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<DEMO COMPLETE> Possible TV2 Fangame Opt-In/Help Recruiting; MW attempts to make a crummy video game!
Topic Started: May 12 2015, 05:42 PM (1,550 Views)
MurderWeasel
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I can trick them into thinking anything
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
This project has progressed and a demo may be found here.

DISCLAIMER: This may not actually happen. In fact, it probably won't.

Hello, all! This came up in chat a few nights ago at like 3 AM, but after some musing I've decided it's not as terrible an idea as I initially thought, so I'm going ahead and putting up a thread about it. Basically, I want to try my hand at making a TV2 Fangame in RPGMaker. I taught myself how to use the program in like thirty minutes last night, and used to use the Age of Empires 2 map editor, so nothing can possibly go wrong, right?

Anyways, more details below, but right off the bat I wanted to say that I'm picking characters for this purely through an opt-in process. I am taking only TV2 characters, and if you want yours in, you must post to this thread or the cross-post on Main telling me so (or PM me or whatever). More than that, doing so does not guarantee that I'll actually use your character. It just gives me permission to do so if that's where the artistic muse takes me. If you have any particular stipulations about the use of your character (like you don't want them killing people or something), let me know those too right away. Being really blunt, too many/major stipulations will probably result in me not using them unless I end up with something that fits really perfectly.

The reason I'm making this opt-in is that I really wouldn't be comfortable with my characters being used for such a project without my permission (even though I'd basically give permission for anything anyways), and there are plenty of characters in TV2 to feature only those whose handlers want them in this sort of thing.

Now, to a bit more of the nitty-gritty:

RPGMaker makes ugly Final Fantasy 1-6-alikes and pretty much nothing else. This means my fan game will be one of those. It has some potential for use as a more purely narrative medium that I'll probably be exploring, which is to say I don't think it'll be about Austin White casting fireballs at wolves. But you never can tell, so maybe that's exactly what it'll be! I have some loose ideas for how to translate semi-gritty violence to RPGMaker but they may flop hard.

I have no idea what the plot will be. It'll probably be an extremely loose adaptation of the RPed version, with a lot of changes made to account for only featuring 20-30 members of the cast or so and having a PoV character/party who may not have hit Endgame in the canon version. I have absolutely no clue who the protagonist(s) will be--I'll pick someone who seems compelling from the folks who get submitted. Ideally I'd love to let you select a character from a few but that may be stupid amounts of work. I've seriously only spent thirty minutes or so on this program.

I'll be creating the plot and doing most/all of the writing and area design. I can be a really poor creative team player, so setting myself up as supreme dictator for life right off the bat seems the best way to have everyone's expectations at the appropriate level. I may ease off on that as time goes on, but the default assumption should be there.

The version of RPGMaker I have is XP. I have this one because it was less than two dollars during the Steam sale last year. I know little about RPGMaker versions--if there's a really good reason, I might be persuaded to switch to 2003 (which features a better battle system--not that I'll necessarily even use that) or VX Ace (which differs in some regard that is a bit unclear to me but may have prettier map creation but is also seventy bucks and that's a bit above my level of financial commitment to this project--it periodically goes on sale at ~fifteen dollars though so if I'm patient then maybe). Noting this in case those who know more than I have feedback.

This is going to be pretty low priority for me, to the point that I'd say the odds are better than not it will never get done/will be really small and crummy. I have all these grand ambitions, but those tend to crumble. I can't emphasize enough that this is a crazy idea with no promise of success or even progress.

That said, I'm looking for the following:
  • Characters. If people in TV2 who are cool with seeing their kids used for this sort of thing want to volunteer them to be mangled and mutilated and horrifically misinterpreted by my dubious creative prowess, that would be most appreciated. I'm keeping a list of potential victims at the bottom of this post. Please remember that volunteering, while super appreciated, does not mean your character will actually be used.
  • Art asset assistants. RPGMaker XP actually has a pretty acceptable set of built-in environments and stuff, with a leaning towards fantasy that nevertheless has room, I think, to make something modern. What it does not have is any sort of sprite creation stuff (though if it hit that stage I know a program that apparently sort of does this and is only like fifteen bucks) or portrait generator (though Facemaker is a fallback option). However, if anyone more artistic than I am could be persuaded to help with these things, I'd be super grateful. This is a very far-away interest check, because I wouldn't feel comfortable asking anyone to put time towards this until the rest of the project is basically done. It's pretty easy to dummy things with basic sprites and then swap them later. So, I guess I'm looking for people to long-term help with art and/or help teach me to do spriting stuff.
  • Music asset assistants. The same deal as the art, but for MIDI tracks. Also less important because RPGMaker has a decent selection of default music. But yeah, if anyone knows MIDI and wants to help me learn, I'd be very appreciative. I think I've found a freeware program to work on this.
  • Playtesters. Ideally only like two or three of these, because I don't want the entire board playing this at every WiP stage because then there will be no mystery left. I'd want people who a. have read a ton of TV2, b. know about RPGMaker and/or crummy games based on it, or c. ideally fall into both of the above categories.


