Are classic RPGs still a viable option ?

Here I have a small question I've been wondering.

I really like the old-school feeling of some classic games like Final Fantasy 4, Final Fantasy 5 and such. It seems that as it's really simple to do such games (pretty easy battle system, not that hard to reproduce graphics) people are moving away from that to stay original or fresh. I can understand that. People includes, either by scrips or evening, some fancy systems, developped battle systems. And I think that's great !

But I'm wondering... are classic japanese RPGs still a good option to reach the public ? You know the classic sideview battle system with the classic spells, nothing too fancy. As those games are more easily technically speaking it leaves more time to the creator for the story and length of the game. I'm sure some people like that too. But will that kind of game be overlooked at first sight ? Will people get bored of it because they played that battle system a million times ?

Design of my next project: in need of opinions and feedback

Hey everyone !

So lately I've been asking questions left and right on the forums about various subjects. There is quite a few "genre" of games I'd like to do now that I'm back in the RPG Maker community but I've really wanted to do a smaller and more short-term project to shine back my skills with the software and motivate myself by finishing a project.

I've read and thought a lot about what I could do and finally I've decided myself. Now what I'd like would be for you guys to give me opinions and feedback about that idea. I've got a listed of questions to give you an example of what kind of information I'm input I'm looking for.

I've decided to do a survival game, in which the character (probably with no name) will end up awakening on a desert island following unknown events. The character will have to explore the island to find the materials (wood, stone, food) to survive.

Here are some of key elements that could give you a good idea of the game:

~ I'll use the RTP, slightly modifying them to my liking. Will allow me to save time and energy as fancy graphics are not needed for this project.
~ It will be required for the player to eat (hunger system) and possibly to drink fresh water too. Hidden springs or sources of fresh water could be hidden on the island.
~ The island should be quite large and have numerous hidden spot. The player could not find all the hidden spots during one playthrough.
~ It will be possible to build a shelter. There will be at least a few different spots where the player will be able to establish himself, each with their own advantages (proximity, cover, etc).
~ There will be animals/beasts on the island. They will be a source of food and materials. There probably won't be a battle system but maybe a simple "hunting system" with a net/bow.
~ Some of the materials on the island could be wood, leaves, rocks, some minerals. The game will logically offer a simple crafting system to make tools out of those materials.

So you get the picture. I think that kind of game if well executed can be really fun and will allow the players to enjoy themselves with a short playthrough time of a few hours at most (2-3 hours). I'm taking from inspiration games like Harvest Moon, Minecraft, Terraria, etc.

So I invite you to discuss, suggest, participate in how YOU would do the project, what ideas you would incorporate in it, etc. Of course every good idea I'll borrow here will be given credit.
To help stimulate the discussions and the input, here are some "example" questions/informations you could help me with, feel free to give input on something else.

~ What do you think about this idea ?
~ What elements would be make sure to incorporate in this game ?
~ What would be the main goal of the character. To survive for a certain number of days ? To reach some place or find some place ? To build a raft ? Should time be a limit or is it annoying ?
~ What do you think about special hidden recipes for the crafting system that could possibly lead to slightly crazy/fun tools, allowing replayability ?
~ What should I focus on to make sure the player has fun all the time and doesn't feel like grinding for 90% of the day to barely survive and to only be left with 10% of his time to explore ?
~ Should the night be very dangerous ? Should the player have to come back at his shelter before the night ? What happen if he doesn't ? Game over ? Wake up the following morning with low stats (hunger, thirst, possibly health) ?
~ Could the player go to sleep whenever he want to pass the whole day ?
~ Would there be any dialogue at all ? Like the character talking to himself or more realistically "thinking".
~ What are your ideas for the hunting system ? Something simple, effective and fun.
~ What do you think will be the biggest challenges of this project ? Traps I should avoid ?
~ Should there be a "story" behind it or simply the gameplay put to the front ? Possibly trying to find someone else on the island ?

That's about it. I'm eager to get your input on this, as I said, every valuable and constructive idea will be given credits. On my side I'll work on my draft of my Game Design Document before coming here to see what you have written.

Thanks in advance !

RMVX tiletset limitation

Ok just tell me if I understood it the wrong way. But Rpg Maker VX only allows a maximum of 5 tilesets, each with a maximum size of 512x512 ? So the only way to go around that limitation if you want to make a game, big enough/without various environments/full of custom tilesets, you have to go with parallax mapping which is tedious and not very productive compared to regular mapping in my opinion.

If that's the case, it's impossible for me to work with such an engine, it's really disappointing as everything else seemed fine. I don't know who designed that version of Rpg Maker but he did one big mistake there...

Or is there another possible way to fix this problem ?

Just as I was deciding myself on one engine.

