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Jubal Barca

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A member registered Feb 25, 2018 · View creator page →

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Downloaded this for windows to take a quick look. The basic game loop worked fine, I was perhaps hoping for a bit more story/exploration elements (I guess maybe those never got implemented, or I didn't do enough combat to reach them) whereas I just seemed to be stuck in multiple rounds of combat against the same enemies, slowly building up more and more of a stack of mini turrets to follow me around. I liked the visual style a lot and the combat system worked well though.

It was going to have at least part of that regularity, exactly: probably slightly simplified rather than having a lot of the feast days etc (which would then mean I'd have to think about a year-tracking time system) to a system where on Sunday you were expected to attend there rather than work, and that this would also be a key moment for getting certain bits of information or advancing certain bits of the plot, because it's also the one location that all the NPCs also have to be at.

I am still hoping to get the time to do it at some point, anyhow! I've just had it confirmed that I'm defending the doctorate in late October so I'm hoping this will be a winter for getting creative stuff done.

Because I never got round to implementing the church, is the short answer! I'm hoping to spend some time doing an updated version sometime that will include the church, a bit more fenland, and some more character storylines, but there hasn't been enormous interest over the last year or so time has ended up being spent on being unwell and finishing my PhD - hopefully this winter I'll get to it though :)

I got this as part of the Katelynn's Closet bundle (which I also had a thing in) - I enjoyed it! I found in general that sneaking up behind enemies to hit them was a hyper-dominant strategy. Also dying didn't seem to inconvenience me in any way so I had little incentive not to be fairly pushy. The later enemy types were fun but didn't seem to change the game very much, and eventually once I had grab & throw I could sort of clear out and defend a decent chunk of the battlefield area until I had potato money.

I would also vote for making the pea v pea pun more hammily on-the-nose, possibly by changing the image to actually be two peas staring daggers at each other. And maybe having more than one village vendor, adding some silly dialogue for flavour, etc. Also the music especially in the village got annoying fast because the loop was so short.

Anyway, thanks for making it :)

Overall I really liked this one.

Gameplay-wise: there was one location I didn't find, and the stranded sealers' quest doesn't tell you where to go next which didn't help. There didn't seem to be an endgame either once you finish the quests? I think it maybe also suffered a bit from needing to do a full replay when you run out of supplies, since it's basically a lot of running through the same content in the same way to find a little bit more endgame stuff. That said, everything ran very smoothly and I thought the logs were interesting and well written in general. 

The history was well presented and I liked it a lot: no real complaints there. It would've been nice to find some way to get more alternative viewpoints, especially indigenous ones, in there if there was a more extended version.

Thank you! Yes, the parser system is quite genre-convention-y and can take a bit of time to get used to (and I didn't have time to make much of a tutorial for it unfortunately!) But I'm glad you enjoyed it, hopefully the general feel of the place and landscapes come over a bit which is a lot of what I was aiming for: since most western European fens are now heavily drained it's an environment I think people aren't very used to nowadays.

Thanks for playing! Yes, I think there's a lot of sort of genre-norms stuff for text parser games where once you've played a few you get quite used to certain bits of how the commands are constructed and used, and I didn't have the time to write more of a tutorial section or anything as I might do for a longer game. I'm glad you still found some enjoyment from it :)

Just sent it, might take a while to turn up as there's basically two books' worth of material in the attachments :)

Sure, I'd be very happy to have more of a chat about it/send some details over sometime - I guess the ones I frequent most are Discord, Twitter, Email, and the old webforums at Exilian which I help run still (you might like that space generally if you're interested in this sort of stuff, it's a small and fairly community with quite a heavy history + games crossover) - but I can probably do most other systems too, whatever works :)

Thank you for playing! Yeah, I guess the text-parser system is a bit old fashioned nowadays, but I'm glad it works OK once you've worked it out.

Thanks for the thoughtful response! The bit of wanting to show how the Mongols were a global threat/make it more relevant to central-east European and western gamers is interesting.

I have some digital copies of translations of Rus sources which I'd be happy to share with you if you're interested: drop me a message with your email address and I can send them over.

Also a hint for players finding it hard: movement is key: take out the left flank of emus as they come, then start moving left so you can retreat in front of the right flank of emus. This will mean they have slightly further to get to you and give you the time you need to take them out in your futile attempts at heroism in the face of the unending avian tide.

I liked the graphics style on this, but I'd have preferred to play as the emus. Also I found the gunshot noise a bit excessive for concentration.

Historical accuracy score less good: the terrain looks good, but the Emus' tactics of all running straight for a lone soldier are somewhat ahistorical and the Australians lost using automatic weaponry and trucks, not the single-shot gun presented, which is important because it makes the whole event even more hilarious.

Anyway, good job and especially well done on the look and art style which were very enjoyable :)

I really liked this, solid ratings all round. My biggest gameplay criticism is that failing should be "restart the level" not "restart the game" in a game of this length. The most major bug was that all the captions for the event seemed to show the one for the prehistoric land bridge, which was a pity.

