JCartwright

Fire Emblem: Hereafter

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Hello all! My name is J. Cartwright, and I am a writer based out of Manhattan. I have been a long-time forum lurker, but I decided it is time to finally break my silence. Why? Great question.

Fire Emblem is easily my favorite game series, and I have completed multiple playthroughs of nearly every game in the series. I have also tried my hand at nearly every appealing hack or fangame on these forums. I guess I’ve been blessed with too much time on my hands, because I’ve consumed about as much Fire Emblem as is humanly possible, and yet, I’m still not satisfied.

Thus, I have recently begun work on my own Fire Emblem that will satisfy my cravings for a game that combines my favorite Fire Emblem elements into a unique, and hopefully enjoyable experience.

 

Without further ado:

Fire Emblem: Hereafter

 

The story/setting—FEH takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting. Based in and around the ruins of a major city (think NYC), the game follows your typical band of characters facing off against the main villains. The villains are the followers of the Church of Hereafter. Founded after the collapse of greater human civilization, the Church (Cult) seeks to return humanity to greatness after the great fall. To do this, the leaders (known as Templars) harvest the life force of its followers (often taken against the individual’s will) to contribute to the casting of a great spell that will allow humanity to transcend to a plane of existence closer to Heaven. For the more intuitive of you out there, the real plot is to make the Church leader a god, who can then wipe out the rest of civilization and remake the world in his image.

Of course, the player and co. don’t really want to be wiped out, even if they live in apocalyptic wastelands. Throughout the course of the game, the player will face off against the many followers of the Church, as well as various forces attempting to salvage some sort of living in this post civilization world. The final opponent, and most bone chilling, are the forces of the undead. Inexplicably (or at least for a reason yet to be written) those killed in the apocalypse (for another unwritten reason) have become reanimated with only a desire to destroy what remains around them. What’s different about these undead as opposed to the risen or faceless of FE’s past, is that they behave more akin to what an actual horde of zombies would be like. With billions of dead, you will be facing hordes, as opposed to a handful of strategically placed baddies. These monsters will be designed to invoke the sheer horror and hopelessness that comes with facing down an army of the dead. They will be strong, hard to kill, and most importantly, there will be A LOT. Have fun!

At this point of creation, the game will be divided into two parts. The first will largely serve to introduce the destroyed world around you. You will recruit the first members of your team, learn the mechanics of the game, and prepare for the greater conflict ahead. The second part, dubbed “The Campaign” will place the player on a timeline with a hard deadline. According to the chosen difficulty, the player will have an x number of days to recruit an army, gain levels, procure equipment, and infiltrate the church before the Big Bad Spell of Evil is finally cast. Higher difficulties will not only give you stronger enemies, but also less time to accomplish all of the many tasks needed in order to obtain a victory.

 

The mechanics (aka, my favorite part of FE)—Every Fire Emblem possesses systems that make it unique. My goal here is to make this game stand out from the rest. Here, you will find my more excessive hopes and dreams that may face the cutting block depending on what systems are actually creatable.

Let’s start with the biggest and work our way from there.

Line of Sight: A modification of the fog of war system found in most FEs, the line of sight system seeks to restrict player information to reflect more accurate scenarios. Of course, at night, it will be more difficult to see enemies. But unlike most FE games, the terrain will influence what you can see. You won’t be able to see past trees, mountains, walls, or even other units. However, this system affects all maps, not just night maps. It has never made sense to me that you can observe the stats, equipment, and movement behavior of units on the opposite side of the map. With Line of Sight, this info will be at a premium. Equipment is only observable from units within your sight. You have to actually be able to see the weapon in their hands or on their person. Skills and stats are only checkable when observed by units with the know-how, such as a tactician character. Your average Joe Schmoe won’t be able to tell that an enemy has x amount in any stat. However, once a unit is faced in combat, stats like speed, strength, and defense, will become readily available.

This system will incentivize units with good sight and observation skills, so you actually know what you’re facing. After all, there’s nothing worse than facing an army of zombies at night without knowing how many there are and what they can do to you. [insert evil laugh]

The basics: This game will feature your typical FE stats, from HP down to luck, including both strength and magic for every unit. Weapon weight and constitution will matter! The weapon triangle pre-Fates will exist, as well as the magic triangle and the anima triangle! Bows and daggers will exist outside of any triangle. Shove and canto will be innate abilities of infantry and cavalry, respectively.

