Archive | January 2014

Weekly Update #2

Greetings all!

It’s been a week since I posted the first update on my game, and it’s about time to show off some more awesome progress! I’ve completed the title screen for the game, and I’ve finalized the name of the game. It’s called Vortex Gear, how’d I come up with that name? Random name generators! Yeah, I liked the sound of it so I stuck with it. That’s it, simple right?

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I’ve received some feedback for my original title screen, and changed it up a bit. This is the final product. It started as my first experiment with Photoshop, and I’m astounded with the results. I give 100% to beginners luck. I’m still accepting feedback for it, so feel free to leave a comment down below what you think! Nothing is truly ever final.

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I’ve now changed up the introduction to include more lore. Pretty much an exposition dump. It’s not final yet, but it’s MUCH more interesting, and I’d like to believe it adequately informers the player of the game’s setting.

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I’ve also changed up the message backgrounds to be WAY more fancy. Makes the game have a more polished look to it. Plus I wanted an excuse to mess around in photoshop a bit more. This message background is not final, so feel free to comment on it!

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I’ve changed the battle system a bit more since the last update. I’ve changed the backgrounds to be more like the field you’re walking around in, so things stay consistent. (Plus I wanted to stray as far away from the RTP as possible.) And I’ve also gotten rid of the “Attack” command seen in most, if not all, RPGs. I, as well as many others, have gotten bored of just plain bashing the attack command and getting through, so I thought to myself, might as well get rid of the whole attack command and thus getting rid of the whole complaint! Well it’s still not that easy, but it allows me to add a little more fanciness to my battle system. You learn Magic by gaining JP through battles, but you learn new Actions every few levels or so, and most Actions cast no MP, so there’s no penalty for experimenting! I hope this small change makes a huge difference in the fun of battles, but only time will tell.

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Here’s just the status menu, I’m just wondering if I should keep that star for the JP… Hmmm…. I don’t know……………………

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Oh! I’ve also finished the second dungeon! Here’s a little sneak peak of what it looks like! I REALLY love how it turned out. I was going for a dark basement theme, and I got something much more than that. It still needs some tweaking, like the first dungeon, but it’s pretty close to the final product.

I’ve now got the game playtime to reach up roughly 45 minutes. Forty Five. A 4, and a 5. It’s the most playtime I’ve had in a game of this quality ever. Guess this means I’m truly serious about this one. But this game isn’t just going to be some 2 hour mini-game. No. It’s going to be much more. Buuuuuuuut it’s hopefully not going to be some 60-hour epic, ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat! The goal playtime will roughly be 8-hours, but who knows, I may be optimistic OR it may end up being twice that, at 16 hours. But expect 5 hours minimum, that’s probably the shortest this game can be given the whole story thing that RPGs seem to have, you know, plot I think is what they call it? Yeah, that plot thing, 5 hours.

I’ve also updated the “Current Game” tab in the blog, so feel free to check there for more up-to-date info on Vortex Gear! Next week I’ll provide character biographies, so look out for those!

Mid-week Screenshot Splurge #1

I strangely feel that doing updates only once a week is a little… inhibiting. The progress I’m making surprises even myself lately, and I REALLY want to show off all the cool new things about my game. And, yeah, also reveal the title as well! (If it wasn’t already obvious… ) So, I’m just going to spill out a few screenshots. Next Sunday/Monday I’ll do a written update explaining what I’ve done, and how I did it, but for this, all you’ll be getting are a bunch of screenshots

Enjoy!

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So you’re saying I can’t make the Candy themed game that I’ve dreamed about all my life?

This morning King Games, the makers of the ridiculously famous game, “Candy Crush: Saga” was awarded the trademark for the word, yes you guessed it, Candy! In a recent report by Gamezebo, King went after an indie game by the, super long name of: All Candy Casino Slots – Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land.

(Sure that name screams keyword baiting, but I digress) They’re claiming that because the game shares the word Candy in it’s name consumer confusion could occur. Now that would make some sense if it was a similar game, but no, they’re completely different games of different genres. One is a bejeweled clone, and the other a virtual casino. However, King’s trademark clearly covers the gambling aspect of gaming, strangely it also covers clothing and educational services, hmmmm. This rampant trademark is absolutely ridiculous stemming from the success of a video game in the App Store. Surely commonsense would dictate that King would simply trademark “Candy Crush”, and be done with it. That’s seemingly the industry standard, aside from the obscure Bathesda and Mojang incident. I can understand King wanting to protect what’s theirs, and more power to them, but when they decide to use their sheer wealth and size to manipulate other developers by trademarking the common word “candy” (and using it against them), then we’ve got a problem. (There have also been rumors that King also tried to trademark the word “Saga” too, and man would there be an even bigger uproar for that. However, they were not awarded that trademark, thank god.)

