RMMV Guilty (No Travel Jam Submission)

Novacalico

Also known as Mikeneto
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Welcome to our game creation for the No Travel Jam: Guilty

You play as a hungover Ronin accused of murdering the lord's wife. You get one hour (real time) to prove your innocence by talking to witnesses, suspects, finding evidence, and making your final accusation.

Download No Travel Jam: Guilty

We invite you to play through multiple times as the game shifts every time you play and we look forward to your feedback as this is the first completed game for both of us!
titlescreengrab.PNGscreengrab2.PNGscreengrab3.PNG
Credits:
Music Director: Echorev
Art Director: Mikeneto

Credited resources:
PandaMaru - Tilesets
Bokou - Tilesets
ScottyTV - Scripts/Plugins
Terrax - Scripts/Plugins
Yanfly - Scripts/Plugins
Moghunter - Scripts/Plugins
Bobstah - Scripts/Plugins

SumRndmDde - Scripts/Plugins
Shaz -Scripts/Plugins
RPG maker Japanese Character packs 1-3 and Japanese resource pack.
Much of the RTP

Thanks for playing!
 
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GoodSelf

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Ah, this is very cool! We went with a light investigation system that shifts as well! Can't wait to test this out to compare and contrast the different design choices!
Also, the artwork looks great, and the theme is really poignant.
 

Wazzzyki

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Hi there!

Glad to have gotten to play your game as it was seemed to have a different style.

Here are my thoughts:

* No music on the intro was somewhat new- made me double check if my headset was properly on lols. I think it would really be appreciated if you could add some music to suit the vibe so that the start wouldn't be that plain. To me it really is a missed opportunity as music can be a great way to help set up the tone for the opening sequence.

* I think the opening sequence could also benefit some more exposition- The introduction immediately opening up on the unknown player character being put on trial and just given the task of proving his innocence seems forced- Even after hearing from the lord what kind of character the player is, one could still stay that he could still have been the person responsible thus giving out confusion right from the start. Since the story was made in to really pointing out another character as the perpetrator and not the player, you could have done it so that there should be characters that we will have to check up on. The simplest I could think of is using that dialogue in the game explaining that there will soon be a new lord crowned and that the Akamori and Aoikawa families are vying for the spot. Setting that up at the opening would give the players an idea of the world and thus at least get their attentions to know the story more once you present what has happened.

* The interrogation feature was cool- really nice having to use some new feature. Though, maybe you could set up a tutorial of some kind or having a tip box appear explaining how to use it. As it would not hurt the story giving out to the player that you it is beneficial to use sense first to know what kind of dialogue to use.

* After finding out the perpetrator, the transition to the trial is just a bit too long, I thought there was a bug or the game froze as the screen pans to black as you wait for the transition. You could also have the timer disappear during that black-screen transition.

* Also spotted some minor spelling errors;
dialogue talking about Minato- "Can't get enough if it"- should be "of it"
dialogue talking about Rin- "becoming some type of pirate of adventurer:- should be "or adventurer"

* And a spot where it shouldn't be passable- the two barrels and that red flag are passable tiles.
g2.PNG

* The word appearing to show what place is it is also being blocked off if you have a person pointed to talk to.
g3.PNG


I'd say the story is already played out properly, as I have not encountered much problems while playing through. It's just that as I have explained, not much of a motivation to given out at the start to give a spark of mystery and feel suspense. Some reworks could help and I'm sure the game would be a favorite!
Thanks for the game! :D
 

EuphemiaArtoria

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Hi,

So first of all, I really love that this game has a kind of conversation battle system. I am really keen on trying to build something that's got depth and complexity like RPG combat, but is more about talking, and so when I saw screenshots of this that had that sort of mechanic I was really drawn to it. Very cool idea. I also liked the mystery, and collecting the clues one by one to pin down my suspect. The way the clues appear permanently on the screen is also great. It felt very satisfying once I had my last clue to say "okay, white hair, blue fabric, female voice... there's only one person that could be!"

I do have some criticisms. I think this game was super super ambitious and really reached very far, but I think in a couple of places your reach exceeds your grasp.

