A Punishment for Mai Chapter I - Updated to v1.2

Meguido

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Hello everyone!

So the first chapter is finally here. Maybe you've been following the progress on here: http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/topic/41219-a-punishment-for-mai/ but if that's not the case I'll write down almost the same info that's in there.

[IMG]http://media.tumblr.com/56bb0ec1235a2195bcd2de8846d7b17c/tumblr_inline_niabweAR1w1t98aj5.png[/IMG]​
 ​
A Punishment for Mai is a Thriller based action-rpg game with a horror background atmosphere. You control Mai; a girl which is trapped in an unkown town, fighting to find a way out of there...
 

Prologue
 ​

Mai is a 28 years old young woman with a sad and dark past from which she remember almost nothing but a deep pain.
Without knowing how, or why, Mai wake up one day in a motel room, wondering, she comes out only to find that she's in a place that she never saw on her life and which has nothing to do with her usual reality.
The girl, who initially thought she was alone in this city, ends up discovering that there is more life than she thought: monsters, demons, strange people and, last but not least, a kind of sect of people in cassocks who seem to be the 'lords of the place '. Under such conditions, Mai, plucks up courage and starts to seek for a way to get out of there, but unfortunately for her, after several months of searching she finds nothing.
However, someone has been watching Mai most of this time, a mysterious man who appears infront of her. He calls himself the 'Driver' and hides his face behind a mask.
Despite the initial distrust, Mai has no choice but to accept the help of the 'Driver', which, promises he will help her get out of the town.
Time passes and Mai begins to lose patience, strange dreams beset her, surviving in the town is becoming more dangerous, the doubts of what the town is and why is she there and above all that, a deep sense of sadness, are making the she starts to doubt on his sanity and to top places of her previous life started to appear in the town, including the house where she lived before appearing here.
All seems lost, but one day the 'Driver' appears and tells her it's time to leave the town, but first she shall pass a test...

 ​
Characters
 ​
 
Mai

[IMG]http://media.indiedb.com/images/articles/1/178/177946/auto/Mai.png[/IMG]​
  • Name: Mai Mitchell
  • Age: 28
  • Birthday: March-15-1987
  • Height: 1.64 m
  • Weight: 67 kg
Story:
 

Mai was the youngest of three sisters. She was living happily with them and with her parents also until one day, seven years old still, her parents decided to buy an abandoned hotel and went to live in there.
After a month living in the hotel, Mai's mother found a strange book and, thereafter, everything changed. Her mother began to behave oddly, as if nothing mattered to her, except the book; Shortly afterwards, her father disappeared leaving no trace and, being not out quite, her two older sisters fell ill and died strangely. This left the poor Mai, 9 at that time, all alone, with her mother increasingly isolated in herself.
One day, while cleaning, Mai found her mother conducting a strange ritual. Her mother found Mai was 'spying' her and forced her to participate in the, increasingly more frequent, rituals.
At the age of 10, tired of the barbarism carried out by her mother and having to involve in it in silence, Mai denounced her mother to the authorities. Her mother was jailed but soon after that, disappeared from prison, inexplicably.
Mai, meanwhile, following the arrest and subsequent disappearance of his mother was completely alone and went to one hospice after another until she got full age. After leaving her last orphanagem she became a wanderer until she met a man with whom she established a relationship. After some time living together, Mai got pregnant.
It seemed that, Mai finally would be able to be happy again, but all shattered during the second month of pregnancy. Her partner disappeared and she, all alone again, sank completely in the darkest recesses of his mind.
Suddenly, a day like any other, Mai went off to sleep, but when she woke up, she wasn't on her home anymore...
Lucy

[IMG]http://media.indiedb.com/images/articles/1/178/177946/auto/Lucy.png[/IMG]​
  • Name: Lucy McVid
  • Age: 19
  • Birthday: August-3-1996
  • Height: 1.59 m
  • Weight: 62 kg
Story:
 

