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A jam entry

EremielView game page »

Adventure through the Abyss to discover why the souls of the departed are no longer making their way to Heaven.
Submitted by Frogboy with 8 hours, 42 minutes before the deadline

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Team Members
Stephen Sandford (Frogboy)

Engine
RPG Maker MV

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Comments

(+1)

Hey Frogboy!
Just wanted to say that I enjoyed your game :)
It's a bit unwieldy (as one can expect from a one month game with more complex systems) but fun nevertheless.
Thumbs up!

Developer (Edited 1 time) (+1)

Thanks! Fun is the most important aspect of a game in my opinion so if you thought it was fun, I'm more than  thrilled. I appreciate you trying my game out and glad you enjoyed it. 


Edit: Oh, I see you did Quidget. That's on my shortlist of games to check out soon. I'll let you know what I think. 

(Edited 2 times) (+1)

I feel you! Fun is the most important aspect of a game for me as well :)
Thanks and I'm looking forward to hear what you think about Quidget!

(+1)

Hey there! Secret Santa review incoming:

I'm actually glad I got the chance to play your game. I enjoyed how much different it was from the other games (no turn based combat)! The combat was definitely super unique.

That being said, here are a few points I'd like to make:

  • Disabled dash in place of a "speed" buff: I'm not too keen on this. It makes moving through your maps begrudgingly slow. I think having a dash option--especially with a sort of action-based combat, is much more handy and will make the game play smoother.
  • I liked the save points. I actually might take some tips from you on this--I enjoyed that it opens up the save screen for the player and that it's clearly presented.
  • Pixel movement was very cool, but it actually works against you here. I noticed it's actually more difficult to line yourself up with enemies and hit them, and I think the pixel movement is responsible for hits not registering on the enemies (I found sometimes I would hit an enemy, and it would take no damage!) If you really enjoy pixel movement, I suggest offering some sort of "strafe" option so it's easier to line up attacks.
  • The shop view change was a nice little detail. I think people take for granted how awkward a small shop looks on a big map, so this was refreshing to see.
  • Enemy quantities/Balance/Rescuing Souls: Enemy quantities are insane, I found myself getting trapped by droves of enemies which was really frustrating. I think you should reduce the amount of them, and more enemies should drop crystals. Rescuing souls, conversely, seemed to have no real incentive. I found myself getting 1 or 2 crystals for rescuing them, and was surprised that there was no HP recovery. I'd definitely make it more worthwhile for the user to rescue them, since it seems to be a primary mechanic in the game.
  • A status menu to explain buffs, current effects, etc. would do wonders.
  • Cracks in the wall: Make them treasure! So much potential here. Let me break em down for cash and crystals!

Overall I think with a bit of tweaking it has potential. I'd put a little bit of time into making the maps and the combat handle a little more smoothly. I look forward to seeing where it goes from here :)

Developer (Edited 1 time) (+1)

Thank you very much for the review.  I'm glad that you mostly enjoyed my game. To address a few of your points:

I felt that an "anytime you want" dash option made combat too easy unless I made the monsters faster as well which made combat way too hectic. I know that disabling dash is a big no-no to many but the game just played better without it, in my opinion. Maybe a temporary dash with a stamina bar would be a good addition. I do wish RPG Maker gave us more control over the speed of characters and events. 

The pixel movement does indeed make lining up your shot a little more challenging. I did my best to compensate for that. Later on, you can get a weapon upgrade that makes it super easy to hit everything as its hit radius is much wider.

Rescuing souls is your primary source of money in the game. In the first area, yeah you only get 2 per rescued soul and 1 if an enemy drops a crystal. These numbers double each time you advance to a new area so if you want to acquire the cash for all of the weapon and armor upgrades, you'll want to do this. If not then you can charge straight through but you'll have a harder time. 

I know that the natural inclination for most RPG Maker games is to stick your hands in every crack and crevice in hopes of getting hidden loot. That it how many game utilize these cave features. The reason you see so many of these in Eremiel is because they are spawn point indicators. You generally want to keep a relatively safe distance from these as a monster could pop out of one at any time (unless you're standing right on it, I'm not that mean). 

