RMVXA CoTD: Dacian DEMO AVAILABLE v1.3!!

literarygoth

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**UPDATE**
We recommend giving the demo at least a couple playthroughs as it's a combat mechanics demo, and prototype teaser for the full game.

CoTD: Dacian is a commercial series, slated for episodic release, beginning with the first installment, Dacian. Under newly re-branded Jaded Phoenix Studios, the team from the original demo has come together with a new group of artists, and switched to VX ACE from VX, to bring you this story that we're all very passionate about.


Though mostly linear, Dacian offers a few quests and options that can impact your play later in the game. Cry of the Dead exemplifies the value of inner strength despite adversity and the help that family--chosen or born--can bring. It also highlights the struggles that come with being different and experiencing great loss. Three of the four members of this team met through a forum seven years ago.

Prototype demo:
Play through one of Dacian's odd and confusing recurring dreams.

In a world saturated with superstition, doubt and fear, one man must face his future before he can discern his past.
Unable to harness full control of the power that flows through his being, Dacian emits accidental bursts of magic at inopportune moments. These moments typically arise when he has become angry or enraged. His adoptive parents have sought to hide his abilities; but their efforts have proven to be in vain. The type of magic Dacian wields is not typical for humans, as such he is an oddity, in more ways than one. This provides a breeding ground for hate, stemming from ignorance.
The winds have changed, and danger lurks on the horizon. Something has begun corrupting the minds and bodies of living creatures; and it's spreading rapidly.
In order to discover his true self, Dacian must learn to control himself and his temper, and tackle his inner demons.

Setting:
Village of Mori located in the world of Valkyr (Val-kay-ear). Mori is a sleepy village tucked into a seaside cove, protected from the ocean by a large barrier reef. It's beaches are a tourist hot spot, and tourism is their main economy. The natives that inhabit Mori follow the ways of their ancestors. Fishers, hunters, gatherers, warriors: these are the main professions of Morians.


Gameplay:

The story takes place during the week leading up to the Ceremony of Mana, a very important "coming of age" ritual for Mori's youth. Play through Dacian's troubling dreams to help him learn to control and harness his abilities.
Along with helping Dacian learn to control and understand his mysterious abilities by playing through his troubling dreams, players will get to build up the town's defenses and stores while experiencing its daily life.

"Many ages ago, Valkyir was carved from the cosmos by the Old Gods. Their breath became the air, their bodies became the earth, and their tears became the water. From their gifts, came life. Plants, animals and all sorts of wondrous creatures sprung forth unto the land. Before the Gods began their eternal slumber, they bestowed gifts unto the most precious of their creations.
Humankind were given courage, determination and intellect. Elfkind were given intimate knowledge of divine magics and taught to shepherd the souls of the departed. The Sheikh were bestowed with powerful mastery over the elements.
Once their energy had been fully spent on creation, the Gods slumbered, leaving their children in the hands of Njoror, God of the sea.
It is said, that the people of Mori were born from Njoror. Initially we were as fish, living entirely below the waves. Slowly we began venturing into the land where it was discovered that we could breathe the air.
Mother Earth welcomed the new comers and bestowed unto us knowledge of the elements and mana. Although the ocean is not prominently our home, we've retained the ability to breathe underwater.
Regular ceremonies are held to thank Njoror for his gifts and to praise Earth Mother for her wisdom."

- Odakota Ravenwind

Dacian (Day-Shan)
Age: 24
Height: 6'4"
Class: Shadow Mage
Elements: Shadow, Electric.
"I just want to be myself."

Bio: Adopted by the Blackfoot family. He was found wandering on the outskirts of the Ebon Glade, a cursed forest, when he was just a baby. Uncertain of his exact age or birthdate, the family celebrates his "adopted day" rather than a birthday. Many villagers believed him to be a bad omen, especially with the powers he possesses; but there are many that feel he's destined for greatness.
Typically keeps to himself. Spent the vast majority of his childhood with his adoptive brother Keith. The two quickly became synonymous with mischief, mainly due to Keith's clumsiness. Unable to breathe underwater like the other natives, he and Keith concocted several ideas and inventions in order to help Dacian breath underwater. Most of their attempts failed miserably; one attempt resulted in Dacian's near drowning and has instilled a deep fear of water that lingers to this day.
The son of the village elder, Mikasi (Mee-kah-see), and his group of friends have always been Dacian's main antagonists. In order to escape from them, when he's not working at the inn, Dacian enjoys visiting a nearby oasis that has always held a unique draw on him.

