And here is a video of me walking through the project in Unity to show how I use bolt and discuss the game a bit as I play it.
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This game has an awesome aesthetic, one of my favorite general game stylings, but regrettably I just couldn't have any fun with it because for me the shooting trajectory seemed unpredictable/not working?
There may be a trajectory disconnect somewhere or mouse angle issue, but sometimes it would launch the projectile from far to the right, sometimes to the left, sometimes in the center. I couldn't workout any pattern like it being related to world axis or anything, and it meant I couldn't really find any fun in it enough to try and complete it, as even directly next to a hoop would sometimes miss because of the shot offset.
Still the concept behind it is neat, it'd be fun trying to manouver the bullets around hoops after they're launch, especially within the idea of a time race. Being able to shoot once and move the bullet around to hit 2/3 hoops along the way and save time would be cool.
Maybe I was missing something, or maybe you can consider making the initial trajectory more reliable, but still it's a nice looking package I wish I could enjoy and I like the idea behind it.
Really thanks a lot for checking the game out, watched the vod of you streaming it from the start and enjoyed it.
One main thing you missed though is when shooting you could charge the shot, those 3 red lights grow over time to let you know what strength you're shooting at after release.
Thanks for sharing your time too :)
I have an advantage being the designer lol, but if you're ever inclined to try the game again here's my current best score (managed perfect timing on enemies and door hits but struggled a bit with the boss)
Oooh awesome. And now I get more what you mean by epic, different protagonists is a cool way to tell that kind of story-gives you the sort of advantage movies/books get being able to show different events but it feels more game-paced, and you get to follow the events happening in a better fashion instead of being thrown all over the place. Let's you develop a story much larger in 'scope' and digest each characters stake in that story and get invested in them without losing focus.
Well you failed because everything you've mentioned and detailed more has ended up increasing my anticipation haha, obviously that's not a bad thing though :)!! Short of me now being even more invested in waiting for this games release lol.
I totally agree. Illusion of choice can have it's place, like I'd really enjoy playing through a game with a character with different options of what you'd expect them to say with their personality-kind of like how when you try to respond to someone sometimes you think of multiple things you'd like to say. Then even if it just affects the current dialog it feels like some extra engagement and invests you in that exchange some more. And if the mechanics were fun enough to want to play through the game you could get some extra enjoyment seeing the characters bounce different kinds of dialog against eachother in a second run.
But when you get an obviously good choice, obviously bad choice, and a boring choice no one would take, that only affects the next line, that's just like really why? You honestly needed to add that bullet point 'feature' to your game?
Thanks, despite everything my single passion is game design and I love it, just producing the games is rough lol-hopefully I'll eventually get to release something more complete. Regrettably without confidence in writing and being super picky about stories I end up limited to more standalone mechanics focused projects so in addition to everything else it's a bit tricky, but as long as someone can have fun with it I'm happy.
I think for me I've been 'broken/turned off' by so many branching games and incomplete stories that they end up creating a level of fear for me. Like, either I feel I'll be missing out unless I play every single path or there's a pressure to, and then it's a question of when to stop playing, how many paths should I take, do I have to make decisions I don't want to (e.g. some games require a 'bad character' playthrough to reach a 'true ending'), and how do I know it's a true ending? Some games won't tell you.
I don't wish at all for this to sound negative, as possibly my favorite game ever/in years honestly was the recent 'HEARTBEAT' which had requirements for the true end, though it wasn't large scale branching like some.
Another weird struggle for me, is the desire for a happy ending (generally the true ending). There's a difference between a game where you can read/see the ending and go 'awesome I want to reach that', even if there's parts of the story you'll bawl your eyes out at. With multiple paths, you end up needing to wait/hope for someone to have a detailed glossary or walkthrough of how to reach it, and then you're essentially reading the entire story already. Granted in a game you can enjoy the mechanics, and those described on the page sound like they'll be fun to interact with too-unlike the usual VN stuff branching paths are normally found with.
