Author Topic: The Sylvan Maid Astray  (Read 2898 times)

Strawfairy

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The Sylvan Maid Astray
« on: April 01, 2015, 06:13:56 PM »

Synopsis
On the first day of spring, as early as dawn, the elven children of Mystwood wander around to gather as many freshly bloomed flowers as they can.

Despite her father's warnings, 14-year-old Sylphia does not stick close enough to the other elves in order to avoid getting lost--as she often does. Instead she trails behind, her mind unfocused on the task at hand. Only when she sees the motionless body of a rabbit off the trail does Sylphia suddenly move faster.

Taking a step next to the rabbit leaves her feeling light-headed and dizzy, causing her to fall unconscious.


Features
* Collect Pixie Dust while navigating maze-like levels to find a way home
* Get 1, 2, or 3 stars at the end of each level depending how many points you scored


Gameplay Ideas
* Terrain that acts as obstacles
* Extra goals for each level that impacts the star rating
* Finding secret items, or secrets in general
* Power-ups that allow Sylphia to do certain things for a short amount of times (ex. not get hurt or run faster)




Credits
Nerd Bomb
- Melanii/Strawberrii: Concept & Development
- Star: Eventing & Coding Assistance
- Catfire: Music

Scripts
- Yanfly
- Napoleon
- Glitchfinder
- KMS/Mr. Bubble
- VM of DT
- Khas Arcthunder
- NeonBlack
- PK8
- Victor Saint
- Nicke
- Mithran

Graphics
- DS Resource Pack
- Titlescreen Book: PandaMaru
- Quill Cursor: Avery
- Placeholder UI: GameArtForge
« Last Edit: April 30, 2015, 08:03:11 PM by Melaniipon »


supershigi

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Re: Lost Little Gnome~
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2015, 12:51:35 AM »
Aw, that sounds like a cool concept! And the nice thing is that you can do a lot of point-and-click elements using rpg maker, so that should be too hard to get up and running. Do you have any puzzles in mind yet?

Strawfairy

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Re: Lost Little Gnome~
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2015, 07:24:24 AM »
Absolutely no puzzles in mind. I'm actually quite terrible at them, so uh...

If I think of one, I'll put it in. Haha.

Right now I want to get the menu working, only because it's necessary. Like she can hold a total of 10 items, but can only hotkey 6 of them. There's an "inventory" that shows a bunch of collectable items, in order, so you feel obligated to get them/find them. XD I haven't figured out what she can get yet.

The items will act as assists in situations. Turning invisible for 10 seconds or something. Kind of power-ups in Mario or Sonic. o.o


small

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Re: Lost Little Gnome~
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2015, 01:44:52 PM »
Looking forward to your creation Stephy! This is a good concept to start with.  :thumbup:
Developer and composer for A Quiver of Crows.

Strawfairy

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Re: Lost Little Elf~
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2015, 09:22:08 AM »
Thanks!

So I've run into at least 2 problems:

1) The default RPG Maker VX ACE engine has no gnomes, 'nor does the DS resource pack. So I'd have to change the whole concept from gnomes to like Elves or something. Not a big deal I suppose.

2) I have to map out a whole forest, but the idea suddenly seems daunting. I have to get more medication today, so let's make sure I don't lose that motivation I really need. I'm terrible at that. :(


small

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Re: Lost Little Elf~
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2015, 12:28:14 PM »
Hey Stephy,

To move a mountain, you must move pebbles first. This means if you look at your project as a whole, it will seem daunting. Break it into tiny pieces to make it manageable! I do this all the time. I know Laura has her list too.

Sorry, this is long but I'm trying to explain my thought process. I don't know how much experience you've had in RPG Maker, but keep that in mind when making your List. Also, you know what your project is supposed to be about - so you should make this list.

First break your game down into a general list. I'm going to use a completely different game as an example, because I want you to create your list. I am going to use Mario as an example.

For example:
  • Start button pauses the game
  • Intro cutscene
  • Mario jumps on platforms and kills things by jumping on their head
  • Mario can collect coins, mushrooms, flowers, etc
  • Etc

Next you want to break the general parts into even smaller parts. For example:
  • Start button pauses the game
  • Intro cutscene
    • Mario and Princess Peach are in the scene
    • Bowser shows up, grabbing Princess Peach. Exit screen right.
    • Zoom into Mario's face, looking angry/determined.
    • Note: instead of action cutscene, can be a couple of still pictures
  • Mario jumps on platforms and kills things by jumping on their heads
    • Pressing the A button causes Mario to jump
    • Platforms need to be reachable. Build 1 screen size level.
    • Enemy list: koopa, piranha plants, squidoo, etc (each with their individual behavior)
  • Mario can collect coins, mushrooms, etc
    • Coins increase score counter
    • Mushroom - makes him grow bigger and stronger
  • Etc

Take a step back and figure out what's the most important part that should be included in the game and ask yourself "is this necessary for the Game Jam?" One month is not a lot of time, so if you can cut things from the list, go ahead and cut it. This is a good step because it means you were conscious of the option to include a feature but chose not to include it due to time constraints.

