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What are you looking forward to the most about Allacrost?

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Roots
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What are you looking forward to the most about Allacrost?

Post by Roots » Sun Feb 13, 2005 2:02 pm

Decided not to make a poll, because there's a lot of things to look forward to. :) Well I thought about it this morning and I ended up with a two-way tie on what I'm looking most forward to.


Story and Characters
I think we're going to have an awesome story with this game and I'm looking very forward to writing it and watching it unfold on the screen. I want to have a lot of depth and character development, so I think we'll be focusing on that a lot. And above all I want to make the story enjoyable and unique so it doesn't seem like we're coping out the usual "teenager saves the world" theme. :rolleyes: The reason I love RPGs so much is for the story, not really the game :heh:


MAPS Battle System
This is going to be the most unique and fun part of the game I think, if we get it done right. I'm really looking forward to having every battle be a challenge, and not just another meat-slaughter-fest like a lot of other RPGs out there. I'm placing all my hopes on the battle system being the most prominent and enjoyable feature in the game.



So what about you guys (staff, forum members, forum guests)? From what you know what are you anticipating the most, and more importantly why?
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gorzuate
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Post by gorzuate » Sun Feb 13, 2005 2:29 pm

I'm looking forward to the rest of the story. I like a good tale! :)
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Post by Burnsaber » Mon Feb 14, 2005 1:40 pm

The battle system. Finally i can fear death (but not too much like in ADOM,nethack etc...) and not get bored with 2000th battle against [insert RND weak monsters name here]!
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Post by Balthazar » Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:40 pm

If I say the story, am I biased? ;)

I want the whole thing :!:
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Post by Eve » Sun Mar 13, 2005 5:27 pm

Can I say all of them? :heh:

I'm looking forward for the story and the gameplay. What makes RPG and other genres are different is in the story plot. I'm also looking forward for the gameplay. From what I've read so far the concept seems interesting and hopefully it will be a fun game to play. Afterall I play a game for its gameplay and for fun :D
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Post by Classic_gamer » Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:52 am

I'm looking forward to the story, the battle system, and to the rest of the music. I love the music that is for download! The battle system puts the fun back in leveling! And I love a good story! I mean, what is a RPG without a story?
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Post by Rain » Tue Sep 20, 2005 2:50 am

The STORY!
'When Zeon lost his powers, he fell to Earth, and created a giant crator where he hit. His moan destroyed the mountains and the crater was buried by the debris.'

(of Zeon)

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Timberloo

Post by Timberloo » Fri Nov 25, 2005 12:38 pm

The project not being finished?  The inevitable two year long, "We're still alive!" news-updating phase followed by the, "Unfortunately, I'm finally pulling the plug on Allacrost.  It would've been the best RPG ever, but the team just flaked on me" conclusion?

The switch to prerendered 3D when you can't get good 2D artists, followed by a switch to lowpoly 3D when the 3D artists aren't producing . . . .

The art page being 95% anime sketches and 5% actual game assets?

So much to look forward to!  I'm excited!

Rimpoche!!!
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visage
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Post by visage » Fri Nov 25, 2005 7:07 pm

Timberloo, you have to realize that everyone who works on this project either has another job or currently is a fulltime student -- both of which take a great amount of time.  Though, I can tell you, just because we don't update the front page doesn't mean we aren't making great leaps and bounds both in terms of art and code.  Be patient, and you will be pleasantly surprised.
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Post by Rain » Fri Nov 25, 2005 9:45 pm

Timberloo wrote:The project not being finished?  The inevitable two year long, "We're still alive!" news-updating phase followed by the, "Unfortunately, I'm finally pulling the plug on Allacrost.  It would've been the best RPG ever, but the team just flaked on me" conclusion?

The switch to prerendered 3D when you can't get good 2D artists, followed by a switch to lowpoly 3D when the 3D artists aren't producing . . . .

The art page being 95% anime sketches and 5% actual game assets?

So much to look forward to!  I'm excited!

Rimpoche!!!


