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Progress Report

Progress Report - 12/30/21 - Story, Sprites, and RPG News

Hey everyone, I hope you all had a great holiday week!

To start off this well-overdue update, several more overworld sprites have been completed. At the moment, there are only a small handful of remaining overworld sprites yet to be finished. Let me know how you think they’ve turned out!



The next point I wanted to address has to do with the story. I’ve gone back and forth about how exactly I wanted to handle things, whether to stick with the more traditional Pokemon style, or to go for something far different, or even to meet halfway. Ultimately though, I think I’ve settled on which I wanted to go for, all of them! More specifically, I’m thinking of allowing you to choose one of several campaigns at the start of the game, each one following one of three important characters who cross paths multiple times throughout their journeys.

The first campaign is the most traditional of the three, and will be what the currently existing portion of the game will be reworked into, retaining the usual butting heads with the bad guys, and taking on the gym challenge.

Second is Rosalyn. (As a note, these names here are the names given to these characters when not playing their campaign. When playing as them, you have the option to set their name) Her campaign will follow more of a “Pokemon Ranger” approach, focusing more on events happening in the region, rather than aspiring to take on the league.

And lastly, there’s Zade. His campaign will be from the perspective of the enemy team, at least initially, and will delve into his reasons for joining their cause, and the emotional weight that it has on him.

With all that said, I plan on finishing up the original campaign prior to starting work on the remaining two, so as not to further delay the game.

Lastly, I have some news about the other main project I’ve been working on. I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but in case you hadn’t seen it, it’s a more traditional JRPG that takes place in the same world as Pokemon RMN. It’s been pretty fun actually to think about how many of the ‘mons would function as more traditional RPG enemies as opposed to Pokemon, it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities with specific battle strategies and gimmicks that aren’t feasible in a Pokemon battle. The game takes a lot of inspiration from the Golden Sun series, with a lot of focus on exploration and using magic outside of just battle to solve environmental puzzles. Anyway though, if anyone’s interested in knowing more about it, just let me know. I’ll likely set up a gamepage for the project before too long. It’s still got a while to go before a demo would be ready, but I thought perhaps some of you would be interested in seeing how the Ahremin region and its diverse range of creatures would translate into a more traditional JRPG setting.

As for the next update, it’ll likely revolve around changes to mapping. One of the bigger tasks brought on by moving away from the Pokemon brand has been changing out the project’s tileset with non-Pokemon tiles, and remapping to fit the new tiles. Not the most difficult task, but one that’s taken a long while.

Have a Happy New Year everyone! :)

Announcement

Progress Report - 4/18/21 - Battle Sprites, and the Greater Ahremin Region

Hello everyone,

Thank you all for the positive feedback on the overworld sprites in the last update! As of the moment, 127 overworld sprites have been completed, with several more in varying stages of development. I’ll make a follow up update once they have all been completed.

As for today though, I have a different kind of sprite to show to you all, battle sprites! If you take a look at the Pokémon Roster chart, 21 out of 151 ‘mons are currently missing battle sprites. Of those missing 21, I have completed 14 of them thus far. A majority of the remaining sprites are the generally more intricate legendries, which I have been slowly working at.



One of the things I have been working on in regards to the story and world is the regions surrounding Ahremin. It’s always been something that has been alluded to in the game (and is even mentioned in the game’s description), but hasn’t really been given much thought up until now. I’ll go over how this ties into the game from a lore and story perspective in my next update, but for now, I’m interested in going over two of the biggest additions this brings to the project, starting with...

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Regional variants!

Quite possibly my favorite addition to the newer generations of Pokemon are variants of existing Pokemon, giving them a chance to be re-imagined in a completely new light. And if I am already expanding the explorable continent outside of Ahremin, it seemed like the perfect opportunity! And so, let’s take a look at a few familiar faces, rocking a different look than what you’re used to.



