Friday, March 30, 2018

A Conversation With the Creator of Final Fantasy IV - (theatre influence)



(from 1UP.com by Jeremy Parish - April 15th, 2011)

...I guess up until then RPGs tended to have a map, a dungeon, a castle, and boss battles, and you kind of went back and forth between the gameplay and the boss battles. But our idea was if we approached it from a movie editing perspective, perhaps we could create a more dramatic, story-driven game.

And it was also a big development in terms of music, because up until then we had one piece music per map, essentially. For IV, we focused on how to make the game more emotional -- to have the music play at the right timing. And so it was kind of a new way to approach the music in a game.

1UP: The characters are really a big part of the game, and FFIV was really the first game I can think of to have musical leitmotifs surrounding the characters. Did you and [composer Nobuo] Uematsu look to movies for inspiration and say, "This is something we need in our game?"


Tokita: I, myself, have a theatre background, and the main appeal of an RPG is that you can play as the protagonist. We really wanted to have the music play out when it would affect you the most, in a sense. So, we really focused on finding the right points and best timings to play the music so it would evoke the emotions necessary to make you feel better.

1UP: You say you have a theatre background. Did you have a lot of interest in videogames and, specifically, RPGs before coming to work with Square and Final Fantasy?

Tokita: I'm a little bit the opposite, actually. Apparently there was an animation boom when I was young. I had the intention of becoming a voice actor. On the side, I was drawing manga and cartoons, and while I was in a theatre troupe, I made some cash. I had the game design work as something part-time on the side, and that's how I got into the industry.

As a part-time job, I wanted to be involved in something creative as well. So a career in game design seemed very appealing as well. I'm not sure if you know Tokyo very well, but there's a little area Roppongi... Prior to Square, I was with ASCII in Roppongi.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Monday, November 13, 2017

(Tutorial) Image Capturing Software Fraps/LiceCap/GifCam

Video Capturing Software




(from Softonic.com by Jon Riggal )

FRAPS is a utility for taking screenshots and video of your PC. Run it in the background while you play games, and check the frame rate, make gameplay videos and take screenshots with ease.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Arc Symphony imagines not a faux-JRPG, but the community that surrounds it. Fan fiction, passive aggression, and all - [USGAMER]


(from USGAMER by Caty McCarthy - April 24th, 2017)

"There comes a point in nearly every online community when drama tears it apart. Naturally, in all the fan communities I’ve seen rise, I’ve watched them fall; whether over pettiness, fights, people leaving and newbies shaking up the community’s dynamic, moderators going power hungry, and so on. But I'll never forget the friends I've made across them. And even today, I still stay in contact with a select few friends I've made over the early years of rabid fandoms. The inevitable drama that unfolds in Arc Symphony’s fan community ends up feeling personal, not just because we've witnessed something like it before, but because so many of us have reinvented ourselves in one way or another online. We create the ideal self, and sometimes, we see that be rejected."


Via USGamer
Via Itch.io Arc Symphony

(This is a really old post - I was gonna post this sooner but other things sort of got in the way. It was an interesting sort of text adventure that delved into the nature surrounding online internet communities. The game is no longer free, but it's 2.69USD. It's still worth checking out.)

Monday, November 6, 2017

(Archive) Alter A.I.L.A Variant - RM2k3 - Neok



(from Alter A.I.L.A Variant's GamePage on RMN by Neok - June 10th 2012)

Alter A.I.L.A. Variant takes place in a modern world, 3 years after the events of Alter A.I.L.A. Genesis. 2 years ago, a great war came to a decisive conclusion thanks to the efforts of a small band of people. Peace should have followed, but there are those who would choose to continue fighting. This is the continuation of that story.

The battle system revolves mainly around each character's Abilities, which are a set of commands specific to that character. Abilities require AP and EX to use. AP is gained every time a character takes a turn. The default is 2. EX is gained every time a character uses an Ability. The default is 1. Note that this may change depending on the situation.


Mirror Download

(Note: ...I wanted to wait for the right time to post this, but honestly there's never going to be a right time, so I thought I'd just get this out of the way quickly:)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Copy & Paste & Play: Amateur Games as Appropriation Art - [Amplab.ca]

(from Amplab.ca by Saeed Afzal - Noevember 8th, 2016)

"...Marcus Boon, in his book “In Praise of Copying”, writes of the putting together of a mixtape or iTunes playlist in a way that I think reflects the philosophy of these RPG Maker amalgamations: he notes that the process of making a mixtape is “intimate” and “emotionally charged”, and that “the mixtape maker has available in accessing the variety that is essential to copia, and straight out of a classical rhetoric manual: inventio (the selection of tunes to be played),dispositio (the ordering or sequencing of them), and elocutio(the cuts and edits made, but also the loving care put into the handwritten cover, the decoration of the cassette), all deployed in order to charm the recipient of the tape” (Boon 55). Just like the mixtape-maker, the RPG Maker game designer carefully selects the assets they’re going to copy, rearranges and reorders them in new configurations, and also omits, edits, and personalizes these resources to make a product that is uniquely theirs.















