1) The 24 Nov 2016 upload (Hades Log_with RTP.exe, 217 MB) works, but not because the extracted folder contains RTP.exe (there is none). As mentioned, RPGMaker VX RTP (RTP.exe alone or the installed package) is not required to play the game, as long as \Game.ini does not contain the line "RTP=RPGVXAce".
2) The 217 MB upload works because it contains the graphics & audio files needed by the game. However, the upload also contains lots of redundant files not used by the game. If you wish to make the game folder much smaller (48 MB uncompressed, ~26 MB compressed), I've provided a list of the essential files here. I discovered that these files are absolutely essential by running the game numerous times without the required graphics & audio files, & then sequentially checking what files the game complains as missing.
3) Some Issues:
a) Asian font is not rendered properly in the game's titlebar & gameplay's text. The game's Asian font is displayed as "???" or a random string of symbols (eg. -#$_%) or rubbish characters (screenshots). My OS localization is English, but my Windows Font folder contains various Unicode font-types that can render Kanji & non-Kanji Asian fonts. For instance, I can type, save & display the Kanji character 明 (myeung) in my system with no problems.
As such, the problem might be due to the game translation script or file not being compiled/ saved with UTF-8 encoding. For instance, I noticed that the \Read Me.txt file contains rubbish characters as well, but re-saving the file with UTF-8 encoding on my side does not help. The encoding was not preserved on your side.
b) I can hear the various sound effects (eg. resulting from to menu action), but is there music in the game ? There are stretches of silent black screen lasting a few seconds each throughout the game. I'm guessing these silences could be music instead, since the game needs at least 5 audio files (music type, not sound effects) in the \Audio\BGM\ folder. Or maybe the "baek" memory-recall scenes have music as well ?
c) Although the game is tagged "Multiple Endings" on this page, the game always progresses the exact same way & ends with a black screen showing "ED1. Nil" (screenshot), regardless of which in-game option I choose. Is there more than one ending ? If yes, I can't seem to get to the other endings.
d) The game is also tagged "Point & Click" here. But the mouse click doesn't work in the game. I have to use the arrows, ENTER & ESC keys on the keyboard.
First of all, I should inform that I am not a professional translator.
Even though the gameplay doesn't have any RTP elements in it,
The game's resource, for some reason, still requires the RTP data.
Since I don't want to mess up the game by poking things I don't really know,
this is going to be the safest, yet not really the best option.
As for the issues :
a) There is nothing I can do with the UTF-8 related stuff; I am no expert when it comes to those sort of things.
Deleting the 明 was the simplest solution, since it wouldn't make a huge difference.
Also, some of the missing texts were intended : http://i.imgur.com/PeGQlbs.png
b) Is there really no music? There should be. Something's wrong there, is everyone having the same issue?
I swear I saw the musics compile correctly when I was doing the compiling thing...
c) ::::SPOILER ALERT::::
d) Yes, I was hesitant to put the 'Point & Click' tag at first, but despite the game not using any mouse controls, the game uses the same system as a point&click game. This... should be fine, right?
Thanks for the detailed information!
The game files should be updated shortly.
1) Still no music here (Win 7 x64) during the gameplay, other than menu-triggered sound effects. The music mp3 files in the game's folder play fine in an external player though.
2) I managed to reach an alternate ending that concludes with "ED2. Empty" on a black screen, followed by the game credits. But I'm guessing there should be more alternate endings, so I shall try again.
3) Upon reaching this screen with the Hanja ("Kanji") characters, I suddenly "see the light" regarding the homonymic & visual puns in the game's name, which also brings to mind the bright memory baek & the shiny points of light used in the game mechanics, whilst simultaneously foreshadowing the dark theme of the game. I think this is great !
On a curious note though, isn't the Hanja character for Hades/ Underworld 冥, instead of 溟 (sea, to drizzle) as shown on the game's screen ? Although both characters are written & pronounced as 명 (myeung) in Korean Hangul, their meanings are totally different.
I have contacted the author Nishi and they quoted : "The sound problem doesn't happen in the Korean version, so I do not know how to fix it." and "The reason why I used 溟 instead of 冥 is because the Hades, even though it's an afterworld, it's not all dark and depressing. That's why I didn't used 冥 which means dark."
