Chrono Trigger's battle mechanic on steroids, in an innovative RPG. Hop on a development journey where YOU can give your input.
Chrono Trigger's battle mechanic on steroids, in an innovative RPG. Hop on a development journey where YOU can give your input.
If you are searching for :
An innovative idea that needs your contribution.
A project that does not ask you hundreds of dollar so you can design your own boss fight.*
A project that is not on Kickstarter for publicity, but really need your money to be developed.
The potential next Undertale/Glitched/[insert indie hit of your choice].
A way to spend you money! (Ok,any Kickstarter projects may do as well, but they don't have the other benefits)
*I can't guarantee I will pick your idea, but you will have the chance to brainstorm and review ideas if you take the Community pledge for only $20 ($15 if there are some early bird spot left)
If you read this far, I succeeded at keeping you intrigued! I know some parts of my project description sound like PR bullshit, but I believe every word I wrote here, it's no bullshit :)
I was surprised Chrono Trigger's fans were insulted by my comparison to this game, but I was truely inspired by its battle mechanics, I can't deny this. I may or may not have its epic storyline, only time will tell if the community and I can write a good story.
If you have any questions, you can ask me anything!
Instead of reading this Kickstarter project description that is a big wall of texts, I suggest you do the following:
Watch the presentation video above or a shorter gameplay trailer on Youtube.
Go read the project description on my website, it is highly interactive and will focus your reading only on the parts that interests you.
If you want to try the gameplay, I made a prototype to help you understand how it will play (There is a section called The Prototype below). I also explains some ideas for the full game somewhere on this page.
If you want to have a feeling of who I am in a video, you can watch my presentation video below where I explain why this project, and your contribution are important.
There is still information here that are not on my website. However, you can skip the first sections here regarding "Your game", game design and the story.
Inspired by Chrono Trigger’s battle mechanic, I want to make a RPG that uses the same mechanic and brings it to a new level. I will focus on delivering a game that has diverse battle design.
This project will allow me to make a few episodes and work full-time on this project for two years. This looks like a long time, but don’t worry, as soon as an episode is ready, it will be in the alpha build for you to enjoy!
I want you to hop on a game development journey unlike any other where YOU can give your opinion while the game is still a draft!
This is not a project that is 90% completed with a Kickstarter project only for publicity. There is room for your participation and I will setup collaborative tools so YOU can help design it!
I want you to have fun developing the game with me and be proud of what we did together.
A Community backer will receive the following benefits:
Review the game mechanics and design
Try the game in a development build, chapter by chapter and even before a chapter is complete
Read the story script and comment on it (sneak peek what I planned for after the prototype here)
Sneak peek at the graphics
Influence the music choice
Influence the development priorities
Answer to polls I will set to get the community’s opinion
Join private chatrooms with me and the community
Try the web-based prototype for free, no download or credit card required! ;). here
Keep in mind that since it is a prototype, it has flaws. The real game will be made with a professional game development engine (Unity) and I will not hesitate buying third-party libraries if they solve problems efficiently.
The following aspect will change in the full game:
The story may be flipped out to start immediately in the factory, learning the battle basics. The Muslims will attack the church instead of the Anarchists, so the religious conflict will be introduced sooner in the game. Muslims, don't worry, Christians will have their bad guys in the game too! Third party member will be a Muslim.
You will be able to avoid fight like in Chrono Trigger and they will occurs in the dungeon area (no separate battle screens). Some fights will be mandatory, but some may be skipped if you avoid the enemy line of sight. Battles will not happen on a separate screen and there will be no random encounters!
Making the hit box and the collision box different was a mistake I will fix in the full game. It will be the shadow zone we see under him, so we can better predict how characters are hit. It makes more sense too: how you can be hit is represented by the floor surface you cover.
The game's design is strongly inspired by Chrono Trigger. I always liked the skills with different areas of effect, but felt like the system was too limited: that is what I want to improve.
In The Pilgrimage, by controlling where the characters move, you can position yourself to optimize the damage they do, the healing you receive and minimize the damage you receive. Mixed with an ATB (Active Time Battle) system you can pause, the game gives you time to think about your next move.
ATB-like (Active Time Battle), with a more tactical twist
Incorporates Area of effect, close range skills or first-hit target skills
Skill can be targeted on the ground, i.e.: you may fire a circle shaped attack between two enemies to attack them both
Some flavor texts or story elements may be triggered when you walk close to a person
You don’t have to explicitly click on them
You can ignore them and continue your way if you want
I think it feels like overhearing a conversation without necessarily starting a conversation
Some less important flavor texts still need you to click on NPCs
Characters can be on any pixel, no square movements like in old-school 2D games
Animated characters with strong emotion. As for example, the sprite on the “spoiler alert” banner below
TL;DR: The story is about religions and their consequences (good or bad). The story is not fully written, so you have a say in how the story will unfold. Everything written here is subject to change!
I moved all this content on this page. It has more spoilers that contains the story complete outline, hidden in optional sections if you don't want spoilers.
