Summary:
Lying by the beach, Vivann is relaxing thinking it will be an ordinary day. However, a wave takes the stuffed bear that belongs to the girl that she takes care of. The quest is on to get the bear back for her!

About the game: 
-Custom action RPG system. You can equip skills to the X, A and S skills.
-About an hour in length
-Various items and things to collect
-Custom graphics

Controls: 
Arrow keys- Move
Z- Attack
X- Menu out of battle, X skill in battle
A- A Skill in battle
S- S Skill in battle

A one month project done for Release something!

Screenshots:
m3jV87s.png
57HjuDL.png
Battle system! You don’t need to stand this close to the enemy to attack either!
V3aXlD9.png
LzNkFE8.png

Credits
Game: Ocean’s Dream
Tilesets: Ocean’s Dream
Assistant writer: Newblack
Portraits: Marimo
Scripts: Fomar0153 and Mack
Music: Yamaha
Testers: Newblack, Marimo, Liberty, Kaede, ElectricalKat

Download

http://rpgmaker.net/games/5103/

 

I hope you enjoy this game!

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-08-01-games-must-achieve-photorealism-in-order-to-open-up-new-genres-says-2k

Here’s the link.

“but in order for this industry to truly reach the next level and expand into new genres, pure photorealism is needed, argues 2K Games boss Christoph Hartmann.

Speaking in a soon-to-be-published interview with GamesIndustry International, Hartmann noted that the film industry still has an advantage over video games in the sense that movie directors can easily portray strong emotions, like sadness or love. Because that’s difficult to do in games, many developers go back to the action and shooter games, which are safer bets.”

Yes, because early games did not have strong emotions at all. Books don’t have strong emotions at all. Animated movies or comics/mangas cannot have strong emotions at all. Only when a character looks exactly like a celebrity or a real person down the street can there be strong emotions. People are forgetting the role of writing, design, music, scenario, art styles, believability, character development, and all these things. I thought the “war to be the most realistic looking game” was supposed to be over?

Until all the AA games stop thinking that the only way to make a good game is trying to make it a Quick Time event based movie where you shoot middle easterns/save the world from dragons or demons, then they can focus on characters, unique art styles, good writing, and things which actually make strong emotions.

“ it will be very hard to create very deep emotions like sadness or love, things that drive the movies”

Most movies nowadays are just remakes or sequels of existing movies. Probably like 90% of the movies are this way. I know there are some good movies out there still, but it’s just amazing just how much AA game developers want to be movie makers nowadays. Basically, playing a movie except you are the one that presses the button to shoot the middle eastern/kill the dragon or demon instead of seeing the character on screen do it. There are some games like Uncharted where this apparently works well (it seems nice, I haven’t played it so I cannot say this with authority), but variety is good. Not every game has to be x or has to have x!

As I said before, animated movies, older games, books, comics, mangas and all these things can have different styles but still can convey these deep emotions. Perhaps it would be good to go over an example.

Final Fantasy 6. They had a character called Locke, who was a thief (self proclaimed treasure hunter). He was nearly always talking and was the one who talked the most out of the whole group. He had a lover called Rachel which he led into a cave to go treasure hunting with her, but due to an accident, she fell down and lost her memory and was injured. After that, Locke tried visiting her but her parents didn’t want him around and blamed him for what happened, and Rachel got upset at him because she doesn’t remember him and that her parents get angry when he gets around. “Go! I don’t know who you are, but ever since you came here my parents got upset!”. Pretty sad when he hears this come from the one he loved.

Later on, Rachel dies in an attack and Locke wasn’t there to visit. The last thing she said was his name, but he wasn’t there to be with her. Rachels body is still around, but she’s dead, just being kept around by a crazy old man who takes care of her body. His overprotecting quality of girls comes in because of this, he doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else.

In a late game dungeon, he goes looking for the Phoenix esper, to try to revive Rachel. He brings it to her body, hoping something would happen. You see him blink twice, nothing happens. He hangs his head down, utterly defeated. The espers gem (magicite) reacts, releases the phoenix, and then shatters. The music, Forever Rachel plays here. Rachel is revived, but she tells him it’s temporary, and is glad to see him at least for a little bit. Locke, the overly talkative character, is incapable of saying anything here other than her name during the entire scene. She she tells him that he made her happy and that’s how she left her life, and lets him be able to forgive himself and move on.

