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Slime Knight
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Back to Basics Collection 
 PostSun May 05, 2013 7:17 pm
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I am creating this thread as the sole thread to discuss my Back to Basics Collection. Please keep all posts and topics related to this in this thread.

I originally got the idea for this about 2 weeks ago, as I wanted to create a collection of RPG focused games which utilize absolutely zero scripting. The first game in the collection will be the most cliche RPG conceived by man which ultimately has an unknown origin. Saving a damsel in distress. I looked around for some games to inspire me for this title, and one of the games I found to use this cliche is a game I enjoyed as a child, Dragon Warrior. Some of you may have seen the odd screenshot or information around the forums lately.

Originally the game was going to be super short, have an overly simple world map with a super simple objective... The game has grown far beyond that now, it still has this as the main objective, but the world map is vast, littered with secrets to find, and side-quests to do. It's an example of how a simple cliche idea can turn into something so much more. As this game will be the first in the collection, the main objective will be fairly easy to do, and the side quests won't be too complex.

As I continue to develop RPG games for this collection, I will expose more RPG cliches and use that a basis for a larger game compilation. The idea behind back to basics is to overly simplify the base story on purpose and see where it goes and how it grows. The other goal of this collection is to use no scripting.

By creating such an RPG game collection, I hope to grow my own skills for game development and story building. The first game is using mostly ripped tiles, but as the collection grows, I hope to soon start creating original graphics and learning to get better at pixel art as well. I have been reading some tutorials, and I am hoping the next game in the collection will use original graphics. On top of original graphics, I am also looking into composing my own music as well, but this is more far off, as a game that sounds god-awful will just scare people away.

After developing Chronoboy Adventures a few years back, and departing from the community as the game has some notable flaws in storytelling and RPG elements, I took some time to think of what I should do. I really want to create RPG games, but I obviously need more skills. Early this year, the thought came to me that I should go back to the basics, and avoid anything complex. This way, I can learn more about RPG elements, like how to construct a proper battle with fun attacks and the like. I can learn more about how to develop a story and it's characters. An RPG is much more than the plotscripting it's bound to, it's a story with people, places, events, and the history that's puts it all together into something grand. When I was building RPG games before, I was only thinking What can I do with plotscripting in this game?, that should be the last question to ask myself. Plotscripting should be more of an afterthought, the story, and it's characters should come first, as they are the heart and soul of an RPG game, not the features that come jampacked.

So as this collection grows, so should my skills in story and character building. I am also looking for any input after each game is released, so that I can improve on these areas with the next game in the collection. I will discontinue the collection after and only after I create a game with fully positive feedback, which I did mostly everything right and the game is very enjoyable.

As a closing, I do hope that everyone enjoys the games which I will be creating for the rest of the year. I know none of them will be perfect in anyway, but knowing where they fall short of perfection will only help future games become more perfect.

If you have any questions for my personal quest laid out here, or any input. Please reply back, and I will do my best to answer.

UPDATE: You can now download an alpha version of this game! It is still very incomplete, and missing a large number of monster encounters. I am releasing it so that the community can finally see it.

Download it here: http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=103561
Graphics credits go to: FnrrfYgmSchnish
http://superwalrusland.com/ohr/issue36/sprites/sprites.html
Slime Knight
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 PostMon May 06, 2013 4:58 am
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This is a very admirable approach, and also pretty intriguing. It takes good writing, consistency, and a good design sense to make a game that will captivate people, not just clever scripting.

Building up from a basic idea seems like a good way to approach it. The fact that you plan this to be a collection brings a lot of questions to mind.

Are you giving yourself any deadlines? I find that can actually be a really good way to prioritize. Making a game is pretty difficult all things considered, so I wonder how long you give yourself for each entry.

You mentioned that you are going to keep creating until you make a game that gets resounding positive feedback, and also that you want to transition to making your own assets. If you do both of these things each successive game will take longer and longer to develop (and kind of get away from the "back to basics" mentality.) How do you plan to get around that?

