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A member registered Jun 08, 2018 · View creator page →

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sweet, i sent you a message there!

oh man, i feel like i was just looking at this one, too, but i can't remember how i got there... thanks for this one, too!

visions and voices is the one craze game i have played, back when it was relatively new, although it didn't click with me then. looks like i've got a long overdue crazegame deep dive ahead of me. thanks for all the recs! (i'm a big slimes fan, too)

i'll take what you've said to heart, too, about puzzly tightness. i do appreciate it from time to time - what i think i'm really not interested in is trial and error solutions with a slim margin of error, and for me at least ocean OI dips into perilous guesswork more often than i'd like. i'm a little less interested in explicit reasoning than i am in building up intuition and managing risks, which feels really expressive to me in a way that i like. this is kinda what i arrived at after revisiting the 7th saga after atom OI and playing a bunch of nes DQ last year, both of which involve a lot of unpredictability and variation. cataphract moves a step toward embracing randomness (in kind of a 7th saga way, where things can always go south at the drop of a hat), but i'm hoping to more fully explore a sort of 'soft puzzle-solving' approach in a future title. (it occurs to me now that the piece where i try to dig into this a bit more isn't publicly visible right now, but if you're up for a long, messy read, check out this piece)

thanks for another great and generous comment - it's very rewarding to hear about your experiences with the OI games and especially with this one

re death sensitivity: guruntum takes a little look around before the action menu comes up if she expects an enemy to arrive in that room next turn. it plays a sound effect too, although it should be very quiet

re: the candle, it inhibits enemy healing - which in practice only applies to concourse

re: "OI", well, i think it started empty of particular meaning and it soaks up more over time. actually, from what you've shared with me, i'd say you understand pretty well

if you wind up doing some rpg making, i'd love to see the results, and if you use rm2k for it, you can call on me for help anytime

ty mariken! if i could change one thing about rpgmaker 2000 it'd be the way it communicates about status ailments, which at present is "barely at all, and there's nothing you can do about it".. for now you just have to imagine that keeping meticulous track of each enemy's position is part of the warrior's trade

excellent! craze was a big inspiration to me once upon a time, and wine and roses has been on my backlog forever.. time to bump it up! if you know anything else in this space you think i'd find interest please pass it along. thanks for your thoughts, and sorry for the delayed response

i appreciate the confidence of introducing complications in the very first puzzle, not wasting any time before making demands of me and trusting me to put together how everything works on my own. each stage felt like a little story the way my understanding would accumulate in layers, realizing precisely what constraints were acting on me, deducing how different objects or parts of level geometry did or did not fit into different parts of the equation.. each clear was hard earned, never falling into my lap without a fight (stage 9 i kinda fell into a solution while i was poking around before i really had a handle on the level, but i still had to prod pretty persistently to get there), nor did any level push me to the point of exhaustion or hopelessness. in short, just the right balance for me of having to pay attention and think about what i'm doing on the one hand and keeping a sense of momentum going on the other. good stuff! ps it never fails to surprise me how expressive a 5x5 puzzlescript sprite can be

hey! sorry for the delayed response. the final battle is a common point of confusion, i should probably write a boss guide just to be safe. there are a few pieces to the puzzle, but it sounds like the one you're missing is that you need to use Strike Formation to draw Concourse into the fray. it might take some persistence, but you can finish her off while she's building FV to set WHEEL back in motion. also, this might not be necessary to mention, but there's an optional item hidden behind a gold door that can make the fight a little easier, too

thanks a lot for playing & for sharing such kind words,  and good luck with the last stretch! i'm here if you have any other questions (i'll make sure to respond promptly)


hey, thanks for playing and especially for leaving such a thoughtful comment! it makes me feel really spoiled, of course i loved thinking about this stuff and trying to put it all into the game, so having so many of my specific choices acknowledged feels really validating (especially the fray stuff, which felt the most self-indulgent at the time), very pleased to hear so many things made enough of an impression to prompt comment from you

