Category Archives: Interface Assets

Team Leader Effect (Yenen’s) (200th Post!)

The Team Lead effects (both v1) for Yenen in action

Since August of 2016, I have been updating this blog (both consistently and not so much).  Today, almost 2 years later, marks my 200th post and I am ecstatic to realize just how much graphic and game design work I have done in the past 2-3 years.  For those that have stayed with me through this newest journey of mine, thank you so much for being here and sticking with me!  I hope you all stay tuned for even more, because I have only just begun.  Anyway, back to the post at hand!

What you see above is the very last feature I had created for the first version of the GM Interface for “DDnD – Unsung Saviors.”  Being yet another simple sprite swap, this visual effect has to do with who in the group of 5 Buntaiens will get to be the Team Leader.  I thought placing a simple, golden crown on the portrait and Character Medallion of the winning player (based on dice rolls from the team, unless they decide to vote for their Team Lead) would be efficient enough to display their new, important role in the party.

At first, way before I had even decided to make an interactive interface for the game, I was going to have each player move around the maps at their own volition, not having to stay with the rest of the group.  As I began to make more rules and eventually got around to the GM Interface mentioned, it seemed less and less likely that players would be able to meander around by themselves, lest the game become confusing and overbearing for both the players and GM involved.  So, with that figured out, I decided to think about RPG games, and how their parties are formed and the like.  Just like with Final Fantasies or Breath of Fires or whatever, most parties always follow one person, a leader of the team.  Already sticking with some traditional RPG rules, I went ahead and decided to make this a feature in the game, as well, to help keep the team together, and to keep the campaign consistent and on track.  However, I do plan on allowing players to break off into smaller groups, if not individual ones, for later campaign, when the stories permits it.

By the way, like I mentioned earlier, since this was the last real effect or feature I made for “DDnD,” I will finally be posting actual gameplay videos from the game, itself, here very soon.  So be on the lookout for that!

Buntaien Soul Charge Effects v1

The different Soul Charge effects (all v1) in action

Let’s keep going over the different aspects of the GM Interface I created for “DDnD – Unsung Saviors.”  The .gif above showcases each of the 5 different Buntaien’s Soul Charges, and how they change depending on what Soul Charge Level they are.  The effect – if you could even call it that – is a minor one, and is just different sprites that overlap one another dependent on the level.  With each level, the Soul Charge icon (which I also put inside an emblem – just like with some of the other interface assets) changes and gets bigger, tacking on a number that is the same as the level, itself.

I may have already briefly discussed how Soul Charges work, but I might as well reiterate and elaborate, further.  In the original prototype fighting system known as “Buntaien Brawlers,” Soul Charges evolved into being a core system of the battles.  Considering the fighting system in “DDnD” is almost exactly like the prototype, Soul Charges here, too, play a very important role in keeping battles engaging, fun, and even unexpected, at times.

For example, during the first campaign, there is a point where the players are made to spar with one other, in a sort of training exercise to introduce them to the fighting mechanics of the game.  During this bout, their Soul Charges can’t be used as intricately as they could in “Buntaien Brawlers” (mostly because at this point in the story, their Buntaien characters haven’t developed any actual abilities, except for the basic ones).  However, even without their fullest strength, Soul Charges can be very helpful in both offense and defense.  Whenever a player incurs any amount of damage, they automatically gain 1 Soul charge point (which by itself, these points are useless).  Once a player gains 3 Soul Charges, they achieve their first Soul Charge Level.  Each level (out of 3, maximum), can “buff” the player’s attacking and defending powers depending on the level they achieve.  Level 1 will allow you to tack on +1 to their die rolls, while Level 2 tacks on +2, and of course, Level 3 tacks on +3.  So basically, if you were to attack someone with a D4 and rolled a 4 against the opponent’s 1 (let’s say), that would come out to an attack of 3 points to the enemy.  Let’s also say they have a Soul Charge Level of 2, which in this case makes their attack a total of 5 points (the initial 3 plus the extra 2) against their opponent.

