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A jam submission

Shattered - Why Not MeView game page

Medieval fantasy magical girl visual novel action genre mashup thing
Submitted by XCVG (@xcvgvcx) — 1 day, 11 hours before the deadline
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Shattered - Why Not Me's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Creativity#14.4554.455
Gameplay#63.6363.636
Overall#83.7503.750
Magical Girl Use#93.8183.818
Art#153.0913.091

Ranked from 11 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Theme(s)
That Would Be Truly Wonderful - The protagonist starts off as a dreamer and gets her wish granted, if in a tangential way.

Miracles and Magic Are Real - Set in a world of waning magic- it exists but is rare and often dismissed- our heroine discovers its power and harnesses it.

I Won't Rely on Anyone Anymore - Instead of letting someone else take care of things, our protagonist takes matters into her own hands.

Feedback
Maybe a Discord, it's worked well for some other jams.

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Comments

HostSubmitted (1 edit)

Hmmm... I have been thinking this for a while ever since the rating period started but... My rating criteria is way too graphics-focused isn't it? When I first created this jam I just wanted to see some cute Mahou Shoujo characters... But playing your submission, and knowing how you post about your progress constantly in the community of this jam, I know full well that very much love and effort is put into this.

Should've added a criteria like "Overall Enjoyment"... because I certainly enjoyed this even though this is not what one typically thinks of when hearing "Magical Girl"

Very good work. The graphics is not great, but this is certainly a very good submission.

Though although I think great art is not for everyone, I think you should polish the UI somewhat... IIRC from my Unity days, the buttons you use are the most basic buttons provided by Unity Engine? (^.^;

Developer (1 edit)

I don't think any rating system can be perfect and cover all cases 100% fairly. I ran into a few issues of sorts while rating the other games in the jam. When I was rating story-driven games, I really wished there was a story-based category or two. "Magical Girl Use" and "Creativity" kind of cover that, but not really. At the same time, if there were story-specific categories, where would that leave games that aren't story-driven? Maybe a general "Immersion" category would work, though that doesn't seem right either.

The other thing I ran into was rating games that were unfinished or prototypes, clearly not meant as finished games, and not submitted under any false pretenses. In fairness to the other entries, it's necessary to rate these as they stand based on what's there, by the same standards. At the same time it doesn't feel right to measure a prototype by the standards of a full game. I'm not sure if there's anything that can be done about this, though.

And then there were a few entries I found so bizarre I didn't know how to rate them, but I think that's kind of a given for any jam. I did attempt to rate these anyway; the only entries I didn't rate were my own and the ones I could not play.

I don't know how you're interpreting the rating categories or if there's a way they're officially meant to be interpreted. The only category I really took as art-focused is "Art"; I didn't really consider the quality of the game's art when I rated for "Magical Girl Use" or "Creativity". The former I struggled with and rated mostly by feel, the latter I typically rated for unconventional game design, unusual style, or unique story, whether it really worked or not. I lumped in music with "Art" as well but maybe that should have been its own category or combined with sounds.

I think I've mentioned this before about a dozen times, but I really have no familiarity with the magical girl genre. You clearly do, having run a jam based on it, so I'm curious what you think about the direction I went in. How far off the mark was I? Did I get any of the tropes right by accident? What do you typically think of when you hear Magical Girl?

For graphics, it probably would have been better to grab a bunch of stuff off the Asset Store or OpenGameArt, and this is what I used to do, but I like drawing too much for my own good. I'll get better, someday. Maybe. I should just call it a unique style or something.

These actually aren't the default Unity buttons, but they are visually very similar (to the point where I sometimes forget to change them and don't notice). I actually made them a long time ago for an abandoned libGDX project. To be honest UI never even crossed my mind this time around- I tend to toss it aside as kind of a "does it work? yes? move on!" thing. I think the only time I ever tried to make it look good in recent memory was Ascension III's new HUD.  So yes, UI is definitely something for me to work on in the future. One of these days I'll finally build that theming engine, maybe that will encourage me...

