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A jam submission

Abyss of OblivionView game page

Accompany a young girl on her quest to become unforgettable.
Submitted by hadecynn — 19 hours, 51 minutes before the deadline

Play game

Abyss of Oblivion's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Degica's Choice#5n/an/a
People's Choice Vote#393.7003.700

Ranked from 20 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Team Members
Andy Chen

Engine
RPG Maker MV

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Comments

Submitted

This game flows really well. There was this one snake lady I couldn't beat, but I had fun playing this. Great work!

WHAT I ENJOYED:

The battle mechanics. It seems a bit basic to start off with, but what I really enjoy is that you have a great gameplay loop with really solid mechanics. Everything makes a lot of sense, and is incredibly intuitive. I especially like the Save the Spire-esque telegraphing of the next move. It allowed me to feel very smart when tackling Revenants and especially the boss. 
The story. Even though the player is in the dark for maybe a bit too long a time at the beginning, both in relation to the characters and the world at large, I can assume this is a byproduct of the demo nature of it. And when given the story, oh man, I LOVE this concept. Perfect mystery, and problem that the player can really get behind.
The polish. See, I have less to say generally about this game because it just fits together so well. Nothing seemed extraneous or out of place, everything was really nicely balanced, and I felt myself no longer taking notes because I just wanted to play the game! So well done on the immersion and making the player feel comfortable and in control.

WHAT I DIDN'T:

The dungeons. Don't get me wrong, I love the stuff you put in there. The traps, the Revenants, everything - nothing inside the dungeons were poor additions. But because of the nature of your game, you run into the big problem of everything looking very samey, which would be a shame, because you have a great story and the battles are really really fun. But corridors being a tile wide, enemies walking randomly in square rooms... I know this is a failing of the plugin, having used it myself in the past, but should you continue on with this project, the first thing I think you should focus on is trying to find ways to game the system and not have what are essentially the same floors. From something as simple as different tints and putting some tree events in there, to even enlisting the help of a coder to tweak the plugin so rooms can vary in shapes aside from squares and widening the corridors. Yeah, it's just the product of it being a month-long prototype and there not being many options for in-engine generators (though there is a Spelunky-style one for RMVXA that I WISH someone had the time/knowledge to translate). Just something to keep in mind moving forward.

TL;DR:

A really fun rogue-like with a fun gameplay loop and an intriguing mystery to get you excited to explore. The dungeons you do explore could do with some variety, however, especially as you're asking for a looping, tower-dungeon gameplay style.

Thank you for showing off your game, hadecyn! You've made a incredibly fun game with a lot of potential. Best of luck in IGMC2018!

- Caleb

Submitted (1 edit)

Review for Abyss of Oblivion

We are quickly drawn in by the beautiful custom title screen and music. I noticed that there is no options command in the menu, I hope this won't bring any problems later on. The idea to put credits into the beginning sequence was good and very well done. Already I can feel like playing a professional game.

However, due to the fact that there was no option menu in the title, I ran into an issue right after beginning. As I'm writing this review (with the menu screen open) I can see that the game runs on over 60 FPS, which leads in the play time to increase faster than in seconds. This is a recurring issue with projects without Yanfly's Synch Monitor FPS plugin when they are played on a monitor with higher frame rates than 60Hz (I'm playing on a 144Hz gaming monitor). Because the FPS is so high, most animations run too fast. There's even more of a reason to do so in this entry as there is a 30-minute timer each time you enter the Abyss. The time counter runs faster than normal due to a single frame being less than 1/60th of a second. This is easily fixed by applying the plugin, though, so I sincerely hope you consider this.

As I mentioned the menu, I must say I really dig how clear and intuitive it seems to be. I also like that you include a reference for important things, such as status conditions, over there.

After some time spent playing, we learn that the story has us trying to resolve a curse which makes no one remember us. Although the setting is pretty general, it is well played out and the silent moments in our flashbacks put more emphasis on the feelings you're trying to convey.

The combat flow feels natural and it is executed brilliantly. The basic rock-paper-scissors weakness element feels good and somewhat prevents 'press attack to win' situations. Since MP is so important in combat, I liked how you are able to choose what bonuses you gain after battle, however I mostly set it to recover MP and left it there.

There are little to no errors in the game. Brilliant work! The only typo I found was that both blessings of life and mana had the same description when selected after you have obtained four blessings and must use or discard one. The typo was not present (at least I didn't notice it) when using the blessing in battle.

I played the game for two runs of levels 1 - 10. The difficulty felt rather good, although after learning on how to play, I felt like it was a bit on the easy side. I guess I lucked out on the RNG as I got Rain of Pain (the AoE arrow attack) rather early on in both runs (I only learned that you lose unlevelled skills after beating level 10) and most normal combats changed to "take hits, use skill and win, recover HP and MP as result" after that. The bosses were a tad different, but the patterns were a bit too predictable. However, it's all good as this allows for more newcomers to pick up your game and not suffer with balancing issues.

