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Digital Maloney's Gaming Projects

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One Thousand Club
EDIT: This original post is quite old. The thread isn't just about the Zelda project anymore, but more about my own original project. You can see posts about my original project from here onward.

Hey, this thread will just be a little scrapbook as I go along working on a little Zelda fan-game, a retelling of the plot of Breath of the Wild with the aesthetic of the NES Zelda. I'll be posting sprite sheets, funny glitches, cool cutscenes, songs, etc. as I go along. If you're interested in helping out, I'll take any suggestions, and I'm currently looking for somebody who has experience in Lua to figure out the several bits I can't figure out. Any feedback or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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Here is the current working logo/title screen.

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This is some concept art for Calamity Ganon and Hyrule Castle, with the Blood Moon overhead.

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Here is the wildly redundant spritesheet for Link in their green tunic, the engine I'm using requires a certain number of frames per animation, so most of the "animations" require repeating frames over and over, therefore, an entire sheet of Links.

At this link, you'll find the first version of the main theme. Original score composed by Manaka Kataoka, transcribed and arranged by thelastpitchbender, modified and rearranged by myself, rendered in LMMS using the NEScaline Synthesizer, edited in Audacity.

The engine I'm using is the Solarus Engine, and it's a free game engine specifically for Legend of Zelda-style Action RPG's. You can find their website and several games built in the engine at solarus-games.org.
 
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One Thousand Club
Was ist das? Ein neue Spritesheet?
Behold: all the items in the game. You may notice one or two additions not in the original game, what purpose they may serve is anyone's guess! :o
items.png
 

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One Thousand Club
and i oop and i oop


Here's the palette for all sprites, tiles, and elements in the game. It's super accurate, except for an added shade of yellow. Here's also some new sprites for what has quickly become my favourite enemy, the Vire. Finally, the community that's been helping me along the way is largely from France, so I've been making a French translation along the way.
 

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One Thousand Club
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oh god what has happened to the project where did zelda go
what have I been doing all these weeks?????

what? where's link? where's ganonononan?
what's this video that's on my youtube channel?



So, yeah, I got sidetracked. Really sidetracked. The Zelda stuff is about 80% complete, but all of its backend stuff is being used for whatever this is.
 

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One Thousand Club
Bull.gif
This is Bull Eagle. He just wants to fly, and you need a plane off of this island if you want to go home. The problem is that his plane is in a pile on the beach and is missing some parts. Why doesn't he use his wings? Nobody knows.

EDIT: And here's what spending a little more time on a doodle can do:
Bull.gif

He's definitely still not done, but I feel like shifting around just a few pixels gives it a lot more life.

He does have a theme, though! Let's see if RPN will embed properly:

EDIT 2: And that one errant pixel I can see near his hat is the reason why you share your work while you go along.

Bull.gif

This man truly will always be a work in progress, even when I stop working on him. I wonder if the player can help him find what he's looking for or what he really needs...
 
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One Thousand Club
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As for the music, I was originally going to hire out somebody who was much more qualified. But, as times are tight, I had to take it upon myself to make something. After several attempts to come up with original music, I used little arrangements of Zelda music as placeholders. It wasn't until this week, when I found some renewed vigour for working on this project, that I suddenly had a very different idea of where it was going artistically. I had spent most of the project working under the idea of vagueness - being a project for others to modify and use, it would make sense to make as few artistic choices as possible. However, when I sat down and revised my outside tileset, I had a lot of fun working in these incredibly simple forms, and, looking at real games at the time, the only good ones were willing to go beyond the pale in their artstyle and were loud and proud. So I switched from strategic graphics to simple ideas.

Very quickly (within an hour) the entire working project had a very sudden and very different feeling. Instead of being "the pack I'm working on" it became this very nice to look at thing that I really enjoyed, and it had that sort of unique old feeling, of being far out from society and at ease, washed away in the rhythm of nature.

And so, the music went in that direction. Initially, I was drawn to the song Will the Circle be Unbroken by the Carter Family, and, noticing that it was public domain, went ahead and made my own arrangement on piano and played it under the gameplay. I was in love with it. It's not a pretty song - it's kind of janky, musically speaking, with these lines that sort of like to move where the soul takes them - and I felt that fit the feel perfectly. It's an amateur's project I'm making, and it's not pretty. You could give experienced artists a day and I'm 100% sure they'd come up with art and music that is 10 times as functional and 10 times as beautiful. I'm just letting go and going where the spirit takes me. My own artistic style is quite a bit informed by my Mid-Western upbringing and my self-upbringing on the beaches of Texas, and I felt like using folk tunes could tie in that sort of reverence with nature and the peace it brings.

I never intended the hero to have a sword. That's just the nature of the engine, it was built to make Zelda-like games. The hero has a sword. I never intended to call the hero "the hero", but that was just the engine calls the player character, so that's what I'm going with. Throughout literally all of the history of video games, the main draw of a game is usually conflict. This conflict is usually resolved through violence. As a young, stupid artist, it's my nature to try to do whatever is the opposite of the status quo. It's easy to make a conflict that can be solved with a swing of a sword. It's not easy to face those conflicts. I've always seen the hero as a child, even with the really ugly "ghost" sprite they originally had. Maybe that has something to do with how I see myself, I don't know. But what I do know is that at every step of this process, I was struggling for control. I was struggling against trying to bring the real into the abstract. I was struggling against my own inexperience. I was struggling, like Mario against Bowser or Brutus against Caesar or Oliver Swanick against the courier with the Big Iron on his hip. Ultimately, one loses and one wins. That was a fundamentally terrible way of going about this project.

And now I finally get to what I was going to say about the music. It's slow. It's fumbling. As for the Jericho track, it's scared. For Bull's theme, it's sombre. It sure as hell isn't pretty, but in that way, I think it's perfect. Thus far, they're all folk tunes. If you have a keen ear, you might recognize the originals. I'm probably going to keep making these arrangements. Let me know what you think of them as I go.



(It's at this point I wish I could retitle the thread...)
EDIT: (I found out how to retitle the thread!)
 
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One Thousand Club
Here's a story flowchart for the demo (with all the birds)
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Of course, the story beats are blocked up with green squares, but it consists of 2 primary endings with one hidden ending. One of the primary endings is far more streamlined (with a minimum of only 7 beats from start to end) and is based around action and mechanical skill. The other ending is much more complex (with a maximum of 15 beats from start to end, including an optional sidequest in the green square on the bottom left) but is based more around problem solving. The hidden ending is a little secret for speedrunners and easter egg hunters, and is considerably more simple than either ending.

I tried to specifically build a story that would be interesting to work with and discover while still being doable. It's specifically limited to two larger branches so that the story doesn't get out of hand. I still left plenty of room for things to be cut back if this is too much, but I've also planned some other inconsequential sidequests to complete if time permits that will allow each character to shine a little bit more.
 

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