One of your ideas was to build upon RPG cliches and see if you can make them into something better. What if this turns out to be something people perceive to be a weakness in your games? There used to be a big list of RPG cliches floating around on the internet which I one time had the idea to make a game that broke every one of them. I feel like a similar approach might benefit your creativity in terms of the stories you write. What do you think of that?

Lastly, I have seen bits and pieces about the game you are developing, but it would be cool to see more of an in-depth summary of what it is and where you are with that.
Slime Knight
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 PostMon May 06, 2013 12:10 pm
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crowtongue wrote:
This is a very admirable approach, and also pretty intriguing. It takes good writing, consistency, and a good design sense to make a game that will captivate people, not just clever scripting.

Yes, I agree.

crowtongue wrote:
Building up from a basic idea seems like a good way to approach it. The fact that you plan this to be a collection brings a lot of questions to mind.

Are you giving yourself any deadlines? I find that can actually be a really good way to prioritize. Making a game is pretty difficult all things considered, so I wonder how long you give yourself for each entry.

At the moment, no. As I have other priorities going on in my life.

crowtongue wrote:
You mentioned that you are going to keep creating until you make a game that gets resounding positive feedback, and also that you want to transition to making your own assets. If you do both of these things each successive game will take longer and longer to develop (and kind of get away from the "back to basics" mentality.) How do you plan to get around that?

I will more than likely re-use existing assets and modify them for the newer game. Such as tilesets, and walkabouts. I will refine the graphics in each successive game.

crowtongue wrote:
One of your ideas was to build upon RPG cliches and see if you can make them into something better. What if this turns out to be something people perceive to be a weakness in your games? There used to be a big list of RPG cliches floating around on the internet which I one time had the idea to make a game that broke every one of them. I feel like a similar approach might benefit your creativity in terms of the stories you write. What do you think of that?

I can understand that being a weakness. However, both Mario and Zelda are uber popular and following the same cliche almost every game. Nintendo nor it's fanbase sees it as a weakness for the franchise. Take Skyward Sword for example, the entire game is about finding and saving Zelda, although they added some freshness to it, so it doesn't seem like a regular Save the Girl type of game. I am thinking of doing the same with these games as time goes on, taking the cliche and making it appear more original to the player.

crowtongue wrote:
Lastly, I have seen bits and pieces about the game you are developing, but it would be cool to see more of an in-depth summary of what it is and where you are with that.

I will see about adding some information to this thread soon, the game is nearing completion. I just need to find time to finish it up.
Red Slime
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 PostMon May 06, 2013 3:33 pm
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These articles might help with the cliches/tropes:

The RPG clichés game
http://thegia.psy-q.ch/sites/www.thegia.com/features/f990118.html

The Grand List Of Console Role Playing Game Clichés
http://project-apollo.net/text/rpg.html

Tv Tropes has alot of things like this.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BooksOnTrope

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/JustForFun/TVTropesHowToGuides

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilOverlordList
"a manticore asks a wizard whether it, only being 10% human, has a soul like they do. The answer is that the mere act of wondering whether one has a soul is proof of having one."
-Found on TVTropes
Slime Knight
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 PostMon May 06, 2013 4:01 pm
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Thank you for that, lots of great stuff to work with there

Bonus Question: Where's this from?
http://project-apollo.net/text/rpg.html wrote:
The group of young women who have formed a scarily obsessive fan club for one of your female party members.

It sounds really amusing and I'd love to implement it to see where it goes.

