This was wonderful. Love the dialogue and twist.
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This was terrific! The way you used the mirror as the text box or changed the color of the screen to make it seem like we were experiencing the story from the perspective of the mirror was so creative.
Your team did a great job overcoming the limitations. The writing was really excellent and it was so easy to feel sympathetic for the main character. The way the UI matches the paintings used makes the experience feel very cohesive.
The space could probably be optimized better, but I'm not really sure how - the technical details of optimization are definitely my strong suit. Most sprites are '#' x 1500 though all the character sprites are individual files than some kind of conglomeration. There's about 1GB of sprites, then around 650MB of sound (which will increase once the rest of the game's audio is in). The sprites for the particle systems/attack effects in battle are pretty sizable, past the 2GB point. I could probably reduce the file size if I changed them from PSDs to PNGs. Probably worth experimenting with once I'm done with the game's content. Since the battle effects are something I purchased from the Unity Asset Store and not something I made myself, I was hesitant to change anything and mess things up.
Very cool! The character art is really nice. Conveying fighting in these types of games is difficult, but I like how you conveyed it with the sprites shaking and sliding. Looking forward to seeing more / the end of their encounter.
For Bio Seeker, a message pops up in the top left after "Jean used Bio Seeker" for a few seconds. But I'll consider having it do that every time the skill is used, and then have some kind of health bar physically appear (either permanently or for a period of time) if the OT gate is met. Like I said before, I think it can be easy to miss the messages if you aren't expecting them.
Inflicting Dizzy is how you deal the most damage to enemies (kind of like Stagger in modern Final Fantasy or Break in Octopath Traveler if you've played those). Each enemy has 'Vulnerabilities' to certain elements (the attack element icons in boxes under their timer meter) and an amount of 'Guard Points' (the number in the shield). Hitting an enemy with an element they're vulnerable to decreases it by one (though it can be decreased by more if other conditions are met). When that number is reduced to zero, the enemy becomes 'Dizzy' for a period of time, where they receive significantly more damage, skips their next turn, and pauses Rage buildup.
Making the tutorials/mechanics visible in-game is definitely something I'd like to do at some point. It can easy to forget things or accidentally miss them.
Thanks for the detailed response! OT charge remains the same, though skills increase in power every 10 levels. The majority of skills cost under 10 OT, with those exceeding it being really powerful skills that you are encouraged to be using the distribution/manipulation skills for in order to use.
I'll have to experiment with giving Isaac a Revive skill - maybe changing the 'Survival Skills' skill to have an alternate effect if the ally is KO'd since Jean doesn't get her Revive skill until 10 - though that doesn't solve situations where he's KO'd. Maybe Jean's Restore can revive an ally if they're KO'd as an additional effect. Perhaps I can change Jean's Bio Seeker effect to make an enemy's HP permanently visible if the OT gate is met (with it not affecting damage otherwise), rather than have it only display in a message after using the skill.
There's definitely a lot of things I haven't considered as I'm sure I play the game "optimally" and so don't really know how others play or struggle with it aside from 1-2 playthroughs with the modern system I've seen. I'll have to look into setting up some kind of non-spoiler battle playtest build. Right now my priority is just putting everything together and then balancing it.
Regarding battle length, I'm concern that if battles are too short, I defeat the purpose of having them, since each encounter is fixed rather than something that occurs randomly multiple times in the field. The game's biggest inspirations are Yggdra Union and Etrian Odyssey, which are both pretty challenging, though because they're turned-based it's easier to take a breather and assess the situation, rather than using the 'Pause' overlay, which may feel like an inorganic method of accomplishing that.
The "phases" are mostly weakness shuffling/Guard Point changes. There are some "phases" like bosses gaining additional actions or changing their timer after being Dizzy'd a certain number of times. Maybe I can modify part of the UI to make these changes more visible. Since the game is so fast, sometimes those messages aren't retained because the player is busy choosing actions.
Thanks again! I really like the I Am Setsuna way of handling side effects for healing moves you mentioned. I'll have to experiment with that.
Since OT takes the place of MP/SP, and there is no item system to "replenish" resources, a cap is a little tricky. Right now, the strongest offensive skill requires 40 OT and the strongest defensive skill requires 35 OT. However, a cap to "natural" OT gain, but still allowing characters to use their OT-passing skills to bypass that cap could work. I'm not sure how far you've gotten, but Isaac and Jean have a way to share or distribute OT with others while Sparta transforms it into bonus damage. Other characters will be able to utilize it in a similar manner as well.
Also, do you mind letting me know which fight(s) you felt the game spiked in difficulty? I'm interested in knowing which encounters players found most difficult for balance purposes.
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to play the game!
I'm glad you found the Defend aspect useful. A feature I could possibly add in the completed game is a way to have all party members capable of performing an action Defend with a single button, since there's not enough time to cycle through everyone as-is. Boosting with recovery skills may be more useful as you get further in the game, but right now it's primarily an offensive mechanic. To be honest, it's been a while since I played my own game since I've been occupied with writing and art for so long, but I think as HP and enemy damage increases, healing doesn't scale proportionally and so using Boost with Recover becomes a bit more viable.
I think Overtime caps at 50 or 99 (I don't remember which, exactly). I'll have to see if I give it a lower cap or instead give enemies skills that change your OT cap to a lower number.
The game saves automatically every time you enter the Hub area (where you can speak with characters or access menu options). There should be a icon displaying so, but maybe a bug is stopping it from appearing. I'll need to examine it. Regardless, a "This game autosaves..." when you first start kind of message may be useful.
Thanks for reporting the Boost bug and sharing your difficulties with the UI!I don't have a list of known issues since the game. Really just adding things that I encounter on my own to a Trello since not that many people have played this, haha!
I wasn't planning on submitting it or a variant to BAF VN jam, since it's my primary project and been worked on well in advance of the jam announcement - though I did add the tag when Arimia created it and posted about it in DevTalk earlier this year. Again, thank you so much for not only playing the game, but giving me such great feedback and things to look into. If you return to the game, I hope you enjoy it. I'm hoping to finish this project this summer - or at least have all of the content done so that I can focus on bug-fixing, adding additional ingredients, improving UI/UX, etc..!
Good luck with your project for the BAF jam! I remember seeing your posting for Spirit Link and hope it all goes well!
Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm glad you've found the story interesting and appreciate the artwork!
Once the final version of the game comes around, I'll be adding more ingredients to both the cooking and tea minigames, so I hope that makes them even more fun!
I want to be able to disable NSFW content from showing up when I browse the website. However, when I go to my profile settings, it doesn't allow me to opt-out. The checkbox regarding that content simply does not appear. I have attached a screenshot of that portion of my screen.
However, I do not have NSFW content uploaded. Out of the 3 games/demos/prototypes I have uploaded, none of them contain adult content. In the past, there was NSFW content on this account, but that has been deleted for a long time as I have now divided that content into 2 different accounts with the help of itch.io staff. However, it seems like there is a bug where although the content the removed or adjusted, the account remains unable to change that setting. It is almost like a flag attached to the account that has not been updated.
Thank you for your time.
Hi there, I don't know how else to contact you, so I figured I would comment here. I recently released my own game (a VN/RPG split into 4 episodes), and I wanted to know if it would be OK for me to add a variation of scrag as a minigame in an upcoming expansion? The main differences would be card types and skills that can be used once per game. I would credit you as the original creator of the game both on the itch.io page and in-game credits. If that's not cool with you - no problem, I won't do anything without your explicit permission. Hope you're doing well in these times regardless!