Monday, November 1, 2010

Omega Twilight, my abandoned RPG Maker VX game

Two heroes must take their stand against the rising evil that threatens to destroy the world. Kain, a boy from a small island village; and Maria, a priestess of the church of Reijin. Though they may never meet, they will become the strongest allies in all history.

That was the story synopsis for my first real project in Enterbrain's RPG Maker VX, Omega Twilight. I had created Lucid Awakening using a legal version of RPG Maker XP, the predecessor to VX. Even though fans, as well as my own passion for the world and mythology created in Lucid Awakening, demanded a sequel, I had other ideas brewing around in my head which is constantly bubbling with all kinds of nerdish delights. These ideas were too different from the groundwork set in Lucid Awakening to implement them in the inevitable sequel--not in terms of story, but from a gameplay perspective.

Quest System
While Lucid Awakening was a very straightforward, linear, story-driven RPG, the game that would eventually be called "Omega Twilight" was a quest-based, world-traveling RPG. This doesn't mean that the story would be unimportant or non-existent, it just means that the world, its inhabitants, and the player's interactions with them were the focus of the adventure.
I had developed a system which allowed the game to have a structure and pseudo-linearity that was masked by an entertaining illusion of freedom.

The game would have two main characters, Kain and Maria. As one would be playing as Maria, the player would feel right at home as her sections play out as a straight-forward RPG where she is generally getting from point A to point B with plenty of fights and puzzles in between; however, when the gameplay switches around to Kain's sections the gameplay systems are also switched around. For most of the game you are automatically switched between the two at certain key points in the story, but later on you would be able to switch at will as long as you were at one of the many swap-spots.

Kain has a special journal that fills itself in with details about people who need help with various tasks and jobs as soon as he enters a new area. Kain cannot progress past certain "Gates" that are blocking his path forward until he has met the Gate's QP requirements. Kain gains QP by completing a quest from his journal; the QP is added to that specific area's QP count, as well as into a total GQP (Global Quest Point) count. Kain cannot progress through the game as easily as Maria, he has to gain QP to open more quests as well as to open the Gates in his way.

The "illusion of freedom" I mentioned earlier simply meant that while playing as Kain, one can choose which quests to do and where to go, but the Gates, their requirements, and requirements to unlock new quests as well as main story quests all are crafted by me, the creator, to create a linear, structured experience while the player doesn't feel completely constricted.

The Omega Twilight demo I released was intended simply to show the gameplay aspect of the game. While I wanted the finished product to have a story just as moving and deep as Lucid Awakening (if not more), the demo had a very rough, cliched story that I didn't spend a lot of time planning; it was a kind of make-it-up-as-you-go type of story. In my opinion it wasn't bad, it just didn't have anything that set it apart from other games, or that moved the player or caused any kind of emotional attachment.
After a long period of doing no RPG Maker work, I decided to completely reboot my Omega Twilight project. For all of my fans from forums, this is an example of why you have to read my blog because I never talked in this much detail about the "reboot" on the RM forums. While I hadn't done anything with Maria's story yet, I had completely rewritten the beginning of Kain's story...

Yami, Goddess of the Underworld, is shown giving someone a choice of whether they want a second chance at life or not. The conditions are that he has to do some things for Yami on the surface world and that his memories of his past life would be erased. After being begged by the young man, Yami allows him to keep only one memory--his first name, Kain.

Kain is transported to a strange place where a butterfly appears. After stumbling around as if this is its first time ever flying, it reveals itself to be a kind of spirit guide sent by Yami. Gonzo introduces himself and explains that this butterfly body is not his normal form which explains his erratic, unstable movements. After the two stubborn characters argue, Kain eventually realizes he has to follow Gonzo to get out of Sheol--the pathway from the Underworld to the surface world.

After following Gonzo for a bit, control is handed over to a young girl named Alma, her demi-human companion Tira, and a dark necromancer named Saul.

Tira complains that she doesn't want to be in a place like this, while Saul tells her that she doesn't have to be here if she doesn't want to. Tira obviously has a quick temper. Alma explains that they need a "Sentinel" and that coming to this place is the only way to obtain one. She also mentions a prophet telling her that "the gods themselves would be against her," and that the only way for her to have proper protection to fulfill her mission is to have a Sentinel.

Control is shifted back to Kain as he follows Gonzo. Kain's attention is diverted when he sees a large door with a glowing blue center. (Gonzo thinks that Kain is right behind him). When Kain asks about the door, Gonzo says that the Summoning Gate hasn't been used in hundreds of years, and that when it is active it will be glowing blue. To Gonzo's surprise, it is glowing blue. Kain touches the door, against Gonzo's warning. The screen fades and the story is shifted back to Alma.
Alma, Tira, and Saul step into the "Summoning Room" where an identical Summoning Gate is located. Alma places a gem in the Gate (which then starts glowing blue just like Kain's Gate), cuts her hand, and places her bleeding palm on the gem to make a "blood pact" to become a "Caller." Apparently the Sentinel she enters in a contract with is Kain. Saul states that this is the most human-looking Sentinel he has ever seen, which hints that Kain was not supposed to be her Sentinel, and that this was an accident and coincidence. Kain also realizes that for some reason he has lost his ability to speak so he has no way of explaining what happened to him. He decides that his only real option is to go with them for then.

Alma's mission is to destroy all of the Guardian Spirits (something Kain was trying to stop in the initial demo story). Maria will be trying to stop Alma from doing this, which means in this story the player would be controlling two people who are working against each other, which could be very interesting to play through.

Another main story point is that Kain and Maria would not meet throughout the story. I wanted to emphasize having two heroes who would never actually meet. In the end, however, they would finally meet and this would be the climax of the entire story.

I would still love to one day complete Omega Twilight. It is just another project floating around in my head, and it is a matter of setting my priorities so that I can set my attention to just one project so that I can complete something. Right now I have more of a passion for Lucid Awakening 2, so once I start getting back into the rhythm of developing a game that will be the project I work on.

Here is a download of the initial demo of Omega Twilight. It has approximately two hours of gameplay to it. However, the Quest Log in the game does not work properly; do not use it or it will crash your game.

No comments:

Post a Comment