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Progress Report

Battle Test + Overworld Progress Videos

Stopping by with some progress updates!

Despite having to work for the last seven days straight (ugh), I've been able to get some solid time in with MV and have gotten quite a bit done over the last few days. Two days ago there was no functional battles at all, and a few days before that there was barely even a world map. Here's how things are shaping up as of April 26th!




Progress Report

Blackmoon Prophecy III Info Dump

Blackmoon Prophecy III Info Dump

First and foremost, apologies for any typos and/or weird sentences, formatting this on my phone.


Why does this game look like Final Fantasy VI all of a sudden?
The original Blackmoon Prophecy III draft was super sci-fi and set far into the future. Visiting different planets and traveling around a solar system was going to be a thing. Unfortunately, after I had invested heavily in trying to get Future/Time Fantasy to work for me, I realized I just couldn't get the game to look the way I wanted. On top of that, I was having lots of second thoughts about the story I had written and was second guessing myself constantly over it. This went on for a while, and it is why there seemed to be no updates at all on Blackmoon Prophecy III for a while. I've found that, for the last year or so, I've been supremely critical of my own work in RPG Maker and I'm having a hard time having confidence in what I do and this is also why I cancelled Shattered Wings (again) last summer or so after feeling that it wouldn't be very enjoyable even though it was already several hours long by that point. It's also why I've been struggling to get anything done with Centuria, I'm constantly looking at my own projects and thinking things like "may as well cancel this project entirely, it's not looking good and will get torn to shreds".

I think that the decision to shift my focus back onto Blackmoon Prophecy III was made when I felt that working on something that felt familiar would get the juices flowing again, and make me less critical towards everything I do in RPG Maker. By coming up with a brand new story and deciding that Blackmoon Prophecy III would instead be a prequel to the first game (rather than set 1000+ years after Blackmoon Prophecy II), as well as letting me go back to Gaia before it suffered horribly at the hands of Zeul and Garland, felt really appealing. Though I don't personally look back on the first Blackmoon Prophecy game fondly (as many of us do with our old projects since we always continue to evolve and get better over the years), I'm sort of nostalgic for my own original setting and revisiting it sounds like a lot of fun. So, at least for now, deciding to go the prequel route and returning to Final Fantasy VI graphics (with a lot of alterations to set this apart from Blackmoon Prophecy II), has put my confidence back where it needs to be.

What's the game about?
It is five hundred years before the events of Blackmoon Prophecy. Two Kindred siblings, Aysha and Ronan Solaris from the Lenadian town of Daguero, are descendents of Ramuh and live quaint lives protecting their town from monster attacks. It isn't until one fateful day on the Great Plain that they deviate from what has, until now, been all that they have known. Aysha and Ronan are brought to the Esper World due to their ancestry, and the strong bond they share as siblings, so that the Espers can gauge them to see if they can save them after losing their greatest allies to a new threat - a human named Orland Ravello.

Orland Ravello is an entrepreneur from Lindblum who is looking for ways to monopolize the learning and study of magic. After finding deceased Esper energies deep within Gaia in what his scholars call the Miasma Stream, Orland has them devise a way to extract the energy and harness it. This allows him to manufacture a supplement named "Materia" that imbues the user with instantaneous power. The supply of Esper energies deep in Gaia is limited however, and Orland is unhappy that he would have to presumably wait years to extract more. Orland has his team create a portal to the Esper World itself so that he can harness energy from there directly.

When Orland travels to the Esper World, he finds Espers to be helpless and weak against him and his fellow humans, quickly discovering that the magic in the Esper World separate from Espers, while on Gaia it exists within them and explaining why they are monumentally stronger when transitioning to the human world. The Espers remain in the Esper World because they require its innately magic atmosphere to not only develop new abilities, but also to reproduce.

The Espers plead for the Archareons, Protectors of the Esper World, to save them. The Archareons do appear, but Orland has them trapped in a magical Materia field that muddles their minds and forces them to obey Orland. The Archareons become Orland's personal army as his people establish themselves in the Esper World city of Solace and prepare to harvest the Esper World of its energies until there is nothing left of the world.

It will be up to Aysha and Ronan to find allies, in both the Esper World and Gaia, and put a stop to Orland Ravello and his schemes.

Will there be a world map, and how will travel work?
There are two planned world maps that the party will go back and forth between. The first world map is the Kingdom of Lenadia, the second is the Esper World. Lenadia is the only part of Gaia that I'm currently planning for the player to have free reign of due to the map size constraints in RPG Maker MV. The Gaia world maps in Blackmoon Prophecy (RPG Maker 2003) and Blackmoon Prophecy II (RPG Maker VX Ace) were each 500x500. With MV only allowing roughly 256x256, and because I wanted to keep the world to scale, I'm only able to fit (most of) Lenadia onto a full-sized map in MV. Don't worry though, the pacing in Lenadia will be very different than in the previous Blackmoon Prophecy games.

