The Shining Source https://www.shiningsource.org Home of the Shining Style! A great place for developers of shining force fan games to hang out, exchange tips and share their projects. Wed, 21 Oct 2020 23:48:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.8 The Engine of Chaos is getting some updates https://www.shiningsource.org/2020/10/the-engine-of-chaos-is-getting-some-updates/ https://www.shiningsource.org/2020/10/the-engine-of-chaos-is-getting-some-updates/#respond Wed, 21 Oct 2020 23:48:46 +0000 https://www.shiningsource.org/?p=2230 It’s been a while since The Engine of Chaos was released, but Chaoswizard98 has been hard at work on improving it in just about every conceivable way.

Here’s a few of the changes that will be in the next version:

Read more on The Engine of Chaos is getting some updates…

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It’s been a while since The Engine of Chaos was released, but Chaoswizard98 has been hard at work on improving it in just about every conceivable way.

Here’s a few of the changes that will be in the next version:

Windows are drawn relative to screen position now to make changing internal resolution easier. tile_size is now a variable, so you’re not limited to 24×24. Setting a character to start at level 20 will automatically figure out their level 20 stats based off of level scheme.

Support for shaders, AI / Story flags, swapping control from Max to Bowie, having more than 1 party (SFCD party split), limited quantity shops, dynamic menus (once an event is made (such as ‘promote’) you can plug that option into whatever menu you want), More decisions other than Yes/No (Truth / Lie, ‘maybe’, ‘warrior / mage / healer’, whatever you want really).

Source: Shining Force Central


There’s no release date yet, but hopefully we won’t have to wait too long.

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The Shining Source turns 20 https://www.shiningsource.org/2020/09/the-shining-source-turns-20/ https://www.shiningsource.org/2020/09/the-shining-source-turns-20/#comments Thu, 10 Sep 2020 15:15:09 +0000 https://www.shiningsource.org/?p=2227 The site actually turned 20 on August 10th, but it wouldn’t be TSS if we were on time ;)

Things have changed a lot since those early days. But even though the Shining Force front is quiet (come on Sega, re-release SF3 already) there are still new shining-style projects being developed.

Read more on The Shining Source turns 20…

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The site actually turned 20 on August 10th, but it wouldn’t be TSS if we were on time ;)

Things have changed a lot since those early days. But even though the Shining Force front is quiet (come on Sega, re-release SF3 already) there are still new shining-style projects being developed.

TSS would not be what it is today without everyone that has visited us over the years. Whether you downloaded a demo, created your own, or just sent us an email calling us shit, we are eternally thankful for you.

Finally I’d like to thank Devlyn for giving life to the site all those years ago. And thank you to some of our original contributors: Edgemaster, Elvenfyre, and Newts. You all helped turn this place into something special.

Stay safe, drink applesap, and keep on Shining. Here’s to another 20 years!

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War of Velana – Demo released https://www.shiningsource.org/2020/08/war-of-velana-demo-released/ https://www.shiningsource.org/2020/08/war-of-velana-demo-released/#respond Sun, 16 Aug 2020 23:43:48 +0000 https://www.shiningsource.org/?p=2218 War of Velana is a project we first talked about back in October. Since then there have been some exciting updates, including a demo release!

There are new NPC’s, new maps, and new Chapters in development. Here’s a peek at some of the updated sprite artwork:

Read more on War of Velana – Demo released…

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War of Velana is a project we first talked about back in October. Since then there have been some exciting updates, including a demo release!

There are new NPC’s, new maps, and new Chapters in development. Here’s a peek at some of the updated sprite artwork:

Speaking of those animations, with the new character art, there are a lot of sprite design changes that are taking place to have the characters look a lot closer to their official designs. Here are some before and after comparisons of the main cast.

The maps are also looking great:

If you want to keep up with development, updates are posted on the War of Velana Devblog.

But enough talk, go grab the demo and leave some feedback!

War of Velana – Demo 1


Source: War of Velana Devblog – May 2020

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Project Update – May 23rd, 2020 https://www.shiningsource.org/2020/05/project-update-may-23rd-2020/ https://www.shiningsource.org/2020/05/project-update-may-23rd-2020/#respond Sat, 23 May 2020 21:13:37 +0000 https://www.shiningsource.org/?p=2211 Instead of boring words about half-finished code I’m working on, have some screenshots of half-working features!

Click to view the animated “GIVE” process.

Tooltips have been tidied up since that gif was created:

Read more on Project Update – May 23rd, 2020…

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Instead of boring words about half-finished code I’m working on, have some screenshots of half-working features!

Click to view the animated “GIVE” process.

Tooltips have been tidied up since that gif was created:

Who doesn’t love a good drop shadow?

And finally, here’s a look at a Cody targeting some enemies in a test battle

I really need to fix the gaps created by my dodgy window rendering code.

Battle mode is coming along nicely. Characters can be spawned in specific areas, so it’s possible to have the team split into multiple sections. Enemies can be targeted, and land effects and movement are working.

The next step is getting attack animations working, and then there might actually be something approaching a playable battle. Finally!

