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Progress Report

THE Captain's Blog #29 - This boat is still alive!

Hello! Meself reporting.
I'm still alive. Best regards for this new year, and I hope you all passed a good time on all these holidays.

Anyway, development is slow right now. I'm not even counting the fact that there was no demo for this game the past year, but things got complicated. Sometimes they do.

Right now I'm doing a little work with the battle system, just mashing up an active battle functionality. It will work like in the SNES Final Fantasy, Active/Wait modes and a slide that changes the battle speed. I really love that kind of stuff, and it's time for me to make it! Most of it is done and working, just need to fix some issues here and there.

On the other part, I'm mapping, finishing Fierro and Havoc, the Phamas forest, and will start one of these days making Haleko. Finishing all that zones, it will be a matter of time, just making a basic Aleko, and all zones needed for a demo will be ready!

I better don't put any dates. It will be ready. This year. If not, I'll commit suicide. Not really, I'll just cry. x'D.

Anyway, let's see, how about... putting one screenshot for the bank?

This bank works pretty much the same way as EarthBound's bank. Mostly a concept issue. Monsters don't give you money, the money is being given to you by the Academy for killing monsters. Because killing monsters is good.
Your character is always carrying a medal which reports all you do. Same way, this medal teleports you to safety if something goes wrong (a.k.a. game-over), so it's not bad either. I think. It's top-notch technology!

ANY-WAY. I'm just caring for the feel. That's what EB (not Enterbrain, Earthbound) teached me about (?).

And that's it for now. There's a lot of other stuff I've done, but most are either bug fixes, performance stuff, GUI changes... Oh well, here it goes, from my todo list:
- Exploration: Auto-recovery by time instead of steps. --DONE!
- Party Menu: Menu keytips (?). --DONE!
- Enciclopaedia: Remark selected item. --DONE!
- Enciclopaedia: Make "Back" command work properly! --DONE!
- Battle: Fix music volume after Pause. --DONE!
- Battle: Balance music volume reduce at battle end. --DONE!

See you soon people!
Orochii Zouveleki

Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #28 - I think I've got enough treasure to brag about it!

So, all this time I've been slowly, VERY slowly doing as much as possible (real life hates me :'C). But yeah, at last, there is something important I want to share.

Thing is, I've done a huge lot of changes to reduce lag. First of all, Drekirökr now uses RGSS3. In RMXP. I followed this guy: Link. I knew this thing long time ago (like, some months), but I wasn't sure. I tried it before, and lag was the same (or even worse). So I though, this time I'm going serious! And this is the result. IT WAS ALL MODE7's FAULT. And Poccil's tilemap.

So, this is the changelist, with my explanations:

- Hello RGSS3. It's supposed to enhance performance. Didn't saw too much of a change though. But at least I now can use a natively supported wave effect! (and several other new things).
Using RGSS3 on RMXP seems to be legal. I can make use of the binaries under either a trial license or VXALite's license. I still can't commercialize, but I don't care, I was not going to anyway. Dreki is completely free forever.

- Goodbye Mode7. Hello Dirtie's wrapping script. I made it work by using something similar to this trick: Link #2. Basically, leaving some space at the outside of the map, and teleporting when the char gets close to the edges. It works VERY good and fluid. Mode7's only good thing was the "wow" factor, but it's not worth it. TOO MUCH LAG was the cost, and I was not willing to pay.

- No Poccil's tilemap, Yes WhiteFlute Tilemap. Poccil's was a fine tilemap, but I preferred WhiteFlute's one. It's coded in C++, so I can't change anything inside of it... but it's pretty good. Dunno if performance-wise is better though :\. I saw a little performance increase!

- Changed framerate back to 40fps. I had it running on 60 before, but I think I was being too optimistic/greedy/something. I hope this enhances RPG Maker's lagginess.

