Alvarian Tales

User projects written in or related to FreeBASIC.
mrToad
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Alvarian Tales

Postby mrToad » Nov 05, 2016 12:35

Welcome to the Alvarian Tales project, an adventure RPG with emphasis on character depth, exploration, multiple story paths, and some fun battles.

11/10/2017 | Took a long break and I want to apologize that I haven't put out a demo. Bare with me, real life also asks a lot as you probably know. Most recently I am adding sound effects and I have written some music for the game. Just wanted to update some of the screenshots and outline some features in progress. I'm only posting a few scenes because I don't want to give it all away of course. Hope you enjoy.

Latest images:

Image
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Completed features:
• Uses OpenGL
• Characters and creatures have A* pathfinding
• Dialog system for conversations
• Depth-scaling for walking near/far
• Scripts that can do anything needed
• Built-in map editor to help script some things
• You can ride a giant beetle!

Partially completed:
• Hand-drawn scenes and animations
• Turn-based battles that take place right on the scene
• Items and their attributes
• Skills that improve through use
• Custom sound effects and music
• Wearing different clothing
• Vertical actions like jumping, climbing
• Overall GUI interfaces, including menus, inventory, character screens, etc
• A lot of stuff

Previous Notes:

11/07/2016 | Did a few improvements on the "pub" scene.

11/05/2016 | Hello my friends. It's autumn now and that means hot tea and some FB programming for me. I've unboxed my lifelong project Alvarian Tales. I don't know about keeping that title, but it's been the project name for over 16 years. It taught me everything I know about programming, starting back on a 486 when I stumbled upon a blue screen called QB. You can tell I've been in a rush to finish it. :) It was becoming quite mature last time I worked on it though, and I've picked up where I left off. I'll be providing updates and pictures, and asking questions, because you guys have always been helpful. :)

The gameplay is to feel quite open, not linear, presenting choices and exploring. Various paths in the story will branch and meet back again, but that's done carefully, because it's a dang difficult thing to do. Characters are very important and are the greatest influence on the story.

Feel free to ask questions and point out things you think look out of place as more screens are posted. Some of the art is incomplete, of course, but I mean the rest of it. I am open to critique.

Hope to provide a demo soon, need to flesh out a few things. Thanks for looking!
Last edited by mrToad on Nov 10, 2017 16:20, edited 8 times in total.
sancho2
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby sancho2 » Nov 06, 2016 2:07

It looks fantastic.
Adigun A. Polack
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby Adigun A. Polack » Nov 06, 2016 19:49

For your very first stab at crafting together a brand-new RPG in FreeBASIC in 2016 entitled Alvarian Tales (excellent name here, by the way!! ^-^=b ! ), mrToad... this is looking QUITE nice already, and such stuff like this is most definitely welcome these days in the FB game-creation world; the world could use a whole lot of quality new games in FreeBASIC like yours in both 32- and 64-bit formats as we rush headlong into the holidays and the 2017 new year... and so surely do all of us, especially myself as well!!!

Alright. The graphics are a fairly solid job so far, and the amount of depth that you gave it so far in your trio of screenshots of this newest game of yours shows some truly awesome potential that it could very easily join one of the FB-created RPG heavy-hitting greats like Lynn’s Legacy and The Griffon Legend. And the fact that your players can actually ride a giant beetle as a means of traveling to new and uncharted places is a rather plain exciting sight to behold in FreeBASIC, too, let’s get that precisely right in a superbly positive way indeed!! ;*)

Furthermore, your water animation from your first screenshot in your initial post of this thread is just, just stunningly gorgeous... especially in the water flowing down as well... SPLENDIDLY done on that, also!!!

I am indeed definitely looking forward to your demo soon, my man, because there is a quite compellingly beautiful RPG of yours in the sheer making in the no-doubt serious fact that Alvarian Tales is gonna be a rather wonderful new FB-created game released in 2016-2017... so all of the phenomenal best of success and good fortune to you in making this game a first-rate masterpiece of quality excellence, mrToad!!! (^-^)v !!

Here is looking to lots and lots more all-new brilliant quality FreeBASIC-created game releases like this as we head into the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and 2017 New-Year holidays well-indeed.
mrToad
Posts: 352
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Location: USA
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby mrToad » Nov 07, 2016 14:23

@sancho2 - Thanks for your feedback! It's encouraging.

