Now that I’m back in Connecticut, Volrath and I have been discussing working on a new project. To help get inspired we started playing through X-Noir together for fun. Before we published our projects, we would regularly work on our individual games and then play through them together doing the voices for the characters. It’s been 5 years since X-Noir was completed, so it feels like it was developed by completely different people. It’s been really fun to go through again with fresh eyes.
For those interested you can find a download of X-Noir on this site or our game page on RMN.net: https://rpgmaker.net/games/4211/
The game is described as a “unique combination of logic-based investigations, action RPG gameplay, black humor and science-fiction.” It is our most experimental project to date, and it’s a bit of a beautiful disaster. The logic-based investigations are the best segments, but there is still a lot of times when you have to “guess”. The combat is a clunky mess as you’d expect from an action RPG developed in RPG Maker VX Ace.
The early story is tonally all over the place and feels very disjointed. It begins with a flashback which serves as a tutorial, where John Wick, I mean Eddie, shoots up a hotel building full of mobsters. We added this later after criticism that the game didn’t have enough action in the first 30 minutes, but it really feels tacked on.
After the flashback, the game transitions to the present where Eddie is holding a gun to his head on the water’s edge talking about offing himself. He then decides to hold off his execution because it’s wing night at Bubba’s. This scene is supposed to be dark humor but a lot of players are confused on how they are supposed to feel here. The next scene shows Eddie having a good time in Bubba’s talking to his best friend, Munoz, and the owners of Bubba’s. There is then a long credits sequence showing Eddie walking home in a drunken stupor.
The entire first case of the game is underwhelming so I can see why a lot of players dropped off. The first two cases of the game were developed in two weeks and not much was changed later in development. As we got more confident with the characters and the story developed the game really picked up and by Case 4 you feel really invested in Eddie, his friends, and what’s going on in the city.
Now that we know what the story is, and which mechanics we’d like to focus on, this seems like a good time to remake the game. There would be a lot of revisions to the script, combat would be completely cut, and there would be more focus on detective gameplay. I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from the Ace Attorney and Ace Attorney Investigation spin-off games in how to handle the investigations and interrogations. There would also be some puzzles sprinkled in which is a staple of our games.
The question now is how to approach a remake? Which engine do we develop it in? How much do we budget for custom resources? We’re still in pre pre-production so there isn’t anything official to announce yet.