Fallout Equestria 1.0 - empalu's commentary


This post gives some further information about FoE: Remains.
From the v1.0 release by empalu, translated by Google, fixed by me. Underlines and things in square brackets added by me.
The game Fallout Equestria: REMAINS can be considered officially completed.
So, the game FoE: Remains survived until its release!
I will say right away, for those who have already played version 0.8, there is nothing new here. Minor corrections and all. And the English language for our foreign comrades, however, it is hardly interesting for anyone here [since it's a Russian forum].
Well, for those who did not play, I invite you to play.
First I’ll tell you how the idea came about. Well, the idea of ​​making a game started a long time ago. I did small games before, so I had no experience with a big game. And the idea of ​​making a more complex, larger and more perfect game than a banal arcade or some other easy genre was probably spinning in my head for about 5 years. But, as always, it was a small matter to decide to start.
In May 2016, I went on a bus trip. It was a long ride, and at night, it was uncomfortable to sleep, so I listened to the player. I put the Fallout Equestria audio book - because I already read it before, and when listening to something familiar you don't need to worry about falling asleep and missing the plot. In general, I listened all the way, and so there was a desire to make a game in this universe.
Overmare Studios finally pushed me with their long production time [wave 5.5 is released in July 2019]. Having finally understood that I can't wait for a game made by others, I decided to make my own. Work began on May 25th, during a hiatus in my main job that gave me free time. I chose Flash as a platform, which I later regretted more than once, but I knew Flash very well, which allowed me to get down to business immediately, without being distracted by learning a programming language or development environment. I also decided to do everything from scratch, without using ready-made engines and some other frameworks. Maybe it turns out longer, but I wanted to do everything myself, from the very basics. Just out of principle.
At first, the work went quickly and well, I started with physics and control, made an object that moved across the field into a cell. It could jump, crouch, bump into walls. Then I made an animation right away, I wanted Littlepip to jump over the squares, not a rectangle. Flash in this regard is good in that it is easy to make animation in it and integrate it into the engine, so there were no problems with this. Then I began to add other classes, entities and elements - mobs, weapons, bullets, inventory, objects, boxes, doors, particles, decorations, stairs, water, destruction of walls, PipBuck, physics of boxes and water. The first mobs were a raider and a bloodwing. I had to spend a lot of time on the AI of the ​​raider, because I wanted to make him difficult behavior. And I couldn’t make inclined planes [so even in the finished game, there are no inclined planes, just stairs. Side note: making characters walk on inclined planes is quite hard in general.].
At first, I was going to make a roguelike game with random generation of levels, random pumping and without a plot. Like Spelunky. With a continuous map and side scroll. But then it turned out that flash drags such a thing with difficulty. The game will give few frames per second or work only in low resolution, otherwise it freezes. I had to change the concept and make a division into rooms, as in many old games. This also has its own allure, when you go from screen to screen, not knowing what will happen next. Then a lot had to be removed, to logically separate the locations and the rooms, to make transitions between the rooms. Then I had to be distracted from the game to work on the map editor, because it was impossible to make maps completely randomly.
This first step towards version 0.1 was completed in just 3.5 months [released in 2016 September 07]. Now it really surprises me how so much had been done in such a short time. In addition to the aforementioned, in version 0.1 there was already a graphics engine, which I later fixed and changed many times. There were about 15 types of weapons, including cold weapons and explosives. Mobs, such as 9 raiders, ghouls, bloatsprite, bloodwings, robots, turrets and others. There was a prototype level system, which was then completely changed. The character could use telekinesis, build towers from boxes, break walls, drain water. Bullets left marks on the walls. Thus in version 0.1 there were already a lot of features, though it was impossible for the character to die. At the very end, I added the “fog of war” [things remain black until you see them], since seeing everything behind the walls was not fun. Even the phrases spoken by the mobs were already there, although this is not very important for the gameplay. But then there was a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of ideas and a desire to work. In addition, I wanted to show the community no earlier than playable alpha. I didn’t want to show something broken and unfinished, or even feed empty promises, as some people do (We are making a super-duper game!!! True, we have not even started yet, but here is our video and our patron. Please, donate for development).
At this stage, only one person helped me, Apple_Snack, though he helped more with moral support and tests, and also drew several pictures, for example, a PipBuck skin. Unfortunately, then he left.
By uploading version 0.1, I was hoping to find more helpers to create a team. Back then I was naive and did not know that despite the good reviews about the game, in general, no one is really going to help me. To play - yes, even those who wanted to give money appeared, but to give their time and their talent in something - no. People offered help, but then fell away, finding out that it turns out they still need to work, and more than one hour. There was no artist or musician, well, I drew the art mostly, but nobody could record music. Although fruitless attempts were made and even one track was recorded, but that’s all.
Fortunately, I was lucky once and DipFanken [there is a character in the game named "Dip Fanken", from whom you can buy cards to change the difficulty setting] joined the project. Thanks to him, the game has a lot of templates for random maps, nice pictures of Pipka [Пипкой, probably a mechanical component] for PipBuck and some graphic elements. Well, in general, he invested his time and efforts more than all the other participants. Mihasik [he made many pony games in 2012!], the author of English localization, and Voidstar, thanks to whom a full-fledged storyline and most of the dialogues appeared in the game, also made a big contribution. Some people helped occasionally, with a couple of pictures or by searching for free music, but basically everything else had to be dragged by myself, unfortunately. 
