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For Whom the Seasons Cycle - development announcement


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#1 CastChaos

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 02:17 PM

For Whom the Seasons Cycle

 

Started: October 2014

Estimated: 2015-2017, or later, if ever

 

Starting tileset: Demonlink's DoR upgrade

 

 

Placement:

Since this takes place in the same universe as the Ellivenia and BB games, 16 years after BBIV: Guardian Mother, just 2-3 overworlds away from GM's main overworld, FWSC is going with BBV prefix, though it could be its own series that I'd call, say, "Rival Sisters" or such.

 

Gameplay reason:

I wanted to make a not too long, or even sort, season centered quest where you can play ALL the dungeons in free order.

-Making BBII: Seasoned Blood hasn't satisfied my season needs for 2.10 limitations.

-I wanted a short(er) quest as part of a series consisting of big(ger) quests.

-I wanted to further experiment with player freedom.

 

Story/plot reason:

I couldn't finish GM while still thinking of it as the end of something, so I made some BBV-VII plans. By the end of GM, I came up with ideas that I readily could utilize and liked much. I also wanted it in a way that doesn't overshadow the entire playtime, so the player doesn't need to read walls of text between dungeons, doesn't have to keep a main villain in mind and isn't being tired by continious twists that turn everything upside down each time they happen, especially as I see in help threads even honest/sensible players tend to completely ignore strings.

I also wanted the main character be completely alone, instead of often talking with other main characters (let alone travelling with them). I also wanted this main character be entirely pure and not hero or anti-hero. The complex personalities of some previous BBII-BBIV characters were taken as entirely evil or undesirable, so I wanted a more relatable one this time.

 

Technical reason:

To utilize 2.50.1 as much as possible, which means far more than a barrage of scripts in a qst file that would be fewer than LoZ without the scripts. Though there are tons of scripts inside already. I also want to bring in new things, especially things that weren't in my quests, especially in BB quests before. I try to avoid mainsteram, so I want FWSC to be rather like Valami than like BB. There are mixed results so far, but I can't complain.

 

 

Story:

Bell is living alone, her sister being taken away for training and her parents practically being counted dead. Her lazy lifestyle, that is despite the fact that she is descendant of heroes, and her bad mixing with other children creates a situation where she feels she is looked down upon or even hated by others, especially by the other children. When she accidentally learns that she can change the seasons, she decides to start adventuring to restore the natural cycling of the seasons, so that people would like her. And so she sets out...

 

Gameplay:

One central overworld including a modernized town + 4 dungeons, 3 of them with their own minioverworld + possible caves/interiors/mini overworlds for optional/secret content, ALL done in any order you want. Depending on what I place as the endgame area, I might make it accessible without having any of the main dungeons beaten, even if probably you can't beat it like that. You will also lose items instead of just linearly gaining them and I plan many more things that make this all less 2.10-ish and also less mainstream-2.50-ish. And again, this isn't utilized only with scripts. Though they help immensely.

 

 

Main character:

Bell

 

More art to come, hopefully. I actually tried to make drawing my main hobby instead of ZC, but I keep falling back to this.

 

 

Videos:

Project revealing

Season change display through screens

Pharos Terrarium level

Overworld walk

 

Actual gameplay video comes when the main character tiles are fully complete. I tell you, these tiles are one of the most important

things in the project. Somebody talented is currently making them. Revealing comes when everything is done.

 

 

What has been finished so far:

Most things that you can do in town and the main overworld without the dungeons, including the way to a dungeon and to the mini overworlds of the other 3 dungeons. After some more touch ups, it's really off to make the sidequests or one of the 4 dungeons, whichever I feel like.

 

 

The future:

It's not even sure that I finish this. I have 16 quests finished not including all those LoZ quests (completely playable and enjoyable ones) that I made long before I knew there were communities for ZC. More than enough...

But I still have visions for what have I the mood for in the future. I have a strong idea for this BBV-BBVII story arch that even could extend to a BBVIII, each of these quests having completely new mechanics. Like, after this completely free BBV, I have plans for a completely linear BBVI, even much more linear than BBIII: Cousin of Powers was. But nothing is set into stone, I won't ever make that mistake again.

I also have certain ideas that could totally be realized as BB quests, simply because they focus on lone characters and their abilities who are also a bit "against the world" in some sense, nothing about them tieing into things I made in other series or to things that would require a new series altogether. But still, I could make these ideas as other quests.