Lenadia, especially before the merging of the worlds in the first Blackmoon Prophecy, was a GIGANTIC landmass and is easily big enough to support a game by itself. The fact that Blackmoon Prophecy III is set several hundred years before the first game also means that there will be dungeons and towns to explore that are not present during Vahn's lifetime in Blackmoon Prophecy. Players will also take a very different path through the kingdom, starting out in the town of Daguero (for those who can't recall the name, it is the town that sat on the edge of the Great Plain, Blackmoon Prophecy's version of the Veldt from Final Fantasy VI). The party will likely jump around the kingdom as well rather than carving a straight forward path through it as they seek to find allies to help them with their quest in the Esper World.

The Esper World, which is the second world map in the game, will be weirdly alien much like Galuf's homeworld in Final Fantasy V was to the party. The Esper World has never been seen in Blackmoon Prophecy yet, and was only referenced heavily in the first game. Players will be spirited away to the Esper World very early on in Blackmoon Prophecy III so that Espers can see if the sibling protagonists are destined to save them from destruction. Unlike the Lenadia map, the Esper World map will be more linear and in line with how you'd expect to progress across a retro Final Fantasy world map.

As for travel, I'll say it right off the bat - no airship, at least not in the traditional sense. Because the game is set in one kingdom, I believe that it wouldn't feel right for an airship to be zipping around a looping map of a single continent and pretending that the rest of the world (Branch, Ivalice, and Lindblum) don't even exist. Instead of having a traditional airship, Ark (from Final Fantasy IX) will be encountered at one point in the game as a boss battle. Unlke other Espers who join the party as summons, Ark will instead provide fast travel around the world maps. I'm not sure how this is going to work just yet, I'm sure that I'll want to find some kind of script that will bring up a suitable menu or allow more than five choices to be brought up with the "show choice" command (if possible). I'll cross that bridge when the time comes, and it won't be for a while.

Chocobos will still be around for regular ground travel. I'll allow chocobos to be rented at most towns like in Final Fantasy VI, and they'll of course allow players to avoid battles on the world map. One extra thing I'll be doing is giving chocobos extra tile passability right off the bat so that they can go places that the party cannot on foot. No need for a black or white chocobo, I'll be allowing any chocobo to cross rivers and similar terrain. Aside from being able to travel faster while avoiding fights, the other main purpose of chocobos will be to reach hidden/optional places that the player cannot by foot. I'm hoping that this encourages lots of exploration because, even though players of the first Blackmoon Prophecy will feel right at home in Lenadia (it is an almost perfect recreation of the kingdom before the worlds merged), there will be plenty of secrets to find.

How many playable characters?
Planning for eight. Here's what is currently planned:
▪ Aysha Solaris: A young Kindred (summoner) woman from the Lenadian town of Daguero where she resides with her brother, Ronan. Aysha is a calm, measured individual who is content living in Daguero and using her summoning abilities to protect the town from harm. As a Kindred, Aysha is able to summon Espers that damage enemies or inflict status conditions. She shares the role of main character with her brother Ronan.
▪ Ronan Solaris: The younger brother of Aysha, who also lives in the Lenadian town of Daguero. His is adventurous and likes to explore the nearby Great Plain of Lenadia. He is generally more carefree than his sister. As a Kindred, Ronan is able to summon Espers that support allies through buffing and healing. He shares the role of main character with his sister Aysha.
▪ Zeon: An inhabitant of the Esper World tasked with helping Aysha and Ronan on their journey. He is strange, aloof, and very uninformed when it comes to the human race. Zeon is a blue mage and will learn blue magic when confronting monsters that offer him learnable spells.
▪ Godot: An inhabitant of the Esper World who... wait, we know this guy already. A much younger Godot will also assist the human siblings, and he will still hold orbs and rock his red magic skills just like in the first Blackmoon Prophecy.
▪ Aster Daranouve: A human chemist from Lenadia who will get roped into the quest to save the Esper World. As a chemist, Aster is able to use items more effectively than other characters. Potions will heal for twice the regular amount, antidotes will affect the entire party, and battle items will deal extra damage. I've never really flirted with the idea of chemists before, but I'm quite looking forward to working on this character.
▪ Moguel: A crass, alcholic, gambling moogle with an eyepatch. His class type is gambler, but don't assume he's Setzer. Moguel will instead use a lot of abilities that are based on chance and luck, or specific numbers.
▪ Bayu the Bold: Bayu is the monk character of Blackmoon Prophecy. Still working out the details on this guy and how exactly he will play.
▪ Hilde Pridewind: The game needs a thief character, so here she is. Hilde will wield daggers and steal, as thieves tend do, but I'm more interested in planning her backstory that will likely involve her being nobility and having shunned her wealth for some reason.

