Thanks, glad you like them!
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This is a cute game! I bet your daughter Jessica is thrilled with it. My only critique is that some of the background elements and the foreground seaweed and such seem to be moving in the wrong directions (since you are swimming to the right, they should be moving towards the left, no?)
Love the music choices! Great work, especially for a first attempt.
Medieval: Plague Bringers and Diseased Town bundle has just come to itch.io and joined in the Halloween Sale, currently 60% off an already discounted bundle!
These game assets build upon the Medieval set of resources, allowing you to build dark-fantasy and horror RPGs. Tilesets, monsters, build-your-own-characters, and more are included.
Thank you and enjoy!
When you know some of the tricks to cracking a simple substitution cipher, it really is not terribly difficult! :) Here are a couple of links that tell you how to generally solve simple substitution ciphers: https://www.dummies.com/games/cryptograms/cryptography-101-basic-solving-techniques-for-substitution-ciphers/ and https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Solve-Simple-Substitution-Ciphers/ -- If you wrote down the messages from both tablets, it should actually make it even easier to ultimately create the cipher key needed to decode them. As to why it's "hard" is because one of the two areas that are locked behind the gates there contain one of the single most powerful items in the game. Also, these are optional - the way out of level 3 and to level 4 has nothing to do with the cryptographs :)
The Medieval Town and Country and Interiors bundle has come to itch.io and you can view it here: https://pvgames.itch.io/medieval-town-and-country-interiors-bundle
It will be on sale at 50% off for the next few days.
This bundle included both the Medieval: Town and Country asset pack and the Medieval: Interiors asset pack, both for a lower price than they would be had individually.
The resources contained herein can be freely mixed and matched with resources from any of the PVGames resource sets (you can find more here) to exponentially expand your game world!
About this bundle:
Everything you need is inside to create literally thousands of unique characters including their spritesheets (with over 50 animations supported!), facesets, busts, and paperdolls. On top of that, there are an absolute ton of tiles included for you to build the world you want to create. Each Medieval pack builds on the others, offering nearly countless combinations of characters and giving an ever-expanding vast library of tiles and other resources to build your dream game. Each character template and piece of equipment/clothing/etc comes with the resources to create over 50 different spritesheets ranging from walking, running, sleeping, sitting, side-view combat, down poses, idling, and much more – all in 4 and 8 directions! On top of that, each comes with the resources to make busts, paperdolls, and facesets!
FEATURES for Medieval Town and Country:
- 17 Tile sheets for cities, towns, and outdoor environments.
- Over 120 pre-made buildings to construct towns, markets, and various castle types.
- 10 animal sets featuring spritesheets (9-12 sheets each), facesets, and Front-View battlers.
- 9 Parallax images for backgrounds.
- 6 unique character templates with nearly 140 pieces of clothing, hair styles, equipment, and more to allow you to create literally thousands of unique characters (fully compatible with other templates and clothing/hair/accessories from other Medieval packs).
- Separated shadows for all characters and animals.
- BONUS: 4 children characters, each with 24 spritesheets and a faceset.
FEATURES for Medieval Interiors:
- 13 jam-packed Tile sheets for castles, shops, houses, butchers, bakers, tailors, blacksmiths, carpenters, and more!
- 6 unique character templates with nearly 140 pieces of clothing, hair styles, equipment, and more to allow you to create literally thousands of unique characters (fully compatible with other templates and clothing/hair/accessories from other Medieval packs).
- Separated shadows for all characters and animals.
- BONUS: 4 children characters, each with 24 spritesheets and a faceset.
You are free to use the resources in any game-making software that you want. You are free to edit the resources to fit your needs. You are free to use the resources in commercial projects.
You can see many of the resources from the Medieval packs in action in a couple of sample games I made for an Indie Game Developer Competition here:
If you are interested in getting access to thousands of additional resources, including all of the latest resources not-yet-released (as well as exclusive resources), then consider taking a look at my Patreon, which gets updated multiple times per week with brand new game-making resources.
Other compatible asset packs on itch.io presently:
heya! There are two tablets in that area, both use the same simple substitution cipher (same cipher key). http://practicalcryptography.com/ciphers/classical-era/simple-substitution/
Basically write down the coded messages and start figuring out substitutions for the letters. It’s easier to guess letters for smaller words and then intuit larger words and letters from there.
@No Time To Play - After going down the internet rabbit hole, it seems that Lunatic RPGs is Dragon Game Designs, Grinding Game Studios, formerly Ellis Studios and who knows what other pseudonyms. It also appears he has a history of shady practices, such as claiming authorship of stolen artwork and spamming crowdfunding sites and game-hosting sites with shovelware games under numerous pseudonyms.
I found this gem of a thread: https://rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/the-ellis-studios-tribute-thread.112724/
To save time having to dig through it, here are some notable excerpts (each bullet point is a direct quote):
- To those considering backing this project, beware. This game uses content not made by Jamie Ellis. Ellis has taken screenshots of game maps made by others from Deviant Art and claimed that he has made them. Here are some links of maps that can be seen in the screenshots of this campaign:
In addition, this "game" is already being sold by Ellis on a couple of different sites, his personal one and itch.io. https://kieferd20.itch.io/humans-and-monsters
The itch.io page shows yet another stolen screenshot, as seen on this DA account. http://hypersnake22.deviantart.com/art/Halterock-Full-view-155359644
This is not an attack or slander, simply a comment to let the buyer beware that this creator is not honest.