Other things I've been doing include but are not limited to bug fixing, interface small tweaks and changes, and a very early version of Phamas Forest. Also some database'ing here and there and I'm still planning some "passive skills". I want to do as less "raise X of Y base stat" as much as possible, either making that increase conditional or something (I've mimicked some Pokémons abilities like moxie). Passives will help me balance certain stuff and will add some more variety to the game. But it's the last thing I'm adding, I swear!

Anyway, here a screenshot of the proto Phamas Forest!

And here you can see the worldmap without Mode7. I think it looks fine.

More news to come, as this is the final month of this year and I HAVE TO WORK AS MUCH AS POSSIBRU!!!!!!

Be awesome people, and thanks if you read all this,
Orochii Zouveleki

Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #28 - A little change on how AP is gained

So, there I was, on my daily thinking. I was projecting my game inside my mind being played by the kinds of players I would love to have. "Sweet" I thought. But then, there was something that bugged me a little...

You see, my game is thought for very much all kind of RPG players. I love speedruns, and those restricted gameplays like low-level or whatever. I want my game to be as flexible as possible on those aspects. So, this is what bugged me exactly, pertaining low-level gameplays.


The Ability Points, needed for learning skills, was given 1 point per level-up. So, that means I'm forcing players to level up to get skills. I could lower costs to like 1AP per skill upgrade/learn, but that still means leveling for getting power.
What I did instead is getting some inspiration from FinalFantasyV. Each battle gives you ability experience points. Only difference is that mine is always a percentage (100 per level up). Different encounters vary little on that aspect (~10-15%, 20+% on special battles), BUT bosses now give no experience points, and give you instead a full AP experience level (100%). Before bosses were like a low-level limiter, because they were giving you the necessary experience to be fine at the next area. I'm removing that now. Let's see if I can manage to make possible killing final boss at lvl1 x'D.


So, only drawback is this (from what I know of). Normal leveling up gets less interesting every step I take. Yeah, it gives steady increments, mostly on the HP department. Still, you have equipment and fylgjas to power up your character more (and buffs for in-battle power up). Thing is, this is all I can devaluate leveling.
Also I can't clutter the game with any more customization mechanics. It's on its limit too!
Another thing is, if I want to make AP gain being apart from EXP gain, I NEED to make it possible. Monsters with low/no EXP gain and regular AP gain, like FF's Cactuar (but not that scarce!). And getting AP from special events. I've a lot of bosses to make, but I need to value if they're enough, and if not, check the places (game progression-wise) that are in need of more AP gaining.

I need to do a list to order my thoughts...

-Skill tree: Available actions either in or outside of battle. AP gain from monster's value.
-Equipment: Statistics and available in-battle actions influence. Got from exploration.
--You can synthesize equipment and improve it too.
-Leveling up: Statistics increase. Monster's EXP.
-Fylgja/scrolls: Statistics increase, and summoning capabilities. They're found by exploration. And Fylgjas can level up as any other character.

So, I'll leave this here, I hope you are not bored of me talking. But I needed to get it out, because I'm thinking too much stuff. Sometimes I don't know if this game is getting more and more stupidly huge!


Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #27 - Scrolls, fylgja and climate!

There is some information about this on the Systematics page, so I'll try to summarize.

Scrolls are a special kind of items. They can be equipped on your characters, giving you one extra action (skill) while equipped. Think of them as FFVII's materia, with the difference of being all of them unique. You can't buy neither synthesize scrolls, and there's only one of each in the entire game (a total of 27).
As for what scrolls can you encounter...
One support and one offensive for each element (8 elements: Fire, Ice, Thunder, Water, Earth, Wind, Light, Gloom). 4 physical skills. And 7 uncategorized.

I'll leave them as a surprise for now. I've tried to make them as diverse as possible, and to use the most of the mechanics I've been adding.

Fylgjas on the other hand are guardian creatures that you equip to your characters. While equipped, they raise your stats depending on that creature's level, and give you two extra battle actions (again, skills). Very much like FFVI's espers. But you see, they have a level attribute! Fylgjas can level up very much as a regular character, unlike espers which gave a permanent boost to the character that has them equipped. This is mostly to give you the chance of swapping characters and not having to raise all of them.

