Posted in Gaming, Nefol, RPG Maker

RPG Maker: Nefol Dev Blog – The Rai Caves

So, with Chapter 3 scripted, it’s finally time to venture into some new story and environments. This also means we need to create a bunch of new assets and art for various situations.

The first of these assets are sprites with closed eyes. We need these for a few situations, but mostly because there’s a scene coming up where the characters will be sleeping. This week, though, I only needed to finish the sprite for Jin, so that’s who I worked on.

Work in progress!

And then I made sure the new edited sprite was lined up properly on the same sprite sheet as the original sprite like this.

With all that done, I was able to move forward in coding some of the new scripted parts!

Lighting the Caves

This story eventually takes the party to a place known as the Rai Ancestral Caves. This is an important place to the clan to store supplies, and because a network of hot springs run through them. This makes a welcome resting point in a cold, harsh climate.

I knew I wanted to work with lighting and atmosphere in the Rai caves, mostly some glows and maybe some steam/fog. So I went on the hunt for a plugin that would help me create these effects, and I found Khas’ Advanced Lighting and Fog. It was a small learning curve, but by the end of the afternoon, I had a grasp on making crystals glow, torches flicker and water have a somewhat magical look.

Work in progress of the Rai Caves.

Next weekend, I’ll work on the steam effects. I also need to figure out how we’re going to depict bedding (like animal skins and sleeping rolls) for the party. But I’ll tackle that when I get to it!

Another exciting thing — Syn and I have been talking about a logical place to make a story break for this introduction part of the game. It looks like after Chapter 3 seems to be the best spot. This means we’ll be able to release the actual first part of the game itself soon! So, if you want to play it, rather than watch it on video (the actual game looks so much better in person), you’ll have that chance!

Just have to get through this section!

Posted in Gaming, Nefol, RPG Maker

RPG Maker: Nefol Dev Blog – Fight It Out!

This past weekend, I spent a good bit of time tweaking the flow of the Digger battle and finally finishing that scenario! In the middle of all this, I changed the graphics for the battle Digger creature, found and built new animations for the battle to spruce it up some, and finally got all the pieces to come together for the scene.

Yet Another Digger

First off, I decided I still wasn’t happy with the Digger creature we had. It was mostly a random monster I pulled from Google somewhere as a stand-in, and not something I was sanctioned to use. That’s when I started looking more closely at the artwork provided by Ækashics.

This is not only amazing-looking enemy art, but it’s free to use in RPG Maker games, free to edit, and more or less fits the style we want to go for. Plus, if we can pull from a library from the same artist, we can hopefully keep a consistent look across the battles we do include.

So, I took and altered one of her large insect creatures to remake our Digger again.

I also discovered a way to resize the monster sprites in battle, so in the final project, the Digger is a bit smaller than he shows in these pictures!

New Animations

I’m not quite sure how I stumbled upon Bubble Blog — I think I was looking for a Protect animation for the battle sequence. I’m not a pro on making animations in RPG Maker, but I did learn a lot about it this weekend.

I discovered that the one thing RPG Maker hasn’t changed much over the years is the battle animation system. This is good. This means that animation sheets made for previous versions of the game can still work for RPG Maker MV.

So when I saw some of the amazing animation sheets on that blog, I knew I needed to put them to use, rather than just settle for the default animations that came with the Maker.

I mean, just look at how awesome this fire animation is!

Anyhow, next up, I’m hoping to finish out the end of Chapter 2 this weekend. Syn and I then need to actually WRITE Chapter 3! How exciting — we’re working towards new content!

I’ll also work on getting a video of Chapter 1 out there soon. I’m still messing with video settings and things like that, hoping to get a higher quality output. I made a demo video to show Syn the battle sequence last weekend and wasn’t happy with the quality of the video output at all. I’m sure this is probably rookie user error, though, and I can figure it out.

Until then, Protect Clansman!

Posted in Gaming, Nefol, RPG Maker

Nefol RPG Introduction

Last weekend, I was able to put the finishing touches on the Nefol Introduction and the end of Chapter 1. Last night, I sat down and made the first play through recording of the Nefol Introduction.

The intro is a bit of a gag for those who are familiar with our other works at Sygnus.org and the story of FFIV. But we hope you can enjoy it in its little humble home-made ways.

Keep in mind that playing the game itself will have much better visuals than the video of it, but we’re not quite ready to start deploying the game itself. We haven’t decided if we will do it episodically, or in a big chunk, and what the limitations of either way might be.

So, until we work a few more things out, I’ll be making and releasing videos to tell the story instead. I know some folks would rather spend time watching a video, which they can do anywhere, any time, and not fiddle with downloading a game and messing with that.

So let me play the game for you! 

Posted in Gaming, Nefol, RPG Maker

RPG Maker: Nefol Dev Blog – Telling the Old Story

Last weekend, we made a lot of headway on the main story for Nefol. While sprites and events have sometimes held us back from moving forward, this time, I sat down and got a good chunk of story completed, including what I tend to think of as the “Intro Movie.”

You can see the previous movie that I created with random images back in 2015 using  RPGMaker VX here:

Cringe.

I used some of the feedback we got from that movie in the new one – text sometimes went too fast & some of the unneeded frames were cut.

Anyhow, I didn’t want to go that route again. I instead made a bunch of more tribal-styled artwork for this movie, which looks like this:

Much improved!

I actually put this art together a few months back, and only now was far enough to put it all into the movie script and let it run.

Following that, I went on to create the night scene with ElderRai and young JinRai. Syn created sprites for me on the fly, and I made a few expressions that were needed for this section.

I also worked on building the small map for this scene.

This ended up looking something like this:

I’m finally getting to the point where I’m forging into what we called “Chapter 1.” This is unknown ground for me when it comes to scripting and figuring out how to make the story unfold. But it’s still a fun creative exercise, and I’m looking forward to seeing how far we can push the events in RPGMaker to tell our tale!

Posted in Gaming, Nefol, RPG Maker

RPG Maker: Nefol Dev Blog – Creating the Man Braid

So, today I’m going to talk about man braids. In particular, Zento’s man braid.

Zento has always had one single long braid down his back. That’s just been a defining feature of his character’s design. The only issue here is that the character generator in RPG Maker MV does not provide that sort of hairstyle.

It has an option for a long, thin ponytail for males, and a double braid for females. I was using the ponytail option for Zento’s demo sprite like so:

I did a lot of searching for a user-created single braid download, but had no luck. However, I already had installed custom character generator content that converted female hair styles for male usage. So, I had a double braid template that I could use and modify.

That’s what I ended up doing. I decided that I wanted to make it a piece for the character generator so I could use it again on characters in the future. This required several different generator pieces to be graphically edited from two braids to one.

When I was done, however, the final result was exactly what I was looking for in a Zento character!

That looks much more like Zento!

I also started making other NPC characters like this one below. Bet you don’t know who this is (and it’s probably not who you think…).

I’m also moving the team from the first set of the introduction into a new room. I haven’t finished decorating this room yet, and all the characters aren’t there, but here’s a first look at the very beta version.

Next week, I hope to start working on setting up interacting dialogue, which means I will need to create facial expressions for the conversation. Using the character generator, this shouldn’t be too hard, I hope!