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  #151    
Old October 17th, 2008 (02:23 AM).
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Just an interesting side note that's unrelated to the programming of the game:
I decided to play Earthbound to get an idea of what PISE is going to be like. Hopefully though, PISE will be a little more exciting to play than Earthbound...

I'm only about 3/5 of the way through right now, but I basically get the gist of what you were talking about in terms of the one-time animations, the battle system, and various other game mechanics. I'm even more curious now to see how your game is going to reflect these things.
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  #152    
Old October 17th, 2008 (05:55 AM). Edited October 17th, 2008 by Kine.
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Although battles will probably be the same*, everything else should be more like the next game.

It's a good thing, though, once you play it, you'll pretty much know everything about whatever I would like. Sort of. It's that or I have to point out YouTube videos. One time animations are moreso in the next game. In EB, there aren't many, except Ness sleeping, and the animations seen in the name your characters part. Of course, this in part is what made the first PI easier.

I think the Mother 3 Fan Translation is near complete, I just saw a note for it on starmen.net. That game is a lot more interesting in all aspects, except maybe it's not AS silly just to be silly.

*Unless somebody REALLY wants to code in a combo to the beat system Mother 3 has, and I don't think anyone does. @_@

MEGA EDIT: The fan translation IS out! Hey you lurkers, since you aren't helping anyway, go download the patch for the M3 translation!
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  #153    
Old October 17th, 2008 (10:38 PM). Edited October 17th, 2008 by Perpetr8r.
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Wow... I have pretty good timing. I've almost finished Earthbound (while still coding my AI project may I add), and now this comes out. Also, while the gameplay of Earthbound used a lot of tricks that I find very annoying to have to play through, they had several real gems in there too. Stuff like the teleportation system is very clever and makes the game more fun and interesting, as well as several of the plot developments and dungeons (*cough * Moonside *cough*). Phone system was pretty cool too.

I hope PISE will incorporate elements similar to this in its gameplay, though naturally there may be a few compatibility issues between the games. Do Pokemon even have phones? Regardless, if this is done right, I think you have a very interesting and playable game on your hands. Just PLEASE avoid making dungeons where players have to repetitively run back and forth through hordes of enemies just to hit switches or whatever that open another area on the other side of the dungeon... Granted, it makes dungeon making easier, but it's annoying as heck to play through.

Anyway, I have about 3 more dungeons to crawl through until I've completed Earthbound. I'm cheating and using a walkthrough, but I don't have time to actually try and figure everything out myself. That game clocks up 80+ hours of gameplay easily, if you play it normally, and even with the walkthrough and my magic "move faster" button, it's still taken me more than 10 hours to get to this point.

On a side note, I have a weird translation version. "PSI Rockin" is known as "PSI Friend" in my version, for example, and Porky is called Pokey? Eh, whatever. Also, I couldn't help but mess with the names for a laugh. I got some great results too, which I saved in picture format because I have no life (I thought it would be funny to have a little scrapbook of the funny bits of my game's progress at the end).

Here's a few samples just in case you have an immature sense of humor like myself. Since I was playing this game 'cause of you, I couldn't help but include your name, and it worked so well!
Hehe... "You will save the world! Let me go call MOMMY!"

Anyway, now I can go read all those Earthbound comics you made and they'll make sense to me. In fact, I might go do that now...
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  #154    
Old October 18th, 2008 (06:36 AM).
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Porky was always Pokey in EB. It's the name most of us are accustomed to, although in the end it just turned out to be a minor translation error. Much like Giegue in EB0 going to Giygas, despite the fact that Giegue sounds closer to the Japanese Geeg/Gyiyg. I dunno where Giygas came from. They should've been consistant... (although if you remove the "as"... er, well anywho)

Do Pokemon have phones? They do here! But, eh, they aren't used to save the game. There is no dad or some figure to call. It's either to store things or otherwise just for amusement text, I think. I'll have to recheck that. Oh, and you can call for hints on where to go, since again I don't plan on having everything spelled out for you in this game (and having a fortune teller type (or a hint man, hah) in one area is an inconvience as large as this island is). You're given a cell phone item, so you don't have to find a phone, but that's later in the game.

Saving's done at inns (or other rest areas), much like I'm sure some other games are, so that answers that.

What dungeons are like that in EB? The last time I played that game had to be several years, so I can't remember how everything was exactly. And yet I DO remember a lot of rock pushing to cover switches in Pokemon games (and the Cinnabar mansion). Which I suppose is more annoying considering random battles. At least you can see them in EB. I can't tell you there won't be any, but I can assure you there probably won't be many. Because as far as switch pushing goes, I kind of think that's how it would go in a ruined temple or some such. Tangela's Hedge has dungeons like that, but they're mostly harmless puzzles for fun and prizes, much like that one guy's fun house in Ruby/Sapphire. So it's not even an obligation, but rare items in this game are definately that, possibly unique, so it would be a good idea to get stuff where you can.

Oh yeah, now that I remember it, if there was one thing I liked about EB, it's that it had a good length. Granted back then I could play things that long, these days, unless it's portable, I can't really find the time. It's ironic then that I'm making this game larger than EB is. But I have a laptop so I don't care. That's still portable in my book. The goal in mapping the old PI was to have an expanded EB, so to speak, covering more areas with different tricks than this game did, but making sure I had some rhyme or reason for doing so.

"that genius Kine...", heh, I love it. Not speaking for myself, I'm no genius, but speaking for the portrayal of the character Kine, I can imagine him being smug about that. I also like the caught the scent of girls one, it didn't take me long to figure out what that was in the place for. And to think your mother encourages that in game... Whoa, but the use of strawberry always makes it look like someone's dead. I wanna have custom colors, too, but it's not a necessity. If anything I always choose plain anyway, it's more for everyone else who cares.
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  #155    
Old October 18th, 2008 (07:36 AM).
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Ok actually, I shouldn't have said dungeon. Really, the dungeons in Earthbound are more about fighting your way through a horde of enemies, or making you navigate a maze full of enemies (I'm seeing a trend here), which can be annoying in their own right, but then again that's what dungeons are for. More annoying are the non-dungeon places where in order to advance the storyline, you have to explore the entire town, talk to one guy, then explore the entire town again to find out what changed, then explore the entire town a third time just because the game likes watching you cry.

That happened in pretty much every town or main area in the game. A really good example is in the Dusty Dunes Desert, where you have to run all over the same 12 rooms like 30 times, shipping items back and forth between very demanding monkeys, all to get to visit Talah Rama or whatever his name is. Don't get me wrong - solving puzzles can be a rewarding experience, but Earthbound didn't even point you in the right direction half the time, and when it did, it usually meant trekking to the opposite end of the town or area just to chat with someone before running all the way back. Exploring is fun - the first time. Basically my point is that puzzles should be just that - puzzles. Anything that requires huge amounts of time to beat, with little skill involved, tends to get boring and annoying very fast.

Anyway, it's not that big a deal. We're not even up to that stuff yet, and if I tell you to make complex puzzles then I'm going to get stuck coding them, so I need to watch my mouth... As for Earthbound's length, I agree. Games that actually progress a lot are more interesting, because then you look back on it and go "Whoa, I've come a long way!". RPGs that try and cram gameplay down people's throats and are over in a few hours tend to feel rushed and less interesting than those that focus on actually building on the characters that you control. Granted, sometimes I want to get on with killing the badguys as opposed to listening to characters expound on their personal flaws, but there's enough room in an RPG for some non-storyline stuff, don't you agree?

