EpicFILE reacted to Kayzee for a blog entry, Why Violence is Kinda Boring.
So, Undertale has gotten extremely popular lately and has gotten highly praised. I think one of the things that it uses to sell it's self is the promise of being an RPG where you don't have to kill anyone, and how it really tries to show the consequences if you do. I think though, that it mostly ends up being good because of the sheer quality of it's writing and design rather then because of it's gimmicks. But there certainly is something to the promise of having an alternative to violence.
It's not that I think violence is automatically bad, I really have no moral/ethical objection to violent games and media. It's a fantasy, and I think most people understand that violence is a tool that is to be used only in a last resort situation (if at all) without having to have a game or other piece of fiction spell that out for them. I do think that surrounding oneself with only mindless violent media without any thought or commentary thrown in is unhealthy, but I don't think most people actually do that. Anyway, I am pretty sure that unless you expose yourself to at least a little violence it becomes impossible to form any sort of educated opinion about it.
But the thing is, violence, especially in games, is kinda played out. And I mean that both mechanically and narratively. Mechanically most games over the years have sort of settled into a set of comfortable easy abstractions that are easy to program and easy to understand and lead themselves well to violence of some sort. Everything from Mario's basic physics to simple HP meters and attack rolls abstract violence so well. You don't see many games like FaÃ§ade where the whole game is just figuring out the right things to say to other characters, and to be honest those games don't really seem that interesting to me either except as a curiosity. But there are other games that are about building, or exploring, or puzzle solving, or even farming, that can be compelling without any violence at all. It's interesting I think to see games that use new and different mechanical systems for other things besides violence. But heck, it's fun to see ones that use different mechanics for violence too, like in Dwarf Fortress.
Narratively we have seen stories that talk about or deconstruct violence before. Even Undertale isn't particularly new in this regard, at it's most heavy handed it sounds a lot like a repeat of Spec Ops: The Line in many ways, though I think it's much more effective in that you do actually have a choice in Undertale. There is only so much I think you can actually say about violence before it gets old and preachy and you just have to roll your eyes. It can be an important message to hear once, but if every game becomes like that it's boring. Then again it's also not interesting to ignore the problem if your game has violence in it. If you are doing something with violence, to simply refuse to talk about it at all is very cheep and makes the writer seem ignorant.
That said, a bit of violence is okay to me. I understand not wanting to do anything real wacky and sticking with a normal RPG formula or doing an average story. I just that I don't want to see every single game be the same I guess. I have been working on a game lately and I thought it would be fun to do something sort of like Undertale and have multiple ways to approach encounters, but I wasn't necessarily trying to make a statement, I just wanted to experiment with different kinds of mechanics. I am not sure it's really any more interesting that most games but I was having fun programing stuff... Don't know if it will ever be done or will be any good but I liked coding what I did at least. :3
EpicFILE reacted to HeckHound for a blog entry, Pastures New
So, my previous project - Keeper of the Wards - fell short due to technical issues (both main SSD and backup HDD failed, and thus both the main file and the backup was lost).
Rather than starting all over again (there was about a month's work into the database alone), I've decided to move on for the time being and start a new project in MV.
New tool, new project, new start.
And so, without further ado, I present the basic outline to:
Relic Hunter: Legacy of the [TBD]*
Relic Hunter: Legacy of the [TBD]* is a puzzle game where the player hunts relics, researches their origins and then places them on display in their museum.
Uncover the secrets of a long-lost civilization.
Hunt relics and decipher writings to find out their origins.
Complete a museum exhibition showing off the fruits of your labour.
Developing your Character
Your character has three trainable attributes, all of which help in your pursuit of these relics:
Concealed Spotting â€‹Sometimes things aren't best hidden in plain sight. Raising this attribute helps you find concealed passages, rooms and switches. The higher this stat is, the higher the chance of spotting less obvious aspects of your surroundings.
â€‹What self-respecting ruin doesn't have a trap or two? Raising this attribute helps you spot traps to avoid them. The higher the stat, the less chance you have of triggering a trap.
