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The Making of a Game

  • Strak
  • 05/22/2023 03:38 AM
So, this project started with an idea I had back in early February. I wanted to play Diablo, but I couldn't. I don't have a TV, or a Switch, or really anything that actually allows me to play video games anymore with a few minor exceptions. Long story, but it was ultimately my choice to do that. But this didn't cure the itch. I still wanted to play Diablo.

Or more accurately, I wanted to play a looting game.

So, what does a game dev do when he can't play a game he wants to? Makes one, I guess.

I had this crazy idea about a rarity based loot system that could technically be just barely possible to make in RPG Maker VX, but I wasn't totally sure. Still, I had nothing better to do and needed a creative outlet, so I busted out the laptop, created a blank project with VX, and got to work.

That was February 11th, 2023.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I managed to find new and creative ways to make this idea I had work. Each new discovery lead to another, which in turn caused me to come up with more ideas. What if this game utilized a skill tree system? What kind of save system does this game need to have to make sense? Is is possible to have passive effects based on your current equipment or what skills you know? This all culminated in the project you see here. And the reason I can accurately say what day I officially created this project is because for the first time, I actually documented the entire development process. Every day that I worked on the game, I would end the day by breaking out the Devlog text document and jotting down what I did that day.

And here's the real kicker: I never missed a day. Until life happened and now I've missed a couple days but oh well.

Every single day since February 11th, I have dedicated time to making this game into what it is. Literally hundreds of hours have gone into this, and it's all documented. The only days I DID miss were days that my laptop was getting repaired since it wasn't charging, and yet even on those days I was brainstorming ideas in my notebooks to implement the moment I got my laptop back.

I'd like to share that devlog with you, to give you an idea of what went into this project, and what it takes to release a polished demo. This isn't necessarily a benchmark, and certainly demos can be released with a lot less work put into them, but it's something that's been close to my heart for the last several months, so I thought I'd share it with the community. Here you go.

- Created Project
- Created randomized loot drop system with six different rarities for weapons and armors
- Added in-menu colored text for all specified rarities as well as items
- Implemented variable atk stat to dropped weapons (affects all weapons with same ID)

- Added templates for Mythic and Legendary weapons
- Created a loot drop scene to display all dropped weapons, and be able to move them into backpack. Items left in loot table are discarded. Items can be moved from backpack to loot table
- Created single-instance weapons, so old weapons are not overwritten
- Added randomized loot to shops that change on a timer
- Added limited backpack space

- Removed ability to unequip items
- Added a confirmation dialogue to loot table when discarding items
- Added labels to the loot and backpack in loot table
- Added weapon levels

- Imported Equip scene from BSH
- Added all fields to weapon stats window in loot scene
- Adjusted crit bonus values and added crit bonuses based on weapon prefix
- Added armor to loot drops and loot table
- Added ability to switch between armor and weapons in loot table backpack

- Added loot chest capability
- Organized database and added slots for loot, shops, storage, backpack, equips, and templates
- Added storage locker for weapons and armor
- Added variable backpack and storage capacity

- Added remaining weapon templates
- Added uncommon weapon prefixes

- Added shop capability for weapons
- Added variable drop rates based on monster quality
- Added prefix functionality
- Fully implemented random stat generation
- Added weapon type stat variations
- Added weapon levels and level requirements

- Added custom item and equip screens that display all item stats
- Added armor templates
- Added armor prefixes and functionality
- Added armor shop functionality
- Added armor loot generation
- Submitted game page for approval

- Imported and initialized Tankentai SBS from BSH
- Added weapon animations
- Added unique legendary traits
- Added status ailment animations
- Added animated battlers and FSM characters
- Implemented unique movesets based on weapon type
- Cleaned up stat window display
- Adjusted equip screen resistances and applied statuses

- Fixed bug where weapons wouldn't save when reloading file
- Tested Overdrives and added one ability
- Balanced weapon accuracy
- Cleaned up stat display
- Adjusted drop rates

