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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Weekly Update Sun 30th Aug 2009 11:10am

Category: Weekly Updates

I have a few things to mention here... I think. I had things in mind yesterday, but I bet I forget half of them now... tsk!

Raider 2 is at the point now where I'm uploading it to the sponsor's site and waiting for confirmation before publishing it, so it should be out in the next day or two, or three at most. It's being sponsored by Kongregate, who sponsored the first one and gave an offer right at the start of the sponsorship process, so really I've just wasted like two months looking for better offers which never came because I'm not assertive enough to effectively promote my own game... >_>
But anyway. I'm going with a deal which is the same as before; it's based on the game's performance primarily and I don't get much money up-front. I think this may work well in the long run with the series all interlinked, but... we'll see.

I've been working recently on MARDEK 3, and I'm about up to schedule at the moment. I just finished the last major dungeon a couple of days ago, and now all that's left is what's basically the confrontation with the final boss; this is about as much content-wise as the bit with Moric's Saucer in Chapter 2. If all goes according to plan, it should take about a week to do... though there's a lot of new content and dialogue, which doesn't come easily to me, so maybe it'd take a BIT longer...
HOWEVER. That is far from the finishing point. I may finish the plot bit, but then I'll have a whole lot of 'refining' to do.
What this will include is first, fixing engine mechanics that are not yet fully working. There are many skills that just don't work at all, and some particle effects that haven't been done yet... stuff like that. I'll also change the contents of some treasure chests and put stuff in shops and so on.
I also want to do loads of sidequests! One per dungeon, ideally, to make each dungeon have a secondary, optional purpose beyond the main reason you're there. It would make things more interesting, I think!
So that might take some time...
I also want to do another Cambria tournament, or maybe even two, and some other chapter-spanning quest equivalent to the Trilobite Keys from the second chapter.
Then there's another silly thing that I want to do which would be optional, a play performed by NPCs with an amusing setting that I'll leave as a surprise (I am certain that it WOULD be very amusing to people, so I really want to do it and I've planned to do so for well over a year now)... THAT will be tricky and may take several days.

The 'holiday' with my girlfriend is also still going to happen, so it's likely I'll finish all that needs to be done on MARDEK 3 before she gets here, then when I get back from that, I'll try to get it sponsored and released... That'd give an approximate release date of, uh... December? o_O
Annoyingly far off, I know, but it is actually realistic this time based on the detailed schedules that I have.
It may also be possible though that I'd have my computer while with my girlfriend, in which case I could do the sponsorship stuff DURING that time and get it out sooner. But again, WE WILL SEE.

I've been planning what I want to do with my other game projects...

I'm going to try to focus exclusively on MARDEK 3 now until it's done. It may get difficult to focus since it's hard to work on one thing every day for days on end, in which case I might try to get back to Beast Signer or something... But I really just want to get MARDEK 3 done since it'd be extremely relieving for me to have it FINALLY out of the way.

I'll work on Raider 3 shortly after the second one is released, and hopefully I could try to release that before I left, but it doesn't seem to likely... Hmm. NOT THAT ANYONE CARES ABOUT THAT ANYWAY! o_O

I am postponing all other projects until MARDEK 3 is out... But once it IS released, I'm uncertain what to do.

I want to focus on Beast Signer and FHO... Get those up and running before trying any other stuff.
There are also 'minor games' like 7H9H, Chimaera and CARDECK which I can quickly finish if I put the focus into it, so I may try those, just to get stuff finished...
But really I just want to start seriously building up a way to get a consistent, reliable income, which I think FHO and Beast Signer may bring. Especially if they have features which are not free!

I, uh... have some issues with FHO though which is why I haven't worked on it for ages. I have concerns about the battle system... I have brought this up before, but I will do again anyway! Suggestions I got relating to Beast Signer helped turn around some of the direction of that, hopefully for the better, so maybe I can do that with FHO too.

