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  #126    
Old August 11th, 2008, 05:12 AM
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Ugh. That menu just won't work. I better get that interface going. Not that it'll be hard. I just wonder more if I'm going to do the battle interface EarthBound or Mother 3 style (the only difference is that in the former, when it's a character's turn, their small window is raised up above the others a bit, while the later, a sprite of the character pokes his/her head out of their window).

I won't reflect ice, and if it's graphics intensive, that'd be a really bad idea for one of the area's that's pretty much solely ice. The only thing I'd use it for is a possible mirror in someone's house, and even then that's absolutely not necessary.

As for shadows, I wouldn't use it in the traditional sense, but maybe to shade characters in caves. If not a pallet switch. Or I won't do anything at all, it really doesn't matter.
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  #127    
Old August 23rd, 2008, 07:53 PM
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Sorry for slow replies. I've been having a lot of car troubles and stuff, and since uni's started up again I've had less and less time to work on my projects. Nevertheless, I'll be getting back to working on SE as soon as I have the chance.
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  #128    
Old August 30th, 2008, 09:07 AM
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It's no big, I've been rather busy myself, preparing for internships and whatnot.

It's so hard to determine a good time to try to find more help. You'd think it'd be the summer, but people get lazy. During school, people are busy.

I'm not talking about you, I'm just saying in general. I'm sure statiticians know what times of the year people are most productive, I need to find out when that is, so when I make some posts about this elsewhere, it's not at a bad time.

I know one things for sure, when I finally get my next big showing out, I'm changing my rules about work. I'm tiring of the really slow help I get at times. If you can't get things done in a week (and I mean spriters), don't waste my time. And stuff like that. I'm the most busiest person I know after my own mother and I can STILL get a full set done in an hour or two if the character's more difficult, so everyone else has no real legitimate excuse AFAIK. So I'm thinking of announcing something like that.

Musicians and coders are given a lot more leniency, though, as I'm more dependant on that. But it should not take MONTHS, and I'm talking several, here, for sprites.
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  #129    
Old September 26th, 2008, 04:18 PM
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Typical quarterly update. Top of first page explains changes/additions.

Perp, I haven't heard from you in a while. Could you let me know what's going on?

Also, the new work rule is in effect, not that you have to code in a week, but now I'd like to stay posted on things, even if much hasn't been done.
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  #130    
Old September 29th, 2008, 08:56 AM
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Erm yeah, sorry about that.

I really ought to be more vocal about my decisions when you're counting on me like you are, so I apologize for giving you the run-around. I don't want to make excuses if possible, so I'll merely say that I ended up giving myself too much to work with and haven't been keeping up with it properly. Unfortunately, I am the kind who tends to be really badly organized when it comes to these things. I'll try my best to get back on board now and make up for lost ground now though.

Basically I haven't really done anything since I last showed you my progress. Me getting sidetracked aside, this project is going to require a lot of time and patience as far as the coding goes. The language is pretty low-level, all things considered, so there will be a lot of extra work for any poor programmers who get stuck with the jobs. Admittedly, I've been hoping others would step up to help out with it so I didn't have to do all the hard stuff alone. I guess that hasn't happened or you'd have told me about it, so darn. An additional block is the fact that I have to LEARN the language as I go, which slows things down a lot.

To give you an idea of what you are facing, I'd say that the programming will take an estimate of 2-3 times the amount of time everything else will take (aside from say composing music if someone gets into that). That may sound a bit too high of an estimate, but believe me, even simple programming tasks can spiral into huge odysseys that take a long time to complete, and god forbid you only have one poor programmer stuck with the tasks.

Of course, I'm not complaining (since I knew what I was getting into when I offered to help out), though you can probably see why I've been procrastinating about it a bit. Anyway, this all has nothing to do with me not getting stuff done for ages, but I'm trying to give you a clear idea of what to expect in the future. I do have my own rl stuff to deal with too, including a big AI project this semester, so you can expect that I will get tied up with my own work from time to time. I promise to keep you updated in the future though, unless something drastic happens to me and I don't have the chance.

