RMMV Grand Core Release [Demo]

Mimironi

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Defeat an unholy dragon in a holy manner... or not.

Summary:
Ishtar, a traveling mercenary, has been recently hired to find a specific type of dragon,
one that is no longer considered holy or sacred, somewhere in the Crystalline Cave.
He must either kill it or somehow bring it back alive.
He has his own plan to deal with such a corrupted dragon,
but even that might not go as planned.


Gameplay/Features:


    • Traverse through board-game inspired dungeons where you must activate events to reveal the next part of the path to advance. Certain tiles are skippable.
    • Learn skills according to what you feel works best.
    • Instead of weapons and armors, attachments can be equipped to raise stats and give other bonuses. Any character can equip any attachment, so go wild.
    • Important cutscenes are shown in a way that you can see the characters visibly interact with each other! (...Okay that's not really a... feature.)

Character(s) (More will be revealed as they join):

Wy2ek2b.png


Screenshots:
2017_10_16_0_7_51_637_3663.png
2017_10_16_0_8_35_351_2252.png
2017_10_16_0_10_10_824_3860.png
2017_10_16_0_14_41_459_4772.png

Demo (~45 minutes)

Credits:
(Animations)
hadecynn
Mascarpone
Timmah/Lexus
Mr.Bubble

(Music)
DracoMiller
Ficusel/Old Woods Hut
Misaki Shin/G2-Midi
Porakka
TAM Music Factory

(Sound Effects)
Rei Yumesaki
Wingless Seraph
Osabisi
Maoudamashii

(Plugins)
Oggy
Tor Damian Design
Galenmereth
Exhydra
Yanfly
SilverKnightArcher
Hime
ModernAlgebra
Galv
MOGhunter
SumRndmDde / SRD
Shaz
DreamX
Mr. Trivel
Soulpour777


Extra:
If you've read this far, thank you for taking some interest in this game.
Many things are subject to change, but if possible, please report any bugs/glitches/feedback, etc. I'd like to make this game, well, as great as I can make it.
 
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KingKraken

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I'll have to check out the demo when I have time! But from a composition perspective I like how unique and colorful this is! My only complaint would be to watch your focal points and values. The interface in the bottom two screenshots is very cluttered and hard to focus. The bright hues of the crystals are pretty good at directing the eyes away from the center of the screen, which may or may not harm game play.

The monster in the bottom screencap has the exact opposite problem. It's very lowkey and conservative in it's color usage and contrast. It's blending in with the background a bit which reinforces our eyes traveling to the edges of the screen towards the bright crystals. It has a really similar palete to the protagonist, but the biggest benefit for the protag is that the pure-white really pops against the teal and darker skin.
 

Dalph

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This looks pretty cool, I will check it out soon and let you know what I think.
I would have liked some info about the Gameplay in the thread though, even if from your screens I can already guess what is it about.
 

onipunk

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I'm liking the art, it gives the game a real unique look and I'm a sucker for hand-drawn games! Only thing is that there does need to be more contrast, could even be as simple as adding a blur to the foreground crystals in the second screenshot to emulate depth of field, or applying a blur to the battle background to separate the enemy from it. Alternatively, desaturate the background slightly and use more vibrant colours for the monsters. The art is incredibly well-done, it just needs a few touches to make it work more as in-game art.
 

hiddenone

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I gave your demo a go, and have one huge issue: it ends right when it starts getting good! :kaolivid: But seriously, I really enjoyed the demo (even if I'm gonna be nitpicky with my feedback) and can't wait for more of the game to be available.
I ran into a small issue right away, I tend to play without sounds because I get headaches easily but even when I had all the sound settings to 0% the cursor still made noise in the menus and all the battle skills still had sound.

The quick tutorial for the different tiles was nice, but I think it would've been even better to have an icon next to each tile's name that matched how it appears on the map so that the player will easily be able to tell which is which.

