[DevLog] RPG Maker Gamejam Concept

Feb 3, 2019, 9:27:28 AM

This Mortal Coil Gamejam Screenshot Title

This Mortal Coil Gamejam Screenshot Title


I hope this is the first devlog of many on this RPG Maker VX Ace project I've started up today.

Recently, I joined a discord channel, and one of the things that community is doing this month is a game jam. So... obviously I have no time for it, but I figure, why not. It wouldn't be terrible if I got something done!

Here's one thing I know about doing games… they're hard.

So I thought I'd try and pair my game down really small. That said it'll probably still take more than a month to finish, but at least I will have started. I suppose this can live as a long list of Mortal Coil related things that are half done. You know, like the other thing... *coughTheShrinecough*.

The concept so far

  • Wishes as the theme, or my in my case I was thinking regrets and hopes.
  • I'm basing the game on my webcomic/novella character Kamiko, a (shinto) deity
  • Gameplay kinda, sorta like Papers, Please

I'm going to try and use RPG Maker VX Ace to build this project.

I'm a Unity/C# guy and formerly C++. I used Unity for my iOS/Android mobile games (Ollie and Flip, Toodle's Toboggan), and I use it at my current company. But, I bought RPG Maker after playing To The Moon some years ago. I just finished Rakuen, and if both those games are made using RPG Maker, it just seems right I do the Leeblejam using it, or… die trying.

I tend to design game systems or write more systems code, so maybe using RPG Maker will force me to think more in a game design capacity than a systems/gameplay programming one.

I already know I have potentially one big stupid coding hurdle I'll have to overcome -- figuring out if I can procedurally/randomly define a set of NPCs and load the data via a JSON or CSV file. Feels like RPG Maker MX is the way to go if it uses Javascript. Also, I don't know Ruby, and my last contact with Ruby was RoR, and I hated it. It's also a big dumb feature that can get cut if need be.

Design Doc

I made a design doc and tried to break everything down. You can read through it if you want the nitty-gritty of what I'm trying to produce by the end of the month.

Google Docs says anyone can view this doc, so feel free.

The game is like Papers, Please, in that Papers took place mostly in one simple setting: a security checkpoint. You examine the papers and move people across the checkpoint. I want a similar experience.

In my game idea, you play Kamiko, a woman who ferries souls between the mortal and eternal realms. And all you do is really just that… you pick up souls and move them via a boat across the sea of time. You can choose to interact/talk with them beyond giving them a ride and listen to snippets about their lives. You also have to protect them from monsters that want to devour or kidnap the souls.

Work done today

  • Watched videos on RPG Maker VX Ace. Reacclimated myself to the interface.
  • Started new Project and ripped out a lot of RPG Maker's stock project stuff
  • Got some useful scripts to help setup the message text box for character dialog -- Yanfly's Message Box and ATS
  • Diffusion font from itch.io (might be temp, who knows)
  • Pulled in my old artwork of Kamiko -- bust graphic, first pass sprites I did of her a few years ago, they don't match, but I'm just blocking out a cutscene
  • Practiced putting together a simple cutscene. I used Rakuen as my template -- character image on the left, name in text box, custom font.
  • Set game window to 640, 480

Animated GIF of what I've managed to accomplish after a day of relearning RPG Maker VX and toying with it's features.

This Mortal Coil Gamejam GIF

This Mortal Coil Gamejam Screenshot Dialog

This Mortal Coil Gamejam Screenshot Dialog

That's all for today. I'll periodically update you on more as I work on my gamejam project.

Of course, it's not the only iron in the fire for TMC. I'm also working hard on the next novella and a few other sundry writing projects. In a few months I hope some of it will come to fruition.

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And as always have a great weekend!