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It's here! The DEMO for Day Dreaming Derpy is available at rpgmaker.net!
Check it out here! ===> rpgmaker.net/games/9424/
Finally, after over three months of running headlong into a brick wall, I got something to show for it in the form of a demo that hopefully acquaints the player with the general formula of the game in the future. I hope that you'll enjoy what I've made for ya'll!
The following is DEMO v0.1, and is not the completed version of
Day Dreaming Derpy. As a result there may be bugs or gameplay
features not representative of the final product.
'Ey! What's good everyone? So I'm coming real close to wrapping things with the demo and just wanted to throw a small, half update in terms of how the game/demo will be maintained.
As this is the first time for me to not have a full, complete release for a project, I came to the realization that I'd have to get privy with the terms "alpha" and "ver. #" as, while the term "demo" is a complete package of meaning, it'd be best for me to refer to "Day Dreaming Derpy" as an evolving project.
For me, the goal of the demo is to provide a complete experience in terms of how the mechanics and the formula of the game will work within the beginning of the game to give the player a better understanding of what's to come when the full game is released.
Basic game dev talk aside, I'm polishing this bad boy up for shipment as we speak.
It's gonna happen guys @^@
Happy New Years everyone!
Aside from performing the blood sacrifices to get the demo done and trying (and failing) at keeping the sickness at bay, I’ve been keeping the holiday spirit alive here at my end to varying degrees. So to greet ya’ll for the new year, here’s a list of things that are fully implemented or nearly completed.
- First “dungeon” implemented with dialogue and arc
- Title screen graphic completed (press start to continue)
- Second “dungeon” implemented
- Intro sequence completed
- Battler sprites and side-view battle system implemented
- Dreamworld Hub implemented(above)
- I just realized the it looks a LOT like Yume Nikki’s hubworld. What with all the doors and all.
- Imitation is best form of flattery @~@
Not exactly a large list, but that takes care of the majority of the demo! Things that remain to be done are the real world locations and polish on the already completed segments! In terms of the release of the demo, I’ll be working nonstop in the coming days to get this to you guys sometime this month.
Hopefully this ol’ body of mine can hold out until then o~o
Ya’ll have a good new year~!
Evening everyone. It's nice to come home after a long day of work, huh?
Our player character Derpy would know a lot about that since she works all over town doing different jobs high and low. But she's most well-known for her official occupation.
As an employee of the Post Office, Derpy needs to be quick, careful, and always be on time; these are qualities she fulfills to 'varying' degrees. This gives her access to a few skills only those in her line of work are able to pull off! These include the power to command envelopes to attack a group of enemies all at once, the ability to carry and drop packages of unfathomable weight atop an unfortunate individual, and the astonishing advantage of free next day delivery!
This is what I temporarily dubbed, the 'Uniform' mechanic, as based on what uniform Derpy wears from her many part-time jobs, she gains new abilities and stats specific to that profession. In this case, when Derpy changes into her 'mail-mare' uniform, her move-set and stats change, enabling her to play different roles in battle.
As I said before, Derpy works plenty of part-time jobs, so she'll have a number of 'Uniforms' to choose from, which will definitely yield some interesting results in combat @~@.
If we want to go into the reason why Derpy has this power in the first place, we would have to explore the vast dimensions of the 'Dream World'.
But as interesting as that sounds, I'm gonna have to make like our player character and work for it first. And in the meantime, help yourself to some concessions while you wait.
Thanks for readin'!
Hey guys! Long time, no blog huh?
Well, since the holiday season is kickin’ off with Turkey Day in the US, I figured I should bring some treats to the table for ya’ll to munch on!
First thing’s first, if anyone has noticed from the title, I finally picked a proper name for the game!
“Day Dreaming Derpy” sounds appropriate, no?
After much deliberation and searches on Google to see whether or not the name was taken, I think it’s best to have a proper name for it when I launch the DEMO…
Yeah, I haven’t been getting the best night’s sleep as of last month (October was out of this world I was so busy), but that’s because I’ve been working on the demo which consists of the first sections of the game. I don’t want to drop any lengths of time for the demo, but it should be a little longer and more dense with content than, let’s say a demo with just one level in it. The goal here is to introduce how the game will be paced(as much of the pace is set by the player) and how the mechanics of traversing both the Real World and the Dream World will work and how Derpy’s abilities in the dream world manifest as a result of her psyche.
Also there’s a lot of mother/daughter bonding.
I’ll be dropping more details on the mechanics and the DEMO later as I’m sure much of you are anxious to get back to your weekend.
Deuces, and don’t be afraid to let anyone know how much you appreciate them!
