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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Weekly Update: Beast Signer Sun 19th Jun 2011 10:50am

Category: Weekly Updates

Hello there. I'm currently still with my girlfriend, and while it's a holiday and a break and so on, we're not really the types to really do exciting activities with our time or go out much or anything so we spend a lot of time just using computers or playing games together and things like that. As such, I've been working on Miasmon a bit and planning things about what to do after that game is finished.

Firstly, Miasmon. Since people kept complaining about the new 'sunset' sort of colours, saying that they looked 'dead' and such, I've decided to just change them back to generic greens and blues and other Earth-like colours. Sigh. I suppose there are benefits from having familiar colours, and it makes more sense that the green plant-related monsters and skills in the game would fit with the actual environment.

I've not done a whole lot of actual work on it beyond that in the last few weeks; I've mainly just been making areas and tilesets, which don't take very long, especially since there aren't many of them. Most of the monsters, music, etc still need doing, but once I get back, I'll probably be able to work through such things relatively quickly.

But it's likely that the title of this post may have got your attention, so I'll explain that now.

Originally I was planning to go through my planned games one by one, doing the easiest first and just generally having fun with it... But I've been bothered lately by the thought that I still don't have any kind of consistent income or anything, and the knowledge that I'll have to contact sponsors for all of the games that I make, which is something that I'm never fond of...

So I thought that it was about time to use all that I've learned to make one of my 'bigger' games, one of the ones which I'd make money from directly either via memberships or in-game purchases or things like that. Something I'd update over time, rather than waiting for 100% completion before releasing it at all.

I've been wanting to do Fig Hunter Online for ages, since it seems like it'd be appealing to people. For those of you that don't know, or just to remind those of you that do, it would be mainly based around user-made content; there'd be a relatively simple Map Editor sort of thing which could be used to make entire Adventures (each one consisting of various areas full of monsters and NPCs with a plot and quests and such), which could be played through and rated and so on and so forth.

However, that's a rather big project and I'm not sure that I'm quite ready to do it just yet. The framework would have to be secure and solid, so then I wouldn't want to keep editing it, and the game wouldn't have a distinct 'end' or anything so it'd have to be kept running indefinitely.

I've been playing Pokemon a lot recently and working on Miasmon, so my enthusiasm for monster-catching games is still fairly strong. This led to the thought that I could work on another of my games, Beast Signer... But I also thought about FHO's user-based content stuff and had an idea.

Beast Signer
I'd want to remake Beast Signer from scratch with better mechanics and different graphics and such, but with the same general characters and story (probably, unless I can come up with something I like more). I'd make the starting parts the same as the current alpha version; you'd start as a 'remnant' in the real world and you'd end up becoming one of the Signer Elite at their headquarters, from which you could access the Virtual Worlds in which the beasts could be found.

In the alpha, you're given an initial mission and can warp into the world of Normos, which is fairly large; you can then wander around and explore to find your goal, but you can see that there are many other paths that you can't yet access, which you'd be able to travel down at later points in the game. It's sort of like entering a Pokemon-like region, with connected towns and routes and such.

However, it wouldn't require much change to alter that drastically in a potentially far more exciting way.

Instead of being given missions one by one, instead you could choose a mission from a list; a separate list for each world. There'd be Plot Missions which would move the story along, and which must be done in a set order (Plot Mission #2 wouldn't appear until #1 was done), but the rest would be sidequests, completely optional, perhaps with a recommended level that your beasts should be but nothing to prevent you from doing them at any level.

Each mission would take place in its own little world, with its own areas... Routes, towns, building interiors, caves, and so on. They wouldn't be connected parts of the same big region like in the original alpha. However, they'd all be in the same *world* in terms of visual appearance and stuff; all Normos missions would have 'modern' routes and towns and NPCs and stuff, while Scifide missions might be all techno and spacey.