There's also another important thing to say about Fylgjas. And that is, summoning. When in battle, you can use the "Summon: Name" command, making the fylgja emerge from your character and fight side-by-side with you. Thing is, they are not entirely corporeal, more like a phantom, so they don't die, unless their host dies. Bad thing is that you lose temporarily their bonuses when in this state, but the Fylgja get to fight using their own pattern, which is also influenced by the Fylgja's level.

There is a limit for summoning, thought, and that is only one "active Fylgja". If you summon another one, the previous is automatically unsummoned.

So, the characters slots look like this (as you probably seen in the screenshots section):
Character status screen
  • Scroll 1
  • Scroll 2
  • Fylgja

Character equipment screen
  • Right hand
  • Left hand
  • Head
  • Body
  • Accesory

The other equip slots are pretty much vanilla. Only difference with RMXP's vanilla equips is that some characters can dual-wield (which is a feature not missing at any other RM version).

Moving on to the last issue, is the weathers. Everyone knows that RPG Maker has a nice "weather system", but it's just graphical. So, what did I do? Pokémon weather.
Normal: Ups fire elemental damage, lowers water elemental damage.
Rain: Ups water and thunder elemental damage*, lowers fire elemental damage.
Thunderstorm: Ups water and thunder elemental damage*, lowers fire elemental damage.
Snow: Ups ice elemental damage. Small chance of Hypothermia** status to all battlers.
Sandstorm: Ups earth elemental damage. Deals damage each turn**.
Hurricane: Ups wind elemental damage.
Fog: Reduces all battler's base accuracy to 80%***.

* Rain raises a lot Water damage, Thunderstorm raises a lot Thunder damage.
** Snow and sandstorm side effects depend on each battler weaknesses to their respective elements (ice and earth). Sandstorm is one that can actually recover your earth-absorbing allies.
***There is a buff to make anyone NEVER miss (Unblockable), so don't be scared.

And that's it for today, thanks for reading,
Orochii Zouveleki


Website appeared!

Hello! This is just a very small announcement. I "made" a website for the game. Actually what I did was to grab a nice and free site builder, and started to make the pages.
There's little to see, but all sections are at least set.

You can check it here: Drekirökr's Site

I still want to make an interactive banner, and some final tweaks to the overall design, but it will take time, heh.

Thanks for reading, see you people soon,
Orochii Zouveleki


THE Captain's Log #26 - Being senile

I don't know if (almost) 60 subscribers are a lot, but when I started this game, I made it by pure randomness aha! I didn't even thought about uploading it anywhere.

At my early years I was making my small mussel abortions that didn't ended so well after being erased in the formatting wars. This game survived one of those wars, just because it was the first thing I uploaded somewhere. And that alone made me love it, and start game making a little more seriously. I think I would never be here if that issue didn't happened, I could had probably lost interest on game making and moved on.

So just wanted to thank you people, just seeing that small number grow makes me a little happier, not much because of ego and stuff (probably a little yes lol), but makes me think that there are people waiting for it, and not only as a kid's illusion of making a game.

I'll make the accustomed at some milestones. If it gets to, let's say 80s I will "celebrate" with an artwork (Huzzah!). If it ever gets to 120s, another one (Huzzazzah! -it's like nowadays pokémon's names). After that we will see. As I just said, I don't know anymore if 100 is a lot, or 200... (let's see... Forever's End has 280 right now, if I get to 100, I'm sure FE will be at 500s!).

Anyways, let's leave calculations to the desperate. Thanks again people for all of your support. I will continue working as hard as I can, and see you again on another blog entry, a progress report. For now I'm still working on the intro, as I've been lots of time refining systematic stuff, bug fixing... and that kind of things.

See ya folks,
Orochii Zouveleki

Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #25 - Returned from hell!

In hell, we had no choice, any paper would burn. So the log rested in a secure place. We stepped inside the averns, and conquered them (well, sorta).