I have to say though, if you're thinking of making your game bigger than Earthbound, it's going to take FOREVER. I mean, it's two people at the moment, and Earthbound had a full development team working on it and it still took them... uh actually I don't know how long it took them, but I'd say at least a year. Not that it worries me, just gotta be realistic here. Big games take time, especially if you have to draw ALL the graphics yourself (or code the entire thing from scratch). I've been working on my mini Pokemon MMO for like 4 years now and it's still not finished, though I attribute that partially to laziness on my part, and partially to the fact that nobody wants to help.

Anyway, custom colors should be a breeze to implement (at least, once I work out the Javascript commands for 'em). It took me a moment to figure out what you were saying about strawberry until I remembered the flavor thing right at the start of the game. Speaking of that, one of the things I really like about Earthbound is the fact that it doesn't take itself too seriously (except at the epic boss battles or major plot points). Non-essential characters move in and out of character on a whim, enemies range from ridiculously dangerous to downright laughable with no apparent trend to it, and the game continually introduces random new mini quests that you have to go on to move the storyline along which keeps things interesting. Happy Happy village is a great example of that (blue, blue!).

On top of this, I just finished Earthbound a few hours ago and I have to say, they did a really good job with the final boss battle.
Spoiler:
Granted, the way Pokey taunted me made me NOT want to do what he was telling me to, but
I thought the mood was great, albeit epilepsy-inducing. I got a few more pics for my little scrapbook of amusing scenarios too. I'll upload one more, since it's relevant to the comment you made about your mother encouraging you.

I thought you'd like the Kine one. It fit so perfectly to the character you have that I couldn't resist snapshotting it. Plus, it was a lot more flattering than later on when Dr. Andonuts brings up "Kine"'s bed-wetting habits. I have that one too, though now I've ruined the surprise by telling you about it.

Lastly, I downloaded Mother 3, but I'm scared to play it. If it's anywhere near as big as Earthbound, it's going to eat all my time as I can imagine it eating yours as we speak. This time I'll use their real names though... I think I'm all out of corny name jokes for the time being. I will add though that Prince Poo probably prefers the name I gave him...

I still have to work on my AI project, which is going decently, despite hitting several very annoying snags. Hopefully I'll be able to put all of that behind me soon and get my free time back for doing the fun stuff!

Oh yeah. When we finally put the finishing touches on your game, we should totally take this pic's suggestion!
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  #156    
Old October 18th, 2008 (10:46 AM). Edited October 18th, 2008 by Kine.
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Oh Lord, the monkey cave. See, THAT'S how one can tell I haven't played this game in forever. I forgot all about that dread. Oh heck no, that was never in the plan. But to me, it seems like most of EB's dungeons are less maze and more "fight mean arse enemies!", like the Pyramid which is laughably straight forward but hard as heck. That's probably what you mean.

Eh, there's a bit of everything in PI. The repeating maze where if you don't pick the right path, you just go in circles (although it's still easy for reasons I won't say here), the long winding maze where it's just easy to get lost (it's one of the final areas, and because of the name of the area afterwards it just makes sense), maybe a few slaughter fests that EB has in rather straight forward dungeons (usually when it technically makes no sense to develop a maze, much like the Dept. Store dungeon and its mean coffee cups), and some where it's mostly just up to how you navigate through it (which is why we need to figure out ice tiles and shifting strong wind attributes).

Mother 3 is nowhere near as long, it can be beaten in about 30 hours average. Of course, it's not like any of us can read what was being said, even with a guide, which only covered the main spoken points, and a bit of NPC dialogue. Now it might take longer with extra exploration, but that's still optional. In some regards, I think it was a slight disappointment to fans that the game wasn't as long (nor did you have to be nearly as high leveled), but what's there is good enough.

When you play Mother 3, you tell me which one has a better interface, and we'll just go with that. Again, I don't care. It's display vs. simplicity, really.

What I can tell you is the instances of talking to an individual to force things along does happen in this game. It's in that case I'll have to be more direct. When it's so unclear that you don't know what to do without a guide (like going back to Threed to find out they fixed the Sky Runner), that's what I'm avoiding. I don't wanna tell people what order things should be done, but I'm not going to be vague and hand them a controller saying "here, play this". Itoi is a writer, so the Mother games are more like an interactive story, as opposed to just a game. Same can be said here, so that's why I'd LIKE for people to speak with some individuals. The non-linearity comes to play when it comes to "doing stuff for some cause". I think even Mother three forces this, but fortunately came the introduction of cutscene and one time animations, which make speaking to individuals more interesting just to see what they'll do next.

One thing you'd notice, is that each Mother game has a concert that you have to see. Mother 3's is obviously the most interesting, and it's a good thing I'm doing the art work in that regard, because that much is also true about this game. Except you're only forced to see one of them, not like 4 or something. Even then, all the shows I have planned even optionally should be fun if you like watching stuff. It'd be like an animation I'd normally do, but inside a game, a lot of the flowing animation work will probably be in those (hence the large amount of cutscene sprites I keep mentioning). However, I can't even START these without a musician. The animations need to go along to music, so it'd suck if no musicians came along and the only thing holding us back is the theatrical pieces.

But again, it's mostly story oriented. It has to be. I couldn't make sequels otherwise, so not everything is closed ended by the end of the game, either. Well, more on the individual basis. The game's self contained story is, though. Each of the three series' self contained main themes are wrapped up at the end of the its series, but character development continues up until the trilogy's finale, as well as little nuances that don't get fully explained until then. Thankfully, the last two parts are just comics. Actually, I couldn't even make Poke Tales into a game, that or it'd be like a 10 minute game (just following the main story). Conversely, it would be an 1000 hour game (following all individual stories).

I do know, though, that the game just can't be flashy. The game parts have to be good too, which I'm hoping I have just the right balance of (which we can always check later). Nonetheless, everyone should go in with the mindset of it being more about the characters and situation, less about just being a video game.

*PS: Character development and getting to know Pokemon is a big theme! Mainly because that's the only way to fill up the picture book (or whatever I called it), this game's Pokedex. It's not required to beat the game and some of them are added automatically through normal means, but completionists would probably enjoy the thoughts of 157 Pokemon.
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  #157    
Old October 18th, 2008 (08:32 PM).
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Well clearly you already have a well-defined idea of how things are going to go, which is good. I mainly bring this stuff up because I know you are remaking a game you made previously and so you could change things you didn't like if you wanted.

In terms of interface, Mother 3 has a much more intuitive interface (in my opinion), though the battle system could do without faces popping up. I think window flashing works fine. Also, the beat system is just confusing and kind of pointless, really. After two hits you do bugger all damage so it's not really worth the combos, despite the fact that they are kind of fun to pull off and you get applause for 16 hits. So yeah. I'd say combine Earthbound (Mother 2?)'s mechanics with Mother 3's interface, minus the faces.

I've only played the first few hours of Mother 3 so far though, and I have to say that it's nothing like what I was expecting. Earthbound was nowhere near that serious and it really threw me for a loop when all that stuff happened right at the beginning. I have a sneaking suspicion about how everything is going to end, given the way Earthbound ended, but I'll keep that to myself for now. I'm not going to have any more time to play it for a while, because if I do play it I'll get distracted too much to do my real work which is due in just 5 days now.