I really enjoyed this game, and for me personally it is already a winner. (although I said the same about LuizCubas' game last year) Great job, hadecynn, and thanks for making this!

Submitted

Congrats, a game that I didn't want to tear apart on stream... yet.

Developer

lol Sin. It's nice to hear that coming from last year's judge. I'll check out the stream later. Thanks for playing!

Very nice - I really enjoyed this game. 

The tutorials were nicely done, showing all the important mechanics without dragging on.  I do wish there had been a small buffer between the end of the tutorials and the beginning of the timed levels, but like you've explained in other comments, it's a result of the game jam time limit. 

The battle system was interesting and innovative, but quickly felt natural and easy to use.  The weakness flowchart in the corner was a big help.  It was nice to be rewarded for using the correct skill types rather than just spamming attack.  The replay feature was a nice touch too - I wouldn't have enjoyed this game at all if dying meant game over.  That game timer was nerve-racking, but it set up a nice conflict between finishing the level and gathering everything on the floor.

The story setup was nothing new, but I think it worked fairly well.  A complex story on top on all of the new gameplay mechanics would have felt overwhelming to me.  I liked being able to focus on playing, with bits of story in between.  It's just enough to make me want to go a few more levels and find out what's going on.

The graphics and dungeon design were well done, but fairly bland.  The music was nice, and fit the mood of the timed dungeons.  The user interface was great - everything was easy to understand and navigate.

I definitely plan to keep an eye on game's progress.   I'm looking forward to the finished version!


Submitted

Hey there! Just finished the game and I have to say I was highly impressed by it! I really like how everything gels together for battles and I'm engrossed in where the story is going. A highlight that I really enjoyed was how each attack would be less effective which incentives you to constantly use skills rather then spam attack or just the one good skill you find. And I really like what you did with the Blind state, that was a genius move on your part and really had me in a panic when it first happened. The battle system really shines with the first boss and all the mechanics come together. It took me three tries, all failures on my part, but I was finally able to take her down.

There wasn't much to flesh out the characters and story, but of course it's a demo so I won't hold that against you and there was enough to get an grasp on the characters and enough mystery to get you asking what happens next. I hope you keep working on it and we get to see more! I'd give this two thumbs up!

Developer(+1)

Hi Uzuki, thank you so much for the praise! I'm really glad you enjoyed the battle system and recognized my attempts to make it interesting beyond the standard turn-base fare. I definitely plan on working on this after the contest, and I hope it'll continue to interest you as the project develops. Thanks again! 

Submitted

Nice game! I couldn't crack the boss, but I liked what I saw.

You obviously put a lot of thought into the battle system and presentation.
I tried to beat the boss by brute force, but a proper strategy is definitely required!
Excuse me if I miss anything, I'm quite casual when it comes to JRPGs.
The way you gain and lose abilities is cool and unique, though it certainly
doesn't make the game easy.

The randomly generated dungeon and the need to collect gameplay orbs 
makes for a fine gameplay loop. There's a precious few seconds of suspense
when you're waiting for the gauge to fill up while an enemy approaches. 

Of course I didn't like losing my useful skills, but it was easy enough to get them back!
Though I did accidentally convert a whole batch of useful skills into EXP.
If I paid more attention, I might have won with that moveset! I could've gone pro.

Anyway, I think a natural ability to raise HP would alleviate grindiness.
It could be put into the Focus mechanic and regenerate like the MP does.
I've gotta have some hope in the darkness, y'know?

TOTAL PLAYTIME: 1 HOUR

FINAL VERDICT: Apparently I'm controlling this girl, but I have no idea who she is!
She's trying to tell me she's the the protagonist, but I don't believe her.

Developer(+1)

Thanks for trying the game out even though it's not your standard genre of choice! I really appreciate the time and effort!

I'm glad you recognized the gameplay loop and found it enjoyable, as well as the acknowledging the suspense when waiting for the attuning to finish, those were all deliberate choices and you've picked them all up!

By raising HP, are you referring to raising max HP or just restoring HP? Your maximum HP does increase with every Level Up, and there is the "First Aid" skill that acts as a clutch in emergency situations, as well as being able to carry up to two Blessings of Life.

I definitely wanted to showcase the gameplay and systems in the game, so the plot is understandably under-developed; I'll make sure she does a better job at convincing in the future. =)

Thanks again! 

Submitted

Yep, restore HP is what I meant! I made good use of that HP skill and those blessings...then I lost them. ;_;
The boss was a little too much for me without HP boosters, but like I said, this game requires you to use your brain juices.
You can call it a success in that regard. d(^^)

Developer(+1)

Thanks for the follow-up comment!

Yup, I definitely wanted players to be actively engaged while playing.

To be honest though, because of the rules of the contest/judging and all, I definitely threw more stuff at the player and at a much faster pace than I would if this was a full/normal release. I think part of the difficulty you experienced was also because there's just not enough time for you to digest all the systems yet. It's kinda like choosing the lesser of two evils; on one hand I knew doing this would make it tough for players, but I wanted to showcase the potential depth of the system, so we ended up with what you see today.

