"Z Warrior Chronicles" is an independent project being worked on by Xatoku based off of the popular Dragonball Z franchise by Akira Toriyama. This project has been going since early April 2011, and has gone through many revisions along the way, but the story elements are now being worked on and progress is booming. The aim of this project is to emulate the Dragonball Z world in an Action/RPG type scenario,and tell the story of the Z Fighters as best it can. The gameplay is best described as a combination of Legacy of Goku 2 & Dragonball Z Sagas on the GBA & PS2 respectively, along with a ton of Anime inspired gameplay elements as well. Production is naturally at a slow but steady pace due to the development team being only me, but I've invested all of my free time into this project and have no intention on stopping any time soon.
I just realized I had never officially introduced myself here. I expected just the people from ZEQ2-Lite to be watching, but since I've left those forums, I think now is as good a chance as any to talk a little about me.
Posted by Xatoku on Jan 15th, 2012
So, I've been making/working on games in my free time for a long time now. I took my baby steps with MUGEN:
I moved on later to ROM Hacking:
And then I did some 2.5D stuff, but that more or less ties into this project, ZWC.
So, who am I? Huh. Asking myself that feels rather cocky, honestly. But I'm just a 17 year old teen, still in high school, doing my thing. Last year in April I got the random incentive to re-watch DBZ, which was something I hadn't done for around 6 years. I had forgotten why I loved it, so I figured I'd check it out again.
Man, what a blast (no pun intended). The very first season I saw growing up was Buu Saga, because I was so young. I caught a glimpse of Gohan & Cell's final struggle as a child, but I hardly remember it. So during my re-watch, I figured that I'd again start at Buu Saga. After that, I was hooked. I started from Saiyan Saga and watched everything back up to Buu Saga, then watched it again.
I for some reason knew what happened during those Sagas, which is attributed to the PS2 Games most likely, but seeing it for the first time at an age I could fully appreciate was a blessing in disguise, really. It's like I was destined to watch DBZ at a time where it would have it's greatest impact on me, which it did.
I got to the point in my re-watchings where I was doing my 3rd Run into Cell Saga only a few months after I got back into it. I couldn't stop - and I still can't stop. Literally, I am currently back in Buu Saga (the episode "I'll Fight Too!" where Goku decides to return to Earth for a day, frigging awesome), and I'm making my way through it at a decent pace as always.
Around my 3rd or 4th re-watch (I've lost count now, but I must be somewhere around 7 or 8) I was learning Unity on the side to work on the side-scroller I linked above. That was a fun game to work on, but the scale of it was too big for my beginner's mind to grasp. If I wanted to get a real, condensed project going, I had to build a game based off of a world with it's own rules and limitations. So with this new "game design" mindset, I started thinking about how I could translate some of the aspects of DBZ into an Action/RPG format.
So, I began writing documents. Albeit, they were super basic and just a way to get my ideas out of my head, but it was a great boost of ambition with the thought that, "Okay, nobody else is doing this. I guess I have to." Obviously, there's DBZ games all over the place like ESF, LBZ, and ZEQ2-Lite, but I wanted something different. I wanted to grasp DBZ's adventure side, and tell the story of the Anime in a way that felt natural and cohesive with gameplay elements from the best DBZ game's, philosophically.
This is usually where some people misunderstand. I got my motivation for the style of this kind of game from the PS2 game, DBZ: SAGAS. I get why people think it's a bad game, and it is, but philosophically it's a masterpiece. Atari didn't execute anything all that well, but the game was ambitious in the sense that it wanted to tell the story of DBZ while harnessing all of DBZ's story elements, like teamwork and character building. When I started out on ZWC, I tried to recreate SAGAS, but then I sort of branched off on my own. On the surface, the game isn't done all that well, but if you can see what Atari tried to do oppose to what they did, you'll see that SAGAS could have been something great. And that's what makes a good game to me; potential. If a game has copious amounts of potential, it's a great game in my eyes. The idea of showcasing your ideas oppose to giving a take-it-or-leave-it game to consumers is something that has been lost in game design, and I'm only trying to play my part in bringing it back.
This is why I don't have a set in stone structure for how I do things. You can take all the knowledge in the world and fuel it into something at once, but I've found that learning on your own terms, step by step, will get you where you need to go, not only faster, but in a more enjoyable and motivating way.
