(I apologize in advance for how obviously crunchy these images are. I don't know if it's a function of using my sister's laptop to make them or if it's something else; whenever I make JPGs with the computer I'm using now, even with dumb ol' Paint, they turn out pretty nicely. It's a real shame, too, because the graphics are pretty nice normally.)
Recently, I've been poking around with a free game engine called the OHRRPGCE (Official Hamster Republic Role Playing Game Construction Engine-yes, really). There's a decent amount of stuff to look through, and it comes packaged with a public domain game release called Vikings of Midgard, which has some problems and weirdness but also has some pretty nice sprites (by which I mean "frikkin' fantastic"-at least, if you like sprite art).
Most content for the engine, though, is less developed or complete. Take (Moris) Shifter, for instance. A game with nice graphics... that's actually completely unplayable beyond an opening story segment. To survive the basic battles, you need to drastically modify the game's data yourself. A problem, though one I saw as more of a challenge.
Its incomplete nature will show even if you do this successfully. Case in point? If you change your lead party member from the default, a little red guy formerly known as Moris but now known as Chichou, to the second party member, Kloddwick, and then hop on the flying cloud (in a map that's only accessible if you edit the heck out of the game), something strange happens.
Kloddwick is a heavily muscled guy with undersized legs and a little froggish head mounted between his massive shoulders, while that body shape is associated with Moris/Chichou. If you dismount from the cloud, Kloddwick remains in that shape indefinitely.
Less strange but more amusing from my own perspective is what happens if you use the feature that lets you skip to playtesting (it happens to be the only one you might possibly be able to access without modifying things first, though don't quote me on that, because I haven't checked and ended up finding this via some of my editing entirely by accident):
It's possible to end up with more than one Kloddwick in your party.
See, Kloddwick normally joins as a story event, but if you skip ahead to playtest the game, Kloddwick will already be in your party... and then, if you walk around in the right places, you'll hit the story events that let him join your party, which were obviously never designed to see if "Kloddwick(in party) = TRUE." And it doesn't crash the engine to have more than one of a party member in your party, apparently.
Even better, NPCs scattered over the maps have junk data attached to them, and one of them is a story event trigger NPC that has the same "Kloddwick Joins" chunk attached to it.
This made me curious: How many Kloddwicks could join the party?
After modifying an NPC that shouts "KIEOOOOOOO" at you when you talk to it (which I found rather irritating after the fifth or sixth time of repeatedly forgetting it and then being reminded again), and then making another brand new one and sticking it in a more convenient location, I think I've gathered about a dozen Kloddwicks, and there still don't seem to be any problems as of yet. The number I'm worried about is sixty, because the engine might not be able to track more characters than the maximum default number. It does rather suggest some interesting possibilities for a game (I'm thinking generic mercenaries you can hire any number of from a guild, and/or possibly a character cloning shop), though I've yet to see what other kinds of bugs there might be associated with having more than one of a character.
But there's little more satisfying than taking a party of Kloddwicks (whose level I edited to the maximum possible, because I'm a nut and probably shouldn't be trusted with game data editing tools) and beating up the encounters with them.
I find myself wishing that the game creator had more time/energy to devote to game creation, because the game he was working on more recently (which also has Kloddwick in it) sounds particularly interesting, with all kinds of interesting magic powers and junk.
And Kloddwick. Who is awesome.