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Thread: NEW Dreamcast RPG "Elysian Shadows" - Pre-Order Your Physical Copies Now!

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    Default NEW Dreamcast RPG "Elysian Shadows" - Pre-Order Your Physical Copies Now!

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    Just in case you haven't read this yet, here is a neat new Kickstarter project to make a technically advanced 2D RPG on SEGA Dreamcast. The name of the game is Elysian Shadows, and its trailer speaks for itself.

    To get a physical copy for either Dreamcast, Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows, it's $49 for the regular edition and $125 for the limited edition. Will you jump on the bandwagon?

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ext-gen-2d-rpg

    Here's an example of the game engine at work. The shadows and lighting are done in real time; these things are not merely pre-rendered sprites. [ https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/...6325_large.gif ] The game features real-time directional lighting, colored lighting, dynamic shadows, scaling, rotation, a day-night cycle... well I'm sure if you have seen the trailer, you know about which I'm writing.
    Last edited by Nz17; 08-06-2014 at 05:06 PM.

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    I watched a few videos, liked what I saw and chose the Dreamcast version.
    Thanks for the heads up!

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    This project has a lot of the red flags that I avoid when supporting Kickstarters. It's an inexperienced team that has already put almost 8 years into the project with mediocre results and they are extremely aggressive in trying to support a large range of platforms for what would appear to be an inadequate amount of money as the goal. They also seem more interested in touting their work on the engine than the actual story or gameplay which makes sense I suppose as none of them have ever really worked on a released game or an RPG. Personally, I care about gameplay and story more than technical aspects or graphics on RPGs, so I just am not sold at all on what they are selling. I also just don't see this as a good risk given what has happened with other similar Kickstarter video game projects in the last few months with inexperienced teams and inadequate financing coupled with expansive ambitions.
    Last edited by Bojay1997; 08-06-2014 at 06:54 PM.

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    Just watched the kickstarter video. I'm wondering why he said "We're not trying to create a retro game..." Then why are you releasing it for the Dreamcast with Super Nintendo graphics? I couldn't really hear too clearly what he said after that, the sound quality of his voice recording was really poor and it was covered over with loud music. I also had to look up the video on youtube as it wouldn't load on the kickstarter page, I'm not sure if I'm alone with that.

    The in game text also looks too small compared to the size of the characters on screen, hopefully that will be changed. I am surprised they're using a custom game engine instead of RPG Maker, just based on what the game looks like I thought it was RPG Maker.

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    I don't know if this will help anyone to make up one's mind, but here is an hour, forty-two minutes long interview which "Sega Addicts" conducted with the developer.



    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    I am surprised they're using a custom game engine instead of RPG Maker, just based on what the game looks like I thought it was RPG Maker.
    I don't know if this statement was sarcasm or not, but RPG Maker is a Windows-only game engine and it doesn't support many of the features of the engine of this game.

    However, I do agree with you that the sprites and background artwork are... less than thrilling. I am really hoping that they are just placeholder graphics.

    I don't know, perhaps I will lower or cancel my pledge amount... I'll have to think about this some more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nz17 View Post
    I don't know if this statement was sarcasm or not, but RPG Maker is a Windows-only game engine and it doesn't support many of the features of the engine of this game.
    I wasn't being sarcastic, I've seen plenty of games made in RPG Maker and many of these games released as freeware actually look better visually. I haven't kept up with newer releases of RPG Maker so I assumed they just improved it to add those newer features, soon afterwards I learned that it was a new custom engine.

    As for Windows-only;




    As another point, I don't get some of these pledge offerings. I'm more surprised people have paid for these.

    Pledge $750 or more
    THE DEVELOPER ============================= Create your own sidequest within Elysian Shadows with your area, map, or house, and your item, NPC, or enemy ● Signed concept piece for proof of authenticity ● Optional invitation to come crash on our couch for a few days and help us realize your creative vision.
    You have to pay $750 to help work on the game for them? If your sidequest isn't good, will it still be included in the game?

    Pledge $500 or more
    THE EXPERIENCE ============================= Come crash on our couch for a few nights and experience the authentic life of indie game development, complete with drinking coffee out of mason jars, participating in software discussions, complaining that our artists' assets don't work in the toolkit, and finding all kinds of bugs for us. ● You can also guest star in a Chapter of "Adventures in Game Development," and even promote your own gamedev project!
    Pay $500 to sleep on their couch?