I likely won't do too much more to this title besides polish up a few things that I didn't get a chance to before the deadline. The scope of this game was set to 1 hour. The story, game play and level design was all crafted around this desired play time. I may use the knowledge that I acquired from this project to design a different, much larger game in the future, though. 

Again, thank you for playing and for all of your valuable input. I believe that I have your game downloaded and will give it a shot as soon as I am able. 

(+1)

I think the dash bar is an excellent idea! And it's too bad you won't really be continuing it, but if you push an update I'll be glad to check it out, and of course anything else you may come out with! :)

Developer(+1)

If I had designed a larger story and world around this game, I definitely would. But by the time I refactored everything to make it larger, I'd be pretty much starting at about the same point as I would be if I just made a whole new game with the same or similar base mechanics. I did enjoy working on this title so I wouldn't be surprised if I take another stab at this sort of action based game. 

(+1)

Hello!
So, I'd say the game is so-so. Not so nice, not so bad.

Let me explain. I was quite surprised of the pixel movement and the combat system. It is pretty nice, but pretty buggy too. Sometimes you walk on drops but you don't reach them, so that slime hurts you because you took risks to take it, but it was useless, and then it disappears. It's quite frustrating, honestly.

Some enemies were attacking me from really far away (two-three blocks ahead, I don't know why), and I lost some parts of my life because of that. So, hey, nice, you can drop healing items! Erm, I probably were lucky, as they are really rare. And I'd rather see a system were only drops would heal you, but they'd be dropped a bit more than this save & heal points. Like, why? You lose all the fear of game-over, as they are unlimited. Just farm in front of the shop and that's okay.

Oh, and that leads me to two other points. First, why would you have save points into shops but not before bosses? Like, I agree some RPG system can be modified, but they have to be modified wisely. I do not say I would say it wisely, but saving points often say "Be careful! something may happen in the next few minutes!". Second, errmmm, bashing, again and again, for only little parts of stuff that aren't that useful. Like, attack speed boost: I farmed like 5-7 minutes for that, and why? It just doubles my attack rate, but the default rate was sufficient enough. And items are way too expensive to start. Maybe having a "level boost system" where you can upgrade all caracteristics a little bit at the beginning, then if you want a real upgrade, you'll need to save more money, or wait for late game? I admit I've been bored too fast because I didn't see the point of fighting.

Talking about combat, why do these monsters pop from nowhere? I hope it is explained in the story, as I didn't see why they would pop like that. But okay, that's not much of a problem. Though they spawn way too randomly. I like randomness, but it sometimes messes with the systems. Like, I've waited like 1 minute to encounter monsters, then the minute after I was surrounded by 15 enemies. Ugh, not something I enjoyed much.

Then, that speed... wait, you cannot dash, you should've removed the "always dash" option. It may be just me, but I've been frustrated to realize you cannot move faster, unless you pick-up that speed bonus. No, I do not want to drive a formula 1, I just want to dash. It's way too fast for me, I need to control my character, not suffer its movement. Okay, I won't pick it up anymore, let's be slow but control our char. Wait, what did I say? Not picking it up? It was without counting on these bugged monsters... yaaaay! I hide that perfect speed power-up! Nooooo why would you do that to me.

Though I must admit the game wasn't that bad. I enjoy finishing on a great point, so let me tell why I played 54 minutes.

I enjoyed the bashing a bit: I like farming monsters, but for a few minutes, I won't spend hours on that. And the game seems to lose the dynamic it could have gotten because of that: it mainly is bashing monsters to have a proper stuff.
Fights were actually fun, even though bugged: I enjoyed the multiple attacks, I enjoyed the "not so fast" monsters that won't let me one-shot them. Though I did not enjoy the lack of ability to aim at the monsters. The way you have to shoot at them is pretty weird and not that fun. A bit of strategy would be nice, too, even though I'm very bad at strategy: it was just run and shoot, and I hate running away. After all, I'm a f***ing badass angel that sends souls to somewhere I don't really know where.

So, I guess the game deserves a not-so-bad 5.5/10. It is pretty decent, though it could be exploited a bit better than it currently is.

Developer

Thank you playing my game and for your comments. I will do my best to address your points. 

