Holyhalo

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Critical Role Legends: The Mighty Nein
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SECTION A: SYNOPSIS
Voice actor Matthew Mercer leads a group of fellow voice actors on epic Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. These familiar voices bring the audience into the full experience of D&D, allowing imaginations to soar as the characters embark on adventures. This is Critical Role! In 2018, Critical Role started it's second season after 5 years of play. The cast of Critical Role created new characters to explore new parts of the world of Exandria under the guidance of legendary DM Matt Mercer.

Critical Role Legends is the RPG maker adaptation of the adventures of the group know as the Mighty Nein. Their story is told in the world of Exandria, on Wildemount, a continent divided both by jagged terrain and political powers. In the Marrow Valley of the Dwendalian Empire lies Trostenwald, a small, rural town surrounded by fertile farmland. Here, three large brewery families create the best trost (ale) in all of the Empire. Here, in this sleepy trade stop, along the Amber road, a handful of wandering destinies slowly begin to intersect.

The game is text and story heavy, conveying the high amounts of roleplay that are being done by the cast on a weekly basis. The game follows the story as best as it can and as such is a linear experience. It is set in a fantasy world where gods and magic are daily affairs and the civilized races contend with the wild and/or evil races and monsters to maintain their hold on the world. Politics, crime and religion all want a piece of the Empire pie while it fends off invaders from the East and tries to maintain positive trade relations with the republic to the South West. Who knows where the Mighty Nein will go next?

(CR spoilers ahead)
Over the course of many episodes, they bond over a mysterious sickness that creates zombies out of unhealthy circus visitors and solve the case to save themselves from the law. From there, the Mighty Nein is born when these adventurers go on to save a town from a gnoll raiding party, rescuing a bunch of villagers from the gnoll infested mines while doing so. Once they reach the big city, the Mighty Nein spread their name by joining the seedy underbelly of society and winning a tournament, all while the Empire around them goes to war against a dark force from the East, bringing death, destruction and darkness to the lands of man.

IMAGES/SCREENSHOTS
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SECTION B: CHARACTERS
400

(from left to right)
  • Mollymauk Tealeaf: A Tiefling Blood Hunter who works for the Fletchling and Moondrop carnival as a promoter and a fortune teller. He is charming and knows how to wield his dual sabres in battle. He uses mysterious blood arts to enchant his weapons and debilitate his foes. He tends to have a negative view of law enforcement and a disregard for authority. He's known Yasha the longest.
  • Beauregard: A Human Monk and member of the Cobalt Soul. She wields her fists and trusted Bo-staff in battle, more often than not starting those fights herself. As a member of the Cobalt Soul, she has access to vast libraries for which she has no interest. She has very little manners or respect for others and says what is on her mind. She's known Jester and Fjord the longest.
  • Fjord: A Half-Orc Warlock. He was a sailor before traveling to the Dwendalian Empire in search of the Solstryce Academy of Magic, where he wants to learn more about the mysterious magical powers he gained along with a falchion covered in barnacles and dripping salt water. He fights with both magic and curses, ending his enemies in close and ranged combat. The nature of his powers mean he can't wield anything besides his own trusted falchion. He has long lived under the negative view that all Half-Orcs have to endure and as such has a negative opinion about himself. He's known Jester and Beau the longest.
  • Caleb (with his familiar Frumpkin): A human Wizard. A charismatic con man who uses his magic to get as much out of his targets as possible. He has an affinity for fire, which often does him more bad than good. He's very quiet and doesn't deal well with groups of people. His appearances is also very bad, which makes people underestimate his skills more. He's known Nott the longest.
  • Nott: A Goblin Rogue. She's stealthy, quick fingered and always drunk. The perfect combination for trouble and riches. Nott fights with her trusted crossbow from a distance, prefering to keep the fight away from her. With guidance from her friend Caleb, she's started to set the first steps onto the path of magic as well. Her race and her drinking problem are both recipes for disaster and when combined often pull the rest of the group into bigger trouble. She's known Caleb the longest.
  • Jester: A Tiefling Cleric. Follower of the Traveler, an unknown God, she loves mischief, donuts and telling her God all about her day. She's very friendly and open to everyone, caring very little about things others might find disturbing or repulsive. In battle she wields the divine might of her God to summon magical lollipops and heal her allies with pink magic. She can't keep herself from messing with everything and everyone she meets. She's known Fjord and Beau the longest.
  • Yasha: An Aasimar Barbarian. Yasha is the quiet one in the group, despite Molly always calling her 'the charm'. She prefers to do rather than talk and does so with the strength and conviction of a zealot. Yasha brings her muscles and her trusty two handed blade to battle, raging through her enemies while she dismantles them and whatever their plans might have been. She's awkward in conversation and tends to close up near people she doesn't know. Only Molly seems to have managed to gain her trust. She also works for the Fletchling and Moondrop Carnival as a bouncer and builder. She's known Molly the longest.

