next week: minjas on ice
     Monday, January 14, 2002 "appreciate... the funk"     


Greetings and salutations. After nearly a month since my last real column, I'm back and primed to do this job like it's meant to be done. My Christmas break was a nice change of pace from my hectic last semester, but it went by far too quickly. Like many of you readers, I'd imagine, I'll have officially begun my new semester of classes by the time most of you read this. This semester looks pretty decent as far as classes go, but I anticipate being quite busy, and not just because of school.

As I went over in-depth in a previous column, I plan to score a game programming internship at this year's Game Developers Conference job fair. In order to help persuade my would-be employers, I plan to program a demo game and development tools (like a map editor) to show that I've got the right stuff. I mentioned in that previous column that I had planned to do multiple games. With just a little over two months to go, that goal is most likely out of the question.

However, since the RPG is the one game I'm keeping, and since you're reading an RPG website, I figure that it's my moral duty to show you readers the behind-the-scenes of RPG development. So, in short, over the next two months I'm going to let you all see first-hand how I'm progressing in creating a fully-functional, 20-30 minute RPG.

As of right now, I have enlisted the services of composer Chad Seiter and artist Mike Perez. Characters and monsters have already been designed, the script is nearly finished, and the basic area map has been drawn. Before next Monday, I plan to finish the script, area maps, and battle system concept -- in other words, completely finish designing the game. I intend to have started programming by that point as well.

Those of you interested in this can look forward to seeing all my design documents next Monday, but until then, feast your ears on the game's town music (in midi or mp3 format), copyright 2002 Chad Seiter.

And for those of you who don't really care, and those that do, too, I suppose, today's letters exist below. Enjoy!

Oh, also, from way back on December 17, some guy named Frank was the first to tell me that "I wanted to be with you alone and talk about the weather" was from the Tears for Fears song "Head Over Heels." His email had no real content, though, so I'm putting this here instead of where I normally would.

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    final effects
    Finally beat FFX... (Not saying a word... except I can't wait to go through again.)

    Wait a minute: Japan gets a DVD of Spirits Within in their FFX International? Qua?

    Missed one small item in Ixion's temple, causes you to miss out on Anima, the Magus Sisters, Yuna's Ultimate Weapon... etc...

    Only managed to Unlock Rikku's... hilarious how it opens break damage limit, especially since she wasn't doing over a thousand per attack...

    Shiromori D'gern
    "It'sa me, Ellipsio."
    It's about as safe as poking a sleeping dragon in the eye.
    "The truth... It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution." Dumbledore, "Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone"

    A bit over a week ago I didn't have a PS2. Then, sometime last week, I decided that I wanted to rent this PS2 music game Frequency and play it on my friend Marshall's PS2. Blockbuster didn't have it and they weren't going to get it. When I want something, I usually don't let much get in my way, so I went to the local Super WalMart and bought it.

    Brought it to Marshall's. Loved it. Had to leave eventually. After two days, I think, I broke down and bought a PS2 so I could play it more than I was currently able to. I also bought Time Crisis 2, packed with the neon orange Guncon 2, for only $60. And just a couple days after that, I found out that Sega's music-esque game Rez had just been released, so I bought that too.

    The next game I'm buying will be Parappa the Rapper 2, which comes out in just over a week. But the game I'll buy next after that will be FFX, cause it looks so darn cool.

    Concerning your question, no, there will just be a preview for the Spirits Within DVD included in the game, not the actual movie itself. I read the article our news crew posted regarding it, and I have to admit that the whole "preview" bit is easy to miss if you're not careful.

    I was wondering if its possible to play GBA on your TV.



    Yes, but it's not as easy (or as warranty compliant) as you might hope. Click here.

    marsha, marsha, marsha!
    I passed up a chance to buy a copy of FFX a couple of days ago, and instead, bought a little game called Eternal Eyes for the first Playstation. This was the game formerly known as Mappet Monster, and was supposed to be released in 1999, when Sunsoft went under in the US and all of their titles vanished. Anyway, Crave picked up a couple of these games recently, and released them at $10 a piece, these two being Eternal Eyes and the new Blaster Master. Let me say that this game fully disperses my view that straight to bargain bin games aren't any good, because I absolutely love it.

    I haven't played Hoshigami yet, (I haven't even SEEN a copy of it...) but this is easily the best strategy RPG I've played from 2001. I'm a bit bothered that I spent $40 on Saiyuki, and that this $10 game is better in every way. Well, except for the translation, which gives us such gems as "Exa of Evo" and "pappets." Aside from that and the small party size, I have no complaints. The music is decent, the graphics look nice on a PS2 (though they're horribly grainy without the PS2's smoothing function), and the battles system is lots of fun, allowing you to raise your super cute monsters to kill everything in their path. Whether it's a blob of snot or a talking penguin, these monsters are brilliant. Plus, this game features something that, to my knowledge, no other strategy RPG ever has; the ability to walk around and fully explore towns. A welcome change from the menu based towns of others in the genre.

    Now, to get to a question I have: Why is everyone ignoring this game? I haven't seen a single review of it on any site, even sites dedicated to the PS1. In fact, aside from the little bit of information on RPGamer, I haven't even seen COVERAGE of it since 1999. It's $10, and it's really good. I just feel more people should take a look at this one before it's gone.

    -Super Walrus Man-

    I'm glad you found a great bang for your buck, yo. Though I can't say for sure, I'd imagine most sites are ignoring the game for sound and obvious reasons. It's on the more-or-less dead PSX, it's several years old, and it started out in the bargain bin, which usually doesn't signify quality. Granted, we're press, and we should know better, but with many sites having limited staff and resources, if we have to choose, we're really better off putting more time into covering FFX info than Eternal Eyes info, no?

    like a fox
    Greetings Divine Shield
         I wonder what you think is the hardest game?
    Imperial Mog

    You left the question quite open-ended, so I'm venturing outside RPGs. In fact, I think the slime was asked this earlier. And I think I'll have to give the same answer. Fantasy Zone, for the obscure Sega Master System. Insanely difficult. Brilliant, quirky, but hard like a fox. Also, I could never beat the SMS version of Double Dragon. Once unlimited continues ran out when you got to level 4, you were screwed.

    How do I submit fan fiction I already have written on Microsoft works?

    Ah, this is a simple question. I'll give you a step-by-step procedure for completing this task.

    • Open your fiction in MS works format.
    • Click "File."
    • Click "Save as..."
    • Change the "Save as type" entry to "Text."
    • Click "Save."
    • Now, click here to open the RPGamer Fan Fiction section in a new window.
    • You'll see "Guidelines" in big red letters on the right side of that page. Click that.
    • Follow all the directions on that page.
    And thus ends my tutorial. I'm sorry to have to poke at you, but if you have to ask a question like that, you really shouldn't be allowed on the internet. Seriously.

    End of the Road:

    It may have been decently short, but I found this to be a good column, and I hope you find it the same. Oh also, I nearly forgot. Since I'm going to be showing off my work of art (my game demo, as mentioned above), it's only fair that I allow some of you readers to do the same. Every week, I'd like to feature a work of art created by one of my readers, be it a drawing, music composition, or anything else. If you created it, send it on in (Only mail me files less than one (1) MB, please. Send links for larger files), and I may feature it in a future column.

    'Til next time, kids, have fun with Gramblebang!

    Andrew P. Bilyk is more enthralled with Shakira than he is with Britney. Sacrilege? You be the judge.

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