It is, uh, Sunday, right?
Tue 30th Jun 2009 2:08pm
Category: Weekly Updates
My apologies for not writing a weekly update thing! And for not replying to various comments that I meant to reply to...
I've been really occupied with SPORE for the last two or three days. I got the expansion pack - Galactic Adventures - which allows you make your own 'Adventures' and play the Adventures of others, which appeals to me in the same way that game design in general does.
Unfortunately but understandably, the Adventures and the Editor for them are rather limited in scope and possibilities, and most of them aren't especially enthralling or entertaining (largely due to the engine, which was obviously never designed for this sort of thing from the start). I seem to come across a lot of them which were made by the dim, illiterate masses who are barely able to use the editor at all...
Things like "they're r monsars everwere can u kill tehm!!2" and such...
It's not like the only two Adventures I've tried to make myself are much better though.
Each Adventure takes place on a whole planet, but basically none of them USE the whole planet; most of them seem to be just worlds made up of just water, with a little island with a town on it which you explore.
I don't like that, and like the idea of exploring whole worlds, so my two Adventures so far reflect that. Unfortunately, it ends up with them being long and tedious hikes through rivers and valleys, largely uneventful, and I can imagine people easily becoming tired with such things unless they particularly like such 'hiking' for the sake of it.
But ANYWAY, it feels rather good to exercise my creativity with making Adventures, because I am encouraged to think up quick, easy plots which have a limited amount of dialogue and events, and then to make them, simply, without having to code a whole engine first.
It's like when I used to use the Neverwinter Nights Toolset... I started loads of modules, and finished basically none, but one of the ones I DID finish was essentially the precursor to the plot of MARDEK.
I've felt like I've been 'stagnating' and becoming fatigued with my other games in the last week or two, and I've been lagging behind with MARDEK 3 by a day or three, so this seems to be energising and inspiring me a bit more, so hopefully I can catch up once more to my schedule.
The idea of Adventures in general gives me ideas though.
I'm already doing Adventures for FHO (using the Adventure Editor in Spore gives me ideas for how I can make the editor in FHO), but I was also recently playing another game called [Knytt Stories]; an atmospheric platformer (also notably with few enemies, even less than Raider) which also has an accompanying Adventure Editor so the creator and other people can make additional Levels for it.
I like the feel of that person's games in general... It's what I'd want to do BE-a-St like. Mostly text-free, ambient, colourful, atmospheric, somewhat surreal... I'm not going to work on that for a while though.
But I was considering whether to do RAIDER 'Adventures' after I've finished the current five episodes.
A map editor has already been suggested, but that'd be really limited since you could only make one ROOM by the current engine.
I'm already planning to do another Raider game after the current five, but more like Raider Zero. It'd use the new pixel graphics, but it'd have the stats and levels and equipment and such, and it'd be more RPG-like, with NPCs and towns and so on.
Originally, it was going to involve a hub place - perhaps some kind of sleazy asteroid bar where Arkus hears about quests - and separate planets for each 'dungeon' or 'level', which you could travel to.
But I could just make it so that each player could have their own Arkus character (or maybe a customised character?) with stats and equipment that transfer between levels, and the levels are all created by other players... Choosing one would require selecting from a list or picking a 'random adventure'... Hmm.
Since I'm already busy with too many projects at the moment though, I'll not think about that too deeply just yet. It's just an idea at the moment; I'm certainly not deciding to actually do it.
Also, with Raider... I don't know if I'm looking for testers anymore. The feedback I've already received is probably adequate. Anything else would just by opinion, and opinions can't really change anything at this point. Either you like the game or you don't, like with any game.
I've contacted sponsors, but now I just have to wait for replies.
I don't know if I'll get a lot this time though, since the last one was so disappointing. And it WAS disappointing, in a technical sense, so my disappointment and complaints from before were fair; I asked Greg of Kongregate when asking about sponsorship how well the last deal had worked out, expressing my doubts that it did well, and he verified them by saying that its performance was 'very disappointing indeed'.
I'm hoping that the multiple episodes, being all interlinked, will help matters and redeem earlier episodes, but we can but wait and see...
Oh, and one other thing...
In MARDEK 3, there's a feature involving those mysterious circles that you saw in various places on the ground in the other chapters... (I have no idea why people came to the conclusion that they autosaved your game; they just didn't, and I can't understand how people would have any evidence to support that assumption! o_O)
They let you go into a place called the Dreamrealm, which is essentially a low level of the Figrealm mentioned on the Encyclopaedia page of this site.
Some of the time, you're just shown a scene with a coloured background and some dialogue - you're accessing someone else's thoughts or memories that they left behind, but only the words - and this is used for backstory revealing and other such things, as you can access the minds of either party members, NPCs who left their thoughts there, distant people, or the dead... Each Circle would have one scene linked to it.
OR you can go and actually walk in the Dreamrealm in some certain places. When you do this, you end up in a 'dream version' of your current area, which looks much the same but distinctly different, and some paths might not be the same; this could lead to puzzles like those in Soul Reaver or other such dimension-shifting games.
Anyway, I mention this because I've been delaying work on MARDEK 3 for days now because of this... I can't decide what the Dreamrealm should LOOK like when you walk around in it!
I'm making a cave at the moment, where you go to first find out about travelling in Dream Circles (it's only a minor part of the plot and mostly used for sidequests, which is why I've left it so late and why I mention it freely here). It looks like the Zombieproof Cave in Canonia (it uses the same tileset) - just a small round cave with an entrance - but when you enter the Dreamrealm, you see a door that's appeared at the back of the cave, leading deeper into the dungeon.
The cave is originally dark greenish-teal.
Being told about this feature, what would you imagine the Dreamrealm version of the cave to look like?
Agh... It's harder than you might think, coming up with tilesets and such (and then actually MAKING them).
I tried to also do effects like a fancy cloudy dream border, but that wasn't possible because when I did make it, it caused too much lag or looked awful.
So anyway, feedback about that will be appreciated.
There are also some comments that I'll reply to on the other two previous articles, but I'll get to those later tonight... Now, back to Spore, maybe!
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