Starting things off, we have Gustling and Swantweet. In dry, sandy regions where lust greenery is scarce, the typically leafy birds are forced to patch their cloak with dust and scraggly weeds. Between their dense cloak offering greater protection against the elements, and their webbed feet allowing them to run across the sand with ease, these ‘mons are the go-to for fast and reliable desert travel.



Next is the Phim line, who take on a much more mischievous, if at times malicious, persona over their Alremin counterparts. While still playful, they also have the habit of pulling pranks on any unsuspecting victim that catches their eye. While often innocent enough at first, they are known to take things a bit too far should they grow bored. Because of this, seeing one is considered a bad omen, and often results in days worth of inconveniences.



Next, we have Mycelite and Alampita. Similar to Phim above, these two are native to the noxious northern swamps. Similar to their Ahremin counterparts, they are more than eager to aid wandering trainers that have lost their way. Unlike their more wholesome brethren though, their hypnotic flickers and shines will often only lure unsuspecting travelers deeper into the hazy depths of the swamp.



And lastly is one that may come as a surprise to some, even the starter ‘mon Flaregon is getting in on the fun! Often cited in fables to be the remains of the foregone monster, given a second lease at life by a world-bound spirit, these frightening monsters are spotted on rare occasion, wandering amidst the desert sands on a calm night. Should you encounter one in your travels, It’s advised not to get too close, lest you end up like the children from the fable...

However, it’s not only a different take on familiar faces that you’ll find in these new and foreign lands...

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New ‘Mons!

Introducing the first of what's sure to be many new ‘mons that you’ll come across in your adventures, Lucifly, Sinisect, and Beezlebug!



The sight of swarming Lucifly is a clear indicator that a Beezlebug has claimed the nearby area as it’s hive. Fine, shimmering silk that burns to the touch strewn throughout the nearby trees is soon to follow. By that point, there is little choice than to salvage what you can from the area, and relocate your settlement, less you invoke His wrath. Perhaps you’ll be so fortunate, or unfortunate, to see such an occurrence during your travels.

Huh, it wasn’t until I got this far into writing this update that I realized that most of the new ‘mons I showed off today have a sinister/spooky vibe to them, haha.

One thing regarding the new additions to the roster, given the history behind the project, I didn’t want the addition of new ‘mons to feel as if they were encroaching on those that have been around for years now. This is another reason that inspired me to incorporate the greater continental area outside of Ahremin. The new ‘mons and the regional forms will start to show their faces as you start to make your way outside the borders of Ahremin.

One thing I’ve debated is possibly instead of having regional variants be referred to as they are in Pokémon (such as Alolan Meowth and Galarian Mr.Mime), instead having the variants given their own name. Something that (lore wise) the locals of that region would have named them. An example could be the desert-y Gustling being known as Dustling. Just a thought, let me know if you like the idea or not.

There are plenty more new creatures to discover, but perhaps I’ll save those for a later time. ;)



As usual though, let me know your thoughts. For the next update, I’ll be going over the general story and gameplay direction that I have been taking.

Until next time! :)

Announcement

Progress Report - 4/5/21 - Overworld Sprite Showcase

Welcome back, I hope you're all staying well in these turbulent times.

Well, it didn't end up happening within a week like I had planned, but I do have some visible progress that has been made in the meantime. In particular, the overworld sprites for a majority of the 'mons! They're all 4-directional with walking animation frames, and show the first glimpse of the (somewhat) higher res graphic design that the overworld will take on. Here's a first look at them, but there's plenty more in store coming soon!



In addition, I've gone though and set up a community Discord server for anyone who wants to come and chat! It's probably the easiest way to get ahold of me, and hopefully with make for more convenient collaboration and conversation with everyone. Here's the invite link: https://discord.gg/3KYkk9kbnE

Like I said in my previous update post, I've a few more posts planned going over new developments with the world and story of the project, which will be coming soon enough.