â€‹Sometimes avoiding the traps isn't an option, especially for passages leading towards the greater treasures. Raising this stat increases your chances of successfully disarming the trap.
After the tutorials, players start afresh in their own site. As the player hones their skills and acquires knowledge, so more of the ruins will become open to them.
As well as hunting for relics, disarming traps and wondering why it had to be snakes, you can also create charcoal rubbings of items too big to excavate - such as walls - but you feel could be important.
Who knows, maybe these can go on display too on the wall.
Speaking of traps, you really do need to be careful of them. Getting caught by a trap not only ends your session, but also results in you losing everything you gathered so far, meaning you'll have to start again.
While parts of the game are dependent on your character's stat growth, deciphering writings and identifying the relics you find are all down to you as the player and how invested you get into the game.
In your museum you have a research room filled with reference materials of what is already known about the civilization that your researching, as well as various tools such as carbon-dating machines.
However, like most fields of study, advances are being made all the time, finding out new information and contradicting previous findings, paving the way to better understanding.
While not necessary, you may find having a pen-and-paper, or note-taking software such as Evernote useful to have on hand.
When you feel confident, you're able to place items on display.
When doing this, you'll be asked to fill out a number of facts on the item in the form of choices. For example:
This item is a: Ritual Dagger
he who served the King well
Atphos, God of the Sun
the fifth king of [TBD]*
The player will get a rating for each display based on how many facts they got right, which will be totaled at the end of the exhibition.
* [TBD] isn't actually the name of the civilization. I've currently working on this but aren't sure what to name it yet, so yeah; [TBD] it is for now.
The Plan So Far
The game will have a two-part tutorial to show the ropes.
I will be creating my own civilization: everything from belief system and history to alphabet.
The ruin will consist of one large location. Depending on potential lag with events, some areas may be made instanced.
In order to break the game-play up to stop players getting overwhelmed (I got HOW MANY relics to research?!), players will only be able to spend a set amount of time in the ruins before having to exit, whether that time is dictated by a timer of 'inventory space'.
The size of the exhibition will be 10 items, all of which can be chosen by the player without penalty.
The protagonist is a girl named Meliquie (Reliquie = Relic) Schatzsucher (Treasure Hunter).
Mel for short.
As always, any criticism and feedback is welcomed and encouraged
EpicFILE reacted to Blithe for a blog entry, Soul Forge: Character Designs and Side Quests
Reworking some of the character designs for my Soul Forge game. Some of these characters have gone through multiple redesigns others I have a pretty good grasp on what I want them to look like and they haven't changed since I first sketched them out.
One particular character I've been unsatisfied with is a young girl named Dori. She's 14yrs old with long blonde hair, brown eyes, and wears a green dress. She's generally a happy-go-lucky person with an outspoken attitude. I've redrawn this girl like 3 times already. I'm the most satisfied with her latest reincarnation. Now I just need to make a sprite that generally reflects the picture of her that I've drawn out. Previous drawings of her did not reflect the personality I had imagined for her in my head. She looked unhappy and her clothing was too formal/stuffy. She's supposed to be a priestess in training so she has an advanced grasp on using "Light" magic but she's also surprisingly strong and prefers to attack using over sized hammers and clubs.
The other thing I've been working on is a Mushroom Hunting side quest. The objective of the side quest is to collect a rare species of mushroom that happens to be sentient and return it to a guy who calls himself "The Mushroom Sage". He gives up rare items in return for the mushrooms collected. The trick to collecting the mushrooms is that you have to beat them in battle but doing so isn't so easy because they're really quick and immediately put up defensive barriers to protect against fire elemental attacks, which they are weak against. Furthermore, when their HP gets below 50% they will prioritize running away from the battle which does not count as a defeat for collecting the mushroom.
It's a simple enough premise and the player will have multiple opportunities throughout the game to except quests from the Mushroom Sage. The more mushrooms you collect for the sage the rarer the items you receive for completing the quest. Certain rare armors and weapons will only be obtainable by completing these quests.
