alcreator440

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Mana Radiers Feedback #2

-Made it to David's house. Passability issue (the scrolls on the table). I can step on them and then interact with the book to talk to David haha. I do like the zoom in feature for being inside, but I don't know if I like the mandatory slow down.

-When in David's the black area for the empty space isn't a solid black. There are specks of white. Not sure if this was intended, but if not you might need to clean that up as well.


-Nice verbal introduction to the multi-class system from Liora. It helped the player learn about the system that will come into play later, but it felt natural and didn't feel world breaking/tutorial-esque. Good job!
Thank you so much for the feedback! I'll be sure to try and rectify the problems you stated asap.

Like I said in my previous post I'm going to reupload the game this weekend and call it v0.25.1 to fix some of the bugs I mentioned and any of the problems you guys listed in the meantime. Just a FYI the section where you get to play as Aksil again and unlock the job system is still being worked on so if the enemies seem wonky there that's why. They'll be fixed this weekend so if some of you guys want to wait until then before playing then that's a good option.

Pro tip: For those who are still in the mines and think Abby is a little underwhelming just swap out the Vyrkalo skill for the Blavyk Lightning I ability on her and have her cast Qualo on enemies(to proc swift casting). Blavyk Lightning will pretty much 1 shot anything in the game at that point if it procs(and you crit with it).

However if you're having a lot of trouble keeping her alive then stick a dagger on her so you can parry. Her spells will deal less damage but the parry window is very generous once you know the attacks so it can be a real life saver.
 
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Guld

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Feedback #3
-I died multiple times trying to save the miners. I don't know if it's just an issue with me not knowing the timing, or direction of some of these attacks, but they obliterated me. I got it eventually, but if felt a bit more like luck than having actually earned the victory.

-It took me a while to figure out how to clear the mob out of the tunnel, so I could follow them. I basically just randomly hit switches, and I GUESS I got it? Maybe a bit of indication that I was on the right track (pun intended) would help.

-I then met a random encounter, my first Rock Giant looking guy, and got wiped out within 2 moves. Needless to say, that was the end of my "good time" haha.



Alright, time for overall feedback:
-Graphics: some spots for some cleanup, but overall it was fine.

-Audio: Good. Some decent music, and nice sound effects. I liked the hard panned mine cart crash for instance.

-Mapping: Very good. Aesthetically pretty basic, but the design layout was solid. The hidden treasure design, combined with the loot everywhere, gave me lots of incentive to explore and discover. This would be EVEN BETTER if there were no random enemies.

-Story: I didn't get to see too much of it, and I think that actually might be a problem. It looks like you did a solid job of world building, from the class names, to the history mentioned, etc. Very nice, but the problem is that I was SO consumed with learning the battle system, and fighting random encounters, that I never really got too much of a chance to experience the story. I think something that might help to remember: "If the reason the story isn't progressing is because the player is choosing to delay it (playing mini-games, exploring, grinding, etc.) then that's ok. If the reason the story isn't progressing is because the player doesn't have a choice, then that's NOT ok." Maybe work on finding a bit better balance for that.

-Characters: From what I can see you spent some time developing the characters, their backstories, and their interactions with each other was good. I am interested to see where they go.

-Battle System: Hoo-boy, this is probably the best, and worst part of the game to be honest. It's very obvious that you put a LOT of work into it. From the battle sequencing, to the animation timing, to the dodge/evade/parry/block system. At times it feels great and satisfying, and other times it feels overwhelming and needlessly punishing. You REALLY bombard the player with a lot from the beginning, and even then I feel like there is still a LOT more coming. I don't really know what to recommend to make it better either. Maybe start it out a lot more basic and simple? I know that can be a turn off for some, but for a game that specifically requires a fair bit of mastery/timing, I think it's necessary.

-Overall: I enjoyed it for the most part, and I think it has a lot of potential. I think the story, exploration, and characters are solid. I think the Battle System is great but requires so much practice that it needs to be REALLY eased into.


Feel free to let me know if you would like further suggestions/advice/feedback, and thank you for the opportunity to play your game. Keep up the good work!
 
