[IGMC 2015] Recommended games list

tlst9999

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@tlst999 Sorry but I refuse to trasnscribe stuff from images myself, keeping up the list and doing my own streams and reviews is ENOUGH XD Please transcribe the text and pass it if you want to use it.
@Indrah Oh sure, here you go.

The Notebook - To The Underworld And Back Again

Review from Dimi

This is a very strong submission.

You are a resurrected hero that enters the underworld to find the recently dead son of the goddess. The story might sound simple but is very well written. Throughout the game I thought that writing like that I usually see in professional games. Thumbs up for that.

The maps are well made and there are many locations, even though you don't need to visit and explore all of them. I feel like the maps can support a game that lasts for 8+ hours if the creator wants to do that.

The music and the graphic assets serve their purpose, nothing more, nothing less.

What really takes the cake and deserves praise, is the mechanic of the game. In short, you collect info (notes) from the people you meet, you make corellations between them and try to take the best decision based on what you have learned. The whole mechanic can work great with an adventure game (and I see The Notebook... as an adventure game, not rpg, even though you fight the last boss). It's better if you play the game, you will understand better how deep this system is.

Definitely worth playing.
 
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shaynec1981

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...This a user-made list in a single forum. Calling it toxic is hilariously overblown (not even everyone at the forum is going to bother looking). 

Besides, we already set it so you'd need two negatives votes. I'd say that's enough.

This is to help people find neat games, not necessarily to cushion less than stellar games :x
It's all opinion. You may think its an overstatement on my part, but I assure you that those who actually spent countless hours pouring their heart and soul into a development only to be labeled to the public (albeit a small one, I understand) as a waste of time would think otherwise. In my reviews, I do not label a game as recommended or not recommended. If a developer was serious about their work, and it will show, then I commend them on the parts they did well on while pointing out the parts that I, personally, feel they didn't do so well on. I refuse to "recommend" or "do not recommend" to other people I don't know based on my own opinion because I feel that given the facts, they should judge that for themselves. That is what this is all about anyway. So I'll just leave it at that. No hard feelings, just wanted to get my point across and let you know I understand where you're coming from even if I don't agree. We still cool? :)
 

JosephSeraph

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I'm glad I wasn't the only one to think like this. Though I also understand indrah's point on the list.

Still, we are still a game creation site, and especially on such a newbie friendly engine / community such as this, elitizing the games as such is discouraging.

The reviews from what I seem are not all having a constructive nature as well which, considering igmc games are meant to be completed pieces, is understandable, but the fact they were 1st time games prone to much reshaping and rework from their creators or, at least, to teach them of their mistakes, I don't think "cushioning" shouldn't be something we should be aiming for at all.

At any rate, I still don't really think there's much of a need to change the current setup, but it is not hard to understand why one would be frustrated with it.
 
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Makio-Kuta

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but I assure you that those who actually spent countless hours pouring their heart and soul into a development only to be labeled to the public (albeit a small one, I understand) as a waste of time would think otherwise.
Indrah's game got at least one Not Recommended review as well on here ;) I think she can understand a bit where you are coming from.

I would look to advertising your game in other places to combat this one. This thread is one tiny part of a big potential audience. I agree that "Not Recommended" looks a bit scary and harsh (I won't be able to bring myself to suggest anything other than "mixed" unless the game actually like literally offends me.), but I think having the reviews in the first thread helps with that, because you can read WHY it wasn't. And absolutely nothing is stopping you from pitching your game to other areas of the internet where this thread has no viewing power. (like twitter, RMN, tumblr, facebook, idk-- or giving it a game thread here if it was made in RPGmaker (which if I remember which game game this was, I think it was?) 
 

watermark

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@shaynec1981 Hey man, I totally understand your feeling. I've been there before. We all went through the IGMC gauntlet and did game dev before so we all know what "pouring heart and soul" is and how crushing it is when someone says something you've worked on for countless hours is bad. Still, I must say that this is something that all devs must go through. In all honesty, this place is pretty good. I am a part time mobile dev so I know what I'm talking about. In the App Store comments, all you get is "This game suuxxxxx!!!" "This game is f***** trash!!!!!!" And then they one star you for no good reason cause I dunno, they were having a bad day or something. At least here people actually spend time to go through your game and tell you why they think it sucks instead of just screaming obscenities in your face. I tell you, this place is much kinder than the big game dev world.