Buntaien Character Portraits v1

For a quick recap, I wanted to post the original Photoshop portraits – that I had previously created for a prototype fighting system known as “Buntaien Brawlers” – one more time, considering I used them in the first version of the GM interface for “DDnD – Unsung Saviors.”  The faces that can be seen above are of the 5 Buntaiens – the main characters of the current campaigns – that the players will be choosing from and eventually role-play as.  In order from left to right, we have:

  • Yenen Gaiabeta, the Life/Energy Buntaien of Knowledge
  • Kaiel Genhold, the Friction/Water Buntaien of Passion
  • Draegon, the Movement/Wind Buntaien of Understanding
  • Wajoby, the Gravity/Earth Buntaien of Order
  • Luka Soar Akanashi, the Combustion/Flame Buntaien of Purpose

I would go more into what Buntaiens are, but I’ll let RuMa say that, itself, in an upcoming video of actual gameplay, with actual players!  One last thing before I publish this post, within the GM Interface on the Player Viewer side, are different elements of which a GM can control other aspects of the game.  Be on the lookout here soon for more VFX effects, and how they might tie in to the portraits seen above!

RuMa Earthen Temple of Par’N Maps

In the initial stages of working on “DDnD – Unsung Saviors,” I was debating on several way I could convey the game world to the players that would be playing over Discord.  This was around the time they had just introduced screensharing and video calling options, so I knew I was going to be able to do more than just post static maps (or artwork of certain areas) into the Discord chat, in hopes of immersing the players in a way that I would have deemed worthy of the source material.  That is where the roots of myself wanting to create a GM Interface came into existence, and what you see above is the first version of the RuMa Temple map, the main playing area of Campaign #1 – Tutorial.

The RuMa Temple of Par’N, as envisioned many years before creating this game, has gone through several iterations since “Legends of Saviors'” inception over two decades ago.  Originally, the temple was made up of two giant, castle-like spires, built side by side, sticking out of the ocean off the coast of one of the main continent of the planet.  RuMa, the entity itself – which was a bit more corporeal at the time – would sit in his throne room at the top of one of the spires, while his students would live and train at the top levels of the adjacent one.

As time went on, while creating more aspects of the original version of the story, a character named Yenen would eventually leave RuMa Temple and create his own castle-like domicile, and even right on the same coast that would be near his former home.  Gameplay-wise, Yenen’s Castle would be a hub for players, where they could always come back and rest to regain health, spar with holographic enemies to level up, solve small mysteries within the building, itself, read about lore of Par’N in the library, and eventually build onto the castle to add even more usable rooms.

To make a long story short, I ended up combining both ideas of Yenen’s Castle and RuMa Temple into the newer version of the temple, and was inspired by an actual landmark on American soil (called the Devils Tower), which is a large, laccolithic butte mostly composed of a purple, igneous rock, that also juts out of the ocean (however, with this version, it sticks out at the tip of the northern pole).  Considering the only way to enter the actual mountain, itself, is from a secret entryway on its plateaued top, not many have stepped foot on, or even into, the temple.  On the inside, where certain monks lived for thousands of years – through many generations and historical eras – they ended up carving out hallways and rooms, to accommodate certain needs and wants that they had.  When players enter this area in Campaign #1, some of the overarching mysteries they can optionally solve is who used to live here, why they chose this place to dwell, and where they all might have vanished to after so long of keeping this place sacred and secure.

I could go more into what each level and room above is called and meant for, but I think I will leave that up to the imagination for now, until I am able to post the videos of the game in action, from the very first team that have already tested the first campaign.  Keep on the lookout for it soon!

Interface Soul Charges (Yenen’s)

On the Player Viewer side of the GM Interface for “DDnD – Unsung Saviors,” I created a lot of elements that would be able to convey to players what was going with their characters during battles and each campaign, overall.  More often than not (other than during certain story-based events), players will only need to take their statistics into consideration when they are sparring with one another or battling against enemies.  One important aspect players must always consider when fighting is their Soul Charge Level.

Originally in the prototype fighting system “Buntaien Brawlers” that I created before I enrolled in college back in 2015, players had a Chi Gauge, a Soul Meter, and Soul Charges to indicate their basic statistics.  Every time a player would incur damage, their Chi Gauge would go down (according to a dice roll), while their Soul Charge would always go up by 1 point.  For every 4th Soul Charge accumulated (up to a maximum of 12), the player would gain a Soul Charge Level (up to a maximum of 3).  The importance of the Soul Charge system was to add in a level of growth and challenge during each battle, where for every Level gained, certain abilities could be used, and basic stats would be increased (based on which Level they had achieved).