RPG Maker game Final Fantasy Black Moon Prophecy, a fangame of the Final Fantasy series, makes use of assets from Final Fantasy IV, released 25 years ago as of the writing of this probe. The fangame uses a tileset from the game’s town maps, safe zones for the player to recover their strength and restock on items. Black Moon Prophecy, however, edits the tileset and then uses it to map one of the game’s dungeons, Niflheim (Left), a decaying town in which monsters abound. This is another instance of familiar iconography being reconfigured and given new meaning – note the re-use of graphics between Niflheim (Left) and Final Fantasy IV’s town of Baron (Right)"

The secret history of underdog game engine RPG Maker and how it got its bad reputation - [PC Gamer]

(from PC Gamer by Giada Zavarise - October 11, 2017)

"...The release of RPG Maker VX Ace coincided with the birth of Steam Greenlight. RPG Maker users started to consider themselves real game developers, and realized they could actually try to sell their games. The result? An explosion of RPG Maker games on Steam Greenlight, often made by teenagers with big dreams but limited skills. And all those games looked the same.
























Players began to associate RPG Maker's RTPs with mediocre, "lazy" games. The engine got a bad reputation. In a 2016 Reddit thread about why people had begun to hate games made with RPG Maker a community manager who worked for Degica said, "I really wish people who weren't ready for the big time would stop submitting to greenlight. It would make my job easier. Because the perception of RM is already bad enough without people trying to throw their 10 minute effort game on greenlight."

On forums and in Steam user reviews the same comments about RPG Maker games recur over and over. They're "low effort and low quality," "look more or less identical," use the same "stock resources." It's enough to put you off using the engine entirely..."


Friday, October 13, 2017

RMTutorial's Utility pack








(From RMTutorials by Carius)
RMTutorials/Carius/PeekingBook's Utility pack:

RPG Maker 2000
1.85 Patch This patch will update RPG Maker 2000 to the latest version. (rm2k_1.85.zip)

Help File (rm2k_helpfile.zip)
If you don't have RPG Maker 2000's Help File, download it here, it is far more valuable than any tutorial.

RTP (rm2k_rtp.zip)
This installer is needed for RPG Maker 2000 to work, as it holds many necessary files and resources.

RTP 1.32 Addon (rm2k_rtpe.zip)
This installer updates your RPG Maker 2000's Run Time Package so that it contains more resources, (RTP must be installed first).

Harmony.DLL (rm2k_harmony.zip)
A very important file that is essential for RPG Maker Games to work, if a "Harmony.DLL not found" error occurs, this is what you need.

Fonts (rm2k_fonts.zip)
Extract these fonts into your C:\Windows\Fonts folder if the text in your game looks squashed together/unreadable.



RPG Maker 2003
1.08 Patch (rm2k3_1.08.zip)
This patch will update RPG Maker 2003 to the latest version.

Help File (rm2k3_helpfile.zip)
Download RPG Maker 2003's Help File from here, it will teach you everything about RPG Maker that you need to know.

RTP (rm2k3_rtp.zip)
This installer is needed for RPG Maker 2003 to work, as it holds many necessary files and resources.

RTP-Addon: Legend of Zelda (rm2k_rtpe_zelda.zip)
This installer adds a variety of Legend of Zelda Resources to your pre-existing RTP

Harmony.DLL (rm2k3_harmony.zip)
A very important file that is essential for RPG Maker Games to work, if a "Harmony.DLL not found" error occurs, this is what you need.

Fonts (rm2k3_fonts.zip)
Extract these fonts into your C:\Windows\Fonts folder if the text in your game looks squashed together/unreadable.



Other Utilities
Idraw3 (other_idraw3.zip)
Idraw3 is the most commonly used graphics program for editing graphics for RPG Maker 2000/2003.

Irfanview (other_irfanview.zip)
IrfanView is another commonly used graphics editing program for RPG Maker 2000/2003.
One of its most useful features is adapting images with high resolutions into 256 bit color images so that they can be used in RPG Maker without almost any quality loss. All questions pertaining to invalid color depth and such can be solved by this program.

Animget (other_animeget.zip)
AnimGet is a utility that allows you to easily rip animations.
Once activated, it takes a screenshot of every frame (every time the screen refreshes) and allows easy access to the graphics you want to rip.

Yamp (other_yamp.zip)
This program gives you the capability to convert mp3 files to wav files or vice versa.

ResHack (other_reshack.zip)
ResHack is a great program that allows you to quickly and easily change your game's icon, glyphs, and even the three (or just one in RPG Maker 2003) splash screens before your game starts.

RmRecker Very similar to ResHack but not as commonly used. (other_reshack.zip)

RM2K Utility (other_rm2kutility.zip)
A utility containing many useful tools (such as dependency checker, project locker, and resource extractor).
The tools were mostly designed for RPG Maker 2000 use, but some can also be used for RPG Maker 2003.

Patch Maker 1.2 (other_patchmaker12.zip)
If you need to make an update patch for your game, this program provides a very easy means of doing so.

Installer Creator (other_installercreator.zip)
A program designed to make your game installable onto a user's computer, it is a more effective substitute for the 'Game Disk' function in RPG Maker 2000/2003.

(...Transposing this here because the fallback post seems to be down.
Added file tags incase I ever need to switch servers.)