Author Adventure Delayed Indefinitely

August 20, 2011 1 comment

After talking to the other two members of Ghazzai Games we deemed that we simply do not have enough time to devote to Author Adventure for the foreseeable future. We are all students so we decided to spend the summer working on this game but, unfortunately, the scope of Author Adventure became too grand and we were unable to complete production in the three month timespan. Does this mean that Author Adventure will never be released? Not necessarily. I think we will use the code and assets created for it to make a new, better rpg, probably released next summer. Not a guarantee, but that is my plan.

As for me (Brian Paine, programmer) I am planning to continue working on games. I have a few ideas and will likely be setting up my own blog.

Thanks for caring enough to follow this blog and read this post, and hopefully we can give you the game you expected out of Author Adventure.

Is Rewriting Right?

August 14, 2011 Leave a comment

After months of hard work, Author Adventure appeared to be a game. It still had bugs but it was a fairly steady base to begin crafting an actual product out of. As I neared what I anticipated would be the final stretch of the development time, I realized Author Adventure was still missing one big part: A Story.

Author Adventure did have a story, but it was loose and meaningless. The original design for Author Adventure was very thin in actual story. Basically four authors meet and go on a quest. There were the four locations they visit and they just go to these places. On the way there would be some jokes and such, but most of it lacked any context and had no bearing on the story. The tone of the entire game would be very nonsensical, simple, perhaps a bit over-the-top, very light, and enjoyable.

However, I wanted something more out of the game, so a few weeks ago I decided to try and create a story with depth. Not with the expressed goal of being pretentious or anything, I just simply wanted to make a real story. Also, I felt making an RPG with humor was the last thing that people wanted on XNA, since the vast majority of the RPGs on the system are of that ilk, (Breath of Death, Bonded Realities, the upcoming Doom and Destiny) I wanted to try something new.

What resulted was a combination of melodrama, ridiculous characters, obvious ploys, pretentious symbolism, and a small number of interesting ideas. Basically, it was a mess. If I wanted to continue with trying to make a deep and involved plot, it would take a lot of editing and probably more writing skill than I really have. This brings up the question of the post: is it a good idea to try and make something with depth, something more interesting (and potentially fail), or would it be better to stick with the successful formula of comedy indie RPGs?

While I may have stacked the previous sentence to point toward the former option, that is not my intention. Truthfully, it is still an open question. This is my first game, and I want people to enjoy it. I feel it is much worse to fail with trying to make a dramatic story than a funny one. Frankly, I am not sure if I have the writing prowess to make a properly dramatic story. Additionally, Author Adventure is meant to be a short game, roughly 4 hours. That is not a lot of time to really get a point across in a game. In a play or short story a strong writer can have a dramatic, powerful story in a short amount of time, but there is no “gameplay” in those mediums. With very little time to actually communicate directly with the player (npcs, cutscenes, ect.) I am not sure if it is even possible to do a great story in a short period of time.

I am still not sure what I want to do, probably some combination of drama and comedy, but it is still up in the air. This game may end up taking longer than I expected. I apologize for the fairly boring post, and for the infrequency of updates. I hope to remedy this situation with more consistent ones, but no guarantees. There is a lot I want to say and share, but I would still like to keep some things a surprise for when the game actually launches! (Whenever that may be)

A Quick Explanation of Book Combat

July 5, 2011 3 comments

One of the defining features of Author Adventure is the book-based combat system. This system allows for hundreds, if not thousands, of options during combat to change the way particular characters fight, and, by using it correctly, can really give a strategic edge in during battle.

Each character has three options during battle: Offense, Defense and Run. For the sake of this post we will be ignoring the third option. If one of the other options is selected, a menu appears with four slots, either containing offensive (damaging) spells, or defensive (buffing/debuffing/healing) spells. The first option in each category is preset, but the other three are fully customizable.

The first option is always based on the character and changes as they level up. This option contains a spell based on a novel or short story written by the currently selected author. For example, Shakespeare could have the spell “Insanity” (based on the play Hamlet) which confuses an enemy to possibly attack a fellow enemy. As the game advances, however, these spells become less useful because the party will be facing stronger opponents. To compensate for this, at set levels the characters will “write” new stories and thus gain new spells, replacing the old ones. This will require changes in strategies as players continue further into the game, making the play experience much more interesting.

That is simply two of the eight slots available to each character, so what of the other six? These come from enemies. Every enemy in the game is based on an antagonist from a famous piece of literature and, upon death, may drop a copy of their respective story for the player to keep. The player can then equip these books on their characters, extracting the book’s spell for use during combat. Each book can contain an offensive or defensive spell, and some even contain both. This allows for extreme customization in each of the character’s book “loadouts”. We are still undecided on the total number of enemies (and thus the number of books) available, but there will be somewhere around 50 different equipable books or so.

This described the basics of finding and equipping books, but the spells they contain are another story. The system used in Author Adventure allows for many unique spell types with differing properties and interesting uses, but that is for another time. Keep your eyes on this blog as it is updated with more information regarding Author Adventure!

What You May Have Missed in the Teaser

The teaser released Monday for Author Adventure may have been short on gameplay, but it did show a few features in the game that you may not have noticed.

Scrolling Clouds

All of the battle scenes in the trailer showcase the Overworld location which has a mountain range in the background. However, you may not have noticed that the clouds actually move across the sky. This was done to add constant movement to the battle. During the majority of any particular battle something will more than likely be animating, but on the off chance that none of the participants are, (such as while selecting spells) the clouds will always be moving. As opposed to simple, static images, the battle feels “alive”.

Another small addition to the game was randomly placed scenery during battle. While not a big deal at all, it makes the battle at least seem like it is occurring at different locations in the world

Enemies

Out of the twelve enemies shown, 8 of them are meant to be from specific books. The other enemies were created before we had officially decided that all enemies would be based on antagonists from novels. They will either be removed or altered for the final release to keep Author Adventure consistent.

Spells

During the battle sequences Twain and Shakespeare are both seen scrolling through their list of spells. Each spell they currently have equipped is based on an actual book. While the spell could change the final version, this will give you some idea what we are going for in terms of spells. More information will be revealed about our book-based combat soon.

And a random trivia fact: The song used for the trailer is actually two separate songs. The first song was meant to be an “opening theme” and the second was a random song created by Allan which he dubbed “Wild West” because the pattern of the backbeat was meant to resemble the beat of a horse running.

Author Adventure: Tale of the Tainted Tomes

Ghazzai Games is pleased to announce Author Adventure: Tale of the Tainted Tomes releasing on Xbox Live Indie Games this summer!

After an evil curse unleashed the antagonist contained within hundreds of years of literature, its up to four heroes to once again bring peace to the world: Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen.

Featuring:

A unique, book-based combat system! Collect books from enemies and equip them to your hero to give them new, powerful spells to use in combat.

Four genre-based dungeons to explore and conquer!

720p visuals with retro graphics and music!

Fast-paced combat!

Author Adventure is set to arrive on Xbox live Indie Games this summer!

An example battle

The Forest dungeon

 

Welcome!

June 16, 2011 1 comment

Welcome to the Ghazzai Games development blog! Currently this site is a little empty, but soon it will be loaded with interesting content provided by the developers to reach out to the community!

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