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A jam entry

Cumulus - IGMC 2017View game page »

Fast Paced Real Time Sideview Fighting RPG
Submitted by Onslaught Supply Games with 4 days, 4 hours before the deadline

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Visit Cumulus - IGMC 2017's game page

Results

Ranked 86th with 2 votes

CriteriaRankVotes
People's Choice Vote#862

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous.

  • Did not pass screening: Did not meet quality standards.

Team Members
OnslaughtSupply

Engine
RPGMaker MV

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Comments

Submitted

Hey Onslaught Supply,
wow, your game is pretty complex for a jam game! I can see that a lot of thought went into the battle mechanics and the story.
What I also liked was the more adult look of the characters and of the world itself. Together with the music and the dramatic intro/tutorial it gave me a very high-fantasy feel. Also, the cloud-jumping was kinda cool :D
Stay funky,
Dez

Developer(+1)

Hey Dez, thanks for the kind review and glad you enjoyed it. I loved the artwork and style in Quidget.

(1 edit)

Here is my review of the game:


I originally took note of the game when looking through the various entries in the contest to gauge our competition. One thing that particularly stood out was Cumulus as it uses a very different style from what you usually associate with RPGMaker games. In retrospect I must say that the picture chosen for it doesn’t give it full justice.

Upon starting the game you immediately notice the design of the main menu. It shows off various characters and has some nice effects and music to go with it. It doesn’t exactly tell you what you’re playing and made me confused but that wasn’t really an issue.

Starting the game gets you right into the action. A small tutorial is given to the player in an action-packet sequence, teaching you the basics of gameplay. It also serves to set the overall theme and setting of the game.  You quickly learn of the conflict between the Sky People of Atmosph Isle, who possess strong magic and flight, and the so called Earthbound Heathens, who use very impressive looking flying machines.

The combat follows quickly afterwards and so do some first problems… The combat uses a real-time action-based system with attack, block and ability quick slots which are activated by using a direction key and the spell button. Both ground and air abilities exist but I never used air combat.
The idea of having Block and Attack sounds nice until you realize that neither you nor the enemies have any sort of wind-up or telegraphing. Actions are instant so what I ended up doing was spamming attacks until the enemies died and hoping they didn’t get to attack me first. The combat is a bit broken and can put you into some nasty stunlocks if you get outnumbered. There is a fight in which you have to defeat a group of skeletons who will inevitably gang up on you. An evasion move could have helped a lot here.
The difficulty of these moments is offset by the general abundance of healing items. It seems like a strange contradiction but the game is both hard and yet too easy at the same time because of this.
However, these are among the only issues I have with this game.

The writing is good and never felt forced or drawn out and the game doesn’t force the player to sit through minutes of exposition like many other games. The creator seems to be aware of the phrase “Show, don’t tell” and the important scenes always get right to the point. There are plenty of NPCs to interact with which can shed some light on the history of the setting and none of them feel like they exist just to explain things to the player.

On the topic of writing, the story itself is very interesting. I felt myself drawn in and wanting to learn more about the history of the Atmosph Isle and the Vanadium Empire that exists on the ground. I won’t spoil too much of the story but it is mentioned that the Earthbounders have tried to take over the Isle many times but have never succeeded as they could not overcome the magic of the Sky people. The Earthbounders make mention of that several times and take pride in their accomplishments, having to do with nothing but their own hands. I strangely found myself intrigued and charmed by both sides, even though the Imperials were clearly the bad guys in this story. The name of the antagonist Prince Tyrannis alone should tell you everything. Both cultures appeared distinct and different, even though we only got to see the Empire’s military.

Overall I was very pleasantly surprised by this game. Sure, the combat is clunky but the game is much more than that. Considering that it was made by one person in a month, I would say that is a very solid basis and I would love to see more. However, I couldn’t help but feel that it was trying to be a longer game if it had the time and resources. The game had a very good prologue and beginning but it felt that the middle was cut out and you were thrown right at the end. The final boss felt very anticlimactic after he had been shown to be so scary and capable. Perhaps a future version will take the time it deserves to be amazing. It definitely has the potential.

