Mapping is basically complete, with the exception of a couple small rooms in the final dungeon. Now begins the long process of fleshing out the combat and eventing all the cutscenes - in other words, the meat of the game. Here goes nothing, haha.
I'll try to get this game out by the end of December, but that's gonna depend on how busy I am during the day.
Hey guys. I just thought I'd share a bit of the evolution of my most recent map, as the process of making it was a ton of fun and I'm quite proud of how it turned out. As I started working on the final maps for Jamie, I realized that the game needed a proper final area. Sure, the Dark Towers are a large final dungeon and all, but there's a bit of story after that dungeon. I realized that I needed to make a small temple or shrine.
But then I realized: this temple wouldn't be smol at all. It would have to be pretty large. So it was time to expand, still using the base RTP without many edits:
But there was a huge problem: the color just doesn't work...and the roof isn't seamless. Edits would have to be made, and lots of people agreed.
First came a recolor:
And then some tedious work in photoshop last night to make a proper mega roof:
But I still wasn't happy. It was still kind of bland, and I really felt that it needed a bit more detail. I started experimenting with the towers and began making edits for windows and other doodads.
Almost done! Just a few more details were needed along with a higher res screenshot. I foolishly searched for a MZ Mapshot script but couldn't find one...until it dawned on me that you can export mapshots from MZ itself. I felt like a moron!
I added some more details, a gate, and some little hidden nooks and crannies that may or may not come into play later on...
Here's the current/final version!
The feedback I received in the RMN and Visustella discords was invaluable, and I greatly appreciate everyone who took a bit of time to bounce ideas off me!
It's going to be a slow couple of weeks on the gam mak front because I need to get caught up on work in preparation for the sluggish winter season. I will probably have to move the tentative deadline to mid-to-late December. The tl;dr is I'm gonna need at least 80 hours to finish the game to the level of standards set forth in the demo (and ideally more) - that's about 4 weeks of part-time effort.
Here's where I stand with everything:
Planning: 95 percent complete (2+ hours of work remaining, mostly in the details surrounding the plot twists that are coming up)
Mapping: 70 percent complete (10+ hours of work remaining)
Eventing: 50 percent complete (60+ hours of work remaining)
Database: 40 percent complete (5+ hours of work remaining)
Part 1 Rewrite/Expanded Intro: 0 percent complete (5+ hours of work remaining)
I'm really hoping that I don't get screwed over by life here. I REALLY want to finish a game, even more than when I attempted to do so with Solitary. An illness and then a pretty crazy relationship kinda put Solitary on the backburner last year. Luckily I'm in a pretty mellow place in life, so I don't expect the sky to fall here.
This will likely be my last solo project to use the RTP, barring contests or the like - and I guess one cannot rule out using the amazing 2k3 RTP. I'm just sick of the blocky nature of things. 16 bit is bae, and my style is more suited to that era anyway. Assets like REFMAP are way more fun to use, on the whole, and require less editing. I've spent a ton of time recoloring and editing the MZ RTP to suit my desire. Sure, it's a great foundation, but the kind of games I make just aren't well suited for the visual style of the RTP since VX Ace.
The only reason this project uses the MZ RTP is because of the fun I had in the MZ Trial period. After making "Project4", I started puttering around with dungeon edits and came up with a design that I liked. Jamie was created to showcase some of the dungeons I made with the edits.
After Jamie, I'm probably going to dive back into mapping commissions as well as my own 16-bit game - perhaps an update of Carlsev Saga or a port of Solitary. It's up in the air at this point.
Tonight was the Kill the Cutie stream and Liberty played through Jamie for a couple of hours. The reception was quite positive all around, though there were some interesting points brought up in both the LP and the chat. I'll be making some changes:
1. The portraits and sprites of Jamie, Billy, and Laura will be changed to be a little older. They are intended to be 13-14 years old, not 9-10.
2. Some of the more verbose monologues will be trimmed down a bit. I just need to do a better job working around the character who can't speak.
3. I will add a state icon that signals what kind of weapon you have equipped.
4. I MIGHT add an explorable village to smooth out the pacing during that big block of cutscenes between the intro and first dungeon. This is still a big maybe though.
In other areas, I've mapped most of the second dungeon and planned out the puzzles. I've also started on the exterior of the third dungeon.
Now that the Event Version of Jamie is completed, it's time to figure out how to proceed from here. The story is about 50 percent complete. The second half of the story will feature more of a gameplay focus - the stage has been set and it's time to see the plot come to fruition.
The current plan is to include two more full-length dungeons:
Far to the west of Kioka Town is a dangerous territory that few travelers dare to traverse. Unfortunately, Jamie and friends have no choice but to enter. These woods are more like a swamp these days, full of slimy critters, human-sized insects, secret paths, and ponds full of poisonous liquid that will melt skin off the bones. Jamie and her party will have to figure out a way to traverse the poisoned waters, perhaps with the help of an eccentric hermit who has lived in the woods since well before they were corrupted.
Shrine of Cygnus
The centerpiece dungeon where all of the game's mechanics will collide. The gloves will come off, and the handholding will be a thing of the past. I intend to make this one of the most involved dungeons I've ever made, and that includes commercial projects for which I was commissioned.
The dungeon will comprise three towers: the Light Tower, the Dark Tower, and the Balance Tower. Each tower will have puzzles related to its respective theme. The fights here will require the player to utilize all abilities and passives at their disposal because each fight will have an "enrage timer" and end after a certain number of turns.
I've completed a 50-minute demo and shipped it off to a group of awesome testers. All I have to do for the event version of this game is rewrite some stuff, tweak a few things, and add a post-boss cutscene. After that, I'll probably spend a couple of weeks finishing the second half of the game.