Author Topic: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress  (Read 7269 times)

TheMage

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #45 on: July 05, 2021, 10:42:23 am »
 :shock: omg she looks fantastic!!!

dclem

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #46 on: July 13, 2021, 05:55:35 am »
:shock: omg she looks fantastic!!!

Things are going well with Marle.

I have some updates:

Firstly, some ETAs have been delayed of a few artists due to covid. This means character development are slower than normal, and in this case, it is fine for the delay.

Gameplay
Unlike before with the old ATB 3.0, the two new battle systems have been coming along very smoothly and I can safely say we have a solid gameplay mechanic for Chrono Vendian.

Just like ATB 3.0, there wouldn't be any true double or triple techs, at least not in the same shape or form due to the scope of needed modifcation of the battle structure. Instead it will be converted to limits—a pseudo alternative version that keeps the double and triple techs, just alterating the way they are executed.

Locations
In these stages, it's good to get as much feedback as possible.

Since most of my artists conduct their workflow in UE/Unity, I allow them to create assets in them with some intricate workflow alterations during finalisation.

Since the engine used for Chrono Vendian is FFXII (PhyreEngine) the asset structure is very different, not just from the Phyre Asset standard, but also how FFXII was ported to PhyreEngine by SQEX, which has varying varations to Phyre standard structure, particularly when it comes to certain materials and assets.

The artist use UE when creating the assets, since simply working with PhyreEngine's pipeline alone is not enough to simply work with the structure of assets—and would require more time to allow them to become familiar with an engine they are, otherwise, not as familiar with.

Allowing the artist to be able to have the creative freedom and software familiarity without the restrictions of the game engine. When finalised, combine UE assets and materials all into one parent object and exported the meshes linked to the parent object as child meshes where it then be imported in Meta3D, update/fix collision, cleanup asset structure and prepare it for asset conversion to the game's structure via Zodiac Engine.

One of the playable locations, Mystic Mountain:







How accurate would you rate the path remake? And will we see Kino? :P
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 06:23:56 am by dclem »

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #47 on: July 13, 2021, 09:57:47 am »
Quote
Allowing the artist to be able to have the creative freedom and software familiarity without the restrictions of the game engine. When finalised, combine UE assets and materials all into one parent object and exported the meshes linked to the parent object as child meshes where it then be imported in Meta3D, update/fix collision, cleanup asset structure and prepare it for asset conversion to the game's structure via Zodiac Engine.

I love the behind-the-scenes you give with this project. Both about how FFXII was made with the engine (created externally and then imported), and with how Chrono Vendian is shaping.

Quote
How accurate would you rate the path remake?


I mean, it definitely looks the same -- just with less foliage! Regardless, looks incredible!

But as far as I'm concerned, I don't care about a 1:1 remake of locations. As long as the spirit is there and maybe some easter eggs to show that they're one and the same, I'm happy. I'm not a hardcore purist by any means. Plus, this may be a vendian-age version of the location, not the 65-million BC version, so you could always say and differences are due to time flow.

That UE5 works looks amazing though. UE5 never ceases to amaze me.

Quote
And will we see Kino

I sure hope so! :D
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 10:07:08 am by Boo the Gentleman Caller »

dclem

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #48 on: July 14, 2021, 08:24:50 pm »

I love the behind-the-scenes you give with this project. Both about how FFXII was made with the engine (created externally and then imported), and with how Chrono Vendian is shaping.

Yes, for me, it's very important when giving the status and updates. Since Chrono Vendian is being made from the ground up with FFXII as its engine, nor retaining any of the original locations of FFXII, most of the limits introduced before are gone. No more needing to compensate environments by merging sections all into one zone when the mesh and poly limits per mesh are reached. Instead, zoning can be used now.

