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A jam entry

The Maker of DreamsView game page »

Create your dream RPG Maker game in this short game-making simulation.
Submitted by PotatobrainGames (@PotatoBrainG) with 3 days, 15 hours before the deadline

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Results

Ranked 53rd with 4 votes

CriteriaRankVotes
Judge's Choice#14n/a
People's Choice Vote#534

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • Theme

    A Game Development simulator…a pretty good one and stressful one at that.

    Gameplay

    The gameplay is really solid and pretty self-explanatory for the most part. It is however surprising that it’s hard to reduce stress in a decent way. There’s also no clear indication when objects in Rin’s shop restock, putting a wrench on time management plans.

    Presentation

    The game is short and sweet. The maps that do exist are polished and I’m pretty happy with this. If I have some qualms, it’s basically the menus. There are some things that are unclear and should’ve been presented better:

    • Where to increase specific stats. Like I didn’t know that I can increase Creativity/Writing/Intellect in the tiny bookshelf. Or reduce stress on the couch. In real life, I would’ve taken a nap in my bed since it’s more comfortable.
    • When I accidentally select the wrong option, I have to go back all the way to the first choice and it’s annoying.

    Engagement 

    I wanted Ending 5/5 so bad and got it.

    Total – 70/80

  • This was a cute idea and started out as a lot of fun. The music was nice and the interface was well laid out. What got me sour on this one, however, was the stress level. I constantly had to put aside work on the game to manage stress and it didn’t help that you can apparently only buy the anti-stress tonic once. Maybe it made sense since his mom was breathing down his neck, but I still felt like I was spending an inordinate amount of time managing stress instead of doing the game making, which wasn’t what I expected when I booted this up. It’s got a lot of potential but I think it needs some more fine-tuning.

    Score: 46/80

  • PRESENTATION
    Graphics are a mix of different packs and free resources with the RTP files. It all fit quite well together, except for the portraits who looked a lot like they would fit better in a romance visual novel. They were a little jarring, especially the mother's portrait who looked very... young and sexy. The mapping was alright for what was there. You only had two maps to see, so there wasn't really a showcase of ability. It was fine.

    Sound was okay. There wasn't really much atmospheric going on but what was there wasn't jarring and worked well. The same with music - there weren't many tunes but they didn't get old over time and they fit the scenario well enough.

    Writing was quite good. No issues with spelling, grammar and punctuation that I could see. The dialogue was alright. It didn't really enhance the characterisation of the character too much but that wasn't really a big point of the game anyway.

    The story is basically more suited to a simulation so there really wasn't much more than framework. That said, it made sense and worked for the scenario.

    GAMEPLAY
    Gameplay consisted of interacting with events and managing time in order to reach a goal.

    The general aim of the game was to complete a game. And to aim for $10,000 to be made from sales from it. This was a difficult task first time around as you weren't sure how things interacted and what you'd need to do in order to get your skills up. In fact, I didn't find a way to make money until past midway through the time (60 days).

    The game gave you three options of difficulty, which was nice.

    You basically had a set amount of things you needed to do in order to complete the game, and each took an amount of time to do. However, to get a good game created you need to have the skills to enhance your game so you need to devote some time to skill building as well as popularity and advertising.

    So you could choose to build up your overall skills in an area, or devote time and money to one particular skill. And you had to fight stress levels, so you needed to make sure you rested or engaged in stress relieving activities as well.

    There was an autosave feature (as well as manual saving) that activated at the start of each day.

    There was a bug when it came to blog creation, in that it only let you make one and then it bugged out for the rest of the game.

    ENGAGEMENT
    It was a bit frustrating at times when you wanted to do one thing but didn't have enough time or you were too stressed, especially as there was no way to know what level of stress was too much for certain activities. It was also a bit annoying that certain activities didn't remove stress when they could have - for example, playing an instrument or watching youtube videos and the like. It would have been nice to have some extra stress-relief that also helped build up some aspect instead of continually deplete, even if it unlocked at a later date.

    Overall, though, it was an interesting simulation and I was looking forward to seeing how I went when I finally released my game. ...Not well, apparently. But them's the breaks. Knowing how to play, I'd probably do better a second time around.

    THEME
    The theme of the game basically focussed around creation, and it did well to convey that. It also touched on time management and following your dreams, which were also well conveyed in both mechanics and story.

    63/80

  • 47/80

    Writing can break the game giving you no need to sleep and until you hit around 45 writing, infinite time. Flavor text is inaccurate, making it harder to judge what to do. Blog is broken and can only be done once. Art Contest auto fails if you finish the game early (it gets stuck)? Pre-run campaign shows not enough money when at 3/3.

    The shop never seems to restock, only gains new items later on. At least one sprite doesn't feel like it quite matches with the image provided. It also feels like the couch is one of the worst ways to use time. I was honestly expecting more of a princess maker type schedule system. While the current system isn't bad, it feels really slow and eventually a bit tedious.

