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Journeyman is a simulation/RPG about starting with nothing and crafting EVERYTHING. The project's intent is to focus on the fun, addictive, and deep crafting systems in games like recent blockbuster The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and indie masterpiece Dwarf Fortress, crafting systems that in the former case were so addictive they made you want to ignore the rest of the game, or in the latter case that were so deep they comprised the entire game. The idea is to expand this into such a massive and deep crafting system that it can serve as the centerpiece of an entire game.

Journeyman is bright, whimsical, funny, and cute, at least in places, which might be considered quite a departure for a developer of my doom and gloom pedigree. I guess I say this as much to warn my fans (as few, far between, and silent as they may be) as in hopes of giving pause to some small fraction of my many detractors.

Although this is a fantasy RPG with sidequests, it's nothing like Final Fantasy.

The most important thing to understand is that Journeyman is not an RPG with optional logging, mining, gathering, farming, fishing, hunting, woodworking, smelting, threshing, weaving, cleaning, tanning, cooking, alchemy, smithing, and enchanting minigames. It's a logging, mining, gathering, farming, fishing, hunting, woodworking, smelting, thresing, weaving, cleaning, tanning, cooking, alchemy, smithing, and enchanting game with an optional combat minigame.

-NOTICE OF CREDIT-
98% of the maps used in this project were made by ShortStar and then donated to me for my use. Out of that 98% I'd say all of them have undergone slight changes by my hand--not all to the good, aesthetics wise, but many were functionally necessary to support the underlying mechanics and systems.

Latest Blog

Persistence

Well it's Tuesday, so time for another progress report.

This week's progress report is even less exciting than last week's.

I added Grayscale Armor (made from chitin (from Greatleaf Beetles), leather, and trollskin) which is a light armor that's about as protective as somewhere between iron chain and steel chain, and has Magic resistant properties (note that means the specific 'Magic' damage type, not all magical damage). I added the ability to make it from the requisite components, leveled up till I could hunt those components, found them, made it, fixed a bug where I couldn't equip it.

Since then I've been testing the Northstar mine. 1F is manageable with partial Grayscale, partial Studded Leather, Flare, Cauterize, Recurve Bow and a liberal helping of potions, elixirs, and poisons. B1 is still very, very tough on the lightly armored archer. Particularly the gremlin enemies (flighty, agile mages that go down in one hit, but are hard to hit and have many powerful spells) but I think they'd be tough on any build. I did some bugfixes on B1, since I set up some of the switches wrong for the monsters and ore veins. Makes sense that I screwed up; last time I worked on this game was last year, IIRC.

After Northstar B1, it's B2 and the Greater Demon there. Then it's Ilandria City. Then Gloaming Grotto. Then Addison Plantation. That's all the content I'm planning on including in the Normalgame. The final two dungeons/mines, Wintermute Cavern and Ancient Nadir, and the final "friendly" location (Frostpointe Tower, a wizard tower that is your starting location as Epic Gordon) will be reserved for the Epic Game. The next public release of the game will probably coincide with the completion of the Normalgame content, including various new quests and the endgame gameplay, which I didn't mention in the foregoing list.

Even though all the mapping is thankfully done for me (before the project even began), populating all of the content seems like a long, insurmountable road before me. Just got to try to do it one step at a time, even though I will still almost undeniably fail. Always I think a project I've conceived is manageable, reasonable, self-contained, "aiming low". Always it turns out to be a dauntingly, unrealistically epic endeavor.

I think what I really enjoy is starting games, not necessarily finishing them. It's a shame, completing a game is a great sense of accomplishment, but the process of getting there is hard work, plain and simple.

Making fun games really ought to be fun, since it's a non-paying hobby, an avocation, but all too often it's unrelenting drudgery.

I've also hit a snag with regards to controlling the regrowth of some harvestable plants due to poor planning early on. I've asked for help here and it looks like...received it.

Posts

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So you got a boner for an alchemy system and decided to overdo it?
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
That's basically fair and balanced, even moreso than Fox News.

Although I'd also add that the end product is both fun and addictive already and will hopefully only improve from there as development continues and the project matures. I am actually quite serious about this one.

(Yes I edited this post over ten times. What of it.)
rabitZ
amusing tassadar, your taste in companionship grows ever more inexplicable
1296
Max MxGee, I am really intrigued by this idea!
I like it!

But, as you may know, the devil is in the details.