Prioritize the "required" tasks.

Spoiler for "I trim down the list and prioritize":
I could decide that the intro cutscene is nice to have, but it is not vital to include. Instead of an animated intro, I can flip between still pictures to convey the point. Or in the  worst case, when I present my game for Game Jam I will have a paragraph "Mario was having a nice chat with Princess Peach when Bowser came and kidnapped the Princess. Can you rescue her??" The story of the game is conveyed through text outside of the game. Not elegant, but it gets the idea across.

I could choose the most important task to be "Mario jumps on platforms and kills things by jumping on their heads". Pressing A causes Mario to jump, and having platforms to jump on is very very important to have. It is a MUST HAVE.

The many enemies - those are nice to have, but let's start with 1 enemy first, koopa. And even then, jumping and platforming is so important, I would put the koopa as the next important thing to put into the game. If I don't have monsters in the game, there is no need to pause the game when hitting Start button.

Which is more important, coins or mushrooms? Let's say coins. If you could only implement coins or the koopa enemy, which one would you do?

There are no wrong answers. Any thing you choose will make it a different game, that is all. You choose coins instead of koopa - you have made a platforming collection game. You choose koopa, it is now a platformer with enemies.

You are the director. You make the choice! The important thing is - you MUST make choices. If you do not choose, you will overwhelm yourself. And remember, there are no wrong choices. For example, I didn't even include Bowser as part of the game, despite him being in the story. Mario will never rescue Princess Peach in my game.  :D

I could focus on "Mario jumps on platforms", and by the end of the month, only have succeeded in causing Mario to jump with A. The platforms are buggy - they will not stay in the sky. Mario lands on top and crashes through them. And that is what I submit - a guy who only jumps. That's ok! I didn't know how to make a character jump before. I didn't succeed in making a platformer - that's ok.

Or I could decide that the intro cutscene is the most important thing - if I get nothing else done for the game, it is a short movie that players can watch. They won't be able to interact with it, but they will get to see my cutscene! No it's not a game, but who cares! In the end, I will have learned how to make cutscenes - something I didn't know how to do before.

The point of Game Jam, to me, is to learn something you didn't know how to do before. I don't care what it is, as long as you've learned something. It could be the engine, art program, pacing, or even something about yourself

Start with the list, Stephy, you can do it!
Developer and composer for A Quiver of Crows.

SoHoInBrooklyn

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Re: Lost Little Elf~
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2015, 12:40:44 PM »
Have you tried hitting up some of the free resource sections of any number of forums to look for gnomes or dwarf like things that can be frankensprited together?
Even if it's not -perfect- you could always come back and make it perfect when you're done, so long as it's understandable for the right-now, ya know?

Also, small reminded me to get back to task and stop day dreaming (thanks small~)
Spoiler for snazzy sig in a spoiler:
snazzy sig

Strawfairy

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Re: Lost Little Elf~
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2015, 03:05:10 PM »
My game's list (that was helpful small, thanks!):

1) Intro scene
2) Pressing "BUTTON X" brings up menu or pauses game
3) Go through forest and get back home
4) Game ends when Remi finds her kin

An intro scene is easy peasy, and if I use still pictures I could learn to use an art program finally. As for the gameplay; although I have an idea, it might not work as intended. Maybe scarp and use later. I would like her to collect *something*. Maybe it would deal with the plot or just give points or something. Like collecting flowers for the spring Fest. XD

@Soho--I have looked. I might try again. Her sprite might make her look like a child. I might need a "gnome-ish" hat of some sort. Teehee.

I might call the game: Remi and the Lost Forest.

I'll probably use this as an opportunity to learn logo/UI design for games. I want that skill for GS. XD


Strawfairy

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Re: Lost Little Elf~
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2015, 01:54:46 PM »
I thought I'd update some of my progress. *coughcough* I really do have the coughs, honestly!

Anyhoo!

