RMVXA [Demo] Battle Castle: Shadow From the Past [Story-Focused Dark Fantasy]

cthulhusquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
243
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Content Warning: Contains use of alcohol, mild language, mild suggestive themes.

The demo covers the first fourth to third of the story. This is a dialogue-heavy game, so don't expect to skip past everything and understand what is going on.

Story: Battle Kingdom has gone through two immensely destructive wars with the Shadow Daemons, leaving innumerable dead over a span of a century. With the Daemon's defeat in the Second Great War, Battle Kingdom has recovered to a point of unparalleled prosperity.
Never ones to forget, the Daemons have already planned their return, amassing their foul legions to start the war against mankind anew.
Mountain Village, far away in the frozen Northlands, seems to have escaped these machinations targeting the Kingdom. It's safe, but for how much longer?

Maybe not as long as one thinks, as evil easily festers in the lonely places of the world...

Main Characters:
Actor3.png
Draxus: A young adult living in Mountain Village, Draxus feels trapped, doomed to a menial life mining copper instead of seeing the wider world. He’s fascinated with the war stories of his neighbor, Mr. Glavik, and emphasizes easily with others.

Actor1.png
Joseph: Another young adult and fellow miner living in Mountain Village, Joseph is Draxus's best friend. He’s generally a homebody who likes to see everyone happy, but has a tendency to lose his temper around those who insult him or his friends.

Evil.png
Ralir: A Mage Knight who serves at Battle Castle, Ralir takes his job very seriously. He is somewhat reserved, but opens up as he gets to know others. His love of teaching helps him deal with Draxus and Joseph’s constant questions.

Features:
  • An immersive tale in a world still bearing the scars of war. People still remember the sacrifices of those who never returned home, and yearn for revenge against the evil that took their loved ones from them.
  • Characters who you can believe in. No cardboard cutouts here, each party member has their own motivations, idiosyncrasies, and viewpoints. Just because you are considered a hero, does not mean you are infallible.
  • A moral choice that greatly impacts character development. Who will you choose to be? Will you get worn down by the trials you face, or become stronger in the face of hardship?
  • Uses a mixture of “encounter zones” (events you can interact with to start a battle) and random encounters depending on the location. No ambushes from walking around the world map.
  • Difficult combat, save often! Enemies will fall under your blade, but they will try their best to do you in first.
  • Varied and atmospheric soundtrack, featuring medieval folk, dungeon synth, and metal.
  • Valuable currency. You can't afford everything right off the bat, so you will have to save for what you really want, and make hard choices.
  • Fullscreen functionality! Press F5 in-game to toggle.
Screenshots:
Screenshot (357).png
Screenshot (364).png
Screenshot (378).png
Screenshot (384).png

Download Link:
Download Here!
 
Last edited:

HexMozart88

The Master of Random Garbage
Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
1,877
Reaction score
3,345
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
All right, so I didn't get very far, but a few thoughts.

- The music is good but really loud. I'd turn it down just a bit.
- There's a bit of a text loop where the player is stuck reading the same text over and over outside of the Inn.
- Your font is slightly too small.
- If it's a quest based game, perhaps add some quest pointers (like, a minimap with little icons for the general area to find the quests so you aren't wandering aimlessly)
- Shouldn't the main character have some reaction to the hooded guy in the forest considering it was just in his dream?

Some Good Stuff:
- Your mapping is pretty good. Especially the town map.
- I like the quest system, I'd just add more to it.
 

cthulhusquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
243
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
All right, so I didn't get very far, but a few thoughts.

- The music is good but really loud. I'd turn it down just a bit.
- There's a bit of a text loop where the player is stuck reading the same text over and over outside of the Inn.
- Your font is slightly too small.
- If it's a quest based game, perhaps add some quest pointers (like, a minimap with little icons for the general area to find the quests so you aren't wandering aimlessly)
- Shouldn't the main character have some reaction to the hooded guy in the forest considering it was just in his dream?

Some Good Stuff:
- Your mapping is pretty good. Especially the town map.
- I like the quest system, I'd just add more to it.
Do you remember which Inn the text loop was at?

Anyway, I can easily decrease the music volume, change the font size, as well as adding some reactions to the cultist in the forest. A minimap is also a good idea, so I'll look into that. Thanks for the feedback so far!
 