I still have many other completely-non-BB ideas, like a better vision of Banjo-Spyrooie, the quest version of the Ellivenia story I kept speaking about between 2008-2011, also a better vision on the Other Elements idea I was speaking about, as well as some completely new ideas probably requiring their own series, but some also being able to be placed into the Valami universe. Generally it can be said that most of my ideas revolve around magic and various types of magic users.

Also, surprisingly many people asked for, or at least told that it would be a good idea, to make an alternare SB where you control Alma and see SB's events from her point of view, including the revealing that there's still a dungeon below SB Coral's house and there's a pink Trinexx as boss. SB contained enough of Alma's backstory to have this be immediate canon, instead of an idea rework. I'm actually surprised of this, I'm not used to that considerable people are actually interested in what I plan to make, even if they (seemingly) enjoy what is already finished, nor that they are interested in the actual story/plot background and in "what if"s. I should value when that still happens.

 

 

 

I made this thread mostly because I'm still not used to not having a QPF (an entire forum dedicated to 2-3-4 persons projects) and felt the urge for a development announcement. I'm not expecting replies and I will add updates only if the oldest post in this thread isn't TOO old when I want to add said update.

 

"I have a heart ring, I have a heart ring and guess who's life will be gradually refilling! :)" by Bell of FWSC


Edited by CastChaos, 20 June 2015 - 03:09 PM.

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#2 judasrising

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 09:49 AM

I hope that you finish that quest.Sounds very good and i like "-I wanted to further experiment with player freedom.



#3 CastChaos

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 03:14 PM

The situation is up.

With the latest engine updates and plans... *fondles blueprints* ...FWSC is now as smooth as it needs to be.

I edited the NPC script I was using by myself to make talking with NPCs be more accurate, while still avoiding making a chore to actually get an NPC talk, like in some quests I played. So, no accidental message triggers, unlike in GM and Valami. This small thing made me much happier already.

 

So now...

I started to crave something fresh by myself, but it was Judasrising to put me on the right track to make quests new, unique and 2.50-ish, then now Jamian showed me how far one can go with it. Forbidden City changed my ZC life.

Now I'm thinking with portals scripts. I made a few new ones for myself and fixed some of my older ones. Then I got some new ones. All with still utilizing other functions, too, of course.

And I'm not forgetting what I knew so far, either. People like Freedom, C-Dawg, Mudvayne, Jish, dcsyxx, Rocksfan13 and more are still continiously taking effect on me.

 

 

This boils down mainly to two things: bosses and special features.

-Since I'm having only 4 dungeons in FWSC, I need to make them bigger than GM's quickies. All needs to have at least one miniboss and at least one boss, all heavily supported with 2.50 features. I wouldn't mind fully scripted bosses, especially if they are like the STAN boss or the Forbidden City bosses, but no way I learn the huge autoghost-script over the still manageable zscript and how many people would be needed for about 10-18 script bosses? That's not enough for lightbulb screwing, either.

-By special features I mean when the usual gameplay temporarily changes to something different. Maybe I can script these, myself. I mean things like an airgliding section or such.

As I'm a programmer/web-programmer, I could even concentrate on these things, it's just they take away so much time that it's inhuman.

 

 

And now the main thing.

The endings.

Logically, there should be just one for FWSC.

Why?

Why indeed.

Because ever since I invented multiple endings in Hyrule's Halloween back in 2007 and used in almost all of my quests, everybody considered just the best ending as the true ending, others were played only for completion. If people keep asking me how to get best ending, then the purpose is waving a white flag already. So, ever since CoP, I purposely made it so that one can beat all endings with just one file. But then what's the point? Then the worse endings aren't actual ends, just pre-endgame scenes and bosses before the actual (best) ending. And truth be told, since the canon ending, the best bosses and best scenes were in the best ending, I in fact wanted the players to get the best ending, too. Just look at poor MeleeWizard, getting the worst ending in BB, probably he still thinks that Myra is just an illusion and that a MegaMan X appearance is the end of the story.

So, maybe FWSC should have only one ending.

But so far I included multiple endings not just for fun, it was because the player could take so many different actions because the heavy plot that each outcome required their own endings. Now there's no "heavy plot", but the 2.50 features allowed me for huge versatility and Bell is actually getting a different person by the end of the quest depending on what actions the player had taken.

In case of GM, it was Eppy who told me to make the endings be acqurable in a single playthrough, but in case of FWSC, he said he didn't care.

 

So, should there be just one ending where all outcomes eventually spiral back, should all possible outcomes lead to a different ending, but without any action disabling an ending (so, to be able to get them in a single playthrough), or should the actions follow the realistic pattern and if the player did something that led to a specific ending, then should that ending be fixed for the entire playthrough?

