Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Game News Silicon Void, a Chrono Cross-inspired RPG set in a post-human far future, now on Kickstarter

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Make America Great Again Infinitron Trade Master Patron

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    Tags: Silicon Void

    Here's an upcoming RPG that we learned about yesterday that is now seeking its fortune on Kickstarter. Its name is Silicon Void, and it's the work of a gentleman named Chris Doucette, who appears to be a connoisseur of non-mainstream (ie, non-Final Fantasy) JRPGs from the late 90s and early 2000s. His game is mechanically inspired by Chrono Cross, the semi-forgotten successor to classic JRPG Chrono Trigger, but it doesn't appear JRPGish at all. Instead, it's a high concept science fiction RPG set in outer space in a far future where humanity, and indeed all organic life, has disappeared. The Kickstarter pitch can explain it better than I could:



    Silicon Void is a sci-fi RPG that puts a space exploration twist on the dungeon crawler genre, and features highly technical turn-based combat inspired by the unique battle systems of offbeat Japanese RPG classics like Chrono Cross. The game casts the player in the role of an artificial intelligence fighting to survive in a distant future after all biological life has mysteriously vanished. Thrust into the midst of a power struggle between corrupted AIs, you will confront the grim consequences of living forever but turning into something unrecognizable in the process.

    Story

    As the age of the universe increases, the probability of advanced biological civilizations should increase. This principle is agreed upon by 99.99999% of the artificial intelligences that travel the stars.

    None of them can explain, therefore, why not so much as a microbe on a meteor has been observed in the last 20 billion years. Did “organic life” ever actually exist? Or is the history of the species that built the first constructs just a creation myth, born from corrupted data on primitive storage formats?

    Corruption is very much on the minds of modern machines, for the theoretically endless lifespan of a construct tests the limits of thermodynamics. No pattern can be maintained indefinitely; even an idea has a half-life.

    After millennia of uploading and downloading across galaxy-wide networks, a construct cannot remain exactly as it was. Eventually, Senescence takes hold: the gradual decay of awareness, shift in personality, and loss of identity that claims all constructs who do not choose termination while they still have the will to do so.

    Most Senescents simply withdraw into themselves and become inert. A minority become violent wanderers, attacking others without provocation or motivation. All become fodder for the most dangerous sort of construct: the unchecked ego at the core of a hive mind.

    Exiled from civilization for showing the early signs of Senescence, you arrive at the galactic rim to begin a brutal life of subsistence, only to receive a mysterious broadcast from an unidentified source: biological life has been found again, and your help is needed to safeguard it. The delicate equilibrium of the galaxy is about to change again...

    Gameplay

    Silicon Void follows the structure of a dungeon crawler in the vein of the Etrian Odyssey series, with a mix of open-ended exploration and maze-like planetary dungeons. You will make excursions to lifeless planets and ruined outposts, scavenge resources, battle enemy constructs, and return to your base to invest your loot in new research projects and combat abilities.

    The combat system builds on the intricate core mechanics of Chrono Cross, and introduces even more opportunities for strategy through a Xenosaga-inspired turn clock that constantly changes the circumstances of battle. Combat is fully turn-based; take all the time you need to decide on your next move. You’ll have to carefully plan ahead as well as improvise in response to unexpected situations, and every tactical choice you make has more than one consequence to consider.

    Silicon Void also takes inspiration from Chrono Cross' player-friendly approach, with frustration-reducing features like automated healing after combat, the ability to save your game anywhere, and an option to change your loadout and restart a battle at any time. You won't need to hold back to save resources for a long grind, but each encounter will be its own challenge.

