Ther Melian RPG Progress (Prologue to Chapter 1)
  Last update at 17 Sep 2018 10:40

A couple of years ago, I was asked to join a collaboration to create a prequel game to a best-selling fantasy novel called Ther Melian (still local, as of this article). There was only three of us: Bunny, the franchise owner and script writer; Panda, a seasoned game developer, and myself, an RPG Maker hobbyist. We agreed to use RPG Maker VXAce, but things went south.

Background

We laid groundwork to the game and put as many text from the script as possible. Panda was working on the script, while I was working on the database. We were on the right pace, but life rears its ugly head. Panda was sent to Malaysia to attend a training, while I was stuck teaching so many hours to meet ends. This left the game in limbo and I nearly forgot about it, until RPG Maker MV came out.

RPG Maker MV (2015) rekindles the sideview battle previously seen on RPG Maker 2003, roughly 12 years ago. I was overjoyed and think to rekindle Ther Melian again. However, MV was a mere infant compared to the extensive plug-in library for VXAce (which is an upgrade of VX, a 2007 software). Continuing as it is, MV lacks the vision I have so I laid in wait and begin to create a reusable database and framework, dubbed "Dream Port Engine".

On May 2016, just as my semester come to an end, I noticed that MV has gained a considerable number of plug-ins. I decided to continue Ther Melian alone, with the completed script that Bunny left. In here, I will put the progress comparing the abandoned VXAce to MV.

Prologue ~ Tellsier Forest

The beginning event stays roughly the same, although the passageway was created to be more like passageway

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

This is where the script fixing make its presence: Ellanese sounds much more high and fabulous.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

The Battle system are changed completely, featuring side view and turn order. The turn order works just like games with Charge Time Battle, e.g. Final Fantasy Tactics, Xenogears, or Eiyuu Densetsu 6. This has much more depth rather than simple turn battle. Also different from VXAce, Ellanese will offer a tutorial on how Valadin works.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

The forest have been created from scratch, adding as much greenery as possible, as opposed to crampy like in VXAce. I used a few screenshot reference from good forest mapper and went wild with my own style.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

The event where Valadin got angry was barebone in VXAce. In MV, Valadin punches the tree (sort of, it looks like he tackles it) as instructed in the script.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

Valadin's exposition was moved to the end of the scene to create 'end of prologue' effect, although the text was too fast to create a good drama.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

Gardian Sanctum

The sanctum was massively revamped in order to look elven (elvarish, elvaren?). The concept was based on Heroes VI Sanctuary. I wanted to make a lotus pathway instead of paving, but that's just impossible seeing how scarce the lotus brush is. Valadin was also made not to sound over-eager.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

Haldara's (I keep writing his name as 'Haladar') dialogue was cleaned up and reworded so he does not sound like Ellanese.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

In VXAce and the original script, Valadin went to the trial no questions asked. In MV, he shows a bit hesitation. Haldara also provided a brief objective on what to do on the trial.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

In VXAce and the original script, Valadin was ambushed the moment he set foot on the dungeon, then he remarked about the presence of daemon. In MV, the dungeon started out normal. I decided not to put daemon reference until the very end and let Valadin fights a more generic mobs. I will polish this once I get the approval of Bunny.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

The dungeon was incomplete in VXAce, in MV, save from encounter settings and item boxes, the dungeon is fully-fledged, complete with dead-ends and a puzzle.

MV
MV
MV
MV

At the end of the dungeon, Valadin will encounter a big boss and make the daemon remark. The boss itself packs a mean punch and will not hesitate in killing Valadin within 2 attacks. This boss is nearly impossible to fight unless Valadin is at least level 4.

MV
MV
MV
MV

Haldara greets Valadin outside the dungeon. This place is a hub between the the sanctum and the sanctum dungeon. As a reference, I use Wild Arms (PSX) screenshot to make a dungeon less dull. The oath scene was not in the VXAce because of the chain events it require. The script stated that Valadin take his oath on Altar of the Seven Aethers. Stone altars does not look good yet, so I changed it to a Garden.

MV
MV
MV
MV

The Solar Hall in which the last conversation occur, has been replaced with a Solar Pavilion. I still need to finalize this part of the town, though, as it looks a little plain compared to the rest of the town.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

Things to do while preparing for Chapter 2:

  • Complete Valadin's moveset
  • Complete armor list
  • Create a framework for enemy and its troop list.
VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

This is where the script fixing make its presence: Ellanese sounds much more high and fabulous.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

The Battle system are changed completely, featuring side view and turn order. The turn order works just like games with Charge Time Battle, e.g. Final Fantasy Tactics, Xenogears, or Eiyuu Densetsu 6. This has much more depth rather than simple turn battle. Also different from VXAce, Ellanese will offer a tutorial on how Valadin works.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

The forest have been created from scratch, adding as much greenery as possible, as opposed to crampy like in VXAce. I used a few screenshot reference from good forest mapper and went wild with my own style.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

The event where Valadin got angry was barebone in VXAce. In MV, Valadin punches the tree (sort of, it looks like he tackles it) as instructed in the script.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

Valadin's exposition was moved to the end of the scene to create 'end of prologue' effect, although the text was too fast to create a good drama.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

Gardian Sanctum

The sanctum was massively revamped in order to look elven (elvarish, elvaren?). The concept was based on Heroes VI Sanctuary. I wanted to make a lotus pathway instead of paving, but that's just impossible seeing how scarce the lotus brush is. Valadin was also made not to sound over-eager.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

Haldara's (I keep writing his name as 'Haladar') dialogue was cleaned up and reworded so he does not sound like Ellanese.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

In VXAce and the original script, Valadin went to the trial no questions asked. In MV, he shows a bit hesitation. Haldara also provided a brief objective on what to do on the trial.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

In VXAce and the original script, Valadin was ambushed the moment he set foot on the dungeon, then he remarked about the presence of daemon. In MV, the dungeon started out normal. I decided not to put daemon reference until the very end and let Valadin fights a more generic mobs. I will polish this once I get the approval of Bunny.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

The dungeon was incomplete in VXAce, in MV, save from encounter settings and item boxes, the dungeon is fully-fledged, complete with dead-ends and a puzzle.

MV
MV
MV
MV

At the end of the dungeon, Valadin will encounter a big boss and make the daemon remark. The boss itself packs a mean punch and will not hesitate in killing Valadin within 2 attacks. This boss is nearly impossible to fight unless Valadin is at least level 4.

MV
MV
MV
MV

Haldara greets Valadin outside the dungeon. This place is a hub between the the sanctum and the sanctum dungeon. As a reference, I use Wild Arms (PSX) screenshot to make a dungeon less dull. The oath scene was not in the VXAce because of the chain events it require. The script stated that Valadin take his oath on Altar of the Seven Aethers. Stone altars does not look good yet, so I changed it to a Garden.

MV
MV
MV
MV

The Solar Hall in which the last conversation occur, has been replaced with a Solar Pavilion. I still need to finalize this part of the town, though, as it looks a little plain compared to the rest of the town.

VXAce
VXAce
MV
MV

Things to do while preparing for Chapter 2:

  • Complete Valadin's moveset
  • Complete armor list
  • Create a framework for enemy and its troop list.

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