Until then, stay safe everyone! :)

Progress Report

Long Time No See

Long time no see,

It’s been a while since I’ve made a proper update, hasn't it? What have I been up to all this time? Well, college being college, a frustrating loss of progress due file corruption, and just overall not doing the proper planning beforehand all led to some pretty slow progress. All the craziness of the last year or so sure hasn’t done any favors either. To put it simply, I fell into the habit of developing things as they went along, just trying to build on what was there before, instead of biting the bullet, and doing proper planning from a largely clean slate. And so a while ago, I decided to start planning the story, lore, characters, etc from a fresh state. Instead of deciding where I wanted the story to go as it went along, I spent quite a bit of time getting as much as I could planned ahead of time.

Of my current thoughts, probably the biggest change to the gameplay formula is that it is no longer entirely linier, “A tale of three trainers” as I’ve been calling it. Essentially, at the start of the game, you’ll be given the selection between three different aspiring trainers, all with their own background, history, and goals they hope to achieve. One of which would loosely follow the story of the current project, albeit with some changes to fit the new themes and lore of the project.

Despite their different pasts and motives, they’ll find themselves working together (and at times butting heads) throughout the story, with a shared goal at the end of the road. I’ll probably make an entire progress update about the story and gameplay ideas in more detail.

These characters have a lot more personal stakes in the story, and may or may not actually speak in cutscenes, I haven’t fully decided yet. You’ll still be able to choose a different name/gender regardless of which path you choose to take, but these are the defaults options, as well as the “cannon” characters you’ll interact with when not doing their campaign. For the time being though, I’m just going to focus on getting a single campaign rolling, with the other two coming after this first campaign is fully playable and released.

I’ve alluded to this before, but I actually have been working on a handful of projects that take place in this world, with plenty of opportunities to expand upon these characters and designs. The two main projects I shuffle between working on are the main Pokemon style game, alongside a more traditional JRPG, that focuses more on exploring the lore of the monsters and locations seen throughout your journey, alongside many new monsters and locations.

Besides those two, there are a handful of other small projects that work on occasionally, mostly just if I get a spark of inspiration. These are in varying stages of functionality, and likely won’t see the light of day until after the main two projects are well underway. One of which is a card game, which I may eventually include as an optional minigame in one of the main projects, similar to the current implementation of Triple Triad. All of that said, I’d wager at least 95% of development time goes into the main two projects though, so no need to worry about a myriad of spin-off projects further postponing the main project’s progression.

With all of that said, I do have more than just a fistful of ideas and planning to show for my work. As mentioned in an older update, I’m starting to work on “De-Pokemon-izing” the project. This won’t change the gameplay or anything like that, but will be changing anything directly from Pokemon (the name, sprites, music, etc) to something entirely our own, now taking place in it’s own fantasy world. Besides that though, I have the vast majority of unfinished battle sprites now completed, and now only that, but more than 120 of them also have overworld sprites now too! I’m planning on my next update post to be mostly about sharing these, and getting your thoughts on them, although feel free to ask if there’s a couple in particular that you’re interested in seeing early.

Oh, and something I’m surprised that took me this long to think of is that I should probably set up a Discord server for the project. It should make communication and possibly collaboration a bit easier, and would probably just be fun. I’m planning on getting one set up in the next couple days.

Hopefully this helps quell some of your worries about the project. I’ve said in the past that I’m determined to see the project through to the end, and I still stand by that. I’ll be back with the next update in the coming days, but feel free to comment if there’s anything else you’d like to know about/want answered.

Take care,
Vis_Mage

Announcement

A wild developer (finally) appears!

Hey, long time no see! :)

So, college and general adult life has proven to be about as troublesome to progress as you'd expect. A lot has happened this past year, stuff that I won't get into here, but I wanted to pop in to address something.