I'm glad I didn't make the names silly, though now I do regret not setting my favorite food to "babies". That would really have lightened the mood... Also, Lucas and Claus are anagrams of each other. It took me about 3 hours to realize that.
Spoiler:
And if I ever play through the game again, I'm naming the mother "Aeris".
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  #158    
Old October 18th, 2008 (08:43 PM).
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So is poke island an RPG or what other than it sounds good
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  #159    
Old October 19th, 2008 (06:09 AM).
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Nyeh heheh, so I see that you're experienced the different feel of the third game (by which I mean the mood). Oh yeah, it'll do that. But it gets lighthearted later...

It's kind of genius the way Itoi intentionally hits you at the beginning. I was quite enlightened by his methodology after reading the long interview the just posted up (which is only recommended to those who fully complete the game, spoilers and all). Of course, I think some magic is taken out of it when you really understand why he does things, but hey, it's like with everything, once you get solid information, the fun of speculation goes away.

Anyway, looks like we finally have something to go off of as far as interface goes. Now that you know what both look like, you've pretty much answered any questions about how it should look and feel in this game.

But yeah, I have the entire game's event sequence and everything planned out, it's the same as it was before, so it's not hard. I say where the changes will be made, beyond making a professional version of the same, may be in the layout of things, and possibly new dungeon layouts to accomodate the new stylistic direction. I'll tell you this, to cut corners, I pretty much made everything a cave back then. Some places will actually look more like they should, now, which will introduce some things I didn't consider back then. Also, important dialogue should have better diction, but that comes with getting older and better at writing. I'm sure NPC dialogue will be all over from new to old, as it's mostly throwaway lines.



Lucar10 - Poke Island is an RPG in the way the the Mother/EarthBound series is. It'll have a bit of similarities to EarthBound, even. I make this pretty clear and obvious, because again I was going to make it a PK Hack game to begin with long ago. If you don't mind seeing street punks (in Pokemon form) again then you should be good going into this game. Fortunately the sequencing and approach is different, and there's enough uniqueness to counter the EB similarities.

*laughs* All things considered, I don't think Pokemon fans can complain about seeing some similarities. Even I knew I've been dealt the same hand over and over with the official trainer Pokemon games.
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  #160    
Old October 19th, 2008 (08:33 AM).
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Oh god, those Pokemon games. So much room for awesome, so little attempts to make it work. But hey, no use crying over spilled milk when you can create your own! ...or something.

Mother 3 spoilers below!
Spoiler:
Since we're on the subject of Mother 3, I have some complaints about the game so far.

For starters, it kind of left me confused as to the fate of Claus. Is he dead or what? It shows him lying there, but it never tells you whether he's ok or what (at that point, at least). It's all like "Some families, LIKE FLINT'S, were torn apart." That is not an explanation... Oh yeah, and Flint kind of just goes back to his old life like nothing happened after that little exposition. It doesn't even say what happened to Lucas!

Also, Mother 3 uses even worse time-wasting tactics than Earthbound. I mean... the whole broom thing in the castle? They are just lucky I can save game states on top of the save system, or I would have been very very angry. I mean really, "Caution, brooms". What kind of a warning is that? Maybe half the sign was missing or something and it was supposed to say "Caution, brooms are invincible and will make you squeal like a piggy if you touch them." I was like "Time to beat down some household objects!" and the next thing I know I'm crawling out of a trash can 3 floors down. Hulk smash.

At least there are amusing bits, like that Wess dance you mentioned on the first page of this thread. That almost made all the bs worthwhile. Almost. The game seems to be trying to make me invent stupid names as I go along, too. "Oh hey look, here's Kumatora! Try not to name her something masculine!" and "Now name this monkey!"

I mean really... a monkey. It's half a joke right there! I really hope it doesn't give me any more names to play with because I can feel some bad jokes coming on and I won't be held responsible for what happens...


Hey, I've discovered a neat shortcut for my AI project that may just make everything a LOT easier for me! Of course, it won't be nearly as cool, but at least I'll be able to have it finished in time...
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  #161    
Old October 20th, 2008 (07:04 AM).
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Spoiler:
*laughs again* You sound just like everyone else who's only played the three chapters so far. You have to keep in mind, the three Chapters pretty much all happen at the same time, it's just different points of view.

Trust me, the main characters don't just go on as though nothing happens. Also, Chapter 4 up is a lot more reminiscent of EB than the first 3 are. And I gotta tell you, I have no idea what brooms you speak of. I only played the game through once, in Japanese at that. I'll play it again once I can put the fan-trans on a flash cart.

And no, you won't be naming anyone else.
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  #162    
Old October 20th, 2008 (08:33 AM).
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Whee, more spoilers:
Spoiler:
Well the broom bit is in Osohe castle, right after you meet Kumatora. You have Wess and Duster in your team as well, and you head down a long corridor with annoying ghost things in it, and then up a flight of stairs. At the top of the stairs is a sign that says "Warning: Brooms". If you head into the next room, you come across a bunch of animated brooms sweeping the place in large circles, and if you touch one, they teleport you three floors (and about 30 enemies) back, and you have to climb all the way up there all over again.

Anyway, there's a few more things that purposefully waste time in game too (so far). First one is when you have to deliver those boxes as a monkey. It serves basically no purpose aside from wasting 10 minutes of your time, and then they do it again in the factory (in chapter 4) where you have to cart those big clay guys around just to earn entry to the club. Worst thing is, I can't speed the game up anymore so I have to play through it.

But when I really feel like breaking something, I pause, save the game state, take a deep breath, and go watch the Wess dance. Then, everything is better again. (Or alternatively, I watch the monkey version of the dance. Ah, good times.)

Except I was extremely disturbed by the scene in the game where poor Lucas gets molested by a Magypsy or whatever they are called. I was like "Hey, female clothes lying here and a hot spring up there. This could be good, or it could be a horrific, life scarring incident for both Lucas and myself." Unfortunately, (yet not unexpectedly) it was the latter. It was bad enough walking in on some naked transvestite, but even worse when he held Lucas down and did something creepy to him to unlock his PSI abilities?!

He's all like "Ooh you caught me naked. *screen goes black* Now hold still and stop struggling! Just a little bit longer! Oh yes!"

Wow... is this game supposed to be a kids game or what?


And that's how Lucas became a real man.... or not. In any case, my excuse for posting all this on your thread about PISE is that I'm outlining some of the ways that games waste players' time in order to make the game seem longer than it is. Heck, even I have admittedly been guilty of doing it from time to time. Once, I made a game on my graphics calculator, but as I ran out of memory to program in, I cheated and created really simple mazes that you had to walk through blindly and if you took a wrong turn you were teleported back to the start. I also made it so that there were about 4 mazes, and you had to beat them all several times to actually stand a chance against the big boss.

It was cheap, but it turned a 30 minute game into a 2 hour game. I still have that game, too. I mean, who do you know that has games programmed on their calculator? Someday it'll be worth a million dollars or something.

Long story short, it's not always a sin to make players work for the next piece of the storyline. But when you're resorting to cheap tricks every step of the way, you know there's something wrong. I always prefer short games that are fun the whole time to long games that are filled with tedious mazes and repetitive puzzles.
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Old October 20th, 2008 (02:02 PM).
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Er...
Spoiler:
Honestly I have no idea what's going on in that scene. When I played it I thought nothing of it, but the way the translation seems to word it. What I do know is that it's purposely ambiguous, or it was supposed to be. It was meant for the player to fill in whatever s/he wanted, so if you naturally have a tendency to think that way, well, there you go I guess. If not, it's all good. I personally think it's quite odd even for a Mother game, though. Even moreso on a sad kid like Lucas.

