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LINUS

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LINUS
 vol I :
 A Letter To The Forgotten Days


One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a tale
Never to be told
'The Magpie's Nursery Rhyme




Introduction

LINUS is a project I've been working on for the past three months. It's a story-driven game focused primarily on drama. My main goal with LINUS is to tell a memorable story. This is mainly because writing and world-building are my favorite aspects of creating games. While the game will feature battles and puzzles, they will be a bit light in number. Thus, I would think that people who prefer more gameplay in their games won't enjoy it as much as people who like to experience a well-told story.




World Overview

Spoiler for:
The world the story takes place in is both similar to ours yet very different.

 The most prominent feature of this world, and perhaps the most mysterious to all of the world's cultures, is the presence of a massive storm which has eternally permeated the western skies for as long as humanity has existed. The storm, known by many names, is an ominous dark mass which has befuddled the human population of the planet for eons. Not one person has ever navigated through it as those foolish enough to attempt it have all lost their lives in the process.
 
 The Storm is looked upon with different perspectives by different cultures. Some believe it to be the place where the dead congregate, while others even go as far as worshiping it as a kind of living deity. Whatever the people believe, no one can fathom what lies beyond the western skies.

 
 The people of the world are a mish-mash of different real-life civilizations and cultures. The range of the world's countries is pretty extensive, with civilizations ranging from ancient Spain to modern-day Africa being used as "inspirational sources". Even though the world is very large, the player won't visit each and every one of these countries (you will hear about and meet characters who hail from these places however). The reason being that the story of LINUS does not involve in any way the saving of the planet, so visiting these places without a good reason is kind of unrealistic.

 Instead, the story is centered around the most ancient civilization in the known world: The Empire of Terragama.




Story Overview

Spoiler for:
The storyline of LINUS centers around the most ancient and wartorn empire of Terragama. The game's story in itself is basically the history of this empire as it intwines around the destiny of one person. That person is the main character, a man by the name of Linus Milhaven.

 Linus Milhaven is a man who's life is tied to a cruel and violent legend. The people of Terragama curse his name for the actions he commited during the latter years of his life. His story is one that every soul in Terragama claims to know all too well. It's conclusion brought about the catalyst that has resulted in the dark age the people of the empire currently find themselves in.

 Still, despite the terrible crimes which he has commited, not everyone in the empire curses at Linus' memory...

 His mother, now an old woman, remembers the bright, loving, and intelligent boy she once called her son. Now in her fading years, Emily Milhaven has set out on a journey to write her son's final remembrance: A biography that will showcase Linus' journey from a bright and promising adolescence to a dark and murderous future.




Terragama Overview

 
Spoiler for:
The Empire of Terragama is an ancient, spiritual civilization not unlike the old empires of our own ancient world. It is the oldest empire in humankind, said to be founded man thousands of years ago. It is located on the westernmost continent of the known world. This continent is the largest landmass, and is the closest to the mythical storm which darkens the skies over the western sea. Because of their close presence to the storm, the people of this land have worshiped it since the founding of their empire.

 Terragama is divided into nine vastly different kingdoms, while an emperor/empress typically rules over all. The nine kingdoms each have different laws and customs, but all swear fealty and obey the kingdom of Lorimaris, which is the historical home of the empress/emperor.

 For many of the Empire's kingdoms, a strict class system dominates daily life. At the bottom of this social pyramid are slaves brought in from underdeveloped countries to serve as labor for the typical Terragaman family. Slightly above the slaves are the people known as Wards, a modern-day term used for the men and women hailing from the kingdoms which revolted against Lorimaris in a civil war that took place 15 years ago. Wards have very few rights, are not allowed to own land, and are treated with a general scorn for their part in rebelling against Lorimaris during the civil war.

 Above the lower echelons of the class pyramid are the regular folks. Farmers, artisans, vendors, soldiers, and the like are grouped into this tier. They make up most of the Terragaman population.

