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[Devlog] A Scrap of Hope

A topic by UnicornTracks created Jul 20, 2017 Views: 129 Replies: 3
Viewing posts 1 to 3
(Edited 2 times)

A Scrap of Hope - 

Not all dreams are realized, not all wishes are finished. 
You play as Hope - one of those lost dreams in the world. Interact with the world around you, meet people who have lost their own hopes and dreams to fear, while trying to find out what sort of wish you were meant to be.


o/ Hello friends!

A scrap of hope is going to be a fairly tiny adventure in RPG Maker MV. I have zero experience with any RPG Makers at all, and am using my days leading up to the jam watching tutorials and hoping I'll learn enough to be able to google my way through.  I've never made a game before, so my goals for this jam are pretty simple.

I hope to make three maps, with 3-4 cutscenes (an intro, an outro, and either one or possibly two in the middle, depending on pacing), with 8 different conversation-cued encounters.

I will also need to customize the battle mechanics to reflect the themes of fear, anxiety and hope.

There are a few more things I'd love to add to flesh it out, but only if I  magically find time to do it at the end. This looks and feels like such a tiny amount of work on paper, but I also have experience with animating and know that sometimes it takes a solid ninety hours of work for a second and a half of movement, so I'm pretty committed to getting the foundation done before I worry about bells or whistles.

Visually - I will also be trying to make as many of my own assets/tiles as possible. I have very clear mental images of what sort of shape languages I want in this game, and I'm also imagining the main/middle map to be somewhat wonderlandeqsue, with a blend of manmade construction, mirrors, and heavy forest paths. I'm not too worried about the visuals - I know what I'm doing here, at least.

Because it's such a tiny little thing, I feel bad calling this a game, haha. I think it will be a very short moment in time for these characters, and I can't imagine it will take very long to get through. But I'm also very aware of my limitations and how much I have to learn, so I hope it'll be a nice moment in time, and I look forward to seeing you all on the other side!

ETA: Oh!! I forgot to mention - I am SO very open to concrit. If you're following along with me making this game, and you notice that I'm doing something poorly, or inefficiently, this is my blanket statement to please, feel free to tell me how I could do it better! I'm here to learn, and I guarantee you I will be doing things wrong. That how I've learned everything I've ever done, haha, by doing it wrong first. If you know how to do it better, I'm all ears!

(Edited 1 time)

Subscribed and following, looking forward to your submission! You got a pretty solid outline for yourself, which definately helps. And since your asking for criticism:

"Not all dreams are realized, not all wishes are finished. 
You play as Hope - one of those lost dreams in the world. Interact with the world around you, meet people who have lost their own hopes and dreams to fear, while trying to find out what sort of wish you were meant to be. "

From this blurb, my main worry is pretentiousness. More specificly, your idea can work, but only if your characters have some sort of grounding. Go too abstract, and they're plot devices rather than characters. If they're just ideas, then what makes them important? Why should I care about these not-actually-people? They're not real people.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea. Actually, it's a great idea. The catch is what dreams are being lost. "I want to be an astronaut" is a lost dream, but there's a good case for not being an astronaut (the required military experience, the ridiculous education requirements, etc.). Compare that to "I want everyone I love to be happy", or "I want to walk again", or even "I want my son's killer to be punished". You have an opportunity to flat-out declare character motivations, but what do you want to say about it? When, if ever, should we give up on dreams? Why do people give up? Where's the line between hard and impossible?

Wherever you go with this, I'm interested to experience your POV. Can't wait to play!

If they're just ideas, then what makes them important? Why should I care about these not-actually-people? They're not real people

To a degree, this is something I'm already concerned about/aware of. I'm worried about how to make such a small little blip of a game be engaging, while not overextending myself.  There are certain things I want to avoid (backtracking, useless combat), but I also dont want something that just ends up numbing and boring to go through.

