Learning the Hard Way

(18 Mar 2013)

You know, it feels like I should be getting so much more done than I actually am, but it is no shit when I say that a good 2/3rds of ALL MY TIME has gone towards making this project happen these past 6 weeks or so. Some days, more than others, but on average I am looking at 8 hrs a day easy. Yet it seems that from this forum list of updates, I have gotten so little accomplished. Funny that you can’t quite quantify experience, because THAT, to me, (so far I have learned) is the #1 factor in productivity… And that is exactly what I have been doing all this time.

Trial and error. Create, scrap, re-create… Rinse recycle.

I can not say how long this ‘learning’ phase will last, nor if it will really make much difference in future, non RPG maker projects; but I can definitely say I see the difference in my results. Not to mention the smoothness with which I can slide from one necessary function to another.

Here is an actual example of one of my days…

New idea? Can I event it? Is there a script I can use already made? Or must I try to write my own?

Yes, I can Event it, though its clunky and takes a good 8-10+ minutes each time, and that is when re-using an already filled event… More like 30 minutes from scratch… The three scripts that seem to be able to do it (that you took 2 hours finding and testing) don’t really do the job. One comes damn close, and the two hours you took trying to tweak the script ultimately failed (Ruby Noob) so you are better off trying to write your own… (though you did learn something trying) Can you write your own? Well, I can write a few things that will make eventing smoother, but an entire script that’s plug and play? Not yet… Ok, do that… Done.

Well, at least now I know where that route will lead me, and what I will need in the future if I wish to revisit it. But for now, I think I will settle for an extremely paired down event utilizing the few methods I managed to code, and move on…

What?! That took 6+ hours?!? (Its already past 3pm and the kids are almost home)… Damn I am hungry too. Time for a break.

Day in and day out…

 

 

(21 Mar 2013)

Well that was eye opening.

Slowly, but surely, I am beginning to understand more and more about the process of game development.

Take for example, the single largest time sink that I have managed to find so far… Balance. And I am not talking about just simple class A, or class B, or even monster A vs class A… All that can be dealt with rather simply. I am talking about pace, count, frequency, downtime, repetition… Ugh!! I had thought that maybe my experience with pen and paper RPG’s would smooth out the curve a bit more than it has, but the mechanic has a MUCH larger effect on the results than I expected.

The primary being that in pen and paper, I can fudge my way through a bad encounter.

To difficult? Make the monsters do something that reduces their number or effectiveness and pretend its a plot line. To weak? Do the reverse… After a while it gets like second nature. I often feel like I am incapable of making a BAD adventure these days… But PC games?

To difficult? You killed the fun factor and the game gets ignored in favor of more fun games… To weak? You just killed the curve and all your content gets consumed faster than you can hope to create it efficiently.

Translation… Play, play, play, re-play, play and play again… Until its not to difficult, nor too weak. Then, try your damnedest not to lose that curve when translating it into future content.

Of course, it didn’t help that I decided to break my own rule and throw in a new mechanic after I had already set it to content creation… I played another authors RPG maker project last weekend and decided that chain attacks where just too damned addictive not to use. It really makes the monotony of most battles almost disappear. Knowing that you can use a quick chain now, or a better one later… But what if you miss? Or what if it resists the status effect? Should you just use that MP action and charge up the TP for a longer chain, or save it and just use what you have now? After all, MP requires limited resources to renew… Etc… etc…

Sometimes, like today, I find myself playing the game so much that my fingers hurt… And all I have really done is get a feel for what balance was most fun for me, and then extrapolate that out to the entire multi-stage area.

10 hrs later, and my eyes feel like they are made of cotton.

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