Fragile Demo

Joshua Harrison

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Updates: See the bottom for information on the current Demo V1.6.3

I am currently taking a break from this project. I have spent many sleepless nights and pretty much all of my Christmas break before college starts back up working on this.

It is getting to a point where I am starting to be pleased with it but I will not be doing any hard-core work for a while unless I receive comments about some high-priority changes. When I do come back I want to do another re-haul of the text, check all the grammar, perhaps add more conversation and just make it easier to read. After that my focus will be to create a pleasant environment. I want people to play the game and think, oh wow... this is pretty.

 ​
 

 ​
Fragile
 ​
Meet the Silly Man Behind the Curtain
Hey guys!

I'm Josh and I only recently purchased RPG Maker VX Ace about four days prior to posting this message. I'm a music director who was looking for some work as a composer in the indie game market and I decided to see what it took to make a game, so I started this little project.

It's a lot of fun and I put a ton of hours into it.... definitely not as many as others have but my game isn't really that long. I would consider this an RPG/ Visual Novel.

I was originally working on a horror game but became engrossed with story writing so it became a little more, mystery novelish..... I noticed as I got better with the engine that I made things more enticing, so i'm constantly going back to re-map, add dialogue and such to try and keep the players interested until they reach those points when the story really kicks in.

And of course, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart if you decide to dedicate an hour of your life to checking this game out.... It may be slow-starting, but your comments will help me make sure that it is an enjoyable and entertaining experience for many more. Thank you.

And to those who don't want to spend an hour, have a drink on me... unless you're too young.... then you can have a soda... if you don't like soda... well... I'll get you some pickled okra or something.....

Setting
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This is a primarily story driven mystery/puzzle game made with RPG Maker VX Ace. The gameplay is estimated at 45-90 minutes with all three available paths. It offers mystery, comedy and romance all in one. What this game may lack in current gameplay I hope will surprise with it's interesting, gripping and dynamic storyline, and it's original soundtrack.

The mind certainly is a fragile thing... Of all the muscles in our body, it is quite possibly one of the hardest to maintain... Or recover..​
We humans rely on "things" to keep us sane.​
Because life is something we cannot do alone.​
We require constant companionship.​
We require constant love.​
We require constant pleasure.​
Yes indeed... the mind is a terrible things to waste.​
It certainly is a..... Fragile .....thing​
 ​

Characters
 ​
Your name is John Jacobs. A highly charismatic man whose father is the CEO of a big company. You wanted to follow in his footsteps so you convinced him to send you to New York to attend college. You recently graduated college with an unwanted degree. You almost flunked out and was only able to graduate by switching majors. You moved across the states to avoid showing your father of your failures and you currently work as a door to door salesman for a small company. One day you are making your routine rounds and you find yourself in an unexpected development.

Credits
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Made with RPG Maker VX Ace.

 

I composed and own all the music in this game.

 

Event Follower Script by Tsukihime

 

Regional Effects Script by Galv

 

Particle Effects Script by Arevulopapo

 

Mack's Tilesets

Screenshots
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V1.6.3 Is available!

Version notes: from 1.6, fixed gamebreaking bugs and smoothed out event sequences, custom title screen, redone color scheme etc. 1.6.1 cleaned up some confusing moments and added more direction to player, also removed player irritations like movement sounds. 1.6.2 added some more interactive content to keep players interested, made some realism adjustments IE: regional BGS variance on clocks etc. 1.6.3 Added new tilesets and still adding more "explorable" content.

Looking to the future. Aside from wanting custom textures and character sprites; (I can dream right?) I would love to re-design makes to be more pleasing and captivating to the player, check and double check dialogue for clarity and grammar, add more and more interactive side-content, possibly expand the "world" a bit to add some variety (unsure, this is a short game and may not need it)

Yall's comments really do help me make this game a more enjoyable experience for everyone!
 
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Super Galaxy Convoy

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I think that your story is quite interesting, I can't say much right now but what I would say is that you should have someone proofread your story and dialogue. Based on your screenshots, I can see a bit of grammatical errors.

In the first screenshot;

I don't think that is how you are supposed to use ellipsis. Ellipsis are usually used when you want to show a break when you are quoting a huge amounts of text and don't want to write the whole thing. They're also use to show when someone got cut off before they can finish speaking. So replace the first ellipsis with a comma and as for the second ellipsis; I don't know if he got cut off or not but if he does, then keep it, if not then replace it with a period. Also, ellipsis are just three dots. There is also a grammatical error and that is that you should use "damned" instead of "damn".

In the second screenshot:

There should be a comma between great and Joanna.

