In the first Game Tod was determined to finish off the bad guy and he didn't care about anything else. After the defeat of the bad guy, Tod knew what he has done and didn't hesitate to take the killing blow. Killing the bad guy in the first Game is essentially killing off the entire Universe, because the bad Guy is actually the Creator of this whole thing. After you've killed him, the Universe slowly starts to vanish and will disappear in roughly 3000 years.

    After that, Tod didn't really know what to do and just started rampaging and started killing lots of Monsters that were getting in his way slowly but surely turning a bit mad.

    But at the REAL end of TOD 2, his Bro told him a lil' about his own past and told Tod to "calm down, Bro". He also told that his Home is still out there and that his Home isn't fully dead yet.

    Tod being calmed down and determined to face the consequences of his actions in the past. (He murdered all of his Friends and Family in his Home, because the bad guy of the 1st Game told him to do so.)

    And that's where TOD 3 begins. After that you can make lots of choices to redeem yourself or finish it off for good, or just do the right thing.

    That or i'm just lazy to make actual good Games...

     

    Now you know!

     

    So what exactly will TOD 3 do in terms of variety?

    Alright... check this shit out:

     

    -Negotiation/Interactions with the Monsters

    This probably will mostly determine your future in this Playthrough, so you'll be doing this a lot maybe... probably... or not.

    Monsters will have Traits of their own and you can decipher the Traits with your Scan Ability. You will also have access to the Talk Skill which let's you choose to interact with certain Monsters and try to do what they wish from you.

    Once you talk to them, you will be given choices on what to do. If the Choice is met with the Trait of the Monster (I.e. if the Monster Trait is Honest, tell the truth, or if it's Funny, tell a Joke, etc.), you two may get along and you will either receive prices, money, information, etc.

    There aren't JUST good traits though... there also will be bad and Neutral traits for Monsters as well.

    The bad traits are handled differently. You will have to fight the bad trait monsters, but of course not until you kill them, but until you hit them with certain skills. (I.e. if they have the trait Fearless, hit them with their weakness or if their trait is pessimistic, hit them with something they absorb, etc.)

    Neutral ones will be rare and will have HIGH rewards. They are regarded as very wise and will be difficult to convince. Their Traits will have special ways to convince them.

     

    Here are the Traits for each Group:

     

    GOOD Traits (Indicated by Blue Names)

    Honest = Tell the Truth

    Kind = Show Care

    Funny = Show your Funny Bone

    Optimistic = Show you see potential in the Future

     

    BAD Traits (Indicated by Red Names)

    Fearless = Hit their weakspot

    Confident = Hit them with whatever

    Pessimistic = Hit them with what they absorb

    Wild = Survive the Battle until he's had enough

     

    NEUTRAL Traits (Indicated by Green Names)

    Persuasive = ???

    Ambitious = ???

    Informed = ???

    Authoritative = ???

     

    -Keywords

    Remember Final Fantasy 2?

    No... not for the SNES but for the Famicom.

    Remember how that had a neat Keyword Mechanic and how almost every NPC reacted to the Keywords (To be Fair, most of their responses were "?" lol)

    I will implement that and have every NPC tell you something about every Keyword.

    You will receive a bunch of stuff if you say certain Keywords to certain NPCs.

     

    -Mini Games

    lol for those that just wanna fuck around. (I saw a Touhou sort of Script for VX... i might throw that in, just for lolz)

     

    -Side Stories

    Remember your Friends? That one Robot dude, that Abomination with just one eye and a Silent Puppet? Yeah... they were kinda there in the first 2 Games.

    I'll give them proper Stories in the 3rd, but only if you want to.

    This will be completely Optional for each route, but you will receive something for it, don't worry.

    I'll also not forget about the NPCs, i'll give each one a lil' bit of Backstory and Character.

     

    -5 Endings.

    5? Why not 3?

    Ok, so i kinda hated how Undertale handled the 3 different Routes with their endings.

