Somwhow, I managed to push through and finish this project! It involved a lot of downsizing and cutting out things that didn't work - and it was exhausting playing it over and over again looking for bugs - but it's finally finished! You can play it here if you want. I'm just really happy I can finally share my ocs that I've worked really hard on in a small game. it obviously doesn't go into huge detail about who they are and the worlds they're in - it's more like a very quick glance at their lives bundled up in a ten minute game - but for me this was an opportunity to share them with other people in a way that's not just art, so I'm really happy.
In a sequence of events that has shocked everyone, especially me, I've actually finished all the flashbacks and can move on to the final stage - a big boss showdown. Except it's not gonna be a big boss battle or anything. I was thinking more a little series of simple puzzles to get to him, followed by an easy fight, followed by a cool cutscene of all the heroes beating their ass. Then there'll be a farewell scene as everyone goes home to their own worlds, and the game ends with credits. So I'm basically halfway through! The game is definitely going to be very quick to finish - maybe 15 minutes tops - but I don't mind. The reason I'm making it is to share my OCs with the world in a fun and interactive way, so that's enough for me. Now I just have to make some sokoban puzzles or something...
The first flashback is done! Well, in theory, anyway. I keep going back to it to tinker and fix unexpected bugs. I also keep messing with the enemy stats. I want them to be engaging, but not particularly challening. You know, like a kirby enemy or something. I'm having a lot of fun with this game because it's also helping me flesh out my OCs, and making me think about them in more depth. I'm super looking forward to being able to share them with lots of people in a game format... :) The next goal is to finish the final flashback. Then I can get started on the final phase of the game - where all the characters have to work together to fight their way through a few areas, and then face some kind of boss. At the end there'll be a cute little scene where they all return to their own worlds, and then the game will end with simple scrolling credits.
For once, I actually haven't run out of steam after getting the initial idea for a game. I think this is because since I have nearly all the graphics I need to at least make a prototype, I'm not stopped by that horrible realisation that I need to draw a billion things and make sprite sheets and all that crap. It's much easier when I can cobble together bits and pieces knowing I can replace them later, or just leave them in if I'm lazy. Anyway, I've got a good ways into scripting the first of the three flashbacks. It's actually going to be more like two flashbacks and a bit of a joke one to end, so hopefully it's doable.
My current struggle is just with the various intricacies of programming. Computers are fun in that they'll obediently do exactly what you ask of them - but that's the problem, they do exactly what you ask of them and nothing more. So every time I realise what I've plugged in has had unforeseen consequences, I have to slam away at my keyboard feeling like a monkey using stone tools. For RPGMaker this means a lot of events that feel like cheating: giving characters blank sprite sheets when you want them off screen, layering sounds to create new ones, and so on. I aim to have this first flashback done soon. I've decided to rename the game as well, and decrease the scope even more. In my opinion it's always good to downscale as much as possible with projects like this, or they get away from you. I'll check back in once the first flashback is done.
I'm starting a devlog for this game because I'm terrible at actually finishing things, so maybe this will keep me on track. Basically, I'm making a short RPGMaker VX Ace game about my OCs - a Kamen Rider fangame, basically. I think it'll be fun because I already have a large selection of art of the characters, so that will cut down on the hardest part - graphics. I've tried to make RPGMaker games before with low success rates, mostly because I find it a really difficult program to understand. Multiple attempts have helped teach me how to use the program though, so I feel a bit better equipped. Here's what I've done so far:
What's next? First, I want to fully finish the opening of the game. There's a cold open followed by three flashback - effectively explaining how the three main characters found themselves in the same place. So once I finish that cold open, I'm going to focus on the graphics for the first flashback. That will probably take a horrifically long time, since I need to make a bunch of sprite sets...