Again, sorry about the lack of updates. I'm still here and everything, just moving slowly. I'll give you another update once I get some more of this programming language deciphered enough to program something for you. If you need anything, just email me if it's personal, or put it up here if you need others to read it too. I'm online a lot, so I should get back to you within a few days if possible.

Again, sorry about making you wait; I'll try and keep you on the level with regards to my situation from now on.
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  #131    
Old September 29th, 2008, 10:01 PM
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You might use the MD sprites?
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  #132    
Old September 30th, 2008, 04:17 AM
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Nah, that would defeat the purpose of the Mother style. Plus, PMD sprites are far too small and poorly scaled.
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  #133    
Old September 30th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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I'm quite a proficient scripter in sphere, need any help?
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  #134    
Old October 1st, 2008, 11:10 AM
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Sure, we could definately use it, although I think Perpetr8r might have more of an idea with what he needs help with. We're trying to create a test bed, getting all the little silly things to work, so to speak, so that when it comes time to actually get this game going, it's smooth sailing (figuratively speaking). It'd be like a debug room.

On my end, I'm going to try to work with menus, using a new menu format. I'm going to give it a go myself before throwing arms up.

I mean, if you want to jump in somewhere different, that'll be alright too, but I know you've already got a project going. Actually, you both do. Come to think of it, maybe I haven't been appreciative enough...
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  #135    
Old October 1st, 2008, 11:12 AM
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  #136    
Old October 4th, 2008, 12:12 AM
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Ok so I've been doing some sphere tutorials to gain a better understanding of how this things works, however I haven't heard any news on what Waudby is going to be doing. If he gets on board, he'll be a lot more efficient at this than I will, so I'm kind of waiting for some confirmation of who is doing what. It's best if we don't all work on the same thing separately, after all.
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  #137    
Old October 5th, 2008, 05:46 AM
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Makes sense to me. Well, sense time is precious, it's hard to say whether he's busy or forgot the topic, but I'll cut to the chase and send a PM.

In the meantime, in case you haven't been there yet, the Spheredev.org website has a lot of interesting tutorials that even I might try on some spare-spare time. In a way where it doesn't interfere with production, that is.
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  #138    
Old October 6th, 2008, 07:35 AM
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I had some free time today, so I tried to recreate the text system from Mother 3.

I don't however have the correct font so placement may look strange with Sphere's system font.

What do you think? It includes, letter by letter text and the option for the name box to appear or not for use with signs and what not.

Enjoy.

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  #139    
Old October 6th, 2008, 02:03 PM
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What's funny is that the font looks close enough as it is. I'm thinking about using the probably now overdone Orange Kid font, which is basically the EB font.

Maybe using this would be "different" (except for sphere users, oh well... can't win them all, right?).

That looks pretty darn close, moreso than I'd've gotten so far. I was going to go with EB's text system, but to be honest that really looks neat. I'd use it. As long as it flows nicely, I have no problems with it, the only thing I'm really particular about is the battles. Do you use videos for reference or did you just try out a *ahem* ROM?

I'll check the menus of both games and see which one is more accessable (M3s is a lot more user friendly but I think it's a bit more crowded, too).




Now, speaking of character stats I mentioned in the PM, there's about 213+ unique enemies, 30 some bosses and then another sub group of optionals, and not all of them have 100% completed information yet. It doesn't take me long to fill this out, I can just transfer information and fill the rest out in a word document, but that said, you may have to wait a couple of days on the stats of all enemies, mainly because they aren't all Pokemon. Not that makes it too much harder, but I mean, when one of the game's enemies is a China Plate of all things...

Oh, I should also type up the completed list of Pokemon attacks used in game, and which of them have animated effects. I'm eventually going to database this all anyway, so it's really no big deal to me.
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  #140    
Old October 7th, 2008, 06:06 AM
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Since there's now an experienced coder on board, perhaps I should take a back seat and help out with the little things he doesn't have time for. It would save me a lot of time if I could work off of his code instead of trying to write my own from scratch. Of course, I'll still put in a good amount of work on it, it'll just be more focussed on what we need and less on trying to decipher javascript.

