Commercial Project Blog: Makio Week 3

June 21, 2015 in Development

Good week~!!

There’s something refreshing about smashing through my personal weekly goals twice in a row. All I had wanted to finish was getting everyone’s poses done for the main cast. Those are done and so are a large bulk of their emotions. They’ll likely need more for situations that haven’t cropped up yet in the story, but the basics are in place for each character’s standard moodsets. Honestly, busts are the easy part, but it still feels great to have them done.

Also done are the basic busts for the three most crucial NPCs for the first half of the game: Velda, Groose, and Hugo. Only Velda and Groose were on my weekly goal list, but tonight I managed to squeeze Hugo in as well!

07_Velda09_Groose08_Hugo

 

General Velda is a very key character in the game’s story and to Adalynn’s character. Apparently this kingdom’s military doesn’t have any laws about keeping their hair cropped. (Good, we need those luscious haired lady knights. Very important.) Groose is the King’s advisor and Hugo is just another knight in the same part of the military as Adalynn. He looks like a jerk – that was intentional. It’s always fun to get to draw notably skeevy characters.

A lot of my time this week was put into working on sprites for the game. I’ve also begun working with PalladinThug to get some of the sprites better (namely Roneliph and Koren). So far he’s done wonderful work with Phil~! I’m excited to see what he’ll bring to Koren! As for my own spriting endevours, I think the thing I am most proud of is this:

Hoot appears!!

Well there’s that strange looking owl again! Now it’s growing out of her head? Alright then. Whatever you say, Maki. Here’s another custom sprite for the game that I’m very proud of!

Boogie DownI'm listening...Snooooooooore

This charming little— err, big —turtle is an Earth Elemental who you’ll be meeting in one of the game’s early dungeons. She’s quite adorable, isn’t she?

The story is moving along well enough, we’re almost at the 2/3s mark for the first half of the game’s writing. The characters are all a bunch of lovable mooks, and I’m quite excited for the future when you all will have a better chance to meet them. For now you’ll have to take my word for it. You believe me don’t you? We’re almost up to the part where Groose gets introduced to the story, and let me tell you a thing – I love him a lot, so I’m excited! We’re not going to be done by the end of the month, that much has become reality, but we’re still pushing to get as much done as possible! Not sure about everyone else, but I’m going to continue keeping  dev blog for both this and for AwaF done the line. :) (I just like to talk)

Here’s a graceful shot of our protagonist to close this out.

Yaaaawwnnn! Another 5 minutes, Will. Please.

GOALS FOR NEXT WEEK
* Continue the writing! I’d love us to get to at least the end of Part B.
* Emotions for Velda, Groose, and Hugo
* Finalize the sprites for Phil and Koren
* Behaviour sprites for a lot of scenes
* Consolidating sheets for random town NPCs and making ones with alt. skin colours
* Two more battle sprites for Adalynn
* Some tileset edits: Big Window; Taller Pillars

BONUS GOALS
* Two MORE battle sprites for Adalynn
* Write all the things
* Battle sprites for SPOILER and SPOILER and SPOILER and SPOILER??
* Punch Hugo in the face

Commercial Project Blog: Makio Week 2

June 14, 2015 in Development

I suppose I set my goals for last week a bit on the pathetically small side. It means I get to feel good about having blown those goals out of the water with my mighty tablet pen in hand! The first thing on my goal list was to finish the basic bust for the remaining 3 members of the core playable characters. Well, I did that and a lot more. All three poses are done for Olga and William, three poses are done for Adalynn, and everyone else’s poses are plotted out.

01_AdaPrev

Thinking of poses for Adalynn was easily the most difficult; her personality doesn’t lend much to the way of body language and I can’t quite imagine her as a hand talker, so thinking of ways for her to express herself with her arms and hands only proved a challenge. In the end, I think what she has works for her reserved and just personality. She’s got a couple of other poses planned, but they are a bit more special and involve redrawing her face completely to do.  Aside from finishing the poses, I also completed a few different expressions for her as well.

What? Am I forgetting to mention something? That strange owl on her shoulder? Hmm… I wonder what that even is. Well, he’s not talking. I guess we’ll have to ask him another time.