- Modified Battle HUD
- Uploaded game to RMN

- Removed base actor stats except HP
- Added compatibility for removing and adding party members

- Changed functionality of "Serrated" accessory to increase crit damage

- Added remaining prefixes and functionality for weapons
- Revised weapon templates

- Turned 29 years old (Happy Birthday)
- Added remaining weapon templates

- Added unique legendary weapon traits
- Balanced DMG and DEX calculation

2/28/2023 - 3/2/2023
- Added and modified unique legendary and mythic weapon traits
- Added some legendary overdrive techniques

2/28/2023 - 3/2/2023
- Added and modified unique legendary and mythic weapon traits
- Added some legendary overdrive techniques

- Added "Compare" functionality to the shop scene

- Cleaned up the loot table script
- Fixed "Compare" functionality and item screen
- Added new legendaries and new unique traits

- Cleaned up the comparison UI
- Added legendary flavour text
- Added cross-save storage
- Added last legendary weapon

- Removed current armor templates
- Added all helmet, armor and shield templates
- Modified the item screen to display backback capacity and align icons
- Configured loot table script for new armor slots

- Added stackability to armor accessories (regen, bonus exp, non-crit)
- Added Thorns and Bonus HP accessories to armor

- Added icons for armor accessories

- Added armor accessory templates
- Revised "Heavy" weapon accessory, removed stat changes and added turn delay on hit
- Removed "Light" weapon accessory
- Added DEX based "Heavy" weapon prefixes

- Minor bug fixes
- Adjusted "Reaper" unique effect
- Added Rare armor prefixes
- Added Epic and above armor prefixes
- Adjusted "Halfcrit" armor accessory

- Added unique effects for several legendary armors
- Raised stat caps

- Added more legendary armor traits

- Added remaining legendary armor traits
- Created an "Account" style save system

- Improved comparison window to display equipped item instead of just stat changes
- Displayed stat changes in item stats window
- Added a Town Map and modified the Dungeon for demo purposes

- Added monster templates with elemental types

- Added save points
- Loading a save when not at save points will now warp to the most recent save point
- Started work on random dungeon generation

- Furthered work on random dungeon generation
- Added randomized exits
- Randomized room generation, prevented multiple occurances of same room
- Set chests based on floors
- Added dungeon level

- Implemented "Autokill" to random dungeons
- Fixed damage output of elemental enemies
- Added colored HP bars to indicate weaknesses

- Imported MA's Recharge skill script

- Implemented Deity's Skill Tree script
- Added Cooldown armor functionality
- Added unique Icarus trait
- Added "Elementalist" class with first 7 skills
- Fixed text font bug

- Re-configured skill tree layout and cursor movement

- Coded in the first skill tree for the Hunter

- Hid icons for status ailments (not kill skills)
- Played a sound effect when action skills have cooled down
- Finished Knifeman skill tree for Hunter
- Coded most of Stalker skill tree for Hunter

- Finished coding remaining skill trees for Hunter

- Added icons to all Hunter skills
- Started coding skill tree for Elementalist

- Coded skill trees for Elementalist

- Added icons for all Elementalist skills
- Remodeled and renamed main characters

- Coded Crusader's Aura skill tree

- Coded Crusader's Medic tree
- Cleared Overkill damage upon death
- Minor bug fixes

- Added weapon swap capability in combat
- Coded remainder of Crusader's skill trees

- Added icons to the Crusader's skills

- Added all skills in Berserker's Rage tree and Hellborn tree
- Coded all skills in Rage tree

- Coded Berserker's Hellborn and Fury trees
- Added icons to Berserker skills

- Added new character models
- Added new consumable items
- Added random item generation
- Added items to loot pool and item shop

- Added "Warp Nut" item and coded functionality
- Imported and configured Yanfly Menu System Options