- the whole Studio is weird as fuck, they keep pumping shovelware quality games every two months, trying to earn a buck here and there, spamming the codex with different accounts.
- It isn't just their art assets that are allegedly stolen, a lot of their code has been copied wholesale as well, often times with the OC's legal disclaimers and etc still intact.
- he delete his site https://blackthornelord.itch.io/sacred-lands this delveloper seem to scamer..
- I am sure i 've seen some eye of the beholder sprites as well, a bit redrawn maybe, but you clearly see where they come from
- Looks like that Eye of Beholder 4 vaporware
- Some of the spell icons on their kickstarter screens are ripped right from WOW.
- Several of those are from Diablo 3 as well.
- So is this a module or did they get the rights to use the music from the game or something? Do I get half price because I already have the Neverwinter Nights music from GOG
- Inventory sounds are exactly like Nwn.
- That's NWN VA, yes. Not only the spell chants. All of this seems ripped off. I remember one of the voices because I always picked it for my characters.
- Wow. What in the world? The Red Hand of Doom is literally the exact same game. Look at the character creation as well. https://rpgmaker.net/games/7125/ Edit - Seems some small details are different, but obviously a ton of it is exactly the same.
- lol another one from these guys? It's basically the same demo that every year appears as a different new "game" with a few changes.
As for the plagiarism thing, also all the feats icons are taken straight from NWN2.
- It is not just about the art. They stole a whole other (unfinished) game and tried to pass it as their own.
From their Cave of Sorrows Kickstarter (which came after the game was already made, it seems?): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/759393997/cave-of-sorrows/comments
- Hopefully your spell icons are temporary seeing as how they are ripped right out of other games...
From RPG Watch: https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34496
- I've run into game stopping bugs in every product. Instead of fixing the bugs, they release a new copy of the game under a different name (bait and switch) and a few more engine/rule changes.
- But it looks like they might also be nabbing other people's assets from DeviantArt. In that promo video, there's three maps from three different users on DeviantArt, and one of them is actively claiming he's been ripped off.
- So it implies that the game is finished, but Nut reports there are game-breaking bugs. Not to mention credible accusations of art being used without permission.
- You have shown some random gameplay footage from "Isinica Clash of Magic". The issue at hand is the Kickstarter promo video for "Humans and Monsters", though perhaps they are the same game? The footage shows none of the maps in question. Nothing you showed gives any proof of where you acquired the resources in question.
To clarify, this map appears at 1:06 in the Humans & Monsters promo: http://hypersnake22.deviantart.com/a…view-155359644
As you can see, it was uploaded to DeviantArt in February 2010, and it is claimed that it is someone's else's work. Please confirm which bundle gave you this resource to use, and where in the game it can be found.
Also, this map shown at 1:20 in your promo: http://tensen01.deviantart.com/art/U…-Map-136525669
From that page we can see it was uploaded by another user in September 2009. Again, please tell us which bundle gave you the right to use this asset, and show us where it features in the game. The map features places named Grimstad, Savonia, Royce, and Vestinia - are these locations in the game?
Another thread from RPG Watch: https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1061418897#post1061418897
- So this is yet another version of the shovelware for which they claim they need a Kickstarter?
- Leaving aside the open question of whether they've ripped off other people's work, I find it pretty astonishing that they're selling yet another iteration of essentially the same game, while the Kickstarter for the previous incarnation is still running.
- The accusation from the users at the RPGmaker forums is that these devs have simply put screenshots of other people's graphics into their promo. I asked a detailed question that illustrates the suspicions in the other thread, to try and pin this issue down, but I've had no response. If they can provide a convincing response, rather than vague denials, I will happily apologise.
Bear in mind that the devs are calling these users liars, and accusing them of having a grudge against them. If that's not true, and I don't believe it is, that's pretty contemptible. Add to that running a Kickstarter for a game that's already complete and being sold, while simultaneously releasing yet another iteration of that same game, and I think it all looks pretty sketchy.
- And yet, having cancelled the previous Kickstarter (I suspect because that was the only way to remove the video with the evidence of the stolen maps), you have immediately started a new Kickstarter for this spin of the game. The campaign is a copypaste of the last one.
And then there is, of course, him accusing me of stealing art from him, which is utterly nonsensical since I can very easily prove that I created those assets, and they will never be able to prove otherwise.
What are you talking about? I have a link to my e-mail right on the main page of my website, along with links to Facebook, Patreon, Itch, etc. It's not difficult at all to get ahold of me. I even have a Discord channel.
I have my own subforum on the official RPG Maker forums: https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?threads/pvgames-2-5d-graphics.108640/
You are welcome to come there at any time (as you have always been, since it's been around for years).
You did not create any of these resources. If you did, as you are claiming by stating "I created most of what you are saying you created" then prove it. Show the original drafts of the work. I can do it because, well, I made them. In the meantime, I am simply going to report your rather belligerent (for no apparent reason) posts.
Also, if you dislike my resources so much, why are you using them in almost all of your games? You are clearly profiting off of my resources. Nobody is forcing you to use my assets, and there are plenty others out there to choose from if you so wish.