Also. I guess I am your first subscriber :)

EDIT: Not really, 2nd one haha.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
I certainly hope for many more: I am more proud of the work I've put into this, even if it only amounts to weeks, than of anything I've made in quite some time.
DE
*click to edit*
1313
Sounds BOOORIIING!
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
I assume you're kidding? If not, what exactly sounds boring about it?
WIP
I'm not comfortable with any idea that can't be expressed in the form of men's jewelry
11363
THE WORLD'S GREATEST GAME BROUGHT TO YOU BY DEFAULT CHOICE MENUS AND OTHER SCRIPTS COBBLED TOGETHER
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
Glad you're not dead. : )

Edit: And that's pretty much exactly the idea of what I'm aiming for. Nothing wrong with that, right?
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
Max, why always this death blackmailing (chantage à la mort), that, of course no one dares reply to : are you about to die, do you suffer from an incurable disease? If so, say so, and give us an opportunity to forgive and be indulgent, often, we desperately need one.

Edit : "THE WORLD'S GREATEST GAME BROUGHT TO YOU BY DEFAULT CHOICE MENUS AND OTHER SCRIPTS COBBLED TOGETHER"

I definitely agree.
DE
*click to edit*
1313
Sounds like you've played too much Dwarf Fortress and Skyrim lately and decided to make a fan game. You do know nothing good comes out of projects started on the spur of the moment, inspired by a game you've just played or a tune you've just heard, right? RIGHT?

The idea of a game where you're not doing much apart from what's the most tedious part of any RPG - chores - is not exactly thrilling. Is this going to be Everything Turns Gray IN FANTASYYYYY? Is there even going to be a story or simply "mine here for 30 times to get super cool mineral!" for hours on end?

I also think you're overestimating the amount of work needed to polish and balance all the mechanics and to, you know, make them fun. Those games probably took thousands of man hours to develop the systems. On top of that - even if *I* wanted to play such a game, I'd not download a VX game made on public domain scripts but rather a similar game made on a real engine. No offense to you or VX.

Are you even going to release a story-rich game in the future, like, you know, in the good old times, or is it just going to be "all mechanics all the time" from now on?
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
1) Chana, what the hell are you EVER talking about? EVER? Seriously. Yes, I do in fact suffer from a horrible, incurable, debilitating and quite-probably eventually fatal disease that has been ruining my quality-of-life since age 13. That also has absolutely nothing to do with anything, at all, that I've said here or elsewhere?

I mean, I don't even know what you're REFERRING to.

I told WIP "I'm glad you're not dead" because he doesn't exactly post here frequently anymore even though he made the site. That...was literally all there was to it. God you're so bizarre!

2) DE: Give it a chance, neh? You might like it more than you think.

Somewhat more in-depth:

The idea of a game where you're not doing much apart from what's the most tedious part of any RPG - chores - is not exactly thrilling. Is this going to be Everything Turns Gray IN FANTASYYYYY? Is there even going to be a story or simply "mine here for 30 times to get super cool mineral!" for hours on end?

I suppose it may simply be one of those things that's better than it sounds. For what it's worth, I enjoy playing this game. And to be honest, I usually rather hate playing my games--traditionally, I blame the familiarity-breeds-contempt of constant unending testing for this phenomenon. But whatever it may signify, I quite enjoy playing this one.

I also think you're overestimating the amount of work needed to polish and balance all the mechanics and to, you know, make them fun. Those games probably took thousands of man hours to develop the systems. On top of that - even if *I* wanted to play such a game, I'd not download a VX game made on public domain scripts but rather a similar game made on a real engine. No offense to you or VX.

I think you mean "underestimating" as in--you are underestimating the amount of work I've already put into this and the percent of it that's already finished. : )

Anyway, there's certainly no one forcing you to download this...not that it's quite possible to download yet. There's a solid amount of finishing touches and testing to be done first.

Are you even going to release a story-rich game in the future, like, you know, in the good old times, or is it just going to be "all mechanics all the time" from now on?

a) When and where exactly did I say this did not have a story? I said MDX did not have a story, admittedly, but I was kind of kidding even then.
b) This is, in absolute terms, the final new project that Max McGee will ever make. I'm not saying I won't finish some old projects before I quit. And I have a recent collaborative venture that I fully intend to soldier on with. But I have no intent of ever making a new game page again after today--don't mistake this for a response to anything that's been said, it's been the plan for quite some time. This is the last one. (I have said this so many times before that it probably has little or no credibility, but nonetheless I do mean it.)
Wow. That is an awful lot of preemptive hate for a concept-game.

It's not my project, but I feel like at least white-knighting the idea that concept games are viable on this site. The flash scene is crawling with them. Love, Level Up!, Fisher-diver, Immortall, The Majesty of Colors, I Can Hold My Breath Forever, I could probably reel off five or six more off the top of my head. I know there's more of a retro focus here (it would be strange for there not to be, with a dev tool like rpg maker,) but that doesn't mean that experimentation is a mistake.