    Like, let's say if you kill EVERY monster and like hit Metatton not hard enough you will get the neutral ending... that made sense...

     

    There will be more variation in the endings you approach.

    -True Pacifist Ending

    Never killing anything.

    -Pacifist Ending

    Never killing anything, but also not really helping out anyone.

    -Neutral Ending

    Kill some Monsters.

    -Mad Ending

    Killing a bit too much...

    -Death Ending

    Killing everyone.

     

    Is this going to be too much for me? Is this just a promise I will never keep? Am i a madman who has way too much Time?

    You tell me, i don't really know.

    Either way, i will inform you once i'm done with the Game.

     

    Cheers, fam! ~Shin

  15. Hey nosy blog reader~

     

    Just found my old concepts for one of my main charries from Tales of Eadris and wanted to give you all a laugh.

    This also shows my lack of creativity... ToE is a medievil-esque fantasy genre RPG.

     

     

    This was my first ever concept for Leina, a quiet girl. Very meh.

     

     

    _old__leina_by_takeo212_d88g5je_by_takeo212-da103yp.png

    _old__leina_by_techkit_d891ld6_by_takeo212_d8brs6g_by_takeo212-da103yg.png

    ^ ABOVE IMAGE DRAWN BY TECHKIT ON DEVIANTART ^

     

     

    Okay, yea, bad design haha.

     

     

    My next design was;

     

     

    _old__leinaref_by_takeo212_d8cqokf_by_takeo212-da103xz.png

     

     

    I like this design to be honest, but considering the game type/genre... this outfit doesn't really fit in...

    Also, can you tell I like Tomb Raider? xD

     

     

    My final design was;

     

     

    leina_farronwood_by_takeo212-da103ya.png

    leina_sketch__by_techkit_d97lql2_by_takeo212_d9bkd_by_takeo212-da103y6.png

    ^ ABOVE IMAGE ALSO DRAWN BY TECHKIT ^

     

     

     

    Her entire design changed, as well as her race. She originally was a simple human, but became an Elven hunter/thief.

     

     

    I also had a similar... phase... with Faeona. Her original design was stupid. I don't have the old file anymore, but trust me on it. She looks better now.

    Marina's design came so nicely. I got her design pretty well based for her first design and her final was just a detailing of the original. I love Marina <3

     

     

    What similar stages did you guys come across?

    Are you still developing your characters?

    What characters are you having most trouble with?

    Is there a favourite amongst your cast you just can't help but like more than the rest?

    Find out next time, on Dragon Ball Z!

  16. BY READING PASS THIS, YOU AGREE YOU ARE MATURE ENOUGH TO HANDLE THIS!

     

    Harmony is a new robot/doll that came out. It's main purpose is to be Sex Bot or is also referred to as Sex Doll. However, the company took it up a notch (well, maybe a lot of notches) as it now has artificial intelligence that's actually pretty cool.

     

    "Harmony smiles, blinks and frowns. She can hold a conversation, tell jokes and quote Shakespeare. She’ll remember your birthday, what you like to eat, and the names of your brothers and sisters. She can hold a conversation about music, movies and books. And of course, Harmony will have sex with you whenever you want."

     

    1492371671fqQKWfBkrQ_1_1.jpg

     

    Worlds-first-speaking-sex-doll-answers-questions-has-18-different-personalities-and-even-remembers-your-favourite-food.jpg

     

    This is how she looks. She will be on the market for $15,000.

    The reviews for it (from what I was told) are a lot of people who are...

    1. Guys not good in social skills

    2. Friendzoned guys

    3. Guys who gave up on dating

    4. Mentally Ill people

    5. People whose girlfriends/wives have died and they can't get over it

    6. Couples who want the fantasy threesome

    7. Lesbians

    8. Straight women who want to experiment

     

    I am for it; I feel if yo want it then you can have it. One complaint was that rapists would use this to cope with their "rapiness" (idk how to explain) which is kinda dumb because I would rather a rapist have sex with a robot/doll then doing it to an actual person.

