RMVX Eremidia: An Empty Tome - Chessmaster's Challenge

Discussion in 'Completed Games' started by richter_h, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. richter_h

    richter_h Eh? Sweetroll? Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    SYNOPSIS

    Chessmaster's Challenge
    is a standalone game based on its main project, emphasizing more in combat mechanics. The game is made in arcade-like design in mind, meaning it has a little story and more combats where the player will be tested in a series of battles and ultimately defeat the Chessmaster who invited them in his own game of "twisted chess of chaos".

    Player will be given four party members--each with their unique abilities--and an ample supply to get started in Hall of Pawnsmoor, where they have to beat all the challenges Chessmaster has set up for his challengers. Along your way in completing the challenges in Hall of Pawnsmoor, player will find more characters (to date, up to 60 characters are obtainable including the initial party members) via completing achievements and/or performing certain feats.

    In short, Chessmaster's Challenge offers:
    • Three levels of "challenges" + one hidden level; with randomized prizes on completion
    • Grid Battle System; fight various enemies in chess-like battlefield
    • Achievement system; there are a total of 80 achievements to be unlocked
    • Score system; in each battle, you gain scores which will be summed up at the end of each path
    • Up to 60 unique, playable characters; start with four at first, the rest are obtainable via achievements


    PLOTLINE

    The Chessmaster of Pars Mythos has invited you to play his game of chess. However, this game is not mere chess; it is a game where you take control of characters listed in The Empty Tome, and you start with only two characters to work with.

    On top of that, he also has set up a series of challenges for you to beat. Each challenge will grant you an extra edge and/or additional units for your party.

    Complete all of his challenges, and the Chessmaster will deem you worthy enough to face him directly.


    IMAGES/SCREENSHOTS
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    DOWNLOAD LINK
    The game is available to download in itch.io >> https://richter-h.itch.io/chessmasters-challenge
     
    #1
  2. Nantas

    Nantas - Game developer - Veteran

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    This seem like a fantastic game, I really loved your previous projects and I have always felt that you have a great talent in creating good combat systems. I have a question before downloading and I will make sure to give you feedback after playing it.
    Here is my question : once we have unlocked characters, can we play entire runs with a unique party from the beginning ? :)
     
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  3. ShadowDragon

    ShadowDragon Veteran Veteran

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    so far i tested it, you can even redo the challenge with different characters for a possible higher score.
     
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  4. Nantas

    Nantas - Game developer - Veteran

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    That sounds awesome ! :D
     
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  5. richter_h

    richter_h Eh? Sweetroll? Veteran

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    Indeed, also that's the point of Chessmaster's Challenge: get/unlock some characters, form your party, beat all available challenges and ultimately defeat the Chessmaster himself.
    While some rooms may have a set list of enemies you have to defeat, the party members you bring may make differences.
     
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  6. IneptAttoney_08

    IneptAttoney_08 MMORPG! Veteran

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    there is Theo Allen in this game! remarkable! I like the animation and the look of the battleback!
     
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  7. Nantas

    Nantas - Game developer - Veteran

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    Thank you for your answer :)
     
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  8. Boonty

    Boonty Veteran Veteran

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    I love your battle HUD. I wanna test your game just for contemplating it :)

    Can I ask you what plugin did you use to display active characters attributes on the bottom left ?
     
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  9. richter_h

    richter_h Eh? Sweetroll? Veteran

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    Much appreciated.
    And yes, Theo is one of the stars in the game and it would be a crime if I didn't introduce him here.

    No problem :D

    Appreciated.
    And btw I had to make my own for the battle UIs; the bottom left one shows up when an active actor is ready to take some actions. A bit finicky at first, but the result is totally worth it.
     
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  10. richter_h

    richter_h Eh? Sweetroll? Veteran

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    New update for Chessmaster's Challenge is now available, which fixes few issues regarding splash/cleave damage calculations and inclusion of skill animation updates for several characters' abilities, such as something as shown below!

    [​IMG]

    For more details and/or download link for the update, please check https://richter-h.itch.io/chessmasters-challenge/devlog/87792/update-v16240619

    Cheers~
     
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  11. IneptAttoney_08

    IneptAttoney_08 MMORPG! Veteran

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    Very awesome!
    I have finished at Normal difficulty!
    I will try hard when I don't feel a heart attack anymore
    What scripts do you use to make the description of the skill broader?
     
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  12. richter_h

    richter_h Eh? Sweetroll? Veteran

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    For the scripts, I use a custom script based on yanfly's "Display Item Query" one. The main reason behind this is the necessity of better explanation on several abilities.

    And before you try Hard mode, you might wanna unlock all characters and/or achievements first. Basically, you can make the game itself easier/harder depending on your party setup.
     
