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The Shining Source

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1   Choosing an Engine
Well, we have story done, a lot of the code done (still a few gaps but will fill itself out), and some generic sounds and basic music in development. We are, however, looking at game engines. We are debating between Unreal Engine, Blender, and somewhere in the jist possibly using Maya. Again, we may go with a Maya/Blender hybrid for our engine but we shall see. If you have any input about game engines or have had any experience with any of these Engines please input your views. Or if you know of any other engines out there.

We are also looking at distribution through Steam, very possible anyway. That is where we are at.

2   Good News
Well, things are back in full drive, or as full as they are going to be. Using all the initial data and code we are actually constructing a mock of the battle system. So we are looking at SDMN, MAGE, and PRST being put in the testing field for the system.

We have been banging our heads over how we want to do the layout and it looks like we are doing 2d map with 3d battle and cut scenes. The ultimate issue is whether we use Blender, Maya, or Unreal engine. Unreal is the most commonly used, Maya is good for animation and thats about it, and Blender is the best looking best functioning but not the most commonly seen.

Hope to have a demo floating around only using grey blocks for good guys, black blocks for bad guys to test the battle system.

3   Busy Busy Busy but still trugging along
Well, so far I have been busy upgrading my audio studio computer and the only time I have been working on the game myself is editing story content etc...

But anywho, The project is moving forward as planned but slowly. I have more music composed, a completed codex of characters, skills, and growth charts and the equations that go with how they calculate damage etc, as well as the full story done and on paper, the battle spread sheets, and I even have a working voice cast (many semi-pro people from Hollywood through a film producer friend of mine.

That is the good news, along being really busy with work and having a sit down interview with Hans Zimmer and preparing for it all took a lot of time out of my regular day. But here is the bad news.

The person I had to do 3d character design was actually kind of a rip-off artist so I had to drop him from the project, especially since he was doing some EXTREME borrowing. So I am short the 3d designers and my programmer is starting to veer away from the project to since the material is here, it just needs to get visually and interactively made (outside the audio which has been my project that I have been keeping up with).

ANyway, I know my updates are few and far between but hopefully this gives you a good idea of where we are atm.

Have faith, we will keep trying to move forward!

4   Working Hard but Effectively
Ok, so we have more new music such as the victory theme and battle themes done. We also have 5 characters ready to be put into digital design and we will start setting up a 5 character level 1 demo against 5 slimes or rats or something (have not decided the foes). Anyway, still working hard since I am doing 4 rehearsals a week with different orchestras and being hired in to do musicals in Hollyweird. So I have been real busy. Maybe Ill post some new music for your listening pleasure!

5   Re: Shining Online - Screens and updates [updated Jan 15th]
Good to see! XD Keep it going!

6   Re: A Cease and Desist update
Well, the letter mentioned the release of other shining games, I figure they mean the Wii release of Shining Force 2 and Shining Force Feather.... but whatever. Re-skinning and making some slight tune ups here and there should fix everything, hopefully.

7   A Cease and Desist update
I didn't post it but those interested and on my im list were informed of our studio receiving a cease and desist letter from SEGA over the game we were making "Shining Immortal" being the demo name. Of course the name was part of the CaD letter but it had to do with our idea of programing and how the game runs based on character battle interaction. We only allowed the character to carry a four item inventory slot and how we implemented it was a variation of the SF2 original source code. Someone leaked it out (we dealt with that person... and now we wont have to deal with him for anything else EVER) and Sega sent us a nice little letter telling us to change our "Adaptation". So we obviously have to come up with a better name, which I told them was just a temporary name anyway, and we are implementing an armor system.

We were even considering going balls deep and having each piece of armor function how your character interacts but we have all come to the conclusion that it will take even longer to make and is not needed at this point of the games creation. We are thinking of implementing armor and in the battle sequences you will see different clothing on the characters. But we tossed that too after configuring the time it takes to make each battle animation with different armor etc. We did decided on a hidden set of armor for each character and class to find to change their look. Again, still being discussed. But implementing the armor system and changing the inventory setup code will make this CaD issue vanish.


8   Shining Immortal Update 6
Still progressing slower that devils spit I must admit due to my CPU deciding to die during a brown out and now I am short a PC to do my mainstream sound/3d designs on. (This laptop sucks ; Wink But outside of that I have some good news and bad news.

The good: I have a statistical sheet with the base stats for every character, what level they learn certain skills at, and where their growth focuses are.  The grid of their growth per level, as mentioned before, is random but based on a maximum level system. So if you go by 20 levels before maxing out your characters levels PRIOR to promotion you will max out his stats pre-promotion regardless, same when going to level 20 after promotion, and again after the third promotion. This way no matter how you cut it you get the same statistics. HOWEVER, the debate still runs about making a card system when you level so that way every play through your characters could have variable statistics but the card selection will still be geared towards the character class. (Yeah... I dont think warriors should have mana bonuses XD).