Update: You know... Unless you know of these cliches before making your game, your more than likely going to be using a handful regardless. It's very difficult not to accidentally use them. As I am reading through them, I am seeing that the first game in this collection is actually using a good number of, without me evening realizing it has been done before. Even a really obscure one(which I won't mention as it will spoil a plot in the game). Some of these cliches are just making fun of RPG game design, as some of them are rather required for an RPG to even work! So most of this cliche list is literally bullsh*t, as it's very difficult to do some of them due to the limitation of RPG engines in the NES/SNES era. I have to admit, I do find the list very humorous as I have played many RPG titles on older consoles which have very limited engines. A better list needs to be formed of actual cliches, and not engine limitations of the 80s and 90s. If you don't believe me on this one, go and read a developer guide for old Nintendo and Super Nintendo games. Compilers now exist too. Lots of newer RPGs are now fixing these limitations. I was excepting a cliche list of things like saving a pretty girl(which is in there), and some sort of uber magically sword that's needed to defeat the final villain(which is also in there). I figure too many people added stuff, which ultimately saturated the list into what it is. This is very unfortunate.

http://project-apollo.net/text/rpg.html wrote:
Wherever the characters go, the villains can always find them. Chances are they're asking the guy in the street (see above). But don't worry -- despite being able to find the characters with ease anytime they want to, the bad guys never get rid of them by simply blowing up the tent or hotel they're spending the night in. (Just think of it: the screen dims, the peaceful going-to-sleep-now music plays, then BOOM! Game Over!)

I really want to do this now, where there's a deadly Inn, if you dare sleep in it, it's game over. hehehe... Not many games are this cruel to the player, and the player normally has some sort of warning. Like in Final Fantasy Adventure in that hotel where your female party member is kidnapped. The hotel itself is very suspicious to begin with, and if you had a choice you wouldn't even stay there... but the plot demanded that the player stay here for her to get kidnapped.

I'm really going off-topic here, but this list is driving me banana's!
Red Slime
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 PostWed May 08, 2013 4:35 am
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Not a problem.

I think the fanclub is from FF9, but I'm not sure.
"a manticore asks a wizard whether it, only being 10% human, has a soul like they do. The answer is that the mere act of wondering whether one has a soul is proof of having one."
-Found on TVTropes
Slime Knight
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 PostWed May 08, 2013 5:37 am
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Here's a well needed update for the progress on the first game in the collection:

At the current moment, 3 towns have been completed, and I am finishing up the forth town.
All the secrets on the world map have been added and hidden for your searching pleasure.
One of the longer side quests is getting even longer...

At this exact moment in time, I am writing a few in-game books, which explain the worlds history and lore. These books can be found in various bookshelves across the land.

I have populated most of the taverns with NPCs which give the odd hints.

I have recently added more weapons and armor to choose from, some of which are hidden.

Tomorrow I will be adding a large underground labyrinth which can be fully explored, and it also has many secrets to find, including some very rare items. I also created an Escape Rope item, so that you can easily escape the Labyrinth.

By the weekend, I am hoping to add the final boss area, it's textboxes, and the actual ending. If all goes according to plan, then I am aiming for a release by this weekend, on my Birthday! So this game will be a birthday present to myself!

Today I also added a part in the game which sort of breaks the forth wall in a sense, the hero is completely unaware, but if you listen to the character, you'll know. I added this, so some characters have someone to blame for something I couldn't properly put into the game. So it does fit into the story.

Not sure what else to say... At times I did wish I allowed myself to use a plotscript, as it could make some stuff easier to do.

The game for the most part takes itself serious, well as serious as a JRPG can get, it's not realistic, but it's not a parody or a humor game. It's a standard straightforward JRPG, just what the doctor ordered.

I will make another post in a couple of days, so stay tuned.

For some perspective on how vast the game is so far:
Textboxes: 293(By release should be closer to 500)
Tags: 61
Battle formations: 21(By release this should be at about 50 or so)
Shops: 16
Items: 63
Attacks: 20(By release this should be more)
Maps: 18(By release this should be up to at least 25)
NPCs in main town: 34(Might increase still)

These numbers are only going to increase in the next few days as I add the large labyrinth and final areas.
Slime Knight
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 PostWed May 08, 2013 6:14 am
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sleepish wrote:
Not a problem.

