Author Topic: Crimson Echoes Interviews  (Read 370 times)

ZeaLitY

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Crimson Echoes Interviews
« on: August 08, 2005, 10:22:05 pm »
I need an enterprising individual to come up with questions for me about Crimson Echoes. They'll be used in a feature for the August 22nd release. Make about 12 questions for me. I'll answer them and make the feature.

teh Schala

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Crimson Echoes Interviews
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2005, 11:17:06 pm »
1) What has been the most difficult aspect of organizing the development of the game?

2) How long did the idea stir in your head before you realized "Hey, this might be possible"?  Or was it the opposite, where you realized the hack was possible, and came up with the idea soon after?

3) What is/has been your biggest goal in making the game?

4) Can you elaborate on your vision for the plot and how it can fit in with the canonical Chrono series?

5) Similar to question 1, but relating to the actual making of the game.  What has been the most difficult aspect to deal with in this area?

6) What inspired the name "Crimson Echoes"?

7) Seeing that the fate of characters such as Crono, Marle, and Lucca is unknown between Trigger and Cross (though we can assume with fair certainty that Lucca was killed), what can you reveal about the ultimate fate of the Trio?

8 ) Rumors have been flying and the development room has been buzzing with plans for a playable Schala, along with playable human Glenn.  While the developers have been clear in stating that these aspects are a dream right now, how close is it to being possible?

I'm sure I can come up with more at some point. :)

V_Translanka

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Crimson Echoes Interviews
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2005, 12:41:08 am »
I've just got a couple Qs...

How important was Temporal Flux in the development of Crimson Echoes?

Who exactly would be in the "Dream Team" for Crimson Echoes?

I'm sure you wish he would, but do you think that Kato would approve of your telling of a sequal? i.e. does it seem to follow the same basic feeling as the other games?

teh Schala

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Crimson Echoes Interviews
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2005, 12:46:48 am »
That brings us to 11 questions...

ZeaLitY

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Crimson Echoes Interviews
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2005, 02:01:49 am »
1) What has been the most difficult aspect of organizing the development of the game?

I'd say, primarily, getting assistance in working with Temporal Flux and mapping has been the hardest part thus far. The program is the real vehicle for CE's creation, as without it, all we have is a skeleton plotline for fanfiction. When it was released, the first couple versions had a nasty bug that saved bad map data; this, coupled with the fact that most people are scared off the moment they see the event code, made the pickings extremely slim for help. Early on, I became disenfranchised, but after DivineDragoonKain and Jake-a-Roonie joined, the demo was suddenly able to be completed in time for Chrono Trigger's tenth birthday - not to mention the new assistance of other team members, including jsondaq2, who is pioneering a coliseum for your enjoyment. Plus, we're documenting everything we do, so that new volunteers can pick up basic skills in a heartbeat. Throw in the tres sans de Chrono Trigger rom hacking - Chickenlump, JLukas, and Geiger - and the bases are covered!

2) How long did the idea stir in your head before you realized "Hey, this might be possible"? Or was it the opposite, where you realized the hack was possible, and came up with the idea soon after?

Definitely, the lure of rom hacking is what proved the brainchild of Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes. While I had skirted actually implementing a solid Modification section in the Chrono Compendium Encyclopedia, Temporal Flux finally necessitated a long, hard look at the potential. After trying it out, I immediately realized the possibilities, and in my unquenchable zeal, I decided that the site would have the first Chrono Trigger ROM Hack that isn't a spoof, hardtype, or simple text edit. It would be a major victory for the site, and would also blow open the doors for other fans to try their hand at making a modification. As time progressed, and we began fleshing out a cool plot, it became apparent that the hack shouldn't be rushed. We have the capacity to make a totally new entry in Chrono series fandom, and hope that it will have the stamp of quality of other Compendium features.

3) What is/has been your biggest goal in making the game?

I almost named the hack Chrono Break, rather than Crimson Echoes, and that should reveal my aim. In the horrific event that Chrono Break is never made, and Square Enix never again touches the series, it would be fun to have at least one more game. While I believe that most Chrono Cross criticism concerning not getting to play Crono again is fanboy whining, it would nonetheless be thrilling to take the old team out for a spin one more time in their home environment. Most of all, however, it has to feel like a Chrono game. The themes of free will, varied conflicts, and above all, freaky science and time traveling have to be preserved. We'll be expanding on old topics and subjects in fresh adaptations.

