RMMZ Haven: Secret of Caledria | Demo Available

Neo Soul Gamer

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I'm always happy to serve :D/ Also. your game is really, REALLY good but I was only able to find a demo of the game. Will there be a full release to the game any time soon? I'm interested in placing this game on the nerd mansion store but only the full version :).
Man... I hope so. Haha. The truth is, I had every intention on finishing this project a couple of years ago. But then things happened. Deaths in the family, career changes, school, starting a family, etc. etc.

Doesn't help that I'm always looking to create new things for the game too. There are certain parts of the dev process that I enjoy a LOT more than others. So I tend to sink my time into things that probably won't have a huge impact on the overall quality of the game.

Anyway, I have some things to think about. Because if I try to actually finish this in a timely manner, then it means that the later parts of the game suffer because they wouldn't nearly have as much care put into them as the first parts of the game. So I'm not exactly sure how to go about completing this project.
 

thenerdmansion

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Ahhhhhhhhh!!!! You suffer from the exact same thing I used to suffer from. Not being able to finish the game :D. I was in a loophole for 8 years, I'd start a game and not finish it. How do you fini- Shhhhh, the F word is forbidden because I still have to add 5 other mechanics that I'm not sure about yet, LOL. If you would hear me out maybe I can give a small piece of advice.

First: Only you know what the "secret of Caledria" is, I assume the climax of the game. Find out who the final boss is going to be if you don't already know and where that final battle will take place. Once you have that down work towards getting there by working on your maps and cutscenes.

Second: Features, we all, all, ALL love adding features into our games. As a game dev, I see a new shiny plugin and I'm just like I want that one!!! Don't do it :). All the mechanics of a game are mostly introduced in the first hour of the game "Energy Ring", "Menus" "Stuff". Unless you do something like final fantasy 7 where snowboarding is introduced way later in the game but I wouldn't worry about it until you get to that part of your game and then only implement it if it'll work and won't break the game :).

Last: Time, ahhh... we all wish we had more of that in a day :). With covid and people suffering from a loss, school, relationships, appointments, promotions, career changes, you name it. I've suffered in many of those categories with tears in my eyes. It's not easy I tell you. This is how I overcame the time obstacle. I treated my game dev as a mini job. I grabbed a piece of paper and clock my self in by writing down my time that I started then work for a minimum of 1 hour, if I have some spare time and I'm loving the process then of course I do more but nothing under an hour. Nobody does rpg maker out of necessity, we do it cuz we love the process and watching other people play our game and so obviously when I got to the parts of the game that I loved the most I used to clock in for at least 5 hours cuz I looooved it "with my 15 minute breaks of course LOL". Mapping is my favorite part of game deving. make sure you clock your self out too in order to maintain discipline. I'm one of those that would say, game deving is my fun time not my job but in order to fully complete a game I had to step up my seriousness. (Google has a stopwatch, I used that to clock my self in and then stop the watch to clock out. I have a whole notepad of clocking in and out)

My best wishes to you and I hope you consider finishing the game :D/
 

Misery

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Why mapping?
 

thenerdmansion

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That's a good questions xD. When I am mapping it's like seeing the world come to life with my creativity. It's like playing Minecraft and getting to build something beautiful in the exact way that I wish I could decorate a one of my rooms without money restraints :).
 

Neo Soul Gamer

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If you would hear me out maybe I can give a small piece of advice.
Everything you said is 100% correct. And I know this because it's the same thing I've told other developers in my First Impressions videos, which was based on what other developers told me. Lol.

The thing I've come to realize is, this advice applies to people who really want to finish a game. I don't fit into that category anymore. I'm at a point in my life where I can walk away from this project and feel fulfilled because it served its purpose. I continue to work on it because the development is the fun part for me.

As I said before, I like to create things for the game. Not because I think it's needed, but because I enjoy the challenge of creating it and learning new things. That doesn't necessarily mean adding plugins. In fact, I've come to rely less on plugins. For example, I have a Victory Aftermath plugin I commissioned. I later modified it to add a grading system. Does my game need a grading system? Hell no. I know I could do without it. But coding it was a fun challenge. And that's ultimately what I'm in this for.

I "used" to be focused on releasing the game. But the reality is, there's very little chance that my game gets played from beginning to end by a lot of people. Mind you, I'm not saying that based on the quality of my game. It's just the law of averages.

I see how many RM games are out there.
I see the stigma surrounding them.
I see most of the active people in the community are probably focused more on developing their own games.
I see that a lot of gamers rather spend their free time playing a solid AAA game.
etc. etc.

