Looking for games to LP!

Discussion in 'Maker Casual' started by Studio Blue, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. Labyrinthine

    Labyrinthine Artist/ Developer Veteran

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    @Studio Blue
    My last answer was a true text wall, so I try to answer at least a bit more shortly now.

    About half of the Air world happens inside the capital city, which does not contain labyrinths. The rest not counting 2 dungeons is all but Labyrinths: four completely open world-sized sky sectors with some floating magnetic islands including various locations and secrets floating here and there. Some things like cloud formations may be labyrinthine here, but they won't prevent the player's progression through them in any way.

    The Earth world also has just a few actual Labyrinths. Mostly, it's progression-based puzzles inside caverns full of vegetation. Numerous areas with no mazes at all exist in all five worlds.

    About the certain speech style, that would depend on the character's nature. Most talk in a completely normal way.

    I've never had any intention of misleading players o_O I simply forgot to add the fact the game contains mazes in the info section, because in my head it was somehow obvious. Of course, in reality it would be obvious only for the players who knew about/played the first game. (Edit: the info is there now in all the pages about the game I could modify)

    As for playing five different games, it might feel like that a bit at times, but the underlying system and the base plot should hold it all together.

    I would have to disagree with the thing concerning the sympathetic character based on what I said about the Dark One and the rest of the cast earlier. This also might be a matter of taste taking account the beginning scenes, since this is the first time I hear this particular critique.

    I'll probably see what happens with this game when more reviews start to come in. At least for the time being, it's done pretty well, not counting the sales, but that's a different matter having to do with various things such as bad marketing and Steam's indie game "explosion." occuring at some point after 2015-16. That one included way too many rushed RPG Maker games flowing in Steam, pushing a lot of players off from most new RPG Maker games (unless they contained adult content since we all know that just sells-.-)
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  2. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Thank you for the clarification on the Air and Earth Worlds. Now you just have to get players to them. ;-) Let's work on that.

    I don't think you understand what we mean about creating a sympathetic character. The Dark One is not sympathetic, as in the player cannot relate to or be drawn into his story. The other characters don't matter if the player cannot be drawn into the protagonist. This needs to be fixed from the onset of the story, or you'll keep losing players.

    What do you qualify your game as "done pretty well" by? You just said sales are not great, and a look on your Steam Page show only 7 reviews. Are lots of people emailing you and telling you the game is good? Is it just friends and family or complete strangers? What is your metric? Not to be combative, but it almost sounds like you're blaming everything but the game for it not selling more.

    We took time to critique your game because you were looking for way to increase it's success. We cannot stress this enough: The first half hour of your game is 100% vital to its success. Fix the major concerns in our last response, mention the mazes further up on the Steam Page (people don't read that much), make the Dark One sympathetic, and most importantly: LISTEN TO PLAYER FEEDBACK. When a player takes time to tell you the problem with a game, don't defend it to them and explain or clarify things, thank them for their feedback and fix the problem if at all possible.

    Do that, and all your games will be successful. :)

    Again, we hope this helps. Ultimately, you will do what you will d. All we can do is advise.
     
  3. Labyrinthine

    Labyrinthine Artist/ Developer Veteran

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    @Studio Blue
    Well, I wouldn't need to clarify anything if this was a full game review, but I just felt it needed some sort of response in the form of additional info. As for the last questions and statements, I'd better still add something (and partly repeating myself from the earlier thread).

    I already changed the Steam page. The mazes are mentioned in Key Features.

    "Not to be combative, but it almost sounds like you're blaming everything but the game for it not selling more."

    High sales, unfortunately, have got more to do with marketing than the quality of the game in Steam today. How else would you explain my first three games all sold hundreds of thousands copies (More than a million combined according to Steamspy) from 2015 and they had a different publisher who seemed to know better how the market worked? I've kind of semi-wiped these games from my memory, because in my opinion they're nowhere near the quality of the games I self-published. (the old ones use stuff like RTP graphics and sound straight from the box, and they're not exactly polished.)

    The 2015 games were each made in 4-5 months, but LE took 3 years alone with longer working days. There's simply no way the quality of the early amateur RPG Maker games would be that much better (or in reality nowhere close) compared to the current one -.-. Sales and quality have not always met in any medium, and sometimes it may take longer for something to succeed. You might doubt it, but I think LE still has the chance to grow into something more known in time. In no way I say it's a perfect game, or that I could ever please everyone. The start could be easier when it comes to the enemies and labyrinths to broaden the core audience (although our core audience is HC retro RPG gamers) and maybe I should've pulled out the protagonist's character earlier instead of showing different parts of him in chunks... but to be honest, I don't think it would've really worked in the end, taking account the entire story.

