I want to thank everyone who’s joined my Discord community; my server reached 100 members today, which was my cue to publish this article. Bear in mind that I’m going to keep everyone posted with micro-updates via Discord, so make sure to accept the following invitation: [ Click Here ]
Here’s what’s been going on, and what’s coming up.
After a crazy long hiatus, I think everyone will agree it’s safer for me to come back with a project I can deliver without a huge degree of incertitude. In point of fact, I’ve decided to humble myself until I can finally blow my own trumpet. With the current project, I want to prove to myself that graphics isn’t important to design a great game. From 2012 to 2016 I was so much absorbed with creating super complex tile-based graphics that I lost sight of my objective. During that period, I saw so many other developers release well acclaimed jRPGs and I could have been among them if it wasn’t for my obsession. To be honest, I had lost all my steam around 2017 and quit in quiet disgust. The saddest part of it is that I was so close to fulfill my achievement. Sometimes the finish line can appear miles away even if it’s inches away when you’re so exhausted.
Buying Super Mario Maker 2 and playing people’s creations brought me back to the source. Although it’s a game from thirty years ago it’s still powerful to experience such old-school style again. Even kids of today’s generation are crazy about it. It’s also mind-blowing how some young minds manage to churn out so creative levels with so little. It inspired me to create a game with a similar mindset. P.S. I’m regularly uploading Super Mario Maker 2 videos on my [ Gamezopher YouTube channel ] if you’re a fan of SMM2.
In my previous blog post, I explained the new asynchronous nature of the Eternal Eden series, meaning that the suffixed numeric titles (I, II, II, IV, V, etc) won’t be released in a sequential order. They’re now mostly sorted by production difficulty, more or less. We’ve already discussed that games from 1 to 3 will be 8-bit driven games and that games from 4-6 will be 16-bit driven games. Games from 7-9 will be of the same caliber of projects I’ve announced before 2016 (Mystic Quest, etc), using very advanced tile patterns.
Right now, Eternal Eden V is the best candidate. While the game won’t have a particularly groundbreaking graphics system, it is meant to be a genuine loverletter to the 16-bit days of RPGs combined with fun gameplay mechanisms, just like Final Fantasy V was. Other sources of inspirations are Breath of Fire 1 and 2, Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma and some more in the same vein. Those games weren’t at the same level as Final Fantasy 6 and Chrono Trigger but were awesome in their own way.
MORE ON ETERNAL EDEN V
EE5 uses a dream themed concept. I’m borrowing ideas from another project I had briefly been working on around 2010 I called Dream Venturos, which I decided not to pursue when Inception by Christopher Nolan was released. I wanted Dream Venturos to take a scientific take on dreams rather than fantasy and that’s exactly what Nolan did with Inception. What’s more, I used a book written by Stephen LaBerge titled ‘Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming’ as my main referential tool and it’s obvious that Nolan used that same source. Most of the ideas in Inception were also in Dream Venturos: totems, mazes, dream within another dream, etc. Given that Inception instantly became a cult classic, I felt Dream Venturos was just going to come off like a wannabe clone. It’s not the first time an unique idea of mine is synced with another mainstream one, it’s somewhat frustrating and disappointing as an artist.
On a sidenote, I experienced a lucid dream once when I was road-tripping in the US. We parked near a river bank in Colorado. It was so calm and peaceful. I applied the techniques from Stephen LaBerge’s book and it worked. It feels so much like virtual reality. I never experienced lucid dreaming again, I suppose our city life is so much polluted with all kinds of distraction that it’s hard to find a real state of meditation.
EE5 explores the concept of dreams from a biblical perspective rather than a scientific way. In the Bible, there’s the popular story of Daniel in which he must come up with an interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s mysterious dream. It’s the core element of EE5, the same way the garden of Eden was the central theme of Eternal Eden 2008. Of course, the goal of the Eternal Eden series isn’t about retelling biblical stories with accuracy, although I’m planning something special with EE6 because I believe Jesus’ story must be told as a game, especially as an epic jRPG.
I’m using ‘Ruby Game Scripting System’ (RGSS3) for coding but I wouldn’t especially say that I’m using RPG Maker. I maintain all my source files in Microsoft Visual Studio Code which is extremely helpful to stay organized. I hardly ever have to open the RPG Maker program so much I’m not relying on its editors. I’m actually using [ Siris editor ] for most of the graphical editing. All scripts are written from scratch. Even if I wanted to re-use scripts written by the RPG Maker team in an attempt to save time, their code is the equivalent of multiple bowls of spaghetti intertwined with one another which results in a big loss of time trying to figure out to which bowl one noodle belong to. The code I’ve written so far is very structured, easy-to-understand, flexible, modular with portability in mind. I’m of course not trying to brag here, I’m explaining why it’s so important to be structured to avoid further development hell. The reason I’m using RGSS3 is because it sports a game renderer and built-in libraries that are so simple to use; the RPG Maker team did a great job on the RGSS department. I’m also a huge fan of the ruby language and it allows me to build prototypes in a snap, which would be much more time consuming with C++. Even C# would requires a bit more work each time a new idea cross my mind.
I’m using a small resolution like in the Super Nintendo days. The SNES screen resolution is 256×224, but I’m using 384×216 for wide-screen displays.
It’s very likely the initial release of EE5 will be achieved via RPG Maker’s RGSS3—thus PC-only release. Sooner or later, I’ll convert my work from RGSS3 and port everything to another language and another platform. I will surely hire someone to do this process. Porting EE5 to a platform such as Nintendo Switch is an absolute goal of mine. I’ll surely need to find a publisher to make the approval process possible with console marketplaces. Well, everything in its own time: my main priority right now is you, dear fans. I’ll seek other audiences afterward.
The game development is much safer than before. Results I’m producing lately are very optimistic and I know a new game release will occur sooner than expected. I actually planned ‘a little something’, so stay tuned.
Remember: I’ll share updates in my discord community and keep my blog text-only for the time being. Make sure to join it: [ Click Here ]. The more comments, the more energized I feel to work on the game. I’ll show actual game screenshots and the battle system in upcoming updates.
I’m truly enjoying seeing each of you again,
Elder from Blossomsoft