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Project Update – February 7th, 2020 https://www.shiningsource.org/2020/02/project-update-february-7th-2020/ https://www.shiningsource.org/2020/02/project-update-february-7th-2020/#respond Fri, 07 Feb 2020 10:49:03 +0000 https://www.shiningsource.org/?p=2200
Some intense dialogue

The above screenshot is from the very first town in the next Shining Online demo. Like other Shining Force games, you start alone and have to recruit a team before you can venture into the wide open world.

Read more on Project Update – February 7th, 2020…

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Some intense dialogue

The above screenshot is from the very first town in the next Shining Online demo. Like other Shining Force games, you start alone and have to recruit a team before you can venture into the wide open world.

All of the above is handled by a little bit of lispy-script:

There are a lot of TODO entries in the source code

Shining Online uses a custom lisp engine for scripting, and has an entity + component system for managing in-game objects. Entities can be anything from characters walking around to hidden triggers or spawn zones.

So far this setup is working really well. Entities can have scripts attached to them, and it’s possible to add components to entities via script. I’m not 100% happy with how inspecting works; it’s far too complicated for what it is, but it works so I’m trying to leave it alone.

In development

I’m currently working through milestone 3 – items. At this point it’s mostly UI work that is left. It’s not one of my strong points, but it’s slowly getting there. My aim is to have it all complete by the end of the month so that I can start on shops and the priest.

The main screen for managing items looks like this

Apologies for the placeholder portrait

I’m not totally happy with the tooltip yet, but it’s pretty close to what I’m aiming for. Giving items to other characters works, but the table needs updating with stat changes. Equipping items and armor is getting a slight revamp, but should be working by the time March rolls around.

I’m looking forward to working on something a little more fun.

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Mega Force 2 Released! https://www.shiningsource.org/2019/12/mega-force-2-released/ https://www.shiningsource.org/2019/12/mega-force-2-released/#respond Tue, 17 Dec 2019 19:26:24 +0000 http://www.shiningsource.org/?p=2189 Aura4 got in touch to let me know about the release of his new Shining Force fan game, Mega Force 2!

Mega Force 2 is the sequel to Mega Force, which was released back in 2016. Just like its predecessor, Mega Force 2 features a complete cast of playable characters and a tonne of battles.

Read more on Mega Force 2 Released!…

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Aura4 got in touch to let me know about the release of his new Shining Force fan game, Mega Force 2!

Mega Force 2 is the sequel to Mega Force, which was released back in 2016. Just like its predecessor, Mega Force 2 features a complete cast of playable characters and a tonne of battles.

Mega Force 2 - title screen

You start with a single character, but as the game progresses you’ll pick up some useful allies.

Mega Force 2 - Banana's attack!

Not all of these characters are popular with the dungeon’s inhabitants though…

Mega Force 2 - GARGO is not popular

If you’re a fan of Shining-style battles this is definitely worth a play. Be sure to use your spells in the early battles as they can be very tough, and don’t be afraid to use egress if needed. Some of the later fights require a little bit of planning to make sure enemies are lured into range, which adds an extra layer of challenge to the experience.

Download it below!

Download Mega Force 2

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War of Velana https://www.shiningsource.org/2019/10/war-of-velana/ https://www.shiningsource.org/2019/10/war-of-velana/#comments Sun, 27 Oct 2019 00:55:48 +0000 http://www.shiningsource.org/?p=2177 War of Velana is a new 16-bit RPG in development. From the homepage:

In many ways, War of Velana is a spiritual successor to the Shining Force series on the Sega Genesis. Elements of those games are the core, and combine with some design ideas from Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics to create a new tactical experience. In War of Velana, your characters have static classes and gain a variety of skills and equipment upgrades as you progress through the game. In between combat, you’ll be able to explore and interact with the world around you.

Read more on War of Velana…

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War of Velana is a new 16-bit RPG in development. From the homepage:

In many ways, War of Velana is a spiritual successor to the Shining Force series on the Sega Genesis. Elements of those games are the core, and combine with some design ideas from Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics to create a new tactical experience. In War of Velana, your characters have static classes and gain a variety of skills and equipment upgrades as you progress through the game. In between combat, you’ll be able to explore and interact with the world around you.

The game has been in development for four years and has a great look to it:

There are more screenshots in the latest devblog, including some really impressive atmospheric animations. Check it out!


Source: War of Velana homepage

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Shining Pod https://www.shiningsource.org/2019/10/shining-pod/ https://www.shiningsource.org/2019/10/shining-pod/#respond Fri, 04 Oct 2019 17:21:24 +0000 http://www.shiningsource.org/?p=2175 Shining Pod is a new monthly podcast that covers the entire Shining series! There are 5 episodes to listen to so far, and they cover the early Shining Force games as well as fan games like Ballad of Thuriana and War of Velana.

Read more on Shining Pod…

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Shining Pod is a new monthly podcast that covers the entire Shining series! There are 5 episodes to listen to so far, and they cover the early Shining Force games as well as fan games like Ballad of Thuriana and War of Velana.

Go give it a listen!