So I know I'm forgetting a ton but I have to run to class for an eleven-hour day. You can also ask questions and stuff but nothing will be answered until ~12-13 hours from now. Again, to hammer it in: this is a low priority for me and it's 80% likely nothing will ever come of it, but that 20% is appealing enough for me to prod for character use privileges.

Characters whose use has been approved (and lots of sprites)
Current characters:

The Program: V3 Prologue:
Mina Mashall - Digital Voice Recorder - Making a good impression - "I didn't know you felt so strongly about me."
Erik Bell - Jericho .941 - Having lunch - "May I?"

SECOND CHANCES: V2:
Assorted flora and fauna

SOTF-TV V2:
EW4: Jewel Evans - Chatterbox Communicator Headsets (0/5) - Online - ELIMINATED - "Scars are just reminders to be better next time."

Past characters:

If you want an honest assessment of your character's storyline, feel free to PM me and I'll whip one up as soon as I am able.

Thanks to Bear/Frogue/Kotorikun/Ryuki for the avatar art.
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Aloha
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honey nut feelios
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I'm totally fine with Tucker and/or Leah being used if you want to~
Characters

Arts!

Open to constructive criticism!
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Bikriki
Regular
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I will be ready to throw Lisa Toner in for whatever purpose.

Now, what I wanted to say is that I do urge you to take a good look at all the great scripts out there that exist for RPGmaker XP (such as this one). Even an amateur in Ruby or RPGmaker should be capable of stitching together some scripts to freshen up this potential game.

Oh, what I argue you would need too are mappers and arguably writers because trust me that is the most tedious part of RPGmaker.
Program v2
O F21: Amanda White DEAD (Hedge Clipper)
||Awakening|Cowardice|Reflection|Rising|Meeting|Return||

TV v2
Vincent Holway GIVEN AWAY (Bolo Knife) |>=<
Lisa Toner DEAD ||Ladies|Boys||

SCDos
Amanda White ALIVELaing - Zeig Deine Muskeln
||Fashion||
Vincent Holway DEAD
||Impressions|
Summary: Vincent's meat gets engulfed by a warm hole, finished by a warm fluid entering his throat, the woman in question is impressed for once
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Espi
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Veteran
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You have my permission for my kids if for some reason you wanted them.
TV2: Died, Didn't Do


SC2: Attempt Number Deux
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Aura
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The Fool
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Feel free to use Lukas and Angie if you want!
SOTF-TV v2

SP1: Lukas Graves- Forming a team in United
VW2: Angie Hart- Having a bad time of it in Balls Deep

Past Minis
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Pippin
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W A H
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Ooh, snazzy cool! You totes have permission to use Lucia and/or Bunny if you want! If you still need playtesters I could poooooooossibly do that too, depending on time constraints.
Currently Playing

Remembering those lost

Awesome art by awesome people

???
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Lord_Shadow
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Eldritch Consumer, Requiem Agent
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Anastasia Arcadia permits the use of her image or likeness in this project. No compensation required.

Also, at least one use of the phrase "You just got AnAxed," would be very much appreciated. (See, it's a pun on annexed what with Awesometownia and all. And that's the joke. /killing the humor.)
Mini Characters

There was once a dumb psuedo-news line here. Now there's this pretentious nonsense. YOU1 DID THIS, YOU1 KNOW WHO YOU1 ARE!

1. Yeah you, you nefarious ne'er-do-well you.
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Maraoone
Regular
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You could use Cathryn and/or Damion here if you want c:
Second Chances 2 Characters:
Dead:
B16: "Badass" Johnny Lancer (adopted from Yugi!) is the diplomat with scars inside and out. He got what he deserved in Though Far Away, We're Still the Same [8/65]
Pregame: Hold Your Horses Now (We Sleep Until the Sun Goes Down).
Memories: Through the Dreamers, We Hear the Hum. They Say "Come On, Come On, Let's Go."
Previous Threads: I'm Looking For a Place to Start, But Everything Feels So Different Now - waste of words - Now, Wait, Wait, Wait for Me, Please Hang Around. I'll See You When I Fall Asleep - Sinking Man - Little Talks - There and Back Again - Your Bones - some day we may come to peace with the world within ourselves

B33: Damion Castillo is the perfectionist with cracks in his facade. He ran out of time in At Every Occasion, I'll Be Ready For The Funeral [38/65]
Previous Threads: Second Impressions - I'd Rather Be At The Aquarium.
Memories: Take a Bite of My Heart Tonight