All this to say, I realize now that finishing the project won't be nearly as fulfilling as developing it. So I'm just going with the flow. If I finish it, great. If not. Oh well.

What I can say for sure is, I won't be scrapping this any time soon. So nobody needs to worry about that.
 
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As long as it is not only a decision in your head but you also feel that way in your heart it should be the right choice. I have had this idea several times but my heart always tells me that I also do this for the satisfying feeling that I will get when my game brings joy to someone else. Just like I can really enjoy a good story with nice features. So I will keep my mindset on finished this, even if it's rough near the end of the game.

I have played many developers games and I have a few that I wouldn't mind seeing finished and play.

But more important matters than our hobbies are of course more important. Hope you're doing well and that you're enjoying your family. Just wanted to show some support here, cheers m8.
 

Neo Soul Gamer

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As long as it is not only a decision in your head but you also feel that way in your heart it should be the right choice. I have had this idea several times but my heart always tells me that I also do this for the satisfying feeling that I will get when my game brings joy to someone else.

What's up Dutch! Thanks for the support my dude!

I totally understand that feeling. Another thing to think about is... I could feel like this today, and feel totally different about this six months from now. What I don't want to do is spend too much time pushing myself to develop a game when it comes at the sacrifice of my family and other commitments. It's a tough thing to balance. Haha.
 

Neo Soul Gamer

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So about a year ago, I made a commitment to switch to MZ, then decided not to... Then... Decided to do it again. What a rollercoaster that was.

The reason for flip-flopping is because MZ got way better with time. More and more plugins were coming out. And even the engine updates (most notably, the 1.4.0 to bring back MV animations) proved to be really useful. I also learned to appreciate the small updates in MZ, like the map layering, and having the events list in the editor. Lastly, I came to realize that using "Replace Text" on my data files allowed for me to quickly port old script calls and plugin commands, which saved several hours or work.

I learned that MZ is greater than the sum of the parts. And as much as I wanted to fight the urge to take advantage of that, I ultimately gave in to the pressure. I'm happy to say, I have no regrets.

The port to RMMZ is finished, and the demo has been updated! Progress has been at an amazing pace partly due to this transition. Not to mention my life has become much more stable. I can confidently say that a Summer 2022 release for the full game is very realistic.

For those who haven't checked out the demo, feel free to take a look here:
 

lolshtar

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-game lagging if l try to walk between 2 soldiers fighting
-should not show extract at the start of the game if its not usable or at least dont put it as the first button
-way too easy at start, abilities are not even needed so there was no point of teaching the player to do flame which l already did before l even got told to*one fight with 4 soldier in the same row would fix that
-target with mouse is often not precise l click on a target but it goes to another one instead * also 23:51 unable to click on the slime at all unless l go precisely somewhere with the mouse
-l was stunning enemies to get surprise attack but most of the time it wasnt even working
-need to see exactly what each state do by mouse hovering, theres a mz plugin ive seen in multiple games that exactly do that
-the guys at the tavern looked like they were in santa outfits with reindeer horns
-not sure what those target one enemy for low damage abilities that cost 2 ep are supposed to do, you also have blind skill that cost the same and do the same damage so why would l ever want to use this trash?
-15% thorn ability is not enough for what it cost, also no clue how long it lasts doesnt even seem to have a state
-battles are overall too easy but as soon as l was testing useless skills l started to lose so l guess you cant roll your face on the keyboard either
-l shouldnt be supposed to buy an item to win a side quest fight
-mouse not usable in novagon
-not enough different novagon cards is making the ai do the same thing over and over
 

Neo Soul Gamer

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Hey lolshtar,

Thanks for checking the game out. I'll take some time to respond to your points.

-game lagging if l try to walk between 2 soldiers fighting

There is a known issue with pathfinding when using the mouse to travel through restricted areas. I'm looking into fixing this.

-should not show extract at the start of the game if its not usable or at least dont put it as the first button

I disagree. Based on our last conversation, I know that we have very different opinions when it comes to design philosophies. But I'll explain why I want to keep things as is.

Extract is there to teach the player what happens when it's used. For example, when used on humans, a battle log message appears saying you can only extract from monsters. By allowing the player to use this, they not only gain a better understanding of the mechanics of the skill, but also get a feel for how weak it is compare to the other skills. The key here is to allow the player to experiment with the commands without the threat of dying as a result of making misakes. Some people like this idea, others don't. I don't think there's an objectively good way to go about this.