Since the death of his mother, Lucy became an introvert and lonely girl. This was also getting increased, due to her inferiority complex caused by her sluttering.
She had no friends, but she wasn't alone, because her father supported her at all times.
Time went by, Lucy and her father were increasingly inseparable and this helped the girl to not be sad, but then everything changed.
Her father began to receive phone calls from an unknown woman and, from that moment on, everything went wrong. He became unfriendly and violent. He spent hours doing strange rituals and talking to that woman in phone.
Over time, Lucy, just like Mai, is forced to participate in the rituals, but unlike she, Lucy did not have nor has the power to bear with those and ends up suffering a lot.
In her eighteenth birthday, the girl finds, during an argument with her father, that she carries some kind of power in which the unknown woman from the phone is interested. The discussion rises increasingly in tone and ends with her father forcing her to participate in a human sacrifice.
During the grisly ritual, Lucy falls fainted. During hours she suffers overwhelming nightmares. When she finally wakes up, discovers that she is in a different reality, that she is all alone and that someone locked her in that place. Like so often throughout her life, Lucy huddles in a corner staring off at infinity and says nothing...
 
The Driver

[IMG]http://media.indiedb.com/images/articles/1/180/179051/auto/Conductor.png[/IMG]
  • Name: Unknown. He calls himself 'The driver'.
  • Age: 53
  • Birthday: ?-??-1962
  • Height: 1.92 m
  • Weight: 97 kg
Story:
 

This strange man hides his face behind a mask. But his face is not only that is hidden because both his past and his intentions are totally unknown.
It is not known how long he's been in the city, but based on his knowledge from it, is sure that he's been long surviving there.
One day, by chance he discovers Mai, as she was looking for supplies. The willpower he perceives in her, somehow attracts him and from that moment on he spies on Mai to see if she is strong enough. When finally he believes she is ready, he comes to her and manages to convince her that he knows how to escape the city.
The driver is not a playable character in the adventure, however, has two main uses. The first is, that transports Mai forth with his car. And the second is that he provides her with ammunition and other items through his 'store'.
 ​
Gameplay
 ​
As stated before, the game is an Action-rpg. So i'll talk about some elements it has:
 

  • Action-RPG: some people also call it Hack'n'Slash in 2D. This is the basic idea behind this game's gameplay. Some examples in this same genre could be games like the classics "The Legend of Zelda" or The Adventures of Alundra. But of course, APFM is not one of these games, nor it is set in a fantasy world. APFM is a horror game, so although there exists all the classic elements of the Action-RPG, like Magic (yeah, there is magic, but the explanation for that will come later in another report), experience per enemy killed, which will make us gain levels, melee attacks, a shield to fend off enemy attacks or even Magic Points, which are called Mana (MN) here, APFM will have other elements, more survival-horror-like games. Examples of this could be a reduced number of battles compared to action-rpgs usual style, using firearms (which require ammunition), a targeting system, moving through smaller and darker maps (trying to cause a 'claustrophobic' feel and fear on the player), etc.

  • Puzzles: The thing we love uppermost in survival horror games (in some way an inspiration for this game) are puzzles, hence this element was the only sure-one with a place in this game since the beggining of its design. So there are different kinds of puzzles; from lowering levers to restoring the power in some area to hitting spheres to 'turn' them... Said like this, it sounds rather easy, but this have to be seen while playing.

  • Exclamation: So in order to keep the player focused on the mos important things in the game we added a little system to inform the player about important "things" on the level. This tells the player about "things" he can interact with. For instance whether there is a book you can read or a key you can grab and so on.
          Every "thing" you can interact with has a range and when the player enters it, this symbol appears above the "thing":

[IMG]http://media.indiedb.com/images/articles/1/178/177385/auto/Admiracion_01.png[/IMG]​
          Also a sound plays whenever the symbol comes up.

          And when the player leaves the range the symbol disappears of course.

[IMG]http://media.indiedb.com/images/articles/1/178/177385/auto/Admiracion_02.png[/IMG]​
  • Exceptions exists in this "dual indication" system, like some "things" the player can move in any way or another (we'll discuss about this soon) or some other "things" that maybe are hidden (for instance in  the darkness) or maybe there are some requirements we don't meet up yet to get that "thing"...
  • This system will help the player to find the objects, etc. he needs in a more easily way without destroying the experience, the feeling or the complexity of the game itself due to that.