@Adigun - Thanks for your reply! Very nice to read. The art in the screenshots above is not completely finished, so that's why some parts look blank or incomplete. I just want to keep moving, you know, not get stuck on one scene too long. Later I will return to polish them. I appreciate your nice feedback. You mentioned 64-bit. I'm not sure what would be involved in making this 64-bit. Would it have to be coded separately, or I wonder if I can somehow make it both 32 and 64 by making some adjustments in the current code?
h4tt3n
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby h4tt3n » Nov 07, 2016 16:27

Mr. Toad, this looks very beautiful! At this point it's hard to contribute with more than a heads-up, but I'd be happy to give you some fleshed out feedback once there's a playable version out.

Cheers, Mike
c-sanchez
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Joined: Dec 06, 2012 0:38

Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby c-sanchez » Nov 07, 2016 17:32

Wonderfull! i like really the platform 2d games with beauty details like this.
I'm remember Caslevania, Synphony of the Night specially, all on this game is a pleasure visual
The save room
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the clock tower with a cool sky and a 3D feeling movement on the clock tower
Image
or the invocation of a.. cow?
Image
mrToad
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby mrToad » Nov 07, 2016 18:15

Update with new screenshot. (11/07/2016) See original post.

@h4tt3n - Thank you kindly. Yes I will be needing genuine critique in time. Even things like resolution choices need to be tested. And of course gameplay. I'm currently working on a stable inventory system and the ability to drop items on the floor if you want.

@c-sanchez - Thank you. :) Yes it's semi platform but there is still the ability to walk near/far. This doesn't take too much away from the traditional four-direction exploration, as you can still head up/down (the character scales smaller/larger.) But on the gain side I get horizons and skies, which I always felt were missing on my earlier tile-based versions. I want you to be able to wonder what's out there, on that cliff screen for example, and actually be able to head down into those valleys eventually. (I'm even considering a hang-glider... we'll see!)
Merick
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby Merick » Nov 21, 2016 15:27

Are you using any external libraries? If you are coding this in pure FB with no external libraries or inline asm, then you should be able to compile with 64bit FB without having to make any major changes
mrToad
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby mrToad » Jan 22, 2017 18:16

Confident of being able to do the needed art and animations, programming, scripting, music and sound, I've plunged into story. I am etching out the storyboard branches, and what each one will require. I've never done this before, but it's teaching me to focus, add ideas, and mostly remove unnecessary work, as a definite direction as the game is formed.

I believe story is characters. Fiction is Folks*. And at the center of folks are issues. Therefore, in creating characters with defined backgrounds and personalities, I am already seeing possibly stories arise, because conflicts, large and small, are always present with contrasting characters. There's where a lot of fresh material comes from - them, not me. I'll stay out of the way and let character development naturally create challenges and issues in this world.

*Fiction is Folks, written by Robert N. Peck, has been a great inspiration. Especially for us largely left-brained? (or analytical) minds, who sometimes have difficulty with intuition and creativity. If anyone would recommend another book, let me know!
Lachie Dazdarian
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Feb 05, 2017 16:58

Wow! I remember this game when you mentioned it in these forums years ago.

I'm humbled with your story of being so faithful to this project to be able to stick to it for so many years, and grow as a developer through out the years. Best of luck with bringing this to closure. I will be more than honored to dig into this, all in, once it's ready. When you get to a stage you'll need testers, I will be happy to participate.

It's really touching when single developers reach the state you described with this sentence: "Confident of being able to do the needed art and animations, programming, scripting, music and sound"

Hope to be there one day.

I'm really digging the style of graphics, it's actually very close to sort of my ideal, that I prolly would achieved if I kept honing my skills. Can't wait to see more.

I like your serious approach to the story. I really hope you won't go with the usually route of "an unknown evil has set upon the land" as the back story. I agree with characters being everything, but a potent setting is always good to have.

One of the best amateur game stories I experienced, and even overall, was the one from Love and War Act I, a RPG Maker game, which featured really interesting conflicting characters, that you ended up switching during game, allowing to you reach new understanding for certain characters, you might have dismissed earlier in the game when they were your antagonist at that point. It also has a really cool, sorta steam-punk, post-war, large conflicting nations back story. Might be inspirational for you, give it a peek: http://antioch.snow-fall.com/law/
mrToad
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby mrToad » Feb 10, 2017 18:38

Hi Lachie, good to hear from you. Years pass quickly, but I have not forgot most of you. :)

That was probably the best reply I've got since the project began. Very much appreciate your comments! Sometimes all we need is a little feedback to reassure us that something is worthwhile. Replies like yours provide a good measure of motivation to continue.

2/11 - Revised and clarified the rambling:
Game story is challenging because it's the point where the project must turn from flexible and open-ended to definite and specific. There is pressure to be sure all the power of the engine and appeal of art will compliment this most important thing. I find I am paying closer attention to people around me, series I watch on TV, poetry and stories I read, in order to get inside various characters' minds, and to understand some genuine problems they could use help with. This will take place on smaller scales (helping two people to mend a friendship, for example) as well as the overall outcomes of your actions (the game-endings.)

