Black 2 Project Steelheart

Started by cannonsdraws May 20th, 2022 7:13 PM
  • 8 replies
Seen 3 Days Ago
Posted May 26th, 2022
3 posts
1.5 Years

Created by Cannons
Latest Version: v0.1.1 - Prologue: Kicking up Sand[May 22nd, 2022]
In Progress: v0.2 - Chapter 1: A "Justy" Encounter[TBD]
Discord: jSuPCwR9y7
Twitter: @ProjSteelheart

Project Overview
Project Steelheart is a Pokémon Black 2 Rom Hack that tells the story of Orre 10 years after the events of Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. The project aims to create a new experience befitting of a sequel to the Orre games, experimenting with the idea of how the region has changed over this time frame. This is among the first new-region hacks for Generation 5, so we plan on pacing ourselves to make the most of the new tools and our own plans for the hack. While this is my [Cannons] first Rom Hack, this isn’t my first game project, so I’m transferring much of what I know into making this.

We plan on releasing the game in Chapters, having a steady flow of updates and keeping the development process transparent to anyone who would like to see. While this does remove the secrecy and fidelity that many hack projects have with releases, opening the doors to showcase how we work can be beneficial to those who are looking to get into Rom Hacking or Game Development in the first place.

In aspects to difficulty and tone, we want this game to provide a sufficient challenge to players, but still keeping air of casualness (somewhere in between a Gen 5 game and a Drayano Hack). The game will aim to capture the Orre titles' more mature undertones, while staying true to the light-hearted nature of the series as a whole.

Story Overview
A number of years after Cipher’s collapse, the Pokémon League set their eyes on the Orre Region. Seeing the area as full of untapped potential, the League worked with the local Starline Inc. to advertise Orre as a tourism and battling hotspot - turning the motley crew of colosseums into an official gym challenge. Should one climb the ranks of the Orre League, they may face the Champion at Mt. Battle's peak.
You play a spry young adult riding in from afar, hoping to join the Orre League and get a taste of what the region has to offer. Along the way, you'll meet a couple of new faces, becoming their anchor as much as they will be yours. Ryker, another charismatic trainer looking to face Orre and take the champion title, and Rose, a wandering artist looking to capture the region’s beauty. It’s not all cut-and-dry though, as there might be more to the deserts and forests than you realize.

Act 1: South Orre

Prologue: Kicking Up Sand
The Starline Express is the first train in decades to connect Orre with Unova. To mark the beginning of your journey,
you meet an ambitious trainer, and an outspoken artist, both of whom you believe you'll see more of in the future.

[Play Time: 5-15 Minutes.]

Chapter 1: A "Justy" Encounter
After getting a taste of Orre's untamed trails, Phenac City is a breath of fresh air, providing you with a much
needed safe haven from the desert storms, as well as your first introduction to the Orre League.

[Play Time: TBD]

Chapter 2: Talk of the Town
"That glare of his is as piercing as it is golden." "I don't care that Cipher's gone.
I'm not joining any gang if he's still in charge."

[Play Time: TBD]

Chapter 3: Impossibly Persistent
An untethered childhood can often bring the most creative and innovative of adults. There's nothing
that will stop the community of The Under from becoming what they want.

[Play Time: TBD]

In the Works:
  • Custom Sprites and Characters

    This game will feature both new sprites to go alongside with new characters introduced, as well as demaking 3D models of characters into sprites.

  • A new take on the Orre Region, with a heavy emphasis on Punk and Naturalistic Culture

    The Orre games have a lot of the region untouched or unexplained. Jumping off what was already established in the canon, we aim to emphasize those core ideas already set in the region, with the Southern Deserts' Punk/Mad Max inspired world, and North Orre's more Naturalistic and Rural environment. This also means we have plans on making new buildings and textures to better fit the setting most notably, the Colosseums.

  • Double Battle centric game

    Orre's Double Battle heavy gameplay will be preserved in this game, providing a sufficient challenge and gameplay deviation to that of what we're familiar with.