I had to watch this scene again just to make sure I got the details all right, and it is such a sad scene. There are other really good scenes in this game too. It is very effective, and knowing there’s old games with such powerful and memorable scenes despite not having Photorealistic graphics.

Posted in my tumblr, copied over for this blog.

http://i.imgur.com/ojDD9.png

We’ll be taking a look at older games maps, like this one above. I love Seiken Densetsu 3s maps. This is a relatively simple map in comparison to some of the games other maps but you can always check on vgmaps for more.

First off, try to ignore the cool pixel art in general for now and focus just on the map design itself. This path is very linear because it’s only a branch off in a bigger area map. It is the beginning of the game so there isn’t much freedom yet.

The paths are relatively open (it needs to be, it’s an action RPG) but most of the detail is left outside of the walkable paths. I mean, look at that cliff detail on the top right area as you are walking down. Each of the 8 map segments here have a different thing to it that makes it unique.
The top right where you start has a detailed cliff in the center as you walk down and a sign. Go left, it’s only cliffs, no trees, and there is some water. Going down, and there’s trees on the side, a river on the left, and you have to go up a natural bridge to the other side. Then you get off of the cliff bridge and there would be a save point here with a goddess statue. Going down from there, it’s surrounded by trees, with a weird statue that you can examine (It gives you ??? until you’re in the part of the story where you need to go there). You go down to a narrow strip of land and a man made bridge, which leads you into the final area which is a big flower field and the end of the path.

http://i.imgur.com/YIWec.jpg

Volcanic Island Bucca is also a good one. This is the one you’re seeing on the left, full version in the link above. That one has different types of tilesets as you go through it. You start out in a beach, go through a jungle, see a tribe of tomatomen in a village, then go up cliffs with different trees, then past waterfalls all over until you get to a cave. You don’t necessarily even need to vary the tilesets or graphics so much as it is in how you use them.

So when you are going through these areas in game, you’ll be able to tell you’re making progress, and not get lost as easily. Having big noticeable landmarks (does not need to be statues, it can be recognizable flower fields or waterfalls as mentioned) can help a player see where they are if they have to backtrack. If you have lots of rooms and areas that are very similarly designed, then players get easily lost and there is no real sense of exploration. Why go exploring if you know everything will look like where you are anyway?

It doesn’t have to be forcefully done, but rather think of what areas will be present and what kind of terrain there is. Take some time to think on where your map is in the world, what geographical features are present there, and how it’ll vary as the player walks from where they start to where it ends. Maybe a forest has a river intersecting it, you can use that to lead the player from a dense forest to swamps with wooden old bridges past a river to eventually a trip by canoe/boat up the river. Variety can be helpful in keeping the player engaged and interested in your world. I say this because I actually see regularly RPGs who have dungeons that have near 0 variety in it. One place looks like another. “Have I been here? I guess there are new monsters, so I guess I haven’t” thoughts come up.

I know I have talked about this topic before in other map posts, I wanted to illustrate it with actual game examples to show how it works.

I didn’t get to finish my previous list of RPG Maker games as I didn’t want the post to be too long. Well here we go, 2nd round of good RPG Maker games. I’m posting games that either I have personally tried and liked, or are recommended to me by people whose tastes I trust. I do not simply go by something that is popular.

Starless Umbra

A game in the works since 2002, dragonheartman has been hard at work fixing it up and remaking it. A prologue demo has been released just recently and the full game is on its way! It starts off with a raid on your town while you try to go home and rescue your sister. It was also featured in a PC Gamer magazine here: http://www.pcgamer-magazine.com/pcgamer/201110?pg=88#pg88

 

Yume Nikki

Now this game got a lot of exposure outside of the RPG Maker community as well. This game, made by Kikiyama, is a japanese game that was translated into english. This is a very unique game. You play as a girl who goes to sleep and explores her dreams. It is a weird journey where she discovers pieces of herself and attempts to escape her own personal hell.

Leo and Leah: a love story

Leo and Leah is a story about 2 lions by Strangeluv. The 2 cubs were raised together, but Leah was taken and Leo has to go on a big adventure to find her! A game both humorous and serious at times, it has various minigames, silly and unique characters, and simple changes to the basic systems to make it feel different as you find your way to go rescue Leah.

