Hey all! For ages I’ve been talking about how I’ve wanted to do a game, and how I’ve had a hard time with it because of my health. Well, the last few days I’ve been feeling a bit better and have been able to make more progress on my RPG Maker custom adventure RPG engine for the game. As alluded to I’m using a program called RPG Maker XP as the basic game engine and it’s really great to use for making classic retro-style RPGs like the old Final Fantasy games for the SNES. I’ve got some screenshots of what I’ve been doing. Almost all the graphics are place-holders, except the 3d stuff and the cool cyberpunk city graphics. Those I did. But there’s a ton of graphics that come with RPG Maker and even a ton more on the web, which has really helped put together my prototype demo that you see in the screenshots. You’ll probably notice that there’s typical fantasy characters in the battle screenshots, for example. You may also notice some classic Star Trek characters I did and threw in for fun in a couple of the screenshots.
I’ve added a ton of customizations and new features to the game engine, most of which were programmed by the awesome and talented people in the RPG Maker community. I’ve customized these scripts and add-ons, and even programmed several of my own. It’s taken me over a year, off and on, to come up with the current game engine I have now. In addition to the retro cute SNES style looks, the game engine currently features:
- Cute chibi-style characters and graphics
- A simple and intuitive mouse interface, as well as keyboard controls
- Cool looking dialog portraits and avatar battler sprites for the menu and battle screens
- The ability to do both in-game cut-scenes and “comic-style” story cut-scenes
- Detailed monster or enemy graphics
- A fully-featured Final Fantasy-style real-time active battle system with limit breaks
- Weather and climate effects
- Day/night effects (if I choose to use them)
- A time and date system allowing events to happen on certain dates or times of day or night. It also allows the day/night effects, weather, and climate to change depending on the type of area and the time of year in the game (again, I’m not sure I’ll end up using this feature in my current game project, but it’s there if I want to use it)
- A mini-map
- HUD with character health, level, skill points, and experience meters
- A skill system with both battle and non-battle skills and abilities (in a fantasy game this would be like a magic system, but since this is a scifi game and I hate magic, the skills are probably more like special mutant or super-human powers (or maybe something like that) and are especially special maneuvers, abilities, and techniques characters can use in and out of battle. (e.g. a medic can heal, and an officer can use special battle techniques.)
- A map screen showing the current area
- Be the Captain of a starship that you can teleport up to and explore the interior
- Starships are like a special character that has it’s own weapons, shields, armor, and modules or upgrade slots, as well as its own statistics, and special skills
- Explore space and star systems in your starship, traveling between far off worlds.
- Starship combat system (this works basically like the character battle screens, only starships have special “skills” that are like special weapons, maneuvers, etc. unique to ships)
- “Beam” down to planets or stations and board other ships to explore and do missions (This is currently in my prototype demo)
- an adventure game style item-based puzzle system (e.g. find items and try to use them on objects, hotspots, npcs, etc. to solve puzzles like in classic point and click adventures)
- Combine items to solve puzzles or to craft new and better equipment
- Dialog choices that may effect aspects of the game or how npcs may respond to you like in many story-driven adventure games
- name your characters and ship
- characters and ships can be upgraded and advance in level with experience
- skill trainers where you can purchase new skills for your characters
- fun and detailed 3d and hand-painted backgrounds (eventually when I start the actual production of the game…when I’ve actually written the story and know what graphics and backgrounds I’ll need. )
- a character statistic system with abilities that effect your character’s prowess in battle and in other things
- control a party of four characters at once, but you can have up to eight characters in all and choose who will be in your party
- A simple quest journal to keep track of what you need to do next
- An award and achievements system where you can gain a higher score and special awards by exploration and completing quests
- High quality original music (I’ve actually composed and mixed some nice original music myself. I’ll have to share some of it. I’ll do more custom music when I have more of an actual game ready and not just a prototype)
- Gain ranks and titles as you advance your characters, e.g. rise from an Ensign to a Fleet Admiral. Other characters gain different ranks and titles depending on their class
- And a lot more stuff I can’t remember off hand
With the exception of the original custom graphics (they’re all place-holder or test graphics in the screenshots), which I can’t start making until I write the story, all of these features have actually been added to the game engine now. They’re not a list of what I want to add. They’re finished and in my little prototype demo. There’s actually a lot more features that I’m playing with and I’m doing a lot of bug testing and experimenting in my prototype demo to see what I like and what will work for my game, but the engine is pretty much finished. Whether my first game will actually use all these features is still in question as I haven’t really written the story yet. But they’re there if I want to use them. Woohoo!
Right now I want to work an a short episode game for Legends from the Void, like a demo game with a complete short story. Btw, LftV is more like a brand name like Final Fantasy or Star Wars. I made it to encompass lots of different “legendary” scifi tales, no matter the format. So I could make comics, games, fiction, etc. and it would all be under the brand of “Legends from the Void”. It’s a cool and different name, and I’ve got the domain name, so I want to make the most of it. In fact, there is a legendsfromthevoid(dot)com you can check out though there’s not much there at present. I don’t want to do much there yet until I have more info to show.
So that’s my progress so far. Of course the most important thing in a adventure RPG like this is the story and the characters. I’ve got a bunch of different premises, which I’ll share another time, but this will give you a good idea on what I’ve been up to as to my game project.