The interesting bit, and the bit I'm borrowing from FHO, is that missions could be built by you, the players. There'd be a fairly simplistic Map Editor which you could use to build Missions, probably with limitations; if you chose to make a Normos mission, you'd only be able to use Normos-styled tilesets and NPCs, and you wouldn't be able to do anything particularly deep including coding or unique events or anything; instead, you'd probably just be able to set up a simple list of Goals like 'talk to [NPC]' or 'deliver [Item] to [NPC]' or 'defeat [Beast]'; simplistic enough that a child could probably use it (though I wouldn't really want children making missions...).

Importantly, there'd need to be some kind of quality control, and I don't know how I'd handle that. Not EVERY mission that people made would get into the game; that'd be terrible, since I'd imagine the majority of them would be utter rubbish and they'd probably be full of things like free EXP or rare beasts and so on rather than being balanced and reasonable experiences.

I suppose I could just Officially Approve missions that stood out from the rest, but I don't know how they'd ever come to my attention... I suppose I'd have to rely on them being mentioned to me or something. Or maybe there'd be ratings? I don't know. It gets messy since you'd take the same character and party of beasts between all the different Official Missions, but I wouldn't want to allow you to use this character in 'unapproved' missions just in case they were full of free bonuses that'd severely overpower your party, or rare beasts that you really shouldn't be getting at that point. Instead, perhaps I could make it so that each mission was created with a 'starting party' used for play-testing it, or something?

Oh, I suppose I'll have to worry about such details later. Currently it's still just an idea, and I'm not sure if it'd work or not.

It'd be easier than FHO though because the missions would be far more limited than the Adventures were meant to be, as they'd have an existing setting and framing story (you are a Signer and you are helping out some people) rather than each having their own unique plot and world and so on. They shouldn't be grand epics full of characters and twists and turns; they'd just be sidequests.

There are a bunch of other technical details that I need to worry about as well... This article is already long as it is, but I'll try and describe some of the stuff anyway since I know that people often are interested in such things.

The Beast Signer alpha has pixel graphics on the field and vector graphics in the menus and battles, like MARDEK. However, Miasmon and Alora Fane used pixels exclusively; all the battles and menus are pixelated. I like this, since it gives a sense of unity to everything and feels more like a 'retro' sort of game. However, there are limitations; Miasmon has static monster sprites because animations aren't as easy with this style of graphics as they are with vectors.

So I've been wondering how to approach Beast Signer... Whether to use pixels like in Miasmon, or whether to go back to using vectors. I'd honestly prefer to use pixels, but then would people be okay with static sprites for monsters that don't animate in any way when they attack or anything?

Doing customised avatar characters would be a pain too for technical reasons. In the alpha, you can customise your face and wear different clothing and stuff, but I wonder whether instead to do away with this and just give you the choice of being a Male or Female character whose appearance would be set but their costumes would change based on the world you'd entered. Pokemon gets away with using a set character to play as, but I know that people do like that customisation sort of thing... It was a huge pain making what exists in the alpha though, and I'm not looking forward to doing that again. And how would battle models work, I wonder? Hmm.

Types, Skills and Evolution
I'm not going to copy exactly the evolution mechanics from the alpha, because they were a huge pain too; there were just too many evolutions and I never liked the dual elements thing at all.

However, I remember planning something similar but different a while ago, and I might stick with that, while also using some stuff from Miasmon.

Instead of elements, beasts would have Types, like those in Miasmon (or Pokemon, if you prefer). There'd be separate growth charts for each set of Types, so you could have, say, a Saur/Aqua family and a Saur/Flame family, each with their own branches and forms and such. There might be 'pure' families for things with a single type, like a Saur family, but they might not exist for every type; there might not be a Flame family, for example. But maybe there would be? Hmm.

Elements would still play a part, but monsters wouldn't explicitly have them. Instead, moves would all have a single element, and each Type would have elements associated with it, either negatively or positively.
For example, the Saur type could have an 'positive affinity' for the Fire and Earth elements, and a 'negative affinity' for the Water and Air types. A monster of that type could use all the skills it had learned of any element except Water and Air, its Fire and Earth attacks would have increased damage or success rate, it'd take half damage from Fire and Earth attacks, and double from Water and Air.