Balmung Cycle

This is an game made by Magi. You play as Blitz Ymir, who was sent by Loki to do a small task in exchange for your freedom. The age of the Aesir is in decline, and the gods of old have all but begun to fade from memory. Though their call does not resound throughout the nine worlds as it once had, the fate of the universe that they had created; Ragnarök, still approaches ever slowly.

Legend of the Philosophers stone

Made by Nemesis29 and Litearc, I remember playing this long ago. You play as a group of friends who end up in an unknown world. They have to find their other lost friends and find a way back home. While completely lost, there is a shimmer of hope, and that is the Philosophers stone. The custom battle and menu systems were designed by Litearc, proving that you could still do a lot with an older engine.

Naufragar Crimson

Naufragar is by Legacy001, something the following game will also share in common. This is the older work but I still enjoyed it. You play as Kyo, who is part of a ship crew when they see someone who has boarded on their ship. A girl asks to see a Hyo, and mistakes you for Hyo and is on a search for various coins. After searching for a thief, you end up having to work together to find these coins.

Rose Chronicles

Rose Chronicles is also by Legacy001. You start out as a Doctor who is trying to help a girl who is in prison. He reads her mind to find out what could be troubling her, which then starts to reveal what she had to go through and why she ended up in that prison.

 

RPG Maker games you should try: Part I list

http://dev.oceansdream.net/?p=1076

RPG Maker games are pretty well known for using the default graphics, having parody stories, being FF fangames, or just being generic and uninteresting in general.

There are however some RPG Maker games that are actually quality games and I’d recommend playing them! I will note on which ones I have personally played and what I thought about it, and what were just given to me as suggestions that I have heard of but not yet played. As a note, I trust their opinions as they are not 8 year olds making “My First RPG”.

This list is not arranged in any particular order, and may be subject to be added on to or subtracted from with additional input.

                             Sunset over Imdahl

Sunset over Imdahl is made by Teo. It is a story about a boy who visits his village and finds it abandoned, as everyone is dead. A man comes to him and tells him how he could go back in the past to see if he can save the village. This is not an RPG, there are no battle systems. There are some minigames but mainly you will be talking to people and finding out what happened to the village. The backgrounds are all hand drawn by Teo. I did play this one before so I can recommend it too. Teo is now working with Brandon Abley on Wilfred the Hero.

Alter Aila Genesis

Alter A.I.L.A. is made by Neok. It’s a sidescroller RPG, which was well received outside of the RPG Maker community and featured as one of the top 5 RPG Maker games in PC Gamer. It is a post apocalyptic scifi world, where Leon struggles to survive in this environment. Each character has their own skillsets and there are various fields which modify how the battles are played.

Necropolis

Necropolis is made by Jude. It has a custom battle system and custom graphics all by Jude. This turn based battle system revolves around combos and finishers. You play as an old war veteran who wakes up and finds he has become one of the undead. He has to find out what happened to him and take his vengeance against them! Another game I played, this one was made pretty recently. The gameplay really picks up once you get to Level 2 and higher, and can pick different attacks and combos to use against the enemies. Quite a nice looking old school type of game too!

Nocturne

Nocturne is made by cogwheel and Gozaru. This one is in Japanese, other than the menu commands which are in english. It’s an active turn based game with original graphics. The game deals with vampires, which are different than the ordinary (and also do not sparkle). A solid game that may be translated into english in the future!

U.S.G. ~A new beginning~

U.S.G. is made by hima. This is an RPG Maker XP game, but is not an RPG but rather a shoot em up. You are being set on a variety of missions while they question why they are being sent, what the U.S.G. mission really is, and why their friends are disappearing. You can change your elemental powers, upgrade your weapons when you level up and more.

Space Funeral

Space Funeral, by thecatamites. A very unconventional game, with custom graphics and weirdness all over. Plays with your expectations too. Phillip and the Leghorse go off to find the secret of the Space Funeral. For a very different type of game, give this one a try!

Exit Fate

Exit Fate is made by SCF. It is a Suikoden styled game with 6 party member battles, some tactical battles, 75 characters to recruit and being able to set up your castle and army. A war is breaking out between the Kirgard faction and the Zelmony one between an Island that is in a strategic position between the 2 countries.