And I'm not trying to pressure you to try and sell the idea or anything-knowing it's a more integral part of the plot already has me appreciating it more. It's more often just a box someone is trying to tick or a target they're trying to reach than being actually passionate about the interweaving stories, leaving some feeling empty and rushed (which is why I've ended up uncomfortable with them), and not necessary or important like how Automata properly used it. I'd always love to see it done well though.
Obviously I know with your passion it'll all play an important part and I'll be super excited for whenever you do get the game to completion, just I'll be hesitant about jumping in unless someone share's a path to the true ending and what's required to reach it. Goodluck working on such a complex story structure :).
(Also sorry for the long write lol, just wanted to try better express what I meant)
Oh true, especially in tilebased games where map puzzles are important, or anything like grid movement where it can break the pace of battle too. Something I'd always be happy to forgive if the gameplay relied on just having 4 directions. It's more where your simply moving through maps that it feels restrictive to not be able to move diagonally.
Knowing how many designs I've had to give up on/won't be able to make for the many reasons that can pop up, it's inspiring and heartwarming to see how you've kept the strength to focus on this project for so long. Not to mention everything you've mentioned being able to gain as a result from skills to valuable friends.
I can't say the games description is something I'll enjoy (I prefer a more linear focused 'true story' than branching endings etc-I'm a weirdo who wants the end of a story spoiled for me so I know if I want to read/watch/play it lol, multiple paths breaks that for me). However I sincerely hope you can keep going and enjoy this project even more in the future and yours and everyone's efforts will be paid off at the end :).
Also just a personal opinion, but I've honestly never cared for 8 directional sprites. The thing that's more important for me is *moving* in 8 directions, even if there's only 4 sprite directions, it really helps the feel of navigating the world.
And wow, that is some properly awesome music! Though I severely regret not being able to get some music I commissioned into a project, I had so much fun listening to them as my playlist to keep me inspired while I worked on it. Can be a really nice thing.
Was super excited to see this after how much I loved your teams last igmc entry, and it was just as cute and charming as I'd hoped :D. Though obviously sad it's just a setup, that is what the igmc asked for this time and it's an awesome setup. Especially based on some interesting search results in the database.
Some simple common puzzles but, because they work as a result of 'alien secrets' it gives them a bit of extra charm-they don't overstay there welcome but just nicely move the game along.
Really hoping this can expand some more, lovely characters established and they have a fun dynamic, hoping they'll get a happy ending even if you don't get to fully realize the game.
Cool to hear all that :). Yeah I too got to have a few levels where I was like 'wow I solved it like that :D' feeling it surely couldn't be the logical method and I'm sure that'll only increase as you expand/evolve the game with the ideas present and you've mentioned wanting to add, so I'm really looking forward to it.
One suggestion I have at the moment that wouldn't affect gameplay but I'd appreciate as a way to smooth out the pace some more, is a more immediate end to the levels that have a foolproof end. E.G. when a skull needs to be destroyed, once it is destroyed the slow building sound effect to the levels completion just feels drawn out - there's no way for the solution to be 'unsolved'. It's certainly relevant for things like get x in x box in-case it comes out of the box, but those skulls aren't coming back. Likewise anything that falls off the screen.
At the very least it should be quicker for those events. Playing through many puzzles in one session made that feel super tedious over time.
(Granted that might tie in to your levels general logic and goals for puzzle creation but it would be good if different objectives could have different end level timers like that).
If you've had any fun playing physics/machine kinds of puzzles, I'd strongly recommend this game-at the very least checking it out.
It shares some of the problems of the genre like levels being too obvious as a result of what items you have to use, and others taking too long just because the object interactions take a certain amount of time and you have to wait to see the result/tweak it.
However it's a lot of fun and is just as strong as any of the games that inspired it, but also has a lot of charm and some of the interactive objects like the spells and globes/books that can pass off/cancel those effects make for some cool puzzle options. I also really like it when how quickly an object can brake becomes part of the puzzle.
Really a lot of things to like about this game.