I'm not entirely sure that that's the exact way things will work, though; it's still just an idea. I may also divide skills by 'limbs' or something, so, say, a 'Fire Punch' skill would be a 'fist' technique and only beasts with the 'fist' limb could use it...

Each evolution form would learn a single skill when it evolved, like in the alpha, and the only way to get lots of skills would be to merge... which would work the same, sort of, except it'd use types instead of elements, so merging a Aqua/Saur and Angel/Flame would give an Aqua/Angel egg.

I'd have to add the forms and families gradually over time since there'd be so many of them, and I'd probably do a weekly 'design a beast' competition where people could submit their designs, and get them voted on; the winner would make it into the game as an official beast.

Oh, right, I didn't cover evolution properly yet. It'd work similarly to the alpha in that there'd be things like power and magic forms, but there'd be less of them.
In the alpha, the stage 1 form can become a power, balance or magic form, but for the sake of simplification, I'd instead just have power and magic forms. Then each of those could be a power or magic form, but the power-magic and magic-power forms would be the same beast, giving three stage 3 forms. Then there'd be a single stage 4 form, which any of the stage 3 forms could become, but only under certain conditions. Maybe. Perhaps not all families would have such a form? I'm not sure.

Here's an image to show you what I mean:

Each family then could have something like that... Some beasts might just be palette swaps of others or something, though; I'm not sure.

Money Stuff
To make money off this, I'd probably have a virtual currency for the site - perhaps the Fig Coins thing - and you could use it to buy in-game items or something. If I had legendary beasts, I'd bet that some people would want to buy those! I'll have to think more about this later though; it's not the main thing on my mind when making this game, and I'll try to make most of it except for luxuries accessible to everyone for free.

I think that's it...
I've probably covered most of the stuff about the game here. I'll finish Miasmon before working on this, so it might be a while before I get to it. But gasp, I'm finally getting back to Beast Signer after all these years! Isn't that so exciting?!/1/1


63 Commentson 37 roots

Blazimun`s Avatar
Rating Orb Blazimun 15 Ireland CholericSanguine 46C 23F
6 years ago | (2)
The fig coins thing is a brilliant idea, from personal experience, and there is another potential thing that you could do.

If you have ever heard of Battleon games, you would know the system on which they operate. In case you don't, basically the games they make are all free-to-play, with some advertisements in sidebars. However there are in-game currencies (hint hint) that are purchased using real money. Now this is where my other idea comes in, because they also have a system of "upgraded accounts". Essentially, there is blocked off content in the game which can only be obtained by paying a one time only fee, and then the content is unblocked. Perhaps a similar system could be used in beast signer, and other future games? In any case, this is just an idea.

This comment is also for motivation!
You might get some people complaining at you for suggesting a "premium content" type system, but more people are on your side than off. You need to eat after all, and people need to come to terms with that.

Good luck, have fun (though that's unlikely), and above all, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! N' stuff!
turbotowns`s Avatar
Rating Orb turbotowns 16 United States CholericPhlegmatic 216C 3F
6 years ago | (2)
this exciting Beast Singer is finally being worked on, i hope the vector graphics stay so that the beasts can move when they attack, and so we can customize characters... that reminds me... what about our character's element?
GameMasterGuy`s Avatar
Rating Orb GameMasterGuy 16 United States 29C 41F
6 years ago | (0)
I completely forgot, yeah, the personality test needs to stay. Not only was it a great idea, but it worked so well, that whenever my brother took it, he got fire, and whenever I took it, I got dark, so it's pretty accurate.
crocodileman94`s Avatar
Rating Orb crocodileman94 16 Sweden 25C 2F
6 years ago | (5)
here's two ideas how to make money of Beast Signer.

