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Jamaj

Prerendered backgrounds and a Chrono trigger combat system

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Okay, so in my free time I've been trying to flesh out an idea I've had for a long time, of basically a throwback to Chrono Trigger and PS1 Final Fantasies. I've already written down a lot of things that I'd want to include and I have a very strong vision of what it should be. Despite that, there's one thing I'm still unsure about. I love the look of FF VIII and IX's prerendered backgrounds and I want to use them, even if it meant making this a bigger project, but I'm also basing the combat system on Chrono Trigger - three characters in a party, ATB and Double Techs. There are 2 elements that might be problematic, though - no transition to a battle screen and area-of-effect attacks (like a circle, a line, a cone). Could they work with prerendered, static backgrounds or would they clash? Should I add a battle screen? Get rid of AOE attacks? Just make the game 2D and closer to Chrono? Make it 3D with the camera angle changing during battle? Something else?

EDIT: Regarding backgrounds, I've also thought of making them just drawings, then making only the characters and certain props 3D and superimposing them on the backgrounds. Would that even work?

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I love the look of FF VIII and IX's prerendered backgrounds and I want to use them, even if it meant making this a bigger project, but I'm also basing the combat system on Chrono Trigger...
There are 2 elements that might be problematic, though - no transition to a battle screen and area-of-effect attacks (like a circle, a line, a cone). Could they work with prerendered, static backgrounds or would they clash?
Should I add a battle screen? Get rid of AOE attacks?
Just make the game 2D and closer to Chrono?
Make it 3D with the camera angle changing during battle?
EDIT: Regarding backgrounds, I've also thought of making them just drawings, then making only the characters and certain props 3D and superimposing them on the backgrounds. Would that even work?


Hi, Jamaj. Many of your questions here are about game design, but many of them are not. Questions about art style should be asked in the Visual Arts forum instead ("would they clash?"). I think you'll find that the game becomes easier to visualize in your own mind if you separate out all the visual aspects that don't impact gameplay from your thinking at this stage. Art direction is fine and good, but it's not game design. Game design questions are best handled here in the Game Design forum, but art issues should be discussed in the Visual Arts forum.

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I love the look of FF VIII and IX's prerendered backgrounds and I want to use them, even if it meant making this a bigger project, but I'm also basing the combat system on Chrono Trigger...There are 2 elements that might be problematic, though - no transition to a battle screen and area-of-effect attacks (like a circle, a line, a cone). Could they work with prerendered, static backgrounds or would they clash?Should I add a battle screen? Get rid of AOE attacks?Just make the game 2D and closer to Chrono?Make it 3D with the camera angle changing during battle?EDIT: Regarding backgrounds, I've also thought of making them just drawings, then making only the characters and certain props 3D and superimposing them on the backgrounds. Would that even work?

Hi, Jamaj. Many of your questions here are about game design, but many of them are not. Questions about art style should be asked in the Visual Arts forum instead ("would they clash?"). I think you'll find that the game becomes easier to visualize in your own mind if you separate out all the visual aspects that don't impact gameplay from your thinking at this stage. Art direction is fine and good, but it's not game design. Game design questions are best handled here in the Game Design forum, but art issues should be discussed in the Visual Arts forum.

I don't think it's possible to separate this topic into two. Since the question is based equally on artstyle and game design, it wouldn't work as 2 questions. If we're about to have an argument about this, I'd rather just delete this topic .

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The only thing about the visual design of Chrono Trigger that you wouldn't have with your idea is that the Chrono Trigger designers always knew exactly how the ground would intersect any shape.  (Chrono Trigger special attacks aren't occluded by objects in the scenery, if I remember correctly, the only thing about the level that would constrain their shape is the ground, and that's always at the same angle and distance from the camera so they never have to change.)  You would need to keep track of the angle of, and distance to, the ground around each posible spell-target point, and its distance from the camera, so that you could display the correct section of the cone or sphere at the correct scale.

On the other hand, thinking about "pre-rendered" here (rather than just thinking about "static vs dynamic camera") may have you limiting your options.  If you're making the environments in 3d in the first place, just render them, don't *pre*-render them.  You're not running this on a Super Nintendo or PS1; the system will be happy to render whatever you can (reasonably) make.  That'll take care of rendering the proper conic sections and spherical caps without you having to keep track of where the ground is by some other means, and also handle occlusion by scenery in a way Chrono Trigger didn't.

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