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Weekly Update #5

Oh man, I can’t believe it’s been a little more than 2 weeks since I last posted an update! Wow, I’ve been slackin’…

 

So over these 2 weeks, my life has been, well…. busy, and my time for developing my game has been short. Looking on the bright side, starting the week after next is the beginning of spring break, so a week at home will leave plenty of time to work on my game. (My break just so happens to be a full 2 weeks before by buds’ breaks, so I’ll be home alone with nothing to do. Perfect setting for game dev, right?) But I digress, you’re here for the game, not my life, thus I’m here to share with you 2 weeks worth of slow progress!

I’ve been mainly focusing on the internal segments of the game, renaming map names, re-balancing combat and gold, editing some of the menu, adding more items and equipment, fixing minor errors, changing some spelling mistakes, and making the weather effects cleaner. Last time I showed off the beginning of the forest themed locations, but I didn’t delve too deep into that area. The idea for the forested locations is to promote exploration, because well, forests are cool to get lost in, right? Well, duh. I’ve got a few more screenshots to show of the forests, AND the new village as well. Take a look!Ss35 Ss34 Ss36

I’ve also begun work on the 3rd dungeon. It’s a mine themed dungeon, no, not the cliche with the abandoned mines and the like, but and actual mine that just so happened  to collapse right as you arrive! So your mission is to rescue the miners that are still trapped inside! Oh, and you’ll discover a secret and the like! After completing the dungeon, the mayor will grant you a very special gift! Access to the Quest Board! You will be able to accept, complete, and keep track of your sidequests! From this point on, EXP, Gold, and items, will be more and more scarce, so it’ll benefit you, the player, to complete as many sidequests as you can! Oh, and you’ll learn a ton of lore too, so that’s a plus.

But let me be honest with you all, creating and balancing sidequests along with the main quest will be quite the feat. The main quest is proving a difficult task alone, but with the addition of sidequests, progress will slow greatly. As a dev, I want to create the best game I can make, but at the same time, I want to just plain finish a game, where the more shiny things I add, the better the game, but the harder it is to complete it. This project has turned into a very ambitious project that will take months to complete, but it’s going to get done. Maybe split into 3 parts, maybe after 10 months, and maybe by sheer determination alone, but it will be the best game I can make. Sigh, I wish game developing was easier…

Oh and here’s some shots of the 3rd dungeon! It’s a mine in a mountain that’s been said to be hiding a dark secret, and the miners just found out what that secret was.

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Stay tuned next week and I’ll show off the boss of this dungeon! Yes, it’s still not finished yet, it happens to be one of the biggest dungeons in the game, as well as have the most events as well, quite the complicated dungeon. You’ll be visiting this dungeon a couple times in some sidequests as well, hence the sheer size of it, hope you guys like it!

Weekly Update #4

Hey hey!

Few! What a week! What with terrible 200b/s internet speeds, seemingly endless exams, and college basketball, I’m surprised I even got stuff done this week!

Here’s just a quick summary of what I got done:

I rebalanced most of the drops from the encounters. During my couple playthroughs, I always ended up with all the items I needed, everytime. Sure, that would be great, right? Well, not really, I want the player to either get lucky and come across that awesome necklace that doubles the drop rate of all items, but I don’t want that player to ALWAYS get it, ya know? Out of ~20 players, I want maybe 2 to actually get that item, and for those that desire it, but haven’t gotten it on the first try? I want them to go hunting for it! It’ll pay off, I swear! I also dropped the amount of Gold encounters drop as well as increasing the prices of certain equipment. During my playthroughs I never once had a strained wallet. I always had plenty after each time I went shopping. Surely that must be a good thing, right? NOPE! I want the player to be able to afford said stuff, however, I want the player to be forced to choose between 10 potions or that headgear, ya know? That headgear COULD potentially save you from using a couple potions here or there, but those 10 potions will keep you alive for quite some time, choices people, choices.

Here’s just a few screenshots for this week!

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Thanks for checking me out! Come back next week for another update on Vortex Gear! Hopefully next time will cover more content!

Weekly Update #3 Characters!

Hello hello!

It’s been a week since the last update, so its about time to show off even more progress of Vortex Gear!