The battles were mostly fine, though I have a big problem with the crystal bat's Rapid Wings attack. I may have just been unlucky, but when I was fighting the two bats they both kept using that attack, and I had no way to recover enough health to stay alive. The only reason I ended up winning the fight was because the RNG decided not to have them use that attack repeatedly. I also have to agree with the previous comments about the enemies blending in with the background, I didn't even realize I was fighting a sentient shard at first because I thought it was just part of the background. It may be a good idea to change their colors a bit so they stand out more, or maybe even just give all the enemies a slight white halo around them so they're more obvious. I was a little disappointed when fighting the stone golem dude, I was doing decent damage to him and could actually have beaten him in both fights easily but instead there were cutscenes acting like I couldn't win the fight. Maybe mess around with that enemy some more so that he either has a lot more health or I only do a little bit of damage to him, so that the ends of those fights makes more sense.

There was one more issue with the battles and also some of the events, and that was that I wasn't receiving KNW. The bonus tile said I got 15 KNW, but when I checked Ishtar's skill list I didn't get it. In fact, by the time I had reached the end of the demo I had only gotten 20 KNW total, even though all the fights said I should've been receiving some. It meant that I couldn't buy any new skills, which was unfortunate because I wanted to try out some of the other merc skills.

I enjoyed the dialogue, Ishtar was amusing so I'm glad he talks to himself a lot. I did think the beige message box was slightly too light and made the white words hard to read, but I assume that it's still a work in progress. There were a few times where the dialogue got cut off, usually just a little bit but during the event tile when I choose to stand my ground Ishtar says "Lets' see... It should stop when it sees me standing here, right?", and the 'standing' is cut off, losing the 'g' completely. And after I lose 3 HP all the dialogue isn't centered, instead sticking to the left side of the screen. Speaking of words getting cut off, the Sentient Shard's bestiary page has its drop list cut off.

Not sure if it was just my computer being funky, but the game closed itself a few times while I was playing, once right after fighting the bat and shard and once during my talk with the now humanoid ice dragon (which meant I had to do the demo's final 3 fights over again). Again, I don't know why it happened, or if it was even the game's fault, but I figured it'd be best if you knew about it in case it happens to other players.

Overall, I really liked the style of this game, hopefully you'll release more of it soon. :kaoluv:
 

Mimironi

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@KingKraken Oh, thank you! I'll have to make sure to work on the contrasting.

@Dalph Sorry about that, I'll have to figure out some good points for the gameplay/features section (even if they dont exactly happen in the demo)

@onipunk Ohh, the blurred or desaturated background is a good idea, I'll try that!

@hiddenone Hahah, thanks :kaoblush:juuust when it was getting good. Im happy you liked the demo, & I'll reply to the rest under the spoiler:
  • The sound plays?? Thats strange... It might've been a plugin I put in for audio loading help.
  • I've got plans to delete all the other utility plugins that were more for me (my computer lags when playtesting my own game...) in hopes that it'll help others.
  • Tile icons, thats a good point. I'll make sure to do that.
  • Riiight, I've been told about that two bat fight. I'll definitely fix that skill.
  • I did plan for the shards to blend in with the background, buut I might've gone too far. I'll change that up.
  • I'll make sure to buff up the rock golem's defenses +health more :D
  • I've heard of the KNW bug, Gotta figure out what's wrong with that
  • I'm very happy you liked the dialogue! That was probably the part I was worried the most about, since I'm not the... best at writing.
  • The crashing might have something to do with some lag/preload/etc plugins I put in, hopefully taking those away will fix it

---
Update #1: Revised Demo Underway!
It's been about... five days? since I've posted the demo here + other sites, but I've already gotten a lot of helpful feedback.
Admittedly I did rush the demo, hence it being called Rough Demo, as I was entering it into a game jam, (it actually ended hours after I submitted this demo, so I was really cutting it close) so, many things are not the way I really want them to be. Especially the battle system.

So now, I'm going to work on the revised demo! It'll have the same content (as in, it ends at the same scene), but in the way that I want the rest of the game to flow.