In the third screenshot:

Again, wrong use of the ellipsis, a comma would be just fine here. The dialogue would flow better if it is written like this:

"It's so beautiful here, you never would've guess what we just went through."

Now, I'm not trying to put you down or anything, I can overlook a couple of grammatical errors, misuse of ellipsis, missing commas, etc. here and there, you should still have someone proofread your dialogues and text anyway.
 

Joshua Harrison

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I think that your story is quite interesting, I can't say much right now but what I would say is that you should have someone proofread your story and dialogue. Based on your screenshots, I can see a bit of grammatical errors.

In the first screenshot;

I don't think that is how you are supposed to use ellipsis. Ellipsis are usually used when you want to show a break when you are quoting a huge amounts of text and don't want to write the whole thing. They're also use to show when someone got cut off before they can finish speaking. So replace the first ellipsis with a comma and as for the second ellipsis; I don't know if he got cut off or not but if he does, then keep it, if not then replace it with a period. Also, ellipsis are just three dots. There is also a grammatical error and that is that you should use "damned" instead of "damn".

In the second screenshot:

There should be a comma between great and Joanna.

In the third screenshot:

Again, wrong use of the ellipsis, a comma would be just fine here. The dialogue would flow better if it is written like this:

"It's so beautiful here, you never would've guess what we just went through."

Now, I'm not trying to put you down or anything, I can overlook a couple of grammatical errors, misuse of ellipsis, missing commas, etc. here and there, you should still have someone proofread your dialogues and text anyway.
I appreciate that actually. I'm kind of doing this in layers; build all the maps, place the events etc... Then go back and make the maps pretty, clean up triggers, fix text so on so forth. So that is definitely on my pile of "things to do."  

I honestly didn't know that "ellipsis" was an actual form... I always thought of it as a sort of... pause from dramatic effect (like that,) used in these types of situations. 

If that's incorrect, what advice do you have to handle this? Or should I just use the regular comma. It does break the sentence and seemingly place stress, but sometimes I feel like it doesn't quite cut it. Should I perhaps instead just,

Leave it hanging and end the sentence in the next text?
 
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Harmill

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I downloaded the demo, and here is some feedback that I'm providing as I play:

  • Opening dialogue has a delay before you can proceed to the next text box. I'd recommend removing it because you are slowing down someone's progress through the scene if they read quickly.
  • After the black background vanishes, I see a few people running around very quickly. It looks strange to see them running that fast and in such haphazard ways.
  • "only way I could get in was to get a degree in xxxxx" -- Is it supposed to be "xxxxx" like that or is that placeholder?
  • Oh jeez! That sound effect when Jack moves is annoying! I'd definitely remove it or change it to something more subtle / easy on the ears. When you dash, the sheer rapidness of the sound effect is really annoying. But really, I don't feel like sound effects for moving on terrain have a place in a 2d top-down game anyway.
  • OK, inside the first house, you have the cat trigger it's "meow" on Event Touch, which means that if I walk up to it, it will play the "meow" over and over until either the cat or I move away from each other. And if I hold the directional key down towards the cat, it will spam the "meow" sound. Normally, you want these types of sound effects to be triggered on Action Button so that it only "meows" when I press Enter against the cat.
  • Whoah k, I know I already mentioned the movement sound effects but I just moved onto carpet and the sound effect doesn't even sound like something that I would hear walking on carpet. It sounds like you've manipulated a water sound effect.
  • In that west room with the green carpet, the first time I interacted with the scrolls on the desk, the hooded man said something. It was weird because he's not actually in the room. And then subsequent attempts to interact with the scrolls, the hooded man doesn't say anything.
  • It is weird that if I try to enter the east room, Jack says he shouldn't go prowling around, and yet there's nothing preventing me from going into the west room or just walking straight past the hooded man northward.
  • I like that everything can be interacted with -- it adds a nice touch for explorers like myself. However, when I walked north of the hooded man, there are two helmets sitting on a desk and two suits of armour. Of these four objects, only the helmet on the right can be interacted with, which is an inconsistency. If you're going to make things interactable, you need to commit it to it at least have a clear distinction between something you can interact with, and something you can't.
  • Haha, I like how when you step on the throne, he sits down and makes that "Ahh, comfy" comment.
  • I'm not sure if the fog needs to limit the player's vision to such an extent. It really makes exploring more difficult, but not necessarily in a good way.
  • Um...I just got a game over because I approached a trio of barrels (the middle of which can't even be interacted with so inconsistency there), and the left barrel gives me a prompt to stick my hand in. Since there is no option to Save my game from the main menu, I am forced to restart from the beginning (though at this point, it could probably only take a few minutes to get back to where I am but still...). I'm going to stop playing for now but I definitely suggest rethinking your decision of having game overs like this. One -- there wasn't anything at all that suggested I would get a game over for reaching into the barrel. Two --in normal RPGs, I'm used to finding gold or herbs and such, so to get a game over feels like a slap in the face. I realize this isn't an RPG, and so you have to at least train the player to expect game overs from things like this, or provide more of a warning. I 100% did not expect a game over from that barrel.
 