    The two new games including LE I published myself have sold less than thousand copies combined in 9 months. I wouldn't want to sound discouraging in general when it comes to commercial games, but selling your games has become harder due to the overgrowing Steam library, and if one cannot afford good marketing, it could be just a matter of chance for the right people to pick up your game and send the word. This seems to be especially true when it comes to RPG Maker games for the reasons I've mentioned in this and other threads. There's a real jungle out there in the market, unfortunately.

    I'm always trying to complete the games I make, even though I did despair in the middle of LE development and recently had to abandon one smaller game project. All the instances of LE have been polished several times to the results me and my sister desired, and it's now the ending result. I wouldn't know how to tinker with anything, and I've completely lost my interest of doing that after all the testing and tweaking that's been made. I think updates of a game are not for changing its story or game mechanics, unless there's something seriously wrong in the technical side of things. They're for fixing bugs and stuff of a completed product. The early critique I got was mostly positive, so I went with that back then and corrected stuff that needed correcting. This critique came mostly from my test players, but now as an afterthought I should've sent some copies for different kinds of critics at the start.

    When you asked "What do you qualify your game as "done pretty well" by?" , the answer is the other end of the discussion. These would be the players who enjoy games such as this and have no gripes in general for the things mentioned in this thread. Since you mentioned the Steam reviews, there were at least 2 reviews on the game's Aldorlea site too (I managed to publish the game in 2 places), from completed playthroughs and the verdicts given seemed to be quite high. All the reviewers are complete strangers to me, so no friends and family to boost it up : -D Still not much to gather data from at all, which is why I'll probably just wait how it goes now and try getting more free keys to move around.

    Now then, who should one trust the most concerning reviews and such overall: A review made of the first page of the 80-page book which barely manages to open up properly, or the one that goes through the entire book? Too bad Steam won't have some sort of switch to calculate whether the player has completed a game's main meat to divide between previews, reviews and something-between. The problem of this difference exists here too, obviously, even though I understand you are aware of this and the critique was directed to the opening. I have been taking notes from this, but it's for future projects instead of LE- I simply can't force myself back to this game after such a long time creating it and releasing it way back last December.

    Edit: I created a guide that might be useful to the first-timers playing the game, making the beginning a lot easier. Out-of-game solution, but I'm sure it's better than nothing to some people. It can be found from the Discussion or Guides sections of the Steam page. https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1196881031
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  4. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    @Labyrinthine

    Understood. We wish you the best on this and all future projects! :)
     
  5. Labyrinthine

    Labyrinthine Artist/ Developer Veteran

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    @Studio Blue
    Thank you, Studio Blue! :)
     
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  6. Dreadshadow

    Dreadshadow Lv 38 Tech Magician Moderator

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    @Studio Blue you really nailed it. I am irrelevant with the game by the way. I just read your review.
    THIS kind of reviews can actually help everyone, not just @Labyrinthine and I really like it when someone takes the time to give SUCH feedback on our forum. I personally thank you. Hopefully one day you will make a review on one of my own creations if you don't mind.
    It's good to know what is wrong with something so you can evolve and become better, so I would really appreciate it if you would take the time to play something when it will be ready. :)
     
  7. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Sure thing! Once your game is in the Beta, or is a well-defined and polished demo, we'll pre-screen it and, if we feel we can help, will do an LP on it. :)
     
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  8. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hello everyone! In this RPG Maker Let's Play, we attempt to enjoy the world of Heart of Grimm Ever After, and then it crashes...

    In our first ever RPG Maker video, we get maybe five minutes in before the game crashes. Ouch!

    We're using this as an object lesson to all developers out there: Deploy and then playtest your game before you give it to a reviewer. There are certain bugs that only show when the game is deployed, and you absolutely must playtest the entire game in deploy-mode first!

    Developer, we want to play this game. We love Grimm's fairy tales and we love Authurian Legend. Please fix this game and then get it back to us!

     
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  9. Dreadshadow

    Dreadshadow Lv 38 Tech Magician Moderator

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    Developer of this game, if you read this, listen up.
    When you pack the game, excluding unused assets, gets rid of pictures used by plugins (or maybe even from elsewhere).
    Workaround:
    Create an empty map that nobody will ever have access.
    Create a map event that shows the picture missing.
    Repeat that for every picture missing.
    That way the packer will notice it is used in a map event and will eventually include it into the build.