With how smoothly things have been progressing, I can safely introduce another new feature: Materium.
Materium are fragments of the Frozen Flame and allows the use of magic in Chrono Vendian. These fragments are scattered across the lands in the Vendian age and are used are various treasures containing magic, magical items, commodity and are intergral part of the character development system, Materium Crystarium.

These fragments of the Frozen Flame are crystalized, granting innate magical augments to the user. Parallel to this, the sorcerers of Zeal effectively harnessed the powers of the Sun Stone, crystilizing powers from the Frozen Flame which lie dormant deep inside. Elemental Stones surge an array of power; when unleashed it grants the user impregnable strength. These are known as Limits in game.

These Sun Stones are also crystalized with a magical force, a seal referred to as Astral. The Seal is impregnable. However, there is an item that could possibly penetrate the seal. Moreover, should the seal be broken, the host of one crystalized Sun Stone and host of one Materium, the power that surges within could be extracted; binate energy could be created between the two hosts. These are known as Double Techs in game.

Gameplay-wise, the Materium Crystarium is composed of various materium used to enhance characters, improve their vitality, strength and magic potency. Grant permanent enhancements and immunities to certain statuses and access higher tier abilities.

*The old Tech Grid is completely removed.

I mean, it definitely looks the same -- just with less foliage! Regardless, looks incredible!

But as far as I'm concerned, I don't care about a 1:1 remake of locations. As long as the spirit is there and maybe some easter eggs to show that they're one and the same, I'm happy. I'm not a hardcore purist by any means. Plus, this may be a vendian-age version of the location, not the 65-million BC version, so you could always say and differences are due to time flow.

That UE5 works looks amazing though. UE5 never ceases to amaze me.


This is true. Death Peak, for example, is different in the Cleft Dimension.

The lighting and shading varies between the two, unfortunately (with the standard shaders the game uses) are not as good as the shaders used in UE. However, since shaders can be compiled for the game now, this shouldn't be an issue in finalisation.

We have some foliage on the top of the mountain terrian, the mere along the dirt path has yet to be added.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 08:40:55 pm by dclem »

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #49 on: July 14, 2021, 11:54:14 pm »
The engine changes keep sounding better! Between graphical enhancements (I didn't realize you could introduce new shaders to the FFXII engine!) and the combat changes, the Materium system sounds awesome.

In many ways it is much more complex than Trigger or Cross, but it sounds awesome. Upgrading and breaking the Astral seal, obtaining Limits, and acquiring double techs = awesome; it sounds like they are actually earned now through hard work, and I bet their combat power makes it well worth the efforts.

How many double techs will each pair of characters learn? Will there be triple techs? :D

dclem

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #50 on: July 15, 2021, 10:27:26 pm »
The engine changes keep sounding better! Between graphical enhancements (I didn't realize you could introduce new shaders to the FFXII engine!) and the combat changes, the Materium system sounds awesome.

Yes, shader compilation have been a key feature in Zodiac Engine since 3.0. ZE 3.1 feature updates to minor things like model assets fixes and fixes to high-model (the model structure system specifically in FFXII, and other FF PS2 games) where the model head mesh and hand mesh are separated from the body mesh, since the two assets would be swapped in and out with each other during cutscenes. However, due to that feature of high-model replace being present in FFXII port to PhyreEngine, I have had that feature omitted for Chrono Vendian, so now we can use one whole model for everything! ZE 3.2 fixes intricates with maps.

Knowing the intricates of a few instances, a lot of cutscenes will be pre-rendered. This is so that the more complex events are not cut whatsoever.

In many ways it is much more complex than Trigger or Cross, but it sounds awesome. Upgrading and breaking the Astral seal, obtaining Limits, and acquiring double techs = awesome; it sounds like they are actually earned now through hard work, and I bet their combat power makes it well worth the efforts.

Yes, very much worth the effort. These abilities always break the damage limit.

This past week I have been grinding out all the bugs from the Materium Crystarium, AEM and ATB mechanics. Here are my updates.