    There's several more pledge levels like this, to pay them to work on their game. To pay them to beta test and look for bugs. Usually this is done for free, asking for volunteers. Or kept within a tight group to keep stuff from potentially being leaked before release.

    Plus they want to make each platform release unique to their respective platforms with different content between them, yet they also want to make the save files swappable between them. Would this even be possible?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    Pay $500 to sleep on their couch?

    There's several more pledge levels like this, to pay them to work on their game. To pay them to beta test and look for bugs. Usually this is done for free, asking for volunteers. Or kept within a tight group to keep stuff from potentially being leaked before release.

    Plus they want to make each platform release unique to their respective platforms with different content between them, yet they also want to make the save files swappable between them. Would this even be possible?

    Actually, on Kickstarter, that's a fairly common pledge level. I can't recall if I've ever seen someone actually pledge for one of these though.

    I'm also hoping that they're using place holder graphics at this point in time, otherwise it sort of feels like they're spending a lot of effort layering shadows over ugly graphics. Do the shadows have a gameplay/storyline tie-in? Why bother with them at all otherwise? I also hate the inconsistent graphic styles, either do a 2D world or a 3D world, but if you don't have an integrated reason to flip flop between the two then don't.
    Last edited by Daria; 08-08-2014 at 10:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    I wasn't being sarcastic, I've seen plenty of games made in RPG Maker and many of these games released as freeware actually look better visually. I haven't kept up with newer releases of RPG Maker so I assumed they just improved it to add those newer features, soon afterwards I learned that it was a new custom engine.

    As for Windows-only;


    Not to mention that the Dreamcast also has Windows CE built into the system itself to make converting from Windows to the Dreamcast easier for programmers. Not sure if there was ever a version of RPG Maker made for Windows CE, but if there was, there's your answer. If there wasn't, I could see it being easily converted to work with the Windows CE Tools and Libraries. Just saying as people seem to forget this little tidbit about the Dreamcast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daria View Post
    Actually, on Kickstarter, that's a fairly common pledge level. I can't recall if I've ever seen someone actually pledge for one of these though.
    It's mostly the "benefits" of that pledge level that I was questioning. Sleep on their couch, drink coffee out of a mason jar, etc. What else? Do we get to use their pee bucket too?

    Even the previous entry for "The Architect" is better at the same pledge level, but it's still a type of do-the-work-yourself gimmick. "Create your own custom house, map, or area for your item, NPC, or enemy to inhabit! Signed concept piece for proof of authenticity." Usually if you get something like this put into the game like your name or a NPC in your likeness, it's the game developers who put this into the game for you, you don't have to do it yourself.

    Maybe they're just wording the rewards poorly, but that part about proof of authenticity is throwing me off. Why would you need this if it's in the game? Or is it to prove you programmed a part of the game? I'm just used to other Kickstarters like the Leisure Suit Larry one as an example mentioning a limited hardcover autographed artbook for the same pledge level. This type of stuff just sounds different than sleep on their couch for a few days.




    Just mentioning RPG Maker games again, I'll post one below. Honestly, which RPG would you rather be playing?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    As for Windows-only;
    *Sigh* I've known about the PlayStation "RPG Maker" release for over a decade by, you know, owning it since it was new back in the day. Played through the little kitty-cat-takes-over-the-world sample RPG included with it too. But just like the PS2 release of "RPG Maker 2," I wasn't considering it as a part of this conversation since, you know, both of these releases are ancient by today's standards, aren't supported by the developer and publisher anymore, are much more difficult to use than their Windows successors, and don't really offer the option of making professional software available for sale, particularly (for all versions & releases of "RPG Maker") as they are not as cross-platform capable as the "Elysian Shadows" engine. I should know: I've been following these guys for years including their sporadic "Adventures in Game Development" video series.

    You can't just make a game in RPG Maker on Windows 8 and run it on a PlayStation, PlayStation 2, or any other platform of your choosing. The closest to "cross platform" which RPG Maker's engine gets is by running on multiple versions of Windows and WINE.

    But if you want someone to acknowledge that these two PlayStation releases exist, there you go.

    Quote Originally Posted by T2KFreeker View Post
    Not to mention that the Dreamcast also has Windows CE built into the system itself to make converting from Windows to the Dreamcast easier for programmers. Not sure if there was ever a version of RPG Maker made for Windows CE, but if there was, there's your answer. If there wasn't, I could see it being easily converted to work with the Windows CE Tools and Libraries. Just saying as people seem to forget this little tidbit about the Dreamcast.
    Erk, uhh, ahh, haah... nurgh!