Anyway, thanks for playing, and big thanks for hosting this jam!

HostSubmitted

Haha. Yeah I suppose you are not really familiar with the Magical Girl genre (^.^;

As for how "far off the mark" you are... it's a little bit off; but Magical Girl is basically a normal girl that gets magical power -- so in that sense you are not off the mark.

But what people typically think of when they hear Magical Girl, it's something like this:


(Kaname Madoka from Madoka Magica, the Japanese animation whose 12 episode titles became this jam's theme)

This cute Japanese-style (though I suppose a western cartoon "Power Puff Girls" definitely fits this genre) cute girls wearing cute dresses. When they get their magical power, they can transform into their magical girl form where they wear cute outfits. For your game... it's kind of out of the mark in how she wears some sort of magical armour... Usually magical girls wear cute dresses, and more importantly: transforms :3

A quick fix would be if she still wears armour, but instead of physically wearing it, she instead can transform into her armour outfit (but probably no helm; no magical girls cover their faces)

Your game definitely still fits the basic definition; it's just kind of not what most people (or at least most lovers of Japanese entertainments like myself) think about when they hear "Magical Girl" (;´∀`)

Developer

I realized I was pretty unusual with the character design fairly quickly when I was looking at what other people were creating.

Her outfit was influenced by some of my favorite sets from Skyrim and the crystal in the chest is actually inspired by Iron Man's Arc Reactor. I deliberately didn't make Briella cute- I figured she was supposed to be a warrior so I drew her a bit more muscular (as much as you can tell with my art) and gave her short hair because it wouldn't get in the way. I mean, I don't think I've ever managed "cute" in my art style, but next time I'll give it a shot. Some of the choices were influenced by what I can draw and what I really struggle with. Although no helmet would have been easier- I still have a lot of trouble with those.

I had absolutely no idea about the magical transformation, either. I was starting to get an inkling about my character design being off early on but I didn't know anything about a transformation sequence until after the fact. Too bad- I think in retrospect I could have worked that in fairly easily, certainly much easier than reworking the character design. Perhaps for the sequel if I ever get around to that.

Plot-wise, I noticed a lot of the other games put the protagonist up against monsters and nightmares, and there was this recurring theme of fighting against evil. Is this typical of Magical Girl media or just something people tended toward for some reason?

Doing things a little different- for better or for worse- is pretty much my thing these days. As long as people had some fun with Shattered, I'm happy.

HostSubmitted (4 edits)

Weellll... I suppose there is nothing wrong with a Magical Girl character not being cute... but I personally believe she should be... or at least make her elegant or beautiful or maybe dignified. There is no strict boundary, but I think you more or less get the image of what I'm trying to say ;_;

EDIT: Just realized that actually that's not necessary. But make the girl likable. Fans of Magical Girl genre want to like the girls! If you want to make a muscular tomboy magical girl, make her likably burly.

It doesn't really break any law to make a magical girl that doesn't transform either; but for most Mahou Shoujo fans, a magical girl transformation is one of the biggest appeal ;)

As for plot... that's how it originally went. Mahou Shoujo originally is about cute girls fighting against evil. Stories about friendship and love and everything wonderful. That is... at least until a magical girl show dedicated to deconstruct it appeared in 2011: Madoka Magica -- an extremely dark Magical Girl show (won't spoil it you should watch it it's extremely awesome). Since then magical girl shows inspired by Madoka has appeared -- which turns Mahou Shoujo into some quite dark shows - some good but some missed the point. But the point is now magical girl shows with extremely grim stories exist. For example Magical Girl Raising Project is about magical girls killing each other.

Anyway, still good work. Thanks for participating :D

P.S. I just realized though... you figured out that the hidden side themes had to do with Magia Record. I never mentioned the name of the anime in my other discussion yet you figured it out. I'm actually surprised you are not familiar with the Magical Girl genre

Developer

Briella is as likeable or as unlikeable as you want her to be :P

On a serious note, I did find it challenging to give Briella consistent characterization, or even any characterization at all, as she's under your control for most of the game. This is something that's frequently brought up as a feature, problem, or challenge with western RPGs and it's something I'd like to improve on in future games.

