Pokémon Cursed Black Release 1.0
Posted on June 30, 2015 at 3:10 AM
August 21, 2015
Main feature: Play a "hacked" version of Pokemon Red with a Pokemon "Ghost" that allows you to kill your opponent pokemon and opponent trainers as well. A lot of the features of the original game are remade in Game Maker 8, but not all.
RELEASE NOTES (v 1.0) http://files.64digits.com/NeutralReiddHotel/Release%20Notes.txt
Pokemon: Cursed Black is a project that I've had for many years already. Even though the official development started in November 2010, and I've gone through several rewrites, the original source code started back in 2007. Eight years later, I finally muster up a demo I am proud of. All my possible free time to work on game development I've poured in hours of effort into it, and even though it has been many more hours than I ever expected, to say that I'm not proud of the game I made, would be a lie. I am presenting this game as a symbol of appreciation for what the Pokemon games have done for me in my life. I learned English through it, I had a colorful, friendly world I could escape in and save from trouble caused by the meddling Team Rocket. I had a goal and the tools to reach that goal, and goddamnit DID I reach that goal. I became the Pokemon Master when I beat the Elite Four and the Champion, and I got to enjoy that glory. There was NO ONE else that made me feel as good as the Pokemon games did at the time. I mean, I would play Pokemon Crystal in the backseat of my parents' hot car in the summer trying to squeeze more life from my very low charge pair of AA batteries, WHILE being so carsick I could pass out. But I kept playing, and damn it would I not ever take that back.
I grew up with Generation II. That's where my love lies, and even the original idea of my game engine was to make a Generation II style game. That's how Lost Silver was so easy to make, I HAD a ready-to-go Generation II game engine that I could morph into whatever I want, if I had enough time to do it. Lost Silver is a very short game, so making it was not hard at all, just time consuming. Compared to my original ambition though, making Lost Silver was very easy. Having the goal of recreating a Generation II game from the ground up is a very different goal than making a short 20 minute game. I had the engine to build a Generation II game, but not the time to add in all the Pokemon content goodness. Adding Pokemon, attacks, animations, stats, pokedex entries, maps, NPC's, custom scripts for overworld events, trainers, doors & exits.. all these things take time. Making one map, one NPC, one animation, one attack, one Pokemon.. easy. That's the only reason I have the claim that I could MAKE a Pokemon game, because theoretically I could. But going from one Pokemon to 251, from one attack animation to 255, one map to hundreds, one trainer vs. hundreds... very different story. My original game, “Pokemon: Last Crystal (Hidden),” has now hit the dust, like many other fangames behind it.
Pokemon Cursed Black is based off a story about a guy that found a haunted game cartridge. Being a story, and without any solid proof, this game was only an idea. Bloatware to never be played or experienced by anyone else. What could have been a startling nostalgia trip to the generation I games of the 90's was nothing more than a piece of text to make anyone that reads it wonder... are ghosts real? I bet most of you that read the story can be 100% that it was bullshit. The guy in the story conveniently lost his extremely rare cartridge and never found a picture of it? I think it's grade A bullshit, and only stated in the story to get gullible people to believe it really happened. Is it possible?
Even though I am convinced that the guy that wrote the story simply WROTE A STORY as opposed to reporting about a game found, to say that hacking the original game to play like he describes is not beyond reach. Yes, it would take the work of an extremely talented and patient hacker, but it's very possible. My game took the approach of building the entire engine from the ground up, but hacking away at the ROM was another possibility. However, me being simply a hobbyist programmer and not a hacker by any means, meant that the easiest way for me to make this game IS from the ground up, NOT by learning how to hack and spend hours and hours trying to learn something that I honestly don't care for. I am no a professional programmer, nor will I ever be. Programming is fun, and it's a leisure activity. Making it a full-time job will turn it into something I don't want to do.
I cannot stress enough how time consuming making an RPG like this can be on one person. There are so many variables to work with, so many resources to place properly, and so many ways of figuring out how the original game played and how I can translate that into my own custom engine. I've written very inefficient lines of code. And I've had to rewrite them, and do them over, and over, until they worked right. Not every line of code in this game is perfect, in fact, a lot of it is still very much inefficient. If you got a more experienced programmer to work on this game, I would be told that a lot of the things I do I spent more effort on than I should have. So talking about how stressful making this game was, it was not only stressful, but also was a lot like playing like a Legend of Zelda game. In those games, there are just some puzzles that I could NOT figure out no matter what I did. A lot of the times the best solution was to leave the game and come back later. That didn't always do the trick. I had to keep coming back until I solved the puzzle. Making Cursed Black WAS my real life Legend of Zelda puzzle. That's one reason that even though I've been spending years on this game, I can say that total amount of time i've worked on it is not as much as you might think it is.
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