Thursday, September 17, 2015

Devblog: What Inspired Your Game..?

So, I posted this in the "What Inspired Your Game" topic over on the RPGMaker.net forums, but I figure I’ll post it here as well since I think it says a lot about both this project and its sequel, Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl.

I guess I can talk about the two Sore Losers games a bit…
Both Sore Losers and Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl have a setting that is heavily inspired by the movie Escape From New York, in that all criminals have been sent to a locked-down urban area to fend for themselves as opposed to the state maintaining proper prisons. Secondary inspirations for the setting include Final Fantasy 7 and Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter because both of these games have dystopian societies where slums feature prominently, although in those two games the slums aren’t there for the sake of criminals. Another inspiration would be the Streets of Rage games, a game that is referenced heavily in the original Sore Losers in homage to how much I love that series(1).
That the original Sore Losers has lots of "one-off" minigames (sniping, chase sequences, helicopter flying, a Frogger minigame(2) and others) is inspired by the three PS1 Final Fantasy games (7, 8 and 9). All of those titles contained plenty of "one-off" minigames that broke up the standard JRPG gameplay. FF7 was especially great at integrating those segments into the storyline (snowboarding, motorcycling, marching, the hypothermia section etc.) and so that’s what I sought to emulate with Sore Losers. I think the result was hit-and-miss based on reviews, but I’m going to try to take those criticisms and use them to create better "one-off" minigames for Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl, which will follow in the same tradition.
Both Sore Losers and Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl also focus quite heavily on "recurring" mini-games (lockpicking, hacking, hotwiring, smashing and others(3)) and this was largely inspired by the minigames seen in Fallout 3, where lockpicking and hacking also feature prominently(4). My original concept for the hacking minigame in Sore Losers was actually a complete rip-off of the hacking minigame in Fallout 3, which based on reviews might have been a better choice than the maths-based minigame I ended up with! Fortunately for you guys, the hacking minigame in Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl will be vastly different based on the those same reviews!
Graphically, I’d say that the original Sore Losers was mostly inspired by another RPGMaker game, The Burning Grail. The credits sequence at the end of Sore Losers is an homage to the excellent, excellent opening sequence contained within that game. You could also say that the movement system in Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl is inspired by The Burning Grail, although it probably owes more to multiple point-and-click adventure titles (without the actual point-and-click because RM2K3). The graphics used in Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl aren’t inspired by anything other than my wish to make the game look more "cyberpunk" than Sore Losers did; I never really got across the "cyberpunk" stylings I wanted in the original Sore Losers, something deftly pointed out by Darken in his review of the game.
(1) Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl was originally thought-up as being a cross between a JRPG and a side-scrolling beat ‘em up, but it somehow ended up as a cross between a JRPG and a point-and-click adventure game. Probably because I wanted to use RM2K3 and the idea of making a side-scrolling beat ‘em up in RM2K3 scares the pants off me. It is still something I’d like to do though!
(2) The "Frogger" minigame in the original Sore Losers eventually evolved into Frog, The Collector, which is one of my other titles. That game also takes inspiration from Pacman and similar arcade classics.
(3) Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl is actually going to have loads more "recurring" minigames thanSore Losers.
(4) Did you know that the Bethesda Fallout games were originally going to have a surgery minigame for healing crippled limbs? Imagine Surgeon Simulator but via a Pipboy. It was cut to help the pacing of battles, which was probably the correct decision.

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