Author Topic: Chrono's Spiritual Successor  (Read 40383 times)

Acacia Sgt

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2018, 03:15:37 am »
You know, I wish I could say I can volunteer for this.

I have experience with coding, and I'm currently part of a group that's working on a Victoria II mod. Though even so I'm not really convinced that'd be enough. More so depending on what kind of coding would be used. Not to mention, if this really ever becomes a thing, and employs a program like one of the RPGMaker ones... well, as I mentioned before, I don't have them. I've tried free trials of some of them, but ultimately, I don't have the money.

Sure, there are probably other ways to contribute. I believe years ago I was involved in a Fire Emblem hack where I helped contribute to the story and did some script writing (which got replaced some time after I left, but it was still something). Though then I'd be either less capable or are more contested. Then the availability issue. Right now I currently have lots of free time, but I'm also on a "finished my career, now starting on the looking for a job business" phase, and once I'm done with that, who knows how much free time I'd have afterwards.

Well, I'd first withold until seeing if this actually goes somewhere, then worry if I could actually be able to offer to help with it in anything.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 03:19:16 am by Acacia Sgt »

chrono.source

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2018, 09:38:23 am »
Agreed! I'm happy to help get the ball rolling, but other then composing the music I would little no help with any of the actual work. 

Quote
So the caveat there would be game engines. RPGmaker is definitely not my first choice, but it is the lowest barrier to entry. And then we have to assume we have people who can use that engine.

I see the problem.  I suppose the biggest hurdle here is finding out who is interested in helping out with some of the labor intensive tasks like coding/programming/operating visual editors.  Like alfadorredux said, it might be a bit premature to pick a game engine, but at the same time we have to keep in mind who is willing and available, and what programs they can use or are comfortable using.

Don't sell yourself short. Composing the sound of the game creates the entire mood and overall feel of the game; this a huge undertaking and we'd be more than elated to have you aboard.

Looks like there's definitely going to be some conflict about platform... which is to be expected. That is something that can be put off until after some groundwork is put in; definitely not anything worth conflicting over....yet.

alfadorredux

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2018, 11:01:08 am »
Money is the other catch with RPGMaker (although if you stalk Humble Bundle for long enough, you can sometimes pick recent versions up fairly cheap). Unity is probably the most popular general engine with an editor, and you can get the less-featureful versions of it for free (if I recall correctly), but it's primarily 3D oriented.

Long post follows. Something about this seems to have tapped into my "must organize all the things" and "must give others the benefit of the research I did a while back" modes. Don't worry, it's a transient pattern of thought that rarely stays active for more than a few days.

Okay, so, if we actually want to make this a game, what things do we need to establish, and what jobs need to be filled?

Things that Need to Be Established

The important things that need to be figured out before any forward progress can be made:
  • Characters (at least a couple of them to start with)
  • General plot (three-to-five-sentence version, can change later)
  • Artwork style (do we want the classic 2D RPG look of pixel art with SD sprites and tile-friendly 3/4 perspective? Or something more realistic? More painterly? Cartoony? 3D, even?)
  • Music style (homage to Mitsuda? Something else? There's nothing that says an RPG can't have a jazz or rock or country (blech!) score. Could also split by world/era.)
  • Gameplay (we can assume certain things because of the game genre--characters have progressively growing stats, some form of equipment, etc.--but where RPGs tend to distinguish themselves is in the combat and magic systems. CT and CC both had distinctive combat systems, CC especially.)
  • What makes this game more worth playing than the hundreds of bad RPGMaker projects that bedevil the world? (for a Chrono homage, part of the hook is necessarily time travel and/or parallel universe travel, but it needs more than that)

Criteria to be considered when choosing an engine:
  • How much tooling (AKA "visual things for writing scripts for you") is needed? Desired? Can we write some of it ourselves?
  • Does this have enough flexibility to support the gameplay we decided on? "Simple enough, but no simpler" is generally a good description of what you want.
  • What platforms do we want the finished game to run on? (Windows, Mac, Linux, mobile, inside a browser...)
The engine FAQ at /r/gamedev (https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/wiki/engine_faq) is probably a good-enough place to start looking at the more general engines with editors, although it may be slightly dated.

