Legend of Mages

Discussion in 'Games In Development' started by smarty3b, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. smarty3b

    smarty3b Programmer Member

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    This is my first game. In it, a character named Magesmith goes on a crusade against a dark enemy. This enemy is not a single dark lord, but pieces of Hades' soul. They want to join together to form a reborn Hades. Magesmith has lost his memory. He wakes up in a field remembering only that his mission lies to the north. He is joined later on by Naomi, an elfish vampire armed with a bow. Together, Magesmith and Naomi fight Malekin, the result of two pieces of Hades' soul joining together, for the first time. Malekin reappears several times throughout the game, and becomes stronger as he gains more pieces. Another ally of Magesmith's called David lies in a mining town. David resents the fact that he is chief of the town. He is a master of many weapons, including axes, hammers, and guns. Finally, a mage by the name of Jasmine resides in Norsalom, a prospering port town. While Jasmine is not the best fighter, her spells have made army's flee and toppled kings. Norsalom will serve as a center of operations. Its features include: a movie theater, a casino, a fortune teller (spoiler alert: it's Jasmine), the credits, a shop that sells everything, a pub that plays pop music, and the settings. It is also where the Hades plot is revealed.

    In terms of gameplay, this game does not stray far from the RPG Maker default path. No scripts have been added. There are several minigames and plenty of battles to go through. It has an immersive sound environment, especially with headphones. There are spider-man worthy quips spread throughout the game. There is name customization in the settings, along with difficulty changing and window color selection. It has high quality custom assets. Several critics have thoroughly enjoyed it, including children, teenagers, and middle aged adults. There are a variety of quests: everything from retrieving swords to fetching cats, as well as saving kingdoms and preventing everything on the planet from being turned into pieces of Hades' soul. The story is enjoyable, and author Jed Blue agrees. I challenge you to play this game and tell the whole wide world what you think. So, do you accept this quest? You'll find the game here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B35Byxrtx1yvTmZtM29kc1JzdmM/view?usp=sharing.

    (No RTP included, sorry)

    Malekin Screenshot.png

    Title Screenshot.png

    Adventurer Center Screenshot.png

    Casino Screenshot.png
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2015
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  2. moogmaster87

    moogmaster87 "Maker of Many Things" Veteran

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    sounds decent, Ill give a it a play and let you know what I think! About how long did you spend making it?? 
     
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  3. smarty3b

    smarty3b Programmer Member

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    I spent about a month and a half on it, stopped, and started up again this year.

    I actually got started up on RPG Maker with FCS
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2015
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  4. smarty3b

    smarty3b Programmer Member

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    I would have given up on it and RPG Maker, and I did for a while, but I got back in after going to my first ever video gaming convention, and I made it good enough to post.
     
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  5. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I've tried out the demo and here are my thoughts.  They were done as I went along and I have left them like that so that you get all the little bits and pieces that get removed when something is tidied up.  It also means that you have the detail, so that you understand the general comments better.  There is an overall assessment at the end.

    Colour of window skin – competes with everything else.  Quite distracting.

    The opening is not interesting, and you need to make it seem a bit less clichéd.  What we have at the moment is just a few blocks of text.  I’ll give an example (not saying this is how you have to do it, but just an example of something simple to event that comes to mind).

    Screen opens black Text box with face A (no name, no ???, just an anonymous face) appears:

    “Are you sure his memory has been wiped?

    Face B: “Positive.  We thoroughly checked him.  He remembers nothing.”

    Face A : “What about his instructions?”

    Face B:  “We drilled that into him – Go north to the town [then whatever it was].  After that, we wiped his memory of us instructing him.”

    Face A: “I hope we picked the right guy. We only have one chance at this.”

    Face B: “His reputation is superb, and he deserves every bit of it.  If he can’t do it, no one can.”

    And then leave unspecified what the “it” is that he has to do.  Let that unfold for the player, so that there is some surprise, some story development.

    Fade in to the multi coloured screen for a short while, fade in to the map.

