Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)

Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173396)
After working on technical stuff like 8-way scrolling, IRQs, using mappers, bankswitching, code optimization, etc ... I started to work on a game which is a revisited RPG-style game called (for now) Tattoo Apprentice.

Here's what the game should be about :

You're a young tattoo artist, trying to become a famous one. Starting in a small country village, being an apprentice in a small tattoo shop. Classic RPG-battles are replaced by timed tattooing challenges, and you have to manage your own promotion, visiting bars, clubs, ... and manage your stock (ink, needles, tattoo guns, ...).

For now, top-down maps, 8-way scrolling, map switching, map events, NPCs, NPC interactions, music support (no SFX yet) are implemented. Tattoo challenges are nearly complete (playable though).

Graphics are not the definitive ones, I used free work from a guy named Surt.

For the definitive graphics, I'm currently in discussion with an illustrator which is interested in the project. Waiting for some news to see if it'll happen !

For the musics and sound effects, I got the chance to be a friend of Matt Blatte which is the brain behind the chiptune band Please Lose Battle. It's placeholder music for now, but it should be changed during summer.

Please let me know your thoughts on this project and whether I should keep up in this direction or not.

2016-06-13 - Preview video
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173420)
Cool.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173422)
It looks very impressive. I'd be worried about the "fun factor" of the tattoo segments though. I think these could be a turn-off for some potential gamers.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173434)
darryl.revok wrote:
It looks very impressive. I'd be worried about the "fun factor" of the tattoo segments though. I think these could be a turn-off for some potential gamers.


I'm still working on the tattoo segments to keep things interesting along the game. However I understand what you say, and I hope that the RPG part will balance everything in the end.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173442)
Unique setting, plot, and gameplay. Seems like a win-win all around. I like the idea of bringing a dexterity-based element to what is otherwise an RPG. It reminds me a bit of Qix, or more specifically the Qix-esque reveal-a-picture arcade games.

And yeah, something to spark up the tattooing segments, stuff that makes them physically easier to do as you level up, perhaps? Or maybe have a few different minigames (could be multiple tattooing minigames or could be for the promoting or other aspects of the game), and get a little bit of a WarioWare feel with it. Other than WarioWare, games like Bishi Bashi, Cooking Mama and Trauma Center could give some inspiration.

Anyway, Surt's graphics seem totally fine. I hope, that if you plan to replace the graphics with someone else's, none of the work was done specifically for this project.

Small suggestion on dialog: A colon after the speaker's name or quotes around their spoken words could differentiate what is being spoken from who is speaking it.

Look forward to seeing more.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173443)
glutock wrote:
I hope that the RPG part will balance everything in the end.

I think that part sounds more boring. :lol:
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173446)
M_Tee wrote:
Small suggestion on dialog: A colon after the speaker's name or quotes around their spoken words could differentiate what is being spoken from who is speaking it.

Colon after speaker's name gets confusing if you don't already know the characters. Because a colon is also a vocative marker (e.g. "Dear Sir:"), it's hard at first to tell if it's the speaker or the listener.
Code:
Tilda: I don't know, but
  it makes me so nervous
  I can't sleep.

Now is Tilda saying this, or is it being said to Tilda? But this is exactly what the preview version of Final Fantasy VII included with Tobal No. 1 does. It uses the colon and indents all lines after the first.

The release version of Final Fantasy VII refines this. It puts the speaker's name on a line by itself (or omits it if the speaker has not changed), surrounds dialogue with quotation marks and indents all after the first line of dialogue.
Code:
Tilda
"I don't know, but it
  makes me so nervous I
  can't sleep."


The screenplay convention is to center and capitalize the speaker's name:
Code:
        TILDA
I don't know, but it makes
me so nervous I can't sleep.


The IRC convention, used in Concentration Room and Thwaite, is to surround the speaker's name with angle brackets:
Code:
<Tilda>
I don't know, but it makes
me so nervous I can't sleep.


Animal Crossing series uses yet another convention, in which the dialogue window is divided into two separate bubbles, one for the speaker's name and one for the dialogue. The background of the speaker's name bubble is colored light blue for a male speaker or pink for a female speaker.
Code:
 ,--------.
(  Tilda   )
 `--------'--------------.
  / I don't know, but it  \
 |  makes me so nervous    |
  \ I can't sleep.        /
   `---------------------'
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173455)
tepples wrote:
M_Tee wrote:
Small suggestion on dialog: A colon after the speaker's name or quotes around their spoken words could differentiate what is being spoken from who is speaking it.

Colon after speaker's name gets confusing if you don't already know the characters. Because a colon is also a vocative marker (e.g. "Dear Sir:"), it's hard at first to tell if it's the speaker or the listener.
Code:
Tilda: I don't know, but
  it makes me so nervous
  I can't sleep.

