Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Menagerie Beta (0.1.1)

To those whom are untrained to the coarse vernacular of Intelligence, or the creepy undertones of Hellcat, or the sheer oddity of anything I have produced as the Bizarre Monkey, I will only warn you once, abandon any hope of boredom ye who enter here, this is a game built on fun, not graphical splendor.
By the one, the only; Bizarre Monkey.
Behold, my brazen brodettes, its the third IP (that anyone should give a crap about) to leave my mind, and skew forth the dimensions of reality as we know them. If you weren't aware, this game has had many goals, the first of which, was to shatter archetypes, later, I though breaking cliches and twisting tropes would be fun too, if done correctly.

I can not say for sure if I have done it correctly, but what I can say is that this project has run on its rails longer than its welcome, and its time to make its first stop at the public station.

This game is a final testament to my skills as a developer with RPG Maker, it has been groomed for its big day, and it looks oddly official for the bizarre color array, I understand this game won't be for everyone, but I trust those who liked Intelligence will like this as much, or more. If not, please do say so and give me a reason so I can improve.

The road to getting this into tip top shape has been perilous, it has gone through multiple renovations, changing back and forth from VX to VX Ace at least once, multiple item rethinks, countless different battle systems have been tried and neglected, and now finally, I consider it ready for release.

Many times I had been tempted to throw it in the trash, to not look back, but through vigilance and my own ability to reignite my spirit, it has come out exceptionally well, and I am proud to bring you all; the first demo for Menagerie.

In a galaxy like ours, a good way away from Earth, in the Magenta Sector (also known as the Inner Reaches), a pink sun gives light to 6 planets and multiple moons; Draik, Tortooga, Byteopia, Spriteopia, Galaxia and Nadine. On Galaxia, the Myriad readies its machines for conquest of a planet said to be incapable of fighting back, outside of a Menagerie. Most dismiss them as an inconvenience a few well placed time racers could sabotage, but a few higher up in the branded hierarchy know better. The two Director's do not underestimate their opponent, and even abide to the rules of fair conquest. The High Council has said when Galaxia is to begin the invasion, but details are left to the Directorate, the Menagerie is given 12 days to ready themselves.

On Nadine, only a short distance from Galaxia, a dwarf wakes from troubled slumber, and as he begins to try to piece together the dream he had, he is spoken to by a voice, which urges him to cooperate for his own good. Meanwhile, at a tropical desert, a Goblin returns home to be alerted to tragedy, and is then ordered to sail eastward to Evergrove. An elf is convinced to make haste to the dock of her forest habitat. At last, an alien... one of them, is tasked to meet with the dwarf, the elf, and the goblin at the rendezvous point.

The pieces are in place, the Menagerie is formed, the Myriad awaits command, now it is up to 4 brave oddballs to save their planet, and take the fight to an enemy that outnumbers them twenty-five thousandfold.
Name: Fatty McLarge
Race: Dwarf
Class: Druid
Power measure: Derp
Basic Reading of Intelligence: Bright, but not particularly cunning or logical.
Likes: Simplicity, Honesty, His Beard, Food, Insufferable Pricks.
Dislikes: Technology, Complex mechanics, His subconscious, Tofu, Flowery Talk, Superficiality, the temptation of alcohol.
Quote: "Empty! Well aren't you just smug? See how funny it is when you are in pieces!"

Fatty is yes, a Dwarven Druid, trained by elves and thus he has inherited a lot of their ideals that aren't stone cold retarded. Such as drinking is bad, but he is haunted constantly by his subconscious whenever he sees it, and he hates it. He refers to his subconscious as a poison that still lingers despite leaving his body. He also is wary of Technology, especially of which he doesn't understand, such as the space age contraptions Spooky and Fyori often talk in-depth about. He does seem to show some amount of cowardice, often when advised by Spooky, whom he considers his best friend.

Name: Fyori Felicee
Race: Elf (?)
Class: Technician
Power measure: Sparkles
Basic Reading of Intelligence: Brash in some cases, mostly fairly level-headed, on par with Galaxion's in Technological Studies, learns fast in fields of which she shows Interest. Slight Signs of Artistically Influenced Autism.
Likes: Cute Fuzzy fauna, Uranium Theory, Eco-friendly Solutions, meaningful friendship, technological discussion and even more so, practice. Art to some degree.
Dislikes: The harming of innocent creatures for sport, things that dont look adorable to some degree, the dissonance between elves and Dwarves. A fair few Galaxion's, Zardari in particular. Self-centered snobs.
Quote: "I have a perfectly capable slaphand ready if you try anything funny."

Ever since she was young she had developed an uncanny knack for technology, and despite being raised by elves, she failed to become a druid even though she wanted to. She can brashly jump into things without a second thought when it means enough to her, which has ended up in many dire situations.