Since I mentioned learning an art program for the sake of game development (and even brushing up on my own art skills), I sketched out the first still picture of the opening:



Here's an actual in-game screenshot of what I've been doing, using the DS resources I won in a contest on RPG Maker Web. :P



The entire HUD, and the face of Remi (not mine) is just placeholder art. Things will most likely get re-arranged. I decided to discard the whole "inventory-puzzle" idea, since trying to get that to work will take forever.

While talking about Super Smash Bros. 4 for the Wii U with my BF, we brought up Pacman and I had an "epiphany" of sorts. I thought of using that idea as basis, haha. Like instead of collecting "pellets", Remi collects like Fairy Dust and it gives her a point. And like the fruit, collecting BIGGER items grants more points. Oh, and similar to the "super pellets" in Pacman, there are certain things that will give Remi a powerup to help her get home. Lols.

She's an elf now, because finding something to help me make a gnome would take forever. Maybe later a gnome will appear. :P

Also, as silly as I am, I've been thinking of a title. My ideas so far have been:

1) Astray

2) Remi and the *blank* Woods/Forest/etc.

Or the name of the forest. XD


supershigi

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Re: Lost Little Elf~
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2015, 04:09:14 PM »
@small: That was some great advice, Alice! Thank-you for posting that ^_^ Making a big list (and then expanding on it) is so helpful... I think it also feels great because games require finishing so many tasks, that you can't often see your work in action just from playing through a build. But having that list in front of you, and being able to check stuff off reminds you that you are actually getting stuff done and working towards a goal.

Quote from: Melaniipon
1) Intro scene
2) Pressing "BUTTON X" brings up menu or pauses game
3) Go through forest and get back home
4) Game ends when Remi finds her kin

An intro scene is easy peasy, and if I use still pictures I could learn to use an art program finally. As for the gameplay; although I have an idea, it might not work as intended. Maybe scarp and use later. I would like her to collect *something*. Maybe it would deal with the plot or just give points or something. Like collecting flowers for the spring Fest. XD

This sounds good! I'm not sure if this is helpful or not, but I thought I'd just throw out a random idea: Since the game ends when Remi finds her kin (and you want to incorporate "gathering")... what if Remi went around the forest collecting her kin? For example, the easy-to-find ones could just be out in the open. When you interact with them, they could give you a cute little message like, "thanks for finding me!" Then you could have more challenging ones; perhaps some that are in hidden places, and you have to get clues/hints from NPCs in order to find them. Like, maybe a mushroom NPC could say "I saw someone that looks like you by the big mushroom just south of the tree with a face!" And maybe you could have a hidden passage through a bush near there where your kin is hiding.

Likewise, you could build puzzles around this type of gameplay as well. For example, it's really easy to set up a block sliding puzzle... (you could use rocks or something) that could be blocking someone. Or you could have a trivia puzzle (have someone blocked by a series of NPCs that ask you trivia questions based on things you could learn by reading signs or talking with other NPCs)... when you answer their questions correctly, they would let you pass.

These are just random ideas off the top of my head, not sure if it helps or not... just thought I'd toss them out there in case it helps with brainstorming!

Also, your screenshot and sketch both look great :)
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 04:11:11 PM by supershigi »

small

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Re: Lost Little Elf~
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2015, 06:02:46 PM »
Also, small reminded me to get back to task and stop day dreaming (thanks small~)

Yep that's me! Destroyer of (day) dreams.  :P

Stephy - good job! I am liking your list and your sketches. Keep at it! Laura's suggestions are interesting because she knows RPG Maker and came up with ideas that I never would have thought of (I don't know the engine well).  :thumbup:
Developer and composer for A Quiver of Crows.

Strawfairy

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Re: Lost Little Elf~
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2015, 09:50:04 PM »
Great ideas, Laura! Hmmm...

So remember when someone mentioned I should do a collage of the coloring styles I like? I did just that today (took a LONG time, lols). I thought I'd dump it here, just because.



kreyg

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Re: Lost Little Elf~
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2015, 10:27:51 PM »
Hey, that's awesome!  Hopefully that helps inspire some ideas and focus direction.  :)

supershigi

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Re: Lost Little Elf~
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2015, 11:30:49 PM »
Awww I see a P.Yoshi picture in there ^___^ You have good taste!

P. Yoshi

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Re: Lost Little Elf~
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2015, 04:41:15 PM »
I just wanted to say, I love the name Remi.

Absolutely no puzzles in mind. I'm actually quite terrible at them, so uh...

You could always do something simple like a box pushing puzzle. (Well, change the box to something more thematic)

Or, a simple Frogger type mini-game to cross a river, both shouldn't be too hard to do in RMVXa.