BTB

Modder
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Everything posted by BTB

  1. The BNWCP is updated for every release and is included with the download of the mod in the "Unlockme" archive.
  2. It's a space-saving technique I used in the dialogue bank, as well as in intentional Easter Egg.
  3. http://ngplus.net/index.php?/ngplusarticles/hackingmodding/on-the-nature-of-modding-game-design-r12/ For anyone who doesn't check that section of the site, I put this up the other day in response to some of the questions that I'm commonly asked as a modder. I also talk a bit about game design near the end.
  4. I am completely unfamiliar with that hack, so I have no idea.
  5. Note to self: can probably re-check the "hide opponent" flag for the version of the Kagenui that you have to bet to get Shadow. Also should consider adding a ghost merchant to Cyan's Nightmare.
  6. I just realized that Stray has the wrong spell list - it teaches Mute instead of Sleep. Will fix that in the next version.
  7. Well, one of the biggest reasons that I've resisted expanding the ROM thus far is knowing that the second I get a metric fuckton of free space in the AI bank, I will immediately fill it all up. And if I don't have enough good ideas (I have a list of notes), I'll just fill it with crap instead.
  8. My opinion is that it's probably very easily doable, the question is more is it something worth being done.
  9. 1. Not really. Aside from the fact that the spell index is full, part of balancing out the eight elements is the differences in availability. Having access to water damage, for example, is part of what makes Strago and Shadow so unique amongst other mages. 2. Initially, in order to make the Life spell preferable to Phoenix Downs, I widened the gap of effectiveness to 1/16 max HP for Phoenix Downs and 1/4 maxHP for Life (both were 1/8 in vanilla, rendering the Life spell fairly useless). I ultimately found that 1/4 maxHP still wasn't really having the desired effect since it still wasn't enough for a lot of characters to be able to survive a single hit after getting back on their feet, resulting in my request to switch it over to a set amount of HP. As for Phoenix Downs, the change to 1 HP was mostly symbolic since there's no effective difference between 1 HP and 1/16 maxHP because neither will allow anyone to take a single hit in pretty much any situation. 3. Possible? Probably. This isn't a question anyone has ever asked before, and I really don't have an opinion on it. 4. I think my only objection to that would be that giving them a value makes the ones you find sellable for lots of cash. Also, they currently fill a "rare expendable" role that very much needs filling. As far as late-game cash sinks go, the intent was for that to fall back on Potions and Ninjatos. 5. There's really not much I can envision to spice up what is essentially the game's "tutorial" phase without going massively off of the rails of what the mod aims to do.
  10. When Celes's turn comes up, pay close attention to what she can do.
  11. Yeah, I do need to ask right around where you're at in the game, since pretty much everything up until the Battle of Narshe is tutorial mode and there's not a whole lot you can do to keep an RPG consistently mechanically interesting throughout a period like that. In any case, I think a lot of what you've said can just be boiled down to scope. There's a lot of interesting things that I can imagine for a combat system and a lot of flaws I can easily see, but the ultimate question is what all can actually be done while working within the confines of the engine we're working with or without turning FF6 into a completely different game. Good points, nonetheless.
  12. So, there's two answers to that question. One, I try to avoid having certain "back-and-forth" Colosseum trades since it basically forces one of any point in the trade as a final piece of equipment. The Apocalypse and Illumina, for example, used to trade back and forth until I realized that it was really limiting possible end-game weapon options for either the Apocalypse or Illumina to be a given. So now they trade for a Minerva and thus give the player more options by allowing the Apocyllumina to serve as something other than an MP-hungry sword. The Soul/Gem Box have a similar problem where I have no interest in making either/or a "forced" relic. The second answer is that I'm personally not a huge fan of the EL reset. I come from an older time where decisions you made were decisions you were stuck with unless you started a new game, and that's where replay value came from. Putting him in was a point I conceded to after Synchysi and the community convinced me that it was a good idea given that many players are not likely to play through a ROMhack multiple times. Plus, it was an excuse for me to write some more lines for Ultros.
  13. Where'd you stream it at? Your endgame levels were on the low side of average, but still pretty average. I don't really know much about most of the other hacks on this side, but it's where I'd recommend starting if you're looking for more like BNW. We've also got a Discord if you want to come and talk with us about it. Thanks for playing!
