Alvarian Tales

User projects written in or related to FreeBASIC.
mrToad
Posts: 417
Joined: Jun 07, 2005 23:03
Location: USA
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby mrToad » Nov 10, 2017 16:17

Just a few updated images. See original post.
paul doe
Posts: 1367
Joined: Jul 25, 2017 17:22
Location: Argentina

Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby paul doe » Nov 11, 2017 1:33

mrToad wrote:Just a few updated images. See original post.

They look beautiful. You're a really talented pixel artist =D
h4tt3n
Posts: 698
Joined: Oct 22, 2005 21:12
Location: Denmark

Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby h4tt3n » Nov 11, 2017 3:34

Really gorgeous pixel art! Brings back memories of the good old 16 bit Amiga years :-)
paul doe
Posts: 1367
Joined: Jul 25, 2017 17:22
Location: Argentina

Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby paul doe » Nov 11, 2017 4:17

h4tt3n wrote:Really gorgeous pixel art! Brings back memories of the good old 16 bit Amiga years :-)

Well hello there, h4tt3n. Nice to see you around here =D
Indeed, it remainds me a lot of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, and the look of the girl with the coconut crab has some scent of Terra, of FFVI fame, no? ;)
mrToad
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby mrToad » Nov 12, 2017 18:15

h4tt3n wrote:Really gorgeous pixel art! Brings back memories of the good old 16 bit Amiga years :-)

Thank you kindly h4tt3n. I was born just before those came out, but I have great respect and admiration for those days.

paul doe wrote:They look beautiful. You're a really talented pixel artist =D ... Indeed, it remainds me a lot of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, and the look of the girl with the coconut crab has some scent of Terra, of FFVI fame, no? ;)

Indiana Jones FOA was probably my favorite game growing up. To be compared is maybe too flattering. ;) But I have to say, I don't only love pixel art for the nostalgia. Even before I was into pixel art I did some cross-stitching with my mom as a kid, which is basically pixel-thread-art, if you will. This is one reason I don't believe pixel art will ever die; it is a kind of art form, building with little blocks of color, using just enough detail to fire the imagination, without anything extra. The limitations force creativity and the result is something hard-earned, there aren't many shortcuts, and it's a clean and precise result if done right.

I'm still learning, but I really enjoy doing it, thank you both for your feedback. 8]
leopardpm
Posts: 1795
Joined: Feb 28, 2009 20:58

Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby leopardpm » Dec 04, 2017 0:14

really very nice! It is fun to watch the project grow, even if very slowly, over a period of time.... well done and keep up your motivation!
Ryan
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Joined: Jun 10, 2005 2:13
Location: Louisville, KY
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby Ryan » Feb 18, 2018 4:34

Quite charming! Great work. : )
mrToad
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby mrToad » Feb 10, 2021 20:51

Just bringing this project thread up to date (see first post). Will add more content later.
BasicCoder2
Posts: 3672
Joined: Jan 01, 2009 7:03
Location: Australia

Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby BasicCoder2 » Feb 10, 2021 23:37

@mrToad

Nice looking artwork and animations.
So is the game you were working on like this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW3OQbxXuqY
Last edited by BasicCoder2 on Feb 21, 2021 21:12, edited 1 time in total.
Dr_D
Posts: 2429
Joined: May 27, 2005 4:59
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby Dr_D » Feb 21, 2021 20:17

Looking good man! I missed this back when you originally posted about it. I guess that may have been during a hiatus. I really wish there was a demo we could try. Any chance of that?
badmrbox
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Joined: Oct 27, 2005 14:40
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby badmrbox » Feb 21, 2021 22:16

Lovely to see this game being worked on again :).
mrToad
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Re: Alvarian Tales

Postby mrToad » Feb 28, 2021 10:58

Thank you guys. I'll reply to each of you. Also I will share some thoughts on the essence and backround of Alvarian Tales, and what I believe makes a good 2D adventure game.

