The Loch: A Scottish Fishing RPG

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The Loch: A Scottish Fishing RPG

Postby Alexander » Sun May 19, 2013 1:55 am

Howdy folks!

I'm Alexander, and I'm a game design student from Scotland. I've taken part in a couple of Game Jams before (most notably the Scottish Game Jam as part of the Global Game Jam) and it's been awesome, so I figured I'd give the FishingJam a go as well (despite the fact I know next to nothing about fishing, huzzah~). I'd love to hear from other folk taking part in the jam as well, so don't be afraid to hijack the thread and say "hi"; I dig all things Sunken Ruin-y and Cyclopean Sea Monster-y, so if you're making one of those, hit me up so I can check it out!

Design

The Loch (working title for now) will be a RPG where you play as a fisher named Angie exploring a loch in Scotland, looking for items and materials with which you can make artificial flies and lures for fly fishing - Angie can then use those flies to catch specific fish in the area, and once you've caught all of them, you win!

I'd like for The Loch to be a contemplative, headspace-y kind of game, where it's not so much focused on action, battling or reflexes, but on taking your time to explore. With that exploration in mind, there'll be a bunch of different areas in the game, including the titular Loch, an oil platform, sunken ruins in an ancient forest, and a mysterious island out at sea that has been abandoned by its inhabitants, among others. Different fish can be found in different areas (and in different zones inside those areas), so exploring the world is crucial to meeting your goal of finding all the fish you can.

Implementation

I'll be using RPG Maker VX Lite to make The Loch; it's fairly simple to learn, easy to use, and quick to troubleshoot, and it means I don't have to worry much about the coding side of the game. I'll also be making most of the art myself (but probably using sprite resources and the like). And as for music, I imagine I'll be scouring the Free Sound Project a fair bit.

Concept Art

To kick things off, here's a couple doodles I've done while I was brainstorming for ideas, and a quick sprite version of the main character, Angie!

leveldoodles1.png
Doodles for Levels / The Loch
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Angie Avatar.png
Angie
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Last edited by Alexander on Thu May 23, 2013 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Loch

Postby rogueNoodle » Sun May 19, 2013 12:02 pm

Great concepts - really like the forest scene!
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Re: The Loch

Postby Alexander » Mon May 20, 2013 10:40 pm

Monday Progress Update: So far so good! Thus far I've created the main staging area of the loch, plus two buildings that the player's going to use. I've also added some baseline functionality as well, like making it rain on certain days (and not indoors :T ), and made some progress on the game's design as well.

Thus far, I'm intending to only use the default tilesets as a placeholder until I've gotten the vast majority of the mechanisms and scenarios into the game; then I can focus on busting out a bunch of tilesets for things I'm guaranteed to use (rather than estimating what I'll need beforehand then potentially getting screwed when I find out such-and-such wouldn't be possible).

Also, WOE UNTO RPGMAKER LITE: Initially I wasn't going to have a battle system until I realised that actually, you could just rename most of the battle options to turn it into a fishing minigame. Then I discovered you can't rename said battle options in RPGMaker Lite. :T Ah well.

TL1.png
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Re: The Loch

Postby Alexander » Wed May 22, 2013 3:10 pm

Tuesday Progress Update: So it only took one day for me to accidentally miss updating the thread. In fairness, Tuesday was a pretty slow day progress-wise, since it was one of my friends' birthdays and they'd booked me an appointment with DELICIOUS CAKE. Totally justified.

So yes. On Tuesday, I started work on the East and West shoreline of the Loch (part of the former is shown below). The East Shoreline has a sandy bay/beach area with two characters - a deaf fisherman and his interpreter - and further to the east is a small forest maze (a staple of just about every RPG that ever existed, most likely) that leads into the Woods!

Wednesday Progress Update: It might only be halfway through the day, but I've already made a substantial amount of progress - I've finally got the fishing event to work properly! I'm using the Lite version of RPGMaker, which means you can only have 10 Events on a given map; I was worried that that would mean the only way to have fishing in the game would be if the player was standing in front of one of (at most) ten tiles on the map, which would be kind of anathema to the idea of just whipping your fishing rod out at the shoreline and casting away. Luckily, I've managed to find a way around it, so I'm ready to work on the basic fishing system!

And, better yet, I've discovered that RPGMaker Lite DOES allow you to rename battle commands, stats and so on, so the fishing system can go ahead as planned! I'm mega excited to get that working and show folk, so here's to hoping it'll be smooth sailing from here on out (protip: it won't be and it never is).

TL2.png
The Loch - East Shore
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Re: The Loch

Postby btxsqdr » Wed May 22, 2013 3:44 pm

never used rpgmaker before, but it looks very promissing. i hope you get that gameplay etc. finished in time. looking forward to it
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Re: The Loch

Postby Alexander » Thu May 23, 2013 1:25 am

btxsqdr wrote:never used rpgmaker before, but it looks very promissing. i hope you get that gameplay etc. finished in time. looking forward to it


Thanks very much! It's actually surprisingly easy, even if you do have to get a wee bit creative with how to create events in the game (since you can't directly edit the scripts in the Lite version of the game).

