This week it's time for another random topic : Encounters, expecially of the random kind. Bosses and other scripted encounters are a whole different kettle.
Warning : Following is a heavilly opinionated piece. The points put forward here are personal opinion born from
personal experience as both an avid RPG player, both jRPG and aRPGs, and a tabletop Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master.
First, why do I use random encounters in my jRPG, as opposed to on map random encounters or fully handcrafted non-respawning encounters?
There are some basic reasons why I do it :
1. It's Fast and Easy
2. It's Flexible and Robust
Reasons other people think why I shouldn't or did do it :
1. Not Realistic/Outdated
4. Too Random/Dissalows skilllful play/ Interaction
Now for a little elaboration on these points :
Let's admit it, it is fast, a set and done method. I make some enemies, an encounter list, paint some encounter zones if I'm feeling fancy,
and I'm done. I can churn out a lot of content in a short mount of time, it is 90 % realy streamlined database work, if you have your enemy stats already layed out.
Not having to bother with every encounter, just making sure I have about a target number of encounters per area on a
mildly suboptimal run through, which most beginners will be doing on their first runaround, alllows me to be more productive as the one man team I am.
It makes playtesting way way easier, I can just switch them on and off to my liking. It also makes mapbuilding easier, not having to account for enemy terrain
passability for roving encounters, or an enemy getting stuck and blocking something, wether it be an NPC, a switch or a doorway. I don't have to put up 20 respawn timers on every map.
I often do entire redesigns of certain areas. Random encounters allow me to at least reuse my encounters, freeing up time for the other parts of the redesign.
Now, to discuss some of the downsides :
1. Unrealistic and Outdated
As a short asside, when people use "realism" in a video game, often they mean verisimilitude or appearing real within it's own work.
We accept a lot of things in video games, aka. willing suspension of disbeleief, but then other things that are
just as unrealistic seem to jar us out of it. As a designer, I think we should strive not to be realistic, but just
not to break that willing suspension of disbelief, not introducing elements that we think "do not belong there" and thus do not seem real.
This means many genre conventions, even though they are outdated, are tolerated within their genres, because they seem to belong there.
Things such as ridiculous jumping distances in Mario, or the health regeneration in shooters, the speed boost from drifting in certain racing games. They are in a vacuum totally unrealistic, but because they are part of the genre, we accept them.
As thus I do not see random, instanced, encounters as an absolute problem in top down 32-bit jRPG's, while they would totally seem out of left field in for example Call of Duty, or Skyrim.
Where some might see lazyness, I see efficiency. If I had the time, I would personally and lovingly craft every single encounter the players have, but alas, I am a one man team attempting a game with over 100 dungeons.
Productivity is key here. My personal experience as a D&D dungeon master has taught me much here. It is a way more efficient use of my time to spend 50 hours designing about 20 robust, interesting reuseable encounter templates that
I can for example fill with Brute #A,B, spellcaster C, Healer D and environmental hazard E, slap some paint on the wall and call it finished in 5 minutes, than lovingly spend 2 hours crafting each encounter,
only to have the players trash it in 2 turns, or completely miss or circumvent it. This moves more work to preproduction, but once set up, allows for a lot of things to be done rather fast.
These encounter templates will be explained further later on in my rant/article.
3. Too Frustrating/Frequent/Repetitive
This most often has to do with 3 things : Encounters are too frequent, or they are present in areas where they should not be, like complex puzzle areas, or they are formulaic and boring.
I find that these are both adequately solvable without having to go to map or event based encounters.
The important element is that of player control. He has to be able to , through choice, influence encounter rates, I find. In my game this is a rudimentary stealth system and certain weapons allowing for surprise attacks more often.
4. No Skill involved.
This one I'm going to split up into 2 parts : Avoiding encounters/Pre-emptive strikes and preparation.
The wandering of enemies on the map does give the illusion that the player he can skillfully avoid the encounter,
or in some systems (like the Persona Series) hit the enemy before it hits them and get an advantage in combat.
While in theory this works nicely, in practice this comes down to either it being too easy, and you always evading/suprising the enemy,
or being too hard, in which case, why have bothered. I try and reach the same effect by correct equipment choice and actions in combat.
A player that wants to be stealthy can try to be so, but I don't have to put every enemy on the map, Win-Win.
The other comes down to preparation, thinking that if I can see the enemy/encounter (if they have unique map sprites per enemy type), I can prepare for it.
Now there are RPG's that go heavily of off this model, like the Baldur's Gate series, where each resource is unique, each spell is single use,
and encounters are often save reload retry heavy, but for a standard jRPG, with a flexible, often MP based resource system, I just see a frustrated player spending 5 minutes in his inventory, specifically preparing for every encounter he meets.
For flexible resource systems (MP-Based) I think it is more fun if the player does not know when he is going to encounter what, in the short term, forcing him to improvise from turn to turn, while still allowing for mid-to-long term planning.
What I want them to think :"This cave has bats and snakes, I 'll take my anti-bat weapons and anti-snake ones. Better have a nice mix of both. In the encounters : Hmm, snakes, I should keep him healing poison, while the guy with the anti-snake goes to town on them, and the rest takes down the snake handler"
What I do not want : " The next encounters looks like snakes, everybody put your anti-snake gear on, next encounter is bats, better take off the anti snake, and put on the anti-bat, repeat for every encounter."
One I feel leads to more dynamic play, the other leads to menu overload. That said, like I told you, there are series where this is appropriate, I just don't think it is in my game.
Now after my too long rant defending why I'm using random encounters, Let me explain what I am doing with them.
First of all, all of my enemies are based upon a blueprint of what a monster of their role should look like in combat, like brute, healer, artillery, ...
So my orks are lvl 9 brutes, my flame imp is a lvl 17 artillery, ... (More on the specifics of this in a following article).
Short summary :
Skirmisher : Base
Brute : Low Def, High damage
Soldier : High Def, Medium Damage
Elite : Counts as 2 enemies
Solo : Counts as 4 enemies
Artillery : Multi-target damage
Buffer/debuffer: Raise/Lower stats
Controlers : Take control away from player (stun, sleep, silence, ...)
Summoner : Does nothing for multiple turns then casts high damage spell or summons other enemy.
Sniper: Heavy Single target Damage, with set-up or wind-up turn(s)
Next, I spend time designing Encounter templates.
An encounter template is like an ingredient list, listing all the things that are in the encounter, centered around a central challenge
beyond just kill all the enemies, requiring the player to think how to best do this.
Once you have these, you can pick n mix with enemies you have, and voila, you have an enormous amount of quickly generated content.
This will be clearer with some examples, so here, have some examples:
1. The broodmother.
Enemies: Elite Soldier, and minions.
Challenge: Kill the broodmother, while also killing all the minions she spawns turn by turn.
Abilities required : Multi-target skill, high damage single target
2. Beauty and the beast
Enemies: Solo/ELite Brute or summoner and 1/2 healers/Buffers
Challenge: Keeping one half occupied while you deal with the other half.
Required Ability: Debuff, Stuns or Spike damage
3. X marks the spot
Enemies : 1-2 Debuffer and 3 Snipers.
Enemy AI: Focus Fire
Challenge: Keep the debuff off the targeteted character long enough to kill either the debuffer or the snipers first.
Required Ability : Debuff remover/ Bufffer
4. Artillery Misery
Enemies : 3-4 Artillery, each with a different Element.
Challenge: Stay alive long enough to kill the enemies
Required Ability : Intense healing, elemental resistances
5. Spikey Portal
Enemies: 3 Skirmishers, 1 Summoner
Challenge: Kill the summoner before he summons something nasty that might be a total party wipe, while also not ignoring the other enemies chipping at your health.
Required ability : Spikey Single target Damage, Medium multi-target damage.
6. Sands of time
Enemies : 2 controlers ,a healer and a damaging environmental effect.
Challenge : Kill the enemies before they can just stun all of you and let the environment finish you off.
Required abilities : Spikey Damage, stunbreaking, environmental damage negation.
7. Palace of mirrors
Enemies : 4-6 Brutes, with wildly different immmunities and weaknesses, absorbances and reflects
Challenge : Kill them all with AoE spells, using the correct spells in the correct sequence.
Required abilities : Multiple AoE Spells of multiple elements
8. Down with the King
Enemy : Solo enemy that begins combat with a series of buffs.
