The day before yesterday, I was at video game bar in Stockholm playing Nintendo LXIV with associates and strangers. It was fun! Due to this complete lack of discipline, the game has to been postponed again. I will try to be more disciplined from now on and focus on the development of the game.
Actually, I finished up a sprite yesterday. But for some reason, the game STILL isn’t done. Yeesh!
To make up for this delay, I’ll talk a bit about the item design of Pier Solar.
When I made the items, I wanted them to plentyful, varied and serve a purpose. I also wanted them to fit the setting and the place where they were located. Seeing as there are many towns in Pier Solar, I made unique weapons and armours for every town. I did a lot of research on Google for this task. For the equipment on the desert continent, I looked up old weapons and clothing used in Arabic countries, and for the mangrove jungle continent I looked up items used by natives of South America. As I love my heritage as a Nordic citizen, I made some homages to Norse mythology and some puns. In a town of thieves, I put a sword called “Steal Sword”, and there is also a book called “Meteoro Log”. I tried to have some humour, for example the item which decreases water type damage is the Towel, which can be found in a shower.
The characters had mostly exclusive weapons, but some, such as the Swordstick, could be used by both Hoston and Kruller as the former used swords and the latter rods. The armours were usually for either sex, sometimes both. The ultimate weapons and armours were exclusive to each character and were named after the best equipment in some fave RPGs of mine, as an homage. These could only be obtained if you completed sidequests. Because they were few and it was hard to put those in the end of the game, I came up with the solution of the item called Master Key, which you could find at various places throughout the game, mostly at optional caves. With the Master Keys you could find eight of the best armours and weapons at the end of the game, and the last ultimate weapon and armour could be found at the end of the multi-part sidequest also at that part of the game.
The uses of the items were often inspired by other 16-bit RPGs. Their abilities were very varied and brought a lot more to the table than just changing the stats of the characters: For example: decrease this elemental damages, make character faster, 100% chance to escape, half MP usage, heal HP and many other things. But the stats were important – I didn’t want the items to just add attack or defence when you came to a new town, so I fiddled a bit with other stats as well so the player could think a bit before actually purchasing – sometimes skipping a weapon might be the better option.
I had many ideas for usages and Fonzie programmed most of them and came up with some other ideas, such as the books which teach spells. One book I made, I managed to integrate into the story a bit: the Nurse Notes for Alina, a book given to the party by the missing doctor at the end of the game, which resurrects dead characters. I won’t spoil anything, but the dialogue when you get it fits the story like a glove. Other than that, there were also some story items which served no other purpose than pushing the plot forward.
When the items were done, I used a tool to put them into the game, give them the icon they needed, stats, price (in shops), select who could equip the and their abilities. I also updated Fonzie’s icons to make sure no item looked like any other. Of nearly 250 items, they were all unique in both look and ability, though some were quite similar.
And when this was done, I made the shops, which was simply adding all the item numbers to a string and a set price level. I also placed the chests in the game. Seeing as it was I who made the items, these last two tasks was something only I could do, I think. If you are wondering why there are so many herbs in the game, it’s because it was the standard item which I changed when I wanted something else in a chest. Which I most often wanted, naturally.
That’s all for now!