I've been around for a short while now, and I've had a good look at the various games created by many users here on RRR. While many are exceptional and well worth their merit, a great deal are also low quality with no distinguishing features. Lullaby of the Wind aims to step away from the conception that a fanmade game has to be bland, unimaginative and boring. How exactly does it do this? By creating a story-based game that doesn't revolve around the ever popular scripts such as the Tankentai Battle System. It's not uncommon to find a game with a wide array of scripts as their 'features' when they cannot even use the correctly!
The story revolves around a young girl named Amelia Rose and her life in Zederon's slums with her older brother, Owen. Life is difficult within Zederon, not only for Amelia and her brother. Financial strain is faced across all households and making a living is growing increasingly difficult. As a consequence, it comes as no surprise that their parents, with a heavy sense of guilt, had to abandon both Amelia and Owen to the streets to fend for themselves.
Having only themselves to keep comfort, Amelia naturally feels an incredible bond with Owen - the older of the two. Often times she thinks to herself what life would be like without him and whether she would even still be alive had he not sheltered her from various dangers that the slums wrought. It's undeniable that life is difficult for the siblings yet they hold onto a sense of unwavering hope that they'll one day be free from the plague-ridden city. It then comes as a shock to the young girl when she soon realises that the hope she had clung on to, would soon shatter.
After a restless night in the harshness of the cold, Amelia awakens to find her brother, missing. Unbeknownst to her, he was snatched away from the dark of night, not to be seen again. Despair, panic and sadness are just a few of the multitude of feelings that engulfed Amelia. Wiping her eyes of tears and following a bravery she had not known she possessed, Amelia leaves the slums of Zederon to find her only family and reclaim the hope that she had so desperately held on to.
Lullaby is a re-imagining of a classic fairytale and one that many know of. As mentioned previously, this game hopes to provide an interesting experience for the player and one that'll make them realise that not all games must abide by the typical style of a fantasy RPG.
Young and "too beautiful for rags", Amelia lives with her brother in the slums of Zederon after being abandoned by her parents. Despite her timid nature she develops a sense of bravery after her brother's kidnapping. Bare-footed and dirty, Amelia traipses Zederon in hopes of finding her brother.
Owen lives with his sister, Amelia. Although friendly, he has no qualms over showing hostility to those that threaten either him or Amelia. Knowing it's a dog-eat-dog city he understands a defensive nature must be taken in order to survive. His sudden disappearence is left without reason.
Bearing a baby and living together with her husband and father, Victoria is a teacher at the local school. Contrary to her spouse's conventional opinion of women, Victoria does not agree, nor abide by, the legal expectancies of a female. Perhaps it's her nature that will soon aid Amelia.
Alfred Layton (Yes, a homage to Professor Layton!)
A general store owner who sells a variety of goods. Chivalrous and well mannered, he's more than happy to lend a hand to Amelia. Close friends with Harvey Daniels, a tailor, he sends her to him to seek his help.
Well spoken and often interruptive, it's no surprise that Harvey can appear rude. He holds best intentions at heart but he can't help but aggravate Amelia. Although not able to freely offer his services as a tailor, he does provide help for her; at a price, of course.
[More to be added at a later time]
Lullaby is set in the industrial city of Zederon. Amelia does not once set foot out of the city's walls leaving just the expanse of Zederon to explore. Don't fret however as there will be various locations within it such as manors, shops, slums and sewers. Zederon is divided into three main regions:- Industrial Slums, Lower District, Upper District.
To retain the integrity of the storyline as well as the gameplay, Lullaby will not have a battle system. Instead, a 'Traits System' will be adopted in which players can Level Up Amelia's personality traits. These enable her to perform various functions such as the ability to influence others to reveal information which will then progress the story. (How the points will be awarded to level up these traits is unknown as of yet)
The player will take on the role of various people across Zederon. Some friendly, some not so much. This journey is not just Amelia's but those around her, too. Her personality will influence the decisions that others make such as whether they wish to help the her or not.
I'm looking for classical style music to give an authentic, natural feel to the city. (You know how hard it is to find Victorian/steampunk music on the web?) An example of style I'm looking to achieve is similar to that of the brilliant puzzle game, Braid.
Another style I am particularly fond of is that from the Professor Layton games. Something about the mixture of an accordion and violin really gives it a robust feel; a style similar to what I'm looking for in Lullaby
As you can see, there is a lot to be refined here. Not only that, but the story needs certain events to take place that have not yet been decided yet. The main storyline is there, as well as the twists, but more content has to be included. I have most of the game mapped out in my mind, as well as how it'll look. I just need to gather a small team that can make this happen!
Due to wanting to keep the story interesting and gameplay fresh, I am hoping to have this game reach around 5-6 hours long. Of course, if the game naturally exceeds that length then so be it. I don't want to be forcing extra playtime out of it.