I think the fanclub is from FF9, but I'm not sure.


I was thinking FFX-2?
Slime Knight
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 PostMon Jun 10, 2013 12:57 am
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Yes I know I said I was going to be releasing this about a month ago or so... Guess I missed that deadline, and unfortunately haven't worked much on it since. Sad

This evening I thought I'd go back to play it and see how it plays with most of the game out of mind. It's very interesting to play a game you recently made, but forgot some elements of the game. This was sort of my situation. I managed to fix a few spelling and grammar mistakes, only 2 so far. I also noticed that I have a sign that does nothing, yes, absolutely nothing... How could I have forgotten about this poor little sign. Not that anyone would have read it anyways, like really who takes the time to read every single sign in an RPG game?

The game is very close to completion, as said before, I need to finish the last town, create a very large dungeon, and create the ending.

Something really funny I noticed while playing, is that I found it easy to get lost on the world map(and I designed it). I was wondering around trying to locate this one town I built, and I found all the other towns, but just couldn't remember where this other town was. I actually really enjoyed getting lost in my own game, it had a really odd feeling to it.

After playing it again, it got me all excited about wanting to complete it. Sadly, I need to get up very early tomorrow morning, so I won't have much time this evening to add stuff. Guess if I didn't waste an hour playing it or typing out this post, I could have actually gotten some stuff done... too late now I guess.

I am aiming for a release hopefully later this week.
Blubber Bloat
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 PostMon Jun 10, 2013 2:28 pm
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I find deadlines set by one self to somehow magically generate everything to make that not happen. So I stopped making them.
I look forward to Dragan Worrier for the OHRRPGCE soon as you can get it done.
dOn'T MiNd mE! i'M jUsT CoNtAgIoUs!!!
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Slime Knight
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 PostTue Jun 11, 2013 7:38 pm
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Life sure gets in the way.

I'm also looking forward to this, I think it's a great idea.

It's good to have deadlines to give you a sense of commitment to an idea, but I think it's best not to get worked up about it if you miss one.
Slime Knight
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 PostFri Nov 01, 2013 5:59 am
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Okay... Well since life is getting in the way of this game way too much, as I was suppose to release this and perhaps another game this year... I am going to release what I got currently as an unfinished alpha and have the community see it and judge it, and perhaps tell me of any bugs they find. I do plan on completing this game eventually, and it is so close to completion...

It will be on this forums "Games" section shortly and I will post a link to it in the first post of this thread for easy access.
Metal King Slime
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 PostFri Nov 01, 2013 7:00 am
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Remind me again: Why the hell should anyone play this? Every other sentence of your description and your post is telling me not to. "Alpha!" "Incomplete!" "Unbeatable!" "The princess can't be rescued!". "There's no battles after the first area!"..

How can you expect to get good testing reports if, by the sounds of it, something like 80% of the game just isn't fucking there?! This is one of the things that people do that drives me up the god damn wall, they release a game that they know they shouldn't release, sometimes they even say "I shouldn't have released this!", but they did it anyway. And why? It's the classic parable of the fat woman in the tiny pants.

"Do I look fat in this?" she asks, knowing damn well that she does. But she has some hope, some minor, crazy hope, that the response will be "You look smokin!" and that her failed diets and shitty makeup will win the day.

I'm not saying not to post your game or whatever, I'm just saying I think you know what the response is gonna be and I would bet you can think of things that would make this better. Say it's a demo, put a textbox at the end of the last battle "This was a demo! If you want to see it finished, let me know! If not, let me know I'm wasting my time and I'll stop!". But don't fall all over yourself apologizing for how unfinished it is, and all the shit that maybe, one day, eventually you'll put in this thing.

