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Hey guys, finally submitting a page here so my game is more accessible. TLDR: project is largely on hiatus, but I do plan to finish the bombing mission.

A little about me:

I graduated from a Bachelor of Engineering majoring in Software Engineering (2011), and I'm currently working as a developer for a startup (web, Android, iOS).

When I started my degree I decided to experiment on a high level with the programming concepts I was learning in something I was familiar with; RPG Maker 2003. Over the years I've seen many people attempt a 2D remake of FF7 and fail, so I thought I'd try do it right.

About the remake:

My core goal is to make the FF7 that would've existed if it was developed in 2D instead of 3D. We were so close to living in this reality, so I find it an intriguing idea that I'm almost writing this love letter of a game from an alternate dimension. To that end I'm really fortunate that FF7 was designed, albeit unintentionally, in such a way that it's very easy to relate back to 2D.

The game itself is made in RPG Maker 2003 (rm2k3), however the only built-in feature I'm really using is the tiled movement for the field. All the other systems (menu, combat, message boxes/text, etc) were built from scratch using rm2k3's event scripting. As a game engine rm2k3 is extremely restrictive so I'm using quite a few hacks to make it more bearable (special thanks to Cherry, who is well known for his RPG Maker hacks).

The bulk of the time spent developing the remake has been reproducing the menu and battle system in excruciating detail, which was my starting point before I even touched the art assets. 95% of the game mechanics are well documented, thanks to qhimm.com, such that my remake also plays exactly like the original as well as looking like it (this is why I say remake instead of demake). Even though my remake only has a few scenes, the menu and battle system are functionally able to handle all the mechanics in the game (I even use the exact same enemy AI). What isn't well documented is the behaviour of the interfaces, which I've spent a lot of time studying to make sure mine are 99% accurate.

Another part of replicating FF7's feel was in getting the art style right. If you look at the pre-rendered backgrounds in FF7 they really do look like crap - you can tell the artists didn't know how downsampled the renders would be in the final product, so there's a lot of blurry things-that-you-aren't-quite-sure-what-they-are everywhere using way too many colours. I translated this feeling to my sprites by using really rough dithering that gives it that same shitty feeling that is very FF7. I also use the exact same colour palette, such that if you reverse image search screenshots of my remake, it will return results of the original game. To make sure Cloud's battle animations felt the same I recreated them frame by frame in 2D (not rotoscoped).

I'm probably the only person who's glad the PC version of FF7 used midis because I was able to dump them, add flags so they loop properly and use them in rm2k3. Similarly I was able to dump all the sound effects as well (sadly there's over 700 of them and they have no file names - that's been fun). My remake wouldn't feel nearly as authentic without these, so a special thanks really has to go to the folks at qhimm.com who have done fantastic job reverse engineering FF7.

Where I am now:

The real FF7 has over 700 scenes, and the process for replicating each one takes me at least a week (I don't use tiled graphics - each background is drawn by hand, pixel for pixel) - you just need simple math to work out how long it would take me, and this is ignoring the additional time needed for character and enemy sprites. My personal goals have already been satisfied though - I gained experience designing/implementing complex game mechanics, and I answered my question of if you can really make a 2D game feel like its 3D counterpart (hint: it's yes!). I still want to finish the bombing mission to make a complete package of "what it might've been like", but my progress on this is glacial - the work left on this is Barret's battle animations, a few enemy sprites and about 7 more scenes.

What I didn't account for when I started the project was my own personal development, and I've moved beyond it being time well spent working on this project. I'm a full blown software engineer now and I'm capable of much more than a remake in rm2k3. I used to have insane amounts of free time, but now am married and work full time so I'm very particular with what gets to occupy the remainder of my time. I want to start developing my own games that I have the rights/ability to release on Steam or Android/iOS, so my remake is on hiatus, although I do return for it from time to time when the motivation strikes.

Intro demo (Midgar opening is still WIP)


Battle demonstration

Latest Blog

Unencrypted Game Files

There seems to be a lot of people struggling with the old Molebox exe, rather than repackaging it I figure it's about time I released the game files so people can inspect the insanity I went through to make this in rm2k3.

