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What's going on? What is Reborn?! TELL ME!

  • Daedron
  • 09/16/2015 02:22 PM
  • 6760 views
Calm down, fellas. Things have changed quite a bit on this page but I can assure you it's for the better.
So let's answer the first question, what exactly is "Reborn" and what does this mean for Blood Haze?

Reborn is a remake of the first game, built from the ground up on VX ACE as opposed to the original's VX engine. Why a remake? There are a bunch of reasons. Like how I wasn't satisfied with the completed version of Blood Haze to begin with.

Looking back, it was quite a mess, with some terrible design decisions that held back the game massively. The biggest flaw was definitely the build-up system, way too many numbers to keep track of for the average player, not deep enough to satisfy the advanced player. This system was added last-minute, because I happened to stumble upon a script one day and decided to add it. I liked numbers, I still do, but it simply didn't fit the game.

I also wasn't satisfied with the way I handled the battle system. PTB in general is pretty "snowbally", as in either side tends to obliterate the other in 1 turn, because that's just what happens when you can get so many extra turns. However I'm sure there's a better way to balance it to make that happen less often. Blood Haze 1 was very punishing, especially on boss battles with gimmicky elemental resistances and elemental patterns. 1 mistake was death, it wasn't really all that fun at times. I am hoping to remedy that as much as possible.

But gameplay issues aside, the MAIN reason for a remake...is the story.
Anyone who has beaten the first game obviously knows I intended to do a sequel, but after thinking about it, I have nothing to build a sequel on. There's a lot I want to do and tell in Blood Haze 2, but the ideas simply wouldn't work without a lot of retconning. Basically, I cannot start working on Blood Haze 2 before I revamp the story in the first one.
That's what this remake is mainly for, it's to set up the story so that I have more to work with when I begin production on Blood Haze 2. This doesn't mean the story will be completely different, the majority of events will stay the same, just presented differently. Scenes will be added, or removed as I see fit. I want to make more characters important than just the main 4. Antagonists should have proper motivations etc.

It's a lot of work in any case, I started working on this game roughly 4 months ago and I'm not even done with the 1st chapter (out of 4). Though most of that work was prep-work, so I can add content a bit faster now than I could when I started out. Still, the estimated time of completion is November 2016, which I definitely think I can make. The only question is if this is with or without all the post-game content I have planned, we'll see...

Anyway, I hope this has shed some light on the current happenings.
Chapter 1 is about a month away from completion, once it's done I'll release it as a public demo. Currently I am not 100% sure if I want to do a new "demo release" with every chapter, or simply wait until the entire game is complete before I release it. I'll keep you guys updated.

Well, thanks for reading in any case! I'll do regular (weekly/bi-weekly) progress updates on the game until it's completed, so please look forward to those.

Posts

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Sounds interesting and reasonable. I played the original, but I couldn't defeat the dragon at the top of the mountain.

Some feedback that might come in handy for the remake:
-Equipment Cards: I saw no point in this 'feature'. I'm not even sure what its purpose was. It mostly just felt tedious.
-HP Bar for enemies: I've always found this feature pretty annoying in this day n' age. I could keep fighting a boss forever, since I couldn't tell if I was progressing in the battle or not.
-Hotel Falls: as a player, expecting to play an RPG, I was very shocked when I reached this area. I don't mind scary and creepy atmosphere in games, but jump scares? In what at first seemed like pretty normal RPG/Dungeon Crawler. I personally hate jump scares, so I lowered the volume completely and exited full screen mode during this point. To be completely honest, I considered to stop playing the game completely because of this area. If I wanted jump scares I'd go watch a horror movie or play Resident Evil or something. I may be a minority here though.
-Character Facesets: I actually thought it was charming that there were no face graphics. It gave more attention to the actual character sprite, which I really enjoyed, since it provided a more unique experience. That's just my opinion.

That's about all I could come up with ATM. Without further ado, I'd like to wish you the best of luck remaking this gem. Really looking forward to playing it again, and finally beating it! ;)
author=luiishu535
Sounds interesting and reasonable. I played the original, but I couldn't defeat the dragon at the top of the mountain.

