So I've just recently released the first early trailer for my project: Astralojia. The game is a virtual reality RPG designed and tested for the Oculus Gear VR, and by extension Go and Rift, though also playable on PC. The trailer mostly shows off right now the environment, with only a very limited amount of the player walking around.
In the game you take control of a kid who must grow and learn within the world of Astralojia, a world of magic and martial arts. I will be revealing more of the story for the project as I release more of my work.
This month my intent is to complete all of the sprite sheets for the first game. Sounds like a lot of work, right? Well, I'm fully aware that as a single person team I could never create a 30+ hour JRPG, so instead I'm only trying to create an episode that will be 1 to 2 hours in length. When the first episode is finished, it serves as a template for further episodes.
After the sprite sheets are complete, it'll be on to the greatest challenge of all, which is the menu and the battle modules. It being an RPG, these two will be very closely intertwined, but there's an interesting thought...Even though you would expect the battle system to take precedence or priority over the menus...The menus being a kind of data manager, the battle system I believe should be viewed as being an extension of the menu system.
The scenes for the first episode are now complete. I have finished a first version of my RPG Maker toolset for Unity and will be showing more of it off as I develop the game. The toolset, that I call Astra Tools, is designed to make developing RPGs within Unity fast and easy, and makes use of a real time scripting language, a text engine, a 2.5D sprite sheet engine, a data engine, and a unity asset package containing all of the exterior and interior environment models and textures needed for development.
You'll see me mentioning throughout development that I'm trying to be as practical as possible, and that might get annoying to you if you're one of the two people that reads my development logs and you have a keen memory. Here's the thing...being a single person I understand that I will not be able to create the next Final Fantasy, even if I wanted to make it one hour long. I can though, I believe, create a solid simple pokemon-like battle system, and using classic adventure or puzzle like gameplay throughout each chapter or episode make it addictive and fun.
I like to do what I do by hand. The animation, while 2D, is not and will not be bone rigged. It may come out more jerky. My sprite sheet scripts for Unity do have support for five frame animation, but I will be sticking to three frame throughout and compensating with particle effects.
I'm a huge fan of hand drawn animation, and have grown up on Miyazakis work. My intent going into 2018, my new years resolution and beyond, is to make engaging beautiful animated stories that I can bring to the world. I believe that the virtual reality market is ready for animated epic story based JRPGs already, and the Oculus is a ripe medium as this is the year of the standalone headsets being released.