So why didn’t they just trademark “Candy Crush” and be done with it? That part I can’t seem to fathom. I’m just scared that they’ll begin to push smaller developers around while claiming any mention of “Candy” for themselves. Sure this doesn’t affect me what-so-ever, since I doubt I’ll be seriously making any candy themed game in the near future, but I’m just fearing for the other developers who believe that using videogames as a medium to share there love for candy is their one true calling. If King decides to use their size to be a bully, then we’ll have to fight back, and luckily we can. Or maybe King might just sit back and do nothing with their trademark, but I don’t believe that to be the case… color me skeptical.

This leads me to @maxticket of twitter’s idea of a Candy themed Game Jam. I’m in it 100 percent. Let’s see King legally take down hundreds, or maybe thousands of Indie Games because of their ridiculous trademark! (But, who knows, it might actually just be a terrible idea and end with many developers being sued ridiculous amounts of money for refusing to change their game’s titles.)

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A game jam has been started up at Candy Jam on tumblr! It’s open to all! I’ll be sure to make a quick candy-themed game in RPG Maker to go along with this!

Weekly Update #1

Greetings, all!

Now that I feel a little less self-conscious about my game now that it’s come along pretty-well, I feel that this is the perfect time to reveal my current project! I feel that my years of experience with the RPG Maker series and the (roughly) 2 years Ace has been out is enough to finally get cracking on a legitimate project. No more quitting, and no more excuses. I’ll get this project finish if it’s the last thing I do! But… I’ve never released a game before, so I have no real idea what it’s like to finish one, I lack experience. I’m crossing my fingers that this project will allow me to find out for myself the glory that is finishing a game.

So a little bit about myself to reveal a little about my current setting. I’m a 19-year-old college student living in Richmond Virginia, so, you know, I’m busy with spending outrageous amounts of cotton to listen to rants, write 20 pages of the same ideas repeating themselves, and terrible food. I’m not able give 100% of my time on this project, but I regretfully am giving a bit TOO much time to this little hobby of mine. I spend at least 5 hours a day with RPG Maker VX:Ace open on my laptop, and don’t even tell me about my social life… It’s lacking in the people department. So I’m serious about this, maybe a little too serious, but who knows, it might just pay off.

I guess it’s time to show off a little bit of my game then! Of course it’s still early on in development, so don’t expect it to be too fancy yet, don’t worry, that’ll come in time. I’m not even going to worry about weather, let alone light effects yet. (But don’t worry, but the time I release an early build of it, I’ll make sure too pop in some more eye candy in for you guys.)

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The fancy pantsy menu I’ve got going on just so happened to be a random find when I was browsing some random Japanese RM sites, and I fell in love with this script by Cacaosoft at http://cacaosoft.web.fc2.com/ At first it was a pain to figure out the inner-workings of it since it was in a foreign language but it was a sheep in wolfs clothing once I took a deeper look into things. Cacao DID hide a few extra functions in the script that I still have no idea what they do, but hey, it looks cool even without the fanciness! Then to top it all off, Syvkal’s Menu Bars to make the bars look perfect.

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Ah the lovely DS tiles. I love them dearly. I would’ve completely scrapped Ace last year if it weren’t for these beauties. The RTP just got so boring to me that I wanted to give up RMing entirely because of it, but just before I did… BAM! Like a falling meteor, this wonderful package hit me like a brick, but only after I sacrificed a bundle of cash to the gods at http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/

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Finally the battle system. A classic side-view to top it all off.

I’ll be showing off more of this project every-week on whichever day I feel like writing I guess. I promise there’s more than just what these three pictures show, I just feel like these three adequately show the core of the game well enough that anymore will be a tad redundant so far. Next week I’ll be talking about the setting of this project and its name (The smart ones have already figured it out, but shhhhh don’t tell anybody!) as well as the length of this game.