Some feedback that might come in handy for the remake:
-Equipment Cards: I saw no point in this 'feature'. I'm not even sure what its purpose was. It mostly just felt tedious.
-HP Bar for enemies: I've always found this feature pretty annoying in this day n' age. I could keep fighting a boss forever, since I couldn't tell if I was progressing in the battle or not.
-Hotel Falls: as a player, expecting to play an RPG, I was very shocked when I reached this area. I don't mind scary and creepy atmosphere in games, but jump scares? In what at first seemed like pretty normal RPG/Dungeon Crawler. I personally hate jump scares, so I lowered the volume completely and exited full screen mode during this point. To be completely honest, I considered to stop playing the game completely because of this area. If I wanted jump scares I'd go watch a horror movie or play Resident Evil or something. I may be a minority here though.
-Character Facesets: I actually thought it was charming that there were no face graphics. It gave more attention to the actual character sprite, which I really enjoyed, since it provided a more unique experience. That's just my opinion.

That's about all I could come up with ATM. Without further ado, I'd like to wish you the best of luck remaking this gem. Really looking forward to playing it again, and finally beating it! ;)


These are all quite fair points!

-The equipment cards were because of the Build-Up feature. The script itself required the use of the cards because of the way the game handles items when bought from a shop, as opposed to them being added to the player's inventory with events, aka the cards.
Since that's gone, so are the cards. Rejoice!

-Blood Haze had HP bars for enemies, or do you mean you'd rather not have them? Either way, HP bars are still a thing in the remake.

-Hotel Falls (now just Old Gharos Hotel) no longer has jumpscares! It's still creepy, but nothing pops out and the chase scenes are gone. It fits in more with the game now and what transpired there. I'm actually really interested in what people think of this area now.

-I can see your point about the facesets. As for me personally, I do think they, if done well, can really enhance cutscenes. Text is a powerful tool in its own right, but when you can see the character is shouting/laughing/shocked/etc it gives the dialogue a bit of that extra "oomph!" if you get what I mean.
The other reason is that I simply want to practice drawing as much as possible and nothing is more motivating to me than being able to use the things I create in a product.

Thanks for the kind words, I'll do my best to meet people's expectations! :)



-Hurray!
-Oops, my memory is bit foggy since it's been some time since I last played the game. Keep at it then!
-That's awesome! I'm really looking forward to see this reborn hotel!
-I agree with your points wholeheartedly. I like your facesets too, even if they feel pretty goofy. Kaleo's faceset is my favorite so far. I think the other faces could use some further improvements, especially Cyrielle and Marlene. Those chicks kind of looks like small babies' to me right now. Don't get me wrong; they're very good facesets, but I personally don't think that they look like teens (I'm assuming they're supposed to be teens).

No problem, and I have even more feedback:
-Gharos Forest: it was a pretty nice place and all, but traversing it was kind of confusing, since most stuff looked the same. The signs are great, but I'd also recommend you to add some varieties to the nature: maybe another pound, a waterfall, or something the like. This is mostly a minor nitpick though.

Also, I really liked the side quests, especially "The Lost Beer". More of this or similar stuff would be awesome!

About the Mountain Dragon: I tried beating it again just now, and I was fine until the dragon started using Fire Magic. I have a Fire Null spell, but what I couldn't figure out was when the dragon would use those spells. Is there a pattern or am I supposed to Fire Null every turn?
author=luiishu535
-I agree with your points wholeheartedly. I like your facesets too, even if they feel pretty goofy. Kaleo's faceset is my favorite so far. I think the other faces could use some further improvements, especially Cyrielle and Marlene. Those chicks kind of looks like small babies' to me right now. Don't get me wrong; they're very good facesets, but I personally don't think that they look like teens (I'm assuming they're supposed to be teens).