  14. Note to self: a split shuriken should probably be sufficient to wipe out a party of Rabites in the early parts of Sabin's scenario. Should lower their HP in the next update.
  15. It was discussed earlier in this thread.
  16. Cyclonic respects both MBlock and Stamina, yes. The full-party equip screen can be accessed by selecting equip or relic and then pressing L/R to select the whole party, then left on the D-pad (I think)
  17. Yeah, I chose that phrasing very deliberately because of what you said here. One line that I cut because I didn't feel like it added to the flow of the article is that Brave New World can be beaten by a new player without a single death, it's just the exception rather than the norm. Bullshit like the MagiMaster casting Ultima when he dies doesn't exist, but the fight itself does require you to have geared up.
  18. Hello, my name is BTB, co-creator and designer of Final Fantasy VI: Brave New World. And like anyone with a job or hobby that attracts an audience, there are certain questions that tend to come up a lot to me in my capacity as a modder of video games... certain "frequently-asked questions", if you will. Today, I would like to take a moment to answer some of the most common/pressing of them. Why don't you just make an original game? Of all the questions modders are asked, this is easily the most offensive as it both belittles and completely misses the point of our craft. It's like asking someone who enjoys restoring classic cars why they don't just make their own. I'll talk about this in a bit more detail further below, but the short answer is that improving on an existing idea is an entirely different task from forming a new one and, more importantly, is no more or less valid a form of artistic expression because of it. Why did you change "X" thing? Game mods face a somewhat unique obstacle in that, unlike an original game, they are expected to justify their own existence. Design decisions are generally not scrutinized in a "vanilla" game to the degree they are in a mod, which makes a certain amount of sense given that players are actively looking for changes in the latter no matter how much its creator wishes they would treat it like the former. It's kind of like dealing with people who can't enjoy a movie because they're too busy comparing absolutely everything about it to the book. Modders take note: no matter how stupid, arbitrary, or poorly thought-out anything in a base game is, no matter how minuscule or insignificant, someone will question your decision to change it. I've had people ask me why I changed the names of certain enemies in Brave New World when their original names were literal nonsense words so unremarkable that nobody (including the person asking) remembers what they were. And you can fall back on logic or reason all you want to justify your actions, but ultimately the answer will be "because I didn't like what it was before and wanted to change it". And one of the most important things to learn as a modder is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Why DIDN'T you change "X" thing? Contrary to the above, the answer to this one is usually, "I couldn't". Modding is frequently bound by the restrictions of the source material or by how deep into the code we are able to dig, and things that may seem to the outside observer to be an easy copy/paste job often aren't. Also, do assume that modders (or at least good modders) have put a lot of thought into their final product and have considered all of the potential implications of even a seemingly small change. That said, ask away - I've made countless changes to my mods based on player feedback pointing out something I just hadn't thought of, and at the very least you're likely to get an interesting piece of developer insight in response. Why would you mod a game that you don't like? As the designer of a prominent Final Fantasy VI mod, it often confuses people to learn that I am not all that fond of the original game. While some mods are created by people who are deeply in love with the game in question, these mods are rarely of good quality since their creators saw so little room for improvement. More often than not, they end up veering into bad fanfiction territory and/or falling victim to the philosophy of adding more stuff just to have more stuff with absolutely zero regard for how well any of it fits in or concern for existing content (AKA "Squaresoft Design Theory 101"). This is not to say that good modders hate the games that they are working on; something obviously had to draw them in, after all. But I've come to realize that too much reverence for the game you're working with tends to prevent good or even necessary changes for fear of breaking from the traditional and familiar - this mentality is the reason I am often bitched at for fixing legitimate