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Abstract: Datsville RPG is based on the community LEGO project of the same name started in 1999. There is a Facebook page that talks about Datsville.

 

Releases: My progress so far is mainly in getting the graphics working. The source 3D models need to be converted to POV-Ray format, rendered into images, and then cropped and imported into RPG Maker. A tech “demo” for the project is hosted on GitHub. There are no “releases” yet. You’ll need to download/clone the whole repository. You can find a high-res isometric render of the whole town here. There are only a few characters in the game “demo” at this time, mainly to help me figure out how to script events.

 

Genre / Features: The game “demo” currently features a true-to-scale overworld map with separate combat encounter maps, and one simple scripted side-quest. Combat is going to be TRPG style, like Shining Force or Fire Emblem. Incorporating d20 rules somehow would be nice but is not mandatory. (I have already worked with d20 in a programming context in the past, and could re-use some of the code.) [Note: the latest RMMV “demos” for the project only include a single scripted combat encounter. The older VX Ace “demo” includes the overworld map and side-quest. The LeTBS “demo” for RMMV is not working correctly. The SRPG Engine MV version seems to working okay.]

 

Game Progression: Linear, no branching narrative.

 

Recruitment: I have no ideas for an overarching story at the current time. If someone were to join the project and contribute some story beats that would be awesome!

 

Story / Setting / Premise:
I don’t have much as of now. I haven’t written a story since High School! However, I want the RPG to start out in a contemporary residential or small town setting. Sci-fi and fantasy/occult elements will appear later on. I’m not sure yet how much combat there will be in the game. Thematically, I am aiming for something between between Earthbound (video game), Farscape (TV show), Alien Resurrection (movie), X-COM (video game), Independence War 2 (video game) and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (novel series). Sort of a semi-whimsical story involving aliens, deities, government agencies and possibly time travel, that concerns a rag-tag band of misfits who find themselves (unjustly) on the wrong side of local/global/galactic law and are seeking to clear their names. I would like it to be a “PG-13” or “Teen”-rated game. Maybe a couple of mild or cloaked drug and sex references. I would like to incorporate some of the original Datsville model designers as NPC “Easter eggs” in the game, with their permission. (There are already two such named NPCs in the game.) I’m not sure when this game is set, though. Late 20th century? Early 21st? Today? Dunno. Does the entire group travel through time?

 

Character Bios:
Here are the characters I’ve come up with so far.

XN78Ch0.png
XyG4obH.png
(From left to right, and top to bottom:)

More than a few tropes.

  1. Owen, American, teenager or young adult, hero, maybe a typical anime “do-gooder”-type blank slate character, or a less narcissistic Bart Simpson/Zach Morris, I’m not real satisfied with this and may change him to something with an actual backstory, for instance maybe he’s a wimpy nerd/bookworm/orphan with glasses and a lightning bolt scar on his forehead (okay, I haven’t actually thought of anything interesting on my own, yet)
  2. Gabriel, Latin-American, small time thug/criminal, thief & barter & gambling, passionate and romantic, ties to criminal underground, in search of his lost significant other, melee & small guns & shotguns & knives
  3. Terell, African-American, hero’s best friend, martial artist, strong & athletic, physically adept, blunt melee & unarmed, musician/bard, gamer, kind of sarcastic/jerk, nerd about something (what?)
  4. The Doctor, former Eastern Bloc/USSR, science/chemist/medicine, heals stuff, somewhat of an intellectual elitist/snob, implied or openly gay
  5. Ingrid/Ursula, German, Technomancer, all things technical & computing, possibly connected at all times to a cyborg hivemind, pansexual/polyamorous including machine intelligences, two separate personality “programs”, high mechanical/physical strength, hacking and “cyber mage”
  6. (Sir) Sanford, British, late 19th/early 20th century big game hunter/officer/explorer, unwillingly transported through time, lots of anachronisms, “Fish Out of Temporal Water”, military officer training, tactician, highly optimistic & adaptable, but sometimes callous, tracking & long guns & explosives
  7. (need to come up with a name), rock star, vaguely “British” with links to Ancient Egypt, antiquity & pre-history, possible alien life form and/or minor deity, think Zaphod Beeblebrox or Spinal Tap, “bard” and mystic, can summon undead
  8. Esmée, British/French/Scandinavian?, ninja and spy/secret agent, access to government funds, gadgets, knives & small swords & small silenced guns, thief & rogue
  9. Skelly, not much is known about this guy, he was summoned by “Zaphod” and simply never left the group, maybe that makes him a “groupie”, also who was he when he was alive?
  10. … n. Need to keep brainstorming.