Keith Blackfoot
Age: 24
Height: 6'2"
Class: Tribalist
Elements: Physical.
"I will protect her with my life."

Bio: Headstrong and clumsy. Has always been very protective of his family and friends, and is quick to intervene if he sees anyone harassing Dacian. Disapproves of people that make quick judgments of people. Trained as a Tribalist from the time he was 11 and became one of the youngest teachers, mentoring other young Tribalists in the arts of the beast and blade. One of the main creators of the Totemic Beastial Aspect style that is now incorporated into Tribalist training.
Has a major weakness for sweets. If he's protective of family and Dacian, he's definitely over protective of his baby sister, Naomi.
Is the only one of the three siblings to have ventured far from Mori, typically on training missions or accompanying travelers safely across open territory. Deeply concerned by the amount of animals that have become increasingly aggressive over the years.

Naomi Blackfoot
Age: 19
Height: 5'9"
Class: Mana Binder
Elements: Physical
"I don't understand, why all the fuss?"

Bio: Naive, pleasant and outgoing. Shed her youthful shyness in her mid teens, and is attempting to embrace the woman she's becoming. A talented Mana Binder and adept in combat, although there's not been much opportunity for her to prove herself with Keith getting in the way. Spent most of her days lazing around the underwater gardens with friends, or toiling away the evenings on the beach enjoying the sunset and the sound of the waves. Longs for adventure and to prove herself to be a strong and capable fighter in the eyes of her older brother.
Excitedly awaits the Ceremony of Mana which will mark her graduation from an adolescent to a woman, and regarded as an adult by their tribe. She's trained for this day for the last 5 years, working hard to hone her abilities.

FTB Combat System - build up more turns in battle by increasing agility.

Combo System - put status ailments to use by setting off combo's, and combo finishers, after inflicting an enemy with an ailment.
For prototype demo: Abrasion, Suffocation, Paralysis, Blind will unlock Fury. As mentioned in the description, Fury also requires 25 Rage to use. Skill descriptions tell you what the skills do, what they need, etc.

Heads Up! - explore everywhere, a popup ? indicates a hidden item very close, and a popup ! indicates a hidden event. It could be rocks, logs, sides of trees, anywhere!

Shop Leveling - Mori's economy has been stunted, help the shopkeepers flourish again by selling them certain items you find while dispatching the aggressive wildlife and monsters that have appeared. **full game only**

Character and Equipment Customization:

Mana Gems:
purchase gems to socket into equipment and weapons to directly increase any stat you desire. Beware, the Gems are unstable and might explode, destroying other Gems socketed in that piece of equipment. Increasing the Mana Weaver's Shop Level will allow them to create more stable, and stronger, Gems.

Mana Crystals: purchase or loot Mana Crystals that can be equipped to character skills to power them up! Add statuses, extra damage, increase the chance to inflict a status, etc!
**HINT** In the prototype, these are hidden, and must be found utilizing Heads Up!

Rage Generation: generating during combat, Rage is an extra resource that, when enough has been gained, will allow the player to utilize massive attacks against the enemy. Find and loot different Rage Generation Styles hidden throughout the world.
**Check Status Menu bio for further details**

Side View Battle system

Custom Soundtrack

Custom Art, including some traditional style First Nation's art





Our Indiegogo Campaign is officially live! Please give us a share to support us.

RPG Maker Crowd Raising Thread here.

**NOTE**
This is a mechanics and features showcase - not a completed version of the full game.

Download prototype v1.3



Scripts:
Yanfly
Kread-Ex
TheoAllen & TheTrueCyprien
HimeWorks
Falcao
Vlue

Font:
Alagard: Hewett Tsoi
Abinsthe: Frank Trebillac

Custom Art: Konira Thax
Writer, Designer, and Development Lead: Jade Twan
Soundtrack: Zackwell Valence
First Nation's Tribal Designs: Michael Fatt
Finance, Marketing, and Development Lead: Zander Quinn
 
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The team is very excited for this project to launch and for all of you to be able to witness its growth.
 