ATB (Action Time Battle) is currently clear of bugs. Its functionality works perfectly and it is fluid in parallel to AEM.

AEM (Action-Esque Mechanic) is currently clear of bugs. The issue with the execution keys where switched around to not have any buttons interfere without functionality, such as opening the battle command window. The key is a desolate button that has no other higher priority functions that would otherwise cause issues.

Materium Crystarium is currently cleared of bugs. Initially, during the construction of certain growth nodes for characters, and special augmented enhancements, there would be a crash when exiting the Materium Crystarium Window. This was detected due a bug with the License Board menu of FFXII with the old Summon tiles—there were still some of those summon tiles left. Effectively removing them cleared the issue. Summons are not an integral part of gameplay, instead, we have Double/Triple Techs and Limits.


How many double techs will each pair of characters learn? Will there be triple techs? :D

Currently there a limit to each ability per character, that is three.

Presently we have one double tech and one triple tech for each character.
That is
Code: [Select]
1 :: character : 1 Double tech :: 1 triple techAnd so on...

i.e.
Marle
Code: [Select]
Double tech (2 ATB requirement) | Antipode Bomb (Animation Marle & Lucca)
The execution is via one character, the animation itself features them both.

Limits are linked to a character's ATB, when the MP runs out however spells and magic cannot be used. The required ATB for the Limit to be used is mandatory. Since the ATB charges over time in fights, and enhancements to ATB can be increased (via the Materium Crystarium) it won't take long for a character to refill their ATB gauges and have their acquired limits available to use again (their MP is significant as well).
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 01:42:54 am by dclem »

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #51 on: July 16, 2021, 05:51:42 pm »
Regarding all the bugs you've cleared, how the heck do you all work so efficiently and so fast?!?!

And how big is the team, if you don't mind me asking.

dclem

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #52 on: July 17, 2021, 12:05:49 am »
Regarding all the bugs you've cleared, how the heck do you all work so efficiently and so fast?!?!

And how big is the team, if you don't mind me asking.

When I have a passion, I work nonstop on it. Every bit of of time I have goes into it. Sometimes on free days, I work on it until the early hours into the next day before realizing just how long its been. I had this same passion with other projects.

I have 3 dedicated artists for character creation, 2 artists for environmental construction, 1 animator, 1 dedicated reverse engineer, and myself.

Since my artists don't work directly with the engine's pipeline (because of the differences between the standard tools, and how FFXII handles its own assets and structure) I feel its best to allow them to create the models and assets in software they are most familiar with, so that they don't have any constraints or difficulties.

As they progress via updates to the design during construction if any changes or modifications are needed before reaching finalisation. At those times its critical for me to insure they are in line with the appropriate art direction, transforming the characters into fully realized, hyper realistic  while also remaining true to their original art styles.

Animation is a bit more complicated as custom animations in FFXII is still very sparse. It requires a bunch of deconstruction and rebuilding via Zodiac Engine, in short not a simple or very clean process of handling animations.

My reverse engineer greatly assists in the development of the new battle systems, more so, AEM (Action-Esque Mechanic), working together to ensure it functions as it should and functions well and is fluid.

I handle the finalisation of assets, Q&A, scenario and scripts.

When the art assets are completed, they are sent to me to be finalised, the process of cleaning up the asset structure, preparing it to be game ready (specifically for FFXII's engine requirements) which Zodiac Engine closely follows.

Even though limits regarding the some structure with the game's high-model replace system, map structural meshes, collisions and terrain have been omitted, the general structure of the Phyre-standard asset structure (and ffxii's specific structure (for internal structure composition and external material assets) remains the same—such as mesh palletizing (mesh physics, which is still much limited in terms of what mesh have which physics in game, like hair, cloth and accessories), converting animation to the game's binary format (via Zodiac Engine), bone-to-mesh skeleton structure matching, IK solvers and polygon per mesh limits.