For example, on the way to one of the levels, Bell sees some familiar faces in trouble. Rushing to them and silently walking away trigger different scenes and the game remembers the choice, too. So, logically, this should have impact on the endings.

So far I thought maybe a good ending for always staying on the true path and a bad ending for even one registered evil act. This would mean both endings to be possible in a single playthrough, albeit it would be limiting, since the player would need to avoid any truly evil actions till the end, duplicate the file, do an evil action, get bad ending, go back to first file, get good ending...

Also, IF I follow my current BB plans, the bad ending would be canon.

 

 

Finally, it's not entirely sure I keep the BBV prefix. This is a whole new story altogether, both in style and content. I bet most people don't even consider that while it's still running with a known prefix.


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#4 Avataro

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 12:10 PM

This all sounds great! Also, having one single ending is the best idea. You can have all outcomes spiral back to this single ending, like you said.



#5 CastChaos

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 01:17 PM

Thank you for input, it will be so then!

I always can just add a player rating at the end, like as "Rating: Rascal. Bell stayed lazy and tasted the other side of the law." or "Rating: Fairy-Mary. Bell became hardworking and denoted to good.".

 

I need just one little part of the sidequest leading to the winter level, then will I start on the Giant's Causeway (area taken from real life), the area of the autumn dungeon.

 

Then things to do:

-sidequest leading to autumn dungeon

-area and sidequest leading to summer dungeon

-winter dungeon

-autumn dungeon

-spring dungeon

-summer dungeon

-some higher level sidequests for optional items

-final area

...and done. I intentionally don't want to drag it on for long. Sometimes it's to make a shorter, but still series-element quest. Sure, Erosion is like that, too, but since it didn't have a big, story type prequel, it wasn't THAT special to make it short.

 

And of course the main character tiles are still being made. What takes so long on a tilepage worth of tiles? Well... who said it was ONE tilepage worth?  :naughty:



#6 SyrianBallaS

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Posted 01 March 2015 - 07:55 PM

Guardian mother was the best, i liked valami too, and I think your next quest will be even better.

Yeah I orginally heard there was going to be 8 towers and 8 levels but when I played it there were only six of each


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#7 CastChaos

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Posted 02 March 2015 - 05:20 AM

Thank you!

 

Actually, there were even older plans than "8 dungeons, 8 towers". First it was 6-8 dungeons for one plotline and some few interiors for the other. During the plan changes, it became 4-6 dungeons, 4-6 towers. I eventually decided to make it 8 both, because I had ideas for that many, but while production, I saw that it would take far too much time, so I restrained it to 6-6. I had so few time at that time and I wanted to finish the quest finally, after so many development breaks.

 

Now FWSC is planned to be shorter and I won't start to rush, no matter how long development is dragged on for too long.

 

GM had 12 normal levels, albeit short. FWSC is having 4 of them and so they will be guaranteed to be bigger than just 1-2 short floors.

 

I made up the autumn dungeon first and I expected to be making that first, but actually I'm starting on the winter dungeon first.

As these levels will be bigger, I need to maintain a certain level of variety in them. 1-2 almost whole floors of this theme, 1-2 whole floors with another theme, also with a huge variety of traps and enemies, instead of the same type of trap existing for an entire dungeon set.

 

 

I fact, mostly only the dungeons are left and those things that outmost require the items from the dungeons (sidequests for best swords/rings, etc.).

Actually there will be things that will make me need to retouch most areas, like when I place the shovel, I need to go back to assign the shovel spots. Was Erosion the first quest that used the shovel as a regular item, and Forbidden City the second? By all means, FWSC will, too. And I plan to take it a bit further.

 

 

So again, there will be comfort and smooth gameplay and care for graphical representation, more than what 2.10 or time constraints would have allowed.

 

I also scripted my first minigame and who knows how many will follow. Forbidden City really upped the ante regarding this. GM feels as Classic to me now as 8+1 PTUX quests felt when I was making BB. I must concentrate on the fact that it's not a must to fill a quest with the newest and biggest scripts, but FWSC is actually planned to be something that requires them.

Besides that, I made some more non-scripted things that also can come as a surprise.

 

 

So, Winter is coming.


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#8 Stray Sheep

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 09:47 AM

Oh, I missed this thread. Do you mean loonking of Bell being a girl version of Link, or not? And you seem to hope she will be popular. I think understanding chacter of Coral is so difficult. I guess some players don't like her, and might leave game play by her characer. For me, Coral is interesting character, but it mightn't general...


Edited by Stray Sheep, 07 March 2015 - 07:23 AM.