Also this 'demo' is basically a small game, which as the dev's mention is a result of this kind of game being difficult to intro without having a lot of the fun interactions already existing. And you want to see how everything can interact.
So definitely if you had fun with it I'd also recommend sending some money their way too. I'm hoping they'll be able to keep working on this, expanding what exists, refining and adding puzzles, and making a whole lot more fun content to tinker with :D.
Really great puzzler that uses some golf concepts, like resetting just before you fell into water, to evolve the mechanics in really fun and intuitive ways.
The card selection for which action might feel gimicky, but really it's a smooth way to select your actions and the game has a great flow to it. Especially with quality of life stuff like the last remaining action/card being automatically selected so you can quickly push through to the levels end.
Just really wish there were more levels. It feels like the mechanics there could have so many more levels built with them in mind, a level creator would just be the best.
Either way it was a fun and engaging couple hours with mechanics and ideas introduced at a steady pace, strongly recommended!
A really wonderful, immediately accessible 'jump in and play' experience.
The mechanics in battle are simple, but this lets you ignore any learning curve so you can fight the boss enemies and get a feel for the atmosphere of dragon bones animations in action.
Personally I think that makes this project perfect for its purposes.
There's some really engaging systems going on in this game and it has been pretty fun so far, but I feel there's also a few areas that don't quite feel polished enough-if I were to be nitpicky.
The effects/artifacts are a real strong part of combat and I like what they add to it, alongside the relative frequency of 'instant' attacks vs normal attacks. Makes for some fun set-ups in battle.
Also the team of 3 feel like they really compliment each others actions in battle which helps it all come together.
Some quality-of-life/hopefully constructive suggestions:
-- Teleporting 'back to base' next to the fountain and needing to use it feels natural, but I feel like when exiting you should be able to just use that item again to select an area. As I often felt myself not just wanting to heal up but go to the shop, having to travel from far left to far right just to get back out into the dungeon-a gameplay loop that seems like the focal point, feels too slow.
(( BUG NOTE: The second waypoint I found didn't save for me properly ))
-- Your star meter is really hard to read at a glance. It's hard for me to tell how many 'bars' the skills require. If you could alternate each segment of the star with yellow/white/yellow/white etc, or something similar, it would really help with that. Because it's something I was always trying to look at it impacted the experience for me quite a bit.
-- The stars in front of enemy hearts, for the boss-ish enemies etc, both look awkward and detract from some of the strategy/readability of the battle. Most noteworth is when I'm using the character that can strike down a whole heart guage, I couldn't tell how much of the enemies heart had been damaged yet behind the star. Something still obvious but not as 'in the way' would be really appreciated.
-- One of the characters deals bonuses based on whether an enemy was affected by a state or a debuff. They can be pretty hard to interpret the difference of, so it'd be really nice if you had a different border color or something to better help distinguish debuffs/states on enemies. Would make the decision of which skill to use a lot easier.
-- Not too important, but I think the very basic looking turn order gauge detracts from the rest of the 'character/style' the game has quite a bit. It feels almost out of place compared to the elements, especially with things like the 'stamina' gauge been represented by a star, etc. It would be nice if it were a bit more striking in appearance, even just some extra contrast for the boxes would be nice.
-- I do prefer 'on screen enemies' that I can target/avoid, but I do like how you've made more prominent battles have on-map battlers so can be more prepared for them. This helps alleviate what I know is super personal preference a bit.
Overall it still presents a pretty fun battle system, especially when thinking of how the combat/effects/artifacts may evolve alongside the enemies later on. Nothing super engaging world/character wise yet, but the dialog as still added more character than a generic 'you go kill enemies on x through x floor' while alluding to more development. So I'm looking forward to seeing this all grow more :D
It's going to be hard for me to go to sleep tonight, don't want to put this game down :(.
So far the experience is continuing to be absolutely awesome, having just made it past the first mass of tears as the deeper story unfolds.
So many layers of enjoyable and smooth mechanics, absolutely in love with this game.
