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

A Witches Heart -Demo completeView game page

Can you uncover the secet of the Witches Heart and save the land?
Submitted by Paladin-Cleric of Awesome (@Madelei86887315) — 7 days, 16 hours before the deadline

Play game

A Witches Heart -Demo complete's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
People's Choice Vote#1132.7002.700

Ranked from 10 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Engine
RPG MAKER VXACE

Leave a comment

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

Comments

Submitted

Played this with a friend last night.

First off, really dig the setting. We don't get to see many Aztec inspired RPGmaker games, so that was a nice treat! The music in the dungeon was also really catchy, and I found a lot of the lighting and filters to be handled well. (especially love the misty feeling of the outside rainforest maps)

The skill tree was neat, however I think you were a little too generous on money (maybe that was just for this demo build) I was able to buy all of the skills even though I skipped most of the fights! I think a lot of the strategy of picking what to specialize in was robbed from the player because of it. It would be really great to have a custom menu for the skill tree, but if you do decide to stick with the system you have now - I would consider displaying the player's money somewhere on the screen.

Also enjoyed the idea of the bangle augmentation.

I'm confused by the AoE attacks tho (the ones learned on the skill tree). I couldn't use them through the entire game. They were always disabled. Made me sad after hunting them out on the skill tree haha

There's some clashing art in places (in particular the battler's don't fit the rest of the vibe of the game.) but I'm chalking that up to prototype. (same with some of the passibility issues.)

Story - I enjoyed this a lot. Especially the moral conundrum that comes from both sides having their own reasons. I would highly suggest getting a beta reading for the storytelling moments though. Sadly, the story is bogged down a bit by those parts being hard to follow. The in game text was fine, however. Makes me feel like you were going for a certain style, but ended up trying to be too flowery with it. I enjoyed the art in these segments though! A little more polish and you'll really nail the style.

Puzzles - There's good and bad here. As other's have said, the light puzzle doesn't work well since there's no immediate feedback. I spent a lot of time here, until I read the comments on this page about that puzzle. The biggest problems here are a) Fire doesn't cast a light in a line. I would consider looking into an alternative light source, or adding some sort of cover or more obvious direction to the firelight. b) since there's no light beam, you can't tell anything is happening, and c) consider putting the mirrors of a diagonal. With them being flat as they are, they would really just be bouncing the light back to the source.

The push puzzles were great. The slow progression of their difficulty was good and the first room with them made for a nice tutorial. The flame puzzle had the same feel. However, when I solved one puzzle in the phoenix room, the chest blocked access to the other notice on the wall.

All in all, I had a good time with this game. I'd love to come back to a more polished and completed version. In particular, I'm interested to see if the morality of the two sides will still be important with a more on the nose villain or not.

Great work : D

Developer

Thank you!

I'm glad you liked it, the morality thing is something I intend to continue with the player as the game goes on.

There is a lot I would change, but I hate to say it, by the time I reached the end of of the time I don't think I was able to see the issues anymore even with multiple playtesters.

I will of course take your comment into account when I go back and fix it. And I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

Submitted

Review for A Witches Heart

The game takes place in a dungeon called the Witchbringers Keep. Your task, it seems, is to clear the puzzles on the two sides of the dungeon, ultimately ridding the land of evil coming from the rift (if I remember this correctly, sorry but I tend to quickly read introductions). After beginning the game you are greeted with instructions on how to play the game, which is always good for newcomers. However, I'd probably move the information on the two crystals to the next screen where they reside to help with the info dump in the beginning. Perhaps this could be considered for the future versions?

The game features custom graphics and music. I am, however, disappointed in the title screen music as it feels like it is cut off from the beginning, the start of that song doesn't feel... natural, for the lack of a better word.

There are some slight mapping and eventing errors in the game, but they are not major. It is possible to teleport on top of an enemy at some points. You can also walk one tile deep into some northern walls, but if nothing else it feels inconsistent. As I mentioned earlier, there is a focus on puzzles, and that is good. While the game features custom skill building, it is done somewhat clunkily and is inconsistent. More on this later, as I will first focus on the puzzle part.