    RPG Maker has never been available for Windows CE. However the "Elysian Shadows" game engine is highly portable and compatible by being written in the open graphics standard of OpenGL ES as well as other popular open standards for the rest of the engine.

    Windows CE was pretty much just "Windows" in name, sharing very little code with the mainline OS series. The Windows OS's from back then were very different technology-wise from Windows CE. Those two types of Windows from back then are about as close as Windows Phone is to the Windows OS's of today. While it did help to port games if the program used technologies present in both types of Windows, it was more often the case that the games couldn't easily work as ports because they used features too different or not present in Windows CE. Plus you also have to consider the hardware limitations of the Dreamcast platform which limit the possibilities of ports. Windows CE on the Dreamcast was more for marketing than anything else - it was a way of saying, "Hey look, the big company Microsoft has faith in us! Support our system. Please program for our platform; port if you can!" Ultimately, though, that partnership led to the later help and partnership SEGA and MicroSoft gave to each other in the post-Dreamcast era.

    @Daria: Yeah, I frequently see a lot of those "visit us for big money" pledges at the higher level tiers in Kickstarter projects. Personally, I would have pledged to one of these high levels in some of the projects which I've supported if I could have. A lot of people don't understand that at these "make a level, character, statue, portrait, boss, enemy, stage, mini-game, house, environment, song, weapon, etc." tiers, what the devs really do is help you to design some of these things based on conversations you have with the developers, simple doodles you make, and the like, instead of making the whole thing yourself. It's a way of adding your personal touch to the game, and they really are a way for people to get something extra special and limited as a way of saying thanks for their big amount of generosity.

    And of course, the beta or alpha or early access versions of the games - while they are for finding bugs and making feature requests and UI requests - they are in these Kickstarter projects primarily as a way to get the games to the backers earlier than the general public. Even earlier closed alphas or betas with the development team generally happen before giving the crowd-sourced-funding providers access to the project's code.

    It is a new world of game development, similar to but different from the old world.

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    *pokes the fire*

    There was an Super Famicom release of RPG Maker as well. :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daria View Post
    There was an Super Famicom release of RPG Maker as well.
    That would explain the graphics.

    Of course my post was only pertaining to official releases in our territory. But just to get this out there:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    PC-8801, MSX2, PC-9801, Microsoft Windows, Super Famicom, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Game Boy Color, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS
    Obviously not all of these platforms would have shared the same code base even if they shared similar designs. But given how text-heavy RPGs tend to be and how arduous text input on consoles without a keyboard is, I think designing anything significant on most consoles would be a nightmare. Thankfully for the ideogram-based and syllabic-based Asian languages, their key input sequences shorten input significantly over semi-phonetic languages like English. Sharing code on the "non-computer" platforms, though, would still be difficult compared to the computer platforms listed above as consoles would need people to use link cables, save carts, and memory cards to swap games which they had made - and forget trying to sell anything commercially as buyers would need a copy of RPG Maker for the target platform and you'd have to sell them memory cards with the "games" on them or trust them to return the hardware after they'd copied the data. Far from impossible, but still far from ideal.

    ...

    Getting back on topic though, what do the rest of you think of this long-in-development Dreamcast RPG "Elysian Shadows?" Anyone else going to pick up a copy even if just a digital-only one? The project has already raised $88,908 of its $150,000 goal with 22 days left to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nz17 View Post
    *Sigh* I've known about the PlayStation "RPG Maker" release for over a decade by, you know, owning it since it was new back in the day. Played through the little kitty-cat-takes-over-the-world sample RPG included with it too. But just like the PS2 release of "RPG Maker 2," I wasn't considering it as a part of this conversation since, you know, both of these releases are ancient by today's standards, aren't supported by the developer and publisher anymore, are much more difficult to use than their Windows successors....
    I guess it makes sense that it's important for everything to still be current and supported by the developers, which is why they chose to design and release their game for the Dreamcast over current consoles<cough>.

    As I've said I never kept up with the progress of this release, or any indie/homebrew game. I only went by what the game looked like to me. I do know that programming for older consoles like the SNES and Genesis required more specialized programming, I just assumed that the Dreamcast would be modern enough to still be compatible with modern programming tools.