You didn't mention the name of the anime, but you did mention the verse in passing and you did mention the "Winter 2020 anime adaptation" as well as dropping one of the themes as a hint. It wasn't hard to figure out from there where the secret themes came from and the public ones as well once I had that information.

You did this in how short a time?! OMG! This is so thought out. Love the WRPG elements. Not something I expected to see in a magical girl jam, but welcome. So much dialogue and world building. It's impressive. Also impressed you were able to fit together the orchestral and metal tracks. Of course it'd be easier to tell the story with a score meant for it, but it's working well here.

As far as the gameplay goes, I had some difficulty telling how close I needed to be in order to hit the enemies. Also, I don't know what to do at the storming the keep battle, oops! I'm just running around now.

Still, can't believe the amount of work here. Good job.

Developer

Thanks for playing!

Western RPGs and late-90s shooters were major influences, probably more than actual visual novels. I don't actually have a lot of familiarity with magical girl fiction.

I've been bodging together disparate music for a long time, maybe some day I'll actually have an original score. Mixing orchestral and metal music was an experiment but I think it turned out well. It started with just using tracks I had around or grabbed from the front page of OpenGameArt and vaguely fit the scene but I decided to run with it.

I had some of my friends test near the end and they were very confused about what to do in that level as well. I added some extra dialogue at the last minute in an effort to fix this, but it was very much a half-baked, rushed thing. Basically, you need to reach the door on the upper storey of the keep. You can do this by power jumping either from the roof of the church or the buildings on the other side.

You can power jump? How does one do this?

Developer

Space+Shift. It's a bit finicky because Shift+direction activates the power dash, but can be pulled off consistently with practice. It may be easier to jump first and then hit Shift while holding Space. In retrospect I probably should have done something about the controls but I got used to it too quickly and had a hundred other tasks to complete... perhaps next time.

Submitted

I finally got to play the game. It was pretty good! To summarize the game in short, it's basically if a single indie dev decided to recreate Oblivion in two weeks. The effort is quite commendable, I'd say! You should find some kind of TTS plugin for Unity that will read the text of NPC dialogues, so that we can get the full Oblivion/Skyrim-style dialogue experience!

Developer

Thanks for giving it a shot!

Recreate Oblivion in two weeks... hmm... that's giving me a bad idea for SBIG Jam 2020...

Submitted

This game kicks butt!!! Loved it! I appreciate the amount of work that must have gone into it. I enjoyed the home-made hand-drawn artwork - it made me smile! I like the Skyrim arrow-in-the-knee reference, and switching to the metal music during the fight scenes. The story was pretty cool, though I'm not sure how far I got - I died trying to fight off the whole enemy army by myself after telling my soldiers to stay home - oops magical girl overconfidence!

Developer(+1)

Thanks for playing, I'm glad you had some fun with it!

Did I leave the arrow in the knee line in the game?

What you say to the guards doesn't matter, you don't get any help in that level. You were supposed to, that was the idea, but I never actually implemented allies. The key to not dying is to keep moving; melee enemies are much slower than you and ranged enemies basically can't hit moving targets. I wanted to put a continue button on the game over screen but never got around to it, though you can reload an autosave from the main menu (unless you're on the bugged Linux or Mac build where saves don't work).

Developer

Hotfix builds are out for Linux and macOS that fix the save issues. This seems to be allowed within the rules of the jam. It contains no other changes, and there is no new Windows build as that platform was never affected.

Submitted

In my opinion this game is realy Interesting.

First, let's start with two major defaults: 

- the graphics are basic

-And on the FPS Part , I don't feel Blows impact .

But it gives diversity in the gameplay

Secondly,

 -Dialogues are very good, and offer a lot of choices (Players are still active) 

-Music it's good

-Good Story

All this point, makes him really enjoyable. I feel all the effort to makes this game the best as you can. For me it's a great project.

