ROM Hack Pokemon Blue Order and Red Chaos [New Project] - Looking for Feedback & Support

AT-LOWDeSu

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If this is the wrong location for this post, please let me know and I'll move it. The only reason is that Blue Order/Red Chaos are either going to be a GBA era rom hack, or a pokemon essentials game and at this stage I'm not 100% certain.

Pokémon Blue Order and Red Chaos

Blue Order and Red Chaos are going to be Shin Megami Tensei X Pokémon games. I'm working on building a combat-only demo with Pokémon essentials to start testing out the balance/mechanics, but the overall project is expected to take much longer. The purpose of this thread is to be somewhere I can provide updates & also get feedback/suggestions from people. While it's not the primary goal of the post, I would also be open to messages about people looking to help/participate in the process of creating the game. The only thing is that I do have a certain vision of the game, so I might be a bit picky about one or two aspects.

How can we be sure this game is going to be created and that it will be of high quality?

Since I don't have a playable demo or trailer yet, I feel like this post might seem like a low-effort post to make myself feel good about starting a project. I'm worried that people might think it's a fun idea/concept, but not want to get involved out of fear of it burning out. So I would like to at least talk about my credentials and how I can be at least sure that something will come out of it.

The Team

So far the team only has 2 members, myself and my partner/better half. I'm a software engineer and write code for a living, but I don't have much experience with games. This is why I'm starting with a project that has an existing engine with good performance (rom hack or essentials). That said, I have been playing games (and in particular SMT/Pokémon) my entire life and the code side is pretty easy here. Mostly just writing Ruby code. My partner on the other hand is an EAE graduate. EAE is the Entertainment Arts and Engineering degree at our state university. Basically, it's a game development degree. They also focused on art, so they will be a talented aid in making the custom sprites/huds that we will need for the game. I have 2 other people that I'm pushing to get on board, one with a talent in music and the other with a knack for writing/stories.

Is this actually an SMT and Pokémon Crossover? If it's in Essentials/Fire Red, won't it just be Pokémon?

I admit, this is one of the area's that I was initially fighting through. It's easy enough to make the story feel like an SMT game, especially by adding multiple endings. But I don't want the game to just feel like an SMT themed Pokémon game, but rather a real cross between the two. This is partially why I'm leaning towards Essentials instead of a rom hack, since Essentials lets me use Ruby to write my own logic. So far this is what I have planned/already implemented to a degree to make Pokémon's combat more like SMT.

Current Changes:

  • Added new Types. Force, Almighty, Gun, and Light. (Light/Dark may be renamed to Expel/Curse, the difficulty comes from Dark already being a Pokémon type).
  • Added new skills. (More are planned of course, but as a proof of concept I've added Dia, Media, Sukukaja, Sekunda, Rakukaja, Rakunda, Tarukaja, Tarunda, Agi, Zio, Zan and Bufu).
    • The main difference here is in Dia/Media and the Kaja/Nda skills. Pokemon doesn't have any target an ally to heal skills and it's uncommon for pokemon to have full team buff/debuffs that affect multiple stats.
  • Added demons. Demons aren't going to be Pokémon, but they will interact in a similar manner. The story will include a reason for the appearance of demons, but demons will be captured differently and strengthened differently than Pokémon.
    • As of now, the added change is the inclusion of new 'Pokémon', Jack Frost, Pyro Jack, Pixie and Mermaid. The goal is to end up with around 200 Pokémon and 200 demons.
  • Wild encounters will be single battles, but the majority of all story/trainer battles will either be doubles/triples in order to allow for team-wide synergies and a more SMT like battle system.
Planned Changes:

  • More Skills. Ideally every skill from this list (https://megamitensei.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_Shin_Megami_Tensei_IV_Apocalypse_Skills) should be included in the final product.
  • SMT Inspired Abilities. Since Pokémon doesn't include draining/repelling attacks (only weak/strong/null), abilities will be included on various demons giving them the ability to drain or repel certain types. There will be other abilities though, mostly inspired by Devil Survivor abilities when possible. (Though some of those only work on a grid).
  • SMT Inspired Items. Both consumables/held items will be inspired by SMT. Consumables will be essentially replicas of SMT items since they can work the same way, but SMT doesn't have a concept of held items in the mainline games. SMT does however, have equipment and other concepts that can be ported into a held item format.
  • Faster battles. At higher levels, Pokémon games tend to have a lot more OHKO's and faster battles, but at low levels tend to be slow. The risk/reward and the feeling of being able to die at any time is important to SMT, so most Pokémon will have lowered base HP and will obtain stronger attacks at earlier levels. Demons will be built from the ground up to compensate. That said, some Pokémon/demons are meant to be tanks, so they will be designed to survive 2-3 hits more consistently. There will need to be a lot of balancing around this.
  • Demon Negotiation. Pokémon will be captured via a Pokeball, but I'm hoping to find a way to include demon negotiations as a mechanic for obtaining demons. There will likely still be a form of 'Demon Pokeball' for story purposes, since I need other trainers/gym leaders/elite four to canonically use demons in their new teams. The exact balance here is being worked on, but it might be a situation where capturing them with the ball has lower odds than negotiations, but negotiations costs money/items/etc.
  • Demon Fusion. I don't have any intentions of implementing a full demon fusion system like mainline, but since Pokémon can evolve while demons cannot, I want to include a form of a fusion system to strengthen demons. I've decided on using Special Fusions to accomplish this. There will be very specific demon requirements to fuse stronger demons and a cathedral of shadows where you can fuse them.
  • Demon Sacrifice. Since Demon Fusion is only being used for special demons, I also want to allow the player to sacrifice 'Element' demons like Aquans to 'evolve' a demon into a tier higher of the same race. This will most likely work as an evolution that requires an item, and you get that item by sacrificing the elemental demons.

General Flow/Gameplay Loop

The plan for the game, without major spoilers, is for the world to start out similar to a normal Pokémon region. Due to influence from a certain cult gateways to the demonic realm are being opened around the region, and demons are flooding in. The region falls into a state of disorder, with smaller cities getting rampaged and going full chaos while larger cities close their borders and lock down aggressively. The player will be able to obtain both real Pokémon and real demons in order to battle other trainers/wild encounters. There will be 3 'evil teams'. Team Rocket will act as a terrorist organization, the Cult of Gaea will perpetuate Chaos alongside Lucifer, and a new team will work to bring forth the thousand year kingdom in the name of YHWH.

Throughout the game you will need to find and defeat the 8 gym leaders to obtain badges allowing Pokémon and demons of higher levels to obey you. The story purpose of this is simple-- in a world full of dangerous people, demons and rampaging Pokémon, you need power/strength. The badges allow you to use stronger Pokémon and fighting the gym leaders is a chance to test your strength. While going from city to city you will experience many different types of life styles/cultures, depending on how each city/area responded to the apocalypse. You will encounter all three evil teams, both rivals, and many other challenging opponents. Each Gym will include difficult puzzles and there will be various dungeons with powerful boss battles. (There will be 3v1 battles for bosses). Eventually you will defeat the elite four and become the champion. As the champion, you will be the strongest in the region-- at which point it's up to you to decide how to resolve this conflict. There will be 4 endings, Law, Neutral, Chaos and a special Team Rocket Ending. There will be a battle tower and post game legendaries/rematches, but the state of the world will be vastly different depending on the ending you chose.
 
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