Chronicles of Eldwyn

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MyGameCompany
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Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by MyGameCompany » October 7th, 2015, 10:11 pm

Hi everyone!

Some of you may remember that I started working on a RPG of my own a couple of years ago, before my health deteriorated and I had to close up my shop.

My business is still closed, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. I just can't take on the stress of running a business again with so much going on in my life right now.

However, my health has recovered to the point where feel like dabbling in game development again (just for fun). The RPG project I had started keeps calling to me, and I've felt compelled to resume working on it. I had to make a few changes though. First, I can't deal with any programming - my current full-time software job is almost more than I can handle. Second, I can't afford to pay for the art that my original isometric game design called for. So I abandoned the isometric engine I was working on and started looking at my options. In the end, I decided to use RPG Maker.

Yeah, I know. I wasn't a big fan of RPG Maker when I was writing my own game engines either. It's currently Windows-only, the screen resolution is pretty small, and the technology in it seemed very primitive (at least in the games I saw that were produced with it compared to other indie engines). But I did some research and played with it for a while, and discovered that with some freely available scripts and a little work, I can modify it to be fairly close to my original game design (except without the isometric view and a few other miscellaneous features). The big benefits for me are that 1) I don't need to do any programming, 2) there are tons of reasonably-priced graphic packs that I can buy to fit my needs, and 3) the artists on the RPG Maker forums have cost effective rates and can produce some custom art for me for key parts of the game without bankrupting me (like my main characters, certain enemies, and some scenery). And best of all, I'm able to focus on the fun parts of making a game - building the maps and writing the story/adventure.

The gameplay feels very much like a hybrid between the Eschalon games and Avernum, which is exactly the vibe I was going for in my original design. So I'm pleased with how it's turning out so far in RPG Maker, and I'm so excited about the project, I had to post here and share it with you (even though I'm just getting started on it).

I know some people don't like RPG Maker games at all, and that's ok. I'm not making this as a business venture. I'm making this first and foremost for me and my own fulfillment. But maybe someone here will enjoy it when it's done and have fun following its development along the way. If you enjoyed the add-ons I made for Eschalon, you'll probably enjoy the gameplay in my new project. (I think I may be able to deploy it on Mac and possibly Linux too when I'm done, so everyone will be able to play it.)

Anyway, here are few screen grabs of some of the early maps I've been building. As you can see from the third screenshot, there are lighting effects:

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And I've got a development blog over on the RPG Maker forums, if you're interested in following my project at all:
http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php ... -dev-blog/

I've recently posted a couple of videos there for the battle system I've been working on. Each video uses a different battle track, so you can hear some of the custom music I've commissioned for the game. (The soundtrack is pretty awesome! The musician I hired is doing an excellent job!) And you can see some of the different enemies, spells, and party characters I've created. There's also a brief synopsis of the game's story in my second post. And my first post goes into a bit more detail regarding my health history and why I closed my old business.

It will probably take me a couple of years to finish this, and I don't know what I'll do with it when I'm done (release it commercially or just give it away it for free). Right now I'm just doing this for fun. Thanks for reading!
Troy
Former indie game developer
Check out my Book III mods: The Mystery of Rockhammer Mine and Expedition into West Mirkland

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CrazyBernie
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Re: Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by CrazyBernie » October 8th, 2015, 9:26 am

Good deal!

A lot of people crap on the RM series for the resolution, but there are so many talented coders making scripts to do some pretty crazy stuff. You can make a full bore action RPG if you fish around for the right stuff... or an Adventure game a la Zelda. There's even a couple of isometric and Mode7 scripts out there (Layy Meta Engine, H-Mode 7 - both good examples coded by the same developer), but they don't seem quite as polished/complete (the dev doesn't update his project page very often).

It's crazy, you'd think they'd invest a little more in the isometric format. Did you look at Game Maker? I know it's more generic genre-wise, but there seems to be a lot more going for it if you're trying to get that isometric feel. Maybe you could hire some RM artists to make iso-art... 0_o

Good to see you're back fiddling with game design... here's to keeping healthy!

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Re: Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by Painted Lady » October 8th, 2015, 9:31 am

I am so happy to hear that you are back working on your RPG. It may not have the graphics you originally envisioned, but it looks aren't everything. I checked out your blog, and think you have the beginnings of a fun project. Please keep us in the loop!

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Re: Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by MyGameCompany » October 8th, 2015, 4:55 pm

@Painted Lady: thanks!

@CrazyBernie: I did take a quick look at Game Maker, but it looked like more work to set it up specifically for a RPG. I just wasn't up for that. I was initially bummed about losing the isometric view, but the RPG Maker view is growing on me. I've still found some creative ways to hide things on my maps, plus I think the simpler straight-on view is part of what makes the graphics cheaper to produce.
Troy
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Check out my Book III mods: The Mystery of Rockhammer Mine and Expedition into West Mirkland

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CrazyBernie
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Re: Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by CrazyBernie » October 8th, 2015, 7:50 pm

MyGameCompany wrote:@CrazyBernie: I did take a quick look at Game Maker, but it looked like more work to set it up specifically for a RPG.
You're right about that... it's in the name, after all. :mrgreen:

Make sure you look into some parallax mapping... it's a little more work, but the effect pays off in spades. Little touches like that will make up for the loss of isometric.

I dabbled with RM about 10 years ago with the intent of making a satire-ish RPG, and didn't get past a small intro. I picked up the RPG Maker XP/VX Ace super bundle they had on Humble Bundle a little while ago... but haven't gotten further than installing it at this point. I'd like to bust out a Harvest Moon/Rune Factory style game with more RPG'ing in it... someday. :roll:

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Re: Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by MyGameCompany » October 8th, 2015, 8:46 pm

They're releasing RPG Maker MV later this month, which has a lot of exciting new features. I probably won't be using it for this game, though, since I've already invested a lot in custom graphics and scripts for Vx Ace. But I've preordered it, and may use it for another game down the road.