- Added repel, limit onion, heal mushroom, and torch items
- Added Auto Kill to system options
- Configured menu settings to better display categories and fill empty space

- Added Spectral Pepper, Hearty Tomato, Gravity Leek, Revival Fig, and Golden Key items
- Added Legendary item category

- Added placeholder Overdrive techniques and assigned them to weapon templates
- Added randomized weapons to enemy equips

- Fixed bug with items not saving with files
- Fixed bug where item window would not disappear when selecting item target
- Disabled window that displays enemy names from appearing
- Enabled cursor on non-targeting skills, disbaled cursor movement
- Added Thrall enemies and randomized Thrall graphic
- Added new item and skill animations
- Added bomb throwing animation
- Added monster level scalability
- Added dungeon min/max levels

- Added monster stats up to level 5
- Added character graphic to equip screen and comparison window
- Imported Scene Menu Redux and re-configured settings
- Added ability to rearrange party leader

- Added item animations

- Added weapon and skill animations
- Modified menu scene windows

- Added monster attack animations
- Minor menu bug fixes

- Added weapon overdrive names and descriptions
- Altered how critical hits are calculated and determined in scripts
- Added critical hits to physical skills
- Coded some overdrive technique funtionality

- Added more overdrive animations and functionality
- Added a boss HP bar at the top of the screen for boss fights
- When Damien stacks overkill damage, the OKD will now only double on critical hits, and base damage is subject to normal critical hit calculation

- Added Black Death Overdrive technique
- Laptop charging port broke down, 4 - 6 weeks to repair

- Managed to get laptop to barely charge
- Coded in all remaining Overdrive techniques
- Added monster skills and items
- Players will now revive to 1HP after each battle

- Added a new battle cursor
- Fixed Elementalist skills
- Kill skills will no longer wear off after battle
- Randomized dungeon monster sprites and enemy pool
- Randomized chest placement and rarity
- Elemental Burst now deals damage based on weapon
- Added the "Holy Aremen" promotional legendary weapon
- Fixed save point functionality and removed items and gold when saving in a dungeon

- Added character HP stats
- Added placeholder functional stats for enemies
- Added 50% HP restore on level up

- Added "Boss room" to random dungeon generator
- Fixed Menu system options variable assignments
- Fixed "battle result" victory processing

- Added starter map

- Added custom face window

- Repositioned face window based on message window location
- Created custom faces for Lionel, Mel, Damien and Brutus
- Created custom sprite expressions
- Developed first introductory cutscene
- Took laptop in for repair

- Brainstormed ideas for game name

- Settled on the name "Thrall"

4/24/2023 - 4/25/2023
- Twiddled my thumbs in frustration of not having a laptop still

- Picked up repaired laptop
- Enabled all players skills and overkill/fury to persist after battle, but reset on a new floor, battle loss, etc.
- Changed Mel's character sprite and portrait
- Added single-item drops to dungeons
- Created custom title screen
- Added new music
- Fixed bug with enemy pathfinding and resetting
- Added Objective Log functionality

- Added Hollow Keep
- Developed full introduction cutscene, added ability to skip introduction
- Altered Objective Log
- Created a list of all switches and variables, as well as their functionality for future reference

- Added Hollow Keep interior, first boss fight, and first critical decision
- Added cutscene after boss fight
- Added more music

- Finished developing first chapter from all four perspectives

- Purchased Celianna's "Ancient Dungeons" tileset packs
- Created first release map

- Created custom angled wall from Celianna's tiles
- Started on the Hollow Keep map

- Finished the exterior wall of Hollow Keep
- Added new Battle Start transition
- Started on surrounding forest of Hollow Keep

- Finished surrounding terrain of Hollow Keep
- Started fort decor of Hollow Keep

- Worked on Hollow Keep exterior map

- Finished Hollow Keep exterior map
- Added switch based scripted collision detection

- Started on Hollow Keep interior

- Added rarity sorting capability to item, equip, and loot scene for weapons and armor
- Created full Legendary weapon and armor guide in the notes folder

