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I've Done what I should have Done Long Ago...

  • pianotm
  • 04/28/2021 04:08 PM
Magic Quest is my love letter to Dragon Quest. It uses many of the same mechanics I liked and tries to be a game that looks and feels like it's from the 80s era of video gaming. As always, RPG Maker isn't a perfect vehicle for the game, though I am convinced that RM2K is more designed with DQ in mind than it ever was for Final Fantasy. RM2K is nearly perfect for Dragon Quest, requiring the least fussing of any fangame to make a faithful homage.

But as I said, it's not perfect. I had to build a completely new random encounter system from scratch. What was wrong with the old one? Nothing, except, if you recall, Dragon Quest didn't have a game over screen, and with RM2K, there's is absolutely no way to get away from the game over screen with random encounters. By controlling random encounters so that you can make them random evented encounters, it is possible to bypass this, and this is exactly what I did. It wasn't as hard as I thought, only taking me two or three hours to figure out, but it's harder than you'd expect. Best part, it feels like a proper random encounter system, which is something I've never been able to get from outside sources. I'm in the process of making a tutorial to teach you how to build a random encounter system like this one.

What did my custom random encounter system allow me to do that the regular one didn't? It let me not have a game over screen. That's it. That's all I wanted it for. When you die, instead of a game over, you transported to whichever Queen or King you spoke to last, who will give you a second chance. Moreover, because you can save anywhere, you never have to worry about losing progress in this game.
You don't even lose half of your money like in the original Dragon Quest. In playtesting, this is the first time I can remember having that ease of mind playing a video game. It had a huge impact on playtesting. Not having to worry about a save file except to save your immediate position on the map, as it turns out, is a really big deal. And not having to struggle to find a save point is a major deal too.

Wow! This release announcement is going to become a game design blog!

It's interesting to note all of the hoops RM will make you jump through to accomplish something so basic and straightforward. Anyway, for those who may be interested, I have released this game after a little less than two weeks of work, and I hope you enjoy it. I tried to make it as true to the original Dragon Quest as I could, but I couldn't help but add some more nuanced writing and lore.

I made some quality of adjustments; I've already explained about saving. I've kept one of the more tedious aspects of Dragon Quest, grinding, though it isn't as bad here as it was in that game. Also, there are plenty of secrets to be had. Some a bit more straightforward to find than others, some hidden in plain sight, and some that require jumping through some hoops to find. I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed making it, and I will see you in the next game!


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RPG Maker 2k/2k3 for life, baby!!
This was an interesting read, I look forward to trying out the game.

One issue that RPG Maker 2000 has is that regardless of the amount of steps per random battle you set, sometimes it will glitch out and you'll have a random battle immediately after the previous one, after walking only 2 steps or so.

For that reason alone, a custom random encounter system is very useful! That and the amount of creative stuff you can make with a custom gameover screen or to add penalties for losing.
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