A Cave Story Christmas (Not a mod; using GM:S)

Nov 9, 2012 at 5:42 AM
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What I'm planning for "A Cave Story Christmas":
The idea is to make a snack-sized game that takes place after the best ending of Cave Story, but it does not try to be "Cave Story 2". Instead, it focuses on a Christmas time celebration shared between 3 of the main characters from the original Cave Story. I won't say who, because I don't want to spoil it for those who may have not gotten the best ending yet (just in case). The story goes like this: On the eve of Christmas, something happens which allows you to go on a little adventure and shoot stuff. If I say more, I'll end up ruining it too much.

It's not a mod, not even 2D:
The game will be 3D, but not like Cave Story 3D (for the 3DS). I'm thinking more along the lines of Megaman Legends, being a 3rd-person "following" camera style, which is entirely different from Cave Story 3D.

What to expect of this Cave Story Christmas fan game:
Expect a winter setting with a good dose of Holiday spirit. The soundtrack will mostly be from the CSRP 3rd bonus album, depending whether or not I can get acceptable looping. Don't expect a lot of variety in guns; you will not have all the guns and items that you could get from Cave Story, but I do plan on having at least a couple of the guns from Cave Story, and possibly in upgraded versions. There will be familiar faces, items, weapons, and some enemies will make an appearance. For example, bats are a sure thing. The Doctor won't be in it; nobody will come back from the dead. And that's about all I have planned for the moment. At least, for the stuff that I'm saying without spoiling it too much.

Modeling is the hard part:
I just started to get into 3D modeling about a month ago, and I'm getting better as I do more and more modeling. I've been making stuff, looking at it, seeing what I've done wrong, and I take what I learn and use it for the next model and it ends up being much better. Here is something I made a couple weeks ago:
diph.php

Obviously it's unfinished. I've also made an Ikachan (I put it on the rainbow Ikachan topic), which is lower poly than this.

The programming engine:
It will be Game Maker: Studio Professional. I've been using Game Maker ever since the blue version (i.e. the first public version, way before YoYo Games came along). I've recently purchased Game Maker: Studio Professional, because I'm working on becoming an independant video game developer and I've begun development of an original indie action RPG. Actually, my indie RPG is kind of the reason why I'm making this Cave Story fan game.

Isn't making this fan game wasting time that you could be putting toward your independant game?
Actually, making this Cave Story fan game is not really wasting time because it's giving me valuable experience and it's a means to test out my ideas, while, at the same time, I get to create a fan game (Explained more below).

Why is it going to be "snack-sized"? Why not go all out with it?
For two reasons: The first reason is because I don't want to go against Pixel's wishes (i.e. for no fan-created Cave Story 2). Most ties to Cave Story will be kept vague, besides a few characters, some items, and some enemies. As far as story goes, it will be minimal, because, I'm hoping that if an official Cave Story 2 is actually made, that this game will be able to fit in without contradictions. Anyway, if it's small enough, there's no way anyone would mistake it for a Cave Story 2 anyway, and with it only soley focused on winter, that makes it even more unlikely, not to mention that I will make an unskippable splash screen that takes care of any legalities, explaining that it's a fan game, that it's freeware, and it cannot be used in any way for financial gain.
The second reason is that this game is, as I said above, a stepping stone in development for my own original indie RPG. I will be using this fan game to learn and to test some basic mechanics that I'm planning to use in my RPG. Mainly, the models, textures, and audio, will be the things that I won't be able to transfer to my indie RPG, but the more modeling I do, the faster and better I get, and that's the real time consuming thing.
In summary, I decided that I would already have to work my butt off for my indie RPG, so why not throw in a little extra work on the side and make a Cave Story fan game? But going all out would mean more than just a "little" extra work, so this is not planned to be very long, but it will still have a fair amount of content and length.

When I think I'll be done with it:
Unfortunately, modeling is taking a lot more practice than I had anticipated. Also, I only had this idea about a month ago. I wanted to at least get a demo done before this Christmas, but it's looking like late Winter next year or possibly even around Christmas NEXT year.


Since I won't have all of the guns... ANY REQUESTS FOR WHICH GUNS MAKE AN APPEARANCE?
 
Nov 9, 2012 at 5:47 AM
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Maybe something like the Bubbler. Could always have it making fancy bubbles that pop into stars, or something. Hell, maybe we can just the Whimsical Stars for that.
 
Nov 9, 2012 at 5:58 AM
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Nemesis! With ducks! Nemeeesis!
 