I've yet to even begin developing this game in RMXP as necessary resources are needed such as sprites and music, but over time I should hopefully get those on board to lend a hand and become part of the team.
Lullaby of the Wind is featured in the steampunk city of Zederon. This is an environment which I feel is neglected in the gaming world and I think that if done well, it can really give a feel of how dangerous it is for Amelia and those in the slums. From a personal standpoint, I've always loved the appearance of a dystopian future, especially the kind you often see in a steampunk setting. The player will control Amelia as she walks barefoot around Zederon in search for her brother.
I've tried my best to keep it as fresh as possible. 'Originality' doesn't exist. It's a point that is argued continuously but my opinion stands that there is no longer anything new that can be brought to the table. Instead, I've decided not to pretend it's something new and original, but have it's nature of being a copy of a fairytale its main strength.
As you can see this is quite an undertaking. At this moment in time I'm hoping to finalise some ideas within my mind, and maybe then I'll post in the recruitment subforum for help in creating my game. If you're at all interested then feel free to either PM me or post a message in this thread. Note however that I can only recruit those with exceptional skills. I'm (we're) creating a high quality project here. I absolutely cannot have time wasters or those who lack the necessary skills. My apologies.
Anyway, please tell me what you think! I may not be able to answer all questions, nor explain certain aspects however I'll do my best to take on board criticism which is constructive. There's nothing worse than an illiterate insult with no solid meaning behind it.
(I wish to apologise to those who were able to withstand the cumbersome text! I know pictures attract the reader however it's simply not possible in my case. I also wish to apologise for any grammatical errors whether it be in the form of spelling mistakes or poor sentence structure. If anything needs clarification then I'd happily provide it.)
Edited some details, fixed some sentences and replaced various words. Added a userbar if anybody wishes to support. (first ever userbar I've created, too!) Edited a lot of information and included some more, too. Extended information into a 'music' section. Added three more examples. Added character subheading. Added five main characters.
RM Skill: Skilled
First up I'd just like to say how nice the presentation is, it seems to be a well thought out idea and an elligently presented thread, even if it is just "cumbersome text" =P.
Personally, I like the idea and am always a fan of RPGs set in cities, heck the best WRPGS start you off with a nice big city to explore. As for the traits system, again it sounds just like the WRPGS of old which is excellent and makes the exploring of cities alot more fun (It's why I hate most other RPG cities, like FF12's first city, because the dialogue is always the same and doesn't reflect the player's actions/choices and it feels more like a chore to explore). If there is diaogue choice and interesting people then I can explore a city all day long xD. Will you break it up into districts though? It seems to always be a good idea to make sure not everything is accessible from the get go and it can even be fun making the player work to unlock certain parts of the city.
So what kind of traits are we talking here? Like bluff/charm/honest/bribe/intimidate? (Although the last may be hard for a little girl xD). Also how will they play out in the dialogue? Will you get all the choices and then they're success will be based on how high your trait is so there is a chance of failure, or will you simply not get a dialogue choice if you don't have enough points in that trait? I think both styles work well, it's always nice to be able to fail so the NPCs feel a bit more real but then again I also like to know how close I am to succeeding xD.
Anyways, I can't say I have any idea what fairytale you're talking about but it sounds like an interesting story and hopefully you will pile in alot of distinct and interesting characters inside the city!
Oh no! I've been quoted again! D=
Other cool stuffs to check out! Even if they arn't mine...
First, thanks for the interest! I must say, I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I tried my best to present well enough for others to read. (I spent over an hour formatting the whole thing when I could have done it in 5 minutes!)
The idea did come about in pieces and the story slowly began to turn into what seemed reminiscent of a fairytale. I can't tell you what one it is as that actually acts as the plot twist at the end, heh. I've always enjoyed the concept of fairytales and I particularly like how many of them have so many different versions/meanings behind them.
As for the city, yes I'll be breaking it up into districts. My plan is to have each area similar, yet completely different at the same time. The Traits System is there to be able to progress in the story and locale, whether it be a character who unlocks a gate or gives you a particular item etc. This means you can't simply run to the end and finish the game. The personality traits that you have selected are the exact kinds I'll be placing into my game. It's only a concept at this moment in time so how I'll execute it is still unknown to me.
I'd also like to add about the 'intimidate' idea that you mentioned. That's where I'm at a dilemma. We know Amelia cannot develop that trait considering her nature so that is why I am torn between on whether I should have the story focus around her or Owen. Amelia is the better choice as I feel I can represent her closeness to her brother through her. On top of that, I can represent Zederon in a more dangerous manner as I can reflect on Amelia's fragility in a dangerous world. Female protagonists aren't as popular as males, either. As I said, I'd like to keep it fresh, but having Owen as the main character would simply ease how the story rolls out and follow the more typical conventions of a dominant male protagonist. I've answered my own dilemma there... I'm sticking with Amelia.
