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Red Slime
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Oh(r) Memories! 
 PostWed Feb 13, 2008 9:03 pm
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(I already posted this message on Castle Paradox but I'm interested in hearing as many people's experiences as possible so I'm posting it here too.)

So I was just looking at the OHR development timeline on hamsterrepublic and I realized how long I've been working with this engine(and how little I have to show for it). Check it out here if you haven't and you're interested. Anyway, just out of curiosity, I wanted to run an informal poll to get an idea of how long everyone's been using the engine. You can also talk about your first game, what you learned, whatever else you want to talk about that's unrelated to this conversation. Go nuts. I just want to reminisce a little.

I don't know if anyone's interested in it but whatever....

I started using it in late 1998 or early 1999. I can't put a finger on it, but it's definitely in that area, since I remember making a couple of Star Wars Episode 1 fan games before the movie came out. Then the movie came out and I was ashamed to have even made them. I redesigned one game shortly thereafter so that every enemy you killed looked like Jar Jar Binks. That was fun for a while but I never released anything to this day (that I can remember).

The first game I did was sort of a Smash Brothers type of RPG, with all the characters from every popular video game I could think of. It had really bad graphics compared to what I can do now and absolutely no regard for battle balance or fun. When I first started designing games, things like "Extra hits" and "Extra damage" seemed like a good idea, and having really high stats seemed to make sense. I've learned a lot since then. Anyway, after a while, I took a little break from game making (as I need to do from time to time) but kept up with the community to see what was going on.

I started getting better with graphics (not good, but better) and began making a game I actually took seriously. In fact, I took it so seriously, I simultaneously started designing a sequel before I'd even finished a demo of the first. The games were called Eternal Epic and Eternal Epic 2. Basically along the lines of a Final Fantasy type of game (perhaps obvious from the title). The graphics of EE2 were rounding out to be better than EE1 so I scrapped that one and just focused on EE2.

A little before that I'd started to actually talk in the community a little under various user names (eventually settling on Optimus) and found out about a company called Red Murdock. I saw how much work they were able to get done by focusing on the things they were good at and helping each other with their games so I decided that I'd make my own company and make it kind of a game maker guild, where we'd have one main project that was the product of everyone's ideas and everyone could help with each other's games. That was called Black Sun Productions. It worked well at first, then participation started to dwindle and it fizzled out. We were working on a project called Eternal Epic (which was actually completely unrelated to the original Eternal Epic but I wanted to keep Eternal Epic 2's name for some reason so we titled it that). My experience working with those people was pretty good and I feel like it helped out a lot.

But the best thing that came of that company was the reviews that were written. You see, I also conceived that the site would work as a review site, sort of a rival to RPG Online. So I started writing reviews and playing A LOT of games. And in general the response to the reviews was good. Some people didn't like it when I would give their game a bad review but I called em like I saw em. Other members started doing reviews too and in general the response to the reviews was good. The response to me hosting games without asking was not as well received and I eventually opted to shut the site down since I was getting flamed every day for probably two weeks. Lesson learned. A while later I got flamed big time when I got into a politically charged discussion and eventually left the community for a few of months.

When I got back into it, I changed my name and just started from scratch. The Zantetsuken boards only lasted a couple more months and the community seemed to be in limbo for a while so I lost momentum too. The times of the Zantetsuken board really were the most productive times for the engine (in my opinion).

I came back around 2003 and was participating in the community but not making games. In 2004 or so that urge reawakened and I started again, but this time I wanted it to be great. I held the game to such high standards but had so little planning that I couldn't get it off the ground. I started again in 2005 and swore I would release a demo in 6 months and even planned some things, but again, I didn't plan enough so that fizzled yet AGAIN.

So now I'm back in it, mostly in the planning phase. And I vow this time to make the planning phase last as long as it has to and not to get ahead of myself so that I stall yet another time. At least every new feature the engine adds inspires me to work, which is great. James Paige is my hero.

