SEVA

[non-hack] Micro Emblem

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Hey there, everyone.

So here's my creation. It's not really remarkable, but I figured I might as well share it. I call it Micro Emblem.

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Spoiler

What is this and why is it so small?

I make games using Yoyo Games Game Maker as a hobby. It's my favourite thing to do. So, since Fire Emblem is one of my favourite game series, naturally I really wanted to make a full-fledged Fire Emblem fangame.

Well, this certainly isn't it.

The story with this one is different. One day I was having a look at a game called Game Boy Wars 3. It's a strategy game for the Game Boy Colour and the predecessor of the Advance Wars games. It made me think - so this is what Advance Wars looks like on a GBC. What would a Fire Emblem game look like on a GBC?

But then I realised that, since small 8-bit graphics are fairly easy to make, I could actually make a likeness of a GBC Fire Emblem game, rather than wondering about it. I decided to make this an exercise of sorts in making various bits of strategy games, particualrly the AI.

And so, after a bit of work and a lot of debugging, I made an extremely simplistic tactical RPG. It is like Fire Emblem, watered down to the very basics and the bare minimum of features. (Hence the name.) Since my goal was to finish this 'exercise' in an extremely short amount of time, you'll notice that the presentation is deliberately about as basic as it could get. There isn't any story apart from about three lines of text at the end (kinda like the original Super Mario Bros) and there is minimal animation. And I mean really minimal.

That's Great. So why should I care?

Well, to my own surprise, despite its extreme simplicitly, this game turned out rather fun. Sure, there is no story, but nevertheless there is a complete 'story mode' consisting of 18 chapters and one bonus, with a half-decent (if a bit cowardly) AI. So those more strategically-minded of you may find some enjoyment in this little thing too.

I also implemented a 'versus mode' with a small selection of maps, where two armies are pitted against each other, and you can play on them human vs. human, human vs. AI, or even pit two AIs against each other! (Note that this can result in a stalemate sometimes.)

Well, I don't think human vs. human will do you much good since I never implemented netplay.....

NOTE: This game is no longer to be publicly distributed.
I kind of hoped I wouldn't have to address this directly, but I guess I do. The download link wasn't 'broken', I disabled it intentionally. I do not want this game to be publicly distributed anymore, so please do not post download links in public places, e.g. in Reddit posts. I believe I'm within my right to ask that. Of course, if you want to privately share copies of the game, I can't exactly police that, nor do I want to, but be aware that if I see another public mirror I will ask for it to be taken down. Please understand.

Below is a list of changes made in version 2, left here for the record.

Spoiler

-The stats/growths of all units have been increased to reduce the impact of terrain and the amount of NO DMGs.

-All playable units can now be given unique names in both Story mode and VS mode. (See the readme)

-The experience formulae have been completely changed - experience gain is no longer damage-based, and you recieve more for defeating an enemy, like in the official Fire Emblem games. Units gain levels much faster now, so there is a much greater spread of enemy levels in Story mode.

-The calculations for Hit and Crt have been slightly modified.

-The game now uses a 2RN system instead of a 1RN system, hopefully leading to less annoying randomness.
-Terrain now gives evasion bonuses as well as defense bonuses. Also, the defense of some tiles has been decreased.
-You can now bring up a Terrain Info window to view all of a tile's properties. This is done the same way as unit info.
-The battle sequence is now slightly less confusing. But you can still switch to the old version through the 'Config' menu during a map. It's a bit faster.
-You will now see the stats your units gain when they level up in a pop-up window.
-The key configuration can now be changed during a map through the 'Config' menu.
-Some maps in both Story mode and VS mode have been edited.
-I added a Gameboy mode - previously the game was designed to look like a Gameboy Color game, now you can switch to black and white and experience it as a Gameboy game. This is done through the 'Config' menu during a map.

Edited by SEVA

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That looks pretty cool - it kinda reminds me of Gemfire for the NES, too. Well, in terms of the sprites.

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REminds me a bit of Shining Force Sword of Hajya for GameGear (visually), and I loved that game. I'll attempt it when I get home tonight frmo work ~

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Whoa, nice work there. I've used Game Maker in the past, made my own version of a Super Mario Bros level. I'll be sure to try this out some time.

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XIAO EMBLEM CONFIRM-

Oh wait it's different. Actually, this looks cool. I'll give it a play!

Edited by Klokinator

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Game Maker! I remember working with that. Before it went downhill...sad thing is I never finished a project because I suck at programming.

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This looks adorable, giving it a try. I'll tell you what I think about it, later

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Please tell me there is a way to reconfigure controls?

Edit: The battle system is ultra confusing. Battles often did nothing for no apparent reason (damage-wise), fights did damage and I had no idea how much damage was being dealt, or more specifically how to calculate the damage being dealt, etc. It was very confusing overall. I also am not a big fan of the button layout, really want a reconfigure option somewhere :(

Some sort of pre-battle screen showing hit %'s and the like would be very nice.

