Pale Meridian [Action RPG] (Gifs)

RujiK

Member
Pale Meridian (Working Title. New name needed)
  • Action RPG in a massive world
  • Seamless. No loading, no room transitions
  • Three sided war. Your foes have more enemies than just you.
  • Non-Linear. Dozens of small to medium choices and a few major choices
  • Stealth or combat options
  • Strong focus on diplomacy and social choices
  • Full 1080p resolution with no forced upscaling

World Size




That bottom zoomed out portion is slightly less than 1% of the total surface terrain.
World Building
The ingame editor that helps me drastically. Here it is in action.

All terrain transitions are automatic.
Day-Night Cycle
No room transitions? How will you go in houses?

More art:



If you like the game, I have a super cool twitter that would appreciate any follows. Any feedback welcome!
 
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Surgeon_

Symbian Curator
There's not much I can say from just images, but here's what I got:
  • The game seems technically very well made.
  • Graphics are also well made and capture the 'old school' feel. It reminds me of A Link to the Past a lot actually (though not the kind of graphics I myself like to see in a game these days).
  • If you want this to get attention some more details will be needed. From these images I can't even tell what the game is about.
EDIT: The reason I initially clicked this post is because the name sounded interesting and "Meridian" is a cool and to me very fond word so I think you should keep it in the title.

-Surgeon_
 
Like surgeon said, there'a not a lot to judge yet, but the tools and art you've created so far look great. I'm jealous of your in-game editing, haha! And I think Pale Meridian is a very cool JRPG sounding title. I think you could keep it for the final game if you wanted to! Looking forward to more, as always. =)
 
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darthlupi

Guest
That is a lot of work for a Pig Farm simulator!
Tell me you are making a Pig Farm simulator!

I was looking at your twitter account. Lots of cool pig action on there. :)
I love what you have here man! It is crazy seeing what you can do with Game Maker now days.
 
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Rossay

Guest
The pixel art graphics are really well done. I'm curious though, is each tile its own object...? If so, how is the performance on such a large map?
 

BLang

Member
Wow, that really looks amazing! The world size is really something. Can't help but wonder how you're keeping it all seamless.
Also, I take back what I said about the water looking too involved and turbulent. I think it looks perfect the way it is, just work on that animation a bit more :p

Seriously though, those graphics are a treat to look at. I hope I get to play this soon!
 

Cpaz

Member
There's not much I can say from just images, but here's what I got:
  • The game seems technically very well made.
  • Graphics are also well made and capture the 'old school' feel. It reminds me of A Link to the Past a lot actually (though not the kind of graphics I myself like to see in a game these days).
  • If you want this to get attention some more details will be needed. From these images I can't even tell what the game is about.
EDIT: The reason I initially clicked this post is because the name sounded interesting and "Meridian" is a cool and to me very fond word so I think you should keep it in the title.

-Surgeon_
^^^ Technically this is an impressive looking... Thing? At the moment, there doesn't seem to be much of any game yet. I'll keep my tabs on this, but as everyone else is mentioning, there isn't much yet.
That said: The idea is interesting, so, again, keeping tabs :D
 

Ninety

Member
It's amusing that this topic is no more barren of solid information than THE BEST GM GAME EVER MADE???, yet everyone's saying there's "not much to show" here while collectively going nuts in the other thread. It's a WIP thread, guys. I guess clickbait really does work :)

RujiK, I've expressed my appreciation for your graphics and engine before, but this looks really great, truly top-notch quality. Excited to see where it goes.
 

RujiK

Member
As everyone mentioned, I need some gameplay, but gameplay is still pretty bare bones currently. I'll have some updates pretty soon, but probably not combat/core gameplay.

@Surgeon_ @RichHopelessComposer Maybe I will keep the name but my worry is it's a little too "Artsy" sounding.

@darthlupi There will barnyard animals, but alas they will not be the main focus.

