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Looking for a tester. Leave a comment if you're interested.

A game that is inspired by the early Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy titles on the Nintendo Entertainment System. 7th Saga, Ogre Battle, Shining Force, and Suikoden are also slight inspirations. Graphically, if there had been a Nintendo console between the NES and SNES, this would capture how it probably would have looked. While the game plays like an 8-bit RPG, I take a few liberties with the graphics that definitely exceed what the NES could do, but don't quite manage to reach what would have been acceptable on the SNES.

Players assume the role of the Chosen One, a brave warrior has been asleep for centuries and is reawakened whenever The Sages (a group of enlightened elders) feel that a hero is needed. The Sages feel that there is something amiss, so it is time for the Chosen One to leap into action once again.

Players can choose their name, gender, and starting class. There are eight classes that are divided up four ways between the four Sages. The classes are...

Hands of Fire Sage Reyvus (-50% damage from fire): Berserker, Pyromancer
Hands of Thunder Sage Korten (-50% damage from thunder): Knight, Wizard
Hands of Water Sage Sarloz (-50% damage from ice, water): Paladin, Priest
Hands of Wind Sage Aechil (-50% damage from wind): Alchemist, Ranger

WARNING: Centuria is being made to be an unforgiving game if you're not playing well or are picking bad class combinations. Much like NES RPGs Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy along with 7th Saga on the SNES, monsters at the very beginning will kill you quickly if you horse around or make bad decisions. People who like vicious games that don't mess around may enjoy Centuria but, if you're looking for a stroll through the park, then this game will eat you alive.

Try the demo!



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The primary function of this blog is to go over how the game works, but first I will talk to myself by pretending that an imaginary person is asking me questions!

What IS Centuria, anyway?
Centuria is a retro-styled RPG meant to emulate NES RPGs. From a technical standpoint, this game does more than an NES RPG would have been capable of because I didn't want to go that basic. Graphics are also sort of in limbo between NES and SNES.

What does the game play like?
Sort of like Dragon Warrior. The player (the "Chosen One") is plopped into the world by the mystical Sages in order to investigate what they feel is a threat to the balance of life. The player simply has to wander around until pieces start to come together regarding what the Sages feel threatened by.

What commercial and non-commercial games does Centuria resemble most?
Centuria is like a merging of the original Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy for gameplay along with 7th Saga for difficulty and Chrono Cross for characters. If this isn't clicking with anyone who hasn't played many commercial RPGs and sticks mostly with well known RPG Maker games then I suppose that saying Centuria is what would happen if Exit Fate and Hero's Realm had a baby.

How long will the game take to complete?
I don't want this to be another Blackmoon Prophecy, so I'm hoping to have Centuria take about 10 hours to complete the main story, but all of the optional stuff, along with achievements (all 100+ of them), could make the game last a lot longer. As far as how long it will take me to finish the game, I'm not sure... but I'm following a pretty streamlined outline for the game that is letting me work pretty quickly, so I'm hoping that a year at most will be a realistic goal.

So is this game linear or non-linear?
Centuria is pretty linear, but there's a bit of freedom in the game as well. The structure of the game has the player advancing from region to region on the world map and, in these regions, the player can, in addition to doing the main tasks in each region, search for optional characters, hidden goodies, take on side quests, look for rare monsters, and more. The game will still be playable after you defeat the final boss, so you'll still be able to go around looking for other things that you may have missed.

What about the difficulty?
Centuria is about as difficult as the original Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy titles. If that's too old for anyone, then 7th Saga on the SNES is comparable as well. If that's still too old, then just imagine any RPG that you've had trouble with and you'll have an idea of what to expect from Centuria. It's designed to be a tough game unless you know what you are doing. If you're play like someone experiencing RPGs for the first time, you'll die. If you are thinking out your group formations and such then you'll probably be just fine, but characters will still be KO'ed frequently unless you power level (but don't do that, it would be horribly tedious in this game).



Now that I have that out of the way...