Would this work on RM ?

I'm a big fan of the Elder Scrolls games and there's an idea I've been taking care of lately and I'd like to have some feedback as if it would be doable, fun and would work in a single player game.

It would be an heroic-fantasy type of game. So it'd have a large open world in which the players could wander freely. There would be short prologue or introduction sequence in which the player would create his character and then go through the only linear part of the game which would be short (maybe 15-20 minutes of short gameplay sequences and cutscenes to detail the context in which the character would be evolving) after that the player would start at a certain place heavily filled with pointers of different quests to grab the player from the start.

So the concept would be to wander the world, fill the quests. The quests would be rather long and complicated but there would be slightly less of them and they would often present moral dilemna to the players which would affect his alignment (good or evil). The more his alignment would be in either way, new dialogue options and new way to end quests would appear.

Battles would be a classical turn-by-turn combat system and it would be possible for the player to get new party members to help him under certain circumstances. Sometimes they would stay with him after the quest through dialogue options.

Player would have to complete big quests to change class and go through a Class Tree and specialize his character even more.

But I'm wondering if it'd be fun for the player, what would hook them to keep playing aside from big world, rich in long quests and good customization options for the character).

What do you think ?

I need contacts

I'm currently looking for a few smart and creative people that wouldn't mind exchanging with me through any mean (Skype, MSN, IRC, phone) frequently or occasionnally to share ideas and get/give an external opinion.

I could come up with ideas and ask you how you find it. Is it original ? Is it good ? Is it too ambitious ? I will also probably come up to you with some of my work (musical composition, sprite, map) and ask you what you think of it. You get the idea. I can also provide that for you.

So if you're interested just throw me a PM here and we'll start from there.

How do you deal with your various ideas

So right now I'm setting up for a project.

I listen to music to inspire myself. It create images in my head and I use those images to describe scenes or character designs.
I also go through digital painting websites to get inspired by the creations there.
And I also brainstorm endlessly in my bed with a pen and a sheet of paper writing down every idea I can come up with.

Then I reach the point where I can link several ideas together and come up with the core of a story to work on. But now I end up with several different cores I could create games from. One day I feel like A is the best one, the next day I feel like B is the right one to work on, and so on. I really enjoy every single of those game cores and I think they'd all make great games.

But right now I'm stuck to the point where I need to flesh out those basic ideas and I can't decide over which one to start.

So my question is: how do you deal with your various ideas ? How do you decide which project/idea you're going to work on next ?

Thanks in advance.

Drawing custom ressources

Hey everyone !

So, whatever project I'll be getting myself in in the next weeks I will be creating most of the ressources myself as I'm not fond of rip and stuff used in other games. I think it's the best way to give personnality to the environment by presenting something the player has not seen before.

Of course I'm not crazy enough to get in the creation of thousands of graphical files with my bare mouse and paint. I do have Photoshop CS5 with which I'm good and I do have good drawing skills. I know I can draw anything that will be required in my game. But I have a few questions if anyone already tested that method.

Is it better to draw the stuff by hand, scan it and put color in it in photoshop or is it better to get a graphical tablet and draw it directly on the computer ?

If I intend to draw everything myself, will the small resolution of RM2K3 be a problem ? I wonder if when I'll scale down the drawings it won't be recognizable.

If drawed by hand, is it better to do bigger drawings and scale them down after or to do small drawings to avoid loss of pixels while scaling down ?

I thought of printing a 32x32 or 64x64 pixels gridded sheet (not sure of the dimensions) and to use that as a template to draw by hand after. Will it be too small and will the size stay the same in the print-scan-draw process or will I need to adjust back after the scan ?

Thanks in advance !

Hello from Canada !

Hey everyone !

Let me do a short introduction of myself.

I'm known on the internet as Lezales. I'm a 21 years old Canadian. I've been working with Rpg Maker since the release of the 2000 version. Pretty much started a billion projects as a teen and of course never finished them. I put the software aside because of the lack of success and went into other creative means (writing, drawing, music) to express myself. But in my inner self I know making games is my real passion and now with a few more years of experience and wisdom I decided to get back in this great world.

As I said, I'm Canadian but more precisely from Quebec so my first language is french and I've always been on French (from France) communities but the English communities always seemed to have more finished games, less superficial standards (if it's not custom it sucks) and a generally better atmosphere, but I never gave them a shot.

So here I am, I'm coming back in the world of Rpg Maker and I decided to give it a shot with the english communities and I've found this website that seems, I'll be honest, rea------lly nice. The possibility to post our games, write reviews, etc.

Anyway, I won't drag this forever. I just wanted to introduce myself before spending some times with you ! I'll give you more informations on my project soon enough and I hope we'll have a great time !
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