My next order of business is to complete a cut scene I've been working on for almost a month. RL work/responsibilities keeps getting in the way but what can you do - bills must be paid.
EpicFILE reacted to Knighterius for a blog entry, Tales of Pandamonia: The Sacred Dungeon Theory and Development
Salutations to anyone reading my first entry to my new clean blog!
This is the game that I have currently been devoting my time on and have been loving every minute of it. I did, however, way back when, stop my progress and stumped myself in a hole of nothingness as year 11 got the best of me and drowned me in literary metamorphosis, cell division, half life (not the game lol), calculus and redox reactions. Although now, now I come baring gifts from all this hardship, I am as though depicted as Daenerys Targaryen and through the fire I bare with me powerful Rpg mayhem!
Id, Ego and Super-ego
My game loosely follows Sigmund Freudâ€™s concept of the three parts of the psychic apparatus.
Id: This represents our innate comprehension, our natural reasoning, our instinctual actions that originated before our tabula rasa.
Ego: This is the balance, itâ€™s the ability to articulate both Id and Super-ego and then rationalise a decision using the two. Wikipedia actually worded it very beautifully â€œmediates between the desires of the id and the super-egoâ€.
Super-ego: This is our sense of whatâ€™s good and distinguishing it from the bad; this counterbalances the Id, as is the reason why it is seen as critical as I will prove shortly if you decide to keep reading.
Since Id closely follows who we are in nature it can be defined with the story of The Scorpion and the Frog.
Once there was a scorpion that needed to get across a river. He asked a frog nearby if he would take him across on his back.
â€œI canâ€™t do that!â€ the frog cried, â€œHow do I know that when we are half way across you wonâ€™t just sting me?â€
With this the scorpion replied, â€œThat would be foolish, silly frog, then weâ€™d both drown,â€ this statement made the frog agree and with that the frog began to take the scorpion across the river only when they made it half way across, the scorpion stung the frog.
â€œOWWW! Why did you do that the frog criedâ€ as they slowly began to sink.
Solemnly the scorpion replied, â€œIâ€™m sorry...itâ€™s in my nature.â€
Now, it can be proven that the scorpionâ€™s Super-ego was weighed out when his Id became overbearing and in turn this proliferated the exceeding events which lead to the death of both of them. The Ego was unable to balance between the two and it can further prove that nature could in fact be stronger than what is perceived as morally right. So if there isnâ€™t a consistent balance of each then the consequences can be dire.
Most of you would already know what a doppelganger is, however, I shall just state that a doppelganger is an apparition of a person. If these â€œapparitionsâ€ were to exist, perhaps they could be defined as the split between the three parts of the psychic apparatus...
Applying these Theories
My game follows the basis of these two components and links them together. Abbadon, the demon with a dagger in his smile and angel eyes has sought refuge in his final chamber eons before where the game takes place. Little did he know that this chamber was in fact his own living hell to suffer in for eternity. Accompanied by his lover, Sheol, they devise a plan to increase their strength and unshackle the magic that keeps them locked inside their tomb. Through insanity they watched their reflections and their shadows and finally realised the way to experience an evolutionary divergence into more powerful, superior beings. Using blood magic from a human sacrifice they found a way to split their Id, Ego and Super-ego into their reflections and more so into their shadows, taking a piece of their strength. However, Abbadon and Sheol knew that by giving these creations life they would grow stronger individually without the usual impact of each other and then when they were strong enough they would merge again and overcome the powerful magic that sealed them in.
So these shadows and reflections become their â€œdoppelgangersâ€ in a sense, as the chamber slowly begins to degrade and the three main characters have to stop Abbadon and Sheol before they merge.
So thatâ€™s the basis of my game! Thereâ€™s lots of other cool stuff in there as well which Iâ€™ll explain in other entries. This includes, parallel universes, character back stories and definitely some battle teasers!!