Source: Shining Pod

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Project Update – September 19th, 2019 https://www.shiningsource.org/2019/09/project-update-september-19th-2019/ https://www.shiningsource.org/2019/09/project-update-september-19th-2019/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 17:45:46 +0000 http://www.shiningsource.org/?p=2154 Here’s some boring words about what’s been going on with Shining Online since the last worklog entry (April 2018). I’m going to stick in a bunch of screenshots today to try and make it less wordy.

Read more on Project Update – September 19th, 2019…

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Here’s some boring words about what’s been going on with Shining Online since the last worklog entry (April 2018). I’m going to stick in a bunch of screenshots today to try and make it less wordy.

But don’t worry, there’s plenty of technical words (and screens) right at the end!

Roaming NPC’s

This is something the original Shining Online never had, but I really wanted them in the game.

The first attempt was not a total success.

Very fast NPC
Click to watch a very fast grandma

After adding some pauses and timing tweaks, the finished result looks like this:

Reasonable grandma
Click to watch a much more reasonable grandma

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Custom text boxes

Text boxes can have custom frames, backgrounds and fonts. They can also be positioned anywhere on the screen.

Not very exciting, but at least we know what’s in the tent.

Battle ranges

Towns aren’t the only thing that have had some attention.

Battle ranges are present and take land types into effect

Battle ranges are a key part of Shining-style battles, and now they’re in Shining Online. They take land types and movement types into account, so flying entities will ignore trees, whereas centaurs will be slowed down by them.

Finding items and gold

What kind of RPG would this be if you can’t raid people’s homes for their hard-earned cash?

Click to watch Cody raid someone’s barrels

Items work in a similar way, and are automatically passed to the next free character. If there’s no space, it will be left in the container until some room is available.

There’s a fair amount of behind-the-scenes work going on in that screenshot, most of it handled via script:

  1. The text for “Cody looking in the barrel” looks like this in the configuration file “%CHARACTER% looked in the %CONTAINER%”. The tokens are replaced by fetching data from the team (the team leader’s name) and the entity being searched (the barrel).
  2. Gold is added to the player’s gold reserves
  3. Flags are set in the session to make sure searching the same place doesn’t give rewards twice.
  4. There’s some other bits going on, like pausing player input, displaying a text box and playing a jingle (which you can’t hear in the gif, but it’s there).

Items are slightly more complicated; the game has to check there is at least one character with an open inventory slot, and then has to either pass it to them or display a “There is no room” message.

Here’s how the barrel in the screenshot is configured:

All entities in Shining Online are made up of components. Entities are created using a simple template system, which sets out which components are required and what their field values are. The base_money_container template looks like this:

It listens for an inspectevent, and then disables input, runs the gold:findscript using properties from the entity and then re-enables the entity when done.

The %self% variable is always set to the entity’s identifier. So for the money container in the example, it will be the string “vagabond_gold_container_1”. Flag names can be overridden by setting a flag_name property on the entity, but that’s optional.

And finally, here’s what the gold:find function looks like:

For comparison, this is what the item:find function looks like:

It’s a little more complicated, but it’s all built and configured in a similar way to the gold container.

That’s all (for now)

I’d like to get item management finished in the next few months so I can move on to the battle system. Pathfinding and movement ranges are all working, so with some AI and proper turn management there will be an actual game soon!

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Ballad of Thuriana https://www.shiningsource.org/2019/05/ballad-of-thuriana/ https://www.shiningsource.org/2019/05/ballad-of-thuriana/#respond Wed, 22 May 2019 00:52:27 +0000 http://www.shiningsource.org/?p=2143 Jeremy Doolin got in touch with me about his new project, “Ballad of Thuriana”. It’s a Shining-style project that has been under development for about a year now, and if all goes to plan it will be released either fall 2020 or fall 2021 (depending on content creation times).

Read more on Ballad of Thuriana…

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Jeremy Doolin got in touch with me about his new project, “Ballad of Thuriana”. It’s a Shining-style project that has been under development for about a year now, and if all goes to plan it will be released either fall 2020 or fall 2021 (depending on content creation times).

The game features all new graphics from the artist behind the Time Fantasy collection, and an original soundtrack composed by Ferret Entertainment.

Even more exciting, it is planned for release on Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux and possibly Nintendo Switch.

More info about the project:

The graphics will be very different (see screenshots).  Menus will not be the four-way style, but more traditional.  There will be some gameplay changes, but nothing drastic.  For example, I use the same stats, 100 XP per level system, same turn-based battles.  But I have more damage types, a secondary weapon/equipment, a slot just for a ring and one for an accessory, more item slots and other differences

The game will also feature Shining Force 2 style exploration:

And I will have Exploration! In fact, that’s all I’ve been working on for months. It will be much more like Shining Force 2, with a world map, some random encounter battles, exploration, secrets, some side quests and more. I’ve nearing completion of the Exploration mode and will build the Battle system over Summer.

As you can see it’s an ambitious and exciting project!

You can follow the project’s status on Instagram (@doolindigital) and Twitter (@DoolinDigital). A website for the project will also be released in a few weeks.

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