     

    Another complaint was that it reinforces the idea that women are just there for their bodies. I will make the argument that people will always cherish relationships with other people, even other women (unless they are sexist). And you can't act like women don't have dildos. Yes, they don't talk, but if they did, I doubt that argument would be made again. Considering Harmony is really new, it will be time before they make a guy version.

     

    While on this argument, the add-on argument was that its the "perfect date" and men can pretend to care for human interaction with a woman. Let me tell you, Harmony could be everyone. What that tells me is that you can't hold a conversation, can't be talked to about music, movies, etc., you won't remember his birthday, you never remember what he likes to eat, and you won't ever have sex with him. Any boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband can be that. Heck, best friends have most of that except for sex (usually).

     

    Like anything, off-topic subjects always ends up somehow getting into everything. For example, the argument I just told you about came from a Feminist, so therefore, the Anti-Feminists came in. Part of what the Feminist said was that feminism is to show women don't need men. Anti-Feminists said "and men don't need women." Generally, the Anti-Feminists (including women) were saying "keep your dildos, you don't need men; do what you do. We will do what we do." And, I'm not going to lie, I don't even know what the Feminists are trying to do. Women got sex machines, vibrating dildos, squirting dildos, so I don't get how there is no outrage on that. *shrug*

    So there is a social and moral question to whether the Sex Bot is right. I believe, in both counts, that it is right and that it should be in the market. Now, I'm not saying put it in the bread section of Walgreens; if I had to guess, it'll be order online only because I don't see a store putting that in public with a sign like "Sex Doll for $15,000!."

     

    With all of that, are you for or against the idea of sex dolls to this extent? Explain why on the moral and social standard. Then, if your closest friend had one, how would you react? What will you say or do, and why?

  17. Lord Vectra
    Latest Entry

    One problem I have with certain people is when they wrongfully use the term, "Anti-Black."

     

    As a black man, I'm not against blacks. I go for the side of which I believe is right as should everyone. I am totally against riots, unnecessary behavior, and the killing of anyone no matter the race.

     

    Recently, there has been chaos within a particular college. I said their behavior was completely unacceptable. They cornered faculty members, threatened teachers, ganged up on school officials. The thing that triggered all of this was an email. Some black guy sent an email to create an event that was made to stop whites from coming to college on a particular day. This was sent to a white guy and he said he will not be participating because he views it as an act of oppression. He was branded racist and all this stuff started happening,

     

    I said their behavior was unacceptable. I was branded, by my own father, as Anti-Black. Apparently, I was against my race because I was against blacks who ran around a college terrorizing teachers and faculty members. Apparently, I don't being black anymore and I'm proud of it all because I say its unacceptable.

     

    I've been called Anti-Black, White-lover, and Cracker-lover. I don't like whites who hate blacks just like how I don't like blacks that hate whites. I don't side with blacks just because they are black. I side with who is right no matter the color. If a bunch of blacks rioted and killed 6 people, I'm against it. If a bunch of whites rioted and killed 6 people, I'm STILL against it. I don't differentiate my judgment based on skin color. If I am Anti-Black for saying the black rioters' behavior was unacceptable, then so be it (The blacks in the college didn't riot; I was just using riots as an example).

     

    So for anyone who is like me, and not just Anti-Black but anything else that has a similar effect, stand for what YOU believe in because, at the end of the day, you have to be happy with who you have become. If you are the only person on Earth that believes what you believe, then I advise you believe in it even if it means you are standing alone. Any great idea, any original idea, and especially any unpopular ideas need to backed up by you.