I think the challenge with IGMC is that due to the time constraints, there is no "cool down" time. In writing seminars, authors recommend that you should always let your work "sit" for maybe a few weeks after writing and then go back and re-read it with a fresh perspective. I think it applies to games too. I mean something that you thought "THIS IS SO KEWL!!! EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER WILL LOVE THIS!!!!!" when you wrote it, when you come back to re-read your own writing after a few weeks, you may be thinking, "What was I smoking when I wrote this?"

I think it helps to know that even greats get blasted. I mean there are people who hate Harry Potter. There are people who hate Tolkien, or Asimov, or James Joyce or whoever. There are people who think Spielberg movies suck. Or that Skyrim is terrible. You know, it's impossible to please everyone. So don't worry, getting critiques is just part of the process. Or as Stephen King once said, he just doesn't give a f*** what the critics say. :p
 
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shaynec1981

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Great advice and I assure you, the negative comments on my project have not troubled me in the slightest. They actually give me better perspective and already I've gotten ideas on what to change from them. That's not at all the point I'm referring to here. It's the blatant label of a game being Not Recommended. I understand why and where the thought process is coming from for this label, I really do. And I know this thread isn't going to make or break any of the games submitted to IGMC. All I'm trying to do is enlighten others with differing viewpoints on the whole situation. My opinion may not be the popular opinion but it's just as valid as everyone else's. And I'm also not trying to start any kind of personally attacking comments or make anyone else look bad or anything of the sort. As a matter of fact, the discussion about this has gone on for way too long already and I've got games to review! ;)
 

Makio-Kuta

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I agree! Let's get the reviews flowing in. A couple more games!!

Slime Heart Recommended!!!!!

LINK | ACTION

I loved this to death!! Great characters, great writing, cute premise. The gameplay is entertaining. Maps aren't the best and to that I say - whatever! The custom art was fantastic. I just. I really loved this. This is the most incomprehensible review on this thread now!!!
The Beanstalk Recommended!

Another game with wonderful custom art. Though the storyline from what I saw of it was simple, the characters were likable enough to get around that. I really enjoyed the premise of this and how it ties into the growth theme. Due to time constraints, the titular character is lacking in any visual panache, but the custom enemies and character art make up for this in spades. Combat is a lot of fun, though some slow animations bog it down at times. Nice work overall!
 
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nana7

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I reviewed a couple of games not on the list, and would call those reviews "mixed" and wonder if I should include them here?

Here is on that is on the list...

Recommend Homeless, RPG by Charles Cue in Ace

(I think this is more Adventure than RPG but it is listed as RPG)

This is the best entry I have played so far! I hope it wins one of the prizes. The game is very engaging with characters I cared about and some NPC I really disliked, which is better than not feeling anything for an NPC. I played through and died from exhaustion but loaded a save and made it to the good ending. One minor thing about the saves, the 1st one shows the main character but the 2nd and 3rd ones show someone else with green hair.
 
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Makio-Kuta

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I reviewed a couple of games not on the list, and was call those reviews "mixed" and wonder if I should include them here?
Yup! The list is made by people suggesting games to go on it. (I would make her life easy though and give the link to the IGMC page for the game and the genre, so she doesn't have to do the leg work herself)

-----EDIT-----

Here's another game!

Everything is Going to be Okay

LINK | Adventure (Though it has RPG elements)

Mixed

This game suffers in that although it has interesting concepts, they are being hindered by an unfortunate lack of balance. I couldn't beat a boss in this game and that prevented me from finishing it as much as I really wanted to. It's another great game for setting an example for atmosphere though, as both visual and sound design in this game were handled nicely. I think it's just a case of running out of time - Did encounter a game crashing bug, but it never seemed to happen during the gameplay itself and was usually on the title screen, so not a super big deal. It's a shame, because I think with a bit more time to properly balance and stomp out some little glitches, this could have been a very interesting game. Storywise, from what I saw of it, it was another case of piece it together yourself; I may be mistaken though, as I never did beat it.
I'm interested if anyone else has played this game and managed to see the ending. I'm curious where it goes after I got stuck.
 