Submitted

Hi!

I thoroughly enjoyed this entry. It's well executed, has some deep systems at play here and although I generally dislike first person view battles, this one is handled nicely and I had no qualms with it.

The graphics are nice, mapping is nice although I do think the dungeons could use a little more personality. I'm not too sure if they are being randomly generated or not and whether it's even possible or not but a little more decoration/things to see would be nice :)

The menu and overall UI looks good and is intuitive, the icons are clean and easy to get information from. Overall the aesthetic is pleasing :D

In terms of mechanics there are lots of systems at play here, very much a deep game and I can really appreciate that. I did find that the introduction of many of them so fast was a little hard to digest for me personally BUT I understand you want this information out there so the player can get on a see the potential of the game. Highlights of the mechanics for me were:-

1) the Weakness system, easy to remember and stops you from spamming the same moves making combat much more tactical. 

2) The blind state-  very cool (don't want to elaborate in case of spoilers)

3) Speed tier list - again, very nice addition that adds much more tactical combat

The other systems, like XP and skill collection are handled well and all come together to make it fun to play and quite addictive.

From what I played I didn't see too much of the story but it seemed intriguing. Writing was fine and delivered what it needed to.

There is only one thing I didn't really like in their current state and they were the traps. I felt these were quite overpowering, especially the HP/MP ones. Quite often these would knock me down to very little HP and MP and I would end up dying in the next battle. Think these could be tweaked or at least, a different system put in place to either make traps more avoidable ala perhaps a quick time event or dice roll to either avoid the trap or mitigate some of the effect.

Also, would have been nice to have some battle music for the mob encounters, I know it's not much but I missed it :'(

Overall though, a solid prototype that I can see much potential in. Executed well and I had a lot of fun playing it, great job :D

PS: Obviously the battle animations are top notch, but that goes without saying ;)

Developer

Hi beenbaba,

Thank you for the praise and I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed the experience and even found it addicting! xD

To comment on a few points you raised:

1. The floors in the Abyss are in fact procedurally generated. Having said that, I definitely agree that they could use more decorations. In fact, it was in the original spec, but because it was lower on the priority list, it got cut as the deadline drew near.

2. You are absolutely correct in assessing that there's way too much information way too fast, as well as the fact that this was a deliberate choice because I wanted to demonstrate the game's potential. In a full/normal release the introduction of mechanics and their tutorials would be spaced out MUCH farther apart so players will have time to learn and familiarize the previous thing before I throw the next one at them.

3. In regards to traps, I agree that there needs to be some rebalancing, but the idea that traps + encounters can KO you if you aren't carefully managing Level Ups, Blessings, HP/MP, and Chain Bonuses is intentional. To explain the reasoning, a key distinguishing feature of this game is that there is no real "game over" state. Being KOed in battle only creates some light penalties, and unlike roguelikes, players keep most of their progress. So I wanted to have KOs to actually be a part of the experience as players travel in the Abyss (if they're not being hyper vigilant). It's there to create a certain level of tension ("I don't want to lose EXP", "I don't want to lose that Tier 3 Ability I just got", "Let me just make it to the next Light of Reprieve so I can cash in on my EXP and permanently keep Ability X"), while not being unforgivingly punishing by sending you back to the title screen and erasing your progress for the last 30 minutes.

4. As far as battle BGM goes, the choice to have only Remnant and Boss battles have real battle BGMs was to emphasize them when players do hear them. I feel like normal encounters are so short (and designed to be short, especially if you activate High-Speed Mode) that the constant transitioning between map and battle music would be jarring, but I will take a look into it to see if there are any alternatives. I did actually try a system where the battle music "remembers" where it stopped between battles, but even then the changes were too abrupt and frequent.

Thanks again for playing and providing such valuable feedback!
Andy

Submitted

Ah so they are procedurally generated and I agree that it does make sense to cut the 'fluff' so to speak like decorations to get a working prototype up and running.

I very much understand the tension aspect you are describing, as I felt it quite a few times. I got a Siphon Edge which I LOVED using but I lost it :'( and the battles leading up to my demise were tense!

That's a fair point on the traps too and as noted above my tension level did rise! It was maybe the combination of them being invisible (unless you have focus on) + possibly a bit too much damage seeming a little bit on the harsh side but these things, especially difficulty and challenge, are hard to balance as you can never please everyone (maybe I'm too soft XD)

What you've noted about the battle bgm I can definitely understand and in actual fact, I did take notice of the music change much more with Remnant and Boss Encounters than I would have usually if it wasn't for the absence of music in mob battles. Just, you know, I like battle music XD

Again, though, great prototype and really had a good time playing it. I may revisit it once I get through some more entries/get some more time/finish fixing bugs with our game as it was a nice polished experience :D

This was pretty interesting. I'll leave a full review in the Secret Santa thread over on RGGMakerWeb. I'm rating this one a 5.

Developer

Thank you! Do you mind if I copy and paste what you posted there here so others can see if if they're interested?

Go right ahead.

looks cool!

Developer

Thanks!