Most of this week has been doing work behind the scenes, updating the database and fleshing out the story/characters. I did add two new features to the game that I think would make it more streamlined: Teleportation and a Quest Log! Both features hopefully will allow the player to travel throughout my vast world with ease, and the Quest Log will just keep track of all your sidequests you’re doing, simple stuff. I haven’t added any sidequests yet though, there’s still a pure focus on the main quest, that’s halfway to being 1/3rd done! Recently finished Dungeon #2, and working on Dungeon #3, out of 5 total of the first 1/3rd of the game. I’ve also started re-working some of the first maps of the game, such as the very first village, I’m not quite satisfied with how it looks currently. So most of the maps are probably not final, and WILL change at some point in development.

Here are a few screenshots to show off some of the visual progress made:

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In the future, there will be detailed descriptions of all the places you can teleport to along with MP costs for each place, certain places like Etruria will cost little MP, while dungeons will cost more to teleport to.

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The fancy boss battle of the second all fleshed out, and finely balanced. It’s quite the difficult fight if you were careless when choosing what skills to learn. Now it’s not impossible to beat without that certain skill, but even with that skill, the fight will tend to be quite difficult, with a high chance of characters dieing. (I personally don’t like throwing 7+ monsters all at once at you to feign difficulty like this, but for the sake of character development, having using this many foes on screen truly shows what type of person the boss really is by having all these dolls lying around. She must seem lonely right? Her lonelyness plays a BIG part in Karin’s backstory too, so I hope this, and her dialogue gets all this across. )

Now, I promised you character bios, so, here are just a few of the main characters!

Main Character Bios Part 1!

Rhett

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Rhett, an orphan, from the cold northernmost village of Yule, a province of Etruria. The Yulean people are masters of frozen magic and wearers of magical hand-crafted gauntlets which are passed down throughout generations. He was taken under the wing of an Etrurian Sage after his parents and his sister were killed in a blizzard on a hunting trip. He’s easily annoyed and hardly shows any emotions. He likes cute animals, and fried rice, and dislikes nobles and little kids.

Sage Florence

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Florence is the oldest member in the Etrurian Counsel of Sages and the only sage to have an apprentice at the time of this game. He’s also the last surviving witness of the Hell’s Gate, Ymir’s ultimate weapon, being used against Vern during the Hell’s Gates Wars decades prior to when the game takes place. He loves old maps and cartography, and dislikes disorderly rooms and shelves.

Lyn

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Lyn’s a strange run-away girl from a foreign land who is looking for her brother who she accidentally parted ways with on travel to Genoa. She’s got a terrible sense of direction and is easily lost. She likes bears and burning things, and dislikes old people and money.

Farrell

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Farrell is a rookie knight working for Etruria with a terribly desperate love-life. He began working as a knight just 2-weeks prior to the game’s events and was actually employed because Florence pulled some strings for him. He’s got a strong sense of honor and justice, and won’t rest until he sees justice served to the evil ones. He likes women and booze, and has a distaste towards injustice and surprisingly has an irrational fear of shields no less. (I have to admit, Farrell is one of the hardest characters I’ve ever tried to write… He’s quirky, serious, funny, calm all at once, and honestly, I am terrible at writing actually good pick-up lines for him when he meets a new woman… The one you see above… took way too much thought, and it STILL isn’t good. I might have to call for backup for his dialogue. Lyn’s also a tough chracter to write, but that’s just because her faceset is limited to HAPPY and HAPPY/SAD, and yeah, she’s deeper than just HAPPY all the time… ugh.)

Karin

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Karin’s an Etrurian native who lives with her abusive aunt after her parents were brutally murdered. She’s got deep emotional issues because of well, her life just plain sucks. She and Farrell are childhood friends and he’s the only person she can trust in, rarely wanting to leave his side. She likes… skulls and skeletons, zombies and bats, weird stuff, and dislikes magic and basements. (She’s honestly my favorite character in this whole story, she started out as just a filler to make your party into 4 characters because I needed just a random person, but then she transformed into this miraculously deep girl that I actually am tempted to make her the main character. BUT NO, I SHALL STAY ON TRACK! Or I just might make a side-project with her, I like her, a lot.)

So, those are just a few of the main characters that you’ll be seeing a lot of in the game, I’ll post the second part of this character bios thing later on when more progress is made. But for now, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more info on Vortex Gear!

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!

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.