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Miscellaneous

Back to Work!

Its been a while since I have updated with anything substantial. However today I have resolved to give any subscribers a little heads up on The Last Bible.

Production will be slowed down a bit because of School, but I am happy to report the Battle System is 100% Complete and tested for glitches. Mapping and Resource creation however has been the biggest pain for me, mainly because the resources I am using only have 4 Uniform Tilesets, all the others have been heavily edited or made from scratch. Because I am using the "Future 1-4" Sprites I have been Editing existing Sprites, and making then appear in the Future Style. This process has pretty much been a bitch, but I love how the game looks so far.

In terms of Production The Last Bible Part 1 will consist of 15 Chapters, clocking in nearly 3 Hours each Chapter. Right now I am filling in some small gaps, for Chapters 1 and 3, but I am currently starting Chapter 4.

As we speak I am working and will get a more thought out update for you all, I am just busy with school.

Miscellaneous

Progression Log 1

Production is shaping up nicely. Not as fast as I would like, due to the Scripting and Coding, but moving nonetheless. In terms of Battles, the Battle System is fully functional with the exception of Multiple Terrains, which I will complete as more Battle Fields pop up in the game. For now Day/Night Conditions affect Accuracy while Terrain Conditions affect Stats. Some Terrains will even damage Health for both the Party and the Enemies, however you’ll have to wait and see for more of those areas. For now, there is a battle clip I took this morning for you all to look at. I wish FRAPs was not so choppy, but Moving Enemies, Woohoo! More Battle Videos will be released, and I was a bit ticked off about this one, mainly because the enemy AI didn’t throw any Grenades or rail the party with Multi-Target attacks. However its merely a Video Clip so I guess I can’t always get what I want…yet anyways. As the Demo Approaches, expect 3 more Battle Videos, as well as a preview of a boss battle.
In terms of Dialogue, Scripting, etc. I feel as if I have written a book. I have several scripts, including a Pre-Made Strategy Guide I am working on, and right now I have more than enough material to keep you hooked for the First and Second Demos. While on the subject, I would like to make key note on one important aspect of The Last Bible, A story. The Last Bible is a story, and by story I mean a story in which you see character change, grow, become good, evil, and everything in between. To some this could be a good thing, but to others you will dread it, especially if you are a Button Mashing RPGer. The Last Bible has plenty of action, from Turn Based Battles and Brawls and MGS Style Missions to Wars, The Last Bible will provide players with more than enough to get them through the dialogue and such. However this game will act as if it were a story, not all times will you be in battle. Sure you are a soldier, and your gun is your tool, but there are times when you might find yourself hacking into the computer mainframe of a big cooperation with one Character and then sitting around in a Pent-House Suite with another Character. I have recently joined the circus in order to pull off the balancing act, and it has not be easy, I know the first 30 minutes of game play may be awes and cheers, but the next ten will be dialogue, and get to destination X, do Task Y, your Allies seem Hungry go get a bite to eat. The game does not revolve around the typical RPG Action with Random Encounters left and right. There will be battles, blood, gore, oh yes a hell of alotta gore, but there will be Sim-Esque Tasks for Players to Perform, as well as Puzzles.
Puzzles, did I say Puzzle, yes I said Puzzles, I am a sucker for Alundra. And I know you may be asking yourself, “Why the hell does a War-Game have puzzles?” Well if you infiltrate the enemies strong hold and run across a locked door, how are you gonna open it. Sure Ashley can ram the door, but if you possess less than atleast 50 Brawn (Yea, not gonna happen at the beginning of the game.) I doubt the door will even budge. Thus you can use your good ole’ buddy Gregory and have him hack the Defense Database. Sadly its not as simple as picking a skill, you will have to perform a puzzle and in some cases a Mini-Game to “Hack” systems. This will get repetitive so as your “Hacking” Skill increases, you can Automatically “Hack” systems the lazy way, but you won’t get experience! But yea, back to Puzzle, there will also be real puzzles, Puzzles that require a bit of math, strategy, and tactics. The first situation does not arise until Part 2 of the game, but beware.
Lastly to close this Update, I want to touch on Cinematic, No…sadly The Last Bibles, budget is under 50 cents so working on 3D Modeling and such will only prolong the release. It kind of pisses me off that I can’t find a simply Modeling Engine, Blender just hurts my head so I decided to use my strengths over my weaknesses. 1) Event Sequences: Event Sequences replace the majority of FMV’s and Cinematics. Such Sequences can last anywhere from 30 Seconds to 5 Minutes with the longest thus far up to 3 Minutes, give or take a second or two. Event Sequences are not merely for watching, some require Active Participation. If you have played Kingdom Hearts 2, the battle with the large Nobody is what I am talking about. Near the end of a Chapter in Last Bible, the Player will participate in the largest Event Sequence I’ve seen in an RPG, and that’s why I am working on it so early. Basically you will have to make use of the , , , , and keys if you wish to survive, and truth be told, if you lose, you will die. Apart from this I am getting a bit crafty and will be adding 2) Anime Cut scenes. But Anime Cut scenes I don’t mean a picture of a naked broad and some tits, I mean a fully animated sequence. Due to the amount of time I have an lack of resources, these sequences will be rather short, simply reserved for Key Events and introductions. I mean you can unlock rewards for your hard deeds, but the majority of these cut scenes have and will be a pain in the ass to create. This morning I was importing a video into RM2k3 and it basically put all my hard work to shit, due to the size of the video. So what I am thinking is animating the cut scene frame by frame. I don’t know how much more choppy that would be, but it beats the “Vibrating Screen of Doom”, AKA, Chris’ RM2k3 when playing videos. I’ll talk to some “Pro’s” and see what I can do, odds are I can actually use the Destiny Patch, or one of the Patches to have the game play the video through a Player’s Computer instead of through RM2k3. Regardless work is going well, I hope we can change that 1.5 Rating, honestly I expected atleast a 3 or 4. But if my Battle Video doesn’t help, I’ll keep releasing more Battle Video, more Gameplay Videos, and a Demo, until you all knock the rating up to a 4. Well happy workings to you all, and remember “Stay classy” Rpgmaker Network.