The majority of the "people" you encounter are actually going to be some version of a combat encounter. I'm not going to be trying to sell anyone on anything but the titular character, and one not-supporting but also not-quite-an-antagonist character.  Everyone else, while I want to show them some love, are also are probably not going to be much further defined than a  fear for you, the player character, to witness//to build on the player character as someone for them to resonate with. It's a selfish way to treat them, maybe, to put them there for Hope to reflect back onto herself, but that is the plan at the moment.  (If I have time, the encounters are the first and last thing I would devote every minute to to improving, to be honest, to try and give you more time and choices with them, but Hope/Other are the priority.)

Your point is a fantastic one. Hopefully as I go through development, you'll be able to tell me if I'm succeeding in engaging you with Hope, or if you feel disconnected from them.

As an aside from my own attempts - this was actually my only real critique after I played LOZ: A link between worlds. Mechanically, I thought that game was near flawless. Heart-wise, though. ....I was going through hell and back for people I spoke to one to three times, if even that many. I was really disappointed in how little time I was given to care about people who meant the apparent world to me.

I'd hate to end up a victim to my own critique, laughs.

Day one:

(note: all assets used are placeholders. I intend to replace as much of the visuals I can with my own art later.)

hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. My plan for today was to go into what I thought would be the most difficult and probably least enjoyable part of the process for me - the battle encounters. I don't enjoy whaling on things in games, and anything I ever make in the future has at least a 90% chance of me trying to subvert that.

This is true here, too. I went in to make a placeholder enemy, made the special item that they need to drop, and gave them their custom attack.

So everything is going fine, here. I go in to playtest, and it's working fine. The mob hurts themselves, and not you. That's exactly what I want. The problem comes in with Hope.

Apparently I can't remove her ability to attack without using plugins. Which, I found the plugins that make that possible, but I'm hesitating on the idea of jumping into using plugins for this. I kind of wanted to see how far I could go on my own steam. But I'm also not willing to sacrifice how I want these fights to go. If you choose to get into these encounters - Hope's only options should be to wait and do nothing, or to try and calm the mob down (healing them, but ultimately for less damage than they do to themselves. There's no way to stop the mob from taking itself out.)

Hope's ability to attack is an immediate wrench in my plans, and has me already thinking "well, those things I wanted to add on to the mobs if I had time should probably become plan a, instead."

What was that everyone was saying about scope creep, laughs.

So I'm putting a pin in that for now. I'll revisit the idea tomorrow, maybe, or the day after, and am moving on to try and make some actual progress.

I went from watching tutorials about making and implementing new skills to watching tutorials about variables and self switches. After the trouble with the battle (I had three invisible players after deleting the other default actors RPGM MV gives you...........) this was... disturbingly easy. Which makes me assume I've done it in the worst possible way, laughs.

The idea is that you begin the game in this small area, surrounded by mirrors. When you examine them, you get a small snippet of Exposition, and a +1 to a variable. However, I didnt want the player to talk to the same mirror three times and progress, so I added in a self switch to make them give +1 and only +1.

After a few minor kerfuffles where I realized I had them on the wrong layer, it seems to work.

The fourth mirror is intended to actually be the antagonist, who speaks to you after you've had your Required Minor Exposition. I need them to leave, and open the way for you after that.

After the self switch A is turned on, the event is still there, because I dont know how to make it go away, but I made it lose its image and changed it so that the player walks through it. It exists, but it doesn't do anything. That feels messy to me, and I wish I knew how to clean up after myself so the event just stops existing, but you dont have any reason to come back to this map, so I guess its alright??

This is extremely silly looking with the statue bases instead of the actual npc, I kind of love it. The stone just. Ascends right to the heavens. Bye, stone! I will remember you fondly.

I'm still suspicious of how little fiddling I had to get this done, but at the end of the day, I think this is all of the actual mechanic required for the first, starting map.

Progress made:

*structure of the entry map mechanics is there for me to build off of
*already considering completely cutting the mob encounters for something that will take way too much time because I'm being Particular about how they look and work.