Additionally:

  1. Jeff Stembel is the mayor of the Datsville. He always wears a bow tie and top hat. Offers some dumb quest.
  2. Brian Sauls owns and runs the apartment complex at the northwest end of town. He is looking for tenants.

 

Story beats/themes:

  • Falsely accused/mistaken identity: The group has been falsely accused of doing something they didn’t do. Don’t know what yet. Maybe they were mistaken for someone else.
  • On the run: The group is on the run from a variety of members of authority. Local/global/intergalactic authorities. The whole shebang. One group of “enforcers” you battle with will be pretty similar to what you see in X-COM, including a possible cameo by some aliens.
  • False motives/divided loyalties: Are the members of your group really who they seem to be? What are their real motives? Are they loyal to the group/hero or to another faction? Are members of other factions manipulating things from behind the scenes? Esmée’s professional loyalties. Esmée’s boss is also her father. Sanford’s loyalty to a once-great but now-diminished empire, and what it stood for. What are Ingrid/Ursula’s hivemind’s views on things? The Doctor is kind and generous, but also an ideologue. Terell is fiercely loyal, but also an ass.
  • Time travel/cultural anachronism: 1. Sanford likes to trophy hunt, but hunting is not considered fashionable today. He holds what we would consider to be antiquated views on a variety of other subjects, as well. Yet, he remains upbeat and positive, and is well-liked by the rest of the group. 2. Skelly has been dead for God-knows-how-long. But he remembers virtually nothing from before he was summoned. Who was he, and what sort of life did he live before he died (the first time)? 3. “Zaphod” is an ancient being, and possibly immortal. What sort of experiences and wisdom does he bring with him from eons past? What are his actual motives? 4. Esmée and The Doctor seem like (and possibly literally are!) refugees/holdovers from the Cold War. Are they resurrecting/perpetuating old conflicts and fears into the present day and future for their own gain? 5. Ingrid/Ursula comes from a very “futuristic” society and culture. She brings with her ideas and mores that many of us would find radical and shocking. Does she represent mankind’s ultimate evolutionary terminus? Or, is our future not (yet, or at all) determined? The game will hopefully touch upon the subject of what it means to be a “fish” out of the “water” of time, including a trip or two through time together as a group. There won’t be any “causality loops” a la Back to the Future, though. Just possibly a couple of visits to alternate time periods while on the run.
  • Lost/unrequited love: Gabriel is searching for his lost girlfriend/fiancée. Sanford left his wife behind in the past in England. Esmée loves another spy in secret. Did Skelly have a family when he was alive?
  • Sanity: Ingrid/Ursula has two personalities and issues/conflict with hivemind. Unrequited love is also causing some group members issues.
  • Mystery: What are “Zaphod’s” motives? What are Esmée’s faction’s motives and involvement in the plot?
  • Tragedy: Not sure yet.
  • Intellectualism: The Doctor and Terell are both very highly educated, but are also ideologues.
  • Creativity: Terell and “Zaphod” are both musicians and performers. Terell formed his own school of martial arts.
  • Spiritualism: The universe is full of needless complexity that acts to entrap people. The heart/love/simplicity are what matters. “Zaphod” is a mystic.
  • Supernatural/occult: “Zaphod” can summon undead. Need to create a subplot for “Zaphod”.
  • Friendship: Doubts and suspicions are voiced/raised at various points in the story, but everyone ends up being the very best of friends.
  • Romance: No or only limited “shipping” among the aforementioned characters. Gabriel will eventually find his lost love. Not sure if I will create a love interest for Owen, or who that will be.
  • Fun: Terell and “Zaphod” are musicians. Terell and Owen like gaming. Sanford likes to hunt rare and wild animals for trophies (as opposed to sustenance) but shouldn’t.
  • Training/discipline: Esmée, Terell and Sanford spend a lot of time in training/preparation. “Zaphod” never trains for anything.
  • Other: Redemption should be another major theme in the story toward the end. Not sure how, yet, other than that the group is struggling to clear its name after being falsely accused. Other members of the group may have other issues with the law that get resolved.
  • Running gags: A dumb idea for a running gag is that one or more of the party members is secretly a scholar of some silly and arcane subject matter (the mating habits of spotted leopard toads, for instance) that at first seems totally useless, but ends up being a crucial source of information when the group finds itself in a pinch. This begins with The Doctor, where you kind of expect the subject matter to be nerdy given his high level of education and scientific expertise. It (maybe) ends with “Zaphod”–the most outlandish and mystical member of the group–incongruously having a mundane and ordinary subject matter of interest, such as plumbing or auto repair. The joke gets sillier and sillier (in a “Dad joke” sort of a way) with each iteration.

