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Thread: (Article) Explaining the unoriginality of my future RPG.

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    Friendship *is* magic. MJN SEIFER's Avatar
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    Default (Article) Explaining the unoriginality of my future RPG.

    When I was younger, I dreamed of creating my own videogames (as well as the consoles that would play said games, but that's by the by.) Now my ultimate goal is to become a writer, to create various shows, books and movies, and my dreams of founding a successful videogame company has been left in the past, but not completely. I still have the desire to create games stored within me, and the main thing I desire to create is an RPG, which makes sense when you consider that RPGs are one of the types of games where the storyline is very much in the foreground, and as much a part of the game than the gameplay itself.

    As I write this article now, I am nowhere near the prospect of creating anything physical, but I do plan on creating an RPG one day, and some of you may already know this from two threads that I started on this very forum. As you will no doubt have guessed, Final Fantasy is my main inspiration for wanting to create an RPG, and as such, my game will take clear inspiration from that series, while still being its own thing, but as fans of the FF series, you will find yourselves in at least semi-familiar ground, but still not a carbon copy, and this is mostly what this article will attempt to explain.

    While this game is allowed (by myself) to take inspiration from any of the Final Fantasies, the games in that series that it will take the most inspiration from are Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy X, simply because they are the ones that inspire me the most. The game, while not copying the storylines of those games for the most part (there is one part that kind of copies FFVII) will essentially use the overall feel and look of those games as a "starting off point" which will evolve into a more "original" (for want of a better term) creation, that still shows where it came from.

    Ultimately, I will be drawing inspiration from various things I like or at least appreciate in some way, but not directly copying them, but rather taking said inspiration and building from that, until a "new" design is achieved. My inspiration to do this came, not from an RPG as you may expect, but from Cuphead of all games. I found it really admirable and heart-warming how the designers of that game basically decided to pay homage to the era of cartoons and games that they loved, and used the characters and the like from those cartoons and games as "starting off points" to create their designs - they did not copy them (though the odd few are more obvious than others), but seemingly started with what inspired them and created their own thing, and in some cases, you'd even need to be told what inspired them to even "get" what they were doing.

    This will be essentially what this RPG will do, mostly with the random monsters and bosses, but even some of the character designs will pay some level of homage to something at times (obviously less so, as characters should have more of their own design.) Things in this game will not be copied, but will in some way pay homage to what influences me, and as such are given a greater scope than Cuphead, which focused mostly in the 1930s (cartoons) and the 1980s/1990s (video games), as my inspiration comes from a variety of places from different eras. As a general rule, if I am nostalgic for it in some way (like the Cuphead creators were nostalgic for the aforementioned eras of cartoons and video games) it stands a chance of inspiring me.

    Leaving the designs aside for a moment, the naming of things in the game is also allowed to take inspiration from outside sources. Again, they will not always be directly copied from other things (especially the characters), but will often take inspiration from things such as mythology, other medias, and even non-English words as a form of tribute, reference, or general link to what they are or how they are characterized. The exact same thing happens in the Final Fantasy series; the names of monsters and summons have the tendency to be reminiscent of mythology and occasionally other media (there is a lot of Dungeons and Dragons stuff in there) and character and place names will often be derived from words which become relevant once you've uncovered the meaning. The concept of being inspired by other media is also apparent, as they have also named their characters and the like after things from movies such as Star Wars. In other words, the Final Fantasy team took a lot of inspiration from the things they loved, just as I am doing from the things I love, including Final Fantasy itself.

    The game also goes back to the style of RPGs shown in the earlier era of Final Fantasy games, and as such will feature staples such as random battles, ATB, the world map, and text boxes. This is simply because this is the style of RPG that I love and wish to replicate, which should be apparent from the Final Fantasy games that inspire me the most.

    As mentioned earlier, the four Final Fantasies that will inspire the game more than others are Final Fantasies VI, VII, VIII and X, and like with all inspirations there will be evidence of this scattered throughout, some more obvious than others, but in terms of overall look and gameplay, the inspiration will be thus; The game's "Limit Break" equivalents will be interactive, like with FFVIII and FFX, but will be learned in a manner similar to FFVII. The overall look of the world will be mostly modernised, like what appeared in FFVII, FFVIII and FFX, with the idea of it being a world that could easily be ours with an added fantasy and even science fiction twist, that FFVIII pulled off. There will be an "information" page (exact name not decided) on the menu like in FFVIII that will give information on the world of my RPG. The overall look of the game, in terms of graphics, will be close to FFX, if I'm lucky.

    I am also planning on doing a Materia-like system to learning new abilities, like FFVII, but there will be certain abilities that only certain characters can learn from the same "Materia equivalent" and others that can be learned by all characters. Certain characters will also be able to learn further unique abilities via specific methods unique to that character, which will be explained in game, once you are joined by said characters, taking its cues from FFVI.

