A few weeks ago now, I had an idea in my head to produce a video for Halloween this year showcasing the very first combat map from Final Fantasy Tactics - Orbonne Monastery - recreated with my engine but with a darker twist.
To tell you the truth, I'm kind of amazed I achieved it. Before even starting I made a tonne of assumptions about my pipeline that, incredibly, turned out to be 100% true. If you are a programmer, you know how rare something like this can be.
However if you are a programmer, you also know that nothing ever works the way it's supposed to right off the bat. The video above is the result of two weeks of hard work, understanding and debugging JSON exports from the engine, which were then imported into Blender, and finally back again. It was frustrating at times as Three.js is still a little experimental, especially in the area of exporters and importers. However, with the help of a new friend I met on Reddit, @MarbleBucket I was able to work through all the issues and finally ended up getting a fully retextured, and reimagined Orbonne Monastery working in the GoldScript Engine.
Oh, I also had to teach myself Blender in about 3 days, which I somehow managed to do. The texturing work is probably pretty crummy from a professional's point of view, but I was happy enough with the result to feature my mesh in a short tech demo and write a short but deadly sweet piece of music for it.
Textures and music weren't enough though, so I thought it was a good time to get the particle system implemented. One thing that I think all of Yasumi Matsuno's games had in common, was an absolutely kick ass implementation of particles. The spells and effects in both Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story were phenomenal, and have aged remarkably well. To me they still look fantastic, even by today's standards. A huge part of that would have been the particle system they used, and naturally some uber physics programming. Combining the possibility of effects like this with modern GPUs is something that makes me pretty excited.
This is a bit of a milestone for the engine and means that in terms of level design, the sky is now basically the limit. Blender is an incredibly powerful tool that allows me to create pretty much anything I want. The fact that I can get those meshes back into the codebase means that GoldScript Engine combat levels can have a great deal of detail and complexity.
One interesting thing to note is that I used pixel textures for the level you're seeing in this video. However, I also did a version with a bunch of free high resolution textures which also looked pretty good, but I felt didn't do the concept of recreating Orbonne Monastery justice. I might share this version in the future.
Next up will be implementing some shaders for movable tiles and targets, so watch this space for more soon. Hope you enjoyed the video, happy Halloween! Special thanks to Sachi Coxon for the speedy Japanese translation.