VNMaker 【Chapter 1】A Priori

Discussion in 'Games In Development' started by FoxySeta, Aug 11, 2018.

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Played the demo? What do you think?

  1. I liked it.

  2. Too many dialogues.

  3. Too many minigames.

  4. Too easy.

  5. Too difficult.

  6. I didn't like the dialogues.

  7. I didn't like the minigames.

  8. Couldn't you just make yet another mainstream RPG/VN?

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  1. FoxySeta

    FoxySeta Cleric, script kiddie and fudanshi Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    Recruitment thread
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    Visual Novel Maker (Live2D plugin already purchased, just in case Live2D artists apply)
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    A Priori is a visual novel featuring a logic/mathematical game theme (please note that "mathematical" doesn't mean "with numbers": Tic-tac-toe is an example of that).
    Story
    In order to ensure the overall quality of the dialogues and a reasonable amount of work, the story will follow a nearly linear structure with few branching paths (image below is an example of that).
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    The length of the story itself won't be excessive, but it will contain elements of deep substance, such as depression and interpersonal relationship (see Setting and Character).
    Gameplay
    Finally, the gameplay: each minigame is a simple mathematical game inherent to the story (such as Tic-tac-toe, Chomp, but also games invented appositely) played against one or more characters controlled by a simple AI. Once the player wins, they will enter the Crack Phase.
    In the Crack Phase, the goal is no more the defeat of your opponent, but the one of the game itself: you will have to provide a perfect strategy that guarantees victory from the start. This moment is much like a Danganronpa/Ace Attorney trial: a debate segment with various deductive minigames put in between (see Screenshots).
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    Even in your everyday japanese high school, having a Game Theory club is pretty unusual. And yet, the club's president seems to manage to keep the place running way to easily despite the lack of new inscriptions. While getting to know your friends better each day that passes, it will be up to you to unravel the club's mysteries. Or to decide it's better not.
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    Sango Kojima (main character)
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    You won't find a nicer girl than Sango anywhere in the world. She's always willing to lend a hand, and she's happiest when her friends are. After the Debate Club she was in closes because of... circumstances, she starts looking for something else, and ends up joining the small Game Theory Club.
    Haruto Sato
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    Even though Haruto is pretty much the "normie" type, approaching him is not such a big deal. Also, because of this first year's lack of talent in everything he does, he is well used to studying and preparing stuff in advance. He meets Sango for the first time when they join the Game Theory Club together.
    Kayu Shibata
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    Don't let her loli appearence fool you: Kayu is a really foulmouthed girl! As one could easily expect from her, she likes sweets and chocolate, and this preference of her is also reflected in the games she proposes as club activities.
    Utamara Wakamatsu
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    Because of his body appearence, Utamara is not a very popular guy, and is often verbally abused by Kayu. He joined the Game Theory Club to make new friends: that's why he always tries to find games to be played by as many players as possible at once.
    Akia Sazama
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    Akia is the kind of senior student that would do anything to attract some cute girls. Since he's harmless, though, the female students of the school usually just ignore him or treat him kindly out of pity. He accepted the role of Vice President of the Club to please the Club President. He likes playing games that make him look cool in front of other, putting under the spotlight his hobbies and "talents".
    Una Yagi
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    Una is the Game Theory Club President. She is a very cool and composed person, so seeing through her isn't easy at all. She's a top-grade student, so she sometimes helps the club members with their studies. Unlike many other clubs' presidents, she is not interested in making her club bigger at all. For her, "it's better to keep one's special place as intimate as possible".​
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    Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Steam OS
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    Some contents may have been modified before upload in order to avoid spoilers.
    Story - ADV Mode
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    Story - NVL Mode
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    Minigame
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    Crack Phase - Question
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    Crack Phase - Input Number
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    Crack Phase - Deduction race (1)
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    Crack Phase - Deduction race (2)
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    Crack Phase - Mental Hunt
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    Crack Phase - Logic Pong:
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    A Priori (Main Theme)
    Tutorial
    So Evil!
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    Supporter
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    Developer
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    This banner here is actually meant to be used by the devs. Please use the supporter banner instead!
    Featured Extension
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    Some of the extensions our team develops are also uploaded on the forum to let other peoples use them. This bunner indicates that an extension falls in this category.