 High above every other class are the Great Houses-- ancient, powerful families who hold considerable influence over every facet of Terragaman society. The Great Houses are all at least a thousand years old, and are considered the nobility of the empire. Terragama is a culture which values tradition and the "old ways" above all else, thus those who are descended from "ancient blood" are held in high esteem. Politics, the economy, and most areas of government are dominated by the Great Houses. They serve as the leaders of the Terragaman people.

 As powerful as the Great Houses are, none compare to the two most powerful and ancient families of Terragama. The first being House Lunet, also known as the "The First Family". They are the sovereign dynasty who have ruled the mighty kingdom of Lorimaris and therefore the entire Empire for thousands of years.
 
 The second such family is House Milhaven, a dynasty of warriors as old as House Lunet itself. The members of the Milhaven family hold the most exteemed rank of commanders of Lorimaris' all-powerful army, a group of highly trained knights known as The Spire. They have served as
House Lunet's champions ever since the founding of the empire.


Here you will see the major regions of the continent-- the Belen Valley, Aruman Desert, Nevenmire Plains (also known as the Eastern Embrace), and the northernmost subcontinent of Aternelle. Also of note are the eight Great Houses as well as the kingdoms they rule over. Last but not least, is the impenetrable Storm, which dominates the western sea.




Cast


Spoiler for:
Linus Milhaven
Age: Starts the story at age 9.
Birthdate: 3rd of Mistfall, 1900
Birthplace: Belen, Lorimaris

 The first born son to Teign and Emily Milhaven. A sullen yet likeable child who spent most of his childhood in the reknowned Etonmarch Military School. He is a caring and highly intelligent boy who has trouble coming to grips with the future that the empire has planned for him. From an early age, he has been groomed to follow in his father's footsteps as the strong and capable leader of the Spire, Lorimaris' powerful military. His purpose, as it was ingrained into him, is to serve the sovereige Lunet family as their champion and protector. Linus however, dreams of a life filled with less responsibility. What he wants most in this world, is the freedom to live the type of live he envisions for himself.



Teign Milhaven
Age: 41
Birthdate: 13th of Moonrise, 1868
Birthplace: Belen, Lorimaris

 The legendary knight who brought peace to the warring empire during the Reunion War. He is the father of the three current-generation Milhaven brothers: Leigh, Linus, and Ariston.

 He was born in Lorimaris, during the apex of the century-long civil war which had seen the once peaceful empire torn asunder by malevolent kings and their power struggles. Lorimaris, the former ruling kingdom of Terragama, had been reduced to the level of it's peer kingdoms due to the poor kingship of it's sovereign, Tiberius Lunet. King Tiberius, who was a weak-willed and some would say cowardly individual in comparison to his ancestors, forbid Lorimaris' intervention during the war. No matter how many deaths arose from the war between the eight kingdoms, Tiberius would not relent in his isolationist ideals. However, it was the king's children who inherited the traditional House Lunet cunning, and plotted to overtake the empire and restore it to the prosperity it enjoyed when it was under their family's rule. All it took was time, as the twin sisters Athelia and Amadea were the inheritors of the Lorimaran throne.

 Teign, a member of House Milhaven (House Lunet's traditional champions), grew up with the royal Lunet children, and became quiet close to the twin sisters. Athelia, a little girl who by the age of nine already possessed the dangerous natural gifts of her family, was smitten with the young Milhaven boy, who loved her in return. As the two of them grew to become lovers in their teenaged years, King Tiberius' health deteriorated, and the Lunet sisters became the ruling monarchs of Lorimaris.

 By the time the Lunet sisters waged their war against the eight kingdoms, Teign had grown into a powerful and feared knight. He took leadership of the Spire, the great army of men loyal only to House Milhaven, and waged the sisters' campaign to reclaim their family's empire. One by one, the eight kingdoms fell to his sword, and four years since the campaign began the empire finally returned to it's rightful place under House Lunet's rule.