Miscellaneous

Major Update

Oh a 1.5 Rating, ouch that burns. Hopefully I can get some new screens up to change your mind. Anyways I have been working so hard that my face hurts……ya. Anyways The Last Bible’s DBS is 90% Completed. Today I am adding a Parrying and Counter System which will add some tactics in for Players, but I have completed the Majority of what is needed. In terms of Scripting and such, Episode 1 is completed, Episode 2 starts today so expect a Demo in 3 or so Weeks, it all depends on how much time I have with traveling and such. Expect new screens and a video to be uploaded by this evening, but I have worked my ass off on this DBS. From the view point of the Player it functions as a normal Commercial games Battle System. Basically you utilize Ammo and Stamina every time you perform an Action. Enemies will move to attack Players and such, so everything functions as if it were “Commercial”. Ok so from a creators point of view almost every little event took about 1 Hour of Coding, I have 30+ Events in Battle all at the same time so it was not fun working on this, but the final project looks awesome.

Miscellaneous

The Last Update (For 2 Weeks)

Well this will be my last update for a while, considering I have a lot of scripting that needs to be done, and I really want to get the first Three Chapters out before August. Anyways, I’ve neglected any new Plot Lines, simply because I am done with the Plot up until Chapter 4. Character Development will continue for a week, so I get some time to think up personalities and back stories, however everything is in my head for now. In terms of the Battle System, it has progressed to the 80% Area. I have to Code some new events for Alexander’s Envoker System, however that can wait for now. What I really feel proud to report is my Akuma and Enemy AI. Basically the way I am doing things with the DBS is a tad different. I will rely on the established AI, however I have Coded my own little additions. Basically I call them “Smart Enemies”. Enemies no longer continually Attack, Attack, Attack, and Die. Instead they will act as if they are put up in unpleasant circumstances. If an enemy is low on Health, they may try to recover lost Health, Guard for a Turn, or straight up just say, “Fuck this, I’m out of here.” Humanoid Enemies are the smartest enemies; basically they can read a Player’s actions and act accordingly. If you prepare to throw a Grenade, the Enemy may be on his/her Guard. If one Squad Member is near death, they will focus on killing that specific member, if an enemies ally is injured, they may heal or protect and ally. Some enemies can Parry attacks, others can use “Group Formation” and attack the entire Team. If their Health is at Critical they can flee, or they can use “Desperation Attack”, some may be Kamikaze-Esque, some can fire hazes of Bullets at their enemies. One thing you will find in The Last Bible, are Damage Indicators. When an enemy is injured, they will change Battle Stances. This gives the Player an upper hand, allow one to employ different Tactics to conserve Energy.