03_OlgaPrev 02_WillPrev

Unlike Adalynn, there was little challenge in deciding poses for Olga and William. Their personalities lent to it easily. Yes, that’s cold hard cash Olga’s using as a fan there. ;D Sometimes in life you just need to have a character who fans herself with money. Confident and a big tease: Olga’s poses should pull those both off well. Where as William’s poses lack any confidence at all – poor little worrywart.

04_KorenPrev

 

The next playable character up is Koren! A Dragonkin who’s… well simple. In a charming way. Again, coming up with the poses for him was rather easy. It’ll be especially fun to put some alternate expressions on that third pose. Note: Koren’s hair is pure bliss to draw.

05_RonPrev 06_SenanPrev

The final two members of our cast are Roneliph, just call him Phil, and Senan. Phil is the type of character who I know all too well – as such, his poses were decided before June even hit. His dialogue has finally started and I know I’ve made the right choices there. Senan suffered from the same problems as Adalynn; he just doesn’t come across as a very expressive person. Instead, I made his poses thinking of how he’d react to the others (in particular Phil) more than how he’d deliver lines on his own. I suspect another case of Gunn Rose here where I tell Rach A1, A1, A1, A1 constantly for which pose on each line of dialogue. Let’s face it though, some people just aren’t that expressive!

So – I challenge you to answer Indrah’s question: who’s my favourite.

Another thing on my list for this week was recolouring the cave tiles for the first dungeon. Indrah spoiled it in her entry, but that’s done! You can see a screenshot here on her post; it’s much nicer to see the blue-greens paired with the cool grey compared to that garish brown, blue stones, and yellow green grass. I’m quite happy with the results here! Even if it proved to be a bit of a battle to satisfy my picky soul.

Indrah and I are well past the intro of the story. I think all things considered we’re a bit behind where we want to be, but part of that is because we’re trying to space out the events in the intro a bit more. Seeing as this was originally designed to be a contest entry, we tried to force a lot of the major impacts into the early part of the game (that’s where judges judge!) now we’ve gotten some breathing room and I think overall the lag that’s coming up from being more particular is going to benefit the overall project.

Now what about those Bonus Goals from last week? Get a couple of sprites done? PFFF, the sprites for every character listed above are complete (minus that mysterious owl who snuck his way in there), along with 2 other important NPCs, some not important NPCs, and an alternate sprite for Adalynn. The two more battle sprites for Adalynn are also done. Both fox and slime form, which Fomar mentioned in his first blog post in their temporary glory. I think I’ll keep the forms hidden for now. (Slime looks pretty awesome)

And aside from some more tile recolours and contributing heavily to plot discussion and text edits (in particular, geeking up Phil’s dialogue) – that’s about it!

GOALS FOR NEXT WEEK:
* Read over what is written of the story and pick out needed emotions for characters
* Basic busts for Velda and Groose, two important NPCs in the story
* The opening CG
* Bust poses for Koren, Phil, and Senan
* 2 more battle sprites for Adalynn
* Groose’s sprite

BONUS GOALS
* PJ busts for Adalynn
* hash out some menu design with Rach?
* Adalynn sword sprite
* Earth Elemental and owl sprites
* Adalynn’s two other bust poses

Made a meatier list this time to challenge myself – since the last one hardly did that at all.

See you next Sunday!

Commercial project Blog: Indrah’s Week 2

June 14, 2015 in Development

Ahoy! Guess, what? I spend all week DOING THE SAME AS THE LAST. And next week I’ll continue. And the next. And the next. Until the game is done, because 90% of my work is mapping and writing.

So yeah. Got writing and mapping done. Not at the superfast pace I’d like, but things are getting down. I’ve noticed writing-wise I tend to have trouble with introducing characters, especially close together in time (and boy do all the cast members come one after the other). I’m not sure if I should spoil the story too much, so let’s just say there’s plenty of precious chars and plenty of…chars that are appealing to each dev specifically (just try to guess which one is Maki’s fave XD)

Mapping-wise it’s been a relatively slow week. Finished the mine, did the recolor of the mossy cave; added in some editions and add-ons we needed when we changed some story flow bits, mapped the first town and now I’m in the middle of a newly devised area we needed (an abandoned village) because the game seemed to be rushing along too quickly and we needed a place to stop and let the characters breathe a bit.

