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Anyone here?

Want to talk about something other than Shining Force? Go ahead!

Anyone here?

Postby Ayris » Wed Nov 22 2017 8:42am

I guess I'll try posting in two places to see if this helps....

I guess to introduce myself, I love Shining Force games (Shining in the Darkness to Shining Force 2) could never really get into the other ones. Anyway long ago it inspired me to make a game series like it one day. Which now, some 20 years later I am finally doing. I've been coming to this site since I was a kid, this would be the first time coming to the forums. I wouldn't mind getting to know some people who also love this series and types of games, maybe hear some opinions and such on what you all liked about the games, what you'd want to see in games like it. What you didn't like about the games etc.

Anyway I hope this gets posted I've been waiting a while :p
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Re: Anyone here?

Postby Chaos Wizard » Thu Nov 23 2017 1:45am

It's generally pretty slow these days without a mainstream western release in a number of years. Sega also hasn't really been doing itself any favors recently.

Shining in the Darkness was my introduction to the series (and of course the first game in the series). I liked it because it was colorful, funny, but also had a bit of an edge to it. The Labyrinth was a legitimate challenge, and the battle system was cool. In 1991 that was a pretty full set of spells that were both functional and graphically stimulating.

Shining Force was a totally different beast. Again, funny, colorful, but also different. I hadn't played Ogre Battle at the time, and I've always had a thing for fantasy. I just kept up with it after that.

What I'd like to see in future RPG's? Not an action based system. I'm f*cking tired of action based RPG's, and I want strategy. I really think strategy is one of the things that hooked 90% of this community, and game makers don't seem to get it right. They either go way to far or not far enough. SF and FFT I think were pretty close to as right on the money as you can get.
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Re: Anyone here?

Postby MXC » Thu Nov 23 2017 2:54am

Welcome :)

I'll agree and say that the strategy of the games was a lot of what drove my discussions. Whether it was party setups, individual characters worth, battle strategies, or how best to craft mithril, SF2 was a lot of fun to go over. I also liked the variety of characters. There were a few clear useless ones though so SF2 could have trimmed the fat down to 25 characters. Shining in the Darkness is a bit more linear in those regards but it's still a fun game (though I prefer Shining the Holy Ark ;) ) Having so many different play styles and opinions has kept the discussion going all these years later, though it has slowed down significantly.

There are a number of good concepts that were in the games that I would like to see in newer installments. In a broad sense, I like having the multiple options for Mithril weapons and items but I wish there was a bit more variety in the top-tier options. It's obvious which weapons you should pick in most of the games but I'd like them to have some tougher choices. The same can be said about actual Force members. A lot more time should be spent in balancing characters than SF seemed to care about.

Shining Force III implemented weapon preferences (or whatever you want to call it) where the more a weapon type was used, the more special crits were unlocked for that type. It's more advantageous to keep using that same weapon type than to split up uses (unless you're a power-leveling weirdo). Along these lines, that game also added the weapon triangle where certain weapons had an advantage over others. I like this as well. The game also implement a friendship system which I really liked on the surface because it rewarded you for having characters work together. The issue with this is that the late characters have to start from scratch which can be maddening because they don't get the nice bonuses that the early characters get. Again, unless you're power-leveling, this means a lot of the late characters get ignored.

I'm sure there is more, but I'll leave it at that for now :)
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Re: Anyone here?

Postby Lord Calvanian » Sun Nov 26 2017 5:22pm

Hello there. My post won't be nearly as meaty as Chaos or MXC's but.

I fist found out about Shining force back in 2002 when my best friend at the time became obsessed with the first game. Around that same time I tried every game I could possibly have access to, That was Shining in the Darkness, Shining Force, Shining Force 2, and the gamegear games.

To this day I haven't really gone beyond that.
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Re: Anyone here?

