RPG Maker: The Spirit Child – Conceptualizing

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I’ve had this idea for the past few weeks, amongst others, of a short game where you play as an unusual girl who wakes up in a forest populated with spirits.What I’ve got planned so far is:

  • The girl wakes up in a “great tree” inhabited by a forest spirit. The girl appears innocent at first but has a hidden side to her. I want to keep her origins ambiguous.
  • A couple of parental figures that will play major roles.
  • Spirits of the forest & a group of hunters on a mission.
  • At the most, 3 other companions, though only one of them will likely be compulsory. Ideas at the moment include a member of the hunters & a giant spider (still trying to figure how that one would work).
  • A few choices that affect the story.
  • About 6 areas, including a temple & a hunter encampment.
  • A mixture of random encounters & encounters that are present on the map.
  • An optional “roaming” boss (roaming in the sense of appearing at different locations depending on the time).
  • A single playthrough would probably be 1-2 hours long, though I’d like to make it replayable to some degree.

The main thing I’ve been trying to get my head around with RPG Maker is character/encounter stats; more specifically what numbers to assign & what kind of skills to create. While I have a general idea of how stats like “Agility” & “Luck” affect combat, to what degree they affect everything & what numbers are considered too low or too high is ambiguous to me. I guess I won’t properly understand it until I start testing. There is a stat called TP that the system seems to use as a limit break or rage meter that might be useful. I want combat to actually feel dangerous. I don’t want to share the route that many Final Fantasy style JRPGs take where most encounters are easily defeated by spamming spacebar & healing the odd time. I want them to be short but lethal if you’re careless. Boss encounters would require a strategy to survive (though I’d like bosses to have multiple viable strategies). Most characters & encounters will generally be at a low level (about levels 1-10), though I don’t want character level to be the deciding factor in combat. The story is still very much up in the air; I may simply make it up as I develop the game. I do have a basic idea of how the story would begin, which might be enough to start making something with. However, I’d like to get a basic game design document together before making anything. Next: Flesh out concept & work towards a design document.

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4 thoughts on “RPG Maker: The Spirit Child – Conceptualizing

  1. I like the sound of the concept you have going on. And especially the aspect of battles actually being dangerous if you are careless. It’d appeal to a slightly different crowd than the grindy JRPG. Are you thinking more action orientated or tactics wise?

    • Grinding is something I’ve become annoyed off, especially when I want to replay a game. When the only thing that matters in a game is having good stats & healing every so often, I can’t help but switch off to it. I’d rather go for an approach where you have to think about what moves to make in order to survive.

      Since I’m still pretty new to RPG Maker, I would have to stick to a more tactical approach; I wouldn’t know how to alter the battle system to be more action oriented.

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