  18. May 31, 2017

    • Finished writing and coding the states (mostly inspired by Final Fantasy Tactics). We categorize all states into three: positive, negative and neutral states.
      • Positive states benefit the user.
        • Regen heals 12.5% of Maximum HP each turn. Characters with this status will be tinted bright cyan.
        • Protect reduces physical damage taken by 33% of the expected damage (the damage reduced is the expected damage, that is, the damage that is sent to the keyboard input window for modifying, not the damage after being modified by the input window)
        • Shell reduces magical damage taken by 33% of the expected damage.
        • Haste increases the speed of the character by 150%, re-arranging their turn in the game's internal action list order. Hastened characters animate faster.
        • Manaregen heals 12.5% of Maximum MP each turn. Characteres with this status will be tinted bright orange.
        • Manasave reduces MP cost of magics by 33%.
        • Manashield substitute MP instead of HP when taking damage, happens when MP > 1, (Bravery)% of the time.
        • Bubble doubles the character's maximum HP as long as the character is affiliated with this status.
        • Defending is automatically applied when you select Guard from the actor action menu. Reduces the expected damage from both physical and magical attacks.
        • Invisible will render your character unseen and prevent them from being targeted by the enemy. Aside of that, while invisible, any keystrokes sent to the keyboard input window will be considered correct, further supporting 100% action success rate while invisible.

        [*]Negative states harm the user.

        • KO basically is the state applied to anyone dead/knocked-out.
        • Poison decreases 12.5% HP at the end of each turn. The character sprite will be toned dark green.
        • Blind will make the text we need to input at the input window invisible (meaning that you'll be presented by a blank input window and have to figure out the keys by bashing keyboard letters).
        • Silence will hinder you from using magics, speechcraft, bardsong and basically anything that involves speaking, including ACTing.
        • Confusion will make your character act deliriously and attack anyone.
        • Sleep will hinder your character from getting a turn and increases the damage taken.
        • Paralysis will prevent your character from acting. His step animation will be stopped.
        • Stun is when a shock damage is applied and the character is temporarily stunned to the ground. The character's step animation will be stopped.
        • Vampire is also considered a death state. Once a vampire, the character will drain anyone's HP, either enemy or ally, and inflict them with the Vampire status. A party loses if all of the members are vampires. The character will be tinted pale magenta.
        • Charm allures your unit, forcing them to attack allies instead of enemies.
        • Oil doubles fire damage taken. The character will be tinted slightly black.
        • Stone means your character is petrified. A party loses if all of the members are petrified. The character will stop animating and stand still while its sprite is tinted completely gray.
        • Slow downs your movement speed to 50%. The character's walking animation will slow down.
        • (to be continued)

        [*]Neutral states neither benefit nor harm the user. [To be written tonight]

      [*]Re-wrote the weapons (some description errors and some imbalanced formulas). I've also added dual wielding capability to some projectile weapons (four crossbows, all types of handguns and sub-machine guns). Projectiles can only be dual-wielded with melee weapons or other projectiles of the same type (you can dual-wield knife and bowgun, but you can't dual wield bowgun and pistol). Furthermore, dual-wielding two projectile weapons will use two bullets (and more if you're using a machine pistol) each time you launch an attack.

      [*]Started concepting the armors.

  19. oichidan
    Latest Entry

    Alright, so... I know there are many scripts about weapon powers out there, but I wrote something for use within my project. Please feel free to use it the way you'd like to.

     

    Features:

    • A new parameter: Weapon Power (WP). Define each weapon and armor's 'weapon power' by note-tagging in the database.
    • Rewrite performance considerations by factoring the weapon power into the equation, meaning that when we select 'optimize', weapon power will also be considered.

    Here's the code. As always, insert it below the materials section above Main. Place it on top of scripts that will depend on 'wp'.

     

     

