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Video Game Design - Engine Limitation Issues

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Heya everyone, I've been dabbling in game design lately, but there is one main problem that I keep beating my head off of over and over, which is engine limitations. I've experimented with a few engines I have seen (AGS, RPG Maker, Flash-Based, etc) but so far all of them fail to meet specifications. Now I don't have a degree in coding so writing my own engine is beyond consideration, I'm just looking for something very free form and malleable, able to do either regular or isometric grid based movement (Like like most older RPGs/Final Fantasy Tactics style) as well as 'cut-scene' style character interaction, like in Fire Emblem or Sonic Battle, or even like most visual novels. Does anyone know of an engine, free-ware or , that could do this? Flash is mostly good, but it doesn't handle saving games very well, and requires just about as much scripting as writing your own engine takes. Basically boiled down I want to find this: a template game that has two different 'styles' or 'modes' or whatever you want to call it: One half being based in a Megaman Battle Network/Final Fantasy Tactics/Pretty Much every RPG out there style of interactivity, with a sprite character able to move in four(or possibly also diagonals) directions, able to 'use button' on things to examine them. Second half being when talking to people, to move to a visual novel style cut scene, where you have a nice big person drawn in front of you and a text box at the bottom superimposed over everything.

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I don't know if it will be that helpful, but maybe it might help:

rpgtoolkit.com

Basically, it does the whole walking around and FF-style fighting. I do believe it comes with it's own battle system/level system, but you can customise it and possibly totally change it (don't take my word for it though). The engine can also handle flash, so you might be able to do your cutscenes with it? Though this feature I am not 100% certain about whether or not it is relatively easy to use and whether the toolkit can handle it well or not.

The upside is that the community is pretty friendly, and if you've got relatively good art skills, I'm sure one of the more savvy programmers will be willing to join your team. Then again, their scripting language isn't that difficult and well documented too!

Other than that, I can only suggest perhaps teaming up with a programmer and getting your hands on a versatile 2D engine instead of a modding tool. Hopefully some others here can offer better advise than me. ^_~

Solaria

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http://www.enterbrain.co.jp/tkool/RPG_XP/eng/features.html

http://www.fifengine.de/

I havent been working in the rpg engine department very much. I have searched though game engines though. While I don't use other engines, I am a programmer and am always looking for new features I can add in.

It's a general rule that the easier something is to use, the less control you have over it (at least as far as software goes). Hence, the more unique and customized you want your game, the harder the engine will typically be. Engines are pretty versitile, but they all have that certain "aftertaste" they leave in a game. That distinct look that makes it feel like another game you've already played. If you ever get that feeling, chances are they're made with the same engine.

Honestly though, for your goal I think it would be best to use a modding tool to create a small prototype of your game and then have a programmer create and engine for you.

here's another list of usefull creator tools. Look in the second section.

http://www.ambrosine.com/resource.html

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Quote:
Now I don't have a degree in coding so writing my own engine is beyond consideration...


You don't need a degree to code, all you really need is persistence. Now you can look around for a decent enough engine, but inevitably your likely to find it limiting. Short of finding a programmer to help you, i'd suggest picking up a C++ compiler (like Dev C++) with SDL, which is much more user friendly. You can find some really good SDL and C++ tutorials Here and Here to help get you started.

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Thanks you guys, I'll check your links and post back once I've looked at them.

EDIT: I checked the places, that database of different tools was really helpful and I downloaded a bunch of them to fiddle with to see if they are as good as they say. Now all that's left is for me to do my part and come up with a decent plot to work with. xD

[Edited by - The Mad Muffin on December 5, 2007 7:28:07 PM]

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