- Mapped the Forge and Storage in the Hollow Keep
- Increased turn duration for kill skills and action skills to 15 turns

- Mapped remainder of Hollow Keep interior main floor
- Added soldiers and Keep members
- Re-coded respec functionality
- Re-coded capacity increase functionality
- Added training dummies to Keep exterior

- Fixed save and load functionality with new maps
- Added wandering shopkeepers in dungeons
- Added Jessica the bartender for side jobs
- Added faces for each keep member
- Fixed warp and battle loss destination coordinates

- Added functionality for unique rare armors and weapons to be generated as quest rewards
- Added the Seraph staff, Curse helmet, Sanctity amulet, Camouflage cloak, and Turtle shield unique items

- Added new unique rare weapons
- Mapped and programmed the basement of Hollow Keep

- Mapped the remainder of Hollow Keep, including map room
- Added more unique rare weapons

- Added a horse for fast travel
- Fixed minor collision detection bugs
- Fixed shop resetting frequency
- Added "Useful Tips" guide in notes folder
- Started on Bloodstone Mine maps

- Added Bloodstone Mine entrance map
- Developed intro cutscene and tutorial for first dungeon

- Worked on Bloodstone Mine maps

- Added monsters to Bloodstone Mine
- Altered chest appearance
- Modified Spectral Pepper functionality
- Added a level indicator to enemies below CTB gauge
- Added Colorblind Mode with altered battle cursors and item rarities in names, with altered text colors and tutorials

- Worked on Bloodstone Mine maps

- Worked on Bloodstone Mine maps
- Added manual drop rate adjustment for bosses
- Added Bloodstone Mine boss
- Altered Boss HP bar script to only display special HP bar when switch is active, allowing for common and boss enemies with one battler

- Added boss room to Bloodstone Mine
- Added boss cutscenes
- Altered cooldowns to only start when action skills wear off
- Submitted game page to RMN, adjusted CSS

- Added two more maps to Bloodstone Mine
- Added pages to the game profile on RMN
- Added devlog blog post

- Added Laurel and Avatar unique armors
- Altered Burn status ACC reduction to -30%
- Altered Mel's "Rigid" skill and replaced "Side Effects" with "Overcome"
- Added Bloodstone Mines map
- Fixed broken prefix functionality
- Added "Prefixes" page to the game profile on RMN

- Added Bloodstone Mines map

- Added Bloodstone Mines map
- Added alternate perspective to Boss room cutscene
- Fixed broken armor prefixes
- Completed "Prefixes" page on game profile

- Added Bloodstone Mines map

- Added Bloodstone Mines map
- Added alternate perspective to Boss room cutscene
- Increased battle transition speed

- Added two new maps to Bloodstone Mines

- Added final map to Bloodstone Mines
- Developed final perspective to cutscene in boss room
- Re-coded cutscene functionality in Hollow Keep map room
- Added first perspective of the return cutscene in Hollow Keep
- Added post-demo message and reward

- Changed status ailments to persist between battles on same floor
- Added remaining perspectives to return cutscene
- Increased enemy count in elemental troops
- Separated used resources and removed RTP necessity
- Added Credits folder to Notes
- Started playtesting

- Finished playtesting
- Uploaded demo to RMN

- Modified "Rage" and "Stalking" to apply instantly, not costing a turn
- Reduced enemy damage
- Removed enemy respawns from first boss fight

- Reverted previous days progress due to bugs
- Changed "Stalking" to be a concealing skill, rather than damage buff
- Increased damage buff of "Savage"
- Added sprite blending changes while "Stalking" is active

- Adjusted "Stalking" to prevent afflicted from being targeted no matter what
- Changed "Camouflage" to last for 5 turns after "Stalking" ends
- Added sprite blending while "Aura" is active
- Altered "Aggression" to apply while "Stalking" is active
- Changed "Stalking" animation
- Added color and tone changes to "Rage" and "Aura"
- Increased duration of "Rage," "Grudge," and "Resolve"
- Increased HP threshold for "Numb" and "Resolve"

