Fae Rebirth: Chapter One - Awakening (Updated 1/8/14!)

ImmortalDreams

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Story

Some things are better left forgotten. They should remain buried in the past. They must never surface. Because if I remember...I’ll wake up.

The first thing Elyn can remember is waking up alone in a forest. After saving a shifter named Kel from soldiers, she gets swept away on his quest to liberate magical creatures from the rule of humans. Traveling north towards a vast mountain range where the key to their success resides is hard enough. Unfortunately, champions of the human king are after them and will stop at nothing to prevent them from succeeding. However, the most dangerous thing of all may not be their enemies, but the secrets surrounding Elyn’s past...and what she’s turning into.
Characters

Elyn
An amnesic young woman with unusual abilities.





Kel


A part human with shifter ancestry. He is on a quest to fulfill his late brother's dying wish.





Ares


A mysterious man who seems to be a part of Elyn’s past.


World

The game is set in a realm called Denad.  Humans live in relative comfort there at the expense of magical creatures. Soldiers enforce that balance, even if it means killing non-humans. The realm is ruled by King Herald Trovenell, the vile descendent of the man who conquered the magical creatures a century past.
Central Country


The heart of the realm. The capital city of Averdene is here. It is dotted with towns and small woods.


Mountains of Estia


The mysteries hidden in its depths are endless. Very few try to discover them, and even fewer succeed. It is also where the mines are held. There, dragons and dwarves are forced to work together and mine whatever the realm demands.


Wilderness


Made up of marshes and vast forests, the wilderness is full of dangerous monsters. Very few dare to go in too deep if at all.
Gameplay

Playtime
Chapter one features less than an hour of gameplay depending on how you go about things.


Style


Fae Rebirth is story driven. It focuses on the characters and the plot more than gameplay. However, there are random encounters and boss battles.


World


The scope of the game world will expand in future chapters. In chapter one, there are two world maps called Wilderness Fringes and Central Country. There is a lot of interesting content in each of those places, some of which you have to work at to find.


System


The system is mostly vanilla with a couple exceptions. Firstly, it includes Yanfly's Ace Battle Engine. Secondly, skills are learned based on usage. Using magic will gain a character more magic skills. The same goes for combat.
Screenshots














Trailer

(Note: This was made for an early version of the demo. It does not reflect the new and improved one.)
Credits

Graphics
Tilesets
Enterbrain
Celianna (Your tilesets are gorgeous! I would be lost without them. Thanks!)


Lunarea(You're a talented artist! I really like your rich/poor tilesets.)
Generator Parts

Enterbrain
RainbowGrenade(I love your teary eyes graphic. A million hugs for how much it adds to any game that uses it!)
Music

Enterbrain
Aaron Krogh(Your music is amazing! We're lucky to have you here.)


McTricky(Love your battle music. You Are The Target is a great theme!)


RyanA(You've written some great stuff! A few of the song titles made me laugh out loud too. eg. *You stole my sandwich! Prepare to die!* LOL!)


DST(Huge collection of free original game music. Great resource. Here's the offsite link.)


Matthew Pablo(Another offsite musician, and a great composer. His song, Soliloquy, is the main theme for this game. Here's the link to his website.)


Alastair Cameron(I've been using his music for years. He charges money now, but I still have some music of his from when it was free. Here's the offsite link.)
Scripts

Enterbrain
modern algebra(Your Lock Actor in Formation script is excellent!)


Melosx(Your Window_SaveFile II script really spices up the look of the save system!)


Yanfly(I tried out your Ace Battle Engine and fell in love! Thanks!)
Download
 
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LoneWolfDon

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Congrats on the release of your Demo. I've been giving it a play for about half-an-hour or so now. Your story that you have started shows you put some thought into it. The two characters that I was able to see so far (Elyn and Kel) seem to be at odds with each other at first, but looks like fate has thrown them together in this world. The little village of Lornly? seems to be the only location I was able to enter / go-into from the World-Map.