Just a quick simple bugfix to report though atm:
After Klein's journal is available on her bed, if you read that the black/screen doesn't unfade after it. Just missing an event in there somewhere-I managed to navigate to the bed to sleep and that unfaded the screen for me.
Also, though it's not something fun to have to tell players, I might give additional advise on the necessity to save frequently somewhere in-game at the start. Having been as hooked on the game as I have been, It's crashed a few times now. Not much lost thanks to reading the readme, but it feels important enough to be mentioned in-game unless a future RPG Maker update/build helps resolve the issue.
(If possible I'd recommend adding auto-saves after a Mog Cluster, as that was a tough battle to redo after crashing, and they're noteworthy/not too frequent).
Ahh, yeah that's understandable. Thanks for at least not disabling it, as that would make it hard for me to personally play the game, I'll just keep that in mind when making any interactions with the game in the future.
No worries, I can certainly imagine that-some factors/results of RPG Maker can be impossible to understand regrettably lol ^^;. Thanks for trying your best to do what you can though, like making difficulty settings adjusted later on in your adventure, etc :).
Absolutely loving the tone/polish/pace of the demo so far and looking forward to the final release.
However I wanted to report a bug and couldn't find any 'best way'/suggestion on how to report it, so thought with you thankfully active here I'd mention it here.
-When selecting skills with the mouse, it seems like that causes an automatic target selection as well. That might make players mistakenly believe skills can't choose a target (as pressing z/enter to confirm the skill does let you choose the target).
Weirdly it doesn't do that for Troz's Puppy Breath skill, which as a skill targeting all enemies should be the one to auto select if any.
So it might be some problem with the skill+key settings somehow? As otherwise it would be a universal problem.
-Also just a small suggestion, but it would be nice to have access to volume options after entering the game too. I've had to save and exit just to adjust the volume after playing more of the game and thinking it needed further adjusting.
Especially with all the additional battler's already made available at akashics.moe, this is a perfect set of general player characters/opponents for experimenting with RPG Maker MV.
Though still limited in scope player-character wise, I'd strongly recommend this for anyone wanting more vibrant character/enemy assets to make a small project with.
Note that the massive collection on this artists site is a great alternative for projects of any scope (and my personal favorite to work with).
These honestly look incredible :D.
However I'd like to ask as I couldn't find it referenced anywhere alongside the icons, does purchasing these allow for the use of them in commercial projects? E.g. Game project.
Yeah. It also would have been a good opportunity in your case I imagine to share a point of reference for people to look at, as you make progress on the bigger game. Gives them a sneak peak at the world/characters they can look forward to :).
Thanks a lot :D, good luck with your project and future endeavors too ^^!
Honored to hear your interest :D.
Yep, I can't push myself as much as I did during the month of the contest, but I'm still working on it as a longterm-ish project, lowering the initial learning curve and smoothing out the difficulty growth among other things, to create an easier entry point overall.
Once I have a more solid foundation/entry point I'll be releasing that and adding content/boss conquests/classes over time.
Here's a short WIP video of the class selection which is the biggest initial change :).
Thank you so much, happy to hear you enjoyed your time with it :)!
While I'm not a personal fan of your projects tone, the graphic/UI design is amazing and super polished from what I've seen in an LP of it, so I wish you the best of luck with your project and the larger project it was a spin off of ^^.
I enjoyed this so much, really charming art direction with fun and cute characters with some story nuances and commentary that pulled everything together into an awesome package. Was very happy to have played through it all and the ending was really satisfying for a small story. I also really loved some of the puzzles/clues you had to connect, great work :)!
No worries :)!
Oh cool haha. Just got a chance to check it out and it's great. A weird but cool creepy atmosphere -without unnecessary jumpscares from what I experienced- though I got super stuck, and I did feel like it took a bit too long to explore/re-explore areas that you needed to over and over again (even with the item that helped you move faster). Still has me looking forward to seeing what the final product could turn out like :D.
Thank you :)!