Now is Tilda saying this, or is it being said to Tilda? But this is exactly what the preview version of Final Fantasy VII included with Tobal No. 1 does. It uses the colon and indents all lines after the first.

Because hey, that's what the [US versions of] FFIV, and FFVI (doesn't indent), and Chrono Trigger did, y'know, what they'd been doing up to that point.

Quotation marks make it easier, though, 'tis true.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173485)
darryl.revok wrote:
It looks very impressive. I'd be worried about the "fun factor" of the tattoo segments though. I think these could be a turn-off for some potential gamers.

Me for instance. Especially considering I find it incredibly dump to draw something on your body that you cannot remove anytime later.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173655)
Technically impressive. Plus I love the idea, it's so original and fresh.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173763)
This seems like an interesting game mechanic. It reminds me of a minigame from Mario Party on the N64. It was either the first or the second game, I forget.

Bregalad wrote:
Me for instance. Especially considering I find it incredibly dump to draw something on your body that you cannot remove anytime later.

I love your temporary tattoos! Temporary, in that one day, you will die. -Oglaf Webcomic
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173770)
The Crazy Cutter minigame was the first two Mario Party games.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173970)
Thanks for the kind words !

M_Tee wrote:
Anyway, Surt's graphics seem totally fine. I hope, that if you plan to replace the graphics with someone else's, none of the work was done specifically for this project.

Small suggestion on dialog: A colon after the speaker's name or quotes around their spoken words could differentiate what is being spoken from who is speaking it.

No, Surt's graphics are free and available in the topic linked in my first post. So nothing has been done specifically for this project (yet).

And yes I'll add something in the dialog box to emphasis spearker's name.

Bregalad wrote:
darryl.revok wrote:
It looks very impressive. I'd be worried about the "fun factor" of the tattoo segments though. I think these could be a turn-off for some potential gamers.

Me for instance. Especially considering I find it incredibly dump to draw something on your body that you cannot remove anytime later.

Unless I misunderstood your message, I thought people here were open-minded ! No one is asking you to tattoo yourself in real life, it's just like refusing to kill someone playing GTA just because you wouldn't do it in reality ! It all seems a bit farfetched to me, it's just a game ! :)

Espozo wrote:
glutock wrote:
I hope that the RPG part will balance everything in the end.

I think that part sounds more boring. :lol:

What do you mean ?
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173971)
Quote:
Unless I misunderstood your message, I thought people here were open-minded ! No one is asking you to tattoo yourself in real life, it's just like refusing to kill someone playing GTA just because you wouldn't do it in reality ! It all seems a bit farfetched to me, it's just a game ! :)

Sure, I get that. It still sounds boring to simulate tatooing other people on virtual screen, when you could be saving the world instead.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173987)
Bregalad wrote:
Quote:
Unless I misunderstood your message, I thought people here were open-minded ! No one is asking you to tattoo yourself in real life, it's just like refusing to kill someone playing GTA just because you wouldn't do it in reality ! It all seems a bit farfetched to me, it's just a game ! :)

Sure, I get that. It still sounds boring to simulate tatooing other people on virtual screen, when you could be saving the world instead.

Even though I'm very much not into tattoos, it's absolutely okay to have an unusual driving theme in a game. It's just a game; the character doesn't always have to represent the player inserted into a world. It sounds like you have a lot of technical elements already implemented, plans to make a fun game and details to flesh it out, so go for it.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173988)
glutock wrote:
Espozo wrote:
glutock wrote:
I hope that the RPG part will balance everything in the end.

I think that part sounds more boring. :lol:

What do you mean ?

Espozo hates RPGs. :)

In all fairness, I don't think you should concern yourself too much with critiques from people who have no interest in the genre or the style of game. Some people won't play RPGs and some people will only play RPGs. That much can't be changed.

My perspective is that I do like RPGs, and I worry that this system could be game breaking. I don't think a sub-par battle system itself will ruin an RPG, and for this I'll use Earthbound as an example. Earthbound is possibly my favorite RPG and I feel its graphics and battle system are sub-par, especially in consideration of the game's late release date. But the game still works. The tattoo battle system, I think might be something I could not get past. I've thought about it too and I fail to see changes on the formula that would actually make it work for me.

Regardless, I'm impressed with the work you've done thus far. I like that you are aiming to take a unique conceptual approach to the genre. I worry though, that in the choice of the battle sequence, you may have put concept ahead of gameplay in a manner that would detract from the enjoyment of the game as a whole. I would suggest, at least trying, to consider the battle sequence from an opposite perspective. Start with the idea in your head of an existing RPG battle system that you enjoy, then think of ways to make it more fun. Then, after you've come up with a fun gameplay concept, consider how to adapt it to your story concept. That's the approach I would be likely to take.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#173995)
Bregalad wrote:
Sure, I get that. It still sounds boring to simulate tatooing other people on virtual screen, when you could be saving the world instead.