HexMozart88

The Master of Random Garbage
Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
1,877
Reaction score
3,345
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
It was to the left of the map, and there was a mailbox next to it.
 

cthulhusquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
243
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
What did the text loop say? I'm assuming you're talking about the Inn in Mountain Village (the snow map).
 

HexMozart88

The Master of Random Garbage
Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
1,877
Reaction score
3,345
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Whatever the text was to the right of the inn. I can't remember it exactly now, but it was to the right of the inn for sure.
And yes. I didn't get past the snow village. So far that's the only inn for me.
 

cthulhusquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
243
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Whatever the text was to the right of the inn. I can't remember it exactly now, but it was to the right of the inn for sure.
And yes. I didn't get past the snow village. So far that's the only inn for me.
Can you take a screenshot please? I've looked multiple times and can't find any text loops. I've interacted with every event and all of them work fine. The only thing I can think of is you were interacting with
one of the player touch events and tried to move when one of the text boxes were up, I don't know.
 

HexMozart88

The Master of Random Garbage
Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
1,877
Reaction score
3,345
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Screenshot (541).png
That one. I think it's because it's a touch event rather than an action button.
 

cthulhusquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
243
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I can change that (and similar events) to action buttons instead, that will be no problem. Thanks for letting me know, I hope you get further in the demo!
 

cthulhusquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
243
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
New version is out with some minor updates, mainly from feedback. Sorry for the delay!
  • Decreased music volume a bit.
  • Changed multiple player touch events to action button activated.
  • Made Draxus react to the cultist in the forest.
  • Increased font size slightly.
 