I felt confused and directionless many times in the game. I didn't realise I could even reach the western area for quite a while (thought that the NPC standing in that direction blocked the path), and it seemed like some characters randomly began offering a talking scene halfway through for no particular reason. For example, I think my third clue started with talking to a beggar, but he had previously not offered me any chat, and I was only checking him again out of desperation. Other times, when I completed my first clue I was left totally confused- why had they not given me another lead? Why would none of them talk to me again? I traipsed back and forth over and over again in search of a way to proceed, and at this point the character's slow movement became very frustrating.

I didn't realise until I was quite close to the end that there were multiple possible scenarios- presumably this is why the priestess never wanted to talk to me, and I didn't have any interactions with several members of each family. Replayability is nice, but in a mystery story, it's nice to feel like you're figuring it out, and instead I just couldn't add up the stories I was hearing about fights in the woods etc. etc. While I figured out the killer from my clue items, I had no idea who they were as a character. It wasn't satisfying in that sense.

As to the mechanics of the actual encounters themselves, I got some hints from NPCs that I could remember (but it's an absolute deluge of characters to try and remember!) but for the most part it felt like a guessing game after the first go. One specific thing that bugged me - there would be Sense descriptions like "This guy fought in a war, he doesn't have time for jokes!" that kind of imply like, this character *never* wants to hear a joke, but then 10 seconds later you do need to Jest with him. Maybe the descriptions could just be more clearly about mutable aspects of the character's mood. My other suggestion would be, maybe when the character's Mood changes, you could include a tell. e.g. "Hiroto licks his lips", and that means it's time to Flirt, but you wouldn't know what the tells mean at first.

Also it wasn't clear to me that time was just docked for failing an encounter- when Nobunaga says we'll need to "wait a few minutes" I thought he meant I had to wait around *more* before I'd be able to talk to them again.

A minor point- but it feels weird that the main character is a stoic silent ronin, despite the fact he spends most of the game joking, flirting, chatting and insulting people.

Anyway, overall, I really thoroughly enjoyed this and think that the talking mechanic has legs!
 

Novacalico

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Thanks for playing!

I have read these reviews with a smiling face and happy heart, (super excited somebody actually played the game!). Below are my responses to your feedback.

"No music on the intro..."

Yeah. We had talked about it, it just didn't get done in time.

"I think the opening sequence could also benefit some more exposition..."
Totally agree. We were trying to skip to the point and get the player right into the gameplay from the get go. Obviously some gaps were left open from it.

"The interrogation feature was cool.."

Echorev is the mastermind here. We rolled around atone of ideas and felt ultimately the system was straightforward enough to not need a tutorial.

"After finding out the perpetrator, the transition to the trial is just a bit too long..."

We noted the same issue in testing but I couldn't find where the issue was before we had to release the game

"Also spotted some minor spelling errors..."

I'll own this. I have terminal Typoitis (my typos will be the death of me one day) I tried really hard to catch them. Surprised there aren't more...

"And a spot where it shouldn't be passable..."

Mapping was Echorev. I admit I probably made things much harder on him than needed. We will see abotu fixign that up.


"The word appearing to show what place is it is also being blocked off..."

An oversight on my part. I'll see about making some adjustments.


"..Some reworks could help and I'm sure the game would be a favorite!"

Thank your for your review the kind words! I don't think we could have hoped for a better response on our first finished product.


"So first of all, I really love that this game has a kind of conversation battle system. ...."

Fantastic that your really likke the mechanic and the small details we felt we integral to the game.

"I do have some criticisms. I think this game was super super ambitious and really reached very far, but I think in a couple of places your reach exceeds your grasp..."

I doubt more true words have ever been typed.

"I felt confused and directionless many times in the game..."

Unfortunately this is one of the scenarios we expected for a player to go through. We considered several times shortening the timer but decided against it assume some players would be lost at times and wander around not exactly sure who to talk to or where to go.

"I didn't realise until I was quite close to the end that there were multiple possible scenarios..."

That's a fair point. Echorev originally wanted a very ornate and intricate interwoven linear story, but it became very difficult to make the game modular and still make sense.


"As to the mechanics of the actual encounters themselves..." I

We ended up at a rock and a hard place: If the character traits were static, then in repeat play throughs or secondary interrogations there would be no challenge, (as you could just spam the correct option and win easily). We decided on a shifting mood to keep it challenging but still achievable.

If you talk to an NPC for a hint on someone, that gives them a 'weakness' until their mood shifts.

"Also it wasn't clear to me that time was just docked for failing an encounter..."

Perhaps adding a text ox notifying you that time was deducted is needed.

