Eve of Alchemy (Demo available)

hiddenone

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A crafting-focused game (click to download the demo)

Rumors say that if you follow the western path far out into the forest, you'll come across a decrepit house. If you're brave enough to enter, you'll find a quiet man who offers potions that will fix any problem.

But beware the witch with blood-red eyes. For she'll surely consume your soul booze.
---
Eve of Alchemy follows the story of Eve, a less than diligent alchemist, as she deals with yet another self-inflicted problem. After a fun night out, she wakes up with a headache and a message from a blackmailer. If Eve can't get enough money to pay him off, things are going to go south quickly. Luckily, potion crafting can be a lucrative profession and Eve is exceptionally skilled. If only she could be bothered to work...

Characters

Eve - An elf who learned alchemy at a young age. Incredibly lazy, she prefers to live in the moment and ignore future issues.
Jeeves - As Eve's familiar, Jeeves is sworn to assist her in any way possible. Unfortunately for him, that mostly means cooking and running her potion shop.

Gameplay features
  • Gathering - You can't make potions without ingredients. Luckily Eve lives in a healthy forest full of different plants that are perfect for alchemy.
  • Crafting - Take simple plants and items and mix them together to make powerful potions. Will you make healing potions from aloe, or poisons from belladonna? The choice is yours.
  • Selling your potions - It's nice to make potions, but they're worthless to a non-combatant like Eve. Good thing there are many adventurers out there who are happy to buy the potions from you.
  • No combat - Eve isn't one to get into battles (outside of a drunken brawl or two), so there is no fighting in this game.
Quick guide to crafting

The main point of the entire game is to collect ingredients and put them together to make all sorts of different potions. So here's a quick look at how it works.

First you have to choose your ingredients. Make your choice and put them down on your workbench. Keep in mind that most potions require certain amounts of ingredients to work!


Once you've gotten your ingredients all prepped, it's time to use your cauldron and mix everything together.


If you've done it right, then you'll get a potion! Careful though, mess up one ingredient and you'll end up with the failure known as Ooze.


Don't forget to check out your recipe book in the menu to help keep track of what recipes you already know. You're not limited to the recipes in the book though, so try your own recipes and see if it will make a brand-new potion.​

The Demo
Since crafting is such an important part of the game, I really want to get feedback on how understandable and usable it is. To help with that, I've put together a demo that lets the player focus on gathering and crafting, without anything else to get in the way.

This demo takes a look at Eve's past, when she was just starting to learn about alchemy. Tag along with Eve as she tries to prove to her guardian, Gran, that she is ready to be called an alchemist. It's up to you whether to focus on the recipes Eve already knows, or if you want to try your hand at making unknown potions.

Demo screenshots

Gran's house. A small but cozy place to live, far from the bustle of town life.​


Morning in the forest. Almost everything you need for alchemy can be found here.


While the forest may be healthy, it does have some less lush areas.





Click to download the demo (I don't have a mac, so just let me know if the mac demo doesn't work)

I need your help!
This game is still in early development, so I need to know what y'all think of the systems. Let me know what works, what needs work, and what is just broken. Please let me know if you managed to learn new recipes, and what potions you focused on.

Credits
Graphics
Pixel Myth - Sharm

Music
Ms Littlefish
Scythuz

Plugins
Yanfly
Reedo
Shaz
Victor Sant
Galv
Ossra
mjshi
Galemereth

Thanks for taking a look, let me know what you think!
 
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mlogan

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Oooooh... downloaded, can't wait to eek out some time to try it.
 

parallax

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Played for a bit, some things I noted.

  • Icons on the table I assume will be changed to be more fitting for the ingredients put onto the table, if you move forward with the project.
  • The sounds for making potions seems like it should be more magical and whimsical to fit the theme.
  • On the "?" mound below Gran's house it seems to have a spelling error, it is Fer instead of For, unless that is meant to be there.
  • Potions all seem to make Ooze, not sure if you just didn't add those potions due to just wanting to see if the process felt good or not.



A mechanic/feature thought I had while playing.


[SIZE=14.666666666666666px]I think removing the icons that show above plants and sources in the world and replacing it with some kind of learning mechanic would make the game more enjoyable. Kind of like a makeshift alchemy book created by the player. Instead of directly saying “here is an ingredient!”, let the player learn to recognize the plants and sources.[/SIZE] You could make it a mini tutorial by Gran there and she can teach you how to identify plants or something like that.