Kes

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Unless there is a major update, Project threads are still covered by the Rule requiring 72 hours to pass before you can post again (assuming no one has posted after you). Going by the date/time stamp, you have only allowed 36 hours.
 
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I'm sorry. I did not realize that another team member expressing excitement would fall under that rule.
 

literarygoth

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**UPDATE**

Main post has been updated:
Indiegogo Campaign is live, and our prototype is now available for download.
 

Zevia

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Took a look at the available demo. The graphics are pretty impressive and the uniquely stylized text, parallaxed maps, and custom sprites are very eye-catching and pleasant to look at.

The music that plays while wandering around the forest is also very pleasant to listen to. Were the voice effects recorded by the team? They're a nice touch.

Unless I missed something, the actual gameplay is quite short (not sure what level the prototype is supposed to be at). The battles are also a little punishing for being the first part of the game - I almost died on the first battle I got into since I had no way of healing myself and I had 4 enemies to deal with.

I actually thought you were supposed to lose to the boss, too, so when I got the end credits upon losing, I was a bit surprised. I tried him a few more times and discovered that using my abilities was actually a bad idea - he's resistant to my energy ability and he actually absorbs about 150 health when I use my rage ability, so spamming attack and hoping my health bar outlasted his was the winning strategy.

I also didn't really understand the enrage system - the rage ability states that it's usable after inflicting an enemy with a status effect, but it seemed like it would sometimes become available after I was inflicted with something while just spamming attack. My attack damage also seemed to increase by about 1000% (literally, from about 5 to 50 damage) when enraged, but enraging seemed quite random.

Was a little disappointed that you get the same outcome regardless of whether you win or lose to the boss, since I had restarted him until I won, but I understand that it's a very early version and may not have much gameplay content yet (or perhaps the demo doesn't).

Browsing through the menu, it looks like there are some interesting features that will eventually be available to play with - what are gems? What's with the learning menu? Things of that nature.

It certainly looks like a game that promises to look and sound quite amazing - the initial impression of the combat system is a little rough, but because it's so short, it's hard to really say.

I would be curious to try a version that's longer than a couple minutes.
 

literarygoth

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Thanks for your feedback!

It seems like you missed the treasure chest.
It respawns every time, and the gems come from there.
Pay close attention to the features section, especially the Heads Up! feature - there's hidden items on the map. If you just blast through the exits to jump right to the boss, you're missing the essence of the demo, but to be fair, we didn't provide much explanation or tutorial, because this demo takes place in one of Dacian's dreams, and is supposed to be a bit odd and confusing.

As for the Fury/combo thing: enemy must have status ailment, and you must have the required amount of Rage (25pts), which is why it seemed like it wasn't working properly.

If you read the Status menu under bio, it explains why Dacian's damage goes up when he's Enraged. And he Enrages when his Rage meter is full. All explained in the bio. ^-^

We're glad you enjoy the custom soundtrack! Yes, the voice recording was done by our sound tech Zackwell Valence. I love the creepy laughter myself.

This is definitely a demo that you should stop, be patient, and check every nook, cranny, and delve through the menus.

As for the boss, a hint:
use the bombs you loot from earlier enemies to effect, and Stampede is your key.

This demo has 15-30 mins worth of play time, if you give it a chance.

Cheers,
~Lit
 

Zevia

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I actually did find the treasure chest, I just forgot to mention it. It wasn't obvious that it restored the items inside itself, since whether it's open or closed is obscured by the leaves - I treated it like a chest in every other game I've ever played where, once it's been opened, that's all you're getting from it.

I did try interacting with the sign and the blinking eyes, but didn't see anything else that jumped out at me as signaling I should interact with it. Once I realized wandering around the map would mean endless random encounters, with no idea how many times I was going to have to wander to exits, I simply started turning back around to the exit I just came through in order to try and progress the game. After losing to the boss the first time, I had no interest in trying to grind my way back up again.

The actual combo system on using a rage ability seemed interesting, being able to hit different keys to generate different combos - but I had no idea what combo did what or if any combination of keys was better than any others. It was also unfortunate that using it on the boss just healed him before doing a series of 1-damage strikes, meaning my only interesting ability was actually a detriment to use.