Mythos: Reawakening game assets have been released on itch.io, and is on sale for half off!
The game assets provide numerous tiles, characters, and monsters to assist you with building a horror-themed game, specifically aimed towards Lovecraftian ones, though with a little imagination, you can make whatever you like!
Thanks for playing! The bug you mentioned, yeah, it's a bit of an edge case and it was not something I ran into when I played through the game (this was years ago of course), but clearly it is a thing that is there. My apologies! The whole issue with not having characters follow you on screen is because this engine is very old and that feature didn't exist for it at the time (I still don't think it does!)
Thank you! I really hope you do enjoy it. If running is too slow, there are fast-travel options as you progress. Mark and Recall can be used to mark a spot anywhere and instantly travel back to it. Egress can instantly get you up and out of dungeons. A high-end spell allows you to instantly travel to any towns you've visited, etc. Hopefully that will help :)
Definitely put the situation in the player's hands and let them come up with whether or not they wish to take a course of action based on their morality. The whole taking money from random dressers and such thing comes to mind - I felt bad about it afterwards, but it wasn't really a "part" of the game so to speak. There were no obviously bad consequences to taking the money (the money was probably put there to assist the player anyway), so the only bad consequence in the end was my own conscience which is more than enough, and in fact, preferable to a tangible in-game consequence.
It's been years since I last watched The Pianist, but I can think of two distinct examples of scenes that had very little dialogue but had a huge impact simply by showing and not telling. The first scene that comes to mind is when a group of Nazis go into a family's upper apartment. They give everyone a simple command to stand up. Everyone does except the grandfather who is in a wheelchair. They repeat the command to the grandfather, who can't stand up, he just sits there and nobody else speaks. The Nazis then wheel grandpa to the balcony and throw him over. That was the pretty much the whole scene but it was important. It showed the viewer that the Nazis had supreme control in this place, but not only that, they were incredibly cruel and unreasonable, not to mention thoroughly authoritarian. The second scene that pops out to me is later on in the movie when the main character is standing in a line with a bunch of other people. A Nazi officer comes along and just points to random people saying "you", "you", "you" and those people would step forward and lay face-down on the ground. The Nazi officer then very casually shoots each one in the back of the head that were on the ground, until he got to the last person. The gun was out of ammo, so there is this long pause as the officer very casually reloads the gun (all the while the camera was focused on the guy's face on the ground) and then shoots the man in the back of the head. This scene always stood out to me because it shows (and not tells, as there is almost no dialogue at all except for him pointing out people), once again, the supreme physical domination of the Nazis in that place, and it showed the absolute helplessness of the people they were oppressing. Nobody could fight back, the guy couldn't run for his life because he knew it was hopeless, but more to that, there is also this instinctual glimmer of irrational hope that "it happened to other people, so it can't happen to me".
There is a certain human instinct quality to both of these scenes where people just stand and watch without doing or saying anything, no matter how horrific the scene because deep within our brains we have this thing that tells us that we can't die, horrible things can't happen to us - these things happen to other people, but not me. That is why, throughout all of history, there are so many cases of people just standing by and doing nothing while terrible things are perpetrated upon others. How many times have a row of people been lined up to be executed, and none of them do anything about it? A famous historical incident also illustrates this sort of "group hopelessness", the murder of Kitty Genovese (feel free to google the wiki for it). Basically this woman in the 60's was murdered, and there were something like 38 witnesses who either saw or heard it and nobody called the police because nobody "wanted to get involved" or they thought "someone else would take care of it". As long as it wasn't happening to them, they were relatively numb to the crime.
To shift gears slightly to the motives of most Nazis, there is the ever-famous "I was just following orders". There was a great psychological study, the Milgram Experiment (I highly recommend googling this one), that showed that most people are willing to obey someone who at least appears to be an authority figure, often to the point of inflicting pain and cruelty on other people at their behest. This study pretty much explains the psychology of a good deal of the Nazi guards in places like the ghettos and work camps in WWII. Most of them simply were obeying orders that were handed down to them by leaders who gained power on the back of rampant racism and nationalism.
How all of this could apply to your game... Instead of having NPCs constantly lament on the hopelessness of their situation, they might be a bit more numb to the happenings around them. Someone got dragged out into the street and shot because they didn't pay taxes? Better them than me. That can't happen to me anyway, that only happens to other people. I don't want to get involved or stick my neck out.
That doesn't mean SOME can't lament their situation, but when you think about the real reactions of the majority of people in similar situations in the real world, they don't talk about it. There is just this feeling of "at least it wasn't me". There is always this prevailing sense that "if I do what I am told, everything will be fine" that eventually sinks in to an oppressed population. There are always undercurrents of resistance somewhere, but they are very secretive for obvious reasons, and they are generally small. It is hard to motivate an entire population to a course of action that very well might end up with all of them murdered. Plus, at least the bad things aren't happening to them, so why should they get involved? If they keep their heads down, do what they are told, they get their daily potato and all is well.
Heya! I got this game as one of my Secret Santa reviews. I like to take notes and write down my thoughts as I play through so as to provide "real time" feedback. Here it goes:
Digging the main menu music, a nice little piano piece.
The tutorial type screen is interesting, get an interesting vibe from it.