Postby Moondog » Mon Nov 27 2017 8:03pm

welcome, here's my Shining Force history lol

i first got introduced to the series when Shining Force 2 came out in 1994 (i would've been about 13), my dad bought it on a whim since he loved RPGs. we were hooked.

one day by pure chance i stumbled across Shining Force 1 in a second hand shop (pretty slim odds since i lived in a small town in Scotland), so i went straight home to tell my dad i'd seen it, and i think he maybe went and bought it later that day, we loved that also.

I think shortly after that my dad picked up Shining in the Darkness, which was also great since i was already a huge fan of dungeon crawlers with Dungeons & Dragons.

Shining Force CD never showed up anywhere near us, so we never got a chance to play that (i've since played it through emulation though).

my dad then got a Saturn and got Shining Wisdom and Shining the Holy Ark, loved them both, especially the latter which is now my favourite Saturn game ever.

Shining Force 3 seemed to be never coming out so my dad got tired of waiting and traded in his Saturn for a PS1 where we played the amazing Vandal Hearts, which was as close to Shining Force as you could get really.

years later when i bought my own Saturn i got all (so far) of the games i wanted, including Shining Force 3 which was almost as good as i expected, still prefer 2 but 3 is excellent too.

my favourite things about Shining Force and Vandal Hearts is definitely the promotion system.
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Re: Anyone here?

Postby the tall guy » Sat Dec 09 2017 5:35am

Hello and welcome.
“I can resist everything except temptation”
“I can resist everything except temptation”
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Re: Anyone here?

Postby Doh042 » Sat Dec 09 2017 7:49pm

I've been lurking and reading for about two weeks now. I can finally answer!

I've been actually wondering also what exactly is the recipe for a Shining Force game.
  • Does it need to be a fairy tale of Good vs Evil?
  • ---> Can you actually add a branching story where you chose the fate of the world, or should it stay a linear game?
  • Does it need to be a silent protagonist?, or play a character with a strong personality? (Think Witcher 3)
  • Are some of the races so important that you can't replace them? (Centaurs, Birdmen, for example?)
  • Is the military marches and upbeat music mandatory?
  • The super cool Combat Sequences?
  • How many characters total can you deploy per fight?
  • ---> 12 is a nice number, but it's feels pretty arbitrary. -- not overwhelming, and not as small as the normal line-up of traditional RPGs. New Xcom have dropped the unit numbers to 6 and gave them more defined roles. Is that something worth following in a modern SF?
  • How many characters total can you recruit?
  • ---> Are there more than one character of each of the basic types -- Soldier, Knight, Healer, Mage, Archer so you can build a force that fits your style (Or pick the "better" character of each type and make a varied force)
  • ---> Should there be "secret" promotions, and pre-promoted characters of both types (In SF2, there's essentially 4 character per base type -- usually 2 are recruited before promotion, and the 2 others arrive already-promoted) (Notable exception: May throws a wrench in the 4 archers. But we all love May and forgive her.)
  • ---> How many "superior" characters like Peter / Slade / Zylo should there be in the total roster?
  • ---> Are "secret" / hard to find characters a good thing? Should they be stronger, by virtue of being hard to find, or is the fact not everyone plays with them enough of a reward to make it interesting for those who find them?
  • ---> Yogurt.
  • ---> When building a force, is it safe to expect that all character that "Stand out" too much will be taken, then the rest will be filled with the more basic units? So you pick Hero, the Ninja, the Phoenix, the Robot (Because ROBOTS!), the Werewolf and once you're out of "Cool/unique" character, you start picking "Soldier A", "Centaur B", etc.
  • ---> It takes more than soldier to have an army. Suikoden frequently allows fishermen and cooks into your army, and sometimes allow you to fight with them. Shining Force doesn't do that, but... is it a thing that could be interesting? hmm!
... enjoy!

-Doh
... enjoy!

-Doh
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Re: Anyone here?

Postby Chaoswizard98 » Sun Dec 10 2017 6:36pm

Ayris wrote:Anyway long ago it inspired me to make a game series like it one day. Which now, some 20 years later I am finally doing.


