Author Topic: Final Fantasy VII Open-World Sequel Project "Time Guardian" (PS1)  (Read 19657 times)

Roden

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Hey guys,

I was working on this project for awhile last year when I first arrived here - essentially it's an open-world project with day/night system, party leader change system (9 CDs), and a ton of other stuff like crafting, stealing, quests etc. Most of the main system code is all functioning/coded, and I figured out every technical problem I came across (PS1 version had many) - though I stopped working on it around the time I got to adding content.

I got the idea for the project from my younger days when I would play disc 3 for hours, wandering the world pretending I was actually living there. The plan was to make the world incredibly detailed so you could do anything, basically, like work on a ship that goes between Costa Del Sol/Junon in "realtime".

Special thanks to: myst6re (Makou), meesbaker (big help with world map models)
Also thanks to Lazy Bastard (model editing), DLPB (variable stuff), Sega Chief (battle scripting), NFITC1, quantumpencil

Here's the trailer I made from the work I had http://youtu.be/l1Y3snhd_bg

The main story idea was at the Temple of the Ancients, instead of Cait Sith just taking the black materia, there was another trap set by the Time Guardian. Time was "scrambled" so events from the beta version and concepts from ultimania take place. That part is in the trailer above. The characters were to start in places across the world in locations that were meaningful to them - Yuffie starts near Kalm as she was originally supposed to join around there, Barret in Corel only he is not part of AVALANCHE. The characters don't remember each other (so you could play the game solo) and were supposed to meet each other in set circumstances and only then could you form "teams" with them.

The idea was to make everything in the background interactive (such as pinball machine etc) and make it all in line with FF7 Ultimania. I stopped mostly as its a full time job and the scripting tools, while great, are quite restrictive compared to real coding. I've since gone on to working on a similar RPG with the Unreal Engine (if anyone is interested just send me a PM!).

Thanks for reading and hope you like it :)

JonJon412

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Oh man.......wish I had the skills to help, I got so many ideas and things I'd tweak and change for the better I could write a big essay on it.

Hope this gets done one day man :)

Rekhaizen

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Great idea! I especially like what you've done with those field skills. It would be interesting to see how they would help to progress through the game. Those rogue and assassination mission options look very intriguing as well. Just from the video alone it shows you've put a lot of time and effort into this so I hope one day the necessary tools will be available for you to complete it.

And is this other RPG of yours still quite early on in development?

JBedford128

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Given the workload and complexity I am unsurprised you have stopped working on it, but I a certainly am surprised with the amount of work you have already done and what you have accomplished. I am extremely impressed with this. So much work and on the PS1 version no less.

Roden

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Thanks for the positive comments, guys!

Great idea! I especially like what you've done with those field skills. It would be interesting to see how they would help to progress through the game. Those rogue and assassination mission options look very intriguing as well. Just from the video alone it shows you've put a lot of time and effort into this so I hope one day the necessary tools will be available for you to complete it.

And is this other RPG of yours still quite early on in development?
My vision for the field skills were as such:
- Lockpicking's main use would be for breaking into people's houses and stealing gil/items from various places in the room background. It would also of been needed in the higher level dungeons for better loot (this idea is from Ultima Online). Each dungeon had a difficulty rating depending on level.
- Explosives: Each NPC has a bit (basically a variable). So if Barret blew one up, they would be gone forever from the world (and you could kill anyone basically, just like Morrowind etc). He could also place it near rocks and get more interesting materials for crafting.
- Ninja jump: Useful for navigating backgrounds in more interesting ways, items could potentially be placed in hard to reach places. Also in Kalm, Yuffie has access to windows from this position (this is where she would of met Cloud, in the inn, as she wanted to kill him)
- Levitate: Haha this was mainly for coolness. But it can be useful for quickly moving Vincent just above the ground (if you go too high and wander about, the z-index makes it difficult for you to return to a suitable position).

The rogue/assassination missions would of been repeatable and real easy to script. It would essentially just assign a random NPC, and going near that NPC would of triggered a custom battle scripted with Proud Clod. Also doing missions would get you town karma/faction points (the three main factions would of been Shinra, Jenova (aka followers of Sephiroth, as he is sort of the real leader) and AVALANCHE). I calculated the variables for all these things and there is just enough to space (though resource points suck up a lot, as they need a refill timer as well).

Yes, the Unreal Engine RPG is very early in development (programming/design wise) - though the story/world is pretty well developed. I wanted to prototype with FF7 a little as it has existing assets :D

JonJon412: Hey, thanks! FF7 scripting is not too difficult once you get used to all the variables you will use. I'd be interested in hearing your feedback/thoughts regardless! I didn't have much feedback yet as I just made a game I wanted to play myself (for example, 9 CDs is not a problem for me as my phone has huge space, so I can switch CDs easily). If someone is really interested in making a similar game, I can help them out the best I can with my resources.

