In early July, I downloaded the program and began re-teaching myself how to do everything. Right away, I was struck with an awesome idea... for my first project in Ace, I would make a game for my wife's upcoming 30th birthday.
This was an ambitious idea insofar as I haven't tinkered with RPG Maker in half a decade and was pretty rusty. In theory though, it sounded fun, both for me to assemble and for her to play. This gave me a window of about three and a half months to think of a basic game, make maps, populate it and test it. I decided to go with the base tilesets because this didn't seem like a good time to mess around with something too unfamiliar.
|The obligatory mine cart level.|
I got to work and immediately found it very easy to pick up the map-making again. I started with a vague plan to have a three floor mansion with three or four areas per floor, a basement and vast underground area, and a small adjacent town. Since the game was based around exploration rather than narrative, it was necessary to make all points accessible, yet equally survivable at all times, which meant tailoring the fights to be either escapable or beaten with only the main character.
Speaking of characters, I also put sixteen of her favorite fictional characters in the game to serve as party members. Malcom Reynolds, Repairman Jack, Wheatley, Indiana Jones, Arya Stark, Dr Horrible, Jack Sparrow, Eric Northman, Sherlock Holmes, Dagny Taggart...
Other small features around the game:
- a gallery that brings up pictures of my wife's favorite things when you click the paintings
- a music and picture slideshow memorial for her dog that passed away a few years ago
- coordination mini-games, like avoiding spikes, boulders or flames, or chasing kids around
- cognitive mini-games where you solve riddles or push blocks
- a chess game where you fight the pieces instead of play chess
|All party guests assembled.|