|My poorly made gif of the character animation.|
As I've mentioned several times and irritatingly mention every post, I'm writing a new book about Making SNES era jRPG master pieces. It's takes you from no coding experience to a finish jRPG game and gives you the knowledge required to set off on your own projects. The mini-site can be viewed here:
Ok, that's the plugging over! :D
The first section of the book is about exploration - moving around a map - so as you can see from the gif; it's coming along! There's no collision detection yet, maps only have a single layer and there are no map "events" but it's getting that feeling of potential. I think when you get this far in the book, you'll start to really believe you can make a SNES era RPG, which of course - you can!
Games like Final Fantasy 6 were old games even when I was young, so they passed me by intially, the first jRPG I played was Final Fantasy 7! But the games before that, they were written by small teams of 5-10 guys (yeh all guys at this point in Game Industry history) and they wrote all the code in assembler, which is a fast but an awful way to write anything. Writing in assembler is like writing in invisible ink, you look at the code you've written and you can't understand it, you need to carefully trace through it again to see what's really happening. Which is why, outside the gameboy consoles, very little code is written in assembly these days.
The reality is, writing jRPGs with a modern language like Lua, makes you 10x to a 100x more productive than those guys could ever be on the SNES. Compilers have advanced too, so while you code won't be as fast as hand optimized assembler for the SNES it will be so fast for all modern computers you'll never have to worry about it, especially not with the way the code is presented in the book.
I'm hoping to totally finish the first draft of the exploration section before the end of this month, the next topics I'll be dealing with will be collision detection, layers and map events.