Project Zi (name will change later, it's just a project name).
Many of the lesser races of the forest have been enslaved by the Skrekkan and Olekks (this world's wolves and owls) in their quest for complete domination. These antagonists have begun to experiment with a rare element called Voxerite, which, when harnessed in certain ways, allows for what can only be described as horrorful black magic.
Zi is a young fox, who, under dark circumstances, witnessed how her little brother was captured by these tyrants. To find her lost brother, Zi has to team up with the rebels in the Glade who's finalizing their plans on how to rid the world of the rulers tyranny.
Project Zi is a game that's heavily inspired by a wide range of different games, but most notably; Super Mario, Metroid and Ocarina of Time.
This game has three different playable characters; the fox Zi, the hedgehog Bim and the bear cub Ai.
Zi is the games main protagonist and also the initial character. Zi is all about movement and speed. She has the highest movement speed of the three characters and she has plenty of movement related abilities at her disposal.
Ai is a fighter who uses his claws as weapons to attack enemies and obstacles. Ai can also utilizes tribal spells to empower his attacks, making them even stronger. Ai is also more resistant to certain types of attacks and harsh environments such as cold.
Bim is a bit of a specialist who can traverse smaller pathways which might lead to new and secret areas. Bim also have both defensive and offensive attacks of his own, as well as very sharp spines. Bim can also gather and eat mushrooms and berries to restore health for the party.
As the companions are traveling the different levels, they will meet and help many different animals who are struggling with their daily lives. Some animals will be of great help by teaching new skills or lending some of their powers. Some of these skills will enable the party to progress to new places in the world.
The companions will be able to find many upgrades in their quest. While some upgrades are necessary, most will be optional and their only purpose is to make the quest more enjoyable.
The companions will be able to unlock new areas and levels by exploring the world and finding the entrances to these places. After a new area is found, that area will be added to the party's map. In the early stages of the game, the companions will have to travel from area to area, but as they explore and grow, so will their ways of fast traveling.
The Dark Forest
The Toxic Bog
The Snowy Peaks
The Glade (Early WIP)
The Bottomless Pond (Early WIP)
The Giant Worms Nest (Early WIP)
Before I began working on this game, I had worked a lot on another project called "Super Mario Bros. Fusion" for many years. I've gathered what I could learn from my fangame and applied what worked well into this game and removed what didn't work. As such, the engine is stable enough to handle everything I've thrown at it so far.
Most of the major things are already done. But there will of course be plenty of additional updates, improvements, bug fixes and optimizations made before the engine is considered "done".
This area is where most of my time is going right now.
I'm not trying to emulate NES graphics perfectly. Instead, I'm trying to aim for graphics that I like to think could have worked on a slightly more powerful console.
There's graphical stuff that would never work on a NES. For example, multiple parallaxing backgrounds, no restriction to the maximum amount of objects on the screen, an extended color palette and so on.
In most cases, I will try and limit myself to 4 colors (or 3 colors + transparency) per 16x16 sprite. Although, certain sprites and tiles will have a couple more colors if I think this makes them look much better (sidenote: this was actually kind of doable on the NES thanks to multiple overlapping sprites).
The native resolution of the game is 426x240.
I've created around 273 unique enemies in my now abandoned "Super Mario Bros. Fusion" engine. This means that I can import and tweak many of those enemies to suit the needs of this game.
As a result of this, most of this games enemy behaviors are already done, they only need original graphics and some tweaked code.
I'm using Fruity Loops with the NES VST to create the sound effects. Creating the remaining sound effects won't take very long at all.