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avatar_Kokoro

The What, Who, Why, Where, and How of AniMyth

Started by Kokoro, Thursday, June 09, 2022, 06:45

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Kokoro

Hi everybody!

A Brief History:
Back in 200? something-or-other, I played a game called Asheron's Call.  Does anybody remember that game?  Well, if not, I'll describe it.  It was one of the first big three 3D MMORPG worlds, simply put.  You played in an open-world environment.  There were no levels to pass.  You could explore the entire continent of Dereth if you wanted to.  And it was a BIG place to explore full of medieval dangers and magic.  It had limited character customization, and a basic crafting system that allowed you to make foods to eat, and some weapon advancements.  The Magic system, (at first) involved figuring out spell formulas to gain access to specific spells, and the it was divided into four major classes of Mage (Life, Creature, Item, and War).  There were new trinkets added each month and new quests to complete, but the best part of the game was the player community.  At least on the [server] world of FrostFell, people generally helped each other out, and we would spend hours everyday just hanging out, chatting, actually role playing as our characters, and quest together!  That game lasted until 2017.

There were lots of things I loved about that game, the graphics were not one of them.  But the game User Interface, I did like.  It was simple.  There were no skill trees to follow.  If I wanted to learn a skill, and had the available Skill Points for it, I could purchase that skill right in the middle of combat (if I wanted to).  I could level up any Skill or Stat anytime I wanted, so long as I had the spendable XP.  A character's Level was nothing more than a number, that indicated the approximate wealth of experience points (XP) a character had achieved.  But it was a huge deal to level-up!  Another thing I liked about the game is that it had a separate server world DarkTide for PvP (Player vs Player).

Anyway, enough about Asheron's Call.  This topic is about AniMyth!
Animyth is game I started developing (at least in my head and on paper) starting in 2012, when a friend of mine introduced me to game development.  He was in charge of the coding and 3D modeling.  I was in charge of the backstory.  And my friend's wife, Shannon, told him that I would have a strong anime influence in the story.  While that game went under a different concept name, and original plot of the game was stolen by Microsoft, including our Juice idea, that game concept was scrapped, but I continued thinking about my ultimate dream game to play.  And I knew I was the one who had to make it a reality.

Technology wasn't ready for what I had in mind.  Back then, we were using Unity3D.  A great product if you're starting out.  However, as the years marched on, and I compared the two game-designing platforms of Unity3D to Unreal, I realized that Unreal is what I wanted to use.  Not only is the coding platform of C++ more widely spread among developers, but the licensing structure is more friendly.  Besides, I really like the Blueprints way of coding to get things up off the ground faster.

The Current Dream:
Okay, so that was then.  What's up now?
I see AniMyth as a world, we'll call it Ogygia, a vast wilderness of forests, mountains, modern/futuristic cities, with lots of sky-room to breathe.  (Yes, I'm talking about outer-space too!)  I plan on having the ultimate anime cross-over fan-fiction, but playable in a 3D world!  I plan on having new anime characters released each month to play as, complete with skills and special techniques.  I also want to have the ability to create your own character avatar the way you want it.  And I want the ability to form a team of carefully chosen characters to help you along your questing journeys.  I'll get into more of the specifics in a little bit.

But How?!:
Well, this is the tricky part.  Obviously, I can't just release this game as a sold product with the mountains of copyright and licensing issues that there would be.  I really don't like the idea of having the skirt sued off of me.  So what am I to do?  Honestly, I'm still thinking about that. 
  • One of the first options that comes to mind is I can start my own business, raise the capitol that is required to pay for all the licensing, and only allow the characters that I can successfully negotiate and pay for into the game.
  • Another option would be to hire a legal team to do the negotiating for me.  More expensive, but probably also better results.
  • I could do a custom character engine, where I can allow people who want to play as characters to create the 3D models themselves and upload them to the game server.
  • Other options that I haven't yet considered...

I've given considerable thought to the last option, since the first two options may not be attainable for me.  I'm barely making it paycheck to paycheck with rent and food, barely have enough money for clothes, let alone my anime addiction!  Anyway, there's a program called VRoid Studio, that allows you to create a 3D anime-looking character, complete with customized hair, and even clothing (if you're patient enough for it).  It's free, and it's pretty powerful.  I have thought about a way to import these characters into the game world.  It is fairly easy to import the characters at design-time (in the Unreal Development Engine), but I would need to craft a way to import at run-time.  Perhaps I can find somebody smarter than I to build such a piece of code.  And while I'm on Stand By for that, I can easily create the database with all the stats, skills, and other talents that each character would possess.  This could be done at submission time during the character importation process too (with a Game Master's approval, of course.  We don't need any OP'd (Over Powered) characters in the game.)

At any rate, I'd much prefer this game be free to play. Besides, I don't think anybody would really want to pay for an amateur-created piece of software, who can only build it during free hours (and not that many of them).  So for the time-being, this will merely be a hobby of mine, unless other people want to contribute to helping me write code, design 3D models, and create some pretty cool quests to do in the game.  Maybe, if enough people are interested, we could start a FundMe page or something, do get to work professionally.  I will admit, I'm a much better fiction writer than I ever have been as a code developer.  I'm much more creative than logical!