The happy Boxes part is admittingly pointless, but storywise I can see where it makes sense. Fassad is a jerk who takes pleasure in abusing animals, apparently, so no matter what you do it's always wrong. That and of course those boxes had to be delivered. Granted, that could've been done via a cutscene and not the player's experience, but I guess Fassad's jerkiness would'nt be as evident since YOU had to do all that hard work. That's my take on it, I can't say that's the reason why.

The factory thing is pointless too just because those claymen are so darn slow. It's actually optional to work some more after the fact, for some pay. But I dunno how much they pay you or how many clay guys you gotta repair. But since that's optional, it doesn't make a difference. I will admit, though, it's nice to be able to play Chapter 4 because there doesn't seem to be any real threats, yet. You're just taking in the revised world. It's one of my favorites because it's pretty easy going, and the game's real plot doesn't begin yet.

PS: What did you do when the train came speeding down the tracks?


I really need to get that flash cart so I can play this again. =E Darn it all. Maybe I can wait some more for a possible updated version, whatever, I mean I already know how it ends.

Oh, and pay attention to that Battle Log. That's now how the album would look. Except that it's a friends list and not enemies list, so you don't have the option to practice beating on them (that would be mean).

off the top of my head, I do know there's some revisiting areas to open up new areas much later in PI, but I don't think it ever occurs all at once. There is a part where you pretty much cover the same ground twice almost in succession, though. I'm probably going to leave that alone, something like that is hard to reaccount for, considering what happens, and I don't like rewriting anything established. Besides, the second time around is for free exploration just to take in the situation, and it's much easier considering you're only one person at that point.

Other than that, I can't think of any time wasters per se in terms of advancing the game, but I do know there's a couple of request chains from NPCs to get items or records for the album. That's optional, though. Like one character wants you to do something for them from another NPC, but that other NPC wants something from ANOTHER NPC before they'll do the favor for the first, etc. Fortunately, it's mostly just talking to a person, fighting them, or giving them something arbitrary, but I'm not going to make them all that easy. If you want that full log, hah, you better get to it.

They're only side quests. Plus, I want people to take time with this game, I mean, unless you're in a rush to go back to human trainers land (which in terms of story I'm sure some characters are). Screw that, I'm on vacation! Which is also the attitude some other Pokemon have.
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Old October 20th, 2008 (10:08 PM).
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You bring up some valid points with the game. Personally, I'm being hard on it because Earthbound raised my expectations quite a bit. Had I not played it, I doubt I would be as critical of Mother 3 as I currently am. I'm still reserving judgment on it though until I've played through the whole game. I have to admit that they really make you work to get past each stage... it's an extremely finely-tuned difficulty curve. I also can't do the magic butterfly trick this time around :(

I still feel that Mother 3 is very much a serious adventure, as opposed to Earthbound. Whilst the nature of the enemies you face is still quite kooky and strange, the enemies themselves tend to pose a larger threat in general (there's a lot less enemies that randomly beat themselves up or whatever), and the bosses are hugely more dangerous. I always find myself using nearly every single item at my disposal just to barely scrape past beating the bosses of each level, even though I take time to go and train on the minor enemies at every chance I get. More importantly though, the mood of the story is still really depressing. Earthbound was almost a whimsical adventure, because despite the looming danger, everywhere you went was something new and exciting and the characters you met there were bright and amusing.

In Mother 3, it seems like each area I visit is more depressing than the last. Ruined castles, "progressed" towns, a factory, a giant tower with a sinister design... The characters themselves are more serious, and the issues that they deal with almost constantly are pretty heavy stuff.
Spoiler:
I suppose that's what Earthbound would have been if you'd killed Ness' mother right at the start, really...
Granted, there's the occasional funny or lighthearted bit, but I still don't think it's as upbeat as its predecessor.

That said, the stupid game is addictive. It's hard to focus on my work and not touch the thing, because when I do play it I get really involved and then 5 hours later I'm like "Ah crud, I gotta get back to work!" However, I 'm pretty sure that how addictive it is and how depressing it is are separate. The gameplay is just fun and the dungeons aren't too complex (so far), so you don't get bored and angry every time you're forced to go hunt for something.

Spoiler:
Long story short, I don't really approve of the drama and tragedy going on all the time in Mother 3. Some might, but I like my fantasy games to be happy. Hopefully PISE will be a lighter tale too.

Also, I was expecting a train, BUT THERE WASN'T ONE. I don't know what I did that you didn't (or vice versa), but nothing happened. Maybe it was because I stayed off the tracks as much as possible. I kind of wanted to see what would happen if I'd been hit by the train, but nothing ever came zooming past so yeah...

Yeah and the hot springs scene doesn't openly suggest bad things happening to Lucas, but it goes out of its way to make lots and lots of innuendos. I mean, coupling the fact that the Magypsy is a parody of a transvestite (and possibly a gay guy), and that he's already naked (as is Lucas since he got into the spring too) with the fact that when the screen comes back on you see Lucas pop up from under water facing away from the guy... Yeah it just kind of creeped me out. I guess it must be funny to the Japanese.

Oh yeah, and I totally called Claus being on the bad guys' side. I don't know WHY yet, but it just seemed so obvious right from the start. A whole Cain/Abel type thing, you know?


So why do you need a flash cart? Is it because of the beat system? Even with a normal emulator, I can still get 16 hit combos every now and then, and it doesn't make TOO much of a difference ultimately anyway. Granted, there's the occasional slowdown or speed up while shopping, but it works pretty well. Plus, you can skip over the slow bits if you want!

Quote:
Oh, and pay attention to that Battle Log. That's now how the album would look. Except that it's a friends list and not enemies list, so you don't have the option to practice beating on them (that would be mean).
Actually, I think that would be hillarious. I don't know why, but the thought of practicing beating on your friends whenever you feel like it seems like an extremely amusing concept. But only if they had wacky, over-the-top reactions to everything you did. Come to think of it, I've never used the battle log, so I should go check it out when I next feel like having 5 hours sucked away by this game.

Lastly, don't let me discourage you from your game ideas. While I'm making a loud complaint about Mother 3 slacking off, I really don't think you seem like the type who prefers to cut corners. Even if you have some of the time wastey stuff in the game, I feel pretty confident that your game won't rely heavily on it, so it's not an issue at all. I just wanted to bring it up, because I want to see your game turn out to be the masterpiece it's set up to become.
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  #165    
Old October 21st, 2008 (08:49 AM). Edited October 21st, 2008 by Kine.
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Well, Mother 3 was meant to be a serious approach, for some reason. It would seem like the oddball of the series, but actually EarthBound/Mother 2 is the black sheep. Mother's story is somewhere in between the two. Nothing tragic happens, but it's major storyline, and the events that happen along the way that you hear of from townsfolk or NPCs and such, well that can be a bit sad. Especially Maria's story. I think Mother 2 magnifyed Mother's lightheartedness to make is the wacky family member, and Mother 3 magnifyed the serious part to make it the darker sibling.

Personally, I'd say PI is probably between Mother and Mother 2*, where a lot of it is sort of just silly and the main character does things because he's told to, not necessarily because he wants to or has to. I mean, Ninten's adventure is really "I'm just going to go outside today on a whim and save the world", although it's more of a sequence of strange events one after another that lead him up to that conclusion. Ness was told beforehand, but he never questioned it. Lucas is probably more like Ninten.

However, any kind of seriousness in PI comes in as you get closer to the end, where things like doubt, guilt and mistakes tend to come into play. Circumstances will eventually reduce the morale of pretty much everybody. I would say the final battle is about as dark as the game is going to get, as far as character emotions and feelings.

As I've said on my site, one of the reasons things occur is mistakes and bad assumptions, despite good intentions.