It's a nicely made little map, but I'm not sure what to do there. All houses/doors seems locked. Also, I was getting "stopped" walking along some path, until I figured out it was the lamp/light sticking out from a couple of the houses blocking me (maybe make that tile set as a Star-Property on the tile-set to the Player can walk-through it and it appears they become partially translucent so you know you're then "behind" or "below" that object, or it's those lamps are events, make it so they are above the player and the player can walk through them?). I didn't know how to exit that map, until I tried to click on some vegetable in a field I was facing, then it teleported me out of that Village back into the world-map (maybe have it so the Player will automatically transfer to the next map area when they get to the edge of a place that is supposed to transfer them to a different location?).  Seems I'm not able to access anything else in Lornly (yet), so I'm at a bit of a loss there.

Trying to approach what looks to be some other town or settlement, Kel mentions something about getting too close to humans/soldiers, and need to go North.

Trying to go north, forest and trees, but, I can go no further. I been all over the world-map (at least what I can see to access), but I've no idea how to "go north" anymore (I'm at the upper-top edge of the screen and can't walk anymore in that direction. I'm totally lost at this point now. Maybe make it clearer to the Player "how" to go further North? As there's no apparent way that I can find or see, going Eastward, Kel complains about a Dark-Forest).

Random encounters with Rats, Sprites and Slimes was a bit too much (every couple of steps most times). Good for "grinding" for experience perhaps, but, it can soon start to get annoying (after about my 10th random encounter like this, every couple of steps, I was trying to Escape most battles). Random encounters are fine, but, I think you should have it so instead of like every 2 or 3 steps *Bam, Rat*, *Bam, Slime*, maybe every 30+ steps would be more suitable (give the Player a "breather" between encounters, let them walk around and explore a bit without some rat or slime trying to gnaw their face every 2 steps).

In combat, for Attacks, it shows Elyn had a "Hit" attack, and on Kel's screen, a "Hit" and "Hack" attack, but for Kel, I was never allowed to use the Hit attack (only the Hack). If Kel isn't allowed to use the Hit attack, then perhaps remove it as an attack option.

I still did like your game from what I was able to see of it and play so far and has good potential, but perhaps consider some of the things I mention, and I think making some of these changes could help to much improve the game and experience. Hope you don't think I was being too hard on you or your game. Please, keep at it, keep improving upon it, and I think it can become a great game as you continue to develop it. Best wishes and good luck! :)   And, many thanks for sharing your Demo.
 
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ImmortalDreams

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Thanks for giving it a try. I wondered if the encounters were too much, but I wasn't totally sure. Another thing I should probably change is having the player transfer maps by touching rather than pressing the action button. I did try fixing that lamp tile problem, but when I made the top half of the lamp go above the player, it looked split in two on player contact. As for moving forward, the lampposts are supposed to indicate places of interest. Maybe I should use arrows or something instead. Anyways, the buildings with the lampposts are able to be entered via the action button.

Edit: I know it's probably not good to update the game yet, but I felt like I had to change the random encounter issue, so I uploaded a revision. Random encounters are now three times less frequent. Download it here.

Edit 2: Although I probably shouldn't have updated this demo yet again, I felt like I had to fix those map issues. You no longer have to press the action button to get around. I also got rid of the lamps and added lights to indicate places of interest. The new download is here.
 
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Elements

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Played and finished the game last night, gameplay time was roughly 1 hour or so. I didn't really write my thoughts as I was playing, but here's a few things from what I can remember:

  • The encounter rate was insane, I suggest lowering it a LOT, at some point my friends and I were just laughing at how I was engaging rats every 3 steps or so. We made a mental minigame to see what would be the top amount of steps before an encounter, sadly my highest score was 8 :( Edit: Just saw you posted an updated version to address this.
  • Combat needs work too, all enemies had too much HP and there was no real sense of empowerment as I leveled up, not to mention all battles were essentially the same routine: select combat>Select Hit. ocassional heal.
  • Dialogue was cliche at times, but presented in a wrong way, I think it could use some work.
  • Your town map design needs work too, traveling between maps and navigating them was annoying because due to a myriad of issues, for example, in the first town, I didn't even realize where the door to the tavern was during my first run lol.
  • Get rid of having to hit enter to travel between maps and just make the paths more visual, it's an annoying extra step, or at the very least make it so that I don't go between different maps when I'm moving around the edges of the map to enter a house there.
  • The concept itself was cool, it's just the execution of your idea at times that gave it effects you probably didn't intend.
Overall I could tell this was your first game, and it still has a ton of areas for refining (the most critical ones being combat and mapping/map design as of this writing), but I congratulate you on releasing it! this is how people improve. I'm sure that if you take this feedback into account, subsequent chapters will be better. Keep at it~
 