How does that sound to you two?
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  #141    
Old October 7th, 2008, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Perpetr8r View Post
Since there's now an experienced coder on board, perhaps I should take a back seat and help out with the little things he doesn't have time for. It would save me a lot of time if I could work off of his code instead of trying to write my own from scratch. Of course, I'll still put in a good amount of work on it, it'll just be more focussed on what we need and less on trying to decipher javascript.

How does that sound to you two?
Well as I said to Kine in a pm, I don't want to be the "lead" scripter/programmer, I'd really prefer to be more of an aid, then a full team member as alot of my time scripting goes on Odyssey and I don't wanna slow things down for you guys.

Instead of me doing the scripting for you, how about you ask me about what you need help with and I can provide aid in that way as well as scripting things you may not know how to do?
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  #142    
Old October 7th, 2008, 06:43 AM
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Well as I said to Kine in a pm, I don't want to be the "lead" scripter/programmer, I'd really prefer to be more of an aid, then a full team member as alot of my time scripting goes on Odyssey and I don't wanna slow things down for you guys.

Instead of me doing the scripting for you, how about you ask me about what you need help with and I can provide aid in that way as well as scripting things you may not know how to do?
Ah, well... I guess I'm stuck with that position then (at least for now)! I would really appreciate your help though, since you'd be able to tell me what methods to call to do X or what I need to use to do Y, which I'd otherwise have to search for. It would make things 10x easier for me if I could just bug you about the basics of all the systems I'll be having to implement.

For example, I don't know what method to override when I want to know when a key is held down or released. To elaborate, running in this game requires shift to be held down. I know the in C++ there are methods to tell when a key is pressed down or released, but I have no clue in Javascript. Do you have any ideas?

Since I'm on the topic, I don't know how to force an icon state change (eg from walking to running and back again). I'm sure there's an inbuilt method for this, again I just need to be pointed in the right direction. I'll PM you my email address now too, and you can reply via that if you want.

Does that suit you better?

EDIT: Update for Kine!

Waudby and I had a chat over MSN and so now things are worked out on that end. I'll continue to produce stuff for you to use, and I'm about halfway done with making a stable test bed for you to mess with. I just have to add and test a few more functions. Also, it appears that you need separate sprites for each type of movement. That is to say, walking, running, and idling will all need their own spritesets.

It's a pain, I know, but that's how it seems to work, from what I've been told.
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  #143    
Old October 7th, 2008, 01:10 PM
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Well that sucks (separate spritesheet thing). =F
Or does it? It've been the same amount of work anyhow... Actually, it's the fact that this'll really increase the amount of spritesheets that's the bad thing (at least two per character).

If I could outsource just the sprite importing to some country where I could pay mere dollars...
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  #144    
Old October 7th, 2008, 10:59 PM
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Yeah, I've tried to do it myself, but I can't figure out these sprite sheets. It was getting annoying so I just linked the running sprite to the Raticate sprite. It's the incredible morphing Pikachu!

Heh... at least it works now. I'm going to see if I can tweak the running function so that it only shows the running animation while you are moving. Fingers crossed.

Oh and if you felt like splitting the Pikachu sprite up and sending it to me, I'd be able to make the running fully.
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  #145    
Old October 8th, 2008, 08:51 AM
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See, to me it doesn't make sense because, using this tutorial as example, you should be able to change sprites within the same set.

http://www.spheredev.org/wiki/Sphere/Guide_to_Sphere

Also, I looked up one about treasure chests and, it looks like to change the chest to look opened, they had the sprite set in the south direction. The code would look like:

Code:
if(chest_is_open == false) {
	// the chest is open
	SetPersonDirection("chest", "south");
	chest_is_open = true;
}
else {
	// the chest is closed
}
Maybe that's only well and good if the character is stationary.
Eh, well. I suppose I can go and ask for various opinions on the SphereDev forums, and see if it's possible/simple.

Otherwise, we got to have a file naming convention so that all you have to do is change the character's name, and the same code is usable for every character in the game.
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  #146    
Old October 8th, 2008, 11:00 PM
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Well let me explain it how I see it, and while I MAY be wrong about this, I'm 90% sure that I have it spot-on. From reading the API, I have been given the following two functions for changing a person's icon without changing the spriteset. They are as follows:

SetPersonDirection(name, direction)
and
SetPersonFrame(name, frame)

Allow me to explain what I have gleaned of their use. The first method will take a person (or object such as that chest) and change the direction that they are facing. The second one will choose which frame of the animation (of their current direction) that they are on. I will be using this one in the test bed to make the characters revert to the standing pose when they stop moving.