Ohh I could definitely do that for the skills, and no worries about taking a turn to read them-I know an instant cast trick that means it won't cost a turn, that's what I use for the Journal in the battle menu :D. I can create an action below the Journal, 'Skill List', that will let you read through your characters skills.
Happy to hear you like the idea for the separate Boss category too. Yeah I certainly agree that it could use some more battles before it, or scaling back its difficulty to have more difficult difficult Boss's after it instead would be nice. Maybe even a rematch with a stronger Slime King with a full set of slime battlers would immediately work well for that.
I hoped that keeping the tutorial boss as interactive as it was but an easier challenge could help reduce new players frustration when reaching the single Boss's intended challenge. It was a difficult judgement on how to scale its difficulty when I both wanted to make it a challenge to overcome, as too easy a Boss when it's the only one could leave you without any sense of accomplishment, but too hard would definitely lead to that frustration. Hopefully it's not so daunting that players who didn't defeat it wouldn't be willing to come back for other in-between challenge levels later.
Thank you so very much for your words of encouragement towards the project, I'll do my best for sure :)!
Absolutely incredible write-up! Thank you so much for considering the game worthy of one and for taking such a thorough look at the systems within it, I'm really happy to hear you enjoyed your overall experience with it :).
Haha.....the swordsman axe holder thing, heard that elsewhere and I feel so silly, got caught up in the gameplay I never stopped to consider renaming the classes after I added the axe for her to hold (she didn't have a weapon until I did the animation which was late in development).
And yeah I wish I could have done something more to merge their art styles but at most I was able to add some weak shadows to them, glad you enjoyed their characterization enough to enjoy them being there though.
I'm most happy to hear how much you interacted with the choices I tried to build in there like the twist in the scissors-paper-rock system and risk-reward of lower health for the skill bonuses, etc, reading your write-up honestly put such a grin on my face :)! Truly honored for you to have written this and so strongly observed the game and its mechanics ^^.
I'd like to have more interaction from the players and enemies/boss with the boss mindset too, but I was both limited by time and not wanting to overwhelm the player with even more initial considerations. Ideally I'd scale this boss back a bit/tweak its difficulty and have a followup boss after it that built more on its mindset, like enemies gaining passive effects when its at a certain location or sub-directions its mindset could take it. I'm more glad to know that as-is not paying significant attention to the mindsets state each turn won't end you guaranteed with everything else to still consider.
Hopefully you'll get to see more of it in the future if I develop it further, as now the architecture is there it'll be easier to expand, I'm happy to know you show interest in that :).
Again sincerely thanks so much for the awesome awesome write-up :)!
Also read a few more of your articles and you've got a bunch of awesome writing there. I noticed too you were planning to do write-ups on more IGMC2017 entries. If I might be able to suggest one, I'd strongly recommend https://itch.io/jam/igmc2017/rate/190782, as among other strong entries it is without a doubt my personal favorite. A super cute and charming, imaginative story focused project with a few light puzzles.
Thanks a lot for your thoughtful response.
First I want to mention regarding the skills, they are available besides the learn action to read what they are (I couldn't fit the skill information and explain that you need to take a turn to learn it etc within the same thing, so I have them besides eachother).
If I were to have more time with it I'd like to add an initial character selection screen that includes the full detail of their skill/power actions too before the battle.
As this was a solo project within the months time, and the majority of that time was spent just getting the systems working, regrettably I didn't get to have any smoother learning curve between the tutorial boss and the boss itself. Ideally of course I'd like to have more Boss's inbetween/after it, but I made sure I could consistently beat it-while recognizing that I knew the battle inside and out, before I felt the challenge was likely right-while expecting a new player to need 1+ attempts before beating it. I also hoped to ease their progression between battles by having the few ranks I was able to implement there to add at least some feeling of progress.