I'd recommend moving important gameplay information out of a bio - I did read it, but I was simply curious to see what had been put in. I expect a bio to contain lore and interesting information about the story or character, not instructions on how to play. That sort of information would be better-served elsewhere.

As for hoping for random drops from enemies to defeat the boss, I'd also think that would be better placed in a hidden location or in the chest. What happens if I just get unlucky and don't end up with any wind bombs? What if I'm not interested in grinding random encounters? If something's integral to progression (or at least expected for it), it's a more rewarding experience if it's pointedly available instead of just lucky.
 

literarygoth

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As stated in the initial thread, this is a mechanics and features prototype demo. Not a complete package. We're simply showcasing some features that will be in the full game - which is why we chose to put explanation in the bio, because there's not much story to be spoken of at this point.

If you read the Features section, the explanation of Heads Up tells you how it works - a pop up balloon of a ? will show you there's an item.
The step counter on the encounter rate is set pretty low. You can walk across the map and maybe two encounters at most. Plenty of time to reach the treasure chest.

And while I appreciate assumptions can be made that all RPG's are the same, I feel it's a good rule of thumb to check everything, sometimes people forget to set their chest to not repeatedly open etc and maybe you can help them catch a bug they overlooked. Give it a fair shake, test the mechanics thoroughly now that you have a better understanding of them. The dream sequences are intended to be randomized. Shadow is defeatable with simple healing items and base attack (although that's rather boring).

*EDIT* I'll update the main topic to reflect that the chest is replenishable on purpose.

As always, thanks for your feedback, we appreciate all insights ^-^
Cheers
~Lit
 
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Would you have played it through differently knowing it is a mechanics demo and not a standard prototype/demo? We've updated our phrasing in hopes it might avoid confusion for others.
 

literarygoth

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Project thread has been further updated to reflect the features that are being showcased with this prototype. Spoilered sections of text for clarity.

**EDIT**
Hotpatch to v1.2 - a brief tutorial has been included.


Cheers,
~Lit
 
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Milennin

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Alright, I just did a playthrough of the prototype. I'm not going to say what's right or wrong, it'll just be my thoughts and maybe give some ideas to think about. :) To me, the difficulty seemed on point, just tough enough for it to not be a push-over, but also not unfairly difficult. I had to use one HP heal and one MP heal during the boss fight to make it through.

For the first encounter, there are quite a number of text boxes. I think it could be minimised a bit more to keep it more concise. For example, the text explaining what bombs are strong against what shouldn't really be necessary if the item description were to be updated to give that information instead. Right now, the water bomb item says it just inflicts suffocation, so there's plenty of room to add a text that it's also strong against water and earth type enemies.

One thing that needs to be working on, for the full version at least, is explaining what the status effects do. Like, I don't know what suffocation does, apart from enabling my character to use Fury. Well, it's something that doesn't need to be explained right off the bat, but it'd be nice to be able to look it up somewhere in the full version.

A few things I don't really like are the random chance effects, especially since they're a pretty big deal, so hitting or missing one can greatly affect the outcome of the next turns. Though, I do wonder if Electroshock's chance to inflict paralysis is really 25%, because it seems higher than that to me, closer to 50% I'd say, or I've just been lucky. Like, missing paralysis prevents me from doing my combo, so I just have to use it until it finally lands.
The other thing I'd consider changing, although luckily it wasn't prevalent in the prototype, is removing or at least reducing the trial-and-error with the bombs on enemies. It's not really a fun mechanic in my opinion, and it's even worse if you only control one character, because it takes up an entire turn of doing something.

One bug (I think?) I found is with the combo skill Fury, it never registers my input for the last key (D), or at least it doesn't show it.

Some of the art in the game is really nice though. That shadow boss looks insane. :D
 
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You definitely have RNGesus on your side. My play throughs come out close to 25% with the extra mana gem points in paralysis. lol
That first encounter didnt originally have the text boxes at all; we're trying to find a happy medium. Thanks for the fantastic feedback! -Z
 

literarygoth

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@Milennin :0 thank you for such detailed feedback

You definitely got lucky lol.
We'll be doing another critical hotpatch later today to address item descriptions and to adjust the heads up feature - as everyone seems to be missing it, and missing out on another important feature: the mana crystals.
For example, you can find crystals to increase the chance of paralysis happening for your skills.