Challenge: Stack your debuffs correctly, so you both survive and damage him enough before he reapplies these buffs.
Required Abilities : Spikey Damage, debuffer, Healer.
9. The bubble pop
Enemies : 2 Skirmishers and 2 Debuffers
Challenge : Reapply a buff that is needed for survival (for example: water breathing), while still killing the enemies.
Required abilities : Reapplying the survival skill in combat.
10. The breather
Enemy : 2 Skirmishers
Challenge : None, just a breather
Each and every one of these can be filled in with level apropriate enemies and quickly populate a dungeon , without giving the feeling that the encounters are identical.
Now as a bonus point, you are allowing the player to build a repertoire to handle similar encounters once he sees patterns.
I try not to use more then seven different enemies in one dungeon , but even then , that still gives a whole lot of gameplay.
Deer! (Hi there!) I have add more CG for scene like
And I add some animated CG too! the first animated CG is
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)
One week later, one more topic to talk about. Sorry in advance, it got a bit long.
This week I'm going to zoom out a bit and explain the general structure of my game.
This will be a mechanics based article, the story itself will be kept a surprise for the actual game, so it might seem a tad dry, but it does keep the article focussed.
For reference, when I say a dungeon in this post, I mean any Isolated space, with enemy encounters, with a clear beginning and end. They might be a slums district, a volcano, or a space station.
When I say an ability or skill, I mean one that can affect the environment ( push boulders, nullify blizzards, ...).
It is divided into 5 chapters:
Chapter 1: Intro (lvl 1-10)
Chapter 2: Gathering the team. (lvl 11-25)
Chapter 3: Seeking for power (lvl 26-50)
Chapter 4: Seeking perfection (lvl 51-90)
Chapter 5: Finale (lvl 91-100)
The first chapter is spent as kind of a mini version of the whole game, introducing all the aspects I will be using.
Because there is no use in waiting for halfway through the game to introduce core elements.
This is something I gleaned from a design motto they use in Magic,the gathering :”If your theme is not at common it is not your theme. “
Translating for video games : if a mechanic is only introduced halfway, or used sparingly, can you really call it the cornerstone of your game? FFXIII suffered from this enormously i found.
So my intro will have you gathering team members, quickly switching PoV's in dungeons, introduce quickly the 3 main realms of my game, and will culminate in a small scale 2 party jailbreak.
Except for the first and last chapter, each chapter consists of a series of dungeons,
organised by level into groups of 2 to 4, but seperated by physical location. Each group will usually have a dungeon in each realm. The realms are Fantasy, Sci-fi and Action ( not real names, just placeholders for a general idea and tone).
Each dungeon in a group gives physical acces to a dungeon one group up, and
gives a character or ability needed to traverse a different dungeon one group up.
So for example, the first group of dungeons is (lvl 11-13) :
Wizards tower, Dictators palace, and the aztec pyramid.
The group 2 dungeons (lvl 14-15) are the Supersoldier labs, and the Volcano.
Completing the aztec temple gives acces to the volcano level, but you still need
the ice mage to cool certain lava parts, which you recruit in the SciFi-Dictator's palace.
Finishing the Sci-fi dictator level unlocks the supersoldier lab dungeon,
but you need the magic-draining character to nullify the energy fields,
which you can find in the wizard's tower, and so on.
Now when I say physically unlock a dungeon , this usually means you get information on the location of the next dungeon, or it might literally mean that dungeon is on the other side of this one.
The information on the next dungeon will usually include enough info to know what or who to bring to the next dungeon. This will be consultable through some sort of adapted quest log system.
Two small addendums :
1. you make your party when entering a dungeon, and the maximum party size is 4.
2. Xp is not shared, but the away team gains xp equal to a full dungeons' worth upon completion as it is considered to be doing something useful while you are in the dungeon. (Fending off pursuers, gathering intel on something, ...).
That means you can't just have 4 characters worth of gear, because the away team might get some quick cut-away segments, requiring you to do some battles, or a small set-piece.
Each group of dungeons is balanced around a central level, with each dungeon raising the characters level by about 1 or 2, determined by the level range and size of the group, with a lot of the xp being bound up in the end of dungeon boss.
This ensures that each new set represents a difficulty spike, while still allowing some sequence breaking.
As an example the 11-13 dungeons are balanced around level 12.
So a character that just starts chapter 2, being lvl 11, will find the first dungeon he does a little harder then average (11vs12), and the third one he does quite a lot easier (13vs12).
If the player really wanted to, he could skip a dungeon and go and do a group 2 dungeon (13vs14.5). The game will however eventually require him to go back and do the third dungeon,because eventually he will need the location and the character/ability it opens up.
Now, with the non linear acquisition of characters, you might imagine cutscenes being a mess.
I plan on doing a full blog on this topic later, so for now, just know it is something I still need to hammer out.
Now, back to my game structure.
After a set level of dungeon groups, eventually the final dungeon of that chapter is unlocked, requiring all of the then available characters to have been obtained.
These I intend to be the big setpieces, with a multi-party assault with multiple parties each doing their part.
By the time you start the first one, you will have acces to about 20 characters, so that means about 5 different parties, each doing their part.
These might be :
1. The home team, keeping the escape vessel safe
2. A strategic support team, attacking key points ( taking out snipers, alarm blowers,...)
3. A stealth team, stealing passwords to unlock certain doors
4. The main team
5. The cavalry in case something goes south for any of the other teams.
The smaller dungeons will have this too, but not on this scale, mostly a quick splitting up and reconvening.
Once again, more specifics are for a later blog, as this one is still about the big game structure.
After having acquired nearly all characters by lv 25, and having finished the big chapter ending dungeon, Chapter 3 starts.
Here dungeons will be unlocked by having the right abilities, and the right team member, as each dungeon is attuned to one specific party member. You still have to physically reach them by completing other dungeons.
So the party will be the main character, the attuned character and a character there for his ability, with one additional character being free choice.
During each one, the attuned character gains a new ability.
For example, we want to empower the lightning mage to become a lightning/water mage, able to call a storm to stop fires, but the dungeon is an underwater temple,
necessitating bringing the wind mage long to create an air bubble.
Once again , this chapter climaxes in a multi party siege of the chapter ending dungeon.
In chapter 4, the gloves come off.
Like in chapter 2 and 3 there is a linked sequence of dungeons, with rising levels, but they will require ever more arcane requirements, often requiring 2 parties with each a specific set of abilities.
Now, this might seem like it really restricts player choice, but as the previous chapter was spent getting each character a second ability,
there will be, by design multiple correct solutions. Some abilities might also be substituted by others.
Once again, there will be an ability earned per dungeon completed, allowing further dungeons to be attempted.
An example of this in practice : There is a polar research station that requires a team to enter some ice caves, and a team to get into the command HQ.
The ice cave team requires : someone with fire powers to melt ice boulders, someone who can nullify the biting cold magical blizzard, either through a heat aura, a regenerative aura to nullify the damage,
or wind powers to stop the blizzard. The other team needs a stealth person , and at least someone who can overload security circuits, control electronics, or someone who can absorb energy barriers.
As the main purpose of the dungeon is to empower the ice mage, she too has to come with either team A or B, as these reconvene to actually defeat the boss, with a party of 4 chosen from those 8.
There might be some cutbacks to the home team fighting of yeti's from assaulting the ship.
Once all the abilities are achieved, chapter 5 can commence.
Chapter 5 is the big final dungeon, testing everything learned up to that point, a multi stage dungeon requiring multiple party formations to split, reconverge, and finally face the big bad in a 5-way boss battle.
That burger looks very happy to see you, I'm sure he won't mind if you take a bite out of him!
This is a sketch of the inside of Burger Blip, featuring Bo and Sadie. For now, I won't be posting any pictures of BB, but I have indeed finished the BB map and the character sprites that are within it. I just need to fix the lighting a little!
Emotions are a very fragile core of our very hearts, but they can also become the strongest weapons if wielded properly. To watch friendships blossom, to have true love and friendship come to life, to have people rely on you and you rely on other people...these are all emotions central to the human heart, and why friendship is such a critical aspect in our lives and why it should never be taken for granted. 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.