Unique & Meaningful: My least favorite part of Fire Emblem is when units become carbon copies of each other, capable of fulfilling any role. I don’t enjoy reclassing because it makes specific characters completely useless and others way overpowered. In this game, every unit will be unique and useful. How? Well ...

Personal class, skills, and animations: Say hello to my little ambition. Every playable unit in this game will have three tiers of unique classes. Gone are the days of fighters number 1, 2, and 3 with identical abilities, and only slightly different growths and base stats. Additionally, with every class comes a unique personal skill. It will be rare for two units to have the same skill! There will be one copy of astra, luna, sol, etc. in your army! These units may not have growths as good as others, but their unique skills will make up for it! Finally, to make each character truly feel unique, I would like to see a unique battle animation for each one (I understand that’s A LOT but hey, I can dream). And just for fun, every unit will have a weapon unique to them. However, it will be impossible to get every unique weapon in a single playthrough. You will have to choose which units form your main party and then follow specific steps in order to get the weapons of your favorite.

The point of these additions is to allow the player to diversify. Every character will have roles they fill that can’t be filled by any other unit. You will have to tailor your team in such a way that you can conquer every obstacle, while still enjoying the characters that you choose. No one will be a throwaway.

Recruitment: In this game, the player will never just be given units (barring the first two). Every single character in the game requires work to gain. Most you will have to talk to on the battlefield, some you will have to protect til the end of the chapter, and others will be gained by fulfilling certain requirements. This means many are easily missable. If you're a perfectionist like me, hunting down each unit will provide another layer of gameplay to an already dense game.

 

In closing, I ask two favors of you! First, your support. I would love to see if any of these ideas interest you, confuse you, or make you feel some type of way. A lot of this is in the early stage, and some of it might be garbage that needs to be adjusted, balanced, or thrown out. But hey, it's a start. Secondly, your assistance! At this point, I am capable of writing the story (although I won’t shy away from help), the characters, the supports, etc. I am a writer. It’s what I do. I will also be able to design skills, stats, growth rates, and most other number problems, and the ideas for maps. I will be able to serve as the team leader. What I need? Everything else! I am completely hopeless when it comes to actually creating maps, coding, hacking, or otherwise. I will need help with art, music, animations, balancing, and anything else that goes into making a game. At this point, I don’t even know if it should be a hack or use FEXP or what (Edit: Likely the scope of this game goes beyond a hack. A good system might be necessary to get this off the ground)! Essentially, I am the glorified ideas guy. Lord help me. I understand a lot of this might not be possible (barring IA actually hiring me) but I sure would like to try.

Any interest, questions, or assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Most importantly, have a great day!

Edited by JCartwright

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2 hours ago, JCartwright said:

Skills and stats are only checkable when observed by units with the know-how, such as a tactician character. Your average Joe Schmoe won’t be able to tell that an enemy has x amount in any stat. However, once a unit is faced in combat, stats like speed, strength, and defense, will become readily available.

This is stupid because in order to make it mean anything besides tedium you also have to disable the battle preview or make the formula setup non-trivial

Both of which are obviously undesirable.

2 hours ago, JCartwright said:

as well as the magic triangle and the anima triangle!

There's basically no point in having both of these. There's barely a point in having one of them; what you need is variety in mage stats to make this meaningful (you basically never do mage v mage combat).

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19 minutes ago, 2WB said:

This is stupid because in order to make it mean anything besides tedium you also have to disable the battle preview or make the formula setup non-trivial

Both of which are obviously undesirable.

There's basically no point in having both of these. There's barely a point in having one of them; what you need is variety in mage stats to make this meaningful (you basically never do mage v mage combat).

So harsh. He's says he wants to be different, and I wouldn't mind trying something like that.

As far the magic triangle goes, maybe he does plan on doing mage v mage combat?  

He's clearly open to criticism, so I'm not complaining about that. After viewing his text wall, there was nothing positive you could comment on? There's a lot of passion put into this, and seeing nothing but "stupid" upon introduction could be discouraging. The creative community is pretty stagnant, so I'd like to see this come to fruition if he's serious about it.

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"some of it might be garbage that needs to be adjusted, balanced, or thrown out", wrote JCartwright.

I picked only the two (well one and a half) bad things to comment on because everything else sounded actually good and interesting; I didn't think much about complimenting the things I thought were perfect because I saw an incredibly obnoxious point to cover that I wanted to make sure sat and resonated.

