Indie game storeFree gamesFun gamesHorror games
Game developmentAssetsComics
SalesBundles
A jam entry

DreamscapesView game page »

My submission to the 2017 IGMC competition.
Submitted by pianotm (@pianotm26) with 1 day, 9 hours before the deadline

Play game

Visit Dreamscapes's game page

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • PRESENTATION

    Graphics-wise the game makes use of various different graphics. Most of it goes well together however the custom graphics used don't really mesh well with the rest. That said, the custom stuff is nice if a bit stiff when it comes to animation.

    Mapping is decent. It's not very good but it's not bad, either, and does a good job of conveying the environment to the player.

    Sound design is decent, though there's not much there that adds to the atmosphere.

    Music is very well done - there's a fair amount of custom music, and it all fits well with the scenes in which it plays.

    The story is a little fragmented in areas, especially the start. A bit more interaction between the characters would have been nice, being as they are the only ones (bar a few enemies) who inhabit the game. Characterisation could have been better presented, but an effort was made to for the two characters to seem different. You just didn't get enough interaction between them to see much of that.

    Writing is done well, though, and there were not any errors as far as I could tell.

    There were some visual issues, however - sometimes events just vanished from a scene. Using a small fade in/out would have worked to cover those up better than just a sudden pop of characters moved to different positions or something disappearing. For example, more than one boss battle had the enemy just vanish, where a battle animation being used for cover would have helped disguise it and make it seem less sudden.


    GAMEPLAY
    Gameplay consisted of battles and interaction with on-map events.

    The battles were quite well done - challenging in that enemies hit quite hard but you had skills that would help with that. The only issue is if you run out of items to heal your MP - then you're pretty screwed when it comes to healing as there are no actual health healing items in the game. That said, as long as you plan ahead and understand that you won't be getting healing items and must try and conserve MP for healing, the game isn't too bad balance-wise.

    Skills were very useful as most enemies had weaknesses to exploit. They were well balanced, but sometimes battles took a while to finish because of this. Some battles took longer than boss fights, which is a bit disconcerting. (One boss battle  it took only a critical hit of 900, one other hit of 200 and 2-3 spell casts to kill the boss.)

    Items were balanced well - MP heals gave a decent amount and could drop off enemies, and life restorations (of which you start with a decent amount) give a good amount of health back (a full heal version would have been useful, though).

    All enemies were on-map sprites and could be avoided with careful movement, however you didn't want to do that as enemies dropped stat increases, which were used to customise your characters. That said, if you didn't give girl all the attack stats and unicorn all the magic attack stats then you were doing it wrong.

    You didn't level up from fighting monsters (they only existed to give you items, it seemed) but instead from reaching certain milestones in the game - whether that be beating a boss or reading a journal entry.

    There was a bug where you got the same dream journal entry twice (the first one - one is in a chest in the ice cave and you got it again after the boss battle against the bear).

    There were also some passability issues when it came to tiles and walls.


    ENGAGEMENT
    I found the game enjoyable. Enough so that I played past the hour mark to complete it. The characterisation could have used a little more, but the battles were okay (though different groups of enemies would have helped offset the feel of fighting the same thing over and again, especially with the ice area. That got old after a while.)

    The story itself was engaging enough that I wanted to find out what was going on but I also pretty much figured it out well before the half-way point. It was a decent enough ride and some of the bosses were a good challenge. The last battle went a bit too long (I ended up just doing the same thing over and over - attacking in order to hope for a crit, then healing with unicorn... for a long time). It would be nice if the developer considered making battles shorter, though, as some really outstayed their welcome when all they were there for was to give you items, really.

    Also, that hall of mirrors was annoying. You could have easily cut out a few of the mirrors and still have had it be workable. Also, not sure why you were given a choice with that each time. If you didn't have the gold sword you wouldn't have been able to get there because you didn't have the silver sword to open the way, so it was kinda silly.


    THEME
    The theme was accepting death and the game did an okay job of presenting that. The disjointed maps were an attempt to show that but really, it would have been a bit better presented if you'd cycled through the same maps that were slowly disappearing or something. As it was, though, it presented the fight for life well enough through both the many battles and search for the truth.

    Again, it could have been presented a lot better but what was there worked well enough.

    55/80

  • Theme 

    The world is falling apart and you want to save it while tripping yourself out on different landscapes like you are in LSD.

    Gameplay 

    I’m not a huge fan of how this game handles battles. For the reasons below:

    • Mia is the magic support. But all her offensive spells are AOE. Her attack power is poor. While Arielle has all of the single target skills. I would’ve preferred it if Arielle had more physical attacks with maybe some magic here and there and Mia has all magical single and AOE attacks. The reason for my dismay is when it came to encounters, Mia is just dead weight and has to guard every time because she can’t deal damage, it’d be a waste of MP to use AOE spells on a single remaining enemy that takes 4 turns of flame/ice bomb.
    • Encounters are way too fast. Their sight range also feels like half a map. At least escaping seems like 100%? They also have too much HP for their own good.
    • Boss fight just feels like mash spells/attack button and relegate Mia to support.
    • Why do we have to set stats manually when based on skill, there’s no reason to dump all your attack stat items to Mia.

    Presentation

    • The maps are bland and boring.
    • Repeated skill cast is just unnecessary padding to an otherwise already slow paced battle system. The sound effects can get really tiring to hear too.
    • The windowskin graphic on menu sometimes make it hard to see who is selected.
    • Graphical inconsistency.

    Engagement 

    To be honest, the lack of polish and the slow paced battles makes this game a chore.

    Total – 40/80

Engine
RPG Maker MV

Leave a comment

Log in with your itch.io account to leave a comment.

Comments

Notes

1) Honestly, it does get a bit tedious to distribute all of the stat boosting items in this game.  And some of the stat boosting items feel a bit pointless.  Or at least that's how I feel about the HP and MP boosting items since the gains from them is so minimal that you'll barely notice them in the grand scheme of things.

2) The final battle with Morgan probably drags on for a bit longer then it should.  Plus, her big reveal about the main character isn't even that surprising if you were paying attention to a few of the hints in earlier sections of the game.  Or maybe I've just gotten so good at perceiving future events in RPGs from having played so many of them over the years.

3) There need to be more games with gun toting heroes that team up with magical creatures.

Developer

Thanks for the feedback!  Also, for some reason, Morgan was spamming Deplete and Fiend Blast.  As a result, she ran out of MP before she had a chance to heal.  It didn't happen with me or any of my playtesters, and testing the battle again, it's still not happening.  Also, the graphics glitch at the end with the cabin isn't showing up for me.

Developer

Also, you should really announce movies.  Seriously.

Submitted(+1)

I thought this had a really cool concept! I loved how  random the two MCs were - it just made me so friggin' happy for some reason. I stopped playing shortly after entering the mystic forest as the volume of battles/tedium of battles was a little too much for me - with your stat boosting items (if you're going to continue working on the game) you should package them  a little differently as they're easy to amass and kind of tedious to distribute if you've collected a chunk of them.

Developer

Thank you for the feedback!  I'm honestly not sure how I'd do it differently as every way I can think of would pretty much take away the player's ability distribute them the way they'd like.

Submitted(+1)

There are a lot of options if you decide to continue development, or develop games with a similar system - there are stat distribution plugins that you can add to from a plugin command  etc.

Developer(+1)

Hmm...I'll look into that.  If I could do something like Elder Scrolls, that could be a thing.

Submitted(+1)

I believe Sumrndmdude has a plugin for stat distribution - as do a few other people. :)