  • Development system: Let's take this little closer to the RPG-side of the game. In addition to levels, whose range from 1 to 10 and will serve to improve Mai and Lucy's parameters, there is also a kind of 'board' for each character, called "The White Room",  from where they can upgrade even more their skills and even learn Magic. All that at the cost of Ability Points (AP). One thing to keep in mind as i don't want to overlook it (although this system will be deeply explained in a later report too) is the fact that you can enable / disable the Magics and parameters' 'upgrades' at will, so whenever you disable anything, you'll recover any AP invested in the enabling process. This will let the player choose what he needs in each situation.
  • Magic:
As mentioned in earlier reports, One key thing that generated doubts to Zero0Ichi when he was designing the game was the magic aspect.
 

Zero0Ichi:Should i add magic to this kind of game? Magic in a horror-game?!...
He thought about it a lot and in the end he said to himself

Zero0Ichi:If i had the chance to add it, i will
and so the game end up having magic.
So let's talk a little bit about Magic, because there are some highlights.

  • Character Differences: Mai and Lucy differentiate in the Maná they have, being Lucy much more stronger in this aspect as she has a lot more MN. This balances the fact that Lucy can't use firearms or barehands to fight. On the other hand, Mai possesses, let's say, the most powerful magic, while Lucy has the best healing Magic.
  • Maná: The Maná points or MN are required to use Magic. You can't use it without those. The problem is, human don't have this ability in a natural way, which means that no item recovers MN, not even the save-point recovers it. For Maná to be recovered, you have to drink 'monsters' blood which gives the ability to generate Maná to the character. This isn't shown very explicitly in the game even if it might seem obvious, I still wanted to clarify it.
  • Magic-Types: The Magic is divided into three different types:
  • Healing: Always used in the Player character, they are used to recover HP, recover from illness, etc.
  • Elemental: or attack. These Magics have elemental affinity and cause damage to the target the player's aiming to. For example Fire, Lightning, etc.
  • Ailments: These Magics cause illness to targets plus a small amount of damage. Examples include: Hurt, Slow, etc.
  • Usage: From the Menu, you equip the magic you want to use. This will be assigned to the HUD's Magic Hotkey. Back on the game, just press the aforementioned hotkey and you'll use the Magic producing its effect and spending the required MN.
  • Particularities: There are some attributes that can't be forgotten when using Magic, like the Cast time, the Blow-up power, the scope, the range or the ability to bounce back from some of these.
And this is, roughly speaking, the Magic system.

  • The Red Box:



Fellow:

what is special in that red box?




Dev:

Well, it's an object the player can pickup and throw.


  • Warning: Just like any other *thing* you can interact with, when you're close to any of these, you get warned. This time though, you have the typical interaction sound but no exclamation mark, instead, you get a light gray outline around the box.
[IMG]http://media.indiedb.com/images/articles/1/179/178502/auto/Caja_01.png[/IMG]​
  • How-To: When you get close to a box, just press the interact button and the character will pickup the box. ¡Watch out though, the Interact button is the same as the attacking one so if you're not close enough to it you'll attack it instead of picking it up and yet you'll destroy it but in place! With the box picked up, we can move it freely. And when you want to throw the box out, you can do it easily just by pressing the Interact button again. The character will throw the box away and destroys it.
[IMG]http://media.indiedb.com/images/articles/1/179/178502/auto/Caja_02.png[/IMG]​
  • Usefulness: The box has two different uses:
  1. Throw it upon enemies: They'll get damaged.
  2. Break it when trrown or get attacked: There is a chance to get some items inside of it. This items can vary from:
  • -Scraps: When you get these, the character will recover some HP (Health).
  • -Blood: When you get these, the character will recover some MN (Mana).
  • -Poison: When you get these, the character will lose HP (Health).You have been warned!
[IMG]http://media.indiedb.com/images/articles/1/179/178502/auto/Caja_03.png[/IMG]​
The item dropping ratio will be influenced directly by the character's LK (Luck) parameter.