@YanBG @Rossay There are Almost no tiles or objects, I use surfaces. The "room size" is only like 64x64 but you can go outside the room forever almost. Currently it runs at about 300-600 fps in 2x zoom and 100-300 fps in 1x zoom at 1600x900 resolution.

@BLang Glad the water looks better at 1x. Someday it will be done! Someday...

@Cpaz, @Roa :p As stated, not much gameplay, so a demo is a ways off.

@Ninety Thanks mate. Compliments are very encouraging and it's good to have a fan :)
 

deciduous

Member
"Sorry NPC, your house is now a river!"

Hahaha! Poor buddy. I love your art, and I'm really impressed with how technical you've made it. I've been wanting to try an in game editor for a while now!

Can't wait for more updates :D
 

FROGANUS

Member
Cool I remember this one. Impressive pixel work, design, day/night shading.
I didn't realize how big of a map you were going for. Sounds ambitious!
Don't you want to make a little piggie farmer demo so we can play with the piggies?
 
It's amusing that this topic is no more barren of solid information than THE BEST GM GAME EVER MADE???, yet everyone's saying there's "not much to show" here while collectively going nuts in the other thread. It's a WIP thread, guys. I guess clickbait really does work :)
Edit: Nevermind, this doesn't belong in RujiK's thread. Sent you a nice PM, @Ninety. Explaining why your game is getting less attention than mine, since you seem so hung up on it. Read it carefully, multiple times. You'll learn a lot from it. X'D

@RujiK: About your thread title, it honestly made me go "whoa, cool name!" when I first heard it. Led me to your game way back like a year ago. It's artsy and unusual, but lots of great RPGs have names like that. Hyper Light Drifter is pretty out there, for a recent example, and it did pretty well, hahah! =)
 
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Paul Levasseur

Guest
This game is certainly off to a great start!! I love the polished, retro, clean look and the absolutely awesome title! Any plans for music?? ;)

{edit} Followed you on twitter!
 
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RujiK

Member
@Paul Levasseur Thanks for the follow! No plans for music yet, it's too early in development.
@RichHopelessComposer Bah, you've convinced me. At least for awhile I will keep the name.

Don't you want to make a little piggie farmer demo so we can play with the piggies?
Maybe I will change the name of the game to Pig Meridian!
"...I've been wanting to try an in game editor for a while now!
Actually, I just "made" an external editor this weekend. Behold!:

My new awesome map editor! (Aka MSPaint!)


After working on my ingame editor and adding copy/paste, rectangle tools and brush sizes, I just figured it would be a lot easier to make a .bmp to map converter. (I still use the ingame editor for quick stuff.)

So the bmp2map converter and the zoom effect are what I did this weekend! If anyone is interested I can post some technical stuff about it. (or just keep the cool gifs only format)
 
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Ughhh, MS-Paint map editor and zoom effect are both so badass. Please post more about them. Super cool!

I'm getting really excited for you and your game. Looks like you're building a ridiculously solid base to work on. Your level and world design are going to be way above almost anything else made in GM, I think. These tools are so powerful looking. Really fantastic work!!
 
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RujiK

Member
7 days ago, when I started this topic, I had 15 twitter followers. I now have 80 and a post with over 100 likes. Wow! I'm so famous. Thanks peeps and this topic. (Someday I dream of having more followers than hopeless.)
that zoom animation is awesome.
Thanks! Here it is back and forth:


@RichHopelessComposer Thanks for the compliments! The zoom and bmp reader are both quite simple.

For the zoom effect I have two images, (zoomed in and zoomed out.) I stretch the unzoomed image until it is the desired size while slowly increasing the alpha and size of the unzoomed image. Thats it!

The bmp reader is equally simple. With buffer_load or file_bin_open a bmp is almost straight data (Blue, red, green) All that needs to be done is assign a color to a tile and your in business.

Be aware though! MSPaint's conversion lies!