Progress might be going slow, but it is happening. During the time since I've taken over development, I've become far too emotionally (and financially) invested in Pokemon RMN to ever think of stepping away. I just wanted to re-ensure anyone who keeps an eye on the project that progress is still being made, and I have no intention of that changing.

With all that said, there are a few things I'm hoping to gather feedback on regarding the future of the project...

1. In lieu of some recent events, I'm starting to think it may be a good idea to start distancing the project form the Pokemon brand. By this, I mostly just mean changing assets (and possibly name, down the line) that directly come from Pokemon. This does open the doors to some interesting new environments in which the game could take place. I've toyed around with the idea of a Pokemon game set in a medieval-fantasy setting before, could be interesting. Eitherway, this would mostly just be a cosmetic change, and wouldn't affect gameplay.

2. Probably the more pressing of the two. I'd like to gauge what the opinion is on making changes to some of the Pokemon themselves. Since I've started developing, I've had a dozen or so people critique the game for me. I had them take notes while playing through the game thus far, and for those who wanted to (a bit over half of them), I set them loose on the wiki to give their thoughts on each Pokemon. It was really interesting (and fun :) ) seeing how they responded to each Pokemon's design and stats. What I did notice, though, is that there was certain things would be brought up by nearly all of them. Here's my dilemma, from a developer's sense, I feel I should address these points that were regularly brought up, but on the other hand, I'm a bit apprehensive to make changes, given the history of the project.

But with all that out of the way, I'm hoping to finally start being more active around here, like I had wanted to all this time. Hope things are going well for everyone. :)

Announcement

A Long Overdue Status Update, and a Request

Hey, long time no see!

Right from the start, I want to apologize for such a long absence of updates. I had hoped to report back, with an update to the game soon to follow, but things are taking a bit longer than expected, namely a file corruption setting me back several weeks of progress... Yeah, that wasn't fun. Going forward I plan to have monthly status updates.

With that said, even with the setbacks, progress is coming along. Namely...

-Mapping is just about completed through the 7th gym.

-Every Pokemon's moveset and stats are configured in the game already. There are some changes from the stats/moves currently listed on the Pokemon RMN wiki. Once I do a bit more play-testing, I'll release a document with all the changes made.

-Points of criticism from both reviews and from comments are being addressed. This includes changing the "puzzle" of gym two, and adressing some points of vulgarity, to name a few.

-A few new gameplay mechanics, which I'll release more info on once I get some of the bugs ironed out.

-Dialogue/Events are currently complete up through just shy of the fourth gym, and are currently the main thing holding back a new demo.

-Some optimizations that will hopefully allow the game to run better on older PC's.

-Some secret shenanigans.

-Some bug fixes.

-And other general things that needed to be done.

My goal for the next demo is to have the game fully playable up through the 5th gym. I won't release an estimated release time quite yet, since I'm honestly not sure yet. However, with as much work done as there is, I wouldn't think it'd be too long before I have some new screenshots, and general details ready for the next demo.

Keep your chin held high, progress is just on the horizon.

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The latter half of this post isn't really an update, but a call for help.

I briefly mentioned this in my first blog post, but I am very much seeking anyone interested in helping with pixel art for the project.

In particular, I'm seeking anyone willing to help out with creating overworld sprites for some of the Pokemon. My hope is to be able to create a lively world for the player to explore throughout their journey, and I feel that actually having Pokemon seen not only in battle, but all throughout the world would go a long way in making the world feel alive.

I understand that this would be a large task to ask of any one of you, and I certainly don't expect anyone to take on a 100+ sprite project for me, but I'm hoping to find some individuals that would be willing to help me out part of the way. I had found someone willing to help me out, unfortunately they ended up running off on me, so I'm kinda in a rough spot now. If anyone is interested in helping out, please get in contact with me, I'd be happy to have you on the team!

With that said, this will by no means delay progress on the demo. It's a feature I'd love to incorporate into the game, but not something I'd postpone the demo any further over.

Announcement

Back in Business!