    Should I be able to enter The Inferno straight away?  I was able to slaughter the enemies in there with just the opening gear.  If I had continued, would I have been able to reach the sword before speaking to the professor?

    I recognise the dungeon theme, and you have speeded it up in the editor.  Doing that also changes the pitch, so that the track now sounds a bit like a demented hurdy-gurdy.  If you want to change the speed, try using Audacity (it’s free) where you can increase the speed without altering the pitch.  I think it will sound much better.

    The town on the map looks like it’s going to be a fair size.  In fact it is only 3 buildings, which seems a bit skimpy.  It is highly functional, in that each building has an essential role to play, but that doesn’t make it a town.  I think it needs more than just this.  If you want to have such a small place, then I suggest you pick a different tile for the world map so that there isn’t such a strong contrast.

    The Inn is odd.  It has tables in abundance, (but why are they all altars?) but no beds, or stairs leading up to where beds might be.  Why is the roof of the middle house (the one with the NPC outside) covered with snow when there’s no snow anywhere else?  The NPC tells me that I must speak to his brother – but where is he?  Not in this town, certainly.  The player can have no idea where else he might be, unless maybe he’s in The Inferno?  Maybe some hint or other could be given here, because a player should not be left 100% in the dark about how to progress the main story.  The information given at the beginning did have something after the instruction to go to the town, but I don’t remember what it is, and I have no way of checking.

    The shop sells potions, weapons and armor.  That is not reflected in what’s shown on the shelves.  Why are there so many empty tables?  Having the shopkeeper on ‘random’ rather than ‘fixed’ meant that I had to keep chasing him to buy anything.  If this was a deliberate choice on your part, fine (after all, no one wants to stand stock still all day), but if not, then you might want to change that to make it easier for the player.  My earlier trip to the dungeon means I’ve got enough money to buy all the gear.

    Back in the Inferno.  I now one shot everything, and take no damage, ever, apart from sometimes getting Blind inflicted on me.  I have no way to heal this, but as I’m taking no damage this isn’t a worry, as I can afford just to keep attacking until I get a hit in.  I decided not to equip the Defense Piece when I found it to see what it would be like without it.  Got to the mini-boss before the sword, took 60 HP damage on first turn, but killed it on my second turn (one physical hit, one wind skill).  Overall, I would say that you need to rebalance everything in here.  It’s easy to get the best gear, and then there is absolutely no challenge (and therefore no interest) in the battles.  Level one enemies should be easy, but these were a bit too easy.  You could also differentiate between enemies on the first level and those on the lower level, with the latter being a bit tougher.

    I’ve given the sword and now Naomi turns up.  An opportunity for some character development/revelation of personality of MageSmith was not taken.  She asks to go with him, he blandly agrees.  No “Why do you want to go?” or “Why can’t you go on your own?” or – even more basic – “Who are you?” 

    Back in the Inferno, as Naomi requests.  Why am I here?  Where do I go?  What do I do?  At least there are now 2 of us doing one shots on the enemies, so battles are over more quickly.  But I’m no rpg newbie, so I go down to the lowest level and yes, there is the baddie.  We then get the explanation of who he is and what we’re to do.  If MageSmith were even 25% normal, he’d say something like “You could have told me this before.”, but nothing.  Boss defeated in 2 turns.  Big reward for not much effort.

    Outside I can’t be sure because I clicked through a bit too quickly, but on the extra loot I think it said “recieved" instead of “received” and maybe it didn’t have the upper case either.

    At least that boulder has gone, so I can go somewhere else now.  But no indication if I should head into the town or onto the boat.  I’ll pick the town, because I don’t want to miss that.  If you don’t want the player to ignore it, then you need something on the boat event.  If this is optional content, then fine.  The music of the town is a good choice.  It looks like you’ve used the sample map for the town.  Could I suggest you do some editing to it to make it your own?  That way you will also start to learn more about mapping.