    # WEAPON POWERS# ------------------------ oichidan | 2017# Originally intended for use within #TMoJ RPG# Description# This script adds a new property 'wp' in the RPG::Weapon class. Each weapon and armor will now# have weapon power parameter specified by note-tagging in the database. The weapon power will also# be factored when optimizing equipment and can be used in damage equations as well.# This script is meant to be used in RPG Maker VX Ace.# Notetags (Place it in weapon and armors)# 1. <WEAPON POWER: xx>#    Sets the weapon/armor 'weapon power' to xx.#    We can also use weapon_power, WP, wp, WEP, wep, and weapon power, #    case insensitive, instead of WEAPON POWER in the notetag format above.# Usage# 1. Obtain the equipment by using (Game_Actor).equips[0] for the weapon, [1] for the second slot#    (if dual-wield), and other numbers you're using as to place your equipment slots.#    For example, in a damage equation: a.equips[0] refers to the topmost weapon equipped#    (in case you're using 'vanilla' RPG Maker VX Ace, that is, the equipment slots have yet to#     be modified).# 2. Reference the weapon power with the 'wp' or 'power' property.#    a.equips[0].wp refers to the weapon power equipped in the topmost equipment slot of the actor.#    REMINDER: the 'wp' parameter will be invalid if:#    - The weapon power has not been set#    - The actor is not equipping any weapons#    At such cases, exceptions will raise.# Note: The 'wp' property is read-write, meaning that you -can- change its value mid-game.# Here's the script. Feel free to use it the way you'd love to.# There are still errors here and there, but if this eventually comes of use, I'm glad.# You are not required to credit me at anyway, and you're free to use it in commercial games.# But if you do, I'd really appreciate it. Credit me as 'oichidan' or 'Aldian Hudaya',# and the copy of the game would be much appreciated, too.# Cheers! -oichidan | Aldian Hudaya# -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------module DataManager    class <<self; alias load_database_wp load_database; end    def self.load_database      load_database_wp      load_notetags_wp    end        def self.load_notetags_wp      for weapon in $data_weapons        next if weapon.nil?        weapon.load_notetag_wp      end      for armor in $data_armors        next if armor.nil?        armor.load_notetag_wp      end    end      endclass RPG::Weapon < RPG::EquipItem  attr_accessor :wp  alias :power :wp    def load_notetag_wp    wep = 0    self.note.split(/[\r\n]+/).each { |line|      case line        when /<(:WEAPON_POWER|weapon_power|WP|wp|WEP|wep|WEAPON POWER|weapon power):[ ](\d+)>/i          wep = $2.to_i          @wp = wep      end    }  end    # Overwrite: Performance  def performance    self.wp + params[2] + params[4] + params.inject(0) {|r, v| r += v}  end  endclass RPG::Armor < RPG::EquipItem  attr_accessor :wp  alias :power :wp  def load_notetag_wp    wep = 0    self.note.split(/[\r\n]+/).each { |line|      case line        when /<(:WEAPON_POWER|weapon_power|WP|wp|WEP|wep|WEAPON POWER|weapon power):[ ](\d+)>/i          wep = $2.to_i          @wp = wep      end    }  end    # Overwrite: Performance  def performance    self.wp + params[0] + params[1] + params[3] + params.inject(0) {|r, v| r += v}  endend

     

     

     

    Some damage formulas created by using weapon power (though creativity -is- limitless):

     

    # Some damage formulas using the 'wp' property and the weapon power script. # Inspired heavily by Final Fantasy Tactics: War of The Lions (Square Enix).# Place the damage formula below in the damage formula textbox in the database.# Reminder: - Set the weapon power for each weapon accordingly.# There are many a thousand ways or more to implement different skills for different weapons,# or at least different formula for different kinds of weapon attacks. The formulas presented# below are merely things that might inspire you in creating damage formulas that differs for each# weapon.# For the other hand in a dual-wield weapon, a.equips[0] becomes a.equips[1].# KNIFE, LONGBOW(a.atk + a.agi) / 2 * a.equips[0].wp# SWORD, CROSSBOWa.atk * a.equips[0].wp# FLAIL, AXErand(a.atk) * a.equips[0].wp # rand(x) means to generate a random number from 0 to x.# NINJATOa.agi * a.equips[0].wp# STAFFa.mat * a.equips[0].wp# PISTOLa.equips[0].wp**2 # The same as a.equips[0].wp * a.equips[0].wp# BOOK(a.mat + a.atk) / 2 * a.equips[0].wp# The possibilities are limitless! 