your thought about encounter rewards was really interesting, i hadn't thought about it but there's definitely room for it. i didn't omit them for fear of players grinding or amassing power, it was just my belief at the time that the point of battle was the threat of death (imminent or by attrition), that the motivation for fighting is the possibility of it being the safest way past an obstacle, and that survival itself is the reward.. having material rewards for combat seemed to create conflicting incentives and undermine the message that violence isn't a game to win but a problem to solve. of course, weighing conflicting incentives makes for interesting decision-making - but by default i think most players' expectations in an rpg are that you're supposed to fight every battle, rather than pick your fights, so my hope was that by denying any material gain, i make it a little easier for folks to stop ask and ask "is this worth it? can i avoid this somehow?" guruntum's fragility fits into that picture, too. on top of everything else, i find people whose job it is to do violence with swords interesting, and i think part of that job is accepting the possibility that you can do everything right and still fail, or die.. the nature of battle is that it's sort of brutal and unrewarding, but the business of navigating it is a whole language with lots of interesting layers and expressive potential, and these two facts have to coexist with each other somehow

all that said, i still would've liked players to feel a little more empowered to avoid combat when they did decide it wasn't worth it. i'd love to explore a richer vocabulary for fleeing battle.. and there's one other feature i wanted to add: if you enter a room on the same turn that an enemy squad was set to leave it, if you could see them walking out at the same time as you walk in, so you know which way they're headed, and you can follow them around to see where they go. by the time i thought of that, though, it was too late to add such a complicated feature. maybe in a future game... by the way, were you able to make much use of death sensitivity? there are a couple tools for anticipating and avoiding battles as it is, but i wanted to leave them a little obscure. my hope was that the game's difficulty would make people feel like they were missing something and pay a little more attention, prod at the mechanics a bit more and surprise themselves with the discovery. but i think they went mostly undetected. that's just fine, you can beat the game just fine without them, anyway. but the lack of a clearer pathway to discovery still stands out as something i'd like to be different

anyway, that's how it all looks to me now, three months out from release. thanks for bringing up those points of critique, they're important ones to consider, and fun to chew on - like i said, i love getting to engage deeply with this stuff, so i hope you don't mind my seizing on an opportunity to think through some of this stuff out loud. thanks again for your comment, i look forward to sharing more with you in the future >:3

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oh! it's a delight to read that you had such a good time! thank you so much for coming back to share your thoughts, there's a fresh smile on my face as i write this reply. i'm happy that easyrpg player's looking good for you, too.

i can definitely think of a couple games you might like! if you especially like games without leveling systems, i'd start with facets by john thyer and fallen star by jetstorm4. my games ocean oi and atom oi are a bit shorter and purely focused on combat, but they fit the bill too. depending on your specific qualms with leveling, you might click with strife of cosmos by mythatelier and slimes by scitydreamer; both games implement leveling in a very controlled way and pair it with intentional, critical approaches to turn-based combat. finally, there are a couple other more general recommendations in the readme for cataphract oi you might find interesting - the ones i haven't mentioned yet might be longer or have more conventional approaches to character growth, but they're all wonderfully thoughtful responses to rpg traditions, so they might appeal to you on that level!

thanks for asking, 'cause most of these folks are my friends and community members (and often direct inspirations on my own work) and i love to plug their stuff xD

hey, thanks a bunch for playing! i'm really happy to hear you've enjoyed your time with it so far.

to answer your first question, you can save the game in any dead end room by picking the "rest" option.

regarding the second, i may not have any good news for you. rpg maker 2000's fullscreen is notoriously wonky on newer operating systems. if the fullscreen and resolution toggles (F4 and F5) don't give you any results you like, you might have better luck downloading the EasyRPG player, which has a much better fullscreen mode. the tradeoff is that there might be a few bugs or graphical errors since EasyRPG interprets the game code a little differently than the native player does - but it should still be fully playable. if this doesn't work for you, let me know and we can try to figure out something else.

late development from me, but i've recently learned about a 'stuck keys' problem that seems to be well attested in rm2k. someone (cherry, whose name i've known from rpg circles since the 00's) wrote a utility to reset them, so if you're still interested in playing the game and you're comfortable running .exe files off the internet, this might be your solution:

yoooo this ruled, what a cool journey putting it all together!