 The campaign however, was not a victory for Teign. During those four years, he was subject to terrible experiences which took a heavy toll on his emotional and physical state. On more than one occassion, he was forced into murdering children who were conscripted by enemy monarchs. This caused the stirring of a dark hurt within him, as he and Athelia's son Leigh was but a child during the campaign. Thus, he voiced his displeasure with Athelia during the war's end, and was in turn called a coward and weakling by the woman he had so loved.

 By the time he had remarried and his second son Linus was born, Teign was a shadow of his former self. Despite only being 41 years of age, the war had aged him terribly. His skills in the ways of war have faded considerably, and though he still acts as the acting commander of the Spire, many wonder if he still has it in him to lead the empire's army.





Screenshots
 
Spoiler for:
Prologue
 







Demo
Spoiler for:
Linus Prologue Demo v2: http://www.mediafire.com/?mjytzmhyyun

This is a revamped version of the first demo. It includes new cutscenes, sprites, music, and a couple of other things.
However, it doesn't finish the events of the prologue. It ends at about the same time as the last demo. I also took into
account a lot of the criticisms I got from you guys.

Those who've played the original demo dont necessarily have to play this one, since it's very similar to the old one except for
the changed dialogue and other additions.

I would also like to point out that this isn't the "real" new demo. That one will include the completed prologue as well as the first chapter of the game.

 Anyway, thanks for taking interest in the project!


Video
Spoiler for:
Chapter 1 : The Lake Cavern
Here's a little video I put together. It's a short preview of one of the dungeons in Chapter 1. The music in the video is a first-draft of one of the songs Joerao composed for the game's soundtrack. I think it sounds pretty good, even in it's early state.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJj_tdt_EiM


Chapter I : Memories

Another video featuring Joerao's composed music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwFeg5AKkWk

Chapter I : Etonmarch

The first five minutes of the upcoming Chapter I demo. I know it doesn't show much, but I figured those who are interested in this project would like a bit of a sneak peek. The music for this particular video is placeholder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpSnB9f0n1s


Chapter I : The Milhaven Crypts

This video shows a small bit of the gameplay in Chapter I. There are a few noticeable passability errors that will be fixed in time for the demo. Also, the music is all placeholder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7yhFd60I70
Features



- Sideviewbattle system.
- A realistic, dramatic storyline with a large cast of nuanced characters.
- Lengthy and involved optional sidequests which enhance the storyline of the main plot.

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« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 04:52:44 PM by modern algebra »

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This looks very nice. How did I miss this?

Moved to Regular Projects board as it meets requirements.

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Yeah, this looks great. I really like the dialogue. I wish more RPG Maker games had (at least) decent dialogue.

Looking forward to a demo.

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Will you join me in the dark side...?
That game looks aweasome.
DL the demo
My Puzzle/StandAlone game in a week:


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Can't have a spoiler inside a spoiler, code gets confused and won't work.

Try making it into two/three spoilers.
you awoke in a burning paperhouse
from the infinite fields of dreamless sleep

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I'm impressed by your use of XP tiles.

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Hi
30-35 hours? good luck on this, because that's a lot of work...
Hi

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 Thanks for the replies everyone. The topic now has a link where you can download the demo. There's a few errors that will be fixed in the next iteration. Any feedback would be appreciated.

 Thanks again!

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Neato. I'll download it in just a moment and check it out. :)

::OH. I am curious though, about your use of the XP trees and what not. How have you been able to use the trees and not disturb the surrounding area? My approach would to have been to make the trees and such into character sets and place events around carrying just the graphic of those trees and things. Is that what you did?

::and again, where did you find such good face sets for your characters like Teign? I think I've seen those recolors of the guards before though.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2009, 04:43:35 AM by grafikal »

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I'm not really sure what you mean with the trees comment. Maybe you can clarify a bit. Anyway, you can go ahead and use them if you want (my files are unencrypted). They were made by a poster named Weem. So give him credit if you end up using them.

 As for the facesets, they are some edited Super Robot Wars faces. You can use those too if you're interested.



 
« Last Edit: August 08, 2009, 05:10:56 AM by blueperiod »

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This is pretty cool looking. My only complaint, (and it's a small one,) is that you seem to overuse the gradient lighting just a little bit.

