RMVXA Cat Quest DEMO VERSION 2.0

Discussion in 'Games In Development' started by Ragpuppy87, Apr 18, 2019.

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  1. Ragpuppy87

    Ragpuppy87 Veteran Veteran

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    SECTION A: SYNOPSIS
    • Cat Quest follows the story of a man who seeks to be reunited with his cat. Gameplay consists of navigating relatively simple mazes while battling monsters, avoiding traps and collecting items. I plan to eventually incorporate some basic puzzle solving elements as well.

    IMAGES/SCREENSHOTS
    Our main character is determined to get his cat back safely.

    2019-04-17 (14).png
    A mysterious villain. Why has he captured our hero's
    pet cat?


    2019-04-17 (15).png
    What secrets await in the Temple of Bastet?

    2019-04-17 (16).png

    SECTION B: CHARACTERS
    • Our party consists of three characters, two of which can be renamed to the player's liking.
    • "Kevin" our main character. A quiet, shy man who prefers to keep to himself. His cat is very important to him.
    • "Jared" is "Kevin's" best friend. Happy and outgoing he is the complete opposite of "Kevin's" more subdued personality.
    • Cat is a mysterious cat who acts as a guide throughout the game. She keeps her past well guarded.

    SECTION C: STORYLINE/PLOT
    Ten thousand years ago a war raged between the forces of good and evil. A young man awakens one typical morning unaware of his connection to that ancient battle. His cat is hungry and must be fed as soon as possible.
    A series of events unfolds that leads the man and his best friend to pursue a mysterious villain who has stolen our hero's precious companion, through a portal that leads to the Temple of Bastet. While wondering how they may gain entry to the temple, the hero hears a voice coming from a cat that only he can see and hear.
    The phantom cat explains that our hero is the last Catmancer, a human that can harness the abilities of certain cats. The cat he is looking for is in the temple's sanctum. A sanctum sealed by eight barriers that require eight Divine Cats to open the way. And so our hero's quest to brave the dangers of the temple, find the Divine Cats, and ultimately his own pet cat begins.
    Along the way he will face dangers not only from the temple's labyrinths but also the mysterious cat-napper who set all this in motion.

    SECTION D: SETTING AND/OR WORLD DEVELOPMENT
    • The setting of the game is confined to the interior of the Temple of Bastet. An area known as "The Hall of the Elements" serves as a hub for the rest of the game's areas.
      Eight dungeons branch from the Hall of the Elements each being unlocked as the previous is completed.
      Once these are completed the upper floors of the temple will open to the player.

    DOWNLOAD LINK
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
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  2. Calluses

    Calluses Bee Member

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    Alright, I've played this for an hour or two now, and I've got a lot to say.

    It starts off really well, and I can tell from the beginning that you definitely know how to use events, scripts, and maps properly. The first few interactions with the villain were enjoyable, and having a talking cat is a nice twist on an RPG. Getting to choose your class was good, and you went to the extra mile of making their graphics change afterwards! The grammar was proper, the formatting went well, the scene control and pacing was nice, all the maps, and even the idea seemed worthwhile!

    So, what happened to it all -

    I'm sure you already know the main culprit. Random encounters. When I posted about this earlier, I would have never guessed the random encounters were this obstructive to your game. Now, here's the big statement I need to make before really diving into this: nobody likes random encounter, but you can have them in your game.

    All those battles do almost 90% of the time is hinder your character, they're made as an obstacle to slow you down, and at the same time give you opportunities to level up. You're not going to enjoy a random encounter if you had one a few steps ago, or if you're about to reach a door, or a chest. Every time the player has to start a battle they don't expect, a ton of momentum is lost in the game. A random encounter, to a player, is a bad thing almost all the time, so it's rare that they'd enjoy it. The only game I think of when I think of random encounters is Pokemon, and Pokemon does random encounters so well. Pokemon has a balanced amount of encounters, caves aren't too long and bushes can mostly be avoided. Plus, you've got so many Pokemon to level up and evolve, that you're constantly getting rewards, you only fight one wild Pokemon so they're fast, AND you can even catch the opponent! So what you need, is less random encounters, less, less, less.

