jonbjohns

[Released] The Death of Nick Breckon

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Hey all,

My piece for Wizard Jam will be in Twine made up with a bunch of Nick Breckon quotes. If you would like to help, just respond with your favorite Nick Breckon quote. I'll try to use however many that I can. Good luck to everyone in the Wizard Jam!

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One potential way to find various Nick takes is going through the IIT archives and looking at his wonderful endorsements. From IIT27 (talking about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches):

 

Chris: What is the bread you use?
Nick: Oh you just wanna use like a shitty white bread, just a shitty piece of bread.
C: Are you fucking serious?
N: What?
C: Fuck off!
N: What? Just a shitty piece of bread! Just a bad piece of white bread.
. . .
C: You're just saying eat like the fucking garbage that you wanna eat.
N: No no no, it's not garbage. It's a healthy sandwich.

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Any and all deaths of Nick Breckon should be preceded by Nick Breckon making a hubristic claim. There are so many on Twitch, it's kind of his thing.

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I kinda waiting a bit to explain this more so I'd get more quotes without influencing people on what quotes I wanted. So I'll start that now. My influences for this game are Suikoden and Radical Dreamers (a visual novel sequel to Chrono Trigger and kinda related to Chrono Cross). I'm inspired by the duel system in Suikoden and just the visual novel flow from Radical Dreamers. As someone that created a d6/d20 ruleset for Suikoden duels for a Suikoden RP back in the day, this isn't too far from my wheelhouse.

 

So as of this weekend. I have a huge text document with quotes I've pulled from Twitch streams and a couple of episodes of IIT. I started mapping them to independent flows in Twine and  started writing a plot justification to start the game (though there will be a straight forward link to the fight). I'd include screenshots, but I forgot to upload to git and I'm not on that comp atm.

The plot is that you are at a fencing competition with an unknown organizer. You read in the disclaimer that if someone makes a Dark Souls reference, that the foam weapons will be replaced with real ones and death is permissible. Nick, being egged on by an audience member, accidentally invokes it.

 

The game itself will be entirely in twine and I'll be invoking the spirit of the Suikoden duel system. The way that it worked in those games is that the opponent will say a phrase. Then the player has the choice to Attack, Devastating Attack, Defend. Once the player makes their choice, the action goes thru.

Attack vs Attack: opponents do damage to each other

Attack vs Defend: attacker does minor to zero damage to a defender

Attack vs Devastating Attack: opponents do damage to each other, Devastating attacker does more damage

Devastating Attack vs Defend: Defender blocks all damage and does normal to minor damage to an opponent.

 

So for this game, each round will start with Nick saying something that corresponds to him either doing Attack, Desperate Attack, Defend (the actual action is hidden, but is consistent if you play enough times). e.g. "I am suspicious of myself."

Then the player in response will choose to either Attack, Desperate Attack, or Defend (there will be flavor text to each option). Then the actions will resolve. The damage will be dealt and will reset back to a new Nick quote unless the player or Nick are out of hit points.

 

Current things I'm playing around with:

  1. keep HP visual or descriptive
    • Taking the Radical Dreamers influence, I would simply describe Nick and the player after every round. Taking the Suikoden reference, I'd have a health bar for each.
  2. randomized damage
    • The duel system in Suikoden was actually based on stats of your character. (Which is why if you want to save Pahn, level the shit out of him and give good gear). I won't be doing stat building in this game, but I could give both sides the same modifiers for blocking and attacking. (Possibly even recovering my duel ruleset if I even remember where it is. Although I think it is all still here.)
    • I don't know if damage was randomized in Radical Dreamers, but also you didn't have stats in front of you the entire game.

Things I'm still working on:

  1. Text for inaction
    • In terms of quotes and references from either influence, I don't know of a good way to describe situations where nothing happens. I could play around with the fact that this is a competition and have commentators chime in. I'm also double checking Suikoden 1, but I think it is almost nothing.
  2. Editing
    • I went straight from my notes straight to twine without proof reading everything. Some quotes need to be doctored to make sense in the context of the competition (or maybe it is better that it isn't?)
    • I'll probably rewrite the plot. I just made it in 10 mins.
  3. Stat tracking
    • The twine documentation is pretty good at keeping track of stuff like this, I just haven't put all the variables I need yet. 
  4. Special end triggers
    • There are a couple of choice quotes I used that I want to trigger a special ending if the match ends there. I'm sure there is a way to do such, but I haven't looked deep enough in the twine documentation yet. Also 3 would be a pre-requisite for this part. 
  5. Visuals
    • To have a nod to Radical Dreamers, I should add ambient visuals, but I haven't started looking for resources to this yet.

 

Also shout outs to @Atlantic who is making the battle music!
This is gonna be fun.

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Welp... failed to update this over the course of the jam. LOL

 

Some various notes about my approach and issues I ran into:

  • Developed in Twine using Sugarcube 2.... syntax. It has a hidden initializer called "StoryInit". If you create a passage called this, it will load any media you setup in it and establish any global variables you need.
  • unable to test music works in debug mode
  • Randomness was handled by built-in random method in sugarcube. This handled how attack events occurred, what was said if you and nick effectively block (minus one case), and how half of the end scenarios are listed.
  • Special end triggers are attached to each node in an if else loop

 

current bugs

  • Nick and the player can technically kill each other in the same turn. I don't have a resolution for that and I already had 14 endings so I skipped this (priority currently goes to the player). Lets be real, this is a feature.
  • music doesn't play if you continue the game from a saved state.

 

The current draft can be found on jonbjohns.itch.io/the-death-of-nick-breckon

Features added:

  1. "back to battle"
    • After finishing a game, you are able to jump right back to a new fight with a different battle theme created by @Atlantic
    • could also use a similar cut to jump straight to the battle instead of the plot setup for this madness.

Features skipped:

  1. Visuals
    • Visuals are not my forte and everything was coming in way too hot

 

To dos before the demo day:

  1. editing
    • I know I kept floating between present and past tense in the dialogue
    • need to incorporate CSS to make it look better
    • update the credits

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Making JRPG battle music for a Twine game was very fun!

 

Here's what I made for The Death of Nick Breckon:

 

 

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Both the writing and the music were great! Good job!

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