Emotions. They are the basis of a human heart. And Blue Reflection is a compelling story following three girls who help those in their school, Hoshinomiya High School, overcome their emotions and let them fight on. Because I want you all to experience the story the same way I did, sit down in your chair, your bed, or wherever you are currently at right now, close out of other distractions...and put this following song on repeat and listen closely.
Blue Reflection follows a girl named Hinako Shirai, a first-year student attending Hoshinomiya High School. When the game starts up, you see her in a very solemn and very lonely state. Hinako originally before was the famous star of a ballet school, almost at the top of her class, but due to an unfortunate injury concerning her knee during ballet class, she would never be able to dance again. After the accident, she switched schools and was made to live a "regular life", as a schoolgoer. She was put into the 1-A Regular Class of Hoshinomiya High School, which has a less strict curriculum than the Special Class, but more about that later.
Hinako shortly thereafter runs into another girl, Sanae Nishida, who originally was in the same grade as Hinako in their previous school, has also transferred to Hoshinomiya to work on her cooking. The two bump into each other in the hallway, and Sanae is simply ecstatic. However, this triggers a change in the atmosphere...a side effect of uncontrolled emotions called "rampancy".
Hinako becomes teleported to this strange world thereafter with lots of flowers around and a very calming and serene atmosphere. However, a strange entity on the other side of the riverbank, a Demon, as it is called in the game, attacks Hinako and forces her into the river. Hinako drifts downward to a nearby spot, crawls out, and is surprised. However then, she hears two voices in her head that allow her to give her the power to eliminate the Demon. The two girls, Yuzu, and Lime, give Hinako the power of the Reflector: the power to balance human emotions through kindness and understanding.
After completing the dungeon, Sanae returns to her normal state, still admiring Hinako, but in a much less over the top way. The next day, Yuzu and Lime appear as classmates of Hinako's, with the intention of collecting Fragments, a collective of human emotions, to bolster the Reflector's power. The game then becomes about the three girls, Hinako, Yuzu, and Lime, as they collect Fragments through the Reflector's power in order to defeat the most menacing of foes in the world: Sephirot.
Along the way, you'll find more girls around the high school, such as Sarasa Morikawa, who originally looked up to Hinako as a rival in ballet and aspired to be everything she was, Rin Sanada, a tennis ace with a perfect record, who is amazing at cooking and loves older men (personally, my favorite girl), Ako Ichinose, a news reporter/broadcaster who wants to make friends through videos and sharing her upbeat personality, Shihori Sugamoto, who is a pervert and we don't associate with her, Chihiro Inoue, a cute girl who uses her arts and crafts to charm and make friends with everyone, Fumio Taya, a musical prodigy who works tirelessly to become the best musician, Kei Nariyama, a high school basketball star with pizzazz in sports, Kaori Mitsui, a gamer girl who was originally on the track team, along with Rika Yoshimura, track star who wants to break out of the "normal" nomenclature, Yuri Saiki, a genius girl who is emotionless and the toughest nut to crack, and Mao Ninagawa, a famous actress with dual personalities. Each of these characters brings so much life to the game and makes each character shine as though they were really alive, and not just 2D models in a game.
Eventually, emotions within the real world start to become more complex. Things start blending together and human become harder to understand for Hinako as she tries to fight her way to save her friends' hearts. Fear can spill into sorrow, happiness can spill into anger, anger can spill into sorrow, and everything just...comes together so well. The story was so amazing from beginning to end, as we see Hinako fight for what she believes in: her friends, her compassion, and her sense of conviction in doing the right thing. There are many beautiful moments throughout the story that can occur in every day life, ranging from dealing with troubled teenagers spouting rumours about you over the Internet, dealing with a high-class versus low-class daughter who can't follow their dreams, splitting from the track and field team due to not having confidence, not having someone to look up to in your darkest hour, and so on.
Through the collection of many Fragments, Sephirot appear to attack the school, and as is your job as a Reflector, it is your duty to reflect them off. However, later on, you get the ability to kill them outright anyway, which kind of makes the first half of the game just plot armor for Hinako. Which is one of the things I kinda didn't like about the game, personally. I would have rather they built up the power to completely annihilate Sephirot in the first place rather than it fall victim to plot convenience, but that's just being very nitpicky of me.
Also, Sephirot look fucking cool.
As you fight and fight, you discover that the "dungeons" you can go to is actually the basis of the human conscience and emotion. Now, I'm gonna draw a parallel to Persona 5 for a second here, since this game has taken a lot of inspiration from that game. This game has a place called "The Common", the place you go to to find Fragments and fight Demons in order to increase your power. Persona 5 has a place called "Mementos", the place you go to to find Quests and fight Personas in order to increase your power. Seem familiar?
Yeah, this game is a lot like Persona 5 in a lot of ways, where emotion and friendships are your quick ways to victory. However, I will say one thing, though. The two games are completely worlds apart. If we were to compare the two games as pizzas, for example, Persona would be a sausage and pepperoni extra large pizza with stuffed crust and a side of cheesy garlic bread. Blue Reflection would be a nice Hawaiian pizza with a side of bread sticks. Simple, but MUCH more casual than Persona 5. Streamlined in such a fashion that makes it feel like you aren't stressed for time trying to do the things you love and balance it out with fighting Sephirot.
Now I'm hungry.
As you play along, you'll discover the secret of the two young girls, Yuzu and Lime, who they really are, and why they chose Hinako as the source of the Reflector's power. Turns out, Yuzu and Lime are already dead. In a freak experimental accident gone wrong (totally not senor plot convenience, right?), a previous Sephirot wanted to try and merge The Common and the human world together, but failed. Yuzu and Lime were the result of that experiment gone wrong. However, their souls remain in The Common, but their actual identities are masked and no one knows who they are unless they have specifically come into contact with Hinako first, and given a ring to show that they are friends. By the way, if I ever got a ring from being friends with a girl, I'd marry her.
Then, the Sephirot who wants to erase all human emotion and existence comes after you defeat all the previous Sephirot.
Humans can be so frail and fragile as their bonds with friends crumble apart. Friends go away, relationships and hearts can be broken, people can even die. But that doesn't mean we should give up and lie down. It's in the endurance of the human heart to always persevere, no matter what, and this game has no shame in telling you that. The final boss makes you realize your fear and regret, your sorrow and your anger, and your wish to persevere humanity's wishes, with the concept of "never forgetting the people who made us get here in the first place", even if they aren't really there.
The story is easily one of the best parts about the game. GUST has always made games with really really good storylines because they work. Even though it's overly cliche with the whole schoolgirl trope, it still works. Unlike "That game which shall not be named" that I did last time.
Oh boy, is there a lot to talk about in this one.
This game is very casual. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, because it follows a system that is very barebones, but still gets the job done. Unlike Persona 5, where you had to grind to Level Up in missions, in Blue Reflection, all your Level Ups are handed to you as you progress. Meaning, that there is no real way to grind, except by doing missions and getting "Growth Points". So, while it doesn't typically follow the usual RPG trope, it's still a good experience.
As you can see here, you can level up individual stats for Hinako, Yuzu, and Lime, and depending on how you level them up, they will get skills based on the different types of "trees" you invest in. There's ATK, which is obvious, DEF, which is obvious, SPT, which stands for Special Time, which effects how fast you go in combat (more on that later), and TEC, which does things you may not normally expect from typical RPGs, like Critical Strikes and Luck, and also getting skills that decrease enemy stats or increase your own. The fact that you can mold your characters to suit any role is actually really really fun, and offers a lot of replayability in how you want to build your characters. To start off with, though, Hinako is generally a Jack-Of-All-Trades good in every scenario character, Yuzu is a tank......which is really strange considering she's the smallest character in the game, and Lime, who is a glass cannon.
Every character can learn some sort of healing skill, technical skill, or attack skill that makes them completely not worthless, but not every character will be strong in every situation either. So in that regard, you have to balance your characters through certain trees and make certain that you are investing your points wisely.
Now, let's get into the real bulk of gameplay: Battles.
Battles are fought as Wait-Time ATB, for those RPG Maker nerds out there who know what I'm talking about. You have your timeline at the top which is incredibly easy to follow: Your turn on the left hand side, the enemies on the right hand side. When a target gets to the middle, they get to take their turn. Incredibly easy, straightforward, and to the point. And there are also attacks that help manipulate the timeline, for example "Bewitching Ivy" for Yuzu, which can knockback a foe on their timeline, and puts two "nodes" on the timeline that, when they get to their turn, knockback the same foe again. So there are lots of clever ways to manipulate the timeline to your advantage.