Characters are important. Depending on how a game utilizes them, they can be the next big interaction the player looks forward to, or an annoying formality that interrupts gameplay. That being said, most games that are character driven try to aim for the former with varying degrees of success. This is dependent on many factors, one of which is whether or not a character is liked by the player; and like-ability cannot be easily thrust upon.
So let's introduce someone important to your dreaming ventures.
Say hello to Dinky. She's your daughter. And Save Point.
One of the best ways to introduce a mechanic or feature is to naturally incorporate it into the world as an encounter the player would either by curiosity or familiarity, gravitate to. By merging the concepts of character interaction and mechanic introduction, you get an encounter that serves a two-fold purpose. The first being, giving the player the knowledge of the feature's existence. This is extremely important at the start of the game to properly ease the player into the experience; this is very much like a first impression, as assumptions and gaming norms can formulate and dictate the player's actions rather quickly. The second purpose is to put a narrative interaction within that encounter. This is essentially cheating at giving the player more kinds of information about how to play and what characters/dialogue to expect.
This is also good for fleshing out your characters as repeated interactions with the player create a certain familiarity that slowly, subtly forms. Basically, it's a natural progression of getting to know someone, as a character is more than what they function as in certain situations.
October's a REALLY busy month guys. @~@
Kept you waiting huh?
But seriously, I’ve been pretty busy and secretive as of late. But I’m not here to regale you with my plights; you’re here to read about game design are you not?
While fooling around with the game, I was thinking about the way combat looks. And it turns out that I haven’t actually put too much thought as to how the battle screen looked. The previous idea was to just keep the earthbound aesthetic from One Night at the Steeze, essentially an animated background with an enemy sprite. While I don’t think of it as the inferior look, the reason for assuming that battle screen was because how simple it was to set up. The only asset to make there is the custom, enemy sprite as there’s more room for detail in that. And that would be it if I didn’t have the realization that a different battle screen would be better.
The side battlers setup! This lets me to add more visual flair to who does what in battle. The only caveat with this is the addition of another sheet of animation for each sprite pose, which I am willing to bear the burden on.
There’ll be more from me soon, and October’s gonna be a busy month.
Y'know, I didn’t really relate my thoughts in the previous journal to the Derpy game…
So Imma do that right now. The Marriage of Mechanics to Narrative is exemplified most in games that provide a more of an experience than a straight on game. Mostly because leading a player through an experience leaves a different, substantial impact in the long run. The main concept of the game I want to convey is “Struggles of Everday Life”, as seen through the eyes of a mother, in this case Derpy.
I wanted to take advantage of the myriads of fanon theories out there and create a happy medium between show accuracy and the events and humor that could be expanded on. The daily lives of the ponies of Ponyville or in the world of Equestria, is an interesting topic because there are many scenes in the show that showcase these everyday ponies, each going about their business with a variety of jobs; this begs the question, “How does Equestria work?” Are there contruction ponies? Are they all educated, or do some not goes through the complete annals of education? If that’s the case, are there teacher ponies, and Department of Education ponies, and civil services ponies, etc., etc. And yes, some of this curiosity stems from the fascination of these adorablely designed ponies (looking at you Bulk Biceps) wearing different sets of worker apparel, but the show conveys this facet of the world in such an interesting light that it kinda succeeds in making the mundane look fantastical.
Let’s go back to Derpy for a moment. In fact, let’s go back to game design for a sec too, because the way games explore concepts like this is interestingly done in Life Sims to varying degrees of success. Harvest Moon, being a nearly pure life sim, lets the player make their own story as they spend time maintaining their farm and interacting with the town’s NPCs, while many of the combative JRPG elements are stripped away, it allows the player to color their experience with the town and world of Harvest Moon as they pleased. The exploration in that game is then placed within these 2 avenues of play- self improvement via farming, and interaction with the locals. These mesh together well, because, while they are separate parts of the game, each contributes to a small sense of progress in terms of the depth of the systems that allow players to set their own goals, whether its clearing your field, or getting jiggy with some of those local honeys (still lookin at you Bulk Biceps). This makes you naturally feel like a part of the world, as you are, essentially, trying to get by in. Work to make ends meet so to say.
Here, we’re gonna explore the relationship between Derpy and her daughter, Dinky and their unique dynamic in their lives in Ponyville. We have ponies all around going about their business, working in the ways they want to work; so what if we add a JRPG + Life Sim elements and mix it according to the “Marriage of Mechanics and Narrative” philosophy? How will it affect their everyday lives and the ponies around them?
That’s the kind of game I’m making.
<strike>Single Mom Simulator 2016</strike>
But really, I need to come up with a better title. @~@
Let’s talk about game design. Rather, let’s talk about a certain game design “philosophy”- The Marriage of Game Mechanics and Narrative.