    While there were rewards as well, they definitely didn't help motivate me. The majority of rewards from what I recall were recovery items, gold, and ice key shards. Some of the chests I had to go out of my way to get, and all that meant was more random encounters, which I'd gotten very tired of after the first floor of the ice dungeon. The maps suited the idea, they had a really nice general layout, maybe a few stairs and changing depths would make them better, but overall I don't think I need to complain about them. However, there were definitely too many of them. Or, more likely, there were once again, too many random encounters. I kept getting up higher floors in the ice dungeon and I just wanted to be on the last one already.

    Finally, the big solutions to your random encounter problem:

    1. Divide the amount of random encounters by about 4.
    2. Use region random encounters instead, and find a way to section off the areas visually. This could be done with lighting, darker floor tiles, just find a way if you can. Even if you don't have any visual indicator, less regions with encounters would definitely benefit your game.
    3. Less floors.
    4. Create proper events and puzzles through the dungeon, like mini bosses, shops, characters you can interact with, and meaningful chest rewards. If you do make puzzles, try not to make random encounters get in the way of them.
    5. Remove random encounters completely, and put events on the map instead.


    If I were you, I'd do 2, 3 and 4. 1 is an immediate fix, but even then, if that's the only one you do, I'm not sure diving it by 4 would even be enough. Otherwise, the rates would be good if you did 2, 3 and 4 all at once. Doing 5 might be cool, but it's a lot more effort and it'd mean you'd need sprites for every enemy encounter, unless you did shadows or something. 2, 3 and 4 sound like they'd really suit your game though! If you can figure out a way to get nice, balanced regions, the player won't feel like walking around is always a chore. Less floors would be good too, the first dungeon wasn't too bad because the maps were smaller (I think), but the second dungeon was absolutely absurd. You can't put 9 floors between the player and a boss fight. There needs to be stuff in between, the only way you could have a 9 floor dungeon that was enjoyable was if it was full of events and interactions that keep the player going. One of the things that upset me a lot was the lack of ice floor puzzles in those 9 floors. Those are so much fun and are a great break from repetitive grinding and battles.

    That problem is the biggest, and it really, really needs to be fixed. I think there are a dozen of battlers there, but adding more and more battlers isn't the option. A couple of times I encountered singular enemies which were way stronger than most and I got excited for a bit because I thought there was something special about them, but I felt 0 reward after battling them and figured they were the same as any other monster.

    Smaller problems are, balancing. Magic definitely seems a bit overpowered, although that might've just been because I had a spell blade and a sage, so I might not have had any real physical damage class. I think given what the game is, it's still relatively well balanced. You should make sure mage classes start off with some kind of magical ability, so they're not using their fists at the start. The cat being a healer was a great idea. Personally, I think the cost for healing is too low, but since there are so many battles, you end up needing that much mana. The battle system is very bland and basic, having access to a lot of classes and a proper party kind of makes up for it. You can use it how you are, but it might also be worth taking a look at different plugins you can use to improve battling. It seemed like the first boss fight took a long time, however that could be okay, the pacing was very slow due to the encounters, so having a long boss fight wasn't a big deal.

    What I think, is that you've got a lot of potential in this games story. More interactions, fun ones, cool ones, any of that would be great, since the start made me want more of that. Since it's a dungeon game, you'll be a bit limited for interactions, think of ways to get around that. Think of things to put in the dungeons that the characters can interact with. Put history into the dungeons, make them seem alive, rather than just being ice for the sake of ice. And also, put an escape staircase on the first floor so that you can leave it if you're dumb like me and accidentally go back into it, because that's the first thing I did after completely the ice dungeon. (I quit the game at that part. :kaoswt:)

    TL;DR
    less random encounters
    - region encounters
    - puzzles
    - events
    - better rewards
    - less floors
    think of a way to spice up combat
    use all the character potential you've got
    don't teleport me back to the beginning of that hell-hole ever again :kaoangry:
    and most importantly, do your best!

