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I am a gamer, an artist and a hobbyist video game designer. When I'm not doodling one resource or another, I love to read books, make paper crafts (cards) and bake yummy goodies.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Secret Project: Some info

In this entry, I'm going to talk a little bit about the Ace side-project I'm working on. I won't be sharing too much about the plot, mind you, as I'd like most of it to stay a surprise until I can give you guys a demo.

I will say that it's a fairly lighthearted and sweet game that will be relatively short. I want to complete it quickly, preferably before fall. I guess all will depend on timing and how much work I can do in a given day. To this end, I've settled on a total of 30 locations. This includes all dungeons/exploration areas, towns, and cut-scene places. The map count will probably be only slightly larger, and that's mainly due to having individual maps for inner town homes.

I haven't decided whether I will be including battles or not. On one hand, I think most players find them quite fun and they're pretty necessary. On the other hand, I seriously despise all the hair-pulling database work that comes with it. Maybe I will recruit someone to help me with that portion of the game.

The rest of the game will be focused on doing variously-themed quests. There will be a single item shop in the main city. A blacksmith, a cook and an alchemist will have equipment and items you can trade materials for. And, of course, doing quests will give great rewards.

There won't be any morality points, but there will be opportunities to build relationships with party members. Doing quests that fit into the party members' area of expertise will also raise your relationship with them. This will unlock possible endings (yes, multiple endings!) and quest trees.

I have to pace myself to not add too much stuff, so I want to aim for 6-8 hours of total gameplay.

I'm also archiving some ideas for possible sequels.

Lastly, a screenshot (which most of you have probably seen by now):


  1. That all sounds great so far! :) Though what's the point of equipment if there's no battles? As with party members? Well I can see party members still being an asset even in a non-combat RPG at least. But I can't wait to see more of it! :D

    1. I'm about to reveal a surprise! Don't read if you'd rather have no spoilers~

      For the main character, equipment is going to be similar to key items, in that it will give you certain field skills. So, if you equip a sword, you will cut through high grass- which lets you explore a secret area.

      Same goes for party members. They will have useful and necessary field skills - like being a translator for a particular language or being a fire mage that can melt ice blocks.

      Save for a few sections (early stuff when you're learning about mechanics or when party members are introduced), you will always have a choice of adding a party member to the group to perform their special ability or equipping an item that allows you to do the same thing. The advantage to having a party member with you is that you build up your relationship with them when you do quests in their area of expertise.

      But you won't be force to build relationships with characters you don't like. So you won't get stuck with someone you hate just because you need their skill. :)

    2. (Pressed Enter too soon here)

      Since I'm aiming for multiple endings, I'm going to try and keep re-playability at a high level. Giving the player options on how to achieve endings will probably be more fun than having to play the game in a specific way, just to see how it ends.

    3. That's super nifty! :D Man I can't wait! XD You always have such cool ideas.

  2. Hello,

    Someone had a similar idea : equip skill on character in the french community most of the feedbacks disliked it because you've to go into the menu and equip the skill. Also, people may not like to not be able to go further in game because they will need a skill from a character.

    Your idea isn't bad but maybe you may make it more simple. Like that hero can do most of the skills by himself or add a quick menu, like in zelda so the player won't have to go often into the menu.

    Good luck for your project.

    1. Thank you!

      I think you misunderstood how the skills will go, though. You will have a choice of equipping an item on a hero, OR adding a character to the party. Either one will get you through the game.

      Each side/main quest will be the expertise of one of the characters. You can then choose to bring that character on the quest, or you can equip an appropriate item. So, you will almost always know what you'll need before you venture out.

      There won't be a gigantic amount of equipment to switch out, either. With the right items, you will be able to do most quests alone - though some may be very hard without a party.

      I will definitely look forward to the players' feedback on this, though! If it's something people dislike, I'll find an alternative. :)

  3. Well, that's sound good.
    I've met a similar gameplay in Wild arms 3 and the only thing that I disliked about it it's that nothing tell you what to do so I was kinda stuck, lol.

    About, the relationship system, maybe Dragon age 2 can help you, well I found it interesting because you don't lose any point when you reply a bad thing. Example : if you reply something that a character like, you will gain +10 friendship and if you reply something he dislike, you will gain +10 rivalry. Wel that's just an idea.

    Sorry for my bad english. I look foward to your game.

    1. I probably won't do relationship points via dialogue. As much as I like that system, it takes a lot of time to set up and I want to minimize how long it takes me to finish this project. Once I get further into production and get some feedback from the demo, I'll definitely post more about the system and how it works. In the scope of the game, it will be fairly simple. :)

      (And your English is really not bad!)

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  5. Love it! Youre so talented! Congrats, its perfect[2] *--*

    1. Thank you for the kind message!

      Hopefully, the game will live up to the expectation.

  6. Envy - Level 50

    You mapped very well, my congratulations, anxious to play his second project.
    The Twice Upon a Hero was very good, I do not know what to say. Congratulations, perfect. * - *

    1. I can't wait to share it with you all. I'm both anxious and excited.

      Oh, and I totally get the same envy feeling when I see the amazing stuff people are coming up with (*cough*Ronove*cough*). It's incredible to see the creativity in peoples' projects and resources. :3

  7. Hi,

    Lunarea, in case you didn't saw this, I will post the link here : http://www.rpgmakervxace.net/topic/2818-xs-alignment-hud/

    This script may help you for the relationship system, maybe that's what you need ?

    1. I'm looking into a couple slightly different scripts, or possibly integrating the relationship part into the status menu. I don't think I want a HUD for it, though. It will mostly be a passive system. :)

  8. This vision sounds a lot like what I'm doing right now. I'm setting aside my VX epic to work on a side project in Ace. Similar to yours, my idea is short and sweet, story focused, and will not have any battles.

    One thing I'd like to do is make some nice parallax maps for color. I remember a year or two ago finding some amazing parallax mapping resources you had produced in collaboration with a partner. Are those still available anywhere (sorry! I couldn't find them on the forums... maybe I didn't look hard enough?)

    I love your artwork. The pieces I found at that time were for building a steampunk village. It was awesome. I downloaded them then, but that laptop was stolen :P Thanks for any help you can offer pointing me in the right direction!

    1. Yes, I have moved all of my resources over to the official RPG Maker forums: http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/

      I'm looking forward to hearing about your new project! :)

    2. Thank you! I was able to locate your beautiful artwork. Still getting used to the new forums.

      The game I have in mind focuses on the mayor of a small town, whose wife has come down with an illness that destroys her memory. She remembers nothing past about 30 seconds ago.

      The only cure is a rare flower, the scent of which will temporarily restore her memory. But the effect only lasts a few hours, and the last of the flowers are being used up. What lengths are you willing to go to in order to obtain more? What cost is too high, both for yourself, and for the town that trusts in you?

      And when the memory disease starts spreading, you must go to extraordinary lengths to discover the truth.

      Sadly, rpgmaker games take a long time, and I'm splitting my spare time between way too many projects already. Figured I'd post here what my idea is, because it may be that this is all the light of day it will ever see :P