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Dark_Metamorphosis

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I will download this and try it out!

I'll come back to edit this post with some of my thoughts later on! :)
 

LoneWolfDon

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Hi there. I just gave it a quick play again to check out some on the changes you've made.  It's a bit better now, but some other issues (or things that could be improved) that I notice;

* The "Hit" problem with Kel in combat is still there (if Kel is not able to use "Hit" as an option in battle, then perhaps better to remove that option for him. Currently as it is, it makes the battle-system quite cumbersome & confusing, as I keep trying to "Hit" when I see that option, even though I'm able to use it).

* The battle system could be improved upon (maybe add more special attacks and/or spells for the characters, you might also consider using a Battle-Script that may help to spice-up the battle a bit).

* In the Lornly Village, you have glowing-orbs now, indicating where the Player can enter a door.. however, if I walk over this spot, I can't interact with it, and I only found out only by luck that I had to walk-off that spot, then walk back-on and be exactly facing-left in order for it to work. Maybe make glowing spots to be intractable (be able to use Action button) when on it, as this caused a problem later on that was a game-breaking bug... I found some area in the Northern Forest (lots of treasure chests, perhaps too many treasure cheat, and/or maybe too many potions you're giving the player, kind of over saturates the items the Player gains perhaps?), but yeah, I went through some crack-in-a-wall, ended outside what looked maybe a castle wall, right up against the edge of some trees. I could only walk left and right a few steps. I could see the "glowing spot" for where the crack was, but, no matter what I did, I was not able to walk-into the crack or activate it (and I didn't have room to walk-down and walk-up into the crack, so I could never enter it that way), thus, a game-breaking bug that had me stuck in this small spot.

You're on the right-track, it's shaping into a really nice game and interesting story. And your game is better now after some of the improvement you've made so far. Keep at it, and good luck. :)

PS: The choice of music in your game is quite nice too.
 

ImmortalDreams

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Thanks for the reply. I'll work on the battle system. I'll also see what I can do about the navigational issues. Also, the amount of treasure chests and their rewards are left over from when random encounters were too high. I'll reduce the quantity.
 
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monkeynohito

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I agree with everything Elements had to say with a few additions and minus some of the things you've updated:

-This chapter's pace was really fast and the dialog pretty abrupt. I went to the town, found a locked door, talked to two people and *boom* I was gone before I had a chance to explore. The dialog was also seriously expository, more focused on feeding information and advancing the plot than developing character. The conversation with the gypsy woman felt just about right as far as character/plot development ratio. Go over the rest of the dialog and see where you can cut some exposition, leave some for later and add some personality. They're all brief enough that you don't have to worry about them going on too long.

-The town and forest maps are seriously cramped too. A few areas were like trying to walk a tightrope between teleport events.
 

Indrah

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RSW is about feedback, so here goes. Notes as I go along:

-Wow, the title is 3D and then suddenly RTP maps? That’s a rather jarring difference.

-The credits at the start seem rather unnecessary since they’re so short. Having them there with their own music at all is just abrupt and slightly confusing.

-I have to say, generator faces trying to portray emotions…don’t work very well. Especially the normal/crying variants of the girl are just…creepy XD

-Mapping is rather barebones and mediocre at best.

-Writing seems a bit forced. Why is the girl suddenly helping a stranger? Is she an expert? Is she just suicidally compassionate?

-…What? Why is he suddenly saying I’m human? It’s not like he looks any different. Why are we suddenly talking races like it’s the norm…? Some context added here would help.