- Started mapping for Eleston
- Added Newblood random enemies
- Added Goblins and Imps
- Added enemy elemental weapons with assigned animations
- Added random enemy weapon elements for rare weapon wielders

- Added HP regen for Vampires
- Fixed "Radiant" Crusader skill to include state slip restoration
- Added bats that can turn into Newbloods
- Added Eleston Gate map
- Added first perspective Eleston intro cutscene
- Added another map for Eleston

- Added new map for Eleston

- Reduced Spider boss HP for first encounters
- Adjusted collision detection and overlays in Eleston
- Added a new map for Eleston

- Fixed broken animation sequences
- Added a new map for Eleston
- Added ability to skip turn with the same key that causes escapes

- Added Eleston Cathedral exterior map
- Fixed Imp Death Bloom pacifying in Eleston
- Added a new map for Eleston

- Added Eleston Cathedral interior map

- Started on cutscenes at Eleston Cathedral
- Added Eleston boss fight
- Added stat comparing compatibility to colorblind mode
- Improved drop rate during prologue
- Added ability to skip entire prologue
- Changed Bloodstone Mine boss fight visual mechanics
- Changed levels of drops to 10/80/10 ratio
- Made chests red for consistent visual language

- Added variable chance for random enemy elemental weapons
- Gave Thralls 4/10 chance of spawning with elemental weapons
- Changed tutorials to system messages between character dialogue
- Added Bell Cranel and Hestia knife
- Fixed HP bar script to properly update
- Added proper tutorialization for combat and mechanics
- Allowed Action Skill to unlock immediately, increased skill cost of capstone abilities by 1
- Updated game page presentation
- Moved "Neutral" skill to further down skill tree
- Replaced "Grounded" skill with "Impervious"
- Replaced "Calm" skill with "Clear"
- Replaced "Insulated" skill with "Safeguard"

- Added a new map for Eleston
- Started work on the Guide

- Continued work on the Guide

- Continued work on the Guide

- Continued work on the Guide

- Added Crafting to the Blacksmith
- Added ability to Salvage leftover loot into crafting materials
- Changed elemental and status ailment resistance from armors to 20%
- Continued work on the Guide
- Updated status ailment bonuses to increase by 20% instead of 2x
- Changed tutorials to reflect Salvage mechanic
- Changed Golden Chest graphic
- Fixed skills that cost MP (enemy skills and enemy items)
- Fixed Spider Boss HP settings

- Finished work on the Guide

- Added "Spite" shield
- Updated "Unique Loot" page on the RMN gamepage
- Altered weapon Overdrive functionality, providing variety between weapon types
- Fixed map kill animation for Bloodstone Mine enemies
- Reduced level requirement for auto-kill

- Fixed enemy auto-aggro when revisiting a dungeon floor
- Altered text color and alignment in loot tables stat window and equip window

- Adjusted text alignment in loot and equip tables
- Added ability to Salvage items from the inventory

- Fixed status ailment buffs to be cumulative instead of multiplicative
- Changed temporary buffs to be in the Battler class instead of Actor
- Changed damage formulas
- Changed enemy levels and stats during prologue
- Fixed status icons not displaying when using an item from the menu
- Altered menu UI to display more status icons

- Altered enemy stats
- Changed HP gauge color in menu
- Resumed work on Eleston maps

- Added new custom sound effects
- Added a new map for Eleston

- Added more sound effects

- Added more sound effects, finished system SE

- Altered cutscene dialogue
- Added more sound effects
- Adjusted HP regen on certain skills
- Update Guide to reflect changes to skills