FHO is meant to be an Adventure Creator primarily, where you can make your own Adventures and let other people play them. This means, however, that it should have mechanics that are universally liked in an RPG; everyone who wants to make a story should be happy with the battle system.
(Before I go on, I will state that it is NOT an option to include MULTIPLE battle systems that you can choose between. It just isn't!1!1)
Currently, it uses the tactical style of battling, but would this be universally liked? Or should I perhaps replace it with a generic turn-based battle system akin to MARDEK's, which goes to a separate battle screen and stuff?

There are several problems I have with the current system:

- Mainly, aesthetics are limited. You get to see very little of what your character looks like if their sprites are so tiny, and the monsters too are rather indistinct. Wouldn't it be better to see large, animated vector monsters like in MARDEK than it would to just see tiny sprites? And when you get new armour, don't you want to see it in all its glory rather than as only a few pixels that don't look too different to any other armour?

- Far too often, characters end up going to the edges of the battle area and it makes things all... sloppy-looking. Menus don't fit on the screen fully, characters go BEHIND the gui, etc...

- It may be that the current system is too, uh, 'complicated' for some people?

- It's far harder to code for the current system!

Obviously, redoing the battle system would indeed be yet another dreaded REMAKE, at least in part, so I can see people being annoyed with that and thinking that I never finish anything; I just remake stuff. But I don't want FHO to be some kind of... inferior product that many people are forced to use even though they don't like the battle system.

So, uh, my proposed battle system would be one sort of like MARDEK, or Deliverance, or various other games I've made... Originally I wanted to do a different battle system as a change of pace, but perhaps it's better to stick to what I'm proficient at, and other people may want to make 'games like MARDEK' ANYWAY...
This would mean that the only monsters you'd be able to use would be those made by me though; you could not make your own monsters (unless, perhaps, you had Flash skills and could draw and animate your own... I can see how THAT would be an option, and people could upload their own creations for others to use and that resource sharing and gathering could become a big focus... hmm).
However, I'd try to make it so that you could customise the look of monsters somewhat. My monster models are made of easily distinguishable separate parts that animate by moving and rotating, and it's possible to alter the appearance of each of these specific parts... so I could make it so that people could change around the appearance and colour of all the body parts of a monster to come up with their own creation... sort of. If that makes any sense... which it probably doesn't! o_O
The battle system itself would likely be very similar to MARDEK, in that you have attacks and skills, and take turns in that same way. Party size may be reduced to 3 though, perhaps, (or maybe boosted to five?!), and your available skills would be based on and learned using the classes proposed for the original FHO system.

So, uh...yes. That.
What are your opinions, people? Would you prefer a more MARDEK-like battle system, or the current tactical battle system? Which would work better for your stories, do you think?
I feel that it might be harder to work around the tactical battle system...


86 Commentson 50 roots

Fatalis`s Avatar
Rating Orb Fatalis 16 United States Sanguine 29C 44F
8 years ago | (0)
If you release Mardek 3 on December will be my birthday, lol.
Keep up the good work, Pseudo!
Sockimus Prime`s Avatar
Rating Orb Sockimus Prime 20 PhlegmaticMelancholic 2C 42F
8 years ago | (0)
I rather liked the tactics style system, and I don't really have any complaints about it. Perhaps part of it is that it all has a consistent look: the 16-bit pixels, and doesn't shift to a different art style, like in Mardek or the Beast Signer alpha. That always struck me as jarring. For the same reason, I really like the character portraits at the top of the screen. They're expressive, but they don't shift art styles. I don't feel particularly hung up about wardrobe changes, because I feel the 16-bit style does a good job of showing those changes. If someone really wanted to see a bigger change in appearance, I suppose you could try adding a "full body portrait" on the equipment screen, showing the party member from head to toe in some style, and changing as you switched equipment, but I don't feel that's necessary. I find I relate very closely to my 16-bit characters they way they are.