I believe you got a gem here, keep at it.
 

Eraine

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Hi!


Played your demo twice, I really like the concept and the look of this game! Some thoughts about it in the spoiler below:

I haven't played for more than a few in game days, and I'm not sure if the demo has a definite ending (Gran says one week, but I didn't play long enough to see if it really ends then), but if there really are seven days, it would be nice to know which day you're one. Something like "it is day 2 now, yesterday I made 4 potion" would help already.


I also think time goes very quickly. My first game, I passed out because I didn't know I could. Some like "I better head home now, or I'll faint" would have been a nice warning. Also, because it doesn't show days/dates, you have no clue if you actually lost a day like it says.


I like the gathering and crafting, but I think it would benefit from a recipe that would stay onscreen during crafting. I had to go back and forth into the menu a lot (short memory :)) while crafting. I made some recipes I found in the house and below. I did try a few random guesses, but even trying to craft the willowbark tea Gran mentioned (water, willowbark, honey) came out as ooze. To me, there are to little clues to make experimenting worthwhile atm. Maybe some hints in the recipebook would help. Something along the lines of "sweetflavored, shiny potion with a dangerous edge" would give me the feeling experimenting with honey, golddust and belladonna could give results. Now it really a random guess. And as there also doesn't seem to be a "close, but just off" outcome, there's no way of knowing if you're on the right track.



Well, hope this helps and I'm really interested to see how this game will be!!
 

hiddenone

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@parallax  Thanks for the great feedback and giving the demo a go.  Let me go over your notes one at a time:

  • Icons on the table I assume will be changed to be more fitting for the ingredients put onto the table, if you move forward with the project.


    That is exactly right, once I have things settled I'll be making the ingredients be put on the table, not the icons.  The icons are for ease of testing, and to keep me from making 50 different plant tiles that I end up not using.

[*]The sounds for making potions seems like it should be more magical and whimsical to fit the theme.

  • Good suggestion, I haven't focused on the sounds as much as I need to yet.  I'll look into getting a better potion-crafting sound.

[*]On the "?" mound below Gran's house it seems to have a spelling error, it is Fer instead of For, unless that is meant to be there.

  • It is supposed to be 'fer'.  I want Eve to have a slightly rough way of talking, and I'm still working out the kinks to give her a uncommon voice but still be understandable.

[*]Potions all seem to make Ooze, not sure if you just didn't add those potions due to just wanting to see if the process felt good or not.

  • Please tell me that it's not the recipes that are in the book that are making Ooze, I thought I'd fixed that.  :|   If you're trying to make your own potions, it is currently a bit tough to find an actual recipe since there are only about 30 at the moment.  I'm going to be adding more so that there's less of a chance of failing, but for now it's limited.


As for your suggested mechanic, I really like the idea!  I do want to make finding ingredients less obvious, but I also don't want to force the player to click on every plant in hopes of getting something.  Perhaps I can add an ingredients notebook, which has a picture of the sources once you've collected the ingredient.



@Eraine  Thanks for trying it out!

There a definite ending after seven days pass.  A notification of the day is a good idea and I actually did have one before, not sure why I removed it (most likely deleted it on accident), so I'll add that back in.


Time does pass quickly, and in the actual game it will be much slower.  I put it relatively quick in the demo mostly to see if people would try to stay up all night.  Good to know I should include a mention of the consequences of staying up.  :)


Recipes can actually stay onscreen, if you click on the potion in the recipe book it will be a pop-up above your head.  It does disappear after a bit, but you can put ingredients down and get the potion ready while it's up.


Hmm, I hadn't thought of adding honey to the tea, I'll add that in as an option.  Because of the limited recipes, I understand experimenting is quite hit-and-miss at the moment.  I'm currently trying to decide on a good way to hint at recipes, I'm thinking about either a studying option where you can spend time and learn about an ingredient and where it's used, or maybe if you make enough of the same type of potion you have an epiphany about a different recipe.  The hint idea is a good suggestion, I'll see if I can add that in instead of just listing 'recipes:' in the book.



I'm playing around with how the recipe book is presented, mostly changing it to give you more details about unknown recipes.  Instead of just question marks,  I'm separating it so you can tell how many different ingredients are in the recipe.  It doesn't tell you if you need more than one of the ingredient, but it should help a little when I update the demo.


