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2D All the way! / RPG Suggestions? (2d)

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Kanzure
21
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Joined: 19th Feb 2003
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Posted: 24th Jun 2003 07:55
Finally, I have decided to actually make someting in DBC...an RPG! (wow..is this a big surprise? doesn't everbody?)

So far I got my tile engine, menu, health system, and a bit of character animation while walking. I don't need anything in particular, but I would love some feedback from some of the ppl in these forums that actually have tried making RPGs (or have done so).

What are the things to look out for? What things would somebody most likely mess up on? What should I worry about more - graphics or gameplay? Etc...Any help/suggestions/ideas is great appreciated.

(And no, I have no storyline. I am currently making an RPG skeleton for any future ideas that spring into my mind........)
~Morph
Owner of MultiCode.NET and Multi2k.NET.
Nothing is something, and something is then nothing. Life is an illusion.
XT001
20
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Joined: 25th Jun 2003
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Posted: 5th Jul 2003 06:13
i like the idea story and really thouht out charas to tell the story...and new concepts like a new battle system....

zenassem
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Location: Long Island, NY
Posted: 6th Jul 2003 22:25 Edited at: 7th Jul 2003 14:13
Things to watch out for (From my own experience)

1. Artwork: The artwork for an RPG can be intense. You may not think so at first. Most of the time you can get away with generic freebies for terrain tiles but all the little things take a ton of time. If you plan to download items, weapons, enemies, decor tiles from somewhere make sure that you find enough in the same scale (i.e. so that chairs, mugs, sprites, fit well together).

Rather than drawing transition tiles seperately, look at creating a tile-system that incorperates a fringing layer (if you need me to clarify just post).

2. Get an understanding on how to write a scripting interpreter: Believe me things (triggers,events,items,npc's get crazy right from the beginning). You need to have a way to place these things without having to re-type hardcode. Your engine will need to read these from a file.

3. Design document: You need to hammer out pretty much everything. My biggest problem was sticking to my decisions. It's hard not to look at the latest released RPG and say, "darn, we should do it this way". Changes like this will slow down your progress, and take away your own enthusiam over your project.

4. Stay on course: I spent a lot of time running around in different directions. At one point, instead of coding, I started learning Lightwave 3D because I wanted to create cut-scenes. It cost me a lot of time, and I realized that although I am good at drawing, it does not mean that I am good at 3D-modeling.

5. Do what your good at: RPG's are hard enough for people who know the language and have worked on many smaller projects. Do not start an RPG game thinking that you will learn as you go. It takes too much time that way. And by the time you learn things, you start realizing the code you wrote 6 months ago is all wrong. It can be disaterous... plus it will take so much time to complete the game that you and anyone else working with you will lose interest in the project. If you plan on learning create smaller parts by yourself before putting together a team. Understanding, that most of your early code will never make it into the actual game.

6. Keep your ideas realistic. Coming up with great Ideas isn't the hard part. But it can easily overwhelm you to combine all these features into an actual game.

Some other things:
7. Read everything about RPG design you can get your hands on. Don't write any code until you are 99% sure of what you plan to accomplish. Set realistic deadlines. And stick to them at all cost. If you have a group of 5 helping, plan on being the only one working on it after a month or two. People tend to fade out. Especially if they aren't paid professionals. Design the game from the beginning with the idea that you will be the only one working on it.


Dump your girlfriend.
Quit your job.
Tell your parents you will see them in two years.
Buy lots of Mountain Dew or JOLT!
Get used to eating cold pizza (from a week ago).
Plan on not having a tan.
Don't read about any new RPG games coming out!!!
Don't buy any new games!!!
Don't play any games once you have begun!!!


All of this will give you at least a 9% chance of completing the project.

LuciferX
20
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Joined: 16th May 2003
Location: United States
Posted: 7th Jul 2003 09:04
Wow, what a great idea.

i have an interesting little piece of code that generates random NPC conversations based on screen-play style script that you write beforehand.