The story and the world will be inspired by a general knowledge of history, but is definitely a work of fiction.
I am thinking about the beginning of the industrial revolution, with steam machines, maybe some magic spells available.
This is where I will focus my game development efforts, not in a particular order.
- A game made by your humble gamer/developer/servant, with your constant participation in the design process.
- Battles with different strategies and design.
- Battle in the dungeon area (like Chrono Trigger, no separate screen for battles and possibility to avoid some battles).
- At least four playable characters.
- A save system.
- Not sure if it will be auto-save, but I like the idea of not having a save point before a boss fight that looks like a big warning post sign.
- A story written by the Community backers and I.
- Art by Christa Nishita. She is the one who drew all art in the prototype.
- Music licensed by attrition, like the work of Kevin Macleod I used in the prototype. We may buy music if we exceed the campaign's goal.
This is a list of some features that I will surely include, but don't want to commit to.
Combo system: either you will have to wait for different characters to be ready to unlock a skill (like in Chrono Trigger) or be rewarded for having specific skills being triggered at the same time.
Poison area: some spots that you should avoid, or you lose life. The area may be moving, forcing you to react.
Some marketing guys may tell you not to talk about what is excluded, but I think it is best to be transparent and tell you up-front what this project is not about. Being a single developer with many hats for this project, I have to cut some features so I can focus on what's really important for the game.
No leveling system. It doesn't means the characters will not improve (having more hp, different skills, etc.). But these improvements will be controlled to guarantee that you will always have the challenge that was intended by the game's design. I may even limit accessible skills at some point in the game to challenge the player with different battle strategy.
The game may not have an end. It will be developed incrementally, chapter by chapter to guarantee you will have a playable game up to the latest story point.
My development effort will be focused on the main story and I will limit the side-quests.
Drawing of Mohammed, this guy is a little controversial. But we may draw someone who looks like him, we’ll see :)
I will work 2 full years on this project and deliver all episodes done at this point. You may have 5, 20 or even 100 episodes (I am doubtful about that last estimate).
My development philosophy includes taking the time to make things right. I would prefer to have a short awesome game than a long boring game. That means we will take time in the beginning to plan.
My best estimate is this:
First 4 months setting up collaboration tools with my backers, making the basic software architecture within Unity and making the first episode.
In the initial months, you and I will brainstorm and write a high-level outline, so we have an idea of where we are going. The story will be decided definitively when we start planning an episode though.
After that, continue adding new game mechanism and finishing an episode each 2 months. For a total of 11 episodes.
Community backers may expect a weekly alpha version.
A weekly summary of the development advancement for the Community backers. (In fact, I already started posting them here for now.)
Because you are investing in the project, I think you deserve this: up to 20% of my time will be dedicated to you: community communication.
That 2 years countdown will start when I really start working on it: that is, after I give a 4 weeks notice to quit my actual job, which I will do after the Kickstarter campaign ends.
Some Kickstarter rewards include a way for you to include content for the game (character name, graffiti, drawing something for you, in-game credits, etc.). All these rewards must not be offending or discriminatory. I will be the final judge of that and if there is too much back-and-forth, I will limit the number of iterations. Finally, if we can't come to an agreement, I may decide not to include your contribution to the game. The non-inclusion in the game will not result in a refund of your initial pledge.
You may refuse any reward you paid for. For example, including your name in the credits. If you refuse a reward, this will not result in a refund of your pledge, even a partial refund.
Congratulations for reading this far, you are pretty persevering.
Final sales pitch
What I will offer on Kickstarter is a game with unique gameplay, and a collaborative experience working with a human being, not a team of game designers and marketing specialists.
If my Kickstarter exceeds the set goal, I promise to discuss with the community as to how best could we spend that money. Giving more time to Christa for extra graphics or getting a music composer are some of the options.
Be sure to subscribe to my social media to stay informed. I will announce the Kickstarter campaign’s outcome, so be sure to subscribe!
Music used in the video:
"Clear Air", "Zap Beat", "Killers", "Exotic Battle", "Trio for Piano, Cello and Clarinet", "Darkness Is Coming", "Welcome to the Show", "What you Want"
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
Risks and challenges
I will lie to you, this project has no risk at all.
Now I won't lie to you, there is a risk that the game will not be completed, or may be shorter than expected. This risk will be minimized by making the game incrementally. Each chapter of the game will be finished before going to the next, which means that you could play the game up to current point, even if the whole story is not written. That also means that the game will be accessible to the Community sooner, and I will hear your feedback sooner in the development.
I am a great software developer (10 years experience, now a senior technical leader), but I have no experience in game development. The development platform I will use (Unity) is new to me, I already started playing with it, but I will have to continue learning it. It is not my first experience with new tools: I was promoted to technical leader on a php/symfony project, a framework I had no experience with when I was promoted to this position.
To help in the development, I will also spend some time searching the best plugins for Unity that may help speed up the game's development. I won’t hesitate buying them.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)