Lastly in terms of AI, I have to pat myself on the back, I believe I have successfully created a “Monster” in RM2k3. The Akuma, insane mutated human abominations, will be presented as some of the key enemies of the game, and their abilities trump those of Humans by far. Coding the Akuma AI has hurt my head at bit, because certain things didn’t work, but I got the basics down now. Akuma need to feed in order to live, the longer they stay in battle the greater their Hunger becomes. As Hunger Increases, their Sanity decreases, causing increase in Strength, Speed, and Recklessness. A “Full” Akuma will use smarter Tactics than a “Hungry” Akuma. While a “Hunger” Akuma may simply Bite, Scratch, Pounce, and Maul their opponents until they have been defeated and can feast on their flesh. These Battle Conditions transition outside of battle, so if one of you Squad Members is bitten by an Akuma when they have been K.O.’d they will possess the Y-Virus, and after a prolonged period your Squad Member will begin to lose Sanity. If Sanity is lost your Squad Member will not be controllable, and if killed, will result in a Game Over for your entire Team. But the cool thing about Akuma is that if they become too hungry odds are that they will simply kill off their Allies. This will eliminate an Enemy from the field; however a “Full” Akuma is defiantly something to be fearful of. While weaker, they actually employ Tactics, and can even Toy with your Characters with their abilities. If certain Akuma consume others, they are able to Evolve. An Evolved Akuma is Dangerous as hell. Most Battles in the game rely on Tactics and Strategy, however when fighting an Evolved Akuma of the C-Class of Higher, simply using your strongest Attacks is what is needed. I plan for DBS Battles to be a small part of game play while the ABS, Puzzles, and Exploration dictate many of the Player’s actions. I know some people may not like that in an RPG too much, but I mean I am dealing with this game from a Manga Approach, the game has cut scenes, but Characters don't just appear here and there, you have to get to an area, unlock a cut scene, etc, etc.

Expect a DBS Battle Video Next Week Sunday as well as 5 Game Play Screenshots.

Cheer,
Ashramaru

Miscellaneous

FORGE your Own Path

Working on the FORGE Battle System. Basically incorporating Terrain Effect as well as the Established Day/Night System. With the current DBS 60% Completed, the last 40% will be for the Idol "Envoker" System, as well as the Terrain features. Basically with this system Players must bare the effect of the Terrain while in combat. What is unique about this system is the fact that Players are able to "Learn" and "Adapt" to each Terrain in the game.

Example: Rugged Terrain is the basic example. This terrain is unbalanced, jagged, and scattered with rock forms, because of this all those on the field receive a great Mobility decreases. Sure Mobility may not seem like much but take into mind your in the Desert doing the "Day". With these two Condition's met, Player's and Enemies alike may experience sever "Water Loss" as well as damage which occurs when Energy is completed depleted. The longer the battle lasts, the more deadly it will become for your Squad. Specific Environments effect how Battles will turn out. Lets say you a spotted by a Guard, and you have him follow you to a different Terrain area. On this Terrain the enemy may fight differently. Rugged Terrain is Basic Combat Terrain, Soldiers, and Military Personnel are able to fight easily on such a Terrain, however lets say you were fighting in a Swamp and you are a Soldier. Solider of Britannia have now Swamp Training Areas and thus fighting in a Swamp may slow down your Reactions as well as lower your Awareness in such situations. Effects will not be present to the Entire Party, but Individuals instead. Utilizing Environments will add a new level to combat and in order to make things fair to Players, you will be able to undergo Terrain Training. The more you fight on a Terrain the higher your Level will increase, and once Maxed you will Master a Terrain, an will not be effected by any Negative Effects. Some Terrains are Harder to Master than others so their is variation. Not to Mention the Effects of Day/Night.

In terms of Day and Night, this system is only really influenced by Akuma. Humans all tend to fight the same during the night, unless they are Nocturnal, which can be achieved by fighting at night over time. On Scenario I think is funny are Akuma fighting during the Day or in Light, If you draw an Akuma out into Light, their skin will Burn, and they will become significantly much weaker. This will help Players when fighting Bosses, on thing I did with the bosses, are make them Hard. You will no longer just be able to Hack and Slash at an enemy over and over again. Bosses possess their own Tactics, Player must take the Field in mind, and us it to defeat their enemies. These Hindrances increase the Pace of Battle, and make Player's have to execute fast and quick decisions when commanding their Party. Another circumstance is that of the Night System. If Night fall meets the Battlefield, you may enter a dark terrain; now take into mind, a dark terrain, which you have never been to before. As a result, your enemy may utilize the darkness, and hide from you, attack you when weak. Players may pop out a Fire-Craft and then add light to the field, or use a Flashlight to show the appearance of their enemies. In order to aid a Player, the more you fight in such conditions the less these Terrains have an effect on Players, when "Mastered" you will be able to gain the Advantages of the Terrains as well as be sparred by any Negative Effects.