Name: Gerald Gelati
Race: Goblin
Class: Paladin
Power measure: Courage
Basic Reading of Intelligence: Sort of dull, but he does have his logic.
Likes: Divinium, his friends (Fyori in particular), that he gets to save the world, fairy tales, magic.
Dislikes: Evil stuff especially of the stabbing kind, alcoholic beverages, cowardice, lying, lack of care on his or others part.
Quote: "Jow!"

Gerald is the first and only Goblin paladin in existence, his ambition to follow the divine powers was by what he thought was simple gold, which gave him a really nice feeling. At 15 he left to search the world for how he could feel more of this nice feeling which deviated from his devious instincts as a Goblin, he came one day upon a Cleric who followed Gal'dath, and told him that it probably wasn't gold his kin were finding, it was likely Divinium. The Cleric explained that the "light" was reaching out to him, and that if he wished to fulfill his destiny, he should initiate himself with the "Order of Holy Stuff". He accepted and returned home after 8 years of training and worship. He has a beard and much more grown features, but you can still see the kid underneath. The Halo above his head was placed upon him for a desire to be different and courageous. Many of the Paladin's of the order look up to him with either pride or inspiration.

All that said, he does have his flaws, he isn't too keen on perception, and is brave to a sometimes dangerous degree. He also lets his emotions interfere with practical process, which Spooky claims makes him "sort of a Dangerous Moron."

Name: Spooky Schema
Race: Galaxion (Extraterrestrial)
Class: Mage
Power measure: He doesn't need or want one.
Basic Reading of Intelligence: Incredibly Intelligent, easily able to manipulate people to his bidding, seems to be the only one who fully understands temporal mechanics. Simple thinking and outdated appliances make him sort of cringe a little.
Likes: Clever quick thinking, Getting his way, snappy remarks, Technology to a degree, being right, Temporal Studies, Jolly Fatmen.
Dislikes: Being wrong, walls of dialect which could be summarized in a sentence, lack of forethought, Religious conspiracies, not getting his way, Fast food chains and fast food in general.
Quote: "Oh hey, sup. Was wondering when I'd get some screen time with you alabaster douches chatting each other up like its social hour."

Unlike the three preceding it, his archetype is not uncommon. Spooky is Intelligent but doesn't use fancy wordplay to get that across, he's often fairly rude and comes off as a massive smartypants, but you really come to like him for it. He doesn't like not getting his way especially when it is relevant to his interests. He often uses sarcasm and cutting edge "OH SNAP" technology he invented by "using his brain". His DNA-related Mother is the only person he seems to really look up to and respect as a superior, he does seem to enjoy Fatty's company, and he enjoys being on the same page with Technology as Fyori. He doesn't engage Giddy in conversation often.

Despite his egregious habit of being a Grade A Jerk his heart does seem to be in the right place.
It takes place in the same Universe Intelligence does. The Universe is 400 years younger than it was in Intelligence, dating it back to the earth year of 1652. So it is a sort of prequel to Intelligence, but with a whole different slew of characters and ideas, there are six planets which orbit the pink sun in the Magenta Sector, also known as the Inner Reaches.
- Quick transportation for areas you've already visited.
- Massive but straight forward crafting system, you can craft any item in the game outside of base materials.
- 64 different accessories (called Trophies) which give either flat stats or an effect of some kind, mix and match for potent combos.
- Optional character-based intermissions, you can do them or skip them, and future dialogue will adjust accordingly.
- No Random encounters, there are wandering monsters that give no experience, but are quick to defeat, they don't chase you, and serve as one of multiple ways of getting resources.
- An hours worth of progression content. Will be longer if you do each Intermission, and if you gotta cut down all those trees.
- Expansive gathering system, you can press space bar or enter to harvest multitudes of things, you can clear off dressing tables, empty out crates, bookshelves, ovens, sinks, fireplaces and fridges. Smash down empty shelves, fridges, barrels, crates, urns and oh god. You can harvest blood and energy from lakes, water and all sorts of foliage and shrubbery from cactuses, ferns, big flowers, entire trees and oh lord... you can completely strip beds, deface statues, cut down pillars, pick away at ore veins and probably more i cant remember.
- Experience is rigged to make sure you are fighting things at the level you should be, by the end of the demo you should be level 6, by the end of the game you should be level 17 or above.
- Aesthetic fast-paced sideview battle system with each actor having plenty of variety in their abilities. (especially later in the game.)
- No lag. (Hopefully. ;_;)
- Full of epic picture cutscenes.
- Exhibits my now fairly good writing style, a few coarse words should be expected, but they will be rare, and not normality.
- Colors should meld together better, I've had a lot of practice with color management since Intelligence.
- 123 Items, the majority being crafting materials, but without those the item list still exceeds Intelligence's.
- 32 weapons, 8 of each type, bearing cool effects and all craftable.
- The Nimbus system functions similarly to Intelligence's waypoint system, but with a shiny interface and remote access.
- A Campsite is accessible via Nimbus, which serves as a Hub for shopping, full restoration, and future systems implementation.
- Interesting Boss Battles, though some early ones will seem fairly easy, some later ones will challenge you, all a part of the curve.
- Probably more things I forget.