Did you play around with the skill learning feature?

As for your final bit: that is not a bug, fury enables only 4 inputs. Did you pick up any of the combo finishers from the skill learn menu?

Gave us lots to chew on, thanks for your feedback

*EDIT*
v1.3 of Mechanics Demo has been uploaded - a clearer tutorial has been added, and some things have been adjusted for player convenience.
Thank you all for your informative feedback.


Cheers,
~Lit
 
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Milennin

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You definitely got lucky lol.
We'll be doing another critical hotpatch later today to address item descriptions and to adjust the heads up feature - as everyone seems to be missing it, and missing out on another important feature: the mana crystals.
For example, you can find crystals to increase the chance of paralysis happening for your skills.
I got crystals from the hidden chest, but I thought they were used to increase stats with, though I couldn't seem to use them in this version of the game. Unless you're talking about something else.
edit: Actually, those were gems. I battled some random encounters, but never found any crystals.

Did you play around with the skill learning feature?
First playthrough I didn't. I saw it was there, but I thought I'd check it a bit later into the game, but then I found it ended after that boss. I tried it the other time, but I didn't get to use my new skill, because it required Enrage, and none of my spells landed that time, so I had to use attack until it died. Which brings me to another issue I found, it's that regular attacks are so strong, it doesn't feel like using skills is really worth it, especially since they're so unreliable. Skills seem like they can speed up a battle a little, but only if their effects manage to land, otherwise you might as well just use attack instead. I would really look into something that's less luck dependant, but would make skills more rewarding to use, because as it stands, the skills don't feel fulfilling to use, unless you happen to get lucky to have them work with their effects. It's not only that the effect isn't applied, but it's also that you're locked out of all your other skills that require conditions to be on the enemy to work.

As for your final bit: that is not a bug, fury enables only 4 inputs. Did you pick up any of the combo finishers from the skill learn menu?
Ah, okay. So it doesn't matter in which order I press them, I can use any 4 of those listed to make it work?
 

literarygoth

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I got crystals from the hidden chest, but I thought they were used to increase stats with, though I couldn't seem to use them in this version of the game. Unless you're talking about something else.
edit: Actually, those were gems. I battled some random encounters, but never found any crystals.


First playthrough I didn't. I saw it was there, but I thought I'd check it a bit later into the game, but then I found it ended after that boss. I tried it the other time, but I didn't get to use my new skill, because it required Fury, and none of my spells landed that time, so I had to use attack until it died. Which brings me to another issue I found, it's that regular attacks are so strong, it doesn't feel like using skills is really worth it, especially since they're so unreliable. Skills seem like they can speed up a battle a little, but only if their effects manage to land, otherwise you might as well just use attack instead. I would really look into something that's less luck dependant, but would make skills more rewarding to use, because as it stands, the skills don't feel fulfilling to use, unless you happen to get lucky to have them work with their effects. It's not only that the effect isn't applied, but it's also that you're locked out of all your other skills that require conditions to be on the enemy to work.


Ah, okay. So it doesn't matter in which order I press them, I can use any 4 of those listed to make it work?
What you found were Mana GEMS, not the Crystals. The GEMS get socketed into equipment. On the equipment screen there's a message that tells you to press A to socket. Is this not clear enough on how to use the GEMS?
The Mana CRYSTALS are part of the hidden items. v1.3 has updated the hidden items so that they stand out more and you realize there's something there to inspect.

As for Dacian's damage - it states in his status bio that as he gains Rage, he hits harder. This is a design intention. Using his Rage through skills will also lower his damage. The balancing act with him is to keep enough Rage that his damage is up, but able to use his skills simultaneously.

Also in the Skills Menu, there's the menu that says Crystals - this is where you'll use the Mana Crystals (once found) to improve your skills. The skills aren't luck dependent. Finding Crystals and upgrading your skills will make them land their effects more regularly. The bombs are a 100% chance every time - it states so in their description. Use the bombs to guarantee Fury is set off before you've found any Crystals.