-She says herself she has complete amnesia after moving ONE screen down and engaging in battle? She’s certainly not acting that confused.

-The reasons why they get together are very shaky, even more considered they met seconds ago. I’d recommend pacing this part a bit, making them walk around together for a bit before this. It’s all too sudden and unexplained as it is.

-Mapping of the interior houses has some glaring flaws: the outer walls are made with table autotiles, the rugs are wildly wrong (you don’t get rugs in thin empty  square borders…) and the fireplaces are in the centre without any supports.

-Town exterior mapping can be called bland at best, and there’re is no shift mapping at all, making borders pretty clunky.

-Potions recover a ridiculously low amount of hp. To recover both members I had to spend ALL the potions I got in a 10x chest -.-

-What is up with the Hit command? Why can’t I use it now? It lacks any sort of explanation. (Much like fight lacks any sort of variation or strategy)

-Minor nitpick, but when finding items, the letters flashing HUGE across the screen destroy immersion.

-The cave darkness is ridiculous. I can barely see, but it’s not even a “thematic” darkness, it’s just an annoyance. Coupled with the fact that combats are extremely dark too, it’s just bad execution.

-I can’t be arsed to care about the story. Delivery is dry and bland.

-The dialog is just…bad. Not terrible language-wise, but it’s not engaging at all: I can’t bring myself to care for the characters, they seem to have no personality or purpose other than pushing the plot along awkwardly, and even then they do a rather ham-fisted job of it.

-Gave up after campfire scene. Can’t be bothered to continue.

…How do I say this? The game is just not FUN. None of the single elements are devastatingly terrible, but they range from mediocre to bland, and the end product is just…something not very enjoyable.

Mapping is barebones and empty, dialog has flair and is pretty forced. Characters have no personality, the plot is not enagaging. Combat is entirely boring and there is nothing else to gameplay.

I know this is harsh, but it’s as I feel. There is nothing wrong with the premise of the game, but the execution is poor. Try to see things from a player perspective: to play a game, you must be driven by SOMETHING. It may be a good story, or a good gameplay (if it’s both then that’s awesome) but…as it is now, this game has neither. I have no reason to want to keep playing, and that’s the problem.

I’d recommend getting some help: revamp…well, everything. Mapping and combat need a very severe spicing up to make bereable if not at least interesting. Dialog…I’d recommend getting an editor or someone to help along and remake that too.

Other than that some resources (facesets, the title screen, etc) feel a bit disjointed, but are not as urgent to fix.

In any case, hope this feedback helps at all, and good luck with your game.

And hey, don't misunderstand: if this was your first game, then all of these are to be EXPECTED. COngratulations on finishign something you can put up for feedback! it's the best way to improve (rofl Elements already said all this and now I look like a dork. Damn you Elements! XD)
 
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Elements

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Not trying to start anything here, but I think It is pretty poor in taste to ignore commenting on received critique, or give a direct reply to those who gave it imo.
 

ImmortalDreams

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I'm sorry for not replying sooner. I really do appreciate everyone's critiques. It's just that this game means a lot to me, and I've been taking the criticism really hard. I've been avoiding the forums for days, and I'm sorry if I offended anyone in the process. So, here are my replies:

Elements:

  • The high encounter rate was pretty horrendous, so that's one of the first things I fixed.
  • I hope I've since made the battles a little more interesting. I switched to Yanfly's Ace Battle Engine, and re-added the Attack and Guard commands. Special combat skills have replaced the old ones, and magic skills are learned more quickly.
  • As for my dialog being cliche and wrong, I'll see what I can do. I like to think of myself as a good writer, but maybe I'm trying to shorten things too much because this is a game.
  • I've tried to make my maps easier to navigate, but perhaps they are a little too condensed and poorly designed. I added lights to indicate entrances, exits, and things of interest.
  • I got rid of needing to press enter when traveling between maps, with the exception of doors and ladders. Hopefully that will make things less cumbersome.
This is my first RPG Maker game, and I undoubtedly made several mistakes. I can only take your advice to heart and try to improve. Thanks for your feedback.

monkeynohito:

  • Sorry if my dialog is too abrupt and things moved too fast. I just didn't want to overload everyone with too much information. This is supposed to be a RPG, not a visual novel, but perhaps I didn't balance the pacing properly for this kind of game. Since your reply, I added more interiors to Lornly with more characters to talk to. Still, they don't have nearly as much to say as the gypsy. I'm still working on one of them who should be more interesting to talk to. Also, you don't have to leave with Bo right away anymore. Exploring after talking to him is now possible. I hope that helps. My dialog may lack enough personality, but, again, I was trying to minimalize the amount of text people had to read. I can definitely work on that.
  • I tried to make the maps a little less cramped. I expanded Lornly on the bottom, and I removed several rocks from the haunted woods.
Thank you very much for your reply. I do value the input.

Indrah:

  • I used a 3D main menu because I'm a bit art impaired and wanted it to look appealing.
  • I used opening credits for effect like you might do in a movie.
  • Generator faces portraying emotions looks better to me than no emotion at all. I'm trying to make the best of the resources available to me.
  • Elyn helped Kel because, despite her amnesia, she is a very compassionate person, and she has good instincts. I'm sorry if that seems unrealistic, but if someone could prevent a terrified person from being murdered right in front of them, wouldn't they do something?
  • As for Elyn wanting to go on Kel's quest, he's the first person she can remember that she feels any amount of trust with. How can she imagine any other options? You are probably right about needing to expand things, though. I'll look into it.
  • I think it's been confirmed that my mapping needs work. Thanks for the specifics, though.
  • As I said to Elements, I've worked on battle improvements. As for the 10 potions, you might have played an older version of the game when there were too many chest items. Also, Kel has a healing skill, so potions aren't always necessary.
  • I did make that cave too dark. Sorry. I think I'll just make darker looking tiles and turn up the lights.
  • I'm sorry you didn't like my dialog, plot or characters. Maybe the story concept isn't for you. I can respect that. I do get the impression that my writing quality could use some work though.
Thanks for your critique. I'll work on trying to make this game better.
 

Elements

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I could tell that the game means a lot to you, and how much work you've put into it, that's why I offered advice on certain elements.

My critique isn't meant to discourage you from continuing this game, it is meant to shed some light on areas to continue and improve :)
 

monkeynohito

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I'm sorry to hear you've felt discouraged, I understand that. There were some things you did right too.

There's areas where I can see you have some nice potential with dialog and that's why I wanted you to take it a little slower and let that talent come out more. Like I said, the gypsy felt all right, the pace, info and personality were there, compare her scene to some of the others and think about how they stack up.

I can tell you also put a lot of thought into your world details, there's a lot of stuff going on there, but it was just presented a little too all at once and Elyn still knew some things I didn't. Keep in mind, Elyn's amnesia is a great opportunity for Kel to explain things to her when she/the player gets confused by something. That's why the amnesia trope shows up so much, it's an effective device for main characters and audience to discover things at the same pace. Kel introducing her to the world can really help build their relationship too.

Also, the most important thing you have going for you, you actually released something despite your inexperience. There's plenty of people can talk a good game, but they haven't released anything and might not have even put much real work into anything, myself included. You're already well on the way to improving your skills by putting something out there and learning from the critique. :D
 

L'Antipatico 2.0

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It's not that bad for a first game, it has some obvious flaws but I've certainly seen far worse games around.

The mapping could use more work, and also the dialogues, and may I suggest you to create mapped enemies?

They're easy to implement...I personally hate like the plague the ugly random battles included in almost every game.

If this project really means a lot to you, don't be discouraged and try to learn from your mistakes.

Remember that:

"criticism should make you stronger"

Good luck with everything.
 
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Eschaton

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Can you give the characters offensive spells, or weapons at the beginning of the game?  I can't buy the characters killing trained soldiers and a giant with their bare hands.
 

ImmortalDreams

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Can you give the characters offensive spells, or weapons at the beginning of the game?  I can't buy the characters killing trained soldiers and a giant with their bare hands.
I can't do that. Sorry it bothers you.
 

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