What's the most time consuming thing about making a FE fangame for you?

Today, in this community thread, I’m going call out all those hacks with-
Nah, just joking,

We all know a fangame is a massive time sink, so I’m curious to see for others, where the most time is going into.
(Includes LT, Tactile, Srpg studios because inclusiveness is epic.)

Here is a poll. As a wise man said, quantity over quality.

  • Ideaguying
  • Talking about hack on discord
  • Finding motivation to actually do stuff
  • Writing
  • Eventing
  • Map making
  • Music making
  • Art making
  • ASM
  • Debugging
  • Playtesting
  • Playing other hacks for ‘research’

0 voters


call it a fangame then

writing because I like writing in-chapter events much more than pre or post ones

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Now that would have been the correct choice, but words fail me as you do.

Also I forgot srpg maker, oops.

Toss up for me between writing and playtesting - they’re the only things that I don’t see huge efficiency gains with over time. The more mechanical bits around setting up chapters and building maps come a bit easier.

Talking about your hack on discord is the biggest time sink of them all, though. “Well, my hack, which is epic, does it like…”


Was going to say finding motivation, but ultimately went with writing because the prospect of writing is what usually saps my motivation to work on the project.

I think if I actually calculated the exact amount of time I spend on each of these, playtesting would probably win. I usually don’t mind or even enjoy powering through several repetitive playtests of a chapter though, so it doesn’t really feel like that’s the case.


Yeah I feel this - when I was commuting to the office and had ~30 mins on the train it was easy to dedicate that for writing time (I wrote like 80% of the VQ script on my phone while going to work). Since moving and now with COVID, I haven’t had a commute so my writing/reading time has dissipated pretty hard.


When it came to the meat of the game, producing maps and eventing and stuff in SRPG Studio for Sanctaea Chronicles was a breeze. Story writing was also usually free of major hassles, though I had to make a few significant revisions along the way.

Finding motivation also wasn’t a problem, because not wanting the game to die incomplete was more than enough for me.

So for me, the most difficult part of making the game by far was specifically writing Supports. The characters in my game were created as playable class reps first and as characters second, so figuring out how to write decent character interactions while also stretching them out over a C-A or even C-S Support chain was a huge challenge.

It took me about two years and some change to release a fully playable build of Sanctaea Chronicles, but it’s possible I could’ve gotten it out the door anywhere from six months to as much as a year faster if I opted to wait until after all the maps were done to start writing Supports.

Chances are if I were to make another full-length game in SRPG Studio I’d probably just scrap Support conversations and have Base conversations supplant them entirely, since the latter feel more organic and have less strict structural demands. I’d also scrap permadeath, but that’s whole 'nother conversation entirely.

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I’d have to say animations are the biggest time sink. Usually making a whole animation takes me anywhere from 3 days to an entire week, and even then it’s a little rushed. In the time it takes you to finish an animation, one could have written about three/four chapters of story or put a full chapter and all its events in the game.

Next to that is the support conversations, which are a HUGE PAIN. It’s fun at the beginning because you get to flesh out your characters, but after a while it just drags on forever. If you aren’t willing to write ~120 individual conversations, stay away from the support system…


Me: Ok, time to write all this dialogue.
Spends 2 hours writing a huge wall of dialogue.
Me: Wow, this dialogue is awesome. It is definitely going to look great ingame.
Plays the game to read the dialogue.
Me: …This is such shit. Who wrote this? Me? Why don’t I just jump off a cliff. This is awful.
Deletes all of it. Cries.


Usually I have the writing in the early stages of formation by the time I decide to start something, at least in my head. Eventing, however, takes a lot of time because I have to figure out enemy positioning and half the time the map is barely thought out.

Why would making a romhack be time consuming? What, someone spent over two years on one? I bet they just didn’t work hard or consistently on it. I figure I could draft up a 30 chapter game in like, 7 weeks about. I’ve always wanted to make a game, and with the new covid lockdown I suddenly have lots of free time on my hands.

~ Vesly’s inner monologue, April 2020




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Lol I dunno if I even count.

But, it’s the creation of features that are a given already in things like SRPG Studio and Tactile/FEBuilder.

Today, I’m going to animate some text…

3 hours later

Now, let’s move units back to where they start when you press back

2 hours later

x.x I’m doing AI now, and that will be a whole other issue writing different behaviors and stratagems for AI based units. For now, I’m keeping it rather simple though.

Surprised balancing isn’t an option.

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I hope to make my own fangame one day, but I just need to make sure that I don’t go off topic and also, I need to come up with plans for writing to. So for me, it’s probably all of these except for maybe Finding the Motivation.

I checked gitlab just now to confirm this, but I started a project February of last year and had four separate months where I made 0 or 1 commits throughout the entire month, so I’m gonna say “finding motivation” has taken the largest % of time for sure.

For me it’s debugging by a large margin, followed by writing and music. A lot of the stuff I’m doing ASM for isn’t well documented so I spend a lot of time decompiling and reverse-engineering and then debugging in No$gba (which doesnt have speedup >:( unless i want to play everything at x2)

With a remake you have the advantage of a lot of stuff being written for you already, but Gaiden/Echoes have a lot of maps that straight up don’t have any dialogue and things need to be created wholecloth that don’t feel out of place next to the source material. It’s definitely a thing I have to be in a specific mindset to get done.

Music, just due to listening fatigue, is one of those things I have to drop for a bit and come back to in short bursts, and also something I have to turn off my regular working music for so I don’t enjoy doing that when I’ve got a good playlist going.


Definitely playtesting (which includes balancing), especially since my game is meant to be difficult, which means I have to repeatedly playtest every chapter to make sure they’re beatable, fun, yet difficult, all by using underleveled, lowered growth units with almost no class-effective weaponries.

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Big mood but I’m able to speed up on no$ with backspace… at least that’s what it’s mapped to for me. It’s not quite as quick as other emulators, but it helps a lot.

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I’m shocked that writing is 2nd place. IMO that always come super easily to me support and all.

My main issue is I stare at the map for the next chapter, not wanting to place enemies or design the level, or any secrets, or side objectives, or recruitmetns. That takes so much outta me.