Author Topic: The Chrono Vendian Project  (Read 457 times)

dclem

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The Chrono Vendian Project
« on: November 23, 2020, 03:39:07 pm »
I have been working on a project as of late, Chrono Vendian. It is a pseudo 3D remake of CT, telling a new story in an alternate timeline before the events of the fall of Zeal. Arriving at time period, Valendian 800, acts before the last rift in time's fabric; introducing the Tech Grid, a new character development system; along with the music featuring countless orchestrated scores courtesy of Malcolm Robinson Music.

The project is a mod under FFXII.

I know the lot may wonder why the project wasn't just made from scratch in Unreal Engine or Unity, etc. and while it initially was to be, it was better to be safe than sorry—going an indirect route to avoid potential C&D from SQEX, as we all know their track history with shutting down fan remake projects, particularly with Chrono. Also cheaper without needing to hire extra members to program functionalities and mechanics that are already there. FFXII was chosen mainly of its (gameplay) similarities to Chrono Trigger, such as:
  • Interchangeable party members (active/reserve).
  • Max of three party allies.
  • Party allies that follow the leader.
  • Exp and tp earned to party allies on the reserve.
  • Removal of random-battle transitions for battles.
  • The ability to manipulate abilities to pseudo CT's tech/abilities.
  • AoE (Area of Effect) range
  • Weapon types such as: Katanas, Bowguns, Bows, Guns, Unarmed, Greatswords and the ability to create new weapons such as Scythes.
To add, FFXII has been unlocked widely in the modding scene so much that pretty much anything is possible with the game:
  • Actions
  • Scripts
  • LUA support
  • Logic
  • 3D models
  • Maps
  • Voiceovers
  • Music
  • Sound effects
  • Sfxs
  • Textures
  • shaders
  • Custom Font
  • gameplay mechanics etc. the list goes on.
It really lifts the workload of the latter from otherwise creating such functionalities from scratch.

The game can modded to the point of starting and feeling as a new game inside of another preset game engine, which is exactly what CV does. Most of these unlocked features and capabilities are courtesy of the Zodiac Engine 3.0, which aims to remove a bunch of limitations the game engine had on character models, animations and environments.

It's compatibility in environments are bigger now without the need to split and compensate maps to fit within old limitations. Even so, some other limitations still exist, albeit updated to eventually remove these in the future, it is part of the reason only selected assets are remade from CT for now.

In CV, there are two gameplay modes:
  • 'Original'
  • 'Tech Grid'
Anyone who knows FFXII knows its character development system situates on the License Board and Job system, where characters must pick a board and use that to achieve the use of equipment, armor and abilities. In Chrono Vendian, this is no longer the case.

In original mode, which is default, character's are predefined with their own abilities that do not require (omits/effectively removing) the use of the License Board, allowing the player to simply buy and/or find new techs/abilities and have it readily available at their disposal.
This is same for weapons:
  • Crono uses Katanas.
  • Marle uses Bowguns/Bows.
  • Lucca uses Guns, a hammer and Hand-Bombs.
Tech Grid is a new character development system created specifically for the project. With the Tech Grid, character stats and HP do not grow with each level up. Instead, their entire growth is situated on the Tech Grid. The tech Grid is one large field divided into three main quadrants, where each character begins are is situated there based on their strengths in battle.
  • Crono is situated at the north quadrant of the grid, where strength nodes lie, excelling him in physical-based combat.
  • Marle is situated at the Southwest quadrant of the Tech Grid, where magic and defense magics nodes lie, excelling her in magic-based/defensive combat.
  • Lucca is situated at the Southeast quadrant of the Tech Grid, where offense magic nodes lie, excelling her in offense-magic based combat.
  • Crono's quadrant connects to the Northeast quadrant, where HP and Celerity nodes mostly lie, excelling Crono in HP and speed.
Stats that still grow with Level Ups are:
  • MP
  • Vitality
  • Speed
A current limit with the game, (no speed point nodes, MP or Vitality nodes exist yet).

The Tech Grid was inspired by the sphere Grid from FFX.

The Tech Grid is versatile, allowing a player to grow their character however they please after getting through their section on the Tech Grid.

For abilities/techs:
  • Crono gains only lighting-based magic.
  • Marle gains only Ice/Water-based magic.
  • Lucca gains only Fire-based magic.
Special Techs:
  • Marle/Lucca gain Antipode
  • Crono/Marle/Lucca gain Delta Force
Special Techs compensate for Double and Triple-techs from the original. Special techs can have a double or triple tech executed as a cinematic ability or a normal ability with special features, such as Megaton Bomb execute a sfx when Lucca fires her gun, or throws a hand-bomb. i.e. Lucca can either fire a Megaton Bomb or throw it via a hand bomb; the spell animation changes based on Lucca's current equipment.

The project is ~40% complete and can be found here when completed:
https://www.thezodiactrilogy.com/chrono-vendian

I'll use this thread to bring about updates and screenshots.

If possible I'd also like to request Project Forum in Guru Workshop, if applicable.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 09:22:37 pm by dclem »

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: The Chrono Vendian Project
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2020, 10:14:36 am »
Hey hey! I've seen this on Reddit a while back!

So glad to see you made if over here to the Compendium! This is an exciting project for sure. Beyond the tech and job grid changes, I do have a few questions. We experimented with a Magil/Magus hack for Chrono Cross ages ago, so I always love seeing these sort of hacks.

Will you be having any unique character or enemy models?

Are you utilizing existing FFXII maps and story events (sort of just swapping out dialogue and characters in the existing FFXII story to make it turn into a Chrono story)?

I am more than happy to get you a workshop space set up. Would you like it public or private?

dclem

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Re: The Chrono Vendian Project
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2020, 09:02:01 pm »
Will you be having any unique character or enemy models?

