History of World's End, Part 5

As I mentioned last time, I discovered RPG Maker 2000 and set about creating a game featuring Tomasz and Milan Vaclav, Ivan’s father and uncle. First, I should discuss their creation for a moment.

These two brothers (then called Tormal and Milen Valtheyn) were the mixed-blood sons of an aristocratic Tiervan family, with a Bronoi mother and Khiendai father. The brothers, for whatever reason, didn’t care for the noble lifestyle.

When his parents sought to arrange his marriage with the daughter of some noble family or another, Tormal found his situation no longer endurable and decided to flee Tierva forever. His younger brother Milen, who idolized him, caught him as he attempted to sneak out of the city, and armed with equipment stolen from their family, they decided to make their way to Boronach to seek fame and fortune... or something like that.

Eventually, they meet with Adasai Tevoran, Intelligence Minister of Boronach, who Tormal served as a page in his early youth. He takes them under his wing, and the three of them are subsequently caught up in the Libertine’s Rebellion (which I later called the Voronese Civil War), when the corrupt Baron of Malanech foments revolt among Boronach’s nobles against King Cedric (Oskar’s father).

Various things happen — I hadn’t quite fleshed this part out! — and after the war, Milen returns to Tierva and seeks his family’s forgiveness. His brother Tormal, however, restless and stubborn, refuses to return and travels to the distant island of Phoria, where he marries a local woman and engages in all manner of sea-voyaging and general adventure.

As for the RPG Maker aspect all this is leading to: I chose to create a game based on the Valtheyn/Vaclav brothers since their story was simpler and shorter than that of the still-growing “Setoran” saga. I still wanted to fashion that tale into a game, but I figured undertaking such an endeavor would take an immense deal more effort than the brothers’ story, and felt I should probably develop my RPG Maker skills further beforehand.

Now, right about here is where I’d love to insert some screenshots of the “Valtheyn” game, but alas, during one of my deleting sprees of yore, I got rid of the RPG Maker 2000 program. I can’t find the damn thing anywhere and thus, I have no means of loading up the project files that I (incredibly) held onto for all this time.

I can at least describe things a bit. For those who don’t know, RPG Maker 2000 was a program that allowed users to assemble dialog, graphic tilesets, character stats, etc., along with a scripting system, to create minimally sophisticated Dragon Warrior-style RPGs. There are folks out there who’ve managed to create some pretty impressive things with this simple engine, but I’ve always been a mediocre programmer, so what I was able to come up with was far more pedestrian.

Already the maps I was assembling reflected a sense of urban decay within Tierva. Honestly, there was nothing too noteworthy about any of it other than that, apart perhaps from the rather snarky and lewd dialog I gave to the NPCs, further illustrating a shift from my more generic early world to a more cynical and less serious environment.

Still, I didn’t really use anything other than the default art, my scripts were basic, the system was the same as 90% of other RPG Maker games, etc. But it was still fun creating an environment in which the Valtheyn brothers could flee Tierva and run around fighting giant bees.

As I was working on this game, I felt more confident about what I was doing, and decided that this “prequel” game based on Milen, Tormal, and Tevoran wasn’t really necessary after all. Why not just go ahead and put together a “Setoran” game already? So in early 2005, I began this next phase of the development of World’s End.


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