Avarice

Avarice is by Anaryu, Solitayre and Krisanna. Actually a short 2 week game made in RPG Maker VX, It is still is well done and interesting. It is an Action RPG where you can play either the mage Vandeli or the mechanic Lexi. They have their own styles of play, from Vandelis magic and MP use to Lexis gun use. You can use the mouse to play too. You customize your characters as you gain EXP, and the treasure you find is randomized so it is different each play through. The story is about a Mage named Vandeli who is looking for a relic and will do anything to get it, and a mechanic who always seems to get into trouble somehow.

 

I’ll stop here for the moment though, I had about 15 more i wanted to put but this should be a good list for now. I’ll go post more later! Also, I’ll give a heads up warning, not all of these games I will post have fancy custom graphics or anything, but may be good because of their story or that they are creative. I will not post games that do not yet have a download.

Chain of Retribution

Platform- RM2k3

Story
A chain game, sent from person to person, each putting in their part of the epic story in their own style.

When two mercenaries accepted an escort job–thought to be a swift and easy– they found themselves involved into a global conspiracy that would shake the very core of the earth.

Characters

Siegmund:
A mercenary for hire who was asked to escort Rise to the capital city. He’s a bit naive but has a good heart.


Reinhardt:
Siegmunds brother. He works together with Siegmund. He’s the more serious of the 2 and more organized.


Rise:
A magician girl, she needs to get to the capital city. She goes and hires some help because she knows the trip isn’t going to be so easy…


Domitian:
A warrior who is spoke of in legends. People know little about who he actually is. Domitian arrives to the capital city because of a letter.


Valeria:
A strong and calm warrior, she travels with Domitian for the same reason. While benevolent, she also has little tolerance for stupidity.

Screen Shots

Features
*New twist on the battle system: Each character is divided into 3 categories. Striker, Balance or Passive. Striker types regain MP in battle by attacking only. They’ll gain 20 MP this way, and are usually more for saving up for a big attack.
Balance types regain 10 MP regardless of what command is used. Their skills tend to cost less but are not usually focused on having a big final attack to use.
Passive types regain 30 MP when you defend. They also start with the most MP in a battle and are Mage-types.

*Encounter Gauge which fills up as you fight encounters (which are seen on the map). Once filled, you can open up a special chest in the area.

*Party changing system

Download
http://rpgmaker.net/games/3597/

Credits
It is a chaingame between:

*Dajhail
*GreatOldOne
*Jihaus
*K-hos
*Marimo
*Ocean
*Skie

 

Hope you enjoy it!

Was asked to make a post about this. Quite honestly, this one is pretty tough to talk about, I am not a motivational speaker nor do I want to be. This will be primarily what motivates or doesn’t motivate ME. It can vary from person to person what will motivate you but I think that overall, you have to motivate yourself to do it. Outside motivation only lasts for so long. If the project is short enough, it might be helpful.

I think the first realization that needs to be made is, your game is very likely going to take you longer than you think it will, that it will require more effort than you think it will, and that you can’t trivialize the effort you will need to do to make a game. By “game”, I mean a serious attempt to make a game and not like a 3 hour “lol the hero dies if you step on the town, and game overs if you hit a slime!!! Oh and the princess is Sonic the hedgehog lolol” types of games. If you are already experienced with making games, you may also know the effort it requires and can judge it more accurately for yourself. Otherwise, be prepared, the “It doesn’t seem that hard, I can get that done in a week!” can very well turn out to take weeks or longer. Problems come up, things don’t work as they ideally should, team members can come and leave, people may show little interest in your game, things happen!

Motivation? Oh right. I mention the effort required because this is something you’ll want to keep in mind before you work on your game. The design and planning portion (and you should at least do a minimum of planning and not just wing it entirely) should also have you consider what you can do or can’t in your time frame. If you’re trying to stick too much into your game, you can end up working for ages and see no end in sight. This is not very motivational! A game can take years to make (1-3 I’d say), and if you work on the same game for far too long, you’ll likely want to quit or have a bunch of other game ideas you want to work on instead. There aren’t many people who can continue on working on the same game for over 5 years and finish it.