I am aware and would like to improve the responsiveness of picking up power ups. I had to choose between ones that stayed on the screen forever and ones that disappeared after a time but relied on checking over and over to see if you were standing on its square. I largely preferred the dynamic of having to choose to sometimes risk danger or even voluntarily take a hit in order to grab the power up that allows you to ward off a larger danger encroaching nearby. 

Most of creatures attacks are based on RPG Maker's built in Event Touch trigger. With only a short time frame to make our games, exploring alternative collision detection methods just wasn't in the cards for this release. 

Save/heal points were placed in shops because they are pretty much the only safe areas. Grinding isn't required if you free the souls throughout the game unless you really want to get them early. I wasn't expecting anyone to do this in a game that designed to be completed in under an hour though. The direction I tried to lead players down was exploring the maps and freeing the souls to get money and pushing forward once you were done with each map. If you want to forgo a lot of the weapon and armor upgrades, you can push right through but the later areas and bosses will be more challenging (but not impossible). I also chose shops for the save points instead right in front of boss rooms because it makes you journey a distance and possibly be down some health before fighting the boss. That's were the fear of a game over was designed to happen. 

Certain terrain features signify where monsters spawn from... 

Slimes - small holes in the walls
Bats - Larger cracks
Skeletons - Human bones
Ghosts - Coffins

... etc. There are some places on the bottoms of maps where these visual queues aren't there. I tried to limit the number of those. 

Yes, randomness has its disadvantages at times. Some designers choose to remove it completely. I tend to favor it because it makes replayability more enjoyable and developers have to replay their games a lot. If I play my own game a bunch of times and know where everything is going to be and when everything is going to happen, I get bored and have a harder time assessing if my game is still fun (to me, at least). For me, fun is the most important aspect of a game and the thing I shoot for most. 

I understand that no one wants to run away from enemies but I believe that games like this need some challenge to be fun. There are lots of opportunities to just mow through hoards on monsters but then there's times that things heat up a bit too much and you need to reposition yourself on the battlefield. That was the balance I was aiming for. 

You are sending the souls to Heaven, where they would have gone by now if not trapped. That's what the pillar of light represents. The black tentacles meant that those beings just got sent to Hell. 

These responses are purely my points of view, design decisions and concessions made to save time. I went into this project knowing full well that it would difficult to create an action game with RPG Maker and knew that it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. I'm not saying that you are wrong or anything. I respect and honor your thoughts and opinions and am thankful you played my game and took the time to share them. 

And hey, for as many grievances you listed, I'm happy you still liked it enough that you played through all the way to the end. Thanks again and take care! 

(+1)

Sorry for the late answer, but I couldn't just hide forever :v I wanted to answer that ^

For the power-ups, I agree the disappearing feature could be pretty cool. Maybe did I forgot to mention (probably) that it'd be better not to have them disappearing like that. You know, having them switching from transparent and non-transparent very fast a few seconds before they disappear so you can know it would be pretty cool too :D but now that IGMC is over, maybe will you implement a better collision system? :P

Eh, maybe was it just me, but I felt like they were attacking me from far away. I don't know how, but I felt it .-.

Ehh, I don't play the game knowing it is designed to last an hour, as some games will be longer than that. So I just played it as I would do for any other game, 30 mins or 6 hours long. I didn't know you hadn't to grind. My bad, then ^^ I'm sorry for the harsh part about the game design, after reading it again, maybe I could've said it differently. So, the thing is, they are unlimited.  Having a save point in shops is okay, but having unlimited heal is not. Maybe make it so you can only heal yourself with it once, but can save an unlimited amount of times for the same pillars? And for bosses, only having a save point that doesn't heal, so if you lost some hp, you keep that amount of hp lost. Because honestly, maybe is it just me, but having to travel again to fight that boss again isn't what I enjoy much. It reminds me a bit of Dark Souls 3, which was indeed a great game, but not my type, as I prefer respawning and going directly to the boss to train on it until I know how to beat it.

Okay, I understand how they spawn now, thanks for clarifying it!

I didn't they to remove randomness completely, but limiting it. I don't know how your game is made, but having a spawn limit so you don't get overwhelmed by the monsters would be nice. And also having a minimum, though having 1 minute to rest from time to time is nice ^^

For the running away thing, that's just because when you have like 15 monsters all around you, you'd rather fight one of them close to it than try to stay away from it, as you cannot do that because they're all around you. But the thing is, if you do that, you get easily punished. Maybe my lack of controller skill is what made me lose a lot of hp (as it says it's better with controller, I followed that advice). But okay, I understand.

