RMMV City of Dust- Play Testers Wanted/ Demo Available

AbstractMan

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*Que cheesy 80’s b movie trailer music here*

Experience the horrors of science with no limits.

Witness the tragedy of man brought to the brink of existence and of madness once thought to only be experienced in your wildest of dreams.



Watch the neon glow of the wasteland, coming to a future near you!!!





1599688617490.png



An ultraviolent, 80’s inspired Cyberpunk RPG, City of Dust is a game of choice and consequence. Where no two playthroughs are ever quite the same, and there are often half a dozen ways to solve a single problem.


Viridian_Tunnels.PNG



Do you want to be a Masochistic cook who specializes in knives? An unarmed scientist who’s meek and just wants to be left alone? Maybe you want to be a Sociopathic Actor who knows his way around a shotgun?! All choices are possible, and the combinations are (not so) limitless! Build your class based on a variety of 8 weapon specializations, 16 Psychological traits, and 13 old world professions.


Living Quaters.PNG

A tactical turn-based battle system inspired by the likes of fallout 1 & 2, Arcanum, Wasteland, and Xcom.
Capture.PNG

Forgo leveling in turn of making choices that offer new skills, abilities, and traits. Your character evolves and changes as you make choices throughout their journey. Kill, sneak, or talk your way out of nearly every situation. The world is created from the ground up to be an open canvas for freedom of choice and roleplaying




ScreenShot.PNG
Also, do not forget the terrible but colorfully self-made sprites!!!

City of Dust- Chapter 1: Beware the Faceless Cult

Want to playtest and offer feedback for chapter one?!

Download from this link and maybe that reference guide and enjoy.

Update:
9/28/2020 More battle balance and other fun things!

 
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ADMtn

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Self-effacing "terrible" custom sprites are certainly better than terrible but not self-aware sprites.

Looks almost like a DOS era game. If it plays like an old adventure game, I'd be interested in a demo. Haha.
 

AbstractMan

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It’s so hard to find and collaborate with someone who also happens to be an Artist. I was to write and program the thing, but after a while, I just said, “Ya know, I am just gonna put together piddly pixel sprites, and as long as you can tell what they are and they all look like they belong together, then that’s just fine!”

So I have 3 really big influences that I draw heavily from, and those would be 2 old dos PC adventure games by the names of Dream Web and I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream ( short story as well). Those, along with the old fallout games from the late ’90s are sort of what I am trying to model after in my own amateur noob game developer sort of way...


As for the demo, I should have a sort of tech demo/first chapter sometime next week. I and a few others are currently bug testing, and because there are so many variations, paths, and playstyles in the game, it takes a lot of time.
 

AbstractMan

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Demo posted for adventurous playtesters to demolish completely.
 

ADMtn

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Played about an hour of the demo but I haven't finished yet. It's longer than I expected.

What I like so far:

(1) Customization and how it's handled and presented to the player (the broken mirror was a particularly nice touch).

(2) Old school text descriptions of surroundings and objects. Overall, the game may be slightly more text-heavy than I'd like but it's also part of the game's charm and currently helps to set the tone where the graphics are unable to do so.

(3) Out-of-combat skill checks and the possibility of circumventing combat. Generally, I've always wanted more of these options when playing AAA RPGs like Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls, and Fallout (it works to a limited capacity in the Witcher, but obviously not all methods of avoiding combat makes sense with Geralt's predetermined personality and skillset). I appreciate the option to complete objectives without fighting when it makes sense for the player character(s) (e.g., stealthy, deceptive, or diplomatic folks).

Side note: For the demo, I made my PC an actor and have been trying to talk my way through everything.

(4) The BGM is working out well. Simple, atmospheric, and sets the tone well.

Don't really have any qualms with the graphics. It works fine, though, I'm sure marketing would be easier if you had a bigger art budget. The guards' faces, perhaps, are a tad too cutesy for the tone of the game.
 
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AbstractMan

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I appreciate the feedback and playthrough! In chapter one, all but the first fight can be circumvented as long as you find the right options, choose the correct companions, fool them properly or have certain items. The game is very spider web-like so there are many many many different paths, and choices you make could cut off some doors and open others... And yeah the text heaviness is a result of a writer with no art skill wanting to make a game.
 

AbstractMan

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Updated with more balance and bug fixing particularly to several psychosocial quirks and weapon specializations. Also made the first puzzles fail safe solution a little easier to find.
 

ADMtn

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I might have gotten stuck.

So, I got ot the area where you wear can wear the disguise. I went across the funky bridge thing to the left and killed everyone over there (don't think I got through the door on the far left). The fight, obviously, made me lose my disguise.

Then I went back to the right and killed everyone there, too, including the kind of pseudo-boss guy. I kind of cheesed the whole battle by running down to the little room and used the doorway as a bottleneck.

Anyway, after that the bridge that went to the left was gone. And I have no idea where to get the code to get through the big doors at the top of the map.

I suppose I could just start over with an updated version sometime.
 