Developer

"Basic" is one word for the graphics. I really like doing the art, but it's not where my skills lie, and I have a long way to go.

There's definitely a lack of impact both for your attacks hitting and when you're getting hit. This has been an issue with my main project as well and it's still something I'm working on. I feel I have a good understanding of what makes it work but I've been struggling to get the feel right since transitioning from GZDoom to Unity.

I think the dialogue is influenced more by western RPGs, particularly The Outer Worlds and the recent Fallout games, than anything. In those you typically have frequent choices on how to respond even if they might not make any real difference. There are two slightly different endings to the game plus a bonus scene you may or may not get, all dependent on your choices. I wanted to do more on this

I'm glad you liked the music. That was something I wasn't sure about- originally I was going to go for an all-metal soundtrack but then I started just using vaguely-appropriate tracks from OpenGameArt to get something in quickly, and most of those were orchestral or medieval type tracks for obvious reasons. I still wanted to maintain some of that metal influence so I went with rock/metal tracks for the action scenes. I think it works well enough, and is a bit reminiscent of the late-90s shooters I'm somewhat emulating.

I felt the story was a little thin; there was a lot more that I wanted to get in but unfortunately had to be cut for time at one point or another. It's kind of cliched in my mind, but after playing a lot of the other games in the jam it does have a different feel than most of them, at least to me. It was a struggle for me to keep the story from getting too dark, and though I would have liked for it to have ended up a brighter, happier story in the end I feel it is an uplifting story especially if you play it all the way through.

Thanks for playing!

Submitted

I finally got to playing this one. (And time for bed now, more games tomorrow, lol)

I can really feel the effort you put into this game! I know you've mentioned "programmer art" before in your comments, but honestly, I was drawn into the game in a way that made the art work for me. The story was good, made me think a little of Game of Throne/The Witcher. Not a typical Magical Girl Game, but hey, that's ok! I LOLed at the castle entry scene! That was great! The sound and music all worked well too.

If I had one critique, the gameplay was very "floaty" which was OK at first, but made invading the castle a real challenge. It was like I had butter on my feet as I tried to land on roofs and jump those walls. I did really like magic blasting big groups of soldiers and seeing them fall like dominos, that was awesome! The close combat was a little less satisfying, but got the job done when needed.

It's been fun keeping up with your updates and progress! This is the sort of thing I miss when Jams  end. ;-;

Great work, keep it up! :)

Developer(+1)

Glad you liked it! I put in a lot more effort than I'd expected to at the beginning of the jam, that's for sure. I figured I'd maybe use half the time alotted... that presumption didn't hold long.

Game of Thrones is a huge influence despite my complex love-hate relationship with it, as I've mentioned in my postmortem. The Witcher wasn't a conscious influence, but I have some familiarity with the verse and I've played a bit of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and I can see where you're coming from there.

Which castle entry scene are you talking about? I started out with the intention of making a serious game but in the end couldn't resist having fun with it.

One of my friends who tried it mentioned the floaty movement. Unfortunately this was I think 2 days before the deadline so there wasn't much I could do about it at that point. There's also some bugginess with non-terrain surfaces (like roofs) which probably doesn't help either. Movement needs to be fixed in my main project as well, it has a similar floatiness to it although it's not as glaring since that one doesn't require you to do parkour. So that's definitely something I'd like to improve in the future.

I found myself using power attack almost exclusively in testing, usually in combination with power dash. It definitely is a lot more satisfying to use than the normal attack! I did increase the range and rate of the normal attack after some testing which made it a little less useless, but still boring. So swapping it out with something more effective (and maybe more magical?) might be in the cards if I take this further.

Submitted

Not sure if there are multiple entry possibilities, but the one I got was ********spoilers*******    the catapult. It was hilarious AND awesome when it transitioned to the action gameplay. My only experience with the Witcher is the Netflix show, though my wife is a huge fan and has played every game and read  most of the books. Your setting feels in-between the two, more magic than GoT and less than the Witcher.