VX Ace and the wealth of public scripts for it available makes creating feature-heavy games a breeze for dummies like me who suck at coding battle systems, scripting with Ruby, etc. While I am using a good number of scripts for Centuria to amp up the gameplay a bit, there are a lot of things I'm doing on a more rudimentary level that will add a bit of flavour to the events that occur in the game. Here are the things I'm incorporating to make running around the world a little more interesting.


Class System
Players get to choose a class at the start of the game for their character (you also choose their gender and name). This class determines their stat growth, elemental affinity, and what abilities they learn over time. All of this information is on the classes page that I added a while ago, but here they are again.

Classes that are resistant to fire: Berserker, Pyromancer
Classes that are resistant to thunder: Knight, Wizard
Classes that are resistant to water: Paladin, Priest
Classes that are resistant to wind: Enchanter, Ranger



There are several NPC classes that are unique. They are... Bandit, Doppelganger, Dragoneer, Hunter, Merchant, Monk, Necromancer.

The following NPC classes are variants of existing player classes.
Amazon (similar to Berserker)
Archer (similar to Ranger)
Priestess (similar to Priest)
Sorceress (similar to Wizard)
Warrior (similar to Berserker)

NPCs that are of the same class as the player will not have access to the abilities that the player has, since the player is the "Chosen One" and serves as an actual revered hero in the game world. So, because of this, the player's paladin class will end up with a few more abilities than an NPC with the paladin class.



Dynamic World Map
The world map changes every now and then to accommodate whatever task the player is currently taking on. The game's first area, Ralston, does not change much at all, but the second area does. When the player reaches The Riverland (the second area), everything is fine and dandy except for basilisks and jellies prowling the wilderness. After the player visits the town of Brooktown (The Riverland's main hub), they are asked to gather wheat because the villagers are afraid to combat the monsters (previously mentioned basilisks and jellies) in the fields. When the player returns to the world map, there are pieces of wheat littered all over the place and the player must play the always fun game of "find enough of X and return to person Y" in order to proceed.

So, after the wheat is returned, there is a short dungeon romp where the player rescues some sheep. When the sheep are returned to town, the player is notified that the sheep are so traumatized that they won't mate. In order to remedy this, a concoction must be created to make the sheep mate. This requires obtaining Plains Mold off of wandering skeletons of deceased farmers which only come out at night. The player must then wait in the inn until night and then go to the world map where it is darker and the usual heroic and upbeat overworld theme is replaced by something dark and eerie. Day time monsters (basilisks, jellies, and crabs) have gone to sleep, being replaced by wandering skeletons throughout the area. Killing them yields the Plains Mold required to make the sheep procreate. After acquiring enough of the Plains Mold and turning it in at the village, it is day once more and the regular monsters are back. Travel is also very limited during the night, with gryphoneers (NPCs that allow fast travel) refusing to fly at night and the checkpoint leading to the Ralston area being closed until morning.

I've just started work on the third area, The Highland, and will implement more of this to make the world map appear less static.





Fighter = Tough, Mages = Weak
So you've decided to play as a cloth-wearing magician, good for you! You're going to get your butt kicked though! Magicians in Centuria function exactly as they would in real life. Their powers are certainly admirable, but they take anywhere from 50% to roughly 400% more damage than fighter characters wearing heavy armor.

It may sound harsh having mages being so frail, but their overall usefulness balances this out nicely. Priests are excellent healers that put the heavily armored healing paladins to absolute shame. Meanwhile pyromancers and wizards possess a slew of magic spells capable of hitting enemies in their weak spots and dealing cataclysmic damage. Wizards primarily use thunder magic, and thunder is the primary weakness of crab monsters in Centuria. Crabs are fairly resilient to a lot of attacks and have decent defense, but a magic user with thunder magic can mow down a crab pretty quickly.

In order to prevent magic users from being slaughtered left and right, characters with heavier armor typically generate more threat from enemies. Berserkers, knights, and even paladins can safely protect their weaker allies by essentially serving as tank characters. Paladins may be the ideal tank since, while they don't hit as hard as berserkers or knights, they generate significant threat and can also heal allies when in a pinch.