Cythera

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
123
Reaction score
218
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I played this game up to the Wood Village - for me, that was just over an hour of gameplay - and I have mixed feelings on it. On one hand, it's clear a lot of thought went into world building and the lore. There's lots of attention to small details. On the other hand, there were some consistency issues, and a glaring issue of balance.
I'll keep playing and give it a bit more time, but I am very wary of the combat, and I'll get to that.
Starting with the positives!
  • Nice music!
  • Lots of interactable items!
  • Good map layouts overall
  • The quip from the girl in the pub about the tax auditor is funny – albeit slightly out of place in an obviously fantasy/medieval setting
  • I like how the quest journal pops up whenever I complete/get a quest
  • Subtle lighting effects really add to the atmosphere
  • Custom game icon; nice touch
  • Really like the lighting adjustment when I go near the old well
  • Cat meows at me – 10/10. Maybe give him a route movement ‘turn to player’ when interacted with though, otherwise he just flips around wildly haha
  • The state popups in combat are nice; I like knowing when my states landed, one way or another
  • The text after combat on the battle results screens is great – a nice bonus, AND lots of opportunity for character development & personality there
  • The equipment I can buy from the guard in the mountain village is well-priced
  • From what I’ve seen, there’s some nice worldbuilding and thought gone into the lore!
  • Some typos – the blonde girl in the inn for example says ‘here’ when it should be ‘her’ when telling the player to go talk to Jessica. At the very beginning, ‘forehead’ is misspelled as ‘forhead’
  • Sometimes I think there’s a bit too much ‘telling’ instead of ‘showing’. I can see something isn’t right by the well; I’m not sure I need Joseph telling me about it in the detail he does
  • ‘Hey, there’s a strange cloaked guy that resembles the things in my nightmares by the well! Let’s follow him into the well!’ I feel that’s a little too obvious and sudden an inciting incident – maybe give them another reason to go into the well? How about the guy from the pub dropped an item when he fled, and has asked Draxus to go get it? Then inside the well, he can encounter the cloaked person and be roped into the cult? If someone in a robe in a dark forest asked me to enter a well with them, nightmares or not, I’d run and never look back! I feel like no sane person, even in an RPG, would go into the well!
  • That battle music against the cultists is way too happy for the situation haha. Good music, but I don't feel it fits there
  • I wish I could check what those states are doing that are being applied to me
  • Some consistency issues; sometimes characters speaking have face graphics; sometimes they don't. Sometimes characters speaking have the full text box; sometimes it's just the dimmed version of the text box
I'm going to touch on the combat and balancing elsewhere, as I feel it really hurts the game as it is now.
  • The doors to the south-most houses in the first village are blocked by trees. Now I’m worried I’m missing loot!
  • Draxus tells the innkeeper he hasn’t met Mary or Jessica yet, even if I talk to them first
  • So Stamina is SP, which is TP. First, TP doesn’t show in the menu (I wasted my baked bread trying this sadly..) and I’m not sure if that was intentional. Second, the shops still show ‘TP’ (picture 1)
  • I try to exit the village; says I need permission from Lord Travor. I go there, says I need to speak with the guard first. I speak with the guard, and he says it’s cold and can’t wait for his shift to end – the same thing he said before. This was after I got the quest to go to the old well, so I was under the impression the old well was outside the town. The text on the exit confused me since I was under the impression I needed to speak to the lord to leave town to find the well in order to progress the game, but turns out the well is on the other side of town. I was confused for a few minutes before I figured out it wasn’t a game-breaking issue with improper switches. Maybe if the well quest isn’t complete yet, have Draxus say something along the lines of ‘I recall the well being on the east side of town…’
  • I can walk on the trees! Wee! (2) I can enter at any point along the top tiles of the tree
  • The gold pouches require you to select an actor to use it on; can you set the target to ‘none’?
  • Jam pastries apply ‘holy water’ state?
  • Moving NPC can block hallways, pathways, and doors
  • When talking to the guard after killing the cultists in the well: ‘Me and Joseph’….should be ‘Joseph and I’ unless that’s how Draxus always talks (unique speech patterns on characters and all that) but I’ve seen nothing that indicates he has a different speech pattern thus far, so I’ll count that as a typo
  • Game over screen doesn’t fit the resolution (3)
  • I talked to the orc-creature in the wood village before proceeding with the main quest, and the conversation includes a character not yet in my party – Ralir
  • More tileset passable issues (4)
1.png
2.png
3.png
No, that's not edited; the game over screen doesn't fit the resolution for some weird reason.
4.png
Now, my biggest gripe with the game...
The combat is not balanced. It is not difficult; it is unbalanced. That's a very fine line, and extremely easy to cross when trying to make a difficult game. Everyone has a different 'level' of difficulty; someone may find one game easy while another finds it very hard. I'm going to address the points that make this combat unbalanced rather than difficult.
  • My dodge (guard?) has a cooldown. Sure, that's fine; it's a powerful skill! But the enemies have the same dodge ability that drastically raises evasion for what appears to be two turns, and they do not have the same cooldown. I watched an enemy use Dodge three times in a row, and I kept missing every one of my attacks
  • No immediate heal items or skills. All these 'heal' items and skills give a heal over time. Okay, that's cool actually. But I need to survive to the end of the turn to get the heal over time, and they were along the lines of +10% heal over 2 turns. That's nothing, especially when enemies were dealing approx. 15% of my health in an attack - and critical hits could do up to 60%! I could apply the heal effect at the start of combat...except it wears off after X amount of turns. So I'm left guessing when to use it - will the enemies hit this character and I need to heal him NOW, or will they attack the other character who can take a few more hits before needing health? I had so little control over my own health
  • States - in particular, CC states - are too much. I got stunned by a bug enemy for SIX turns? Two enemies against two characters, one stunned for 6 turns. Each enemy was doing 10-15% of my max health each hit, depending on who they targeted. Game over, especially since I had no immediate heals. And I had no way to remove the state either.
  • I came across an enemy that did 40-50 damage * 2 every turn. That's approx. 90% of my max health gone in one hit - from its basic attack. Game over.
In difficult combat, the player can do something to survive. They can strategize, use skills and items, and make it through if they plan. Unbalanced combat, the player has limited to no control over battle flow and is at the mercy of RNG.

Overall, the combat seriously hurts the game here sadly! There's some good stuff in this game! Nice attention to detail, obvious care and thought gone into the world. But the unbalanced combat doesn't do it justice. Majority of the balancing can be improved by making some heal skills/items give health right away, instead of ONLY a heal-over-time state.
I'm going to keep playing, though for how long I don't know. Depends on the combat, and the RNG of it unfortunately.
Balance the combat, clean up some of the consistency issues, and you've got something with really nice potential here!
 

cthulhusquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
243
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
@Cythera
Thank you for the very detailed feedback! :kaoluv:I'll try to fix the obvious bugs, typos, and oversights in the next day or two (I have no idea what to do with the game over screen though). :kaoswt2:

On the Less-Than-Positives:
  • For the "telling instead of showing", a lot of my favorite authors are the old-school prosy types like Lovecraft, and the tiles don't quite do justice to the type of atmosphere I want, so I make do through descriptive dialogue. I could add in some overlays, so you can see just how closed off that part of the forest is, while making Joseph's dialogue less lengthy.
  • I can make the beginning more drawn out, and add more mystery to the discovery of the cult.
  • For the battle music, I can try and figure something out. The battle music gets a lot darker later on in the game, so this is an isolated incident.
  • I might add in an in-game encyclopedia, that could help with understanding states better.
  • The dialogue boxes all have faces, but they scroll to show all the text. I can change it so the number of lines are limited in each box. The dim boxes are supposed to represent characters whispering to each other, muttering under their breath, thoughts, etc, but I can differentiate them better.
As for your other concerns regarding combat:
  • I can get rid of enemy's Dodge skill, and let them keep their built-in evasion. This will prevent most misses but there will still be a surprise one or two to keep people on their toes. Most have a 10% chance, a couple are higher.
  • I can add some instant healing to items and healing skills, that should take some of the pressure off. There are instant heal skills in the game but they are on expensive items.
  • I think that was the Bog Spirit you fought, and yeah, I agree they are overpowered and need to be nerfed. All of the enemies, except for the ones in the well, probably need that. :kaosigh:
When I come out with the next update, I hope you continue playing it! There's still a lot of the story to go!
 

Cythera

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
123
Reaction score
218
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I think altering the Dodge on enemies and giving immediate heals will make your combat much more balanced already! :) I see you want to make combat difficult, which is great! That's a very hard thing to get right, and super easy to cross into unbalanced/unfair territory. Giving immediate heals is by far the biggest thing; everything else I mentioned I could even live with as is.
I just had so little control over my own health in combat :kaocry:

Keep with it! I'll keep an eye out for the next update.
 

cthulhusquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
243
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Very quick patch, version 0.2 is now up. I fixed all of the bugs and oversights pointed out to me (except the game over resolution, still looking into that). Some of the bigger changes:
  • Meadow Flower and Monk's Bundle items now have an instant heal effect, along with their heal over time. The Healing Poultice skill also now has an instant heal effect (not too much though!)
  • Enemies no longer have the same Dodge skill you do, instead they rely on their passive 10-15% rate.
  • Nerfed some of the stuns enemies can inflict to much lower values.
  • Slightly nerfed the overworld enemies' stats, they should be more manageable if you want to battle after leaving Mountain Village.
  • Gold pouches no longer require choosing an actor to activate.
  • Added some words of warning with the Reaper's quest in Wood Village when talking to his quarry, before the choice to attack them comes up. This quest may look low level, but it's not. It's very difficult, with some extremely good rewards.
  • Made the river sound in Mountain Village fade out when you go into the forest, and come back when you leave. Whoooo, realism! :rhappy:
Other changes, like spaced out dialogue, SP gauges outside of battle, and a longer and more realistic beginning, will come in a later patch.
 

cthulhusquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
243
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
New game over screen, this time it matches the resolution!

EDIT: New version is uploaded.

GameOver.png
 
Last edited:

kyonides

Reforged is laughable
Veteran
Joined
Nov 17, 2019
Messages
285
Reaction score
70
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMXP
Quite violent indeed. I wonder where you've got the inspiration from...
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

Part of me is really missin' the good 'ol days of RM '95... goodness just seems like such simpler times
Just got two Switch E-Shop 20$ gift cards... Is 3D All-Stars worth it? Or should I get something like Celeste? I'd love to know your opinion!
I’m looking at the MZ full body images and I think Priscilla is taller than Reid...
Ami
--- Music Selection ---

M.Archer: It's Music Station,You can Change the Music as you like.
F.Healer: i want to hear the Romantic Music.
M.Fighter: Then,i want the Hard-Rock one!
(the Troll Song has played)
M.Archer: Hey,i hear this Music.
F.Healer: It's popular from Internet Music,i wonder who change it?
Hero: I change it.
Entire Party: YOU????

Forum statistics

Threads
103,042
Messages
996,908
Members
134,516
Latest member
Pumpkinnubbin
Top