Tag Archives: map

New Tears Maps!

Over the last week, I have created a few new maps for Tears of the King!  I’m pretty excited for them – I think they’re the first new maps in a year and a half.

First, here’s a brand new city (the Imperial City):

picture of imperial city

This map is loosely based off of the Kingdom of Pandora city in Secret of Mana in that it is built on a couple of islands.  Plus there will be a castle you can go into (you can see the base of the towers) in the top right of this map, again like the Kingdom of Pandora.  That similarity was due to the way I laid everything out (and because I didn’t want the castle to be physically in this map). The castle isn’t built yet, and neither are the insides of the houses.

The Imperial City should be the final city in the game.

Also here’s a dock, complete with a ship! (I had to buy extra tiles to make the ship happen).

picture of dock including giant ship

You reach the ship through either of the two paths in the right side of the Imperial City.

So what’s next?  I have some more maps to build (the castle, the insides of the city houses, and an island where the ship will eventually take you).  But I also need to go back over my notes and actually replay the game that I have made so far; it’s been so long that I only vaguely remember what still needs to happen.

There’s still a bunch of work that needs to be done, but I’m rather excited to see that the end (of map building anyway) is in sight! 🙂

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Memories

So, uh, I sort of started building a game over the weekend.

I’ve had the idea for what I’m currently calling Memories for awhile now.  I watched the new Total Recall a few nights ago (I put it on in the background while I was working on something else; because I’ve seen it I didn’t have to pay too much attention to it), which is sort of how I started working on this project.  I liked some ideas from the movie, and sort of played around with them in my head for a little bit, but honestly nothing really came from that line of thought.  But then I started thinking about Memories again.

The idea for Memories is that a witch or wizard has captured your sibling.  To get them back, you have to infiltrate the house.  But the catch is that you have to go in there as kind of a blank slate, without your memories; you have to regain your memories as you go along to save your sibling (and yourself) and confront the witch or wizard.

I really liked the concept, but it’s got tons of glaring problems.  Like how do you first lose your memories?  How do you get into the house?  How do you regain your memories again?  Did you have to plant them in there somehow?  Does someone help you?

So I started hashing out some of these details to some degree.  But then I started building the actual house.  Unlike Tears of the KingMemories is going to be a lot smaller (ideally everything happens within one great house).

So here’s what I’ve built so far:

This map is huge, so I had to screenshot it at the 1/4 scale.  It’s most of the main floor of the house.  The entrance is the room at the bottom (with the red carpet).  To the left of that is the drawing room (it’s got the light green floor).  Above that is the dining room (it’s got the yellowish floor.  Beside that is the ballroom (the large central room with the dark green floor).  Above that is a hallway where the servants can bring things, and the top right is a change room area for the baths.

The baths are a separate map.

They fit in below the change room, at 1/2 scale (it’s a bit too big for 1/1).

Right now I’m working on the basement.  It’s going to be about the same size as the main floor, but so far I just have the servants area and kitchen made.

This is also in 1/2 scale.  This fits directly below that servant corridor on the main floor.  There’s a doorway in this map in the bottom left corner – I haven’t made anything below there yet.

Other than the basement, I still need to build the upper floor (which is where the master of the house lives).  And that’s relatively it for the maps!  I may make a few other, little ones, depending on how the actual game works.  But none of those would be on the scale of these ones.

The actual design is a bit problematic though.  I haven’t quite decided if it’s all going to be dialogue, or if there’s going to be combat.  At this point it can kind of go either way. I guess we’ll see once the basic maps are built and I start working on other aspects of the game (like the characters…I have only a rough idea of some of them so far).

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More Tears Development

I didn’t post about it at the time, but I did a lot more development on Tears of the King last night.  I ended up building the caverns below the mine.  There are two caverns you walk through, which lead you to a much smaller lava cave.  There you find one of the ingredients you need, which causes a boss fight (still slimes!).  I stayed up way too late building all of this, but I’m super happy with how it all turned out, especially the lava cave:

Lava Cavern

Today I haven’t done as much, but I did manage to get some looped branching dialogue into the game, which was pretty exciting.  I added some really simple branching dialogue yesterday after my friend played through what I had at that point.  A priest in the starting village asks you if you want to know more; my friend did, but there was no option and no other dialogue.  So I put a little something in place for now.  So today I decided to put some NPCs in Storm Point (that’s one of the towns).  When I got to the church there, I put in a bit more extensive branching dialogue (there were three choices instead of just two).  But when I tested it I discovered the dialogue would end automatically after you read through one branch.  That really didn’t work in this case, so I had to play around with Loops.  Using a Loop means you can go back to the choices after you play through the dialogue options.  Here was what I ended up with (just playing through one branch):

Here’s how you make this happen:

  1. On your event page, first choose a Loop (it’s under Flow Control).
  2. Next, choose Show Choices (under Message).  You’ll get to make a few choices (the default ones are Yes and No).   Put your dialogue in place as you normally would  (under Message, Show Text, then choose a picture and write some dialogue).
  3. Finally, on the choice that will end the dialogue, put a Branch End into it (that’s also under Flow Control).