SOTF TV2

Chat sig since my main chat sig is full
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Dr. Freud
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"Feed my anger with children. Feed my lust with bikini food."
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You can do whatever with Lily and if I don't like it I'll smack you.
Lily

"Hero will never give up, never hide, never be defeated, never accept evil." --Samurai Flamenco
"Love is all about flowers and sunshine and puppies and nipple clamps." -Rubix, "Truth About Love" Tour 2013
"You are not allowed to mess with my profile!" - Irene 2014
"Words, words, words. Once I had a gift." --Shakespeare in Love
"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." -Hunter S. Thompson
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CondorTalon
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this avatar satisfies me so well
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Take both of my characters, if you want 'em.
EVERYTHING I TOUCH DIES!!!

Second Chances V2:
Clair Belvedere - Box of Condoms - Hanging back in Earth Sky From Venus
Christopher Schwartz - Macuahuitl - Catching his breath in I Jumped Out and I Pranked Him to Death with a Tire Iron

The afterlife
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Iceblock
Veteran
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Since the rest of her band's in, you're free to use Caroline however you like.
This signature intentionally left blank.

Program V3 Prologue:
Sylvia Veneski -- F32 -- Clothes Hanger -- Alive -- Stroke of Midnight

Auld Lang Syne
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SansaSaver
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master of sweg
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You can totally use Will & Marcus too! ^-^
Current Characters:

The Program 2.5
M22 – Nicholas Rogers – Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
F26 – Theodora Smalls – Candelabra

Former Characters
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Serpico
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It's your boy.
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Offering Corin and my art/pixel asset skills.
TV2
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MurderWeasel
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I can trick them into thinking anything
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Updates:

I've played with the program a bit more. My current plan is to try to do map design first and then build the game around that. TV (and SOTF as a whole) has the advantage of being very area-based, meaning that if I set it up so time passes, I can still effectively copy/paste the maps for each time cycle. The basic mechanics here are likely to be mostly be based around talking to characters and picking options off of menus; I don't think RPGMaker combat lends itself particularly well to an SOTF style. I don't expect stats/level-ups to hold any meaning or place for this.

Apparently RPGMaker XP does not allow portraits tied to text without a bit of finagling. That will definitely be on the list of things to do, but I'm going to be putting the visuals a ways down the list of priorities (but huge thanks to all who have volunteered to help there; I will get in contact if/when I hit that stage).

When it comes to audio design, I've thought a bit about this. I sort of like the idea of character themes for recurrent characters, but on the whole am unsure how many of those there will be and thus am going to say scene-based will generally be safer. When I settle on a few lead/recurrent characters, I'll note it and see what folks can come up with, though. I think on the whole it'll likely work best for most of the soundtrack to be based on events or locations, however. Also, the MIDI thing: MIDI only is a program limitation of XP, apparent--VX allows for MP3 and OGG but also looks like it requires way more legwork for sprites/tilesets/map creation, so I think I'm going to stick to XP (and thus be stuck with MIDI).

Thoughts on map design:

I'm going to be cutting the map down notably for the sake of keeping this to a reasonable scale. I'm thinking eight to twelve areas should be sufficient. I'd like to pick areas that are iconic, unique, and not too hard to create with the XP tilesets (though I'm going to do some serious digging for free tilesets because otherwise everything's gonna look like a medieval village). I'm gonna organize them with loose at best faithfulness to the TV2 map.

Right now, my thoughts for areas are as follows (please note that these are judgements on how I think they'll translate, not their use in the actual game in most cases):

Include:
  1. The Bull Craps Casino and/or The Cigarette Holder Theatre: The Casino has become pretty iconic for TV2, but on the other hand I'd have to find a tileset with slot machines and stuff. The theatre can be fudged with curtains, which are already easily available.
  2. The Bamboo Boardwalk: As an outside area with a bunch of smaller shops, this offers a lot of potential for sub-areas.
  3. Open Air Cabaret: A big outdoor area with an easy design and some room for visually interesting sequences makes this a good option.
  4. The Nature Walk/Orchard: Rolled into one or just flat out excluding the orchard. An outdoor area likely to be visually distinct from the others.
  5. The Lānaʻi Hotel: The hotel and the condos are similar in function/design, but the hotel has some more iconic trappings in the form of the piano and is also I think more evocative for this sort of thing.
  6. The World Oyster: Another varied area of smaller indoors sets. Potentially can be combined with the boardwalk if the shops there aren't interesting enough.
  7. Sunshine Tower: May be a pain to get looking good, but it's rather iconic and offers setting options not available elsewhere.
  8. The Ice Palace: Possibly reskinned to be more palace and less ice as tilesets permit. Another area that's immediately striking on a visual level.
  9. Palms Spa and Salon: Basically fills the same function as the beauty parlor, but with greater variation. A more typical indoor area.
  10. Tour Guide and Transportation Centre: The one I'm least sure of--largely a typical indoor setting centralized in one building.