 
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Potions all seem to make Ooze, not sure if you just didn't add those potions due to just wanting to see if the process felt good or not.


I think he had the same problem I had, maybe he has the same brain as me and reads the recipe book wrong BD
 

Eraine

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@hiddenone So there really is willowbark tea in the recipes? Firing up the demo now, have to go back and try to make it again!! :)


In response to your and other answers: I was able to make all the potions that I had recipes for btw, they didn't turn to Ooze like the other players say.


And I did found out about the "recipe stays onscreen" actually, but for me, it didn't stay onscreen long enough to put my stuff on the tables. It felt like it disappeared when I started moving towards a table.


Oh, and another thing I forgot to mention yesterday: it would also be nice to be able to make more of a potion at a time, if you have enough ingredients. Don't know if that's something you'll be looking at? It might be complicated because of current mechanism with the tables, but maybe a "repeat this potion" pr something would reduce the constant switching between inventory and gameworld when making potions.


edit: Ha! Made the willow tea! :D
 
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Leon Kennedy

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Tried out your game, first off the size of it is something to complement 42 mb is crazy small haha. I like the visuals all around, outside looks cool. As already mentioned making the potions was kinda hard but ik ur working on that. Only problem I had I don't see mentioned above is framedrops, especially on the left size of the map for some reason, could just be me but my computer is to decent for rpgmv to be lagging it just being honest haha. Besides those game looks great, day/night mechanics are cool, I like how the potion system looks like it will be. Good job.
 

palinskyjoe

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I am a huge fan of your resources and I wanted to try this, but it seems that the demo is only for PC. Is this right? I downloaded it and only saw an .exe file. If that's the case, I'm sad I can't check it out. But it LOOKS awesome. And I love crafting games, so the interface seems exciting. :D


I know it isn't always easy or possible to make a Mac-compatible demo so I'm not expecting you to go out of your way to do that or anything. But, if I missed the file somehow, I'd love to know ;)
 

hiddenone

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@Eraine Good to hear you got the willow tea working.  I thought about your repeat potion suggestion, and am working on getting a 'fast craft' set up so that you can make the same potion quickly.  It seems to be working, so it'll be in the next updated demo. :)


@Leon Kennedy  It's amazing how small you can get a download when you rip out all the extra animations and sounds.  Thanks for letting me know about the lag.  I'm not quite sure why it's happening, but I'll look into it.


@palinskyjoe  The demo is currently only for pc, yes.  I can try to make a mac download, but no promises that it'll work.  When I update the demo I'll include a link for macs. :)


Well, I wanted to get out the updated demo this weekend, but life conspired to murder my computer. ;_;   Good news is that I had just backed everything up, so it's all safe, but I won't be able to get the demo up and running until I get a working laptop that can deal with mv.  For now, here's a look at the updated recipe book, which definitely shows more info than before.


 

watermark

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Hi hiddenone, as you know I love your stuff! It's good to see you're joining us on the game making side as well.  :D


So I downloaded your demo. Here are my thoughts:


* I really like how you have to lay out the ingredients. This is so much more fun than the traditional select recipe click "make" crafting system.


* The gathering phase works really well. I like how you utilize proximity scripts to show what to gather.


* I am not sure if the order of the ingredients matter, as sometimes I made sparkling potion and other times just regular healing potion. Or is this simply due to random chance? It is a cool idea if you can make better potions when you get both the order and ingredients right.


* I also experienced lag as reported by other players. Especially in the crafting hut. I am not sure why.


*  Since the core aspect of Eve is the Alchemy crafting system, you might have to make it somewhat more complicated as the game progresses to keep player interest. There's a few different directions you can take this:


 A. Mechanical - in addition to ingredients, higher ranking recipes require successful order of key presses or mouse motions, similar to cooking games such as Cooking Mama, Cook Serve Delicious, etc.


B. Tools - initial recipes could just be throw everything into the cauldron. Advanced recipes may require you to crush certain ingredients in mortar, distill others in an alembic, and drain it through a sand bath.


C. Meta Rules - To encourage experimentation, there could be general rules of mixing instead of just random guessing, a set of meta rules if you will. This is inspired by real life culinary science. I read this article that said flavor organizations have these huge databases that divides all foods into individual flavors, and they have this A.I. that mixes up new dishes based on chemical and flavor compatibility of foods, creating some truly outrageous but delicious new fusion dishes. Perhaps each alchemy ingredient has a set of hidden(or shown) "traits" that when used together will produce wonderful results.