To be fair, this is just a mechanics demo, as opposed to the full demo (which is slated for November 1st this year), so there's explanation that isn't present. We've updated this demo to v1.3 that provides a better tutorial, the sign is more helpful, the replenishing chest stands out, and the hidden items (Crystals) are more eye catching.

Thank you both for your great feedback, and helping us to further refine our mechanics ^-^
Cheers
~Lit
 

Milennin

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What you found were Mana GEMS, not the Crystals. The GEMS get socketed into equipment. On the equipment screen there's a message that tells you to press A to socket. Is this not clear enough on how to use the GEMS?
The Mana CRYSTALS are part of the hidden items. v1.3 has updated the hidden items so that they stand out more and you realize there's something there to inspect.
Ah, sorry. I did see that text, it never occurred to me to actually press A there because it's so uncommon for an RPG Maker game to use anything besides movement, action and cancel keys, lol. (My stupidity is 100% to blame there, lol. I don't know why I didn't think of pressing A before.) Okay, it all makes sense now. :D

Also in the Skills Menu, there's the menu that says Crystals - this is where you'll use the Mana Crystals (once found) to improve your skills. The skills aren't luck dependent. Finding Crystals and upgrading your skills will make them land their effects more regularly. The bombs are a 100% chance every time - it states so in their description. Use the bombs to guarantee Fury is set off before you've found any Crystals.
I see. Yeah, being able to upgrade the skills to make them more effective would certainly help. I didn't get any other bombs outside the free one from the tutorial battle, so I didn't get the chance to use more of them.

To be fair, this is just a mechanics demo, as opposed to the full demo (which is slated for November 1st this year), so there's explanation that isn't present. We've updated this demo to v1.3 that provides a better tutorial, the sign is more helpful, the replenishing chest stands out, and the hidden items (Crystals) are more eye catching.
Alright, good luck with the release. :) I'll be looking forward to seeing the full game, since it seems like there'll be a lot more than the prototype has to offer.
 

literarygoth

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Ah, sorry. I did see that text, it never occurred to me to actually press A there because it's so uncommon for an RPG Maker game to use anything besides movement, action and cancel keys, lol. (My stupidity is 100% to blame there, lol. I don't know why I didn't think of pressing A before.) Okay, it all makes sense now. :D
:guffaw: :guffaw:
That's totally fair. Not all RM games are the same though, and many devs choose to do things "outside the box" - this is why I never make assumptions when playtesting other people's projects. I'll try all the buttons, all the things, see what works and what doesn't - and if something tosses an error/bug/etc I can help them with a bug report ^-^

Ah, sorry. I did see that text, it never occurred to me to actually press A there because it's so uncommon for an RPG Maker game to use anything besides movement, action and cancel keys, lol. (My stupidity is 100% to blame there, lol. I don't know why I didn't think of pressing A before.) Okay, it all makes sense now. :D
Hmm, the drop rate is pretty decent per enemy, and even more so if you get a chained group (or two, or three). I can definitely look into tweaking this aspect however.

The original demo is still available for download in the old thread. Some features have changed/been updated - the combo system is very different in this version for example compared to the new version.

As always, thanks for your feedback! We're also looking forward to the official demo release ^-^

Cheers
~Lit
 

Zevia

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I've always found live video feedback to be most useful, so I went ahead and did a Let's Play of your latest demo with a sole focus on gameplay mechanics.

 

literarygoth

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I've always found live video feedback to be most useful, so I went ahead and did a Let's Play of your latest demo with a sole focus on gameplay mechanics.

@Zevia Thank you for taking the time to do a video feedback! There's some good stuff in there. ^-^

Meanwhile, we continue to work towards the Official Demo Release, slated for November 1st.
As always, we greatly appreciate all feedback.

Cheers,
~Lit
 

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Hey hey is it possible to customize the dialogue box for every single npc for VXACE or do I just buy the VN? Can the VN do that though?
DenRebrov wrote on Celianna's profile.
Seliana, will you be making desert tiles in the ancient dungeon?
Working on a casual shirt and jeans for female MZ gen. Woo.
Crazy idea: a crossover game made to showcase different RPG Maker games. Dimension crossing is involved and you get to play as different people's characters in some wacky nonsense plot.
HexMozart88 wrote on Citali's profile.
Kikuo!

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