MonFree - Planning 2018-06-27

By Max Woerner Chase

In this post:

I don't want to get into why I'm not really into the Pokémon video games any more. Suffice it to say that I'd rather play games at my own pace, without getting time-gated content dangled in my face. I want to be playing a game because I want to play it, not because failing to play over a specific interval will leave me with a constant memory of the stuff I missed out on. (If your response to this is "but the event Pokémon aren't even that good", then I'm going to assume that this week of posts is Not For You.)

So, I've got a little itch for a monster collecting game with all kinds of fancy bells and whistles, and no event stuff, and playing old games on an emulator, That Would Be Wrong 😇. (Yes, my solution to "I've been losing interest in the series since gen 3" is "try to make my own". My scoping estimates for this are made out of denial and fairy dust.)

Anyway, once I finish that roguelike tutorial and polish the code to a beautiful shine, I want to take the grid-based movement engine and start extending it in all kinds of ways. I see two directions I could take the code to start with, and I'd kind of like to explore both, build them as extensions of some kind on top of a core that I extract out of Homunculus.

The first direction is something in line with the first 4 generations or so, grid-based but real-time, with distinct modes for battling, dialogue, etc. The second direction would be kind of a combination of the mechanics in the Pokémon Tabletop fangames, with the turn-based all-the-time elements of how the engine is right now.

Needless to say, I'm not intending to include anyone else's intellectual property in this. It'd be great if I could work out how far intellectual property goes, but I'm going to do the next-best thing, and declare that I'm basically clueless about the things that I haven't had explicitly spelled out for me, but I don't intend to misrepresent the provenance of the stuff I'm working on. Starting with the name, this is going to be "MonFree" instead of anything nearer to the stuff I know is trademarked.

With that in mind, I'm going to spend this week trying to figure out what these two versions, MonFree Retro and MonFree Journeys, would look like. I wouldn't say no to some kind of MonFree Card thing, but that's not what I want to think about just this moment. (I also have this idea that I'd like to support games in the mold of other monster-raising franchises, but I have very limited familiarity with other franchises, so I don't really want to plan it out right now.)

I thought about doing this earlier, and I sketched out some high-level ideas, so I'm going to try to draw from those ideas. One such idea is the setting of "Kalazia", a coastal region that surrounds a large bay.

So, as to what specific goals I want to try to do this week:

I want to create designs for:

When the week is done, I should have:

Next time, I start figuring out what differentiates MonFree Retro and MonFree Journeys from Homunculus, and from each other.