    If you would like to apply/have any questions/have any feedback:
    PM me or comment below!:kaojoy:
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  2. FoxySeta

    FoxySeta Cleric, script kiddie and fudanshi Veteran

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    UPDATE 0.6.6
    Hey there! The demo is now on itch.io for everyone to play! Also, if you had problems playing the minigames, that has been fixed. Just keep in mind that:
    • the AI level is set to MAX, so if you feel like you're having an hard time overcoming it, just ask!
    • if you load your game after saving it with a question displayed on screen you won't be able to continue to play safely. This is to prevent cheating.
    • we are currently uploading all of the game builds, so so if you don't fine one for your OS yet, wait one or two days
     
    #2
  3. JapoZero

    JapoZero Building up speed for 12 hours™ Veteran

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    I played this today and I really liked it.
    It is really interesting to see such a variety of complex minigames in VNMaker working smoothly.

    I'll be waiting for the next version to know...
    ...what will Una do to Kayu after she loses to Sango and Haruto :rwink:
    Good luck with your game!
     
    #3
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  4. hiddenone

    hiddenone Lurker Extraordinaire Moderator

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    I gave the demo a try, but stopped pretty quickly since I only play games when my brain's fried so anything dealing with math is a bit too much to deal with. :rswt
    Kayu kicked my butt repeatedly at Candy Hunt. The idea behind the minigame is good, but as the first introduction to minigames in the demo it's pretty tough for anyone who's not acquainted with how to solve it (I ended up borrowing the brain of a puzzle-loving friend to win). It didn't help that failure lead to a game over, which I wasn't expecting so I hadn't made a save right before it. To me, it seems like a good idea if you added in a scene where Kayu let you try again instead of just sending the player to the main menu.

    Having custom art like a custom message box is a good way to stand out, but I think it needs a bit more work. Often the dialogue goes off the box, which makes it hard to read against the lighter backgrounds, and for some reason the menu options don't properly fit in the smaller box. It may just be that I have bad eyes, but it was kinda hard to tell the difference between the white words when Sango was talking and the light blue when she was thinking. If there was a clearer difference, like a black outline around the spoken words or the thoughts being italicized, then it would be much easier to tell which it was.
    [​IMG]
    There were a couple English spelling mistakes I noticed, such as using 'wander' in the intro instead of 'wonder', so you may want to look into getting a proofreader to double-check things (if you pm me the current script, I'd be willing to take a look). There was an odd mistake where 'Girl' calls Sango 'Haruto' in the beginning of the game (quite confusing since Haruto hadn't even shown up yet). I also had a minor issue clicking on some buttons (like the Confirm one in the candy minigame) where I'd click on it but it wouldn't actually activate. If it's possible to make those buttons clearer with an outline then that could help with miss-clicks.

    Overall I can tell you've put a lot of work into this, it just happens to not be for me. :rswt Keep working hard and polishing your minigames, and you could have quite the game! :rwink:
     
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  5. FoxySeta

    FoxySeta Cleric, script kiddie and fudanshi Veteran

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    @hiddenone Thanks for the feedback! Actually, having some from a mod is really helpful.
    So:
    • About Candy's Day... yeah you're right about everything. Like I said, Kayu's AI level is maximum at the moment. I was thinking of waiting how many people can beat her and lower her IQ accordingly (I was fairly impressed when @JapoZero managed to finish the game)
    • Yeah, a retry scene is something I definitely need to work on. Unlike other games, where you have an HP bar and can save the game before it's too late, in this first minigame you can lose in a blink without even realizing it.
    • About the custom UI, it's probably because you haven't the font used in the game installed (the default font is way larger). You can download it here. I should probably add it to the download page.
    • Thanks about the proofreading stuff. I thought I had fixed them but this doesn't seem to be the case.:kaocry:
    • The "Confirm" button uses VNM's default UI's API, but I'll try to look into it anyway.
    • Also, what about the minigames after the first? Did you continue playing after your friend solved Kayu's one?
    Thanks again, and sorry for all of the problems. My game tester is dead, and that's why I consider more honest to call this an "alpha version".
     
