Very longwinded, the result of about 4 hours of obsessive writing in notepad. I don't know if someone has come up with a similar idea, I don't know what can be done with hacks, I just know what I'd like to see in a game. If anyone can refer me to a good tutorial that guides a beginner through the process of starting a hack, which parts can be edited and by what programs, etc., I'd be grateful. About halfway through my description of the plot I realized I'd be posting this here and not just saving it for my own reference, so forgive me and point out when I have abbreviated something too far or if you need explanation on anything.
New Edit: I have familiarized myself with most of the tools I'll be using, and have developed a distaste for mapping. At this point I'm checking for interest by responsible mappers and spriters that have something of quality to contribute. If you are interested, send a PM or message me on AIM, Live, or Skype, or just post in this thread.
Pokemon Jet Version
Ruby Version hack
Backstory on Halcyon Region:
About 15 years before the third generation of games, the world powers founded a new nation on a newly discovered tropical island. Free of the corruption of old world governments, Halcyon would be an independent nation built on a new school of thought. Supported financially and logistically by the world powers, Halcyon quickly became a jewel of human civilization and liberty. Pokemon were quickly brought over and a natural population quickly boomed. Many rare species would soon join those domesticated by humans and create their own lairs, waiting for truly gifted trainers to challenge and some day capture them. Notably, automobiles are outlawed in the nation due to their dangers to both living creatures and the environment. Bicycles and good old pedestrianism are the two main modes of transportation.
10 years later and a war has broken out between Halcyon and Japan. After successfully repelling a Japanese invasion with the aid of the United States, Halcyon began sending troops to aid the American invasion of the Japanese mainland. As a result of the war, Halcyon is in a tense situation. Their laws prevent any real form of a police state, preventing them from interfering significantly in the affairs of their own people, and one group of criminals has taken advantage of the situation to seize power in some parts of the nation. Black Star is a militant group keen on taking control of the whole nation of Halcyon, combining the powers of conventional weapons and the innate abilities of pokemon to wage war on the small standing national guard of Halcyon.
About the player characters:
17 year old Eric had recently immigrated to Halcyon from the United States with his parents when the war broke out. Having just settled into the public school system, he has but one true friend in the entire country, one of his very few neighbors in the town of New Eden. Amy is the same age as Eric, and she arrived at almost exactly the same time under nearly identical circumstance to Halcyon. Much like many of the young adults their age, they moved to Halcyon largely against their will and have had a difficult time assimilating into the idealist libertarian utopia. As they will soon come of age, they face possible conscription into the Halcyon army to fight the Japanese menace. Only a select few are exempt from eligibility of conscription, and those are pokemon league members. Together, they will soon pick up their first pokeballs and journey into a brave new world, looking for a place they belong and trying to avoid premature death in a ludicrous struggle against a much more experienced enemy.
Cities and Towns:
Halcyon consists of 10 cities ranging from small suburbs to a bustling metropolis. In 8 of those cities are gyms led by pokemon league gym leaders, all bearing badges necessary to face the elite 4, official pokemon league masters, the strongest trainers in all of Halcyon.
New Eden town is a very small suburb located on the northern edge of a small, natural lake.
Points of interest: Player's house, Rival's house, Professor Aeon's Lab, 3 other houses of uninteresting people. Does not have pokecenter or mart, though later in game one of the people there will sell "herbs" and you can rest at home like a pokecenter.
Paradigm is a "rural metropolis" and the central hub of the western side of the island, located on the eastern edge of the Halcyon Plains.
Points of interest: Aaron's Gym (Grass, 5th gym), Albert's house (invented pokemon internet), Paradigm Apartments, National Guard Station. Has a pokecenter and mart.
Apex is a mining town located at the top of the extinct volcano at the center of the island, Mount Horizon.
Points of interest: Titanium mines, Halcyon Foundry, Rachael's Gym (steel, 1st). Has pokecenter and mart.