Hello everyone!

As you may have noticed, well… I’m not Ratty.

My name is Vis_Mage, and I have been in contact with Ratty for the last few months. Back when Ratty made the decision to cancel Pokemon RMN, he noted that anyone seriously interested in continuing progress on the game was free to. And, after a bit of consideration, I decided I was up for the task!

Ratty has been kind enough to send me a large number of files detailing future plans for the game, along with all the resources in which people have contributed to the game. I hope to continue progress as Ratty had done, although with this in mind, I’m open to suggestions that you may have for the game. I’ve gone through the previous reviews, as well as a few Let's Plays to get an idea of how players are liking the game so far, but feel free to leave feedback and requests in the comments as well!

As for the next estimated beta release, I’m afraid I don’t have a concrete date yet. I’ll have university until mid May, although I’ll have most of the summer off. Ideally, I’d like to shoot for a new demo by June, although this will depend on a lot of factors.

Going forward, I will need to call out for your help. Although I can handle the technical bits and bobs fairly well, I will need some help with spriting. Quite a few Pokemon already have battle sprites, although there are still some gaps in the dex. Additionally, I’d love to populate the overworld with all sorts of Pokemon walking around, but this also requires a few spriters. If you are interesting in helping out, please let me know! I’ll be happy to send you more details. Perhaps we could even implement mega evolution, the sky’s the limit!

Also, not to start any rumors, but I’ve got a secret project in the works regarding Pokemon RMN. Keep an eye out for those sneaky hints!

I hope I’m able to do this community justice, and I can’t wait to hear back from everyone!

The dream is real!

Announcement

I'm Sorry it Has to Come Down to This

Before I begin, I'd like to give my thanks to those who provided tremendous support in the making of this project. Seiromem, Miracle, matthewac, you guys in particular helped shape the project into what it is now and I'm deeply thankful for your contributions, which is why it is a bit hard for me to say, right now, that I'm retiring this project unless someone else want's to see it live on. Keep reading.

I never realized this when I started, but making a true Pokemon fan game is a tremendous undertaking. You have the typical complications of crafting a lengthy RPG on top of the added effort that goes into making each Pokemon. It was a valuable learning experience that made me greatly appreciate the efforts that Game Freak puts into their own series.

I'm not cancelling this because of the burdens of making the project, though. Even with my admittingly slow, inconsistent pace and the fact that I was mainly in charge of everything that went on with this project, I was still going to pull through no matter how many times I missed my own set deadlines or even how many times the main series would constantly surpass this game on release dates.

The reason I'm dropping this project is because Pokemon RMN Version's core premise, unique to this particular game, is rooted in the appreciation deep respect I had for this community. In lieu of recent events, it's an appreciation I no longer have.

Between deep-rooted issues that creates a major divide within the community, and the complete indifference towards the wanton disrespect brought upon the community's more marginalized members, this is no longer a community I wish to support, at least until I see a major change with the site's administration. I'm going to probably still make a one-off post here and there, and still make smaller-scale games, but I'm no longer going to be doing it under RMN's name. This community has long passed the point of being fulfilling for me as a game developer, and the only reason I even drop by anymore is for the few people here that make it worthwhile. Suffice it to say, Pokemon RMN version went passed the level of being a burden, but now feels uncomfortable to work on as it's a product of a time where I naively excused many of the most embarrassing aspects of this community.

Before anyone rages, however, I'll at least extend you guys an offer as to not let the efforts of countless people go to complete waste. I'm willing to distribute the open-source version of this project to whomever is willing to continue it in my stead, because one of those people who will have no interest in continuing the project will be me. I'll maybe pitch in some more battle sprites of Pokemon or whatever is needed from time to time, but for the most part, I'm through with this.

Until then, this project is cancelled. Sorry about this.