Developer(+1)

Oh, the trebuchet scene! I think that started out as a silly little idea I had during a late night dev session and then decided to actually implement the next morning. It elegantly solved the problem of how to start the castle scene, and is kind of awesome if over the top. I think it's one of the things that pushed me toward first-person gameplay- I thought the transition and flying through the air would work really well from that perspective. It's one of the sillier moments in the game but also one of my favourites.

I haven't actually seen the Netflix series. I've heard it's good but I've been trying to get through Game of Thrones first.

Submitted

So I really like that game, like the concept of the sword should be for boy, but I don't give a f*** I take it anyway.
Also it seems the game fail to same on linux, so I wasn't able to finish it, but as the game was fun I intend to play it again after I've play other game of the jam, and try to see if I can spot what was wrong  on saving.

Developer (3 edits)

It's probably a missing path or permissions issue. Are there any messages in the console (~ key) when the save fails?

EDIT: I'll try it on my VM later, but I'm probably using a different flavour of Linux so I may or may not be able to reproduce the issue.

EDIT 2: It's a bug on my end, I used the wrong path separator somewhere.

EDIT 3: I figured it out and there is a hotfixed post-jam build. It almost certainly affects the macOS build as well but I haven't built/tested that one yet.

Submitted

Wow. I have a soft spot for janky games like this. And the art... I love it. I love everything haha. Good game!

Submitted

As for actual feedback: I feel that there's not enough feedback for when you get hit or hit an enemy. I thought I was kicking their asses until I noticed my life at the top was getting lower. I would improve that!

Also, it's a bit difficult to understand the mechanics behind the "Shift" action. I'm still not sure what it does. I thought it was running, but aparently it can make you jump higher? It seems to basically increase my velocity in the direction I'm currently moving, but that's all I got.

Still, I made it to the end and was sad to see that it was over, which is usually a good sign! Very interesting take on "magical girls"!

Developer(+1)

Thanks for playing and thanks for the honest feedback.

I actually had more plans for the HUD; I wanted to flash the bar when you got hit, and I was considering flashing the screen as well, but I ran out of time and energy to actually implement it. There definitely is a lack of feedback there and I wish I'd been able to do more.

Shift+move is a power dash which sends you flying along the ground, shift+space is a power jump that shoots you upwards. It's finicky as all hell but I never figured out something better, and I kinda got comfortable with it because you do get used to it if you play the game over and over and over again for a week which I did for testing.

I talk about why this ended up so weird in my postmortem so you can give that a read if you're curious.

Submitted

The lack of feedback when you are hit is the issue that bothers me the most out of the two. To be honest, I did get used to the shift + space/move thing after playing for a while. The final level basically requires it, I think.

I read the post mortem. Quite interesting that you landed on so many of the magical girl staples without knowing, including the changing hair color and the armor basically being a magical girl suit. I'm waiting for the rest!

I don't think I gave emphasis on how much I loved the game. Really has the potential to be one of my favourites from the jam. It's the only one so far I'm seriously reconsidering replaying haha.

Good job!

Developer(+1)

I'm not sure how the color-changing hair came about- I think I just wanted a visual indicator that Something Has Changed and that seemed the easiest and most obvious.

I thought her armor was actually one of the most unusual elements. I guess it's similar in terms of powers? To my eye it doesn't really resemble any of the outfits of the other characters in this jam. The design is inspired by a few sets from Skyrim, and the jewels inspired by the Arc Reactor in Iron Man's armor (yes, really!).

Developer

Please note that the Linux and Mac builds are untested. You may need to mark Lucidity.x86_64 as executable on Linux. If you are on Mac, you may run into some of the issues here.

Developer (1 edit)

So I'm not sure how much of a magical girl game this really is, but I will go over why and how that is in my postmortem later.

EDIT: It's up.

HostSubmitted

I have been waiting for this submission. Been following your threads quite closely ;)

Can't wait to play the game.