1: if you're going to make a Mission Editor, make it so you have to pay some real-life money to unlock it. so if you want to make missions, you have to pay for the permission.
2: if this new version of this game are going to use something similar to pokeballs (which means pay in-game money for some balls)
you could make it so you can pay some real-life money to get this game's version of Masterballs.
GameMasterGuy`s Avatar
Rating Orb GameMasterGuy 16 United States 29C 41F
6 years ago | (5)
1) No. This is meant to be a community event, a way for your own ideas to make it into your favorite game. Not a way for a somewhat popular Indie dev to milk his fans.
2) No. This isn't Pokemon, this is Beast Signer. Also, you'd be paying for new, unique beasts, not to skip parts of the game.
3) No. You didn't even make a third suggestion, but if it's along the lines of the first two in terms of quality, don't bother.
crocodileman94`s Avatar
Rating Orb crocodileman94 16 Sweden 25C 2F
6 years ago | (0)
you dont have to be mean. I did just post some ideas I got from BTD4. there's no need to be mad at me.
coreyj`s Avatar
Rating Orb coreyj 18 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic 105C 152F
6 years ago | (5)
FINALLY!! In my opinion, Beast Signer is/was one of your best games. It has amazing replayability, unlike MARDEK. This is because you can constantly choose a new party. Also, you can spend your time trying to get every beast, or have one beast with every skill/technique. Beast Signer also has a great storyline that is even better than pokemon, in some respects. It would be great if you could finish it.

One of the only things I didn't like is the part about *buying* legendaries. That makes it so that people with a lot of money could just buy good beasts, while us with a low budget would be kept out. Maybe, in addition to being available for purchase, you could have legendaries like they were in Fire Red/Leaf Green -- hidden, and very powerful, and difficult to catch, but findable. This way, everyone has a chance of getting good beasts.

I like the new evolution tree. It makes things much easier for the player. Not to mention, it makes it easier for you. And, some beasts souldn't have fourth stages, like you said. I'm just kinda sorry to see the weak form go. It seemed interesting, at least different. Of course, it also made raising a tricken a serious pain.

I also like the new way that elements would be factored in. But, I wonder: if, say, Aqua is positive for water and negative for the other elements; and Saur is positive for fire and earth, but negative for water and air; what would Aqua/Saur be? Double negative for Air, but regular for fire, earth, and water? And, would you have certain types only available in certain regions? For example, would Saur beasts only be available in Normos? Or something like that?

About the picture design, I think you should go with what you already have in Beast Signer (is it vectors?). The fact that the beasts constantly moved in battle, and that each attack had the beast doing something unique to that skill/attack, added interest to the game. It's fun to see a beast use eye poke, and see that beast actually poke out another beast's eves (figuratively, of course).

I also like the idea of players being able to design beasts in a contest that is weekly. It allows for more community interaction, and gives you a designing break. This way, while they work on designs, that are voted in by the community, you can work on other games, maybe new ones, or finish another chapter of MARDEK.

With the idea of Fig Coins, you have a way to make money. And I can almost guarantee you that people will be willing to spend money on Beast Signer to get better, or get out of a place where they are stuck. You could even publish monthly packs, or something. What could happen is that there are beasts and such in each pack, and players can buy the pack to get the beasts and items that are in them immediately. Or something.

And, with the mission maker, you run into a problem. I don't know how you will design it, but in the game SPORE GA, people can make thier own adventures. Adventure points, which are used to upgrade you player, are given based on the difficulty of the adventure -- how many people have failed it. The only problem with realating this to you is that adventures will be totally different than missions. And, experience points will be completely different than adventure points.

Of course, as always, feel free to ignore my opinions. It is your site, and your games. I'm just thrilled that you are finally going to finish Beast Signer -- after Miasmon. *Sigh*

One last thing: if you remake Beast Signer, could you please keep the Alpha?
AdurnaFricai`s Avatar
Rating Orb AdurnaFricai 15 United States 13C 0F
6 years ago | (3)
It occurs to me that the user-submitted content problem could be solved the way D&D 4.0 did it. There's a point value to everything you can put in, and the total of the points determines what level the encounter is. You could give everything a difficulty value and a reward value, and if the sum of each of a quest aren't close to each other, then it can't get submitted. Or something along those lines.