    Weapon shop doesn’t need all those empty tables and blank spaces.  The guy in the house immediately above the items shop illustrates the way that some of your text runs off the side of the text box.  Okay, David has joined me.  How does it affect your balancing if he doesn’t?  Because of the sudden enormous jump in prices I went back to the first town for some armor for David and paid 40 gold for it.  This gives me 6 more DEF than the Adventurer’s Garb in the second town which costs 1,500.  I think you need to have another look at the prices in the second town.    I sold a ruby and got him a better weapon and an accessory to increase his dismal speed.

    I go to the mines, because I’ve played lots of rpgs and just know that there will be a mine with some evil character or another, plus I want to earn some money to get the better gear.  Again, some indication to the player of what they are meant to be doing would be appreciated.

    I didn’t need to go up the stairs to get the chest near the entrance, as I could get it from the side or from above while on the lower level.  The editor doesn’t recognise that you are on a different visual level.  You will either have to move the chest away from the edge or put a conditional on it so that it can only be opened if the player is facing up or right. 

    Oh, it’s the same Malbats that I was fighting when I was on my own, but now there are 3 of us.  Are the common bats any tougher?  Difficult to work out, but as they give less exp I’m going to assume they’re even weaker.  Oh rats, with a bit more oomph to them.  That makes it a bit more interesting.  Oh but wait – those red slimes belong in the fire dungeon, they really don’t belong in this mine.  I needn’t have bothered about David’s weapon – that Mithril Axe is way over powered for this dungeon.

    The chest top right on the next floor down illustrates perfectly a recurring issue – it’s a long trek and not an interesting one, I fight loads of encounters and I get the massive reward of 25g.  Huh?  Both in the mine and in the Inferno you have a lot of unrewarded exploration.  It will turn the player off exploring if there are so many dead ends with nothing in them, or a derisory reward.

    At last an enemy who can deal out some damage, but I defeat the skeleton in one turn.  And the next one, and now I’ve got a massively overpowered sword.  But no baddie to be seen.  Just go through the mine, collect a few chests and leave.  As game play it’s not very interesting.  No dialogue between the characters, and this could have been triggered as they passed through any of the various pinch points in the corridors, so still no character development.

    On to the boat.  You have 2 branches of the river going east, one near the boarding point, the other further north.  Neither lead to another map, but there is no reason given for the sudden stop.  Landed on the little island with the town.  Stopped there as I’d done an hour of play, plus all the time to stop and write these notes, and I think with that amount of time I have a pretty good idea of the overall standard.

    Overall assessment

    No typos, spelling mistakes or grammatical mistakes that I noticed.  This is unusual, and I applaud you for it.  Neither did I find bugs or passability issues.  Once again, well done.

    Mapping is somewhat rudimentary.  Your building interiors are far too big and have odd things in them to fill in the space (like the empty tables).  Your first town is uninteresting, and your second one is a sample map.  Could I suggest you spend a bit of time really getting to grips with making better maps?  Look carefully at the sample ones, see why they 'work', notice what's in them, then without looking at them, try and make a couple of your own.  You can only improve by practicing.  I've commented about your dungeons in the main body of the text.

    Story development is non existent after the opening information.  I don't know where I'm going, I have no idea why I need to speak to the Mage or where to find him, and my curiosity as a character appears to be zero.  I never ask myself what I'm doing; I never question my companions about who they are, what they want, why they are with me - and my indifference is mirrored in them; they don't ask me either.  No one has any personality because they've not had the opportunity to display any.  Your OP tells me that the first boss they fight is formed from 2 bits of Hades soul joining together.  I do not have that information in game.  I have heard nothing about Hades, or what it is up to.  Naomi just blurts out that this thing rises every 500 years (so how does that tie in with Hades trying to join up again?) and every time some heroes defeat it.  And that's all.  MageSmith doesn't ask her anything about it afterwards, part of his absolute lack of curiosity.  So does that mean that the Hades thing is also cyclical?

    Game play at the moment is not interesting.  Battles need to be re-balanced, exploration needs to be more stimulating, both visually and in terms of rewards.

    There could be a good game here, but it is still very much at the preliminary stages of development.
     
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