4) Can you elaborate on your vision for the plot and how it can fit in with the canonical Chrono series?

The Chrono Compendium was founded to analyze the Chrono series. While the ambition of the site soon grew to the goal of being the fandom alpha and omega, a hallmark of the site continues to be our discussion of the games; eventually, everything will be presented in articles. This gives us an opportunity to use our conclusions and findings to logically expand on the plot without straying way too much. For instance, Radical Dreamers hints that the Frozen Flame was used in the Mammon Machine in Zeal. Chrono Cross suggests the Kingdom of Guardia rebounded after its fall in 1005 A.D. It also suggests the Acacia Dragoons might have had a hand in the affairs of Guardia's fall that year. All these loose ends and suggestions can be taken advantage of to explore new possibilities without ever leaving the realm of possible canon, and makes for very exciting plow twists and turns.

The greatest caution being taken, however, is that of not straying into left field with original ideas, as well as avoiding old RPG cliches and ripping off other games. For instance, we cannot have a scenario where Magus reveals that he "secretly was in love with Lavos," or copy something like the Light of Judgment in Final Fantasy 6. While it's impossible to avoid some RPG cliches, we're nonetheless treading lightly and creatively. The colosseum mentioned earlier, in development by jsondaq2, will use a ladder type system. While this may seem similar to Soul Calibur or Final Fantasy 7, our own special spins and touches are being applied, ensuring a new experience replete with the 'feel' of Chrono Trigger. The Chrono series also has some recurring themes, like elemental armor and a major transformation for the main character, that we'll also add to.

5) What will be the hardest part of development?

Once you get the hang of Temporal Flux, it's a relatively painless experience, as long as you aren't fatigued and drooling on the keyboard. I've only begun to scratch the surface of event code, but nothing is out of our grasp. However, since the program figures so hugely into the game, there have been two or three event mishaps, but all is well and rectified.

I'd thus have to say that the hardest part of development will be ensuring a challenge for the player. It's one thing to have beautiful new areas and precisely detailed event scenes, and it's entirely something different to ensure that the player doesn't blast through them in a matter of seconds. To boot, Chrono Trigger's only flaw has been cited as a lack of challenge and long playtime. We have the full capacity to beat this problem, but it's going to take a metric ton of beta testing and tweaking to ensure that monsters remain hard and there are plenty of opportunities to lose. Nonetheless, it'll be a labor of love, as we'll be playing a new Chrono game! Who can object to that?

6) What inspired the name "Crimson Echoes"?

There's a quote by Lucca in her letter to Kid in Chrono Cross:

   But when you think of it, we also
   caused the deaths of so many that
   were meant to have come into
   existence in the time line we
   destroyed, and also caused new
   sadness and suffering further along
   in the new future we created...

Early on in the development of the plot, I considered these repercussions that the Crono team might have left throughout history, as well as the darker truths they barely missed, such as the spectacle of the Iokans huddling in a cave for warmth as the Ice Age pounded them. These little effects and accidental, negative byproducts throughout time could be called Crimson Echoes, magnifying like ripples in water as they spread throughout time. Of course, these echoes just might not be, for the most part, the doing of the party, but you'll just have to see for yourself the person stirring up the tide!

7) Seeing that the fate of characters such as Crono, Marle, and Lucca is unknown between Trigger and Cross (though we can assume with fair certainty that Lucca was killed), what can you reveal about the ultimate fate of the Trio?

Well, Crimson Echoes takes place in between Trigger and Cross, as this conveniently allows us to use Belthasar and Chronopolis before the time altering Project Kid, and also gives us the benefit of using Crono and team before the directions Cross takes them. The Cross ending, provided our theories on time and plot are correct, suggests that the team might be okay and well (see the Compendium entry on the Kingdom of Guardia for that). We can't exactly alter that since Crimson Echoes takes place before Cross, but we can get the party into all kinds of trouble in the meantime. And no, Chrono Cross is a worthy sequel to Trigger and takes the Chrono series into new directions and class it couldn't have dreamt of, so the possibility of "forgetting" Cross and making a new sequel is out.