Things that need to be decided eventually, but not right away:
  • Where to post this once it's done (I'm currently leaning toward itch.io, which I recall as easy to get onto, no fees if you're just giving stuff away, allows for various price-points including $0. RPGMaker games could also go to rpgmaker.net or similar)
  • Full list of playable characters
  • Anything else that I've forgotten about ;P

Jobs that Need to be Filled

  • Story/script: At least one writer and one editor/proofreader. "Writer" is probably the most fraught job in all of this, since if people don't like the direction the story is headed in, they're likely to drop out of the project. Additional writers who want something with a smaller time investment could also work on generic NPC lines, background lore, item descriptions, and all those little fiddly bits of text.
  • Artwork: At least one person, but potentially up to half a dozen distinct jobs (character sprites, backgrounds, monsters, portraits, menu/credits screens, character designs...) It may be possible to get art or helpers from opengameart.com (especially if the art can be released under a free license, such as CC-BY-SA)
  • Music: At least one person.
  • SFX: Probably the most dispensable job--you can do a lot with places like freesound.org and a few hours of playing with a program like sfxr.
  • Coding/scripting: At least one person, but probably several.
  • Testing and QA: It's probably best to split this up as much as possible and ask several dozen people to poke at small pieces (allowing them to enjoy the rest of the game). Someone will need to coordinate, although that can be dumped on the project manager (see below).
  • Project management: RPGs are, by their nature, really big games. At least one person has to be responsible for keeping track of which assets we have and which assets are still needed, and gently probing people when they drop out of sight. This is the other nasty job, along with "writer".
  • Publicity: Not necessary to fill this job specifically until we have at least a demo.

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2018, 01:04:30 pm »
To direct the conversation, I think we need to talk about what we would want in this game. Then we could see if we all are actually on the same page; I've seen too many times where there's not a cohesive vision and people flake fairly quickly. Then can see what engines would be feasible in what I'd want.

Storywise:
-I'd like to see time travel. Dimensional travel and/or multiverse doesn't attract me as much, but I'd be open to discussion. One way we can differ in our travel travel methodology would be to make it fatalistic by nature - by trying to change time, the heroes are in fact fulfilling what occurs in the timeline.
-A diverse and engaging cast of characters from across space-time. Around 9 party members, each with unique skillsets and more class-based archetypes (more varied than Chrono Trigger's characters).

Combat:
-Enemies visible on the map.
-Turn-based combat. ATB or purely turn-based on character speed.
-Dual and/or triple techs.
-Better yet, I think we can change the battle system to make it more engaging.
-Stacking has been done with Octopath Traveler and Bravely Default; perhaps rather than pure stacking, we can instead add in a "turn steal" feature? For example, certain attacks have a percentage to steal a turn. Same with critical attacks, etc.
-In addition to, or in replace of the above, perhaps certain attacks create an opening for a disrupt and/or steal? For example, once the ATB bar fills, there is a quick "charge up" period in which the magic meter must fill for the spell to cast. This opens up the caster's defense and a chance to interrupt the attack. Same with skills.

Graphics:
-I'm all about retro graphics, and I prefer to go with a more advanced version of SNES 16bit-era graphics. Meaning something akin to Octopath Traveler; perhaps a bridge of 2D and 3D?
-I also CRAVE a worldmap with exploration opportunities. More opportunities than Chrono Trigger would have offered.

Music:
-Anything by that CptOvaltine would be rad.

chrono.source

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2018, 02:30:19 pm »
Sounds like enough interest to maybe move this to its own thread?

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2018, 02:35:50 pm »
Quote
Sounds like enough interest to maybe move this to its own thread?

I thought the same thing. I have mod authority now, so I will see about trying to move it all over tonight or tomorrow. It's easy to do. For now, keep chatting away!

:D

CptOvaltine

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2018, 04:56:52 pm »
Thanks for helping us start to organize things alfadorredux!

Quote
Don't sell yourself short. Composing the sound of the game creates the entire mood and overall feel of the game; this a huge undertaking and we'd be more than elated to have you aboard.

Thanks Chrono!  I agree, the music can absolutely make or break a game!  I'm totally willing if you all are open to letting me try!

Quote
To direct the conversation, I think we need to talk about what we would want in this game. Then we could see if we all are actually on the same page; I've seen too many times where there's not a cohesive vision and people flake fairly quickly. Then can see what engines would be feasible in what I'd want.

I think that's a great approach. It might be a good idea to start thinking about what roles people want to/are able to fill. I would rather avoid the "to many cooks in the kitchen" problem, so as this starts to develop we should start thinking about who will direct, write, code, compose, etc.