Finally, as far as both M3 and PI go, I liked how Mother 3 wasn't the bash fest that EB was, where you could go in and bash everything to death. You actually had to use PSI that ups offense/lowers defense, etc. I'd like the same for this game, as well. Enemies that really make you think about what you're going to do.

Now, just some extra M3 notes,
Spoiler:
if you stayed on the tracks, the train would come at you, and then the game would enter some kind of bullet time, where you could have Lucas either jump out of the way, or stand there and get hit. It's funny because the first time I didn't know you could jump out the way, so as the train was coming at me slowly, I just stood there and got smacked. Funny enough, you don't die, but you end up outside on the ground, and "Mr. T" scolds you or something.

Also, I had a feeling about Claus being bad at some point (not before the game was announced, as the 64 version's media would make you think he was a party member). But I didn't see anything regarding the why and how coming, though.


Also, yeah the flash cart is for beat battles, but also for portability, and the want of putting it into my GBA player on my Gamecube so I can play it with awesome surround settings and a nice sized television.


Also, check your email for Pika spritesets.

*Actually, come to think of it, PI is all three games at once. Well, PISE is. No, wait, even PI. The original game's based on EB, but also takes approaches from Mother, and includes references, some enemies and situations from both games. It was like M3 because of the newer areas, as well as the sort of self doubting parts that also seems to happen in M3. PISE is now like M3 in terms of looks and style, but there's nothing added beyond that point (which also means no cameos of M3 enemies, especially because they couldn't exist yet).
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  #166    
Old October 22nd, 2008 (08:32 AM). Edited October 23rd, 2008 by Perpetr8r.
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So. Mother 3. Finished.

Spoiler:
What the f***?

The ending to Mother 3 was about as anticlimactic as it could possibly be. When Lucas pulls that needle and the entire continent gets obliterated, THAT'S IT. I mean, sure, you get a black screen where everyone claims that they are alright, but it doesn't actually show you anything and I consider that a major cop out.

What happened, did Itoi get dumped by his girlfriend just before he wrote the ending or something? I bet he did. That would explain SO much. In fact, the text ending after that probably isn't even real. It seems almost like someone who was NOT Itoi snuck in one night and added their own ending, because the real one was so retarded. Heck, they went to all the trouble of animating everything being destroyed, but they couldn't even re-use sprites to show everyone was ok? Come on, really.

I'm quite happy for them to keep things the way they are actually. Just change that little text bit at the end. This is what it should read:

Quote:
Narrator: It was at the moment Lucas reached to pull out the last needle that the cheerful tune on the great God Itoi's cellphone sprung into it's bright chorus. Time froze for Nowhere Island and Itoi reached for the phone.

It was his wife-to-be, Rachel (yeah I just made up a name, roll with it). "I'm sorry, Itoi, I can't do this anymore." she said. "I'm moving to Tahiti with your best friend." That was it. Then she hung up.

A pall of silence hung over the production area as Itoi stared at the phone, dumbfounded. Suddenly, the struggles of Lucas and his friends seemed pointless and silly. They knew nothing compared to his pain!

Other gods in the office attempted to calm the Great God Itoi as he flew into a rage, brandishing his keyboard as though he were Flint the Second. Grinning like a madman, he swung it wildly, bludgeoning most of the other gods into unconsciousness before turning back to the game - his creation.

"You who have fought so hard for good... you know nothing!" he shouted at the still-frozen characters on the screen. "You mock me with your success and happiness! I shall backhand you all so hard that your ancestors will bleed!"

And with that, the Great and Terrible God Itoi mustered all the newfound evil in his heart, and pulled the pin himself. Time returned to normal as he did so, and so Lucas and the group were entirely unaware that they had failed their mission to bring good to the dragon's heart.

Thus began the apocalypse. <insert player's name here> watched in helpless horror, but even that person's great power could not stop the wrath of Itoi. The Great God Itoi had given birth to this world, and now he would destroy it.

...


.....


........


Somewhere off deep in space, Pokey floated and laughed. His capsule was indeed, 100% perfectly safe.

THE END
THAT would have made more sense than what I got. In fact, I'm half serious when I say that the text at the end doesn't seem like it's part of the official storyline at all. I half think Itoi just wanted to play with everyone's emotions like they were his puppets, and only the sneaky actions of an office ninja managed to partially thwart his plans.

I put up with all the random, pointless killing off of characters because I fully expected them to come back at the end. I mean, it was written all over the game from even the very start. If you believe the disembodied white text, I was right. But white text isn't an ending. It's the mindless ramblings of someone who forgot that games have graphics. I say again, what the f***?

Now, I could go off on a huge tirade into what I didn't like about this game as opposed to Earthbound, but I want to try and keep this post about PISE and the terrible, terrible Mother 3 ending as much as I can. Therefore, I'll just say this: Take the gameplay, but keep your own story. Watching this was like watching the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion. I'm sure there's people out there who will claim that it was a psychological masterpiece and that I just don't get it, but that's not true at all. See, the thing about games and indeed any form of art is that being subtle and "deep" doesn't work if you overuse it.

There's a limit to how much you can bluff and pretend you're making a clever story before someone calls bs on you. You know what it's like? The emperor's new clothes. Everyone goes on about how amazing it is, because they don't want others to point out the fact that they can't see anything either. But the truth? There's nothing there. Someone thought they were being clever with an ending that nobody would get, but if nobody gets it, it's not a clever ending, it's a crappy one.

Shortened rant aside, Mother 3 was more or less ruined for me by that ending. It took everything I liked about the game and its predecessor and threw it into a steaming heap of dung. After all the tragedy he'd already put in the game, Itoi couldn't help but heap more on at the end. Then he killed everyone. I mean, come on. It's like a spoiled kid throwing his toys in the fire because they didn't amuse him enough. What's the point of a fantasy anything if everyone just dies? And what's the point of trying to redeem yourself with disembodied enigmatic text? What, you can't just come straight out and show people that they aren't dead?

Maybe he was trying to suggest that heaven exists and that everyone died and went there for a party, but if he was doing that, he failed too. Let's face it, it's kind of hard to imagine that all people in heaven are BLIND and can't walk in a straight line.

Anyway, I'd sulk about Mother 3 if I wasn't working so hard on this AI project so that I'm free and have time to work on PISE. Just... bleh. Way to ruin my expectations, Itoi and anyone else who had a part in that.
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  #167    
Old October 23rd, 2008 (08:42 AM).
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Before I start on that, let me put this on top. In the case that you haven't already, I've gotten caterpillars to work. =D Or, at least +1. It's probably not the most effiencient coding as I don't have time to look it over and make sense of it (I have mock ups of art projects that I must construct), but eventually I'll go over it line by line so that I know why it works.

So, with the few Charmander spritesets I've made, he now follows Pikachu around like a mindless drone. I have to find a way to keep directions consistant. Using numbers, I could get him perfectly distanced moving any other direction EXCEPT perfectly east or west, in which Charmander's right up on Pikachu's tail. Then, should I space that, there a huge gap if they move any direction otherwise.

Eh, oh well, I'll figure that out later, too. Now, I have to figure out how to get them to JOIN (and also disband). Right now it just starts off this way.

You might also be interested in this site:
http://sphere.sourceforge.net/flik/docs/index.html

It has a document on making characters move automatically (which goes into detail about random movement) which seems ideal for NPCs. This among others, anyway.

Eventually, I'll give you the complete Charmander spriteset, as well. Be aware, though, this guy has 4 different idle sets (and then some). I told you Charmander would be frightening... fortunately it's just him. Well, Mew would have 2, I think.