ZWC is an attempt at this. To take ideas from all over the place, a majority from my own head, and fuel them into one project bit by bit to create the Ultimate DBZ Game. -Insert Ultimate Perfection Quote Here-.
I often asked myself early on if this would be a DBZ Game or an Action Game using elements from DBZ. I've found out that it's the former. I'm not taking action elements and applying them to DBZ scenarios, I'm taking the DBZ world and exploring it with an open enough mind that the action elements fit right into place. So many people have this formal way of doing things, and that's what I love about IndieDB. Everyone goes at their own pace, and just tosses ideas into their games whenever one comes into their head. No structure, no form, just ideas. And I think about this stuff all the time, philosophy I mean. Me and a few ZEQ2-Lite friends talk about it in a private IRC channel like mad- men. Game philosophy is what needs to be re-established, and hopefully you guys will see it in ZWC.
One example is the aura. It's a simple feature: Aura On changes abilities to promote multiplier usage. Aura Off manipulates them to promote energy usage. A simple system, but one that can easily promote gameplay changes between players, and just expand the game in a way I don't even have to think about - it does it for me. That is game philosophy to me. Thinking about things in a way that doesn't have strict answers, but elaborate mind fucks.
So where is ZWC going? Well, I'll kill myself if I don't do the entirety of the Anime justice, so when ever I get to that point, ZWC will cover everything from DB-DBZ. Remember the title, and think about that with the philosophical aspects. Z Warrior Chronicles. It's a focus on the struggles our heroes/team has to face, so it will demonstrate this. I'm telling the story of DBZ, not re-telling DBZ. You won't see a shot for shot remake or "perfectly accurate models/textures". You'll see a telling of the story in an unconventional way.
For example, though I am now just for getting the systems in place, I'd never start directly in the Raditz Saga or Goku's landing as a child. The VERY first episodes of the story you would play would be the Kai's struggle against the original form of Majin Buu, and the ultimatum to leave him on Earth. Sure, to newcomers it seems arbitrary for placement purposes, but when you see Supreme Kai later on during the Buu Saga, it will be much more powerful because it's been such a long time since you remember him, and attach you to that character. See? I'm even getting philosophical with story telling, hah.
So because of the title, again, everything needs to revolve around the singular idea of team work. I'm not going to spoil the ideas I have for training, AI, and what not. But this title will tie into multi-player as well. Coop will be the foundation of multi-player. I'll of course have some form of a Deathmatch, but the peak of multi-player will be in it's cooperative gameplay. The main focus being "Final Bout" mode, where you and 3 friends fight waves of enemies - dependent on the map - and fight familiar faces along the way. Not just a straight up Horde mode, mind you. It would have support characters, leveling systems, character selection, team attacks, etc. There's plenty to work with, it's just up to you guys to tell me what to put in it.
Remember, I'm one person, so I can come up with ideas all day, but it's the few of you who suggest that one idea which just changes everything, that's what I live for. An idea I can go on a philosophical rant about, as you've seen above =P.
So I guess that more or less should give you an impression of what I'm all about. Me leaving the ZEQ2-Lite forums was an assortment of things with a final push out of there, which I'll leave alone for now. I managed to get a few gems out of there whom I still talk to on a regular basis, but there's a few people I'd prefer to just remove from my lives completely, but again, I'll leave it for now. No point going off on another tangent just to squash a few bugs that have been flying around my head. I'm mad grateful for the people who let me use their models though, along with the ones who helped me out when I needed it. I'm learning how to model now though, so it's only a matter of time before I'm a full-fledged one man army, which will be supremely stressful, but fun all the same.
I'll be updating here now oppose to the thread in ZEQ2-Lite, which is now closed. ZWC will be finished, I promise you. I refuse to abandon this project, it's a part of me now. It defines me. I've still got some systems to work out though before I can start feeding you guys story advancements like crazy, and I promise you that time will come. The next release will be a while away, but it will cover a lot, trust me. Seriously, trust me - A LOT.
For the few of you who didn't cringe at the sight of this fucking novel, I thank you. I'll write here more often if it seems you guys are interested. Later IndieDB! Updates on the way!