Hey friends! Going to try and make this part of a series of updates to keep myself motivated. Here’s what I’ve been working on:
I’ve got some new spritwork to show off. Using the Time Fantasy templates provided by FinalBossBlues, I’ve been slowing working toward the goal of fully animated combat sprites for each character. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m confident that the work will become much easier as I gain some measure of skill.
My next goal is to push finish my first sheet of sprites for Fionn, our protagonist. If each day of sitting at my desk meant that I finished 4-8 frames, I would absolutely count that as a success!
He’s turning out great so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing him come to life.
I’m not the most accomplished programmer, but (with a lot of help from the exceptionally friendly RPG Maker community) I’ve managed to make a few adjustments to the engine that is making the project really progress.
One of the bigger issues I’ve had with the newest iteration of RPG Maker was the 3 frame limit on battle sprites. However, as you saw in the picture above, you’ll notice that I have 4 frames for each pose instead. That one extra frame really adds a dynamic element to the poses, and having that flexibility has been infinitely helpful now that the 3 frame cieling has been shattered.
Skills and Combat
The first Paper Mario game has been heralded as one of my favorite games of all time, and I’m looking to emulate a lot of what made it such a revered title in my collection, specifically two of it’s core features: Action Commands, and the Badge System.
If you aren’t familiar with Paper Mario, or any of the games in the Super Mario RPG series (Superstar Saga, Super Mario RPG), Action Commands are timed button presses that amplify a move’s effects. This sort of thing later evolved into what you might know as Quick Time Events, which are other context-sensitive actions that are usually prompted in game by some event.
However, since QTE’s are typically used in cutscenes, they often prevent players from moving forward if they are failed.
In combat however, using Action Commands to augment your abilities, you don’t necessarily fail if you mess up – instead, you just don’t receive the bonus effect of your ability. This opens up a lot of opportunities to have the player interact in what is normally a boring turn-based battle.
The Badge System
The other feature that I’d like to borrow from the series is the Badge System. Another way to describe it is a way to Equip Abilities.
The badges each represent an active or passive ability that Mario can use in battle, ranging from more powerful attacks to refunding his ability resources or adding extra health.
This presents a measure of customization for the player to make the character unique, increase the challenge of the fights, or to find solutions for difficult enemies.
So right now, the short term goals are to finish up Fionn, brainstorm more abilities to use, and finish mapping out the world the game will take place in.
Hope to see you again next update!