As for the rest...
Spoiler:
Well, you can see his thought processes, now that you've finished the game, if you go to the page where you downloaded the patch. I'm not going to link directly to it, but if you scroll down on that page, it includes a link to the site walkthru, an interview, among other things. If you have the time (and you do need to clear a moment, it's not a quick interview), read through that to get some insight.

Nevertheless, I admit that I completely agree. Heck, I was probably the same, but probably less upset. It took me awhile to swallow the ending before I could actually believe it happened. I'm on the same boat of also thinking it was a cop out. And we're not the only ones, however, most people would say it's poetic or some such. Ehhhh I dunno about all that. What I think shocked me most of all was that this was the plan all along. Heck, in fact Itoi was actually going to be meaner about it. A lot of people had the idea that possibly, the original N64 incarnarnation would've showed the new world at the end, and that they just couldn't do it here because of space limitations (and believe me, this game IS the product of space limitations and not deadlines, as he and other staffers mentioned there were lots of things they couldn't add or had to remove, especially material that would make you more familiar with Claus, much like the old N64 videos show). However, once fans translated an old spaceworld interview (or something), turns out it was his plan even back then. Of course, he always said that in this game, he wanted to do mean, unpleasant things and sort of betray players this time around. Over the years, apparently he's become a nice guy, as the newest interview would tell you. So the whole final battle and such is different, more heartfelt, and the ending gives you vague closure.

Actually, just do a search on Mother 3 hidden stuff on google, and topics should appear on left out material. Most controversal being this gem:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubVnmeTRqhg&feature=related

Which, although there have been clearer versions since this first debuted, this gives you a look at all the sequences in the same video (though it's debatable what order they're really in, if it's even all connected, and at what point in the game this was actually used). Still, stuff like that obviously means Itoi was planning to mess with your head for real at some point.

I dunno why. No one knows why because we don't have a protoype version or even a N64 prototype, which would probably be closest to the original intent. He wrote most of the story during EB's development, so while both versions have the same idea (N64 and GBA final), I'm pretty sure he spent those 11 years retooling and reevaluating his work, probably changing his outlook on things along the way, I'm sure.

But for the record, he's married with children. If anything in that scenario, his wife left him. It's a pretty funny scenario that WOULD make sense, but I highly doubt it. Especially since the Mr. Saturn font is based off of his daughter's handwriting (at the time of Mother 2, she's got to be old enough to write, now). He seems like a family man.

I also like that spoiled kid analogy, because it actually sounds just LIKE Porky. It's not amusing anymore, so destroy it! Didn't they do the same thing in... well, nevermind, I better not say. that's a spoiler of another game.

Well, fortunately M3 only influenced me by graphical style, more or less. But I did find it interesting how many unintentional connections the mother series had to the whole Poke Island thing. Up to Poke Legends being the third and most serious of the three, and even having some connections regarding the near end of things. I would be more specific but I don't like giving stuff away, despite that I wrote it before, because I doubt people remember a lot of the stuff I write (especially sense there's so much of it), and therefore I can get away with it. Heck, that was at a time where no one knew how Mother 3 was gonna go at all. I even think that's when everyone knew it to be a cancelled dead project. So in a way, it frightens and saddens me because now I'll look like the copycat. =E

But if it wasn't for M3, I wouldn't bother remaking this game, and everyone would still be asking me "where's Poke Tales" and such. Even though I've made it clear I'm not going to start people off in the second part of a series, so without a first part, you get nothing. That's another reason I made this. The third and most important is because I really like it! Trust me, it's hard for me to do things if I don't have any will to do it, but it's hard to stop me from doing anything if I absolutely enjoy it. The best quality products of mine come from the things I enjoy most, and that's a big reason why my site and content is very much "my enjoyment first". It sounds selfish put that way, but actually, it's more like "if I don't enjoy what I'm doing, everyone else is going to suffer from a poor product as well". And with the sort of satisfaction I get just from making scenary for this game, you can bet there's gonna be a labor of love in the game. As I even stated, even if I'm the only one who ever plays it, it will still be great, because it'll be a project I enjoyed an put a lot of work into.

It's just unfortunate that sometimes junk that's popular appeals to the masses more than well worked out things that are more obscure (and I'm using personal experience, here), but what are you gonna do? Never stopped me from doing what I love. So far, nothing has (of course, money and the urgency for it has never been thrown into that equation yet).

I guess that turned into a bit of an aside about how I do things, but just to be sure, I do like to do things for others to enjoy, but there has to be some heart in it on my part, otherwise it'll always be a lesser product, if ever made at all.

Anyway, that's... it I guess. Oh, and by the by, the ending to this game will be pretty much the same as EBs with the free exploration, and then some. It won't be a cop out at all. In fact, it'll be more than the all the games (although I suppose 1 and 2's put together would = this game's ending).
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Old October 23rd, 2008 (06:34 PM).
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Yeah, I'm still working on my big project, so I haven't touched the coding since about a week ago. Right now, I have the world's worst stomach ache. Incidentally, the first thing I thought of when I woke up with this was all the Japanese jokes where a character is like "I'll take on this huge guy... or I would but I have a stomach ache!" It's even in Mother 3 at some point, but that's only a side bit with a pigmask.

I've always worked only on things that would make me happy, for similar reasons. If you work on something that your heart is not on, it's not going to reach its true potential, and you're far more likely to scrap the project later on down the track. I don't think anyone who's ever made a real game hasn't picked something they always wanted to do and gone from there, either.

Your ending sounds much like the "ending" to Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, where you beat the game, and then you can keep playing forever and add members to your team and do stuff separately etc. Not that that's a bad thing, just that it's a different way of drawing things to a close, ie letting the player pick when they want the thing to end. (I have to add though, after working with my partner for so long, I felt sad when he stopped speaking or acting like he was still a part of the storyline except at very rare moments.)

Now for some other Mother 3 miscellanea:
Spoiler:

After I posted my big rant t- why does it taste like I've eaten soap? That's probably not a good thing... Maybe I should go check the bathroom in case I've been sleep-eating all of our body care products. I DID eat a cheese sandwich in my dream last night...

Sorry... random tangent related to stomach ache. Not a spoiler. After I made my rant, I was afraid of being beaten to death by a horde or rabid Mother 3 fans claiming that Itoi himself had spelled out the secret to his weird ending and that I had it all wrong. So I read that interview and was midly surprised to see that if anything, he affirmed what I'd said! Like you said, he was looking to betray the players - in essence, Itoi knew that he had a captive audience and was intent on playing with them and shaking up their emotions. He created a happy world, and then smashed it apart, piece by piece.

I don't think I'm the only person who felt a sense of loss when Tazmily changed from the peaceful wild-west-esque town into a modern suburb which everyone then slowly drifted away from. All of the town's landmarks and history vanished too, until the only thing left that was untouched was Hinawa's grave. It was as though her death was the death of the whole village, and if that was the case, then Flint should have kept going with that stick and maybe he would have managed to knock sense into them before it was too late.

Anyway, for a story as incredibly depressing as Mother 3's was, it was the ending that failed us. Games are like interactive movies, which are in turn like story books with pictures. In essence, a game without a purpose is the same as a story without some kind of moral. Think about every fantasy book you've ever read. All of them had some kind of inbuilt moral about the good guys winning in the end and how the bad things could be overcome by those who were willing to fight. But this game, in essence, started at the ending and then slowly went backwards, pulling itself apart as it did so. It's like if you played Earthbound after taking those mushrooms in Tanetane Forest. That's what the story would be like. (This game is full of screams!)