Of course, making a crafting system too complicated will make it not fun as well. The challenge as always is to find the best balance between simplicity and features.


Anyways, just my thoughts. Hope they're of help. Good luck, will be following this!
 

hiddenone

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@watermark  Well, I figured at some point I should actually use MV to make a game, not just test graphics. :p   Thanks for the feedback, I think I have an idea of what could be causing the lag, especially if it's major inside, so once I can work on the game again I'll look into it.  Sparkling potions are random chance, the order of ingredients doesn't matter (though the more you make certain potions the more often you can get high quality potions).


I do have some vague plans for making the crafting system deeper, but nothing's concrete yet so your ideas are really appreciated.

  • Mechanical - As someone who has quite a bit of trouble with quick-time events, I wasn't planning on having any involved when it comes to the chance of making potions.  But I can see a few ways to use them, perhaps to increase the quality or to get more ingredients while harvesting.  I'll think on it more.
  • Tools - I thought about including tools to prepare ingredients for crafting, but it quickly spiraled out of control and led to a long and convoluted process that wasn't much fun, so I scrapped them.  Having the tools used for only certain recipes would be a lot easier though, so I'll need to play around with the idea.
  • Meta rules - There actually is a touch of method to my madness when it comes to ingredients.  I looked into the items I wanted to have as ingredients, and keep in mind what they have been used for in real life (such as aloe being used in medicines).  It's currently all stored in my head though.  But showing at least some of the details in the game would actually work well with an ingredient notebook I'm contemplating adding, so it sounds like I should get the rules written done.

Thanks for the ideas and thoughts, reading them really gets my mind going with future plans for the game. :)
 

Fireworker

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Looking good, going to check this out as soon as possible!
 

MegamiNoGame

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Hey, I just tried out your game, it's pretty good, but all potions i was able to make habe been health potions.
I found two recipes, but I didn't understand how to make other potions when health potions with them...
 

Edilsonsoares

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I loved the fact that I could open and close the furniture
And the map is incredible inside the house and in the forest too, the only thing I did not like a little bit is that there are many items scattered around the map, many even, it bothers me a bit because overloads, this is not a real problem Just a detail :yhappy:
But I play this note 10, congratulations
keep it up
 

hiddenone

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@MegamiNoGame You should be able to make other types of potions besides health potions, but it'll take some experimentation.

@Edilsonsoares I'm glad you like the opening and closing furniture, I thought it'd be a nice touch and make it easier to remember where you've already looked. All the items outside are actually there for a reason, I wanted to make sure players would have enough ingredients to really test my crafting system. The actual game won't have nearly as many in one spot.

I had to take some time away from this game, but I'm finally getting back into the groove. Besides my hunt for a bust artist, I've started working on the main village Eve visits and some of the people who live there.
 

ScientistWD

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I saw this demo some time ago, but since then it has become a lot more interesting!

  • The Crafting System is wonderful. I was trying to figure out how to make a better crafting system for my game, and I find yours to be inspiring! I don't know why I didn't think of it before.
  • I really like that the icons appear when I get close to something. One still has to explore, but now one knows what can be obtained and what can't be obtained. An essential touch.
  • Some of the recipes gave hints as to their composition. It was quite gratifying to have guessed some of them. I wish that it worked more often.
  • The art is very nice.
  • The Ooze Crystal thing was my favorite recipe. I actually like how sometimes recipes fail if you don't do it right.

See here?
Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 6.26.08 PM.png
I'm inside the "walls" of the trees. It's because of the tiles above the character's head, I think. Shouldn't be too tough to fix.
Furthermore, I'm not particularly keen on the default icons that you use. If nothing else, try Yanfly's icon customizer thing to make some fresh ones. The nice thing is that you'll be able to make items like poppies and mushrooms red in color to help communicate what they're about. In a game about items, the icons are a bit underwhelming. Despite the good descriptions.
I also actually had trouble reading recipe cards sometimes. I couldn't tell if a number for a recipe went with the item on its right or its left. Being able to click on a recipe to have the card show over one's head was great, but it disappeared quickly and I made mistakes as a result.

