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Everything posted by amerk

  1. Hello gang! I realize I've been absent via the RM scene as I've gone between jobs and other things the last few months, but I haven't forgotten you guys. I wrote this poem awhile back. It's a parody of The Night Before Christmas, and deals with government politics and presidential elections. It's a satire, but is not meant to offend or advocate for any one particular side over another. So please enjoy. The Night Before Election ‘Twas the night before Election, and all thro’ the House, The Demos were out clubbing, and the Repos all plowed; The stations were set with little to no care, For the votes that would soon be gathered there; The voters were content with the promise of lies, While hopes for the future continued to die, And Big Chief himself, looking kind of glum, Settled his brain for what was to come- When out of the blue there arose such a clatter, Why it’s the Ghost of Presidential Future The Evil Mad Hatter. Away with our dreams, it went with a flash, Tore open our hopes, and demanded our cash. The goon was abreast, out and in full, Requesting the blood of hard-workers and all; It waved its hands so that what may appear, Taxes and exemptions for the following year; With a do-nothing Congress full of dimwits, I knew in a moment it wasn’t St. Nick. More rabid than feeble, his customers came, And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them all lame: “More taxes! More fees! Our voters are now dumber. “First Clinton, and then George, and finally Obummer! “In God we trust, all others pay cash! “So pay you minions, with the new health tax!†As trash in the wind is certain to fly, They shoved the ACA without batting an eye; And up through the House, the bill was pushed, And any who contested were all told to shush. And then in a twinkling, I heard on the news The Repos were all laughing while cooking their goose; The Demos all failed, ‘tis sad but ‘tis true, But the Repos are still bumbling while guzzling the booze. The Hatter was dress’d in colors of gay, While the Repos still shouted “True marriage shall stay!†Out of the sack, I saw a portion Of a Repo bill that banned all abortion The Hatter’s eyes gleamed, cold as a rock, This was the one that would replace Old Barack. His droll little mouth was drawn up in sneer, As he shouted the grand tidings of a miserable New Year! He whistled and grinned, and showed all his teeth, And heralded in America’s defeat. He clapped his hands and blew out some smoke And laughed when he told us our system’s a joke; A Hatter, a troll, or even a snake, A Demo or Repo, it’s all just the same; A promise of lies, a twist of their words, We soon must decide the lesser of turds. They promise recovery and plenty of work, But the rich get richer and the poor are still poor; Our freedom, our rights, the whole Constitution, They thumb their noses and call it superstition. More laws and more secrets, a change we can believe As long as we’re willing our rights to relieve. A Demo or Repo, such is our blight- We welcomed the change without even a fight.
  2. amerk

    How do you start your story ?

    I just kind of start somewhere, and then go back to tweak. The title comes to me as I write, so I worry about that later. The opening is the hardest, and quite often I'll rewrite it multiple times once I have a handle on where the story is taking me. I also try to outline some major events so I have a means of connecting the dots. And all too often I'll have an ending in mind, although by the time I get to the end, it's usually different than what I first imagined.
  3. amerk

    Why the hatred for commercial projects?

    I don't hate commercial projects. In fact, I usually get fairly excited whenever I see one on Steam, mainly because they tend to be cheaper than everywhere else and sales and whatnot. However, oftentimes it's that the commercial projects aren't any better (and many times worse) than the freeware games. The majority of the commercial games I have played have atrocious spelling and grammar mistakes. This is my biggest turn off. It's bad enough when I play a free game like that, but if I'm paying money, have the decency to spell check your game. And I'm not talking about awkward and stilted dialogue, or the occasional mistakes... I'm talking full sentences being cut off because they hit the edge of the dialogue box and the developer failed to check that their customized font would fit and didn't push something to the next line. I'm talking about poor grammar skills where everything is sloppy and difficult to read. And then there's those games that start off good, but then for whatever reason the developer must have gotten bored of the project because 3/4 of the way through they just stop caring enough to check. In fact, I'd say poor grammar is right up there with a buggy game; both are a turn-off for me. And when you are asking for money, I'm expecting something with a level of quality. That's not to say they are all like that. Sweet Lily Dreams was an excellent game for me, although a bit unpolished. Vagrant Hearts has its share of grammar and spelling mistakes, but the level of detail everywhere else has been a real treat so far, and the mistakes aren't common enough to turn me against the game. Shining Plume was another fantastic commercial RM game, albeit very short and far easier than I would have expected. I did enjoy Aveyond 1 and 2 (as well as the free prequel Ahriman's Prophecy) but the later games became so redundant I lost interest. And I have yet to play Deadly Sin 1 and 2, although I've heard good things about them. It's really just about finding that diamond in the rough. They are out there, you just have to be willing to swim through the crud filled waters to find them. Edit: I kind of missed that second part of the OP's main post. If your gripe is against resource artists who won't relinquish their materials for commercial use, then Rikifive's post above covers it best. Why can't they charge for their own material for use in a commercial game when you expect to sell your game? Also, sometimes those artists use a base to create their own works, and due to copyright infringement they cannot allow you to use their stuff for commercial games, regardless if you offer to pay or not. This is especially true with a lot of the pre VX-Ace materials, where people edited other people's works quite often, or even used parts of the RTP (which you would then need to own the game maker the original RTP came from), or even parts from commercial resources from the NES, SNES, and PS1 era. And then some just want to make something free for the community and wants their materials used in a similar manner, in that they are in a free game.
  4. amerk