#9 CastChaos

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 11:44 AM

Bell is not a girl version of Link, because I will make her to be not a hero at all. Not a complex fantasy character, like Coral, nor a typical virtuous protagonist, like Link.

Bell is average.

Just like you and me.

She spent most of her time watching TV, listening to radio and reading girl magazines. She is the one who licks her fingers before turning the pages and if she was older and a mother, she would chat outside the house with other women instead of checking what her children are doing. A completely general person who is not a hero, not an anti-hero and not even a rebel. If a main antagonist came and enslaved her, she would sheepishly serve the antagonist, instead of fighting.

So, during this quest she won't face dilemmas about if she should sacrifice people or an entire race for a needed or seemingly needed goal, she won't get up by some magical means if she gets down real hard.

She is adventuring to bring back the seasons and she does it because she thinks then people would like her from then on. However, if this task eventually came to require things like chasing great demons or leaving her homeland altogether or hurting people in the process, then she would just shrug and give up.

So, I intend her to be a very humanish, average person.

Now all I need to watch out for not to make her to be somebody who is viewed as a useless crybaby or some kind of mary-sue. To combat this, I make her realistically varied, so she doesn't just say and do the same things over and over.

Plus, the player can affect her character a bit.

 

 

As for development, I started the winter dungeon.

I finally found that ice cave design I was looking for while making the ice level of GM.

This level will be much bigger than the GM levels, but not that extraordinarily huge, since that would defeat the purpose of having fewer dungeons. So, it won't be 6+ full floors or such.

This ice cave part is planned to be some 1, 1.5 dmaps big, then comes a built part (maybe something like the LttP Ice Palace), 1-2 full dmaps. Plus the minibosses, bosses and the small extra floor parts leading to and hosting them.

 

I'm getting some nice scripting ideas.



#10 Stray Sheep

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 07:21 AM

I already understand Bell isn't a hero, is average. Though, her green cloth and blonde hair remind me such a girl version of Link.She looks like Link much more than Coral and Alma. I think you don't want to emphasize her descendant of Link on ZC quest, you shouldn't use green color to her cloth. I believe looking of Coral and Alma are better than Bell as original character.

 

.


Edited by Stray Sheep, 07 March 2015 - 05:33 PM.


#11 CastChaos

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 01:30 PM

Well you know, planning her looks was complicated.

Because the sheer amount of custom tiles, I asked a good spriter to make them, gave him some pointers (like the short-ish blonde hair that is also part of the averageness instead of the special anime-ish black hair of Coral, for example), and left much of the rest of the planning for the spriter. Since this is a huge job and he is better at spriting than me, since he knows how to pull this off the best!

I kept the regular Link palette setup to avoid overcomplicating things, especially that some of the extra tiles will require much thinking about colours. And I start with green because players got used to that. Many of them were confused when Coral started out in blue right away in SB...

So, first colour is green, but following ones will be new shades.



#12 CastChaos

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 01:24 PM

And so the time came!

 

Main character tiles announcement:

https://www.youtube....c5qo8Rz&index=3

 

Lightwulf made the tiles and the special thing for I needed a great spriter is that besides the normal main set, I need 4 additional full sets for 4 season clothes, each. Since the goal of the dungeons is to collect these and if you have one, you automatically wear it in the corresponding season!

 

A new Bell drawing:
http://www.freewebs....chaos/Bell2.jpg

Somewhat better, somewhat worse than the last one. I'm still practicing drawing.

 

 

And so the winter dungeon is almost finished. A few more screens, then tieing in the boss (with the wonderful custom boss of Lejes as main phase), then the room for getting the Winter Coat and boom, it's done! All complete with some essential scripts from Mero and the custom enemies Moosh taught me for.

I tell you, if I was making FWSC all day as I was doing with BB (and with some other quests at times) it would be almost done by now, missing only a few outer assets.

 

Don't forget, the wonderful Bell tiles are all by Lightwulf!

I know he made the Knuckles main character tiles for Eddy, too, so he is truly great!



#13 Moosh

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 05:30 PM

She seems to have a case of the jelly bean hat like regular DoR Hybrid Link. I think it has to do with the use of the color white. It makes things seem shinier than they should be. Other than that, those sprites are really nice.

 

The quest seems to be coming along nicely. The new season switching mechanic seems cool. Will Between Seasons actually be an area you explore later on or is it just an easy way to avoid writing a menu script? (I don't blame you for not writing a menu script, scripted menus aren't fun to make)



#14 CastChaos

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Posted 01 May 2015 - 01:31 AM

About the shiny hat, I knew there was something special DoR Hybrid-ish in it, but I couldn't put my finger on what. I actually like that very much. Otherwise she starts out in green, because after all those custom changes, I wanted to keep at least this the same, mostly because the new tiles are challenge enough, it would be more so if Lightwulf needed to endure some custom cset 6 of mine, like the ones I was using from SB to GM.