Currently I'm trying to figure out a website where I can post updates, like a devblog (thinking between twitter and tumblr. might end up being tumblr since they allow a lot of pictures and text). Of course, I wont leave this website hanging, I'm just gonna post in a more general website as well as here! Here's a few things I've been working on :kaopride::
The ideal battle style (think 7th dragon):
7RhKWwU.png

A future enemy, Wandering Soul:
g75HsmO.png

Working on reference sheets for important characters, starting with Ish!
Flipping between a bunch of sketches of him for every drawing of him wasn't... great.:
ZN2LAeK.png
 

onipunk

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That Wandering Soul enemy looks seriously cool, you've got some talent!
 

kranasAngel

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That was fun, I'm glad I decided to play it, the project as a whole looks enormously promising, and I can only wait with bated breath for what is to come.
  • There's a small pause in the music after it loops for a while and before it starts up again, but that's probably an easy fix.
  • The Battle GUI could use some improvement. It's certainly functional as is, but being only able to see 4 commands when you have 6 availible is kinda bothersome.
    I'd recommend at least considering http://sumrndm.site/battle-gui-core/ because it would allow you to make a command list with two columns and 3 rows (or whatever size you prefer) that would make the command list more readable without being enormously long.
  • As far as battle feel goes, I would give the player far fewer skills than you give out right now, mainly because I don't really have time to figure out how things are done if everything is thrown at me. Maybe start Ishtar with no skills and have them level up immediately after the first battle and then learn one or two skills. That way I'm learning at a slower more manageable pace, maybe one new skill per battle.
  • On a side note here, you really need to explain what each state does better. I can guess what burn does, but static and frostbite left me confused. I thought static would stun the enemy, but it didn't. This problem can be solved as easily as just including a small sign as an event that says what status effects do, or a guide to adventuring.
  • Don't name one of your elements light, call it holy instead. Or at the very least refer to it as "light element damage" otherwise Persona nuts like me will think you're referring to light, medium, and heavy damage as opposed to light and dark damage.
  • Also the bullets did more damage than heaven's sigil even though heaven's sigil cost more MP. Because Heaven's Sigil was more expensive and didn't inflict any statuses, I assumed it deal more damage than the bullets, it did not. This is an easy fix. Don't give the player Heaven's Sigil no one wants to pay more for a worse skill.
  • Static bullet dealt more damage than the other bullets dealing 8 instead of 6. I never used any of the others since they were worse.
    If it was elemental weaknesses/resistances, please have a popup that says WEAK or RESIST so I know
    If Frostbite is a more powerful state than Static, again let me know, because right now I have no idea what Frostbite does.
    If Frostbite is just weaker than the other two don't give me the skill
  • Burn deals 1 damage per turn, that's meaningless since I kill bats in two turns, and I would have two shotted the bat without the burn.
    Either, give the bat's 17 HP, so that burning them allows you to kill them in two hits while not burning them means you have to use 3
    Or don't give me burn bullet until it is actually useful to me.
  • Definitely make the bats use Rapid Wings far less often. Dying is not fun, especially in the first dungeon. Maybe give it a cooldown, or make Bats less likely to use it if they are in a group. (I can help you figure out how to do that if you're interested)
  • SAY NO TO PERCENT BASED HEALING or at least at first. The reason why items generally heal a fixed amount (say 100 HP) is so that they can be useful early on and decrease in effectiveness as the player gets better, making them a good early game crutch that gets worse as the player gets better at the game.
    For me, it was better to try taking out a bat first, rather than spend a turn to heal with the Cu Shard, or even using regenerate, as the healing was so pitiful that straight DPS was always the way to go.
    As for regenerate, since the two bats encounter deals far more than 20% of my HP per turn, it's not a useful skill for me to use. If it healed 20% or even 10% of my HP every time I took damage, that would be a good skill, and better yet would be great for the two bats fight where skills like rapid wings would be countered by healing twice. I'm not sure how easy that is to implement, but if you want I can look into it.
    Either way, healing wasn't efficient or useful, which is bad.
  • I lost against the two bats encounter for 15 straight minutes and then gave up
EDIT: I feel as though I didn't iterate how much I loved the game when I first posted my thoughts last night. It was really interesting, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you're going to do next with it. I dig the art style, and I'm going to look forward to your revised demo.
I've also had more time to think in the time since yesterday so hopefully you'll find this useful.
  • Attack and Guard are both useless.
    • Attack deals half as much damage as your other skills, and since MP is restored after every battle, there's no reason to ever use it.
    • Guard isn't useful because wasting turns using it causes you to take more damage than you would otherwise since you aren't killing things. It would be sorta useful if enemies like the bats telegraphed their Rapid Wings attack at the start of the turn, and had a cooldown on it at the end of the turn that way you could predict when to guard, and have a turn to recover afterwards.
  • You could always just get rid of the Attack and Guard commands. If they're pointless, you don't need them. Just make sure the player has some method of MP regen for longer battles. But you probably were already doing that.
  • Skips are a really good feature, because they allow the player time to pace themselves.
    • It would be helpful to be given a general idea of how many tiles there are total. Having 4 skips when there are 6 tiles is very different from having 4 skips when there are 100 tiles.
    • In battles don't give the player the option to Skip before the battle, let them do it after they lose. Since you don't telegraph how hard battles are before the player fights them, asking them to skip without knowing if they can reasonably win is a shot in the dark. On the other hand, after the player has already lost, they know they can't handle the battle, and so will want to skip it.
    • Also don't include the run command if you do this for obvious reasons.
    • One thing to be wary of is that Skips encourage the player to not engage with the game. The way you have it set up right now is essentially allowing the player to avoid playing the game, and that's not good. You may want to consider rewarding the player at the end based on how few skips they used (such as a mega prize for not using any skips at all). This would encourage the player to skip as few things as possible allowing you to give them as few skips as you want.
 