Some things I remember that I want to share:
-Moogle1's Mystic Sky was so innovative I wanted to wet my pants. For those who weren't here that far back, it always seemed to me that Moogle1 was pushing the limits of what the editor could do.
-Memoria was just an awesome game. It was doing plotscripting before plotscripting existed.
-Ends of the Earth was a completed game that actually felt complete. That game gave me hope that I could finish a long game. Hasn't happened yet but I'm hoping it does some day.
-Chenzi gave me a lot of crap for giving a bad review to his game Bahamut's Breath. If I remember correctly, the score was in the high-70's or low-80's out of 100. Seemed like an overreaction to me.
-Evil Dead was HARD.
-There were way to many unreleased games on the Top 30.
-Fantasy Under a Blue Moon X was an awesome game with a weird title.
-I definitely didn't appreciate Monterey Penguin as much as I should have.
-Sheep Rancher was the first game that made me realize how powerful plotscripting could be.
-Not sure how many people have even heard of this game but Siv: The Journey of an Egg was just nuts. It didn't even seem like an OHR game.
-Remember when battlescripting almost happened?
-Remember when HamsterWheel almost happened?
-Countless communities games have been tried and failed. It's a shame because I think the combined effort of all of us could make something good. But someone really has to spearhead the initiative.

Anyone else want to share their OHR experience? You don't have to go as far as I did. Also, just out of curiosity, was anyone here a member of Black Sun Productions?
Super Slime
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Re: Oh(r) Memories! 
 PostWed Feb 13, 2008 9:52 pm
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the drizzle wrote:
-Moogle1's Mystic Sky was so innovative I wanted to wet my pants. For those who weren't here that far back, it always seemed to me that Moogle1 was pushing the limits of what the editor could do.


You mean so sliming slimy that you wanted to slime your pants, right? I guess I don't give it enough credit. I remember Mattgamerr giving the game something like a 40% review on RPG Online, which was a reality check for me and one reason I abandoned it. The innovative parts were great, but the rest was awful.

Quote:
-There were way to many unreleased games on the Top 30.


I had a few.

Quote:
-Sheep Rancher was the first game that made me realize how powerful plotscripting could be.


The script for SR is so incredibly simple. I think the reason it established itself as a plotscripting gem is that there weren't any at the time and the game in general is good. I made the game in about a week and around the same time made Scary Game in under a month and they're still usually referred to as my best games.

Quote:
-Not sure how many people have even heard of this game but Siv: The Journey of an Egg was just nuts. It didn't even seem like an OHR game.


Siv was released during a time when I maintained that you couldn't do a sidescroller with the OHR; this despite that I had already successfully made a Secret of Mana clone, faking pixel-movement. The fact is, you couldn't separate Y-velocity from X-velocity, but Demonheat/Retrogamer/T-Spade/whatever he was back then pulled off a working sidescroller anyway. There are much better sidescrollers around now -- Trailblazers and SG3 have very smooth scrolling -- but Siv is a work of art.

Black Sun, if it's the site I remember, had the ugliest site design. The reviews were all right, but there was a different GIF background on every page, often clashing with the font color and rendering the site unreadable.
Mega Tact v1.1
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Wizard Blocks
 
 PostWed Feb 13, 2008 10:39 pm
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I remember Black Sun. It reviewed my first newbie game and (obviously) gave it a crap rating. :P

I started back around 1997/1998. I was only nine or ten at the time, and I discovered OHRRPGCE because I found a link for it through Ambrose's Games Page, which was from a link from some Klik and Play site. I checked it out simply because the engine had the word 'hamster' in it and I love hamsters.

So I started and followed the tutorial rather vigorously, and created Duke's Quest I in a week while I had a cold with a really bad cough. I never released it at the time, and went on to make more sequels for it. I eventually got a Geocities site and posted it up on there which, is where I think Black Sun found it from.

Then I eventually came to make the first version of Xerian, and it got bashed promptly by Chaos Nyte. I did two or three remakes, each one much better than the last, but never did release it (this remake thing was inspired by White Owl). Then I worked on Kitty's Story - Beginnings during a summer vacation, but never finished it either. At that point, I was just kind of tired of the OHRRPGCE, (that and the fact no one ever gave any comments about my games) and just stopped making games altogether.

