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Change of Focus

  • XBuster
  • 06/21/2018 02:34 AM
  • 568 views
Hello everyone, it has been quite some time since I've posted something for this and I'm terribly sorry for the information drought and all. With some things changing and looking up, I decided to go into detail about why certain things happened and why there was such a long period of time with no updates.

Just to make things clear, I am not trying to justify what I've done or make excuses, nor is this for a pity party of sorts. I'm here to be upfront, honest, and transparent with you all so not only can the game get back on track and better than before, but so there is a better understanding of the whole situation. That being said, let's dig into this.

Why was another break taken from the project?

When the game had reached a certain state, things began to be incredibly deep and to be honest, I was tired and didn't know what to do with the project anymore. The amount of resources was simply overwhelming(over 5000)to work with and had began to think that the project was way too ambitious.

To make matters worse, almost no one in the entire sprite-ripping community had sprites from the series with the exception of a few that had a small, but helpful amount. Other than those, I had to literally play through all the games in the series myself and get about every NPC, character, item, tile set, sound effect, and much more(and there are 8 games to get content from!).

Too many ideas

When we play games and see something we like, we get inspired and often times want to implement something akin to those systems in our projects. My biggest issue was that I was infinitely thinking of new ideas and systems to cram into the game and that is very dangerous behavior when being a developer of any sort because you'll never get things done and by the time you're ready to implement them all, you're kind of tired.

Before this blog was made, I took a long look at some of the prior ones refresh myself on things that were said or mentioned and that was one of the issues. The more things introduced, the longer that game takes to create and the more stressed/ burned out I got. So in order to make more significant progress and reduce the workload, a lot of those ideas and concepts were scrapped for future or other projects.

Too Much Unnecessary Content

When any type of game is made(especially fan games), we all get the tendency to fill them with Easter eggs, and references that can often break the fourth wall. Like the topic above concerning too many ideas, there was a large tendency to add so many Easter eggs and bonus content, that I had completely lost focus on the main game itself. This included things like playable characters, cameos, and all that good stuff.

In order to gain a strict focus and make it purely a Monster World game, most(if not all) of this content was removed altogether. Not only does this lift a heavy burden off my back, but they no longer pose a threat of taking the spotlight away from the core game.

Lack of decent/ less stressful coding skills

Lately I've been looking through the code of the game and realized that the game is a complete and utter mess. The whole time the game was on hiatus, I was thinking "What could be done better?" or "There has got to be a simpler way to do this!". It turns out, I was making it a LOT more stressful by not learning the core functions of Game Maker and experimenting with code enough, thus making it a hassle to program and deal with. What was once doable with 5 or 6 lines of code is now done with just 2 or 3. This allows for rapid creation of things like skills, equipment, and logs.

Another thing I did terribly was the text engine. Instead of looking for a decent way to do it, I simply went with the old coding that is incredibly inferior to the one that could be created now. Before, it displayed 6 lines of text and could only handle "Yes and No" choices. Now it's decided to show 3 lines of text and handle 4 options at a time. The list goes on and on about what could be done better with coding, but I believe you all get the gist of what I mean.

So what's the plan?

The plan now is simple and many of it's phases are already underway or have been for quite some time. Let's recap on what is being removed...

  • Removal of extreme Easter Egg usage

  • Scrapping of extra ideas that aren't needed

  • Removal of most cameo content

  • Bad coding that makes the project harder to deal with


A lot of scrapped or saved ideas have already been implemented into another project I'm working on and that one is almost done. It can be said that the game itself had so much put into it, that it had to be split up in order to make things more manageable.

With these gone, I strongly believe the game will come to fruition sooner rather than later and not only increase the game's quality overall, but puts a powerful focus on creating a new Monster world game rather than making a cluster of stuff that has nothing to do with the franchise.

Closing Words

With all of that said, I honestly don't know what else there is to discuss at this time. If I missed something or you have any questions, concerns, or quarrels, I'm all ears; whether it is through PM or commentary. Again, I take full responsibility for everything regarding the game and I can't blame you if you've moved on or lost interest at this point.

But, I will work as hard as I can to make the game as good as it can possibly be no matter what it takes and I can't do that without all of you; the ones who helped the project make it this far in the first place with your commentary, advice, and overall honesty with me as a whole. Thank you all and I'll see you again soon.

-XBuster

Posts

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Yeah, I get what you're saying, bud. It's too easy to come up with all kinds of cool ideas and then start wasting time trying to implement every single one of them, to the detriment of actually finishing the game. I'm glad you sorted things out.
Man, this is a wakeup call for me. I was about to do the exact same thing for a project of mine, after I was done adding all the mechanics I wanted it to have I suddenly began adding more and more ideas. I'm glad that you managed to get your project under wraps and that you're back on track with this. I hope I can do the same.

I'm also subbing to this game, it looks really neat.
@Dyhalto

Thanks man, I'm glad as well. I believe it is nice to have versatility in a game, but there is a fine line between a want and a need of each system/mechanic. Sometimes, it's best to keep things simple and newcomer friendly. Besides, if I use all my ideas for one game, then what is left for the future ones? I don't plan on quitting making games any time soon, so ideas may as well be scrapped and saved for later so each project doesn't feel the same.

@OzzyTheOne

That's good to hear! It's good to know that this helped in some way. There is nothing wrong with expanding your project in the least, but as you've probably experienced, when you add one new mechanic, you may have to balance another and it keeps stacking on for as long as you keep adding them in.

For example, in this game, everything changed when the skill grid, full party selection, multiple healing methods, and abilities were introduced and made the game significantly easier due to everything being catered toward the player. So in order to compensate for that, the overall difficulty was increased and several systems prior to it such as equipment and character stats had to be tweaked.

Over the years, the game has been constantly repainted over and over again when new skills were learned or new concepts were introduced and the main reasoning was because I didn't plan nor did I make a solid design document. Of course at the time I didn't know any better but we all live and learn. I hope things get situated with your project(s) as well. I'll be sure to check them out and thank you for subscribing!
Yeah, making a design decument is very useful. It helps you keep track of the game as a whole and what you've already completed and what you have to tackle next. It's very helpful.
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