The Nestle is going to be my first game ever, but I have had this idea for a long time, not necessarily for this medium. In high school I was thinking about what my ideal afterlife would be, and I came up with a place called "The Nestle" that is a cozy, redwood and moss-filled forest with little screens you can find everywhere that tell you the stats of your life. (I.E. How many times you said "catnip", who had a crush on you in third grade, which food you ate the most) It supposed to be a comforting, soft place with nice light.
So, I decided to make a game from there, and it developed. I will be doing it in RPG Maker VX Ace.
You play a recently deceased person, Seph Stuttle (working name), who has just arrived to The Nestle. Through the game, you not only find screens that tell you little tidbits about your life, but also reminder notes to get certain items (popcorn, balloons, punch). You wander and take in The Nestle as you put together the items you find, only to run find someone else and find out that you accidentally set up your own welcome party. It turns out that your past lives, specifically the person who had your soul before you, Leo, had left those notes around as reminders for themselves! Then it's adorable ghost party time. You can talk to some of your past lives and find out more about your afterlife and reincarnation. Finally, you get access the screening room (a big overgrown screen with some movie seats among the ferns) and see that you can watch the lives of everything you become reincarnated into.
The game is really about the feel of this afterlife and showing a nice, pleasant way to spend death. I want to focus on atmosphere and a high amount of interactivity with the fact screens you find. The screens will have clickable things to see and root around in. For example: the first screen you run into tells you your name and all of your nicknames you ever had in life. If you click on the nicknames, you get to see who gave you the name, at what age, and why. I need to figure out how to do these displays (that may end up with many branches).
You also do simple item collecting and combining, so I will need to figure out an inventory function.
The end involves dialogue with your past lives at your party.
I plan to do all of the art for this, as I know exactly how I want it to look. I am trying to figure out how to work with sprite size in RPG Maker, because I want a sprite that is a bit taller than the single square, and what I have researched is unclear.
I think I want to do parallax backgrounds because I need the areas to look very specific ways. I've been reading up on that. (First it will be roughed out color areas.)
My brother is actually writing the music for it. There will probably be one main song and then also an opening song, title screen ambiance, and then a song for one specific room. I have a song inspiration document here, along with a generous amount of forest pictures (ha).
Questions That Have Come Up (for reference)
- How do I get a picture to appear from a found note and then disappear with the second action button click?
Should I do parallax backgrounds with transparent tiles?
- For much later: animated sunlight through the trees? How much can I do with animation?
- Can I have the characters talk with word bubbles above them instead of the rectangles?
I have been taking a lot of brainstorming notes and sketches, and also did that song mood document, linked above. I will post my notes tommorrow because it is late and my scanner is loud.
Today I started messing with RPG Maker and laying out the first area simply with generic tiles so I can work on adding events. Ruby is cute code, I like the @, it feels like a ridiculous addition compared to the code I've worked with before.
Good luck everyone!