I had been thinking to give the player choices but as to how effective it'll be, I don't know. Simply having an NPC talk isn't good enough and I honestly think it may bore the player a bit. All they'd get to do is walk and talk! Choices are a good idea and if I'm lucky, I can pull them off effectively so that they branch off into other choices. I would like to say that I'm torn on whether I should have the conversation a one-time only thing. If you screw it up with an NPC, then you can no longer influence them. After all, I do want to retain a degree of realism.
"But it stops you progressing in the story!"
Yes, I know, I know. An idea comes to mind where you can have an alternative method/person to advance the plot however it's a little more difficult to have them do something for you. After all, 'there's more than one way to skin a cat'. As I said, the traits system is still an embryo at this time and it simply needs nurturing to grow into something proper
My word, I say a lot. Congratulations for making it this far.
Group: +Gold Member
RM Skill: Undisclosed
I really like this idea - and I have currently no idea of the fairy tale which made your inspiration. Considering personality traits, well I guess you could make people more likely to be influenced by specific traits: for instance, a socially high-ranking person would listen more easily to someone with charm and speechcraft. A good way would be to keep the character 'first impression' rather to let them forget all previous interactions.
As for the city, it's easy to imagine a huge and intimidating industrial city, divided into districts and with different social classes or business activities.
Oh yeah, I agree on Amelia as the protagonist. Simply because I think that observing a harsh, cold urban world with the eyes of a young girl is interesting.
By the way, I just googled 'Amelia Rose' and found several fashion and wedding accessories shops...
Meh, this post is a mess - I hope I'm understandable. I'm going to bed, now...
FRACTURE - a SMT inspired game (demo) made by Rhyme, Karsuman and me. Weep and ragequit.
Brilliant, thanks a lot for your thoughts on this!
You've actually brought up a pretty interesting point about the traits system. I've been pretty blind to the fact that Amelia's traits will affect people differently! I hadn't actually thought of that although it's a massively important thing. As I said, this game so far is simply a concept. There's a lot to be added and a lot to be taken out.
On top of which, I'm very glad you have no idea what fairytale it revolves around as I don't believe I've given any indication as to what it is. It's a re-imagining, so the setting as well as the majority of the characters have nothing to do with it. As you progress in the game, my goal is to feed the viewer bits and pieces so that they'll begin to understand (and perhaps even guess) the outcome of the story. As soon as they have done that, the plot twist will be revealed. Of course, that'd be too easy, so I aim to make it as subliminal as possible.
EDIT: I had no idea that the name Amelia Rose was the name of many businesses as I had randomly plucked it from thin air. I love the name if I'm honest.
Well, as long as you don't have Amelia peddling fashionable shoes and bridal veils, you're cool, Phantomile.
I really like the concept as you've described it so far, particularly the "leveling" of personality traits instead of the same old attack/defense/agility combo. I'm also thoroughly interested in how you present whatever fairytale you're using as a basis for Lullaby.
If you get around to making a userbar or something, consider it added to my list of supported projects!
I'll be honest and say I'm pretty shocked by these replies so far. They are far more confident than I had estimated and if truth be told, I was hesitant - no, scared - of posting information about my future game. I cannot deny it, I'm not the most knowledgeable on RMXP however I am one who strives for perfection so I absolutely do not intend to create it half-heartedly. I aim to do my best in this project as soon as it's underway.
As I'm sure you've read, Ereth, my core focus is to build a game that doesn't require battling enemies or saving the world with the power of crystals. My favourite type of games are those where it's a simple, modest story. It doesn't try to be something 'epic'. (Honestly, how realistic is it for a 14 year old boy to travel the world and fight with swords?!) As I said, I really don't think originality exists. 'Originality' is a term often tossed around by many users when they describe their games. To be quite frank, I don't choose to believe it. Instead, I'm embracing the idea that the story is a remake of a fairytale and this will act as its strength.
I would love to make a request for a userbar though I haven't really thought that far ahead. I'm over the moon that I already have a supporter though, so perhaps in these next few days I'll muster the courage to accept my project as desirable and make a request for a userbar.
I have really been weighing up whether I should post my game's details in the recruitment thread, but I'm scared to death of it! Being the worrier that I am, I fear I'll gain a couple of team members but not enough to really push the project forward. On top of that, I need/want/desire a top class team. As I strive for perfection, everything has to be just right. My blessing is also my curse and I just hope it doesn't hinder me...
Thanks again for your support and interest, though. Posts like yours are incredibly motivating to get off my backside and make a damn good game.
