Writing Prompt: Create a Mythic Tale

Figure easier to get back in the habit of writing by doing these writing prompts found on Reddit. Generally the responses don't need to be long and the prompts are 'off.' Something as simple as 'you are Hitler's reincarnation and find this out along with the rest of the world. Now what?' or as complicated as 'Death will give one thing to you that he has taken if you will do Death a favor.'

Here is my response to a prompt asking to create a Myth.

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A fire crackled and burned fitfully as the village's shaman gathered the young for their nightly lessons. As she looked at the children she smiled, remembering the might this tale had been passed onto her in the same way she would pass onto them.

Long ago, in the time when the Gods would show us their will with starsign and portense, before Ariel the Liberator slew Oren the Starclad Emperor. Before even Oren the Starclad were the manimals. Heathen beasts that walked on two leg yet had stone-tough skin, and an angry heathen blood-lust for man flesh.

In those dark times the People of The Three Brothere were few. Sítleberm's People thought high thick walls would save them, so grew lazy. Ōgalthêst's People thought safety was in staying on the move and so never were able to grow mighty. Ūghær's People, thinking if they were unseen they would weather the Manimal scourge, yet while they grew mighty in their mountain hold they grew scornful of the Light.

Each of the Three soon fell. Mighty walls of fire-brick crumbled. The scattered settlements tracked. Only the Mountain Hold was safe from the Manimals bloodlust, yet their pride and scorn of the light lead them to become something other than Man.

Their greed lead them to dig ever deeper. To horde more and for little reason other than that they could. It became such that in the years before he became the Starclad when Orem sought to unite the People under his banner he found not Men under the Mountain but Demons. Stone skinned beasts that lusted only for metal and gems so that they might build their Great Engine.

Yet even whitg Oren's revultion He entered their mountain hold. He broke their thane's back in view of their great hall. He smote their champion's ruined body and scattered it to the hot blood of the earth so that these Demons could not revive him with their alchemy of Gear and Gem.

Yet even as the Demons fled and the deepest of their tunnels sealed so that their mischief could not trouble the remaining People Oren turned his attention to The Engine. It was a foul device that sounded like a leashed thunderstorm that never wandered. Its lightning spewed out unto other Devices and Alchemical Works that Orem studied. These were made by Demon hands, but they themselves were neigher fair nor wicked. In his wisdom Oren brought scribes and soothsayers to divine their purposes such that more could be made.

And though the Mountain Demons were no longer Men their works helped when the hour grew dark and Man needed a miracle the Gods themselves had chosen to with old. These Divices, animated by the Engine's lightning scythed through the manimals as if they were stalks of wheat. Weapons forged by these demonic creations were stronger even than the skymetal sword that would one day end Oren the Starclad's rule. That inhuman strength was needed in those days for it was that ceaceless motion and unending power that turned back the black tide and gave Man a chance to grow as the Gods intended.

__Thus is why even if a man be your enemy. Even if he be repulsive you heed his words. You consider his worth. Even those may one day be what saves you._

Thoughts about a Final Fantasy Record Keeper Sequal



So DeNA has apparently hit a gold mine with Record Keeper. Not only have they gotten a very vocal and large fan base, but they also did the amazing task of making the in app payments thing tolorable. Are there things we dislike? Yes of course there are. After all there is no real story in a franchise that other than Final Fantasy 1 has been all about deep compelling stories (and even FF1 had a story and NPCs.) The fact at every point you hit a button it calls the mother ship. Then there's the, frankly insulting, relic drop rates. I could go on.

Even with these issues this game, especially for what it is, has been very fun. Still, it seems like a lot of work for a mobile game to sit and condense everything into getting everything redone in a fairly final fantasy 6ish form. Maybe I am alone here, but it seems like they might be well served by making a more traditional final fantasy using these assets.

However it would still need to be optimized for a mobile market. So this is what I propose for the mechanics side of things.

To be blunt I dislike using touch controls as a D-Pad. So let's take a page out of final fantasy tactics. World map with dots you can tap onto go places. Like with knights of pen and paper if you tap on a dot that has dots between it you have to go to all dots between (however unlike in knights of pen and paper I am in favor of largely leaving it random on if an encounter is triggered if that dot is not a town.)

In towns you would have your Inn/Magic/Armor/weapons/Item shops. In addition to these you might have a 'bar' or 'academy' or other site specific places where you get more story bits and or side jobs.

Cutscenes can still happen via sprites, much like how old school final fantasies did. The above system mostly is to get around the issues of having to slide thumbs on glass. So you enter an the next story segment (|entering town/selecting a menu option in town, etc) and it shows your party leader/story important characters interacting in a setpiece area. I would prefer these set pieces use backgrounds that can double as battle screens if you cleared away object sprites and the like, but that might not be the most efficient way.

Personally I like the idea of breaking up what people can do, but this return to ff1's number of uses system is… Irksome. It wouldn't work for a proper story. So while giving cloud elemental blades, sephiroth black magic, and all I want it to be more like other final fantasies p. Sure it's interesting to have to craft magic from found materials and equip them according to strategy, but having MP would be nice. Bit out to lunch on how synergy would work except maybe going with what a lot of us first thought and pairing people with gear from their world giving appropriate boosts.

I like record keeper's having you walk between battles. Dunno why. Neat little detail.