Instead of referring to a ceremony with puffy dresses and stuff, this use of the word marriage here basically means “tying” these 2 concepts in game design together to facilitate an experience that both contributes to the player’s immersion with the game world and have the player think and interact in depth with the mechanics without the player even realizing it.
Fancy language aside, by designing your game’s mechanics around this philosophy, you would probably lessen the disconnect the player would feel during play when they start to see the rules and limitations of the game AS they are. A perfect example of this disconnect would be in Pokemon, in any of the games, HMs are a necessary part of navigating the world, but in terms of battle (the primary method of encounters) HMs are mostly not very viable.
So what do some trainers do?
Assign a HM slave of course!
Just pop in to the nearest patch of grass and catch yourself a Bidoof and BOOM. You got a wild animal to delegate all your navigational needs to. But is this what Pokemon as a game, wants you to do? Pokemon really sells the experience of being a pokemon trainer, someone who works in tandem with pokemon to be the very best, yada yada, but the way this human-pokemon relationship is portrayed in game is massively different from how we mechanically treat the encounter design.
“My Charizard has been my longtime companion and friend! And I’ve met so many other pokemon too!”
“Oh here’s Bidoof. He gets us around.”
“Scares away the Zubats too.”
From this, the player’s traversal on the map is trivialized in favor of freeing up your move slots for combat. That’s probably why there’s always some cognitive dissonance that comes whenever someone picks up a new pokemon game, the mechanics allow for endless grinding to strengthen your pokemon while the narrative usually puts you in contrast to the enemy Team that presumably uses pokemon forcefully or against their pokemon’s will; cuz really, what you’re doing is kinda similar when you break it down in reality. But to us, the player, we aren’t doing this out of malevolent intent (hopefully), we’re doing this because these mechanics are the tools the game gives us to experience the world and its narrative.
Now this isn’t to bash the Pokemon games for some flaws in design, in fact they sorta singlehandedly managed to carry the JRPG genre through the past 2 decades even when video games were going through different trends and dimensions. So to even it out, here’s an example of when Pokemon did live up to the Marriage of Mechanics to Narrative Philosophy.
Gary. Blue. Or Buttface, whatever you called your rival in the OG games, was a recurring combat encounter that would often show up as your were visiting different cities. What made his encounters so different from every other encounter was that he was basically setting up a benchmark for you to shape up your team to as it’s a requirement to fight him multiple times throughout the game, each time progressively getting harder and harder, and his team was probably as varied as yours was (minus the HM slave) so you had to meet that challenge on your own terms. Narrative-wise, he was your rival, always one step ahead and ready to but heads with you whenever you meet. While the game was training you to step up your level of play, you were wrapped in the narrative of 2 rival trainers keeping each other on their toes. To beat the game, you have to level up your pokemon and make a good team and a good test of that is to beat someone else with your team, thus unlocking the next area to explore. This is difficulty ramping taken to a more subtle level, and one of the best things about it is that it drew players into interacting with the game on that level because it was tied to a narrative approach to guiding someone through the game. Then your immersion with the game and its world creates a more enjoyable experience, which is really what most game designers want out of the player. And the best part about it was that the player was self-motivated to follow through with it.
That’s what’s up.
PS The school year has started once again so that takes up a chunk of my time throughout the week, but I hope to keep up with the updates on game development as much as I can. Thanks!
Let’s talk about movement, or rather, means of traversal and how that affects how the player sees the world.
Before I start a project, I usually make a proof of concept (I call it dummy) project first just to see if I can actually implement the features and mechanics I want to have. I wanted to use the same sprite style from the Spike’s Day Off/Out, but i realized that while I was able to construct a decently sized “world“ just from 2d maps, I thought that there might be a way to create a map with both an X and Y axis while preserving the 2d perspective of the sprites… then I realized there was a game that had implemented that map design successively in each iteration.
Looking at a standard map of most Paper mario games, I also realized that 2d brawlers also pulled this off, albeit using only a single lane. in this case, Paper mario had the advantage of using its maps for exploration and spectacle, That, and adding mario’s jump gives the map another axis to work with, giving the illusion of 3d space. I am aware that the game’s maps were an actual 3d map with 2d characters to accentuate the paper aesthetic, but the same was achieved with classic brawlers, of which thrived on their raster graphics.
So maybe the same an be done here with Derpy and co.
Above is an image of the dummy/prototype wherein Derpy and an additional party member are walking on a 2-way floor, just to see if the 2d perspective holds up, similar to Dreaming Mary if anyone has played it. I then added one of the default maps to test out the 2-axis movement, and… it needed a few tweaks but it was serviceable- definately doable. Trying this out actually gave me a better idea of what those games did to make travesal seem more natural and more open.
But coming to a set decision, I believe using both kinds of map designs could sell the town ponyville. (the 1 dimensional and 2d, 2-axis approach).