That is exactly what I did with my first (and so far only) game. I read "The Epic of Gilgamesh" in an Ancient History class and noticed that the Final Fantasy series borrowed a lot of the characters' names: Gilgamesh, Enkidu, Humbaba, Zu, Lilith, and now Enki and Enlil in FF-XIII. For "The Epic" being the oldest piece of literature (it's from about 4000 years ago), the story and characters are surprisingly complex, even moreso than later Greek and Hebrew myths - it is quite awesome, so I won't spoil it so you should read it. Anyway, I thought, "What if there was a Final Fantasy game based on this story?"
I'd played with every RM engine since I was 14 when RM 2000 came out. I always tried to start with my own story. I imagined some good concepts, but making a whole game meant developing pesky things plots and characters. Game's are about many more things than plot and characters, but they are a necessity. Having those provided by the epic itself and tons of ripped Final Fantasy graphics and art, I had all the pieces so I could have time to focus on those other hundreds of aspects that go into making a good game.
How many patches of grass should be protruding from this town's brick streets? With how much variance do you want a skill to inflict what amount of damage? How many bomb fragments should upgrading my weapon require? Did I make sure I did all of the following when I used that key: remove item[key], show text [You opened the door!"], change direction [door] control selfswitch [A = ON]?
The tedium is immense, but seeing the final product was worth it to me because I had a complete "vision": I knew how the story was going to play out, so I could design maps based around the scene descriptions rather than make up my own from thin air. I knew what kind of stats and skills to give my characters based on their descriptions in the story. I knew which music to play in which scene for the most dramatic effect.
And most importantly, the pre-existing fanbase of Final Fantasy and literary nerds have actually made people want to play it (cue self promotion: gilgameshgame.com
So yeah, I totally agree. Adapting my game from other sources gave me the time to learn the ins and outs of RM. It is an AMAZING piece of soft-ware. Some of the games people have developed with it could/should make money if only Enterbrain creates a mobile development program (big step, but I emailed a sales rep. and asked him to suggest it). Now that I have spent about 500+ hours playing with the program, I am starting to learn Ruby so I can edit the source code.
RM provides anyone the ability to make a good game - and basing your game on a story and characters that already exist provides you like 50% of the amount of energy you would have had to spend making those up on your own. Save yourself the struggle and just learn the program. You'll stand a better chance of mastering it, which will ultimately lead to you making better games. Just hearing feedback about my "final" product gave me the energy to revise it for content and glitches - I've already released five "final" versions because people keep suggesting ways/I think of ways to make it better. And one day when we can come up with our own stories we'll hopefully make money, right?
QUOTE (Kaust @ Jan 15 2012, 09:52 AM)
On my way home from the local comic book store I started to think about how great it would be to develop a game including some of my favourite characters from this medium. But these characters can't just co-exist willy-nilly (well, they can, but while you don't need a realistic plot a coherent one certainly helps); Astroboy isn't going to team up with Pacman and a character of your own creation to battle the Blue Meanie for control of Pepperland.
When DC were questioned what their biggest asset was their response wasn't an individual top selling character or brand but the Multiverse itself; the intricate development of a universe that allowed their characters to coexist.
But onwards with my original topic; there are certain benefits of drawing from a pre-existing story:
-Characters (and their relationships to other character) already exist
-Artwork for these characters also already exists (at the creator's permission)
-Complex and compelling plots already exist, and with crossover events such as DC's Crisis on Infinite Earth or Marvel's Civil War there is greater leniency for creating your wonder team, although in comic books teamups are fairly common anyway.
-These themes already have a fanbase, increasing the likelihood of someone actually wanting to play your finished product
While the amount of resources that already exist might sound like an attempt to limit your creativity they would be a great way for someone new to the engine to play around with it and still create an enjoyable game, that someone would actually play and provide feedback for.
And, of course, there's no need to fully obey a pre-existing plot, leave your mark on it, tell it how you thought it should have been told (other chars perspectives, etc.) And don't feel restricted to one theme; want to see Medieval Batman? You've got it. Steampunk Superman? You've got it. Just try to ensure that once you've established your theme you don't damage it by breaking into inexplicable tangents.
Finally, these benefits extend beyond this specific subject, comics, to clear relations like manga/anime, inter-platformally like film and television, and even to other pre-existing games.
Hope this gives you a few ideas