Defiance is located at the base of Mt Horizon, opposite the side of the island's plains. It sits between the mountain and the innermost edge of the large oceanic inlet. It is a smallish fishing town, slightly larger than New Eden in population but not in land area.
Points of interest: Docks, Dave's Gym (ground, #2), Mt Horizon Tunnel. Has pokecenter and mart.
Elysium is the capital city of Halcyon, sitting on the small island in the ocean inlet. It is the largest city of Halcyon and has the highest population.
Points of interest: Halcyon National Mall, Halcyon National Legislature, Presidential Manor, Melissa's Gym (psychic, #3), Pokemon League International Headquarters (contains elite 4), Docks, Crystal City Grand Hotel, Elysium Arcology. Does not have a pokecenter or mart, hotel functions as center and mall functions as mart.
Vigilance sits at the edge of the inlet, a small town and accompanying naval base built around a bridge that guards the inlet and Elysium. Largely unremarkable beyond the naval base, the city has a low population and next to no industry.
Points of Interest: Halcyon Naval Defense Station, Docks. Has a pokecenter and mart.
Criterion sits north of Vigilance. It was the first city founded on Halcyon, and historically was used to determine whether the island was viable for colonization. It is the second largest city on Halcyon, and serves as the international harbor to the rest of the world. At the time of the game, harbors were sealed to immigrants as a result of the war, so very little nautical traffic exists beyond trade vessels waiting to go through customs and a large portion of the Halcyon Navy.
Points of Interest: Halcyon International Port Authority, Alex's Gym (dragon, #4), National Pokemon Preserve (safari zone), Criterion Arcology. Has pokecenter and mart.
Supremacy sits on the western side of the island. Being the site of the Japanese invasion, a lot of the surrounding area is ravaged and only civilian inhabitants to the city are allowed in and out. The player is only allowed to enter the city during the confusion and panic caused by Black Star's attempt to take advantage of the reconstruction effort.
Points of interest: National Guard base, beachhead, Sofia's Gym (fire, #6, closed until BS dealt with). Has a pokecenter and mart, neither in service until Black Star is dealt with.
Pinnacle lies on the southern coast of the island, topping a small mesa-like hill. A small city, it is home to the military airbase and international airport, which is currently not in service due to the current conflict.
Points of interest: Halcyon Air Force Base, Halcyon International Airport, Jeff's Gym (electric, #7). Has a center and mart.
Prosperity lies on the river connecting the oceanic inlet to the large salt lake in the middle of the island. A smallish city with a more suburban atmosphere, the wooded area is only reachable by surfing.
Points of interest: Justin's Gym (dark, #8). Has a center and mart.
Legendaries and their locations:
Since it's a hack, I see no reason not to include every last legendary in the game.
Legendary birds, all lv50: all located in separate spots in Titanium Mines, need strength, rock smash, and flash (not necessary) to reach them.
Mewtwo lv70: Located in secret lab underneath presidential manor, requires President's permission to enter (save him from BS, near the end of the game)
Mew lv5: Random encounter, like psychic dragons from RSE. Does not run though. Available after beating Champion.
Legendary beasts, all lv30: Suicune is in an underwater cave beneath Elysium. Need surf, dive, and waterfall to reach. Entei is located in the foundry, need strength to reach. Raikou is located in National Pokemon Reserve, need cut to reach.
Ho-oh, Lugia lv70: Located on northern mountain, reachable after beating champion and needing all 8 HMs
Celebi lv15: Random encounter in NPR after beating champion.
Regis lv40: Hidden caves similar to the system from RSE, but all open automatically after beating champion. Regirock on Halcyon Plains, Regice in northern mountains, Registeel in Titanium Mines
Groudon & Kyogre lv45: Groudon located in deep cave part of northern mountains, Kyogre located in an underwater cave.
Rayquaza lv70: Return to airport after beating champion. National Guardsman will report a strange object flying down the runway, then reports that it seems to be heading for Elysium. Take the elevator in the mall to the roof, Rayquaza will be waiting there.