Edited by Klokinator

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Sorry Klok, I'll get to making an update right now. Just out of interest, what would you prefer in terms of button layout?

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@Klok; it seems damage is calculated by str - def + WTA (+2 or -2) - terrain. Terrain is pretty OP earlygame, especially with the low damage output in general. I have no idea about hit percentages, so a battle preview screen would be pretty useful.

It's quite a neat project, and pretty fun once you get the hang on it. It's like an extreme version of Shadow Dragon.

A couple of other things - once you move a unit, you can't cancel and move them somewhere else, and I would put End above Quit in the menu, I kept trying to quit the chapter.

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Please tell me there is a way to reconfigure controls?

Some sort of pre-battle screen showing hit %'s and the like would be very nice.

A couple of other things - once you move a unit, you can't cancel and move them somewhere else

New version is up! These issues have been addressed. Sadly, your save file from the previous version won't be compatible with this one, so if you haven't gone too far, you should start over, and if you have, you'll have to keep playing the old version, sadly.

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I just think a button rebind feature would be nice. Maybe press F2 and follow a list of prompts to rewrite the button layouts? An actual menu on the title screen would be better. It's like you're using Trent's favorite button layout thought. My index finger is supposed to be A while the middle finger is supposed to be B, but it's reversed.

Edit: Ah, you did add it! Great, except your order of button rebinding is a bit confusing?

It should go Up, Down, Left, Right, Confirm, Cancel. That's how prettymuch everyone else does it.

One other thing, it'd be nice if Cancel and "See unit stats" were separate buttons? Much like in GBA, basically.

Other small nitpicks.

-I can't press up while selecting options to drop to the bottom of menus. Like when I just want a unit to "Wait", usually in GBA I just press Up and it moves my cursor to the bottom. As a matter of muscle memory, it matters to me, even though I could just press down...

-I pressed 4 on the main menu, which seemed to expand my screen... until I pressed Play. And then my screen was once again a tiny square in the center of a 17 inch monitor. Can the game just be played in windowed mode? That'd be great!

Edited by Klokinator

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It should go Up, Down, Left, Right, Confirm, Cancel. That's how prettymuch everyone else does it.

-I can't press up while selecting options to drop to the bottom of menus. Like when I just want a unit to "Wait", usually in GBA I just press Up and it moves my cursor to the bottom. As a matter of muscle memory, it matters to me, even though I could just press down...

These have been addressed. I usually press up too. To be honest, I'm not really sure why I didn't just implement this in the first place now. ^^;

-I pressed 4 on the main menu, which seemed to expand my screen... until I pressed Play. And then my screen was once again a tiny square in the center of a 17 inch monitor. Can the game just be played in windowed mode? That'd be great!

One other thing, it'd be nice if Cancel and "See unit stats" were separate buttons? Much like in GBA, basically.

I'm not sure what the issue is here, the screen size should stay even when you load a save. But just in case, I made it possible to do the 1,2,3,4 thing during a map as well. Also, windowed mode has been available since the first version, just press f4. It says so in the Readme.

As for the unit stats... Well, I like to use as few keys as possible, despite having the whole keyboard to work with. The cancel button wouldn't do anything when nothing is selected anyway, so I thought it would make sense to give it that function. I feel it's reasonable. I think SRPG studio does it like that too.

By the way, would this topic be better off under ROM Hacking? I've seen some non-hacks there.

Edited by SEVA

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As for the unit stats... Well, I like to use as few keys as possible, despite having the whole keyboard to work with. The cancel button wouldn't do anything when nothing is selected anyway, so I thought it would make sense to give it that function. I feel it's reasonable. I think SRPG studio does it like that too.

Maybe, but then again SRPG studio shouldn't be the bar to aim for. I actually got used to using B for unit stats though so it's good.

By the way, would this topic be better off under ROM Hacking? I've seen some non-hacks there.

Wait didn't you have the choice of where to post this? Why did you post it here then?!

Of course, for years I've said 'rom hacking' should be renamed 'Fangames" but good ol' SF stuck in ancient naming conventions.

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Teach me your Game Maker skillz, senpai. I only ever learned how to program boss behavior patterns in platforming games from Mega Man demos. How did you do the army thing? Was it all using a script like you would normally do or did you take advantage of a lot of the simplified features??? If, in the future, you wanted to implement equipment, how would you go about doing that? An Object? I remember very little about Game Maker hahahahahahahahahha

PS I'm loving the graphical work from the screenshots; very neat. Gonna go play it now

Edited by Yasako

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Hello? I a mod sees this, can this thread please be moved to 'Fan Projects'? Since the name of that board has been changed, this now makes more sense there. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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Just a heads up, if you want things like your topic to be moved, just report the topic using the report button so a mod sees it. No need this time though, I went ahead and did that for you.

Incidentally, any big updates coming out? Specifically maybe some kind of battle preview screen?

Edited by Klokinator

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Just a heads up, if you want things like your topic to be moved, just report the topic using the report button so a mod sees it. No need this time though, I went ahead and did that for you.