i hope they never stop being there

this is so stylish! i love porton and their expressive little face

hallowed space

i met the happiest cat in the world today

aw, this was really delightful! i loved it!

this was really nice! i had a great time jamming out at gong #1 playing my sequence in various rhythms and hearing the sounds overlap in different ways

a good little story, full of truth and elegantly told. thank you

yep! there was a second tab in a previous version that displayed a little extra data about the language on the whole, but i did something clumsy and lost the code that compiled it, so i've just taken it out for now. it was pretty rudimentary anyway. i hope to have something more robust in a future version. until then, just the one tab

hey, it's back up! thanks for your patience. 

you may have a point. i'll take a look at this again and see how much work it needs, and if it looks like it's a ways off, i'll take the page down for a bit. thanks for your patience

thanks for the info! let me message you sometime to ask you to try some things to try and pinpoint where it's coming from. it may be an issue with RM2K's native movement system, which could place it out of my hands - but i'd love to better understand why it happens.

ah, weird! thanks for letting me know. could you tell me if pressing X/Escape to bring up the menu works?

illuminating read! thank you for writing

yeah, it's still down for now, i haven't had a chance to finish the work that needed doing. hoping to take some time in june to set things in order again. my apologies for the inconvenience!

this was an extremely cool game! i love the way you give out abilities like double drops and EXP early on, and i liked that even my lowly D-Dog stayed useful until the end. there are so many monsters to play with in such a short period of time, and i really enjoyed the generosity (and monstrousness) of letting me disassemble old monsters to get parts back so i could experiment more. and the spritework is all gorgeous! a unique and thoroughly satisfying experience. thank you for making this!

Hey there, sorry for the late response. Is the issue you had that nothing loaded in the fields and none of the buttons did anything? If so I've found out what the error is and I think I've managed to fix it, so I would invite you to try again.

If that stuff did work and the issue was just a matter of non-straightforward usage, maybe I need to write up a little 'how to use' section. xD

that's some valuable feedback! thank you for playing both games and sharing your thoughts. i think you're right about the physical/magical split - i think it's kinda like the black mage problem where if one character can do it all, the complexity is collapsed to "just use the right one".  if i revisit the concept in a future game (and i'd like to) i'll have to do some things differently.

i haven't played any etrian odyssey games in earnest yet, but folks are always pointing me toward them, so it'll happen one of these days. i'll be curious to see how the hexer plays - i generally find "debuff specialist" as a class concept doesn't click with me,  but from what i know of EO, i trust the series to execute on it in an interesting way. i'll keep an eye out for it.

this was extremely for my cool first encounter with doom. fpses tend to intimidate me so i appreciated the way this one built up my confidence from trying to isolate single enemies in tight corridors to approaching swarms of horrible, horrible creatures in wide open spaces. i like how much i had to learn to relax, paradoxically, in order to stay on top of complex situations... music was dope too

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ah, if you press F5 you can switch between two resolutions. that should make the game fill the entire screen in fullscreen mode and make it not-tiny in windowed. (unfortunately i don't know any solution for the blurriness in fullscreen mode - that seems to be unavoidable for rpg maker 2000 games on modern OSes.)

thanks for the note!

thanks for the feedback, i'm honored that you liked it! i'll remember your words on magic wall the next time i make a status ailment like that.

this was delightful! i can't remember the last time a game had me tearing up like that. the mood of it was distinctive and really entrancing... what a beautifully told story

hey, sorry for the late reply! i wouldn't mind talking about it a bit. do you have a portfolio or anything i can check out in the meantime?

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hi there! sorry for the late response, i'm glad you liked the game though! if you wanna email me i'm *********** (i'm also on

i spent much of silus trying to figure what corris' deal was, wondering if she'd ever join my party. i figured it out eventually, but it's still really exciting to finally have her on my team!

ps. i left the sky palace to resupply, but the boat back won't work anymore. i say "yes" when it asks if i want to fly there, but nothing happens.

this was fun and i loved the vibe, especially the subtlety of the audio. i'm glad i persevered to improve my score, it was rewarding to practice at, just the right difficulty for me and my tastes. here's my final score