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A member registered Dec 17, 2015 · View creator page →

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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.

A few bugs I discovered while playing, starting with the most major one:

  • Was using a PS4 controller on macOS Sierra, and while it is capable of switching between keyboard and controller on the fly as inputs are detected, if the PS4 controller is ever unplugged and plugged back in, no more inputs will be detected on it until the game is fully turned off and on again. Not sure if this happens on other machines/controllers.
  • If the jumping spider that chases you around the first area jumps past your crossbar vine, it appears to jump underneath it, layering wise, which looks strange.

and a couple of harmless visual bugs I can't seem to recreate:

  • Late in the tutorial, upon using my third charge the of crystal seed, 5 crystals seemed to pop out, but after landing only 3 of them stayed. Haven't seen it happen since though.
  • Another time while using a crystal seed in one of the safe areas, the crystals that popped out had their shadows layered in front of the crystals themselves, producing a dark shape on top of them, as opposed to behind them. I also saw this happen only once.