All characters will hopefully have portraits before the game is completed. If there are any kind souls who would be willing to help with that, freely or commissioned, don't hesitate to hit me up. If I'm not able to get my hands on any portraits, then I'll likely just use their sprites on the main menu instead.

Completion date, length, etc?
No idea to any of these, but I can safely say that the game probably won't be done until 2022 at the earliest. That's the year I'll shoot for, at least until I have a better picture of the game's scope and size and what my own pace of work on the game is. As for length, I'm going to aim for the usual 30-40 hours. Knowing me though, I'll misjudge things and accidentally make the game a lot longer than that for most people.

Anyway, I'll have more info/screenshots on the way as work away on this project.

Progress Report

Full Story Rewrite

Decided today that, ultimately, I didn't like the overall story that I had in mind. In addition, making a sci-fi RPG with Time Fantasy tiles was proving to be much more of a chore than I ever expected. As a result, I'm scrapping the ENTIRE story that I had planned for Blackmoon Prophecy III.

I haven't committed to a new story yet, but I'm thinking that it might be a prequel to the first Blackmoon Prophecy, at least by a few hundred years. The story will probably be very political and likely involve war. This won't be the Crystal War mentioned in the first Blackmoon Prophecy, since that only predates the first game by one year. This will probably be a war that ultimately ends up being a minor topic of discussion in history books later in Blackmoon Prophecy I and II (much like how wars several hundred years ago in our world).

Not 100% sure where it's going to go, but in the meantime, and I may still go with something other than what I just mentioned. Anyway, I'm sharing what I had planned for Blackmoon Prophecy III originally. I figured that it would be pointless to let all this planning go to waste, so it's here for anyone who is curious to go along with this story rewrite announcement.

Anywhere, here's what was originally in the works: Google Drive

Miscellaneous

Blackmoon Prophecy I & II - Favourite Party Members

QUESTION TIME: Favourite characters from any Blackmoon Prophecy game?

Here is a Google Forms poll to go along with the question. This may help me develop the characters of Blackmoon Prophecy III.

Google Forms Poll

Progress Report

Blackmoon Prophecy III Info Post

Blackmoon Prophecy III Info Post

Humanity, after venturing to a region of space known as The Baldesion Dominion, met the Andalian people who took to the strange visitors and bestowed them with a planet to settle that would come to be known as Eden. With the aid of the Andalians, the humans prospered on Eden, beginning a new chapter in the history of humanity that was certain to bring with it much discovery and wonder. Unbeknownst to humankind, it would inevitably bring chaos.


Why am I making this?
In between Blackmoon Prophecy and Blackmoon Prophecy II, I attempted to make several original games. None of them got very far, usually only to the design stage in Excel and Word. Shattered Wings was the only exception, which I took two stabs at making, and I eventually decided to cancel that since I felt like it was a step back from my last completed game (Blackmoon Prophecy II) in almost every category. Since I took criticisms of Blackmoon Prophecy II to heart, I didn't feel like Shattered Wings would really do all that well on RMN.

With Blackmoon Prophecy, I've come up with my own mythos of sorts that is separate from its identity as a Final Fantasy fan game. Aspects of my "lore" like cosmic forces, the recurring prophecy of blackened skies/moons, and destructive alien entities span both of my games and the ideas I've come up with for a third game take all of that and sort of push the Final Fantasy tropes aside. The setting for the third game is a completely different world with completely different faces. Those who finished Blackmoon Prophecy II will know the reason why I felt like I had originally shut the door on being able to make another Blackmoon Prophecy game, but I realized after a good amount of thinking recently that, while I shut one door, I opened many brand new doors as a result. I want to go through those doors and explore new stories using a rough history of the previous two games as a stepping stone. This is still very much a Final Fantasy fan game, the lack of "Final Fantasy" in the title is just my way of trying to lean more on the story I've already established than the elements I've borrowed from Squaresoft.

What's this game about?
Set a few thousand (!) years after the last game, Blackmoon Prophecy III is set on multiple worlds in an area of space known as the Baldesian Expanse, which is also the territory that makes up the Baldesian Empire. Five races live within the Baldesian Expanse:

▪ Andalians: A race of shamanistic seers who have helped guide humankind and assisted them in finding a place within the Baldesian Empire. They are believed to an ancient race, and their hospitality and kindness know no bounds.
▪ Baldesians: The governing race of the Baldesian Expanse. Baldesians are big, shrewd brutes who are equal part militaristic and political.
▪ Humans: Humans are humans! They're a bit divided now, with humans living in the kingdom of Albion embracing exploration and space travel. The humans residing in Saradinia care little for outer space and are happy with what they have. Albions embrace technology while Saradinians study ancient history and magic.
▪ Machina: A race of bumbling sentient robots who cannot recall how they came to be, but they all possess a great sense of wonder and desire to learn.
▪ The Myst: Elusive, mysterious, and secretive species who travel in shadows and use the moniker "of the Myst" when introducing themselves (ie. "I am Bob of the Myst"). They are generally feared, as they tend to be hired as assassins and spies.

