Almost Lost

Discussion in '2014 Indie Game Maker Contest' started by poorrabbit, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. poorrabbit

    poorrabbit Villager Member

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    Helena, MT
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    "Almost Lost" is the short story of Prudence, known to her friends as "Jinkies". She is an Elemental  Channeller for I.D.E.A., the Inter-Dimensional Exploration Agency. I.D.E.A.'s mission is to explore other dimensions and assess their potential for resource exploitation as well as any threats they may pose. Sometimes, other cultures are encountered and treaties are entered into.

    Or war.

    As a channeller, Prudence always has an elemental minion to assist her in battle. Her basic attacks and abilities will be imbued the element she is currently channeling. She will also take on the strengths and weaknesses of that element. Fire, for example is weak to water based attacks, but grants higher agility and more deadly attacks. Currently, she can channel fire and water. As the game progresses, she may learn new elements to channel.

    Due to her talents, Prudence is something of an I.D.E.A. veteran, despite her young age. While she has been on many missions to other dimensions, it has always been as a subordinate team member. The game begins on the her first day as Mission Commander. 

    Things do not go as planned.

    The following is from the help info-sphere that explains how to play and such at the start:

    [SIZE=x-small]Because this is a short game and exploring and enjoying the game are more important than micro-managing your inventory
    and resources, certain resource management elements have been designed out:

    -Money is not a concern
    -You will not find or be able to change equipment
    -Prudence's gear will change with her channelled element
    -You will not gain experience or levels
    -Combat has been balanced to account for this
    -Combat abilities have no cost
    -Prudence has enough stamina to get through a day's worth of adventuring
    -Prudence will learn Tier 2 elemental abilities for those elements which she often takes into battle [/SIZE]

    I thought I would explain some of that. In most jPRGs (and make no mistake, this is a jRPG - there's a linear story, you start the game in bed, and the main character has been named for you), you have to manage money, equipment, mana, health. All that stuff. You could spend an hour, easily, just trying to make sure everyone in your party has the right gear and has leveled up properly.

    Well, for the contest, we only have an hour, so I took all that out. Buuuut. I wanted to make sure there was some sort of sense of progression...and minor spoilers ahead...Prudence learns new spells in two ways:

    1. She defeats monsters of one of the four elemental types she doesn't already know (there are fire, water, light, dark, earth and lightning - she starts off with fire and water)
    2. She uses the same element in four or five distinct battles from which she does not escape.

    In the first case, she will learn to channel the new element which she's defeated and will learn a spell or two from that element. In the second case, she will learn "Tier 2" spells of the element she brought into battle, always AoE versions of the spells she already knows.

    I also made it fairly hard for the party to die. In a proper, long form, game, there would be more danger (to go along with the resource management and everything else). While bad luck against some lightning bugs can wipe the party, I wanted to make sure that the end of the game could be reached by even novice gamers. So, everyone fully recovers at the end of battle, assuming victory, of course.

    I really do hope you enjoy the game. I enjoyed making it.

    The IGMC contest page for Almost Lost.




  2. Indrah

    Indrah Megane Berserker Veteran

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    Here's my very quick and sketchy take on the game (link for info on why it's so short and all that jazz)


    [SIZE=10pt]+Nice concept (dimension traveling).[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]+Mapping in the introduction section is nice.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]+Has some decent ideas about gameplay (changing elements was sort of cool, if annoying about spending a turn).[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]-Mapping takes a very ugly turn early on after the intro.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]-Presentation is very rough and definitely needs work.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]-Characterization and writing is mediocre at best.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]-Full screen obligatory (unless you fiddle with the ini files)[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]To the developer: Few things will make me rage about RM games like a compulsory full screen. I have a large monitor and RM games are NOT designed to be stretched like that. Optional fullscreen: yes. Forced fullscreen: NO. I had to crawl into the ini file and rip the fullscreen away.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]That rant aside: this project is very rough. Presentation during the futuristic intro was promising (except perhaps characterization which was quite meh) but once you arrive to the other dimension it all just comes crashing down with the godawful use of tiles. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]Could this be made to work? Maybe. But I feel it’s one of those “early” projects that can be simply used to learn and leave behind. It has nothing that I would say “yes, you should rework the game entirely to keep THAT”, so I’d say learn from it and move on. [/SIZE]

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