- Finished replacing current sound effects

- Added prompt to open comparison window in loot tables
- Adjusted drop rates to 1/10 from monsters
- Adjusted crafting costs
- Improved quality of shop loot
- Improved rarity chance of drops by 50%
- Increased base stat minimums of all weapons and armors
- Adjusted monster stats and ally HP
- Added chests to Hollow Keep prologue
- Added difficulty slider to system menu
- Added variable monster stats and drop rarity based on difficulty

- Altered chance of dropping items from enemies and chests
- Added message when new skill points are unlocked
- Added icons to battle end messages for EXP and skill points
- Added icons to loot table to indicated commands
- Altered formula for difficulty adjustment
- Added "Royal" sword and "Demolisher" axe
- Updated Guide will a section on Difficulty

- Tested difficulty settings and new functionality
- Released updated demo
- Posted Blog on game page

- Updated material costs for crafting
- Updated Guide to reflect crafting changes

- Continued work on Eleston maps

- Replaced more sound effects
- Added drip BGS to Bloodstone Mine
- Finished first perspective to Eleston boss fight

- Added Eleston replay boss fight
- Added double boss battle functionality

- Finished first perspective Eleston return cutscene

- Fixed broken HP bar script

- Added a new map for Eleston

- Implemented variable drop rate and EXP gain based on difficulty
- Added a new map for Eleston
- Altered cutscene dialogue relating to Eleston
- Added red tint to face sets when angered

- Added a new map for Eleston

7/10/2023 - 7/11/2023
- Family matters

- Resumed work on Eleston maps

7/13/2023 - 7/18/2023
- Family matters

- Added a new map for Eleston (1/2 done)

7/20/2023 - 7/24/2023
- Family matters

- Added "Gravity" unique axe

- Added alternate perspective for Eleston intro cutscene

- Resumed work on Eleston maps

- GIMP reset, spent time resetting my hotkeys, settings, etc. >:(

- Added a new map for Eleston

- Fixed the "Mirror" shield effect to keep rarity
- Changed the "Fiend" staff effect to a random element with each hit
- Added a new perspective to the Eleston Cathedral intro cutscene
- Added a new map for Eleston

- Added a progress report blog to RMN

- Added a new map for Eleston

8/2/2023 - 8/6/2023
- Family matters

- Worked on second perspective cutscene for Eleston boss fight

- Day off

- Finished second perspective cutscene for Eleston boss fight

- Re-arranged skill tree layout and added names to each tree

- Reduced item drop rate from enemies
- Added a turn counter for skills on cooldown

- Watched brother playtest, took notes and feedback

- Changed hit ratio formula for more reliable results
- Added oranges to common item loot pool as a rare drop
- Added healing items to starting inventory
- Altered status healing items to provide a temporary resistance
- Reduced crafting material costs
- Modified elemental weakness and resistance identifiers
- Changed loot table label window text color

- Added ability to unequip weapons and armors

- Removed Bell Cranel and Hestia Knife
- Changed the Saria from a Spear to a Knife
- Added the Chastiefol Spear

- Added a new map for Eleston

- Started on a new map for Eleston

- Worked on Eleston map

- Re-categorized the Gold as a unique Rare knife
- Added the "Conductor" Legendary knife

- Added Overdrive technique "Overcharge"
- Added a new map for Eleston

- Added "Elite" enemies
- Changed enemy troops to create random troop sets

- Added new Elite affixes

- Added remaining Elite affixes

8/24/2023 - 8/26/2023
- Took a break

- Finished second perspective cutscenes for the return from Eleston
- Added a new map for Eleston

- Added a new map for Eleston
- Finished both remaining perspectives for Eleston introduction cutscene

- Finished remaining perspectives for Eleston Cathedral intro cutscene
- Added a new map for Eleston
- Started Thrall Development Showcase Youtube channel

- Added remaining perspectives for Eleston Cathedral boss fight cutscene

- Finished remaining perspectives for return from Eleston cutscenes
- Finished final map for Eleston
- Added new blog post on RMN