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alcreator440

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Thank you so much for the feedback! This is exactly what I was looking for.

Feedback #3
-I died multiple times trying to save the miners. I don't know if it's just an issue with me not knowing the timing, or direction of some of these attacks, but they obliterated me. I got it eventually, but if felt a bit more like luck than having actually earned the victory.
That fight is the first mandatory challenge of the game. Which of the two enemies gave you a hard time? The guy with the sword? If so then parrying should have made him a lot easier to deal with but maybe I'll remove one of his attacks to make it easier.

EDIT: I also want to add that the beauty of parrying is that you don't have to worry about what direction the attacks are coming from, just a reasonable idea of the timing(and the window is generous). Parrying makes this game a lot easier.

-It took me a while to figure out how to clear the mob out of the tunnel, so I could follow them. I basically just randomly hit switches, and I GUESS I got it? Maybe a bit of indication that I was on the right track (pun intended) would help.
You have to save the miners in order for the way to be cleared. The mine carts are completely optional to open up paths to hidden items.

-I then met a random encounter, my first Rock Giant looking guy, and got wiped out within 2 moves. Needless to say, that was the end of my "good time" haha.
Most random encounters that are really tough can be easily ran away from. Actually most battles in general can be ran from rather easily. The Cave Tygahnt is hard but defeating him and stealing from him is extremely rewarding. I made him big and imposing to scare off most players who aren't confident about when they last saved.

Alright, time for overall feedback:
-Graphics: some spots for some cleanup, but overall it was fine.

-Audio: Good. Some decent music, and nice sound effects. I liked the hard panned mine cart crash for instance.
I'm glad you thought these categories were good.

-Mapping: Very good. Aesthetically pretty basic, but the design layout was solid. The hidden treasure design, combined with the loot everywhere, gave me lots of incentive to explore and discover. This would be EVEN BETTER if there were no random enemies.
Yeah I know a lot of people prefer encounters you can see coming but I chose to stay with the random encounters for an old school feel. To compensate the enemies are extremely easy to run from, especially if you have a Ruuk in your party. Later on the Ruuk gets an ability that gets rid of random encounters altogether while it's equipped.

-Story: I didn't get to see too much of it, and I think that actually might be a problem. It looks like you did a solid job of world building, from the class names, to the history mentioned, etc. Very nice, but the problem is that I was SO consumed with learning the battle system, and fighting random encounters, that I never really got too much of a chance to experience the story. I think something that might help to remember: "If the reason the story isn't progressing is because the player is choosing to delay it (playing mini-games, exploring, griding, etc.) then that's ok. If the reason the story isn't progressing is because the player doesn't have an choice, then that's NOT ok." Maybe work on finding a bit better balance for that.
Yeah I think you quit right before the story picks up more. There's another cutscene with the villains that takes place in the darker caves. It looks like the beginning is still a bit too difficult right now.

-Characters: From what I can see you spent some time developing the characters, their backstories, and their interactions with eachother was good. I am interested to see where they go.
Thank you for the critique.

-Battle System: Hoo-boy, this is probably the best, and worst part of the game to be honest. It's very obvious that you put a LOT of work into it. From the battle sequencing, to the animation timing, to the dodge/evade/parry/block system. At times it feels great and satisfying, and other times it feels overwhelming and needlessly punishing. You REALLY bombard the player with a lot from the beginning, and even then I feel like there is still a LOT more coming. I don't really know what to recommend to make it better either. Maybe start it out a lot more basic and simple? I know that can be a turn off for some, but for a game that specifically requires a fair bit of mastery/timing, I think it's necessary.
Yeah the battle system is what makes this a trial and error game so it's not for everyone, but I did overlook the fact that a lot was pushed onto the player at the beginning so I'll have to ease that up somehow. The game is designed to have the player take their time with it and get comfortable with it(that's why I added Kaazaq). The thing is the player pretty much learns everything they need to know in that portion of the game, after that it's just learning the enemy's attacks.