There are your typical "push box to move them" types of puzzles on the right side. While somewhat easy, they are more complex than usually seen on games made in a month, so props to you on that. However, what I would have enjoyed would have been a large puzzle with multiple correct routes to complete. The puzzles, at their current form, take only a few moments to figure out, possibly because of lack of possible solutions and where to push the boxes (or statues as they are). The puzzles on the left side, well... I did not manage to complete the firebird puzzle after thinking about it for a while, so it sadly left me unable to progress. Perhaps I will try again later on.

As for what comes to the combat, well, it feels unfinished. On one hand, the normal enemies are really easy and pose little threat at all, but there was this one enemy with life drain that wiped me out in two hits. When I had all passive defense boosts, normal attacks (Dancing Claw was the attack name) did around 15 to 20 damage. But I wasn't prepared for that Life Drain to hit for about 260 points of damage. Also, why is Attack on the list of skills to learn? Imagine that the player did not learn Attack, I think fighting would be rather difficult in that state. Also having it cost MP was a mistake in my opinion.

The skills, too, are inconsistent. Some attacks I could never use (they were greyed out, without any explanation as to why) and there was this issue with the Evade boost skill that both the Level 1 and Level 2 versions appeared in my skill list, while every other skill that had more than one level only showed the highest in my skills.

There are some spelling mistakes in the game, but they can be easily fixed. My suggestion would be to rethink about the combat and concentrate on the puzzles. With that in mind, and more polish, I could foresee this becoming a nice little game to play in rather small bursts.

Developer

Thank for your review, I will be taking all your comments to the new build when I get to it.

I'm glad you enjoyed it, and don't worry, I'm currently trying to figure out the database better!

Submitted

This review is from the IGMC 2018 Secret Santa event. I may or may not have finished the game (I'm not sure, details to follow), so this is based off of the sections of the game I did get to experience.

The setting and lore of the game is an original touch that leaves a good impression. The backstory art pieces, while simple, fits with the overall aesthetics and help reinforce the unique worldview of the title. There's definitely a lot of potential and personality that can be glimpsed from the demo here. 

However, the execution falls short and leaves much to be desired, especially considering that the game was submitted more than 7 days before the end of the contest (which is about 25% of the entire duration.) There are numerous bugs and questionable design issues that might've been addressed had the designer made full use of the time available.

Some bugs encountered were:

1. The game will crash in battle if no skills were learned.

2. There are numerous wall tiles that had passability issues, resulting in the character being able to walk through walls.

3. Certain skills are either coded incorrectly or have the wrong description, as they do something different from what they advertise (eg. Resurection < spelling mistake, btw) 

Design issues:

1. Battle balancing. In my first playthrough attempt, my first enemy encountered used Life Drain twice, dealing more than half of my total HP each time, and I was dead. If it wasn't for the fact that I was playing the game to give feedback, I would've stopped playing right there. In my second attempt, after picking up all the Attack-family skills, I was able to progress more, but an encounter left me poisoned, and with no antidote, my HP slipped down to 1 while solving puzzles on the map. When I noticed it in the next battle, it was too late and I was sent to the Game Over screen again. By my third play through, I've decided to skip battles altogether.

2. Skill learning system. While I understand the intent that the designer had for creating a "choose-your-own-skills" system, there were a number of user-unfriendly quirks that worked against the intent. For one, the decision to use a map to navigate through the skills instead of a window-based UI made the system unnecessary clunky. Understandably, this might have been necessary because the designer didn't have access to custom coding one way or another.

However, from a design perspective, there's also the issue that the function of skills is not clear to the player. The descriptions of "raising ATK by 20" or "charming an enemy for 5 turns" don't carry any meaning without context of the system, and players don't have that insight into the inner workings and formula of the game. Therefore, while in theory this system allows players to make "choices", players end up having to make "uninformed decisions or guesses" rather than any strategic or tactical reason.

