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Neppit

Fire Emblem: Judgement of the Prince (Seeking Help)

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Hello there. Before I begin, I shall get some introductions out of the way. My name is Alice, and I am a senior in high school. I am going to be studying game design in college shortly, though I have taken multiple courses during the summers of 2016 and 2017 on game design. My experience mostly lies in using Unity Engine, but I have been teaching myself FE Builder for a while now. As for romhacking, it was always something that I had taken an interest in. I have never formally completed any romhacking projects, but it has been on my bucket list for awhile now. I figured that a good way to practice my skills would be to try and create a romhack for Fire Emblem, since it is one of my favorite game franchises. This romhack isn't intended to be a massive project, just a smaller story using mostly assets that can be found in the original Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. Either way, on to explaining my idea:



Fire Emblem: Judgement of the Prince

 Design Document

 

Story:

At first in the kingdom of Mercia there was a perfectly normal royal family, with a strong and noble king, a beautiful queen, two strong young princes and a baby princess. The entire land of Lumine was in a state of relative peace, until one day the king suddenly and mysteriously vanishes, taking the young daughter with him. Chaos and unrest began to form at the top layer of society, and the queen began to go mad in her desperate search for him. The queen proved that she is truly unfit to sit on the throne, especially when she made her greatest mistake by declaring war on the northern country of Rostov. In her madness, she believed that they were responsible for the disappearance of her husband. This could not be farther from the truth, and the Queen's country engaged in a multi-year slaughter of the innocent country. The people of her country hated this decision, however they still help faith in the monarchy due to the presence of the older prince, Godric, who they believed would make an ideal king one day. Godric did everything he could to attempt to provide relief to the poor citizens of his country, and was a public advocate against the war. However this fanatical devotion to Godric came crashing down when he was suddenly assassinated.
 

From there, the time had come for the people to rise up. They were led by a general from the previous war, who had grown to detest violence from his time serving in the military. He merely wanted it all to stop, so he began a coup against the queen and the remaining prince, Godfrey. The game begins during this coup, where Godfrey desperately attempts to escape his destruction and seeking a way to earn back his people's trust. Specifically, the game follows Evelyn, a seemingly normal dancer thrown into all this political chaos and attempting to see order returned to her homeland. She is joined by Rodrick, a thief who seems to remain extremely loyal to at her. Rodrick's motives seem cloudy at first, but once his sinister mistakes come back to haunt him, he is forced to face the repercussions of his actions. This trio of unlikely heroes attempt to rally an army to retake the capital, in hopes of one day restoring the peace that once prevailed in Lumine. 

 

Features:

Mechanically, the game will function similar to the game that it is using as a base (Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones). I am not going to be going out of my way to add an excessive number of new features, but I will be adding a decent amount. There are going to be two or three new classes, if the design goes well enough. This game is planned to be small in scope and a pretty simple Fire Emblem experience. The game will not contain any monster classes, as the struggle of this game is pretty much entirely based on humans being humans. I want to create more of a bond between a player unit and their weapon in this hack, so there will be an increase in the amount of preferred weapons compared to a usual Fire Emblem game, and there will probably be a mechanic to repair weapons. It all depends on what I am able to do in regards to FE Builder. 

 

Folder:

Here is the folder that contains everything that I am using to work on the game. I plan on being completely transparent with this project, so don't be afraid to pop in and check on my progress. If I am currently working on something in the folder I could also answer your questions in regard to the game right there. If you want to know more about stuff like Plot, Characters, Plans, Maps, Scripts, etc, I implore you to check it out. 

Click Here

 

Development:

As for actually creating the game, that is going to be a steady process. I am not quite an expert on FE Builder quite yet, but I am getting better. My strong suit when it comes to these kinds of games is definitely writing, so the scripts are probably going to be one of the first thing to get finished. On the other hand, my biggest area that I struggle with is art, so that will most likely take awhile to really come to fruition. Expect any early builds I put in the folder of the chapters to be using entirely placeholder assets, at least until I can get confident enough to make my own assets, or hire someone to do it for me. Making this game is probably going to be a multi-year endeavor, depending on a few external and uncontrollable factors. Know that I am dedicated to it one hundred percent and plan to work on it as much as I can, within reason. If you would like some insight into my priorities and progress on the more specific tasks of this project, linked below my task list. Each task is organized in order of priority and will be updated with my progress on that task. 

 

Task List

 

Conclusion:

I apologize to anyone who sat through and read this whole thing, but most of it just me rambling. To be honest I only really made this post to say what I am I doing to the community at large. I am not really attempting to get a bunch of people to help me with the game or advertise or whatever. I just want it in writing what I am doing and I want to be held to this. I will see this game through to its conclusion, no matter what. I hope that I have at least one or two emotional supporters (help me I don't know what I'm doing people) along the way and wish me the best of luck. If you have any questions or really wanna help in some way, don't hesitate to post here or message me. I will probably post here again when I have an early build that I actually want people to see. Thank you for your time and have a nice day. 

Edited by Neppit

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I apologize for not really helping the problem of presenting little actual progress if any. I understand that this whole concept is meaningless until I have actual gameplay done, but I just wanted to share my folder with the world so I hopefully get good feedback when I eventually have something meaningful.

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Sounds like you have a pretty solid start to your hack! The story sounds interesting so far, and your plans on drive are well organized. Definitely the way to go, as opposed to jumping right into the editor.

One bit of advice, if you plan to add any patches to your hack, I recommend doing so sooner rather than later, to prevent issues in the future. I can speak from experience, it isn't a good time.

I'll definitely keep an eye out for your project!

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On 1/12/2018 at 1:26 AM, Neppit said:

On the other hand, my biggest area that I struggle with is art, so that will most likely take awhile to really come to fruition. Expect any early builds I put in the folder of the chapters to be using entirely placeholder assets, at least until I can get confident enough to make my own assets, or hire someone to do it for me.