The former, as a mechanic, mostly only creates tedium if you don't remove the battle preview from some units ("The preview tells me I do 10 damage and have 80 hit, therefore because my Atk and Hit are 20 and 130 respectively, the enemy has 10 defense and 50 avoid"), and removing the battle preview from only some units means a lot of players just will always and only use units that do have a battle preview. It doesn't add to a strategy game to be starved of information that you can acquire by doing math.

For mage v mage combat the problem is that you don't have it incentivized with how the default magic classes are in any of the games, because no magic class has less res than defense, and also none have less res than a physical class.

But no, there was not nothing positive to say, and I should have said something to that effect.

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Let me say this looks like an amazing and really ambitious project. I'm not familiar with romhacking or anything but I wish you good luck and look forward to any progress made on it!

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1 hour ago, 2WB said:

This is stupid because in order to make it mean anything besides tedium you also have to disable the battle preview or make the formula setup non-trivial

Both of which are obviously undesirable.

There's basically no point in having both of these. There's barely a point in having one of them; what you need is variety in mage stats to make this meaningful (you basically never do mage v mage combat).

Thanks for reading! I appreciate the comments and the defense. I'm used to harsh New Yorkers every day, so I don't really mind. Besides, if systems don't work, they don't work!

Fortunately, these two concerns are easily addressable. For LoS, of course the system is not perfect. However, this here is not a problem. The main reason for its existence is so you can't check the boss' stats and equipment, rush in someone who can easily beat them, and end the chapter without any effort. Additionally, it will make positioning more important. Having a wall of units with solid defense to tank damage on the enemy turn (as units come into sight and attack) will be pivotal. For this reason, one of the two characters you get in the first map is a tank (her name's Gwendolyn, she uses axes. RIP Wendy, we hardly knew ye). But on the player turn, the battle preview will be fully functional. LoS is an exponential system. The closer you get, the more information is available. When you're in a unit's attack range, you'll likely know almost everything about them. For stealthy units like thieves or assassins, this might not be true. They may be able to conceal their weapons (especially at night). I appreciate the worry, but the system exists to incentivize more planning, while simultaneously making that planning more difficult.

Edit: Don't forget, the likelihood of being able to craft such a system is SLIM. I recognize this. It's just one of my more ambitious ideas. Chances are it won't see the light of day, so if it's your biggest concern, don't worry too much.

As for the magic weapon triangles, that one's def staying. My two favorite games are Radiant Dawn and Genealogy. But, you're right, it should be meaningful. This is reflected in mage builds. No longer will units have access to all three anima fields. Each element will follow its trope. Fire will be well rounded, with an emphasis in damage. Wind will be fragile, but fast. Thunder will be high luck critical machines. Light will be mage killers. Dark will be tanky anti-infantry. The usual. And as it stands, only one unit has been designed with access to more than two types of magic (his name is Greyson, and he's a kid. Very slow and fragile, but hits like a truck. Conveniently, by his final promotion he will be able to use all types of magic including staves, but that's only if he lives that long). Most mage units are locked to a single element, and may gain another upon promotion. And mixed units are much more common. For example, the four elemental Templars. The Fire Templar Michel is an ally unit gained near the end of the first part, starts with swords, and gains fire by the final promotion. In a similar vein are the Wind Templar, Thunder Templar, and Dark Templar, which serve as the three main antagonists of the second part. Each units build, like any physical unit, will be designed to allow them to satisfy a specific niche. And in this game, most physical units have trash resistance, so mages fighting mages will be more common than you may like!

Any more questions or concerns? Let me know!

Edited by JCartwright

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4 hours ago, JCartwright said:

Gone are the days of holding the players hand or worrying about series newcomers. I wanted something intense, something complicated, something hard. This game intends to be an M rated war campaign meant for only the truest of FE fans.

oh boy such hardcore you're the best me too i only play berwick hard mode thracia and fe12 lunatic reverse

(You already lost my interest; this is the clichéest sentence i've ever seen about fe)

4 hours ago, JCartwright said:

It has never made sense to me that you can observe the stats, equipment, and movement behavior of units on the opposite side of the map.

FE is a strategy game; Most of the fun comes from planning enemy group wipeouts and pulling them off, not being able to know if x enemy, for example, has a swordreaver, Is just bullshit to me.