So, after a long long long LONG time of not posting much, I return! Yayz! Now that this semester has ended, I can dedicate myself to this project. Hurray! This last two days have been very much great.

This is the things done in this two days...

-Some maps...

-A little mod to the fullscreen, and accesibility changes to the options menu.

-Key configuration support (except for arrow keys).

-A little fix to the collapse, needed for animated enemies support (for "some special encounters" :P).

-Weapon reequip inside battle, sort of FF-like, but different in terms of interface.

-Target selection overhaul, based on my code from the RomaSaGa battle system.

There is a lot of things to do, but most of them are... things related to specific skills and stuff. So, in the next month I'll be focused on doing actual content. Maps, and that kind of things.

Hope you don't dislike these news, and salut,
Orochii Zouveleki

Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #24 - Still more updates and fixes

Hello! Long time not writing you people! Well, I've been a little busy, and mentally dispersed, presenting my game on different indie gaming sites, and college, and mental tiredness, and illnesses, and STUFF. Didn't even got to make a second edition to my videolog at time, but I'll still make it someday. The problem is maybe because the stuff I'm at right now aren't either flashy or things that I can show freely, so it was a miscalculation there ohoho!

Anyway, today I'm giving you people some updates, and there they go.

- I changed the default Input module to Glitchkey's one. I needed more keys, just one or two. Also I felt that things were a little too strange. I don't really like the default controls for any RPG Maker (ZXCASDQW, you put something in them and they start to feel a little bluttered in there).
The Party button is "P" for example. You don't need to switch parties that often so I moved it there, and it's better I think instead of a... W?

Anyway, I think it's a little better. Maybe I go too much into details.

- As I changed the Input module, I thought I was going to drop my "gamepad support". But no! Glitchkey also has a Gamepad Input module ahahaha! So I added it, and it's lovely! It gives me full support to everything, even vibration (which I'm not going to use because I hate... no no, I HATE IT, much better).

- Another thing I made just a minute ago, that was killing me from the inside. Modified the invetory layout. Just something that didn't seemed to work out properly. Just changed the position of the category icons. Now they're up and horizontally, left-to-right, instead of vertically up-to-down. You use L-Shift and R-Shift to switch between them so I felt it was wierddsd.

- And well... more fixes and stuff.

There's a little more of things I want to do, but after that, it's going to be an easy way just adding content C: (the thing that slows it down is the graphical part). But it's going to be fun 8D.

Ahahaah, anyway, thanks for reading,
Orochii Zouveleki

Progress Report

Drekirökr Videoblog #1 - Feb 20th 2013

There's no me speaking, but I didn't thought about it until now. Would you like to hear me? x'D.

Youtube's description:
Hello mighty viewers! This is the start of this, the vlog for Drekirökr - Dusk of the Dragon. It will be monthly released, or so is the intention.

This entry includes the following themes:
1. Battle tests. Counters, battle kinds, a small change in the battle interface (pretty much unnoticeable), and a new collapsing animation algorithm.
2. First introductory texts. A translation test (spanish to english), and some images that will accompany the text.

That's it for this entry. There's a lot of extra stuff done behind the scenes, but most of it is not very interesting for you to see.
Also you can follow the game's development in Twitter: https://twitter.com/z_orochii


Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #23 - Dull changes

Okay... this is more like a plain progress report, nothing noticeable or interesting.

Or maybe there is something interesting, but it's not new in this RPG Maker world. I've been retouching some skill effects and stuff, making possible "all battlers" targetting, and special user effects (like, causing some state to the user after casting something and things like that). It works as a sepparate skill, just because it's way more flexible and easier to implement...

The other things are the custom editors again. I finished most of them, and so my constants size have been reduced drastically =D. Still, need to make the skill tree editor, but it's the greatest pain in the ass between all the editors, and I'll maybe make it from scratch instead of using my editor base code, since it needs a lot of custom behaviours and stuff and... oh well... it's really a pain.

And as always, bug fixing, they're always there bugging our lives from the shadows.

That's all for now, sorry, no images ='D,
Orochii Zouveleki