I'm not sure I can finish this FF7 project even in my spare time as the scope is huge (9 CDs means one change in a PHS script would affect every room on every CD - over 6000 or so). But if you reduce the CDs to 2 or 3, you lose the team functionality which would of been a big part of doing missions. The idea was you NEEDED at least 2 teams for some missions (for example, stopping the Mako reactors before fighting Sephiroth when he is encased in "Ultimate Materia" - according to the book Ultimania). This Ultimate materia would of been a major plotpoint also.

JBedford128: Haha, thanks very much. You are indeed very correct, I really worked myself into a corner trying to deliver an "uncompromised vision". When doing the team script function, I programmed things like "if this specific character has already met this other character" ( I never even used that function ever, lol, but its there) and if they are in the same room (you can only form teams if the characters are physically in the same area) resulting in a script thousand of lines long.
 Also interesting point about the PS1, I'm not sure all of the features are possible on PC without some injecting.. you would need to inject separate field files for each character, as well as world map models. However, a lot of other things may be easier using the PC version (such as having models appear across fields). The drawback of the PS1 version is tons of hex editing and constant ISO manipulation. And the initial expansion of every field in the game to 35KB took ages to plan/do.
« Last Edit: 2015-03-04 21:16:46 by Roden »

Sega Chief

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I was very disappointed when I read that you'd stopped working on this project (but real life takes priority so don't worry about it); great way to make use of the PS1's key strength which is each Disc can be coded separately (whereas the PC game needs 7H in order to bring in different files, etc). As far as mods go, it's a fresh take from the usual 'fight new stuff' that gameplay mods for any game generally go with.

Now I gotta ask; would it be possible to get a copy of your prototype? There was a tonne of cool things in your trailer that I'd like to have a shot at implementing into NT. In return, if you ever pick up the project again and need a hand with scripting for battle, field, etc. then could lend a hand with that. I'll understand if you want to keep it under wraps though.

Roden

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I was very disappointed when I read that you'd stopped working on this project (but real life takes priority so don't worry about it); great way to make use of the PS1's key strength which is each Disc can be coded separately (whereas the PC game needs 7H in order to bring in different files, etc). As far as mods go, it's a fresh take from the usual 'fight new stuff' that gameplay mods for any game generally go with.

Now I gotta ask; would it be possible to get a copy of your prototype? There was a tonne of cool things in your trailer that I'd like to have a shot at implementing into NT. In return, if you ever pick up the project again and need a hand with scripting for battle, field, etc. then could lend a hand with that. I'll understand if you want to keep it under wraps though.

Thanks! Yeah, I had stopped working on the project about halfway through the trailer - but I felt it was important to finish that at least, I didn't feel there were enough field mods even after the excellent Makou Reactor had been released. So I motivated myself to finish the trailer just barely. :P For example, I hated that Barret "explosives" segment - it didn't even show the flash or anything. I was going to cut it out or record a door blast, but just left it in..

I took a look at your mod when I started actually, I really liked the first boss battles with the scorpion and I think Jessie even joins in. I'm happy that you want to use some part of my mod, that's what motivated me to finish the trailer, I can definitely wrap up the prototype for you tomorrow if you like. The code for a lot of parts is actually in good shape (as in lots of bugs already fixed through trial error), which parts were you interested in specifically? I can fix those up a bit more. I also had some handy debug functions not shown which correctly displays + - minus character coord positions along with triangle ID, direction etc, and a room jump via field number ID.

Yep that's right about PS/PC. On the PS version, only the room blackbgb needs to be exactly the same (disc change room, its also the room where the team config dialog is displayed), all the other fields can be completely different. The PS version also has natural support for up to 9 unique CDs.
« Last Edit: 2015-03-04 22:44:19 by Roden »

Sega Chief

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I was thinking that the changing weather + time of day would be really interesting to add in, lend areas a little more character to them when revisited (with changing NPC behaviour, though shops would always be open for convenience sake). I've always liked how in Costa Del Sol the party would split up and do their own thing, which was something I was wanting to expand out for NT (only a few new areas got this so far, Wall Market and Kalm); but doing the same for regular NPCs as well, adding in side quests and small events, would be pretty cool too. As far as character-specific sidequests go, I think a good 'hub' for those would be the Highwind's Operations Room; could send characters to certain areas and have handlers to avoid using the World Map.