    As I said before, your introduction was fun and I wanted things that built on that. So keep me updated on the game, and feel free to chat if you need any help/advice, good luck!
     
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  3. slimmmeiske2

    slimmmeiske2 Little Red Riding Hood Moderator

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    @Calluses While it's good that you're giving feedback, the thread you posted in is a support topic, not the actual game thread. Since the game thread has been approved, I'm moving your post over there.
     
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  4. Ragpuppy87

    Ragpuppy87 Veteran Veteran

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    Thank you very much! You gave me a lot to work with.
    I certainly hope I can count on you to continue playtesting as I make updates.
    I knew the random encounters were bad. That's first on my list

    The dungeon design.
    Originally I wanted each dungeon to have a certain gimmick based on it's theme.
    Ice blocks and slippery tiles work great for an ice themed dungeon. lava damage tiles work well for a fire theme.
    The issue I ran into is how to keep that going. And how to event them properly.
    I have Fire Ice Thunder Water Earth Wind Light and Darkness.
    Thunder for example having random lightning strikes on the map that you need to avoid.
    Maybe water avoiding a roaming shark that causes a game over should it catch you.
    Earth could be as simple as avoiding rolling boulders. I'm a bit unsure about wind and light. For the darkness one it could be as simple as limited visibility.

    You may have noticed the dungeons are split into two halves. For now this only means a change in appearance and music tempo. Stronger enemies also begin to appear. I kind of actually want to keep that in. So I'm unsure about cutting the floors of each dungeon.
    But I could also maybe add on to it. Maybe the second half of the dungeon could be more combat oriented. While the beginning is based on those gimmicks I mentioned as well as maybe some puzzles.

    The balancing issues. Magic seems to be somewhat overpowered in the beginning but seems to balance itself out as the game progresses.
    I'm also trying to make the enemies seem a bit more unique from one another... I'm aware as of this point they are basically just the same enemy with a different image.

    But my priority as of now, are the random encounters and adding some more events to my dungeons. I think I will release an update after that.
    If you can manage it I would love it if you could see the rest of the demo. OK if you can't manage it though. Feel free to use the Plot Advancement accessory I included. It won't cut out the battles but It will end them quickly. I included an item called a teleport scroll as well.
    They can be found in the item shop and at the beginning of each dungeon. So in case you accidentally find yourself in a place you don't want to be again you can escape quickly. I will however take your advice and put a warp at the beginning of the dungeon.

    Thanks again!
     
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  5. Calluses

    Calluses Bee Member

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    As long as you've got something to deal with the random encounters, it should end out fine.

    I saw the plot advancement but at the time I just felt like a bit of a break.

    Yeah, I noticed the floor style changed and I thought that was pretty interesting! You can keep as many floors as you like. The ideas you have are good, so make sure to use them to keep the player engaged!
     
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  6. Ragpuppy87

    Ragpuppy87 Veteran Veteran

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    The first update to Cat Quest DEMO will be released either tomorrow or the day after. The following issues will be addressed:
    Random Encounters. They have been replaced entirely. Visible enemies now wander the labyrinths.

    Update: I am now disabling the link to the current version. A new link to the updated
    version will be available within 12 hours of this edit. Thank you for
    your understanding.

    2nd Update: The link is now available.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  7. Ragpuppy87

    Ragpuppy87 Veteran Veteran

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    Cat Quest Developer's Log- 6/22/19

    After a 2 month hiatus to recover from creator's block, I am continuing development at last.

