Thursday, February 28, 2013

Goshiki: The Five Paths

I guess I shouldn't get ahead of myself about the modern day witch story. I am still actively working on the game project that just won't end, haha. Goshiki: The Five Paths is the story of Po and his rise from farmer to legendary martial arts master of a supernatural martial art.

It features a stat growth system where the player's stats grow based on their actions in and out of battle. Speaking with NPCs could lead to side quests or rewards with stats based on the player's decisions. The world is full of inspiration that will lead Po into discovering and refining his own style of Goshiki techniques hands on. Learning new skills comes from side quests which also alters the storyline. A player could theoretically just play the main story line and still master Goshiki but if one learns the techniques early on via the side quests then they will be rewarded later when presented with the storyline where they would've learned it. Usually with stats or rare items/equipment.

I want the player to feel powerful as the game progresses and I feel that I accomplish this by the mini-games/puzzles where the player will use what he's learned to defend himself.
Ex 1. Po finds himself in a duel with an assassin who catches him in an enclosed area and begins throwing knives at him. The player will have Po dodge or catch the knives. How many he can catch in this mini-game is based on his stats.
Ex 2. A boulder might block his passage to a cave, but once his strength stat is at a certain level he can break the boulder with his bare hands.

Po is actually a genius that will master the supernatural martial art with unheard of speed and accuracy that eventually makes him butt heads with the traditional martial artists who believe that a farmer should never have been able to learn the art in the first place. After tragedy strikes, Po is torn between following his dreams of accomplishing great things or settling for a normal farmer's life. With renewed vigor he will rise above all the trials in his life and become the master everyone knew he would be, changing the lives of those around him as well as the art itself for generations to come.

When I say the game is in development hell, I would like to point out that I have been working on this game on and off since thanksgiving of 2011. What was supposed to be a quick one-day game on a bet with a friend turned into something much more. Hopefully I'll be able to show off this game someday but as a one-man army with the art skills of an elementary school student it could be awhile. Luckily I have an artist working on concept art for me while I try to pin down everything. Will Goshiki see the light of day? Even if it kills me.

Should this be a novel or a game?

I like to come up with stories and game making is one of my outlets. Thing is, sometimes I come up with a story that I think is particularly interesting but would be a nightmare to make into a game. Case in point:

"A modern day witch named Joanna is hunting down a powerful witch named Anastasia who killed her family and forced her into a contract with a dangerous and deadly fire spirit. Will Joanna be able to find and kill Anastasia while also dodging the Magic Council who is hunting HER down for being a vigilante?"

My aim is to make the use of magic much more tactical. A magical duel is all about preparation, research, and outsmarting your opponent. Forcing yourself through based on enormous mana reserves is possible but wasteful and may leave you powerless to an unexpected trap. I feel like it could make a decent tactics game a la final fantasy tactics and phantom brave. Sitting here after stating that the wheels in my head begin turning the story into a game with incredible speed, but would a novel be a better outlet for the story? The story is about a woman's journey to find the witch who killed her family. She doesn't really have any allies to "join her group" and is pretty much on her own. The gameplay elements that I would implement might make it so that not having other characters to control would be manageable but would it remain interesting through 20 hours of gameplay? Guess I could attempt a few chapters in novel form and also make a gameplay demo. Worst case scenario I could just make both ;) 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

RPGs and why I want so badly to make them

This is my first blog post, so I guess I should explain what I'm trying to do here. I am currently a "one-man army" class of Indie Game Developer and let's just say I'm level one with like two more battles before I level up. I've done a lot of research and am currently developing a game called Goshiki: The Five Paths for the PC using RPG Maker XP. I'll post more about that project later on. By "research" I mean I've read an enormous amount of textbooks, blogs, occasional podcasts, went to college for programming, and played an enormous amount of games. Being a gamer doesn't mean you'll make it as a game developer....found that out the hard way. Just imagine ramming your car into a solid steel wall and that's the kind of wake up call I got. Though being a gamer does help you come up with ideas. You take things that you thought were cool and add them all together with your own unique cocktail of story line and you'd be surprised how amazing it turns out. So back to the point of this blog, it sort of ties into why I became a developer actually. I feel like there is a severe lack of rpgs in the classic sense today and I hope to attempt to fill that void. I hope to tell meaningful stories that make the players of my games walk away and continue to think about the world I opened them up to and the people in it. If you go to and type in ps3 rpg or xbox 360 rpg, you'll notice that it's pretty much the same regurgitated IPs over and over again. Now I give NIS(Disgaea series), Square Enix(Seriously?..), BioWare(Mass Effect series & Dragon Age series), and Namco Bandai Games(Tales of series) props for keeping the genre alive. But when was the last time you walked away from one of their games like you walked away from FF3(or FF6 if you're from Japan) or Lufia 2(Most epic SNES ending of all time...imho)? The good ones are few and far between these days and I feel like a lot can be learned from the old days. Breath of Fire 3 showed that graphics aren't everything and even to this day anyone can pick that game up and not think twice of the fact that it's 16 years old. Wow, that makes me feel old...point is, good story telling and game play trumps amazing graphics. THAT is what I am trying to do here. Will I succeed? We'll see. In the meantime, look forward to me talking about my current projects or ranting about classic rpg topics. Feel free to comment, critique, or what have you. I'll get back to work.