Since the improvements with game have allowed more freedom in terms of what can be done, I felt confident in rebuilding Chrono Vendian from the ground up, without retaining parts of FFXII for leverage. As before we had parts of the scenario (from start to the end) involving location and assets from vanilla FFXII, due to constraints, now are removed, allowing us to take advantage of the game's larger resources.

For advance technical assets such as cutscenes (FMVs) that prove to be too complex to emulate in game, I outsource to studio for pre and post production. Originally, I've outsourced to Snapper Systems, who generously offered me the quote of $10,000 for my needs with the project. With this, I too must be very careful to use this wisely and ensure the content that needs to be prerender (FMV) is what it is, and no others would come down the line when budget is limit is reached. This includes the trailer, which I have planned in production to be as such, along with gameplay shown along side it.

I've previously outsourced to Tokkun Studio with one of my (now derelict) projects-trilogy series: Veracity Kingsglaive Unveils.

I stated before of the capabilities of a bigger budget I could dedicated to this project. That also I must use it wisely.

So it's not a massive team, but a team sizeable enough to fit the budget and deliver quality assets needed to see the project to a successful launch.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2021, 12:09:59 am by dclem »

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2021, 12:03:42 pm »
Quote
When I have a passion, I work nonstop on it. Every bit of of time I have goes into it. Sometimes on free days, I work on it until the early hours into the next day before realizing just how long its been. I had this same passion with other projects.

I know that feeling! I write as a hobby off and on and this happens to me, too. When I have an idea or a concept I can immerse myself into it for days at a time. Now that I'm married and with children, however, I don't have nearly as much time to do this. Alas!

Quote
I have 3 dedicated artists for character creation, 2 artists for environmental construction, 1 animator, 1 dedicated reverse engineer, and myself.

Impressive! You all should start a studio and after this project do a full-on new IP. It's clear you -- and your team -- have the talent to do so, and it could put some money back in your pocket.

Animation is a bit more complicated as custom animations in FFXII is still very sparse. It requires a bunch of deconstruction and rebuilding via Zodiac Engine, in short not a simple or very clean process of handling animations.

I've done some modding for Skyrim and follow closely a few large-scale mods for Skyrim (Lordbound, Beyond Skyrim, Skywind) and I've seen their struggles (aka adventures) in creating new animals, rigging skeletons, and all that comes with the territory. It's never fun but a very vital part of the process!

Quote
Since the improvements with game have allowed more freedom in terms of what can be done, I felt confident in rebuilding Chrono Vendian from the ground up, without retaining parts of FFXII for leverage. As before we had parts of the scenario (from start to the end) involving location and assets from vanilla FFXII, due to constraints, now are removed, allowing us to take advantage of the game's larger resources.

I'm fully confident in you all. Keep up the great work, my friend! I think the only risk to your project is that it's so good you could get a cease and desist from Square Enix. Crossing my fingers!





dclem

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #54 on: July 19, 2021, 12:14:59 am »
I know that feeling! I write as a hobby off and on and this happens to me, too. When I have an idea or a concept I can immerse myself into it for days at a time. Now that I'm married and with children, however, I don't have nearly as much time to do this. Alas!

Impressive! You all should start a studio and after this project do a full-on new IP. It's clear you -- and your team -- have the talent to do so, and it could put some money back in your pocket.

Truth be told, I've had a scenario for my own IP in the works for quite sometime, brewing beneath the surface; with a game design featuring a blend between action and turn-based. A lot of inspiration in the battle system introduced in the FF7 Remake has inspired me in so many ways when it comes to gameplay in an RPG. I had this spark when constructing elements of gameplay from Chrono Trigger and mixing it with Active Dimension Battle (aka FFXII's original battle system). Since (in that regard) FFXII (also) saw the removal of random battle transitions, the atmosphere beckoned closer to a action-esque style of gameplay (if you were to omit the use of gambits) which is what I did—to provide a new and fresh esthetic to Chrono Vendian; not have it feel entirely like FFXII, since the two games are very different in their original forms.
I've also imagined the style of gameplay I could create if Chrono Vendian used FFX's engine; turned based battle system, or even FF4: The After Years, as that had a similar system to Double and Triple techs, (Called 'Bands' in FF4:TAY). Being able to take what the game is, and reconstructing it into something new and unique. Like creating art from a limited source of material; internally and externally.