The challenge of taking a game built entirely around crafting and then making it fun sounds like a worthy project. Others devs have done okay with that same idea, so I'm understandably hesitant to pass judgement.

I'd like to see what this becomes.

And DE, I know game design =/= writing, but I've written some of my best pieces spur of the moment, inspired by a book I just read or a song I just heard. Don't undervalue enthusiasm.
DE
*click to edit*
1313
Please don't use that idiotic Internet speak like "hate" or "white-knight" in my presence or I'm going go into true fucking hate mode. Next thing you're going to say "guesstimate". Please. And don't compare a one-man VX project to Minecraft or Dwarf Fortress or whatever.

Writing a piece of fiction while still high on momentary inspiration is a bit different to spending dozens of hours on a crafting system, you know. Enthusiasm springing from liking a game you're currently playing doesn't last long.

I'm not damning this project before it's been even born, just sharing some observations. Been there, done that, and so on. We're will see what's going come out from this - the greatest game or the greatest waste of time for all the parties involved.
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
You don't seem to always understand what's behind words, anyways, thanks for answering, it doesn't seem to be as fatal as all that, but, I can imagine (or can I?) certainly crucifying.

On topic, I still don't find the premises of your game to come too encouraging.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
And don't compare a one-man VX project to Minecraft or Dwarf Fortress or whatever.

This is oddly kind of not a one-man project. All of the maps are done. And ShortStar did them. Then he gave them to me and I made this game. Probably not the most intimate collaboration ever, but still not a true one-man project.

Dwarf Fortress was basically a one-man project actually; Tarn Adams with some help from his brother.

But I'm sure this game won't be anywhere near as good as Dwarf Fortress. Dwarf Fortress, for all its obsessive, almost-autistic game design decisions, is an absolute masterpiece.

If anyone was unclear on this: this project's working title was meant as a joke. I mean I certainly intend for this game to be good, but everyone knows that the greatest game ever is Sonic and the Chaos Dragons.
I used to be a language-purist, DE, and then I realized that today's English is yesterday's slang.

As for drawing a link between this game (whatever its actual title may be) and Minecraft, why not? You can compare anything to anything. It doesn't mean there's automatic truth to it.
DE
*click to edit*
1313
author=kumada
I used to be a language-purist, DE, and then I realized that today's English is yesterday's slang.


It's not slang, it's hyperbolic caveman-speak. Is there any particular reason, BTW, that you feel the urge to use the language of the hoi polloi or it's just that it tickles your fancy? I'm guessing you have higher education or plan to have, so for the sake of other educated people, have some standards.

As for the part about comparing stuff I have no idea what you're trying to say (apart from some absolutist gibberish I mean). Sure, you can compare anything to anything, but there should be a point to it and some worthwhile conclusions to draw.
DE, I'm the supervillain around here. You can stop spreading your hatred of everything around! Go make something in peace. Namaste.
Read through the stuff so far and checked all the screenshots, I like the idea a lot, I've had long-standing plans to do a crafting-based game, some of my own thoughts:

1. Crafting needs to be more than X of this + Y of that + Z of something = Product, players need to have the ability to tweak and decide things (maybe skill points to improve items, etc)

2. When crafting is the focus the other areas still need to be fun, but they also need to be fast and not forced, for example an on-map combat system using your alchemy components or things you crafted? Dungeon that require the items you can build to progress? An economy and ability to set up your own shop?

I'd be more than happy to jam regarding crafting game ideas, ever since Star Wars Galaxies (which is shutting down!) I have been the biggest fan of games where you get to craft things; really glad to see something like this being made!

I'd be happy to do some testing if you're looking for beta folk; I'm not usually too interested in playing games, but I've always felt this genre was seriously lacking and it's probably my favorite.
Yes, I do in fact suffer from a horrible, incurable, debilitating and quite-probably eventually fatal disease that has been ruining my quality-of-life since age 13.


Join the queue. Crohn's is certainly no picnic.

As for the actual game in question, I try never to judge things too early. It doesn't look like something I would be particularly interested in playing, but I've been trying to make an effort to expand my tastes lately, or at the very least give more games from this community a chance. As such, I can see myself giving this a try upon release.

As someone who has never played Dwarf Fortress, Minecraft, or as of this writing at least, Skyrim, the "best" gaming experience I've had with a crafting system was in Arcanum. There it was clearly an enrichment of the gaming experience though, and not the primary focus.

I think calling something "greatest game ever" might not be the best way to get fair and balanced feedback about it.
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