    Also, the motivation stat doesn't feel like it does anything important.  I got what is likely the perfect ending, but that was with abusing the system to the maximum.

Engine
RPG Maker MV

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Comments

It's been so long since I've played an actually simulation game in rpgmaker.. I love those but it's kind of hard to find any good ones (or maybe I just suck at finding them lol). Anyway this one was definitely one of the good ones! I love the concept and considering it was for the IGMC made it even sweeter! haha 
I'm also a huge gamer (and writer) that sometimes dreams about having their own breakthrough.. so playing this was a bit like a refreshing experience for me. It made me think a bit about how game-making might not be such a farfetched dream after all; sometimes we just need to go for it to actually make it.
I got ending 3 (feel short) but I didn't really feel bad about it, I kind of felt accomplished by the fact that I actually got the game out before the deadline. And I probably could have made it better if I had spent more time on improving my skills. I still had about 15 days before the deadline when I launched the game. XD
One little issue I had: Around day 30 I realize I couldn't write content for the blog in rpgmakernet, it had been a few days already but every time I tried, I would always get the message saying that I could only do it once a day. 
Things I wanted to also mention: I thought that managing stress in the game was really hard, I pretty much used and abused of the glamour mags to keep it around 50-60 and after a point I just added to my 'sleeping ritual', I would use a mag a few times and then sleep. haha I would do this every day. It turned to be kind of boring, but I also didn't like that the couch didn't really give much stress relieve (and the stress tonic in Rin's store was always outofstock after one buy?). You could add some sort of bonus for sleeping earlier for example, sometimes I would only get like -5 stress.. T^T
I think that things like creating the credits page should only be available once, or maybe after creating it once, you should only be able to update it, you know? Or you could make it like with the game creation elements, let us work on creating the page little by little in two or three steps. 
These last things are just my own considerations tho. Feel free to ignore them. XD
Ah! I didn't mention the dialogues and the art before, but I also loved those. The art for the characters was really good; and I thought the conversations between characters and the interaction dialogues for the game-creation/skill-improvement was really nice too. 
Overall: This was such a great game. I really enjoyed playing it. 
Great job and good luck with the contest! :)

Developer(+1)

First of all, I'd like to apologize for the delayed reply.

Thank you so much for the detailed and in-depth review of the game.

Regarding the blog post and the energy drinks, they are caused by bugs that I must have missed out when testing the game. I will fix them as soon as I get the chance. 

Managing stress becomes pretty easy if you increase your energy levels and stay fit. Your stress reduces by 15 every night with max energy.

I will also make it so that the Credits page can only be created once.

Submitted(+1)

This was a fun game! I got Ending 3 of 5: Fell Short, haha. I think I know what I did wrong in my time management and things, but this was an excellent concept for an RPG Maker game! Excellent job~ A solid entry!

Developer(+1)

Thanks for trying the game, and I'm glad you liked it!

This isn't an easy game, especially considering the target. The trick is to relate to how you'd do it in real life to make up for your shortcomings and use your strengths to your advantage.

Submitted(+1)

I really do think you definitely had a realistic portrayal! I also like how playing a game upped motivation and relieved stress. I found I tend to make games better if I do take a break and relax with a nice game for inspiration! A game maker must not forget what it is like to be a gamer. One of the issues was probably I worked my character too much haha, having him solo most of it out when I should've worked on hiring commissions or buying assets. Having a team DOES significantly help in game-creation, so I feel kinda silly I missed that as I played since even I myself always has a team. 

Anyway, loved it. I was sure to give it a vote, too!

(+1)

A pretty interesting concept, but the gameplay is a bit too slow for me to shoot for all 5 endings. I also wish I'd known that having MC develop his own resources wastes space that could have been used on considerably higher quality paid ones before I'd been clicking on things for 45 minutes, but that's a minor gripe.

Developer (1 edit) (+1)

Thanks for the feedback!
The MC can actually create much higher quality resources than the paid ones if he has the respective skill sets. For example, having high Creativity and points in Music will allow the MC to create high quality music resources for the game (Upto +1000). Also, the Motivation level comes into play at the time of creating the resources, but not when buying them.
Three out of five endings are bad ones, so you don't need to try and shoot for all of them. :)

Submitted(+1)

I love the concept of this! I played for a bit but simulation games aren't really my thing - what I did play though seemed like it had flow/polish. Congratulations on completing your submission! :)

Developer(+1)

Hey Jake, thanks for the support! I'm glad you like the concept; it's an idea I had for quite a while, but the IGMC gave me a good excuse to execute it. Your submission looks interesting, too. I didn't get the chance to play it yet, but would definitely give it a go when I get the time.

Submitted(+1)

I'm updating it before the actual contest so it's probably better for me that you're waiting. :)