I've saved the world dozens of times. The tattooing aspect of this game appeals to me, not because I'm particularly interested in tattoos but because I'm interested in games that are unique and stretch what's expected in a game.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#174004)
Bregalad wrote:
Quote:
Unless I misunderstood your message, I thought people here were open-minded ! No one is asking you to tattoo yourself in real life, it's just like refusing to kill someone playing GTA just because you wouldn't do it in reality ! It all seems a bit farfetched to me, it's just a game ! :)

Sure, I get that. It still sounds boring to simulate tatooing other people on virtual screen, when you could be saving the world instead.

Ahahah I get that too :)

darryl.revok wrote:
Espozo hates RPGs. :)

In all fairness, I don't think you should concern yourself too much with critiques from people who have no interest in the genre or the style of game. Some people won't play RPGs and some people will only play RPGs. That much can't be changed.

My perspective is that I do like RPGs, and I worry that this system could be game breaking. I don't think a sub-par battle system itself will ruin an RPG, and for this I'll use Earthbound as an example. Earthbound is possibly my favorite RPG and I feel its graphics and battle system are sub-par, especially in consideration of the game's late release date. But the game still works. The tattoo battle system, I think might be something I could not get past. I've thought about it too and I fail to see changes on the formula that would actually make it work for me.

Regardless, I'm impressed with the work you've done thus far. I like that you are aiming to take a unique conceptual approach to the genre. I worry though, that in the choice of the battle sequence, you may have put concept ahead of gameplay in a manner that would detract from the enjoyment of the game as a whole. I would suggest, at least trying, to consider the battle sequence from an opposite perspective. Start with the idea in your head of an existing RPG battle system that you enjoy, then think of ways to make it more fun. Then, after you've come up with a fun gameplay concept, consider how to adapt it to your story concept. That's the approach I would be likely to take.


I guess I may have misused some terms here.
I used RPG to make a comparison, but it's just (for now) a top-down adventure game, when you have to (sometimes) tattoo people.
You won't encounter "enemies" every now and then like a real RPG and have to tattoo them all along the game.
Of course IT IS an important part of the game, but I don't want people to get tired of inking and inking skin for hours.

As nothing is too defined for now, I would say that story and quests in the adventure part will hopefully balance the game, but I'm still in a reflexion process actually.
So critiques from people are ok and can help me find the best way to glue everything together.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#174006)
glutock wrote:
You won't encounter "enemies" every now and then like a real RPG and have to tattoo them all along the game.
Of course IT IS an important part of the game, but I don't want people to get tired of inking and inking skin for hours.
Okay, so it's more of an occasional minigame than a replacement for all combat? That would be a lot less likely to push me away as a gamer.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#174017)
I like the concept. Actually a while ago I spent some time thinking about what it would be like to have a tattoo artist game for Wii U or DS where you could use the stylus to draw on the screen.

As far as gameplay goes, I don't really like the look of the tattoo drawing stuff in that video, but I didn't presume it was much more than temporary. There are lots of ways you could make playing a tattoo interesting.

One idea might be to have the path of the needle automated, and the player needs to press buttons and directions at well timed positions along the path. Maybe like guitaroo man where you have to follow a direction and press buttons in time with the music. Just thinking that having the player bound to the path of the tattoo might bypass the (intractable?) problem of following curved lines with a dpad.
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#174018)
rainwarrior wrote:
One idea might be to have the path of the needle automated, and the player needs to press buttons and directions at well timed positions along the path. Maybe like guitaroo man where you have to follow a direction and press buttons in time with the music. Just thinking that having the player bound to the path of the tattoo might bypass the (intractable?) problem of following curved lines with a dpad.


Interesting idea !

What I like in my actual gameplay is that you can place your gun / cursor wherever you want on the tattoo.
So you also need to keep an eye at where you are on the "skin".

I should post a test ROM to get feedback on the actual gameplay rather than just guess from a video.
I focused more on the power/pain aspect than the precision.
Since attribute is 16x16 px block, I "can't" do pixel precision.
What I've done though, is that in a 16x16 block, if you try to tattoo a blank 8x8 block, the 16x16 block becomes a stain.
So even if the block tolerance is large, you still have to look where you put the gun.

Hummmm ... I really need to post a test ROM.

edit : typo
Re: Tattoo Apprentice (WIP)
by on (#174324)
I'm a tattoo artist and a Nes lover, if you need any help in something, just PM :)