The game uses a hacked RPG_RT.exe with Cherry's Pic Pointer Patch, so it will crash if you replace it with a different version. Also I was using a hacked rm2k3 that raised the max variable limit. It should be safe to inspect the events in a regular rm2k3 copy, but if you change the variables you may not be able to set them back.

Enjoy!
  • Hiatus
  • Vanit
  • RPG Tsukuru 2003
  • RPG
  • 12/06/2013 03:00 AM
  • 04/22/2020 02:54 AM
  • 07/27/2099
  • 119241
  • 47
  • 4614

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huh... never mind then,
I guess I'll give this another try.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
The game itself is made in RPG Maker 2003 (rm2k3), however the only built-in feature I'm really using is the tiled movement for the field. All the other systems (menu, combat, message boxes/text, etc) were built from scratch using rm2k3's event scripting. As a game engine rm2k3 is extremely restrictive so I'm using quite a few hacks to make it more bearable (special thanks to Cherry, who is well known for his RPG Maker hacks)

My goodness, what an insanely ambitious undertaking for the crapness of the tools. Like recreating the Sistine Chapel Ceiling with sidewalk chalk.

Based on what I've seen here I would like...seriously consider funding this project if it moved on to a more capable engine. I would love to see this kind of thing completed. Having finished reading Vanit's game description, I understand why such a thing would be nearly impossible, but it's a shame.

ANYHOO: My computer thought the download was malware the first time around and I've got to wait about fifteen minutes until I can try again.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
I absolutely cannot get my computer not to treat this file download as malware no matter what I do.

Da fuq?
unity
You're magical to me.
11955
author=Max McGee
I absolutely cannot get my computer not to treat this file download as malware no matter what I do.

Da fuq?


Same here -_-
i bet shinra is responsible for it

embrace makoware
Hey guys! I used Molebox to bundle the game into a single exe, which is the reason your antivirus is treating this as a false positive. The reason this occurs is that Molebox effectively hides an exe (the rm2k3 runtime) inside an exe (the Molebox bundle), which is normally suspicious behaviour. If you're running into this issue you just need to make an exception for it in your antivirus.
Thiamor
I assure you I'm no where NEAR as STUPID as one might think.
63
author=Vanit
Hey guys! I used Molebox to bundle the game into a single exe, which is the reason your antivirus is treating this as a false positive. The reason this occurs is that Molebox effectively hides an exe (the rm2k3 runtime) inside an exe (the Molebox bundle), which is normally suspicious behaviour. If you're running into this issue you just need to make an exception for it in your antivirus.


How's everything going? Is there any new updates compared to back when it was on that other RPG maker site? Which the name of escapes me.
Why didn't they just release this demo as a normal Rpg maker 2003 demo ? because now it's only an exe file my virus protection just removes it straight away and I have to turn off protection if I want to use it. But as soon as I turn it back on it deletes it. are people afraid of their work getting re used ?
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5236
Yes, they don't want to give you the source code so you can steal it and use it in your own game.

Also, if your virus protection does that to unknown programs like this, it's worse than 99.99% of viruses, and you should get rid of it.
Today's 3D FF characters are just soo ugly!!! I don't like them all, and Cloud's face is no exception! Where are the nice artworks from my favourite RPG series Mr. Tetsuya Nomura? I'm disappointed...
You failed. The first intro Cloud is ??? but you had him not get named, and just be Cloud by default.
author=bulmabriefs144
You failed. The first intro Cloud is ??? but you had him not get named, and just be Cloud by default.


*stifles laughter*

Even with patches, rm2k3 could only show 127 pictures at a time, and I used every last one of them to get the menus and battle system as accurate/dynamic as they are. There simply wasn't room to make names customisable.