    -A serious bug regarding escaping from enemies was discovered and fixed.
    -Number of enemies in the overworld has been reduced slightly.
    -A brand new desert area at the beginning of the game has been added.
    -Currently working on combat difficulty adjustments.
    -Adding a new mini game.
    -Plans for an optional late game fourth party member in development.
    -New items have been added, and contents of some chests will be changed.
    -Several simple puzzles are planned. Possibly more to come.
    -Hidden traps in dungeons are also being worked on.
    -A few aesthetic changes.

    The next update will include most of the above and should hopefully be released within a week or two.

    As always the current version is still looking for play testers. Any and all help is appreciated.
     
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  8. Cryranos

    Cryranos Veteran Veteran

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    Good things first: I think the scenario is adorable, charming, and fun and you're definitely on the right track. Having the broody secret-keeping exposition character be a cat makes me kind of happy (maybe also because Morgana in Persona 5 was a bit annoying at times).

    Some points of frustration:
    • I wasn't able to get far beyond the 5th floor of the first two mazes, because the difficulty (actually just enemy HP) spikes majorly and my patience is unfortunately at a premium these days, so I haven't seen as much as I'd like to.
    • I think you really need to mess with the enemy level-scaling a lot to find a good balance, because it appears that the enemies progress faster than the player characters. Alternatively, you can increase the effect leveling up has on skill and magic damage so that the party's attacks can at least keep up with the enemies' HP. Nothing is more frustrating to players as when they notice that they are getting WEAKER in comparison to the enemies as they level up. This also makes the difficulty spikes hit a lot harder.
    • As was said before, all of the different enemies feel as though they are just be re-skins of each other.
    Some suggestions:
    • Make the chest at the beginning of each dungeon have a teleport scroll when the player has none in their inventory, instead of just the first time the player enters the dungeon.
    • Perhaps a small number of the treasure chests could have a random item that resets upon returning to the hub area? You'd need a script to remotely change self-switches in order to do this efficiently.
    • Work a little bit on the dungeon maps so that it isn't obvious you used the dungeon generator.
    • Perhaps enemies could drop items other than just the morsels? Having such item drops be rare enough wouldn't affect game balance.
    I'd also caution you to think very carefully about adding an optional fourth character. You'd have to balance the later part of the game such that players who forego the extra character won't have a huge difficulty spike while those who go out of their way to get the extra character won't be able to steamroll the rest of the game.
     
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  9. Ragpuppy87

    Ragpuppy87 Veteran Veteran

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    Thank you so much for your feedback!

    Regarding the issues you brought up.

    Enemy Scaling.
    Funny you should mention that! I actually logged on to the forums just now to get some advice on that very issue.
    I'm currently using Yanfly's Enemy scaling script. I'm hoping to get advice on balanced enemy values that grow with the player.

    Enemy distinction is currently being worked on. I'm kind of just using the current ones as placeholders.

    The treasure chest idea is interesting. It would give the player a reason to return to completed dungeons. I'll have to look into that.

    Dungeon map design.
    Yeah I suck at dungeon design.:( Plain and simple. I'm using the generator as you said. I thought I had spruced up the dungeons enough to counter that, but I may look into other options eventually. The dungeons change layout as you progress beyond the 5th floor and some of my later ones I'm actually quite proud of, despite being randomly generated. I will definitely keep it in mind however.

    Morsels are in game currency that can be used to trade for valuable items and accessories once the Morsel Shop opens.
    But plans are in development for more drops as I adjust the enemy database.

    The fourth party member has actually already been scrapped for pretty much the same reasons you brought up.
    That and plot elements.

    Again thank you so much. I really appreciate the feedback.
    I am as I said close to releasing a rather large update. Hopefully you can find the time to playtest it.
    If not I still appreciate it and you will be credited. Twice actually! As I already have you under scripting!
    Thanks!:D
     
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  10. Cryranos

    Cryranos Veteran Veteran

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    Unfortunately the simplest answer is trial and error. You can use the excel spreadsheet by FlyingDream available on Yanfly's website to get the numbers in front of you, but you'll still need to do trial and error unless you're really, really good at running your damage formulas in your head. Hopefully someone can give you other tips on that.