    The part of the storyline that will likely remind others of Final Fantasy VII, is that the game will feature an evil corporation. I am still in the process of determining what it is they actually do (if they are causing enviromental harm, it may be too close to FFVII), but this is a concept that has interested me for several years, even before Final Fantasy (although I am not denying being influenced by Shinra, my inspiration for an evil corporation also comes from, and started with the Tekken series.) It is very likely, that said evil corporation will somehow be in control of several places, as if it somehow runs the world, or is at least attempting to do so, very much like the two that inspired it (how does a corporation rule the world, and have an army anyway?)

    I hope that this article will make my intentions clear when the game is produced. It is still it's own thing, but is not intended to be original, but rather a nostalgic homage to not only the earlier Final Fantasy series (despite not being a Final Fantasy game) and several other medias, such as movies and television shows that I like, but done in a way that will not be carbon copies, but will simply use the original as a starting point. It could be anything from having a similar design to (especially if it's a character) simply standing a similar way in battle, despite looking and acting nothing like whoever inspired them.

    I have no idea when I will be creating this, but I hope to be able to as soon as possible (but realistically, I am nowhere near it, because I don't know the first thing about programming games, and I still need to get the writing done. I hope this article, and indeed the game interests you, and will be the enjoyable nostalgic experience I hope it to be.

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    Wildökarudo Mercen-X's Avatar
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    When I was younger, I dreamed of creating my own videogames (as well as the consoles that would play said games, but that's by the by.) Now my ultimate goal is to become a writer, to create various shows, books and movies, and my dreams of founding a successful videogame company has been left in the past, but not completely. I still have the desire to create games stored within me, and the main thing I desire to create is an RPG, which makes sense when you consider that RPGs are one of the types of games where the storyline is very much in the foreground, and as much a part of the game than the gameplay itself.
    This is, word for word, my story.

    I've been writing short stories since I was six, wanted to write my RPG since playing FF7 and spent the last 20 years harboring the desire to establish my own cross-media franchise. I've laid the groundwork for story by integrating all of my older work in a referential manner.
    I just wish I could find people with whom I could collaborate. All of my friends and family and even people from forums like these tell me it should be easy enough to find interested parties on the internet. But I've so far only worked on one project with others and they quickly shut that endeavor down, though I received permission to incorporate what we created into my own work.

    Sorry if it seems like hijacking your thread. Guess I just had to vent a little.

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    Friendship *is* magic. MJN SEIFER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercen-X View Post
    This is, word for word, my story.

    I've been writing short stories since I was six, wanted to write my RPG since playing FF7 and spent the last 20 years harboring the desire to establish my own cross-media franchise. I've laid the groundwork for story by integrating all of my older work in a referential manner.
    I just wish I could find people with whom I could collaborate. All of my friends and family and even people from forums like these tell me it should be easy enough to find interested parties on the internet. But I've so far only worked on one project with others and they quickly shut that endeavor down, though I received permission to incorporate what we created into my own work.

    Sorry if it seems like hijacking your thread. Guess I just had to vent a little.
    I hope you find people eventually. Who knows, maybe in the future when I know what I'm doing with my game, I'll be able to help in someway, but I'm ultimately in the same boat as you. I hope we both get our projects done one day.

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I wouldn't really worry about feeling unoriginal, as most ideas stem from other ones anyway. As long as your own spin on it takes the ideas in interesting directions, I'm sure people will respond to it positively. One of my favorite novels I'm working takes heavy inspiration from Final Fantasy, Xenogears, and Neon Genesis Evangelion but overtime, I've become to see how it has transformed itself into it's own unique voice. This is a pretty neat video I found a few years back.

    Anyway, I hope your game comes to light eventually, just stay passionate about it and keep working and you'll eventually see the fruits of your labor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post
    I wouldn't really worry about feeling unoriginal, as most ideas stem from other ones anyway. As long as your own spin on it takes the ideas in interesting directions, I'm sure people will respond to it positively. One of my favorite novels I'm working takes heavy inspiration from Final Fantasy, Xenogears, and Neon Genesis Evangelion but overtime, I've become to see how it has transformed itself into it's own unique voice. This is a pretty neat video I found a few years back.

    Anyway, I hope your game comes to light eventually, just stay passionate about it and keep working and you'll eventually see the fruits of your labor.
    Sorry for the delay in replying to this, but thank you, and thank you for the video, it was beautiful and really sums up my view on how everything (or at least almost everything) is inspired by something.

    I really hope to get my project done one day, and I hope all those interested will get to see it.

    Side Note: For those who are interested, the types of medias that I am taking inspiration from (as well as the Final Fantasy series, especially those specific four) are as follows;

    Cartoons that I like (mostly story and/or adventure based ones.)
    Movies that I like (seems to mostly be animated ones, if not completely.)
    Videogames (mostly adventure and fighting game ones - though I'd like to also do what Final Fantasy VII did, and have mini-games that change the game's format to, say, a racing game or whatever.)
    Music videos (to some extent.)

    As I said before, this can anything from taking inspiration from the entire format of something, to being simply "Oh, this character has a similar fighting animation to that character, but done differently."

    I am willing to reveal as much as I can to those interested, but I won't be able to reveal too much (I can't give the storyline or actual characters away) for various reasons.

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