After releasing that prototype version of Miasmon, I decided to focus my attentions on a new version for a while. I've started and scrapped Miasmon as a project far too many times now, but I feel like I've reached a point in my life where I just can't do that anymore. So I've decided to gather together all the pieces that I felt worked from those past attempts and combine them into one final attempt that I'll hopefully stick with. Maybe I already said all this?!
Anyway, I've been working on it for less than a week now, and I come bringing pretty pictures of my progress!
I've decided that it will have a roaming-around field mode like the prototype, though the graphics are more in line with those of Alora Fane: Creation. The tileset here is temporary - stolen directly from AFC - used for testing, while the sprites are new, and probably represent what the final ones will look like. I think these larger ones are an improvement over the prototype ones.
I decided to do the menus first for some reason. This menu design was lifted from a version of Miasmon that I think I called 'Programon'? That attempt. I've also included art for each of the trainers, which I drew recently, and while I do like them a lot, I feel like they might need to be redone for reasons I'll get to later.
Your party would include three human characters - as I talked about in my last entry - and each would have six monsters. Only the one in the lead would participate in battles, but you could change the leader at any time by pressing left or right... as you can see:
Monsters' HP and status would be restored after battles, so there's no need to show those on this menu. The thing on the right of each monster's 'box' is the 'perianth' which contains their six moves; it'd look like the Alora Fane flower (the 'Aster') when full. The colours show the sentiments of the skills set into the perianth.
I've not yet done any finished graphics for monsters, hence the sketchy Modestoat there!
Each monster has four pretentiously-named stats (plus the equally-pretentiously-named 'Composure', which is HP), which correspond exactly to those in the prototype.
When a monster gains a level, it gains 1 AP, and AP can be added to these stats to increase them, at any time from the menu. This isn't irrevocable; you're free to redistribute your AP as you please, if you change your mind or if you want a different build for a certain battle.
Skills are bought using AP, too, so you have the choice of either buying skills or stats with what you have. Skills can be freely 'bought' and 'sold' just as stats can, meaning that no decision is ever permanent.
Monsters would be defined by their Essent forms, with any evolved forms being a spin-off of that Essent rather than a separate creature as such. Monsters don't evolve when hitting a certain level; rather, the skills that you assign to the perianth determine the form that the monster takes. Each Essent species has a big list of up to 30 skills that it can 'buy', and you can fill that monster's perianth with any six of these that you can afford. The more powerful ones are more expensive, of course.
As an example, the monster Modestoat might take on the form of Sinistoat when equipped with Scorn (Destruction) and Spook (Fear), while it would take on the form of Erminerd when equipped with, uh... Behave (Bliss) and Learn (Creation). Or something.
Each form would have its own stats, which replace the base stats of the Essent, and some would be more powerful than others. They might have stage names called Essent, Augment, Prime and Paragon (Augment rather than Transient, as it fits better).
Oh, and these skills could be either Physical (including bites, scratches, etc, but also other things like Flame Breath which, while not making contact as such, is 'physical'), Sentimental (which are emotions-based and aim for the monster's essence rather than its manifested form), Buff, or Trait.
Resistances!! I like the idea of BODY TYPES (largely I admit because of the cute little icons!! ...which are taken from Programon), and so I didn't want to throw those away. They function sort of like the traits such as Insectivore, Carnivore, etc from the prototype. There are twelve of them, and they work in a cycle; each one is strong against the three clockwise of it, and weak against the three anticlockwise. So Bestial monsters fare well against Avian, Plantoid and Piscine monsters, but fare poorly against Warrior, Undead and Draconic monsters. Essentially it means that they get a +20% damage boost against their 'favoured foes', but a -20% damage adjustment against their 'predators'.
So for example a Bestial attacking an Avian would do 120% damage, but would receive only 80% damage from the opponent's attacks. This applies to all
skills that they use against eachother, regardless of their type.
Monsters have one or two body types (the multiplier can stack up to ±80%; for example a Warrior/Undead attacking a Draconic/Bestial would get four +20% modifiers!), and they always have a sentiment, too. As in the prototype, skills have a sentiment (or none), and so that means you can choose to use a 'super effective' skill from your arsenal against the appropriate sentiment and such. The matchups here are straightforward; Courage beats Fear beats Bliss beats Destruction beats Creation beats Sorrow beats Courage. Damage is 200% for 'super effective' skills, and 50% for resisted damage (each sentiment resists damage from itself and its weakness).
Now, that's all good and fine, and I've got the menus working as they should, but then I came to working on the battle system...
It's probably going to be very similar to the prototype; the only difference being the number of moves and the different damage modifiers... That means it's one vs one, with the trainer standing behind the monster.
But here I hit a snag, because it seems that the trainers I've already drawn aren't well-proportioned for this! I could just scale them down, but then the head appears too small, and the details too indistinct. That means I'll probably need to redraw them to be proportioned more like this:
This isn't a bad thing, because they'd be cuter like that anyway (if drawn well, which those in that example there aren't), but it is a bit disheartening knowing that I have to redraw them. OH WELL. Stupidly, I had this exact same issue back in 2011, where my initial drawings didn't work well at all at the trainer sprite proportions so I had to redraw them, but did I learn?!? Clearly not!!
It's a bad idea to do any art before assembling a working prototype, though; I imagine that professionals just use grey boxes and such instead of actual graphics until they're sure of the sizes that would work.
Apart from what I've shown here, I also did a bunch of Editor-related stuff; since the engine is my own, I always have to spend a few days building tools for myself that allow me to actually build the maps and other data stuff. It takes a lot of work, but it's never meant to be seen by the player, so sadly there's not much to show for it.
So yes. That's what I'm doing at the moment. I should really get back to AFC, though... It's so close to being finished, and if I release it, maybe I'll attract more attention to myself again. I've no idea how many people follow my game development these days; the Miasmon prototype got thousands of plays on the first day according to the counter, but few people post on Fig Hunter anymore, and of course membership isn't possible here just yet for various reasons. I suppose those who join sites are a minority compared to those who merely watch them, though; I know I keep track of a bunch of sites without actually participating in any way. I wonder this because I've no idea how many people will support my games once I get to the (dreaded) 'marketing' stage (shudder)... but I'll think about all that when I get closer to it. I suppose. For now I'm content to just focus on the building, since that's the part I like.