I won't go into too much detail, but let me just say I've had to focus on work since I paused this project, but now that it has slowed down, I'm happy to be back doing what I love!
Here is the current to-do list and features I want to add:
First and foremost, I HAVE to fix the balance issues in the late game. I was reaching the NaGaDeMo deadline, and literally started throwing enemies and maps around at random and hoping it worked. The last 3-4 dungeons will be likely getting a complete redesign with new enemies and better care for balance and making sure the end-game isn't impossible.
Updating the engine from VX to VX Ace. I hope this is a smooth transition, otherwise I'll have to hurt someone.
I plan to add companions/party members that you can obtain through various quests, planning on an Ophidian, a robot, and another 'human', but this may change down the line. If they die, however, they can not be revived. Their death will also affect how people treat you and impact certain quests.
I plan to add more areas and ruins that can be explored and contain useful treasure, but are entirely optional. These will also coincide with optional sidequests that the residents of the various towns can give you. In addition, I want to add a lot more sidequests and optional missions.
Thoroughly expand the crafting system. As such, there is only ONE item you can craft, and that's at the very beginning of the game. When enemies only drop spoils of war, never money, I think it's kind of required that you can turn those drops into usable items like potions, weapons, and accessories.
An ongoing item-collection quest that provides an excellent reward at the end, by collecting X of a certain item spread all around the world. Completing this quest will also reveal a great deal of in-game lore.
A fast travel system to let you quickly move between cities or other areas, somewhat akin to the Moon Gates in Ultima or the warps in Legend of Zelda
If you'd like to help with development, you're in luck! I'm looking for people to help test the game and report and bugs or balance issues to me using the following Google form: Monochrome Development Report Form
I recently updated the file in the system to correct some visual errors, and a freezing bug for Barus. I'm sorry I haven't been quite as dilligent with the updates as I was during NaGaDeMo, but I have responsibilities to take care of that I was shirking during June. I hope to get back into major updates when I can.
Thank you to Noellechan for your review of the game. I'll keep your thoughts in mind as I update and work more on the game.
(Reposting since the download is now available) Well, with the month quickly drawing to a close, now begins crunch time! I've been hitting the maker pretty hard over the last few days, since it's very easy to get sidetracked polishing minor things while the critical path is not even completed. But you'll be happy to know a playable demo is now up! Check the downloads section for version 0.4 and enjoy the first 3 levels of Monochrome.
A lot of sidequests don't work, but I'm hoping to have all of them functional by the end of the month, as well as being able to at least PLAY all of the remaining dungeons. They may only be placeholder maps and not very well designed, but dammit, they'll be playable! By the time NaGaDeMo ends, you should be able to play through all 9 dungeons and complete the game.
Not a whole lot of progress today. I did a bit of micromanagement building up the second city. I'm seriously considering scaling back the number of towns from 5 to 3, and cutting the number of dungeons from 10 to 5. Just to make sure I finish on time. I may also do a complete overhaul of the dungeon system and make it less Zelda-ish and more of a cohesive exploration area. But we'll see.
Where does the time go? I was busy the last few days, so not too much progress since then. Most of my work has been going on outside of RPGVX, writing notes and designing dungeons in Excel, making lists of items and tools for the player to find. The deadline is coming faster each day, so I really gotta hunker down and get the critical path completed.
In audio news, I ripped a bunch of classic atari sound effects and found some great chiptunes music that could fit well. Just a matter of putting them in game and finding what's best for each situation.
I spent most of the day installing ATS 3.0 and then fixing all of the problems that arose with that, but the people in the chat room were very helpful. Hoping to start adding more dungeons tomorrow, and start work on the next cities.
You may notice it's now slightly darker than before. Instead of pure FFFFFF white, it's a E0E0E0 offwhite, that I think gives the game a nice classic VGA Monochrome Monitor look, don't you think? Anywho, Lots more to do and only 20 days to do it in. Wish me luck!
And since it's a day that's a multiple of 5, please enjoy a video update as well.
Woo! I've finally started working on the primary quest. There are going to be 8-10 main parts of the quest, and each one you complete will cause the enemies on the world map to become stronger. I've designed the first 3 dungeons in Excel, and I've built the skeleton of the first one in-game. Now it just needs to be populated with enemies and treasure.
Does anyone know how to make the game cut directly from one scene to the next, rather than fading? I think that would really make this game feel a lot better. You could do it in XP, but not VX it seems.
Spent the day populating the first town with people and quests. Based on your actions in these quests, people will react to you differently as the game progresses. Bounty Boards are an easy way to get money early in the game, since enemies do not drop credits naturally (Only enemies that would reasonably carry them, like bandits or the like)
I particularly like the little emoticons that indicate the speaker's mood. It's a simple thing, but I think it adds a little charm to the game and fits the setting well.
Added a few more sprites and interactive objects. Starting to populate the world much more densely with events, towns, and hidden areas. I'm starting to think the overworld map is too small, but I think I'd rather have it too small than too large. What do you think? Of course, I can always add depth to the underworld areas like dungeons and caves.