What I'm saying is, at every point in the story where things got worse, I and probably every fan of Earthbound ever, mentally thought to themselves, "It's ok. The ending will fix everything. That's what it's supposed to do!" Even when we were subjected to painfully depressing images of Wess being forced to live in an old-person's home instead of his once beautiful house, or Lucas crying over his mother's grave, or people slowly drifting away from the lifestyle that had made them happy, we kept that faith. We believed that in the end, Itoi would put it all back together and say "Tadaa! Nothing that is done cannot be undone!"

But he wanted to betray us. He knew that dynamic too well, and he knew what everyone would be thinking at each point in time. Perhaps he was trying to say, "This is not a story about Lucas. This is a story about all of us. Look around you, do you see a happy ending? No. Then there is no happy ending for him either. Maybe if you pay attention to this now, you won't suffer the same fate."

Even if that was his intent, he sacrificed his game for the chance to make that comment - a comment which most people will not get, will not understand, and will not appreciate. Was it worth it? I didn't walk away from Mother 3 feeling like I'd experienced something beautiful. I walked away feeling like I'd been toyed with. The best way to put this is that I felt that we were to Itoi what Salsa was to Fassad. He spent the whole game punishing us for doing what he told us to do, then at the end, when we accomplished something big, he zapped us again and laughed in our faces for expecting anything else.

And unlike for Salsa, nobody came to rescue us from the terrible ending.

So was it really a Mother game? Well... there was no praying, no singing, and no joy and laughter after about the first half hour of the game. So no. This wasn't a Mother game at all - it was a stern lecture about not letting your wife be killed by a mecha Drago unless you wanted your entire town to implode and your one of your sons to turn into a pawn of some fat kid in a giant metal vat, while the other ran around the world performing acupuncture on a huge sleeping dragon in order to destroy the continent.

Itoi couldn't make up his mind about whether he wanted to teach players a serious lesson or whether he wanted a game about ****-erotic encounters in a hot spring, so he tried to do both and thus messed everything up. We all sat there, waiting for the punchline, the grand, amusing finale of the game that wasn't supposed to take itself so seriously... and it never came. If it was a serious commentary about the environment, why did Lucas have to run around underwater whilst making out with middle-aged men? Why did Osohe castle require a very amusing dance to get inside of it, instead of a serious puzzle?? Muoooooohhh...

Who knows? All I know is that the ending to Mother 3 should have been so very different to what it was. *sigh* Oh well, maybe he'll learn from PISE's example.
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  #169    
Old October 24th, 2008 (06:19 AM).
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Nope, not at all. I like my endings closed ended! When I said explore things after it's over, I mean in the EB sense (you can talk to people when it's all over, and then when you're done, you can talk to X to send you to cast and credits/epilogue), not the Pokemon sense. Pokemon's open endedness essentially kills it for me, because the major plot (if you can call it major) has an underwhelming ending, leaving you with a feeling of "now what"? I mean, if you like to continue battling without much purpose, go ahead. In the new generation, at LEAST there's wi-fi, but even that wears thin, eventually.

Any real story has to come to a close. Pokemon is just... circumstances, not really a story. I can see why it'd be more ideal as a MMORPG.

The anime isn't much better. It's like reading a book where the last page tells you to start again at page one.

PMD at least has enough of a story to make the ending a lot more satisfying, considering it has a lot more plot than any trainer game (and yet people still prefer to catch em all). The open endedness there is driven by an after story, which keeps it still interesting instead of dropping you at home, not telling you anything (and if beating Red in G/S wasn't anticlimatic I don't know what is).

I dunno what else to say on the Mother 3 thing, but it's interesting to read your analytical approach on it. It's like given the information, you understand it all, pretty much, but you still make good valid points (as far as I can tell) about why you don't like the situation. Me, personally, I'm neither for or against the ending. I would have liked something different, but it is what it is. At least I've come to live with that, anyway.

I will tell you, though, had you written this at Starmen it's possible you'd be subjected to people telling you you missed something deep, but the way you wrote this last thing out, I'm pretty sure no one would go for the jugular. There's even posts there now about dissatisfaction.

I will admit, I'm more than curious to see how much darker his original approach was. I mean, if this was the "happy" version, who knows what've happened?

Spoiler:
Perhaps you would have had to slaughter your brother instead? Which... probably wouldn't've ended well psychologically. And how much worse would it have been during the rest of the game?
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Old October 24th, 2008 (03:23 PM).
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Spoiler:

Well, one of the things that made me kind of confused to begin with was how Claus appeared to have some robotic parts whilst wearing that uniform. I was half under the impression that they'd reconstructed HIM, and that, much like the Drago, he was being forced to harm people against his will. (AS opposed to being brainwashed into doing it)

But regardless of that, I think I have a decent idea of what Itoi would have done, had he not had a change of heart in the 11 years or whatever that this thing was in limbo. Here's what I think.

I think he'd originally intended for Lucas to arrive on scene at the final needle too late. Itoi mentions that he couldn't let that happen because then it would probably destroy everything (even himself). That sounds a whole lot like Giygas, doesn't it? It's quite possible that his original intent was to have that happen, and, regardless of what happens to Claus (maybe the dragon would take over his body), you'd then have to fight the evil within the Dark Dragon, in a very Giygas-like situation.

It would make sense though, wouldn't it? The background pulses and writhes like it does in the Giygas fight, and one could imagine that the conflict in intent between Claus' and Lucas' "heart"s could cause the dragon to go insane, thus completing the requirements for a second Giygas figure. Remember, all that Giygas was was a being of immense power, driven mad by his own abilities. Sure, there was some evil thrown in there too, but it was mostly insanity that drove him to do what he did, not evil. This would be almost exactly what situation the dragon would then be in.

Then again, maybe it is merely the physical manifestation of the horror Claus was forced to endure. He went from being a child to being a commander, and he wasn't given a proper chance to grow up. That too, can lead to some pretty extreme emotions, and if those transmitted themselves to the dragon, well you could expect the result would be pretty messed up.

The youtube video shows some interesting imagery. It seems very much like a psychological battle instead of a physical one, doesn't it? Maybe it represents the mind of the Dark Dragon in conflict between the two opposing forces that came into contact with it. Whatever the case, you get the impression that Porky was trying to recreate Giygas for some reason. He knew all about the needles, yet he made Claus pull them, knowing as he did that it would "fill" the dragon with emptiness and that the dragon's main purpose was to destroy everything (and then recreate it all). But because of Claus' emptiness, the dragon would be without a purpose for which to recreate that world.

Thus, the dragon would probably just destroy everything until there was nothing left to destroy. Sound familiar? Of course, Lucas would have to fight that and win somehow, possibly by fighting the very insanity gripping the creature. But once he won, the real dark ending would start.

There would be no fairy tale ending (not like there really was one, but if you count the disembodied text, things did end up happier ultimately). You'd beat the dragon, and it would probably go back to sleep again, meaning everything stayed exactly the way it was. Hinawa would stay dead, Claus would probably be insane or dead by that point, and the entire village of Tazmily wouldn't even exist anymore, since everyone moved out. Pigmasks would still be everywhere, without a leader now and thus even more dangerous, and the land would still be torn up and filled with chimeras and other abominations created during Porky's reign.