As for the graphics thing, I personally don't think customization is too important. I would prefer to have the same pixel and vector combination as the original than to have a character who looks like I want them to. The idea above was a good one, having one male and one female character look. I don't know if that would interfere with your intended character relationships though.

The new evolution and type system look a lot more sensible than the previous ones, I am another of the ones who wants to go for 100% completion, and the alpha's dual-element system made that hard for me. Unlike some others, I like that there is only one 4th stage. To me, that gives a sense of knowing exactly what I'm working towards without having to search the wiki for several minutes deciding on a final form. I have a feeling that otherwise I would end up working towards the final form from the beginning, which would be less fun.
RockDrake24`s Avatar
Rating Orb RockDrake24 29 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 26C 0F
6 years ago | (0)
I agree with your idea of user-submitted content (heh, I posted something similar, earlier). There is a flaw however on using that system. With the D&D system, the difficulty value is determined by the strength of the mobs you face. That creates an issue with actual balance, since the primary aspect of a monster- cataching game is, well, to catch monsters. Without some other form of limitation to the point system (such as giving a point pool that is determined by a chosen-before-creation recommended level), the issue that Pseudo is wary of, that of missions filled with rare monsters and a splattering of free exp items, still remains.
hlbeta`s Avatar
Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
6 years ago | (8)
First and most importantly, I am greatly pleased that Beast Signer is once more receiving attention.

I'd like to have vector graphics in battles, even if only for the signers. The degree of character customization available in the alpha was one of my favorite elements and set it apart from every other monster catcher game I have played. Being able to see that level of detail in battles (where most of the game happens) greatly helps the player to bond with their character and enhances the game as a whole. If you want to do sprites/pixel art for the beasts, that's less of an issue. I'd be very happy if that meant more unique beast designs since the variation between beasts made exploring the evolutionary trees a ton of fun. Further, if played well, that visual divide could help to reenforce the difference between the AI beasts and the organic intelligences that dwell in the system.

I'm leery of the idea of wholly isolating mission environments, since exploration and critter collecting are key aspects of games like Beast Signer. I'd like to at least have a Mardek-esque world map for the three worlds, possibly with each major node leading to a sub-cluster to avoid cluttering the map too much as the game expands. This map would start off very small and isolated, with the explicit statement that it is incomplete. Such denial of access could be explained away early on as the Signer command deliberately restricting the access privileges of new recruits. For later stages, perhaps convey that the presence of Signers is something of a necessary evil, disruptive to the lives and immersion of the residents but necessary to keep people safe. Such a scenario would well explain why even an experienced Signer cannot run about all willy-nilly through whatever domains he or she pleases. Depending on how you want to steer the narrative you may want to establish that the main character's ability to return to areas after a mission is completed results from the installation of technically illegal but commonly used backdoors through the simulated worlds keyed to the advanced access privileges of a signer. The establishment of a hacker subculture within the signers seems both inevitable and necessary to explain away certain breaks between story and gameplay. For bonus points, you could set it up that such routine hacks are actually destabilizing the worlds and resulting in the elevated presence of beasts, creating a cycle of signer recruitment that threatens to wreck the virtual world.

As for the handling/processing of player-built missions as additional content, I think what we need is a multi-tiered filtering system. Set something up in Signer HQ (though maybe as a separate file) that allows both the construction and play of missions. Call it a "tactical simulation" or a "programmable training environment" something that sounds good and science-y. Key it off of the main Beast Signer save file so that you have to complete the tutorial to play missions and reach some arbitrary yet appropriate milestone to design them. Let the creators attach a simple description to their adventures for information like the recommended level or general them of the mission. Then let any player rate and tag it. Set up a class of advanced user, like beta-testers and reviewers, that are charged with playing through and moderating the top rated missions que with the ability to directly view the specifics of each mission (map, loot, encounter tables) and append notes to them for other advanced users and yourself. Based on the reviews and recommendations of these users, you should pretty easily be able to identify which missions are worthy of incorporation into the main game and what, if any, modifications should be made before doing so. The community would be filtering and generating most of the mission content, leaving you to administer the introduction of new game components, complex interactions beyond the mission constructor's abilities and the main plotline. The aforementioned map system should make it relatively simple to splice in the new content while maintaing continuity.