    A floating island and other things

    The floating island map reminds me of the first Wild Arms game, where you find the secret home of the Elws. It opened up a new outworld map to explore and was always one of my favorite areas of the game. Floating islands are one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it works well. Dangle the island in view of the player for as long as possible, make them anticipate the moment they will be able to access it, and keep it out of reach for as long as possible.
  5. Me loves the mountain path; me finds it one of the best mountain paths I've seen used with the VX/Ace maker. Overall, it's all really good, though the perfection in the city - not a crack in any of the cobblestones or walls, not a single weed that I could see, interiors that look like they all came out of a showcase - doesn't seem quite so natural. I'd add some chaos to the mapping, by adding a few cracks in some of the more weathered dwellings and maybe some areas where the flooring has not aged well.
  6. amerk

    parallax My First Parallax Maps

    I agree with some others about the open space in the living area. Maybe a wall divider between the kitchen and living room, with just a small walkway in between would help. Otherwise, the lighting is great, especially in the woods at night with the light bugs glowing.
  7. amerk

    Long Scenes

    Xenogears is amongst my favorite game in the PS1 era, and those cut scenes were long. One I remember clocking in to around 1 and 1/2 hours. The problem was I died shortly thereafter as there was no save option before, during, or after the scene I can recall. If you plan a lengthy cut scene, at least offer an option to save right after so people don't have to listen to it again, or a skip option. That said, as long as the scene fits the mood, the dialogue flows naturally, it's not repetitive, and you are limiting the lengthier scenes to just the major events of the game rather than having each scene be just as long, it should work.
  8. If it can be balanced, it's a great way to make a game both challenging and fun. Your idea, while ambitious and perhaps difficult to pull off, is more original than simply giving the player a powerful skill that will damage them at the same time whenever that skill is used, but it almost seems you'd have to plug in a lot of events to control monster and event behavior. That's a tough nut to crack for a single person using a single piece of software for a single game, but the pay off could be well worth the hassles and risks.
  9. amerk

    What drives you to create?

    What drives me to create? The very thing that has driven me away for quite awhile: Time. Just don't have enough of it between full time work, family matters that involve psychotic relatives, and so much else that can go wrong in life. And when I sit down with an hour to spare, I feel more inclined to play a game than make one. Maybe things will change, because I keep playing all kinds of ideas in my mind.
  10. amerk

    Best VX Ace DLCs?

    DS, DS+, and High Fantasy are probably my favorites, although there are a few others I'd consider as well.
  11. amerk

    Recruitment Rules

    Recruitment Forum Rules Note: The purpose of this forum is for you to recruit for your game project. Game developers looking to be part of a team can come here and view this thread to see if there is a position that fits their skills. When posting in the Recruitment Forum, you are expected to read, understand the following rules and meet the minimum requirement to post new thread in this forum. The following rules will override any Board Rules. 1) This part of the forum has been set up to allow you to create a recruitment thread. As the OP, you will be able to edit your topic as often as you want. You are allowed to 'bump' the thread every month to let other members know that you are still available for recruitment. Threads that remain inactive for three months will be locked and will be archived after six months. If you would like a thread reopened then pm the local moderator (@Tarq). 2) Provide As Much Detail As You Can: The more details you provide about your project and what you are looking for, the better chances you will have that somebody will want to join your project. It's highly encouraged that you have a game topic as well that you can link to, as this will have a better chance of gaining interest, however it's not required. 3) Take Initiative: The more active you are, the better chances you will have. Take the initiative, and don't wait around for somebody to come to you. Check out the Skill Display to see who might be looking to join a project, and send them a PM. 4) Do Not Spam: Spam threads will be met with a warning. 5) Compensation: For recruitment topics that offer compensation, these matters need to be handled privately between the recruiter and the ones being hired. No forum action will be taken in the event of any disputes, as this is strictly a private arrangement between the parties involved. The Board Guidelines still apply.
  12. Being that it's a commercial game, you need to disclose the price here before it can be approved and moved.
  13. amerk

    I have an Idea....

