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Category Archives: Projects
After doing some research I’ve found 2 noticeable Fan projects set in the SD universe.
- Memories of Mana Set a year after the events of SD3, a quality fan game using the RPG Maker XP engine, with enhancements developed using the Ruby Game Scripting System (RGSS)
- Return to Mana Set 42 year after the events of SD2, this ambitious project aims to allow multiplayer gameplay using Valve’s SOURCE engine.
It’s nice to see other people working on ambitious titles with the Return to Mana project; and the Memories of Mana project is a great example of a game seen throught to completion. (It also has a sequal)
Enhanced Remake I’ve chosen this path as I believe it allows me practice my 3d modelling skills without setting exceedingly high expectations on the quality of the demo. I avoided the lazy port option as from the outset “Improving my 3d modelling skills” was a goal of the project.
Microsoft XNA Framework I’ve carefully chosen this development environment as I believe it will yield the best results. Although I am pitching the appearance of the game at a relatively low level, I feel it would be prohibitive to have to work with limited resources, with optimised models that require several iterations to get them running on the DS. I think the development process would be sped up by having slightly higher-poly models running with ample resources than having to rework the models for the limited resources of the DS.
I think the XNA Framework is a slightly more welcoming development environment, as well as not having to work with the constant memory and resource management of the DS.
To familiarise myself with the audio for the game, I’ve been listening to the OST (downloaded here)
In terms of how this project will develop I wanted to flesh-out the possible development routes it could take covering both the development platform and the appearance of the remake.
The following is a list of possible appearances the remake could have.
- Standard port Similar to Final Fantasy 4/5/6 on the Playstation and Game Boy Advance (Pros: Graphics already exist, Cons: Nothing new gameplay wise, might as well play the original)
- Standard port+ Using the second Nintendo DS screen for maps and menus similar to Chrono Trigger on Nintendo DS (Pros: Graphics already exist, extra UI development to use the additional screen Cons: Nothing new gameplay wise)
- Standard port++ A rotating overhead camera similar to Dragon Quest 4/5 on the Nintendo DS (Pros: Graphics already exist, Minimal 3d development, slight innovation on the original game)
- Enhanced Remake A full graphical overhaul of a standard on par with Final Fantasy 3/4 or Golden Sun: Dark Dawn both on the Nintendo DS (Pros: Improve Low-poly modelling skills, innovation on the original game while still retaining the feel of the top down original Cons: a lot of time spent of 3d modeling)
- Enhanced Remake HD A full graphical overhaul of a standard on par with Dragon Quest 5 on PS2 or Chrono Ressurection (Pros: Will look amazing Cons: huge amount of time spent on 3d modelling, as well as writing shaders and setting up lighting)
The following is a list of possible development platforms the remake could have.
- Microsoft XNA Framework Using C# to develop the game for PC and Xbox 360. (Pros: fast development on a solid, well documented architecture, Cons: Doesn’t fit in with a lot of the Nintendo DS ideas I have for the game)
- Homebrew Nintendo DS Development Using C++ to develop the game for Nintendo DS. I’ve previously started experimenting with dev kit pro using the this great starting point (Pros: Preferred platform for realising my idea, great platform to cut my teeth on Cons: Steep learning curve, C++ is harder to work with than C#, less resources/documentation afaik, Enhanced Remake HD would not be possible)
Unfortunately I have very little experience with audio, so my options are limited to using the original mono audio, using the soundtrack or asking for assistance.
With this first post I wanted to give an overview of my aims and objectives for this project starting with why Seiken Densetsu 3?
I’ve been aware of this lost gem since the SNES era – One of the best jRPG that was never translated. I dabbled with the English ROM back in 2004-05, but never got into it (or the rest of the Mana series), I’d pretty much forgotten about it until January this year when I picked up issue 85 of Retro Gamer and read a great article on the entire Mana series. Having my interested piqued again by this series as well as wanting to get started on a new project I thought this would be a perfect fit.
The first thing I did was to research the series in general, and I quickly stumbled on theseikens.com a fan site with all things Seiken Densetsu including a section with the additional material available for the game. (walkthrough, startegy guides, artbooks, etc) With an intention of only using original artwork as inspiration/guidance, I picked up the Seiken Densetsu 3 basic knowledge book, Seiken Densetsu 3 Prologue and a copy of Sword of Mana (the enhanced remake of Seiken Densetsu for the GBA) in January to get me started.
My aim is to improve my general development skills, specifically games programming and 3d modelling.
My objective is to develop a solid demo which has the potential for a possible future development into a complete remake.