AbstractMan

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Oh, that only locked you out of the deceptive path. Check the computer where you fought the pseudo boss and you will see a code for the door ahead of you
 

ADMtn

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Will do. After I workout for a bit. haha
 

Knightmare

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Have about 3 hours of playtime on it. I gave up on the fight with the Face Taker because after the fight with Sister Nix all my items were depleted and then another big battle right after was not very fun. I thought maybe if I killed the Face Taker the battle would end but nope it kept going and at that point my guys were practically dead and no way to heal them. Was I supposed to be able to get a 3rd person somewhere? That would have made these battles more manageable. The woman I freed wouldn't join me even after I bandaged her up even though you could ask.

Cool Story, personally I don't like it when games use profanity as I think it's always unnecessary and could turn off potential players (you do warn about this) but the story and your style of writing are very good and engaging and kept me wanting to play more and more. You have a gift for storytelling and writing.

I really like tactics games and this did it pretty well.

The game was a little too "simple" in the way that there was only a basic weapon and armor slot, nothing to really boost stats or cool extras as far as equipment goes, no way to level up and go beyond 30 HP and lacked any real way to customize AFTER you created your character. Would have liked a slightly deeper system as far as all that goes.

The way you did character creation was very clever and interesting and is one of the better ways I've seen for character creation probably ever. Nice work here for sure.

The game is definitely on the right track, I may try a different style of playthrough, I chose a Male, Square, Athlete, Shotgunner and chose Cyrus as my comrade in the tube. I may try a different playthrough in a couple days to see if I fare better or I can find a 3rd ally.
 

AbstractMan

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Thanks for playing! Glad you enjoyed what you could, and I see your frustration in the final fight! The game’s combat is still very much in the process of being balanced, and I am open to feedback from eyes such as yours. What I want to know is if the fights are fun. The weapons all feel different, and players feel like they have a lot of options. I loved games like the old fallout, so games that have you attack non stop was not something I was going for. That said, balance is crucial and this is the biggest thing I am trying to obtain from this demo. I will try to add more item pick up’s through the combat path for sure.

My goal was to make fights difficult and filled with choices ( IE I don’t want to see attack spam every turn) and more importantly, optional. Every choice you make matters. In fact, every fight but the first one in the “Box” is optional and can be avoided based on character build, how you play, items you have or party members, etcetera.


As an example of variance, there are ways to have the Face taker killed before the fight or you can avoid the fight through deception entirely. Sister Nix could be a huge gauntlet, or if you came into her cathedral disguised and did not alarm the other room, you could have a dialogue mini-game to get through unscratched. You could also avoid the room altogether and never see sister Nix!

Healing Sarah stopped something …bombastic from happening. Sarah can also join you if you do not have a party member at that time. Each regularly named character you meet can be a friend or foe based on the way you play.



As for leveling and Items, I am open to suggestions. My original idea is to make it so your choices give you abilities and stats instead of normal levels. That way, everyone who plays the game ends up with a different character based on the choices they make! This helps make the game continuously challenging because realistically, is a marine gonna take a bullet much better than a programmer? Probably not! That said I am more of a writer who likes tough games, and I am very much trying to make it more accessible. That said, I kept the combat more ability and tactics based then stat-based but that is malleable!



As for the language, I definitely understand. I try to take a realistic approach where some characters naturally curse more than others, but yeah, I’ve been starting to tone it down overall.
 

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Finished the demo! Wish I could've avoided more fights, but it's hard to guess at all of the fight-avoidant choices.

I fought through Sister Nix by using my bottleneck strategy again (hid in the bottom-right room and waited for them to come to me). Didn't use too many healing items.

Tried the Face Taker fight twice and succeeded on try # 2.

On my first attempt, I was trying my bottleneck strategy by staying downstairs. However, the Green Faceless could shoot me from above so that didn't work too well. Then when the reinforcements showed up at the bottom entrances, I was doomed.

On my second attempt, I ran forward toward Face Taker, hoping I could work with the sentry gun to take the enemy units down. The sentry didn't actually help much (Face Taker tanked a few hits and destroyed it pretty quickly). What helped me win the fight was staying near Face Taker to allow his AoE to friendly-fire his own minions to death. It did require a good amount of healing and armor-up items to accomplish, so I'm thinking if other players didn't pick up enough items on the way that strategy would be impossible. Anyway, I focused on Face Taker while he killed maybe a fifth of his own men. After the boss was down, I went back to my bottleneck strategy by running into the western corridor. The remaining Faceless came, I used up some of my attack items (which weren't super helpful; wish they would do a bit more damage, like 7 or 10; or 15 for that single-target item) and wiped them out. Then I used my last armor-up items to approach the remaining sentry gun and finish the fight.

Not sure you need so many switches to activate the door to get to the elvator (one switch seems like plenty).

In the elevator, there was an error (but I kept hitting "Retry" and just kept going through to the end of the demo). The game seems to be missing the "rumble.ogg" for the elevator sound effect:
CoD_missingSE.jpg

I went straight to Floor 1 when I had the choice on the elevator. Curious if the other options would have a little more content, but I guess not curious enough to reload. Haha. I think the demo is pretty fun albeit maybe a tad bit "difficult" in the sense that it's like old school adventure games where you kind of have to run around and just try things to move forward (was kind of my own fault for not realizing the code for the double doors; I assumed it was a normal browser error and just lazily wrote it off). Might benefit with few more hints here and there as to the different options the player can choose, but I'm not sure if that's against your design philosophy.
 