Nov 9, 2012 at 6:05 AM
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Snaaaaaaaaaaake
Please oh please oh please
You know, I always imagined that if in real life, the shots that the Snake fires would looks something like the Wave Beam in Metroid Prime. It also kinda makes sense, like how Super Metroid was what inspired Pixel to make Cave Story in the first place.
 
Nov 9, 2012 at 6:35 AM
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I'm not entirely sure how big you're planning for it to be, but remember to keep your scope managable
or you'll end up looking like a flake that spends years producing negative net amounts of content *cough like me cough*

These things have a tendency to balloon quickly
 
Nov 9, 2012 at 8:23 AM
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this would be hard. maybe you should add weapons from other games too, like from "Metroid"
 
Nov 9, 2012 at 12:08 PM
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I wanna play this when it's done. :D
 
Nov 9, 2012 at 1:40 PM
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or you'll end up looking like a flake that spends years producing negative net amounts of content *cough like me cough*

Negative?

> Starts modding. Goes well.

> Realizes something is up!

> Stops mod to remake Cave Story.

> Starts remaking. Something is up!

> Stops remake to created custom editor.

> Starts making editor. Something is wrong!

> Starts making art instead of editor.

> Realizes something is still missing!

> Makes a website and installs phpbb.

> ?????
 
Nov 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM
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These things have a tendency to balloon quickly

As good of a cautionary piece of advice as this may be, this is more of a problem that I've seen in you than I've seen in other modders. You have a tendency to get caught up in the details or in something on the side and then suddenly you're not working on what you were working on 5 minutes ago, and then suddenly it's a new project. Other modders seem to have a form of self control about this and are able to keep focused.
 
Nov 9, 2012 at 2:39 PM
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Yeah Noxid usually mods have at least three large areas by now, get on the ball
 
Nov 9, 2012 at 3:10 PM
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As good of a cautionary piece of advice as this may be, this is more of a problem that I've seen in you than I've seen in other modders. You have a tendency to get caught up in the details or in something on the side and then suddenly you're not working on what you were working on 5 minutes ago, and then suddenly it's a new project. Other modders seem to have a form of self control about this and are able to keep focused.
Okay yes I know this is more relevant to me than anybody else but it's still true in general :|

i have a problem
 
Nov 9, 2012 at 3:31 PM
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Since I won't have all of the guns... ANY REQUESTS FOR WHICH GUNS MAKE AN APPEARANCE?
The Blade, please.
It's not really a gun, I know, but it is a weapon.

Okay yes I know this is more relevant to me than anybody else but it's still true in general :|


i have a problem
So do I, if I'm working on five CS mods, two fan fictions and an RPG. :/
 
Nov 10, 2012 at 1:58 AM
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Wow, I didn't expect so many replies in such a short time. I guess these forums are more active than I thought. :p

I'm not entirely sure how big you're planning for it to be, but remember to keep your scope managable
or you'll end up looking like a flake that spends years producing negative net amounts of content *cough like me cough*

These things have a tendency to balloon quickly

I understand this all too well. Go too big and it just doesn't get done. It's happened with me in the past with a couple Zelda fan games. I've seen MANY fan games die from becoming too ambitious. It's just that the fan game creators often want to do too much, which is completely understandable, because I've totally been there. And it's great to want to do so much stuff, but to actually do too much means that the game doesn't get completed, which kinda kills the whole thing and makes sad faces instead of happy ones. I'd rather make a smaller game that will get completed, even if it doesn't have everything I'd like to put in it (because it won't, not by a long shot). I've learned to keep my Cave Story fanboy feelings in check, and I've learned a lot from working on many games in the past. Somewhere along the line of incompleted ideas, I got smart and realized that I needed to go about concept development differently. My working development method is line 'em up and knock 'em down. Meaning, I document my plans in a way that shows all the resources and programming that need to be done, and I check things off of the list as they get done. I've discovered that it's a good method for me. Also, I'm using OneNote, which is perfect for development documentation, which is how I am planning and organizing everything.

Maybe something like the Bubbler. Could always have it making fancy bubbles that pop into stars, or something. Hell, maybe we can just the Whimsical Stars for that.

The Bubbler is a possibility, but it's shots would likely fire/travel a bit differently. The Whimsical Stars probably won't make an appearance.

The Blade, please.
It's not really a gun, I know, but it is a weapon.