"A minor point- but it feels weird that the main character is a stoic silent ronin, despite the fact he spends most of the game joking, flirting, chatting and insulting people."

Glad you caught the joke! We did all that on purpose because we felt the irony would be worth a laugh.

"Anyway, overall, I really thoroughly enjoyed this and think that the talking mechanic has legs!"

Thank you for your review and kind words. You were able to see clearly into our work and have provided solid insights.
 
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hiddenone

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I gave your game a try, and mostly enjoyed it. There were some issues, but the overall concept is pretty interesting.
Sorry for having these as bullet points, but there are just so many jam games to play and I don't have enough time to rewrite everything. :rswt

⦁ No credits in the title screen Credits menu

⦁ It's good the intro has a map, but it's off-center due to the width of the screen. Make sure your maps fit your screen size
⦁ Oh, are all the maps weirdly sized? The blackness around them is quite odd​

⦁ Why can't I run? If the game is timed, then limiting the player to the slow walking speed is rather cruel

⦁ The 'battle' system is interesting, but it's a bit difficult to get the hang of quickly. And since the Ronin's life ticks away each turn, it's a race to learn it... Perhaps a tutorial 'fight' before the timer starts would help

⦁ It would be nice to have the Dossier mention where to find the people. Since there's a time limit, a player won't want to have to check everywhere if they happen for forget what the person mentioned at the end of the fight

⦁ Using the battle log to say what the opponent is doing really doesn't work for a system like this. It's at the top of the screen and disappears so quickly that not all players will be able to read it, and therefore won't get important info during the battle

⦁ While it would be more work, having the enemy's stance change depending on their mood would really help the player. Since they'd be different for each, the player would still need to pay attention during the battles, but it would give the player that "ah-ha, I need to use this!" moment instead of trying to guess randomly

⦁ Found a bug, the guard following me says I should speak to "0 0" when I talked to the beggar. I'm guessing that because Rin didn't tell me who to talk to next, the game doesn't actually know who I should go to next...
person name bug.png
⦁ It's a small thing, but no having to choose which enemy to 'attack' (especially since there's only one) would be nice. That'd need a plugin, but would be worth it to streamline and improve the battle system

⦁ The 'Discern' option in battle isn't worth using, since it takes a turn and the enemy seems to shift often enough that the info is wrong by the next turn. Instead, it would be nice if it happened instantly so that I could actually use the info. It could even be available only once a turn, but at least I'd be able to do more than guess...
⦁ Well, I guess I figured out who was behind it all, Himari. The evidence pointed to her, but there wasn't a ton of info for the player to make the connections to why she did it (her spelling it all out doesn't count). Were you a bit rushed when it came to this ending?

⦁ The long black screen before the trial made me think the game had a bug...

⦁ The ending worked, but the lord sure didn't seem to care that his wife was sleeping with Minato... Maybe there are better endings?

Overall, it's a really cool idea for a game but I think you may have spent too much time on making all the possible endings and not enough time polishing the gameplay. I'm interested to see what you come up with in the future though, good luck! :rwink:
 

Novacalico

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@hiddenone Thanks for playing!

Woo, that's a ton of, "What was wrong..." but we appreciate it just the same!

"I gave your game a try, and mostly enjoyed it..."

Glad you found it interesting and enjoyed it overall.

"Sorry for having these as bullet points..."

Bullet points are great, quick and concise. It's all good.

"No credits in the title screen Credits menu..."

Definite oversight. We added the Yanfly Credits script, tracked all our resources, and even posted them in the forum. totes forgot to add them to the credits option.

"It's good the intro has a map, but it's off-center..." "The blackness around them is quite odd.."


Yeah. Late in the development we found getting lost behind the trees on the edge of certain maps was a real issue. Quick fix was 5 blanks border around the maps, thus the black outside.

"Why can't I run?... "

We thought about this early on. If you can run in a timed game, why would you ever walk? You would spend the whole game (outside of battle) holding down the dash button, we would have to shorten the timer to make the game even a little challenging, and then the players would be forced to run.
A catch 22 really either way. Sorry you felt it seemed cruel.

"The 'battle' system is interesting, but it's a bit difficult to get the hang of quickly..."

It was difficult to figure out a way for this particular system to be the right balance of challenge. Some iterations it was way to easy; once you found the 'right' option you could spam to win and it was just boring.
In another; everything was so random and you only had a 25% chance of having the right answer it was basically impossible.
We probably should have added a tutorial, but our goal, was to not take up a players time and get them right into it.

