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View topic - [WIP] SMS : RPG by cireza

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  • Joined: 27 Feb 2023
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[WIP] SMS : RPG by cireza
Post Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2023 4:37 pm
Hello,

After making a few posts in my previous topic for the Sword of Stone (a Game Gear game which development is complete), I decided to create a dedicated topic for my ongoing project.

This is a Master System game this time, so quite a bit more challenging ! I am still working with the same tools that work perfectly well, including devkitsms provided by sverx.

The game will not be your traditional RPG with stats, grinding etc... It will be instead story oriented, just like my previous game, but I will be getting a step closer to a more traditional formula. Even though grinding is something I will never put in my games lol.

You will play as Ashla, a young woman with purple hair (reason = that's because I was frustrated with my previous game and could not include purple anywhere). The setting will be futuristic and humanity will face challenges. Three different factions will emerge and soon in the game you will have the possibility to join any of these three, leading to an entirely different story line and progression.

Some places will be visited by all factions of course. Each will have good and bad endings. Once again, the progression will be guided by the skills you have, and it will be up to you to understand where you can go. This is a way to set the player on a right path without killing exploration, and something that is important to me.

The outside world will be a single map with scrolling (a novelty for me ! it was challenging to make work smoothly enough in C). Towns and dungeons will be fixed screens, in the same style as the Sword of Stone.

Battles will happen every time you change from a type of terrain to another : this is how I control progression. Some random encounters will happen on top of this. There will be a rudimentary inventory, simply to track key items and materials. I am not planing on equipment and complex management.

Battles will have a side view with some animation for the characters. Enemies will be fixed. They will not be your standard battles. Each enemy will have one to three weaknesses that you will have to hit in a single turn. Fail, and you are forced to escape and go back to the previous terrain. Or to exit the dungeon. There will probably be turns of rising difficulty for bosses and bigger enemies, everything is not set in stone yet.

Once again, I implemented Variable Width Font for the text, with two types of letters : discussion and narration. The book, which is the narrator, will always use the italic presentation with a beige color. The characters and NPCs will use the straight letters with a grey color. Speed is good enough on the real hardware and the text is nice on a CRT. Text and portraits are displayed on top the map : the VRAM is full.

I also implemented teleporting from the worldmap to the dungeons, so there is a good basis here. There are still a lot of things to do !
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  • Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2023 5:05 pm
Looks very interesting. I really like your art.
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  • Joined: 23 Jan 2010
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2023 5:29 pm
So, do you like purple? You is a space mutant. I will call Bart Simpson, LOL. Great graphics. Interesting plot. I dont liked a bit of battle_poc (capture 174.png) screen because it seems "simple" but i think yet is a preliminary scheme.
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  • Joined: 27 Feb 2023
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2023 6:07 pm
Thanks.

Battle visuals are not finalized yet indeed.
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  • Joined: 02 Mar 2011
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2023 6:40 pm
Hi, I am very interested! I like that purple. In my opinion, it would be very interesting to release your game with a language selection option with flags, like some later SMS games. I can help you with Spanish if you want.

Regards.
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  • Joined: 15 Aug 2019
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2023 11:42 am
I think I've seen some of your work shared on Twitter, looks great!!
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  • Joined: 27 Feb 2023
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2023 3:40 pm
8BitBoy wrote
I think I've seen some of your work shared on Twitter, looks great!!

I don't have a twitter account so it must have been someone else !
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Post Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2023 9:15 pm
Amazing! Fantastic!

You guys really make me happy with these things
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2023 8:46 pm
Très prometteur et superbement bien réalisé. Bravo :)

Very promising and extremely well done. Bravo :)
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2023 1:53 pm
Sharing a quick update after completing my first background and monster. Everything fits in memory, so that's good.



The monster will be fixed, the character will be animated when attacking. I have currently completed attack animations for 2 characters out of 7. This is taking quite a bit of memory, but there are several ways to gain space if it becomes a necessity.

I have also worked on the design of my towns. Here are some basic templates used to validate my work. I can now move on to creating the actual town maps.