Then I found out the OHR went Windows, and got excited all over again. I finished The Eight Granasties which, is my first finished product, but people didn't like it. Disappointing, but I could see why. I made a couple of other short games, while working on my current project, Bloodlust. It's the first game I decided to have a serious dark theme for, and I guess I found my niche. I wasn't very good with humor so it's a good thing for me.

I plan on having Bloodlust to be my second finished project, and I honestly can't sleep at night because my body is tired to the point I get migranes, but my mind wants me to finish making Bloodlust. Once I finish it, I want to move along to other projects, although I'm not sure how they'll go.

I miss the older days when our community felt larger than it feels now. It's also amazing to think that the OHR has been around for over a decade, and that we have James Paige and a small team of developers who continue to improve the engine.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostWed Feb 13, 2008 11:00 pm
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I guess it started back for me in early 1999 when I moved from Atlanta to Rome, Georgia. I was searching for free games on AOL when it was back in its prime and found Fat Frog RPG. For some reason, I loved the game, and decided to contact Kumkwat Software and inquire how they created the game.

That is when I found out about the OHRRPGCE. During that first year, me and Timmy (next door neighbor, author of Bj's Peanut Adventure) worked on our first games. His was called Fred's Crazy Adventures in the Lost World and mine was Wendell's Quest for the Sacred Stones. After countless revisions of a not even playable game, I decided to scrap Wendel and help Timmy work on his game.

It was never released. We updated the graphics countless times but it got to the point where he did not want to work on it any more and I fell out of the loop as well. He released a five minute game called Bj's Peanut Adventure, and vanished from the community forever.

From there, I pretty much lurked the forums for years until last year when I decided it was time to quit slacking and actually create a game. I decided to start from scratch and finally finish the game me and Timmy worked on all those years ago.

That would be my game, The Omega, which is nearing its completion. Even though I have only been working on this version of Fred for about a year, it will be my first ever completed project since I started back almost ten years ago. In commemoration of the time Timmy spent in the community, I am also releasing a "fixed" version of the original Fred game with my game so one can see where I got my original idea from and how far it has come after all of these years.

Notable things I remember from the past:
- I am here now because of Fat Frog RPG
- I was the co-owner of the short-lived OHR FAQ site, along with Xerian.
- Me and Harbinger also worked some on a website that never went live for the community.
- It won't be long before I can finally say that I have contributed to this community.
Red Slime
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 PostWed Feb 13, 2008 11:28 pm
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Quote:
Black Sun, if it's the site I remember, had the ugliest site design. The reviews were all right, but there was a different GIF background on every page, often clashing with the font color and rendering the site unreadable.


I think the background was either plain white or black (I think black though). You might be thinking of something else. Or I might be remembering it wrong. There were a lot of OHR sites that had that problem at the time if I remember. If I had a copy of the site somewhere (which I might) I could confirm this.

Quote:
- I am here now because of Fat Frog RPG


I think a lot of people could probably say that. For some reason it was one of the most popular OHR games at the time in terms of number of downloads. I think KS had the right idea for distribution... which was "make it available for download on every download site ever and people are bound to download it."
Super Slime
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 PostWed Feb 13, 2008 11:40 pm
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EOTE had a huge download count, too. Valkayree put it on download.com and a few others.

I must not be thinking of Black Sun, then. You'd remember uploading a different background image for each page.
Mega Tact v1.1
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Red Slime
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 PostThu Feb 14, 2008 12:57 am
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Quote:
EOTE had a huge download count, too. Valkayree put it on download.com and a few others.


Definitely. I remember it having 10,000 downloads and that was like seven years ago. That's the highest download count I've heard of for any OHR game.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Feb 14, 2008 2:01 am
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I remember alot of that stuff.

When I first joined, I remember coming right when the 48 hour contest 2003 was going on. There were soooo many entries, and the community was so active, and Retro was making games and active. Now he's kinda gone.

I remember when Shadowiii left for his mission, and I could at least tell a significant drop in community participation after that. And then when Moogle came back from his and kinda hit the ground running with stuff. They might not think it, but there's a lot of people who have been very influential on this small community.