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C-C-C-Cashmere

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I think having the reviews in the first thread helps with that, because you can read WHY it wasn't. And absolutely nothing is stopping you from pitching your game to other areas of the internet where this thread has no viewing power. (like twitter, RMN, tumblr, facebook, idk-- or giving it a game thread here if it was made in RPGmaker (which if I remember which game game this was, I think it was?)
I think the main point is not that the "not recommended" stamp discourages players from playing your game altogether, but that the "not recommended" stamp might be discouraging and even hurtful for some developers, especially since it's a bit red all-caps sign that their game is perhaps not satisfactory, and it's up there for the whole world to see. It may be quite a discouraging thing, perhaps even a stamp of failure over that person's abilities.
 

nana7

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Two new games to add to the list:

Verdant Simulation by Aric Morrow, I do not know what engine was used

http://contest.gamedevfort.com/submission/184#.Vcwv-karH2Q

Review: not recommended (at least until game is more finished)

The tutorial did not work so well for me but I was able to figure out most things in the game. I could not figure out what the 50 dollar boxes with the orange or brown things in it was for. Fertilizer? At first I thought I had to keep watering a square for the plant to grow but that is not the case. It would help tell players to place a well, place the basket, use the hoe on a few squares that will be planted, buy and place the seeds, and water the dry squares, then select the hand tool and just click on the first one planted until it can be harvested and placed in the basket. Then plant and repeat. And start with a small farm and then expand only as much as can be planted. A little hand holding is fine to get players started.

The game would be better with some music and sound effects. It would especially help to have descriptions of the items in the shop and inventory. You mentioned plants affect soil quality, but in what way? That is a great mechanic but players need to know how that works in order to make plans. And if soil quality is affected, it would be nice to have a tool to examine the soil to see its current state.

I see how the conveyor belt might be useful for a large farm if one sets up a major network. Even though the right mouse setting can easily move from the corner to a basket in the center of the screen, it is nice to have the belt option. Especially if it works well with other automations.

I think the game could also benefit from a goal.or maybe awards along the way for certain milestones (x money made/spent, x seeds planted, etc). Awards could be of any type: bonus, kudos from mayor, a title (novice, adept, etc). Or perhaps farming is its own reward?

Transcendence Platformer by Jtrev23, Engine Used: Game Maker Studio

http://contest.gamedevfort.com/submission/88#.VcwvUkarH2Q

Review: Mixed, game has bugs to fix

In the Ice Cavern I was the sea witch and exited a map at the top right and a new map loaded with a big tree next to a little tree on the right side of the screen but my character did not appear and none of the skills work. Enter key is only thing that does anything and I never saw a way to save.

At first I did not think I was going to like the game because of the graphics but it did grow on me. I mostly played as the fairy when that was an option and then the sea witch and sat around boosting their skills to level three right away. The sound was pretty loud. The story really started getting interesting with the sea witch.
 
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BCj

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Whether or not you agree with her opinion, I think there are two very important things to take away from the video.


1. Consistency for your player. (I'm referring to the some lootable items being sparkles and some not. That's unfair for a player - since you trained them earlier that lootable items will be marked.)


2. If you are giving the player the option to skip battles, then you need to account for those players in your difficulty. Again, this is unfair to a player.


Whether or not the story, characters , etc were good, bad, or bland is largely subjective, but these two points are something that there is little room for debate or opinion about. So I would pay attention to those two details even if the rest of her comments are written off as not being able to please everyone.
Well in that case, let's agree to disagree.


1) The only thing that sparkled were the flowers/leaves and the one key I didn't want the player to miss, again, only in areas where there was grass. I am not going to put sparkles all over the place (forcrates with hidden stuff or items with flavortext) because I want the player to seach for himself too. I'm not going to hand everything to him.