SECTION C: STORYLINE/PLOT
Welcome to Wildemount. The year is 835 PD, or Post Divergence. This continent is divided both by jagged terrain and political powers. The Menagerie Coast, a collection of city states, united under the Clovis Concord, monopolizes the south-western shores and ports of Wildemount, thriving on open trade and cultural freedom.

Beyond the Cyrios mountains lies the massive region known as Winandir. Bisected by the Ashkeeper Peaks, Eastern Winandir houses the expansive wastes and turbulent badlands of Xhorhas, overrun with all manner of beasts and terrors, relics from the final battles of the Calamity that ruined that scarred landscape.

Northward, you would find the Greying Wildlands, a lawless realm harboring a curse that has kept it unconquered by human hands. However, this story begins in the territory of Western Wynandir, within the boundaries of the Dwendalian
Empire. Emerging thirteen generations before, the Dwendalian Empire has slowly spread to encompass the surrounding societies of the region, absorbing the peoples of the Zemni Fields in the Marrow Valley before finally conquering the Jules Dominion and taking the whole of Western Wynandir for the Empire.

Under the rule of the current king, Bertrand Dwendal, now in his sixty-eight year, most are left to their own devices.
You live as you did before, the crown only takes a tithe of what you produce and earn. You follow its laws, worship its gods and bow to its installed local leadership. In return, denizens of the Empire are protected from the chaotic horrors and shattered evils that stalk the edges of the civilized lands. This accord has led to a prosperous century for the Empire, or at least the political elite. Tensions brew beneath the chafing watch of the Crown's Guard, every temple is government owned and run and worship outside the approved idoletery is met with imprisonment. Rumors of military clashes at the eastern borders of Xhorhas have many common folk on edge.

Our story, however, begins much smaller. Here in the southern reaches of the Marrow Valley, beyond the entry gates to the Wuyune Gorge, lies the small, rural town of Trostenwald. Bordering the blue waters of the Ustalach, this town came to prominence near the turn of the recent century, when the surrounding fertile farmlands were discovered to produce a unique type of grain and wheat, leading to a boom of breweries. When the glut subsided, three large families stood triumphant in the local business of fermented delights.

Now Trostenwald thrives on their exports of fish, crops and ale. Here, in this sleepy tradestop, along the Amber road a handful of wandering destinies slowly begin to intersect.

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Marquise*

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Oh you use it like if it was the game from the game... As in not just the RPG the actors played. Why that choice instead of using just the adventure itself?
 

atoms

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I tried playing a little of it and

1. It starts on a map that I think was meant for play testing purposes only, that is something you'd want to fix, but by clicking on the first event I think it plays the start of the game which leads me to point 2...

2. There is way too much backstory text and text in cutscenes. I recommend cutting both by a lot. You see with writing in games you don't need to have huge discussion for it to be good, keeping it shorter and simpler works fine as that's all that's needed to show interaction between characters and other story elements.

Giving too much of it will make the game seem like a huge wall of text or very lengthy to get to the point, and that tends to make players dislike the game, myself included.

Perhaps try and practice with your writing a bit and see if you can improve it in that area. I'm sure you can! With some practice!
 
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Holyhalo

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The game is based on the story of the second season of Critical Role, a D&D show. The reason why I decided to follow the story is that it forces me to stick to it, which is a solid path to follow without (m)any ways for me to be diverted from it and getting sidetracked all that time, which is something I noticed happens when I made my own games from scratch.

The starting map did start as a play testing purpose area but by the end I felt it was more of chapter select so I left it in. It isn't optimized yet but it allows you to jump into the story as you like. As for the text and backstory, as mentioned above, the story and the world are based on the story of CR so I, as a -very- nooby RPGmaker, don't see or know of ways to get all the roleplaying and story across into a game without writing it. I was happy to see the 'Story based' and 'text' tags that I could use for this posting of the game. I'd like to say that the writing will tone down but it is still based on a roleplaying game done by a bunch of voice actors. If you have any ideas on how to turn a huge discussion into less of a read and more of a play, I'm curious to hear them.

Thanks for the encouraging edit to your post, by the way.
 

gstv87

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"I encourage development"
 

atoms

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Ah? Ok. My advice then would be to give a message to the player letting them know they're on that map on purpose with the intent they can choose which part of the game to enter, so it's clear enough for the player to understand.