24-bit conversion from a png is actually 32 bit! Even though bmp's dont have alpha, for whatever reason the bmp keeps the alpha information. So you get a bmp with a bloated file size.

@boustrophedon Sorry, no gameplay yet :(
 
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Morumotto

Guest
I'm into it! That's one big world map! I can really envision myself just wondering around and grinding, and exploring different locations on it! Good job so far!
 

RujiK

Member
Spending FAR too much time on trees. I think my biggest issue is I keep switching styles trying to find my favorite. Could I get opinions on tree Styles?



Some are more WIP than others, but I'm hoping I can get some direction on which tree to perfect. (Also the grid system makes for easy naming of trees. A1, B3, C4...)

Which style should I pursue? (Thanks)
 
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Surgeon_

Symbian Curator
I like B3 the best because it's detailed enough and doesn't have that weird "outline" like most others. The rest of the B row and the whole C row trees look over-sharpened on the edges to me, though A2 has nice gradients. Trees from the C row look "mushy" as if they were drawn with water colours.

Overall I'm going to go with B3 because I like pines more than regular trees.
 
Thanks for the explanations, RujiK! As for the trees, I think it'd be best to show them in game, but...just looking at the example, I like a1, a2, b1, and b3 the most. :)

And I haven't posted anything on twitter in months. You'll easily pass me in followers soon with the awesome work you've been showing soon if I don't shape up. :x

Well, I've been practicing a lot lately, though. Hopefully I see a jump in my art quality soon. Practicing every day is killing me, haha. X'D

Edit: RujiK, obviously. Sorry about that. On the phone at work, haha! ^ ^"
 
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RujiK

Member
@Surgeon_ The outline is for readability since the background will vary greatly BUT I tried to make it less noticeable by Taking A3 and giving it a more 3d shaded look. Here is a before and after:


And as Hopeless requested, here is an ingame shot:

(Do the images look Jpeg-ish to anyone else? If you right click, view image it looks much cleaner.)
Better? Readable? Also since B3 is popular, I will keep that as well.
 
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RujiK

Member
@FredFredrickson
I could (and should) use png's, but the compression of a png is more complicated than working with bitmap's. It's on the "to-do if I'm bored" list, but it's a very low priority since the bmp2map works fine and the extra 30 megabytes of space isn't really a problem.

So yes, ideally I would be using png's, but right now it's not worth the time.
 

FredFredrickson

Member
GMC Elder
Ah, I see - I was wondering about it because I thought you might include the bitmap with the game, and load it at runtime. If you're just starting it in MSPaint, and then moving it into GM to touch up, then I can see why you wouldn't bother with PNG. :)
 
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7bones

Guest
You are some kind of wizard?:D Amazing.Please do from this game like ULTIMA V
 

RujiK

Member
Thanks for the compliments guys, and thanks for the follow Braffolk, I've been a fan of your game for awhile and watch you on twitter.

Trees were a little tricky. I wanted them to layer correctly and also be as CPU friendly as possible. This meant a custom depth system and no objects. I had some unusual bugs:



And then these "bugs" needed AI (They're butterflies)


Put that all together, and you get this pretty magical looking scene.
 
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Salvakiya

Guest
Nice work. I am impressed. Followed on twitter. I have been working on a project which I hope will be as beautiful as yours one day. I was working on a dynamic NPC dialogue system. Came up with a few interesting ideas. I am curious to see what comes of this project! =)
 

RujiK

Member
@Salvakiya Thanks for the follow, man. I'm not sure what you mean by "Dynamic" dialogue, but I already have a pretty sweet branching dialogue engine. Ahh, I might as well show it off. Here is what it looks like:

The coolest thing is it's simplicity. It doesn't take any code to make a huge conversation.

For a little while I had something AWFUL like:
Code:
msg = "I like money. Do you like money"
choice1 = "No";
choice2 = "Yes";
...
if choice_select == choice1 {go to next message...}
But hard-coding every message would have taken ages, so I made a string parser that does all the choices and formatting automatically. Below is the above gif's message written in notepad.

