The bulk of this post is pretty much a mirror of what I had on the Poke Community forums. Maybe that's not the most honest approach as opposed to retyping, but I had written a lot, and would like to be sure I may get the help needed. But that's neither here nor there. On to the game presentation.
Title: Poke Island (Special Edition)
Made With: RMXP, unless someone can suggest something that outdoes this 100 fold (and give me more sprite flexability).
Intro: Poke Island was a fan game I made back in 1999, even though it wasn't very thorough (in terms of game play and the system). Nevertheless, I still liked it, a least enough to keep the series going long after the game, making the Poke Island series in and of itself a sort of trilogy (the last two were comics, though). A lot of people have been curious about the series, so recently I announced I'd bring it back, but the only way I'm getting Poke Island (the game) out there is to remake it, because the old version is awkward and antiquated and won't run on modern systems.
Story: If you know anything about me, you know I don't give anything away. All I can give you is a sort of teaser story you'd see on the back of a game box or long before a game is released:
Strange things are happening! Pokemon from all over the world are mysteriously being transported to a hidden island in the Pacific, known as Poke Island. Away from human eyes, the Pokemon have lived social lives much like the humans themselves, but with the population instantly increasing, the influence and suggestions of human life increases as well. But for what reason have the Pokemon been transported to this island? Who could be behind this, and what is the purpose?
Honestly the game has about 4 subplots, pretty much interconnected. I just can't say what that is unless you're behind the scenes or the game is finished.
Features: If you've ever touched a MOTHER game, you already know how this works. Basically, the game is based almost exclusively on EarthBound's system. After I had played through EB the first time, it was one of the best gaming experiences I've had, and I guess I was spoiled by it. Making Poke Island (original) like EarthBound was actually more like a tribute and huge inspiration.
PISE isn't any different, except with MOTHER 3's release came new graphics, cutscenes, interactive battles and many things EB didn't have, so now the standard has been upped to MOTHER 3's way of doing things (but the core system for PISE is still very much EarthBound, I won't even attempt sound battles).
If you aren't familiar with EarthBound, I'll try to list some key ideas:
- game is based on a sort of romantized 1990's, complete with an alien invasion
- overworld enemies, many of which are offbeat or satirical
- game itself is a satire of RPGs
- equipable weapons include yo-yos, slingshots and baseball bats
- rolling HP meter gives you the edge on winning battles
- several attacks and status conditions that are pretty silly (such as a Cold)
- soundtrack includes many sampled tunes from US culture
- a lot of Beatles references
- Pokey Minch
Ideally, Poke Island has the same core ideas. I mean, Pikachu doesn't use a Yo-yo but still.
Actually, on the Pokemon side of things, the creatures, types and attacks are taken from the RBY games. This game was made in a time before GS existed, and the story itself hasn't changed. I can't add any more than what few new Pokemon were revealed at the time, with the exception of Pichu (as the original game had a very young Pikachu, and well Game Freak retconned that one so I guess I have to comply there).
That said, hopefully it won't bother anyone that the game is set in the era of the 1st generation. To be honest, though, that keeps thing SUPER simple, because I really really really don't think anyone wants to make a kajillion sprites for 480+ Pokemon and variations of them.
You may also remember the days when Bite was a normal attack and Poison was S/E on bugs. Well, it's here too. There's only 15 types (to add any more doesn't just mess up the era, but the story itself), and each is pretty much how you remember. The only difference is that Psychic types won't trump everything, as that barely matters in this situation, and the stats themselves will differ from the old HP, ATK, DEF, SPC, and SPD. There's some other exceptions, too, such as held items introduced in GS actually appear as useful items here, etc.
Screens: Uh, I'll do you one better.
As a rule, I've learned that you never announce a project without getting something done yourself. Sometimes this is as high as 50%, but for this, there's way too much to do alone.
And with all that said and done...
Generally, I need whatever talent anyone has. So fields are open for anything but mapping and story, those were done in the original and won't change. Details?
- Overworld sprites for NPCs. There's a lot of them. A LOT OF THEM. 157 Pokemon total, but a whole lot of species have variations (male, female, child, businessguy, salesman, shopper, doctor, etc).
- Battle sprites. It's possible, I may do all these myself. But there's a lot of bloody enemies too. They go into 4 categories: Common Pokemon, Strange Pokemon, Original and MOTHER. Commons are just everyday Pokemon that resemble old official anime art. Strange are Pokemon with personality (disorders) or Bosses. Note that not all Pokemon (common or strange) are enemies. Original are original enemies that I made for the game, like Demonic Relic or China Plate (the less sense they make, the better). MOTHER means some MOTHER 1 & 2 enemies reappear, like the Filthy Attack Roach or Titany.
- Scenary. This takes a long time, too. A lot of it can be ripped from MOTHER 3, but I'm thinking even more of it is from scratch, a least it's been in my experience.
- Scripting. The last thing I can do is code. Trust me, I've been trying for about 6 years. If I ever get a job in Game Dev, a programmer is NOT what I'll be. If you can make a catch-all script that's pretty much EarthBound in a nutshell, that's all I really need. But I'll also need stuff like sprite allowance (how many sprites I can have per character as opposed to 4 for all), a party of 5 in battle, etc.
- Stats for enemies. Again, there's a lot of them, and that means a lot of stats to assign, such as total HP, Offense, etc. This also includes weaknesses, resistances, and susceptabilities (such as one may be easily paralyzed or poisoned compared to another).
- Musician. A weird one. I will need to find someone who makes music somewhere, somehow, because a few songs I absolutely NEED to be original. The rest of the game can have an original (for the most part, there's a few standards I need to keep) score, but it's not dire. I'll end up using selected music from MOTHER 2/3 among others otherwise.
There's probably more aspects that I can't think of, but as you can see, this game is very much "build from the ground up", with the only presets being location and mapping, how the story goes and what elements of scenery I can mooch from MOTHER 3 (and battle BGs from 2/3 on top of that).
The key thing to remember is that the overall style of the game is MOTHER(EarthBound) + Pokemon. The overworld will mostly look like a MOTHER game, battle images and other close ups should resemble the official style of the series, however with EB wackiness mixed in depending on who it is.
I realize this is a whole lot coming from a person who's only posted once, but it's a sincere project. I could do it all on my own if I had a decade to spend on it. I'm that devoted, but then again I have to be realistic, time won't stop, life won't wait...
I appreciate any and all help/support I can get on this. The sooner it's done, the better for all (especially those who are waiting for Poke Tales/Legends). Also, I'm getting to the age where I can't devote a whole lot of time to projects. So I really could use the extra boost so that I'm not still attempting to do this when I'm 35. >_> (that's many years off but still.) Any help is good help, so long as it's coordinated.
... plus, I'm still trying to get a fighting game out. =B
If you want any more information that I undoubtedly left out, or want some insight on the original Poke Island, you can check this out
if you haven't already seen it.
Thanks for your time.