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  13. richter_h

    richter_h Eh? Sweetroll? Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    Chessmaster's Challenge v.1.6.1 is now available to download on itch.io.

    What's new?
    • Improved game mechanics, as well as some new additions i.e. Action Log, Training Mode, and briefings of each challenge from NPCs;
    • Four new characters, several improvements on existing characters;
    • Reworked encounters, enemy behaviors, and achievement system;
    • Up to 60 new equipments obtainable via achievements.
    Footage of the update:


    Please check https://richter-h.itch.io/chessmasters-challenge/devlog/97820/v161-now-available for more info about the update.

    Cheers~
     
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  14. richter_h

    richter_h Eh? Sweetroll? Veteran

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    A new patch for Chessmaster's Challenge is available to download. It fixes several issues and most importantly: old savefiles can work with the new version of the game. (Dev note: Savefiles from version 1.6 might work on the current version. Savefiles from version 1.5 might not work with the current version.)

    Another change in this patch is now some rooms may have a different battle background, as shown below:

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    Also, all skill icons have been replaced with iconsets provided by Lorc, Delapouite, Viscious Speed from game-icons.net, compiled by Johan86.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Download the patch (as well as new game build) here.
    If you already have v1.6.1 build 010919, you can download the patch only and extract it inside the game folder.

    And that's all for now. Cheers~
     
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  15. richter_h

    richter_h Eh? Sweetroll? Veteran

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    Yet another new patch for Chessmaster's Challenge v1.6 is available to download. What's new? Well, there are some to mention, for example:

    • Transit Point chest now deposits 50/100/150 golds, depending on which path player is currently on;
    • Healing effects now can get through protection and/or magic immune spells;
    • Enemies may drop gems more often;
    • Several tweaks on enemies as well as playable characters; and
    • Some new enemies awaiting in Easy and Medium paths, namely Watchers, Birdmen and Sketelons.
    Check the CHANGELOG for more info.

    If you already have previous version of Chessmaster's Challenge (namely, v1.6 prior to this update), you can just grab the patch and place it in the existing game folder in your harddrive. Also, since the first build of v1.6, your old savefiles can work with the latest build.

    Before I end this announcement, here's a little advice from the little hydromancer:

    [​IMG]


    Download the game (or the patch) here: https://richter-h.itch.io/chessmasters-challenge

    That's all for now. Cheers~
     
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  16. richter_h

    richter_h Eh? Sweetroll? Veteran

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    Yet another new patch for Chessmaster's Challenge v1.6 is available to download. This patch solves the massive lag issues around menus as well as the battle in which performance gets reduced greatly after turn 1. There are some balances around enemies as well.

    Check CHANGELOG for more info.

    Since this update incorporates the caching method (hence the Caches folder) to cut down some loading time, there are no separate patch files for this version. Please grab the new version of the game here (https://richter-h.itch.io/chessmasters-challenge).
    Also, as always, save files from older 1.6 versions are working on this version.

    That's all for now. Cheers~
     
    #16
  17. SpicyNoodleStudios

    SpicyNoodleStudios Aspiring Vigilante Veteran

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    The game gives you four difficulty choices. I thought this meant that I could choose hard and have a solid time, but no. Hard is HARD. As in, only one person is standing to fight at the start of the second battle hard. So, medium instead.

    The intro is cool. It's not skippable, but the picture + the dialogue has a cool effect. It feels pretty awesome, getting inducted into an ultimate battle of wits by a master of strategy.

    There is a sort of setup menu before the player really gets control but it's kind of the same thing as the hub like location that you start the game in. There may not be a need for both the setup menu and the hub in the game. The hub is pretty cool, although it's made of basic tileset. It gives you access to different preparation based options as well as a practice ring, which I should have taken way more advantage of. There's also this dude to talk too and he's written pretty well. He doesn't really do anything emotion wise, but his speech pattern is great.

    The art used in the game is badass. The graphics for the menus and the sprites, the icons and everything - all awesome. Loved it. If more of the tileset was non-rtp, that would have been even better.

    Combat. COMBAT! Combat...

    The amount of options that the player starts with is staggering. For the start of the game, it's too much. Considering the combat is as high risk, high reward as it is, there's too steep of a learning curve. After dying a couple times I was starting to wrap my head around things. I learned to use items and focus on having the characters support each other more, but it was still tough. I just didn't know how everything interacted with each other well enough to utilize the characters to their potentials. I also spent a lot of time using different items. I'm pretty sure that's on purpose because usually, half the team is dead before the match even starts. Chessmasters challenge, I get it. You gotta be smart.