Joshua Harrison

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First things first, I really appreciate you taking the time to play this demo. The comments you made will tremendously help make the game more enjoyable.

I downloaded the demo, and here is some feedback that I'm providing as I play:

  • Opening dialogue has a delay before you can proceed to the next text box. I'd recommend removing it because you are slowing down someone's progress through the scene if they read quickly.
Sounds good to me. I originally put that there on purpose to keep people from accidentally skipping ahead... if that's the case and it would be better to allow the players freedom I can edit that out of the rest of the game too.

  • After the black background vanishes, I see a few people running around very quickly. It looks strange to see them running that fast and in such haphazard ways.
Makes sense, it was supposed to be "kids playing" and I just stuck with that... I can re-work it to make it seem more real.

  • "only way I could get in was to get a degree in xxxxx" -- Is it supposed to be "xxxxx" like that or is that placeholder?
xxxx is in lieu of actually naming a degree, it lets the player kind of imagine what a worthless degree would be.. or at least that is what I was trying to do, isntead of forcing my idea of "A degree in mathematics is stupid" kind of.

  • Oh jeez! That sound effect when Jack moves is annoying! I'd definitely remove it or change it to something more subtle / easy on the ears. When you dash, the sheer rapidness of the sound effect is really annoying. But really, I don't feel like sound effects for moving on terrain have a place in a 2d top-down game anyway.
Too easy. I put that in at the beginning and was super excited (woohoo I put walking sounds in an RPG game) but it bugged me a bit too, very loud and constant and If I made it any softer, the volume would modulate too low and wrap back around to MAX and that really hurt. So no skin off my nose in removing it.

  • OK, inside the first house, you have the cat trigger it's "meow" on Event Touch, which means that if I walk up to it, it will play the "meow" over and over until either the cat or I move away from each other. And if I hold the directional key down towards the cat, it will spam the "meow" sound. Normally, you want these types of sound effects to be triggered on Action Button so that it only "meows" when I press Enter against the cat.
This was something I did on purpose to the effect that the cat is on approach, would rub against you and meow... the constant meow does kind of break the players concentration so it's an easy fix.

  • Whoah k, I know I already mentioned the movement sound effects but I just moved onto carpet and the sound effect doesn't even sound like something that I would hear walking on carpet. It sounds like you've manipulated a water sound effect.
Haha, note taken!

  • In that west room with the green carpet, the first time I interacted with the scrolls on the desk, the hooded man said something. It was weird because he's not actually in the room. And then subsequent attempts to interact with the scrolls, the hooded man doesn't say anything.
Yes, I need to set it to only activate when he is in the room. The event itself has a self-switch and changes dialogue so you wouldn't read that first bit with the man again anyways.

  • It is weird that if I try to enter the east room, Jack says he shouldn't go prowling around, and yet there's nothing preventing me from going into the west room or just walking straight past the hooded man northward.
I blacked out the castle too create this effect of rooms you "can go in", later in the game more rooms become lit up and you can enter. If this is confusing I would love to know a better way of going about it, perhaps just locked doors?

  • I like that everything can be interacted with -- it adds a nice touch for explorers like myself. However, when I walked north of the hooded man, there are two helmets sitting on a desk and two suits of armour. Of these four objects, only the helmet on the right can be interacted with, which is an inconsistency. If you're going to make things interactable, you need to commit it to it at least have a clear distinction between something you can interact with, and something you can't.
Odd, both helmets are supposed to have text. I agree with interaction, every time I rework a map I try to add more and more content to keep the player interested in looking around and playing. So that's always on my list of things to add!

  • Haha, I like how when you step on the throne, he sits down and makes that "Ahh, comfy" comment.
Hehe

  • I'm not sure if the fog needs to limit the player's vision to such an extent. It really makes exploring more difficult, but not necessarily in a good way.
Do you mean the fog or the flashlight? I have two different picture effects, one in the flashlight which narrows the field of view, then the fog which makes everything harder to see, and then in other maps there is weather effects causing even smaller field of visions. I can take a look but most of these try to serve a purpose. Snowstorm, dust clouds, clear skies, etc.