Latios and Latias lv40: After beating champ, return to beach of supremacy. A character will note that 2 objects were flying far off. Go to northern mountains, will require all HMs to reach a peak that has both as 1-time random encounters that do not run.
Jirachi lv10: Found in a pokeball very well hidden in foundry.
Deoxys lv70: Located in secret lab under Pres. Manor.
The theme of this game is essentially a little bit of black comedy and darker tones than what Nintendo typically offers, so fully-evolved starters reflect that sentiment by being of the dark type. They are:
Houndour (evolves into houndoom at 24)
Corphish (evolves into craudaunt at 30)
Cacnea (evolves into cacturne at 34)
Aside from the reason mentioned above, I chose this group because 1: They form a fire/grass/water cycle like the Nintendo games, 2: they all have only 1 evolution beyond their starter form, 3: they are all relatively stronger than the original starters and allow for a steeper learning curve from the start, and 4: they also have a scale of difficulty to apply to the first half of the game, much like the starters from past Nintendo games (ie: houndour evolves quickest and is effective against the first gym leader, cacnea evolves slowly and learns good moves slowly, corphish is a good balance in between)
Plot and path of the player:
Okay, I said it wouldn't be a huge wall of text... I lied. It's a much larger wall of text, but it makes more sense now at least. I'll spoiler every paragraph after the first for those who don't want the plot spoiled for them should this game ever be made.
Waking up in New Eden to a letter informing them of an upcoming selective service draft, the player character desperately seeks the aid of Professor Aeon, an... eccentric professor, but more importantly, the only way the player will be able to obtain their first pokemon and get on the path to joining the Pokemon League. By saving Aeon from a zigzagoon in his trash can, the player gains their first pokemon and their pokedex. The player then meets up with their friend (read: rival) who is also setting off as a new pokemon trainer for the same reason. The player sets out from New Eden onto the Halcyon Plains.
On the Halcyon Plains, the player has their first trainer battles and their first opportunity to catch new pokemon. Heading east will lead them to Paradigm, the central "hub" of Halcyon. In Paradigm they meet the 5th gym leader but cannot battle him yet (this is one of very few throwbacks to the original plot of ruby/sapp) and head east up Mt. Horizon towards Apex.
In Apex, the player has their first gym battle against the steel-type leader, gaining the ability to use flash. Apex offers the player a few areas to catch pokemon effective against steel, fighting and ground pokemon can be found in the Titanium Mines, while fire pokemon can be found in the Foundry. Before leaving the city to climb down the eastern face, the player is challenged for the first time by their rival, gaining the HM for flash afterwards.
At the bottom of the eastern side of Mt. Horizon, the player comes to Defiance, the small fishing town. In defiance they can fight the second gym leader, who favors ground types, and gain the ability to use rock smash. They can head to the tunnel that connects Defiance to Paradigm, which is currently experiencing a power outage and cave-in. By flipping a few switches, the player gains the HM for rock smash, and can use that to return to Paradigm quickly should they choose to do so. The only way forward, however, is to take the ferry across the saltwater lake to Elysium, the capital city.
Elysium is the first city that the player can really spend a lot of time in doing something other than battling or advancing the plot. A lot of the backstory will be available around the city, but if the player isn't interested or has already spent enough time reading up on it they can head to the third gym, where they fight the psychic type leader. The only way to restore their pokemons' health here is in the Crystal City Grand Hotel, the premier lodgings of Halcyon. In the hotel, the player meets for the first time the leader of Black Star, the militant group who will later reveal themselves to be the antagonists of the game. Also in this city, the player can visit the National Mall, the largest shopping center in Halcyon. They gain there this game's equivalent of the Pokenav, the PalmNav. Optional are the visits to the Halcyon National Legislature, the building where the governing powers of Halcyon meet to make laws, and the Presidential Manor. The player can then head east across the other side of the lake to Vigilance.