This would mean an extra set of animations to include sword swinging, and animations can be very time consuming to make for 3D models. I'd need the extra animations because, in the 3D graphical style I'm going for, it wouldn't look right for King's spirit to fly from the player without the player looking like they swing out a sword. It would only look right if I made a blade to be swung in hand and for it to launch King's spirit forward from it. I'm pretty sure that's what Cave Story does (i.e. because of the illustration with Quote swinging the sword), it just doesn't show any sword swing in the sprite. This also means that, if I were to add the blade as a weapon, the sword itself would have to do damage as well as King's spirit that flies outward. While I think having all of that would be totally awesome, it just seems like it would add too much additional work.
That said, I really REALLY want to have the blade, because I have a really cool idea on how it could be upgraded, and the Blade is definitely a favorite weapon of mine anyway. I will have to get things planned and developed more to know exactly how much work is ahead for me before I can know if the blade is something I can add without overdoing it. The Blade might make it in the game, and it might not. It's a 50/50 at this point.


Anyway, I'm thinking the Snake would look pretty cool in 3D, but as far as game mechanics go, it's ability to go through walls would be rendered practically useless in a 3D 3rd-person game. For example, in many cases of a 3D game, if there is a wall in front of you, the enemy behind it cannot be seen, so you'd have to fire blind... this is not a good thing. It would be frustrating and it's just not good game design. I like the Snake, but after giving it more thought, I just don't see it working for a 3rd-person shooter. Conclusion: the Snake won't be in the game.

The Nemesis is a possibility. If I keep the same lvl system for weapons, it could be a nice addition to your arsenal. If not, then the idea of the Nemesis kind of falls apart. I will probably be keeping the same style of weapon leveling though.


So it looks like any weapon other than the Snake can be in the game.
 
Nov 10, 2012 at 5:20 PM
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Anyway, I'm thinking the Snake would look pretty cool in 3D, but as far as game mechanics go, it's ability to go through walls would be rendered practically useless in a 3D 3rd-person game. For example, in many cases of a 3D game, if there is a wall in front of you, the enemy behind it cannot be seen, so you'd have to fire blind... this is not a good thing. It would be frustrating and it's just not good game design. I like the Snake, but after giving it more thought, I just don't see it working for a 3rd-person shooter. Conclusion: the Snake won't be in the game.

Actually it would work well if you saw an enemy by going around a corner, then coming back to the wall or something to take cover behind it. In fact it would be pretty OP since you'd be invincible behind the wall. It'd be like a cover based shooter where you can shoot while still behind the cover. Since it's 3rd person you'd still be able to see around corners fairly well, better than compared to a FPS at least. Also there could be glass or mesh walls (walls with full or partial visibility).
 
Nov 11, 2012 at 11:21 PM
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Actually it would work well if you saw an enemy by going around a corner, then coming back to the wall or something to take cover behind it. In fact it would be pretty OP since you'd be invincible behind the wall. It'd be like a cover based shooter where you can shoot while still behind the cover. Since it's 3rd person you'd still be able to see around corners fairly well, better than compared to a FPS at least. Also there could be glass or mesh walls (walls with full or partial visibility).

Hmm, thanks for this GIR. The reason I said that is because the usefulness of the Snake depends a lot on the world design, and I am limited in certain ways with world design, so I'm going to have to get creative. Things like fences and grids that can be seen through will probably be in it for sure though. After what you said, I've been rethinking how I will do the world design, and the Snake is starting to look like it could work. I'll give it some more thought. I really just haven't had a chance to think things through on this because life is hectic right now, but I've got a lot of time Tuesday through Thursday, so I expect to get a lot figured out on this, so the fate of the Snake should be decided during that time.

HOWEVER, if I have the Snake, that rules out the Polar Star and the Fireball, which are the two least favorite guns of mine, so I'm fine with that. But it also rules out the Spur, and I'm undecided on this. Is the Snake a better addition, or is the Spur better?

MACHINE GUN IS IN:
Rather than the Polar Star, I'm thinking that the Machine Gun will be a good starting weapon. What do you guys think? I know that DoubleThink said the Machine Gun would be cool in 3D, and I have to agree. Plus, the machine gun proves to be a pretty well-rounded weapon, which is good to have for a starter. Here's an idea: How about I add a sort of burst fire mode (or just single shot) on it that takes no ammo and fires super accurately? The idea is that it would pretty much take the place of the Polar Star as well as the Machine Gun then. Of course, shooting in normal mode would use up ammo and have less accuracy, just like in Cave Story.

MISSILE LAUNCHER IS IN:
Because I love explosions... a lot.

