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KrisKane

6
Posts
A member registered Sep 19, 2021

Recent community posts

I mean, the witch DID technically get your firstborn in the end. Is invitro an option in this world? Or do you think she's open to adoption? XD

That was amazing! Not just the art, the animation, or the gameplay, but the storytelling was really clean. I love how you captured the anxieties of growing up and trying to find your way as a newly-minted adult. I think you did a phenomal job on showing that awkward phase of being a kid (spaceship model, video game posters, spotify) but being pushed by the world to become an adult (paying rent, getting a job). Throughout the entire demo, I had a very real sense of anxiety and could practically FEEL Max's fear of failing as an adult. You could really tell that he's lost, that he's scared of being burnt despite putting in his all into his endeavors. I hope this game takes off even more than it already has, because this has high potential to be the next big thing!!!!

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I noticed that one of the devs on Steam mentioned that they're worried constantly changing perspectives year to year would be jarring. So what if you introduce the characters that'll be playable in the future in the previous chapter(s)? That way the player would get to know the characters are like before they play them, which would make the transition smoother. Kind of like in stories that use third person limited? Is that the right term? Like here, the player experiences the story from Griselda's POV, and we get to know Dianthus through her. So it would be a lot less jarring for the player if the game switched to Dianthus's POV in a post-October storyline, versus switching to Dianthus's POV when she wasn't introduced in Griselda's storyline at all. Sorry if this all sounds really convoluted, I've been told I skip a lot of details when explaining. 

I went into this thinking it would be a cute, sort-of fantasy rpg with adorable mice. 


I just finished the demo and am now traumatized for life, thank you very much. 


(In a good way, this is a really cool demo and I can't wait for the full version)

THIS IS SUCH A CUTE GAME! I absolutely love the art style and customization options. (Heterochromia and freckles and body markings? Hell yes) Not to mention, FINALLY A GAME WHERE I CAN BE ADDRESSED WITH THEY/THEM PRONOUNS! I can not stress this ENOUGH. In one too many games, I've had to pick either guy or girl with no option to choose non-binary, which SUCKED because I'm non-binary irl, so that meant I kept getting misgendered in games. So THANK YOU for adding this awesome feature, and I can't wait until the full demo gets released!!!! 

THIS IS SUCH A COOL GAME! Tbh, I wasn't sold at first bc of the RPG Maker games are pretty hit or miss with me, but I am SO GLAD I DOWNLOADED IT. I'm no certified critic, but I do hope that you find my analysis useful for your future endeavors!

Strengths

Fantastically written characters, a freshly unique combat system, intriguing crafting system, and a solid balance between plot vs. combat. 

  • Characters
    • A hallmark of a writer that's good with characterization is if they can make memorable NPCs, and you guys pulled it off beautifully. I loved the dynamic between the npcs and the subplots going on in the background, like the blacksmith granny who acknowledges she had a funeral but not that she's dead, or the apothecary owner whose suitors are being chased away by the worried ghost in the next room over. 
    • It was cool to see the contrast in the ghost situation between the apothecary and the blacksmith too - where one place doesn't acknowledge their ghost situation, despite all the evidence suggesting such, and the other fully embracing it. 
    • Love me a snarky, sassy MC with her Demon Butler that's weak to dad jokes. Seriously, I like to see an MC that's not afraid to call people out on their bull (like her dad, wow, father of the year right there), and the idea that a big scary demon who can snap you in two loves dad jokes but pretends not to? Now that's gold.
  • Combat System
    • Not exactly turn based, but not exactly the traditional real-time combat you're used to either. It's a resource management bonanza between your stamina for normal attacks, tp for larger attacks, and buffing and switching your characters for chaining cool combos in a span of a few seconds before you have to guard an attack or get slaughtered. It's the type of combat system that gets your brain pumping to figure out how to string actions to deal the most dmg, while also offering tons of flexibility to different playing styles.
    • Classes! Jobs! Major and minor classes! This reminds me a LOT of Bravely Default's class system, where you have one main and a side class. You can mix and match to create a variety of different playing styles that'll suit the needs of a wide audience of players. I personally went with a Mythological-Divination combo for my demon butler, which ended up being absolutely terrifying - for the enemies that is. :D
  • Crafting system
    • Normally it's an x+y to create z sort of deal, but not here! You take a catalyst and transfer its stats over to a main item, and you gather catalysts by fighting monsters or toggling spirit vision to harvest. Can't say I've ever had to find and collect materials through a different plane of existence, or that I'd get hurt moving in it!
    • The different material grades definitely added a whole new dimension when it came time to craft. They were handy indicators of how much and what stats you can expect to see on a catalyst, and it heightened the value of resource management in this game. (Which is good, considering how crafting plays a major role here)
  • Plot vs. Combat Balance
    • I am VERY picky when it comes to being satisfied between plot and combat. Too much combat and I'm already writing off the game as a combat simulator, but too much plot leaves me bored and restless for a fight. While it's not bad for a game to lean heavily in either direction so long as that's the initial plan, it's clear that the goal for this game is supposed to be a hybrid. That said, I love how compact the plot is. Lots of detail packed into short cutscenes without overloading the player, leaving it up to the player to go gallivanting off into hell whenever they're itching for a fight.