I'm just throwing these out there, but...
  • I would assume that in the future, either people or other ancient teachings like books or tablets would hold hints on how to create recipes that I see in the book.
  • A list of items when one clicks "items" in the menu is good and fine. But I must say that such an interface is actually a bit... stale! Granted, an Alchemist would probably literally keep track of their items in the form of a list. New ways to visualize and interact with the inventory and the items gained and collected could go a long way.
  • I see you dancing around with new crafting mechanics and mechanisms, so there is one thing I might recommend. If you make a new system or tool, I think it's appropriate that, if applicable, the same recipes should still work on it. What I mean is that, if you take the ingredients for a Health Potion and use them the new way OR the default way, they will both yield Health Potions. I'm not quite sure why I'd make this choice, but I would. I think a throughline of consistency, maybe, is why this seems like such a good idea to me.
  • I once tried to make a Minecraft mod... and as I studied the nature of crafting systems, I noticed a few patters. The basic crafting you have is kind of midrange, which is to say that it requires a handful of individual ingredients. Never more than five total. But as you brainstorm for more types of crafting, maybe consider these two? Big consolidation type recipes, which use a huge number of "easy" or "common" items to create a singular output, are some of my favorite. For instance, putting like two or three dozen of Gold Dust together into a "Golden Statue" or something similar. Secondly, smaller prizebox recipes, where putting one or two rare items together produce a large number of either common or unique resources otherwise unattainable. Like finding a "Moonlight Daisy" that's really rare, and it can be broken into 40 or something "Moonlight Daisy Petals" that can't be gotten any other way and therefore need to be appropriately rationed. Something like that! Those are my random ideas!

Thank you very much for letting me play your game. Please, do your best in the future, too!
 

hiddenone

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@ScientistWD Thanks for giving my demo a try! It's great to see that you like the crafting system, I'm quite happy with how it works (even though I'm still tweaking it to be just right). Haha, glad you like the ooze crystal, it'll actually be useful in the real game!

Thanks for pointing out some of the problems, would you believe that Eve's just an amazing tree climber? :kaoswt2: That is an easy fix though, I just forgot to put down a tile. The icons will be changed, but I haven't decided on a style yet so I wanted to stick with the boring ones until I had some that I wouldn't keep changing. Sounds like I need to put more work into the recipe cards (which I expected), the numbers appear before the ingredient (so ??? | 3 ???' would be something like 'honey | 3 waters'). I'm actually completely changing how the recipe list is presented though, so I'll keep in mind making sure things are as clear as possible.

You've got some good future ideas, a few of them are already on my list to do! :kaopride: You'll be able to study to learn more about ingredients and potions, and there will be a few items that can be made or broken down to get specific ingredients that you need for rarer potions. I agree that the current item list is boring, I need to do some thinking to see if I can either make a pouch you can look into to see what you've got or if I can make Eve keep track of her items in her handy-dandy notebook.


The poor employees still need shaded, but at least Eve won't be living in an empty world.​
 

Jeremiah Eastman

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Hey there, I just played through your demo and really enjoyed it. There was something addicting about grabbing each one of those ingredient pop ups whenever there are any up. The crafting system is really fun to experiment with, though I wish there was more honey.:smile: But in any case I'd say your crafting system is a big win. It works really well, I liked how you could click on the cauldron to create the previous potion made.

As for recipes I made a little over half of them before the test was up. I think I had ran out of some ingredients though that kept me from learning more, like the honey, I'm not sure if there were others. The recipe pop up window was very nice but I also think it should last longer before disappearing, maybe have an option to adjust that rate.

One issue I had in my play through was when I would sleep and the message would pop up about how many potions I had made it was always 0 no matter how many potions I made or sold to Gran. I was kind of expecting her to want to buy more things but all she wanted was the willow tea and for only 1 day out of the 7.

Love the graphics but then again your graphics are always great, I use some of them in my game.:smile: I really liked the opening and closing drawers, those are a nice touch. The bookshelves that you loot, however, do not have any dialog for after they have been looted, while the normal shelves still have their dialog. Maybe add some followup dialog there but that's pretty minor.

Overall I really liked the demo and look forward to seeing where this one goes. The whole no combat and potion selling could make a pretty fun game and it looks like you are off to a great start with it. The alchemy side of potion making is pretty nice to, keep up the great work.:smile:
 
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Gallia

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Would you like if i test and review the game ? i Always give feedback ;)
 

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