"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'm going to start doing journals once every Friday now. Nothing like some good development talk, right?
Posted by Xatoku on Jan 20th, 2012
So yeah, I'm going to start doing these journals weekly now. Mostly as a vent to air out the week's stress, but to also pass on any valuable information I have to share. I know when I'm watching a developer of anything, I want to be updated constantly. Spamming F5 of their blogs/pages just to see how their mind works. For the two of you in the world who are also as strange as me, these are for you.
So there's this IRC channel. When I went to ZEQ2-Lite for the first time I met a little man named SSJ6vegeta, and then Mima, and then Domitjen, and then Dokumas, and then Skatter, and I created a channel solely for brainstorming, though we brainstorm only 30% of the time, really. It's name is obvious, but I keep it secret just for the exclusivity. It's like listening to the rain; no random users, no unrelated tangents. Just a group of friends hanging out, talking. And that's where a lot of ZWC's ideas come from.
Obviously early on I had to utilize 107% of my own brain power to get the initial ideas going, which is probably why I used SAGAS as a frame work, but when we get going, man. There's no stopping us. I usually pitch the ideas, SSJ6vegeta/Wayne expands on it, Skatter grounds it and makes it universal, and Mima picks it apart. Of course we all throw in our own two cents here and there, but that's the generic pattern I've seen.
Oh yeah, and Dokumas & Domitjen. Well Domitjen was more or less dead for the time being, but he's back now. And Dokumas is the freeloader, because you always got to have one of them. So I guess if I were to have a "team", that would be it. But gosh, I hate teams.
Don't worry. There isn't any pretentious attitude I attach to my sentences when ever I say something along the lines of "I do everyone myself." I just want people to relate everything they see in ZWC and bring their opinions back to the genesis of the idea that I do everything myself, so none of it can be perfect.
I hate teams on the other hand because to me, they're counter-productive. I say that now because I'm a kid, so I have all the time in the world to do everything, but in that case it's still justified, so here's why. The main problem I see - and have experienced - is the organization in asset handling.
I finish Frieza & Goku's fight and I want to move on to the Trunks Saga - hypothetically, because you guys know I'd add all of the shit in between, but for example's sake, let's say I want to do Trunks Saga next. I have to wait for X modeller to finish Trunks, X scripter to code the Mecha Frieza boss, and X animator to animate everything that moves, ever. Sure, this isn't that bad, but I have to find ways to keep myself occupied in the meantime, and then we start to lose organization by being organized.
I decide I will start working on modelling the Androids, then I have to go back to script Trunks and then go back to animate Frieza and- It's cumbersome, and tiring.
If I work alone, I can work inch by inch on the slowest moving work schedule ever, but I get somewhere at a consistent pace. We're not jumping around all over the place adding random new systems, we're doing things step by step. Plus, I have a very intense work flow - I never stop. And I'm not sure I can trust people to respect and/or share that, hence why I only ask for modellers, because modellers can make me an asset from something way way way far into the timeline, and then it's just one less thing to worry about oppose to one more thing to organize.
I love all of you teammates out there who CAN manage all of this, but for myself I just prefer to work alone, and I hope the people that want to help out can respect that. You could argue that I've only completed (barely) the Raditz fight, but there's so much packed into that one fight that these 9 months have NOT gone to waste.
And this is why my current "team" is so productive for me. I can be modelling Krillin and then toss an idea that pops into my head out in the chat, and discuss on the side. I never stop working, even when I eat, sleep, go to school, always. To get this mentality though, it requires a fair amount of increased isolation and immersion in my source material, hence why I re-watch DB/DBZ at a pace of around 4-5 episodes a day.
Plus there's a learning curve attached to this isolation. Think about how much you learn if you HAVE to model, animate, script, and design by yourself. You can say "Oh, well I'm not very good at X", but you can always get good at it. I can't tell you how long I put off learning modelling because it was the juggernaut of design to me. It's shadow casted over my scrawny figure and laughed at my every attempt, but I got through. One day I realized that I wouldn't have a choice, so I learned it. And (not in ANY way to sound cocky/arrogant/conceited/douchey/dick-like/prick-like/assholish/anal-bag) now I can make models, textured and everything, in two days. Yeah, see that Krillin? Two days.
It's really not hard, especially when you aren't picking them apart with impossible fixes. Just keep doing something to the point where you go insane, and then it gets easier. Monty Oum, the guy who made Haloid, Dead Fantasy, and the majority of animation in Red vs Blue is my bible to this level of work flow. That guy animates movies by himself. There's no reason why I can make up an excuse not to do something - regardless of the difficulty.
Except coding multiplayer. Because that makes me want to rip out my sack and shoot myself. But even if I am taking the tiniest steps to get it working, at least it's progress. I understand how many of you, and myself, want multiplayer and believe me, I'm trying.
Back to brainstorming. It is so fun. It's also far more productive to get ideas flowing by tossing them back and forth between you and a friend or two, nohomo, oppose to sitting by yourself thinking - which I do a lot sometimes (oxymoron? Sure.). The best example I can easily think of ever was when we tried to come up with a title for the Horde-like mode which was ultimately named "Final Bout", a nice hint at the old PS1 game. We spent hours analyzing the meaning and purpose of individual words, along with their acronyms, just to get the perfect combination.
When we found it, it was perfection. The letters glowed in front of our eyes and that warm feeling of accomplishment filled our souls. But this isn't the only time.
I'm sure there's more, but the ideas that were brainstormed for hours include the beam struggles, speed melee, grab struggles, energy struggles, clashes, dashes, and more. And we're almost ALWAYS talking about game philosophy, and you know how I can tangent about that ;).
And honestly, that's the best idea of a team to me. It's likely that all ideas come from one person individually, particularly with games, anyway. So why not just make it? Just sit down, get your shit together, and start making something, because it can be done. Teams kill motivation and are too risky for me to trust, regardless of the situation. Every single example of a team I've been in/met have proven this fact, and I've yet been proved otherwise. It's like a dead corpse to me and I'm trying to pick it up, but it's not happening. I just keep poking at it with a stick.
With a team, you're fueling motivation into so many people, but with me it's just my own ambition fueling me. In the end, there's that one pupil at the top of the hidden hierarchy anyway, so the idea of a "team" or "community" eventually becomes arbitrary. Alone, I can be the motivator people need to get their shit into gear. The boy who's idea can prove that everybody else's is worth something.
The mindset that he can do anything he wants, regardless of difficulty. The isolation he accepts to make his dream game come true. Not the developer a DBZ game needs, but one that it deserves. I can be; The Dark Knight. And yes, I'm black.