     

     

     

    The comments box below are open for further discussions. Ideas, suggestions, critiques and feedback are always welcome! <3

  20. TarqinaPearTree
    Latest Entry

    I've been posting a bit about baking recently so here's some pics of the goodies.

     

    These are the first attempt.The welshcakes came out a little burned obv T.T but everything tasted pretty good.

    xNkTb42.jpg

     

    These are the second batch of shortbread. Had a little dough left over hence the Pacman shaped one.

    Ni28WEj.jpg

     

    These were the cookes that became brownies. To make them the soft chewy kind I used brown sugar and self-raising flour, but yeah, came out too big.

    bFwqsa6.jpgoooCOON.jpg

     

    And these are the last things I baked. A second batch of welsh cakes that came out looking a lot better than the first.

    QqBcdeK.jpg

  21. Been a while, I think the following topic is actually quite timeless since sadly it will keep happening. Let me tell you...

     

     

     

    Why i Hate: Things shutting down

     

    Not a very crystal clear title i agree but you'll get the point. Lets start with something recent, the Nintendo Switch is released now and along with it a new Online Service is released, what that means is that the already existing Online service for the Nintendo Wii U and/or probably the Nintendo 3DS is different and not supported on the Switch but here's the catch. Now with the new service inbound the old service is endangered, meaning that god knows how long will it take till they shut it down and then you will no longer be able to do, well anything online really. "Wait a minute, how are you so certain that they will shut down these online services" Remember Nintendo WI-FI? Well its been dead for quite a while although this has more to do with Gamespy shutting down but hey, same thing one day it was simply killed off without warning or intention of bringing in an alternative.

     

    So why would this happen? Because sadly this is how the console world works nowdays. If you dont have the latest one, you're dead in the water and there's nothing you can do about it. Its not just a console thing however. Entire games or their multiplayer components for any platform get shut down at any given time without any feedback to the community as to why this has happen and no alternatives from the developer arise. One of the worst offenders are games that rely entirely on multiplayer, one day they shut down and then thats it, you can never actually play these games again not only that, but you immediately lose all the value you made from this game. How? You paid good money for this game but ooops you cannot play it anymore, sucks to be you. Thats like getting a brand new car, driving it for 2 years but then the car manufacturer comes to you and says "Ya know what, we dont care about this car anymore so we're taking its engine and leave the rest to you, have fun" So you end up with literally nothing of value to you only and since there's no tools or even documentation as to how its engine was made, there's not way to bring it back up and running only because someone thought it was a good idea to shut down a multiplayer only game.

     

    "Now now, you're being unreasonable. Sometimes due to financing issues games and/or services have to be shut down"

     

    Fair enough, but why not give certain tools or features to your playerbase in order to still have have access to multiplayer or even the entire game? Some developers do that and thats pretty good while others.... uhhhh.....

     

    All im saying is that shutting down games or online features sucks. I mean hell, you pay with actual money for something to own forever but one day it just disappears? Thats a straight out fraud. Again the right thing to do is keep servers alive or at least give people the power to make dedicated servers or something. Whats your take on the subject?

  22. Hello all,

    Just thought that I would share a bit about my game development experience in these past 2.5 years to those that are willing to listen. Hopefully someone finds this interesting or helpful.

    2.5 years ago, I had an ambitious goal to make one of my stories come to life. As a programmer, making a video game had always been a dream of mine and I thought what better time to make a game than now? I knew from the beginning it was going to be a difficult journey, so I researched all I could at first before fully committing to the project. Even with all the research, there were numerous factors I did not foresee and things I wish I had taken into account.

    After finishing the basic framework and refining the game mechanics, I gathered several talented friends and pitched them my idea. Despite the small budget, we had to work with, everyone was on board. Development was progressing and I started seeing my dreams become reality. Unfortunately, my team members begin to lose interest as time progresses. This was when I learned the importance of team morale and the difficulty of commitment. There was a period of time when I was the only person working on the project, and had wanted to quit several times myself. But then, I realized I have too much attachment to my project so I continued to persevere and it was well worth it. Eventually, developing the game became an enjoyable experience rather than a struggle. The whole process opened my eyes It broadened my experience in not only coding and debugging, but also art, sound design, and how to effectively convey mood through the environment. I became more independent, having to take on multiple roles because the team spirit we had was just not there anymore.