On that end, I'm happy to compose if people are open to it!  Though fair warning, my music is almost exclusively orchestral.  I can write for any size (including solo piano) of group, but I tend to stay in more classical oriented ensembles. i.e I don't write for rock bands. ;)  That being said, if we're interested in a Mitsuda sound, I think I can accommodate!  I can also take somewhat of a producer role and help out with some of the administrative and organization tasks...but that's about the extent of my abilities in relation to game production!

Quote
Storywise:
-I'd like to see time travel. Dimensional travel and/or multiverse doesn't attract me as much, but I'd be open to discussion. One way we can differ in our travel travel methodology would be to make it fatalistic by nature - by trying to change time, the heroes are in fact fulfilling what occurs in the timeline.
-A diverse and engaging cast of characters from across space-time. Around 9 party members, each with unique skillsets and more class-based archetypes (more varied than Chrono Trigger's characters).

I love the idea of some sort of story built around the star gate premise. A mysterious tech or magic that transports you to unknown worlds (and maybe timelines on different worlds??) I've always loved stories that have the underdog take an impossible fight deep into the enemy territory.

It might be interesting to try and create a fantasy-esque sci-fi game.  I really loved the mock trailer for Chrono Break, something in that vain would be awesome.

I'm totally just spit balling here, I'm open to pretty much anything.

Quote
Combat:
-Enemies visible on the map.
-Turn-based combat. ATB or purely turn-based on character speed.
-Dual and/or triple techs.
-Better yet, I think we can change the battle system to make it more engaging.
-Stacking has been done with Octopath Traveler and Bravely Default; perhaps rather than pure stacking, we can instead add in a "turn steal" feature? For example, certain attacks have a percentage to steal a turn. Same with critical attacks, etc.
-In addition to, or in replace of the above, perhaps certain attacks create an opening for a disrupt and/or steal? For example, once the ATB bar fills, there is a quick "charge up" period in which the magic meter must fill for the spell to cast. This opens up the caster's defense and a chance to interrupt the attack. Same with skills.


100% agree with visible enemies, I also love the idea of being able to toggle ATB or Wait like Trigger allowed us to do.

I like the idea of Techs, however we need to balance them.  While they're cool in both Trigger and Cross, they're almost always inferior to physical attacks. (Especially in Cross) I would love to create a system that actually involves some sort of tactical strategy rather than just spam physical attacks the whole battle.  Octopath did this well with their weakness system.

All of that being said, I think it's important to stress that we don't need to re-invent the wheel. I don't think our major selling point is going to be a unique spin on TB combat or game play mechanics. I think a well crafted and executed story is going to be far more compelling to players, assuming that even a vanilla combat system is well balanced. Most RPGs in the last 10 years have put mechanics and graphics before story, and I think the entire industry has really suffered for it. Not that we shouldn't try to create a unique spin on things, but I would hate for the project to stall and fizzle because we couldn't code in a stacking system or another atypical feature. Besides, we can always overhaul the system later if/when we attract some more attention/other talented/experienced coders.

Quote
Graphics:
-I'm all about retro graphics, and I prefer to go with a more advanced version of SNES 16bit-era graphics. Meaning something akin to Octopath Traveler; perhaps a bridge of 2D and 3D?
-I also CRAVE a worldmap with exploration opportunities. More opportunities than Chrono Trigger would have offered.

I am 1,000,000% in favor of a more polished 16bit SNES era approach. I loved Octopath, minus some of the extreme lighting effects, and wouldn't mind something in that vain. I also loved the graphical style of the Chrono break trailer.  I think either approach would be great.

Quote
Music:
-Anything by that CptOvaltine would be rad.

I would love to create something for this project! This might be a little (or a lot) far-fetched, but if we could generate the revenue, it would be awesome to include a live soundtrack akin to Octopath!

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2018, 06:00:21 pm »
EDIT: I split this entire convo from the previous thread. I am trying to see if I can move it out of the polling section of the Compendium and into general conversation. Feel free to keep posting in the meantime.

alfadorredux

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2018, 11:15:46 pm »
Okay, so, before we go any further, here's a similar thread from a few years back:  https://www.chronocompendium.com/Forums/index.php?topic=10053.0 . I may have been a bit of a furry purple ass in that one--mea culpa.