Major Concerns

The game's interface is where most of my grievances lie. 

  •  No idea what stats do.
    • Atk and def are straightforward, but what about Agi or Luk? Does agility only affect dodge or can luck play a part in it? And what does GRD even mean??? It would help if there was some way to go over all the stats and see a brief description, or a "Help" option in the menu that opens up to a page with said descriptions. 
  • Keep the combat menus in one place during fights.
    • By combat menu, I mean the displays of each character's health, stamina, and tp bars. While the directional switching based on your character's orientation in relation to the opponent is a neat stylistic decision, it also gets VERY confusing when you're trying to parse which is your menu and which is the opponent's. You're already on a time crunch to set up your attacks before needing to guard, you don't need to add "figuring out where your character menu is" to that half-second you need to guard.
  • Crafting is tedious for batch orders. 
    • Granted, I don't think you're supposed to complete all of them, but it's still a hassle to make even four of the same item for an order. Is it possible to batch craft everything, where you can select multiple catalysts and sources and swap traits around or does RPG Maker programming not allow for that?
  • No overlay for crafting orders.
    • You know how in MMORPGs, they have a quest overlay on the side of the screen to help the player track their quest progress? Having that but for the crafting orders would be great. I keep going back and forth between the crafting table the ghost merchant bc I can't remember what he's asking for or what the order is. There's way too many things to keep track of, so I'm wondering if there's a way to create a txt file outside the game window that automatically updates progress on the orders. Or something similar.


Lesser Concerns

This is just a list of things that could be implemented to help improve player experience, but nothing that's detrimental to the game.

  • No notice for key bindings. 
    • Given how many games there are that come with their own unique keybindings, especially RPG Maker ones, it'll help if you add the notice about fn+f1 for players that want to assign their own keybindings. I know I would've loved to know that detail when I first played this game.
  • Training Room.
    • This would be helping for practicing combos and getting used to the unique combat system without the pressure of dying. It also opens up an opportunity for further character interaction between the MC and Demon Butler too! 
  • Improve graphics and bgm
    • No, this isn't a jab at whoever drew the characters and their emotes, because I find them absolutely lovely and neat. (Which is to say, holy cow the HANDS and the frills on Mc's dress must have been a nightmare) I'm saying if you want to go the extra mile, use custom pixel art and bgm to REALLY make this game stand out as YOURS. Though understandably, that's extremely time consuming and no content creator should do it unless if this is supposed to be their ultimate brainchild or they're just crazy enough to take the extra workload. (And I should know, considering I draw comics and was crazy enough to make a custom stamp of grass blades. Totally worth the headache it cause though!) Alternatively, there should be royalty-free resources online. 


Overall, love the game, I adore the characters and the combat and crafting system is absolutely innovative with a 6/5 for creativity, but interface needs some work.