    Also, the Dreamcast can play PS1 games using Bleemcast so using PS1 RPG Maker didn't seem completely impossible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nz17 View Post
    Getting back on topic though, what do the rest of you think of this long-in-development Dreamcast RPG "Elysian Shadows?" Anyone else going to pick up a copy even if just a digital-only one? The project has already raised $88,908 of its $150,000 goal with 22 days left to go.
    I'm going to assume most people won't buy it since there hasn't been any reply in a few days. Hoping this topic will still get more on-topic discussion.

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    I considered pledging since my Dreamcast needs some RPG love, but (besides spending most of my money on something else already) this thing honestly doesn't seem... well, its probably unfair to say it won't be that great, but like others have said I kinda wonder if their heart is in the wrong place.

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    For the record, aside from the generic town graphics, this game looks nothing like an RPG Maker title. Also the team appears to be made up of professional programmers who wanted to program their own game. Which would also explain why the project is very technically heavy and weak in areas of story and graphics. My biggest turn off from the project is how vague it's been on what the game's actually about. Like I mention in my last post, I don't care about real time shadows unless they serve to further the gameplay. It seems like the developers made a list of "cool" features and built a game around them. Perhaps they didn't, but that's how its being marketed.

    I read in an interview where they talked about storyline, and they painted it with similarly vague brushstrokes. They said it had a lot of political intrigue and humor. So in other words they said a lot that told me nothing.

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    Now they are at $118,757 of their $150,000 goal. We're seeing good progress with ten days left to go.

    And in good news no matter where you stand on the game itself, the devs have announced they are going to release their in-house-developed game engine, ESTk, for other potential eager Dreamcast developers to use. See this post on Kickstarter for details. It appears much easier to use than the Linux, command line, and C programming tools of the Dreamcast indie scene's past, with a modern, sleek interface and powerful development options. So even if "Elysian Shadows" doesn't turn out so hot, it could certainly give rise to someone else making something marvelous for the SEGA Dreamcast.

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    So I jumped into their Twitch stream last night and directly asked them what the story was about. Patryk (SP) said that he didn't want to give away any spoilers and proceeded to describe the game's setting. Apparently there's ancient magic lying around that scavengers go out and salvage for big monies because it's a dangerous job. The hero[es]? come across something special and story happens.

    He also said that the story was "all in his head" and it's "generally cool". All I'm going to say is this game had better have some bitchin' gameplay.

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    The story hasnt been penned yet, the engine is underwhelming, and everything looks amateurish... I truly hope they succeed and surprise me the same way water melon did, but they just look like a bunch of stoners with too much ambition.

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    I've been following their dev videos here and there for a few years now. The engine programmer has been the only real constant; the rest have been a revolving door of various team members. I have basically zero faith that there's going to be some great story there, but I still hope the game gets made.

    I think the project is interesting for some of the same reasons I find ulillillia's game development interesting. All of this extraneous shit that doesn't seem like it needs to be there at all keeps getting piled on to the game engine; whereas in the case of uli's game, the extraneous stuff is mostly in the form of focusing on minute graphical background details the player is likely never even going to see.

    The prevailing perception seems to be that, in order to be successful, a game needs to have all its ducks in a row before it leaves the gate. It needs to have a concise design, with a minimalist laser-like focus on stripping away all elements that don't serve this primary function. So there's this part of me that hopes that people who are going the other direction are somehow still successful; that throwing all of this random shit into a blender results in some form of fun coming out on the other side, however flawed it may end up being.

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    The prevailing perception seems to be that, in order to be successful, a game needs to have all its ducks in a row before it leaves the gate. It needs to have a concise design, with a minimalist laser-like focus on stripping away all elements that don't serve this primary function. So there's this part of me that hopes that people who are going the other direction are somehow still successful; that throwing all of this random shit into a blender results in some form of fun coming out on the other side, however flawed it may end up being.
    Really that's the basis of good project management, pinpoint your primary objective and cut out any fat that doesn't support it. I'd say the reason that they've been in development for so long is that without a concrete plan in place their game just keeps evolving. I'm really leaning towards backing this, I mean honestly the game looks like a train wreck but their enthusiasm is admirable. I really like that they're releasing the dev tools, this may be the start of some cool things being done on the Dreamcast. My greatest fear of backing it is that the game just never gets done, but I'd like to support the development.