[a full list of people who helped can be found in "contacts" section of the website]
It was hard. Keep in mind all the complexities of the code, drawing the art, drawing up location maps, selecting sounds and music, writing texts, balancing the game. Great job. But it was interesting. I do not regret a single hour spent. Creating games is very interesting. But here I want to appeal to those who want to create a game themselves - to do it well. A mere desire is not enough. You need to be able to program, it is hard to make a good game on ready-made templates in some game maker. Although, probably everything can be done, again, depending on how much you invest in it. It is necessary to do this with your soul. It takes a lot of time, if you have a job that takes all your time, then you can't do it. If you have small children, you also can't, you can't even start [note that this is wrong, as many game makers have small children.]. You need to go through more than one hundred games yourself, and be able to see their advantages and disadvantages, to be able to take the best from other games and not repeat their mistakes. You need to be able to find good, diligent and reliable people in the team, and if not, you need to be able to do everything yourself. At the beginning you will have a surge of enthusiasm, but then it will subside. One must be able to not quit at this stage. You need to be able to properly assess your teammates' strength and not bite off more than you can chew.
But no matter how much was done at the very beginning, in version 0.1, it was a drop in the bucket. I then realized that I did not want to make an arcade rougelike, but a linear light-RPG [it's unclear what "light-" means here. I mean, it's got more character development than many full-RPG, such as EqeustriaBound!]. To do this, in subsequent versions I had to add a heck-ton of everything: sounds, music, control settings, dialog boxes, many different interface elements, scripts, a bunch of interactive elements, weapons and stuffs, checkpoints, perks and skills, non-random locations, trials [non-random maps you can encounter that gives you a difficult task. Completing gives you rewards. One example is combination lock], saves, armor, customization of the character’s appearance, crafting system, magic, ZPS, trade, medicine, map, language choice. This one is far from a complete list. It looks simply terrifying now, but it was done gradually, one after another. As the game expanded, many technical issues had to be addressed. Much that was done right away was bad or irrational, and had to be redone. Finally, I had to dry the moskk [сушить моск. Probably a typo? My guess is that it means "polish the whole thing"] over the plot, quests, dialogs, characters. According to player reviews, all the time trying to maintain balance, fix the jambs [косяки, no idea what that is], remove all sorts of exploits and bugs. And fix bugs, of which there are more, the more complex the structure of the game, and the more content in it. Once I had to spend many hours to search for the source of a particularly harmful bug, and some bugs could not be fixed even in the release version.
All this, of course, during my free time from work and other matters. Sometimes there were breaks in work for a week or a couple of months. Sometimes I wanted to drop everything to hell, but I tried to drive these thoughts with pissed rags [a Russian idiom, probably meaning "with total disregard"]. It’s better to do a little than to quit, as in any business.
Total cost for the whole process: three years and about $0. The purpose of this work, in addition to creating the game itself, is also to find out whether it is possible to create a good, full-fledged game with a small team and without financial costs. As you can see, this is possible. Several people can do this by enthusiasm, using only free, publicly available materials and products of their own labor. Although of course your job should leaves a lot of free time and energy, and it is better if you don't have a job, and have some other source of income. While this [my example] is particular, in principle this is possible and feasible.
As to the financial side of things:
I have been asked many times why I do not sell this game through Steam, since they sell much worse games. I will answer in detail.
First, I did it out of principle. Everything in the world is already commercialized, and it saddens me. Everything is sold everywhere, everyone wants money. But I almost never paid anyone. I did not pay for games, music, books, films. I watched for free a cartoon about ponies, played a free fallout, read books of FoE for free. And I give my game away, if as a debt to society and karma. You can also play this game for free, and if you transfer money to me, then you should do it only as a thank you, and not as a fee for the product, and absolutely voluntarily. I would really like for more and more things to be done on the same principle. People write interesting books for free, translate for free [like I'm doing right now!], voice for free, make more fashion and whole games for free - and that's good, I'm glad that I also contributed. And of course I take money from people, but for a different reason.
Secondly, working on the game was fun, and the time spent and the experience gained with interest is already a sufficient reward in itself.
Thirdly, legal issues. Since the game is free, it will not violate anyone’s rights, and if it is blamed, then I do not care, since they won’t do anything anyway.
Although, as before, you can donate. Unfortunately, only through WebMoney. I understand that this is inconvenient for many, but I'm not Russian [empalu is Ukranian], and it’s problematic for me to use Russian payment systems such as QIWI and Yandex, and even more so through a bank account. They need passport data and other garbage, you know... You can transfer money to WebMoney [Z811408277822, R272063184691] from any of these systems, as well as from the recharge terminal, which costs a little more, but at least I can use them. There is another option through PayPal, written on the game’s website, in the "contacts" section.
KopaLeo, aka Cosmia Nebula

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