    #5
  6. hiddenone

    hiddenone Lurker Extraordinaire Moderator

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    Well, I'm giving feedback as just another forum member, but glad you found it useful.
    • So a thing about most logic puzzles is if you know the basics then the puzzle is easy to solve (like how my puzzle-loving friend recognize the basic 'type' of puzzle so could solve it first try), and AI won't play much of role in the difficulty since you'll know how to respond to win. AI really only affects the players who don't know the puzzle, and in the current case setting it to max is going to be a turn-off. While having it mindlessly easy isn't a great option, your first minigame really should be the easiest as it's introducing players to the game.
    • Yep, and if possible you could adjust the AI to be easier if the player fails and needs to retry. It doesn't have to make it an easy win, but the game's difficulty being able to change a bit to suit different players could open the game up to more players. Obviously this wouldn't be easy for you, so it's not something to jump to do, just an idea to keep in mind.
    • For the font issue, you should definitely see if there's a way to include that in the game's file. A player shouldn't be expected to go hunt down a font so that the game looks right, and I'm sure vnm has a way to include the font (would be odd if it doesn't).
    • There were other errors that I didn't write down, so yeah, definitely double-check the dialogue.
    • The button weirdness could be because of the font issue, is there a way to have the button highlight when the mouse is over it? That would make it clear if the player was clicking in the right spot or not.
    I did play farther, though I wasn't all that interested in the deduction race or mental hunt. Deduction race boiled down to multiple-choice questions where there was only one correct answer, which was a shame since I thought that I'd be able to make wrong conclusions by following the 'routes' that showed up on the screen. It would've been interesting to be able to come up with a wrong conclusion (which I'm sure Kayu would call Sango out on), or start with a wrong answer but be able to work my way back to the correct conclusion (and have Haruto point out where a mistake was made, but be impressed that Sango still got the right answer in the end).

    Mental hunt felt out of place to me, since it was all about quickly responding the the stuff flying across the screen. I'm not sure if I was just unlucky or what, but I didn't see 'max' as an option for a while, so I was trying things like '2+2' or '2x2' to get the right answer (which at that point was still 4)... Of course, once I saw that 'max' was an option it just meant that I'd lost part of my health bar for no good reason. Another minor issue I had with it is mostly how the buttons were arranged, I would think that the center button that's larger than the others would be the most important one to hit, but it was erase instead. Switching erase and hunt's buttons would make more sense to me.

    I relied on the 'skip' button a lot since I had to retry things often, but there's something wrong with it since at one point instead of showing the thing I was supposed to do (multiple choice or the number input, I'm not sure which) the game just drained my health bar and gave me a game over... So yeah, I ended up stopping after mental hunt. :rswt
     
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  7. FoxySeta

    FoxySeta Cleric, script kiddie and fudanshi Veteran

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    Still, you're doing such an accurate work:kaothx:
    I'd be happy to add you to the "Special Thanks" section in the ending credits, if you're okay with it.
    • That thing about the AI is actually pretty doable (and not cuz I'm on VNM, I'm pretty sure it'd be the same with RMMV's eventing system). Guess I'll go with that. I'll just have Kayu humiliate the MC every time the player retries and she has to lower the difficulty level.
    • Well, there is a way to make this font thing happen, it just doesn't seem to work since even though I used it you're not the only one having this problem. I'll just ask in the support section.
    • Both highlighting and drawing the borders of the button are possible. I'll give it a try if I see other testers are having problems with it even after fixing the font.
    About Deductive Race: yeah I can see your point. If you've played some otome games in the past (this is not sexist, I play lots of them as well), though, you may probably know that using branching paths that won't reconnect one to the other later brings an exponential growth of the work to do for the devs. In my case, a deduction race with 3 question would become one with 31 question . A deduction race with 5 question would become one with 781. That's why many minigames in the genre which are basically the same as mine do not support it. (Still, I've seen one where you had to physically drive down to the right route to choose the right question to make it more neat)