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I'm not really sure what you mean with the trees comment. You can go ahead and use them if you want (my files are unencrypted). They were made by a poster named Weem. So give him credit if you end up using them.

 As for the facesets, they are some edited Super Robot Wars faces.

I had just meant how you used the trees. Are the trees apart of your tilesets? What I meant was that you can take the trees and place them into character sets, like how you would with normal characters or chests or anything else really, but the difference is that the size is larger obviously because it's a tree. That way you can place an event and pick the tree's graphic (like how you would an NPC), but instead of it being an NPC it would be a static directionally fixed tree graphic. Know what I mean now? I haven't quite gotten to looking at the demo yet, but I'll check it out soon enough.

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This project looks good. I really like the mapping. It is well done. :)



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so, I got around to trying this out. I wasn't able to even make it to the title screen. The screen just stayed black the entire time and probably froze. I'm not sure. You're game is unencrypted and I was looking around trying to figure out what may be holding it up, but I don't really know how you started it. I was looking at those 3 events on the empty map and there doesn't seem to be anything wrong really. So I don't know what to tell ya.

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 Thats really strange. It's worked for everyone else so far. Maybe you should try downloading it again?

 

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Heyo there!

Nice game you have here, I'm currently playing the demo and I'm enjoying it so far. A little laggy, but I guess that can't be helped. And hey, I already see Sanger and Kyosuke ;D

I found some errors though that I think you might want to fix:

Error1:

Tree in the mountains?

Error2:
Already Known

Error2B:
Already Known

Error3:

Is there no roof in this pub?
« Last Edit: August 12, 2009, 11:12:45 PM by Redwyn »

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 Yeah. The double doors that lead out of the manor. I think the left side door is bugged and leads you somewhere else.
If you go towards the opposite side it takes you where you have to go(outside of the manor).

 And, I suppose you're talking about the trees in the intro. It's not exactly a mountain, more like a cliffside.

 Anyway, thanks a lot for giving it a try. If you have any more comments, I'm eager to hear them.

 :)

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Ah, so you already know about it then. Just check the event to see if it teleports the player to the right place or not.

And no, I'm talking about the semi tree tile stuck in the mountain in the uploaded pic, I think RMRK happens to hate imageshack now so I uploaded it to tinypic.

Also found another error.

Good game so far though :]

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 Thats really strange. It's worked for everyone else so far. Maybe you should try downloading it again?

 

The font's didn't properly install ;_;  But I fixed that. It works now. Also, another bug though to tack onto Redwyn's first post of bugs. In the screenshot where there's a tree tile sticking out of the cliff, that bush that's at the bottom of the cliff (on the cliff just to the right of Redwyn's character [not the tall bush, i mean the bluish one that's only 1 tile large]) You can walk on it which makes you able to walk on the cliff there. So you should fix the passability there.

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every mountain has trees- most are covered in trees. looks great.

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If you're aiming that at Redwyn, he was referring not to the fact that trees grow on mountains, but to a piece of a tree tile on top of a cliff tile and isolated entirely from the rest of the tree tiles. It's right above the character's head in the 1st screenshot he posted.

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I'm curious - are you still working on this? The demo was great - very engrossing - and I'm really looking forward to seeing more of this game.

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 Thanks for the compliments. I am definitely still working on Linus. Currently I am redoing the demo and getting rid of all the little bugs and wrinkles while adding a few more things. The reason it's taking so long is because I'm an idiot with a compulsive need to add more and more stuff(which requires further testing and bugfixing). I think it's come to the point where the prologue has gotten too long for it's own good.

 Anyway, I'm rambling. Thanks again mate. I really do hope more people on this site play it.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 06:13:24 AM by blueperiod »

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I posted a new version of the previous demo that is rid of all the bugs. There's also some new graphics, cutscenes, and other stuff. A longer demo is being worked on and will contain the first chapter of the game. It should be finished soon.

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Awesome. I'm looking forward to seeing it!