Here’s a simplified version of what your event page should look like:

How to make looped branching dialogue

When I was trying to make this work, I started with writing the choices, then tried to make a loop happen afterwards.  If that’s the case, you can just cut the whole choice and paste it into a loop.  Don’t forget to put the Branch End in or else the dialogue will never be able to end!

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Witch Glitch Fixed!

I think I managed to fix the Witch Glitch!

One Witch

A friend of mine came over for a bit this afternoon and I let him play through Tears of the King.  Among other bugs he found, the Witch Glitch happened when I wasn’t expecting it to.  So after he left, I set about trying to fix it and a few other things he found (like the fact that the woodcutter starts clearing the path to the Fairy Forest way before he’s supposed to).  I ended up removing the ability to grab the first ingredient before you’ve talked to the Witch.  As far as I could tell, having the ability to grab it either before or after talking to her was a big part of my problem because then I was trying to make things happen with two different switches.  So rather than dealing with the two switches, I’ve simplified things for myself and only have to deal with one.  As far as I can tell, this has solved a lot of the problems I’ve been having with my events.

I’m hoping that the way things are now isn’t too rail-roadey for players. But making the game more linear has helped to make things easier for me designing the game, and to get the player to the Witch’s house faster.  When my friend was play testing, he wandered through the mushroom cave (without finding the mushroom), up to the tower, and got confused about where he was supposed to go until I told him he couldn’t do anything there yet.  So realistically, allowing you access to the mushroom cave (or the tower’s base at the very least) early in the game wasn’t a good thing if it lets you get sidetracked and lost.  But I’ll have to see what other people say when they play it.

Oh, and I’d like to give a shout-out to GrandmaDeb for her switch tutorial game! I played through it before deciding to take out the mushroom functionality.

In addition to all of these bug fixes, I actually did build another map last night.  I’ve been needing to build a mine near Storm Point, which is where another of the ingredients is going to be.  I was planning on sketching out ideas for a mine, but I ended up just building, which resulted in this:

Eastern Mine Map

Sorry that this picture is so tiny. The original picture was in 1/2 scale, but it’s now a lot smaller because I had to stitch two screenshots together in paint.  Plus I had to shrink them so I could properly crop the map into one image.  From here, I need to keep building a few more maps that connect to this one (basically the player will be going deeper into the mountain until they find the next ingredient).  Oh, and I need to straighten up the path of that second big forest map I started (it’s still not finished, and probably won’t be for awhile yet).  Right now the paths are too windy, which is a pain to walk on.  After playing through parts of a different game made with RPG Maker, I’ve decided that I’m going to have as few diagonals in my maps as possible because they’re really annoying in a grid.

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January 2nd Tears of the King Progress!

Wow have I been busy with Tears of the King!  Last that I posted about it, I had just finished the Witch House Grove.  Since that time, here are the changes I made to it (which I mentioned in a comment on that last post):

Witch House Grove redone

The main problem was the cliff that I wanted to incorporate.  This map attaches directly to the Witch House Hub, which means there’s a cliff a little below the entrance to this map.  So that’s in place now.  I also changed from the black forest to a bunch of oak trees because that’s what’s in this area; I’m going to keep the black tree tiles specifically for the fairy forest.

I’ve also made a new town!

Storm Point

Currently I’m calling this place Storm Point.  I’ve already made it so you can go into all nine buildings; it’s just missing the people and things like that.

Finally, I also made a series of maps that take you into one of the towers on the Mountain Forest (that’s the huge map I finished back in August).  With those maps completed, Tears of the King now has full functionality through the first two ingredients!  I’ve cleaned up some of the early placeholder text as I’ve been working on things, too; the dialogue isn’t perfect, but the early stuff is a lot better than it was!  Oh, and one of the most fun things in the game is an event with the woodcutter I got working today.  The idea is that he swings his axe to knock down a tree that’s in your way.  I was so proud of it that I made a recording to show you!

So yes, that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing for the last few days.  The next thing I need to do in the game is build myself a mine!  Oh, and I guess finish that second big map I started…

(This picture is scaled in 1/4 and made from two separate images like the Mountain Forest was because it’s the same size).