So they’ll breathe GHOSTS. AND LIKE IT! >D

Here you have the weekly offerings, again nothing spectacular:

The finished recolor and edits to the mossy cave.

Yuria village, aka the initial human village. All towns will be very small because as we learned with Sunken Spire, pretty but large towns are more likely to confuse the player, especially if the plot doesn’t really NEED them.

Part of the underground tunnels under the abandoned village. A sinister place…once the lighting for it gets done, I promise XD

That’s all, really. Been steadily chugging along, no big events to report (man I’m bad at this dev blogging biznes)

Olga Gameplay Part 1

June 14, 2015 in Development

Health is wealth may as well be Olga’s motto as it’s what her skills and development system have been built around. Her main skill is called “HP Loan” which loans an enemy some HP (regardless of if he needs it) on the condition that the HP accumulates interest and that Olga can have it back anytime she wants. While it’s not really optimal to heal your enemies this does more damage in the end (usually – exception being enemies on low HP but why are you healing them?). An enemy’s debt is displayed on their health bar so you can easily see when they owe all their HP to you.

Screenshot Screenshot
Screenshot Screenshot
Screenshot Screenshot

Compound interest for the win.

Well with that brief look at skills it’s time to look at how Olga gains stats and learns new skills. If Olga reaches full health or is already at full health when she cashes in a loan then the excess HP is converted into currency based on the enemy’s difficulty. She also gains a small/generous (I’m not sure which at this point in time) of currency at the end of battles. Outside of battles she can spend her currency on increasing stats and learning new skills.

Screenshot Screenshot
Screenshot Screenshot
Screenshot  

The HP cost of skills isn’t implemented yet… Really I should only have got 40-50 Zinc from that battle.

As you can see there are eight currencies available through the game, at the moment it’s a currency for every five levels but that could change. Also as you might have spotted the smuggling option is a list of shops you’ve visited and means you don’t have to walk all the way back to a shop in an obscure location just to buy a weapon you couldn’t afford earlier (why you would want to do that will be revealed with the next character blog post), though there maybe be an additional fee if you are in a dungeon at the time.

Anyway I hope you liked this brief look at Olga, if played well she’ll be a valuable member to any team combination you use. I’m slightly behind where I hoped to be in terms of development but hopefully I can catch up a bit over the next week. My next entry will either be about Koren’s gameplay or about skill mechanics. See you soon!

Adalynne Game play Part 1

June 9, 2015 in Development

So with real life finally settling down for hopefully a long while it’s time to get back into game development. When discussing the development of our next game, Maki and I thought blogging through the development process could be a fun thing so without further ado here’s the first of my entries.

Adalynne is the main character, very early on in the game she acquires the ability to shapeshift. For those of you who played Sunken Spire the system has been developed more, this time around you’ll be changing forms in the middle of battles automatically based on conditions. Let’s have a quick look.

Screenshot Screenshot
Screenshot Screenshot

She’s the daughter of Elsa and Gideon who accidentally fused with the shape shifting Ooze (oh wait that’s terrible fan fiction).

As you can hopefully see, Adalynn’s form changes as her HP gets lower. Now is probably a good time to mention that at this early stage nearly everything is place holder – though the human form sprite is actually Adalynne. Each form has varying stats, the first form is meant to be the Fox form and has a higher attack power and speed but lower defences. The final form is meant to be the Slime form which has lowered offensive stats but higher defensive stats. They also have varying access to skills which are handled in groups like so:

 

Form Physical Offence Defence Buffs Debuffs
Human x x
Fox x x
Slime x x

 

None of the characters in this game employ a traditional leveling system. Adalynne uses a system currently called the mastery system. Given the complexity of her form condition system the mastery system has been kept fairly straight forward, for Adalynne to get stronger she just has to defeat a quota of each enemy type, if she lands the killing blow then she gets triple the progress. In the event of potentially missing a skill all skills which are not on unavoidable enemies will be learnt by leveling up a few levels after you could have acquired them. Here’s a quick look:

 

Screenshot Screenshot
Screenshot

With careful planning that HP could be your in 3 Slimes or 7 if you are less than optimal.