4 hours ago, JCartwright said:

Skills and stats are only checkable when observed by units with the know-how, such as a tactician character.

So the tactician is an unit's who's only purpose is to observe units stats?

4 hours ago, JCartwright said:

Every playable unit in this game will have three tiers of unique classes.

Good luck making sprites for them.

4 hours ago, JCartwright said:

The point of these additions is to allow the player to diversify.

 

4 hours ago, JCartwright said:

You will have to choose which units form your main party and then follow specific steps in order to get the weapons of your favorite.

these two works against each other

-you'll have to diversify your unit choice
-you'll have to pick a main party and stick with it if you want it to get good

4 hours ago, JCartwright said:

Recruitment: In this game, the player will never just be given units (barring the first two). Every single character in the game requires work to gain. Most you will have to talk to on the battlefield, some you will have to protect til the end of the chapter, and others will be gained by fulfilling certain requirements. This means many are easily missable. If you're a perfectionist like me, hunting down each unit will provide another layer of gameplay to an already dense game.

Berwick mercenaries or riot

 

Anyways, this is a pretty good concept, I like that you're trying to get away from the usual fe gameplay, although you're very ambitious. Do you have prior experience coding/desigining a game?(sorry if you said it in the thread and i didnt see it, it's 2 am in france and i'm tired.)

 

I wish you luck trying to get it done.

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33 minutes ago, Kirb1337 said:

oh boy such hardcore you're the best me too i only play berwick hard mode thracia and fe12 lunatic reverse

Actually, those are three FE installments I've never played! The point of saying I want a hard game isn't to be "hardcore" it's rather to say I want a game where strategy actually matters. I don't want ridiculously overpowered enemies with unfair skills that cheapshot you constantly. As well, I don't want Fredericks that are necessary to use to get through parts of the game, and I don't want some hole in the design that players can exploit for an easy win. I want players to have to think in order to succeed.

In terms of saying I want an "M Rated" FE, I'm simply saying that I want a story that is dark, serious, and gritty. I want situations to feel bleak and hopeless. You play as people trying to survive in a destroyed world while most strangers would rather see them dead. I'm not a fan of the more recent cutesy supports and joke characters and shoehorned romance and crap. Usually, it's not even well written! I want to compose a game that has a more adult vibe to it. Let's get serious.

40 minutes ago, Kirb1337 said:

(You already lost my interest; this is the clichéest sentence i've ever seen about fe)

Thank you, friend!

41 minutes ago, Kirb1337 said:

FE is a strategy game; Most of the fun comes from planning enemy group wipeouts and pulling them off, not being able to know if x enemy, for example, has a swordreaver, Is just bullshit to me.

 

I want this game to be more in the vein of XCOM or Valkyria Chronicles, where you don't really know what the enemy is bringing to the fight. You have to plan for the worst and hope for the best. And by the time someone with a reaver weapon is close enough to hurt you with it, the system will allow you to know they're coming. I would hate to see an armorslayer take out one of my knights by surprise just as much as the next guy.

41 minutes ago, Kirb1337 said:

So the tactician is an unit's who's only purpose is to observe units stats?

Nah, just one of their specialties. I'm thinking back to the first map of Awakening where Robin says he can "see things." I want that to have a greater implication in gameplay.

42 minutes ago, Kirb1337 said:

Good luck making sprites for them.

The art will definitely be hard! I'll need all the luck I can get. And at the end of the day, it might not happen. I might have to settle for what's available. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. Again, I'm just dreaming.

43 minutes ago, Kirb1337 said:

these two works against each other

-you'll have to diversify your unit choice
-you'll have to pick a main party and stick with it if you want it to get good

 

I see where the confusion comes from. By diversifying, I mean the player will have many options to pick from to form their ideal team. I don't like being shoehorned into using a specific group of units because they are the best. I want different playstyles to have options when designing that ultimate core team. If you like hitting hard and fast, there will be units for you. If you like turtling, there will be units for you. The cast is diverse is all I meant.

43 minutes ago, Kirb1337 said:

I wish you luck trying to get it done.

I appreciate it deeply!

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It seems to remind me a bit of Advance Wars with its base mechanichs

 

Anyway sounds like the two games had a baby 

Seems interesting

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A game with permanent Fog of War? You'd have to design that really, really well to not be monstrously frustrating.

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