    @Nirwanda - Unless he intended it to be either: A) - An impossible or near impossible battle for the player or B )- A hard battle that drops next to nothing. In either case, a random encounter like that is not a good idea. It is fine to have a difficult rare enemy that the player must grind to find and be easily avoidable (if touch) or easy to run from, but I've never liked the idea of punishing a player for actually playing the game, which is why I feel a higher curve for EXP is probably the best way to deter grinding, so long as it balances out in the next area. Also, once a player hits the threshold of a level for a particular dungeon, it's also a good idea to either: A) Remove encounters from that dungeon or B ) Remove EXP from those enemies in that dungeon but allow players to continue to grind them for monster drops and gold. Look at some commercial rpg's, as well. A few RM commercial games (like Dawn's Light and Eternal Eden) had touch encounters in dungeons, but never allowed monster respawns. So once you fought a monster, that monster never came back. Bonus loot was given at the end of the dungeon if you fought all the monsters in that dungeon. Edit: Silly B's being changed to smilies.
  14. amerk

    Replayability in RPGs

    That may be, but most will probably want to take a break first. I've played the hell out of Final Fantasy VII and Xenogears, and I learn new things each time I play them, but I still wait a long while before playing them over again - I usually wait at least a year, sometimes longer before replaying a game, even ones I really like. It allows me to let the story sink in, have time to move on, and then go back and see what I remember but what I forgot or didn't get the first time around. Unless it's Like NDS DQ IV, where a new dungeon opened up and the story continued / altered as a result because then it really becomes more like a second game for me, than a replay of the first.
  15. amerk

    I have an Idea....

    Make the monster easy to run from, but maybe allow the player a chance to win against it with very good strategy, and receive a reward if they do. Otherwise, the best way to avoid grinding is to skyrocket the EXP needed for the next level, when players are at the threshold of the Level you want them to be, until they get to the next dungeon. So in Dungeon 1, if monsters drop about 5 EXP (and Level 1 = 15 EXP, Level 2 = 45 EXP, Level 3 = 75 EXP, Level 4 = 130 EXP, and Level 5 = 300 EXP) they can probably comfortably get to Level 3 before the end of the dungeon, and Level 4 for those who want to push the extra mile. The boss fight should be winnable with strategy at Level 3 while still posting a bit of a challenge at Level 4. In Dungeon 2, monsters may drop higher amounts of EXP, say around 50 or so (Level 5 = 300 EXP, Level 6 = 600 EXP, Level 7 = 1000 EXP, and Level 8 = 3000 EXP). This way they can get to Level 6 fairly easy, and those who only grinded to Level 3 in the previous dungeon can quickly catch up with the Level 4/5 grinders in the next dungeon, while the Level 4/5 grinders will be a bit hardpressed grinding for anything after Level 7 in Dungeon 2. In Dungeon 3, monsters would drop around 500 EXP, and the cycle continues. This way you balance the game out so it's easy to gain the first few levels in each dungeon with relative ease without requiring mindless grinding, while also circumventing the heavy grinders from getting too far ahead of themselves. I'd speculate not very many people would want to grind for 300 EXP on monsters that drop around 5 EXP. That's 60 total monsters to fight to level up. And even in cases where there are more than 1 monster per battle (let's say 3 monsters in a battle each dropping around 5 EXP) that's still around 20 battles minimum, which will be a lot higher considering not every battle will probably have more than 1 or 2 enemies at a time.
  16. You can still set up key items in items list, same as the makers previously. But the Key Items category was made to make it more easier on the player to separate. Key Items are generally game and story progression items, that can only be used automatically when a condition is met, or grants access to a part of the game that can only be accessed when the player is holding the item, and is usually not consumable or able to be sold.
  17. amerk

    Visual Armor Display

    Looks great! Action rpg's with RM are usually a bit too cumbersome for me to work with, especially off a keyboard, but I'm liking the style. That door has a very creepy alien-vibe to it.
  18. They are pretty nice overall. They are simple and elegant at the same time, not really noticing a huge clash on a cursory glance. The first map could use a bit of life to it, though, especially around the lower right grass area by the well. Some flowers or something other than grass would probably catch my eye more. Maybe an extra table between the blue haired person and the first table (on the left of her) would also remove some of the void in that second picture. Otherwise, I think the light effects are just right.
  19. amerk

    Battle Systems

    RM2K3 ruined my experiences with ATB based on how unbalanced it is by its default mechanics, and people who use it seldom do much to fix this, where they can. Even in games where it is more balanced, I find myself standing around a lot waiting for the bar to fill, and nobody else (not even the enemy is attacking). If done right, it can be a fun way to get in multiple attacks, but many of the 2K3 games I've played is quite the opposite. The trick from what I read is to make agility very low numbers (like maybe level 1 enemies having 2 or 3 agility points, and the player starts at 1, and each level the player's agility goes up by 1, and level 2 enemies being 3 or 4 agility points, etc) so that it stays consistent, but I've yet to see a really well done 2K3 that makes ATB meaningful. Outside of that, I do prefer more turn-based games over action, because of how casual the games feel, and they're usually much easier for me to pick up and put down on the fly depending on other life concerns. Front view or side view is fine - front view should have more eye candy (look at the easy to use Yanfly scripts), and if you use side view please ensure you are spending enough time focusing on balancing the combat rather than just the look of it.
  20. amerk

    Overworld or Not?