2. In all due respect, I am not going to reward slacky-ness. If there are 6 slimes and you choose to run away from them, then it's _your_ choice for making it hard on yourself. If I am rewarding slacky-ness like that, what about people that kill 6 slimes? Boss would be too easy. What if I enable grinding, and people kill 12 slimes? Boss would be _pisseasy_. Unless I'd make like, 3+ difficulties. Which I am not going to do. This is my first game, and it was hard enough to balance as it is, never mind with several difficulties.
 
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watermark

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Oops, I just read the rules on how to recommend, so here are two recommendations:

The Arena by Empiron - RECOMMEND

This is a story about a Roman gladiator slave and his sister and how he got out Spartacus style (and Spartacus the man himself makes an appearance). The biggest advertisement of this game is that it's fully voice acted. This is always a HUGE risk, even for professional games as you are never sure how the VAs will do. However, I must say that personally I enjoyed the voice acting. I mean when I first turned it on I was all ready to shut off voice acting in case it got really bad, but it worked. Now, the gameplay is fairly straightforward basic front view battles, but you get to pick which weapon before starting each fight. It's fun but like I told the dev it might've been more interesting if there were situations where one must use a certain type of weapon. Also, really prepare yourself for the final sequence of the game as it is a bit unforgiving. Still, overall I enjoyed this game.

Homeless by Charles Cue - RECOMMEND

This is less of an RPG and more of a simulation game in my opinion. This is a time management game where you must keep you and your sister alive for 10 days. During this time you can take odd jobs during the day and be offered shady but lucrative deals during the night. I played the "good boy" route so I didn't take any of the shady deals, so don't know what happens with those, but it proves that you can beat the game and get Ending 1 (best ending?) by not doing any of the "night quests." Personally, I would've liked if the odds jobs came paired with mini games to increase or decrease the payout, but the dev was going for an overall strategy feel. Also there could've been more random quests I think. Still, it was fun, I enjoyed it. Oh, and the menus are beautifully done!
 

dinkledaberry

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Ouch. I won't lie, having our first game ever finished and submitted to public eye getting the big, fat DR stings a little. But I appreciate your honesty and completely understand where you're coming from. I was responsible for the revamped battle system and a month just isn't enough time for all the work that required (which I found out a little late). I was finishing it up, literally, at the last possible hour. Didn't even have time to play test and balance it whatsoever. I already know what I am going to do to drastically improve the battle system and the way I had envisioned it to begin with looks nothing like the end result. There's actually a whole lot more that will go into the final result.

Also, could you elaborate here: "The revelations on the nature of the mystery prior to the battle"? And thank you so very much for your honest feedback! All it does is show us exactly where we need to improve and helps us to grow and for that I see it as a positive review! :)
I know the feeling about being pressed for time. I cut it close near the end myself. Good to hear you're thinking positive too. There's a lot of potential in your game I think so keep working on it! I think having the tarot drawing being more reflective of the player's skill would go a long way towards fixing some of the issues I had. And hey, you can always rip into my game if you feel the need. I've been looking for more feedback.

To elaborate a little on what I was saying about the revelations, the story was more interesting to me in the beginning. Things were more mysterious and unique during that time, but once the two spirits showed up it started to feel more like your standard ghost horror narrative. It seemed like you were going for scary at this point with the way the ghosts looked, but it didn't really click for me. Since this was around the time the battles started in earnest as well, the two issues combined to sour my experience. Seemed to lack...tension I guess? Not sure if that makes sense. I'm about to go to sleep so I'm pretty tired as I'm writing this.

Sorry for late response, I would have replied sooner but I was at work. 
 

nana7

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Recommend

The Notebook - To the Underworld and Back Again, RPG by Thomas Lee

I really enjoyed this game. The avatars (representing notes) in notebook world (a special section visited twice in the game) are nice but perhaps having an option to select notes from a text list would help the clunky factor? I had all the notes and revelations up until the Advocate portion and after gaining a few points there I tired of trying to find the right avatars and took my chances with a fight (won it, woohoo). It is a solid entry and definitely worth playing.
 