 

 

Actually I never even thought of a menu. Mostly because before seeing Forbidden City, I wasn't even imagining that it's humanly doable. Otherwise using menu for certain things would be insanely great. In GM, there's an NPC that wants an item back from you and speaking with her automatically makes you hand the item over, for I couldn't even think of a reliable selection method. THERE should have been a menu with two choices of forfeiting or keeping said item.

 

So, about season changes, it's really the extension of SB. There, in 2.10, I could have only one warp, so I needed to resort making one minilith change to one specific season (and I made it so that it's inert in said season insted of taking you back to some another), I made only one 4 season change area, but that required 5 extra screens altogether (middle warp and the warp to the 4 seasons). Here I thought I would place all 4 warps onscreen around a minilith readily, but then I was like, it wastes so much place. So, I put the season tiles closer to each other and had a different dmap screen where you need to decide only between the seasons, not needing to care enemies and such.

It is indeed something the player first views as simply a way of changing seasons, like the Interseason was just a technical thing, but then as you gain the highest level items, you will be able to cross some boundaries and find that the Interseason is actually much, much more...



#15 CastChaos

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 03:07 PM

Status progress report:

 

2 main levels finished of the 4.

Many, many optionals are already finished, too. Now I am making the 3rd level.

 

 

There are some videos I haven't announced here yet:

Pharos Terrarium level

Overworld walk

 

I also notice I still haven't gotten around to make an userbar yet. I should do that once.

 

 

Also, changes (kinda for the better):

The first 4 BB games were downright grim, you needed to do bad things to advance and the main characters rarely cared if it was TRULY needed. You had the option to do even more bad things if you wanted, even if it meant no benefits. Some of that ticked people off in BB for sure. Originally I planned the same for FWSC, too. But it's time to drop this grim thing, doesn't each best ending need to be almost as bad as a worst ending. So, for a few weeks by now, I make positive happenings, too. Misfortune surrounded the sidequest in which Bell gets the first ring item? No prob, the 2nd ring item's area is full of bliss and positive outcome! Oh, and how positive it is!

I originally planned one ending and it was bad and led to 2-3 another negative quests where BBVII would have been so dark and desperate that even the hardiest men would have been crying "Why did you do THAT, CastChaos?! :( ". No wonder its planned title was "Murder me, Sister". Ever since then, I got the idea for a much brighter ending and sequel, inspired by FFXII. Now it's kinda sure I won't make the horrid ending be the only one. I either make only the good ending, or make more endings, but as I explained months ago, I don't want the same ending setup that was in previous BB games, inspired by Chrono Trigger and now mimicked by everybody and their dog. So, IF I make more normal endings, I make them by all means acquirable in one playthrough without ANY effort, maybe even doing that after one ending is beaten, the player is warped back to the ending selection area.

 

As for quest style, I managed to keep up this extreme exploration thing and script usage is also VERY heavy, though not exactly AS much as I planned, but hey, anything can be added still. Bosses are sure heavily scripted, thanks to Mero, Lejes and especially Moosh.

I'm going more and more towards a Valami style, with the overworld style still resembling BBIV: GM a bit.

 

I told you all I'm not going for a deep, twistful story this time. Now, I don't even have mood for going ANY story. There's even fewer plot in the latest areas I made than I planned. However, I have mood for escalating small scenes/conversations into background lore. For example, one character who is met furing the sidequest for the 2nd ring item was going to be a random NPC, but as I was writing the strings, I just got so hyped of the plot I sketched up that I decided it would be a leading theme through the whole series. And then as I am planning the boss of the 3rd dungeon and as I'm planning the script request for it, I'm getting so pumped, I started to invent an even deeper background lore for that boss and I'm starting to get the idea that she should be a main character in a future BB game. Now we are all daughters of doggies.

 

 

So, the temptation to revoke the "BBV" prefix from FWSC is growing, because although it's still about the same bloodline and it's still relevant, but it's now not a "sad song" anymore. Maybe it should be "SaS" ("Shine after Storm"), but then that doesn't imply conflict that is to be solved.

A consolation is that BBV is actually the only one where's not a constant conflict. Any plan I had so far involves troubles through several more episodes, especially that now it's time to increase the range of the main characters and don't only use mostly the first borns. There are second borns, cousins, half-sisters, sons of friends...


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