I may tinker with parallax mapping as I go. But so far I've been able to build/import my own custom tile sheets and do some nice things in the editor, so I haven't had a need to do any parallax mapping yet. But that may change when I get to some of the other locations in the game.
Troy
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Check out my Book III mods: The Mystery of Rockhammer Mine and Expedition into West Mirkland

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Re: Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by blatherbeard » October 12th, 2015, 9:08 am

Good deal!! Glad to hear your going to revisit your rpg. I actually like the look of RPG maker, reminds me of the old FF game looks.

Heres to staying healthy and interested!

I agree with Painted Lady and Bernie, keep us informed!
The armies joined in a bloody battle on this fine day, then storm clouds broke, and it rained.

So they all went home.---Story knots within blatherbeards Beard.

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Re: Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by MyGameCompany » January 5th, 2016, 9:29 pm

Just a quick update - since RPG Maker forums are discontinuing their Member+ program (which allowed me to create a blog there), I've moved my blog to WordPress:

https://eldwynblog.wordpress.com/

I've been making good progress on the game. I've just about got everything set up in the database - almost all the inventory items, weapons, armor, skills, states, and enemies are ready to go. That includes all the enemy sprites and battlers I've collected or commissioned, custom skill/spell animations, and custom sound effects. I've also switched over to a new, more efficient lighting system, and I've implemented and/or customized the various systems I'll need for hunger/thirst, lock picking, camping, skill training, shops, random treasure generators, etc. I'm working on the crafting system right now - just posted a blog entry about that a few days ago, with some screenshots.

By the end of January, I should be ready to start building maps for my game world and implementing the story. Then the real fun begins for me!
Troy
Former indie game developer
Check out my Book III mods: The Mystery of Rockhammer Mine and Expedition into West Mirkland

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Re: Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by MyGameCompany » June 25th, 2016, 11:19 am

Just a quick update on my project, for those who are interested. I've been busy working on maps and story for the game. Progress was a little slow, since I had several big deadlines at my full-time job that required overtime during the past few months, and I had a 2-week vacation in April. Plus some of my initial progress was collecting tile sets for various geographic areas and deciding on the look I wanted, plus doing some tile editing in cases where I couldn't find anything pre-made that I liked. But I'm back on track, and cranking out a new map every 2 weeks or so.

Here are some screen grabs of some of the recent areas of the game that I've built:

Image

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The musician I hired is 90% done with the custom tracks for my game. The music is awesome, and sounds very much like Eschalon, but he managed to add some unique flair to it. The battle music is epic and the overland tracks have a wonderful adventurous sound to them. There are also some wonderful tracks tailored to specific races or people groups, like the dwarves, the Rover/gypsy camps, the elves, and the dragons. I've had the music on my iPod for awhile now, and I really love it!

In terms of the overall game content, I have less than 10% of it done so far. But hopefully progress will start to pick up now. I'd like to do a closed alpha by the end of summer with a select group of folks to get a feel for game balance and pacing, so I have a chance to make adjustments before cranking out the rest of the maps and story. The alpha testers will probably be mostly family, the musician and artists who have helped contribute to the game so far, plus maybe one or two other interested people who have no relationship to me or the project who can give unbiased feedback.

Anyway, thanks for reading!
Troy
Former indie game developer
Check out my Book III mods: The Mystery of Rockhammer Mine and Expedition into West Mirkland

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Kreador Freeaxe
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Re: Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by Kreador Freeaxe » June 25th, 2016, 8:13 pm

Nice!
---

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Re: Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by Prismatic Maelstrom » June 27th, 2016, 8:22 am

A couple of your tables seem to be missing legs. :D
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Re: Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by blatherbeard » June 27th, 2016, 9:43 pm

is the hunger thirst mechanic gonna be a pain or just part of the game?

I shut off hunger and thirst for the most part in most games cause im not a survival guy but if its not obtrusive im ok with it.

looking good my man keep us posted. just downloaded a bunch of games from steam along this line(grahically) and cant wait to try yours out.
The armies joined in a bloody battle on this fine day, then storm clouds broke, and it rained.

So they all went home.---Story knots within blatherbeards Beard.

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Re: Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by MyGameCompany » June 29th, 2016, 9:09 pm

Thanks, guys!

@Prismatic Maelstrom: yeah, that's an older screenshot. Those table legs have since been fixed. Good eye, tho!

@blatherbeard: the hunger/thirst system shouldn't be too annoying, but I'll find out when some other testers play it. It's not so much about survival, as it is planning. I mainly want players to think about what they need when they take a long journey, vs so many RPGs where you can just travel indefinitely without a care in the world. It adds an extra layer of strategy, without hopefully becoming tiresome. There are plenty of food and water sources along the way, and ways to carry or hunt/fish/scavenge what you need. You just don't want to get caught in a battle with huge hunger/thirst and have to fight at half strength.
Troy
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Check out my Book III mods: The Mystery of Rockhammer Mine and Expedition into West Mirkland

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Re: Chronicles of Eldwyn

Post by blatherbeard » June 30th, 2016, 8:25 am

Sounds like a decent enough mechanic then.

I played balrum where it was just annoying as hell til they adjusted it for wusses like me ;)
The armies joined in a bloody battle on this fine day, then storm clouds broke, and it rained.

So they all went home.---Story knots within blatherbeards Beard.

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