EDIT: Also, do not worry about Amelia's appearance! I fully intend to have her featured with a grubby face and perhaps a cut or two. Another note I should make is that I do not intend to use facesets. Instead, full body portraits of the characters speaking will be shown. It would be desirable if these full body portraits can change depending on their emotion, but that'll be left for future decisions.
EDIT 2: I'd also like users to note that the title is relevant to the game. It's not plucked out of thin air. There's meaning behind it all.
RM Skill: Skilled
I really like the concept and can't believe you were honestly scared about posting it?! The storyline seems well thought out and written which is always a bonus and makes it look like you have been working on this idea for a little while in your head prior to posting which is always good.
I like the idea of the personality traits system for leveling up, very nice and different although I am still a fan on the SBS if used correctly and with a good storyline. I agree with alot of the other comments too about a large first city being good in games and allowing for expansive play.
I appreciate your comments Yes, unfortunately I am pretty scared about voicing my own ideas and such just in case they got shot down. Just put it down to low self esteem.
I'm still trying to work out quite how the city will look in my mind. My main idea is brick/metal. A combination of brick houses with metal gratings/pipes/walls etc. It's a tricky thing to think of so I may have to create some mock ups of what it could look like.
RM Skill: Skilled
From what you have said about the city i am imagining a very run down section/sector of the city, the slums, within the city walls as well as a few large manors for the riches and maybe a government building/city hall of some sort.
Maybe a few but very limited green areas with maybe a fountain or similar. Although slum flowers are a bit cliche i suppose.
For the slums, i've got a picture of steel drums with fires in them, many damaged houses or shacks, potentially even some houses from wooden stilts with a corrugated roof. But thats just me.
You've actually got the exact same mindframe as me. That is what I had envisioned from the very beginning and I aim to have it that way. It's important to have at least a little foliage/greenery in Zederon as I'd like to think it as symbolic.
RM Skill: Skilled
Glad Im on the same mind track as some people around here - well actually im planning to use a very similar slum situation in my up coming project with a few tweaks here and there but thats for a different post - to me nothing says upper class in a slum city quite like an ornate fountain or similar, just an idea for you.
Have you thought of how the city will be planned out- i.e. the upper class in a middle section, with slum districts around it in a circular fashion? I know that is a bit cliche but it does work.
Other styles i suppose could be a raised upper class level above the slums, as a metaphor/symbol of who is more important in the city, or in the opposite direction a lowered slum area beneath the upper class. Both have potential what are your thoughts?
Happy to hear your thoughts on this. Again, they are rather similar to my own! I had planned to have the city built upon a hill so that I could take advantage of the tiers. As you said, my intention was to have those with class higher up and those in the slums to be at the very bottom. This did however pose to be an issue... . Zederon is an industrial city, so there'll be smoke, ash, steam etc. Because of the heat, the pollution will rise, correct? So having the upper district at the top of the hill....
I want those in the slums to be near the factories however I want those factories at the top of the hill so that the Upper District isn't poisoned from pollution.
Please excuse the crudeness of my image, it's simply a quick doodle. I am hoping it'll be self explanatory. Amelia and those in the slums will live by the factories as they are an undesirable location to live in.
Question - Is it called the Upper/Lower District because of class, or because of where they are situated?
RM Skill: Skilled
I see what you mean and had just thought about the pollution issue myself - especially with it being steampunk era too! One way around it would be to make an invention or mention it to something like the pollution/cooling towers were built into the hill the first time the city was constructed allowing for the pollution to be extracted above the hill and to the west for example - this way you could still have the upper class higher up and nearer the sun.
Higher up near the sun might be required for these small green areas to grow as stated earlier, for the upper class some greenery is required so may have to think about this some more. But yeah the drawing helps with the wording.
Answer: I see it as the upper/lower district referring to their location in the city as opposed to the social classes that live there.
Very good point! Steampunk games/stories often have some form of technology that surpasses our own. Because of this, I'll find some whacky invention that can resolve the pollution issue. So from the top of Zederon it'll go...
__Upper District ____Lower District _______Slums/Factories
Also, I appreciate your answer to my question. I thought the same way, but was a little unsure.
EDIT: I was beginning to become attracted to the idea that my diagram had. I had actually thought of the greenery and could have put it down to a nearby lake at the bottom of the hill.
Group: +Gold Member
RM Skill: Undisclosed
My point would be that Upper means both the location and the social status. The location because it should be above the pollution clouds, and the status because the lands value would fatally be higher.
FRACTURE - a SMT inspired game (demo) made by Rhyme, Karsuman and me. Weep and ragequit.
Aha, that's a very good point and I thank you for bringing that across to me. I hadn't thought about the value of the land itself. With some form of pollution diverter I'm sure there should be no issues for imaginary folk living above the factories.