However, with it comes a little bit of a negative I have with the combat.
It's too easy. Along the way, you get a skill for Yuzu called "Grape Wave", which deals a shit ton of damage, knocks back foes, and has very little Wait Cooldown before you can take your turn again. Although it costs a lot of MP, you get all of it back anyway at the end of the fight, so all you have to do is spam "Grape Wave" for a majority of your fights, and....you win. And it's like that for a majority of the game after unlocking "Grape Wave", which might I add is a Story Skill, not a skill you get from unlocking and investing Points into trees. If "Grape Wave" were like that, I would have had a MUCH MUCH more fun time with the game, prioritizing strategy and actual thinking, rather than just spamming one single move over and over and over and over and winning constantly. That's not really fun. And because of that, a LOT of other skills during combat aren't really that usable, especially anything with "over time" in it's skill description.
There is difficulty select, but all it does is make the enemies more spongy, doubling their health. It doesn't change the attack values for the enemies or increase their loot drops or anything like that, which is really a bummer, because if that were the case, I could have flown through the game on Hard difficulty without even breaking a sweat.
Another reason why the combat is so easy. Do you see the Reflect 40% in the corner? That's a special mechanic called Ether Gauge. When it's at 30%, 60%, or 90%, you can use a special ability called Overdrive, which gives up a portion of Ether Gauge to give the turn character an extra action. If enemies didn't die to Grape Wave from Yuzu, the next step would be to use Overdrive on Hinako, use her Attack Up Skill, and then use an attack that hits all enemies and kill them that way. No matter what I did, it seemed like I was always striving for a challenge in combat when it really wasn't there. Even Sephirot fights are ridiculously easy if you know how to use Overdrive, Guard, and other commands at your disposal.
There's no Equipment, no money system, or anything of the sort. Everything is done by stats. Which is both kinda positive and negative. It makes it more casual, but it also makes a lot of the game straightforward and one-dimensional in terms of what you can do.
So while the combat isn't that great, there's a lot of variety with what you can do regarding skills. It's just a shame that Grape Wave is so ridiculously overpowered, especially in a game where you get all your HP/MP back at the end of the fight. If that didn't happen, combat DEFINITELY would have been a lot more challenging and more strategic.
However, onto some of the good things about the game.
Like Persona 5, at the end of the day, you can invite certain girls to hang out with you at various locations: The Tomb, The Convenience Store, The General Store (which is kind of the same thing, game. .-.), the Theatre, the Arcade, the Photo Booth, and the Bus Stop. Do this repeatedly, and you'll get special perks in combat when you fight against Sephirot.
As you develop Friendship Points with your friends, you can unlock some of their most powerful Fragments. And Fragments are easily the most awesome thing about this game, which is why I'm super frustrated why I didn't take a picture of it when I did my playthrough. Fragments are, in essence, upgrades to your already awesome abilities. For example, think back to Grape Wave being ridiculously overpowered. Now imagine it having a less Wait Cooldown time and always guaranteeing a critical hit with 20% more critical damage. Or a heal-all spell that charges up your Ether gauge and also gives everyone an Attack Up buff. Or my personal favorite, a spell that increases every party member's Attack and Critical Rating, but lowers their Speed, which is then counterbalanced by a ridiculous "target party member gets ATK+, DEF+, SPD+, LUK+". Yeah, there are a lot of crazy synergies you can pull of in this game to make your combat experience even sweeter. And that's definitely one of the high points of the game for me.
Grape Wave is still broken though.
And each character you are friends with comes with their own set of Fragments, and as you do their Dungeons, you can get some of their most powerful Fragments. Your best friends are definitely the ones that increase efficiency when over 20% Ether, "Changes the equipped Skill", and anything that gives an ATK+ buff, as those are your most powerful tools.
As you fight in The Common, you can obtain items from the monsters you defeat, which can then, in turn, be used to craft certain things. And while I couldn't get a screenshot of the crafting menu, the crafting menu is entirely complex, needing materials from three different, sometimes all four zones, and finding all the similar ways to get the items actually is the only real "farming" you have to do in this game, especially if you're going for 100%, like I am.
So yeah, while the combat is very bare bones, it's still experimental in some regards. Bottom line, I wish it would have been more challenging, but we can't always have everything great in life.
This is both the best and worst parts of this game, strangely. And I'll go into a few details why.
This game is fucking beautiful at 1080p.
I know the screenshots don't really do it justice but EVERYTHING LOOKS SO FUCKING GOOD AND IT'S LIKE HNNNGGGHHH I CAN'T TAKE ALL THIS BEAUTY. And it runs wonderfully in 60 FPS as well with no frame drops!
....And then there's cutscenes, which look ugly as hell with 480p definition and choppy texture, like it's run through a grain filter from something in the PS2 era. And they're locked to an ugly 30 FPS, which is one of, if not my biggest pet peeve in games. If you're gonna have a game, make it run at either 60 FPS all the time or 30 FPS all the time. Preferably the former. But don't have inconsistencies in your game that ruin the quality experience for viewers.
Maps are fucking beautiful and sometimes I just spent my time walking around the Sorrow Area (pictured below) and Happiness Area (pictured above) just taking screenshots because I had nothing better to do.
The music is easily the best soundtrack I've heard in years. And that is not an exaggeration. Every track in the game has a beautiful oscillating piano line that is absolutely heart-trembling and amazing. Every track in this game felt vibrant and colorful. The best word I can use to describe this game's soundtrack is....electric.
When you're fighting a Sephirot, the music absolutely makes you want to get your blood racing.
When you're out in school and the rain starts pouring down on you, there's somber music to go along with it.
When you're hanging out with one of your friends, it plays really calm music. Everything about the soundtrack is so incredible and easily one of the highs of the game.
Every track fits in with the game so well. Especially in the Fear Zone, which is easily the most unsettling track in the entire game, with off-beat and off-key piano strokes hidden behind a filter that screams uncomfortable.
...*sigh* And then camera angles like this can happen where you're stuck looking at the ground and not being able to take in the scenery of the game.
And yes, that's me with the maximum amount of tilt DOWN I can go.
And now for the negative, besides the gross looking cutscenes. The script looks like it was rushed and made in two days. There are spelling errors and grammar mistakes all over the place. It really ruins the immersion of the game when there are constant spelling mistakes. Mistakes that can easily be rectified by plugging your script into Microsoft Word, hell, even NotePad of all things! And the port on Steam is riddled with gross and quite often, frequent, crashes whenever a cutscene decides to play. I know TecmoKOEI aren't the best at making ports, given their ignorance to the DW series and Toukiden, but come on, this is ridiculous. I don't want to have to lose 45 minutes worth of progress in the game due to a random infuriating crash.
Quality is hit and miss, honestly. Depends on if you're a graphics freak like I am, but infuriating random crashes aren't tolerable. Everything else about it was good, though.
As stated before, there's a lot of different things to do regarding building your characters, and there's a New Game +, but unless you're going to 100% the game the first time, there's really no reason to go back for a second playthrough unless I really really loved the game as much as I did. So ultimately, that's not really the greatest of determiners for a game's replayability value, but honestly, there needs to be a reason to go back through the second time and cherish the game as much as the first time.
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?:
Absolutely yes. However, don't buy it on a whim like I did for the $59.99 price tag when it has glaring issues with the port development, such as lackluster cutscenes and random crashes. Wait until it goes on sale for about $40 before trying to consider this game. It's at least not as bad as NieR: Automata in terms of port development, but it still has glaring issues. Unlike NieR: Automata, there's no fixes for the crashes either. But if you want a casual RPG you want to breeze through while looking at cute girls, then this is absolutely your dream game. If you want to buy this thinking it might scratch your Persona fix, you'll be disappointed as those two games are worlds apart. It's still a very fun game in its own regard, and I highly recommend it.
Overall: 7.6/10. Great.
Now take the absolute best track in the entire game no questions asked.
Now it is time for my weekly collection of words that could loosely be categorized as a blog post.
To follow up on last weeks post, I will be talking about the gear in my game, more specifically the armor and Accessories.
Like I gave my weapons types, I did the same for my armor.