The coolest thing about this community is being able to make a portfolio of games and really watch and see how far you can develop if you just stick with it. Look at Fens, he wasn't always good, heh, some of his earlier games are great, but you can definitely tell the areas he's devleloped.

I dunno, for the 5 years now that I've been OHR-ing online, it's just crazy to see how much things have changed.
Red Slime
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 PostThu Feb 14, 2008 2:37 am
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i remember when making ohr games wasn't one big popularity contest
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Feb 14, 2008 4:05 am
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You're from waaaay before my time, then.
NO EAT
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Feb 14, 2008 12:21 pm
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I can't say it was ever a big popularity contest, it was just... being active with the community and participating in the events online.

If you're doing it as a hobby, you have to enjoy it, or else it'll seem like work and be boring as fuck.

But we're not that far off from your time Ruroni. I mean, the big community drop prolly happened in like 2005 and just got worse up until last year when people started giving a crap about the community.

Hell, I remember logging into CP and wondering why I did it, nobody was making anything, a good contest was very rare. They're still pretty rare, but the good ones linger around still.
Reigning Smash Champion
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 PostThu Feb 14, 2008 3:37 pm
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I am actually not new per-se. I lurked the three or four forums when I was much younger (after plotscripting was introduced and was already used extensively in Memoria when I began lurking). I actually came here because of an OHRRPGCE DBZ game that wasn't very good.

I remember when Paint Shop Pro was popular among the community, because Photoshop was simply too expensive, the GIMP wasn't around yet (I don't think, at least), and because Paint Shop pro guaranteed high quality blurry backgrounds for your game instead of eye bleeding MS paint squiggly lines. I'm surprised more people didn't follow Huk'd On Fonix' tutorial where you cut a background into a tile set and color it that way for a clear cut picture with fine detail.

I also believe Tsugumo's tutorial wasn't out yet, so some people (me included) abused gradients.

The one game I remember that others don't is a Sailor Moon game that was actually quite decent, or at least I remember it being decent. I don't know if that game still exists (it was hosted on RPG-something... I can't remember the site but it had a generic name that one could mistake for a general RPG site).

Another thing I remember from that RPG-something site was a mass of tutorials about stories, where story > everything. This philosophy combined with the fact that I was twelve ruined a paper and pen RPG session me and a friend tried to have, so I feel like a dumb arse about that.

Emphasis on story was probably why games like EotE were so well revered, even though the gameplay is outdated even by 80's standards.

To this day... I still have no clue what to do in Evil Dead. I heard it had 30 minutes of gameplay, and I remember getting stuck at 5 minutes.
 
 PostThu Feb 14, 2008 7:43 pm
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Fieron wrote:
i remember when making ohr games wasn't one big popularity contest

What the hell are you talking about?

Newbie Newtype wrote:
The one game I remember that others don't is a Sailor Moon game that was actually quite decent, or at least I remember it being decent.


I think it was called Pretty Sailor Moon RPG or something. I'm positive I know which one you're talking about and yes, it was pretty decent.

Newbie Newtype wrote:
To this day... I still have no clue what to do in Evil Dead. I heard it had 30 minutes of gameplay, and I remember getting stuck at 5 minutes.


Fight squidy things, fight tree (kill leaves, then kill face), save in shed, get paint, get axe, use axe on lightbulb, go outside, run to bushes and whack em, head onward, get stuff from bucket, get wood, get hammer from shed , build bridge at lake, get key, use paint on eye, head back, see ghost, end.
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 PostThu Feb 14, 2008 7:54 pm
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Quote:
Fight squidy things, fight tree (kill leaves, then kill face), save in shed, get paint, get axe, use axe on lightbulb, go outside, run to bushes and whack em, head onward, get stuff from bucket, get wood, get hammer from shed , build bridge at lake, get key, use paint on eye, head back, see ghost, end.
I am on my way to becoming a part of the community now!
Red Slime
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 PostThu Feb 14, 2008 11:47 pm
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Lonely Rolling Star wrote:
Fieron wrote:
i remember when making ohr games wasn't one big popularity contest

What the hell are you talking about?


if it wasn't, you wouldn't hold a personal vendetta against me because OMG I MADE A GAME YOU DIDNT LIKE Gonk>
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