Code:
{n1_question} Hey, lets make this message [col:red]STOP! [|] I got a question. What's your favorite color? [col:red]red, [col:blue]blue, or [col:green]green?
   [|n1_red]Red
   [|n1_blue]Blue
   [|n1_green]Green
   [|com_buy]Buy Menu}

   {n1_red} You like red!}
   {n1_blue} You like Blue!}
   {n1_green} You like Green!}
   {com_buy} Want to buy something? [A_buy]Yes [A_none]No}
No if statements, no switches, no nothing! It's also super lax on formatting, so spaces and lines can be used as much or as little as needed.

So that's how I write huge branching conversations without ever leaving notepad.
 
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Salvakiya

Guest
@Salvakiya Thanks for the follow, man. I'm not sure what you mean by "Dynamic" dialogue, but I already have a pretty sweet branching dialogue engine. Ahh, I might as well show it off. Here is what it looks like:

The coolest thing is it's simplicity. It doesn't take any code to make a huge conversation.

For a little while I had something AWFUL like:
Code:
msg = "I like money. Do you like money"
choice1 = "No";
choice2 = "Yes";
...
if choice_select == choice1 {go to next message...}
But hard-coding every message would have taken ages, so I made a string parser that does all the choices and formatting automatically. Below is the above gif's message written in notepad.

Code:
{n1_question} Hey, lets make this message [col:red]STOP! [|] I got a question. What's your favorite color? [col:red]red, [col:blue]blue, or [col:green]green?
   [|n1_red]Red
   [|n1_blue]Blue
   [|n1_green]Green
   [|com_buy]Buy Menu}

   {n1_red} You like red!}
   {n1_blue} You like Blue!}
   {n1_green} You like Green!}
   {com_buy} Want to buy something? [A_buy]Yes [A_none]No}
No if statements, no switches, no nothing! It's also super lax on formatting, so spaces and lines can be used as much or as little as needed.

So that's how I write huge branching conversations without ever leaving notepad.
it looks slick =). In my dialogue engine the dialogue is generated on the fly. So before you talk to the NPC there is nothing hard coding what the npc will say to you. Depending on your dealings will change their stance towards you. Also if you walk up to an NPC and say hello... walk away come right back and say hello again the NPC will remember this and will not give the exact same text back to you. The options it gives you will be based on a behaviour tree. There is no hard coded branching system. I split different interactions up and the npc chooses what is relevant and will interact with you accordingly.
 

RujiK

Member
That sounds pretty sweet, but also a little difficult to work with in a story game. Seems like it would be great for a proc-gen game though. Have you posted it anywhere? Any examples of text output or anything?
 
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Salvakiya

Guest
That sounds pretty sweet, but also a little difficult to work with in a story game. Seems like it would be great for a proc-gen game though. Have you posted it anywhere? Any examples of text output or anything?
I have not posted it anywhere as I am currently developing it for my game. It is not as complicated as it sounds to be honest. I use "tokens" for each type of communication and build dialogue around that.

assume anything inside [ ] pairs are a token
you: [hello]
npc: [greet][trade?]
you: [quest?]
npc: [story][task]
you: [accept][goodbye]
npc: [goodbye]

what the user sees is different. Also tokens can have a relation weight to them. So you can say something 2 different ways and it could change the outcome. Story based games would not be hurt by this system either IMO because you can override what tokens are shown or demand that certain tokens are shown.

Also if you were to look at the [greet] token you would see there are multiple different ways the ai may choose to display this to the user

"Greetings traveller!"
"Greetings traveller."
"Its nice to see you again Rujik."
"Hello Rujik."
"Hello there."
"What do you want?"
"You again?"

also these could be swapped out with different languages if you wanted your game to support multiple languages. or you can also change the wordings to give different character to different kinds of npc's. A butler may say sir or ma'am more often than a king for example =P.
 