Thus the characters speech is more non-linear, and also they can talk between themselfs as well as the player.

think that could be incorporated into a db program?

just an idea. keep up the good work

Kanzure
21
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Joined: 19th Feb 2003
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Posted: 7th Jul 2003 17:46
Hmm..I found that DBC wasn't good for my RPG needs, so I went to C++.


Now in my C++ engine, currently it is as far as my DBC engine..and I got their in less time @_@ (thats insane)..

Quote: "Dump your girlfriend.
Quit your job.
Tell your parents you will see them in two years.
Buy lots of Mountain Dew or JOLT!
Get used to eating cold pizza (from a week ago).
Plan on not having a tan.
Don't read about any new RPG games coming out!!!
Don't buy any new games!!!
Don't play any games once you have begun!!!"

1) Girlfriend? what girlfriend? ^_^
2) Job? I'm 13..
3) Don't we all wanna say that...
4) Eek..water will do. Or Capri Sun..
5) YAY!
6) ..what..is..a tan? (lol)
7) why?
8) ...i'm still waiting for a 2D rpg to be released lol
9) I like to see what has already been made, such as Secret of Mana, which is a GREAT game to copy from.

Also, I need peoples opinions to tile scrolling vs. tile by tile for character movement. I find that animating a character with tile by tile movement is wrather daunting (although I have completed it), but...my engine doesn't scroll right now!

Oh yeah, about #7 zenassem .. I *am* the only one working on it except for some niec tilers. Yeah, I know people tend to fade out. Actually..at the start of this project one of my friends said he would love to help and all, and then... well..about 4 days later when he saw I only had walking around on a square done, he started to fade. GRR! People don't relize u can't just say abra kadabra and have something done! Most *good* games that are released (not even 3D) are about 40,000 lines of code.
-- It took me around...hmm..4 months to get my WEBSITE To 13,000 lines of code. (Yes..I counted them all :p)

~Morph/Kanzure
zenassem
20
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Joined: 10th Mar 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posted: 7th Jul 2003 21:43 Edited at: 7th Jul 2003 21:48
edit:
I just now realized that your reference to #7 was to the first part of my post, not the latter listed items. OOps! Anywasy in case you also had a question about why I say not to read about new games, (After you Start)

Quote: "Quote:

Dump your girlfriend.
Quit your job.
Tell your parents you will see them in two years.
Buy lots of Mountain Dew or JOLT!
Get used to eating cold pizza (from a week ago).
Plan on not having a tan.
Don't read about any new RPG games coming out!!!
Don't buy any new games!!!
Don't play any games once you have begun!!!

1) Girlfriend? what girlfriend? ^_^
2) Job? I'm 13..
3) Don't we all wanna say that...
4) Eek..water will do. Or Capri Sun..
5) YAY!
6) ..what..is..a tan? (lol)
7) why?
8) ...i'm still waiting for a 2D rpg to be released lol
9) I like to see what has already been made, such as Secret of Mana, which is a GREAT game to copy from.
"


The reason why on #7 is as follows:
First, play all the games including RPG'S as much as you can before you start actually coding your game. It's fine to get ideas from games that are out. Once you are sure of what you want to do, and how you plan on doing, do not read about new games that are coming out.

The main reason: It slows you down from getting your game done.

Other Reasons: There will constantly be new games being released, and if you keep on seeing the newer games, you will get yourself thinking that you need to change your design. Minor changes are ok, but if you keep making major changes after you begin, you will never finish.

It's also fine to play games you already own, or simple games to have some fun. But if you go out and buy the latest game that takes a month or more (mmorpg), you will find yourself spending more time playing a game than writing one.

Everyone is different of course. But these are the things that stopped me from completing my game. Maybe it will help you to avoid the same problems.

Good luck!!!