I think there is too many different ways to go, rather than not enough. Finding out what kind of story I really want to narrow down and tell is a challenge. I don't want to put so much time into chiseling the story into a game unless I'm in love with the story. But I am making good progress. Lots of writing and thinking when I have the chance.

Thanks again, and I will be looking at Love and War Act I shortly.

P.S. Do you have any projects in action? You did an amazing job on Barren as I remember. "Being there some day," please, you are there! Maybe it's just a matter of caring and motivation to continue which is the difficult part. If I can be of any help, let me know.
Lachie Dazdarian
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Feb 12, 2017 22:34

Struggling with the work/private life balance for years, and I don't think I did anything noteworthy since 2011, the last game being Barren (from 2008 :). I think there was some glowline/polyline sort of puzzle game in the works.

I did some community work with Basic Gaming (http://games.freebasic.net/basicgaming.php) up to 2012, and few FBGD competitions, the last one being from 2014 (hrm, not so far in the past, right?), which I still didn't manage to upload on the main page (http://games.freebasic.net/forum/index.php?topic=606.0). Prolly should get around to that. :P

Honestly, I'm seriously thinking in producing a smaller FB game, just to get back in the groove, one of the potential ideas being this: http://lachie.phatcode.net/relax.php

I'll see. I don't want to promise anything, hopefully I'll manage to work in secrecy, whatever it ends up being, because I'm also juggling with some other, non-game dev hobbies so...free time is scarce.
mrToad
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby mrToad » Feb 18, 2017 16:13

I watched a Love and War Act I review on YouTube and it looks very well done, so I downloaded it. Appreciate you pointing that out to me.

Voice acting is nice to see. I'm probably going to be including at least some voices, if only the conversation starters. I remember loving that about older classic games like Kings Quest or Indiana Jones FOA. It does add a lot, but also has to be done well. I would definitely want several people to help out.

Story outline is coming along nicely, hope to get some more work done this weekend.

I know what you mean about work and life in general. Hope you find the time and interest to do something, even on a smaller scale. I really liked when the BG issues were regular, I do miss that, and when the scene in general was more active. I'm not sure what happened other than maybe the generation grew up, or a lot went to making mobile device games? Oh well, I still love FB and PC game design, and the skills I've learned doing this could apply to almost anything.
badmrbox
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby badmrbox » Mar 03, 2017 4:59

It's great to see that you are still working on the game mrToad and the screenshots looks great :)
mrToad
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby mrToad » Nov 05, 2017 17:55

Continued (and quoted) from a previous thread to stay relevant to this project thread.

paul doe wrote:Love the hand-drawn graphics! [...] I immensely enjoyed Chrono Cross back in the PS1 era. It has an unique battle system, if you're looking for ideas, and you can always play it with emulators, for researching purposes of course XD

mrToad wrote:I don't know why I never saw Chrono Cross. I love the art. Definitely will at least pull some inspiration from the graphics if not get an emulator to check out the battle system. Thanks for sharing! I am testing out two ideas for that. Currently working on time-limited turn-based, so there's still a little pressure but you have time to think and strategize. Each character/creature uses move points and action points. But I'll also be testing out real-time battle to see if it feels better suited.

paul doe wrote:Do you have any knowledge of OOP (Object Oriented Programming) in FreeBasic?

mrToad wrote:I have built a semi-OOP engine, I guess you would call it. Everything is an object of some type, whether background or character. I don't use inheritance, haven't looked into that for FB, but all I can say is it works, really well. It's tailored just for this project and lets me write scripts that do just about anything. It was a huge learning experience, so I'm glad to do something myself, even if someone already has. It's mental exercise that pays off in a lot other things in the project and in life.

paul doe wrote:Is amazing how coding a game can teach you wildly diferent skills, no?

Yes! Listen, I would not have been doing research on coconut crabs, piranhas, komodo dragons, Thai culture (my wife is Thai and we were in Thailand for 6 months so that was helpful), the way rowing a boat actually looks and trying to animate it, and even watching Poldark for plot and character ideas. That's not to mention the study of pixel art, music development, and the general things people enjoy about good stories and games. I know in the end I will only be using ounces of what I've learned, and hope it comes out at least good enough for people to enjoy and remember. The end result and people's reaction is not the entire value tho. The whole process of just doing it is purely enjoyable, I don't know why. But learning new things is surely one reason.

I have to be careful or I will get into a rull-on ramble! I will likely be posting some updates in the original thread soon.
Last edited by mrToad on Nov 05, 2017 18:17, edited 4 times in total.

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