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demo up and mission statement!

  • catmitts
  • 03/17/2010 11:52 PM
Actually 'demo' is putting things too strongly: I only started this game a few days ago but when the Release Something started I decided to submit what I had anyway because what the fuck. So, uh, this is a reeeeeally short glimpse at where I am so far. Unfortunately it is very unrepresentative of what the actual finished game will play like (or what I picture it playing like) so I figured I'd put up a short explanation of the ideas goals etc behind the game. It's pretty masturbatory but I love hearing people talk about the thought processes that go into making stuff (and I think this is a much better use for game blogs than JUST FIXED A BUG or BUMP or whatever) so.

I have been meaning to make an RPG for a while now because they've always seemed the best type of game for exploring a world, which is probably my favorite thing about videogames and the one thing I think they do better than any other medium out there. I love map screens and towns and secrets. I love AIRSHIPS, man. One of the formative GAME MOMENTS of my childhood was getting a loan of my friend's copy of 'Secret Of Mana' and loading up his save file and suddenly finding myself exploring the world in Mode 7 on top of a dragon and thinking helllllll yeeaaaaaaaaah!! And you could land at any point of the map and explore! You'd fly around and pick a spot at random and suddenly find yourself in MOOGLE VILLAGE or SANTAS FORTRESS (Santa was in the game and lived in a terrifying ice fortress because Japan). I would have a lot more time for the Final Fantasy series if they'd let me fly around a world map in an airship without having to suffer through 30+ hours of humourless anime cutscenes and random battles to get there. Or if there was more effort and imagination put into building the world in general. One of the things that continually amazes and depresses me is that so many homebrew games are set in the same dull, generic, medievalesque fantasy world. I mean, people get the oppurtunity and tools to build an entire world and this is what they go for?? It's like seeing someone get in a rocket ship and fly it to Newark. I know I didn't like something like Chrono Trigger because of some pedantic tolkeinish worldbuilding garbage, I liked it because there were giant frogs with swords and time machines and robots and dinosaurs and future cities in the sky and crazy shit.

Anyway, rambling and weirdly hostile nostalgia trips aside, this is basically an attempt to make a game that would have blown my mind at that age. The reason I say this download isn't really indicative of what I want the game to be is that the demo is really linear etc but really that whole section is just an introductory sequence before you get dumped into the world. Most of the game is wandering around it, but hopefully in a way that is fun! I intend to use some stupid variant of the COLLECT SEVEN DINGUSES thing just because it's the kind of arbitrary structuring device this needs to stop being completely freeform and tiring. You're told the different places that you have to visit (in any order). You can get maps and see where they are and plot the best routes. You can hitch rides on boats to other islands and ports. So if you need to go to COUNTRY X you can wander around and look at your maps and the worldwide port schedules and work out whether it's better to take a ship from where you are to country Y and cross the mountains from there, or go to the docks at city Z and catch a more direct voyage. Some docks and ports aren't officially listed; there's a bunch of places 'off the beaten track' which can be found by just poking around at random or by finding rare and old maps with different routes. And there's subquests all over the shop.
Other notes:

- There will be a battle system because i really like all the ephemeral shit that goes with battle systems: weird items and skills and characters etc. It will be as absent of stats as I can make it. Battles won't be random or MONSTER ATTACKS or whatever but will mostly be fighting other characters.

- The graphics are crude mspaint stuff partly because I like the style and partly because they're easy to make and partly because rpgmaker guys always use crude mspaint graphics as the strawman for why they stick with rips and I figure that anything that rpgmaker guys hate has to have something going for it if only through an enemy-of-my-enemy thing.

- custom zoid script lets you make and trade your own zoids

Anyway, that's it. I probably won't update this page until it's done (or cancelled) but this is just the stuff I'm thinking for this game in order to encourage the correct dialectical attitude (also to maybe encourage people to make more interesting blog posts heh).