The Bad: We lost our lead programmer to Obsidian entertainment recently as a lead programmer over there and he is not sure what his time availability would be to work on any more code for the game. I have a few other people who may consider taking over but he really did'nt have much done in the context of what we could ACTUALLY use. So after working through this little depressing period we are back on track in all other aspects, except programming. As my CPU is dead 3d character designs have been put on hold.

The Ugly: I looked in the mirror this morning.... j/k Anyway, I have taken the time to start focusing on the battle to battle instances and the enemies that will participate in the first series of battles. I hope in completing this, and the enemy states for these battles, once programming gets back on schedule we can make a alpha demo of what we hope to do (Probably in 2d for the time being unless I can get the 3d engine prepared fast enough [unless you are patient enough for a 3d demo battle])

In Conclusion - Slow but getting there. XD

Ill try adding Elven, Newts, and Ty to my IM through Hotmail so that way I can coordinate with you all better then posting these pretty bland updates till I have something more tangible to post on this work in progress.

9   Re: The Project
I think the reason fixed stays in desire is half the work needs to be done when creating the world. A full 3d setting would take much longer to make and I do assume too much at this point to be sure whether it will work to change it later or not but we shall find out.

10   Re: The Project
Sent. It may not be much but this grid/engine segment is going to be the foundation for our battle system. We are going to test the full 3d rotational camera that was designed with it. The debate now is to make it fixed in and out of battle or to allow free roaming. The benefit of non-free roaming is the production on a whole will be cut in half making it easier to get work done. If we do free roaming in and out of battle the 3d design crew will have more work to do thus slowing the speed of production but improving the quality.

11   Re: The Project
Like with the concept art I will gladly share with you images of the demo battle grid. All you have to do is PM me your email.

12   The Project
Were are still hard at work on our project so dont think I forgot about SS Wink We have a working battle grid ready and still more concept art being created. We have just brought on 2 3d designers who are friends of ours and we getting them prepped up and hopefully soon we will have some 3d character models to share once we copyright them. I have been working on the script and getting a vocal cast figured out some more and then we are going to mess with the 2d to 3d revamp of the world. We were thinking of only going 2d on the world with 3d battles but we have changed our minds dramatically. Anyway, if you have any new questions let me know and I would be glad to answer them. b^^

13   Sharing a Few Concept Arts
I was curious who would like to see some concept art that is done now that I have scanned them in. We have 3 different artists working on characters and they made a good amount of them. Let me know and I will upload them in a PM for you so you can see them. The team wanted to avoid copyright infringement so they don't want me to post them on an open thread.

14   Shining Immortal Update 5
Sorry I have not posted in a while, I have been busy with work and such and moving in with a pretty lady. lol

Anyway, we have some new concept art done and our programmer is still playing catchup but he is getting things done. He has shown me the mathematics system on how it will calculate damage based on a characters states vs a monster. It seems to function well at the moment. He is, however, having some trouble with a spell hitting multiple enemies on a grid. He is currently working on a solution to that.

Because we have been behind in 3d modeling our website admin (forums admin really) is taking himself and his brother to do advanced 3d graphics design classes at a local college. It appears he knows the instructor first hand as a family friend and she works for a game company already. So that should help us catch up in the months to come down the road. My understanding is they will probably do the designs for weapons, villages, and battlefields. Character design might pose to be too hard of a task for the little experience they do have at 3d design (they have shown me things like wagons and small knives they have made in Blender). The family friend who teaches the course said she would love to be involved with the project during the summer when she is not teaching. So at least we will have another ringer come in. She also said she will let our website admin and his brother do projects geared towards the game.

Anyway, at least we are moving, even though it is at a snails pace.

15   Shining Immortal Update 4
Well, winter has shown some massive productivity on the game currently being produced and I got much of the voice acting done just in this month alone.

I was asked by the 3d modelers to design a 2d world using a pre-rendered tool kit (they gave me RPG Maker VX) and said to make rough draft maps in it with all the interactions that would be needed like NPCs and such. I am still learning how to use this software, though seeming very restrictive, but I should have it under my belt in no time. I guess they want me to use it as a way to see everything in a 2d mold but I guess they did this while making our other game, so I kind of makes sense to me.

Right now I have some neat ideas for magic and will possibly share those with you in January followed by some character concept art for you upon PM request. The game engine is also getting there as well but I will have more details on that for you later.

Have a happy holidays. ^^

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