Steve's Pre-launch to-do List

Steve

Shining Supporter
Staff member
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#1
In no particular order:
  • Port over sprite sharing tools and convert to an accessible BBcode format
  • Write up a guide on how to use aforementioned tools
  • Configure auto-topic creation functionality for mod or sprite resource submissions
  • Port over previous static template to XenForo compatible 'style' format
  • Port over bespoke Force Member Stat Generator tool
  • Finish custom Enemy Stat Generator tool
  • Port over however sprites that have been designed since the project started in January 2016
  • Convert all BMP format sprites to GIF to conserve bandwidth
  • Finalise mod sharing tools
  • Review monetisation strategies for mod authors
  • Publish advanced analytical articles pertaining to Shining Force content
  • Expand and/or restructure forum layout
Anything items with a strike through them are considered 'completed'.
 

Steve

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#3
Sure thing dude! I could really use some help with ideas for rewarding mod authors and graphics contributors. The system we have in use now supports PayPal donations that 100% go towards people willing to share their work, but I think that we can do more to say thank you. What do you think?
 

Steve

Shining Supporter
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#7
I'm liking it! Custom ranks and account upgrades are pretty easy to handle with the system we have in place now.
 

Steve

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#9
vBulletin was the bomb back in the day. It's gone down in my estimations over the years after the Internet Brands acquisition, but from what I hear the software is still pretty solid. For me it's XenForo and IP.Board all day, baby.
 

B. Wulf

Shining Buddy
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#10
Dabbled a bit in IP for a minute, but the proboards host ended up being a quite reasonable alternative. Then again, we also stepped into Dolphin community software which was cool.
 
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#11
Hey Steve,
When do you anticipate having a beta up of the tool? Would be great to test it. Rubix's tool is just too unstable for what I'm trying to do with incorporating all of my edits. I have all the pieces in place, but it just glitches like crazy when I import.

The work so far you have put together looks awesome!
 

Steve

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#13
Apologies for the late response!

I would most definitely welcome all of the help I can get. Let me see what's on my immediate to-do list and get back to you guys.

Regarding the 'tool' - if you are talking about the Force Member/Enemy generator tool, I need to make it clear that it is not my intention to release a tool that will write to or in any way edit ROM files. That's unfortunately not my area of expertise. Everything I am working on is entirely web-based and accessible from your browser. I could make them into desktop applications further down the line without too much difficulty, but as I am very frequently working on areas under the hood, it just makes more sense to me to keep it web-based where any changes are global and would reach everybody immediately.

I haven't really touched any of the Force/Enemy Generator tool stuff in a month, but I'm very much looking forward to diving back in soon. Effectively, the tool(s) will operate using two different methods of determining stats; one method will stick closely to Sega's own style of determining statistics and levels and equipment and whatnot, which is great for the SF purists but not really ideal from a balance point of view; and then there's anther method which is tailored towards a more steady and -- hopefully -- more balanced approach to determining statistics that I personally use for my own projects.

Regarding the 'pre-launch to-do' list above, one item I neglected to mention was making it easier for users to share their own custom mods and artwork which I am going to try and get sorted over the next few days. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to upload a file (be it an image or IPS) and simply use forum BBCode to have it appear in a nice uniform manner.
 
Last edited:
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#14
k sounds great. Can't wait to use it. I'm going to fill you in with what I'm working on. It's a bit lengthy, so I apologize in advance...

I have been working diligently over the past month on my ROM (a work in progress for the last few years, just finally getting back to it) that I hope to release soon. Things like Erikin's great graphic updates and other cool things causes a bit of project creep for me, thus causing further delays (because new work submitted by these guys are just so good and I want to include them in my ROM!)

I have made a great deal of graphic updates to the game, some things taken from the challenge MOD and Erikin's changes (made a lot of changes to his that I feel cleaned them up quite a bit), in addition to graphic changes of my own; I made a warrior based on the skeleton graphic who guards the orb of light (kind of like the knight at the end of Last Crusade, he's really an enemy just a test to see if you're worthy). The graphic is crude, and by no means even close to Dan's skill, but nevertheless a first draft that I hope to continue to improve upon. I created numerous map sprites for added enemies that are palette swaps (but looks really good to for the map sprites to match the battle sprites). Also added more really cool items and animations for enemies. All in all, a really nice blend of all the great work many have contributed over the years.

I have re-written A LOT of the story to give it more depth and emotion to the characters (just one example, Anri and Max are in a forbidden love type situation and they have grown up together since Max arrived on the shores of Guardiana as a little one) in edition to things like hidden journals, diaries, etc. you can read to get more back story (granted I know most don't care, but I do, as this game is truly amazing! hahaha) I took elements from what was originally planned in the Japanese version of the game, in addition to RoDD elements, plus a bunch of my own thoughts. It's rather quite enjoyable following the story while playing.

My hands are a bit tied due to the volatility of Rubix's tool at the moment involving the scripting and dialogue trees, in addition to some parts he didn't include in the code or even able to find at all (the ending sequence where they're talking about Max not escaping or the where Darksol is disguised as the priest in the Light Chapel). Getting into that ending scene we're they're all talking is a must in order for me to have my story come to an end; i.e. Anri has to be in the group and speak, but she's not there in the original game. I'm really trying to be able to write the Kane battle end scene where the screen can flash and a Kane sprite without a mask sprite I made can appear while he and Max are speaking (Like when Darksol is the priest). Also I'm trying to figure out a way for when you're in Dragonia, to be able to talk to Kane in the Mask as you do before the battle, but when he walks with you by the shrine door, it's the maskless Kane sprite. I get access to this stuff and it will let my story overhaul be completed.

