I've said this elsewhere and several times, but I just can't get over how nice your game is. You got a fully working battle system, something I couldn't even wrap my head around for one fight let alone a bunch, and the character sprites and faces are all really nice. I know the music is free-to-use stuff but you picked out really great pieces, too.
Recent community posts
I sincerely doubt my Tumblr blog will interest many, it's a personal blog so just about anything will go there. Particularly rants about everything, game-related pictures and discussions, conversations with friends, and of course cats. However, I am mutuals with other blogs that people might like such as DiscoverGames and GuilelessMonk. They, like myself, talk frequently about video games; the culture, the industry, etc.
I stay well away from Twitter because it is basically a breeding ground for misunderstandings do to the character limit.
I did interact with all the mailboxes, or at least I thought I had. I just always got the message about there being nothing in them. I have a save before the last boss, so I can go back and check that out again, though.
I'd love to see you add or expand where possible, cause it was just such an enjoyable game and the story was engaging. I liked visiting the different worlds and seeing what befell them. I'm just so impressed with the amount of work you got done!
Okay, so I'm still in the middle of it but I thought I'd point out a couple of things.
- The music is really good, but it's LOUD. Thankfully that can be turned down.
- Combat is nice but it was really hard at first, probably healed after every fight and almost died in the first non-scripted one.
- There's a number of little things you need to fix:
There's a pixel or three on Herb's face picture. There is no way to finish the Desert World Cause quest. The trigger for Queen Uriel is action, but it causes the screen to fadein with the characters a few feet away. The trigger for the dialogue when you go into that town repeats even after you beat the queen, before doing the post-fight dialogue.
Otherwise I'm really enjoying it a lot and having fun. The one character's swearing gets a little obnoxious, but thankfully the others seem to tug their leash about it, so to speak.
EDIT: I just finished your game around 3 hours and a half hours or so. I'll be highlighting the stream later, but the important stuff is in that stuff up there. Nitpicks are down below.
In case you're interested in typos and such.. there's a couple, the one that stood out most was bureaucratic, the rest I can't really remember it was just that one stuck in the mind. Also, the protag Mx.Gunslinger. You're probably thinking of that supposed gender-neutral term? I kinda wanna say lose it or do something cause it causes the name to run into the class name in the status screen. Also, it's kinda confusing since some people end up calling them Mx. as a name. I kinda thought Gunslinger alone was enough, but this is just my opinion.
Only other thing I can think of is that I really wanted to know more about the world-portal stuff. Why did worlds have them even when they weren't having problems? That kinda thing. Also, did Keepe place all the radios or just the one they mention?
Okay, I'll bite. I wouldn't mind a little input from someone other than my friends who haven't actually played it, anyways. (though they occasionally watched me stream)
I'd like feedback on:
I'm probably most curious about responses to the writing, events, characters. I specifically reduced combat to be as quick and simple as possible because.. frankly I had no time to wrap my head around that or balancing it. Honestly RPG Maker VX Ace's vanilla combat has always frustrated the hell out of me and I was almost to the point of taking it out altogether (which I still did, in a way).
Would people be interested in seeing me try and get the rest of my content/ideas in place for an expanded version, for instance. I mean, I still want to do that, but it'd still be nice to hear what others have to say.
EDIT: Sorry, just realized I didn't do the whole bullet-style thing. It's not really my way of writing...
- Storytelling, is it hard to follow or does it seem to flow fairly well?
- Do the scripted events feel okay? Did taking the control away at times feel annoying or did it help?
- Did the character feel like actual people and not vanilla "Welcome to Corneria." NPCs?
- How about the flavour text? Did anyone like all the little things you could check? I had fun with those.
Yeah, I've been fiddling with various RPG Makers since the late 90s but never actually MADE a full, working game before now. The closest I got was a partial one I'd done on the PS1 but I ran out of room on the memory cards cause they weren't designed to hold that kinda data. It also forced me to come up with some ideas on the fly to replace the stuff I was having to cut out due to time constraints and while I'm not necessarily happy with how it ends, I'm happy with how the ending turned out.
And the game as a whole really. It gave me some good, solid hands-on experience with VX Ace that I'll be able to use for expanding this (someday) or making another game entirely, which I'd also like to do at some point. I DO think two weeks is not really long enough to make an RPG or story of decent length, though, so in hindsight I hadn't realized how big my game was going to actually get. I thought it'd be a relatively short and simple project to get my feet wet, but had to learn a surprising amount.
RPG Maker VX Ace is certainly simple, in many ways, but it's also quite complicated if scripting doesn't come easy to you. I don't know any computer languages like C++ or python so if I had to get my hands dirty in the script editor it went over my head pretty fast. As a result, I think a number of my events could've probably been done more neatly coding-wise, but at least they work!