    I guess what I'm saying is even if the game turns out to be not very good, I can still appreciate it for the things it does get right and the heart poured into the project.
    Last edited by Daria; 08-23-2014 at 07:37 PM.

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    Talking

    For better or for worse, the project has met its initial funding goal of $150,000, and now they're talking about their stretch goals. So if nothing else, they will be seeing at least 150K. Let's all hope that this project turns out for the best & that its meandering ways don't leave it in developmental purgatory.

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    I should spend more time with RPG maker I haven't beyond a few hours on pc and psone. Why no Genesis version? Good to see a console release at all I suppose and on the dreamcast! the console that never dies! love the linux support also but can't get into RPGs on phones the small screens and awkward controls just don;t work for me with rpgs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daria View Post
    He also said that the story was "all in his head" and it's "generally cool".
    So they're using the George Lucas style of story writing, as in making it up as they go. Interesting to see what happens, especially since RPGs like adventure games are mostly played for the story.

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    Hello everybody. I'm the lead engine developer of Elysian Shadows. I've been lurking around this thread for quite awhile. I made an account a few weeks ago, but only now got activated.

    I honestly don't usually respond to forum threads as skeptical as this one, because it sounds as though the majority of you have already made your minds up about us, and I honestly doubt there is anything I can do to change your minds... But here goes nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bojay1997
    It's an inexperienced team that has already put almost 8 years into the project with mediocre results and they are extremely aggressive in trying to support a large range of platforms for what would appear to be an inadequate amount of money as the goal.
    My favorite criticism. I taught myself to code for the Sega Dreamcast at age 14 and have been developing indie games since then for a decade. I have an undergraduate in computer engineering, and I have worked as a professional software engineer developing fiber optic routing equipment while pursuing a masters degree in GPU architecture. I also worked part-time developing with the Unity3D engine at a startup game development studio for awhile, professionally... Perhaps I am "aggressively" trying to support a wide range of platforms, because I'm an experienced engineer with a passion for tinkering with hardware? Just a thought...

    Quote Originally Posted by gameguy
    Just watched the kickstarter video. I'm wondering why he said "We're not trying to create a retro game..." Then why are you releasing it for the Dreamcast with Super Nintendo graphics?
    Kindly show me a game maker game with full dynamic 3D lighting, bump mapping, specular highlighting, pixel perfect shadows, 3D rigid body physics, and 3D positional surround sound, and I will agree with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by gameguy
    Pay $500 to sleep on their couch?

    There's several more pledge levels like this, to pay them to work on their game. To pay them to beta test and look for bugs. Usually this is done for free, asking for volunteers. Or kept within a tight group to keep stuff from potentially being leaked before release.
    I mean no offense... But you can't have seen many Kickstarters. This is a VERY common reward, and usually this kind of thing costs thousands. The reward tiers for our Kickstarter are all cheaper than other Kickstarters by a pretty significant amount... I know, because I personally researched when putting together our campaign.

    Quote Originally Posted by gameguy
    Plus they want to make each platform release unique to their respective platforms with different content between them, yet they also want to make the save files swappable between them. Would this even be possible?
    Of course it's possible! Contrary to what you may believe, we didn't pull any of these stretch goals or prices out of our asses. We planned out all of the coding, logistics, and budgeting for all of these... This one is actually pretty trivial to accomplish from an engineering perspective. The price is for hosting a server and developing a back-end for storing the saves in the cloud...

    Quote Originally Posted by T2KFreeker
    Not to mention that the Dreamcast also has Windows CE built into the system itself to make converting from Windows to the Dreamcast easier for programmers. Not sure if there was ever a version of RPG Maker made for Windows CE, but if there was, there's your answer. If there wasn't, I could see it being easily converted to work with the Windows CE Tools and Libraries. Just saying as people seem to forget this little tidbit about the Dreamcast.
    Not exactly. Windows CE is not "built into" the console. It's a separate development kit in addition to Sega's own development kit. It performs considerably worse, and a commercial indie game like ours cannot use either devkit without getting insta-sued for not being licensed. All of the tools we are using were created by the Dreamcast scene and myself through reverse engineering, which is why we can sell the software legally without a license.