But when you said it felt needlessly punishing could you give me some examples? Also did the enemies feel like they hit too hard for the beginning part of the game?

-Overall: I enjoyed it for the most part, and I think it has a lot of potential. I think the story, exploration, and characters are solid. I think the Battle System is great but requires so much practice that it needs to be REALLY needs to be eased into.


Feel free to let me know if you would like further suggestions/advice/feedback, and thank you for the opportunity to play your game. Keep up the good work!
I'm glad you liked it for the most part but it's a shame the battle system kept you from continuing. I'll continue to try and ease players into the game better next time.
 
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Guld

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That fight is the first mandatory challenge of the game. Which of the two enemies gave you a hard time? The guy with the sword? If so then parrying should have made him a lot easier to deal with but maybe I'll remove one of his attacks to make it easier.
Yeah, the Sword guy. The crossover combo was usually what did me in. A lot of times I would be like "Ok, I blocked right...no...I missed...now he's on the other side, block left...er...no, 2 more attacks, CMON!" haha.


But when you said it felt needlessly punishing could you give me some examples? Also did the enemies feel like they hit too hard for the beginning part of the game?
I think it was just the lack of knowledge on the dodging. The guys hop over and a lot of times I don't even see them coming. And even though it LOOKS like they are attacking from in front of me it will turn out that it was an "above" attack. I found the most success by far when I was dodging the basic attacks (Wolf, Bat, Spells). Everything else was a bit of a gamble to me, although I guess I didn't realize that ONLY Aksil could parry. I must have overlooked that with my equipment. It really seemed to be the combo attacks that slaughtered me. Like I would miss one block/dodge, and then there would be a follow up attack and by the time I realized what happened Abby would be dead.
 

alcreator440

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Yeah, the Sword guy. The crossover combo was usually what did me in. A lot of times I would be like "Ok, I blocked right...no...I missed...now he's on the other side, block left...er...no, 2 more attacks, CMON!" haha.
lmao yeah I don't know what I was thinking putting that move so early in the game. It can't be dodged, you either have to parry it or block it. It'll be removed in this weekend's patch. A spider knows his own web; the move is easy to deal with for me but I completely overlooked the fact that it would be oppressive to a new player with only two characters. I keep subcontiously making the game subtly more difficult to a player like me because the easy stuff is boring to someone who's mastered it, so I say "the player will get bored if the attacks aren't varied enough", but you have your hands so full with so much at that point that that's hardly the case.

I think it was just the lack of knowledge on the dodging. The guys hop over and a lot of times I don't even see them coming. And even though it LOOKS like they are attacking from in front of me it will turn out that it was an "above" attack. I found the most success by far when I was dodging the basic attacks (Wolf, Bat, Spells). Everything else was a bit of a gamble to me, although I guess I didn't realize that ONLY Aksil could parry. I must have overlooked that with my equipment. It really seemed to be the combo attacks that slaughtered me. Like I would miss one block/dodge, and then there would be a follow up attack and by the time I realized what happened Abby would be dead.
Yeah the sword attack has an audio cue. Preemptively holding down and away(or the opposite direction they're coming from) while holding the shield button will option select most outcomes(the option select favors dodging) giving you enough time to figure out if he's going high or low. Parrying just outright bypasses this however. I'll make the attack deal a lot less damage so players can more comfortably figure it out.

Note: Also the cutscene that takes place just prior to the area you died to the Cave Tygahnt is supposed to be a subtle hint that some nasty enemies are lurking ahead. I'll be sure to put a line there stating that running away is a solid option.
 
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Biestmann

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This demo has a lot to offer, and I have barely scratched the surface after about two hours of exploring the mines. Nonetheless, here are my thoughts so far. If there is anything unclear to you, let me know and I will elaborate.


