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Want to be a playable character in Centuria?

Hey folks! So, with my plan to include the range of 100 recruitable characters in Centuria, I decided that it might be fun if I reached out to RMN to see if anyone would like to have themselves, or a character of their own design, show up as a recruitable party member.

Being a retro 8-bit styled game (though with a few liberties taken here and there), characters are small and simple looking in appearance, so just about anyone who is interested could probably do the sprite themselves as well - though this part is not required.

So, what will I need?

NAME: Self-explanatory, character name. For the sake of consistency and immersion in the game world, I'd ask that names be legible (not a string of letters that form nothing, with my username being a good example of this) and contain no numbers. If your name on RMN is Freddy837, just go with Freddy. Or, hey, invent a character from scratch and give them their own name.

GENDER: This really requires no explanation. If you wish to sprite the character yourself, there are two templates below. Make sure that the sprite does not exceed 16x16 in any frame.

CLASS: Characters in Centuria have a wide range of classes, and you're encouraged to pick one for your character. You can find the classes in the game here: https://rpgmaker.net/games/3498/classlist/

ALIGNMENT: Very good, good, neutral, evil, or very evil. This decides how receptive they are towards the player. A good aligned player can recruit many good characters while an evil player will attract evil characters. Neutral characters can swing either way.

PERSONALITY: This can be as brief as you want, just tell me how they act. Are they LOUD? Are they sarcastic or snarky? Serious and stoic? Bland and robotic? Cheerful and hyper? All up to you, and this will just determine how I write their dialogue when they're encountered. Note that, after characters join, they will probably never utter another word of dialogue in the game. NPCs outside of the party do all of the talking in this game, and even the main character is a generic mute (like the Chrono series protagonists).

Templates are below. You're free to make the sprite yourself if you wish, but it's not mandatory. If you'd like, you can just give me their name, gender, class, and alignment and I will take care of the sprite. If you do not wish to sprite the character, just give me an idea of what they might look like otherwise I'll just make a random appearance for them based on the class you've decided upon.

Male Template

Female Template

Progress Report

Centuria Info Post 2.0

With Centuria being alive again, I've decided that I will do another blog post with information about the game. Some of this is copied over from my old blog post about the original VX Ace version of the game since it still applies.

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. Tiles are all original and are made my yours truly, while sprites are created from a template that is based off a reworked Final Fantasy III (NES) sprite template that I made several edits and tweaks to. Music is all from downloaded resource packs or from sites offering free/royalty-free music. Monsters are currently a big question mark and I don't know what I am going to do with them yet, so I will probably use rips though only as placeholders.

Centuria plays like a cross between the NES Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy games. The player (aka "The Chosen One") is plopped into the world by the gods in order to investigate what they feel is a threat to the balance of the world. The player simply has to wander around until pieces start to come together regarding what the gods feel threatened by. Centuria also takes a few cues from games like Chrono Cross or Suikoden in that there is a plethora of characters for you to find and recruit. You will literally be able to amass an army and, at one point, have your own headquarters ala Suikoden.

In terms of length, I don't want this to be another Blackmoon Prophecy. I'm hoping to have Centuria take about 10 hours to complete the main story, but all of the optional stuff should make the game last a lot longer. As far as how long it will take me to finish the game, I'm not sure. I'm following a pretty streamlined outline for the game that is letting me work pretty quickly even though I have to create all of my graphics from scratch. I'm hoping to finish Centuria by the end of 2020 at the latest.

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.

Now, for features and such. The following is all fresh stuff, meaning none of the following was copied over from previous blog posts.

Alignment System: You will be able to gain and lose alignment, which I hope to have visible either on the main menu or the main character's status screen. Moral actions will increase alignment while immoral ones will lower it. Your alignment will dictate how certain NPCs react to you. This can also affect what optional characters may travel with you. If you have a high alignment, then good NPCs will want to join you while bad NPCs will probably not care to. On the flip side, a low alignment means that law abiding NPCs will say no to you while unsavoury NPCs will leap at the opportunity to follow you. Having an alignment somewhere in the middle will allow you to bring in NPCs from both spectrums, but not ones who are on the extreme ends of each side (ie. the devoutly religious or the wickedly evil). Since Centuria has A LOT of recruitable characters, there will never be a shortage of NPCs who want to fight for you, and everyone's probably going to wind up with slightly different armies of NPCs following them.

Character Classes: NPCs who can follow you will follow these classes: Aeromancer, Alchemist, Bandit, Bard, Barbarian, Berserker, Dark Knight, Druid, Electromancer, Exorcist, Enchanter, Fighter, Hydromancer, Monk, Necromancer, Ninja, Paladin, Pirate, Priest, Pyromancer, Ranger, Templar, Vampire, Warrior, Witch. I will make a page for classes here on the game page to explain what each class can do.

Character Roster: The original Centuria had around 50 planned playable characters, and I had about 20 or so playable by the time I canned the game to work on Blackmoon Prophecy II. Now, I've increased that drastically to around 100 due to the alignment system and the fact that I want everyone to be able to get a slightly different experience out of the game, or for players who decide to replay Centuria to be able to get something different out of the game each time.

Encounter System: My remake of Centuria will use both random and touch encounters. Now I know that probably sounds awful, but worry not! Random encounters only occur on the world map, and they can be completely and 100% avoided by sticking to the roads. There are no battles on the roads on the world map, meaning that's your safe place if you decide not to fight outside of dungeons. There will be some optional/hidden locations on the world map that will require you to go offroad to find though, so don't rely on those roads too much! As for touch encounters, you'll find those in every dungeon as enemies either meander around aimlessly or walk towards you slowly. Some touch encounters will have their own lair/nest area in dungeons where they will just sit and chill, but will quickly rush at you to defend their home if you enter their own little area. Don't want to fight them? Then either get past them without engaging them or turn back.