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AbstractMan

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I think a lot of people who want to go in Deceptively will accidentally stumble upon the stealth pass (across the weird bridge thingy) instead of talking with the Brother Zerke group in your disguise. The disguise won’t work past the cyber bridge for story reasons. I agree that I should have some sort of greater hint to those looking to play deceptively as I would love more people to see that content.

As for choices to avoid combat, while I always loved those triple A games that offered a nonviolent solution, I always felt it lacked tension because the dialogue options to avoid said fights were RIGHT there! Sooo I made it more of a game based on player attention as opposed to something easier, though Actors/Musician and Religion characters definitely have far more safety nets in messing up their “tests” then other occupations and simple/Meek personality quirk characters could accidentally stumble upon some special circumstance to get by. That said more hints could help this. I agree!

That is a good tactic you used against the face taker and the first time I’ve heard someone use that as their method of downing him. There is more content on different paths, it sounded like you went the combat path. The Deceptive path (disguised) uses the same rooms but in a very different way, while the stealth path involves the cyber bridge and circumvents sister nix entirely.

As for the switches and the elevator, you have finished the first chapter which is available to test. The elevator would have guided you to the second part but stopped before you got to the bottom. The sound issue is fixed and should get you through in newer versions. The switches I have been meaning to remove, as an older designed had players have the possibility of just hitting all 4 switches and running away. This will be corrected when I open chapter two to test. With all this said I appreciate all this feedback and have had similar thoughts as you in many of these issues.

Tonight, I will be updating the demo to version 13. This adds a massive amount of balance changes, bug fixes, polishing and I have added more hints.
 

Knightmare

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Thanks for playing! Glad you enjoyed what you could, and I see your frustration in the final fight! The game’s combat is still very much in the process of being balanced, and I am open to feedback from eyes such as yours. What I want to know is if the fights are fun. The weapons all feel different, and players feel like they have a lot of options. I loved games like the old fallout, so games that have you attack non stop was not something I was going for. That said, balance is crucial and this is the biggest thing I am trying to obtain from this demo. I will try to add more item pick up’s through the combat path for sure.

My goal was to make fights difficult and filled with choices ( IE I don’t want to see attack spam every turn) and more importantly, optional. Every choice you make matters. In fact, every fight but the first one in the “Box” is optional and can be avoided based on character build, how you play, items you have or party members, etcetera.


As an example of variance, there are ways to have the Face taker killed before the fight or you can avoid the fight through deception entirely. Sister Nix could be a huge gauntlet, or if you came into her cathedral disguised and did not alarm the other room, you could have a dialogue mini-game to get through unscratched. You could also avoid the room altogether and never see sister Nix!

Healing Sarah stopped something …bombastic from happening. Sarah can also join you if you do not have a party member at that time. Each regularly named character you meet can be a friend or foe based on the way you play.



As for leveling and Items, I am open to suggestions. My original idea is to make it so your choices give you abilities and stats instead of normal levels. That way, everyone who plays the game ends up with a different character based on the choices they make! This helps make the game continuously challenging because realistically, is a marine gonna take a bullet much better than a programmer? Probably not! That said I am more of a writer who likes tough games, and I am very much trying to make it more accessible. That said, I kept the combat more ability and tactics based then stat-based but that is malleable!



As for the language, I definitely understand. I try to take a realistic approach where some characters naturally curse more than others, but yeah, I’ve been starting to tone it down overall.
Thanks for the feedback of my feedback haha. You really do have a good thing going here and I hope this becomes a rather lengthy game or a series of short installments, you have a great gift for writing and I was hooked from the intro scene on and that's hard to do with me, at my age (38) I tend to not have as much patience as I used to to play games for long if they don't engage me or have a fun factor, this game does both.

The battles are fun and overall decently balanced, I think I might have just not been very good so I think the difficulty was more on me and not the game as I know there are multiple ways to get through. More enemy variety I think would have been nice but I also know that it is one area and the battles and enemies make sense but maybe a faceless "pet" monster or something that could tag along with them to fight you or something.

I like your system of getting stats and skills but I think it needs a few more "checks" and opportunities to get more scattered throughout. It really is clever and pretty original the way you're doing it and I hope you keep that in for sure. I also share a love for the original Fallout games (pre-Bethesda) and have played a couple good ones like Underrail and ATOM RPG that scratch that itch, I do get that vibe playing this game and that's a great thing.

I'll definitely give another playthrough. Probably going Male, Nervous, Rifleman next to see how that build goes. Till next time.
 

AbstractMan

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I am glad that my verbose and probably overwritten ways could keep you engaged! :D Also, I like the faceless pet idea! That said, the ship has much more madness and ruin to guide you through as chapter two is going to have completely new tilesets, as well as different enemy factions to contest with. This includes a town constructed from junk, waste and derelict parts, cannibals, sides to choose from, or ignore at your whim, as well as more companions. Whether you see more faceless going forward is down to what choices you made in chapter one.
 

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