Official Trailer

Item Tooltips

Alchemy System

If you have RPG maker VX Ace or its RTP installed:

If you don't have RPG Maker VX Ace or its RTP installed:

- Released Beta Demo for Public review.
- Many Bugfixes and end of Alpha phase.
- Fixed some bugs.
Sent out to a few more close friends.
Alpha builds were sent out to the designated testers, who were a few closed friends that were locked into a non-official Non-disclosure agreement.

The order of Credited persons by no means indicates their amount of contribution to the game.

Not all of the art is mine, and I am having trouble tracking down the creators of some things. Do let me know if you notice credit amiss and if you know the illustrator, inform me immediately.

Bizarre Monkey

Bizarre Monkey

Bizarre Monkey

Bizarre Monkey
Load Samplemap

Graphics Credits
Bizarre Monkey
Megatron X
Mr Bubble

Script Credits
Crazyninjaguy (Also Smith0r, runs StormXstudios. The only two scripts in the project which are his were requested by me personally.)
Mr Bubble
Nicke (also Niclas)

Music Credits
Boris Salchow
David Bergeaud
Ellen Meijers
Kow Otani
Malcolm Brown
Mark Hadley
Toby "Radiation" Fox

Sound Effect Credits
Bizarre Monkey
Blizzard Entertainment
Daniel Remar
Insomniac Studios
Kathleen Quaife
Kevin Schilder
Team 17

Font Credits
Bryan Kent
Martin Holm

Alpha Participants
Usagi Shinobi

Special Thanks!
RavenBlueIndigo (Also known as Mitchell McLaughlin or simply Mitch)
The Downunder Duke
Usagi Shinobi

This is a place I usually display trivia and notes on development.

The idea for this project started back in September of 2011, and originally it started it my old awful one pixel black outline beveled style, but quickly I changed it after realizing what I could do.

Spooky was originally based off a very happy little kid I knew, but it did not suit the grim spectacle of his race, so I changed him to be based off my personality.

I came up with the original concepts of the characters, but I used three friends to make them feel real, My friend EagleEye11 is the personality of Fatty, he's from England but he has to travel between England and Scotland constantly.

The Personality of Fyori is based off my Floridian friend Sjunior, albeit without the smilies and broken-asian dialect.

Gerald is based off my friend Orcram, whose from Holland and commonly he says Jow in place of hello, him and I are also sort of not the best of friends, so thus Spooky's disposition with him and his with Spooky is based on our pointless tiff in real life.

On a speed run where I spammed past all dialect I could, instantly won boss battles by debug functions, skipped all intermissions and cut through some sections with no clip, it still took me 20 minutes and 31 seconds to beat the demo.

The Villain was and always has been inspired by Jack Noir of Homestuck's villain psyche, already pretty angry, likes stabbing things. The difference between Jack Noir and the villain of this game is that while Jack Noir is a loose cannon basically all the time and doesn't have access to time-travel, the villain of Menagerie is calculated and cunning, and once he gains the Macguffin he has seemingly unstoppable power, time travel abilities, and many omnipotent attacks which sort of mirror Jack's as a nod to Andrew Hussie for inspiration and for making such an awesome webcomic. The villain of menagerie is as far from a fan character as I could get, however. Similarities will be present, but his most recent redefinition should make him his own guy.

The Galaxions are a big mixing pot of inspiration, I made a chart for them.
It's messy, tangled and convoluted though.
Not sure where the color scheme came from, perhaps it was my own idea.

Fyori has some subtle similarities to Rose Lalonde from Homestuck, her "rose" eye color and questioning nature are the most striking.

Fatty is a fair bit like John Egbert intelligence wise from Homestuck, if you replace nerd with clueless.

A lot of the lines between Spooky and other characters are near representative of conversations I've had with friends, Spooky's dialogue is also lightly weaved with Dave Strider of Homestuck fame's flippant remarks.

Gerald is a character I really don't like writing, not because my friend is a twat but because writing Goody two-shoes characters is monotonous. If I ever make an all stars game with RavenBlueIndigo, Gerald would not be present because:
1). He's a pain to draw.
2). He's my least favorite character and I'd rather him be replaced by one more interesting.

Fyori has been redrawn 3 times.
Spooky has been Redrawn Twice.
Fatty has been redrawn Twice.
Gerald has been redrawn twice, but his is the only model that remains a trace of the original.

Within the first Demo, you meet two female demigods, in contrast to Intelligence where you meet two male demigods.

There was originally a fifth party member planned who was a Mimic, but the idea was scrapped when a lack of sprites were available and it came to drawing the facesets for it.

Skills were developed very late in development, and the common event which gave the mechanic which was worthy of the most procrastination was the Druid shapeshift abilities.

Enemies and troops were left to last to make in the database, as like with Intelligence.

Of the things hardest to credit, it was the iconset and its individual icons, and likely there is still some credit due, help me find them please? ;_;

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