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[Devlog] [RPGMaker] Language Barrier

A topic by Tyclev created Jul 25, 2017 Views: 70 Replies: 2
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Language barrier is a single quest, primarily linear RPGmaker game about misunderstandings.

My goals for the jam, time willing and sorted by priority, are:

  • 100% unintelligible text, interface, and dialog. Good luck figuring out how to save and load!
  • 2 endings and a "gimmick" involving taking special actions during a couple key battles.
  • Two towns, and a castle throne room.
  • At least one area with random encounters.
  • custom, monochromatic art for the majority of the game.
  • custom music, composed in PXTone, which I have poked at a little before this.

I have never used RPGMaker before (I primarily use GMStudio 2) so I'm figuring stuff out as I go.
Due to the unreadable nature of the final game, quite a bit of care will need to be taken for character animation and related scripting, as the player needs to at least vaguely understand how others are reacting to them, hopefully without using emote bubbles as a crutch. Regarding dialog trees, I'm thinking that the protagonist, if asked a question is only capable of nodding yes or no, and the only idea on what you're responding to is your best guess based off of context.
I already have a storyline drafted out in a document that should be bite-size enough for a gamejam entry, that with additional context gained through the secret ending, seems like it could be pretty neat.

How dev has been going so far:

I entered this jam with the plan of using hand drawn art on physical paper for the sprites in game. This was going to be done by printing out the default sprites, putting 'em on a light box, and tracing over with Sharpie to then scan back into the computer. However, it appears that VXAce only allows tiles to be 32x32, which seems too small for the hand drawn nature of everything to show up. Probably will still draw a few that way and post them here as a proof of concept, but alas. Gonna redraw on the computer using or something and see how that looks, monochromatic. Maybe a bit like OFF.

Initial plan for text ruining was to open up the game files, find the sprites for each letter, and re-draw them with custom symbols. I quickly discovered that no, the game uses actual font files, as microsoft word would. Currently investigating if I can find a font type that renders text unreadable, and if not, replacing all text with mojibake is an option. (Wingdings might make a good placeholder, but is too silly and well known for what I'm going for)

Delicious videos:

Opening the editor for the first time, and throwing events and interactions at it to see what happens to get a basic feel of how RPGMaker functions. There's a lil more added since this was recorded, I'll see if I can grab that too.

Rough draft of the opening of the game, after the first day of development.

More dev logs will be posted pretty frequently, gotta help a few people move furniture over the next few days, so not perfectly sure if I can hit daily updates.

I think that covers everything.


Nice work!!! This looks really good already and I love the style that you've gone with for the art. This will be one of the games I'm really looking forward to playing at the end!


ohhh i like the idea of using some hand-drawn art similar to OFF's style. this also sounds like it will be a tough and interesting design challenge to implement so if you get the chance you should definitely make sure to playtest with people!