Strictly speaking, since we've all made games now, do we really quality to take part in another First Game Jam? However, perhaps next time I can work together with a friend or two of mine and that might count. :p
Well, thanks to family interference, I've now been up over 28 hours and the last time I ate was roughly 12 or so hours ago. I'm a Diabetic so that's probably not a good thing, but I got some emergency blood sugar a little bit ago, so I'll be fine. I was about to submit my game when they were like "hey, we're going to the store" and of course it's never JUST the store, so I got dragged around a while.
On the plus side, I can finally submit my game.
* Working through the night, Hiroshi fixed the Unfinished Game.
* It became the Completed Project.
Incidentally, it's actually rather common for developers facing a deadline to put the work before their own health. Square Enix was particularly known for having a dev room and in almost every game where one appeared there was one personified staff member who remarked on having lost so much weight, or who was very hungry, or maybe they were just feeling really poorly.
Although it was not my intention, I certainly placed my own needs after that of the game I was working on. While I did take a day off or two over the previous weekend because of things like family or just getting out of the house for a bit, this week has seen a lot of rushing. The more I wanted to get the game completed, the more problems I seemed to run into. A friend kept wanting to have me watch their stream, another friend repeatedly pestered me on Steam Chat (I eventually logged off, though I felt badly), and then the last two days or so I've started feeling a bit ill.
However, it's entirely possible that last bit is a coincidence, or due to the stress of a deadline, rather than actual neglect on my part. It was very important to me that I do complete this project, though. It's the first real undertaking in some years that I've managed to see all the way through. It gave me a boost of confidence I needed to perhaps work on some more RPG Maker projects after this is over, though it may not be for some time.
Truth be told, I am not really satisfied with how this turned out. Even though it still looks and feels really good, I had to sacrifice at least half of the stuff I had planned. So even though it has a beginning and ending, it was not the conclusion I had planned, but once I had committed to shortening it I made sure it felt appropriate and not simply phoned in the way some AAA RPGs have felt in the past. I must confess, though, that it's still rather info-dumpy like the AAA games I just mentioned.
It's coming down to just over 5 days left and I'm not entirely sure I'll have quite enough time to do all I wanted. Family's been interfering with time I'd have otherwise spent working on the project and of course I lost two days refamiliarizing myself with RPG Maker VX Ace in general and working on concepts to flesh out what I'd written last year. Spoke to a friend of mine and I may opt for a shorter, alternate ending until I can finish it properly. Sadly, that'd be cutting at least half of the story and I'd rather not, but we'll see.
When you start looking at the provided characters and actors in RPG Maker there are two immediately obvious problems. The first is that there's only a single face for any given character - which is really lame if you want expressions.. while the second, and arguably more important, is the fact that there's nothing but white people. Now, I'm white (don't hold it against me) and even I think that's pretty ridiculous. So despite most RPGs being in a "fantasy setting" it's always healthy to have a little sense of realism. For me that means two things: None of this "larger than life" crap (except bosses) and actually seeing people of different skin colours. So with that in mind I felt one of the most important things I should do is make sure there's some variety amongst the people in my town.
Game Character Hub does, thankfully, come supplied with four skin tones but we come in more shades than that so I tried to mix it up while also attempting to go for some faces that actually kinda resemble people like you might see on television or.. I dunno.. outside your house. Well, except for that guy in the hoodie, he looks kinda like someone who'd stab me in a crowded room or something. Speaking of suspicious people! I don't know about any of you, but when I walk into a place like this my warning sirens go off like the Enterprise just got slammed by photon torpedoes.
Seriously, that places reeks of money and not the friendly kind like your paycheck.
In all honesty, I'm surprised I managed to get as far as I have, even though compared to some that's not very much. The main town is finished and the interior of two homes, but most of the events - the meat of the game - have yet to be scripted, although I already know what many of them are going to be. I've also got maybe 1/3 of the sprites and faces I need finished, but compared to the tiling and events that's a drop in the bucket.
However, it's given me what I really wanted and that's first-hand experience at getting something done in VX Ace. It's certainly similar to the older versions of RPG Maker but does plenty of things differently. I haven't found a way to invert tiles (cobble around grass instead of vice versa), for instance, and events are tracked by location rather than as a whole.
Nice to see another using RPG Maker. I'm impressed at the number of people who are doing custom title screens (among other graphics), and it makes me wish I more time/patience to do the same. Anyways, you're doing really good so I'm eager to see how this plays out!
All right, so this time I wanna touch briefly on the difference between character creation in RPG Maker VS Ace itself and the optional Game Character Hub. Below are two quick and dirty versions cobbled together in the core program and then compared to GCH.