    I did not have a concrete road to follow, but I knew that if I wanted to see this project through to the end, I had to get my team back on board. Team management and sustaining everyone’s motivation took a lot more out of me than I expected, but the hard work paid off. I eventually managed to finish a “skeleton†version of the game and rekindled the spirit of the core members on the team. With everyone back together, we established a clearer direction to the game and it really helped align everyone’s vision. As we progressed, I realized how limited our resources really were. Our team was too small, and we really needed more experts in different fields. This was when I learned another valuable lesson in game development. Sometimes, reaching out for help and being willing to pay for quality work can go a long way. I started to pay for quality work from several different artists and the impact it had was beyond my expectations. After seeing how much the art affected the whole game, I became more willing to save a little more of my paycheck to invest in the game.

    There were rough patches along the road, but we managed to sew most of the game together and I’m very proud to say that the game is nearing 100% completion!

    Reflecting back on the experience, I really wish I spent more time finding the right motivation for each individual on the team to continue with the project early on. This was a critical mistake and it set us back more than I’m willing to admit. I also wish I spent more time figuring out the best quality of each team member and better utilized their talents from the beginning. Due to my lack of experience in game development, I spent a lot of time focusing on improving my knowledge, but neglected the team in the process. Even so, I’m very content with the state that the game is at today and I couldn’t have done it without the hard work and perseverance of my team. A word of advice to anyone attempting to create an indie game with a small group: Be a team, be willing to spend on quality, and be patient.

    Whether the game is successful or not, the work we have done so far has definitely been worth the effort. Seeing an idea come to life is one of the most satisfying rewards. I’m uncertain where the game will go from here, but I am excited to take the next step to really getting our game out there.

    Finally, I leave you all with a list of Dos and Don’ts that I learned from my experience. Hopefully it can help someone.

    Do:

    • Use an existing game engine, it will save a lot of time.
    • Research up on games with the same genre and study them to get ideas.
    • Write up a story/gameplay script and go over it with your team to compromise on a vision before jumping into development.
    • Hold multiple sessions with the team in gathering feedback, ideas and criticisms.
    • Have a test run of the game often to find bugs and glitches.
    • When fixing problems, always strive to fix it fully, never give up on a problem just because it is difficult.
    • Always think of the players and how much fun they will have playing the game. Having a good GUI is very important.
    • Be willing to spend a bit of money if you can for quality work. The impact is surprising.
    • Invest time in fueling the team spirit. Your team is everything.

    Don’t:

    • Throw away artworks that artists draw for you, be resourceful.
    • Depend too much on others to help you all the time, you will be on your own sometimes.
    • Give up on your team members, each have quality talents that need to be utilized correctly.
    • Give up on yourself, quality work requires perseverance.
    • Rush the game and release an unfinished product. It is better to take it slow and deliver something with more quality.

     

    For those interested, check out our game project at: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=887509287

  23. I have been continuing working on graphics for commissions, my own game "CHRONICLES OF HONOR - Age of Heroes", but I have continued my work on Haunted Hills. I have added more character types to my game, other than just women who work the streets to expand the reality of being in that situation. There are people of various levels of risk at being a victimized and how likely they are to be noticed being missing. The one thing that will not be in my game, as it doesn't fit the theme is that this game will not have any male characters in it. I am actually planning on having men in the next game, but this game or any game does not have any romance in it.

     

    Okay, so the new characters are as following, but are currently not named or place holders for now.

     

    Diane - A woman, who served in the army, but due to nightmares that she suffers from and an addiction to drugs has led her to losing her job and house. Her family hasn't seen her in years and mostly, she pan handles to get money for whatever she needs. She goes to the center, once or twice a week to get her money from an ex-spouse who isn't aware of her hardships or if he does, he doesn't seem to care.