The battles I have made quite difficult, especially for those that stick to not farming experience points. It takes a lot of strategy to get through. Spending a lot of time on making enemies not just blindly charge like in the Challenge MOD (every enemy is set to that way in the his ROM), but more tactical and attacking in groups while in close proximity to each other. Each battle is kind of laid out in multiple waves, rather than just a bum rush. (Again, it's the best I can do with what's available, it would be great to be able to get under the hood and redesign the enemy AI a bit so it's a bit more sophisticated).

Sorry if that was long, I can re-post in a new thread if you like. Let me know your thoughts.
 

Erikin84

Captain Awesome
Staff member
Epic Contributor
Pixel Artist
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#15
Sounds neat, I’m looking forward to seeing your progress.
 

Lock It Lynx

Shining Supporter
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#16
k sounds great. Can't wait to use it. I'm going to fill you in with what I'm working on. It's a bit lengthy, so I apologize in advance...

I have been working diligently over the past month on my ROM (a work in progress for the last few years, just finally getting back to it) that I hope to release soon. Things like Erikin's great graphic updates and other cool things causes a bit of project creep for me, thus causing further delays (because new work submitted by these guys are just so good and I want to include them in my ROM!)

I have made a great deal of graphic updates to the game, some things taken from the challenge MOD and Erikin's changes (made a lot of changes to his that I feel cleaned them up quite a bit), in addition to graphic changes of my own; I made a warrior based on the skeleton graphic who guards the orb of light (kind of like the knight at the end of Last Crusade, he's really an enemy just a test to see if you're worthy). The graphic is crude, and by no means even close to Dan's skill, but nevertheless a first draft that I hope to continue to improve upon. I created numerous map sprites for added enemies that are palette swaps (but looks really good to for the map sprites to match the battle sprites). Also added more really cool items and animations for enemies. All in all, a really nice blend of all the great work many have contributed over the years.

I have re-written A LOT of the story to give it more depth and emotion to the characters (just one example, Anri and Max are in a forbidden love type situation and they have grown up together since Max arrived on the shores of Guardiana as a little one) in edition to things like hidden journals, diaries, etc. you can read to get more back story (granted I know most don't care, but I do, as this game is truly amazing! hahaha) I took elements from what was originally planned in the Japanese version of the game, in addition to RoDD elements, plus a bunch of my own thoughts. It's rather quite enjoyable following the story while playing.

My hands are a bit tied due to the volatility of Rubix's tool at the moment involving the scripting and dialogue trees, in addition to some parts he didn't include in the code or even able to find at all (the ending sequence where they're talking about Max not escaping or the where Darksol is disguised as the priest in the Light Chapel). Getting into that ending scene we're they're all talking is a must in order for me to have my story come to an end; i.e. Anri has to be in the group and speak, but she's not there in the original game. I'm really trying to be able to write the Kane battle end scene where the screen can flash and a Kane sprite without a mask sprite I made can appear while he and Max are speaking (Like when Darksol is the priest). Also I'm trying to figure out a way for when you're in Dragonia, to be able to talk to Kane in the Mask as you do before the battle, but when he walks with you by the shrine door, it's the maskless Kane sprite. I get access to this stuff and it will let my story overhaul be completed.

The battles I have made quite difficult, especially for those that stick to not farming experience points. It takes a lot of strategy to get through. Spending a lot of time on making enemies not just blindly charge like in the Challenge MOD (every enemy is set to that way in the his ROM), but more tactical and attacking in groups while in close proximity to each other. Each battle is kind of laid out in multiple waves, rather than just a bum rush. (Again, it's the best I can do with what's available, it would be great to be able to get under the hood and redesign the enemy AI a bit so it's a bit more sophisticated).

Sorry if that was long, I can re-post in a new thread if you like. Let me know your thoughts.
Glad to see im not the only one rewriting the story looking foward do it man!
 

Steve

Shining Supporter
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#17
Hey gang!

Apologies for the radio silence! Some of you already know that I've been buried with work, but I've also been utilising every second of my free time to work on some more tools (one day I will actually complete one!)

We can already upload and share new sprites here, but there currently does not exist a friendly way of posting a new Force Member's or enemy's recommended stats. For me, personally, I spend way more time than is healthy scrutinising over every last digit of HP per character, and it really irks me when a character ends up with similar stats with another original character - gah!

Well, in order to remedy this, I'm looking at the best way to introduce a more advanced Force/Enemy Generator tool which also tracks and allows for comparisons with any and all original and custom character's stats. Here's a quick preview from my testing environment:

Stat Comparison View



Stat Review/Feedback



When finished, the system will allow for you to display the stats of as many characters as you like (I foolishly opted to screenshot tables with a lot of characters, so it looks quite cluttered, however, when displaying 1-3 characters it's much more readable). The system also takes into account Promotion stat penalties (which through my 20 minute research works out to be 15% drops to all stats across the board upon promotion).

Better item display (with weapon sprite support)

It's still quite early, but for me this should make it easier to keep track of the many revisions I keep of Item and Weapon sprites - I can never pick a favourite!



Battle Generator

Also still pretty early, but keeping track of which enemies you face per battle, potential rewards, available Force member, yadda yadda all hurts my brain. Being able to click a simple 'Add' button and inputting an enemy or boss ID (which will sync quite nicely with any enemy stat submissions) makes life much easier.



In a bit of a hurry, so details are a bit scarce, but just wanted to let you guys know that there is progress, even if it's a bit all over the place. I'm still having a blast and I hope you guys are, too. I'm going to release the Megalodon artwork pronto and try and get some more stuff ready ASAP. Cheers!