    @Studio Blue thanks for sharing this.

    Hope we saved them some precious time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  10. atoms

    atoms Veteran Veteran

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    Could you elaborate a little further on "map event that shows the picture missing."? Do you mean have the event show the picture when you interact with it? Is that enough for the packer to include it? I think I understand you right but I'm not certain and this is definitely a very useful tip so thanks for sharing! :)

    Edit: You are right actually to not keep posting as it would now go off topic. Sorry. No I'm not the developer of the game but your post caught my attention as I'd like to avoid that issue if I ever have it. Thanks for explaining this useful tip clearer for me! :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
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  11. Dreadshadow

    Dreadshadow Lv 38 Tech Magician Moderator

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    Well look, let's say we got an empty map. You follow? :)
    We create a map event and double click on it.
    We create an Event command Show Picture, and we choose the missing picture.
    Then (just for fun) we make an Erase Picture Event Command.
    Add such Event commands for EVERY picture in use, that will be missing.
    The map does not have to be shown in the game.
    It must just exist.
    By the way, @atoms are you the developer of Heart and Grimm?
    Let's not derail the thread though.
    If you need more info on that, send me a PM. :)
     
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  12. Kyuukon

    Kyuukon 主人公 Veteran

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    Hey guys! Would you play my new version of my game? I'd love to see it in your channel >:)
    The game is planned to go on Steam in a few weeks so it'd really help to have some extra playtesters in the mean time!
    Thanks!

    Edit: The game officially released now so I just updated it (for better experience try this build). New version fixes a few bugs and adds some easter eggs :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  13. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    When were you planning on releasing this game? That will let us know if there is enough time to properly critique it.
     
  14. Kyuukon

    Kyuukon 主人公 Veteran

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    @Studio Blue 2 weeks from now! And don't worry, I'm happy with you playing it anyways!
     
  15. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hello everyone, in this RPG Maker Let's Play, we review the game "Honor Cry: Aftermath" by SimproseStudios, a fantasy RPG that reminds us of such titles as "Kingdom Come: Deliverance". However, despite a strong presentation, the game falls short of our expectations.

    This is different than a critique, as the game has already gone Gold. Instead, we will present rankings at the end of the video, which we will summarize here:

    Graphics: 10. The use of the fantasy graphics and particle effects are amazing. There is a real atmospheric feeling about the game, from the cold marsh to the dirtiness of the people to the mystique of the magic. From start to finish, this game looks great.

    Audio: 8. The music is amazing and immersive, drawing the player in and holding them. The narration and voice-overs add perfectly to the experience. The sound effects are, for the most part, solid and do the job, but a few of them (obviously default RPG Maker sounds) detract from the environment. Overall, though, very positive.

    Gameplay: 5. Here is where the game starts to lose its audience, and it's mostly in the following ways: There are too many random encounters, the battle balancing is not good, items break too easily, and -- worst of all -- there is no clear way to resurrect a fallen character without getting a random loot drop (Scroll of Resurrection). All of this hurt the gameplay.

    Story: 6. While the story is good from what we've seen, a few things hold it back. Mostly, the way the story opens is very unassuming and doesn't pull us in. We defer to games like Valkryie Chronicles as to how a game like Honor Cry Aftermath should begin. There wasn't enough to hook us into the story from the beginning. Also, by the time we got to the end of the LP, there was no clearcut direction on how to proceed with the main plot.

    Characters: 4. This is where Honor Cry Afterman suffers the most. The characters are, for the most part, flat and don't leave lasting impressions from the onset of the game. While we have no doubt that the characters will improve over time (we've played and enjoyed many of Simprose's games), the initial character hooks just weren't there.

    Overall: 6.6. This game could be so much better, and we've known the developer long enough to know that he can absolutely deliver. Catacombs 2 was good, and Nightengale Downs was amazing. For some reason, this game just doesn't come together. Hopefully, this is a one-off and the next game Simprose makes will meet or exceed our expectations.

     
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  16. rpgdreamer

    rpgdreamer His Royal Highness Veteran

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    @Studio Blue
    Wow, had to check out your channel before I replied to this, but it looks really professional and sounds great, too. I think it's a cool thing you're doing! I have a feeling you're going to be pretty successful. Thanks a lot! I'm sure the community appreciates it.

    If you ever get the time, I'd love if you would look over my game demo, Shoutai: Chaos Theory. I picked up RPG Maker in 2013 but didn't make my first game until 2 years later. I didn't know my intention at the time, but finally I figured out that I desired to tell a story in a playable format, but I just didn't have any skills in creating a fabulous looking game. So, I decided to write a story to fit the game. I want to become an author, so the storytelling is the number one thing to me, even if the game execution needed work. Regardless, I hope you will take the time to give my bf and I a solid critique. We would love to know the best way to continue and if we're doing an okay job thus far.