Exclude:
  1. Lernean Beauty Parlor: A reasonably evocative setting rendered redundant in a smaller-scale project by the probably-more-interesting spa.
  2. The Aqua-Museum: Cool area that would basically be impossible to build without extensive digging for tilesets/creating custom stuff.
  3. The Pa’ani Sports Centre: This one flew oddly under the radar until late game, features a good number of specialized things, and seems potentially frustrating in a less-interactive medium (by which I mean not being able to steal stuff would suck and being able to do so might take a ton of work).
  4. Aloha Daycare Centre: An interesting area but not one that really beats out any of the other interesting areas or seems totally necessary.
  5. The Beach: Wide open areas without much going on can be tricky to make non-ugly. Might be combinable with the boardwalk.
  6. Space Bam Alley: Of the three clustered specialized areas (this, the casino, and the theatre) this is both the most problematic to translate and the least iconic feeling.
  7. Mauna Loa Condominium: Basically fulfills the same function as the hotel. Large, multi-story building with a bunch of rooms.
  8. Cabana Cul de Sac: I feel weird about cutting so many of the residential areas, but this one is a bit less appealing than the more distinct areas and would be a lot of work due to multiple inside spaces.


If you have strong feelings that an area should or should not be included, though, let me know. No promises I'll agree, but I'll at least listen.

Also, if you have any sources for tilesets that are free and legal, I'd be very grateful. Will do my own research in the coming days.

The Plot:

Basically, to best feature a bunch of characters and to some extent capture elements of the SOTF experience, I think the most logical plot will just be the game. The player will control one character--ideally one with some ambiguity of intent and some internal conflict (I have a few ideas here) and then will be left to fumble around. I can almost certainly rig interaction trees with most characters, allowing you to, among other things, try to attack them and meet with either success or failure (which may or may not mean death). I'd super love to let you recruit allies and bring them along/have them influence interactions, but whether or not such things are feasible remains to be seen. I've played RPGMaker games that do basically this, but they don't involve as many forks as I'm expecting this one to.

Most characters will probably feature briefly as encounters. Likely there will be a few time cycles, and different characters will show up at different places doing different things at specific times (like, maybe in the first cycle a couple characters are at the orchard. Then one kills the other and runs off--the body lies around the orchard for the rest of the game and the character who flees may be found in some other area in a later cycle).

This is probably way over-ambitious, and I may well scale it down more/the depth may just not be there. I don't want expectations high because, once again, all I know about what I'm doing is intuited by playing a bunch of other people's RPGMaker games and playing with the program for a few hours. This also will not be a speedy process. I just wanted to give a slightly more concrete explanation of my aims here.

Also, cross-posting this for the benefit of folks who only check one site.





EDIT/BUMP (Did you know staff can bump threads without posting to them?)

Also, huge thanks to Bear, who passed me a massive wealth of resources tonight including a key to VX Ace from last year's Bundle and also a website for the artistically-impaired to make sprites in (may contain neither English-language text nor any method of saving sprites except screenshotting).

I stress-tested the latter with one of TV2's more distinct characters and the results came out pretty acceptably:

Posted Image
The cloak makes the beard a bit hard to see, but it's a WiP draft anyways. So I'm probably going to use this for spriting since it takes an absolutely massive chunk out of the work entailed in that, and I can make any touch-ups in Photoshop (because in their infinite wisdom they only include an ethnicity slider for female sprites, among other really baffling decisions).

So yeah, just another little update/some heartening progress when it comes to actually being able to sprite characters. Though I still have to figure out how to import them and all that good stuff.
Current characters:

The Program: V3 Prologue:
Mina Mashall - Digital Voice Recorder - Making a good impression - "I didn't know you felt so strongly about me."
Erik Bell - Jericho .941 - Having lunch - "May I?"

SECOND CHANCES: V2:
Assorted flora and fauna

SOTF-TV V2:
EW4: Jewel Evans - Chatterbox Communicator Headsets (0/5) - Online - ELIMINATED - "Scars are just reminders to be better next time."

Past characters:

If you want an honest assessment of your character's storyline, feel free to PM me and I'll whip one up as soon as I am able.

Thanks to Bear/Frogue/Kotorikun/Ryuki for the avatar art.
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TwoThirty
Veteran
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The bump is pretty mindblowing o_o

Also, who is the sprite? Is it Asa? Cause he's one of the few black-haired-beard-wearers.

Waitno, it could be Vahka, right? Oh, the cape actually indicates that he is Vahka.
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