On the history side, some of the presentation of things could have been made a bit fuzzier, making it clearer in earlier periods that the events were "circa" and indeed were in many cases really processes, rather than the slightly old-school "this happened in this year" way of presenting things.. I really liked the red herring events and I particularly liked the half-plausible sounding ones (like "Romans invading Ireland"), but wasn't sure they did much game-wise (unless there was some penalty for drag-and-dropping them that I didn't find).

Anyway, generally really liked it, good job!

Thank you! Yes, I'm a historian professionally (still finishing off my PhD, but I teach seminars and publish papers etc): I work on the people & politics of medieval Georgia/the south Caucasus, and also on developing computer/database driven methods for studying ancient & medieval periods. I'm based at the University of Vienna.

Generally I really liked this: it's a good story, I thought that the historic representation was very good, the music was nice and the art is excellent. It suffered a little from the lack of gameplay, and I was sort of struggling to keep focused on the slow text: more interactivity, shorter text units, maybe highlighting speaking characters and indicating better who was speaking, would have helped. It's the sort of game where you could easily add some path choices in the dialogues too which would have been a good way to add some gameplay: give the player the opportunity to add a bit more character to the Student for example. But I was very glad to see it overall and the information aspects were very interesting. Good work :)

So, some thoughts! It looks nice, I don't know much about the look for this period, it struck me as a bit odd that the village had such a small stick fence and I wonder if villages wouldn’t have cleared trees a bit further from the walls to create space for farm plots and improve visibility: but we’re on minor quibbles, generally the medieval aesthetic had a reasonable if slightly “generic RPG” feel to it. Music was nicely chosen too. Gameplay was of course quite limited and it would’ve been nice to have a bit of pathing choice or something to make it feels more of a game and put more of the plot into interactions. I found the controls a bit janky and I’d rather have had either the camera solely on keyboard and the mouse free for UI selection or the mouse locked to camera movement and action with keyboard selectors for the dialogue UI, I think. The halfway house was a tad awkward. Also it would've been good to have the text sections at the ends skippable, not because I didn't want to read them but because I read them in about a third of the time it gave me.

Regarding the history: I really like the use of primary sources. Whilst having the full burning of the village is a fair reading of this period especially for Ryazan which absolutely did suffer heavily, I thought maybe the nuance you had in some of the surrounding text could’ve worked itself into the game a bit more - there's a tendency to just portray Mongol attacks as unfocused killing, whereas things like the slaughter at Ryazan were probably quite purposeful in their horrors in order to show other cities and rulers the consequence of failing to surrender. Rural villages, on the other hand, were probably torched rather more rarely (despite what things like the Galician chronicle tend to say): destruction of supplies, fleeing before an attack, enslavement, etc were all serious threats and I think in some ways offer more story potential than the “everyone’s dead, Dmitri” approach, so for a longer game a bit more of that angle for the player might be a more interesting route. It’s also worth noting that western sources were often really quite explicit in portraying the Mongols as simple unstoppable monsters because for people who wanted a more united and ordered Christian world, talking up a bit terrifying threat to that made a lot of sense. I did like your inclusion of a nod to the connectivity of the Pax Mongolica, and generally I like the approach of having quite an ordinary, human viewpoint on some of the very harrowing realities of the worse bits of medieval history. Anyway, I gave it five stars because I thought this was a pretty fair crack at the history especially given the constraints of game jam level time allowances (and where I make critiques here, I’m thinking about them as a professional historian of a nearby region & period so I don’t want to be unfair in the expectations I’m setting!)

I was, on that note, interested that you used Hungarian/Western sources rather than translations of Russian ones like the Hypatian codex/Galician-Volhynian Chronicle. Was there a reason for that choice?

Had a runthrough of this, eventually hit a point where the End Turn button greyed out and I couldn't do anything more, possibly the game got confused when I surrounded a guy on four sides so it couldn't move him?

But yes, generally fine tactical gameplay, cute art which I enjoyed as well. The roads on the left side of the map were impassable so my starting cavalry were trapped, the audio didn't work, and as mentioned the game crashed which slightly reduced enjoyment. It would've been nice to have more explanation available of the history & what was going on, I think - beyond the title there wasn't really much to indicate that this was specifically the Mughals, so it maybe could've benefited from a little extra groundedness in the history.

Anyhow, fine as it goes and well done getting it done - this is definitely one where I'd like to see a more complete version, I do like this style of tactical combat :)

I've not got a lot bad to say about this except there just isn't very much of a game, even by the standards of jam games. It looks a good classic pixel-style thing and it sounds fine (though the typing noise thingy when talking is frustrating), but you just get two conversations and jumping over one object as far as I could find so it was a bit hard to judge: I didn't give it a very high rating but this was mainly because I didn't feel there was enough there to make a proper judgement. But well done on making it and good luck for future work :)

I could probably make one if you're interested... I can't remember if the python files are bundled with the download, but it should just be a case of running it directly from them and maybe stripping out the sound module which uses windows systems. Sadly I don't have a Linux testing machine available.

Hi there! Thanks for the report. What operating system & version are you using to run the game?

- JMB.