    Adding: The demo is a stand-alone/short story game on its own, its just testing out the setting and game mechanics. :)

    Thank you, and best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  17. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    CORRECTION: We incorrectly stated that this is a Kickstarter Project! Sorry!

    Hello everyone! In this RPG Maker Let's Play, we look into the developing world of Skyward Realms, a quixotic adventure with a ton of visual polish.

    From a presentation standpoint, this game is the best we've ever seen, with stunning visuals, amazing audio, and a brilliant application of particle and parallax effects. The voice acting is crystal clear and the battle engine is simply fantastic. In so far as visuals and audio go, this game is a solid 10.

    We have mixed feelings on the tile-panel mapping choice. Teal enjoyed the style, finding it to be refreshingly different, while Steel found it to be annoying and difficult to visually decipher.

    Unfortunately, both of us agree that when you peel back the visual excellence, you find a game that has fundamental design issues keeping it from being an enjoyable experience. There is no basis for understanding the world the game takes place in, no exhibition that grounds us in the game's reality, and nothing to compel us to play through the story and find out. Also, the main character is not relatable, his plight is not sympathetic, and the quest he's on is as convoluted as the opening segment of the game.

    In short, this game has no substance to draw the player in and keep them interested. We believe that the developer will need to fix those issues in order to make the game the in-depth experience he wants it to be. Where they take it is up to them.

    If you wish to follow this project, please follow them on their wesbite: http://www.rehmlokarts.com/

     
  18. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hello everyone! In this RPG Maker Let's Play, we look at the unique and interesting world of Sacred Earth Promise. It needs to be noted that the music bugged out on us, and we couldn't get the fullscreen to work. Developer, you will need to address that.

    There is a lot to this game's presentation, and while we've seen a lot of visually appealing games before, this one has the added the unique aspect of combining a visual novel with a traditional RPG.

    The writing in this game is good, and the characters have unique voices that make them interesting. The world itself is engaging with solid moments of exposition that show us a very vibrant setting.

    The tile-based dungeon crawl is exceptionally innovative and the battle system is both easy to learn and challenging (in a good way) to master. From those standpoints alone, this game is quite enjoyable.

    There are a few moments here and there where the main character talks and acts outside the "voice" the developer has given her, drawing us out of the story and making us go "She wouldn't say something like that."

    The illusion of choice is not well executed, leading us to feeling railroaded and pushed along a linear path instead of believing we have some measure of control over the main character's destiny.

    The biggest problem, though, lay in the way the game tries (and fails) to combine three very different game styles: A visual novel, a tile-based explorer, and a traditionally mapped RPG. These three do not combine well together at all, jarring us out of the game. We highly recommend sticking to one or two styles and staying with it.

    What do you think? Let us know!

     
  19. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hello and Happy Halloween! In this RPG Maker Let's Play, we spook and scream into the surreal world of Horrorvale.

    Proof that you can keep a game simple with most of the default systems without being boring, Horrorvale is simply one of the best games we've critiqued in quite some time. Funny, quirky, and easy to play, the game simplistic storytelling and tongue-in-cheek humor are coated in the fresh paint of custom artwork, music, and sounds. From the moment you start, the game is just plain fun--which is what games are supposed to be!

    There are a few issues that need to be addressed:

    1. The maps are just too big, and too sparsely decorated. We (especially Teal) recommend condensing the maps and adding more decor to the world.

    2. The game could benefit from a quest journal to keep track of where we are in tasks.

    3. The first boss fight goes on a little too long. We recommend cutting its HP by 25% to 30%.

    4. A few more "clues" need to be peppered throughout the game to add flavor to the world, like Alice going "?????" when going through a trick door or the first person who mentions the mayor getting several attempts of his name wrong.

    5. Add descriptions to every item!

    But these are all minor speedbumps to what is shaping up to be an amazing game. If this were sold on Steam, Studio Blue would purchase and play it.

    Have a Happy Halloween everyone!

     
  20. Canini

    Canini Veteran Veteran

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    If you are still taking requests, I would like you to take a look at one of my first real efforts, using a system where the player levels up using sidequests. I do not feel that this is a particularly good game, but I would be interested to know if there is anything worth salvaging!
    http://tymorthetrickster.com/Journeys East of Knez.exe
     

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