Money isn’t quite the motivator you might think it is, which I know firsthand. Even being paid for pixels, I can become demotivated if someone is requesting changes upon changes or has a terrible attitude. So if you don’t like something very much, don’t expect “Being paid for it” to change your opinion of it in the long term. If you are already motivated or happy enough with the project, then it can make it even better.

The other issue that can arise from taking too long on a project is a noticeable increase in skill level, on your part. So the parts you started working on (nearly always the intro) will seem bad and crude compared to what you can do now. So then you remake it. Then start getting on a loop of remaking since you have to make the later parts match up, and now you have new ideas that you got… some remaking is good and can be necessary, but take care to not go in and spend all your time doing it. If you are a perfectionist, remember you don’t quite have all the time in the world to make something. Sometimes that little pixel that looks off in the NPC up in the middle of nowhere really isn’t that important! On the other hand, for those who love to rush things, slow down and take your time. Details are important too. A balance is good and something you’ll want to find.

You’ll want to know why you are doing the project, especially if it’ll be a long time commitment. Because frankly, there will be lots of things that may not be fun and lots of work you’ll have to do to get back to what you like to do. If your game is entirely “Demon arises after 1000 years and goes to destroy the world and only the chosen one can stop it”, you may halfway question why you’re even bothering and just quit. “Why are you doing this?” “This project is special to me and has a theme I wanted to put in that the game revolves around” may have you stick around to finish it because it’s unique to you and isn’t just “This person did it, and better than I could have so why should I try?”. Personally I don’t find it interesting for me if I feel like I’m doing an inferior version or copy of something that exists. If I want to do something, I want to bring in something unique to it.

Your project can also be there to help you learn new things. Doing things such as research, acquiring new skills, practicing what you learned can help you stay motivated on it. So it doesn’t seem like you’re wasting time since you’re learning new skills from it. It’s particularly helpful if you can learn how to do some of your team members parts too (if you are on a team) so if someone runs away, your project isn’t lost and you can continue on without them, even if it takes longer. Having team members leave can be quite demotivating so be sure to treat them well! They are helping you achieve your vision, not slaves to do your work for you!

Speaking of “Project isn’t lost”, use one of the various ways to back up your project every so often! Your motivation will plummet a lot if you lose all your work and have to start from a 2 month old backup. You can use dropbox, flash drives, external hard drives, file hosting online, sending it to a friend, various ways to back it up. I suggest you do this pretty regularly, something can always happen!

Deadlining yourself can be helpful too provided you aren’t giving yourself too harsh deadlines. That way, you have a goal to reach and can apply yourself to work for it instead of thinking you have all the time in the world to do it. Joining a contest (1 week, 1 month) can help for a short game, and don’t worry about being perfect in that time period, it’s much too short for that so it’s better to just do the best possible in that time frame. You’ll have already beaten out the 80% that quit before then. Deadlines can be set by someone else or self imposed, but stick to them if you’re going to do that. It helps particularly when you’re getting near the end. “I will do one quest a day” might be one such thing, that you need to reach this goal before you go to sleep for example.

For me, I love environment art. Scenery, towns, architecture, all of that. So when I need a dose of inspiration, I tend to go to pixiv or another site to go look at scenery art. It inspires me for technique, level design, setting design and gives me a goal to reach. Apparently that doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s something I love looking at. Legend of Manas art style is beautiful and I would love to make a game with that sort of style/beauty to it, which is why I get motivated whenever I see such pretty art. Listening to good music can be inspirational/motivational too. I keep one good song on loop if I really need to focus on working on something instead of wasting time switching tracks all the time.

See this is why I don’t post on my blog that much, I end up writing too much once I get a topic!

Mont Asall

Platform- RMVX

Story
You are caught and accused of the murder of Sir Edmund. A trial happens which determines whether you are set free or whether you end up in Jail. Being as you aren’t the one who did it, it becomes a search to find the true murderer, and the feud between the temple and the palace.

Screen Shots

Beach map. You uncover more of the map as you explore.


Character Creation! Choose from male or female, from various hair styles/colors and initial items. Then a name.


A skippable intro!


Items you find in treasures and stores are all randomized. They vary greatly from playthrough to playthrough.