As part of designing the game's systems I had to tightly manage how I allocated the picture budget in all the UI, I still have this documentation:


1 Background
2 Enemy 1
3 Enemy 2
4 Enemy 3
5 Enemy 4
6 Enemy 5
7 Enemy 6
8 Enemy 7
9 Enemy 8
10 Enemy 9
11 Char 1
12 Char 2
13 Char 3
14 Spell Animation 1
15 Spell Animation 2
16 Spell Animation 3
17 Cursor 1
18 Cursor 2
19 Cursor 3
20 Cursor 4
21 Cursor 5
22 Cursor 6
23 Cursor 7
24 Cursor 8
25 Cursor 9
26 Damage1 1
27 Damage1 2
28 Damage1 3
29 Damage1 4
30 Damage2 1
31 Damage2 2
32 Damage2 3
33 Damage2 4
34 Damage3 1
35 Damage3 2
36 Damage3 3
37 Damage3 4
38 Damage4 1
39 Damage4 2
40 Damage4 3
41 Damage4 4
42 Character Select Triangle Thingy
43 Main Frame
44 Char 1 Frame
45 Char 2 Frame
46 Char 3 Frame
47 ATB 1
48 ATB 2
49 ATB 3
50 Limit 1
51 Limit 2
52 Limit 3
53 MP 1 Grow
54 MP 2 Grow
55 MP 3 Grow
56 MP 1
57 MP 2
58 MP 3
59 HP 1 Grow
60 HP 2 Grow
61 HP 3 Grow
62 HP 1
63 HP 2
64 HP 3
65 Barrier 1
66 Barrier 2
67 Barrier 3
68 Barrier 4
69 Barrier 5
70 Barrier 6
71 Move Descriptor
72 Move Announcer
73 Char 1 Current 1
74 Char 1 Current 2
75 Char 1 Current 3
76 Char 1 Current 4
77 Char 1 Max 1
78 Char 1 Max 2
79 Char 1 Max 3
80 Char 1 Max 4
81 Char 2 Current 1
82 Char 2 Current 2
83 Char 2 Current 3
84 Char 2 Current 4
85 Char 2 Max 1
86 Char 2 Max 2
87 Char 2 Max 3
88 Char 2 Max 4
89 Char 3 Current 1
90 Char 3 Current 2
91 Char 3 Current 3
92 Char 3 Current 4
93 Char 3 Max 1
94 Char 3 Max 2
95 Char 3 Max 3
96 Char 3 Max 4
97 Char 1 MP 1
98 Char 1 MP 2
99 Char 1 MP 3
100 Char 1 MP 4
101 Char 2 MP 1
102 Char 2 MP 2
103 Char 2 MP 3
104 Char 2 MP 4
105 Char 3 MP 1
106 Char 3 MP 2
107 Char 3 MP 3
108 Char 3 MP 4
109 Menu Backing
110 Attack 1
111 Attack 2
112 Attack 3
113 Attack 4
114 Attack 5
115 Attack 6
116 Attack 7
117 Attack 8
118 Attack 9
119 Attack 10
120 Attack 11
121 Attack 12
122 Attack 13
123 Attack 14
124 Change/Defend
125 Char Selection


But if all things considered you think that's a failure, then sure. Welcome to game dev.
Tau
RMN sex symbol
3210
Damn, better give bulma some ice heal for that burn!
Stop making excuses, Vanit. The fact that you can't name the characters makes this demo literally unplayable.



Just kidding!
I'm a big fan of Final Fantasy VII
I'm also developing a project called Final Fantasy VII Regenesis.
The game is being developed in the
RPG Maker 2003 and will tell the story 8 years after FF7 Advent Children of Dirge of Cerberus.
Genesis Raphsodos will be the Antagonist of History.
He was thinking of losing his authorization to do a demonstration of his game in the Final Fantasy 7 Regenesis Project, only the first part of the Mako Reactor 1 attack.
So, what does it say?
shouldn't you uh, post your own gamepage?

also im amazed resolutions like that still exist
author=Darken
https://rpgmakerhistoria.home.blog/2020/04/18/final-fantasy-vii-remake-the-2d-one/Wrote an article about this, since you know, a big remake came out.


I missed this message, but you were technically the first person to alert me, so thanks :)
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