As for accessing the missions, I'd like as many of them as possible to be tied to NPCs because I'm an RPG traditionalist who likes to be rewarded for talking to everyone. For those who have difficulty finding NPCs or if the event triggers demand it, you could set up a sort of jobs board (possible Apple computing joke here?) in the signer facilities on each world. The jobs board would point you to NPCs who want things done by granting you an early entry in quest log describing where to properly start it. The board could also grant access to appropriate areas or flip event triggers as necessary for those quests with absentee or initially inaccessible quest-givers. Main line quests could have a special marker in the selection interface or come through as a "priority assignment" or some such thing, probably with accompanying dialog from the desk personnel to make it REALLY OBVIOUS that particular quest is different from the others.

As for monster affinities and attacks, I think you really need to use Types or Elements for absolutely everything and keep to that theme. I know the six elements are your signature, but implementing them this way is just going to be arcane and turn off new players. I had no problem with the alpha's elemental system, it made internal sense and the math was easy enough to do in my head. The only real problem with it was that it was never explained to the player in any detail, so players made alot of false assumptions about it and went away confused. This time around, lay it out very explicitly for the player early on. Explaining it after the introductory fight with the Rival or whatever takes his place would be ideal, possibly even work it into it post-fight boasts/whining. Some kind of in-game help feature that lays out the full dominance system would be very welcome, either as a pause menu feature or a research terminal in Signer HQ. It saves the player the trouble of popping open a guide while also making a great deal of sense in the context of the Signer organization.

On to the small stuff:
-Clothes should be purely cosmetic, stat-enhancing signer equipment should go into separate, hidden slots and only show up when the player is struck if they show up at all.
-There should be lots of clothing, it helps to connect the player and character. Binge palette swapping is perfectly valid here, since color choice is important in outfit selection.
-I would like to be able to make out the basic facial features of my signer in battle. Blank-faced flipper people are creepy, but vaguely-faced flipper people are just fine.
-I know this adds a large amount of work to making the game. I honestly think it will pay off in the form of more and happier players.

-I'd like to see tier 4 split into a Physical and a Magical form. Creatures specialize by nature, so lumping tier 4 into a single creature with generalist stats seems wrong.
-Skill access should probably be handled by creature type to make them easy to track. It'd also be familiar to alpha players, while also being more consistent thanks to the new type system.
-All creatures need a basic attack skill appropriate to their type(s) to prevent situations where the player is stuck with no means of ending a battle.
-You may want to make it so a creature randomly learns a new skill drawn from a limited pool whenever it evolves. This prevents players from optimizing their breeding programs too readily and breaking game balance while also adding some excitement to evolution.
-If the above is implemented the starter creature and all its descendants should have a special trait that lets you choose what skill they learn to prevent the player being stuck with an unworkable roster. You may want to consider selling an item that applies this trait for real world money.

