- Sep 22, 2016
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Hey @Yothewal, I attempted to do a "Let's Play" of the demo of your game but for some reason it only recorded the Audio and not the Video of the game play so its kind of useless. I've done these before but I have been on a long break and just trying to get back into them again. Apparently I failed miserably at that.
But, here's some notes I hope help you with perfecting your game. I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend more people give it a try.
Intro: If all these elements go together or have some point later then ignore this but otherwise it seemed kind of random and all over the place. What was the point of seeing the brother get beat up? What was the point of being in the classroom to hear about the eclipse happening? And why wasn't there any background music during? These are all some things I would address because the intro from first starting the game until the point where you finally get control was nearly 10 minutes in. (Again, a bit less because I was spending time messing with the recording, but if not you should see if any of those scenes can be truncated or removed altogether so that you can keep the players' attention.
Also, I don't know how old the characters are but it seemed like they were teenagers and it would be odd that they never asked about their father for so many years. And even if so, that they didn't seem shocked or curious when the mother states matter-of-factly that it just so happened he disappeared during the last solar eclipse. I understand what you are trying to do and make a "reason" for him being transported to the other world but you need to work on some of the supporting pieces because they don't all fit together just yet.
Battle: I died 5 times in under 30 minutes. The difficulty is quite steep. You should either adjust the encounter rate or (what I'd recommend) is not letting the player take on more than 1 or 2 enemies at once because it gets too difficult. You start the player out with two "potions" and that's it. You can get one "resurrection" item if you are smart but other than that the player has to go through a ton of battles to get to the first city and be able to get items. The encounters are difficult, and almost impossible to escape from.This led to me dying and almost quitting on the game before getting through the first "maze". The maze wasn't that difficult but the enemies were.
Items and spells also worked very oddly. Are you running a CTB or ATB behind the scenes? It definitely wasn't normal turn order because sometimes I would try to use an something right when I needed it and the enemy would get an attack in before I could use it and kill me. Once I learned to use items a bit before I actually needed them it was OK but I think most players are used to not having to heal until they think one or two attacks will kill them.
I finally found out that spamming magic was the best solution but you have such a limited pool of MP that after the maze I was out of MP and had to run for my life to the town hoping not to get an encounter again. Much too difficult. And if players are supposed to "grind" before they even get to the first city you definitely need to guide them to do that but I wouldn't recommend making players "grind" that early in the game. Or you need to give players more healing items before they set-off.
Finally I stopped the game after getting the first bounty quest as I could not afford to stay at the Inn to heal because I bought a few healing items, and I was stuck in the town, unable to run back to the girl's house for the free healing and also too weak to make it to the location of the bounty quest without getting killed along the way. You definitely need to work on this, that's my only major complaint.
Gameplay: I didn't get enough time with the game to grasp all the mechanics you might have installed. But it seemed fairly standard. The "Quest Window" was the biggest unique gameplay addition and it wasn't introduced to the player at all. I had to "find" it myself from the menu. Looks to be a Bestiary script too? You should provide some sort of optional tutorial for the players. I don't even think there was a battle tutorial. That's fine if you're just targeting RPG Maker gamers but if you put it on Steam for anyone to download some gamers may be confused as to controls and things like that.
Graphics: I didn't see any custom tiles or characters but everything seemed fine. The maps were nice but a little barren. My only quip was that you force "full screen" mode but some of the maps aren't that big. For example the first map below the girl's house. I would remake the map larger and just have the outside be more trees. You don't need to let the player go there but the big black abyss doesn't work so well for exterior maps. It looks really odd when trees are cutoff halfway by black nothing-ness.
Sound: Was fairly standard again. It was weird that there was no audio during the intro. And instead of saying "RIIIIIIING" it would be nice to have a sound byte or play just some sort of SE or ME there. The lack of BGM was really weird though.
I hope this feedback helps you with your game. I would love to try out a demo where I won't die as easy. Good luck with Eclisia!
EDIT: Final thought, you could put the "screenshots" section of your topic into a "spoiler" code to make the thread look a little nicer.
If you go to the General Resources section of the forum, you will find a lot of music which is free, even for commercial use. I strongly urge you to give decent music a high priority, it is one of the most potent tools you have for creating atmosphere, and in an intro section it is crucial that you give the player the best possible experience you can. If you don't, chances are that they will walk away.
Looks really interesting, though, from the trailers, have you thought about modifying the battle camera? Like having it zoom in to the action? Not sure what you're aiming to work on, but since you're using sv battlers, that might make it look really cool. The only other comment I have before I dive into the demo later is that, from the trailer, a lot of the levels look a bit barren? That might be intentional, since this is early dev period, but do you have any specific goals between now and the next demo release? I'll also try doing some screen recording to see if I run into the same issue that starcrescendo did, just out of curiosity