An internal tester actually said the same thing about Marelene's faceset! And I will have to agree with that one. I'll be touching her up quite a bit (probably redoing from scratch actually) to make her look the age. This actually became quite apparent to me after I finished Cyrielle's and I noticed they both look pretty young. Not a problem for Cyrielle cause she's supposed to be pretty young (13) but Marlene is actually supposed to be a bit up there.

author=luiishu535
-Gharos Forest: it was a pretty nice place and all, but traversing it was kind of confusing, since most stuff looked the same. The signs are great, but I'd also recommend you to add some varieties to the nature: maybe another pound, a waterfall, or something the like. This is mostly a minor nitpick though.

Maps are handled a bit differently now, I no longer have big open maps so traversing should be a bit easier. Map design overall is a bit more linear, but with more side-areas for those who go off the beaten path. And yes there is actually a waterfall area.

That reminds me, I should add a couple more signs here and there. :)

author=luiishu535
Also, I really liked the side quests, especially "The Lost Beer". More of this or similar stuff would be awesome!

That's probably the silliest thing I've ever come up with, haha!
All I can say is there will be a couple of silly sidequests and easter eggs present in the game. ;)

As for the dragon, its fire spells are set to cast "at random", however there are turns where it will ALWAYS cast certain spells. Turn 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Then goes on random for 2 turns before repeating the above pattern. So if you wanted to use Null Fire, your best bet is to make sure it's up on the first 2 turns, as well as the 2 turns after it's done casting Megido/Heat Wave. He also casts Garula/Zionga on the "inbetween" turns but they're single target, which is far easier to deal with than the Maragilao.
Keeping a full 4-stack of Tarunda on him should cut down his damage to sizeable levels too. As well as Me Patra gems to deal with the Mute Blast.
That's really all you need, I think the usual level to be at was 15/16-ish or around there, it's been a while.
Lol, I thought Cyrielle was 27 or something. xD

All sounds and looks good so far. I bet there will lots of SMT easter eggs and maybe something from DMC as well.

I may or may not have another go at that dragon at some point. My party is at 17/18 atm. Interesting to see there's a pattern. Is that a common thing from SMT games? That you have to like study the bosses and learn all their patterns before attempting to beat them?
author=luiishu535
Lol, I thought Cyrielle was 27 or something. xD


Close enough!

author=luiishu535
I may or may not have another go at that dragon at some point. My party is at 17/18 atm. Interesting to see there's a pattern. Is that a common thing from SMT games? That you have to like study the bosses and learn all their patterns before attempting to beat them?


SMT bosses usually have less of a set pattern, but more of a "If you cast this, I will do this." or "I will use this after using this move."
I think it's usually a good idea to mix in a bit of randomness as well as patterns when it comes to boss movesets. The randomness to keep the player on their toes, and a pattern that allows those who figure it out to take less damage.
The problem in Blood Haze is that there are bosses where if you don't figure out the pattern you have no chance of winning, ever. So that's something I'm trying to rectify in the remake.
Well, if you do manage to beat the dragon, let me know!
That's cool. I really enjoyed the figuring out the weakness-part in Blood Haze. It really forces the player to experiment when fighting new enemies. It's also a lot more rewarding when you've figured out the weaknesses since it gives the player extra turns.

Good thing, since that Fire spell that hits the entire party pretty much insta-killed everyone. I'll see it as a challenge. ;)
author=luiishu535
That's cool. I really enjoyed the figuring out the weakness-part in Blood Haze. It really forces the player to experiment when fighting new enemies. It's also a lot more rewarding when you've figured out the weaknesses since it gives the player extra turns.

Good thing, since that Fire spell that hits the entire party pretty much insta-killed everyone. I'll see it as a challenge. ;)


It instant kills? Is this with Tarunda? Or did it cast Tarukaja a bunch of times beforehand? It has been so long since I played it but that shouldn't do that much damage, like 50% at most maybe.