For more info about all the gameplay elements, please visit this link: http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/topic/41219-a-punishment-for-mai/

Screenshots

[IMG]http://media.indiedb.com/images/articles/1/179/178502/auto/Shot_08.png[/IMG]​

[IMG]http://media.indiedb.com/images/articles/1/179/178502/auto/Shot_06.png[/IMG]​

[IMG]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wwwdnHfYZCY/VOnb8G4YLSI/AAAAAAAAAlY/hbNga87Fymc/s1600/Shot_012.png[/IMG]​

[IMG]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0SSUhvJwpHE/VOncD1HVnRI/AAAAAAAAAlg/N4VZ532Yt7o/s1600/Shot_013.png[/IMG]​

[IMG]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ftZFA6e5lZw/VOncV1CahBI/AAAAAAAAAlw/ncXUrCNRjPg/s1600/Shot_015.png[/IMG]​
[IMG]http://media.indiedb.com/images/articles/1/180/179568/auto/Golpe.gif[/IMG]​
[IMG]http://media.indiedb.com/images/articles/1/180/179568/auto/Cuchillo.gif[/IMG]​
 ​
Note: Even if the screenshots shows the hud text on spanish, the game is in full english.
 ​

 ​
Videos
 ​
Here's the Launch Trailer for the Chapter I:





Note: For more videos, like gameplay footage please visit our youtube channelyoutube link

Play it here
 ​
          On IndieDB:


            On Gamejolt:

 ​
 ​
 ​
Links
 ​
So here are some links to some media feeds we have and the complete profile for the game:

Feedback & support is always welcome!
 ​
 
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CrazyCrab

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This looks really awesome, I'm surprised that you don't have any comments yet. o_O

From what I've seen this is commercial game material, so it's really surprising.

If I have some free time I'll make sure to give it a shot, but the IGMC is keeping me busy, sadly... I'll see when I have some time to spare. :)
 

Meguido

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Thank you for your words ^^

I'm getting used to get unnoticed xP.

But yeah i think i should get more time too to comment on ppl's work too. I think that's maybe the reason: noone knows me...

And yeah we did this for free. All we ask is just if people find it cool, interesting and want to see more of it just to support us on ******* to be able to continue making the game.

I'd like to have time to run into the IGCM too but right now it's impossible. Good luck with it ^^. And i'll be glad if you give us some feedback and tell us what you think whenever you have time to play it :D
 

HuntingSwan

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Looks great!  I will stream this when I get the chance!  
 

Meguido

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Thank you!

And please keep me posted when you stream it ^^ I wanna see it
 

cabfe

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I've tried (that's really the word here) to play, but it's probably the slowest game I've ever tried.

I have 2-3 fps, as shown by RM's internal counter and Fraps:

5NzqaJA.png


Considering it is an action game, it is totally unplayable and I quitted there.

Even as a Visual Novel that would be a hassle. That game became "A punishment for Cabfe" :D

I don't know why it's so slow, but that's something you should consider as many RM players don't have the latest CPUs.
 

Meguido

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@Cabfe

Hello and sorry, it took me so much time to get back to you :( .

I've been a little busy formatting the pc and some other problems but I'm back now.

This weird problem (low fps) it's something that happens on randomly. I mean, don't know exactly what's the reason behind that. I don't have a latest cpu (this pc is before 2011) and tested it on some other pcs (2007 one included) and no lag problems. But then got some players that like you, have low fps in some maps.

The only thing that can cause the problem is the lighting system (Khas'). So right now we're working on an small addon that will let you turn off the system completly from within the pause menu. This will destroy the atmosphere (and so the use of the flashlight) but letting the players actually play the game as best as possible comes first ;)

I'll post here when the new version is up for downloading. It shouldn't take more than a day or two.

Thank you!
 

cabfe

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All right, I'll let you know if this issue is fixed.

(By the way, it was not so laggy in Mai's room, only when I exited. Maybe the size of the map has an impact too?)
 

Meguido

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Here i am with the 1.1 version :)

Release Notes for 1.1

For now you can download it from here: Gamejolt

IndieDB takes a day or so to accept the update.

@cabfe

Thanks! And yeah i think it's a combo between the room size and the number of lights. I hope this fixes the problem If not then i have no idea what could it be :/
 

cabfe

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I've tried the new 1.1 version but it's still slow.

However, I've also found that it is really linked to the lighting process.

Deactivating the lighting (via the Pause menu) made my fps jump from 2-3 to 28-35.

Khas's script is the culprit, as often...

So, I've been a little further into the game and found a gameplay choice that is really irritating.

The action key and the fire (with the handgun) key is the same.

If I want to "use" something but am not in the right spot, Mai shoots a bullet and ammo is scarce... and I can't even save/reload the game easily to solve this problem.