bugs and exploits. Good mods are ideally born from an attachment to an idea (or ideas) by people with a vision of their full potential and, more often than not, a certain degree of frustration toward their flawed execution that keeps them from realizing that potential. And this frustration - something generally lacking in people who are already happy with games the way they are - is what drives us to make a better game. On trial and error... So, this is neither a question nor a complete sentence and it pertains to game design as a whole rather than just modding, but it's an important topic to discuss here given the prevalence of "kaizo" hacks out there in contrast to an audience that is generally more accustomed to modern game design. For those unfamiliar, the term "kaizo" comes from the name of one of the earliest known hacks of its kind: a Super Mario World ROMhack that utilized extreme difficulty as a form of comedy, winding up as a sort of self-directed schadenfreude. This was an extension of the very first such games - a trilogy of Super Mario Bros. hacks called Syobon Action or "Cat Mario" - whose difficulty stemmed entirely from their "puzzle" elements which murdered the player in increasingly ridiculous ways for taking the most logical course of action, thus forcing a purely "trial and error" method of gameplay that (along with the racist sprite hacks of yore) has since gone on to stigmatize modding as a whole. The term is now used to describe any ROMhack of difficulty sufficient to warrant pure trial-and-error gameplay and tends to be freely (and often unfairly) used to describe mods that introduce difficulty of any kind. It's because of the above that Brave New World shies away from the "difficulty hack" label altogether, but it tends to draw arguments from players who (correctly) realize that it is, in fact, much harder than the original game. My personal take is that there seems to be some degree of resistance to the idea that the player should be made to think, that the game is a puzzle meant to be figured out rather than a mere interactive viewing experience. What some players label "punishment" is to me simply a part of the learning process. Learning involves experimentation, which by its very nature equates to trial and - more often than not - error. Brave New World was designed with the expectation that players would frequently die and be forced to rethink their approach to certain battles, but comparisons to games designed to make the player suffer are inaccurate and something that we wish to avoid. There seems to be a commonly-held notion that a good game should be easily beatable by a blind player ("blind" in the figurative sense, not literal) without failure and that anyone who thinks otherwise is one of those "Dark Souls" weirdos. There is little acknowledged middle ground between games requiring no effort whatsoever and those specifically designed to be unfair, which from my experience manifests primarily as an unwillingness to experiment. Again using Brave New World as an example, one of its major design philosophies is that the random encounter system should pose a challenge to the player's abilities to figure out how to deal with them quickly and efficiently, or else they exist for no other reason than to waste the player's time. A big part of this is a wide variety of enemy weaknesses and resistances so that no one attack or tactic is universally effective, thus forcing the player to adapt to each individual encounter. Sounds good, yeah? The result of the above design, however, brings to mind the cautionary advice of Mark Rosenwater against fighting human nature. It's become somewhat of a meme in the Brave New World community for a new player to complain that "X thing is useless because everything is immune to it", with that "X thing" usually being wind damage. And it's not that this statement is even remotely true (approximately 15% of enemies in Brave New World resist wind damage) so much as that players are so rarely forced to attempt different strategies in the original game's design and are very quickly discouraged from doing so at the first sight of failure. The unfortunate ultimate result of this phenomenon is a refusal to move away from "tried and true" tactics even when they fail, with players stubbornly attempting the same thing over and over again rather than trying something new (which, by the way, is the definition of insanity). In conclusion... And that's it for now. Perhaps in the future I'll do a "part two", but these are the questions that have been stuck in my head for awhile and itching to get out. Thanks for reading, and remember that modders are just people who perform a labor of love for no reward other than the hope that our work makes the world a better (or at least funner) place. (Or get us laid. That's pretty nice.)