Regarding my own IP, I've grown very fond of the blend between classics and action elements, as seen in FF7 Remake. However, I planned to leverage either one battle system that blends turn based with action based, or having two battle modes for both systems—a turn based based gameplay style in which features the classics of turn based RPGs, with traditional random encounters, and the another mode for Action RPG based gameplay, where the player can choose either or to fit their playstyle. It's a world of endless possibilities that fuels my passion and excitement to create something new and unqiue, yet fluid and enjoyable.
 
I mentioned the project being long term, so the lot of us working on Chrono Vendian can merge over to the new IP after completion.

I've done some modding for Skyrim and follow closely a few large-scale mods for Skyrim (Lordbound, Beyond Skyrim, Skywind) and I've seen their struggles (aka adventures) in creating new animals, rigging skeletons, and all that comes with the territory. It's never fun but a very vital part of the process!

Very true. FFXII is a very big game, with many and various binaries, structural assets, multiple sections and entries, making it, more so, a tedious game to tame in terms of modifying the necessary assets to build a game from within it as entirely new.
With the successes and progression of Zodiac Engine does it well handling new assets that are to be used in game.

I'm fully confident in you all. Keep up the great work, my friend! I think the only risk to your project is that it's so good you could get a cease and desist from Square Enix. Crossing my fingers!

Thank you and thank you all.
Currently, players will still have to purchase FFXII on Steam to run Chrono Vendian. Effectively negating any negative instances with Square Enix. Since players would have to purchase one their games to play Chrono Vendian, there isn't a loss of profit for Square Enix, rather an increase or surge in sales, particularly for this IP. The hosting site for CV would stay updated when FFXII is on sale for those who do not already own it.

I also understand the conveniences of an easy 'download 'n play' method, for those who either couldn't afford FFXII full price or preferences. While more convenient, it is also more risky. If possible, before launch, to have the game read only the assets that are needed to run Chrono Vendian (and any other necessary assets needed for the game to properly function, omitting all other asstes, which would help significantly in reducing the assets FFXII installs, versus how much of that the game actually uses during runtime).

This way it could significantly cut down on file size resources, the need to buy and download the (already) 50GB game + the extra GB data from Chrono Vendian and have installing and running Chrono Vendian more streamlined.

I also don't believe I mentioned this before already; Crono will remain as the game's silent protagonist. This includes in gameplay elements such as attacking, using special abilities, text-based scenarios and cutscenes.

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #55 on: August 12, 2021, 09:28:56 am »
Is it official that the Japanese version of Luminaire is named 'Thundaga'; furthermore did it really use the tier system (ra, ga) or did it still use Lightning 2, Fire 2... etc. or was that Woolsey's interpretation?

Thanks in advance

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #56 on: August 13, 2021, 02:11:14 pm »
I could be wrong here, but I went hunting and found this:

https://www.chronocompendium.com/Term/Translation_Differences.html#Techs

According to this, they did use the Final Fantasy-esque -ra/-ga suffixes to a certain extent. I wanted to double check and found this much more in-depth guide from GameFaqs.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/snes/563538-chrono-trigger/faqs/25464

Here's an excerpt:

Quote
Crono's Single Techs:
English         Japanese               Translation
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyclone         kaiten giri              Spinning Cut
Slash            kamaitachi             Whirlwind Cut
Lightning       SANDAA                Thunder
Spincut         zenryoku giri          Full-Power Cut
Lightning2     SANDAGA              Thunderga
Life               REIZU                   Raise
Confuse         midare giri            Confuse Cut
Luminaire      SHAININGU           Shining