Battle system! Move your character close to the enemy so they can attack or use a spell. You can even hire a character to help if you find one.

About
You can create your character in the start. Being a roguelike, a lot of the elements are randomized. Where you go, what items you find in chests, how many chests appear in a floor, what items are sold in shops, all of that is randomized. While the areas you go to are randomized, the maps are hand designed with custom tiles.

NOTE: when selecting an item in the intro, press UP and then Z at the item.

In battle, you can move up to the enemy. Depending on what armor and what weapon you have will determine how many steps you can take and how long your weapon range is. You can hire a mercenary to join you temporarily, though they may leave after you fight the boss of the area.

You can move around up to the amount of steps you have. Press Z to bring up the attack cursor. If the enemy is in range, you can select them to attack. X to cancel out.

Press X while its your turn to bring up the submenu. You can use an item or spell (unless you have already attacked/used an item or spell in that turn), Pass your turn, Leave the battle (if you’re as far south in the battlefield as you can go or have defeated all the enemies), or view the enemy names.

You can hire a helper into battle too. So you go first, then your ally if you have one, then the enemies go.

This is an experimental game which I wanted to try when I saw the roguelike challenge!

Download
http://rpgmaker.net/games/3883/
Mirror: http://www.mediafire.com/?o15gj4d4rzra8vi

 

Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjuBH7DBOl8

The games page link under Navigation is now changed. I know it’s not a big update but I figured I’d mention it. So now you can see the games I have and the games in progress, which ones are complete, and their reviews. They are alphabetical rather than chronological so I will try to explain away Island Skys lower rating because that one is from 2003-2005. I have plans for that game but not in the near future.

I might as well post that I played a bit of Fortune Summoners for Rays blog. You can check it out if you’d like or if you were curious about it!

Cherry has an SDK now for RPG Maker 2003 if you use RM2k3 still and would like to see what additions it has. You can now have C++ plugins for RM2k3 if you want that and have some knowledge of C++. You might want to hold out for RPG Maker VX Ace which should be on the way soon in English.

 

For Adalyn, I’ve been getting some system work done. I finished the menu system so now I will be doing animations for Adalyns attacks. I would need sound effects as well, which I’ll get to. It’s nice seeing progress being made, even if I can’t show much screenshots of it because it’s backend rather than visible work for the most part.

I feel planning out your game in general is a good idea to do. There may be some times where we’re so used to seeing something in a game that we just add it into the game as is without really giving it much thought. Sometimes we do need to step back and ask “Why” we added or want to add something.

When creating the game areas itself, it can be very helpful to have an idea of why it’s there. “So the players can shop before a dungeon” is a weak reason to just have a generic RPG town. An interesting backstory to a town can help in designing it too. This isn’t something you have to add into an in game book for the player to read. It’s something that you can show by the towns design, the NPCs dialogue, the details, so the town itself shows the player its history.

For example, a mighty town which had a very popular Colosseum went to ruins when the Colosseum did. You can show the broken Colosseum, have people tell you about it, have the town look poor and have some ruins around, and people constantly “living in the past” so to say or think “If only we had the Colosseum back…” or trying to move out to better places.

I think it is good overall to have even part of an idea of the history of your games town and games world. It can really help flesh it out to be more interesting to the players than “Farm town” “Castle town” “RPG town # 5″ “Last town”.

This applies to areas/dungeons in the game too, not just towns. Why is this path here? Just to put monsters in a grassy field for the player to level up? Again, this isn’t something you need to have massive in game encyclopedias for. Plan it out, design the area with that in mind. “Massive airships have fought above this area just a few days ago, and people are still going in looking for survivors/parts. There are still rival soldiers around the area so you may encounter them when they mistake you for an enemy” is one random example that came to mind. Now with this, you have an excuse for the player to find treasures/items they can use. They can come across and help NPCs, you have the matter of why they fought here (which is good if you can tie it into the story itself, like countries at war, can be bad if it’s just a random side story that doesn’t really go anywhere), and enemies that fit in the area instead of randomly having water enemies appear over a desert.

I do not think you really need to have 1000s of pages of notes on every single detail. Somewhere you can just spontaneously think of something that does work well within the initial plans you designed. I think the plans are more helpful to keep a consistant design and get your creativity flowing instead of using common ideas and not doing much with it.

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