    It's a skill to be learned. Try messing with the shapes of rooms, widths of hallways, etc. and you might be able to make a big difference with minimal extra work.

    aaaaaaaaa I've become useful
     
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  11. Ragpuppy87

    Ragpuppy87 Veteran Veteran

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    Cat Quest Developer's Log- 7/2/19

    I plan to release Cat Quest DEMO v2.0 tomorrow.
    The first update will contain the first two thirds of the game, "Prologue" and "The Trial of the Eight."
    Soon afterwards I will also add, "The Upper Floors" and "The Eye of Bastet."
    And finally towards the end of the month or early August, I plan on releasing "The Last Catmancer".
    That will complete the story.
    From there I will add touchups and new features.
    I still hope a final version will be available by year's end.
    I'm taking all the advice my playtesters have given me thus far and am working to improve and make this the best possible game I can produce.
    I'm always looking for feedback however, so if you have the time please share your thoughts!

    Thanks!

    EDIT: Cat Quest DEMO v2.0 is now available via the download link.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
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  12. Ragpuppy87

    Ragpuppy87 Veteran Veteran

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    Cat Quest Developer's Log- 7/6/19

    Enemy difficulty balance is still an issue.
    I'm continuing to work on it and am especially interested in any feedback regarding that topic. While the previous version was too difficult I find that this version may be too easy.
    More adjustments to difficulty will be included when Version 2.1 is released.

    I do have plans for random occurring events in dungeons, as I know they are a bit dull and repetitive at this point.
    That's my other big issue. However I plan to finish and release the main story and find a proper difficulty balance first before tackling that topic.
    But be assured it is coming. Any ideas for random events would also be appreciated. I have a few in my mind but I'm always open to suggestions.
    I'm thinking events based off of the theme of the dungeon. Example in the light dungeon, having a status condition that effects accuracy due to the brightness, or randomly stumbling over something you can't see in the darkness dungeon and losing some HP. Basic lava damage tiles in the fire dungeon and slippery floors in the ice dungeon exist already but I plan on adding more.

    Version 2.1 should be released by mid July.
     
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  13. Ragpuppy87

    Ragpuppy87 Veteran Veteran

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    Cat Quest Developer's Log- 7/11/19

    Due to continued difficulty in finding a proper difficulty balance, I have had to make a huge sacrifice in my game's design.
    I'm cutting out the class selection system. Instead each character will have a fixed invisible class, stat growth and abilities.
    I think this will make it much easier for me to find a balance in difficulty as I know for certain what my characters stats should be at
    certain points in game.
    This is something I really did not want to do, but hopefully in the long run it will make for a better experience for the player.

    Because this overhauls the entire system I already had established, the next update has been delayed until late July or early August.
    But I am planning to include as much of a finished product as I can at that time. The next update will be Cat Quest 3.0.
     
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  14. Ragpuppy87

    Ragpuppy87 Veteran Veteran

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    Cat Quest Developer's Log- Final Entry

    Due to my computer crashing my entire project has been corrupted.

    8 months of work.

    I was less than two weeks away from releasing a beta.

    I had no back up file.

    I am disabling the link and requesting this thread be closed.

    I will also be leaving the forums.

    To everyone who provided feedback I truly thank you.

    This has been a valuable experience even if it did not turn out the way I intended.
     
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  15. Ms Littlefish

    Ms Littlefish Dangerously Caffeinated Global Mod

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    This thread is being closed, due to being solved. If for some reason you would like this thread re-opened, please report this post and leave a message why. Thank you.

     
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  16. slimmmeiske2

    slimmmeiske2 Little Red Riding Hood Moderator

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    Closing at OP's request.



    Edit: ninja'd
     
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