I should probably mention how levels work. Your level is calculated based on your stats, so as you gain stats your level will increase. For most characters gaining levels only really have the potential to grant skills you missed but Adalynne currently also gains access to new forms by level though that will probably change. For fun 40HP is roughly one third of a level.

I will do a second blog entry on Adalynne later when more of her forms are implemented and some general combat systems are completed but I’ll finish this up with a brief glance at the form system. As I previously mentioned form changes are automatic based on conditions, which you can change at will as long as you’re outside of battle.

 

Screenshot

You’ll unlock more conditions as you play.

My next entry will probably be the second main playable character whose skills are based around the idea that health is wealth…

Commercial Project Blog: Makio Week 1

June 7, 2015 in Development

Hello all! *blows dust off the website and uses a bit of spit and polish* First, I’ll say that I added some of our newer games on here! Because it we’re going to be using this place, best make it all officially pretty and whatever. Still have a couple more to add and I’ll need to fix up the GAMES page, but they are on the slideshow and the drop down menu. Anyway, onto the facts at hand.

It’s with sadness that I state that due to the delays with IGMC I won’t be able to compete. So instead the four of us (Dragonfly and Blue Coral) are going to put the same limitations that the contest would place on us (one month) and make the game we were intending to make for the contest in the first place and amp it up for a Commercial release. A game with no name, but plenty of concept down! A while back, I had already designed the playable characters for the first half of the game.

LINE_01

 

What a lovely line up of people~ It’s pretty exciting to be working on a game with Blue Coral again – even more exciting that this one isn’t attached to any pre-existing universe or plotlines. A totally original game from the collaborative minds of the four of us! This is going to be a blast. I’ve been ITCHING to start working on the actual art for the game. With the week being  short one (only starting on Thursday and me being away for 3 of those days) I haven’t got much done yet. But I did have a chance to get 3 character’s basic busts done!

Adalynn_01_AWilliam_01_AOlga_01_A

From left to right is Adalynn, our shapeshifting protagonist, William, her Page, and Olga, a money-wise noblewoman. We’re going to be using the same script for displaying busts as Sunken Spire, but I really wanted to get a bit more of the characters’ body in the images compared to that game. Mostly because I’m excited about their designs, but also because I’ll hopefully have time to do a couple of different poses and body language for each character.

Battlers_allsized

The other thing I’ve finished off this week was the main cast’s battle sprites. We’ve gottten permission to use monta!‘s sprites for this game which are an absolute JOY to work with. Making the sprites was an exciting game of franken-spriting, freehand and recolouring and I’m really proud of the results. There’s still a few adjustments to be made (some colours I’m not happy with, a few awkward lines, etc) but overall, they’re off to a good start.

Goals for next week:
* Finish off the basic bust for the other playable characters
* Work on hashing out the intro better with Indrah
* Recolour the cave tiles
BONUS GOALS
* Finish one or two of Adalynn’s forms battlesprites
* Get a couple sprites done

 

Commercial project Blog: Indrah’s Week 1

June 7, 2015 in Development

Heee, would you look at this place? How fancy.

Hallo, how do you do? I’m Indrah from Blue Coral games and I’m here a squatter to pillage fancy blogs :D

(Jeez why am I even the first one posting?) SOOO, WE BE MAKING A COMERCIAL GAME! And we’re gonna be talking about it periodically I guess? Yeah that works. Leave it to someone else to give the general details of the project coz PSH I’m just copypasting a post I did before.

Commercial project Blog: Indrah’s Week 1

So! We’ve finally started development for a commercial project we had in the shelf for a month or so. We’re aiming to get the first half of the game done by the end of June at least in an unpolished capacity. This first week is a bit uneven because we had the meeting on thursday and didn’t get a full week or work, even if I started mapping a day or so early.
Initially we wanted to get the script (the writing kind, not the code) done first, but since Maki is out till Monday and intros are HARD, I just made the terrible first draft then flipped a table and left it alone till Maki comes back and we can go over it for real.