Mmh, that's what I understood, then ^^

Of course your answers are your points of view, as my review were mine. I understand that and I'm glad you took the time to answer it. I only hope you'll take time to correct some parts after IGMC is over, because it has potential and it could be very nice! :D

Developer

Thanks for taking the time to provide your point of view and ideas you feel would make it a better game. It is valuable information I can take in and play around with and see how it affects game play. As I said, I'm certainly not saying you're wrong or trying to argue with you or anything. Just stating why I made the design decisions that I did. Thanks again for your feedback and taking interest in this project. I hope you enjoy the rest of the contest entries as well. 

(+1)

'kay, I got it. The thing I said they were attacking from 2-3 blocks away... it's never more than 2 blocks. This time, it's the pixel movement that messes with you: event touch is triggered when the case the event is going to is next to the case where the player is. The thing is, as it's a pixel movement, it triggers it somehow too early.

Developer

Yes, I believe that you are correct. Due to my decision to use pixel movement, you can be standing in the middle of two blocks but since the game has to pick a tile as your position, the event touch can and sometimes does trigger from what appears as too far away. It's a flaw, I admit. I just tried to compensate with some extra hit points as I didn't have time to seek out a more elegant solution. 

(+1)

Very fun RPG, the music appeased me very much. 

Also, very nice history and game mechanics! Reminded me a lot of bomberman, don't know why! haha

Good work, bro!

Developer(+1)

Thanks! I appreciate you giving my game your time. I'm happy you enjoyed it. :) 

(+1)

I was pleased to play this action RPG. I did not have a game controller, but I managed well enough with my keyboard. On the control configuration, it mentions a "dash" function for its assigned key, but it seemed to make no difference. Is there or isn't there "dash" functionality outside of the speed power-up?

Running into an enemy's prolonged death animation/reskin seems to increase likelihood of drops, at least at the beginning. Was this intended? I liked the enemy variety, including the bosses. I liked that the fire attacks from the final boss actually razed the surrounding trees (and walking through those fires did not hurt one bit).

Some prior explanation about the health and money meters would not have gone amiss, nor would a more exact definition of the "holy" attack discussed in the shop items (Was it the star attack or just Eremiel's generic attack? It seems to be the latter). This is quite forgivable, though.

Sometimes entering doors can cause Eremiel to glitch onto the periphery of the area. At the shop it was OK since I was able to make contact with the door to exit and re-enter, but I had to fight the penultimate boss (I cannot remember that creature's name) twice since the garden literally locked me out of its boundary upon exiting the yellow door.

For some reason, only on the garden map did I notice Zepar's dialogue mislabeled as Eremiel's several times.

Perhaps the biggest problem was the initial loading, which took well over a minute just to get to the title screen. Even opening it a day after first playing was quite slow.

Developer

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed my game. Sorry that that door animation didn't behave for you for whatever reason. It's funny, I've run through that door 100 times and never had an issue with it. I'll look into it, though. As for dash, that was removed as it would have changed the dynamics of the game too much. My remove dash plug-in must not get rid of it from the keyboard config plug-in. Perhaps there's and option in there I can remove that with. 


There is a weird glitch where after you defeat a boss, the power up drops go as  little wonky and drop multiple of the same one more often for a short time. I didn't have much time to look into this one as it doesn't harm game play much. 


Yes, Holy is your default attack while Star is a power up and thus not affected by the upgrades. I must have got a little rushed and careless towards the end and not noticed the misnamed boxes. Thanks for catching that. 


As for the loading screen, I apologize for that. I actually almost left it off due to this issue as I created and testing my game on a very low powered computer and it happened to me at times too. The last thing I do on my project to is always to enable the MadeWithMV plug-in and for whatever reason, it's extremely un-optomized and runs really slow if RAM is low. I was hoping that most people would be playing on better hardware than I was using. I wanted to switch that out but was too afraid to try out a new plug in or event it in the final hours of the competition. 


Thank you for your review! I appreciate the feedback.