It seems you are angry that we don't have a completely generic, 'run of the mill' 2-D RPG completed to show for our efforts.  Sorry to let you down.  :rolleyes:
'When Zeon lost his powers, he fell to Earth, and created a giant crator where he hit. His moan destroyed the mountains and the crater was buried by the debris.'

(of Zeon)

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Post by roos » Fri Nov 25, 2005 9:51 pm

Lots of online projects have very little progress for 2-3 years, and then blossom, seemingly overnight. Well, it's not really overnight- those first years were actually important. It takes time to build up a good team, lay out the foundations of the code, decide how things are going to work, etc. Even the time spent tripping up over our inexperience is valuable, because we learn and become more productive.

I don't think we've really hit that sweet spot yet, but if we work hard and work smart, I think we can reach it. We might find out along the way that making a massive 30-hour RPG is never gonna happen for us, but I think we can still create something unique that we'll be proud of.

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Post by Jetryl » Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:33 pm

Timberloo wrote:The project not being finished?  The inevitable two year long, "We're still alive!" news-updating phase followed by the, "Unfortunately, I'm finally pulling the plug on Allacrost.  It would've been the best RPG ever, but the team just flaked on me" conclusion?

The switch to prerendered 3D when you can't get good 2D artists, followed by a switch to lowpoly 3D when the 3D artists aren't producing . . . .

The art page being 95% anime sketches and 5% actual game assets?

So much to look forward to!  I'm excited!

Rimpoche!!!


Fact is, these guys have a secret developers-only part of the forum, which is actually quite active.  It's not a bad idea on a number of counts, given that they don't get half the noise we do over in certain other game projects (wesnoth, themanaworld), excepting the times when the developers themselves are fausting it.  :eyebrow:

The drawbacks are quite simple - the average, sensible person looking at this project might be inclined to think that it's dead.  There's no activity on the forum that they can see, and no updates to the art.

I'd suggest rectifying this.  The reason is that, if your project looks active, you might get contributors without soliciting them - for one example, Wesnoth has never solicited contributors.  They just came.  I think the driving force behind it had to do with the following factors:

The Fundamental Theorem of OSS Momentum: Projects snowball.  People, especially the talented ones, only want to work on projects that actually look like they are going to be a success.  Usually the talented people have done enough work in the trenches to know that even they can't do it all on their own, and that skilled people must pool together to create something significant.  Thus, the attractiveness of a project to a potential contributor is directly proportional to how successful they think the project is going to be, where success is measured in 'getting the thing done at least up to standard of the original design goals'.

1] They got a binary that the public could try ASAP.  Like, by version 0.1 - before the game even had it's own proper website (Dave was just hosting it on his personal webspace).

2] Related to the above, all of the work seemed focused on "what matters" - getting the gameplay functional, adding the graphics later.  Dave's coding style was very professional (not surprising given his background), and those "in the know" could tell.

3] Everything was public, and they released new binaries at least once a month.  People didn't hear that something was being done - they played it with they own two hands.

4] Dave's "good cop" style.  Sometimes almost a bit ... unnatural-seeming, but a damn good cushion for when submissions were not up to spec, and people were acting out of line.  Extremely gentle in criticisms, fair to a fault, etc.  What it accomplished was keeping around semi-talented people until they became really good - a number of other projects have driven people away with criticism.  Wesnoth, certainly, has lost a number of contributors from various bits of melodrama, but a shocking number of people have stayed around despite it.

Compare to http://www.themanaworld.org

1] Success on this point - the game works, and can be downloaded.

2] Complete failure - themanaworld is still running on a modified Ragnarok Online server.  They'd look much more professional and competent if they had their own home-grown one, which is entirely necessary to implement their own gameplay model.

3] Semi-Success on this point - strictly monthly builds, regardless of what gets in them (contrast with wesnoth, which releases based on things getting finished, and lulls in the bug cycle).  Wesnoth's way is better, since people get access to new features sooner.

4] Failure - with the exception of Bjørn, the team over there, including the coding leads, act very unprofessional and petty.