Combat
  • The initial combat tutorial is quite lengthy, which is understandable given the depth of its mechanics. Since it is, however, I would cut Abigail’s joke dialogue to reduce as much as possible
  • Additionally, Fifi goes a bit overboard with its random bits of advice; it becomes burdensome to be surprised by more explanations. Since those typically are minor, you may consider putting them into the longer tutorial segments instead to keep the amount of Fifi’s interruptions low
  • The necessity to time attacks, parries and dodges is very interesting and has your combat system stand out against that of other games
  • However, the sheer difficulty of foreseeing the correct dodge direction particularly in small enemies like the bandits makes this an exercise in frustration. It is particularly difficult to recognize attacks from above or below with hardly any visual indicators on the sprites of the enemy to distinguish them from left or right attacks. My suggestion: reduce the zoom on attacks by a small amount to give the player more time to see incoming attacks and add arrows on the player sprite that show which direction has to be pressed for a correct dodge (this can be an option toggle for those less inclined to profoundly challenge themselves)
  • At least in the beginning, the aegis mechanic seems very limiting of the player’s combat freedom with only one of Aksil’s abilities apparently able to break an aegis; with how punishing the damage drop-off on enemies with an in-tact aegis is, I never found myself not wanting to use his Shield Bash ability. If more options to break aegis become available later, maybe it’d be best to only introduce the mechanic at that point in the game. Additionally, I believe that aegis should not regenerate on every turn, as that would allow players to choose their other combat options more freely
  • Battles can happen at any point in time, and starting off without full health can spell a death sentence rather quickly. This is only my personal opinion, but I believe your battle system allows for full healing after every battle. It would remove the time spent healing in the menu after each and every battle and allow the player to get back into action right away instead
Areas
  • The mines are designed very thoughtfully, well integrated into the story and fun to get lost in
  • The puzzle design is very involved and rewards worthwhile
  • Lots of items to find all over the place have you eager to explore every nook and cranny
Items
  • A huge variety of items gives the player a lot of freedom as soon as the beginning of the game
  • However, it is easy to be overwhelmed with the amount of options presented to you as you only just learn to walk
Characters
  • The cast is charming and fleshed-out, and your character design very tasteful
  • A wide variety of well-written NPCs make areas come to life
Miscellaneous
  • Sidequests give clear narrative purpose for what needs to be done and why, perfectly involving the player
System
  • The animation, sprite and icon work is excellent; everything here has a lot of personality
  • Music is excellent and sets the mood well
  • However, places like David’s shack being silent stand out like a sore thumb in contrast to regular areas with elegant and epic tunes playing for you
  • The title screen text is hard to read against the background of similar color
  • The party menu is thematically fitting and nicely designed
  • However, the bright green background color for stat boxes stands out too much against the other darker colors
Conclusion

So far, there is a lot to like here. Personally, I would rate the game’s exploration its strongest asset so far. Areas are expansive and allow the player to explore at will, with rewards that make you want to. Characters are fleshed-out very well, pertaining to even NPCs of no importance, making the world feel alive and inhabited.

The combat system is very unique and it is evident a lot of thought and care went into designing it. Unfortunately, its complexity is fully present from the very beginning, and is sure to overwhelm any new player. It would be a lot more pleasant to be gradually introduced to the game’s core mechanics. Furthermore, the aegis mechanic seems tacked on and limits player freedom substantially, so I am unsure if I am a fan of the mechanic in its current state.

I’ll be sure to play more, and easily think this could be a commercial game from the level of care that went into designing every aspect of it. I am very excited for my next session.
 

alcreator440

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Thank you so much for the feedback man! I will definitely take everything you say to heart.


Combat
  • The initial combat tutorial is quite lengthy, which is understandable given the depth of its mechanics. Since it is, however, I would cut Abigail’s joke dialogue to reduce as much as possible
Guld was telling me the same thing. I will definitely spread out the tutorials through that first area and tweak it so the player has more time to get accustomed to the battle system.

  • Additionally, Fifi goes a bit overboard with its random bits of advice; it becomes burdensome to be surprised by more explanations. Since those typically are minor, you may consider putting them into the longer tutorial segments instead to keep the amount of Fifi’s interruptions low
Yeah those were last minute additions since I made those changes recently. I overlooked the fact that they could feel intrusive.

