AdamSakuru

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Man, just on the basis of how you've set up your battles I can already tell you really know what you're doing. This looks fantastic and it really stands out.
 

Kemsyn

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Man, just on the basis of how you've set up your battles I can already tell you really know what you're doing. This looks fantastic and it really stands out.

I wish that were the case, this is actually my first game in RPG maker and I'm just learning as I go. I'm more impressed with how you managed those cutscenes in your game :)
 

AdamSakuru

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I wish that were the case, this is actually my first game in RPG maker and I'm just learning as I go. I'm more impressed with how you managed those cutscenes in your game :)

This is still very impressive in that respect. For reals!
This is one of the only existing videos of my first RPG Maker project:

While I was much less competent in RPG Maker and as an artist, there are elements of this project you can see in my current one. Like how before actions/skills are performed it's said in a speech bubble. The first enemy in my current project is also the first enemy from my last project.

Anywho, when you have a demo of your game out, do let me know!
I would love to try this out and give you my thoughts.
 

Kemsyn

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@AdamSakuru That's pretty neat. You have some creative ways of using RPG Maker and I can tell you put a lot of love into your projects. I actually played your demo and got pretty far. I was planning to give some feedback, but it was really late and I forgot to save my game, then I encountered an error so i rage quit lol. Been really busy since then but I'm gonna try to finish it this weekend and post some feedback on your thread.
 

Alastor01

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This game is looking great :)
I am very much impressed with your 1st person battle system. I will try to replicate something similar. Hope it’s ok with you!
I was just wondering, have you 3D modeled your weapons and rendered to animations? They look very detailed and 40 - 60 frames is a lot! Or did you draw them frame by frame? :D
 

Kemsyn

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Haven't posted an update in forever so I wanted to let everyone know that Demoncyber is still in production. My job is taking up a lot of my time lately but I'm still working on this whenever I can. I recently worked with a talented composer called [Insertnamehere], who made me some great music for the game. The demo is pretty close to completion but I'm still in the process of getting a couple custom plugins made.

Here's a prologue thing I made for the start of the game,

and a screenshot from the demo.
vadQPDx.png

@Alastor01 Not sure how, but I completely missed your post. sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. If you still want to know, the weapon animations are actually pretty simple. Most of the guns are just a single image that I make with an image editing tool.

Like so
xiLfOfH.png
Then I just manipulate them in the RPG Maker animations tab until the movement looks natural and then add some effects. There are a few weapons that use more than a single image but usually one is enough.
 
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Alastor01

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@Kemsyn
Wow, that's very interesting! Thanks for amazing idea :D
Good to see you are back and ready for more progress!
 

Kemsyn

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Here's a look at the title screen I decided to go with.

ItetNpM.gif


And some of the animation improvements I've been working on.

yIH90DF.gif
 
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AdamSakuru

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Any tips/suggestions for making battle animations? I'd like to start on that area in my project soon but I'm not sure if there are any approaches that make animating battle effects any easier or streamlined. Your animations are looking very nifty.
 

Kemsyn

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@AdamSakuru I paid for the package on productioncrate.com as they have a lot of cool video effects. Only thing is they come on a black or green background so I have to copy the animation frame by frame into my image editor then remove everything but the effect. It's pretty tedious work but still faster than making them myself. I'm using GIMP and I found that using certain scripts save a lot of time, such as deleting selection in all layers.
 

AdamSakuru

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Well you've certainly used them well, they fit with your game visually. I thought they were custom made for the project.
 

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I'm really keen to play this, and I need to get my act together working on mine again, if it weren't for these bugs I keep encountering.

I love the special effects you use, are they things you made or did you buy them from somewhere?
 

Kemsyn

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@Skurge Glad to hear that you haven't given up on Archtross! I really hope you manage to sort everything out.

I paid for most of the effects on http://footagecrate.com/. They were intended for film production but I managed to convert them into animations I could use.

Here are some more tracks from the OST.
 