I've also looked up to see if the music problem had anything to do with Korean characters, but that doesn't seem to be the case. So I really don't have any clue how to fix it... (._.
1) BACKGROUND MUSIC ISSUE: SOLVED
I noticed that in RTP Gamemaker's \Audio\BGM\ folder, the standard resource files are all OGG, in contrast to the game's music files which are all MP3. So I converted the MP3 files to OGG. And now I can hear the game's background music.
I subsequently researched this issue on the internet, & it appears that RTP Gamemaker tends to have problems with MP3 playback during the game for either the game designer &/or the end player. To be on the safe side, it's best to supply OGG (smaller filesize) or WAV (larger filesize), which RTP can natively decode without having to rely on external codecs.
- From gamemaker.info: "If you want to play other files, like mp3 files, you should select the option to use the media player. [...] Preferably don't use mp3 files in your games. [...] Also, not all machines support them. So your game might not run on all machines."
- From rpgmakerweb.com: "the problem might've been the user having set another decoder than default in windows environment to deal with the .mp3 format"
For info, the default MP3 player installed on my system is Winamp (using Nullsoft MPEG Audio Decoder in_mp3.DLL codec). Perhaps RTP Gamemaker or the configuration selected during game compilation does not recognize Winamp's MP3 codec, which is why I couldn't hear the MP3 music during gameplay.
2) 溟 vs 冥: ETYMOLOGY
Thanks for the explanation. If 溟 is preferred, a more effective background reasoning would be take 溟 as a metaphor for the so-called Haenggi Pond of Korean mythology. Since this pond is supposed to be the portal leading to the Underworld entrance, 溟 would thus be the 界 (boundary, realm) that separates the Living World from the Afterlife. Info about Haenggi Pond: Ref 1, Ref 2. However, 溟 (sea, drizzle) itself lacks connotations of brightness, which I think the game is trying to convey.
Personally though, I think 冥 (Hades/ Underworld, dark) works better as the game's title because of the juxtaposition with the suffix 明 (bright, light, to understand). The unexpected & oxymoronic contrast arouses curiosity. And users who played the game would get to see the light, ie. realize that what this 明 is about -- the Afterlife within the game is not that dark, & the reapers aren't grim at all.
For comparison, there is an animated short film (5 mins) with a similar oxymoronic title 'The Life of Death' (2012). It features the reaper/ death's messenger as well, but in another context & setting.
There's really no need to package the entire RTP Gamemaker resource ("data") files (>200 MB) for users who don't have RTP installed. Hades Log definitely does not require all the stock resource files found in RTP Gamemaker. Based on the final compressed filesize (~28 MB exe) consisting of only the game script & essential resource files, you don't even have to upload 2 different builds.
Just import only the resources actually used by the game into the game's project folder, make sure Game.ini doesn't have that "RPGCXACE" reference, & don't tick "Include RTP Data" during game compilation ("Compress Game Data"). In doing so, you aren't "messing around" with the game files, but only sieving out the necessary ones for the benefit of end users, as well as yourself in terms of uploading time & bandwidth. For instance, do you think Hades Log requires hundreds of redundant RTP "data" files such as monster/ battlefield sprites or scream/ wolf/ quake audio files ?
You don't have to take my word for it. You can check out some RTP Gamemaker user references collated here on how to compile a more lightweight RTP game for distribution. And here is a list of absolutely essential Hades Log game files as required on a system without RTP installed (& assuming no Korean fonttype installed either).
If manually sieving out the essential game resource files is too tedious, you can examine this pared-down Hades Log game file & test-play it on a machine without any RTP installed: HadesLog.exe (28 MB self-extracting EXE, expiry: 50 days after last download, VirusTotal report: 0/68 detections). I'd played through the entire game several times using this downsized game package, so it definitely works even though I don't have RTP Gamemaker on my system.
Note: I had also re-saved the game's \Readme.txt with UTF-8 encoding after replacing the garbage characters with their Hangul equivalents sourced from the Korean version (나를 읽어라.txt). It doesn't affect the game, it only makes the TXT file more readable (ie. as opposed to having lots of garbage characters). Cheers !