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ReCast

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ReCast is a 'standing on shoulders' half-hack that assembles various material created by members of this community into a (tentatively) functional mosaic.

It stands on four tent-poles:

Hold on Combat fixes from C.V. Reynold's bugfix compilation.  Specifically, it takes everything from the C.V. patch up through bank C3.
Wink Plot pathing fixes from PowerPanda.  I used his DivergentPaths as a base in this project because it improves the pace of the Scenarios split.
Finger Translation from Rodimus Primal.  I used his script as a base before making text adjustments of my own.
Surprised Graphics from the FF6Hacking 2017 collection, which I spliced to make new monster graphics and (in some cases) player graphics.

My original intention was a simple graphics patch, to fix the art clash that all 2D Final Fantasy games possess.  In short, one side of the battlefield has stick figures while the other side has Romance-era paintings.  I figured since I couldn't make the players into Romance-era paintings, I could at least make the monsters into stick figures.  It's the biggest component of the hack, and the reason why the patch is so large.

As I got into the thick of it, though, and as I replayed the game I found that many of the characters were bland and one-dimensional (or in the case of Sabin... 0 dimensional.  What a pixel).  I took the opportunity to rewrite and expand on the characters, making them more independent and more believable (no more robot "what is love?" or deadly generals "pure as snow").  I also decided to significantly rewrite several characters, such as Mog, Umaro, Cyan, Setzer, and Cid.  All in all there was only about 1000 bytes of space left for script when I was done with it.

Lastly, I decided to make Water a more prominent element like it was in FFX, so I reorganized and/or changed most of the spells.  Which in turn required restructuring and/or changing monster scripts.  Doing so also involved giving more characters natural magic: I extended the premise of GrayShadows' patch in that regard to make Relm, Strago, Shadow, and Mog learn spells as they level.  The sum of this adds up to the sub feature, summarized as _SPELL18_, wherein each of the three magic categories has 18 spells.

I've played through the patch once, and it is difficult but beatable with Natural Magic alone and very little grinding (I needed a short grind for money in Zozo and a short grind for levels in the Fanatics Tower).  I was able to beat the final boss at an average level of 45.
I haven't tested Esper Leveling yet (though I did make sure they were casting correctly in an earlier build).  I'd imagine the game is much easier with Esper leveling, probably easier than the original.

Right now I'm looking into squashing any lingering bugs which may have slipped by, particularly in Mount Zozo and Cyan's Dream (these areas were blorked in my first draft).  I also know that little girl in the ending walks off the cliff, but... I haven't been able to figure out how to nudge her down yet (dang ending maps being different!).  I also want to look into adding one new feature to the game: the display by enemies of their current statuses.  This should be possible for at least the cycling color statuses, being that enemies flash Color 1 whenever they act.  I haven't jumped in yet for this but I have an idea on where to start.

What I need from this community (if anyone is interested) is input on the difficulty and pacing of the hack, and notes on any weird dialogue (situations where a random villager says only half a sentence, or those where a character behaves unbelievably relative to the circumstances at hand).  And while you're on floating structures, watch out for chasms!


Attached Files
.zip  ReCast FF6 1_0.zip (1.55 MB, 13 downloads)
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  • jack5881 (05-01-2019), madsiur (05-01-2019), Robo Jesus (09-05-2019)

#2
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Nice project man!
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#3
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Almost to the end of my 2nd (w/Espers) playthrough... finding that the extra magic doesn't make the game as easy as I thought. The bug fixes really ramp up the difficulty.

Fixed a few fringe typos. Trying to make the animations a little more interesting too, and I want to revise some spells and some monster scripts (a few monsters are wildly unfair, particularly on the World of Ruin map). Also debating changing up more of the monster graphics (such as turning Enuo into a dark sorcerer... so THAT's where he ended up when the void swallowed him!).


My big snag, though, is figuring out how to approach displaying enemy statuses. I'm graphically depicting them with dummy spells that are conditionally cast.

(1) I can display them two at a time in a cycle using a monster script, but this will eat up a space in every formation to make room for the invisible "Status Monitor" monster. I've got a proof-of-concept script for this, though which monster displays a status each turn is selected at random.

(2) I can HYPOTHETICALLY repurpose the Condemned counter, set it to a non-level based limit (10-30 seconds), and have it cast a spell on expiration based on the monster's current status. This doesn't eat up a monster slot but measures have to be taken to ensure every monster has condemned status and players never get it (that is, unless they're being subjected to Overcast). This system will also only allow me to display one status at a time, either locked into priority like vanilla player statuses or selected randomly (resulting in a lot of empty Condemned clears).


Believe it or not, (1) would be easier to implement (it's just a lot of busy work). I think (2) is a better approach, but it's going to eat up basically all of the leftover freespace in C2 (so nobody else would really be able to use it) and the randomness involved will be frustrating. I'm still putting together some Hex for (2); haven't tested anything yet. If anybody wants a closer look, I can share the monster script for (1) and the notes I've got for (2) in a follow-up post.

What are your thoughts?
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#4
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Just a little update. Well... info. New version isn't ready yet. I also didn't make it clear in the last post that I haven't pushed the typo fixes into a new patch, so the link in the first post will still have them.

Anyway, I doubled down on the status monster (I was getting fatigued working in Hex and I didn't want to burn out), I've placed it into [almost] every formation, and now I'm revising monster scripts accordingly (or I will, when I finally get around to it). I also made some adjustments to shops to spread out when tools can be acquired (so that Darryl isn't so powerful out-of-the-box), to ensure that the four armor types are more readily available, and to make sure Locke can ammo up his Throw menu sooner. Crystal remains the best armor you can buy (in WoR Maranda), but the last of the typed armors instead appear in earlier stores.

Once I've finished tweaking monster scripts, I've got to do another full run to make sure I didn't break anything. So... it's going to be a while before an updated patch is available.

On an unrelated note, Wartpucks are back to being weird bulbous aberrations. I felt the charging boar was too mundane for unsealed War of the Magi monstrosities.
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  • Robo Jesus (09-05-2019)

#5
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Update time.

So I got to the Floating Continent (or rather, to the IAF attack BEFORE the floating continent) and I hit a difficulty snag. While I was working on addressing it, I kinda got distracted with adding new features (such as HP Inversion Zombie), and now I've got to start my test file over from the beginning again to make sure I didn't mess up the difficulty curve (or blork the game somewhere).

My fix for the difficulty spike was a huge buff to two character commands, so I want to see how that plays out. Also, HP Inversion Zombie is a huge mechanical change and I need to make sure it didn't break anything. As far as commands go, they're all pretty overpowered at this point, but my reasoning is that it makes up for the low damage formula (and makes Moogle status more detrimental).

There are other things I'm eager to try with the hack (mainly event and map editing), but I want to make sure the battle component is up to par before I dabble in that (IE release a Version 2 first). That way, if I can't cut it with events I'll at least have something to show for all this effort.
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#6
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Found a game-breaking bug. If you're playing Version 1, steer clear of the CzarinaRing and the CzarSignet. If they trigger at the start of battle, the game will soft-lock.
I've fixed this bug in Version 2. Racing to get it ready for release; my playtest just made it to the Falcon.
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