@badmrbox, I'm surprised and happy to hear that, really. Thanks for your reply. :)

@Dr_D, Thanks for your kind words, I'm glad I updated the thread if you never saw the game. I have felt a bit embarrassed to work on a project so long, to get people's interest and anticipation going, only to return years later with still no demo, only more screenshots. I apologize to the community for that. But hey, with such encouraging replies, I will seriously ponder a plan for a small demo. Once again, I appreciate this community. Many other forums I've visited (programming or otherwise) are nowhere near as friendly and positive.

The trouble I've had with doing a demo is this: I want it to have a purpose, to be satisfying rather than teasing, and I want it to bring out the best the game has to offer, in one small go. I have a personal standard for any work I do. It's not to be mistaken for perfectionism or snobbery, but when I do something I want to give it my all. I certainly don't want to throw out some under-cooked demo. A demo sounds nice, but I don't want it to lead to disappointment... because I cannot finish the game very soon. I hate to make empty promises.

Still, perhaps a quality demo is within my reach, and come to think of it, if it had good closure like a TV series episode would (with a graceful end, not just an abrupt stop of gameplay) it could be worthwhile. What do you guys think?

@BasicCoder2, yes you found FOA :) That was one of the first adventure games I played (so, skipping Commander Keen and stuff), on mom's first computer in the 90's. King's Quest 5 and 6 were the very first I think; her and I had a lot of fun on those together. Later my brother and I squeezed into one chair to play Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max, Monkey Island, India Jones FOA, and others.


In making Alvarian Tales I've realized these childhood experiences are a big inspiration - the hand-painted, scene-based art, the intriguing voice-acted characters, the wonders of travel: hiking to distant mountains, sailing to a new island, or sneaking on to a submarine and delving to an ancient city in the middle of the sea. All pure adventure, and so fun.

The world of Alvaria was originally built with a tile-based, top-down style. I put work into those graphics, and it came out looking pretty good. Later I realized though, crossing through a giant world of significantly repeating graphics was not quite as satisfying as venturing from scene to hand-painted scene, where every location is completely unique and captivating. It didn't hit home for me. So, I went back to my roots, to my first love for games, and followed in the steps of classic adventures. But I had some ideas to set my game apart, or maybe better to say, I wanted to take the classic style to another level.

One thing was for sure, my game would break away from the linear restraint of a one-way graphical story with no freedom of choice. Back then, coding was a much greater challenge than now. (Kings Quest was over a million dollars to create, as I recall, so multiple paths was a little crazy, and rare.) FOA was an exception back then, as it has three story paths, (done really well I think). Seeing that was encouraging, and I could take it even further.

You really cannot (and I never wanted to try to) pull off a "full freedom to do anything you want" play style that many RPGs now feature - not in this style of game. (Can you imagine the amount of handmade art and animations that would require?) Nah, total freedom would not be necessary here. I would use a particular approach - illusion, the same way good books do. You evoke more of the world than you physically build or emulate it. How?

Atmosphere. Cloud shadows slipping over the trees, a sunset from a cliffside, firelight flickering on the group that sit around it, a squirrel minding the grasses until bolting away into the forest. A leaf dropping from a tree over a river. Little animations, ambient music and sounds. Lively characters - they take initiative when you are near, wave or ask a question, not stand like statues that wait for you to approach. In conversation, they are believable, full of personality. Beyond - horizons that make you wonder how much is waiting out there? Where you will go next? The right little things harmonize and envelope the player and evoke something larger - that is the goal, the illusion - that the world is much larger than it is. As a designer you will not create a million locations and works of art, but every scene will be alive, and make you long to explore, to see more. While engaged in playing the game, you are never bothered to care about the limits. Who cares? There's much to do and see. :)

Alvarian Tales carries the essence of the original adventures that many families enjoyed by its approach to graphics and animation, but is a hybrid because it makes use of some modern game features. It loosens the constraints (and especially the forced feeling) of being linear by giving you the power to make decisions, select choices in conversation, affect your relationships with characters, find your strategy in battles, decide on your best friend, and choose your path. This is what Alvarian Tales is, and yearns to fully become.

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