8) Rumors have been flying and the development room has been buzzing with plans for a playable Schala, along with playable human Glenn. While the developers have been clear in stating that these aspects are a dream right now, how close is it to being possible?

The problem is two fold, and until these difficulties are knocked out, it's a pipe dream. Firstly, Frog's height is a little more compressed than his peers'. The ROM tightly packs player character sprites, meaning we can't simply go in and replace Frog with Human Glenn at the moment, as he just wouldn't fit. Additionally, Ayla's running animation puts her close to the ground, which also poses a problem for an upright Schala. Darkken, a member of the Dream Team, has been doing his own work with replacing player character sprites, and has managed to replace most Ayla's basic animations with human Glenn. However, he too encountered the problem of managing the running animations.

Second are battle animations and techs. The real rom hackers probably know more on the subject than I, but I can say at the moment that it appears techs, for the most part, are hardwired to their characters. Hardwired means coded pure; for instance, it's like being able to replace a monster's attack with all the attacks in the game, versus being unable to replace a monster's attack because it is designed and coded especially for it. Progress is always being made, but this is going to be a major stumbling block for awhile. Perhaps a compromise can be struck where Schala can cast monster attacks, like MP Buster, Dreamless, and stuff.

9) How important was Temporal Flux in the development of Crimson Echoes?

Paramount! We can sit around and talk air all day about neato plot ideas, but unless someone puts his or her nose to the pavement and cranks out some scenes and new areas, the project won't be completed. Things like sprite editing take a backseat to event editing anyway; theoretically, even if you could not edit maps, an entire new game is still possible using just events and strings. If you want to volunteer, you should also consider using the program, as it'd be a great help.

9) Who exactly would be in the "Dream Team" for Crimson Echoes?

The Dream Team is composed of several people, split up into various areas of development. First and foremost is the Director, who sort of makes sure everything's going smoothly and does his own PR. Second are the Temporal Flux engineers and rom hacking assistants. As stated above, Temporal Flux is the engine under the hood, and we also have the help of longtime CT rom hackers who hopefully are happy that a big project has finally come to production. All the work and effort will be showcased! Third comes plot development, which is basically a group of creative individuals who keep the lid on crappy, outlandish ideas, and promote great, new material. Fourth are the beta testers and quality assurers, who swarm the beta patches like bees on honey and point out all our stupid mistakes. The result is a fine-tuned, shiny product. Music also is a big part of the project, though it doesn't neatly fit into the heirarchy. Claado Shou is doing some original tunes, and the entire Chrono Compendium is invited to submit music reinstrumentations.

10) I'm sure you wish he would, but do you think that Kato would approve of your telling of a sequal? i.e. does it seem to follow the same basic feeling as the other games?

I'm hoping it will. For instance, the demo should, if we played our cards right, exude the lighthearted qualities of Chrono Trigger, right down to the last NPC. Great pains will be taken to expand on Chrono series themes, too. However, it all boils down to the fact that this game is not and never will be canon. The other problem is that since this is using the Chrono Trigger engine and original team, it's invariably slaved to some of CT's quirks. Chrono Cross took a new setting and character, and revealed a masterpiece of plot and setting. It's one of the most wonderful RPGs ever released, mostly because it is a self-contained work of art. Mitsuda's music, the rich settings, and the dimensional plot that's consistent like clockwork all coalesce. We can't really take the series in a new direction like Cross did because of the medium here, but we can provide one last fun romp with the Chrono alumni.

ZeaLitY

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Crimson Echoes Interviews
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2005, 02:37:12 am »
2 more I guess; you can use the Interviews in the Features part of hte site for some questions if you're drawing blanks.

Legend of the Past

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Crimson Echoes Interviews
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2005, 03:41:23 am »
Here's mine:

Q) Now that you've closer then anyone in making a fan sequel of CT with a plot that gives the title justice, how do you feel? Relieved? Nervous?

Q) Were there any conflicts between the members of the Dream Team, or did everyone deal with the pressure well?