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AdamSakuru

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If it weren't for these bugs I keep encountering.

hqdefault.jpg

I feel like I can't really complain because of all the free/commercial use resources provided by the community which more than make up for my lack of coding skills and have allowed me to pursue my project. But Jesus-H-Christ I've had a few mental breakdowns working on my project and RPG Maker is supposed to be STREAMLINED game development.
 

Kemsyn

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I feel like I can't really complain because of all the free/commercial use resources provided by the community which more than make up for my lack of coding skills and have allowed me to pursue my project. But Jesus-H-Christ I've had a few mental breakdowns working on my project and RPG Maker is supposed to be STREAMLINED game development.

At the end of the day though, I wouldn't even be able to make this game if it wasn't for RPG Maker. It's pretty amazing that there's a tool out there that allows me to do something I've always dreamed of but never could because life took me on a different path.
 

SJWebster

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Gotta say, this is really impressive! Your game stands out for a number of reasons.
Setting - it's really refreshing to see an 80s VHS style dystopian future in an RPG Maker game. It's clearly inspired by Robocop, Blade Runner, and dare I say there's a little Lethal Weapon in there? It certainly makes a change from the fantasy and sci-fi worlds!
Aesthetic - the effects you're using are well implemented and really help to sell that 80s VHS vibe I mentioned earlier. It's reminding me of Hotline Miami, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, and (to an extent) Retro City Rampage in a very good way.
Battles - you've taken a tired first person battle system and made it quite interesting by making it resemble a first person shooter like Doom, Quake, or Wolfenstein.

This is actually something I'd genuinely consider buying on Steam. The only thing I could really suggest to improve would be some of the sprites and walking animations. I always appreciate the effort placed into making custom graphics, so major props for taking the time to do that. You even put in a lot of little touches, like the animated neon light signs, however it's let down by awkward stiff walking animations. It looks like you're using a plugin for extra frames, which will give you smoother animations, but the frames themselves are lacking.

How do I explain this? I'm not getting a sense of movement from them. It's less like a walk and more like an awkward shuffle. It would work great for a zombie's walk cycle but for a bad ass clad in leather... not so much. I think the main issue is the legs never bend at the knee, it looks like the legs are straight at all times. There needs to be a sense of weight to it, a commanding presence, more exaggerated and clearer movement of each leg. Sometimes moving the torso and head down a couple of pixels can help sell it as it gives the animation a "bounce", similar to how the sword moving with the arms really sells the idea the shoulders are moving. Definitely something to play around with.

The guards in white in the battle screenshot could also use some touch ups. Their arms seem very bendy as there's no clear hard elbow. Take a look at an anatomy book or website and they should have examples of how the arm bends. The clothing also looks to be pillow shaded (even amount of shading on each side) with nothing to give a hint of what material the clothes are made out of or where the folds might be.

Finally, there's a lack of shades on many objects - especially cars - that make them look flat rather than 3D. This kind of kills the believability of the world a little for me but is thankfully an easy fix by just going in and shading them a little. In some cases, it's more a lack of detail, such as the shop keeper, that prevents the sprite art from selling it to me.

The fact that I have to be that specific and am taking time to say how I think these issues can be fixed tells me I really like what you have here and I'm excited for it to be the best it can be. I'd love to try a demo of this once one's available and I hope I didn't overstep any boundaries.
 

AdamSakuru

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At the end of the day though, I wouldn't even be able to make this game if it wasn't for RPG Maker. It's pretty amazing that there's a tool out there that allows me to do something I've always dreamed of but never could because life took me on a different path.

Yeah, and I didn't touch on this in my last post, but what's interesting is the kind of problems using a tool like RPG Maker creates for us as developers in this stream-lined approach. They aren't the same kinds of problems that code-savvy developers run into.

Like, you start your game project, you start adding plugins you can use. Then you run across a weird bug you never noticed before. Turns out, it's because two of the plugins you're using are not playing nicely. You have a decision to make.