  • Um...I just got a game over because I approached a trio of barrels (the middle of which can't even be interacted with so inconsistency there), and the left barrel gives me a prompt to stick my hand in. Since there is no option to Save my game from the main menu, I am forced to restart from the beginning (though at this point, it could probably only take a few minutes to get back to where I am but still...). I'm going to stop playing for now but I definitely suggest rethinking your decision of having game overs like this. One -- there wasn't anything at all that suggested I would get a game over for reaching into the barrel. Two --in normal RPGs, I'm used to finding gold or herbs and such, so to get a game over feels like a slap in the face. I realize this isn't an RPG, and so you have to at least train the player to expect game overs from things like this, or provide more of a warning. I 100% did not expect a game over from that barrel.
Ok, I was worried that the save points would be hard to see. There is one in the castle at the beginning, the random red orb on the ground. And then when you spawn in the snow you should be next to a pile of letters, clicking on these shows another orb. I was worried that these may get missed so this helps a lot. The barrel is kind of like the witch's house... I did say this started out as a horror RPG style game that turned into more of a visual novel... but there are monsters and random "insta-kill" moments... but believe me I put convenient save points in all these areas to make it easier on the player. I will add an event at the first castle where it forces you to look at the orb and learn that it saves your game.

Oh and the barrel... again this may be confusing and need direction but you needed to find out you needed what's inside before you pick it up. I'll add an event that tells you there's "XXX" inside but you don't need it now, then when you the time comes you can pick it up. Don't know why I didn't think that would be super confusing.

Thanks for the comments though! When I get home tonight I have some work to do it seems ^.^

Check out  V1.6.3!
 
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Artificer

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Hey there i review your game:



There are good things on it, an also it has a nice structure, but i think you should work more on the concept that involves the character with the situation, i mean work with the history and related also with the player presence, I guess something like this must keep moving along the feeling I want to do it to the game.

The idea of the game looks perfect, but it lose is strong point when the history, if is ok, is not related at all with that mysterious character, the mapping of the environments are hard to believe because you should use modern titlesets in my opinion is just that each sept the games moves on the history it make it less credible, just with adding some context like more npc that display random information about the situation could be enough.

I couldn’t find the children, the screen on the game like goes freezing or the game get stuck and I were unable to move for a few seconds and after that I just teleport to another section on the map, I think is an effect  for the game but is not relation at all why he is suffering that things I mean is crazy or something?, is already night?,  is confusing most of the times and the most important thing is that as a reviewer I don’t feel that as an effect but at as an error into the game, and the random monsters that displays are not like something to impress or something because we never see them before into the game I remember other games, could be nice using other resources over there for making that effect.

At the beginning of the game, in the intro cutscene I lost the dramatic atmospheric because the people are running along the park and I was like wtf given a humor to the scene instead of other thing, also as many other games do, your character talk with the player directly that is ok if just keep on mind that the main character knows every time that you are watching, it could have no sense when he talk to himself as he were alone if you already talk with the player.

I like a lot the lantern and the other ambient effects like the footprints on the snow, the decoration on the environments are well but it could become better also because they are like “we was in new York and now I am reaching this castle of the XV ages that is on this city”,

The game has a good intention but is like this, Loading the game: “Expectation”, main screen: “Interesting”, First cutscene “Ok”, Your first encounter with the character: “Why I even sell or say something about what I am going to do and what the he does not do it for himself, I mean they are on the garden”, In the searching of the kid: “Is not better have lava than just normal floor for ending the game?” When the monster appears: “……” and that is all.

If you have improve a lot of time on this one I don’t recommend you start all over but if do not then could be a nice idea start since the beginning with a new modern titleset and give the player the option to choose and not to pretend because the game feels so linear so linear.

I have also the same test as you have with a game of my own, but nobody else seems to care about it even with the…. Contest, I hope you do not make the same mistake as me on this one, good not have your time wasted.
 

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:/ .... so, thought I’d go to the park to sit in the cool breeze and get out of the house a little. Nope, guess that’s quarantined too. Ok...
How do you do when you want to work on projects but the game companies make so many games available for free because of the quarantine?
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I have just stepped down from being a Mod, so please don't send me any more pm's with Mod questions. Thanks
Made a brief video showcasing early game play... Got a copyright claim by BIG UP! (https://big-up.style/) for using music I bought from here (Future Steam Punk Pack). Now I wonder if I should strip any purchased music from here out of my game. :LZSskeptic:

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