Speaking of. I like the star system and crafting/fusion/strengthening for equipment. So having that system carry over would be great.

I want this to be totally offline. No calling the mother ship. No stamina. No relic draws. This would mean charging for it, but I could see charging $6 for it. After all that's what minecraft costs. Ditto for shadowrun returns/dragonfall. That seems like a fair price for the market.

OK I lied about totally no online aspects. I want people to have some carryover from Record Keeper. Something along the idea of any unlocked characters being obtainable (say finding sephiroth and convincing him to join/keep cloud from killing him if you have him in record keeper, or if you got Warrior as a first week promo he's in a town and joins your party.) On the fence on equipment and experience. On the one hand I want people to be able t carry any fie star gear over. On the other it would break things.

I have no idea if anyone else would care, but I figure share my thoughts and hope I'm not alone.

posted from Bloggeroid

Final Fantasy Record: Good but not Great


So Close but Not Quite.
Let's get this out of the way. I like this game. DeNA has made an easy to access and enjoyable pick up and go game that I feel deserves not just downloads, but also a reasonable amount of money thrown at it to show that this is a good direction to go. If this is what we can expect from DeNA's Nintendo properties then I see good things in the future.

All of that said, it is not a perfect game, and there are outside factors that I feel mar the overall experience.

Platforms: iOS, and Android.

Story.
After an unskippable opening movie you are given the only little bit of story tying everything together and giving you an excuse to go stomp around the land. In a kingdom, possibly Invalice from Final Fantasy Tactics but probably not, where history and noteworthy deeds are recorded in magical paintings , something is clouding and rearranging the memories contained inside.

That's unfortunately it so far. You don't get interactions between Kain and Cloud, or Rydia and Tyro, the nearly infant looking new character for this game. I really wish they would have introduced at least some interactions when you finish the currently open levels in a world, or when you first go into a new world. They seriously missed the boat here since while fighting the old fights are nice, all you get are single paragraph blurbs before entering a level and after beating it. Seriously disappointing because of all the missed opportunities for seriousness and humor and fun.

Gameplay.
At a glance 'repetitive' could be used to describe things, and that would be a fair description. It's final fantasy so they went with a familiar system that actually works really well. Each character has a 'soul break' similar to final fantasy 7's limit break that is accessible when a gauge fills. Each character also can equip two different special skills that gives a range of customizable options on how to tackle bosses.

Speaking of, bosses can't just be blindly blitzed through. Most have different stances that, if you attack during that period, generally results in a full party counterattack. There's also weaknesses, points awarded if you use specific spells, and generally it feels very satisfying.

There is also auto-battling. Tap a button and you can switch to your party auto-attacking. When you're farming materials or items to combine it's good to have a set and forget option. I like this and it was very thoughtful of them to include.

Japan Leads the Way.
There are things down the line that the Japanese have had for months that I question why they weren't included on world launch. I'm not talking about content, since even with a couple paragraphs each for levels, it's item descriptions, and a dozen other 'little' things that eat up time and money. Considering how poorly 'all the braves' was received and frankly how expensive squaresoft, mobile titles have been I can understand caution on paying translators for something that would just be dropped.

What I cannot understand is the holding back of features such as friends lists and supposedly game modes in the works. Are those going to be held back too? I do not want this to come off as aggressive since a world launch with lots of languages and cultures where things might not work out. However I remember Sega's handling of the phantasy star franchise. I remember updates that never happened. I remember updates that were late. GMs were scarce on the american servers and the community was blamed for all of it.

Maybe this fear at getting ignored is unfounded, but it still exists and I don't want to support a game where maybe eventually I will get things another group has had for months. Then again maybe that's how the rest of the world feels when it's an american/English app getting released.

Summary.
Personally I enjoy this game. It's a good pick up and go ten minute run. There are things I wish would get fixed, but because of how far ahead of everyone else the Japanese client is I personally feel my concerns would be ignored in favor of simply following The Path. However purely because of how non-aggressive DeNA has been about monetization I feel they should be given your money. While there are $20 - $100 options exist I personally feel it's a bad idea to give anything more than $10 in a given pay period. This is mostly because once you get past 'I can eat in tonight' money you are far past 'micro' transactions.

Likes:
I cannot stress this enough. I like how nonaggressive the in app payment bits are. That makes me happy.

The auto-battle system so you can give your thumbs a rest or just turn auto battle on in a non-boss fight and finish putting laundry in/dishes/whatever.

The battle system is really well done.

The synergy system provides a nice bit of depth, which means even single star 'trash' items can be as useful as three star drops in 'their' world.

The spritework is very nice.

Ditto with the art. Very nice.

Music and sound are both very satisfying.

Dislikes:
The lack of story. They missed the boat here on letting your party interact, much like the Lego games had happen.

It's too easy to frontload too many actions with zero warning when bosses stance change.

Why can I not combine pay currency and mythril to pay for things?

The drop rates on relic draws are horrible if you want anything other than a spare 1 or 2 star.

The lag the rest of the world has behind the Japanese version.

Like Reddit or not there is a subreddit that has a collection of easy to access links and spreadsheets detailing all the crunchy nerd stats for people that take their gaming highly seriously and want to plan out every moment. Me? It's a pick up and play ten minute game that has pretty much no real story. I play it while doing laundry or dishes.

Official Site

posted from Bloggeroid