27 August 2017

Imperial Quest

I got my hands on RPG Maker MV and I've been having a little bit of fun with it.

By default, it's set up to let you make a fairly traditional JRPG, but honestly I've never been much of a JRPG fan. I get lost wandering around their big sprite worlds, and I don't really like random battles. [1]

But I do like game engines, and RPG Maker MV has quite a lot of plugins that let you redefine pretty much anything. Javascript is apparently easy to code in, not that I would know. But it does mean that I can assemble the game I want and then keep on rolling forwards.

In this case, I've been borrowing still images I found on the internet and using the magic of the game engine to paste things together. As an example, you can see that Andol and company have started a battle with a Manticore. You can't see it from this screen, but they all have unique items equipped, and a variety of skills. Andol can Shout, giving her entire party an attack and defense buff for a couple of turns. Thalia is a Rogue with double attack- for a mere 5 TP she can attack twice in a row.

Bevior is the Sorcerer, and he knows a fire spell that applies a damage-over-time burn effect sometimes. Since he's level 5 (something else you can't see on this menu screen), he also knows Thunder Storm (multi-target air element damage spell), Cauterize, and Energize.

Randal is an Elvish Cleric, and he knows Sunbeam and Armor of Light, and he can spend 5 TP to cast Prayer, which heals the whole team.

The Manticore, for its part, is pretty dangerous. It can actually take multiple actions per round and has two attacks- Double Attack (the mirror image of Thalia), and Spike Volley, which launches three attacks at random enemies. Each attack deals damage and has a chance to poison. Oh, and it can also Howl, which is an Air element attack that also lowers its enemy's damage.

I plan on continuing to tinker with the game- what I have so far is the product of my screwing around with it after work and on the weekends. Once I have the battle system nailed down, my next step is to figure out a way to move the party from location to location. I don't want to use the standard JRPG convention of moving a little walking figure around, so I'm thinking a location menu? I haven't gotten that far yet.

My current sticking point is the lackluster item investigation screen, which only shows a handful of stats and is hideous, to boot. I need a system that lets me show the traits that I've given to items, if nothing else.

[1] Too much ludonarrative dissonance, plus the idea that violence is something that anybody can stumble on (and that even intelligent foes fight to the death) is really weird.

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