Random time travel story ideas of varying degrees of silliness (in addition to the stuff in that thread):

Idea 1: It all started when her pet monkey snuck through the time gate she was testing and came back with a really fancy ring. Which belonged to a Dark Lord from the distant past, who is now really ticked off, and has reverse-engineered her time gate in order to get it back. That wasn't so bad until the fighting between them caused another time gate to misfire, and zombies came spilling in from the future. Now the inventor and the Dark Lord have to join forces to fix the future and avoid getting their brains eaten. (Bonus points if the monkey gets its hands on some future tech and joins the party as a really buff cyborg.)

Idea 2: She's a genetically-engineered, superstrong space marine from a future where humanity is losing its fight against the alien invaders. He's a spoony bard with a talent for magical music, from a past where everyone has special powers. Together, they fight crime try to save the world by bringing magic into the future. But of course, things won't be that easy.

Idea 3: Humanity is long since extinct, and one robot is curious as to why. Creating a time machine, he ventures to the last era when humankind walked the world...and finds they're pretty nice people, actually. The problem is all the mutant meat-eating plants--long since extinct in the future, because they don't find robots very nutritious. Since he's already got a time machine, the robot and his human allies head back to the previous (steampunk) era to try to figure out where all the nasty vegetation came from.

Idea 4: When Country B lost the war against Country A, the rulers of Country B weren't willing to accept it, and used their recently-invented time machine to undermine Country A in the past. Unfortunately, every intervention in the past made things worse for the entire world. Now the last agent of Country B is about to leave the present time, full of ruins and hunter-killer robots, and return to the past to stop the missions of his compatriots. The problem is that a lot of the records have been lost, so it's difficult to tell who's an agent and how to fix things. (This would probably be a setup for a game sewn together from multiple short quests, where every one that's successfully resolved would cause the state of the present time to improve a bit.)

Mix and match if you like, or toss in some of your own.

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2018, 12:03:58 am »
Quote
Idea 1: It all started when her pet monkey snuck through the time gate she was testing and came back with a really fancy ring. Which belonged to a Dark Lord from the distant past, who is now really ticked off, and has reverse-engineered her time gate in order to get it back. That wasn't so bad until the fighting between them caused another time gate to misfire, and zombies came spilling in from the future. Now the inventor and the Dark Lord have to join forces to fix the future and avoid getting their brains eaten. (Bonus points if the monkey gets its hands on some future tech and joins the party as a really buff cyborg.)

Too silly for my tastes. But once again, that's just me.

Quote
Idea 2: She's a genetically-engineered, superstrong space marine from a future where humanity is losing its fight against the alien invaders. He's a spoony bard with a talent for magical music, from a past where everyone has special powers. Together, they fight crime try to save the world by bringing magic into the future. But of course, things won't be that easy.

Interesting. Sounds like Doom-meets-Final Fantasy at first glance. This, in combination with below, interests me the most.

Quote
Idea 3: Humanity is long since extinct, and one robot is curious as to why. Creating a time machine, he ventures to the last era when humankind walked the world...and finds they're pretty nice people, actually. The problem is all the mutant meat-eating plants--long since extinct in the future, because they don't find robots very nutritious. Since he's already got a time machine, the robot and his human allies head back to the previous (steampunk) era to try to figure out where all the nasty vegetation came from.

Could be cool. It could also be repurposed for a singular event/era.

Quote
Idea 4: When Country B lost the war against Country A, the rulers of Country B weren't willing to accept it, and used their recently-invented time machine to undermine Country A in the past. Unfortunately, every intervention in the past made things worse for the entire world. Now the last agent of Country B is about to leave the present time, full of ruins and hunter-killer robots, and return to the past to stop the missions of his compatriots. The problem is that a lot of the records have been lost, so it's difficult to tell who's an agent and how to fix things. (This would probably be a setup for a game sewn together from multiple short quests, where every one that's successfully resolved would cause the state of the present time to improve a bit.)

Oh man. This is a cool concept, but it does feel somewhat similar to Radiant Historia - especially with the new version with multiverse timelines.

===========================

I had an additional concept or two I'll throw out here in a day or two. We'll see if anything sticks and how we can merge and edit concepts.

Acacia Sgt

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2018, 01:34:20 am »
Wish I could remember that old idea I had for a Chrono interquel between Trigger and Cross. To see if it could've used as its own thing instead. Ah well...