Or perhaps the balancing is just that bad, oh well.
All my members got KO:ed except Elliot. He got KO:ed immediately the next turn. Don't remember the name of the spell, but I'm pretty sure it was a party hitting Fire-spell.
Might have been Heat Wave, which is actually a physical attack and gets boosted to 2.5x damage by the Focus buff the boss casts the turn before he uses that. Guarding SHOULD allow you to always survive that. I think...I am not even sure anymore!

Also I updated Marlene's Faceset. After 3 tries the bloody thing actually uploaded correctly so it's the latest image in the gallery. I think it looks better already :V
I like this, Blood Haze was a cool game but was pretty flawed here and there and could be improved in many ways. I want to see how you change it and improve it. Since I never actually uploaded a review I'll just post a few things.

The characters were pretty dull and very simple, they barely had any storyline or backstory, except Gesley who I remember had that one scene in a mountain I think but was never brought again and went nowhere. Characters themselves and the motivations of most felt too simple, and villains weren't better with the exception of Marlene. And her motivations explained near the end were pretty bad to be honest. The overall story was okay I guess, but could have been better. At least it kept you interested to know what's going to happen.
Personally I didn't find the hotel dungeon scary, maybe because I'm a Silent Hill fan, and I find it interesting to see a dungeon like that in an RPG. Although it really did shock quite a number of people didn't it?

Also, this game was actually really hard. One of the hardest I've ever played. While I'm not a SMT expert(I only played Persona 3) this game kicks your butt until you can't sit. And particularly the Zombie Dragon, since you were talking about that, is probably the hardest fight in the entire game with the exception of Satan(who's only hard because he requires some HEAVY grinding). The Zombie Dragon is really hard. He makes the Sleeping Table from P3 look like a joke. This is based on what I remember back then when I played it, but holy hell, he has ridiculously high damaging spells, buffs and debuffs that you just barely start acquiring and has a ton of health. Three of his nuke abilities(Megido, Maragilao and Heat Wave if I remember right) can obliterate either everyone or three of your main characters, and that if you grinded before the battle(first attempt with the Zombie Dragon feels like trying to fight a real dragon). I remember that the strategy I used was, grind like mad, learn Null Physical, Null Fire, spam null fire so Maragilao/Agilao don't destroy me, and after he uses the buffs/debuffs use null Physical and pray to god he uses Heat Wave instead of Megido because if he uses it after focus, you are dead. So basically, I needed a ton of luck in order to beat him.
I will admit it was quite a memorable experience to take down this hellish monster but he seriously needs a nerf. Also, I was playing on normal.

Anyway, I'm excited about this game. I like challenge as long as you don't rely on luck. Strategy in games is my favourite feature and I love to be given many different options about how to deal with different situations.
So, good luck. I'll be looking forward to it.
Thanks for the advice! I think you'll like the characters in the remake a lot more. ;)

And jeez, was it really THAT hard? I did a bunch of playthroughs and I never had to stop and grind except for Beelzebub (who I personally think is the hardest). Then again this is probably the case where I as the developer have a huge upper hand cause I know what to expect and can get the skills I need at just the right time...

Hmm, maybe I'll have to play through it again later to see what's up, sounds interesting!
author=Daedron
Might have been Heat Wave, which is actually a physical attack and gets boosted to 2.5x damage by the Focus buff the boss casts the turn before he uses that. Guarding SHOULD allow you to always survive that. I think...I am not even sure anymore!


Yeah, I think it was Heat Wave. The dragon was boosted in someway, but I had lowered its ATK quite a lot. You can probably survive that by guardian, but the real difficulty is that it's not easy to know when that spell is going to be used. Devastating spells like that could have a warning turn, like the Solar Beam from Pokémon.

About the grinding urano23 mentioned: since you have full control over how you build your party, I think it's crucial that enemies and bosses can be defeated with different tactics and set of magic. It can be very hard to know before hand what spells to buy for an upcoming situation. If I'd make wrong choices, I would be pretty much forced to grind so that I can adapt to the situation.