BUBBLER IS UNDECIDED:
I don't know about you, but I often used the Bubbler as a sort of shield. In order for this to work as a shield in 3D, I'd need to make the bubbles orbit more uniformly around you or something, instead of floating about so randomly. This is because, in 3D, you are open to attack from many more angles than in a platformer, so surrounding yourself in bubbles will mean a few changes. I'd rather not make the bubbles super large to compensate, and making massive numbers of bubbles is something I'd like to avoid because of the CPU. I'd rather make a secondary fire for it that wraps a protective bubble around you or something (not sure why I keep thinking about secondary fire modes...). If anyone has any thoughts on how the Bubbler could work, I'd love to hear them.

BLADE IS IN IF I HAVE TIME:
I've decided to leave it open for the Blade to be added in once all other items and weapons are implemented. This means that if I get things done fast enough, the Blade is in. If not, no way, sad day.

NEMESIS IS PROBABLY NOT GOING TO MAKE IT IN:
Why? Because I want to have as much functional variety in a small amount of weapons as possible. I feel that the Nemesis would be one of the weapons that would offer the least variety, so it's one of the expendable ones.


WHAT MY PLAN IS RIGHT NOW:
I'll get to start working on some 3D modeling again mid-week, so I'm hoping to get a lot of progress on some of the characters. I'd like to do the characters before any items/weapons, just because the character style isn't totally decided yet. I'm thinking about using more realistic proportions instead of Cave Story's chibi style (i.e. big head, little body). In addition to modeling, I'm going to really hit the plans hard for any needed story, items, music, sound effects, world layout and design, enemies, etc. I've got a lot of it in my head, I just need to put the data into documentation and rework and revise it. Doing this will give me a much more defined direction for the game.
 
Nov 12, 2012 at 12:25 AM
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NEMESIS IS PROBABLY NOT GOING TO MAKE IT IN:
Why? Because I want to have as much functional variety in a small amount of weapons as possible. I feel that the Nemesis would be one of the weapons that would offer the least variety, so it's one of the expendable ones.
I'm sure you've already thought of this, but just figured I would mention that the Nemesis does provide a bit of functional variety because of its leveling system. Instead of haphazardly running through exp crystals like you can with the other weapons, using the Nemesis makes you generally want to avoid them. Even though the point-and-shoot mechanic isn't that different from other guns like the machine gun or snake, the leveling system forces the player to pretty significantly alter his play style. Unless, you know, you want to shoot ducks at your enemies.

I do understand that it's one more thing to have to recreate for the game, though.

Also, regarding the missile launcher: regular and/or super missiles?
 
Nov 16, 2012 at 1:45 PM
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Just a small update to say that I've done a ton more planning on the game which has gotten me around to some actual decisions and stuff. I've decided to only have two weapons: The Starfire and the Blade. The Starfire is planned to look a lot like the Machine Gun, and it's meant to act pretty much as the Machine Gun, the Polar Star, and the Spur, all in one. Both weapons will have two modes. Mode A tends to be faster firing of the gun/swinging of the sword, but with low damage, and Mode B tends to be slower but hits harder and there are charge attacks that hit the hardest but come at the highest cost to use (sometimes even using up weapon energy itself). The Blade will be highly improved from the original in its functionality. I might even call it the Blade 2.0. Lovers of the Snake will like the new powers of the Phantasmal King.

Items are still not entirely decided. I'm not even sure if I will need an inventory with the way I'm planning to do things (i.e. it might all be in the HUD only). I'm considering the Air Tank, the Booster 2.0, and some others, but I may end up scrapping items and just going with Life Capsules as upgrades, due to game length.

Anyway, I gotta go get ready for work, but I just wanted to let you guys know that the weapons are completely figured out now and a ton of the game plan has been mapped out as well. I do feel a little bad because I asked you guys what weapons you wanted and I pretty much just went and did my own thing regardless. :droll: The only thing I was able to really implement was the main mechanic (but not the look) of the Snake in being able to attack enemies through walls at a reasonable distance. Anyone who loves the Blade should be totally happy about this, and Machine Gun lovers should like the Starfire, also those who use the Spur might be happy with the Starfire's laser shot.
 
Nov 28, 2012 at 9:31 PM
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Wait. You are saying that you made a machine gun that shoots level 3 lasers? I'm sorry but that is a little overpowered. Release a demo if possible, I would like a new type of CS. I have used GM before, only ONE instance can have health at a time. I wish you good luck.
 
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