Thursday, July 30, 2009

C.O.W. Prototype concept blurb.

Originally nameless, and then refered to as RPG Tribute(refering to old 2d FPS rpgs), and finally conviently named COW for its slow developement and engine.

The COW RPG prototype was an attempt at creating a 3d rpg with sprite characters, turn-based combat and general RPG system that had evolved from various incarnations of 'The Crawl'.

First started when GM 6.1 was released with new fancy Direct 3d capabilities. Of course it was limited and could not do the special effects of todays near-real engines, but thats not my goal. It did promise to be an easy method of creating my own 3d engine for my own needs. Other 3d engines I had downloaded in the past were too specific to what they were to design or simply to confusing to grasp. I didn't have the patients or time to relearn a whole mess of procedures to get things done.

After playing around with basic object placement and effects. Once I knew my limits I began the design phase for the RPG on paper.

Basics of culture, religion, planetary and regional information was created to give a sort of template for general developement. Additionally I simplified the stat and skill system over previous versions, droping the primary stats from 1-100 range to 1-10. Although stats could increase at fractions, only the rounded down value would display. Combat would be at the scene turn based, were briefed by a transition, you would find yourself facing the opponent, depending on its height you may look down or up.

The general religion of the RPG's world was more of an astral one, Sun being the highest god and the planets representing goddesses, moons as child gods. The culture was divided up into four kingdoms, north(pale, cold), west(pale-tan, cool-warm), middle(dark, hot), island(tan-dark, warm-hot) with different building structures for each. I had only concieved of a single structure for each in my notes, and only a few people sketches for the different cultures.

So simply to say it was a very ambitious project with a lot left to do, but alas it is just a prototype and simply visual reference for me now. Not to say it didn't have some tricks I did like. The day and night system which depended on a variety of changing variables which affected the lighting, fog and tinting of objects. Using translucent polygons to create fake fog effects used in lighted doorways and room borders. Also, despite a bug, I liked how the doors operated, something I have yet to incoorperate into my latest versions.

Textures were either created from scratch or from photos, sometimes a combination of the two using layers and some effects.

What sunk it mostly was the sheer size of the world map I had designed. I had split it up into a grid and began marking off each map that I completed. Certain mountainous areas and water would not be included. I stopped with about 16 or more maps done and NPCs plotted, still not yet active.

With the end of the Prototype, another game got the 'Cow' title, except for it was actually fitting. I started an rpg earlier this year in hopes of completing it in a few months. Based on an old comic I did in 1998-99, it was on a fast track to completion until -everyone- in the home came down with horrible sickness. So it kind of sits in storage, 65% done, 100's of graphics and 10's more needed to be done.

Next time I'll either go on about Black Shadow, my castlevania inspired platform or where I may be headed in 'The Crawl' developement, or some other third thing.

Last version here.

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