They are Light , medium or heavy, with light giving 2 levels worth of magic defence, heavy giving 2 levels of physical defence, and medium being a medium between these. These bonusses are static, so late game gear wil give the same bonus as early gear. While the defence stat is split between mdf end regular def, that does not necessarily mean that all light armour is meant for mages, and all heavy armour is meant for fighters( not actual classes in my game). A fencers' armour is light armor, but is obviously better suited for a martial types, while the demonhide robes might be considered heavy armor, but better on a mage.
Why keep the bonuses so close you ask ? It is because you can choose what to attack with, but not what to defend with. If the mage gets splatered all over the dungeon wall by an attack that would only incovenience the tank of the team, then fights become either RNG based if the AI is random, or impossible as the mage eats all the attacks in the first round and dies, if the AI is semi-competent.
Warning : Short math break : When I say 2 level's worth of defence , I mean the characters defence is as if he were 2 levels higher. As all my base stats are equal to level^2, this raises the defence by 4*lvl +4, meaning the difference between light and heavy armor in damage taken is: lvl^2/(lvl^2+4*lvl+4). This is an equation that quickly trends towards 1 (or 100%) with increasing lvl.
So a 10th level character who dons heavy armour would have his defence rise from 100 (10^2) to 144 (14^2), meaning he takes about 70% of the damage he would have in the light armour, but at lvl 20 he would take 82 % of the light armored characters damage. This eventually tapers off, until he takes 96 % of the damage he would take in light armor at lvl 100.
This might seem counterproductive, but it just means that the higher the character goes, the smaller the difference, allowing me to really fine tune those late game bosses and enemies. As damage in % of a characters HP rises from 20 % at lvl 1 to 60 % at level 100, this is necessary, as at 60 % of a characters hp, having the mage take 42 % more damage than the tank is kind of a problem, as any crit will instadrop the mage from full HP, and even regular attacks will take out 84 % of the characters HP at that level, while the heavy will just fold to any spell cast in his direction. That is even assuming they have the same max HP, which they might not.
Math break over.
Now, why do I have my armours give an actual bonus to a stat, but not my weapons ? Because a bonus to a defence is an actual choice to be made. A stat bonus to attack will usually trump whatever other effects a weapon could give, but here I find it to be a meaningfull choice. The bonus also doesn't escalate as much, as atk is squared in the damage formula, but not defence.
After type, each weapon has an origin : Fantasy, Action or SciFi.
As a general rule, Fantasy armour aids resource generation (tp or mp), Action armour gives resistances to damage types, and SciFi generates a small barrier around the user, replenishing every turn.
On top of this, each non standard armor has a unique ability, such as the mech suit giving a nearly impenetrable physical defence and missile attacks, but giving glaring weaknesses to most elemental damage or the time-mage robe reducing cooldowns, but decreasing mp regeneration. Almost none of these are pure upside.
The only other equipment slots will be accesories. These fall into two categories : a neck slot and a hands slot.
The neck accessories are defensive and will take the form of amulets, cloaks, ...
Most of them will be both up and downside.
Some examples : The amulet that protects from silence, will also cause all spells to generate extra noise, thus making stealth harder. The cloack that grants immunity to poison also nullifies potions, and so on.
The other accessory slot, the hand slot, including rings and gloves, is focused on granting abilities. These are without downside, but as you are limited to one, it still presents the player with choices: "Do I want my fighter to be able to cast a cure spell every 3 turns or spend mp to cast a fireball ?". Most of these will either use a cooldown or warm up or consume the characters MP/TP, even if the base spell would not.
As for availabilty, each base type and origin has one armor that is available in reasonable quantities (a total of 9 options), but the special ones are all unique, as are all accesories. Seeing as you have to equip about 20 party members eventually for the multi party dungeons, choice is the name of the game.
Long story short : Options, not dictations.
Smarter Enemy AI
On certain enemies, they will be given a smarter AI which is manually critiqued by me.
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.
I know it's been over a year, but it's good to be back again. Apparently having a full-time jobs cuts into your Blog and Game making time, who knew ?
Today I want to talk about the gear in my game, more specifically weapons and armor, and why I chose to trim it all the way back.
Now that I've been away from my game and had some time to think, I wondered, why does my game need heaps and heaps of weapons and armour?
It is not the focus of my game, it will lead to endless menu micro-managment because of all the splitting up and regrouping of parties, endless shopping trips and grinding, because every character (up to 20) needs to be kept up to date on gear, it affects balance if they are under or over equipped, …
The list goes on and on and on. So I made a seemingly radical choice. I dumped weapon and armor upgrades. Now don't get me wrong, there is still gear to be found, but no piece of equipment is “strictly better” then any other.
To illuminate : strictly better is a term that I first heard about in Magic the gathering. It means “Identical in every way except the numbers are better”.
Applied to RPGs, this would mean tossing your dagger for a mythril dagger because it is identical to the dagger, but has a higher attack stat. There is no reason to use the dagger over the mythril dagger.
In some games, this is part of the fun, and it certainly has it's place in games, but not in mine, not with the character focus I wanted to have.
So I did away with the endless mill of +1 swords and chose a different path : Incomparables. Meaning I wanted no weapon to be mathematically better then any other, but unique and different.
As people who may have read my Elements ands skills blog post might remember, all of my elements are intrinsically different. For example, fire raises the users magic attack, lightning is luck based , … Now what if I did the same for my weapons and armour.
This necessitated my split of physical damage into 3 categories to allow for variety : Piercing , Slashing an Crushing. Each of these types has its own damage formula. Piercing ignores part of the targets defense, Crushing deals more if the targets hp is low, and Slashing deals more if the users hp are high. A weapon can have more than one damage type, for example, a morningstar is both piercing and crushing. Some skills require the use of the correct type of weapon.
Next, I divided my weapons into 9 weapon types, with each type getting about 3 weapons :
Sword, Dagger, Axe, Hammer, Spear, Peasant, Bow, Gun and Artillery. Each of these categories has an additional effect:
Swords are Skillfull, which means that they generate more TP when used.
Daggers are Fast, which means they raise the users agility. ( I use a ctb battle system, so agility is very important)
Axes are Punishing which means more damage on debuffed opponents.
Spears have Reach, which gives the users a big bonus on counterattacks
Hammers are Pulverizing, dealing more damage on a crit.
Peasant Weapons have Underdog, which means that when the users has a stat buf, the effect is greatly increased
Guns have Penetrate which means they ignore physical defence, and just deal damage equal to a.atk stat instead of a.atk²/b.def.
Bows are Silent, generating way less noise, therefore not raising the alert level as much.
Artillery has Unavoidable, meaning they negate block, and deal unresistable (Almighty) damage.
On top of that is the small, medium, large system.
Small weapons can be dualwielded.
Medium weapons are the standard, and allow a shield or small weapon in the off-hand.
Large weapons deal splash damage.
Each weapon also adds a skill unique to that weapon.
So to bring it all together, some examples :
The longsword is a Medium Slashing and Piercing Sword, so it can be wielded with a shield or small weapon in the off hand, it deals more damage if the user is at high hp, generates more TP, ignores part of the targets defence and allows the users to use Slashing and Piercing Skills. It has the ability to let the user enter a parry mode as a special ability.
The Quarterstaff ( different from a mage's staff) is a Large Bludgeoning Peasant weapon. So it deals Bludgeoning damage, deals more damage if the target's hp is low, raises the users attack when buffed with something, deals damage to multiple enemies when attacking and allows the use of Bludgeoning skills. As a special ability, it raises the users block, and counts as a shield.
Most of this is realised by using Yanfly's Weapon Unleash system, to give every weapon an different attack skill, instead of filling up the formula bar with 200 if-statements.
Deer! (Hi there!) If you have read this text that mean you want to know what happen to my project correct?
Well, I just add some skill, stuff, and a character from past! so there will be lots boss appear after Lexar Defeat Monster lord's, like fight boss to boss over and over.
right now I'm still working on those character, their sprite was Rm2k and now I need to remade them to VXAce their picture is also need to re-draw because too small.
plus I add more hard sub-quest, and even more confusing sub-quest, I also add some simple puzzle on dungeon too!
okay! My game might take time longer to complete, but! this is worth to raise quality of this game.