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adval25

Guest
Seems very neat. The map zoom in implementation is very clever!:D What are your main sources of inspiration for this game?
 

RujiK

Member
@Salvakiya But every gamer knows you keep talking to an NPC until he just says the same thing over and over! That would ruin everything!
@Anthony Valles I've been playing games for 20 years so I have loads of inspiration, but Links Awakening and Baldur's Gate 2 are pretty big sources.

Technical Time
Many (Most?) 2d games use bounding box collisions like this:


Pale Meridian is a little different. ALL solids are technically one way solids. Check out these odd boxes. You can easily pass DOWN thru them, but you can't go up.


So a solid wall is actually 4 one way walls. This is beneficial if you somehow get stuck in a wall since you can just walk right back out. (Notice how I can't walk into other walls, but I can walk OUT of the wall.)


Another advantage of this system is being able to have walls that are actually 0 pixels thick. This system was a lot of work setting up, and I don't recommend it unless you know you need it, but the end product is quite nice.

So WHY do I need EVERYTHING to be a one way wall? So I can do this:

With this collision engine slopes are not a special case, so pathfinding/AI need no exceptions. It's all native!


And that's it. I can go into more detail about why I used a fake 3d system instead of a real z axis if anyone needs to know, but I think this post is long enough.

Oh, and no post is complete without a few bugs:
 
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adval25

Guest
I'm looking forward to seeing you develop this game. I'm definitely going to keep tabs on this project.
 
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Salvakiya

Guest
@Salvakiya But every gamer knows you keep talking to an NPC until he just says the same thing over and over! That would ruin everything!
@Anthony Valles I've been playing games for 20 years so I have loads of inspiration, but Links Awakening and Baldur's Gate 2 are pretty big sources.

Technical Time
Many (Most?) 2d games use bounding box collisions like this:


Pale Meridian is a little different. ALL solids are technically one way solids. Check out these odd boxes. You can easily pass DOWN thru them, but you can't go up.


So a solid wall is actually 4 one way walls. This is beneficial if you somehow get stuck in a wall since you can just walk right back out. (Notice how I can't walk into other walls, but I can walk OUT of the wall.)


Another advantage of this system is being able to have walls that are actually 0 pixels thick. This system was a lot of work setting up, and I don't recommend it unless you know you need it, but the end product is quite nice.

So WHY do I need EVERYTHING to be a one way wall? So I can do this:

With this collision engine slopes are not a special case, so pathfinding/AI need no exceptions. It's all native!


And that's it. I can go into more detail about why I used a fake 3d system instead of a real z axis if anyone needs to know, but I think this post is long enough.

Oh, and no post is complete without a few bugs:
well you have to think of how it would be IRL. if I came up to a person in real life and said hi to him over and over within a short time it changes the way the AI behaves. this is why you use a behavioral tree. if an NPC gets annoyed with you they will begin to ignore you. you would then have to let time pass so you could speak with them again.


I am curious how your ledge system looks like in the editor though =). Wonderful stuff!
 

YanBG

Member
@RujiK, are you using a script to color words in strings? I need that for a feed that inserts new line to a string each time item is picked.
 
Just saw this for the first time, looks great so far. Will definitely be following this topic and I've followed you on Twitter as well.
 

RujiK

Member
I try to only post when I have an update, but that may be awhile so...

@Anthony Valles @OldNESJunkie Thanks guys! And thanks for the follow.

@Salvakiya I agree it's more realistic, but I had to poke fun at an old gaming cliche. I like your idea!

@YanBG Yes, I have a string parser that finds commands in the string (See above post) and then for colored words I draw the word a second time with color. So colored words are first drawn without color, and then drawn over again with color.

@Galladhan Thanks a lot man! I need to play secret of mana at some point; I've had a couple people say it reminds them of it.
Also you made my day (lol):
 
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