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A jam entry

The Otherworld Massage School: Chapter 1View game page »

Do skeletons get muscle knots? You better find out, your life is on the line!
Submitted by Hammer and Clover with 9 hours, 27 minutes before the deadline

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Team Members
Alex Lucksmith

Engine
RPGMaker MV

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Comments

I got the feeling this game has a very specific target audience, and certainly, I'm not one of them ^^''

I don't know anything about the massage/medical side, so quit playing this fairly quickly (even to play for entertainment, turn based battles aren't my idea of fun.) So I can't really comment on the game/story, but there were a few things I noticed on the rpg maker dev side. (Ignore this if you're not particularly looking to become a fully fledged game dev and were just wanting to make this one game. Rpg maker is easy to pick up, but it's hard to actually get good at it, so most of this might be useless to you if you weren't planning to dive into the world of developing.)

Mapping needs a lot of work, layout aside, you just seem to be using the tileset weirdly. Make sure to pay attention to how tiles are lining up, and the way you're layering them. Here's a quick tip on shift click mapping (tut is for vx ace but it's the same.) This should help you clear up some edges, walls and anything else you might want to copy directly. As for making things aesthetically pleasing, that's really just down to experience. Take some time to study how other people use the rtp. If you right click on the map list, you'll be able to load a bunch of sample maps and there's loads of places to find pictures around, or actually play some games that have been praised for their maps.

There was a point in the intro where the text cut off. Personally I find lining up text to be a pain, which is why you might like to invest in some knowledge of using plugins! Yanfly's Message Core is a pretty popular and easy to use one. It gives you a lot of cool features, plus you can use automatic word wrapping if you're lazy like me ;P 

Your shopkeeper keeps walking around even whilst we're supposedly talking to them. I think you're currently using a bench for the counter, but rpg maker actually has a built in method for this! If you check out the Inside tileset A tab, you'll notice some tables. These have a counter flag on them. That means  you can interact with an event over the counter, so you'd actually make the shop event on the npc itself. This makes more sense with mouse control since you're clicking on the person you want to talk to. (Of course, it does mean the shopkeeper needs to always be in front of the table.)

You've got a save point although saving is still enabled from the menu. If you want to remove it from the menu, you need to go into database>system and uncheck save. The crystal also needs a direction fix, since it can change colour depending on where you're talking to it. 

You can repeat all of the massage battles, wasn't sure if this was intentional. (Since they repeat all of the dialogue too.) Reyvi in bed needs a direction fix too. It is a bit weird to talk to her when she's no where to be seen in the intro.

The mismatching faces/battlers is pretty weird. If you look around, you'll be able to find loads of cool resources. A good place to start is here. It's usually better to make do with what you have, than try to make exceptions for things. You can also make requests for resources on the forum, although there's no guarantee to get any reply. 

P.s. Wasn't sure what gender your protagonist is (not that it matters), but since they've got a masculine name I thought you might want to know that the character you've chosen is commonly female, though of course, you're free to use the characters however you'd like. 

Hope this helps! :)

Developer

Hi Rhino,

First of all, thank you so much for your super helpful tips. You are correct, I'm not looking to be a pro game designer, lol. My original goal was to make a mock-game for a YouTube LetsPlay, but as I was working on it, I realized it could be more than a video premise. The target audience is massage therapists that need continuing education credits for their license. Since contraindications (things you should not do to your patients) is about as boring as it sounds, I thought a game where your learned/reviewed the material would be more fun than an article. I have no delusions about winning the Jam, but I did use the deadline as a way to not let the project roll on forever.

That all being said, there is no reason why I couldn't implement what you said and up my skills a bit:
  • You are right, mapping was the hardest thing for me, and porting from VX Ace to MV mid development didn't help, lol. Between the tutorials and new assets (for both maps and monsters), I'll rebuild a lot of the world for the next chapter. Playing well-mapped games is a great idea, any ones you particularly love? S
  • The dialog repeats, but the counter/switch for passing the level turns off. I left the dialog the same in case someone wanted to choose a different route. Next version I'll make it more clear.
  • OMG text wrapping. Sooo excited to have an automated way to do this. I felt like I was writing haiku half the time. Counters too; no more dancing shopkeeps.
  • The protagonist is male, but only because there is a Kineseology joke deep deep in the game, lol.
  • My next project in MV is to build a website for my after-school program. My student's loved the character builder and I had some success with the script calls to load other pages (a feature turned off in the Itch version, unless people really want scholarly articles on fascia conditions, lol).

Again, thank you so much. I'm looking forward to playing your game tomorrow! It looks like we may be working in the same idea vein, so let me know if you want a collab partner (what I lack in technical skill, I make up in easter eggs and duct tape fixes).

Cheers,
Alex

Educational games are a great idea. Being able to turn work into play definitely makes things feel more approachable, and the actual interactiveness of a game makes it more engaging. I personally can't stand to just sit down and *study*, so I kinda wish I had a teacher as dedicated as you haha! I'm sure your students appreciate this :)

I can't really list any MV games with good editor maps off  the top of my head. Most of them use parallax mapping, but that's not really viable (or indeed, worthwhile) for a game like this, especially if you're trying to keep it playable on mobile devices. I like to lurk on this thread for mapping inspiration, though it's pretty mixed so you have to surf through for particular MV rtp maps. 

Thanks for taking a look at Lost Boy! It's not really a self help game like yours is (although I'd certainly be pleased if it was able to benefit people.) There are a few other mental/health themed games in this contest if you wanted recommendations for any of those just out of general interest.

I don't currently have any plans to develop a new game of my own. The scope of this series doesn't align with my interests enough that I'd want to co-develop it, but I'd certainly be happy to lend you some support if you'd like. I don't have oodles of experience, but I am fairly confident that I can put things together without breaking them XD