I played this once over a week ago, yet I can't get this game out of my head. It's like a good idea you can't get rid of.
I've played games where you can play as multiple, pre-made characters (the Lego games, Pocket Mortys) and interestingly-different RPG Maker games that plays around with what the engine is capable of (Middens), but this game feels different. I've never heard of an RPG Maker game where you play as 99 unique, pre-made characters at the same time.
And that fascinates me because of what you can do with that idea:
- Is it possible to make a player feel emotionally-attached to all 99 characters?
- Can you make each character a fully-developed with their own unique personalities?
- You could play around with the "Chosen One" cliché that is so common in RPGs: If this game's world has 99 chosen ones, then how does that affect the game's world?
- Later on in the game, you could force the player to sacrifice player characters as you progress, slowly dwindling your party and forcing the player to "pick favourites" and deal with the consequences (similar to games like Lisa: The Painful RPG or No One Has To Die). With that idea, you could even explore Torment: Tides of Numenera's driving theme: "What does one life matter?"
In terms of gameplay mechanics and what the game itself is right now (rather than what it can become), I rather apologetically must admit that I couldn't complete the game due to the amount of lag it experienced for me (during the dragon's attacks). I feel really bad about that, because I'd like to give you more insight on whether or not the turn-based method is too repetitive or not.
But from what I've been able to play, I'd give the following reflections:
- Yes, as you asked, do please focus on the story more! I'd like to see that.
- Also, keep the comedy. I loved that opening cutscene.
- Consider what you want the main theme of the game to be: Attachment? Sacrifice? Determination? Teamwork? Being an individual?
- Try to give the characters more depth. You've already managed to accomplish quite a bit with the titles and designs of each character (one's a teacher, one's a monk, etc. Their designs seem to tell their own backstories). That's quite an accomplishment, considering you have 99 characters!
- Since the player has to control 99 characters, consider who the player is versus the player characters. On TV Tropes' websites, it's referred to as "Player Versus Protagonist Integration." Is the player meant to be ALL the characters and this control is not questioned/explained in the game's story? Is the player an advisor giving orders to the 99 heroes (like a King/Queen). Or is the player an entity that exists in the game's plot and there's a story behind how they're controlling the characters (to use one of the XCOM games as a story example: The player is actually an alien with the ability to control multiple human characters, who are the protagonists).
- I'm not sure how attached you are to the game's current turn-based/JRPG mechanic. Would you consider other methods for simulating fights, like card games? Or the Tinder-style choice method used for the fight scenes in the game Reigns?
- I'm trying to think of work-arounds for reducing the lagging in the game. It might be good to swap teams of 10-20 characters at a time on screen (dividing the characters by class: All the warriors on one team, mages on another, etc), and the player switches between them as they fight.
- The game's title sounds a lot like a pun on another game, Mighty No. 9. Was that intentional? (I haven't played Mighty No. 9)
Sorry for this novel of a post; I hope you don't mind how long it is.
Hope this helps! And thank you for making the game! I love this concept.