Author Topic: Problems  (Read 333 times)


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« on: May 27, 2006, 12:51:36 am »
I wrote this while trying to imagine speaking to someone outside the project so I could best express myself.

Quote from: Problems
Crimson Echoes has a stupidly troubled history. The entire plot was made by me in 3 days of wishful thinking after the Temporal Flux editing program came out, and was full of stuff that was technically impossible. The plot was also horrible, and lacked breakdowns of what should happen onscreen for coders. Even after it was edited and smoothed over, it was still beyond the realm of what Chrono Trigger could do. Complicating things were on were the facts that only about 5 people were willing to learn how to use the program, and out of those, only 3 were real rom hackers who understood game mechanics (I think one of them knows ASM). So when the game was started, it was basically a bunch of screwing around and giving NPCs new lines in 1000 A.D. Finally, everyone learned how to make scenes, but help was still sparse. The demo was rushed out for the CT 10th anniversary, and was basically a glorified fetch quest. But it thrilled people just on virtue of being NEW CHRONO TRIGGER, which is why people are still happy to see the second demo.

But the problems continued, as the plot wasn't definitively "done" for a long time. A dedicated coder finally came to the project, but by then everyone else was lazing around and I wanted to get as far away from it as I could. Then corruption came into the mix. I got back into it and held that we should transfer all the material over to a new ROM. The only problem is, Temporal Flux 2.0's import feature is buggy with text, causing corruption. So until two months ago, my mantra was to simply wait until a new version came out. However, the lead programmer thought that expanding the ROM would help, and it seems to have done so. He then programmed 3 chapters of the game, which everyone polished. The only problem is, about the same time I called for a revision of the plot, since most of it remained from that 3-day "HAHAHA WOW LETS MKAE A NEW CT GAME) period back in 2004. However, most of the demo was already coded.

So the compromise was to simply make things ambiguous and work with what we had to leave options open for a revised plot. That made things really text-heavy and conditionally troublesome. At the same time, random corruption came back into the mix, probably from importing events way back when (it had taken this long to express itself). We had to dodge the corruption while cautiously editing all the dialogue, and meanwhile there really was no set script for the way scenes were supposed to play out. We also lacked technical planning beforehand, so a lot of temp fixes happened at the last minute (such as the GFX editing of the year boxes, the cancellation of the 2300 A.D. option on the Epoch, etc.). These factors all combined to hurt the game. There still isn't a defined plot.

It's still enjoyable, though. The lead programmer has the Rock Lee passion that made my site a success. But the project is going to face some kind of decision due to the corruption and current work. The demo works because the Sun Keep was the last thing to get corrupted, so we removed the exits to that area. And it is obvious that the current work was not planned well by the story planners and whatnot (even though the lead programmer executed it perfectly), causing more problems. So it's not a matter of the coding not being up to par; it's entirely an issue of thematics and plot. And I have no idea what to do. It would seem so wasteful to cast out the current progress, and additionally, people want a full CT hack. And this corruption is like a shot to the heart. There is still the possibility that using TF in some particular way causes its own independent corruption still, and that makes a full game seem impossible. It's impossible to throw out our work, yet it is corrupted, and we may never make a good fan game. We are limited in that everything we do will be a CT sequel or some derivative since gameplay is hardcoded in (techs and everything), and graphics editing is a tad difficult right now. I am at a loss for what to do.