(Have you play demo? and want to give suggestion? don't shy, just put what your tough down below or PM me, I'll be gladly listen to what your tough!)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I find myself in this putrid limelight often, being shamed for just being myself, for speaking the truth, for just...being...honest...and I tell ya, I'M DAMN SICK OF IT.
It happens to me everywhere, so I'm slowly dropping out of the limelight's reach on more and more social platforms. I already gave up on more than half of them, for this among other reasons, which includes Facebook, Deviant Art, Twitter, Instagram, Photobucket, and soon to follow will be Twitch, Discord, and all other forum-based platforms, if this is to continue, because I cannot justify conformity in any sense. It is thoroughly immoral, and furthermore, both damaging and senseless.
Also, conformity != civility. If anything, the two are complete opposites (and they are).
And before anyone starts a tirade on this, for whatever reason...
I am not like most; I present the facts in a way that is not often seen as much more than 'crazy talk'; to the commoner, I am just 'crazy', but that's their ignorance and their privilege showing. If anything, my level of intellect on a lot of things should be granting me 'pedestal status', or at the very least, some level of glowing praise, but not in this day and age, where superior intellect == mental illness and/or instability. Am I too intelligent for my own good? Probably, but there's nothing I can do about it, short of getting a lobotomy.
If you feel the need to not read any further, then please, by all means, don't. But I also do not want a two-bit opinion if you're not to read the full post. That's trolling, another sickening thing about the twenty-first century humanity, which is anything but human.
Back to intellect. "Okay, if you're so smart, why can't you fix this, or that? Or the world?"
There's one way to fix the world...you won't like it either.
Someone once illustrated the solution to the world's problems, and though there were no humans in it, there were four guillotines, seven nooses, and a bloodied heavy axe hung on a stone wall. There was a caption that said 'for those who feel the world is needing of change, but have no contributions to give, feel free to offer your life so that others may thrive'.
Obviously, no one who believes they are in control of their own lives would go for it, but in all due honesty, I could probably list a few thousand people by name who definitely would qualify as needing this type of voluntary execution (I won't mention any names), myself included.
"Wait, why would you include yourself??"
Because, as smart as I am, I lack the capability at the practical level to create the change. I'd be a liability, just another impractical asset whose intellect would likely not find much use, and therefore, would not be vital. That's all. The fact that it would be the end of my imprisonment here is irrelevant.
"You're so dramatic, so negative..."
Yeah, I know. I've explained this already, so I won't go there again, it stresses me out even further.
I'll tell you this. I'd rather write (or in this case type) out my frustrations, than have my frustrations be channeled through my fists into an inanimate object, like a wall, window, or at the worst, to grab a knife and show my extreme duress by positioning it into the seppuku preparation stage.
"You need professional help."
I HAD that before I moved from Colorado. I had a great team of doctors aiding me, and I was slowly recovering, but now I don't even have insurance, and likely don't even qualify, thanks to Donald JACKASS Trump and his BS TrumpCare.
"Why did you move from Colorado??"
Because, on my FIXED and VERY LIMITED income, I could no longer afford to live there. The cost of living keeps increasing, but the bottom line never follows. Soon, only the wealthy will survive...my middle finger (both of them) to that.
"Is there anything that I (or we) can do, to help?"
I always accept donations (not that I get any or have ever gotten any), so there is that. Otherwise, over the internet, there is little that can be done, or even asked of.
One thing about all this, is that if I were to ever make it out, and to become a great success, I would never forget about the struggles, and most certainly would never forget about those who also suffer, which is why PHANTOM Enterprises will always be a non-profit company, and that my band, Karma Bitches, will never have copyrights on our music.
Pie in the Sky dreams, I know...
Overworld maps - Provinces and Regions
In "The Crystal Crown" there won't be a single overworld map with every dungeon, city, town and minor locations. Instead, there will be many, many overworld maps (each slightly different than the others so as to represent change in environment, like jungle, desert, mountain, snowy, etc) that will depict Regions and Provinces.
The action takes place in a enormous continent dominated almost entirely by the Ark-Empire ("Ark" meaning 'power, might'). The Empire is divided into 21 Provinces, each one governed by one of the 21 Great Houses. Each Province is further divided into several Regions, governed by a House that pledged loyalty to a Great House and the Crown.
Archduke is the title of the Lord of a Great House.
Great Duke is the title of the Lord of a House.
Dukes are the title of the Lord of a Clan.
Of the 21 Provinces, the player will only be able to travel and explore around 12 in total, including main quest, secondary quests and extra stuff. I will explain this further via images, spoilered so as to not screw up with the formatting.
This is the Golden Province, the first place you visit in the game:
The Golden Province is divided further into 4 Regions:
Krastornaban Region, where the capital, Krastornaban, is located:
Nainmaqar Region (Nainmaqar means 'Bright Forest')
Gentle River Region (The river is named that way because is navigable)
As you can see, there are, in reality, four overworld maps linked to one another to form one Province. The player will be able to travel freely through these Regions, entering towns, ruins, dungeons and places of interest. Some locations will only be unlocked via main quest, secondary quest or world events. This is how overworld maps will work in "The Crystal Crown".
TBD: I have yet to create a way for the player to open a map that shows the full province and marks the location of the player within it. Maybe with X, Y coordinates, layers and several images? I don't know.
I really need to stop putting things off and actually really getting to work. But, what can you do when life loves getting in your way of everything.
Anyway, lots to talk about regarding progress. I've got some good news, though! I had just recently finished making all of the maps for Chapter 1! That means I can finally get around to eventing and hopefully pushing my first demo out the door. I'm also in the works of getting some art assets done. As of now, I'm only working on the title screen of my game. I would like to wait before I release my demo when I get my art stuff done first. I don't know how long that will be, but I'll feel better once I actually get it done.
So uh... Screen shots and some videos!
First, some screen shots:
And now some videos. One showing off the new title screen that's a work in progress and one showing off some bit of fast travel.
I'm actually pretty excited this time around that work is getting done once again. Without having to worry about maps (at least for now) I can finally focus on the actual game itself. I don't have a time frame on when I plan on showcasing some more stuff or when I plan on releasing the actual first full demo. For now, this is what I have.
Smarter Enemy AI
On certain enemies, they will be given a smarter AI which is manually critiqued by me.
New Wacom Drawing Tablet!
I hav a Wacom Drawing Tablet so I plan o do the art for battlers in the game.
Before I start, I just want everyone to know that this is a great community, and is in no part to blame for my demotivation, but there are some members whom have not made it the easiest to handle things, especially when I talk about things from my own perspective which I came to the realization long ago that only I can grasp.
Backing off of that to what I actually came to talk about.
I don't know about everyone here, but as much as I don't believe in the religious nonsense going around (and that is something I will not explain in any further detail-at least not here), there is something that appears to make some sort of sense. You might of read that one of the blog tags is 9/23. What does it mean?
Well, it could mean 9 of 23 parts, but no, that wouldn't have any correlation with this. It correlates with September 23. Without going into a great amount of detail, there's some sort of prophecy going around that involves a star that is only visible once every so often (it is said to be every two-thousand years but there is absolutely no way to be definitively certain), as well as this astrological phenomenon about the orbit of Jupiter. The astrological part makes sense, because the said star that appears now is one that is eventually going to die, likely as a supernova, which this planet may see in roughly a hundred thousand years or so (if all other cosmic entities remain the same until then). Also, Jupiter's orbit is going to move in that certain way around that time, and this (visibly) happens once every few hundred years, give or take a few.
Here's the skivvy on this. This whole biblical prophecy, if it were to have played to the letter, it would of occurred already. Or, another thought on the matter is that it won't truly occur as it would have been stated, but as events that humankind had incited. Fact is, a lot of the crap that is going down now, the way that true human evil has begun corrupting everyone, is a testament to the latter, and is also how events would play out, as written in Shinryu's Grimoire, not a mortal-written manifest of stories that sounds much more like a glorified horror story than anything.
However, if there is one thing that the Bible and Shinryu's Grimoire agree with, on a major point, it would be the astrological events.