Many Party Members
Chrono Cross was a pretty cool game, huh? And how about that Suikoden series? Anyone reading this can probably already predict where I am going with this. Centuria is loaded with recruitable characters and, since this game emulates old school NES/SNES RPGs, there is a lot of leeway with character development as characters are thrown at you left and right. Your main character doesn't even speak, so all of this allows you to project your own impressions and personas on the large cast of Centuria.

So how many characters are there? Quite a few. It is possible to have six playable characters after roughly two hours of play, but only two of them are mandatory and you have them within the first two minutes of play. Some characters will only show up if you meet certain conditions. For example, there is a character named Marsha who is a warrior. She will appear in a certain dungeon if the player selected a magician class. Now, why does she only appear if the player is a magic user? Because they are weak and frail while Marsha is possibly the best tank-like warrior up until that point. If the player did not pick a magician class, then Marsha will not appear because the player is probably doing a sufficient enough job of keeping themselves alive as a fighter class.

Other missable characters don't require any sort of conditions to meet and are just lounging around castles, towns, and so forth. The first optional character is a ranger named Townsend who can be recruited only minutes after the game starts. This requires a short trek to another town where Townsend can be found chilling by the water.

There are also characters who may present themselves to the character more than once. When the game starts, the player must select one companion from Ralston Castle to accompany them. They are Lyanna the Priestess, Bronn the Warrior, and Kerst the Paladin. If the player picks Lyanna or Bronn, then there is a chance that they will encounter Kerst again as a recruitable character before even leaving the Ralston area if they complete an optional set of side quests.



While some characters may seem fairly similar on the surface (Bronn and Marsha, both warriors), they will have their own special Burst attacks (Burst abilities consume TP). The large number of characters that will be in the game will allow players to make groups that fit their play styles. Players will look brute force parties can roll with five heavily armored warriors, and players who like a challenge can take the game on with five squishy healers. I've found that my personal favourite mirrors the standard MMO group setup of one healer, two heavily armored warriors, and two good damage dealers. That setup doesn't necessarily work the same as in an MMO, but it makes for a lot of fun variety during battles.



MMO Style Progression
Anyone who has played MMOs will know what a zone is. I am "sort of" incorporating this into Centuria. I've mentioned areas a few times throughout this post, and they are essentially the zones of Centuria. The first area is the Ralston Kingdom, the second if The Riverland. The player will gain access to The Riverland pretty early and really only has to clear one dungeon and then talk to a specific NPC before being given an item that grants access to The Riverland. However, the monsters in The Riverland may prove to be too difficult at first if the player isn't at least level 3. So what can the player do to combat the increase in difficulty? Well the not so fun solution would be to grind experience points from the incredibly weak crabs, jellies and kobolds in the area... or they could return to Ralston Castle and pick up on some optional side quests that grant additional experience and some pretty decent items.

So how will people who stick around Ralston know when they've completed everything and should advance to The Riverland? Upon completing every task in Ralston, the player will unlock an achievement (hurray for scripts!) that signifies they've completed everything that there is to do in Ralston. The Riverland works in much the same way. After the player opens the passage to the third area, The Highland, the local head honcho of The Riverland says that there is more work to be done if the player wants to stick around.

I think that, by doing this, I'm helping to cater to two different crowds - completionists and low level game runners. Completionists might stick around the areas to unlock the "completed all tasks" achievements (which also grant item rewards) while those who are attempting low level games or speed runs could high tail it out of the area as soon as they are allowed to advance.

Though slightly unrelated, another aspect of progression that could appeal to players attempting low level games is the fact that there are achievements for beating certain bosses at low levels. For example, there is an achievement for completing every boss in the Ralston Kingdom at level 1. This would be incredibly difficult because of how hard the bosses will hit a level 1 character, but it can definitely be done with a bit of effort.