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Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:09 pm
Oh, wow...
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Post Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2024 1:41 pm
Hello,

Sharing a small update on my progress. Most of the battle logic has been coded. It will be a simple logic without stats etc... You simply have to hit the weaknesses of the enemies, and then you can progress. Each time you get a new character, a new weakness is unlocked. This process might lead to being unable to battle enemies once that the team becomes bigger, and is part of the fun of understanding where to go :)

Everything has been implemented in order to deal with the various teams you can have etc... I simply have to create the new enemies and backgrounds, there is still work to do on that part. Pixel-art takes a ton of time.

I completed 3 enemies and backgrounds. SFX have also been created and the characters animations are implemented as well. Two characters are completely drawn, so 5 remain. I have just started the third one. I also implemented a blinking effect on the enemy. With three parameters R / G / B I can pick which color to push to the max, so the enemies blink while keeping their actual gradients, which I think looks good.







And here are the three completed backgrounds and enemies :







Backgrounds are 7 colors so that's a bit challenging. Enemies use the remaining 9, and I can blink these specific 9 colors.

I still have months of drawing ahead of me before I can really dig into implementing town/dungeon maps and the story.
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2024 5:37 pm
Hello everyone,

It has been 2 months and I thought I would share a few details in an update. I am actively working on the game of course, and many things have finally found their place in the overall game-design.

Battles have been fully implemented. This is an asymmetrical battle system, which means the player attacks while the monsters mainly defend. They can attack as well. The goal here is for the user to manage stamina for his entire team, in order to explore as much as possible.

Enemies can attack, which reduces stamina, otherwise they will build on defense, which means adding a new "coin" that needs to be destroyed. Using the right weakness, you can take out a coin in one hit. Each battle will be about you thinking "What is best way to take out the enemy fast so I can explore a bit more".

Enemies can eventually escape as well, and they will spend turns not doing anything. Because in these battles, you pick 1 character and do 1 attack, and then it is the turn of the enemy. This is not like your usual RPGs where you play all characters (I don't like doing the same things as others anyway ^^).



I have also been making new backgrounds, attacks and enemies so I am sharing a few screenshots. You will see that I am trying to maximize these 16 colors as much as I can (7 for the background, 9 for the enemy).









The game will let you play Ashla (the main character) and pick two characters you want among six. Each will have strengths that will make easier exploring some places. There are three stories to be told here, and the branching paths are at the very beginning of the game. At least, this is how it is planned.

Portraits and characters on the map have been finalized. Being able to pick any character for slot 2 and 3 means that there was a bit of challenge in how I handle my visuals as each character comes with his dedicated 2 colors (sometimes in slots 12 / 13, sometimes in in 14 / 15 of the sprite palette).

This is a bit off-topic, but exploring the possibility of having a choice of characters with dedicated colors made me understand clearly why this almost never happened in games, and developers always relied on a "joker" palette of 15 colors + transparent, even up to games like Phantasy Star IV (and I myself did in my first game).



Now that my battles are fully coded, I will work on NPC interaction in the maps as well as the Shop/Upgrade menu.

Also thanks to sverx and Maxim who suggested compressing visuals, I have added compression on all backgrounds, enemies and characters, which saved a lot of rom. It was very easy to implement thanks to the support in the BMPtoTile and devkitsms, so thanks a lot for the great tools.

I hope this was of interest :)
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2024 8:29 pm
Looks gorgeous, and your gameplay ideas sound very interesting. I like how you mix and match the parts for the different backgrounds pictures. Your character art reminds me a bit of Hergé, which is very unusual and I don’t think I’ve seen the likes of it in a video game, well, ever.
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2024 11:55 am
Kagesan wrote
Looks gorgeous, and your gameplay ideas sound very interesting. I like how you mix and match the parts for the different backgrounds pictures. Your character art reminds me a bit of Hergé, which is very unusual and I don’t think I’ve seen the likes of it in a video game, well, ever.

Thank you for the kind words :)
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  • Joined: 25 Jul 2007
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2024 12:11 pm
This is a gorgeous-looking game, great work!
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2024 12:20 pm
Can't wait to play this, cireza - keep up the outstanding work!
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2024 5:34 pm
Thanks !
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