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EB Fangames (MORE!!) - by ozwalled

EB Fangames (MORE!!)

One of the first things I did when I arrived at this site was download every fanmade game that had something even remotely to do with EarthBound that I could get my hands on. I knew that I'd want to play through them at some point, to give me an EarthBoundy fix whenever I needed a slight change of pace from either EB or EB Zero.

I'll admit that I haven't really played many of them yet... But that doesn't mean that I don't want more. I *DO* want more. PLENTY more. To be honest, unless I'm seeing all the EarthBound I can eat, I don't think I'll be entirely happy or satisfied.

Of course, making a game is no easy task. I'm currently working on an EB game (so as not to be a hypocrite and all), but I'm still not past the very early phases of production. That being the case, I have some idea into what difficulties one might encounter while making your own EB game. No, it's not easy, especially if you want to make a quality product.

One decision I have made, though, is that when I release the game itself, it won't all be at the same time. In my scouring the 'Net for EB fangames, I found far too many ambitious-sounding projects that appeared to have been abandoned for a year or more. I'm hoping that a part of the key to success, then, will be putting the game out little by little, in the form of "chapters" of sorts. This way, hopefully each chapter of the game will be manageable enough to maintain my interest.

I've also looked at the various options available in terms of actually making *A* game, much less this one (my programming skills are essentially nonexistent, by the way). I took a look at RPG Maker 2000 briefly, as it seemed like an obvious choice for a starting point. But between looking at that and considering the small number of EB games actually completed (that I could find, anyway) with this program, I started considering a look elsewhere. Maybe I haven't really used it enough to come to a fair conclusion, but I didn't really much like RPG Maker 2000. Getting into it just seemed a bit too slow-going for my liking, somehow. I understand that a game-making program has to have limitations by design, but this one just seemed a bit too confining.

I began to consider another, more unlikely candidate more seriously. I'd already taken a spin or two with another game-creating program called Adventure Game Studio, put together by a gentleman by the name of Chris Jones. As its name suggests, though, this tool was designed with Adventure games (i.e., point-and-click type games, the likes of LucasArts' first three Monkey Island games or Full Throttle, or Sierra games like the first Gabriel Knight and some of the last Space Quest games and such [ALSO NOTE: I've chosen this game-making tool because it seemed to be one of the easier ones to get into. Plus, it doesn't really require a prior knowledge of programming. PLUS it has a fairly active and helpful community.). But CAN EarthBound work as an Adventure Game? Somehow, I was convinced that it could (and still am). But what would OTHER fans think of the idea? With this question in mind, I made my first visits to the forum, and posted.

There was some unpleasantness involved, but it wasn't so bad. Of the few responses I got, the positive ones encouraged me that such a game might actually be played (I didn't want to make something NOBODY would want to even touch, after all). So I dove in (well, more like slowly, SLOWLY started dipping my toes in, followed by my foot, and then my ankle... Slowly now...) with some confidence.

Despite the slowness, I think things are working out quite well so far (despite the snail's pace it's coming along at). No, this won't really resemble the EarthBound game(s) you've known and grown to love so much. First off, I'll not likely be incorporating combat in the traditional RPG sense and I'll probably not have any statistics for the player-controlled characters (No! NO! Please don't stop reading yet! Stay! Please stay!... Pretty please? With fuzzy pickles on top?).

Some might argue that it just won't be EarthBound without the fights, and I can understand that. I'm still CONSIDERING making an RPG-style combat system, as this IS possible with the Adventure Game Studio (AGS) engine... but unless I can do it fairly easily (by borrowing the source code from someone else who's already made such a combat system, for example), it probably won't happen. Why? Because I actually want to MAKE this game and not get stalled on making RPG-esque combat.

So if there won't be RPG-like combat, will there BE combat at all? Well, yes and no. It's very likely that there will be combat of sorts, but it's more likely to be more dependent on inventory, environmental, conversational and character puzzles than it will be on hit points, psi points or statistics. Think more along the lines of how Belch was beaten, and you'll be starting to see that it might just work (well, maybe).

But will this be enough like EarthBound for any of its fans to want to play it? Ultimately, I'll find out eventually, but I really do hope that I'll be able to keep with the spirit of the game, more than anything, and that will be a big enough hook to keep people interested.

Anyway, enough of taking about what *I* hope to do. I want to get back to what I want to SEE from others. I'm not saying that you have to make up an epic quest. I'm not even asking that you finish a game. What I will ask, though, is that you find something that feels like it might be able to work for you that'll help you make the game (be it AGS, RPG Maker 2000, the tools of PK Hack or whatever) and give things a shot. Just a try (I know that with sections like Fanfics and Poems out there, that there's enough creativity out there to try to make a EB fangame, anyway.). Heck, if you can, make a game that takes place entirely in Ness's room, or at Paula's place or any other small area. It'd be a step in the right direction. I'd like to see more short EarthBound fangames than none at all. Please?

***If you're interested in taking a gander at Adventure Game Studio (it's absolutely free) and some of the games made with it already (most all of them are free, too), type "Adventure Game Studio" (including the quotation marks) into a Google search, and I'm sure you can probably find the homepage for it. If not, feel free to ask me for it (my address is linked to through my name, above) Any other feedback on this zany idea of mine would be nice, too.***

PS- I'm not responsible for any legal issues that might arise if you do decide to make an EarthBound fangame. It's their copyrighted material and all. HOWEVER, in an e-mail conversation with Nintendo of America, while they hardly seemed keen on the idea, didn't say that they would pursue legal action against me if I made an EB fangame (mind you, they didn't specifically say they wouldn't, either...).

PPS- Already making an EB fangame? Wanna' chat about it? Send me e-mail if ya' wanna'.


Other Submissions by ozwalled

Author Sort Ascending Sort Descending Title Sort Ascending Sort Descending Description Sort Ascending Sort Descending Date Sort Ascending Sort Descending Rank Sort Ascending Sort Descending
ozwalled Ultimate Chimera
It's that rascally pink killer, the Ulitmate Chimera. He's such a scamp. :)
4/12/09 8.00
ozwalled Ultra Barbot
An Ultra Barbot.
4/27/05 8.00
ozwalled Uncontrollable Sphere
I'll give you a broken antenna!
4/26/05 0.00
ozwalled Undead Pooch
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6/27/06 0.00
ozwalled Under the Sea
In the watery depths of Mother 3 lurk all kinds of things...
11/10/08 0.00

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