Rare Monsters
This is something small and may not even warrant being mentioned, but it's something that I think could be fun and take some players by surprise. Alright, put this scenario into your head. You're wandering through a dungeon that you've already been through several times over and know like the back of your hand but, on one occasion when you are passing through, you see a monster that was never there the previous five times you walked by! You then fight the new monster, which is slightly weaker than a boss, and you get some pretty cool item drops from it. Congratulations, you found a rare monster!

Rare monsters will wander around certain dungeons and will appear completely at random. One random monster may show up the first time you visit, or it may never show up for you at all after visiting several times. It's probably pretty obvious how rare monsters will appear (variables), but it's the execution that makes it a fun aspect of the game. It's always cool to be wandering around an area that you've grown to know very well only to stumble upon something that you know was never there before and you know that you didn't do anything to trigger the monster to show up.



Scripts
Off the top of my head, I'm using Yanfly's Ace Battle Engine, Ace Menu Engine, Ace Status Menu, Region Battlebacks, System Options, and Victory Aftermath. For CSCA scripts, I am using Achievements System, Bestiary/Encyclopedia, and Menu Organizer.
  • Hiatus
  • UPRC
  • Adon237
    Hesufo
  • RPG Maker VX Ace
  • RPG
  • 10/03/2011 10:58 PM
  • 01/13/2017 09:29 PM
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Posts

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benos
My mind is full of fuck.
527
Look awesome. subbed.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
5307
On hiatus until Blackmoon Prophecy is complete. This project will then be moved to VX Ace. Will maintain the same graphics and overall look, but will hopefully take advantage of scripting.
Adon237
if i had an allowance, i would give it to rmn
1813
Look ma', I found UPRC's new project!
subbed
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
5307
Testing the first boss fight with both characters at level 3. Fighting this bad boy at level 1 is suicide, and fighting him at level 2 is just plain rough. Level 3 is when it becomes a little easier, but you need a dedicated healer or lots of potions. I would imagine that level 4 would be pretty easy, but I haven't tested that level yet since it requires too much grinding and I'm doubting that anyone would have the patience for it right away (but, then again.....).


The few remaining RTP graphics and sounds will be replaced at some point.
Your battles (i.e. damage and popups) need to use a font similar to your menus and dialogue windows. You can find the settings for that in the module in Yanfly's script near the top, brotherman.
I'll play this in a day or so.
Will leave CC
Just beat the game like a boss. No, not really.

Problems
- Balancing of mages and warriors. Keeping up my 2 mages was the hard part. Once they died, I had no trouble healing with my paladin. It was a little odd.

- World map issue. Every time I run across the map, parts of it make this odd line effect. I don't know why it does this...

Otherwise, I'm loving it. I'll release a let's try later. That should help a bit~
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
5307
Don't know if it's because I just woke up or not, but I'm confused. Are you saying that you had two mages and a paladin at the same time?

EDIT: Hahahaha, how did I allow that!? I really thought I didn't allow that to happen. Time to fix that and reupload.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
5307
Alright, so I just made it so that you can't recruit more than one additional character at the start. It was supposed to be that way, but I guess I just completely forgot to set things up that way and eventually started to assume that I had.

Oh man, the game must have been ridiculously easy if you were rolling across the countryside with four characters.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
5307
Also I know exactly what the line across the screen is. It's the Mode7 script I'm using for vehicles that will appear later on. I don't know why it does that, but I'll be keep an eye out for updates to the script since it was an early version.
After walking around for any length of time the game suddenly quits.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
5307
author=Roy
After walking around for any length of time the game suddenly quits.


What happens? Are you sent to the title screen or does the game crash?
Sorry I should have been more precise. I will do it again and take better notice.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
5307
No problem.

There is only one instance where the game should return to the title screen, and that is when you defeat the boss in the first dungeon. If it is just crashing without reason then I'll have to figure out what's causing that even though I wouldn't know where to begin since I personally haven't had any issues. Could be an unstable script or something, but that's just a guess since I don't even know Ruby.
I tried it once more and within 5 minutes it stops and goes to a blank page where the message says there is a problem with GAME.EXE.