-Would it be unreasonable to expect future payment barriers to be waved for beta testers and the (possible) mission review staff? I'm broke for the forseeable future but would love to help your projects along in other ways.
-You may want to consider allowing the FHO architecture to permit conditionally defined save transfers, so people can set up shared campaigns based on level and previously played adventures in the campaign. Something like the Pathfinder RPG's Society play. It could greatly enrich the system if handled well.
hlbeta`s Avatar
Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
6 years ago | (2)
I forgot a key point in the segment on filtering the user-made missions. Player-built missions should not ever alter the save files being used to test them in order to maintain game balance. To counterbalance this lack of progression, it may be appropriate to make playtesting missions award some special currency in the main game that can be redeemed for low-end consumables and unique cosmetic items. It's amazing what people are willing to do for a virtual hat. On the creator side of things, it may be advisable to grant larger sums of mission currency when the mission passes certain rating thresholds and present otherwise inaccessible rewards to those who actually get a mission concept incorporated into the main game (possibly a gold hat) as well as a mention in the credits or some kind of roll of honor at Signer HQ.
RockDrake24`s Avatar
Rating Orb RockDrake24 29 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 26C 0F
6 years ago | (2)
I like your ideas, hibeta. I am curious however on one point. It's not entirely clear to me what you mean by the 'hidden slots' for clothing customization. Would it be that you'd find the stat-enhancing equipment and when equiped, they go into hidden slots that only show up when the enhancement offered by the piece is utilized through either your attacking or being attacked and the effect makes a difference on dmg dealing/taking? Or is it that particular pieces are not just cosmetic and when the protection or damage enhancement is activated by particular defenses or attacks, that the stat-enhancement would then appear on the equipment?

I'm not sure the necessity of the first explanation... Making the items hidden until activated seems arbitrary and honestly more work than is necessary.

If it's the second, though, that's another story. That would add a whole new element to the game that would offer another avenue of discovery which would in turn further increase the length of time a players attention is hooked into the game. It would also offer Pseudo another possible real-money item to purchase. That being an idetifier that would reveal the items values without having to experiment through battle to find out exactly what it contains.
hlbeta`s Avatar
Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
6 years ago | (1)
Sorry about the confusion, my comment was intended to reference earlier development conversations between Pseudo and myself on the subject of equipment. Since character customization was an important and popular element of the Alpha, I put forward the idea that equipment should come in two "layers," the perceptual and virtual. The idea is to decouple equippable bonuses and the appearance of the player avatar. The perceptual layer would be purely cosmetic, thereby granting the player the ability to customize their appearance freely. If stats remain linked to clothing items and thus appearance, then the player is forced to make the choice between a visually appealing character and a mechanically optimized one. Instead, I proposed that equipment stats be tied into a "virtual" layer, a conceptual representation of the signer's personal defensive programs. This layer would provide stat bonuses, but remain concealed unless struck or used to enhance an attack. I feel that the concealment aspect fits into the concept of the System attempting to maintain immersion. Revealing the upon activation makes combat a bit flashier and makes it absolutely clear to the player when and how a given item influenced the outcome of combat. Visually, it doesn't need to be anything terribly fancy, a few appropriately colored neon lines in a vaguely contoured abstract would be fine. Just so long as it's noticeable.
1 Reply
Captain Obvious`s Avatar
Rating Orb Captain Obvious 19 United States CholericPhlegmatic 26C 13F
6 years ago | (2)
I am quite happy that you have turned some of your attention towards making Beast Signer! I was hooked on the Alpha for quite some time and I was intrigued by what little story (albeit it was of very high quality! ;]) the game contained! I think that your idea of having user made content available for the game is a good idea, but I think you should still have a main story with its own missions that are created by you (perhaps with input from other members if you hit a dead end or just need some help designing an area etc.) and have other missions be like "side quests" given by other NPCs (perhaps ones based on certain members on the site, either based off of the information given on their profile(s) or your own perceptions of them?)

I guess you could save some time by carrying over any existing designs for the beasts from the Alpha if speeding up development is a concern. And I don't mind your idea of using palette swaps for several beasts but I think you should try to make each Legendary Beast unique on its own.

I'm sorry if I sound bossy like the typical ugly American, but I just tend to spout ideas out when I see something that I get excited about. I'm just trying to help I guess but just don't take it the wrong way.

But that is pretty much all I have to give you in my opinion.
dragenrder`s Avatar
Rating Orb dragenrder 15 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 39C 8F
6 years ago | (5)
im fine with whatever you wanna do actually. whatever makes the game faster and you happier is my vote.... whatever that is....