  • Custom Soundtrack

    A large undertaking for sure, the music is something that we feel is necessary to Orre's core identity. We already have some fantastic composers who are working on remixing older tracks for the DSi soundtrack, and composing new ones for characters, towns, and more!

  • Updated Pokémon, Moves and Pokédex

    We want the Pokémon provided to the players to feel unique and viable. Considering that gameplay will start opposite of a typical game (Rough Terrain > Plains), we needed to keep in mind that Pokémon accessible early in Orre may be too strong and overpower typical Pokémon that would naturally be found later. Many Pokémon will end up with some form of tweaking with movepools, stat distribution, and evolution levels. The exact degree is uncertain; either way we'll keep a keen eye on it during playtesting to make sure everything feels natural, balanced and fun to play.

    "From the stockier Stoutland used by native tribes to the Boldore soaking up the desert sun, the Pokémon of Orre are similar to those found elsewhere, but have acclimated to Orre's more extreme environments."

  • More meaningful Protagonists

    With the inclusion of 3 different player avatars, the ability to choose pronouns independent of physical appearance, and dialog trees for the player to talk through, we hope to provide an experience that makes the world feel more lived in. NPCs are also reflective of this, and we wants the players to feel like they have agency in the decisions they make.

Future Expectations:
  • Side Quests
  • 3D Cutscenes
  • Difficulty Modularity
  • Comic Tie-in



Builds and How to Play
Download the most recent .zip (Steelheart v0.1.1 Prologue)
Patch a clean Black 2 (USA, Europe) rom with the .xdelta file.
For more help, read the README
Google Drive

Bugs and "Features"
Hakeem is not a playable avatar at the moment. Male Selection will give you Charlie, and Female Selection will give you Marisol.
Some objects and furniture, notably cars and storage containers, have missing, or incorrect collisions.
Exiting the Outskirt Trail will reset all Trainers for battle.
"Item Get", "Save", and "Giving Pokémon to Nurse Joy" animations all play the default trainer animations.
The Pokédex has not been fully formatted yet.

I first want to give thanks to RefinedPlatinum for helping me with making the project "more". A great collaborator and designer that everyone needs in their project.
Second, thanks to everyone that's a part of the server, engaging with whatever the psyduck I post, whether related to the project or not.
Lastly, I want to thank the Kingdom of DS Hacking for helping me get the project off the ground with its myriad of tools, especially Hello007 and PlatinumMaster's CTRMap and SwissArmyKnife respectively for their big contributions to the Gen 5 hacking scene with mapping and scripting.

Project Steelheart Team:
Cannons: Project Lead
RefinedPlatinum: Design Lead, Narrative Lead
chordlessmelody: Music, Design
sunsette: Music, Narrative
Tools used for the making of this project
Art:Mapping:Scripting, Text Editing, and Overworld Editing:Pokémon Editing:Scripting, Text Editing, and Overworld Editing:Patching:Hex Editing:NARC Formatting:Others:
Seen May 26th, 2022
Posted May 26th, 2022
2 posts
259 Days
Ok, so after playing the demo these are my thoughts:
-love the dialogue between characters, it feels very natural, unlinke the dialogue in official games and many fan games
-I like the way you select your starting pokemon, but I had some difficulty choosing 2 Pokemon that I like (I know it's stupid, it's just a demo), ultimately went with shellos and zubat
-In general I think BW/BW2 aesthetitc is quite fitting for a Orre rom hack and if you manage to add Colosseum/XD soundtracks it could really pass as an Orre game.
-I encountered one crash when transitioning to a wild pokemon battle (I had a battle with some wild pokemon before and it was like 4th wild encounter)
Overall I'm really looking forward to seeing this hack grow and playing the next chapter.
Seen May 26th, 2022
Posted May 26th, 2022
2 posts
259 Days
I was just trying to see as many wild Pokemon as possible in the explorable area. I encountered a Patrat, Spearow and Spinarak without a crash, so maybe there is a problem with one of the remaining Pokemon that appear in that location. I'll play around with the demo tommorow and if I find something I'll let you know.