Alright, game is starting…
Interesting visuals! I like the look of the character. The interior map is pretty small but it works.
I like the subtle way of directing the player towards what they need to do: “where’s my pickaxe?” – I know I need to find my pickaxe, which shouldn’t be too hard in this small area. This lets me get oriented in the game easily.
And that’s as helpful as any of it is lol – after getting the watch, there is no further direction. I guess I will just head out the door!
I like the sprites and the artwork in the city map. I like the flowing electricity through the powerlines as well, nice touch. Same with the steam and the water drops.
Goddamn Tax Inspectors… is there any world where they are not reviled?
I would say this scene with the tax collector is a bit on the nose. I mean, it screams “look, this is a real bad guy here!” but people only talk that way in bad movies.
Took me a moment to realize that I now had control of my character. Some sort of prompt for the player here would be good to let them know that they are in control, and that their character isn’t in the center of the screen. I literally thought this was a cut-scene because the dude with the pickaxe wandering around the center of the screen looks a lot like the main character.
Hah, I can break into my neighbor’s room and steal their stuff. That’s always fun.
The Newspaper is also very on the nose, screaming ‘our ruler is a bag of asses.’
I stole money right in front of that woman in room 436. She didn’t even say anything. Times must be bad.
Poor lady in room 331. She says she has no money to fix up the place. I just took her last 5 Kel. Who is the real villain here? The obviously evil ruler and his heinous tax collectors? Or me, so eager and willing to take money from these poor people? There should maybe be an option to give the money back.
Speaking to the resident who is asking me to tell her she’s not a bad person… Again, very on the nose. I get it, that she’s shook, but this seems like par for the course for the mining ghetto. I feel like taking a cue from Schindler’s List, The Pianist, or something involving the Nazis and the Warsaw ghetto could really help make the dialogue and the characters feel more believable in this situation. Anything from real life where an occupying force forces the residents to live in a state of oppressed poverty.
After talking to most of the residents, I will double-down on what I just said. The dialogue feels very obvious and isn’t really how people in such dire and traumatic circumstances talk, especially when the situation has been ongoing for some time, which seems to be the case here. It doesn’t really reflect parallels in reality, and it just feels like it is trying WAY too hard to convey “hey, this isn’t such a great place.” Subtlety and nuance will always take you further than exposition.
I found a Tattered Ring in room 332… Can a metal ring “tatter”? The description says it is rusted… Maybe call it a Rusty Ring?
When I think about it, after the guy gave me the key to his room… why would the powers-that-be, who obviously treat these people “like objects” and feel they are so far beneath them allow any of them to have locking doors? Stripping away their privacy and ability to keep others out (including potentially the authorities) would further dehumanize them AND make the tax collector’s work easier.
Talked to the guy who says “Makes you wonder if killing is alright” – Really? I mean, I was getting used to the on the nose, overly obvious dialogue before, but this just comes right out and asks the question in a very uninteresting way. I will reiterate: subtly and nuance. You should be focusing on having the player come up with the question as to whether or not there is a moral basis for the killing instead of spoon-feeding it to them. I am not sure you intended it, but earlier when I was taking money that I found randomly (as one is wont to do in these games) I stopped and asked myself if this was a good thing to do, morally/ethically. The game didn’t have someone say “is stealing wrong?!” – no, instead it put me in a situation where I found myself questioning my own actions without anyone needing to say anything about it. THAT is subtlety, and it is a wonderful thing. The game This War of Mine does this well.
Ok, all clocked in and ready to mine that sweet, sweet ore for Dear Leader!
I really like the artwork in the mines! The background sounds are well-done also, the pickaxes and breaking rocks and all that. Very nice.
Talking to Valentina… A firebrand that one, likely to cause trouble and rock the boat. Wouldn’t be surprised if she is under surveillance by the state.
Also, why don’t more people commit suicide in order to ‘escape’ from these conditions?
This dialogue is just so… obvious to the point of sapping enjoyment out of its consumption. All of these people are so afraid of talking 'this way' because it will get them killed, yet that doesn't stop any of them from talking often and loudly about it right in front of the guard.
Also, I entered the map with Valentina from the left-side of the screen. Why does my guy appear on the left-side of the following map?
Ok so I got all of the ore, all 19 of them. The game won’t let me leave the mine. It keeps saying I need to collect 10 ore before I can leave. But I have more than that… Wut?
Ah, ok, stumbled upon where I needed to go. I didn’t even see that door near the guard. Maybe make it a bit more obvious that this is a place you need to go? Maybe a sign or something indicating this is a place you can enter?
Outside of the mine now… now the guards confront the poor miner guy they just grifted.
The music in this scene might be a bit much. But then again, so is the dialogue. Sometimes the absence of something is more powerful. In this case, music and a portion of the dialogue.
This all brings up another question – why have currency and money at all in this work ghetto? The authorities obviously have the physical power to force the population to do what they want, so why not just provide the people with the bare necessities to sustain a meager life so they can keep on working and leave it at that? Again, this is a parallel to how Nazi-occupied ghettos were run. You worked all day, you got a tiny amount of food. That was the way it worked. Any currency or luxury type items were forcibly taken from the population (it was the very first thing that happened). You could easily remove currency from this population and just replace it with some cheap and basic food item, like potatoes or something.