"It would be nice to have the Dossier mention where to find the people..."

Yeah. The Dossier was a big ambition but we never really settled on what it would do and what we wanted it to say, or if the player would even use it. Then time ran out.

"Using the battle log to say what the opponent is doing really doesn't work for a system like this... "


Again, the battle system was difficult to adapt quickly to why we were trying to do. Mid project I said to Echorev, "Maybe this would have been better in the Visual Novel Maker" but neither of us had it so we pushed on.

"While it would be more work, having the enemy's stance change depending on their mood..."


Fair point. It just brings it back to, "If the player knows exactly what to do, why/how would they ever fail?". We were really wanting the game to have a 'Gambling' or 'Educated guess' feel to the combat.

"Found a bug..."

Definitely a bug. We will take note to address it.

"It's a small thing, but no having to choose which enemy to 'attack'..."

Yeah. Many issues converting the combat system. Neither of us are programmers. I only claim to be a 'Script Kiddie'. Couldn't find anything that had been scripted for this before or compatible.

"The 'Discern' option in battle isn't worth using..."


Again we had a ton of debate around this skill. Originally it would just tell you the 'weakness', but then combat should be; Sense, right answer, sense, right answer... why would a player do anything different?

As a game hint; Their mood only shifts if you use 1 of the 2 'right' options, then it randomizes.
Using the ability (to read you opponent) will tell you if one option is right or wrong. This gives you a either 2/3 odds of being right or giving you a correct option to use next, (at the cost of taking one damage).


" Were you a bit rushed when it came to this ending?"


Hmm, Not sure if you mean Himari's specifically or the endings in general. Echorev did work hard to develop the 'motives' but we didn't want the 'motive' to ruin the evidence investigation.

"The long black screen before the trial made me think the game had a bug..."

Yeah. I mentioned this in other feedback. We saw this as a bug, but couldn't find how to get rid of it before release.

"The ending worked, but the lord sure didn't seem to care that his wife was sleeping with Minato... Maybe there are better endings?"

I must've not relayed the story correctly on that one. The lord's wife wasn't sleeping with Minato, but Minato was trying to get the Lord's wife to sleep with him. This spurned Himari to jealous rage and murder.

"Overall, it's a really cool idea for a game..."

Thanks!

All in all, solid feedback about what we could have done better. Thanks again!
 

hiddenone

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Please don't take it too negatively, I tend to write feedback that focuses on issues or things I think can be tweaked so that the game can become even better. It's not meant to be a "what was wrong...", but a list of "what I'm hoping you can learn from and improve". :rswt
Fair point. It just brings it back to, "If the player knows exactly what to do, why/how would they ever fail?". We were really wanting the game to have a 'Gambling' or 'Educated guess' feel to the combat.
I can understand that, but the issue is that the player doesn't really want to 'gamble' with the Ronin's life. If you end up with a streak of bad guesses (like I did), then you end up losing the battle and getting more worried about the timer ticking down than paying attention to the story.

There's also something nice about being a player who has paid attention and knows the enemy's 'weakness'. A possible compromise could be that there are a few different stances, but the stance could be for two different things at once. If the player has paid attention, then they'll be able to know that the right one is one of two possible options but the slight gamble could still be there. I know that balancing all that would be quite a challenge though. :)
"Discern..."
Again we had a ton of debate around this skill. Originally it would just tell you the 'weakness', but then combat should be; Sense, right answer, sense, right answer... why would a player do anything different?

As a game hint; Their mood only shifts if you use 1 of the 2 'right' options, then it randomizes.
Using the ability (to read you opponent) will tell you if one option is right or wrong. This gives you a either 2/3 odds of being right or giving you a correct option to use next, (at the cost of taking one damage).
I had a lot of trouble with Discern because it kept failing. Since it took up a turn, having it fail just made it not worth using. It could all come down to my bad luck, but it just didn't work for me as you intended.

As for the ending, it's entirely possible that I just missed those details. :rswt I had failed enough battles that I was running out of time and I wasn't sure how much more of the game was left, so I wasn't paying as much attention to the dialogue as I should have because I didn't want to fail.
You took on a lot of tough-to-make mechanics, and I definitely think you did great getting it all working as well as it does. :)
 

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