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Mimironi

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@kranasAngel thank you for the feedback! And I'm happy you like the game!
responses under:
  • The music, yeah I'm trying to find a way for a seamless loop. I found a plugin that'll let me choose when music loops. Hopefully I can get it to work out.
  • I'm already on that :D . The battle HUD's getting fixed up to make it the way I want it to
  • Yeah, understandable. I could take away a few skills (admittedly even I didnt use some of them...)
  • Jeez, I hadn't even thought of that. Knowing what status effects do to you is very important, I'll add that in.
  • "light element damage" sounds good!
  • I'll have to see how I can fix up heaven sigil to be a better skill (also, most likely gonna make it a learnable skill instead of a default one).
  • Gotcha!
  • I'll fix up the bat!
  • Right, the rapid wing's power was an accidental increase in the stat I based that skill on (agility).
  • I'm gonna end up removing the healing after battle and change the items to be number based healing. Skills will stay the same, mostly cause there's no skill upgrade system planned.
  • Healing every time damage is taken? That sounds like a great skill idea. If you do have info on that, I'd be glad to hear it.

and your part 2:
  • I'll think about that attack and guard.
  • That's true. I'll have to think of a way to implement a "general amount of skippable tiles" in dungeons.
  • Oh the run command, completely forgot to remove that from battles.
  • An incentive for not using skips sounds great, actually :0 .

---
Update... 1.5: Trucking along.

I was planning on making an actual dev update since It's been about two weeks... I am still working on the game, dont worry, just... slowly,
since I'm getting into the groove of college :kaosigh:
Hopefully by the end of this weekend I'll have enough work to show as an actual update.

I'll still leave this off with something, at least.
Here's a look at an npc that you'll be meeting in most towns (he's got a bit of a co-op business with the merchant girl, Elijah):
P7p1KgW.png
 

kranasAngel

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@Mirpono I'm glad you found the feedback useful, I'll message you general implementation stuff directly because I feel like that would distract from the general feedback you hope to receive here.
 

Mimironi

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Update 2: Fixing, fixing
Hey! I've mostly been up to... just fixing and finalizing some database stuff: skills, items, enemies, stats, etc.

Once I fix all of the stuff that was present in the demo (message box/game crashes/audio loops, etc),
then I'll start to add the new things planned for the next demo!