As for the tactics system itself, I had a lot of fun playing it. I ran that demo through with the same party countless times and loved every second of it. As already mentioned, it's a much more nuanced system than the "Gang up" tactic that's more or less the status quo in Mardek and Deliverance. Frankly, I feel the current system doesn't need a lot of tweaking, save maybe to tweak the classes and stats a little. There were some classes that had a distinct advantage, though perhaps that was due largely to enemies only dealing physical damage.

Anyways, Those are my thoughts. Take 'em or leave 'em. I think the game's pretty good as is.
Terrror444`s Avatar
Rating Orb Terrror444 13 CholericSanguine 2C 3F
8 years ago | (0)
Will FHO end up like a version of RPG Maker? Oh yea keep the current system cause it reminds me of Fire Emblem which I love.
SilverWind`s Avatar
Rating Orb SilverWind 21 Afghanistan MelancholicCholeric 314C 117F
8 years ago | (0)
I was kind of assuming that there would be some sort of update system for FHO, so you could add new features. With a system like that, you could simply implement the simplest battle system first, then the other when you have time.
Kaishin`s Avatar
Rating Orb Kaishin 15 United States 2C 0F
8 years ago | (0)
After redoing the systems for Mardek 1 and 2, did you add any new content? Also, does our inventory from Chapter 2 carry over to Chapter 3?
Minnakht`s Avatar
Rating Orb Minnakht 16 Poland PhlegmaticSanguine 121C 84F
8 years ago | (0)
Well, I support what someone said here: The MARDEK system gives less value to everyone who has ranged possiblities, like those bowmen, mages, and... I noticed you have a spaceclass with blasters there too. While the tactical system allows for being out of reach, what is useful for those low-HP mages.

Also, you have the tactical system in there already, so... well, foundations. Just some improving and bugfixing left and you have it.

However, if you choose to implement the MARDEK one in thar, maybe make an option of DRAWING the bodyparts in the enemy editor. ...I think you mentioned this in your penultimaty paraghaph or how is this called, anyway. Just make more generic frames for monsters if so. Wait. Don't make if you want to, I don't want to sound like I'm telling you to do something as I can't
Squirrel`s Avatar
Rating Orb Squirrel 18 United States MelancholicCholeric 26C 0F
8 years ago | (0)
I find that I like both systems very much, both are fun in their own way. But if I were forced to choose, I would have to go for the tatical system. That system allows for more creativity in battle. If one wants to fight, one must take the risk of getting hurt. If one is near death, one can hide behind one's companions. If the magic-users had more limit to their range it would force people to try and protect them, in Mardek one can only hope the enemy will attack the strongest warrior. Archers would also gain value, being able to shoot over an unpassable tile (such as water) is very useful. I have based my opinions on the way the tatical system is used in the game Telepath RPG 2, which, solely because it is more fully developed, displays the desirability of the tatical battle system in a better light. Of coarse, like all good things in life, this would be the more difficult option for our beloved Supreme Leader. Choose whatever makes you happy, Psuedo. Life is worthless if one cannot enjoy it. Good luck with whatever you decide!
Leaf7634`s Avatar
Rating Orb Leaf7634 14 Australia 34C 14F
8 years ago | (1)
For FHO please keep the battle system how it currently,And regarding the enemies is it possible for the user to customize the monsters names?
Phire13`s Avatar
Rating Orb Phire13 14 United States PhlegmaticMelancholic 38C 17F
8 years ago | (0)
It is sad that you can't make FHO have both battle systems, because I can't decide, I like both of them, this is a difficult question for me to answer,
tactical or generic, hmmmmm. OK, I think I have an answer, you should just do what suits you best.
wiseguy21`s Avatar
Rating Orb wiseguy21 15 United States CholericPhlegmatic 8C 0F
8 years ago | (0)
I have a feeling that if the battle system is changed, you will force me to explode and die. Please keep it the same, this is my own little scrap of "D&D replica" only animated instead of some cruddy paper-pencil system. I'M BEGGING YOU!!!
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