Hell, if you want to talk about "Making do with the basics", maybe try to finish the game with the resources you have. But I'm rambling and I'm sorry. I'll post what I think of the game in a little bit after I've played it. Just know, that if I weren't suffering from some kind of crazy game-review complex right now, I would never have downloaded this game based on the description and that is a major, major failing on your part if you expected people to play and comment and like and subscribe and all that congratulatory bullshit.

EDIT: And you didn't include game.exe! It's not even complicated nowadays, there's a fucking button in custom that makes you a fucking zip with fucking game.exe already in it! How can you get valid testing input if you don't have some standard version to go off of?

EDIT AGAIN: I don't like the Mp3 style music with generic 8-bit graphics and I especially don't like the super loud, super distinctive Link To The Past item collection noise playing every time I open a chest. Try to think of why a game like LTTP, that wanted to make you explore and check shit out would have a triumphant sound effect for picking up an item, think of other games that have triumphant sound effects for picking up items and what the designers were trying to make you feel, and try to think of why no Final Fantasy game has ever had sound effects like that, let alone ones that would repeat 4 times in the very first room of the game.

I'm also generally against modern style Side Quests in "retro" style RPGs because they almost always break the tone. Retro RPGs are about grinding enemies and following the story, modern RPGs tend to feature more "moral choices" and give you some leeway in how the narrative unfolds. It doesn't really add a lot in a game like this, though it could if you were going for something more open-ended like the NES installments of the Ultima series.

I am ESPECIALLY against your interpretation of Side Quests because so far they're so totally seperate from everything else. I have to go to the menu to see what side quests are available and all I see are titles. It could tell you WHY you would want to do these, how you would go about doing them, a million things beyond just the title. It could also tell you when you've accomplished a side quest, rather than requiring you to check the side quest menu to see if you've accidentally solved a side quest.

Not to even get into how side quests like this are supposed to be some sugar to help sneak in the grinding. "Kill 10 Zubats to get 500 gold!" makes you feel a little better about wandering around the cave forever, you understand? Without some kind of benefit it's pointless, and you don't even have a "SUB-QUEST COMPLETED!" textbox and awful sound effect.

Also would like to add that this font hurts my eyes, is ten kinds of inconsistent and makes reading every textbox a chore. Please try to consider how much of your game is going to consist of reading textboxes and how easy your font is to look at when you choose a font.

...oh jesus christ, there's Ash from Pokemon Red as a walkabout, shameless as could be. I think that's enough commentary for one night, sorry it is predominantly negative.

I appreciate some of hte things you've tried to do, especially since you tried to do them without plotscripting (For whatever reason, I guess you like to make things difficult), but I feel like maybe instead of trying to build a whole game around it, you could've done a really cool and short tutorial of sorts, some kind of instructional thing to show how people can easily implement subquests with custom menus and tags. Might've gotten you more of the attention and praise you want rather than releasing a super unfinished build of what could be a very long game.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostFri Nov 01, 2013 1:39 pm
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Gizmog wrote:
It's the classic parable of the fat woman in the tiny pants.

"Do I look fat in this?" she asks, knowing damn well that she does. But she has some hope, some minor, crazy hope, that the response will be "You look smokin!" and that her failed diets and slimy makeup will win the day.


This is fantastic.
Cornbread Juice Games
Blubber Bloat
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 PostFri Nov 01, 2013 2:45 pm
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Chronoboy wrote:
Okay... Well since life is getting in the way of this game way too much, as I was suppose to release this and perhaps another game this year... I am going to release what I got currently as an unfinished alpha and have the community see it and judge it, and perhaps tell me of any bugs they find. I do plan on completing this game eventually, and it is so close to completion...

It will be on this forums "Games" section shortly and I will post a link to it in the first post of this thread for easy access.


IT IS ABOUT TIME! /runs off immediately to play it
dOn'T MiNd mE! i'M jUsT CoNtAgIoUs!!!
Play Orbs CCG: http://orbsccg.com/r/4r6x V
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