Wednesday Progress Update #2

It's been a really busy day today, so much so that this required two whole updates, haha. :P

Multiple Types of Fishing
One of the great things about game jams is that, because there's such a limitation on your time, you can't learn the software in-and-out if you've never used it before - which means you typically get really creative with how you solve problems. I used RPG Maker yeeeeears ago but I remember very little about it; only that I was going through my Naruto & Unknown Armies phases simultaneously and was trying to make a desert fortress inhabited by magicians who controlled sand. :/ This time round, I've noticed that I'll approach a particular problem - like "how the frig do I create multiple different types of fishing?", find a way I think will work, discover it won't work, and then find a way around that that actually makes the system I want to make even better, because it comes with a bunch of other stuff I hadn't though of.

Case in point, multiple types of fishing. I'd initially thought I'd just be making a game about angling/fly fishing. I discovered that RPGMaker Lite only lets you make 16 non-weapon, non-armor items, and I'd already planned to use most of them for things like in-battle items, key items and so on. If I wanted multiple different rods (so that catching fish is easier with better rods), I'd have to work round it by making fishing rods a kind of weapon... and then I discovered that actually, there were multiple types of weapon. So, if I made battles work with fishing rods, I could make them work with other things... like spears... or lobster pots.

And so, I've basically ended up including a bunch of different methods of catching fish, which each have their own good and bad points. Spearfishing allows you to snag fish without having to find lures that attract that specific type of fish, but you can't catch very quick or very small fish with a spear. Catching fish with your hands is available very early on, but you can only catch veeeery slow fish. Angling allows you to find a broad range of fish species, but you need to have a specific lure - and be fishing in a specific place - to stand a chance of catching them.

Tutorials/Info
Tutorials can be reeeeally arduous for people who just want to figure out by doing, so I've made an optional tutorial in the form of the first "shopkeeper" the player meets; however, I've also included a handy Instruction Book in the players inventory that goes into much more detail, and is available from the outset.

Fish Trophies
As a weird by-product of the aforementioned item limit, I had to think up a new way that you could place caught fish in your inventory. Oddly enough, it turned out that repurposing the "Accessories" part of the Inventory system meant that I could have one caught fish for every type of fish in the game, which was great. It also means you can wear fish in The Loch. That's right. Fish as fashion. Fishion.

(I'm seeing if I can write it off as being the player physically carrying their fish with them, because they're proud of catching it.)

Anywho, that's me for the night, going to keep cracking on tomorrow!

TL3.png
The Loch - Tackle
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Re: The Loch: A Scottish Fishing RPG

Postby Alexander » Fri May 24, 2013 12:35 am

Thursday Progress Update

Angus & Drew

Didn't get a whole lot done today unfortunately, since I was busy writing a feature about sexuality & Silent Hill (as you do). Aside from working out some kinks with the tutorial, all that I got done today was adding in the dialogue system for two characters, Angus (a deaf angler) and Drew (his son and interpreter).

Tomorrow I'm aiming to finish the main scenario (i.e., get fishing rod, get lure, get fish, buy new tackle, etc), so that the bare minimum that'll be complete by Sunday is that. On Saturday, I hope to expand the game to get as much in as I can, before working on the art assets on Saturday night/Sunday in time for the end of the Jam.
Attachments
TL4.png
The Loch - Angus
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Re: The Loch: A Scottish Fishing RPG

Postby emmett9001 » Fri May 24, 2013 3:32 pm

Not a huge fan of RPGs in general, but this looks pretty fun. Looking forward to seeing it in action!
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Re: The Loch: A Scottish Fishing RPG

Postby Alexander » Sat May 25, 2013 12:16 am

emmett9001 wrote:Not a huge fan of RPGs in general, but this looks pretty fun. Looking forward to seeing it in action!


Cheers man, I appreciate it!

Friday Progress Update

Today I added a couple more areas (which I can't rly talk about much since some of them are secrets for players to find, but part of one is shown below). I also managed to get the sailing portion of the game working, which means I can potentially also include lakeboat-fishing as well. Tomorrow I'm hoping to finish off the environments, and get the main scenario complete in time for art stuff on Sunday (though that may have to come after the Jam, once all the other assets are in place, boo).

Also, on a moderately-related note, here's the article that stole time away from development yesterday - "A Silent Hill Queer-y".

TL5.png
The Loch - Haunting Ground
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Re: The Loch: A Scottish Fishing RPG

Postby Alexander » Sat May 25, 2013 11:29 pm

Saturday Progress Update

Today I managed to finish most of the map (there's a couple more areas that I want to do, but they may have to go in a future version of the game instead). Otherwise, more or less everything is sorted, including at least two Weird Events that I couldn't help but include because I'm not used to making Nice Games! So yes, The Loch may kind of a little bit feature letters from a stalker and an island descending into Hell. But it's still very, very chilled.

Like a body in a freezer.

TL6.png
The Loch - Story
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