Also, the extract button is not really the "first" command when the battle command menu is opened. If you're reading from left to right, it will seem that way. But the cursor will always default to "Attack" when the command menu opens, which is the middle command. You're using the mouse the entire time, so you may not understand that using the directional keys actually puts the "Extract" command at the end of the list.

-way too easy at start, abilities are not even needed so there was no point of teaching the player to do flame which l already did before l even got told to*one fight with 4 soldier in the same row would fix that

Fair point. I'll add another soldier to that Troop.

I disagree with the "no point of teaching the player to do flame" part though. Again, the opening scene is meant for the player to explore skills and bring attention to specific battle mechanics. Not everyone is going to play the game the same way as you will. There are numerous examples of his in other videos of Haven gameplay.

-target with mouse is often not precise l click on a target but it goes to another one instead * also 23:51 unable to click on the slime at all unless l go precisely somewhere with the mouse

Very odd. I'll look into that.

-l was stunning enemies to get surprise attack but most of the time it wasnt even working

Technically it will work 2/3 of the time. If the enemies are stunned, you still have to initiate the battle from behind. I noticed a couple of times in Trista Pass that you went through the trouble of stunning enemies only to run into them from the front. You won't surprise them that way. This is explained in the first scene when you attack the Olund soldier from behind at the fort.

-need to see exactly what each state do by mouse hovering, theres a mz plugin ive seen in multiple games that exactly do that

I disagree. This makes it much easier on the player for states that are exclusive to bosses. For the most part, people found the states to be pretty obvious. I noticed that you went to hover the mouse over the "Target" state after it was applied. Probably because you hadn't seen it before. Which is fair. However, the problem with giving the player a definition of the states is that it communicates the strategy instead of letting the player figure it out in real time. I'd prefer not to do that.

-the guys at the tavern looked like they were in santa outfits with reindeer horns

Respectfully, this kind of feedback is pointless. There's nothing constructive about this. For starters, there is no such thing as "Reindeer Horns". Reindeers have antlers, not horns. You might want to google the difference. While you're at it, google "Viking Helmets". It's a style of helmet typically found in medieval fantasy RPGs, like the "Helm of Yngol" from Skyrim. Maybe it's the red and white color scheme that you don't like? I suppose I could change the white trim to another color to make it look less like a santa outfit.

-not sure what those target one enemy for low damage abilities that cost 2 ep are supposed to do, you also have blind skill that cost the same and do the same damage so why would l ever want to use this trash?

This doesn't help at all. When you say "Do the same damage", what are you referring to? Do the same damage as what? Standard attacks? Spells? The abilities you're talking about typically have a chance to apply a state, which is why they cost more. So if you think these skills are useless, then please be constructive in your delivery and offer a solution to make this better.

-15% thorn ability is not enough for what it cost, also no clue how long it lasts doesnt even seem to have a state

Good catch. That's a bug. I'll make the adjustments.

-battles are overall too easy but as soon as l was testing useless skills l started to lose so l guess you cant roll your face on the keyboard either

... Roll your face on the keyboard? I think I'll skip this feedback.

-l shouldnt be supposed to buy an item to win a side quest fight

The only side quest fight is the fight with the Purists, so I'll assume you're talking about that.

What you did was fight a battle that was a little tougher than normal. You lost. Then you went looking for an item that you knew would give you an advantage. You then used that advantage to make the battle much easier and win. This doesn't at all mean that you were supposed to buy that item, or that the item was the only way to win the battle. This was a strategy that you chose to use, and it was effective. To me, that's rewarding the player for thinking of a good strategy. If you don't find this rewarding, that's fine. But this is exactly what I'm going for, and other people appreciate this.

-mouse not usable in novagon

The original plugin wasn't designed to be used with a mouse. I'll be looking to add that functionality in the future.

-not enough different novagon cards is making the ai do the same thing over and over

Good point. I'll be expanding the card selection anyway.


Overall, I can appreciate the feedback even if it's not as constructive and objective I thought it would be. What I will say is this.

You took your time, and made solid decisions on which skills to use. You experimented with equipment. You used the correct AoE spells based on the positioning of the enemies. You explored the maps and got the extra items. You made sure you were well stocked with enough items. Based on what I saw, the game was much easier for you largely because you played the game wonderfully.

Haven isn't meant to be difficult at all. If you're looking to be challenged the whole way through, that's no what I set out to do. The battles are simply meant to make the player think about the most efficient ways to kill your enemies, and reward them for doing so. And you did just that.

If you don't like this style of game, that's totally fair. I can't expect everyone to like this game. But contrary to what you might think, your playthrough actually restored confidence in my overall choices for game design. So you definitely helped. Thank you.
 

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