Incidentally, any big updates coming out? Specifically maybe some kind of battle preview screen?

Huh? I added that several updates ago. See my post from the 3rd of June.

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Oh, didn't see anything about that! My bad. Now I can finally play it to the end!

Edit: Yes, I can finally enjoy it! I ended up beating the first level but I lost everyone except the King and Archer. No problem though, level 2 was King's solo adventure. I then grinded the healer to level 3 by allowing the king to keep getting attacked by an archer at the tail end of the level, since unlimited staff and weapon uses means this is very easy to abuse.

Very fun so far! Only thing is... how about a level up screen or some sort of sound to indicate a unit has leveled up? Would make for a great touch!

Edit 2: To elaborate, maybe a little sound can play indicating that you've leveled up, and then a screen appears saying like "HP +3, Strength +1, Hit +2" or etc? Kinda like those old Wizardry games used to do it.

Edited by Klokinator

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Oh, didn't see anything about that! My bad. Now I can finally play it to the end!

Edit: Yes, I can finally enjoy it! I ended up beating the first level but I lost everyone except the King and Archer.

Welp, you're gonna miss out on the bonus chapter if you lose anyone. Well, maybe you don't actually mind. Or maybe you just haven't read the file entitled "readme", or, in common speech, "read me". Fine either way!

No problem though, level 2 was King's solo adventure. I then grinded the healer to level 3 by allowing the king to keep getting attacked by an archer at the tail end of the level, since unlimited staff and weapon uses means this is very easy to abuse.

Oh dang, that's not good ^^;. I should probably have done something about that! Oh well, I think we've had enough updates already. Hopefully not all players are as unwholesome as you! XD

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Hey everyone, I just uploaded a major update to this game. See OP for more info. If you tried this game and liked it, but maybe found it frustrating, perhaps you can enjoy this update more! Sadly, once again, old save files are incompatible.

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I really like this game so far. It feels retro, but very polished at the same time. The lack of a Jagen makes it somewhat unfamiliar, but that's kinda what makes it so hard. The game also plays very fast which I like because it's less punishing when you have to reset.

If there's one thing I would complain about it's the ability for the player to grind up as much as he/she wants at any time. Maybe put a turn cap for every chapter. IMO 25 turns should be more than enough to beat any given chapter. Then again I haven't beaten it so I dunno if the maps get bigger or not. I'm only at Chapter 7.

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Hi! I beat this (with the secret ending. My proof is that I know the secret boss has 126hp). I literally registered this account to say this. What a wonderful game! Sure there were some flaws, but overall it was a fantastic experience, as I've been playing it on and off whenever I've had time. I had to reset quite a bit in the middle chapters so I could keep eveyrone alive or when I fell prey to an unwary crit. My biggest complaint was that enemy turns took a while, especially when the AI would move one enemy on one side of the screen before going to the other side of the screen to make a move then going back. That really takes up time, especially when later chapters have a lot of enemies, although I guess this is an unintended motivation to speeding up the game.

As for balance, I felt like half my army couldn't keep up, and so they were relegated to sitting around and trying not to die while I used my king, archers, and horses to advance. I'm curious about the choice of making all sword users (king and soldier) both be armored units, as that makes them unable to cross swamp, and makes them at a disadvantage when dealing with butchers who can hide into the mountains. Butchers that hide in the mountains are also exceedingly hard to deal with without archers. Even with very teensy amounts of boss abuse, I felt that only half my army was on par with the levels of the enemy (and the fact that enemies can level up serves as a deterrent to boss abuse)

The King and Cavaliers / Rangers / Raiders are great units because of their strength and their high hp, while archers provide exceptional backup and priests are invaluable. I didn't find much use from Butchers / Soldiers / Armors, although this did make some of the castle levels harder for me because of my dependence on mounted units.

I feel like I'm blabbing on right now, but I just wanted to thank you for an amazing game.

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I feel like I'm blabbing on right now, but I just wanted to thank you for an amazing game.

Man, I thought I'd never see the day! XD

Great job on beating the game! I'm extremely impressed and also flattered that someone would not only beat my game, but also take the trouble to unlock the 'good ending'!

As of now, for his/her achievements, QwirkyQwilfish holds the official title of Manliest Tactician! (Actual gender notwithstanding.)

Will someone else from Serenes Forest take up the challenge and document this game either in a video or a screenshot LP to become the new Manliest Tactician? Only time will tell!

(No really, the game is hard and designed so that only pro tactics will save you. This is completely justified. I swear.)

As for your balancing questions - soldiers and armors make quite decent earlygame units so long as you don't neglect them, especially if you make good use of hills. The abundance of soldiers and butchers on the enemy team in the earlier chapters helps that a lot. I agree that they lose their shine somewhat in the later chapters, but they still have their situational uses. As for butchers, they are probably the single most powerful unit to deploy against enemy knights and armors, and healers and archers too. Again, as long as you use terrain wisely.

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