I've entered the first "dungeon", shot a bat, wasted ammo on a chest that was only a decor (gotta get used to your (!) system...) and got an insta-death against a slime.

I mean, instant death?! Come on, your dungeon is narrow and you can't even shoot in diagonal directions.

I quit there. It's not my kind of my game. I hope someone else will be able to give you a better feedback.
 

ArcaneEli

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Kinda off topic since I'm American and I'm not familiar with meters and kg.

Doing some conversions are you telling me Mai

is a 5'3 142lb 28yr old woman? That seems really short and heavy for someone her size.

It could also be that the internet is lying to me with their calculators.
 

Kes

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By my calculations she's 5'4 and weighs 147lbs.  Still obese, but quite as bad as by your calculations.
 

cabfe

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Or maybe she has heavy bones?

I knew a female friend in highschool who had heavy bones. Her weight was heavier than what she looked like but that still bothered her.
 

Kes

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Heavy bones might add a kilo or two, but not 12-15.

But it may be, of course, that the dev wants the character to be that overweight for story reasons.
 
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cabfe

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I'm used to the metric system and 1m64 for 67 kg is just a little overweight.

"Ideal" weight (as in medically advised) is aroung 58-61 kg.

If she were 12-15 kg less, that'd make her skinny. Of course, it also depends on how you like women to look :p
 

Kes

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How very true!

But we mustn't derail Meguido's thread.
 

Meguido

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Hahaha

Sorry it took so long to answer back here, but I've been really busy with the 1.2 version.

@cabfe

Thank you for your feedback, and don't give up yet ^^. We realized that attacking with the same button as examining is not the best of the control schemes (in part that's why we added the '!' system to avoid examining the not important parts of the map, but even then sometimes you're close to the '!' but not in the exact spot and you'll keep wasting ammo), and that's why we added a new option to fix this in the new 1.2 (coming really soon).

About the difficulty: there's two sides on this. First we wanted to make a hard game, trying to make the player think twice before fighting an enemy but Two, we realized that it's really gets frustrating (even more than playing the evil's within...) with some maps like that one. We did this wrong and that was guiding ourselves in how i played it (i really masterized that battle system / xas xD) and then based the difficulty on that.

This is another addon we got ready for the 1.2 version, with this we hope the game stops being that frustrating.

We also added a new option to turn ON/OFF to try and fix a bit more of that lowfps.


And now about the main theme in the latest posts xD. To be honest it's been more like a mistake i didn't noticed until you mentioned it. I mean i didn't pay attention to that (y'know with a charset you really can't see the real weight of a character xD) because i didn't make the profile data (my brother wrote everything for the game: the story and also the character profiles).

So based on what he tells me it was a mistake of taking the ideal weight based on height for men instead of women. So yeah she's probably 6/7 kg less than what is in her profile.

And don't worry ksjp17 about that, i don't consider this a derail, is someting important about the main character of the game :p

Also please stay tuned for the release of the 1.2 version, i'll be sure to post here again when it's released, to let you everyone know.
 
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Meguido

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So here I am as I promised to let you know that version 1.2 is finally released! :)

To read the release notes head to: Release Notes

Also the links on the OP have been updated with the new version ^^
 

cabfe

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I've tried your new 1.2 version. I like the fact that you included a stance mode (combat or exploration) to prevent using your weapon when not wanted, but now that revealed another problem.

I was fighting against slimes in the industrial area and each time my character was next to an actionnable object, I got the description window. In the middle of a fight, it's disturbing, because it breaks the flow (very important for an action game like yours) and most importantly because it requires you to move so that the object in no longer in your way. And while you move, enemies punch you hard. I ended my fight with the slimes, I had 25 HP because I had to dodge their attacks and the actionnable zones. Since, when you use your fists, your character moves too (to give a punch), it's unfortunately easy to get in range of an actionnable area.

A solution would be to deactivate actionnable areas when you are in fight mode. I don't know if it's possible and how much work it might be, but if you can do it, it'll make it much more playable.

On a side note, in this industrial area, a little south of the driver, when you walk in the bottom-left corner of the green container, I can hear the sound of an actionnable area but there is no ! popup.

I can use a healing item even if I'm already at max health->waste of health kit

When I try to use a health kit/shoot ammo but no longer have any, the popup message is not translated (saying vacio)
 

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