    The amount of skills and options to use in battle isn't bad. However having that many at the very start of the game is. If each character started with maybe one skill, their normal attack, and their unique weapon/ability - that would have been much more manageable. That would allow players to learn how everything interacts, and how to play the game. There are also tons of items to use. There's a bunch of different choices and I wasn't sure how they really affected the battlefield. Yeah, pressing shift lets you read about them, but there's no substitute for testing them out and watching them take effect. The problem is, there's soooo much to test out and the enemies kill in like two hits, often 1 hit.

    Definitely should have used the dummy field more. I did start to get the hang of it, and I did start defeating the enemies. However, I still felt like I was being thrown into the deep end without any swimming lessons. I sank a couple times, not gunna lie. It's fun once you start to get the hang of it, but it's so dayum intimidating at the start. That could scare a lot of potential players away, though I'm not sure if those are the players you made the game for.

    It would have been nice if I could have chosen who to target by moving through the tiles rather than cycling through the characters. also, the sound effects seemed way more quiet than the music at first, but it didn't bother me much after playing for a while.

    So, if you could ease the players into learning the game slower, and if you would build with a tileset that matches the rest of your design, this game could really stand out.

    The potential is definitely there, keep it up!
     
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  18. richter_h

    richter_h Eh? Sweetroll? Veteran

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    I've tried to minimize it into only 2 playable characters at start with only 2 skills learned each, and turned out it became way harder than it was supposed to be. Besides, characters won't level up in this game. So, I revert into 4-man party with all of their skills learned and maxed. And from this design, it's expected for player to do several runs before they are actually able to clear a path.
    In the next update, I've made a workaround to make the game much forgiving for new players; easier Easy path (as the name implies) and a branching stage which allows player to get into the challenge of their choice. The party setup remains the same.

    In this case, the first two rooms of the first path (Easy path) can be a makeshift dummy test field where enemies actually attack your party. Also, you can retreat anytime after clearing a room except the last room--where you're supposed to get your reward after clearing it.
    In the meantime, I've smoothened out the rough sides of the first encounters in the next update, which I hope it can fix this issue.

    And as for the tileset, I ended up with RTP due to time and workload constraints, like, I set everything up alone. I would make use of other tilesets for this game, however, the engine limitations made it not worth the effort for some reason.

    Thank you for giving the game a try, @SpicyNoodleStudios. It's all much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
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  19. richter_h

    richter_h Eh? Sweetroll? Veteran

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    [​IMG]

    The final update of Chessmaster's Challenge is now available. Special thanks to Fragarach, @samkfj, and Cyaroru for feedbacks and support that makes this version possible and much more stable than before.

    What's new?

    [​IMG]

    • Brand new Chessmaster's encounter; now he employs all of his chesspieces to deal with your party. Each of them are unique and capable of giving such nuisances if left unchecked, also they fortify Chessmaster's fortitude by great amount as long as they're exist on the battlefield.
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    • The Three Lanes; now after clearing the second room of any paths, you'll find yourself at the crossroad where the challenge gets branched. To complete the path, you need to complete all three lanes regardless of order.
    [​IMG]

    • New status screen; showing larger portrait of each characters, along with their respective bios. Credits to samkfj for providing the writings for character bios. Can be accessed from Tomes -> Companions menu as well.
    • Better performance when opening menus, like Inventory and Skills.
    • Bug fixes and balancings over all playable characters as well as enemies.
    Check CHANGELOG for more info.

    Version 1.7 marks the final version of Chessmaster's Challenge. This project uses a rather outdated engine which system has been patched a lot over the course of years, greatly reducing its sustainability in longer development runs. Since it serves as a technical demo of the main project, this project has proven that the game loop and core mechanics used in it are working and successful despite frequent bugs and problems it sometimes shows in previous versions.

    The contents, mechanics, and stuffs used in this project will be carried over a new project. The Grid Battle System used in this project will be evaluated for future projects; the casts and enemies will be used in future projects, probably with slight changes. That being said, this project will be no longer put in active development and won't receive any major updates in the future; it will be present as an archive and documentation of the game system made as well as the characters included in this project.

    It was a long and wild ride, working on this project back when it was still called Project Dungeon!. Despite its current state, it's the time to let this project go so I can work on the next project with resources and experiences gained from this project over 6 years. Although if there are any fatal bugs present in this final version, I will do my best providing necessary patches in the future, that is if someone would ever contact and ask me for one.

    You can check the game here >> https://richter-h.itch.io/chessmasters-challenge

    Hope you like Chessmaster's Challenge. Also, if you're interested, join our discord server: https://discord.gg/u2EU9BT

    See you later, Riftwalker. Cheers~
     
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  20. Lonewulf123

    Lonewulf123 Veteran Veteran

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    Congrats on finishing this up. I’ve been following this for a while and the growth in each iteration has been fun to play.
    I’ll have to give this final build a try :)
     
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