This dialogue just goes on and on and it all says the same thing: ‘the guard is a bad guy’.
Ok, combat time! Interesting way to go about it. I’d remove the miner’s dialogue during combat, it is not necessary and only detracts from the situation. It is pretty obvious that it’s “not personal”, no need for him to spell it out. Also, maybe give an option to the player to not take action and let the miner win? Could result in a game over or whatever, but would be an interesting choice to present to the player instead of just forcing them to take action.
The transition from the fight to the post-fight scene is rather abrupt and jarring. A slower fade out/in would have smoothed that transition nicely.
Time to pay my debt… the character gives a different number than he had been giving. He says 385 now instead of 434 or whatever it was.
Walked into the building where you clock in for work. Why did the guard give me armor? I would think any form of weapon/armor would be forbidden for the population to have under such an occupation.
The homeless guy robbed me of 10 kel, but it doesn’t really give me any option to resist against that. The only option comes before that, whether or not I should beat up the homeless person BEFORE I even know he is a dickbag.
Vendor on the street peddling potions and alcohol. Again, I would think that the occupying forces would not allow for this because 1.) it allows the population to have its own commerce and money, and 2.) intoxicated workers are poor workers. Being systematically abusive and sometimes killing workers serves a purpose to keep everyone else in line, but letting them get drunk is just disorderly. Not to mention that any occupying force will want the population to be reliant on only the occupiers for all sources of comfort, food, etc, to create a system of dependency.
Ok, that is the end of Day 1. Let’s see what fresh hell Day 2 brings.
So the whole tax inspector rapist murderer thing is even MORE obvious and in-your-face. It’s not as interesting when this is spoon fed. The scene would have 10x the impact if you cut waaaaay back on the forced dialogue.
I can’t take the dialogue with Valentina. I am going to call it quits here, put in quite a bit of time into the game at this point, not sure how long it is.
So my first impression is made by the art and music, both of which are great! I really enjoyed the custom graphics, the characters, all of it. Visually, everything pulls together consistently and paints a picture of a bleak dystopia. The music helps underscore this. It works very well. There are a lot of interesting animations on each map that help each area feel alive. I am particularly fond of the flowing electricity.
The story, in broad strokes, seems like a decent one. I am not entirely sure where it's all going, but the world feels consistent. It feels like a world. The atmosphere is fantastic, and there are some things I was left wondering about, such as what is the thing that was eating the bodies at the bottom of one of the holes? I also found myself wondering about things like the Inner City and the ruler, and pondering the background of what is going on in general - who are these people, why did they choose this place, these people, to lord their regime over? I am not saying you need to spell any of this out, these were just fun questions that made my brain move, and that is a good thing.
What I did not particularly enjoy was much of the dialogue. Honestly, that is really the only part of the game I have a gripe with. There are a lot of NPC characters to speak to, but they all have the same exact 'voice' - woe is me, when will this end? What did we do to deserve this? Why is this happening to us? over and over, ad nauseum. The guards and tax guy are not any better, just with a different gear shift - hahaha we are your rulers, you do what we say or we kill you. It's not very stimulating to read, nor is it particularly believable. Actions always speak louder than words, and I feel a number of scenes would have had way more impact if you cut out the dialogue and just let the actions unfold for the player to witness. Let the player come up with their own conclusions about the morality and ethics of the situation, don't spoon feed it to them.
Overall though, the world in which this story takes place feels like a well thought-out one. It's bleak, it's oppressive, it's violent. But, sometimes, that is what life is.
Overall, I say good job! I really feel with a bit of spit shine and polish to the dialogue, this game could be superb.
Heya! I got your game for the Secret Santa review! What I did was I wrote down my thoughts and notes as I played the game to give you "real time" feedback as I experienced what you created. Hopefully it will be of some use to you!
Here it goes:
I enjoyed the logo intro with the cool music! It was perhaps a tad long though to sit through. Maybe think about shortening it by a few seconds?
The next music though, the intro to the game, definitely clashes with the previous music. Overall though, well-done. I like that you also made it optional to skip, a handy feature for anyone who has to close the game and re-open it.
I really dig the difficulty settings. It is more than just altering the stats on mobs. Very cool.
Interesting and unique graphic style. I dig it.
I also like that at first my hand is being held as I get oriented in the game. I am not being inundated by a large mass of information. Very good!
One thing that would be neat – when you select to go to the Adventurer’s Guild (or anywhere I suppose), if the graphic in the background changed to match.
Hmm… My first roadblock. The Adventurer’s Guild tells me to bugger off until I am more of an adventurer. I see that the Town Hall offers missions, they tell me to bugger off until I join the Adventurer’s Guild. I go to the Tavern and am told to bugger off because I am too young… Well, if this is a rejection simulator, fantastic work!
Checking the Temple… Nope, told to bugger off because they don’t need adventurers! At least they somewhat acknowledge my role as a possible adventurer.
And the Item shop, at least I now have a direction! To the Inn!
Ok, time for the first dungeon! Checking out the cellar. I really like that you can interact with the environment for flavor text. I also like that each flavor text is different, it is a nice touch.
Got the scroll. The Escape Rope is a nice feature.
I think it’s kind of funny that in order to prove that you have what it takes to be an adventurer, you to simply pick up an object from a basement in town that has zero threats.