Its true that with time things could get better, but the huge loss that everyone had experienced would mean that things would never be the same again. Even if people went back to their old lifestyles, there would be reminders everywhere about the mistakes they made. In a way, even this provides much more closure than the current ending. Think about the tale of the white ship, and how inconsequential it was to the storyline as a whole. You never used the egg of light, despite how central it was to most of the plot, and nothing changed when you discovered the truth about it. The only useful thing you gleaned from that whole experience was the knowledge that Leder could talk.

What I'm saying is that with an ending like that, the villagers of Tazmily would be forced to admit that they were instrumental in their own downfall. Because they chose to forget the past, they repeated the same mistakes that had led them to Tazmily in the first place. Perhaps then, everyone would learn the "lesson" that they were being taught, and rebuild their lives once more, though they would always bear the scars of the past. That would indeed be a much darker ending, but I think it would also make a lot more sense. In that regard, I would have been much more satisfied with it.

As is, it seems that Itoi forgot to make sense in his rush to make a happier ending. He might as well have stuck with the sad one, because regardless of what it actually was, it would have felt more complete than this one.


Anyway, today and tomorrow are my last days of working on this project. I have to finish it, so I'll be working really hard from here on out. With any luck, I won't fail miserably and will actually manage to get this AI working properly, despite how freaking hard it is. Wish me luck.
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Old October 29th, 2008 (03:05 PM).
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This is probably fruitless, but I might as well...

Anybody reading this know a good musician who has no resevervations for fan games? I could really use that musician, now, but s/he's gotta be good. I mean, really good. At least good enough to make convincing VG music that sounds just like the source (let's say like remastering).

Musicians are the hardest people to get. It's like they work on a triangle basis. On each side you have Free, Fan Game, and Good. The problem is, for the most part, it seems you can only get two of those at the same time. Example: They're good and would work for free, but won't do fan games, and so on.

Those who do all three must be hard to come by, and I dunno where to look where it's actually invited (so OCRemix and VGMix probably aren't great ideas).

Otherwise...

Perp: How'd you do on the AI project? Hopefully everything worked out ok what with the EB/M3 distraction.
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Old October 29th, 2008 (07:18 PM).
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Well, did I forget to tell you about Aaron Waltz? I wouldn't say he's a friend of mine, but I contacted him about using his music for a fan game once and he let me do it for free. I think he's a nice guy, and he has his own site and stuff (http://www.midishack.net/). I think he'd probably appreciate the exposure, though he may want money if he has to design a whole bunch of songs for you.

I think he makes great music, so it's a definite option if he's willing. But yeah, it's going to be extremely hard finding someone to make good songs for free. I used to play piano in my younger years and I have a program that allows me to create midis. However, I'm reluctant to offer my services for two main reasons: One, I'm already doing something big for this project, and two I'm not THAT good with music. I can make a tune, but I have yet to master multiple instruments in unison. And it takes ages, so that's three reasons!

As for my AI project, it was a hell of a ride. I didn't quite finish everything, unfortunately, though it wasn't really my fault. Friday I got a bad case of food poisoning, Saturday I was unwell for most of the day, and Monday I both had work AND had to hand my project in by 4 PM. Still, it went ok, and I did make my AI pretty impressive, at least for the parts that work. In the end though, I'm a little disappointed that I couldn't manage to get everything together exactly as I wanted. I guess that's life...

In other news, I'm still freaking sick from all that stuff and I have a few commitments coming up that need to be taken care of. I'm looking forward to being well again so I can get on with all the bajillion projects I have going that need attention. Crud, that reminds me, I need to finish some uni work before Wednesday... Oh well, I'll be free eventually.
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Old October 29th, 2008 (08:03 PM).
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Haha, you say that as if I'm worried about money. =) Sure, I'm not rich, but if the price is reasonable and the work is spot on, what's a few tens of dollars?

Of course, I'm still talking flat rates, though. I might get gyped on hourly rates, especially if it's something I can do myself.

I wouldn't ask you to do anymore. I wouldn't ask a coder to be any more than that even if they could do other things. That'd be cruel. Or it'd be me. =P I'll overwork myself with little to no regret but I won't do it to anyone else.

Well, as always, I'm glad he included MP3 samples. It's so hard to get a good impression if all that exists are midi files, because sound cards are different, so there's always a different way it's going to play. I like what he has, it does sound like something that could be used in a typical RPG. However, this is a Mother like, where the music's a lot more modern or just weird and cosmic/energetic. I'll send him a mail about all this shortly. I wouldn't force all music on one person anyway. I probably won't even have the entire soundtrack (re)composed. I've listed about 19 necessary songs, and even then I could cut that down to 7 at least (and then 4 if I must get really touchy). Everything else I'll lift from EB/M3/wherever if necessary.

That AI project sounds like a game project I did for class. It didn't turn out the way I wanted, and if there was more time it may have been possible. For what it was worth, it was good. Too bad after class ended my team pretty much cut all ties right then and there. T~T I wouldn't've minded so much if the coder didn't tell me he'd give me the source code for some elements just before the last day. Couldn't even be arsed to respond to my email, which was like immediately after classes ended.

I would've continued on it myself, but there was a lot of lost motivation in the project in that it involved some personal situational stuff with people whom I'd later break it off with (not the classmates), and having the game soiled by those memories... I'd say that would be the only game project aside from a Panel de Pon hack (which at the time was just unreasonable) that I've never completed. Shoot, I can't even think about the characters without wincing a little, now.

ANYWAY...Deadlines push people, but it never seems to allow getting everything you want in. Hopefully you'll recover. And I'm not saying that so you can "get back to work" (which right now I'm not even thinking about, as far as this game goes, my current "flustered focus" is getting musicians), but because I think it's in the best interest to make sure everyone is well regardless of who they are or what they do.
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Old November 3rd, 2008 (08:58 PM).
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Well you know, even if you aren't worried about money, it's still your money. I don't want to go around assuming you're going to shell out for bits and pieces. I mean, while I'm personally happy doing it just so I can be like "Yeah I totally worked with that guy..." to make people jealous, I imagine others will want other incentive. Just yeah... it's your money!

Uh so like, I have a few things to catch up on for uni, so I'm still a bit tied up at the moment. But there was something I took from Mother 3 a while back that I never pointed out, and I felt like I might as well bring it up now. It's not exactly a spoiler, since it just shows Lucas hanging out in a cemetery, but I dunno. Use your discretion, people!
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Old November 5th, 2008 (07:37 AM).
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Well, again it would have to be a lot for a flat rate, but none the less I got at least two people. Mostly people from Starmen.net, which makes sense, all things considered. I should've started there in the first place.

I must admit I'm kinda disappointed but not at all surprised that EB fans (or those with more knowledge of the series) help me more than Pokemon fans. I guess it's really the gameplay and not the representatives that make the difference. I bet I could've used Mario chars and the results wouldn't be any different.* And what can I say? EarthBound came first, without that, Pokemon either wouldn't exist or would be radically different, considering Red and Green were inspired by AND made by the same team** as EB.


Well, I'm pretty at ease about the whole thing, now. A bit. When I get a couple of those songs in my hands finalized I will be. =E

As for the screenshot, I remember there being a topic on that before. That's pretty weird, but even it that was what it actually said (which I doubt, I dunno how up on American terminology older Japanese guys are), who would write that? Maybe the grave digger, he's kinda iffy.

* And even then, what with all the "fandom segregation"... *once again refers to Pokemon fans observation remade in a Nidorino comic that STILL holds true*.
**not necessarily the same full team, though I gotta imagine what an Itoi written Pokemon game would be like. A lot more to contemplate about than battle for badges, I'm pretty sure, complete with some kind of enemy you couldn't help but feel bad for!
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