The player arrives in vigilance to discover that Black Star have just shot their way into the Naval base and stolen a stealth transport ship. The mood is tense and somber as the National Guard assists the wounded and blocks off the Naval base to civilians. Heading north along the coast, the player will eventually reach Criterion, Halcyon's other big city.
In Criterion, the player can fight the 4th gym leader, the dragon type user. Doing so gains them the ability to use Strength and on the way out of the city they face off again against their rival, who afterwards gives the player the HM for strength. The player now heads back to face the gym leader of Paradigm. The path to Apex is momentarily blocked off, to ensure that the player obtains rock smash by going through the tunnel.
Back in Paradigm, the player goes to confront the 5th leader again. He uses grass types. After the battle, a National Guardsman runs in and informs Aaron (as a mercenary of the Pokemon League) that a group of people were trapped in the tunnel after an explosion caused a cave-in. The player is told to bring a pokemon that knows rock smash, and Aaron runs off to the tunnel. The player goes into the tunnel and uses rock smash to free the people trapped by the cave-in. Just as they are exiting the tunnel, a group of Black Star soldiers approaches them. Captured at gunpoint, they are locked into a cell under the National Guard station in Paradigm. The player finds a weak spot in one of the walls and uses rock smash to break everyone out. National Guardsmen rearm themselves and head back to town, but Black Star is nowhere to be found. The NG receive a transmission from the NG base in Supremacy, letting them know that there has been another naval incursion, this time by Black Star. Aaron leaves for the Pokemon League HQ to rally aid, while the player heads to Supremacy to assist the NG there in an act of bravery.
In Supremacy, the National Guard base has been taken over by Black Star. Given orders not to fire on civilians, the Black Star guards attempt to incapacitate the intruding player by attacking with their pokemon. Being a superior trainer, the player makes it to the heart of the base and finds the leader of Black Star. The leader challenges the player to a battle. After losing, the leader is about to shoot the player when out of nowhere a wall of fire bursts from the ground, saving the player. Supremacy's gym leader, Sofia, is intervening with a group of National Guardsmen. The guardsmen chase Black Star to the beach, where they escape in their stolen stealth transport. Sofia and the NG thank the player for his help, and the city returns to relatively normal functionality. The player can now go challenge Sofia, who obviously uses fire types, for the 6th badge. Doing so grants the player the use of fly, and on the way out a NG gives the HM to the player. The player now heads for Paradigm again, and south from there through the jungle to Pinnacle.
In Pinnacle, the player can learn a little more about the backstory by exploring the city, mainly the Airport and Air Force Base. More importantly, however, they can fight the electric gym leader for the 7th badge, finally earning the ability to surf and after another battle with the rival, the HM for the same move. Surfing from either Defiance, Elysium, or Vigilance will eventually take them to the final city and final gym battle, Prosperity.
Prosperity is a small town hidden in the forest, with no infrastructure yet connecting it to the rest of the island and no ferry docks. As a result, it is inhabited almost entirely by powerful trainers. Talking to the inhabitants gains the player the HM for dive, which is needed to reach the final gym leader. The 8th gym leader has his own underground lair, fitting of an evil villain or a dark type user. All 8 badges in hand, the player need only return to Elysium and fight the elite 4 to gain assured membership to the pokemon league.
Back in Elysium, the player enters the International Pokemon League Headquarters to face the best trainers in the world. After they have been defeated, the trainer meets the league champion. Before they can start their battle, a messenger runs into the arena to tell them that the Presidential Manor is under attack by Black Star. It's up to the player to rescue the president and save all of Halcyon. After another confrontation with the leader of Black Star, the player is yet again about to be murdered when he is saved by the league champ, who bursts through the locked door and shoots the Black Star leader dead. The NG storms the manor, capturing the rest of Black Star. The president is saved and personally thanks the player for their bravery. The player's pokemon are healed, and they fight the champion in the president's office. After they win, they are entered into the League Membership Database and offered the opportunity to serve as an elite mercenary in the pokemon league. The player gets to decide, but it doesn't have much effect on the game, as the credits roll shortly afterwards. After the credits are done, the player is back in New Eden and receives a key to the secret lab beneath the Presidential Manor. From there they can try to get all of the legendaries or do whatever, as some areas of the game will now be open that were not before the final sequence.
