I thought I'd use this opportunity to get some feedback on my current project.
I'm working on an engine for retro-style action RPGs like on the 16 bit consoles - games like Zelda, Secret of Mana, Terranigma, Landstalker etc. So far the engine supports stuff like 8 direction movement (with only four different directions animated, just like in Zelda 3), battling and gaining XP from enemies, turning switches to open gates, pushing boxes for your typical puzzle solving, and loading dialogue from a text file.
Here's some impressions (oh yeah, for graphics I used Seki's template and Fantasy RPG Tileset):
Video: You can also watch a video on Youtube, framerate is a little bit low though due to my screencapturing software.
DEMO: I have now also put up a demo. It's the same as in the video, very short, but might offer a glimpse at how it's working so far. YOu can find it here (note: control with arrow keys and space bar, no touch so far): http://bottled-fun.com/AJRPG/
If you guys got any ideas what would be cool to see in a 16 bit sytle Action RPG, just drop a comment.
Stuff I'm thinking about:
The difficult thing, in my oppinion, is to integrate stuff like that while keeping it still lean and flexible. Well, we'll see where it goes.
I'm gonna say a build-your-own flexible combo system would be pretty awesome - like the original Xenogears or Majika.
One of the most memorable mechanics for me in Secret of Mana was when you maxed out your magic, it would get a whole new set of animations. Also how each weapon was pretty unique and had their own sets of special moves.
Very cute, remembers to me a couple of years ago, when I was messing around with RPG Maker Xp.
Thanks for the replies, guys.
oosyrag: Hmm, combos or special moves might indeed by interesting. I guess the bottleneck for me and others will be to get the right animations for this (man, now I understand how hard the designers were working in those days), but it's definitely an neat idea. I'm e.g. thinking of the different moves in Enix' Terranigma or Segas Beyond Oasis. Gonna try that.
HR78: Thx, yeah I hope with the right template this will make creating at least small Action RPGs easy (of course not a gigantic game like SoM )
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A similar template would be another great addon for C2.
Lately I've been playing a game called "Alundra" for the PS1 which has a Z axis and jumping mechanics.
A jumping mechanic would be nice for your engine. It's a lost art.
looks great! seems like this'll be a pretty versatile system!
mudmask: Thx, I hope it will be!
MPPlantOfficial: Hey, I played that game a long time ago, too. It was created by some guys from the team that had worked on Landstalker for Genesis before - I love this game even more. Yeah, jumping mechanics would be cool. I have already been thinking about that but have not come up with a solution so far. I think the Z-axis is tricky, e.g. correctly detecting when the player jumps of a hill or something. But I'll try again to find a solution!
I had been very recently thinking of reviving an old RPG project me and a friend were making into an action-RPG, so it's nice to see something like this. I was curious if you had a capx available for the work so far or are willing to help someone with eventing in terms of action-RPG mechanics.
well the capx is still work-in-progress and I'd like to work on that further, but if you got any questions regardings specific elements, just ask in this thread or send my a PM - if I can help in any way I'll be glad to do so.
as suggested I'm working on 3d movement/z-axis. This is really giving me a hard time. You can see my progress in this short video:
While it may not seem too impressing I can really state this is so far the hardest part of my work. If you got any ideas on how to realize depth in a top down RPG, let me know!