 

Locations:

  • The town hall is in the center of town across from the James Jessiman memorial.
  • There are a cricket stadium, park and Buddhist temple in the northeast of town. A mosque lies to the southwest. I removed a chapel from the center of town because it is not a MOC and is therefore copyrighted by LEGO. I may re-add it.
  • Outer Space Command and a plutonium storage facility are located on the south side of town. Tore Eriksson may have some story suggestions for this area…
  • A shopping center lies to the north.
  • An office complex and apartment building are in the northwest.
  • There are two schools: a grade school and a high school. There used to also be a university, but it was an official LEGO model.
  • An industrial area and airport are on the far west of town.
  • The town has a police station, fire station, hospital and construction yard.
  • Other locations, such as futuristic corridors, caves or wilderness, should be pretty easy to set up. Maybe even using procedural generation.

 

Credits:
The following people have created LEGO models for Datsville:

Allan, Nicholas
Andersen, Jacob Sparre
Bliss, Steve
Burger, Thomas
Dennet, Ryan
Eriksson, Tore
Farver, Rob
Gallagher, Mike
Gatrelle, Ben
Gerber, Alan
Gevaryahu, Jonathan
Glöckner, Fredrik
Gonzalez, Joseph
Gould, Tim
Hess, Duane
Horvath, Michael
Isaksson, Anders
Jackson, James
Lambrecht, Bram
Loch, Kevin
Moolhuysen, Manfred
Probst, Joachim
Sauls, Brian
Sproat, Jeremy
Stembel, Jeffrey
Svensson (now Palmberg), Martin
Teed, Tamyra
VanZwieten, John
Virsik, Rene
Virsik, Robert
Walton, Calvin
Wilson, Jonathan
Zide, Leonardo
JAYSTEPHER The Lego Nerd
Dennis Osborn
Kevin Wilson
David Till
Joe Davenport
Kevin M Bane
Alex Taylor
D M Garcia
Michael Heidemann

A full list of creators and what specifically they contributed can be found in this table. New contributions are always welcome!

 

Currently, I am still using some Enterbrain resources, but am fazing them out. Third-party scripts I have used/am using at various times include the following:

"SRPG Engine MV" by Gakuto Mikagami and Doctor_Q
"Lecode Tactical Battle System" by Lecode
"Yanfly Engine Plugins" by Yanfly
"TDDP_BindPicturesToMap.js" by Tor Damian Design / Galenmereth
"SilvSkipTitle.js" by Silver
"Rhyme_MapSmoothScrolling.js" by SpeedDivider
"fullscreen.js" by Christian Schicho
"easystar.js" by Bryce Neal
"AS_InputSettings.js" by Astra Cat
"ARP_TitleCommandExit.js" by Atreyo Ray

Slide show:

Videos:

More videos here.

 

License: Probably Creative Commons/GPL wherever possible. (Use of plugins and LEGO elements makes this problematic.)

