So I’m thinking “What can I do to create the basis of my JRPG engine? Why not start by rebuilding Final Fantasy I, except my way!”
Or even Wizardry. Anyway, the point is not to end up with a Final Fantasy clone, but to create a small game using my RPG mechanics.
For that I need stand in characters. A real game developer (by which I mean a pragmatic game developer) would draw a rectangle, put an arrow on it so you know which way it’s facing, and make it different colors for different classes. I’m going to compromise. I’m not going to spend a lot of time animating, but I will print of several sheets of Piqha templates, and draw different Piqha over them, and since I’m thinking Final Fantasy I for my starting point, I’ll go ahead and take inspiration in these placeholder designs.
Let’s pretend we’re going to start with the six character classes from FFI as a “build your own party of four” roster. These guys’ll do for now:
My only wish is I had done a row of each character type. A row of knights, a row of theives, etcetera. By going with a straight-up cleric for the “white mage”, instead of my first two attempts, I’m nicely escaping the FFI ‘look’, but my ‘red mage’ and ‘black mage’ are unmistakable references.
I may draw more piqha sheets as the mood strikes me. This is more than enough for the purposes of game prototyping, though. But because it’s a setting that I definitely want to use for multiple books and games, the concept work will not be wasted. E.G…
I have no plans to use them in an RPG at the moment, but an RPG might be the best way to present Starlancers, and Starlancers might be what the game turns into over time. We shall see. In the mean time, they can stand in for NPCs or monsters.
The ultimate goal, of course, is to make RPGs even for characters that aren’t piqha. Wren Valen and therians and the Hat Trick cast. Even RPGs for fellow indie creators. Go to Brian Niemeier and make a mech RPG, or Alex Hellene and have humans and dog people fighting lizard monsters for Jesus.
But before I do that, I want a complete game in hand so I can prove to myself and my comrades that it is a doable thing. And frankly, that my design is fun. Right now, existing only in my head, the design is untested.
So go forth, my Piqha, and bring me an RPG!
Edit: Made some more.