    Quote Originally Posted by gameguy
    Even the previous entry for "The Architect" is better at the same pledge level, but it's still a type of do-the-work-yourself gimmick. "Create your own custom house, map, or area for your item, NPC, or enemy to inhabit! Signed concept piece for proof of authenticity." Usually if you get something like this put into the game like your name or a NPC in your likeness, it's the game developers who put this into the game for you, you don't have to do it yourself.
    Is that so? We will do as little or as much work as people would ask of us... We have plenty of people who are extremely grateful with how open we've been at this tier, basically giving them the freedom to use our own tools to develop it exactly the way they want to. You're putting words into our mouths here.

    Nz17 totally gets it and explained it far more articulately than I could.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nz17
    @Daria: Yeah, I frequently see a lot of those "visit us for big money" pledges at the higher level tiers in Kickstarter projects. Personally, I would have pledged to one of these high levels in some of the projects which I've supported if I could have. A lot of people don't understand that at these "make a level, character, statue, portrait, boss, enemy, stage, mini-game, house, environment, song, weapon, etc." tiers, what the devs really do is help you to design some of these things based on conversations you have with the developers, simple doodles you make, and the like, instead of making the whole thing yourself. It's a way of adding your personal touch to the game, and they really are a way for people to get something extra special and limited as a way of saying thanks for their big amount of generosity.
    Thank you very much for that! As a developer, it means a lot to see people with this kind of attitude!

    Quote Originally Posted by Daria
    For the record, aside from the generic town graphics, this game looks nothing like an RPG Maker title. Also the team appears to be made up of professional programmers who wanted to program their own game. Which would also explain why the project is very technically heavy and weak in areas of story and graphics. My biggest turn off from the project is how vague it's been on what the game's actually about.
    Thank you very much. I appreciate your open mindedness here, and you are absolutely right with respects to our technical heaviness. Also, keep in mind that we wrote the engine and toolkit from scratch to power this game. They are complete. We're using Kickstarter to fund the game itself through to completion--gameplay, art, music, and content. It's "technical heavy," because those are the aspects of Elysian Shadows that are completed at this point in time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nz17
    And in good news no matter where you stand on the game itself, the devs have announced they are going to release their in-house-developed game engine, ESTk, for other potential eager Dreamcast developers to use. See this post on Kickstarter for details. It appears much easier to use than the Linux, command line, and C programming tools of the Dreamcast indie scene's past, with a modern, sleek interface and powerful development options. So even if "Elysian Shadows" doesn't turn out so hot, it could certainly give rise to someone else making something marvelous for the SEGA Dreamcast.
    Once again, thank you for the support. You're absolutely right about ESTk, but I will make damn sure ES itself does turn out to be pretty damn hot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darla
    So I jumped into their Twitch stream last night and directly asked them what the story was about. Patryk (SP) said that he didn't want to give away any spoilers and proceeded to describe the game's setting. Apparently there's ancient magic lying around that scavengers go out and salvage for big monies because it's a dangerous job. The hero[es]? come across something special and story happens.

    He also said that the story was "all in his head" and it's "generally cool". All I'm going to say is this game had better have some bitchin' gameplay.
    NOOOOOOOO!!!!

    Of all the YouTube videos, livestreams, and updates we have, you managed to catch the one, unofficial stream with just our artist and our musician in it. Patrick means well, but he doesn't know when to shut up and talks out of his ass constantly (I hope you find this thread some day, Patrick! <3). He's not even a storyline writer, so whether it's "all in his head" or not is completely irrelevant. It's not your fault you ran into that stream, but it's super unfortunate you didn't catch us on an official stream with everyone available.

    I wanted to talk specifically about our storyline right now. Since the launch of the Kickstarter, we've been criticized by the hardcore RPG communities for having "no storyline." In actuality this entire project began as a storyline concept above anything else. I take the storyline and writing as seriously and passionately as I take the code, and we have a 50+ page design document painstakingly detailing the storyline, dialog, characters, backstories, and culture. The point of any video game or work of art is to create an emotional connection with your audience, and that is my absolute highest priority with ES. I honestly can't even play games anymore that don't have compelling storylines.

