Over the weekend I had the highly entertaining experience of playing Fiasco with some friends. The games sells itself as “A Game of Powerful Ambition & Poor Impulse Control.” The end result of this aim is in practise, a bit off the mark but in Fiasco you have a powerful storytelling engine that makes players think creatively. You naturally expand upon the basic Setup to create a dark and very comic narrative for the characters you have crafted.
For a relatively simple RPG Fiasco has a surprising amount of depth and gives lots of room for the player’s to customise and expand upon their experience. Easily played over an evening the game leaves you wanting more. You wonder what would have happened if you made different choices or nudged the story and your character in a different direction. It is a game of possibilities and it will envelop you before, during and after you play.
I am now nearing the end of what seems like an eternal wait. Dragon Age: Inquisition is released in the EU this Friday! In the run up to the release I have been doing my due diligence and looking back at the first two games, preparing, getting everything ready and myself in the right mindset so I can step back into the lands of Thedas once again with ease.
This is going to be a lengthy piece so get a cup of tea before you go any further!
Like all of Bioware’s franchises Dragon Age is special to me. I initially struggled with Dragon Age: Origins past the Origins point and gave up on it. I figured that while it was a good RPG it just was not the right one for me. I had enjoyed it a lot but I was getting bogged down in the game’s clumsy UI and the various bugs made it a jarring experience at times. I put it to one side and added it to my eternal pile of shame. Then half a year or so later I decided to give it another go. (Mainly at the urging of the members of what used to the be the NowGamer Forums, we are now The Checkpoint, go check it out!)
This time I chose a different origin, Human Noble, and got stuck in. Finally the game gelled with me and I knew what mistakes to avoid in the early game. Also the UI while still terrible was at least usable by me now. Many hours, the Awakening Expansion and all the DLC later and I had seen and done everything that the game had to offer. I even took the time to check out the other origin stories. I embraced the setting, characters and lore. It was a game that taught me a valuable lesson, sometimes you just have to give things some distance and then give them a second try. Dragon Age was “this close” to being a franchise I was going to pass on and now it is one of my favourite IPs.
The choices in the game have weight to them, the characters are three dimensional and have their own problems outside of your main quest. Then there is the story itself which is a grand epic of twists, turns, betrayal, love and loss. The combat is very tactical and you have to really plan out what you are doing. It truly is a superb RPG. (One that really needs a next-gen Remastered Edition!)
Then came Dragon Age II…
It’s been a long while since I’ve done an adventure write up, also it’s been around two weeks since the adventure itself actually happened so the details are starting to get a bit fuzzy. Still I will try my best.
Anyway since my last time running any kind of tabletop RPG I’ve made a couple of major changes. One being I’ve moved systems from D&D 4e to Pathfinder and the other is to be a bit more relaxed with the rules. Both decisions have been great so far. Pathfinder being derivative of the 3.5 rules has taken me back to my youth and has allowed for better adventures, this is mainly because combat encounters no longer take hours to complete! The being less of a slave to the rules thing is more about everyone spending less time flipping through rule books and more about engaging with what’s happening on the table. Which again has proven to be a good decision especially with a group of new players.
We are go! Yup the game is finished and ready to play. YAAAAAAY!!!!!
You can grab the installer by heading HERE!
||Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7
||Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz or faster
||512MB or more RAM
So go get it, install it and play it. Then come back here and tell me how bad it is. Due to the time limit for the One Game A Month Challenge the game is in a very rough state but you can finish it do not worry. The stuff that needs fixing is mainly balancing and the stuff that needs adding is just extra content and materials to make the game more “complete.” So I will be working on an update for the game over the next week or so to get it in a shiny, super presentable state. For now I am happy with the current version of the game it hit all the key points and areas I wanted to explore with RPG Maker VX Ace and it was a super intense learning experience.
I’m super busy at the moment but I will be coming back here to update this post with all the proper thank you’s and info about the game itself after the weekend. Also keep an eye out for info on my next game for One Game A Month!