    VICE: Drugs, alcohol

    Strengths: Her strength is that she knows quite a bit about fighting, when not high on something or drinking.

    Weaknesses: She can be cruel, fights when on drugs or drunk, and fights very suddenly.

    Uncertain: It is believed that she might have PTSD, but other people just think that she's hiding a deep pain inside that she doesn't like to talk about.

     

    Rachel - A runaway, who likes to hang out at the beach and is apart of a band called the 'Death Angels' and ran away from home, away from her Catholic family to become a big star. Death Angels is mostly an underground band right now, but she she trying to get it into the big stage. She and her band live in a single apartment and work part time jobs. The sad thing is that she swears that her band is going to find her at any time and that they're going to make it big.

    Vice: Seems pretty normal, actually

    Strengths: Kind and sweet, with a bit of sass to go along with it.

    Weaknesses: She actually can say one thing, and say another thing to someone else. She can turn on you in an instant.

    Uncertain: Does she have a band or is there something wrong with seemingly average girl that doesn't fit in with the group of woman whose activities all involve the street in some way.

     

    Michelle - Another woman, who has lots in common with Diane in that they are both addicted to drugs, only Michelle has turned away from drugs when she got pregnant with her twins. She still works the streets to earn money for college and lives with a three other women in the same situation. She has been beaten, robbed and raped (Two times in the last five years), but only once when she was working as a prostitute. She hasn't been arrested, since she had her children, but has been fined and ticketed over the years.

    Vice: None, only a few cigs and maybe a drink from time to time

    Strengths: She is fierce, determined and it is one of the reasons that she has survived over the last year in this horrible place. There is a humanity about her, as she tries to survive the best that she can without killing anyone and will not attack first. Although, she doesn't trust people enough to turn her back on them, either.

    Weaknesses: Her lack of trust is what is her biggest problem, as she has seen women with PIMPS who are beaten and even, murdered at the hands of their pimps.

     

    Candy - (real name not known) - She is a former exotic dancer, who burnt her bridges, because she was underaged when she started and even, did porn underaged, too. Now, she is 19 years old, and recently turned to prostitution to earn money. She has a real hatred of men, as it is believed she was molested by her father, uncle or close family member. She has been arrested for stabbing a man, even arrested for assault, but she claims that they were trying to attack her, so she defended herself.

    Vice: None known

    Strengths: None known

    Weakness: No one can get close to her to find out what her strengths or weaknesses are, as she apparently doesn't trust anyone.

     

    ( =^_^= ) My inspiration still is to have a group of people that people seemingly think deserve their fate and me, I am saying that this women have stories, lives and the only thing that they deserve is that they should be safe any where. No one should be forgotten, not even if they are doing things that they shouldn't or things you disagree with. I wanted to create a story with a group of women, facing a horrible situation where you can, either pull together as a group or doing the wrong things. This game has three endings, a good ending, a neutral ending and a really bad ending, and I might create a secret ending... I am still trying to figure out how to have a better way of creating the endings.

     

    Those are my new characters, but as usual, there is something more going on in this city. I do hope that people will, at least, give it a try. I am going to be selling it for $5.00, in hopes of making enough money for a new computer tower, so that's my ultimate goal. I will say this, though, none of my characters, even people who are the antagonists are throw away characters and each has/had a life, feeling and reasons for doing what they are doing. In the first game, I was making for a contest, I was pushing myself to get it done, because I was trying to make a short game and in a short amount of time. If I had been more honest with myself I would have decided that this game isn't going to be the right game for that contest and taken more time to get it finished.

     

    I left things out of the game that should have been in there, if I had more time that is. This time is going to be very different and I am going to have more interaction with the characters. Jason, the antagonist isn't going to be seen in this game and it isn't even certain if he is in the city. Carol, the woman that he is looking for and believes that he finally found is his wife or girlfriend. It is his intention or their relationship that you will discover as you search your way through the city and avoid traps..