Ok, all registered as an adventurer. That guild master is sure a surly one.
Here’s one place that could use a little explanation – the class choices. What’s the difference between them aside from stats? I think the interface looks nice, but definitely could use a bit of guidance/explanation.
I like recruiting party members, the variety of offerings is well balanced.
Still kind of funny… Got what it takes to be an adventurer? Go pick up this scroll. You can do that?! Great! Now go murder that mine full of goblins!
I still like that this is a guided experience, I am not too often left confused as to what to do. This is well-paced thus far.
Ok, so the battles… the battles are kind of the weak spot here. There are no combat animations, the choice selection menu is ridiculously tiny and hard to read, and the overall pace is too slow. Also kind of funny that when you enter the mines you are told to go level up in the cellar, but the monsters in the mine do 0 damage to a knight.
Random encounters happen WAY too frequently. Also, spamming attack seems to be the best method of winning so far. Also, why are the enemy battlers so tiny? There is soooo much wasted screen space!
I think there might be TOO MUCH gear being dropped by enemies. Every fight drops more gear that I need to look through to see if it’s any good, and with the large number of random encounters, it starts to get monotonous.
This game suffers from the same thing almost all RPG Maker games do that don’t directly address it – everyone misses in combat way too often.
Not only are random encounters so frequent, you double down on them by adding non-avoidable invisible battles in hallways as well. This would be far less of an issue if combat was more interesting and fun.
Looking at my items list in combat, I am not understanding this… Why do I have multiple piles of varying quantities of the same items? Like I have 2 piles of Heal 1’s, one pile has 2 in it, the other pile has 1 in it.
I’m beginning to hate the mines. The layout is just a confusing mess, no real direction where to go, or even a hint. Random battles every 5 steps.
Oh, I think I found out the strange items thing – I am assuming 60 is the max quantity of ALL items. That is a bit confusing. Would’ve been much easier to understand if somewhere at the top you just had a something like X/60 items and left it at that.
Woo, finished in the mines! That was grueling, but not in a particularly fun way. Way more fine-tuning is needed to make that combat experience better.
Oh, and that’s it! Well, that is a pretty short and sweet game.
So, I overall really enjoyed playing this. I would have normally passed over this game due to the RTP graphics, but I am glad that this was selected for my Secret Santa review.
The custom town graphic is very nice, I kind of wished there were more of them! Perhaps as you expand your game, you might consider adding custom backgrounds for each point of interest in the town.
I like the Escape Rope, it gives players the option to quickly get out of a dungeon which is always nice because backtracking endlessly sucks.
The writing was good, I did not notice any grammatical errors or anything that distracted me. The characters in the town didn’t have a ton of personality, but then again neither did the siblings. I am guessing this is at least somewhat intentional though, since the point of the game seems to be dungeon-crawling, and not necessarily telling some epic story. What is there is serviceable to this end.
The music choices are fitting and ambient, not much else to say about that. Good choices.
Where the game falters in my opinion, and this is crucial because of how important it is to the core of the gameplay, is the combat and the dungeon layout. Combat happened every 5 steps it felt like. Not only that, but combat lacked any real strategy. You just mashed attack until everything died since attacks did the same damage as spells (I had a warrior, a wizard, a knight, and a priest in my party). The priest, by far, was the most useless. The Knight would just taunt, things would do zero damage to him, and the warrior and wizard mopped up. Repeat ad-nauseum until the end of the game. Attacks swinging and missing was an all-too frequent occurrence. There were no combat animations or anything else to help spice up the visual aspect of combat either. There is also no indication as to what most of the status effects on the monsters do. The layout of the mines is just… uhg. It was confusing, it was not particularly interesting, there were no puzzle elements or anything… it was just a maze filled with both random encounters and invisible unavoidable encounters. Please don’t do this!
So with that grip out of the way, I think this game has a ton of potential for expansion into a big, full-fledged game. The combat would really need to be tuned up nicely to carry it, but the premise is fun and well-executed.
I see, because I ate poorly I was too weak to fight Nero! I put the blame on Minerva for letting me eat ice cream every single night for supper. I had no clue that the item next to Minerva was interactive.
To show an item is something that should be checked out/interacted with, you could put an animated graphic over it like the little shine graphic that comes with RPG Maker (gotta use "stepping animation on" to make it 'sparkle'). This visually tells a player that this item in question can be used.
What difficulties did you have trying to get auto-run events to work? The premise of them is fairly straight forward luckily - set the event to auto-run (you can make them run under certain conditions by setting a switch, variable, etc on the upper left of the event menu), and whatever event you program into it will automatically go when the player enters the map. To prevent it from running more than once, at the very end of the event make it set its Self Switch to A or something, then add a new event page with Self Switch A selected in the upper left under event conditions.
Secret Santa Review! Like with my other Secret Santa Reviews, I take notes as I play the game so you get a "real time" reaction to what I am experiencing with your game! Here it goes...
Tiny resolution! RPG Maker VX Ace has such ridiculously small resolution. Time to upgrade to MV!
Ok, no context in the beginning – just start off right in a room with no explanation of controls or anything – maybe that comes soon? Luckily the controls are not difficult.
Met my inferior doppleganger, Juha! Not sure what engaging Easy Mode does, so I am leaving that alone for now.