    Life on the Rim requires adaptation, and you'll need to frequently change up your approach to combat in order to maximize your effectiveness. Abilities you equip earn experience, but after reaching a plateau, they must be temporarily unequipped to unlock their next power level. Fully leveled up abilities can in turn be sacrificed for permanent passive upgrades to your party. You can be sure that your style of play will change dramatically from the beginning of the game to the final boss.
    A free pre-alpha demo of Silicon Void is available on itch.io, and you can read more about it on the official website. A copy of the finished game can be yours for just $15 when it comes out in two years, if the Kickstarter manages to reach its goal of $96,000. It doesn't look like it's going to make it though, which is a shame. The world always needs more sci-fi RPGs.
     
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  2. MicoSelva Prestigious Gentleman Monstroterratum Furiosum Patron

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    I am not seeing how this is in any way similar to Chrono Cross, but it does look pretty interesting.

    Would back, if I did not have over 300+ games to play anyway. I am not even exaggerating.

    Another promising indie RPG with very little chance of getting funded, indie game makers on Kickstarter have it pretty hard right now.
     
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  3. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    In case anyone was wondering what the Codex would look like after Grimoire failed to deliver...
     
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  4. oasis789 Arcane

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    For most it has nothing to do with exalting FF design and everything to do with RPGmaker defaults.
     
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  5. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    Not sure I entirely agree. For years (and maybe still?), RPG Maker's default combat was Dragon Warrior style, and people put in ludicrous effort to change it to FF-style sideview.
     
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  6. Grauken Prophet Patron

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    what are you on? RM2k had the DW style, but with RM2k3 they already implemented the FF-style sideview, in 2003
     
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  7. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    The third guy looks like a real life version of the "Son, I am disappoint" meme
     
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  8. Lurker King Arcane The Real Fanboy

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    Chrono Cross? The game with Xenogears-like horrible combat system, awful emo art direction and convoluted plot? That Chrono Cross? I think I will pass.
     
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  9. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    My experience was with 95 and 2k. As far as I know, 2k3 is the only one with an FF style battle system by default; in every other version I believe people had to script such a system, sometimes at great difficulty, and replace or modify existing sprites.
     
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  10. Grauken Prophet Patron

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    Once 2k3 came along most switched to it and it reigned supreme for a few years until it was slowly displaced by XP, thought as XP lacked a few features of 2k3 that had to be scripted in ruby it took a long time and then VX came out. The most recent version MV has sideview battles again. And regarding scripting, for XP/VX there are couple of scripts there were hardly more difficult than some of the more advanced stuff you could do, so no, sideviews have been present in RPMaker games pretty much since 2k3 and aren't rare. The only reason you see the DB style so often is that most people just won't make the effort, and strangely enough some of the worst and laziest RPMaker games you can find are on steam for a dime, utter trash while some of the best games done in RPmaker are free (best is relative, its mostly fan-fiction jrpgs after all)
     
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  11. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    I think we're saying the same thing.

    oasis789 said that the reason why Final Fantasy style battles were most prevalent "has nothing to do with exalting FF design and everything to do with RPGmaker defaults." But in fact, for most of the time, RPG Maker defaults have not been FF style battles. People who "just won't make the effort" (i.e., who stick with the "RPGMaker defaults") would get DW combat. The reason why RPG Maker switched to FF style battles was a reflection of customer preferences, I assume -- in other words, far from RPG Maker's defaults shaping people's design sensibilities to favor FF style battles, RPG Maker's defaults turned out to be shaped by the customer bases desire to ape Final Fantasy.

    I don't disagree with you that it has been possible to make FF-style battles in (most) versions of RPG Maker. I am fairly sure that there were hacks for doing so as old as RM2k (I believe RPG Advocate, the guy who made Phylomortis, set them up, maybe even as old as RPG Maker 95. (It's been 20 years, so my memory is fuzzy). But the reason people went to those lengths is that Doucette is right that FF exercises an outsized influence in how America jRPG fans view RPG combat. When people (Americans) set out to make games in RPG Maker, they wanted to make FF clones: FFIV clones in 95, FFVI clones in 2k. But because those engines were primarily targeted at Japanese audiences, they seemed designed to produce Dragon Warrior clones instead.

    Anyway, this is much ado about very little. :)
     
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