Btw, are you planning on making the enemy encounters' more aggressive or while they be kept the same? I had no particular problems with the way they were handled, since there's always be a boss to judge if you're strong enough.
author=luiishu535
Yeah, I think it was Heat Wave. The dragon was boosted in someway, but I had lowered its ATK quite a lot. You can probably survive that by guardian, but the real difficulty is that it's not easy to know when that spell is going to be used. Devastating spells like that could have a warning turn, like the Solar Beam from Pokémon.


The boss casting Focus is pretty much a warning turn, though I believe the game never explicitly tells you what Focus does if the enemy casts it, you would only know if you had experience with SMT or aquired it for a player character.
Major enemy skills now show a description so it's easier to figure out what certain buffs/debuffs do and you can plan your next move accordingly.

author=luiishu535
About the grinding urano23 mentioned: since you have full control over how you build your party, I think it's crucial that enemies and bosses can be defeated with different tactics and set of magic. It can be very hard to know before hand what spells to buy for an upcoming situation. If I'd make wrong choices, I would be pretty much forced to grind so that I can adapt to the situation.


Yeah, it's a problem on certain fights. I'm fine with buffs/debuffs being mandatory but the Null "X" skills should just be a helpful tool instead of a super important skill to have, so that's definitely being changed. AP is also way harder to obtain in the remake since you can't grind for it easily (Majority comes from level ups) so I'll have to make sure people can't mess up their characters early on.

author=luiishu535
Btw, are you planning on making the enemy encounters' more aggressive or while they be kept the same? I had no particular problems with the way they were handled, since there's always be a boss to judge if you're strong enough.


Enemies will now chase you if they spot you in their line of sight, but only a short distance + the AI is simply not capable of figuring out good movement patterns so it's still super easy to avoid encounters except in tight corridors.
I guess it's at least a slight upgrade in aggressiveness, but not enough to make a huge difference.
author=Daedron
The boss casting Focus is pretty much a warning turn, though I believe the game never explicitly tells you what Focus does if the enemy casts it, you would only know if you had experience with SMT or aquired it for a player character.
Major enemy skills now show a description so it's easier to figure out what certain buffs/debuffs do and you can plan your next move accordingly.

But is the Focus spell always used the turn before Heat Wave?

author=Daedron
Enemies will now chase you if they spot you in their line of sight, but only a short distance + the AI is simply not capable of figuring out good movement patterns so it's still super easy to avoid encounters except in tight corridors.
I guess it's at least a slight upgrade in aggressiveness, but not enough to make a huge difference.

That's still pretty cool. I suppose you could have both aggressive and passive enemies.
author=luiishu535
But is the Focus spell always used the turn before Heat Wave?


Yes, though it has a 50/50 chance of casting either Megido or Heat Wave. Focus only affects Physical attacks so Megido doesn't get boosted damage. Guarding 'should' save your hide no matter what it casts though, especially if Tarunda is stacked to max.


I just thought the dragon again, and I finally beat it! Luckily, the dragon mostly used Medigo when it was focused/buffed. First off, I lowered the ATK of the dragon greatly. Then I had Ellioth use Fire Null, Kaleo heal, Gesley recovering Cyrielle's SP while she used some Megido-like spell.
I've been meaning to try and play the game after I lost my save file, but I think I'll just wait for you to complete this. Lord knows I need another reason to procrastinate...
author=luiishu535
I just thought the dragon again, and I finally beat it! Luckily, the dragon mostly used Medigo when it was focused/buffed. First off, I lowered the ATK of the dragon greatly. Then I had Ellioth use Fire Null, Kaleo heal, Gesley recovering Cyrielle's SP while she used some Megido-like spell.


Wait, I swear I replied to this yesterday, WHERE DID MY MESSAGE GO?!

Anyway, hurray! Now onward to even harder bosses! (at least imo).

author=macblo
Lord knows I need another reason to procrastinate...


I'm terribly sorry! All I can say is you'd better get all that work done before the release date then. :)
Don't be sorry. I just have a really long backlog. I'm really excited for this game. I think that a November 2016 release date is pretty good date to shoot for.
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