Yes! It is not complete without all types of foes. To name a few who'll be encounterable:

  • Lavos Spawn
  • Mammon Machine
  • Mother Brain
  • Steel, Alabaster, and Crimson Shades
  • Red Ghaj
  • Deathcreeper
  • Searcher
  • Iron Maiden

And much more.

Are you utilizing existing FFXII maps and story events (sort of just swapping out dialogue and characters in the existing FFXII story to make it turn into a Chrono story)?

No. The game starts on its own course and FFXII's original story events are completely removed, allowing such space for custom event triggers. In short, the whole world is open to explore, gain exp/tp, do side quests, all the like.
*i.e. the game's original script has been wiped to allow a custom one instead.

A lot of post-locations have been redone, reconstructed and the have new events triggers. The choice is up to the player once they select 'New Game':

  • Explore the open world.
  • Go on with the story exploring all new locations.

So effectively, none of FFXII's story events exist. Effectively making the world free to explore or heading straight into the Chrono story ahead.

Making old 'Trial Mode' into a mode more interesting. Officially dubbed: The Celestial Tower, to do on the side, that effectively rewards the player for reaching its end, and allowing them to save that data and carry it into the main game, doable at anytime during the game and good for preparing for superbosses.

For now, only a portion of FFXII maps have been reserved for new locations, as we still encounter some issues with other maps. FFXII's capacity for maps per zone is quite large, which allows us to effectively have new locations in a single zone, and transport (move instantly) character positions via the script traversing from one location to the next—all to compensate with the limit there, without having to cut content.

With abilities, it's interesting how well we can manipulate FFXII's abilities and create new ones parallel to CT Techs. While it's nice to introduce limit breaks to the party, the main goal is to make Techs close to the original as possible while remaining fresh and action-based.

I am more than happy to get you a workshop space set up. Would you like it public or private?

I would love that, public yes.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2020, 03:49:22 am by dclem »

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: The Chrono Vendian Project
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2020, 03:04:50 pm »
This sounds amazing! I can't wait to see screenshots and more info.

Also, I've set up your forum space with you as moderator. :)

https://www.chronocompendium.com/Forums/index.php?board=109.0

dclem

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Re: The Chrono Vendian Project
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2020, 09:28:15 pm »
This sounds amazing! I can't wait to see screenshots and more info.

Also, I've set up your forum space with you as moderator. :)

https://www.chronocompendium.com/Forums/index.php?board=109.0

Thank you!

CptOvaltine

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Re: The Chrono Vendian Project
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2020, 04:52:52 pm »
This sounds awesome!

I know you're using Malcom's  music for this, but I'd be interested in supplying a song or two if you find any need for some custom music. (Time permitting) Look up Cross Symphonic on Spotify if you want to hear some references!

Either way, good luck with everything! I can't wait to see how it turns out!

dclem

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Re: The Chrono Vendian Project
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2020, 07:11:25 pm »
This sounds awesome!

I know you're using Malcom's  music for this, but I'd be interested in supplying a song or two if you find any need for some custom music. (Time permitting) Look up Cross Symphonic on Spotify if you want to hear some references!

Either way, good luck with everything! I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Thanks!
A custom track could serve as the theme of the unnamed character who would join the trio—on the reserve of one character that is; no assigned theme atm.
Progress is coming well and steadily, good balancing and pacing.

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: The Chrono Vendian Project
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2020, 11:29:35 pm »
I won't lie, some screenshots would sure help the hype train, haha...

dclem

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Re: The Chrono Vendian Project
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2020, 04:24:47 am »
I won't lie, some screenshots would sure help the hype train, haha...

Will come in due time.
Crono, for one is being completely redone from the old initial version here:


Originally done by WBS in the days of old.
Now being remade by artist 노승훈 (roh seung) for the other two.
Maps will be a long while as they are more cumbersome to get in game and TZ to prefer to show in game screens than simple renders for maps. The last test map took a considerable amount of time to do in itself.

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: The Chrono Vendian Project
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2020, 10:29:32 am »
Holy moly. This gets my PUMPED UP!

I've seen this character model elsewhere and just thought it was borrowed art; I never realized this was the actual model! What a fun, invigorating, and boss interpretation of Crono! I am loving it.

Your 3D sculptor is awesome, btw. I am so excited for ya'll!!!

dclem

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Re: The Chrono Vendian Project
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2020, 03:44:14 am »
Holy moly. This gets my PUMPED UP!

I've seen this character model elsewhere and just thought it was borrowed art; I never realized this was the actual model! What a fun, invigorating, and boss interpretation of Crono! I am loving it.

Your 3D sculptor is awesome, btw. I am so excited for ya'll!!!

Thanks. The issue with this initial model was its bind pose and incomplete hair.
confident roh will do the trio justice. The game engine has never handled hair cards of such a scale until just now, so it wasn't surprising the game reacted strangely to it, needing certain diffuse correction if vertex colors where copied from the mesh and introduces much more aliasing.
Speaking of performance I should note TZ states models and maps will use 4K textures, which will use about 6 - 8 GB vram. And driver based/game native AA (MSAA) has a much more performance hit (MSAAx8) at a fraction of removing some aliasing of objects, including hair. The goal is to not remove the game's MSAA option, but introduce better SMAA implementation (offer SMAAx4, instead the game's native SMAAx1) and removing the game's FXAA for TAA, at the cost of blur, but works well as a alternative for removing aliasing at a fraction of the performance hit than SMAAx4 or (MSAAx8 + SMAAx1).
A lot of jarring jagging and aliasing was also seen in a few test sample maps, on grass and leaves, so this supplement to combat the aliasing.

More screens when the trio is completed along with some first glances at gameplay and tech grid.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2020, 03:52:51 am by dclem »