Nobody's going to judge you harshly for using placeholder assets, if you show that you have working chapters and progress, artists will usually come to you.

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Incredible sounds like a bit of an overstatement, but I'm doing my best. I haven't been able to make too much progress as of yet sadly, mostly due to struggles with the engine. 

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Hey, if you're interested we could work together. I would need to take some liberties with the strategic element of the game, but I think we could create something nice. 

I did a mock-up of a Ch. 0 map for you: 

Spoiler

BFeqoy4.png

Their bar is literally a ship. The ship does not function anymore, it is permanently docked there. 

 

Anyway, try out the different ch. 0 I made here and let me know what you think - if you're interested in collaborating, etc.

 

To make a compelling game I think the story should be intertwined into maps, not as much between the chapters. I also want to work on the strategic element; it should be far less Rout Enemy and far more "achieve this", or "reach this place". I want a Base Camp unit with Merlinus' overworld sprites that heals nearby units, has supply, and is always targeted by enemies. It would have 0 movement, does not need to be deployed, and not be such a liability that Merlinus felt like. More like, this is your base camp, and if you lure enemies here, you get buffs and heals from it. I'm also interested in a low movement (0-2) ballista character to join at some point. 

 

 

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My apologies for my lack of activity here, but I have mostly come back to try and make some sort of update post in regards to my progress. Unfortunately I do not have as much as I'd like to actually present here. My first semester of college ended up slamming me way harder than expected, along with some serious personal issues coming to light. I have recently finished said semester, and now have a better mental grip on my life. As such, I began thinking about how to continue progress on this project once again. Sure enough, I have decided on a few changes in direction that I'd like to take with it's further development. 

Probably the largest change when it comes to the actual creation of the game came from the decision to switch from using FE Builder to Rainlash's Lex Talionis engine. While I eventually grew to understand FE Builder, I had so many performance issues and unanswered questions that I decided to change directions. I managed to pick up Lex Talionis much faster, partially due to the extremely helpful tutorial documentation provided by Rainlash, which I cannot be more grateful for. I feel like this change will only benefit me in the long run, as I feel like I can work much more efficiently in the current engine I'm working with. Since starting work with the new engine a few days ago, I've already feel like I've got a good grasp on how it functions and have made multiple test chapters, though these are mostly just recreations of existing FE8 and FE7 maps. The main thing that is going to change in regard to scope is mostly going to be the inclusion of Skills, while removing the possibility of multiple promotions for each base class. 

Now then, the other thing that I would like to discuss is the actual size of project. While I was much more confident towards the beginning, I've come to realize that this simply isn't the sort of project that I can take on all by myself. While I am going to continue work by myself until something changes, I'd appreciate if people interested in helping would contact me. I understand that my previous behavior has not inspired much confidence, due to the long hiatus and lack of proper work to show for myself. Despite this, I hope that you are willing to give me a chance and hope make this game into a reality. Now, I'd like to discuss what sort of help I'd actually like to receive at this point in time. If you cannot perform any of these tasks but have another idea of help, don't hesitate to suggest it to me.

- While I am getting the hang of Lex Talionis quite quickly, I'd appreciate getting some help from someone who has some experience with working in this engine. Even if it's just for bouncing questions and ideas as I come up with them, a second experienced voice would be a massive boost to my productivity. As of now, my main is to take care of most of the actual in game implementation for this project, but that could certainly change if someone whose better at this than me expresses interest. 

- As I mentioned in my earlier post, my greatest struggle when it comes to this sort of thing is the artwork. I have a basic understanding of image manipulation in Photoshop, and could probably apply that to learning some splicing down the line. However, I can only imagine a more dedicated artist would be much better at this whole thing than me. Between trying to improve my writing skills and learn the engine proper, I fear that I will lack the necessary time to develop my lackluster artistic skills. Even if you aren't as experienced at GBA style sprites quite yet, someone who could just make some proper concept art would be a massive help.

- Despite my previous post claiming that I could take care of most of the writing by myself, I have since come to learn just how big of undertaking this is. I simply do not have the time to write everything necessary for this game and handle the implementation of the various chapters. I am willing to do both if no one else can be found, but I think I'd really start to bring down the productivity of the process with my number of tasks. I'd appreciate if someone else could take of a good chunk of the writing duties, and serve to help bounce ideas for the plot, characters, supports, etc. 

- I'd like some help when it comes to actually designing the maps and scenarios. This person would not be tasked with making the map run within the game, as I would be taking care of that. They would simply need to use provided Tilesets in a program called Tiled to design the literal design of the map, and send me two PNG files. One with just the map itself, and the second being the map with the enemies included. I'd also need a simple run down of what each group of enemy's AI should be. 

- And finally, I'd like someone to discuss the actual numbers of the game with. They'd be the one responsible for balancing the character's various bases/growths, enemy bases/growths, weapon stats, the economy of the game, doubling thresholds, how to calculate avoid, what certain items do, etc. They'd essentially need to be familiar with the way the math of the game works, and be able to track this information in an organized manner. He'd be the main factor when it comes to strategic balance, and would probably work alongside me and the map designer to ensure fairness. 

These are just some simple ideas that I've imagined in my head for people's various skill sets. I'm not opposed to different people doing multiple of the listed jobs, but I'd prefer if people do not stress themselves out excessively for this. As for organization, I'd expect anyone who begins working with me to use and store information in the shared folder that I already linked in this thread, with whatever sort of edits necessary to accommodate them. If you'd like to contact me, please do so in a private message on this forum, which will most likely end up with us moving to discord. Have a good evening, and thank you reading this far into my rambling thoughts. 

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