Blackmoon Prophecy III, at least initially, follows the story of Brynn Highwind. She is the last of the ancient Highwind bloodline and is a selfish scavenger and thief who travels aboard a mercenary ship known as The Tango. Aboard the ship and also serving as crew members are her two close friends Arc and Pollux. Together with her two friends, Brynn often does contract mercenary work and delves into old ruins to scavenge for valuables.

Like Final Fantasy VI, the narrative will focus on one character, but you will be free to have any character you want in your party at all times. The main character of the narrative, Brynn, does not have to actively be in your party.

Should the previous games be beaten first before playing this one?
As was the case with Blackmoon Prophecy II, it probably helps to know about the events of the previous game though it is not mandatory. Like with Blackmoon Prophecy II, playing this game on its own is still entirely possible and would pretty much only "spoil" a major event from the ending of the previous game.

Cast of characters and their classes?
As of now, I have eight characters planned that all have their own individual classes. Here's what to expect:

▪ Black Mage (Staves)
▪ Fighter (Swords)
▪ Knight (Swords)
▪ Machinist (Guns)
▪ Monk (Claws/Gloves)
▪ Time Mage (Spears)
▪ Thief (Knives)
▪ White Mage (Axes/Blunts)

The mages all predictably do what you'd expect them to do in addition to a few original spells I've thrown in such as the white mage's spell called Motivate which increases the critical hit rate of a party member. As for the other classes, I'm trying to be more creative this time around with what kind of functions some abilities have. Here are a few that will be fun to see in use:

▪ Enfeeble: Greatly reduces enemy's luck
▪ Equalizer: Uses 50% of HP to reduce target's HP by 50%
▪ Fortify: Temporarily increases user's maximum hit points
▪ Martyr: Sacrifice self to fully heal all allies
▪ Minus Strike: Deals damage when hit points are lower
▪ Power Spike: Increases all of user's stats for a brief time
▪ Reckless: Allows user to perform two attacks when selecting Fight, but at cost of much defense
▪ Ripple: Exchanges status ailments with the target

In addition to this, there's still blue magic. Many bosses will drop blue magic materia, which can be equipped by any character and allows them to use a blue magic ability. As an example, a boss named hobgoblin may drop the Goblin Punch Materia which allows a character to use Goblin Punch upon equipping it. Characters will each have two blue magic slots on the equip screen. Casting blue magic does not use MP, which will only be for regular abilities and spells. Blue magic will require ability points (AP), which is just TP. It will build up over time when you take damage, and some abilities/items will also grant it.

All characters will also have one slot on their equip screens for summon materia. Summons will, of course, be very strong abilities that either damage the enemies or buff/heal the party. Summoning will also use AP, but will be more expensive than using blue magic. This will prevent players from doing crazy things like resummoning the strongest summon repeatedly (unless they're cheesing the game, which I'll of course make possible).

Exploration? World maps?
This is the tricky area. I want to have traditional world maps, but this will take some tinkering with the Time Fantasy tiles since there will be multiple words. There's also outer space, and I'm not sure if I want players to choose destination planets via dialogue window or be able to fly around themselves. I've tested the latter with Mode 7, and I'm extremely far from getting it to look the way I want yet. It looked more like an amateur space shooter than an RPG, and the screenshot that I have up of it will be probably be deleted the very second I have literally anything else ready to take its place. This will take some time to figure out. World maps will probably be in the same vein as Chrono Cross/Trigger, in that location names will pop up when you walk over a location and pressing the confirm button/key will enter that location.

Will it look like and sound Final Fantasy?
Yes and no. I'm using Time Fantasy graphics for the game, but I'm doing a few little alterations to get rid of the high contrast look of the Time Fantasy resources by darkening all of the greys used in the character sets and lowering the brightness of the tile sets. I'm also making the faces of the characters match how Squaresoft sprited them in Final Fantasy 6. Example below, left is vanilla Time Fantasy and right is after I edited the face to match the FF6 style.


I've got a lot of work cut out for me with both obtaining and editing the Time Fantasy resources, so progress on that front will probably be a bit slow. I'll also be making a large number of sprites from the Time Fantasy character template myself to match the game's setting (lots of drab, futuristic places). It will be slow going, but it will all be worth it.

As for sound? Yes, very much so. The music I'm using only comes from the Final Fantasy series, and all tracks are either orchestral remixes or high quality remasters.

Game length?
Nope, no way. Absolutely no clue yet.
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