Roden

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I was thinking that the changing weather + time of day would be really interesting to add in, lend areas a little more character to them when revisited (with changing NPC behaviour, though shops would always be open for convenience sake). I've always liked how in Costa Del Sol the party would split up and do their own thing, which was something I was wanting to expand out for NT (only a few new areas got this so far, Wall Market and Kalm); but doing the same for regular NPCs as well, adding in side quests and small events, would be pretty cool too. As far as character-specific sidequests go, I think a good 'hub' for those would be the Highwind's Operations Room; could send characters to certain areas and have handlers to avoid using the World Map.
Yeah that's no problem. For the rain I coded it so there's some random chance of it appearing every few seconds or so. When it does appear, it will continue when you step into the next field (obviously it stops in houses). And then the field after that next field will be slightly "weaker". For the snow areas, I removed the snowstorm layer from the backgrounds which gives it that clean look. Those areas should probably have rain and snow randomly though I didn't code that yet.

There's different levels of complexity for the time script.

Do you want it to be calculated after world map, battle and mini-games? If you have NPCs that are supposed to be in certain places at certain times, and you are calculating it after a world map visit, there seems to be a chance that the init script doesn't calculate the time difference properly (so it could be 8pm and the NPCs take their 3pm starting positions because it didn't trigger init), not sure why this is (probably too large an init script), but its only solved by using a script that does a room jump and back after using the world map. Time in battle I calculated simply by checking if the battle count has changed.

It's more simple if time is calculated just in the field though, obviously.

Rekhaizen

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Also doing missions would get you town karma/faction points (the three main factions would of been Shinra, Jenova (aka followers of Sephiroth, as he is sort of the real leader) and AVALANCHE).
Ah, I forgot to ask about the faction points. Could you go more in depth in what you had planned for that mechanic? Would points you earn be granted to your party as a whole, or to each individual character? I'm guessing certain quests or areas would open up depending on which town or faction you have more points of.

Yes, the Unreal Engine RPG is very early in development (programming/design wise) - though the story/world is pretty well developed. I wanted to prototype with FF7 a little as it has existing assets :D
I'd be very interested in seeing this once it's in a presentable state; especially if it's similar to what you've done here!

Roden

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Ah, I forgot to ask about the faction points. Could you go more in depth in what you had planned for that mechanic? Would points you earn be granted to your party as a whole, or to each individual character? I'm guessing certain quests or areas would open up depending on which town or faction you have more points of.
I'd be very interested in seeing this once it's in a presentable state; especially if it's similar to what you've done here!
Damn, you're really inside my mind, that's a great question which I thought a lot about. My idea from the very beginning was to make sure each character has a unique individual experience. The purpose of the mod itself was to provide that lone wanderer feel.

In my variable calculations, the characters even had their own bank balances (I didn't code it but I did all the groundwork). However, I opted for faction points to be party-wide. I'm not sure why, because technically even if Cloud and Yuffie meet, and then Red XIII and Barret met on the other side of the world - those two groups are still not "connected". Red and Barret would be completely separate to Cloud and Yuffie. However if Red met Cloud, then all the others would meet (Makou had a function called bitwise OR, I think, which would work for this).

As for the function of faction points, they would of been used to convert a town into a faction of your choice. This would be done with town points. Each town had a number of quests which contributed to town points, if you had a high number of faction points and town points the town would change its default alignment to your faction (for example, by default Kalm is Shinra and Nibelheim is Jenova). I also wanted to tie it into the main story with Sephiroth and ultimate materia somehow. Factions would of offered bonuses like save-anywhere, or house ownership (which could be used to instantly gather all party members into one room). But really, the variables could be used for anything if you just scripted it with an if statement..

My plan for gil was inspired by Reeve's comment on the repair of midgar being priced at 10 billion gil. So I wanted the player to be able to earn more than that somehow (for purchase of cities like Midgar). The plan was to have a bunch of bank accounts all over the place and Cait Sith was to be a trader type. In my gil text document I had this written (I wrote it one night while half drunk and never looked at it again, haha):

"The character's each have their own 2 byte space for their cash in the savemap that "half replicates" the current gil system. Characters cannot carry more than 60,000 Gil as its unrealistic considering all the other stuff they're carrying (surplus will be removed at certain checkpoints). However, they are allowed an additional 4 bytes for banking. 1 byte is a quick cash account dotted around the world (multiples of 2000 gil), this allows storage of up to 510000 gil (which is a lot in my mod, but not super rich). Later can upgrade to use multiples of 25,000 (up to 6,375,000 gil). This initial "personal" bank can't be used for bank transfers to other characters - but the upgraded premium bank can. The remaining 2 bytes are offered by premium banks in Midgar and Gold Saucer (remember highwind usage is also rare until Cid is sufficiently well stocked with resources, so you will not be able to get there quickly unless you pay expensive travel charges, you are travelling the world after all). These premium accounts (2 byte) allow 1 million multiples - allowing for 65,000,000,000 (65 billion gil)."