    I'm okay with either / or. It really depends on the kind of game you are going for since no overworld represents more adventure themed rpg's, and an overworld represents a much larger classic style. As long as there are warps / fast travel in either one, it doesn't matter. What you do want to keep in mind of is that no overworld typically leads to smaller games, since you are limited in how much you can convey at once, and you want the environments to flow much better. Most non-overworld games I've played seem to last no more than around 20 total hours, whereas an overworld based rpg typically lasts as long as that, if not more. With an overworld, it's easy to break the environment up between desert and snow, for example, without breaking immersion too much, and you can include a lot of hidden areas and secrets. A game without an overworld has a more appealing environment, it's a bit more natural in flow, but it can also be much more linear in progression.
  21. amerk

    New guy here, questions

    By default, it will use the best element the enemy is weak against. So if an enemy is weak to slash and pierce, if pierce provides the greatest damage against that enemy, it'll use that. Same with if the enemy is weak to slash but strong against fire, and you are using a fire sword with both slash and fire elements. If what I recall, it'll use damage based on the slash and ignore the fire part, rather than balance it out. There are scripts that will allow this to be more balanced and modify the damage by taking into account the strengths and weaknesses together, but not sure which one at the moment.
  22. Not sure if what script there have been, I thought there were games in the past with the option. There's probably some sort of script with a flag, but you'd have to inquire about it to see if one is readily available. Of course, the event option with switches could potentially work as well, even if it may require more work, and if given the option to toggle on and off at will would give the player the ability to switch off the voice when they are in an environment where voices would be a distraction, but can turn them back on again when in a more relaxed or private setting. Edit: Note, I don't have anything against them entirely, just not my personal preference. But it's also not a game-breaker for me if Voice is included.
  23. I have not seen it done well in the few RM games it's been used in. I think there's a sort of disconnect when the game is voice acted, but the visuals are in pixelated boxy 2d environments. If the visuals were more natural, perhaps, but the other side of the coin is good voice acting, which I have yet to see. Another problem is that a more movie like cinematic rpg is going to sound more natural than a standard 2d SNES styled rpg, mainly because the shift in writing is different, at least from my own personal experiences of the games I've played (with and without voice acting). I cringe with some of the AAA voice acting material on big budget games, and for lower budget games - especially indie types - it just comes across as a gimmick. Not to mention that sometimes the voice acting is slow, and I've read through the text and click to the next box faster than what's being read, so the voice acting winds up being choppy. So either I'm forced to listen through it all in it's slow cringe-worthy dialect, or forced to click through it all and have it sound broken and disoriented. It's also one of the reasons I still prefer classic rpg's over the newer ones, because I love to read novels (which rpg's are a sort hybrid of game and novel for me) and I can read at my own pace. If there is an option to toggle it, I'm all for it, so people who do like it can hear and others don't have to.
  24. amerk

    Can a largely non-combat game be good?

    I'd also like to mention some of the earlier NES games, like Adventure of Lolo. While not rpg's in any sense, they had good amounts of puzzles and were popular in that time. No reason why something like that couldn't be redesigned or used as a concept in RPG Maker and given a more detailed story in order to flesh out the game. And then also take a look at some RM2K/3 games like Wither and Absence for more abstract styled games that tell a decent story or provide clear goals without any combat at all.
  25. amerk

    Replayability in RPGs

    For me, it has nothing to do with a New Game +. In fact, I seldom ever do a second run after I've played it once, as New Game + tries to make me do, and by the time I get around to playing it again, I've forgotten enough to just start an entirely new game. But what makes me replay a game is whether I really enjoyed the game, the story, the mechanics, combat, and overall experience to subject myself a second time. Some games (like Ephiam's RM2K Dragon Fantasy games) I've played multiple times, and I enjoy them more each time I play. Generally, I wait about a year or so before replaying a game. But others I once enjoyed, I liked less on a second run and wondered what the heck was I thinking the last time around. It's hard for me to pinpoint, but I think it really just boils down more about the experience than it does replaying for missed content.
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