These stairs on the left don’t go anywhere! Back in 5th and 6th grade I went to school in a very old and creepy building that had stairs just like this!
I tried walking into the far-right room and some random person yelled gibberish at me.
Talked to Minerva, determined she was the random person yelling gibberish at me. She demands respect! Sorry Minerva, respect is earned, not given freely!
She asked me if Kaj explained everything to me, but I have no clue who Kaj is. I am going to go ahead and say No.
Oops… I tried walking out of the house without talking to who I assume was Kaj first… he immediately joined my party and I never got to talk to him. I guess I can say that I am ready then…?
Minerva tells me that the green roofed house is on fire, but no street address! I hope it is the only house with a green roof in the town! If this house was on fire the whole time that I have been bumbling around, I would have hoped the boss would have let me know about it!
Walking out of the house, I get scrolling text “For my dear Godson…” And that is it… was there supposed to be more? Or was it more like a dedication? (I realize this is a dedication now, after reading some info here). Also, the first thing I see when walking out of the house is… a house with a green roof! It is definitely not on fire, though. There are a couple of houses with green roofs, none are on fire.
Ahhhh found it, the house is on fire only on the inside! Sneaky fire! I humbly suggest maybe making smoke come out of the windows or something to let the player know the proper location of the fire. Since the game is aimed at a younger target audience, giving visual cues is vitally important.
Damnit Pavel! You are a terrible boy! At least he is self-chastising. The kid wants to help put out the fire he started. What could go wrong, having a minor pyromaniac join the firefighters?
Oh dang, I am literally battling the fire! I also just noticed that the fire on the beds is not animated.
Pavel just took a face full of smoke and instantly died. Well, I guess that is what he gets for starting the fire in the first place.
Ok I put out all the fire and… nada? No direction where to go from here. I guess I will go back to the firehouse?
Hah, Minerva just called me out for letting a child help put out the fire – good! Child labor laws are in place for a reason, and I just opened up the fire department to a possible lawsuit from the kid’s parents (especially since he DIED WHILE HELPING ME).
Why do I have to go introduce myself to everyone in town? I am the fireman, shouldn’t I already know these people? The real question is, why do I want to know them?! As the player, I really don't want to go talk to these people, but I guess I have to!
I went to Mette’s house and some lady is screaming French at me. Juho says “I cannot understand my sister’s language” – is this actually his sister? If so, why do they speak different languages?
And I randomly get a free rye bread from somewhere. I won’t (and apparently can’t) turn down free magical bread!
I just met the mayor! He also demands respect! Sorry buddy, like I told the boss lady, you gotta earn it first! Now he’s bragging about his wife and kids. I haven’t even met them yet, mister!
Met the wife, she also likes to brag about the kids.
Damn, the mayor’s son is definitely gifted! He plays a song on the piano that incorporates synthesized drums and horns!
In the mayor’s house I am seeing…6 beds, though only four people apparently live there, and only 3 meal place settings! Who is being shunned from supper? I am assuming the daughter since she is stubborn and the son is a wizard at the piano.
Went into the warehouse on the south-west side of town. It looks like you used table auto tiles where walls should go.
Oh sweet, you can buy food at the warehouse – I always trust food from strangers hiding out in warehouses!
I went into the warehouse that has all the boxes of corn – no clue what is up, I got the option to “grind for cash” or find something valuable. I opted to find something valuable since cash grinds are never fun. Then nothing happened. I can’t seem to interact with anything in here.
Went back to the firehouse, not sure what else there is to do.
Ah, my boss is ready to feed me and put me to bed! What a great boss! She is slowly earning my respect. Will she… will she really let me have ice cream for dinner? Let’s see…
Hah! I get to have ice cream and Kaj can have his gross cabbage rolls!
After sleeping, I can magically go up to the exercise room now, that is what is at the top of the stairs!
OH DAMN THE EXERCISE ROOM IS ON FIRE!
Time to start day 2… Some random chick named Spara arrived? I don’t see her anywhere.
Minerva, always demanding respect.
Ok, now I have no clue where to go or what to do… Minerva just tells me to stop wasting time, but I have no idea what is on fire.
Ah, found the fire in the western-most building! More bed fires! Why do people enjoy setting fire to their beds so much?
I also find it funny that I can literally just run away from the flames.
There, fire is out – another day, another heroic deed.
Spara wants the emergency number… Yeah, I ain’t giving her the real one. She can just, you know, not start her bed on fire next time.
Interesting, no matter what number you give her, it correlates to a country. Nice touch!
Pavel is gone and dead, yet my pay keeps getting docked! This must be what paying child support feels like.
Time to eat and sleep again… will the boss lady let me have ice cream two nights in a row for supper? Let’s find out…
Success! I am the greatest fireman ever!
Day 3! Time to deliver the mail to a guy who can’t speak English but can read it!
AHA! I found Pavel, not dead at all, hiding in the inn in the next town over! I talked to him and… he vanished… I think this was not Pavel at all, but perhaps his ghost… His ghost has not forgiven me for letting him die in the fire that he started after I agreed to let him help me knowing full-well that he was a minor and not a professional and ate a face full of smoke and suffocated.
I see the architects of this town also enjoy putting stairs to nowhere in their buildings!
Found the constable. He gave me a letter for Minerva… hmm… secret love letters, perhaps?