Writing aside my main task is mapping (surprising no one). I’ve been doing decent progress so far. Out of the roughly 13 areas needed for the first half of the game (ahahah…I’m gonna die) I got around 2 and 1/4 done. Maybe?
The first dungeon (a mossy cave) is done! But needs recolouring. And half of the second area (roads) is half done too! But needs finishing coz the DS tiles are an absolute bitch to deal with in nature locations (swear to god curse you non-optimized damn tiles). And since I got bored of the roads (hiss) I started the Mines, which will actually hold puzzles and are more complex layout wise. Still working on the basics of it and how progression through the area will work, through thankfully the tileset for it is done. I even made a silly little engine for it:
Posted Image
Choo choo here comes the shitty franken train engine~ Just imagine Sabin suplexing it and it’ll feel a lot more professional XD

And…I don’t know what else to say. I mapped! I wrote a titty bit (yes that was intentional and childish, so bite me). That’s about it, really. How about I just throw you some screenshots and run?

Posted Image
Some tiles are placeholder/unedited, and the color palette has not yet been adjusted. It will look a lot less random later I promise, it’s just not finished.
Here’s the difference in the recolor (made by maki very quickly, not detail work). Also curse those DAMN shaky-ass A4 wall tiles.
Posted Image

Posted Image
Uninspired and bland ROADS. Damn the DS tiles are BS for nature. Curse you tiny inconsequential trees!

Posted Image
A random shot from one of the lesser mines rooms. Nothing special.

Sorry there’s nothign that fancy. Next time maybe I’ll have some nice and impressive shots. Or not. We’ll see ;-;

WB: Party Skill Sets

September 30, 2013 in Development

Just yesterday we discussed and potentially finalized the skills for the entire party. I also ensured that all of the effects work. We’ve had most of these determined for the last couple weeks, but we filled in the last couple holes last night and tossed out a few that were a little iffy.

So with that said, I thought I’d share the lists and see if anyone has any comments, critiques, or questions.

Things of note:

  • You can use as many skills in a turn as you have the AP for
  • AP will range from 2 to 6, with the max requiring equipment sacrifices
  • Under normal circumstances, no skill will miss
  • Some skill effects can be improved with accessories
  • All skills are single target unless otherwise stated
  • Skill names not final. Any numbers mentioned are also not final
  • The classes I list are just to give you a general idea of the character’s purpose

Gerda – Healer

  • Gather – Gather resources based on the current map. Adds the resources to your current battle inventory, allowing you to use them right away.
  • Nurse – Restores a small percentage (10?) of HP. Does not require any items.
  • Cure – Removes all harmful status effects. Requires an item. The improved version of this will also grant immunity to some status effects for a few turns.
  • Boost Potion – Improves the effects of any healing potion.
  • Wide Potion – Allows a potion to affect the entire party.
  • Restore AP – Sacrifices own AP to restore the AP of a friend. Target will gain Gerda’s current AP before using this skill, up to a maximum of 3. AP cannot exceed max.
  • Poison – Deals damage and inflicts a poison state. This is Gerda’s only means of attack. Requires a flower-type item which can change the effectiveness of the attack and/or poison.

Removed:
Revive – An expensive skill that revives and restores HP to the entire party. Requires a late-game item that must be crafted. Wide potion + a good revive potion now takes the place of this.

Kai – Nuker/”Blue Mage”

  • Bash – Hits the enemy with your staff. Does not require an item
  • Experiment – Requires a monster-type item. Deals damage and possibly an effect based on the chosen item.
  • Icy Glare – Freezes the enemy and deals small damage. Does not require an item.
  • Reflect – Reflects all skills, both good and bad. Items still work. Does not require an item.
  • Toss Potion – Tosses a potion made of enemy parts that creates an effect related to said enemy. Basically blue magic with items.
  • Swipe Parts – Deals damage and rips a part off of the enemy.

Possibly removed:
Large Experiment – Same as Experiment but with an Area of Effect and improved damage. Since some Experiement effects will already be AoE, this seems a little redundant.

Hansel – Tank/Damage

Hansel does not require items for any skill. As a result, his TP costs will be higher.

  • Axe Swing – Basic melee attack.
  • Big Attack – Melee attack with an area of effect.
  • Mend – A small healing ability.
  • Lullaby – Puts the enemy to sleep.
  • Cover – Takes hits for allies.
  • Provoke – Provokes a single enemy into attacking him.
  • Counter – Gains the ability to counter attacks.