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#WriteFriday – September 18th

Since last week, I began working on the Fairy Forest map for Tears of the King.  I decided to make it a bunch of smaller maps like Secret of Mana’s Haunted Forest.  I’ve built the main parts of the map, with a path that connects them all from the entrance (which connects to the Mountain Forest) right to the Fairy Grove.  Beyond that though, I still have a lot of work to do on it.  The map is going to have a whole bunch of teleports, and I need to figure out where the other paths will take you.  I’m currently thinking most of them will just bring you back to the starting part of each mini-map, but some will take you to secret areas.  Since none of that is in place right now I will not be sharing a screenshot with you; you’ll have to wait until it’s all done to see it.

So today I started thinking about some of the characters in the game, particularly in the starting village.  I have an idea of what the two main characters of the game are like, but wanted to flesh out the minor ones a bit.  I also ended up playing with Game Character Hub, a program a friend bought me on Steam for Christmas.  I used it to build the main character for Tears.  Here she is:

Anna Face

After using Game Character Hub, I did end up just using the character generator that comes built into RPG Maker VX Ace for most of the other characters I created today.  I realized that, at least for the portraits, Game Character Hub basically just had the exact same graphics as the character generator, so it made more sense to just make everything within RPG Maker.

Here’s the other main character, who I ended up calling Eric because that’s the default first character that RPG Maker starts you off with (and it started to stick).  Of course he looks nothing like the starting Eric character.

Eric Face

Over the course of the evening, I ended up making five other characters (and I used two pre-made characters as well).  They’re all in the starting village.  Because I was adding the characters, I wanted to make sure you could interact with them.  So I added the starting functionality to everything, too.  The dialogue will need some fixing up, but all the basics are now in place for the very beginning of the game!

I just realized I’ve never taken a screenshot of the starting village.  Here it is, scaled at 1:2 because it’s a bit too big for 1:1.

Starting Village

I also added in functionality for one of my key items (one of the ingredients you need to collect), the mushroom.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually mentioned it before, but the main story of Tears involves collecting a series of ingredients to create a potion.  The ingredients are scattered around the island that Tears takes place on.  Adding functionality to the mushroom was actually what started me on building characters and adding events to the game tonight.  In the case of the mushroom, you can pick it up both before and after you talk to the witch.  At this point the witch doesn’t say anything important though – she’s still got the same place-holder dialogue I gave her from two years ago.

Thinking of dialogue, I was planning on writing everything on Scrivener then transferring it over.  But that’s seeming a bit unwieldy at the moment, especially since I’m already playing with switches and whatnot.  So I’ll probably try to write everything in RPG Maker for now, and see how well that works.  I’ll probably have to use Scrivener for Untitled StoryNexus Project, whenever I get back to it because that’s going to be much, much bigger, dialogue-wise, than Tears and I’ll want to make sure everything is perfect on it.

So I think the very next thing I need to do is fix the witch’s dialogue up so it actually works with the story to this point.  Once that’s done, I’ll either get back to the Fairy Forest, or start work on another map.  I’m rather excited – I’m almost at a point that I can get friends to start play testing a bit!

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#WriteFriday – September 11th

I’m being pulled in many different directions right now, which is making it hard to work on writing.  That’s actually a large part of why I decided not to write anything last weekend.  It was a long weekend, and rather than write I spent the time getting caught up on some things around the house I’ve been putting off.  Like uploading all the pictures I’ve taken this summer to Flickr (I really didn’t think I had taken that many…)

When this weekend rolled around, it became another really busy one.  But that’s okay: I still managed to fit in a bit of writing yesterday.  Well, “writing” is a bit of a stretch; “planning” might be a bit more accurate.  On August 23rd, I shared the map I had finished for Tears of the King, which link the town you’ll start in with the witch’s house map.  There’s one more map that I made prior to Spring 2013 which I have called the Fairy Grove.  Here’s the Fairy Grove scaled at 1:2 (it was slightly too long to fit in one screenshot at 1:1):

Fairy Grove

I’ve always loved this map.  It seems like a really nice and peaceful place, with little fairies or butterflies flitting around.

So my next challenge is to connect this to the Mountain Forest map.  I was debating between making a big map that’s a maze or making a bunch of smaller maps that you have to puzzle through (kind of like the Haunted Forest from Secret of Mana).  At this point I’m swaying towards making a maze; I plotted out a path with the intent of starting to make the actual map soon.  But the more that I think of it, I may switch and go with the smaller maps, just to change things up, especially since I’ve got the Mountain Forest right beside what will be the Fairy Forest.  And where else in this game would I be able to make a series of smaller maps that are a puzzle?  At this point in development, I’m thinking no where!

Thinking of Secret of Mana, I bought a Wii earlier this week just to get access to the Wii Store and older games like Secret of Mana.  I’ve played some of it in the past, but was never able to finish it.  When I get home later tonight, I’m going to restart it. 🙂

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