And for the other parts of the blog post i will begin my wall of text....
O The color scheme seemed less of a ruined planet and more of a.... some region in fall.... more peaceful and stuff
O Beast signer has been on my games that i want list so.... YAY :)
O With usermade missions i would think there would be 2 types those that you bring your own character in and those that you are given a NPC to play as.... whether or not you could keep the monsters and stuff you got in game is debatable but you should at least be able to keep the Exp and Cash. (with moderation of coarse.... i can see a thousand mission with chests of 10gp just lying around if you do that)
O And it would seem weird that you could use fire punch with a snake type monster or something..... just my opinion O.o......
O For the types..... if a monster where a pure fire (or something like that) would fire only do 1/4 damage or would the fire affect it at all? (seems to make more sense to me if it didnt)
O On evolution... it seems weird that it all goes back into one monster... maybe it could go into 3 for certain monsters?
--o Like (referring to your chart) the green can only go into green but red and blue gain an additional evolution chance.... for the starters for example....
--o And maybe there could be monsters that only split apart in the stage 4 form ( G-G-G<RB ) as legendays or something like that.
felipe970421`s Avatar
Rating Orb felipe970421 14 Colombia MelancholicPhlegmatic 33C 1F
6 years ago | (8)
Okay, i have this crazy idea, how about the battle graphics being both pixels AND vector, I know what you are thinking, but think about it, the monsters can be pixelated and the spells and abilities with vector, for example, take the pixelated grull from miasmon and give the "dark claw" ability of MARDEK, using the same graphics, it would look good in my opinion, also it would be quicker since you can recycle graphics from other games
GameMasterGuy`s Avatar
Rating Orb GameMasterGuy 16 United States 29C 41F
6 years ago | (6)
Now *this* is exactly the kind of idea the Pseudo needs to be paying attention to. He'd only need a standing still and attacking sprite, but the vector attacks would add enough variation, *and* it would create an art style that would set it apart from other games!
Supergnash`s Avatar
Rating Orb Supergnash 18 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 354C 145F
6 years ago | (1)
I'm pretty sure that most of the spells and abilities wouldn't be pixelated anyway seeing as they wouldn't be completely noticeable in that format. Maybe if there are some that have some big objects in them they could be pixelated, but in all of his other games like this the spells and abilities all count as "particle effects". Heard of them? I'm guessing that he's going to use these even in his other pixelated ones such as Alora Fane or Miasmon.

It would be good to recycle a few signature moves from other games, but I think this will mainly happen in Miasmon as they are the same monsters and so would generally have the same or at least similar abilities.
felipe970421`s Avatar
Rating Orb felipe970421 14 Colombia MelancholicPhlegmatic 33C 1F
6 years ago | (0)

Of course they were particle effects, how silly of me, I knew vector wasn't the correct term, but particle effects was, but I couldn't put my finger on it even though it was so obvious, whatever, what I meant was that, pixel graphics with particle effects, I would prefer pixel graphixs over vector in Beast Signer because as (I assume) some monsters from miasmon may be similar to the ones of BS, they can be "recycled" and put into BS
1 Reply
GameMasterGuy`s Avatar
Rating Orb GameMasterGuy 16 United States 29C 41F
6 years ago | (3)
Whatever you do about the user-generated content problem, do *not* nerf our abilities. Without chests, there's absolutely no reason not to beeline to the end of the mission. Without a decent reward, people will barely use a feature that *could* have resulted in a near-endless game. The community is full of people willing to moderate the content, and I'm more than confident that a rating system is well within your coding capabilities. Even if it wasn't, you could make it Kongregate exclusive and use their user-based content rating system. This would also eliminate much of the problems involving paying money. Speaking of which, I'm fine if you have to pay for legendaries, as long as you're a certain level (dependent on the legendary). Someone who played 60 hours and dished out $10 should be able to beat someone who played 65 and had been freeloading the whole time, but someone who pays any amount of money and has only been playing for an hour should *not* be able to, under *any* circumstance, be able to defeat a 60-hour vet. I don't want to enter the PVP arena and run into a level 2 noob running around with eight YALORTs.
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