Okay, you might be reading this and thinking 'Oh great, another bitch that wants us to repent to her gods' or some other nonsense. Believe what you will, but it isn't the case. Actually, repentance, asking for forgiveness, and such because this one deity who has more names than I can count on both hands gave his son who also shares the same names to die on a wooden crucifix, so as to bear mortalkind's sins...(and on and on)...is ludicrous. Fact is, to say ones' misdeeds against their fellow mortals are so easily forgiven by the sacrifice of a non-mortal is as much of a misdeed as any. It would be a waste of aetherial energy, a waste of life, and really, a waste, period. But enough about that, I needn't explain this further.
If one can forgive oneself for their own misdeeds, that is more than enough. If one can look in the mirror and say that they can move forward despite their wrongdoings and not second guess themselves, that is enlightenment. If one can spare a moment to assist one other, no matter for what cause, that is goodwill. There is where you find your 'forgiveness'.
I can sense you wanting to know about calamities, disasters and such. The Bible is very specific about what is to come, and if one thinks about it, these things to a certain scope are already occurring, though in all due honesty, not in the order given. The weather patterns globally are changing on a rather drastic scale, and in connection, people in power are choosing to ignore those in need. Sorry, this is out of the scope of the Bible, but once again, is dead on with Shinryu's Grimoire instead.
Raging seas, Torrential winds, Surging storms, Trembling terrain, Ankhura, Totria, Deuta, Aeria, the first four deities to invoke their wrath. Of course, this here has been going on for a good long time as is, and has only been gradually increasing in severity, to where it is now. Again, this is all from Shinryu's Grimoire.
'Okay, so what about visions?'
I have problems sleeping, for a long list of reasons (another time I may delve into that), but one of them is the visions that I have. In truth, these are infrequent and often are incredibly difficult to make any sense of, unless if the event I see in the vision is something I see whilst conscious. I've been having visions more frequently, and have had three in the past week alone, and the last twelve have been the same vision, if only viewed from different perspectives, but they all correlate with one thing, a specific date, which as of this blog entry, is three weeks from now.
All these visions, they view the ocean, from the eyes of various folk, the skies are overcast, the winds are powerful, there's lightning and rain falling, and at some point, I see various things like internal housing structures, televisions being on (can't see what is on screen), and so on, but before these visions fade into a dream, I see a calendar or something similar, all with that specific date.
It doesn't help that this often awakens me and hinders my sleep, which is causing me to feel less and less motivated to do much of anything.
'Impending disaster? End of days??'
This is one thing where the Bible and Shinryu's Grimoire differ entirely. There are many names for them given by mortalkind, but the twenty-four deities that govern the various aspects of existence do interfere when mortalkind gets 'out of hand', but how they interfere is not set in stone, and for each time they have interfered, their method has been different, never the same. But to eliminate all mortals, that is not something they do, nor do they force suffering if there can be a simpler solution.
I could explain all this in much greater detail, however, I have not read Shinryu's Grimoire in its' entirety, and to do so would take an incredibly long time, so I do not know how the divine twenty-four would handle a race of warmongers like this one, but I am almost certain that their interference will almost certainly go unnoticed except by the very few that actually know what their handiwork would look like.
It isn't like my Auntie Khali is going to burn down whole civilized regions with her flames, since the humans of Earth are more than capable of doing that themselves.
One sign that I'll be looking for, is one that only a few would notice. The stars in the sky will no longer represent the constellations everyone knows. Because Earth will no longer be a part of the Milky Way galaxy. Thing is, it won't be that easily noticeable, not until long after the changes were made.
What does that mean? By making this cosmic change, the cosmic calendar will have been interrupted, and so, all related scientific development will have been nullified.
Of course, this is one possible change, of many.
If they do have any direct interference, whereas it is conceded that a confrontation is necessary, it won't be pretty.
Will this all happen on the twenty-third? I cannot say, but cataclysmic change is on the horizon. As much as I'd love to say that a direct confrontation will occur, that is wishful thinking on my end because it means that all twenty-four deities will come, including my own mother...
I'd hate to have her see me as I am now, but...
Yeah, it likely won't happen, unless this mortal race as a whole becomes a large enough threat to existence, and far more than just its' own existence.
Even having all the potential threats to this mortal race's existence eliminated in a single night is unlikely, though would be welcomed on my end.
There a few very likely things to come to pass, one of those actually being something that has been reported to be overdue for an occurrence, which is Old Faithful's eruption. Another is that they let us kill one another with nuclear weapons, and then interfere to alleviate the aftermath. The possibility that the solar system will be moved seamlessly from one place to another is also likely. As for the disasters written in the Bible, anything that has to do with cosmic events can happen at anytime, but all else is not as much likely, and as far as Babylon goes, which one? Take your pick, there's at least a million of them.
Yes, I'm aware of the ID microchips starting their run, this whole 'mark of the beast' thing. In Shinryu's Grimoire, a similar thing occurs with similar functionality in one era, and it is coined as the 'Mark of Death'. It is basically the same thing, but unlike the Bible, it is mentioned four times and is largely unrelated to much of anything else, whereas this 'Mark of the Beast' is glorified as fuck in the Bible, though it doesn't really mean a whole lot in the big picture (but I sure as fuck don't want the damn thing).
'What about famine, disease, the rapture?'
Two of the three, humans cause enough of as is. As far as the rapture goes, one of the twenty-four deities is the governing force of Rapture, though that has much less to do with allocating the truly innocent and having them wait out the apocalyptic advent than it does with the realization that one has done wrong.
So, who would be responsible for the allocation of the truly innocent? That would be the Harborer of Innocence, though that would not be done with a raging storm, but more rather through an event where visibility was reduced to absolutely nothing for a split second. That kind of thing has only happened once, and would be unlikely to happen here.
Undrinkable water? Yeah, that's all the water on Planet Earth now, even if it isn't the hue of blood (SLAYER made a killing off that idea when they put it to song), so that's been a thing for...at least five hundred years (though it has only gotten much worse in the past twenty or so).
'So, what does any of this have to do with world events, your life, and so on?'
Well, I did a long-winded explanation of world events already, and I'm not doing it again. As far as my life goes, if suddenly, I am no longer active here, and these odd things that mortalkind doesn't expect are going on, there is a good chance that I've gone home, where I won't have internet, or even half of the modern technology I had here, but it is where I belong, dammit. I am only a prisoner here, and I never belonged here in the first place.
But that is for another chapter.
Amyrakunejo, Princess of Purity, taking off to the skies.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
This is a code snippet that creates a file that can be used for tilesets, created in the AGK expected format for tilesets. I will write a full tutorial on how to use this code in a future post. See this post on use of the snippet.
//Change these values if your tiles are a different size in pixels
tileWidth = 128
tileHeight = tileWidth
numHorizontalTiles = 16
numVerticalTiles = 16
//Open a new file to write. I found no success writing to .txt.
fileid = OpenToWrite ( "myfile" )
//Variables used in the loop.
string$ = "" //This will be what gets written to the file.
tileid=0 //Used to count up and assign each tile an ID
//This is the same as saying for(int i=0;i<numHorizontalTiles;i++) with the i++ at the end of loop.
i=0 //Start at 0
//Same as above, nested for loops.
j=0 //Start at 0 after each loop.
//increment tileid each loop. In Tiled 0 is no tile, so we start with 1.
tileid = tileid + 1
//Assign the line to be written to string$
string$ = Str(tileid) + ":" + Str(j*tileWidth) + ":" + Str(i*tileHeight) + ":" + Str(tileWidth) + ":" + Str(tileHeight)
//Write string$ to file. WriteToLine saves it in ASCII readable format.
/* Remove to watch progress.
*/ //Remove to watch progress.
//j++ for the loop
j = j + 1
//i++ for the loop
i = i + 1
//Close the file
CloseFile ( fileid )
Despite the title sounding a bit ruffian, I've really gotten sick of all the crap on TV, on the internet, what idiots in power and/or wealth are doing, and so on; it's giving me a damn headache, causing me sleep cycle issues, and overall, killing my creative drive.
I want them all, to shut, the *******************, UP. I don't wanna hear it anymore. All I wanna hear, is the clicking of my keyboard, mouse, and controller, the AVGN when he gets pissed off, SidAlpha's game/munchies reviews, the great content made by LGR, 8-Bit Guy/Keys, among others in that category, and the music I love, dammit!
But oh no, can't have that, no, if everything goes right, it's the end of the world!
