Fan-madeGame Creation StationZF Features

Gearing up for RPG making

I made a small series of RPG Maker MV Basic tutorials for beginners that I feel really good about. I’m preparing to start another series, but wanted to combine this with the result of having a tiny, but fully realized RPG when finished. The build-up and rundown for it so far is in a planning phase. Like the basics tutorial, I want this project to be tightly reigned-in – small scale.

The concept is based on a story-idea I’ve had in my brain for over 10 years now. Without too much backstory, it concerns two main characters in a world after most major events took place. They are the protagonists in the new age of a fantasy world built off a lot of Western fantasy ideas.

This is a small story that takes place within a huge world with a long history. What I plan to deliver is only a tiny slice of this world and its history. You won’t get a complete picture of the world and events that took place before this one, but you should get a deeper sense of realism; knowing this is not a bubble with nothing outside of it. I find it important to do more world-building in a notebook and the actual story I deliver is much smaller – that creates a sense of realism for players and viewers in any medium. You don’t see it, but you know there is much more and feel how alive and real the world must be. It’s kind of like The Hobbit. You read the Hobbit and it’s a small adventure to fight a dragon, but you realize there’s so much very real in the world that wasn’t in the story – until you read The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

This RPG will be based on a book-idea I had that was meant to be a fun adventure the two main characters have – originally without anything too momentous happening.

My main characters start out very flawed. Mobly is a Human that everyone else thinks is a Wizard. Abernacky is a Dwarf with anger-frustration and obsessive compulsive disorder. They’re both somewhat selfish and low on taking responsibility for themselves.

With the story-side of things mainly taken care of, I can concentrate my time and efforts on further learning RPG Maker MV, finding resources, learning new tricks and building the game. I originally intended the scope of the game to take approximately 1-2 hours to get through, with perhaps a healthy amount of side-content.

The graphics

Aesthetically, I really like the graphics found in the RPG Maker VX Ace DLC pack Time Fantasy. I really like the pixel-quality. I also really like the character sprites. They feel more proportional to me, as well as being detailed and able to physically convey a wide range of emotions. I also think they’ll mesh well with my theme that is predominantly a Westernized fantasy setting.

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Gameplay aspects

I didn’t plan anything crazy-new or groundbreaking. I intend to use mostly stock assets that I may recolor or slightly alter if the time and work investment is low enough. I did have a few bullet-points that I really want to have in the RPG concerning music, a one-time, in-game event and voice-acting. But what’s great about developing a game and in RPG Maker is that I can just make the game with the basic stock assets and no frills and then, if I see fit and have the means, I can alter and add in more stuff.

I’m a fan of having a short, simple musical hook that can be used throughout the game in any arrangement. I also favor the idea of having some kind of special moment in the game. I think everyone can remember the opera-scene from Final Fantasy VI. I’d like to develop my own moment. I don’t know if it would be possible or even fit, but I am a huge fan of the movie House of Flying Daggers. In it, there’s a scene where two sword-fighters are going at each other as the camera zooms out to a panoramic view and starts circling the little fighters below. As the camera makes its way around, the seasons change. You watch as the colors of the leaves on the trees change from oranges¬†to greens, to covered with snow. There are numerous inspirations, but that’s an idea of what I mean by creating a moment.

Obstacles

Time is a big obstacle. I work a full-time job that not only is full-time, but takes a large investment to perform my duties. I can’t just anxiously watch the time, clock out and run home as if work no longer exists. I have to be mindful, take work-notes and keep up on things. I also am constantly trying to better budget my time and life(which I usually always fail at) to fit in my ongoing Zero Friction and YouTube shenanigans, and still find time to just deflate and have fun free-time.

Making the game the way I’m choosing to will mainly make it time-consuming, but there are some obstacles I need to get past for some stages of development. I need to learn many more aspects of RPG Maker MV. The basics tutorials I made can actually suffice to make a complete game, but I am going beyond them a tad. I’ll be moving into creating my own database items, enemies, stats and so forth. The graphical style I hope to use will also be a hurdle as they do not fit in the default tile-size.

As small as I’ve tried to keep all my ideas, it still paints a large and time-consuming development picture. The game will likely only have 3 or four major locations. Yes, that means 3-4 major maps only. I do want some micro-locations within these maps as well. I’m thinking of having a small stable-area right at the entrance to one of the major cities and a barracks with a few separate rooms.

I’ll also be experimenting heavily with altering the menus, dialog windows and other display elements. I have a moderate amount of graphic design skills that should aid me in that area.

Be on the lookout for more posts as I start developing the structure of this game. I’m very excited and hopeful about it.

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Jeremy Stratton

Jeremy Stratton

Jeremy's lived long enough to see his favorite games making a comeback in High Definition and Indie games with old-school ideals. He also loves cooking and photography.