LuciferX
20
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Joined: 16th May 2003
Location: United States
Posted: 8th Jul 2003 03:10
WOW! great choice!

why code in darkbasic if you can build tighter engine directly in directX!

i am very interested in building this type of 2d engine.
william@timewarpsoftware.net

ps. you can get directX free from microsoft at thier website (i don't remember the url )

Do or do not, there is no try. -Yoda
zenassem
20
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Joined: 10th Mar 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posted: 8th Jul 2003 05:03 Edited at: 8th Jul 2003 05:05
I am not trying to be negative, but if you are writing everything in C++, times my timeframe by 10 to a 100.

I use C++. I have created win32 apps. I have written my own directX wrappers. And I can honestly tell you that I can get things done in DarkBasic (even without knowing it inside-out, a 100 times faster). Never mind the debugging.

I'm not saying that it isn't a good choice. C++ has it's advantages. But IMHO for home-developers it can take a very long time to get even mediocre results. Even if you use a framework like Lamothe's (Trick of the Windows Programming Gurus) it can take tons of code and files just to get it the way you need it.

I commend you for taking on such a project. Like I said all of my suggestion will possibly guarantee a 9% chance of success...

The other 90% is persistance and dedication... And 1% for luck

If you stick with C++ take a look at the book in Lamothes series about "scripting" languages. Even in C++ you do not want to hard-code the entire game. Also, It is best to write your own tools, rather than spending months to learn someone elses, only to find that they...

1) Don't do exactly what you need them to do
2) Their interface is too clumsy and takes too much time to get done what you need.

As far as animation:
The way I handle it is to allow the character to actually move tile to tile in a smaller box than the entire screen (the actual size depends on your tile size). Then if the player reaches a certain limit (approx 2-4 tiles form the edge of the screen) you change the animation so that the tiles/world moves below the character, and the character doesn't move, but the walking animation runs him in place.

CrayZemon
20
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Joined: 16th Jun 2003
Location: United States
Posted: 9th Jul 2003 20:19
What he said...

"I need gopher-chucks!!"
LuciferX
20
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Joined: 16th May 2003
Location: United States
Posted: 14th Jul 2003 05:42
As far as animation:
the engine i have measures the distance from the center to the character and then the screen moves to center him again pixel by pixel, the farther from the center he moves the faster the ScreenMovementSpeed is (to prevent him from running off the screen even if the characters movement speed can vary)

and zenassem, as far as your miracle productive powers from DB, without even knowing it 100%, you seem to forget to mention that you have been using basic for decades probly, and all the first generation computers used basic and qbasic and gw basic and ti-99 basic 2, and probly had one of thoese TI calculators with basic II inside,

good point about using 3rd party tools and engines tho (present company (DB) excuded of course

Do or do not, there is no try. -Yoda
Kanzure
21
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Joined: 19th Feb 2003
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Posted: 16th Jul 2003 21:56
I use C/C++ w/ Allegro, so it just took the developement time in half . I already got a nice tile engine going, I'm putting in layers right now and trying to get help on a map editor (ugh pain!).

Quote: "As far as animation:
The way I handle it is to allow the character to actually move tile to tile in a smaller box than the entire screen (the actual size depends on your tile size). Then if the player reaches a certain limit (approx 2-4 tiles form the edge of the screen) you change the animation so that the tiles/world moves below the character, and the character doesn't move, but the walking animation runs him in place."


That was *very* helpful! thanx!

~Morph/Kanzure
CodeNation
Niall777
20
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Joined: 28th Jul 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: 29th Jul 2003 01:14
i think a really interesting game would include a real game time system, and a friend ability where you can make friends with people you meet. Or one where you can build an army! I know not very good help!

Niall .
Bishop
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Location: In my favorite chair...
Posted: 1st Aug 2003 08:22
niall777:
one of the coolest 2d rpgs was suikoden for ps1. you can recruit like 50 main guys, but you also get to raise an army. cool game!

"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live so when you die, the world cries and you rejoice."

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