Gretal – Buffer/Damage

  • Punch – Basic melee attack.
  • Launch Arrow – All of Gretal’s bow and arrow-based skills require an arrow to use. The arrow you choose will have an effect on the attack. This one is the most basic of the three.
  • Eye Shot – Same as Launch Arrow, but with increased damage(?) and the ability to blind.
  • Arrow Barrage – Area of Effect arrow attack. Requires a Bundle of Arrows. The amount of arrows in the bundle affects the damage.
  • Lock On – Removes the enemy’s ability to dodge.
  • Swift – Gives self the ability to dodge.
  • Pump Up – Attack and defence buff.

In addition to the above, each party member will have a “pass”-type skill and a Use Item command. The pass-type skill will vary by character and can be improved with accessories. Restoring HP, TP, or increasing defence are all options. The strength of these effects is based on the amount of AP used.

If you made it through that wall of text, then good job. Here’s the recently completed bust portraits for the party’s parents to help add some pictures.

WB: Currency and the Lack of it.

August 15, 2013 in Development

So posting updates alongside the GMD posts on one of the RPG Maker websites I frequent didn’t really work out. It ended up feeling redundant and I got behind here, so they just kind of stopped. What I am going to try to do to give this site a purpose minus being an archive of our work is to post about some of the features of our upcoming game Winter Blossoms. I don’t have any particular plans on what aspects to talk about or how often I will make posts, so this will just kind of be major aspects of the game as I think of them or as a comment inspires me to write about them. With that intro taken care of, let’s get to actually talking about the game.

It became apparent quite early in the design process that gold/money had very little purpose in this game. Fairly early on, Hansel and Gretal start working for a blacksmith and gain the ability to craft new weapons, armour, and accessories for the party. In fact, with the exception of possibly some treasure chests, this is the only way in which you get new equipment. To top if all off, a large portion of your items for use are going to come from either Gerda’s Botany and Kai’s Chemistry, so there is even less incentive to buy. Gather spots are frequent and renewable, so there is no lack of resources you can acquire for yourself.

Combine the above reasons with the fact that your party consists of teenagers, a game with no currency makes sense. That’s not to say there aren’t “shops.” The town features a lively marketplace right in the center of town. Here you can make trades for items that maybe are not as readily available with those that you have loads of. This isn’t the only location you can make trades, however. Perhaps that neighbour of yours really wants that perfect flower for their garden, and they are willing to part with their favourite ring to get it. You might find that the stock and trades available in this town change with time, so that once smoking deal for healing potions is no longer what it once was.

You might be wondering what happens if you’ve completely exhausted your supply of basic items and can no longer take on the monsters required to replenish them. Fear not! Your parents will gladly give you a stockpile if you run yourself completely dry, but not before admonishing you for getting yourself into dangerous situations of course.

Like I mentioned in the opening, I have no plan currently for what I’m going to write about, so let me know if there’s anything you are curious about or want a deeper explanation of.

GMD Day Five

June 13, 2013 in Development

The day started off much the same as the last couple days, itty bitty things like refining colours and taking care of little annoyance bugs. But then we got into a couple fun things.

GMD5 - SkillItem

I finally tackled a script that was scaring me a little bit (since it was the first major-ish script I was making for the project and there are a number of non-default scripts I am working with now) but was excited for because it’s a fairly important aspect to the game. So I don’t think I’ve mentioned before, but a core mechanic to the game is the gathering, refining, and use of items. There are renewable gather spots on the maps, a crafting system to refine what you gather, and most skills, particularly for Gerda and Kai, will use items.

An important aspect of this is skills that have more than one option for items that you can use. We could just have “regular arrow,” “winter arrow,” “poison arrow” as skill options, but it is preferable to just have a “shoot arrow” and then select from whatever arrows you currently have. This also allows for various possibly unforeseen combinations of skills and items. Generally how it works is you have a skill with basic stats, and the arrow you pick will add various effects, be it extra damage, a status effect, or a new element. You can also have skills that take the item as the base and just enhance it. Which items are available for the skill can be limited on a skill-by-skill basis.

GMD5 - sketch

The other exciting work completed today was some sketches and designs for the town and a rough layout for the areas around it. This also resulted ina first draft of the map for Gerda and Kai’s homes. They will need editing and new items to complete them, but the basic structure is more or less in place.