Simple Quest Episode 1: Him Here’ye’s House Cont.
Him Here’ye’s small farm estate has some secrets it’s hiding. Will Him be able to uncover them all before he embarks on his grand adventure? Only a nosy eight year old may have the courage and diligence.
Below is the basement for the Here’ye family. As you can see, the house that they live in is kind of in disrepair, now that I think about it. That’s because it’s an old ranch house, built by Tom Here’ye, Him’s father. It’ll probably be in a state of repair forever, never quite finished.
What goodies and secrets lie in the basement? Well, we have to wonder what the significance of the statue is. Is it Karl the Kool, left over from famous conquests? The basement is extra deep when compared to the hights of the rest of the house. I had fun making this screen because there’s a subterranean sense of mystery to it. It reminds me a little of my own childhood basement. My older brother used to turn off all the lights and have rubber-band gun wars down there. Although, that basement has a pool table, and has a tanning bed too… but I didn’t think that really fit in well with the basement motif I was going for. Fun fact: My childhood basement became the set for the independent movie I starred in, Solitaire. I’ll see if I can get more information up about Solitaire one of these days.
But, in this basement there’s just old stuff lying around, and a mysterious hole. The hole is a bit scary to Him, but he will admit to having to go to the bathroom in the basement and not wanting to trek upstairs. So, the hole seemed like a good idea. But what’s really down there?
There’s cracks in the wall where things like spiders and icky insects could live. Is it possible that there may be other secrets behind these walls? Ooooh, the mystery deepens.
Here’s the exterior of Him’s house, the Here’ye family ranch home. As you can see there are two levels, matching the floors of the inner house. However, in classic JRPG fashion, it doesn’t really fit the inside. Poetic license okay? The cross next to the house is actually a grave, but I can’t decide if it should be Karl the Kool, or the pet dog Maggers. Again, this is inspired by my own childhood home in semi-rural Handyville. (My old nurse practitioner said that the place I grew up in was ‘desolate’. *O.O*) There’s a dirt pile that Him used to play on, and of course the obligatory fire “pit” where Him and his brother make s’mores. Him’s mom, Mary Sue Here’ye, is a little bit of a gardener, but unfortunately she hasn’t got a garden of her own yet. So, there’s some flowers and plants around the mini estate that she tends to.
The piece I thought might be too out of place when I was creating this screen was the lamp post. I think it fits, in that there’s an outside lamp for the house, but at the same time, it’s kind of urban for the location. I’ll just say it’s motion activated, there you go!
I wonder what I should name the town that lies nearby the Here’ye ranch? In the next installation of Simple Quest maps I think I’ll make the field and the barn next. Those are going to require some custom tilesets that I may or may not be able to find easily. Maus said he’ll draw graphics for my games, but with his job he’s pretty busy. He also has his own projects. I’ll have to see what kind of stuff I can glom together from the internet.
In the meantime Him should have a good time running around the house, sniffing out the past.
My plan for the game in the long term is to create an episode focused on Him’s family home, and some of the surrounding area. This will be Episode 1 as was mentioned in the previous article. I have to put together some of Him’s personality, and the rest of his family. I’m hoping to post some character portraits in the next article, but I can’t promise anything.
I thought this game up when I was in high school, I think, might’ve been middle school. Either way that was fourteen or more years ago. Wow, I never really thought of it like that. It’s a decade and a half old. So… I gotta make this beast! I’ll release the episodes on my blog, since you can play them on the web now (which is really neat!)
The idea behind this game is that it is inspired by all the console based (J)-RPGs I’ve every played. I love those kinds of games.
Jim Sterling recently posted a video about the death and resurgance of turn-based combat in games released recently, particularly by Square Enix. He notes that somehow somewhere some industry heads have decided turn-based combat is dead… yet at the same time one of Square’s best-selling games is Bravely Default for the 3DS, (A game I hope to get in the next couple of months), is entirely turn based combat. I love turn-based combat in the style of Final Fantasy ATB. I’m not very good at geographical or map based strategy. If you’ve watched me play Arc the Lad II on my Twitch stream, you’ll know I kind of suck at it. But, when it’s more abstract where the characters kind of float in space and attack each other, then I do much better.
Turn-based combat is one of my favorite game mechanics partially because of that, but also because I like the style and impression. There’s something ultimately satisfying about going through hundreds of side-battles, succeeding towards the completion of the game, reaching its end.
Lunar: The Silver Star Story for instance is really not that good of a game. Gameplay is a little off, and the integration of the story and setting with the moment to moment events I thought was a little empty. BUT, I loved it to its own degree because I got the satisfaction of completing it and getting to the end after all those battles. Grandia was much the same way, and I put 140+ hours into that game.
In this vein, Simple Quest is also going to have turn based combat, probably a side battle engine. Maybe there’ll be a killer sheep? I remember that was a monster I came up with a decade and a half ago. Heehee.