Then label your events, so they know what each event does. I.e. For example, with the event that makes the credit start rolling without you being able to control the game, first put a choice box and ask if the player wants to read the credits or not. Clear labels and direction and an understanding of what's going on is always important for players.

It's easy for any developer to think they know everything, but the player who plays the game must be able to quickly follow and understand what's happening too.

Try and think will the play automatically understad this, or do I need to make it clearer for them?

Regarding the story, I understand it comes from D&D show but it needs to be made more suited for a game. My advice would be keep what is essential to the game and cut out most of what is not needed. Think what is the minimum amount that needs to be known right at the start? And try and work from there.

It's not wrong to have longer stories and longer cutscenes, if it works for the game, but when it doesn't add anything to the game and just makes it drag on, it becomes an example of bad game designs.

If you still struggle, think about successful video games and other RPG Maker games with compliments out there. Both ones with longer stories and short stories. See what they actually share and not share at the beginning.

All types of story writing is different from real life as well, in that if you just write every single detail in what we say and do in real life it can become boring fast. You just want to keep what is appealing.

If it's all based on a lot of voice acting, I recommend editing and changing it to perhaps a few paragraph with an interaction that is essential or adds development and interaction with the characters. They don't have to talk and go on and on and on forever, as that actually turns out quite bad in a game.

This looks like it could turn into something good, but it needs better presenting.

Hope that helps.
 

RalinAura

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I like what you're going for here. I have no experience with rpgmaker myself, but I'm a fan of Critical Role and had recently thought it would be awesome if a fan threw something like this together. I do have a number of notes.

-If you are serious about this project, then it's important that you decide if you are strictly catering to critters (Fans of the show for any who aren't aware of the term) or if you want newcomers to enjoy the experience as well. If the former, then explain somewhere in the description of the game that the experience will be much more enjoyable if they consume the source material. If the latter, then take some of atoms' previous advice, and figure out some way to reduce some of the chatter, you don't have to directly quote every line that the cast says in character. There was a lot of unnecessary stammering and "euhm"s (I would have spelled it just "um", but that's not important) And those mannerisms will be lost on someone who isn't reading it in their head as the cast would.

-Some music during the dialogue would go a long way, I assume with this being a non profit project that you don't need to worry about copyright stuff, but I also won't claim to know. If you can't add similar music that Matt uses in his backgrounds, then some simple royalty free stuff would still make a big difference.

-In the first act, the design of the tavern seems a little wonky. It looks like you were going for creating walls, but because you seem to have used floor tiles in the opposite direction, you are able to walk on top of it. Same thing with the walls that have cracks, I'm guessing it's a floor tile. I assume there's a way to make those tiles not accessible if you want that design? Again, not experienced with RMMV myself. It does LOOK good though.

-I like that you have them with all the appropriate skills, but I'm not sure that D&D really translates to RMMV. Seems like some of the skills would need some balancing, especially since your cantrips are free. Like, Jester's spare the dying says it heals a minor amount, where it's technically just supposed to stabilize them, and then cure wounds also says it heals a minor amount, but costs 1 mana, does it actually heal more than spare the dying? I understand that you're going for mana=spell slots, and lvl 1 spells cost 1 mana... I just think it would need a lot of planning to balance the skills for some future battles. Also some of the skills don't have descriptions, like Nott's fury of the small, so I'm not sure if they do anything.
-The fight could really stand to be a little tougher, it's been a long time, but did they really only have to fight 2 zombies in CR? The fight here felt super anti-climactic, I'm not even sure if either of the zombies hit anyone.

-Bugs
Before the show, you are required to go to a specific tile to continue. And then when the show is done and you are expected to approach the zombie, the party seems to leave behind clones of themselves, this confused me so I made the mistake of walking back onto that same tile, and it started the show again.... I don't know the intricacies of RMMV so I don't know exactly what happened, but a simple fix would be to have the zombie attack the party instead of having to approach it.

Also, after the confrontation with the guards, the crossover into the Yasha scene doesn't seem to work. You can still view the scene via the play test thing at the beginning, but when Yasha and Flynn head out of the screen, it loads the next screen but then I can't move anywhere. I can open the menu, and it shows the whole party, not just Yasha.

To sum up, I enjoyed this for what it was. It has some potential, but maybe try to cut the dialogue a little. (Unless there's a way to get audio files to play with it, if so, it would be a ton of work. But dubbing in actual dialog from the show would get the cast's voice nuances to come across a lot better than text. I can't even imagine the pain in the ass that would take, if it's even possible. But it would be pretty awesome.)

Is it Thursday yet? ;-)
 

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