    About mental hunt: the pieces you get are completely randomized, but I can see how that may be a problem. I'll rearrange the buttons asap, but I'll need some more feedback from the other users before changing more "core" stuff.

    The problem with the skip button has been fixed. It occured every time the player has to input a number in skip mode. Doing this would just skip the input answering 0. But since 0 is the wrong answer, you end up in a loop that quickly drains you HP bar and asks you to answer again. Something similar might have happened to you in Kayu's minigame, but since there is no HP bar there...
    Thanks! I'd say you already answered to all of my doubts clearly:kaojoy:
     
    #7
  8. FoxySeta

    FoxySeta Cleric, script kiddie and fudanshi Veteran

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    Here's a small update for our alpha version featuring bugfixes and improvements based on your feedback!

    Changelog 0.7.2:
    • we have included a font archive in the download page: make sure to install them! This will fix problems like texts getting out from their message boxes
    • we have corrected some mistakes in the dialogues
    • settings menu's UI improvements
    • skip function doesn't let you skip number input anymore
    • if you lose a game against another character, you can now retry instantly
    • Mental Hunt's UI imporvements
    • Mental Hunt's texts are slower now
    • Mental Hunt's texts are now moving at different heights
    • Mental Hunt's texts are now moving both from left to right and vice-versa
    • CGs improvements
    • Logic Pong lets you see the selected answer now
    • added "Special Thanks" section to the ending credits (for fan testers mainly)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  9. Suiton00

    Suiton00 Villager Member

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    Hi hi!!! I played it, I like it but at some point after the "your opponent" answer it didn't let me go on and any time i reloaded a save file it got stuck and didn't continued.
     
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  10. FoxySeta

    FoxySeta Cleric, script kiddie and fudanshi Veteran

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    Thanks for the feedback! Let's talk about this under spoiler tags for the community's sake.
    Is it possible that you answered the question right after loading a save file? If so, that's a VNM bug that I'm conviniently using as anti-cheat method.
    Also I'm impressed you managed to get all the way to that point! Not everyone could get past Kayu's Candy Day:kaopride:
     
    #10
  11. Suiton00

    Suiton00 Villager Member

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    that dayum candy game DX i actually had to think the strategy XD, but yeah that happened after loading to try again in a question.
     
    #11
  12. FoxySeta

    FoxySeta Cleric, script kiddie and fudanshi Veteran

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    Just like I thoght:kaocry:
    I've posted a thread about this in the dedicated subforum. Guess I should also spam a warning everywhere.
     
    #12
  13. FoxySeta

    FoxySeta Cleric, script kiddie and fudanshi Veteran

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    Bump.
     
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  14. FoxySeta

    FoxySeta Cleric, script kiddie and fudanshi Veteran

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    Bump.
     
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  15. FoxySeta

    FoxySeta Cleric, script kiddie and fudanshi Veteran

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    Bump. We still need a BG artist, please go visit our recruitment thread:kaocry:
     
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  16. FoxySeta

    FoxySeta Cleric, script kiddie and fudanshi Veteran

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    Bump: we still need a BG artist and a game tester:kaocry:
     
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  17. FoxySeta

    FoxySeta Cleric, script kiddie and fudanshi Veteran

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    Bump: we still need a BG artist and a game tester:kaocry:
     
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  18. FoxySeta

    FoxySeta Cleric, script kiddie and fudanshi Veteran

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    Bump: we still need a BG artist and a game tester:kaocry:
     
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