The fallout of this is that they have a bunch of forum carrion, who swarm about and try to do things, but they've lost all of the truly talented people who made stuff for their project (eg - de mysterious Neoriceisgood).  Wesnoth on the contrary, has reached 1.0, and our momentum towards 2.0 is ... growing, rather than fading from people taking a break. :twitch:

:huh:  So, what would this suggest as a course of action for you?

I'd say - try building a technology demo.  Something that doesn't include any of the CONTENT of the game (apart from some sprites, but certainly none of the story), but instead just lets people run around in a simple, dead-end demo map, and maybe slash at a few monsters.  Enough that people can see the engine in action.  If you do so, I imagine you might attract some contributors.

At the least, I'd really suggest updating the screenshots at least every few months - IIRC, the current ones are from about 11 months ago.  
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Roots
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Post by Roots » Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:21 pm

Timberloo wrote:The project not being finished?  The inevitable two year long, "We're still alive!" news-updating phase followed by the, "Unfortunately, I'm finally pulling the plug on Allacrost.  It would've been the best RPG ever, but the team just flaked on me" conclusion?

The switch to prerendered 3D when you can't get good 2D artists, followed by a switch to lowpoly 3D when the 3D artists aren't producing . . . .

The art page being 95% anime sketches and 5% actual game assets?

So much to look forward to!  I'm excited!

Rimpoche!!!



Your criticism is totally fair. Although I do think you could have stated it in a less vulgar manner, there's nothing wrong with what you said. I'll spare one of my famous incredibly verbose posts and just summarize up the important points I want to make.


- The reason there haven't been any updates on the site lately is because I'd rather be working on something else. My number 1 man (Balthazar) has been out for some time now and it's a hassle for me to try to keep the site up-to-date while still working on the code.

- Realize that 100% of the people working on this game do it in their spare time, for fun. If I could dedicate 40 or 60 hours a week to Allacrost, I would love it. But that doesn't pay the bills, and it doesn't help me pass my classes either. I spend what time I can afford on Allacrost.

- Also realize that the majority of here (especially myself) have never made a game before and lack the general experience. That first year or so was basically just a learning phase for a lot of us (although we didn't know it at the time).

- I doubt that the entire staff is just going to 'flake out' one day. Some people may leave because other commitments pop up in their lives, and that's fine. I will continue to work on Allacrost until its completed or until I die. Hopefully the former will come first. ;)

- We actually have been wanting to get out new screenshots and a demo for some time now, but once the fall semester started people got seriously bogged down and production slowed considerably. :( Not much we can do about that though! The code is making good progress these days though, as you can see by our CVS respository (commits made every 2-3 days on average).

- Final point: there is no one more disappointed with the slow progress of Allacrost than myself. Honestly, I had no idea how much work it was going to be, and how it was going to be even harder to find the time to do that work. But there's no point in looking back at the past and being full of regret. We just have to keep on truckin' and moving forward. :cool:




And in response to Jetryl's very insightful post.


- I know Wesnoth and TMW use different development models than we do, especially with regards to keeping things public/private. I think things have been working out well for us so far though. The main reason I want to keep some things in private discussion is because I don't want to spoil the story for people (which we have always placed a very heavy emphasis on, since this is an RPG).

- Maybe we can experiment with things like giving forum members read-only access to some of the staff forums (art, music, code), but I have a feeling they'll just want to post about what they read there in other public forums, and then we have a mess because we'll have "too much" input into every design decision, and it would slow the whole process down. :shrug:

- One of the major differences between Wesnoth and Allacrost is our release models. I would like Allacrost to look and feel like a quality game from the first moment someone plays it. Wesnoth certainly is a quality game now, but if you look at some of the first releases it.....well it looks like crap. :heh: I like our release model though, and our modular release concept will hopefully put it all together.

- Final point: I agree with releasing a tech demo (its currently #2 on the team's goal list. #1 is releasing new screenshots). When we released our first screenshots we got a lot of criticism and crap from people because they didn't look that great. We did work our asses off for a couple weeks to get those out, and the lesson we learned was don't rush something if it means a considerable degrade in quality. Anyway, all the code is there to support awesome screenshots, so all we need is the art now. :angel:


Okay, enough blabbing from me. :eyespin:
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