Here's a more picture filled version:
qcrWfRf.png
KvmSLAY.png

And here's bigger versions of the images shown
2017_8_27_22_18_27_626_3701.png
2017_8_27_21_23_20_857_2947.png
(Yanfly's Common Event Menu saved my life)
2017_8_27_21_24_35_162_3988.png
-Thanks for reading!
 

kranasAngel

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@Mirpono Damn, this is incredible, it looks like you've solved all of the issues.
I look forward to it, this is going to be good.
 

Mimironi

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Things are going... slower than I thought.
I want to update weekly, biweekly at the most, but I wasn't able to get much done... This time.
Hopefully I'll have stuff ready to show before the week's over.:kaodes:
 

kranasAngel

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Don't push yourself. And I look forward to seeing what you manage.
 
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Don't give up, but as kranas said, don't push yourself! Find a good pace :) I loved the demo and I can't wait to see more!
 

Mimironi

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Aww thanks you two!:kaoblush:

Update 3: All about Graphical Stuff
Mostly just up to, well, graphics.
Checking a few plugins and hoping I can find a way to customize the menus more (makes me wish Luna Engine was available for MV because I think that's exactly what I'd need at a time like this.)

For now, though, I'm gonna have to stick with the more... usual windows.2017_9_13_16_7_22_386_2078.png
2017_9_13_16_35_41_124_498.png 2017_9_6_22_29_24_98_1694.png
(I'm gonna make the turn order more visible in the future, no worries)

I've also been working on new bust-ups

Luca_Base_Backup.png

Well, now I've gotta head to class, later!:kaohi:
 

Mimironi

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working on changing around the item menu (as you can see its a little crazy right now) and continuing the bust-ups, nothing crazy.
2017_9_18_22_24_38_330_2564.png2017_9_18_22_37_35_135_3590.png
Though, after a lot of terrible decision making skills,
I think I'll keep the cutscene sprites in the same general style that they're in.
I just need more fluid frames, actual shading, and fixes, since just about every sprite except for Ishtars' idle pose was pretty rushed.

... Though I have to say I still like this goofy one
Croix_FellBack.png
 

Mimironi

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Update: Menus!
This week, I just worked on customizing the menus. I've also been working on understanding animation, but I haven't put anything into the game, to show that yet.

6RafreB.png
MfJEiLF.png


The Iem and Equip (which is now called "Status") menus are done, more or less. I may change a few things here or there, but I do want to add a background for the menus since the status menu looks pretty barren. Now I need to move on to the skill menu.

On the side, I'll also work on giving more items/skills their own separate icons.

Thanks for reading!:kaohi:
cQDuucC.png


 
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Looking absolutely fantastic! You wouldn't happen to have a Support Tag for me to add to my signature?

Grand Core "Bugs"

- Knowledge not always increasing. Seems to me that sometimes it just doesn't get added.
- Enemy Menu for Bat shows the three other items below the window's bottom section (clipping off screen)
- Slightly unintuitive to have to go to the Item Menu to place Marks/Badges on Equipment.
- Game crashed during Ice Dragon boss due to failing to load: img/animations/hadecynn_XHoly.png

Can't wait to playtest some more!
 
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Mimironi

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@Fireworker Thank you very much :kaoblush:! Unfortunately I don't have a support tag yet... I'll need to plan one soon.
  • I think(let's hope) I was able to get the Knowledge error fixed for the future.
  • I ended up changing the way the enemy stats show up, hopefully it's nice
  • That's true... I've changed the equip menu to a sort of "status menu" since there was nothing you could equip
  • Oh, a crash? ...I've been thinking about this and I think I'm gonna release a "mini-updated" version of the demo this week that fixes the bugs and crashes from this version.
 

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I think after I get this game done, I'm going to take a long vacation from game development. It feels great to see the coding skills get better and it is fun - but god it is also so exhausting.
Just advertising that I released version 0.9 of my game yesterday, for feedback purposes. My first game or creative endeavor ever :D Would be cool if someone tries it out!
An overall view of my full set of sprites so far, this was really fun to work in this past year! :kaopride:
1653056206274.png

Even though the game is cancelled, I'm still doing art in my spare time and seeing how it'd look.

It's a lot of fun. Wish I could be an artist!

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