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- 9 months ago
- 10 months ago
My brief hiatus from The Quest for the Mystical MacGuffin has led me to begin drafting a design doc for a new project.
I collect and love NES and SNES games, and its’ always fun to try and pinpoint what’s great about them. So, with this in mind I set out to design a game that felt like an NES game, without using pixel art, chiptunes, or any references. No matter how much I wanna make the title screen look like this, I can’t.
However, those games, specifically The Legend of Zelda and A Link To The Past (with a dash of Wind Waker), are still huge in my mind while designing this. Specifically, the thought of “gimmicks” or things like the Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time, or the Dark World in LttP.
The other big thing about Zelda - the original - is that, to quote the great Egoraptor,shit just happens.
There’s not exposition or any sort of justification - the game creates its narrative and feel entirely through its gameplay. It’s an adventure because the game feels like an adventure, not because someone tells you it’s supposed to be an adventure. And from there you can build your narrative - the simple shapes and actions on the screen play out in your head as epic battles, narrowly avoiding projectiles and conquering increasingly difficult temples. There’s no mention of Ganon, or Zelda (save for the title), or anything else until the very end of the game!
And that truly is, for me, part of the beauty of these old games. They didn’t feel the need to justify themselves to you, or to provide intricate detail as to why you’re doing things - those things felt and still feel important because of the way the game is put together.
Now, given how much I’ve been gushing, I don’t actually particularly like the Zelda games as a franchise, but some of the individual games are stellar. I adore Wind Waker’s seafaring adventurous tone, and A Link to the Past captivated me from the moment I booted it up. Majora’s Mask is unequivocally my favourite, since it handles morbid and serious topics in such a graceful and non-preachy way.
So anyway, that’s all the word I’m gonna say on this project for now. I started it as a way to fiddle about with Unity’s new 2D toolset (WOO!), and now it looks to be turning into something I can really work with, especially with all I’ve learned in my ~year of working on Mystical MacGuffin, and seeing the limitations that I impose on myself sometimes.
So, in addition to Mystical MacGuffin, I’ve also started work on a side project making a tabletop RPG. I won’t go into more detail than that, since it’s still in the early stages, but I’m very excited to talk about it.
As far as the actual game goes, it’s coming along well. I’ve implemented skills (mostly), and have started filling out the roster of both monsters and weapons. Shops are still quite the challenge, but it’s getting there. All in all, though, I feel like I burned out on this game over the last month, so progress has been slower than usual. Once I feel like I can look at it with fresh eyes again, probably in a couple of weeks, things should speed up significantly.
So I’ve decided to take on the monstrous task of creating art assets for this game. I have absolutely no experience drawing, painting, animating, or anything like that. I’ve done graphic design work, so I know photoshop, but I wanted to create vector assets so I can have the art available in multiple resolutions.
So, because Illustrator intimidated me and I couldn’t find any good tutorials, I downloaded Inkscape and began reading some material on how to make art for games with it.
After a little bit of bumbling, I thought I had the hang of it, and made the following:
Now, perhaps it’s just because I’ve been playing a lot of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door recently, but I’m into that papercraft kind of aesthetic. Also, it helps that I am too incompetent to make anything else.
After experimenting some more, I decided that I needed to also learn animation. I mean, there’s no point to having nice-looking art if it just sits there and does nothing. So, I exploded the fighter that I made above into his constituent parts.
I’ve never even used Flash prior to tonight, and I’ve got a total of about 10 minutes of experience coding in ActionScript, so I had no idea what to expect. After some googling and some head smashing, I had a basic attacking animation (Which I would show you, but I can’t get a good-quality gif of it and uploading the raw .swf file is a pain)
I’ll probably update the logo for the game, too, but don’t expect the next update to have much other than the graphics. It’s a ton of work to both code and draw, so I don’t have much time to devote to adding new features. I did finish polishing the skills system, and I’m working on adding shops.
So, 1.3 recently came out, and I’m already hard at work with 1.4. I also finally worked out the version control and bug tracking systems, so now I can work on bugfixing the current version while also adding new features for the latest one. There’s now a link on the main page to submit a bug to the game’s bitbucket page.
Here’s some plans for 1.4:
- More weapons
- More enemies
Right now I’m working primarily on skills, and adding new weapons as I get ideas for them.
Here is the changelog for v1.0.3 of The Quest for the Mystical MacGuffin:
- Added weapons (22 of them)
- Added body looting system
- Increased amount of XP gained from level 1 enemies
- Lowered damage and HP of most enemies
- Added main menu
- You now must press E while over the exit to descend
You can download the update from wherever you bought the game. The indiegamestand builds are up, and the Humble Bundle builds should be up shortly. Enjoy!
UPDATE: It occurs to me that 1.3.0 and 1.0.3 are very different things. This is now fixed.
Hi guys! At some point in the coming days, I’ll be releasing the 1.0.3(!) update for Mystical MacGuffin! Here are a few features I’m adding/planning on adding:
- Weapons (complete with randomly generated stats!)
- New monsters
- Title Screen + Options Menu (wow, such cutting edge)
- making the game slightly less difficult
I hope you guys enjoy playing it as much as I have enjoyed making it! Also, there’s totally a trailer coming soon.
The Quest for the Mystical MacGuffin is now also available on the Humble Store! The widget is available on the Games page.
First off, the biggest news: my game is now available on indiegamestand, and will hopefully/probably also be available on the Humble Store and maybe Desura.
With this release comes some small changes to the game to make it more suitable for release. Anyway, you can buy it now for $1.99. The price will probably go up as it gets more finished, although I’m hesitant to go any higher than $5, maybe $10 at max.
- 12 months ago
The game is almost ready for a full-fledged alpha release. I’m going to be starting by submitting the game to the fine folks at the Humble Bundle, so that I can sell my game with the Humble Store widget. After that, I hope to have it on Desura, and if I can scrape together the funds, on Greenlight. Maybe.
This is still a very early alpha build, however I’m kind of trying to get this game for the Ludum Dare October Challenge: Finish a game, earn $1 from it. I think that Mystical MacGuffin has potential, and the more I work on it the more I love it. Now that you guys will (Hopefully!) soon get to play it, I hope you will too.