I've been looking at what tools are available, and figured a simple place to start would be changing the starting pokemon. I decided on Cacnea, Houndour, and Corphish. All have only one evolution above them, all have decent moves at the start, all evolve into dark types, which fits the theme of the game. I think it's a fairly balanced trio. Based on the slightly higher power levels of their basic forms compared to normal starters, by which I mean a better move pool before lv25 or so, I can make the first half of the game more challenging than the first half of a gamefreak title. If anyone has any better ideas or criticism of my current plans, lay them on me.
I'll be 100% honest. Those town names are typically the naming convention I use for building new cities in Civilization 4, the name of the region itself comes from those same conventions. I don't know why, but those names have really stuck with me and I feel they match the back-story to the island, and as a result I will not likely change any of them. The story is just comprised of many of my past ideas put into the format of Pokemon, and that is why I was able to write so much with so little planning specific to this project. I'm starting to do a little bit of map editing, to get the hang of things. I don't think I'll have much trouble with scripting, I've done a fair bit of programming in the past and tend to get into new languages pretty easily. The only problems I can see in development of this are how time-consuming everything will be, increased by my lack of experience here and obsessive perfectionist attitude.
I've been downloading tools and working with Advance Map and reading tutorials for the past few hours. Scripting looks really easy to me, mapping is a pain. One of the ways I like to motivate myself to work on a project is start a narrative in the character's perspective. I just wrote out a fair bit of story that basically amounts to fanfiction of this game. It details all of the dialog and plot from the first town of the game. I can post it if anyone is interested.
Scripting looks really easy to me, mapping is a pain.
I love to hear that. It was the same for me. I don't understand when people say, that scripting is hard. I found scripting really easy. I've been hacking for about 5-6 months now, and I still hate mapping. It seems easier, but when you start looking at the "un-spoken" rules of mapping, it get's pretty annoying, but, I guess, you have to do it. You can't make a hack without a map. I think it just comes down to the way the person thinks...
The story sounds great. Your taking on an idea that I haven't seen, in the 5-6 months I've been here. It looks like you've completely planned out the whole hack, just remember that nothing is ever set in stone. I've noticed there's some things that I have a problem with.
Is this a hack of Ruby or FR now(It still looks like the story was planned for Emerald)?
If you keep the "Wally" but it's FR, I've got no problem....
But if you learn to script, and still keep that Wally event in Ruby, it doesn't look very good. It's better if you remove as many links to the original game as possible.
And the double battle might be a bit hard to implement without Emerald, and even the it'd still be very difficult.
But otherwise you can see how much effort has gone into it already. I wish you luck with this hack.
Thanks for the praise, thethethethe (interesting name). I'm going to go through the op and clarify a lot of things. Also at this point I'm setting up limited recruitment for anyone who may want to help get this project further than a wall of text and changed starter pokemon. Details are in the OP.
The New Deal, neither new nor a deal. Discuss amongst yourselves.
My name's a little wierd, because I originally only joined to download SG beta3. So when it asked for a name, I just typed something random, since I didn't care because, after I downloaded it, I didn't plan on coming back. And now I can't be bothered thinking of something to change it to.
Oh and I forgot one more thing. Maybe instead of it just ending after you beat the Champion(which isn't much fun), maybe you can add another little storyline/sidequest events to keep the game going. But of course, that's up to you....
I have updated and expanded on the plot, going into a lot more detail about the main storyline and mentioning sidequests at the end. Basically the legendaries listed above are the primary sidequests, but I guess I could come up with a more story-driven endgame if I thought for awhile. I'll focus on that after I get the primary game done, however.
The New Deal, neither new nor a deal. Discuss amongst yourselves.