However, there is no method to change the default names of the directions. So you can't change your north to be "nrun", for example. It doesn't work that way. In fact, what you've done with the icons you've sent me is basically make a bunch of icons with a LOT of extra directions, directions that we can't access like you would want. If you tried, the best you would get is a temporary change to one of your other "directions" until you moved, in which case it would revert back to what it was before.

In other words, you can only store extra states for your characters when they don't require movement. As soon as movement comes into the equation, you'll need to split the icons up. Annoying, I know, but I really don't want to be coding 1500 lines of code to try and get around the limitation. It's easier just to separate the icons.

Also, I can't really do much more until I get a few more bits and pieces from you. Currently I'm working with my crappy maps and with two sprites, neither of which have running animations (can't figure out how to widen a sprite enough to copy your sprites across to new sprites). Running works well, and I'm fixing up the text thing Waudby gave us so that it suits your intentions better. But that's all I can do. I don't have any maps from you, so I can't go coding doors and stuff, and AI will be a little frustrating to work with, so I'm going to hold off on that until you are well into working on your own stuff with my code.

Yeah so the ball is kinda in your end of the court for now. Once you've gotten stuff like menus, maps and characters all sorted, I can start paving the way for the actual game development to begin. No rush though, I have plenty to do as is.
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  #147    
Old October 9th, 2008, 05:43 AM
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Ah, now that's what I thought. I figured it had something to do with "as long as the character doesn't move".

Okay, now that it makes sense, I can live with it. *chuckle*

Alright, well, I'm going to think up a naming system for all spritesets. Because of the amount of characters, and generic names, I'm thinking it would go something like:

character_control_action

where character is the Pokemon (or anything else), control determines whether it's a playable character or extra, NPC, or enemy, and action would be whatever they happen to be doing.

So then it would look like:

pikachu_player_tired

or

pidgey_npc_talk

I haven't given you the tired sprites for Pikachu, or a lot of them, actually.
So does that look like it could work? It seems like it would because as long as we could do a control + f in the code for the last two lines, we could easily change "pidgey" to "rattata" or even "childpidgey" (or chpidgey or something).

Cutscenes are tricky. I'm thinking I'm going to label the action on those as "cutscene[#]", the # meaning whichever set it might be. So it could be cutscene set 2 or 5 (I doubt one character will ever have that many). Considering you shouldn't be able to move during those, having the animation play wouldn't be bad. However, it's possible there may have to be forced movement. I would think you could code an event where you could make a character move w/o the player's control, though. I mean, that just has to be some kind of given.

I can definately see where breaking cutscene animations into directions helps, so in a way, this new method might make things less cramped (or rather, not the full action in one line).

Alright, this all sounds good now, so I shall get on top of it.

Just one other thing, could you explain what you mean by widening sprites? I may know what you're talking about, but the way in which you put it I can't understand.


Edit: Oh, one more thing. I'm going to see if I can animate objects on the map before I pass it along. I want to get a river flowing, but to test I'll probably make flowers "dance" or something pointless like that. Whatever it is it won't be in the final.
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  #148    
Old October 9th, 2008, 07:02 AM
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Eh, don't worry about the widening sprites thing. Just after I said that, I read that tutorial you linked and it explained everything. Even so though, I'd have to pretty much redo the sprites to make the running animation so I think I'll just wait for you to do it. As is, Pikachu morphs into a Raticate (which, being a rat also, looks very similar in a way) when you run, and there IS one issue that I have come across that you aren't going to like. I'm going to contact Waudby about it though, to see if it can be solved before I go crisis mode on you. (It's not a HUGE deal anyway, just one of those niggly aesthetic issues...)

Anyway, as far as the sprite things go, there are a lot of things we can do to prevent having to code in each and every sprite for every single character. If you use that naming scheme we should be able to implement a variable-based system that will handle most of the sprite transformations. Also, this wasn't part of anything you asked of me, but I designed a very basic saving system with three separate slots. Really, we can have lots of slots if you want, but I just figured 3 was a decent amount. Not that anything gets saved right now...