So, the game continues to cheat, Ruby continues to throw invalid errors, my own computer continues to lag, the fake news and fake online media continue blabbing their bullshit, and I'm really starting to get edgy. I don't really drink, but I'm definitely tempted. I don't cut, but the temptation is there (though to be truthful I'd rather just sever the arteries of my abdominal organs than anything else). I'm very angry, and I've really been thrown under the bus as far as getting much needed aid is concerned, so maybe a public demonstration of their folly is in due order.
In other news, the Clone Hero project is coming along great, with Alpha v.13 just released today. It's looking pretty good now, with Practice Mode being a thing, as well as new art.
I honestly wish I could play this on Expert, but it is just way too hard for me...
(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.
Yo there, I put this because I do lot heavy changed on devil boy quest gameplay, It can be good or no but who care!
First! A TOOL!
this is secret but there some kind of tool that allow you to unlock secret area contain rare item. Ex: Shovel... you need talk to a tool maker at F2 of Blacksmith in Maduin.
a shovel can be used to unlock a ground passage (there one in Tsugi and other place too)
#<You may say:that so common in rpg game, is that all you got?>
there are more tool, but there also consumable tool, like candle can be used to look trough dark( just add some more sight distance)
#<You may say:It's so troublesome, what if I run out of it? I'll stuck in darkness and beaten by enemy, what a pain...>
I don't want to create crazy craft system because I'm so damn lazy to do it, in the end I just put that event overworld, let say you want make torch, then you need cut 10 wood then bring it to old man in Ilya village, Since torch is more longer and brighter than small candle.
#<You may say:What is this? I need go back very far just to get consumable tool? oh man, It's really troublesome...>
I know that, but I make it in purpose... the lazy player might just skip make tool and just beat the game half way, yeah don't mind them as long as they enjoy it.
#<You may say:aren't you are the one who lazy?>
Shut up. I don't want talk about that.
okay there dark system-
#<You may say:ah that sound borin... there many game have that too>
I know, but my dark system is cool they changed everytime! like real darkness
#<You may say:you just use random var or whatever is that, nothing special about it>
Now battle system, the Mode KZL gauge is reset every battle, so It's harder to cast Limit Break Skill,
#<You may say:hey! that's cruel man! I can't beat boss without that!>
shut up! if the gauge didn't reset you can charge it by fighting small fry after it full you release it at boss so you can have easy win!
I change that so player have hard time defeating bosses, make it more challenging.
Uh well the main hero have too much ability there might be more coming but for now...
*Teaching! Learn enemy ability (Not all of their ability can be learned, just some of it)
*Hand Of Madun (Steal enemy stuff, from weapon, item, money, etc)
*Izanagi (Ability to life again (It's not like Life3 or rerais from Final Fantasy alike) but not at time he dead he revived, It's like zombie, he will dead for awhile then he back to life! so if three of them dead at same time it will result game over expect there one still alive)
#<You may say:Is this guy superman or something? he can do whatever he want>
then I don't have tell about ability stuff, the next is co-op skill
It's a skill that require 2 people(Lexar+other) this skill can be used when two people or more have condition, Not Death/Fallen, not under bad status that make them unable to move or seal their ability like Sleep, Stun, or Silence, have enough MP/SP, and weapon used, if this condition break then the skill will be unable to use, even after you cast it and in charge time but suddenly enemy put one of you sleep then the skill will be canceled.
#<You may say:That's hard one...>
Secret in learn skill
you may know this but in l there bunch of book about skill, they located in Library in every big town but sometime they located somewhere inside castle too.
#<You may say:Don't you have some better system about skill?>
Of course I have but I'm too lazy to do it, what da ya want? skill tree? based on level? learn from tome? buy it from magic shop? that borin, I more like put skill in a treasure chest and hide that treasure chest in a maze, but that just way too crazy, so I make a library contain many skill book, and you need to check it with all character you have, let say there book about Ruby Blaster that can be only used by Karen, but you need to chose who read it, if you chose Lexar then no one will get the skill beside Lexar don't like read books anyway...
#<You may say:Hell there many character and many skill not only that check every book with every character?>
It's more challenging than normal skill system wasn't it?
#<You may say:It's not challenging It's more sound annoying>
Learn skill trough... other way than read books.
I'm so lazy to make a party member fight each other in order to get special skill(CO-OP and alike) so I make it lika dramatic interview, you can found it in haunted PUB, it's not really haunted, actually It was fancy Pub covered by illusion that make it look like haunted, the trial is easy just say yes or no at the end, oh yeah I warn you, if your HP is low you will die and send to game over screen, but if you manage to survive, you will get lot's of damage, let say they do some inhuman training kind of it and get a CO-OP skill and alike.
#<You may say:This is weird training...>
yeah I don't really care about what they do anyway...
oh well that's all for now...
(Every words after this -> is a some friend of mine thought, so don't mind it, it really useless speech, even It's make me little motivated...)
The Crystal Crown [WIP]
"The Crystal Crown" is a RPG game that I am currently developing with RPG Maker MV. It is set in the conworld I've been working on since I was 15.
Something I'd like to point out from the beginning is that the game will be in Spanish, as that is my mother language.
Anyway, below I will explain some quick facts about the game. Later, I will continue with the plot and characters:
This is all for now, I will explain in deth some of these features later on. Okay, let's go with the plot and the characters.
All characters have their own life, story and past, which is all resolved and dealt with in their "companion quests". If the player does not want to complete them or even start them, they can miss armor, items, weapons and of course, cutscenes, dialogs and the possibility of getting a good end with the character. Similar to what the Fallout 3 and New Vegas did with companions, at the end of the game there will be a series of cutscenes with all the characters and their fates. If the player has completed their quests and keep a positive affinity with them, they will get the best ending. Of course, if you treat a character badly, do not complete his/her quest and so on, you will get a bad ending and even a death ending. To sum up: there are 4+1 possible endings for each character: Best Ending, Good Ending, Sad Ending, Bad Ending; Death Ending.
Height: 1'78 m.
Weight: 74 kg.
Born in: The capital of the Empire, Avanovark.
Family: Does not know if his parents are alive.
Job: Monster Hunter.
Height: 1'62 m.
Weight: 58 kg.
Born in: The City of Ebikaor.
Family: House Fislen from his father's branch. House Hador, from his mother branch. Both Houses are related to the Great House Zarken.
Job: Priestess of Light.
Height: 1'88 m.
Weight: 82 kg.
Born in: The Sacred City, Maban.
Family: House Galart from his father's family branch. House Kurel from his mother's family branch.
Height: 1'72 m.
Weight: 63 kg.
Born in: Saran, a town near the capital of the Empire.
Family: ?????? (Not revealed due to minor spoilers)
Job: Druid or Thief. (Player will decide whether he will be one or the other)
Height: 1'75 m.
Weight: 66 kg.
Born in: Saran, a town near the capital of the Empire.
Family: ?????? (Not revealed due to minor spoilers)
Job: Expert thief.
Height: 1'91 m.
Weight: 95 kg.
Born in: Drakar, a major city in the North-East.
Family: House Zirak from his father's family branch, Clan Nakir from his mother's family branch.
Xander (not his real name)
Height: 1'78 m.
Weight: 62 kg.
Born in: ?????? (No longer remembers, but I won't reveal it due to minor character spoilers)
Family: ?????? (No longer remembers, but I won't reveal it due to minor character spoilers).
Job: Velaker (like sword dancers but with a scythe).
Height: 1'67 m.
Weight: 57 kg.
Born in: Gaban, a city close to Garkon Tower Facilities.
Job: Energy Manipulator, "EMA" or as it is commonly known: Mage.
Height: 1'71 m.
Weight: 66 kg.
Born in: Lashlan, a city in the As'hak Province, in the South.
Lairen Saalei (not his true name)
A monster hunter that holds a grudge against Araken for a reason to be revealed. He is ruthless and cold. Lairen wields powers beyond his comprehension.
The leader of the Imperial Order of Monster Hunters and a former one himself. A rather mysterious man with a reputation of being honorable and reliable, but whose former life and deeds are only known by the oldest members of the Order and those very close to him. Araken reveres this man more than himself.
A strange woman living in the woods. She formed the group simply named "Worshippers of Avanias", who devote their lives to venerate Nature and the Primordials. She seems to be much more than meets the eye...
A father whose main concern are his son and his former family. He will do anything to recover his long lost honor.