So final summary:
+Good art and music selection
+Very interesting story and world-building
+Good writing
-Clunky Combat
-Difficulty needs balancing


On a last note, I showed some friends footage and screenshots of the game as I was playing it and they jokingly made remarks about the protag’s similarity to Dante from DMC and Berserk’s Guts. I found that entertaining.

Developer

Thanks for the great review, I did the same with your game Die Totenmaske (did I spell that correctly). The artwork is so surreal. Its amazing what some people have made with the engine.

Ok, Secret Santa Review here~!

Short version (I'll leave you my general playthrough thoughts at the end aswell):

Pros:
- Switching between views/characters.
- Not a standard battle system (tho I needed to get used to that!)
- Nice cutscenes and lovely mapping! Also well done use of music and soundeffects. 
- Feels like there's a greater story behind this (world building)

Cons:
- It took me a bit to get into the battle system (might just be me tho!)
- I wished that the characters would be a bit more diverse in their speaking pattern etc. so that they'd have a bit more personality.
- Healing skill for the enemy which he really liked to use a lot! Which kinda extended the battle a lot more than necessary and ended in wild skill usage and button smashing for me.

Bugs:
Aside from a typo in a textbox (should have taken a screenshot, damn!) and a typo in a items description (mentioned below) I didn't run into any bugs.

Review:
Cumulus is a very well made game considering the given timeframe of a month! I quite enjoyed it.
I would have loved to learn a bit more about the world, since it felt like there could be more to discover! :) It told a short, kinda classic-heroic story, with the lovely twist of featuring both Skyler and Lorelei, a couple, as playable characters, instead of only the hero setting out to save his wife.

I'll leave you a vote :)

---

I'll just write along as I play, I hope that's fine :3
ATTENTION: THE FOLLOWING SECTION MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!

I really enjoyed the intro sequence, credits have been very nicely implemented.
The airship scene is very well done. Got to distracted opening up your itch.io site, so I missed which key to press to jump of the airship, haha. Quickly restarting! X3 (Thanks for making the slaphscreen skipable!) 

Oh! I tried to jump from the front part, had to take the back part. Haha! Got it after being lost for a moment.

Oh, some kind of action battle. Nice.

I can clearly tell that you did took a looooot of effort to make this game. It's very well evented and you made a lot out of the resources you had. The maps look really well made and the music is very fitting. I like the overall atmosphere.

Damn! Barbabos killed me. I'm really not good with action battles... D:
Amazing that you give a retry option instead of a game over. I was afraid I had to see the cutscene again, since I didn't save for a while. Well done! <3

I really enjoy the swiching back and forth between the characters.

Beta Potion has a typo. It says it recovers 500MP (not HP, I really got confused wondering why MP didn't fill up! XD)
Having the Enemy (Tyrannis) spamming heal is kinda annoying to be honest. (But I guess that's because I wasn't supposed to win?)

I think a healthbar during the fly event-battles would have been helpful. I got hit a lot, always afraid that I might lose. Not even sure if that was possible? (For example during the battle against the Dragon and stopping the Airships.)

I start to like the battle system since I'm slowly getting used to it. Haha. Haven't seen that plugin in action before. (It's Moghunters LMBS, right?)

Ok I did run into that healing issue again. That's really a bit annoying that he kept and kept healing and I had to hope that Lorelei would join in with some magic at the right time to I could finally take him out instead of having him heal up again. XD

Reached the end!
Loved your credit texts. <3
Nice little ending scene aswell.

Very well made entry all in all! Congrats!

Developer(+1)

Thanks for playing! I am glad you liked it and had fun. Like I said in reply to another review, I had to cut so much to make the game complete for the one hour mark, much of which was more character and plot development and some more lore / world building. The LMBS is something I had never tried before and it's definitely different from every other battle system I have ever tried. In future updates I am planning game pad support.  Your idea for a player hud during the live action game play segments is great and I will add that as well.


Thanks for playing and I hope you had fun.