  19. So, one of my "wish list" items for BNW at some point in the future is to bring back the "class" labels. Except rather than simply being a description of the character, it would reflect their esper build. Each character would have a "default" class that would eventually change depending on which esper they predominately use for EL growth (or remain the same for hybrid builds, for the sake of simplicity). If you've ever played Seiken Densetsu 3 or Sword of Mana, it's basically the same thing. Without further ado, here we go! Terra Mage (Base) Battlemage (Bismark) --- Morph delay is shorter; Break and Storm cast faster Black Mage (Maduin) --- MP+25%; all Fire/Ice/Bolt spells & Ultima cast faster White Mage (Unicorn) --- HP+25%; all Cure and Life spells cast faster Omega Mage (Tritoch) --- Regen MP while morphed; Remedy and Regen spells cast faster Red Mage (Phoenix) --- HP/MP+12.5%; Cure (1-2), Fire (1-2), and Life (1) cast faster Celes General (Base) Holy Knight (Ramuh) --- HP+25%; all Swords get some kind of bonus(?) Dark Knight (Phantom) --- No dual-wield damage penalty; Merton and Demi/Quartr cast faster Valkyrie (Crusader) --- Inherent Cover; Safe and Haste cast faster Vanguard (Alexandr) --- Inherent Counter; Life and Regen spells cast faster Magic Knight (Siren) --- Runic restores 2x MP; all Ice & Bolt spells cast faster Holy Mage (Shiva) --- MP+25%; Holy, Merton, and all Cure spells cast faster Cleric (Seraph) --- HP+25%; Rerise, Remedy, and all Cure spells cast faster Locke Rogue (Base) Fighter (Ramuh) --- Critical Attack rate up; all Swords get some kind of bonus(?) Paladin (Kirin) --- All Shields get some kind of bonus(?); Cure (1-2) cast faster Thief (Ifrit) --- Steal always succeeds; Drain and all Bolt spells cast faster Red Mage (Phoenix) --- HP/MP+12.5%; Cure (1-2), Fire (1-2), and Life (1) cast faster Edgar Engineer (Base) Alchemist (Siren) --- Status-setting attacks/spells ignore enemy stamina; gain elemental resistance from equipped weapons Sentinel (Golem) --- Inherent Counter; Tools delay is shorter Spartan (Unicorn) --- All Shields get some kind of bonus(?); Safe and Slow spells cast faster Dragoon (Palidor) --- Two-handed damage bonus is 75% instead of 50%; Haste and Float spells cast faster Sabin Monk (Base) Shaman (Stray) - AKA "Stam-WOW" Sabin --- HP Regen rate is doubled; gain elemental resistance from equipped weapons Godhand (Golem) - AKA "Slap-Chop" Sabin --- Critical Attack Rate Up; Blitz delay is shorter Guardian (Terrato) - AKA "Schticky" Sabin --- Inherent Cover; Sleep and Drain spells cast faster Cyan Samurai (Base) Swordsmaster (Bismark) --- +25% Physical Damage; Bushido delay is shorter Templar (Kirin) --- Inherent Cover; Cure spells cast faster Vanguard (Alexandr) --- Inherent Counter; Life and Regen spells cast faster Shadow Ninja (Base) Assassin (Phantom) --- Critical Attack rate up; Pre-Emtpive Attack rate up Shinobi (Fenrir) Gau Hunter (Base) Beastmaster (Stray) Berserker (Fenrir) Setzer Gambler (Base) Undertaker (Shoat) - AKA "Slotzer" --- No dual-wield damage penalty; Doom and Poison/Bio cast faster Pilgrim (Starlet) - AKA "The Bank"(*) --- Inherent Counter; Remedy and Regen spells cast faster Cleric (Seraph) --- HP+25%; Rerise, Remedy, and all Cure spells cast faster Mog Moogle (Base) Druid (Shoat) --- Summon delay is shorter; Break, Quake, and Poison/Bio cast faster Geomancer (Maduin) --- Dance always succeeds; (?) Dragoon (Palidor) - AKA "Mogoon" --- Two-handed damage bonus is 75% instead of 50%; Haste and Float spells cast faster Guardian (Terrato) --- Inherent Cover; Sleep and Drain spells cast faster Strago Blue Mage (Base) Sorcerer (Zoneseek) --- MP+25%; X-Zone, Dark, and Ice spells cast faster Wizard (Shiva) --- +25% Magical Damage; Stop and Osmose spells cast faster Sage (Odin) --- HP Regen rate is doubled; Lore delay is shorter Relm Pictomancer (Base) Sorceress (Zoneseek) --- MP+25%; Meteor, Flare, and Fire spells cast faster Priestess (Starlet) - AKA "Love You Long Time" Relm --- Summon delay is shorter; Rerise, Remedy, and Regen spells cast faster Illusionist (Ifrit) --- Brushes may set image; (?) Gogo Mime (Duh) Umaro Yeti (Double Duh)
  20. Everything is uncensored, except apparently the pubs are still called cafe's.
  21. She won't. Math like this always rounds down, not up.
  22. It's an Iron Maiden reference. It's the inscription on the tombstone on the inner side of No Prayer For the Dying.
  23. All three have about the same max HP