Note that while you certainly plenty of selections to choose from and RPG Maker WILL allow you to see both at the same time, there's not a slider in sight. You can't adjust saturation or hues, and there's no way to edit the pieces themselves.
Both of these characters will be in the game, but now I wanna draw your attention to the two faces in the upper corner. The one on the right was made just like the female character, but I recreated it in GCH to show side be side the differences. You can move parts, you can remove pieces - make him only have one eyebrow if you want. Another important distinction is that in RPG Maker you're forced to use female parts with female characters. Unfortunately, there is a very limited range of expressions and on two occasions I had to borrow a male mouth for a female face, which GCH thankfully allows.
Incidentally, and this is perhaps the one flaw in GCH by comparison.. but you'll notice a lack of ears here. RPG Maker includes them by default but as influenced by my own art I constantly forget about ears. On the girl up there it won't matter cause she has a lot of hair and hiding the ears is common even in real life. As for the guy, he's gonna need some before I finish. Oh, and by the way, you can make sprites just as easily in Game Character Hub, I just didn't want to have too many images in a single post. I don't want to show off too much of the game because it's not terribly long and it's story driven.
Freaking internet ate my previous attempt at posting, so I'll try to keep it brief cause I really dislike needlessly repeating myself. I can't even remember half fo what I said previously, which doesn't help.
For starters, I want to apologize for not realizing we were doing DevBlogs. Although I'm familiar with game jams and have an itch.io account for throwing the occasional dollar at a neat game, I've never actually spent much time on the site. Secondly, I've become socially awkward in my 30s so if I come off as distant or don't comment much, I apologize.
The current working title (I'm considering several) for this project is Non Player Character, because the focus is not on some hero or otherwise "important" person one is used to in adventure games. Likewise, although this is similar in appearance to one of those oft-criticized RPG Maker games you see for $30 on some website *coughs*, it probably bears more in common with To the Moon. There is significantly reduced emphasis on stats or combat, if they even remain in the game. What I really wanted to accomplish was telling a short story in an RPG environment.
I'm always coming up with random game ideas and about 86% of them are in the RPG genre, largely because it's my favourite and is just so useful for telling stories. That said, I didn't ever get around to doing anything with it last year and when I heard about this jam I just knew I had to do something and this was what instantly popped into mind. While I'm familiar with RPG Maker from yesteryear, ol' RPG Maker 95, 2000, and the PS1 version, I haven't ever managed to make a full game.
So the first thing I did was fiddle about with the tileset, because I don't have the time (or patience/motivation) to do full custom, but quickly realized I was gonna need to do some rough sketch of the town that'll be the story's focus. Yes, it's a crude MS Paint doodle. My tablet is packed away in a box somewhere and my hands shake too much for smooth lines. Thankfully, I also have access to Game Character Hub so I can at least make some (marginally) original characters and face portraits.
It took me a while to get comfortable with mapping and tilesets again. The above early draft took me almost 7 hours (of pure work), but after fiddling and increasing the map size (by quite a bit) I finally found my footing and the rest of the town only took about a day and a half (including breaks and sleep). That's including rebuilding various parts of the map several times as I sought the correct size and adjusted accordingly. See, one of my big hurdles with any form of creation is the ridiculous standards I hold myself to, so I will doggedly tweak and alter something for hours (sometimes even days) until I'm satisfied. Getting myself to accept that anything is "good enough" is difficult.
That original picture was like 20 high and 40 long and the completed version is about 60x60. Getting the hang of shading (and telling myself it was "okay" that the darkened blocks aren't smoothed out) was a tricky factor, but I absolutely didn't want it to feel flat. As the above shows, I got a little carried away with it at first. I am SO glad this is a two-week project cause there's no way in hell I'd be able to get even a single town done in a day. Well, not one I'd be willing to show off, at any rate.
I have no idea how close this post is to the original, which was probably worded better.
Like others, my primary goal is to just familiarize myself with the program in question - in this case, RPG Maker VX Ace. I used to play around with RPG Maker 95 and the one released on the PSX years ago, but the newer version has brought about changes and let's face it I'm extremely rusty. What I'd really like to do make a custom graphic set but that takes way more time than the jam would allow and I am rarely satisfied with my work, which means another big hurdle for this is being able to tell myself that something is good enough.
I don't know how much I'll be talking here, but I definitely wanna do this. I've always got scads of game ideas floating around in my head, so it's about time I managed to successfully pluck out outta my brain and do something with it. As it stands, this will pretty much just be a basic JRPG style game though if I can pull it off it won't actually play much like a traditional game. I'm more interested in telling a story through gameplay mechanics and writing for this project.
However, even if it's not a finished game by the time this is over, I'll still be happy if I've gotten a better grasp of VX Ace and what it can do.