This has been my life for the past couple of days chained to my tiny computer desk (we will be using a bigger one again when we move….I hope!) with multiple screens and windows on the go. Unseen in the above photo is the laptop behind me that is running various builds of the game to check for repeatable bugs and errors to help me narrow them down. So while it is gruelling work at times it is still enjoyable the 28th Feb deadline is only a couple of days away and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know I can hit that day for launch if I just keep at it and that has me excited.
So while the rules for One Game A Month allow for a four day grace period to get your game out there and submitted to the site I am dead set on the 28th so that if the inevitable happens and I hit a set back I have plenty of time to deal with it. Part of hitting the 28th deadline is deciding on what needs to be done and dusted now and what can wait for a post launch update.
Woop! After much head scratching and writing down lots and lots and lots of names, I have settled on the awesomely pretentious sounding, Portalus Inferis. Deciding on a name also allowed me to check a couple of things off my list of To Dos for this project:
– Sudo-pretentious Latin sounding name CHECK!
– Japanese subtitle to make it seem “authentic” CHECK! (Japanese text hopefully reads as “A Simple RPG” )
– Logo creation CHECK!
– Custom image importing CHECK!
When making the logo I half followed this wonderful tutorial by rgansta on the RPGMakerVXAce.net forums. Well worth checking out to get the basics and for experimentation. While making the logo and eventually deciding on a background I toyed around with several additions to the Portalus Inferis logo. Mainly a portal looking like object behind the text.
In this video preview I take you on a walkthrough for Eastfold the major town for the Simple RPG and the starting point for the latter half of the game’s story.
I have also recently join the One Game A Month challenge and the Simple RPG will be my first game and game for February.
If you have any questions and suggestions please feel free to put them in the comments below.
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Now that I am back from my very brief but very eventful trip to Seattle and have spent a couple of days trying to get over jetlag (I say trying because I am currently writing this at 5am! YAY for messed up sleeping patterns!) it is time to get back to the business of attempting to make games!
Despite the hectic-ness and craziness of the trip I managed to get a fair bit of thinking and mental mapping done for the Simple RPG and a couple of other things I have in the pipe-line. The Simple RPG should hopefully only take a couple more weeks to finish then release for testing and feedback so yay! In the meantime I will be hopefully uploading one or two more videos about the game. One of a section in the latter half of the game and the other about me making the game and how I am currently using RPG Maker VX Ace. The second video will also have links to the various sites, videos, pdfs and tutorials I have been using to get to grips with the program because I am such a nice guy and I feel like sharing it with you!
One last quick video before I shoot off to the states for a break!
In this video I show off the battle system for my simple RPG and in turn one of the boss battles that will be featured in the game. I also talk about the game in general and my learning process with RPG Maker VX Ace.
During the video I mention wanting to change the look of the battle system to make it more….appealing visually. Well this morning I’ve been doing some searching around and I have found the perfect script for the changes I wanted to make to the look of the battle system.
I am now using the brilliant Ace Battle System by Yanfly
So it has gone from looking like this:
Character pictures, more effects and damage indicators. All able to tweak and change at my whims. PERFECT! It also means I have checked off the add extra scripts to the game box of my check list for the game. The processing of the turns and the displaying of battle information is still a tad to fast for my tastes but hopefully I should be able to edit Yanfly’s script to slow things down a bit.
Apart from that battling works the same way as it did before it just looks a hell of a lot better!
Just to show that I am making progress teaching myself how to use RPG Maker VX Ace here is a video of the intro for short game I am making as part of the learning process. I’ve been working on it solidly for the past week and I’m starting to put it all together. The latest complete section is this short opening that gets the ball rolling.
Like I said it is meant to be a short and simple RPG, so the story isn’t up to much!
…..and neither are the characters……
Still I am loving it and it is great to be working on an actual game with actual development tools.
I’ll be putting up more videos soon and eventually releasing the full game for download. So keep your eyes peeled!