Miscellaneous

Moving Forward - Plans and an Open Discussion on the Direction of the Game

So the public demo was finally released for this game after years of stalling, and currently the game seems to be met with mixed reception, which was partially expected given the shaky nature of which I handled things for the entirety of the event and for this game.

The question I have, and the one I'd like to bring up for discussion, is where to go from here?


  • To start off, the notes regarding spelling/grammatical errors/bugs and some poor design/mechanical choices are definitely going to be addressed. Speaking of which...



  • Many people have complained about the 2nd gyms' gimmick. Being that I am the same developer of Tina of the Stars, I should probably know by now that trying to make input-based minigames in a program centered around tile-based movement is always going to create poor results.

    I have two ideas to alleviate it in mind:
    1) The one that'll take less work: Slow down the cursor and not require as many dots to click in one session. I believe I tried this at one point during the creation of the minigame and I interpreted it as being too easy, but then again, being the developer, I also figured that the current state of the game was "just right." I'm the worst judge for this.

    2) Rework the gym's gimmick from the ground up. If so... What could I go with for a gym centered around yoga/fitness?



  • Originally, I didn't plan for any "flavor text" (such as reading books, looking at TVs, etc.) because out of personal feelings of them being unnecessary and assuming players wouldn't care. Judging from the few LPs I've seen of this game, I was definitely proven wrong.

    So, I at least plan on having some generic descriptions scattered about, but what about some extra flavor content?

    One idea circulating in my mind is to have TVs cycle through select "television series" that would provide some brief entertainment to players and open up the world a bit more, including:
    - "Wild Pokemon": A mock nature/documentary show that centers on wild Pokemon living in their natural habitat. Could also be something to give players hints on where to find Pokemon they haven't seen yet.

    - "Drama Core": A show with a set cast of characters that recreates/pokes fun of RMN's many instances of forum drama with the flavor of the Pokemon World.

    - "Ahremin Insider": Interviews with several key characters in the game, from gym leaders to the region's professor.

    Just to name a few. This could be something I could let you guys pitch in, as well? It would help sell this as a "community project" after all.



  • The Afropup line is currently the most controversial submission/design near the level of Jynx, but right now I'm honestly debating on what I could possibly do to satisfy the party that finds offense in the design, or even change it at all.



  • Lastly, I'd like some feedback as to what I should do with the goofy tone of the game. I've heard some who don't mind it, yet others who find it nearing the point of being juvenile (which is something I actually want to avoid) and un-Pokemonlike. My aim with this tone partially came out of the desire to play a Pokemon game that didn't take itself too seriously and allowed for some color/whimsy in the dialogue, in addition to referencing the atmosphere of RMN and catering to an older demographic than what Pokemon is traditionally aimed towards.

    While I admit there are many things I could tone down, I would like the community's opinion on how to handle this.




I welcome the opinions of both those who haven't played and those who have. Thoughts?

Currently, I'm addressing some of the bugs/spelling mistakes pointed out to me, doing some mapping for dungeons, and making a few more Pokemon battlers to complex the dex.

Announcement

Pokémon RMN Version Demo Finally Released

... And it only took me around four years to get a public release out!

Here's some info:

> Again, the demo "ends" around the point you reach Makskor Town, but feel free to explore from there.

> Your game's save file will be stored in your default "games" folder as oppose to the folder of the download. When the finished release is out, all you need to do is just play again and you'll be back where you left off. No copying needed!

> Unlike other RMXP games, this game neither supports a functional fullscreen nor joypad input. I asked the guy running the project about it, and he was like "nah~" and I was like ":/" and he was like "<3"

Other info can be found in this blog:
https://rpgmaker.net/games/6734/blog/16190/

Enjoy! And if you happen to stumble upon a code, send me a private message. ;)

EDIT:
If you get an error that reads: "RGSS104E not found." Go to the configuration file named "Game" and open it in notepad. Under "Library=" change "RGSS104E" to "RGSS102E" instead, and the game should work.
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