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Ralpf

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Two new games to add to the list:

Verdant Simulation by Aric Morrow, I do not know what engine was used

http://contest.gamedevfort.com/submission/184#.Vcwv-karH2Q

Review: not recommended (at least until game is more finished)

The tutorial did not work so well for me but I was able to figure out most things in the game. I could not figure out what the 50 dollar boxes with the orange or brown things in it was for. Fertilizer? At first I thought I had to keep watering a square for the plant to grow but that is not the case. It would help tell players to place a well, place the basket, use the hoe on a few squares that will be planted, buy and place the seeds, and water the dry squares, then select the hand tool and just click on the first one planted until it can be harvested and placed in the basket. Then plant and repeat. And start with a small farm and then expand only as much as can be planted. A little hand holding is fine to get players started.

The game would be better with some music and sound effects. It would especially help to have descriptions of the items in the shop and inventory. You mentioned plants affect soil quality, but in what way? That is a great mechanic but players need to know how that works in order to make plans. And if soil quality is affected, it would be nice to have a tool to examine the soil to see its current state.

I see how the conveyor belt might be useful for a large farm if one sets up a major network. Even though the right mouse setting can easily move from the corner to a basket in the center of the screen, it is nice to have the belt option. Especially if it works well with other automations.

I think the game could also benefit from a goal.or maybe awards along the way for certain milestones (x money made/spent, x seeds planted, etc). Awards could be of any type: bonus, kudos from mayor, a title (novice, adept, etc). Or perhaps farming is its own reward?
Verdant is built with Unity, I had a couple small conversations with the guy that made it. I was rooting for him and the game but the game barely functions on both of my computers, I just tried again last night and finally figured out I have to click about an inch to the left of what I actually want to select. And without characters, goals, and story there isn't anything compelling about farming simulators. No one plays then to actually simulate farming.
 
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bgillisp

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2. In all due respect, I am not going to reward slacky-ness. If there are 6 slimes and you choose to run away from them, then it's _your_ choice for making it hard on yourself. If I am rewarding slacky-ness like that, what about people that kill 6 slimes? Boss would be too easy. What if I enable grinding, and people kill 12 slimes? Boss would be _pisseasy_. Unless I'd make like, 3+ difficulties. Which I am not going to do. This is my first game, and it was hard enough to balance as it is, never mind with several difficulties.
This. If you put visible fights and the player chooses to run from all (or a high percentage) of them, then that is your fault, and the boss fight should punish you for that decision. Now, I'm not sure if I agree that punish should be make it a 20+ minute boss fight (I was watching that boss fight too, and it was over 20 minutes), maybe a decrease in HP and increase in damage dealt would be a suggestion though?
 
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Scythuz

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 I think the main point is not that the "not recommended" stamp discourages players from playing your game altogether, but that the "not recommended" stamp might be discouraging and even hurtful for some developers, especially since it's a bit red all-caps sign that their game is perhaps not satisfactory, and it's up there for the whole world to see. It may be quite a discouraging thing, perhaps even a stamp of failure over that person's abilities.
I completely agree, if a game isn't recommended I think it should just not be included on the list, that makes everyone's life easier right?   Whilst we don't want to go easy on devs with criticism, we also don't want to unintentionally brand them as failures.
 

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Oh! The rise of ancalen vid is here ;w;

Since it's not listed there i didn't know if i should put it up um uh but yeap here it is




It's a rather sloooooooooooow game with big, drawn out maps, but since the game crashed before I went too far I don't know if my suspection of the game getting better after the intro (which is often the case) holds true.

I'm going to play Pandora's Box and post up the vid too! Likely making my own thread. The premise seems interesting enough to catch my attention, too, looks fun~

But yeah idk i'm not very used to socially interacting. LOL
Thanks for taking the time to try our game and do a review. I've done more testing and looked over the events / scripts and am unable to reproduce the crash you had on the start of the second battle. If you have a save file that you can send, I'd be glad to do some testing with that. Not sure if you've already tried resuming the game from a save or not.
 

BCj

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This. If you put visible fights and the player chooses to run from all (or a high percentage) of them, then that is your fault, and the boss fight should punish you for that decision. Now, I'm not sure if I agree that punish should be make it a 20+ minute boss fight (I was watching that boss fight too, and it was over 20 minutes), maybe a decrease in HP and increase in damage dealt would be a suggestion though?
That's definitely something that I can look at for a future/fixed version of Escalia :)
 

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