Submitted(+1)

Secret Santa Review – Cumulus

I am going to preface this by stating that this isn’t the style of game I normally gravitate towards and that I am naturally keener on picking up what I don’t like about something more than I am at picking up on things I do like about something. I am not a professional, by any means, so please take what I have to say with a grain of salt. It is my hope that, by writing this the developer will be able to improve his/her product in the future! Here are the quick points for my review:

  • Your main character is a spitting image of Cloud, without the spiky hair. While this may be a witty play-in with the title, it’s not a good thing for a commercial game. Even Chase has a character silhouette that is familiar to Sephiroth… Would advise caution moving forward with your characters looking like this.
  • The combat system proposed is fine and works well; however I would argue that the control scheme holds it back quite a bit. Perhaps a gamepad would be better suited in this scenario.
    I'd propose re-configuring the controls to something like this?: A- Attack, S- Skill, D – Guard, W- Dash? Thinking about this for a while trying to discern comfort hasn’t yielded anything too pleasant on the keyboard with the already allocated buttons. Menu being tied, currently, so close to Attack yields combat interruptions. Or, you know what would make it even better? Player customizable keybinds.
  • Not sure I understand the point of dodging fireballs only to move to next screen to be auto-shot out of the sky.
  • Not being able to walk through butterflies made me sadface
  • The town is huge and the first bit of the game is just walking through it. I can see this as a world building aspect with all the NPCs, which works well, I just hope it doesn’t detract from the overall 1-hour experience this contest was meant to have. Also, the direction arrows could ‘pop’ a bit more.
  • The Earthbounder who storms the tower (main villain) is very straight forward with what he wants the power for and seemingly for no real reason other than to have it to become a god. This could be played up and out a bit for added drama and life within the writing. Having the villain spew the whole nine yards within the first 10mins seems like you're limiting yourself.
  • After getting out of the tower, I would suggest Auto-Running the event with the High Sister. Seems there is no reason not too? I personally was thinking about wandering around aimlessly looking for something, but decided against it as I wasn't playing the main character anyways and this chick just teleported us to safety only to stand in silence?
  • Skill Help Text could use some work. “An upward slash” could also tell me that it can knock down enemies, etc. It's one thing to give characters tools. It's another to make sure they know what the do. Clarity is only a virtue here and you have a lot of room to provide that in.
  • 1st boss seemed to spam Fright, which cause paralysis. He spams this until he gets close, but this can create a no-action loop where the player cannot get away from the incoming attacks and could fall over rather quick, which I can see making some players very frustrated right off the bat. I’d considering toning down the frequency of such an ability. For later encounters, sure, do this to amp up difficulty and to demand the player perform well to avoid death.
  • While I was writing the note about the boss fight, it would seem the fish events killed me while the text was on the screen by reaching me and staying under me? Animating endlessly, etc. I clicked to advance the text only to get an immediate game over lol ><

Overall, I think what I have seen so far is going to yield as much feedback as I will be able to find in the game. It’s hard to judge an RPGs story within an hour timeframe, so I’m not going to bother as it just isn’t realistic (except for the tidbit above). The battle system could use some balancing touches. I truly believe a more user-friendly control scheme would make this battle system a lot better. I found the jumping very jarring with the screen movements. When you “jump” in other such games with a battle system like this, the screen is often locked so you can keep track of your character vs. the field, etc.

I think there is potential here. The mapping is nice to look at for the most part. The story concept was rushed to reveal itself, but it sets the stage for at least 3 additional combative events with the main villain.

I hope you find this useful when moving forward with your product. I hope to see this built upon in the future!

- Talon

Developer

Thanks for the review! I love critical feedback. So much had to be condensed and cut from my original story draft due to the 1 hour constraint and the 1-month development time, like the character development for the main villain and the old man wizard. If enough people enjoy it, I will definitely flesh everything out more. The protagonist's resemblance to Cloud is kind of an Easter egg, so I am glad somebody got that. I  have a whole mess of other battlers, skills, items, and maps that ended up on the cutting floor. I tried to do player binding for the keyboard, game pad support, and a larger resolution but wasn't able to make everything work in the allotted time frame.


Anyway, thank you for playing, thanks for the honest review. I hope you had fun even though it's not your kind of game.