Magnets: Instead of having a typical "thief" class that steals, any character will be able to provided they use the right item - a magnet. Magnets can be purchased from item shops and can be used in battle by any character. Using a magnet will attempt to pull an item away from the target enemy. This allows players to steal from monsters on their own terms instead of having to rely on one steal ability that is usually only available to one character.

Main Character: In the original Centuria, you were tasked with telling the NPC at the beginning which god you followed. After picking your god, you were then tasked with picking from one of two possible classes (each god had their own unique classes). I am doing away with this for the sake of balance and so that players don't accidentally gimp their main hero in any way. You will now choose your god as you did before, but your character will always be a fighter of sorts (you know the type, the generic NES JRPG hero). The only thing that will change is that you will become resistant to whatever element your chosen god represents, so choosing Reyvus the Fire God will result in your character taking half damage from all fire attacks. You will also start with an damaging spell of the element that corresponds with your chosen god.

Rare Encounters: Something I had in the original Centuria was the chance of running into a rare encounter during your travels. Basically, a rare encounter would have a chance to spawn in any dungeon you would visit and would yield better than average experience and treasure. Upon entering a dungeon, the game would decide if a rare encounter is generated via variables, so there's a chance that you may see a rare encounter on your first trip through a dungeon or not at all until you've traversed it several times. Fighting these isn't mandatory, so don't be disappointed if they don't show up for you and, given how many dungeons will be in the game, you're definitely going to run into some along the way.

I'll have more updates to share in the coming days/weeks. Right now my priority is to map the entire game before I do any eventing or manage the database in any way. Once my desired tiles are finished I'm able to pump out maps pretty quickly (I can finish mapping an entire town in 10 minutes or so). After I make all of my maps, my priority is going to be figuring out what to do with the monster graphics. If anyone has any alternative to using rips from NES games, hit me up! If you're able to make monster graphics, or know a great site that has NES styled monster graphics that are up for grabs, let me know.

Anyway, more updates to come! I'll conclude this blog post with a recent recording. My original tiles are coming along quickly, and as a result, so are my maps! Here are the first four maps any previous players of Centuria would have explored - Ralston Castle, Ralston Town, Portovan, and Ralston Mine. Sorry for the choppiness of the video, that had something to do with the program I used to record the footage (Flashback Express).

Progress Report

Centuria Lives On!

After some recent thoughts mostly spurred on by a recent stream I did where I talked about RPG Maker aspirations and such, I decided that I want to revisit Centuria.

The game is moving to RPG Maker MV, and I intend on eliminating at least 90% of the rips I used before. A few character sets may be holdovers from the original, but I intend on having just about everything else be sprited by yours personally. I want Centuria to have a more distinct look, and making all of the tiles myself is good practice for me.

I've already made several sprites and tiles, and have reached a point where I've been able to start remapping the starting castle.

Centuria in VX Ace:

Centuria in MV:

There are a few distortions in the second screenshot, that's just a result of me resizing the image.

Anyway, I'm really excited to see how Centuria shapes up, and I'm contemplating using the side view battle system as well since it's there from the get-go. Right now I am using ripped music, but I'll gladly take any original 8 bit tunes that people are able to scrounge up!

More to come soonish, including new logos/screenshots for the game page.

Progress Report

Big Info Post

Big Info Post

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.

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.


Looking for a composer.

I'm a bit worried that the Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, and Shining Force mp3s that I'm using may be a little immersion breaking so I'm making a request!

I am wondering if there are any composers lurking around who specialize in making old school/retro tunes in the style of what we grew up with on the NES? If there is anyone out there who does this and would be interested in helping me out with Centuria, I'd love to hear from you.

More original graphics will follow later, but I can do that myself since the 8-bit style isn't terribly difficult to sprite.

Progress Report

My new game has turned me into a jerk.

Centuria is only two or three days old, but I can already feel a burning desire to make every single person who will ever play it suffer tremendously.

A lot of people said that my last game, Blackmoon Prophecy, wasn't hard enough. Well, I am hoping that Centuria will remedy this! Centuria is, after all, even more old school than Blackmoon Prophecy was and is modeled after NES RPGs as well as some early SNES ones as well. As such, the game can be very unfair.

Yes, it is an unfair game.

As soon as you step out of the beginning castle, you may find yourself dealing very little damage to the resident slimes or even dying in a few hits. This all depends on what you've chosen to play as. There are eight different classes to pick at the start. There are the brute force fighters that dish out lots of damage while taking little while, on the other end of the spectrum, there are classes such as the priest which can keep allies alive but is prone to being hit exceptionally hard.

Of course, the fact that you are able to recruit one of three different NPCs right away (a warrior, a healer, or a hybrid of the two) can also make things very interesting.

In each play test I've tried so far, EVERY combination of player class and NPC recruited is able to tackle the fights at the beginning, but the difficulty can range from decent to very tough. Run out onto the world map with two healers and expect to be having to attack several times with each character just to down one slime. You'll also be getting hit for about 1/4 of your health each attack.

Now, if you were to run out as a berserker and with the warrior NPC recruited, you'll mow down everything that moves! Of course, you won't be able to heal and you'll have next to no magic resistance, but hey!

Anyhow, here's one play test example at the start. The main character's class is berserker and the NPC recruited is a priest. There are a lot of things I still need to iron out, but that's understandable since this game is not even a week old.

For info on what the classes are, I have a classes page posted. Players will be able to mix and match any classes they want because recruitable characters will come fast and hard in Centuria! Want an easy game? Run around with Berserker/Knight/Priest/Wizard/Paladin and watch everything be obliterated! Do you want a challenge? Five priests. Go on, do it. Let's see you survive that without power leveling!
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