    It was truly my fault for not presenting the storyline better during our Kickstarter campaign, and I have paid for it. I really didn't figure out a good way to introduce much storyline in a tiny amount of space on the Kickstarter page (we literally ran out of characters), without completely ruining and spoiling it. Instead I settled for something of a "back of the box" storyline, which totally bit us all in the ass. Moving forward, I will be releasing much more storyline and character information on our website. Your positions with regards to this are completely warranted given the amount of details we released, and I take full responsibility for this shortcoming in our campaign. Please believe me when I say nothing is more important to me than our story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Berserker
    The prevailing perception seems to be that, in order to be successful, a game needs to have all its ducks in a row before it leaves the gate. It needs to have a concise design, with a minimalist laser-like focus on stripping away all elements that don't serve this primary function. So there's this part of me that hopes that people who are going the other direction are somehow still successful; that throwing all of this random shit into a blender results in some form of fun coming out on the other side, however flawed it may end up being.
    I really don't understand how you can make such a bold declaration. Do you have access to our internal design document? How do you know what is "extraneous" and was unplanned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darla
    I'd say the reason that they've been in development for so long is that without a concrete plan in place their game just keeps evolving. I'm really leaning towards backing this, I mean honestly the game looks like a train wreck but their enthusiasm is admirable. I really like that they're releasing the dev tools, this may be the start of some cool things being done on the Dreamcast. My greatest fear of backing it is that the game just never gets done, but I'd like to support the development.
    I'm sorry, but you're wrong here. It's not because the game keeps "evolving" that has made our development cycle take so long. I'm honestly kind of hurt by your assessment here, because you had been so supportive and open-minded during previous visits to this thread, and your criticisms and concerns were totally valid and relevant... and now suddenly we're a trainwreck...

    When I set out to create Elysian Shadows, I was basically a kid in my mom's attic with a dream. I was not a programmer. I was not an engineer. I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I picked up a programming book and dove in, so when I hear complaints like this, I feel as though they're completely unwarranted. You can't tell me we've been in development for 6 full years, when that's how long it has taken me to go from absolutely nobody to a professional engineer who developed his own multiplatform engine and toolkit and acquired the skills to make ES, all the while attending the university and working a full-time job.

    The truth is that I was just not good enough to make ES the way it needed to be made a few years back. So rather than cutting my dream game short and shipping out shit, I honed my skills and worked at it until I was able to create the game the way I wanted it to be created... I truly wish people would stop criticizing me for this, when it's honestly something that I feel is a virtue demonstrating our devotion and dedication to this project.

    Quote Originally Posted by otaku
    Why no Genesis version?
    Trust me, if it was possible, we would be all over it. Haha. Unfortunately there is no way we could run on a platform older than the Dreamcast. We're already pushing it to its theoretical hardware limits. We're even taking advantage of bumpmapping, which is something that was so new back in 1999 that not a single commercial Dreamcast game ever used it in-game. We're truly pioneering the console from an engineering perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy
    So they're using the George Lucas style of story writing, as in making it up as they go. Interesting to see what happens, especially since RPGs like adventure games are mostly played for the story.
    Yep, that's exactly what we're doing... and judging by your forum posts here, you're extremely well-versed in this style of writing.
    Last edited by Falco Girgis; 08-29-2014 at 02:05 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falco Girgis View Post
    lotsabutchin here
    OK, so about me talking about the setting on the livestream... I either was misquoted, or drunk or possibly both! Anyway, clarification - I definitely meant the details of the setting. Like you know Falco, the details of alchemy for Loren or their technological level, or how economy works or how foreign cultures react to Uni's expedition... you know, background info, lore. Not the main quest or storyline or whatever.

    About artstyle, so... a lot of it is old. Like over a year old, so before all the fancy engine lighting shananigans. I spend last month doing hardcore R&D and here's what we can do right now

    That's right folks, it's pixelart that dynamically reacts to lighting, I know only of 2 other game projects that attempted something even remotely similar to that, but none to this degree and neither is finished yet.
    [Lots of rambling here, if you want more gamer-friendly explanation, what this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQCQd0gFtqs]
    Why? Because I'm literally building a 3 dimensional model of an object that I'm drawing in my head, then translate the surface angles into normal space - STILL IN MY HEAD - of the RGB map and THEN I'm also offsetting the height of it all in separate map which THEN I'm merging into blue channel of the normal map. And then there's specular map on top of it, not to mention tweaking the diffuse map. Oh, and did I mentioned that I also designed basis for shader that offsets the hue of the color based on the luminosity because that's fundamental for pixelart? I'm literally doing the job of the pc in my head because current algorithms that are built for normal mapping are for 3d models and they're completely inadequate for pixelart.
    [end of lots of rambling]
    I'm actually in the process of finishing up entire map - meaning, I have whole development process ironed down so once I'm done with it it's just going to be a bucket list of assets to do.

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