3. Puzzles. Certain puzzles are explained once (mirror), certain puzzles are not explained (the first fire/orb color, block pushing), and certain puzzles are explained over and over again when the player steps on a certain tile (sunbird). Not only is the inconsistency jarring, the fact that certain explanations are omitted or only accessible once means that players can easily get stuck. 

4. Not knowing where to go next. After encountering the Witch and being thrown into a dungeon cell, I climb out with a new party member to continue my journey to... I don't know where to go. I've circled around the map twice and could not find a way to progress in the game, and this was where I stopped playing.

All in all,  A Witches Heart had a very unique premise and custom visuals that was unfortunately undercut by the implementation and design of its gameplay systems. To be clear, the effort was certainly there, and that alone deserves recognition.

In looking at a lot of the issues and bugs, the core problem might simply be that the designer has too much information and insight in their head, and could not accurately gauge how the experience would unfold for players that did not have these inside information.

Developer

Thank you for your review.

I'm sorry you found so many bugs, I had thought I had fixed all the bugs, after you have the extra character you leave the keep and the maps are fairly liner from there to the Kkings castle.  Sorry you didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped everyone would. My playtesters were able to get through everything with little issue by the time I  posted, so I had thought I had everything fixed.

I'll take your comments on board when I go back to the game to fix it up!

Submitted

This is the first entry I played and reviewed, because it was on the top of my list.
The God of the Alphabet smiles upon you today! Here are my thoughts.

I really dig the Aztec world! It's a culture rarely explored in media,
so my interest is piqued from the get-go.

The intro sets up the mood nicely, and that mood is consistent.
Good use of music throughout.
Believable level design.

I chose to play as the girl, of course.  :v

For the skill crystals, I'd have a text pop up as the player approaches them.
As they are, they're mysterious until you interact with them directly.
This is a minor nitpick to be sure, but every little improvement helps!

My loadout:
Maximum Attack (not including buffs/debuffs)
Maximum Enemy Flee (I abused this, not gonna lie)
Deflect (Didn't use, too lazy)
Maximum Defense (not including buffs/debuffs)
Reflect (Didn't use, too lazy)

The spending money you get in the beginning is generous and
the upgrades suit my straightforward playstyle, so thank you for that!

I like how guarding raises your SP.
Considering that all attacks are tied to SP, this is necessary,
but I'm just glad I'm not forced to reload because I didn't search for items
in every nook and cranny or something. Usually guarding is almost useless to me
in RPGs, it's nice to see it put to good use here!

I liked the puzzles. Simple, but enjoyable. Battles were fair.
The convenience of healing baths make up for the crystal-based save system.
Because of the way the game is designed, I didn't feel too set back when I lost
and had to do the first round of puzzles again. Failure is punished but not severely.

I almost didn't get the mirror puzzle at first, but I don't know how much
you can actually do about that. It worked the way I thought it did, but
RPG Maker might lack the visual cues necessary for stuff like this.
I was able to solve it easily so it's not too much of a concern in this particular game, 
but in general this is a good observation to take note of when designing
complicated puzzles.

This game is a great showcase for the Aztec and Ancient Jungle graphic packs!
I like how the random encounters near the end of the game were portrayed as bushes. 
It fit in the environment well and I thought it was cute. :3

I thought the game's climax and cliffhanger were done well.
Overall, this was a pleasant experience and was a good game to
start my IGMCathon with. d(^^)

TOTAL PLAYTIME: 45 MINUTES

FINAL VERDICT: If Quetzalcoatl asked me if he should check out this game, 
I'd say, "Yeah man, go for it!"

Developer(+1)

Thank you for your review! I really appreciate it!

I’m glad you enjoyed the game, and I’m glad you liked the skills. (I did it like that because some people like to challenge themselves with lower skills and others like me prefer to just blaze their way through battles to get to the next part of the story, so you really can customise your characters your own way!) 

I’ll take you comments under advisement when I go back to fix the game up.


Thank you again!