Now with the cut-scene animations, are these specific animations that only happen once in the whole game? I mean, if that's the case then you're giving yourself one hell of a job but then there won't be a very easy way of handling them. I don't think you can really take shortcuts in that case. However, making cut-scenes will be fairly easy. All of the controls for moving characters and stuff are simple, it's just a matter of timing and order, really.

The up side of all of this commotion is that it looks like we're finally getting this project off of the ground. I've been rapidly getting the hang of Sphere, and since you're making good progress with icons and sprites, we're probably almost ready to begin work for real. I really want to see this project through, so I'm looking forward to getting a good start on this thing. It does however, bring up a few potential problems (which you're most likely already on board with, but I wanted to bring them up anyway).

Two issues come to mind here. The first issue is that once we get started with the real production of this game, we'll need some structure for it. At the moment I'm just playing with coding and you're just making and testing icons, but once we start putting the real thing together, things will get messy fast unless we iron the process out a bit. I have lots of suggestions for this area, but I'll hold off from posting them here (see my second issue for the why). You probably already know this anyway, so I won't go into huge detail. The point is, it will be harder to make progress unless we have a good, solid foundation to work on.

The second issue is that I just realized that most of the posts on this forum topic are from you and me posting messages back and forth about development details that most people aren't going to be interested in. Rather than spam up this forum area (which is for the game progress and recruiting new helpers), I'm going to try and keep my contact with you in email form, especially since once we start I'll have to talk about the actual game and I don't want to ruin the surprise for anyone. These forums have been a lot easier for me to use, but it's getting crowded now and the crowding will only increase as the project takes off, which is a good reason to switch over.

Long post short, keep me updated about what you want, and I'll settle the small details with you over email from now on (if that's ok).
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Old October 9th, 2008, 07:14 AM
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This is really good! keep it up, i kno it will be a success!!!
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  #150    
Old October 10th, 2008, 08:42 AM
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Aight, then in that case I'll be using the forum to respond to other things, if other things come up, or for updates, which usually happens 4 times a year, moreso if something actually occurs.

I'm gonna probably ask Waudby for his email address so I can just send documents there instead of a PM.

Don't respond to this here, Perp, but since I'm already posting here I'll close up some of the points made.

Three slots seems good enough. I mean, when a game has, say, 15, who really uses all of them? Except to copy a file over, and use them as "save states" per se. Plus, it's better than Mother 3 which only has 2, which is still better than Pokemon games that only have one. =\

And yes, there are a lot of unrepeated sprites that only happen in certain areas of the game. They aren't all big, they might just be an alternate talking sprite, but as far as I can tell, it's actually quite interesting to see the level of small details that go into a game that's style is otherwise really simplistic. Little funny actions that really add an effect to something.

I was well aware I'd have my work cut out for me on that, but come on, I think everyone knew that. The fact that all sprites are built ground up instead taking the PMD shortcut, and even then making tens of variations for just one species, yeah, I knew what I was doing. Granted I didn't know importing was going to be a such-and-such but I knew it wouldn't be easy. But I'll do it anyway, because that's the presentation I want! =)

Besides, if nothing else, it's an incentive to actually do stuff in the game than just go straight forward. And possibly to play it more than only once. Repeating old stuff takes away uniqueness. Just ask anyone who's played Mother 3 about the "Wes Dance". It only happens once (in full) and pretty early in the game, and yet it's so intricately animated. =D


Beyond that, frankly I wouldn't want to build the game UNLESS we had a solid foundation. Hence the reason why I don't even want to put the game together until every possible thing this game can do has been figured out, and that includes flags and branching. That way, it's pretty much cut and paste from there (it'll still need testing and will have bugs I'm sure, but ideally it won't be as hard as going into it blind).


Finally, I think I may have found a way to get some extra help, but it'll cost money. In fact, it could possibly really speed things along but it'll cost a lot of money, I'm sure. Well, I'll worry about that later. But granted, I'm sure everyone knows just by things I've said here or on my website before that I'm not above throwing around money where necessary.


Seven pages? Holy geez, Batman!
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