Ok, why is it that the crazy looking dude in a turban is a bad guy?! Hmmmm?! Also, why am I, a firefighter, chasing a robber, when the constable is right there?
A random fight in complete blackness! Whaaaaaaat?!
Spray that bandit with your hoses! This feels like a… *puts on sunglasses* watered down version of Ghostbusters! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
So apparently I blasted the robber so much with the water hose that he fell through the floor. That’s how we do things in my town. Steal bread, get wrecked.
I magically teleported back to Minerva, who then magically teleported me to another town with a fire. I am low on precious H20 from spraying down the robber.
After putting the fire out, a girl magically appeared out of thin air! Another ghost, perhaps?
Ah, Kaj dropping the knowledge like it’s… *puts on sunglasses again* hot! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah!
I like these little “The More You Know” information snippets about fire safety.
Minerva gave me my pay and I didn’t have to pay for Pavel’s dead body! YAY!
Oh boy, oh boy, dinner time again… ok…. Can it happen? Three nights in a row? Ice cream?
Success! I am in love with Minerva because she lets me have ice cream for dinner all the time. All. The. Time.
Ok, day four… starting off with some crazy music here! Jani, what have you done to the fish warehouse?! What is up with the abnormal fire?!
Are you f’n kidding me Jani? You want to pay me to put out the fire in your warehouse with a DICTIONARY?! Oiii. Fine! I better get some ice cream after this.
It has not happened yet, but I am curious what happens when you run out of H20.
Ok, time to tackle the BLUE FLAME!
This ain’t no regular fire! It’s the ROOT OF ALL EVIL! Time to crank up the hoses to 11, boys. Dang, it nearly killed me, but it was not enough. I defeated the root of all evil like the ice cream destroying machine that I am.
Oh wait… It’s not over, here comes NERO! He does have a point about the fish, it does taste and smell better when cooked.
I am plunged into battle while I have like… almost 0 HP on my characters. Luckily I have some rye bread.
Nero singes horrendously, hah!
I am now out of H20 and I can’t fight him. There is literally no way to progress now. I don't recall any save prompts anywhere in the game so I would have to start all over from the beginning now.
Ok, so this is an interesting first attempt! I enjoy the theme of fire safety, but as a game (especially targeted for a younger audience) it definitely needs some work! Visual cues are vitally important to indicate where to go and what to do - add smoke to houses that are on fire, animate the fire (turn stepping on), etc.
Combat overall is easy until you (well, I) am thrust into a no-win situation. In the warehouse I had to battle through multiple regular battles, then root of all evil boss that depletes my health and H20, only to have to fight ANOTHER boss immediately after with no chance to recover my resources? Since this is for kids and the idea is to teach fire safety, do not put them in a position where they will easily lose like this. It can be frustrating and detrimental to the overall goal!
At any rate, I hope you keep working on it and polish it up for your godson! Great job!
Thank you for the very thorough review! It is very appreciated!
I am also glad that you enjoyed the game, even in spite of a couple of the annoying bugs. I do intend to revisit this game and expand it into something larger. One thing I did already is incorporate a plug-in that allows you to hover the mouse cursor over the buff/debuff icons and now only see exactly what they are, but what they do (and also added some other quality of life improvements to make things easier to learn in terms of combat). The main revision will come with the writing and pacing. As you are well aware I am sure, 30 days is not a lot of time to make a game, so I would like to redo the writing and pace things out in a manner that makes more sense instead of cramming a lot of things into roughly an hour or two of gameplay.
At any rate, thank you very much!
I am not entirely sure just how far you got, but after you find Ellex's caravan in the mountains you eventually square off against Lord Bullmont and his group. After that (and a cutscene), you end up in Storm Point where you will defend a bridge against an increasing number of attackers (3 waves, each wave gets an additional enemy every turn) with the last wave being one that you only have to survive for 5 turns. After that you get a dream sequence, then you have the Storm Point tunnels to navigate and one last final boss, and then the final cut scene.
I really enjoyed this one! It is so light and sweet, which normally is not something I tend to gravitate to, but this game has such whimsy that it is difficult to not love it.
There are some basic issues, small passability errors, combat being too frequent perhaps, but honestly, these little nitpicks are things that can very easily be fixed/tweaked. The rest of the game is just so nice that the small errors don't really detract from the game itself.
The humor is great - innocent and fun. This is the sort of game that younger kids could enjoy just as much as adults.
I really did enjoy your game a lot, great work! Maybe you will make more Conga-based adventures in the future :)
Thanks for the detailed and lengthy review!
To be fair, aside from the aesthetic, there is almost nothing WRPG about this game, and in fact is rather JRPG at its core in terms of gameplay. Some of the hallmarks of the WRPG tend to include real-time action combat on the map, more complex inventory (grid-based, "backpack"-based, etc), and, as you pointed out, tons of attribute customization. This game has none of that. When you really break the mechanics down, this game plays out far more like a Final Fantasy game than it does Baldur's Gate.
I am sorry the bugs caused you to restart (sounds like you ran into it the worst!) I wish I had the time before submitting to properly address them (don't we all :) )
I appreciate the feedback and it is always enlightening to see what other people experience! I will definitely take some of your comments into consideration when evaluating where to take the project next.