By the way, it was tricky of you in that while wandering around...before crashing...down in the sw portion of the map is a small dungeon/cave with some lobsters and two chests. Thinking ahaa maybe a nice piece of armor or weapon I dodged the enemies..which moved slowly enough in any case... and opened the first only to get a weak potion and the other was empty!
Tricky, tricky, tricky!
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
5307
The other chest should have given you a weak remedy. I probably forgot to set the animation for that chest.

Sounds like the problem might be script related. If you have access to VX Ace, you can try deleting the airship script to see if that helps you out any. I would do it myself, but I won't be home for several hours yet.
I guess I should say that the pyro mage has two skills that will only self-target.
Which made the MC even more useless for me, but I shouldn't really complain, lol 4 chars.
But like I said, 2 warriors- one being a paladin...yeah, that's pretty much your "easy" difficulty for this game.
Gonna start doing FF1 shit with your game x-D
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
5307
I am going to applaud anyone brave enough to do something crazy like play with two priests or something. Pyromancer is almost as squishy as the main character as a priest, but not quite. I can imagine even fighting slimes being pretty rough, but that's how it should be if someone decides to run around with weaklings who are meant to be healers/support characters.

What I want is for people to think realistically when choosing parties and such. Picking what seems "cool" rather than what would logically make the most sense would be a huge mistake. Kind of like how running around with a group of warriors might sound really awesome. It sounds great on paper and in some ways it would be but, without an abnormal amount of healing items, the group would probably slowly die off during long boss fights.

The same applies to a bunch of monsters running around. They're not all equally balanced and for good reason. A good example is a real life forest. If you wander in with a big stick, chances are very good that not everything in that forest will drop very easily to your stick. A chipmunk definitely will if you can catch it, but a bear? You're probably going to need a bigger stick!

Anyway, this is how I see things right now.
Berserker + Paladin or Warrior = Steamrollers! Weak potions will be required though.
Pyromancer + Paladin or Warrior = Still effective, but main character is a bit weaker.
Berserker + Priestess = Ideal for me, since the healing of the Priestess will be buffed even more at the start than it already is. Priestess does a good job of helping to keep Berkserker alive.
Pyromancer + Priestess = Probably the hardest combination to use in the demo, because they're both prone to taking large amounts of damage.

Having access to the other six classes for the main character opens up a lot of possibilities as well. As I said, Priest + Priestess is probably going to be the hardest combination to use despite the fact that they can both heal. Priests just get hit so freaking hard that I think anyone would be crazy not to have at least one fighter class before leaving Ralston Castle.

For proof of how hard priests can get hurt without leveling them, pick the priestess and then go fight the crabs on the world map. I think it's a one hit kill at level 1.
I'm still unsure if that's the game being hard, or being cheap; I.E, targeting the priest in every hit, because of her threat levels- only to kill her because their agi is higher than mine.
Yeah, the priest has more aggro rating than the warriors...was that intended, lol?
I also think the pyro had the 2nd highest aggro, but I might be wrong.

Now how much grinding are you going for? Grinding isn't a bad thing- I just want to know.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
5307
There shouldn't be aggro/threat unless it's something that is in VX Ace by default. If there is, I had no idea that it existed. When I test it seems that it's just random characters being attacked. I think sticking to jellies and kobolds until level 2 is the best way to go. It seems that the Priestess and Pyromancer can stand up to crabs and mist bats pretty successfully at that point.

As for grinding, I'm not sure yet. I think that at least one level gain is required before tackling the first dungeon, but I'm sure some crazy person will come in and prove me wrong. I guess it all depends on the characters that you pick. Going back to the two priests example, I think that a lot of grinding would be required for something like that, but a third character will join not too long after the first dungeon. Two heavy hitters MIGHT be able to tackle the first dungeon without leveling if they have enough healing items, but that's only a guess and I haven't tried that combination out yet.

My favourite combination for testing is Berserker + Priestess which is what I'm usually using, so the balance may be set up slightly in favour of that combination.

Also Roy, about that beach cave, I might add a third chest with a piece of equipment. Thanks for making me think of that.
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