 

Disclaimer: LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize, or endorse this project.

Edited by Dilvish
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A lego game??

Uber cool..

How much have you done by now??

Need a story writter??

I can help you out with that..

I'll PM you..

Awesome project.. Will follow..

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Original Idea and hurray for 1999 :D

If you need any graphical help (Looks like you dont :P) just pm me then and i will try to help out ;D

 

 

 

Anyways keep it up!

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Update.

 

 

Can be downloaded here.

 

It adds another new building interior, as well as (failed so far) experiments with adding vehicles to the map.

Edited by posfan12
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I'm experimenting with Ultima VII-style oblique perspective. It's nice because you get a good view of three faces of each building. But I'm not sure there will be problems when layering the ground, the people, and the top over each other.

 


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I did some in-game testing. And while this perspective looks great, there are some problems. Watch the following movie clip to see how there are clipping issues when the minifigure passes in front of and behind the orange block. Especially take note of when the character passes around corners, or moves inside and outside of shadows.
 


 
The technique makes use of both the parallax and picture object layers. Here is the bottom parallax layer:
 
th_ustyle_test_01_base_zps0b3e9133.png
 
Here is the top Picture Object layer:
 
th_FIXEDustyle_test_01_overlay_shadow_zp Edited by posfan12

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The mapping is incredibly, superbly, COOL. Lego version graphics? It's definitely new, and it's done extremely well! Keep it up~ :)

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The mapping is incredibly, superbly, COOL. Lego version graphics? It's definitely new, and it's done extremely well! Keep it up~ :)

Thank you very much. I appreciate the praise.

 

Here's a video of the latest version. The perspective is a bit different. You can now see three faces of each building instead of two. Here's a video:

 

Edited by posfan12

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Update to revision 17. Also, I fixed the link leading to the wrong download page in the first post. Sorry!!

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I am doing some combat testing in RPG Maker VX Ace using "GubiD's Tactical Battle System v2.4 for VX Ace". I discovered graphical issues I didn't consider beforehand. Firstly, the congratulations and other texts seem to be rendered below the top layer of my map. Secondly, if the fighting moves behind the center orange block, you cannot see what is going on there. Again, the character sprites and movement grid are both covered up by the orange block. I'm not sure what to do about this problem.

 

I was thinking of making the orange block partially transparent when a character or enemy walks behind it. However, I would have to do this individually for each building in Datsville. I want to avoid this. It involves rendering images for nearly 100 buildings, and then stacking them one behind the other in RPG Maker. Making the top layer transparent will reveal the ugly base layer underneath the characters. Also, you can't simply "cut" out each building from the complete town map. Some buildings overlap each other, and other buildings cast shadows on each other. This gets very complicated with a map so large.

 

I am also considering creating a "bubble" around each character that eats through the top parallax layer so that you can look through it to see what's beneath. The video game Fallout does this, but I highly doubt this is possible in RPG Maker.

Edited by posfan12

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This looks cool. Reminds me of some of the old flash games Lego had on their website in the mid 2000s. I killed a lot of time there. Looking forward to this.

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Latest combat video:

 

 

Edited by posfan12

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I have ported the graphics over to RPG Maker MV. You can download version 0.8.0 here:

 

http://www.mediafire.com/file/groo0cvf07ic1je/Datsville_RPG_v0.8.0.zip - [Ed. use GitHub link in OP instead.]

 

I switched from Gubi's TBS script to Lecode's TBS script. Unfortunately, I use a combination of map objects larger than 1x1 square and parallax techniques, and LeTBS does not play well with them. There are lots of graphical issues during combat.

 

Here's a screenshot showing the higher resolution graphics of RPG Maker MV:

 

GUNIADu.png

Edited by Dilvish

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I am starting to pick this project up again. I will at least check up on the latest state of the LeTBS script. I have updated the first post with the newest info.

Edited by posfan12

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I've done some more brainstorming and updated the OP.

 

I haven't gotten any assistance fixing issues with LeTBS, so am switching to "SRPG Engine". Maybe I can make better progress with it.

Edited by Dilvish

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