Your options are the following:
  • Ditch the less important plugin.
  • Go into one or both plugins and try commenting out certain lines of code or making 'tiny' basic edits that might fix the issue. (Yes, I am serious about this one. I have done this a number of times. In fact just yesterday I did that to resolve an issue which worked perfectly.)
  • Commission a coder on the forums to resolve your bug. (if you can spare the funds)
  • Try to find a way to 'hide' the bug or use it to your advantage. (this one really depends on what the bug is or what it does, more of a rarer option.)
It does force you to think outside the box because you can't just 'code' your solutions, but it also requires you to have a decent understanding of how to make the most out of RPG Maker's event commands, script calls, plugin commands, etc.
 
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Kemsyn

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Thanks for the great feedback @SJWebster ! I'm really happy you like the look of the game and care enough to go into so much detail. I also want the game to be as good as possible so critique is always welcome.

Setting - it's really refreshing to see an 80s VHS style dystopian future in an RPG Maker game. It's clearly inspired by Robocop, Blade Runner, and dare I say there's a little Lethal Weapon in there? It certainly makes a change from the fantasy and sci-fi worlds!
You're absolutely right! I have a lot of love for 80s movies. Robocop and Blade Runner are definitely big inspirations for me. Other influences include Akira, Fist of the North Star, The Warriors, Shogun Assassin, Escape from New York, The Terminator and many more.

The only thing I could really suggest to improve would be some of the sprites and walking animations.
I think I know what you mean. The walking animations have plagued me for a while. They looked really awful with 3 frames so I added a 5 frame plugin to try and improve it. I'll experiment a bit to see if I can make them look any better.

The guards in white in the battle screenshot could also use some touch ups. Their arms seem very bendy as there's no clear hard elbow. Take a look at an anatomy book or website and they should have examples of how the arm bends. The clothing also looks to be pillow shaded (even amount of shading on each side) with nothing to give a hint of what material the clothes are made out of or where the folds might be.
I didn't notice it but that's definitely something I could try to improve, details on clothing is also something I struggle with. When I started this project a couple years ago I pretty much knew nothing about art so I lack a lot of the basic skills that artists use. I've mainly just been teaching myself the whole time but maybe it's time I watched a few tutorials. I would love to hire a professional pixel artist to do all the enemy spritesheets but from what I understand it could end up costing tens of thousands for the larger sprites that I use.

Finally, there's a lack of shades on many objects - especially cars - that make them look flat rather than 3D. This kind of kills the believability of the world a little for me but is thankfully an easy fix by just going in and shading them a little. In some cases, it's more a lack of detail, such as the shop keeper, that prevents the sprite art from selling it to me.
I've been meaning to add more detail to the cars, I just keep forgetting. I know some of the portraits could use a lot of work, that's another thing I need to improve on a lot. The plan was to raise some money on Kickstarter and hire a proper artist to do the portraits.

The fact that I have to be that specific and am taking time to say how I think these issues can be fixed tells me I really like what you have here and I'm excited for it to be the best it can be. I'd love to try a demo of this once one's available and I hope I didn't overstep any boundaries.

It makes me very happy that you believe in the game and took the time to help. I appreciate all feedback and hope you'll continue to do so after the demo is released.

@AdamSakuru
Like, you start your game project, you start adding plugins you can use. Then you run across a weird bug you never noticed before. Turns out, it's because two of the plugins you're using are not playing nicely. You have a decision to make.
Reminds me of the time I had to sacrifice MBS - Sound Emittance. I was so excited when I managed to get 3D sound emitting events until I realised I couldn't even save my game with it. If anyone knows a good alternative please let me know!
 

Kemsyn

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https://itch.io/jam/5-minute-game-jam/rate/263564

Here's a download link for my entry to the 5 minute game jam by Driftwood Gaming and Tea's Jams. I'm still working on a few things for the actual demo, this is something I made separately and is mainly focused on battles. If you wanna sample the combat system in Demoncyber, or just hear some kick ass music, give it a try.

If you're interested in entering the game jam there's still more than enough time, it's really cool to see what people have come up with so far and more people would make it a lot more fun. You can find out the rules and more info about it on the official thread.

https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?threads/5-minute-game-jam.95723/
 

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