The reason the cheer and skill learning is taken from the same pool is for you to try and balance the opportunity between learning new skills and recovering, if they were separate pools it would feel redundant. Though if I end up investing in the project more I may try to adjust the pacing and reduce the cheering to 2 given your feedback, and that there's already the overlapping limitation that you need to defeat a new enemy to use that/take your turn using it. It would depend on how the new boss's/enemies affect the current mechanics/pace.
I did a lot of retesting for this and had to go with what felt like the right balance at the time while leaving me the wiggle room to finish everything else, but I wouldn't doubt this could be improved more so thanks for voicing your thoughts about it (e.g. I tried to make the B skills easier to achieve but I might want to tweak them more too, like automatically giving you a charge each time the character cheers).
The boss battle is meant to be a longer than standard journey from start to finish while you try to take advantage of weaknesses you might discover (not exactly, but think Shadows of the Colossus if you know of that game-a journey to defeat the boss), (e.g. if you activate it in the right way when its mindset is at the left/right side [the green side] it will end up short-circuiting giving you extra room for damage/delaying monster spawning). Of course though it may have felt more natural if there had been stepping stones before this boss. If I have enough interest to develop more boss's I may split long/short battles between their own categories so it's more understood what challenge you're participating in.
Thanks a lot for trying it out and sharing your impressions :), hopefully it may evolve into a project you can enjoy more in the future.
If I may suggest a previous project that might already be closer to something you'd enjoy - https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?threads/phernil-academy-use-knowledge-a... - of course it's up to you though, just thought I'd share it :). And there's a few videos of it to quickly see if it may interest you.
Again thanks so much for playing and taking the time to respond :).
This was an absolutely adorable gem of a game.
A super cute and charming small story with a lot of character and smart light puzzles that fit into the games world, as an overall experience this is honestly one of my favorite RPG Maker projects I've seen in and outside of this contest.
Super jealous of those who are able to make small but fun and imaginative stories and you did an incredible job with this and I loved the ending which was totally satisfying and sweet, when most projects fall short at the end. I finished it at just over an hour, I hope whichever judge plays through this gets to see it all, and I certainly hope the link to the VX ace RTP is enough to keep it as a valid entry as it would be too much of a shame for this to not shine as one of the strongest entries.
And that's before even mentioning the beautiful aesthetic and sound/music design, seriously awesome work from start to finish :)!
Oh and the moon character that doubled as a friendly guide/hint giver was just really great. Well done!
I think you may have misunderstood one of the contest rules. Regarding #4
"Game Length: Judges will only be required to evaluate a game for 1 HOUR if it passes the screening stage. Any game over 1 hour will be judged only on its first hour of gameplay."
It just means that if you developed a game that lasted longer than 1 hour, they will only judge the first hour of it. If the game plays in less than an hour that doesn't matter. For example they would be free to if they didn't defeat the boss in their first attempt try again unless it would take them past an hour of play, or if they think they've experienced enough of the game to judge it before then they won't need to play again.
Yep it uses dragonbones animation for the boss and player characters, happy to hear you liked them :) (credit to the original artwork though is http://www.akashics.moe/ for the monsters and http://woestijn.deviantart.com/ for the characters.) Glad I had time to animate the characters and that you liked that.
Happy to hear you like the twist on that mechanic ^^. Yeah, the challenge of the battle is observing the boss's actions, preparing and trying to eliminate monsters as efficiently as possible with new abilities learnt, and best removing those sponges so you can defeat the boss. Regrettably I didn't have time to add more variability into the enemies actions, I just focused on the characters and the overarching boss's stages and polishing that, thinking if interest grew with the base system there I could certainly add a new boss later with more complex minions and strategies to face.
If you'd like to try another project any time, an earlier game I designed does have more varied enemies and different overlapping systems, with a growing challenge and 'currency' you can use to not make your characters stronger but customize the layers of challenge with highscores you can gain http://i.imgur.com/hQ10GmP.png . You can find it here.
Thank you for trying out the game, I'm happy to hear you'd like to see it evolve further as a lot of the work I did was just getting everything functional, so I'd have a lot of fun just adding new content and Boss/enemy challenges to it now :).