Miscellaneous

The Last Bible

Welcome to the World in 2095

Production Officially begins today,July 2nd 2008. Things have been pretty hectic with the Battle System, not in terms of playability and features, but in terms of style.

My current challenge is the selection of a Battle Theme, which has taken close to an Hour. Nothing sounds great, nothing fits, but I've been trying out various styles, and I will find one that best suits the pace of battle and the flow.


Character Development

So far I have set target dates for the game, releasing only the First 3 Chapters which form the distant Beta. With this I have began the development of the first 5 Characters met in the game. I think this is the first time I have sat down on my Laptop and written, personalities out, written out past occurrences for these characters, and honestly I really like it.

The game does not initially focus on one Character directly. Each Character will get their own lime light within an introduction. The Three Beginning Chapters serve as an introduction in to the Protagonist Ashley Lacure, a young Combatant who is completely indifferent about war and faith. Developing Ashley has been the single most difficult task I have ever had as a Game Developer, mainly because I don't want him to fit a stereotype. I want him to in some ways be his own man, his own self, but mirror the youth in our Time Period. Ashley is complexed, he is not one sided, sometimes he is Brave, Scared, Smart, Stupid, a Hero and the Villain. His personality can be initially viewed as Plain. He doesn't care about war, he doesn't care about many of his friends, and he talks to himself a lot. He is a character that I believe will be influenced by the events that come to past the most, future is his fear, however one must play more and more Chapters involving Ashley before they figure this out.

The second character I have developed is Alexander Ellowsworth. This guy can be seen as a bit of an Antagonist as he is initially met during Ashley's Chapter. Handsome, Intelligent, Wealthy, and Loved by the public, Alexander should be the hero of the story, in fact he believes he is a Messiah of sorts. The guy suffers from an Ego problem, however it is not blown up to the point of complete disgust. When met, Alexander is a silent calculating young man. He spends most of his time thinking about his Mission, Objectives, and Skills. And it is not until he sees Jonas, another Character, in an argument which disrupts Alexander's train of though, that Alexander snaps back at him. To summarize his personality think of a Perfect Person who is terribly flawed, perfect to the public, but flawed internally. Both Alexander and Ashley are two character whom I believe will draw Players to the game.


A World Without Villains?

No, The Last Bible is the sort of story that questions a Player's mind set. What is right, what is wrong, who is evil, who is good. Of course you like to think you as "Good", but say you attack a Turkish Camp in Area 32 killing off "The Enemy" in order to obtain a Idol. Now lets say 30 Chapters down the road, you begin to play as a new group of Characters, and the actions of one group affects the reactions of another group. That is what you will find in The Last Bible. Odds are multiple endings will be present, but perhaps these Endings may simply form with the Completion of Tasks. Lets say you have played through 12 Chapters, and unlocked a new Personal Story Arc which you can do. In doing the Arc you enter a new Storyline, with new Objective, and such. This Storyline becomes the new "Game" so to speak. Perhaps you abandon the straight path set forth in the game, and adopt a new Path. And at its end, your game may end, while your friend is on Chapter 35 getting ready to beat "The Last Boss", I want Players to see multiple doors, multiple consequences, and play through the game many times, to unlock new elements and storylines.


A Manga-esque Layout

Most Manga feature several characters, which interact with one another, I want this game to be such. I want it to focus on many characters at a time rather than just one. You may play for one Character for 3 Chapter and the next Chapter will begin through the eyes of another Character, on the same team as your character. One system I am creating is the Drifter System, in which the Player is an Essence. Basically you drift around, and control Characters, however this is done through contact with other Characters. Say you play as Bob for an entire Chapter, and constantly talk to Susan, constantly heal Susan, constantly use Susan in battle, and see her in events, Susan will become the new Lead in the next Chapter. Not everything worked out yet, but I know of liked how Gundam Seed alternated between Kira and Athran, that's what I really want to do.
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