The reason I just explained the Soul Charge system from an older project is because “DDnD – Unsung Saviors” also incorporates the same ideas and is portrayed through differently-colored emblem sprites for each of the 5 main Buntaien Characters.  For each Soul Charge Level achieved, a designated emblem will show up on the Player Viewer side, to the far right side of each character’s other statistics.

Character Medallions

Considering I had created a grid system for player movement on the maps within the map viewer of the GM interface, I needed something to indicate when and where characters were moving.  Using the portraits I had already created for the 5 main characters, I took away some details of their faces (like the eyes, mouth, and nose), and shrunk them down to fit inside little “medallions” I had also created for them (using their designated colors).

Each Character Medallion can be moved around the map, using the grid, in all directions (even diagonally).  Also, whenever the players are in a battle and they put their characters into a “Focus Stance” – something I will be discussing and posting about later – a certain particle effect occurs behind each Medallion, signifying to them and the other players that they are indeed in Power Stance.

DDnD Campaign #1 Player Gear Icons

Considering “DDnD – Unsung Saviors” is still an RPG at heart, it was bound to have collectibles that players would be able to gather through puzzles, trials, hidden locations, etc.  I coined a certain tier of collectibles I created as “gear:” items that can be worn by the player’s characters like clothing, armor, and other physical embellishments.  For now (with the items created above), I have not tacked on any statistics or augmentations of any kind with these pieces, but instead are just collected for personal aesthetics.  Perhaps in future campaigns, gear will give statistic bonuses or some other type of benefit to players and their characters, but for now, I just wanted to give player’s something to collect in Campaign #1.

As for what you are seeing above, I created four different icons of the shadows of a gear set known as the “RuMa Temple Gi.”  All pieces of the set are made from a very elastic, yet durable material, colored with a very dark, black die.  On certain parts of each piece of the set, unique symbols will show up in a dazzling and exclusive color dependent on the temperament of one’s soul who wears them.  For example, if the blue-haird Yenen were to don the pants, yellow streaks of lightning would show up from each bottom hem, trailing up and above each knee.

The gear shown above is a headband, a shirt, a pair of hakama pants, and a pair of slippers.  In days of old on Par’N (where this set of gear can be found), certain priests of different religions would leave their homes, families, and scriptures to make a pilgrimage to the sacred Earth Temple on the northern pole of the planet.  On their journey, they were to bring a shard of Kay crystal with them, in order to use it to create their own RuMa Temple Gi set, and begin their new lives as monks of the temple.

DDnD GM Interface v1.0

First version of GM interface for DDnD – Unsung Saviors

As I might have mentioned in a previous post regarding “DDnD – Unsung Saviors” (or even “DDnD,” as a whole), it was initially to be just your run-of-the-mill Dungeons and Dragons, except hosted on my Gaming Dojo Discord channel, and with my own set of streamlined rules, characters, stories, etc.  Amid the creation process, I was having a hard timing controlling all of the sub-systems I had come up with (considering all I was going to show players were the map of the areas they were going through, and I would have to mark off all sorts of stuff on paper or whatnot).  As they say, “hardship breeds creativity,” so with some more elbow grease and several weeks of work, I came out on the other end with what you see above!

So, again, instead of myself and the players having to keep up with stats and all sorts of stuff, I wanted to have an interface that I, as the Game Master, could interact with, would be able to showcase said stats, maps, and everything in between.  There are two interactive sides to the interface, and the background has a basic wooden theme, for now (of which I plan on creating more backgrounds to go along with the different campaigns the players go on).

The left side of the interface is the “player viewer” – where they can see their player portraits, names, Essences, and basic statistics that is mostly used with the fighting system.  I plan on overhauling the player viewer, having to implement new scripts to take care of other sub-systems and new sprites to show off certain aspects of each character, but as far as the first campaign went, it was very useful for what I needed.

As for the right side of the GM interface, I call it the “map viewer,” and as you might have guessed, and it is used to show the players where they are in the game world, where they can move along, on a grid, as one can see, things they can interact with (for example, the giant, gold and black exclamation mark is known as a POI – or point of interest – and can be revealed to show off a showcase picture -of which I have posted two different ones, so far), and all sorts of other visual embellishments.