Personally... well, for the moment if I think something up it'd be more or less stuff inspired by other time-travel related media I've seen. Then again, I find some of their concepts interesting. Specially from places like Star Trek Online. They had some very nifty ideas, in my opinion.

Kodokami

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2018, 01:57:31 pm »
I'm totally on board with this, though, like Acacia Sgt, I may be more of an idea man. I do have a little experience RPG Maker and GameMaker Studio, and I'm willing to learn some coding if this ball gets really rolling.

I think borrowing gameplay ideas, at least, from other games, but especially Trigger and Cross, is a good idea. Boo, you mentioned the new Radiant Historia. It's obviously a game about time travel and dimension hopping, a perfect blend of Chrono theory, but I also loved how the remake includes extra-dimensional one-offs stories. Sort of, "what-ifs" for the players to experience alternate storylines. Now that I think about it, they were basically New Game+ secret endings that could be played during the main game as side quests to earn rare items and equipment.

CptOvaltine

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2018, 10:13:34 pm »
I'm totally on board with this, though, like Acacia Sgt, I may be more of an idea man. I do have a little experience RPG Maker and GameMaker Studio, and I'm willing to learn some coding if this ball gets really rolling.

I think borrowing gameplay ideas, at least, from other games, but especially Trigger and Cross, is a good idea. Boo, you mentioned the new Radiant Historia. It's obviously a game about time travel and dimension hopping, a perfect blend of Chrono theory, but I also loved how the remake includes extra-dimensional one-offs stories. Sort of, "what-ifs" for the players to experience alternate storylines. Now that I think about it, they were basically New Game+ secret endings that could be played during the main game as side quests to earn rare items and equipment.

That's actually an awesome idea!  I love the idea of having the different scenarios/endings actually serve a purpose (items and loot!) rather than just existing.

chrono.source

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2018, 09:31:15 am »
Wish I could remember that old idea I had for a Chrono interquel between Trigger and Cross. To see if it could've used as its own thing instead. Ah well...

See if you can dig it up in the next little while.


On that end, I'm happy to compose if people are open to it!  Though fair warning, my music is almost exclusively orchestral.  I can write for any size (including solo piano) of group, but I tend to stay in more classical oriented ensembles. i.e I don't write for rock bands. ;)  That being said, if we're interested in a Mitsuda sound, I think I can accommodate!  I can also take somewhat of a producer role and help out with some of the administrative and organization tasks...but that's about the extent of my abilities in relation to game production!

Personally I love orchestral.... great feel and depth to many genres of gameplay.

I am generally a spriter/mapper and idea man - composing was not my forte. I do however need a basis to create these upon - can't do them from scratch.

Now how big of a project are we talk here? Since we all seem to be burdened with life and jobs, etc. Should we limit the size of this to something a bit smaller?

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Chrono's Spiritual Successor
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2018, 10:38:17 am »
So I'm not 100% sold on moving forward yet - BUT --

I think if our interest is a commercial endeavor, a full-length game is the endgame. I do think there are steps to proceed with first.

I think our best bet is to make a small demo video demonstrating the graphics and potential battle aspects - much like the Chrono Break demo that came out earlier this year (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3SU5dDBwCI).

We can then potentially leverage it against a kickstarter. That makes the most logical sense to me.

Regarding a concept:

Some of you have seen my idea for a concept which I once called Chrono Blue, which was intended to be a spiritual sequel with a few ties to Trigger. In this universe, the laws of time travel are different than in Chrono Trigger; whereas time is malleable in this Chronoverse and can easily be changed via time travel, this universe would actually be governed by fatalistic time travel -- which means that attempts to change time end up only fulfilling events that occur. Think the 12 Monkeys movie, the first Terminator film, etc.

The characters are trying to change history, only to later realize that they are actually the cause of these catastrophic events. In order to save the day, then, they realize that they must literally alter the way time travel works in this universe so that they can reclaim their fate (and gain the ability to actually alter time). The late-game quest, then, would follow our heroes breaking the metaphysical chains of fate that governs this universe. Once completed, the heroes have the opportunity to undo the damage they do that would eventually destroy the world.

One fun act about this concept is that the villain is actually the hero from further in the timeline, but our hero isn't aware of the connection for some time. It gets convoluted and I have detailed it here for those interested: https://www.chronocompendium.com/Forums/index.php?topic=12605.30

I can go into more detail here if this seems interesting.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 10:39:51 am by Boo the Gentleman Caller »