Maybe I was writing most of the above with another game in mind, not FF7 lol. I'll try to let you know when things progress with my other RPG. I'm always surprised after games like Shenmue and Ultima Online that these types of "freedoms" are still not available in most games.
« Last Edit: 2015-03-05 01:46:56 by Roden »

meesbaker

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Is the last shot in your video a photo montage or did you get into worldmap scripting? Also for the intro, how did you do it?
« Last Edit: 2015-03-16 14:07:17 by meesbaker »

Roden

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Is the last shot in your video a photo montage or did you get into worldmap scripting? Also for the intro, how did you do it?
Hey Meesbaker - Nah, it's just a "photo montage" so people can see the whole team on the world map. There was no need to do any world map scripting as everything can be controlled from the field script. You can change the location of characters/vehicles from the field, and even turn off battles on the world map. Other events on the map can be controlled via gameprogress variable.

For the intro? Which part?

Zara9

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hey

when can i download this mod?

meesbaker

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@Roden

I mean rootmap cloud. Psx does not display mouths, his face looks like pc version.

Roden

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@Roden

I mean rootmap cloud. Psx does not display mouths, his face looks like pc version.
I didn't do anything, its just the rootmap field on PSX verison with Cloud turning to face the camera. The model in that scene is not the normal Cloud model, it has the height of a battle model (and a mouth, apparently, can't say I noticed that!). I used that rootmap field as the new game screen where you select your first character (after selecting new game, it teleports you from midgar station without you noticing and before the intro plays).

Zara9: Basically, there's no download as progress didn't get that far (which is why this is not in gameplay releases) and development has stopped.

Though if any mod creators are interested in discussing features and such, just send a message.

meesbaker

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Yeah I know about this model but I had no idea that it also has a higher quality face. All faces have mouths like you can see in makou but psx version aint showin them. I suggest that it has to do with the low quality head polygons and the rootmap model has just much more detail so it can show it. Nice finding.

Roden

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Yeah I know about this model but I had no idea that it also has a higher quality face. All faces have mouths like you can see in makou but psx version aint showin them. I suggest that it has to do with the low quality head polygons and the rootmap model has just much more detail so it can show it. Nice finding.
Interesting. Maybe there is something you can toggle in the field files using a hex editor that enables mouths? Now that you mention it, it does look pretty good!

NeuroSephrioth

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If you want someone to playtest this for you, I can handle it. I'm really good at it!

quantumpencil

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This is one of the best ideas I've heard in a while. If you happen to log on again soon pm me about this project -- I'd like to continue your work!

Best,

QP

meesbaker

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@Roden I think the face thing is controlled by animations. Tifa's model suddenly has a mouth in the scene at the start of disc 3 talking to cloud in front of the highwind in the fields. Probably because you can see her very large and close here. I suppose for the default animations the mouth is left out on psx because the guys at square didnt expect to see them at an internal 320*240 res anyway.

pating

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Hmm... not bad.

But i was wondering is there really any one out there knows to fix the selling ribbons and water rings part for the north american version or the international version?

It would better if completely fix some of the glitches(except w-item glitch) in the normal game before we enhance it?

I personally have an original psx game from the first release up to the international version.

I was very grateful that this forum provided the codes to fix the mdef bug.

And again i was also glad to hear that there's also this project for psx version!

meesbaker

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Wrong thread my friend  8)

OneUp

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- Lockpicking's main use would be for breaking into people's houses and stealing gil/items from various places in the room background. It would also of been needed in the higher level dungeons for better loot (this idea is from Ultima Online). Each dungeon had a difficulty rating depending on the Crazy Bulk https://deadliftdonkey.com/my-crazy-bulk-review level.
- Explosives: Each NPC has a bit (basically a variable). So if Barret blew one up, they would be gone forever from the world (and you could kill anyone basically, just like Morrowind etc). He could also place it near rocks and get more interesting materials for crafting.
- Ninja jump: Useful for navigating backgrounds in more interesting ways, items could potentially be placed in hard to reach places. Also in Kalm, Yuffie has access to windows from this position (this is where she would of met Cloud, in the inn, as she wanted to kill him)
- Levitate: Haha this was mainly for coolness. But it can be useful for quickly moving Vincent just above the ground (if you go too high and wander about, the z-index makes it difficult for you to return to a suitable position).

This would be so cool. I love the lockpicking idea. How is your project coming along?
« Last Edit: 2016-08-23 18:34:36 by OneUp »

pating

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Sorry I was just asking anyways thanks