Hey man. Welcome to the club! Be sure to post about your project in the fanwork section so I can check it out. Plus it's pretty lonely in there right now, we need more projects and discussions going on in that section. lol.

Now for the main question.
What makes a Shining Game just that.

The most important thing is look and feel. Obviously you can tweak the menu systems and such around to fit your particular style / needs, but it still needs to resemble the original games and work in a very similar way. Battle cutscenes are also a must as that's one of those things that most people remember from the games. Towns and secrets are also a must as many people enjoy finding a new weapon or item, and especially unlocking new secret characters.

I've seen the 'silent hero' debated heavily as far as the SF feel goes. Personally I always saw it as 'the character isn't actually silent, they leave out his dialogue because the player already knows what he's going to say.' In my game, the hero does have speaking lines throughout as I want to flesh out both him and the other characters in your party. That being said though, there are still a bunch of old timers who prefer the silent hero. Ultimately the choice is up to you.

The races themselves don't necessarily matter so long as their role is filled. For example, a centaur could very well be replaced with a horse rider, and a birdman could be replaced by someone like Kokichi (the dude who uses the flying machine from SF1).

What I'm doing with my game.

My game works very much the same way as SF1 and 2. I use the same menu layout, the same formulas (unless I made a mistake somewhere...), the same battle cutscenes, the same towns and the same overworld cutscenes. All in all, if you were to replace my story and maps with that of SF2, you'd see almost no difference. What I am doing differently though, is fleshing out the existing features that the SF games had. Some examples:

Caves are no longer limited to 1 light source. You can have the main light follow the cursor / player, as well as have torches / other characters lit as well. The lights and background can also be any brightness or size as well.

More unique characters and character development. Outside of their initial introduction, most characters from the Shining Games didn't really have much development or backstory. Rather than have my characters cooped up at HQ all day, they will be wandering around town, have their own things to say, and influence the story in different ways. While I still have a linear story, optional / secret characters will also influence cutscenes and such in their own way. Currently, the most notable character at this time would be Jamie. Her presence makes little difference in the grand outcome of the story, but if you do have her tag along, she brings some interesting dialogue out of some of the other characters. In the case of your advisor at the crash site, if Jamie is present, you get a bit more info about your advisor's past adventuring days and skills.

Advisor: "And where did you get the idea that I could cast such a spell?"
Jamie: "Mister Nomad told me you blew up a mountain the last time you fought a dragon."

Taking it one step further, unique characters are also able to unlock secrets based on their roles. For example, if something is locked and you have a thief in your party, they can open it. If something needs decoding or translating and you have someone in your party who is fluent in said language, they can translate for you. I have a character coming up in chapter 2 that is a skilled herbalist. As such, if she uses a healing item in battle, its effect will be greater than normal.

Casting spells outside of battle. In SF, only detox ever had an effect outside of battle. In my game, you'll be able to use other spells to find new secrets or areas. Lighting torches with blaze, freezing a path over water with freeze, healing a sick NPC in town, etc.

Factions and AI. I have gotten a ton of questions and requests on AI and being able to set up team PvP maps and such. In SF, you had 2 factions. The good guys, and the bad guys. My game supports an infinite number of factions each with their own relation to the other factions. These relationships can be mutual (both are friendly or hostile towards one another) or they can be 1 sided (one can attack the other, but the other cant fight back). This allows for some interesting battle scenarios that we've not seen from the SF games. In SF2, each unit had 2 possible AI types iirc. It's main plan, and a backup plan should the first one fail. I have removed that limit to allow for some more advanced AI.

===============

TLDR:
For a game to be a shining game, it has to have a similar look and feel. You can change some things around, enhance or add features as you like so long as you don't stray too far from the original setup. :thumbsup:

===============

P.S.
Welcome to the forums.

P.S.S
@Chaos Wizard
Oh hey, a fellow wizard of chaos!
Creator of the GameMaker Shining Engine and "The Legend of Syro" Fan Game. (WIP)
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Creator of the GameMaker Shining Engine and "The Legend of Syro" Fan Game. (WIP)
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=26022
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