Marle's Single Techs:
English         Japanese               Translation
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aura            OORA                   (same)
Provoke       chouhatsu             (same)
Ice              AISU                     (same)
Cure            KEARU                  (same)
Haste           HEISUTO              (same)
Ice 2           AISUGA                 Icega
Cure 2         KEARUGA              Curega
Life 2          AREIZU                 Araise


Lucca's Single Techs:
English         Japanese               Translation
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flame Toss      kaenhousha             Flame Thrower
Hypno Wave    saimin onpa            (same)
Fire                 FAIA                       (same)
Napalm           NAPAAMU BOMU       Napalm Bomb
Protect            PUROTEKUTO           (same)
Fire 2              FAIGA                      Firega
Megabomb      MEGATON BOMU       Megaton Bomb
Flare               FUREA                     (same)




dclem

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #57 on: August 14, 2021, 10:26:04 pm »
I could be wrong here, but I went hunting and found this:

https://www.chronocompendium.com/Term/Translation_Differences.html#Techs

According to this, they did use the Final Fantasy-esque -ra/-ga suffixes to a certain extent. I wanted to double check and found this much more in-depth guide from GameFaqs.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/snes/563538-chrono-trigger/faqs/25464

Here's an excerpt:

Quote
Crono's Single Techs:
English         Japanese               Translation
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyclone         kaiten giri              Spinning Cut
Slash            kamaitachi             Whirlwind Cut
Lightning       SANDAA                Thunder
Spincut         zenryoku giri          Full-Power Cut
Lightning2     SANDAGA              Thunderga
Life               REIZU                   Raise
Confuse         midare giri            Confuse Cut
Luminaire      SHAININGU           Shining


Marle's Single Techs:
English         Japanese               Translation
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aura            OORA                   (same)
Provoke       chouhatsu             (same)
Ice              AISU                     (same)
Cure            KEARU                  (same)
Haste           HEISUTO              (same)
Ice 2           AISUGA                 Icega
Cure 2         KEARUGA              Curega
Life 2          AREIZU                 Araise


Lucca's Single Techs:
English         Japanese               Translation
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flame Toss      kaenhousha             Flame Thrower
Hypno Wave    saimin onpa            (same)
Fire                 FAIA                       (same)
Napalm           NAPAAMU BOMU       Napalm Bomb
Protect            PUROTEKUTO           (same)
Fire 2              FAIGA                      Firega
Megabomb      MEGATON BOMU       Megaton Bomb
Flare               FUREA                     (same)


Ah so it did.
I mention this because there are three magic tier slots here, versus the two elemental tier techs (Lightning/Lightning2). If I omit the second tier magic (-ra suffix) there may be balancing issues. Though with the absence of double techs, it could be a substitute. Lightning, Lightning2, and Lightning3.

Or:

Thunder -> Thundara -> Thundaga -> Luminaire.

Ice -> Icera -> Icega.

The -ra suffix added to 'Ice' may not feel to well, being too literal in this case.
An extra magic will be learned after speaking with Spekkio.
Or:
Third extra elemental tier magic learned after defeating Spekkio, over receiving Megalixir
Maybe start a poll to decided what Spekkio's reward shall be down
Or leave it as no effect Spekkio fight.
So there'll be a third magic elemental tier:

•Lightning 3
•Ice 3
•Fire 3
•Water 3

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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #58 on: August 15, 2021, 12:20:29 am »
Eh, I think it will be fine however you make the spell system. I don't think the English-speaking demographic is used to the -ra/-ga suffix in Chrono Trigger, but I don't think they will care at all if you go that route.

Whatever you do will be great!

dclem

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  • Porrean (+50)
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Re: Chrono Vendian Updates & Progress
« Reply #59 on: August 15, 2021, 10:56:42 am »
After some further thought, Will be using the original English iteration along with the Woolsey translation.