  • The necessity to time attacks, parries and dodges is very interesting and has your combat system stand out against that of other games
  • However, the sheer difficulty of foreseeing the correct dodge direction particularly in small enemies like the bandits makes this an exercise in frustration. It is particularly difficult to recognize attacks from above or below with hardly any visual indicators on the sprites of the enemy to distinguish them from left or right attacks. My suggestion: reduce the zoom on attacks by a small amount to give the player more time to see incoming attacks and add arrows on the player sprite that show which direction has to be pressed for a correct dodge (this can be an option toggle for those less inclined to profoundly challenge themselves)
I'm going to give that attack more of a delay by giving the bandit a much bigger "wind up" so the player knows whether it's going to be a high or low attack. I honestly made that attack before I even established my battle system so it's pretty archaic in design and mainly overlooked. However parrying was meant to deal with attacks that are ambiguous like that since the window for parrying is pretty wide. I'll be sure to have it stated in the tutorial that that is the main use of parrying.

  • At least in the beginning, the aegis mechanic seems very limiting of the player’s combat freedom with only one of Aksil’s abilities apparently able to break an aegis; with how punishing the damage drop-off on enemies with an in-tact aegis is, I never found myself not wanting to use his Shield Bash ability. If more options to break aegis become available later, maybe it’d be best to only introduce the mechanic at that point in the game. Additionally, I believe that aegis should not regenerate on every turn, as that would allow players to choose their other combat options more freely
This is another sloppy oversight of mine. I didn't even consider that it would make the game feel limiting in the beginning. In this weekend's update Abigail will have an ability to break aegis as her normal attack and will start the battle with more Spirit Shards.

  • Battles can happen at any point in time, and starting off without full health can spell a death sentence rather quickly. This is only my personal opinion, but I believe your battle system allows for full healing after every battle. It would remove the time spent healing in the menu after each and every battle and allow the player to get back into action right away instead
I'll tweak the damage in the beginning areas so you don't feel it's necessary for this. Later on when you have access to a healer and multiple characters free healing at the end of every battle would make it too easy. You really feel it now because there are only two characters, none of them heal, and as a new player have little to no knowledge on how to consistently avoid damage. The game just isn't designed for new players right and so I'm gonna fix that.

Areas
  • The mines are designed very thoughtfully, well integrated into the story and fun to get lost in
  • The puzzle design is very involved and rewards worthwhile
  • Lots of items to find all over the place have you eager to explore every nook and cranny
Items
  • A huge variety of items gives the player a lot of freedom as soon as the beginning of the game
  • However, it is easy to be overwhelmed with the amount of options presented to you as you only just learn to walk
Thank you for the input! I'm gonna take Guld's feedback and add a "No Encounters" function to the Lyrkru's Sight ability. It makes hidden passages more visible so to help facilitate this I'm going to remove random encounters while it's toggled on(onscreen enemies can still see you however). The ability can be unlocked by Aksil pretty early in the mines and I'm also going to give Zeruiah access to this ability through an equip so the player will always have access to it.

Characters
  • The cast is charming and fleshed-out, and your character design very tasteful
  • A wide variety of well-written NPCs make areas come to life
Miscellaneous
  • Sidequests give clear narrative purpose for what needs to be done and why, perfectly involving the player
Thank you for the input!

  • However, places like David’s shack being silent stand out like a sore thumb in contrast to regular areas with elegant and epic tunes playing for you
Normally the overworld music plays when you're outside in that area but it sounds too bright and cheery for a night where people are getting murdered and plundered so I kept a somber silence. That npc just escaped with his life after all.

  • However, the bright green background color for stat boxes stands out too much against the other darker colors
I'm not sure about what you mean by stat boxes. Do you mean the background for seeing which stats change when equipping something?


The combat system is very unique and it is evident a lot of thought and care went into designing it. Unfortunately, its complexity is fully present from the very beginning, and is sure to overwhelm any new player. It would be a lot more pleasant to be gradually introduced to the game’s core mechanics. Furthermore, the aegis mechanic seems tacked on and limits player freedom substantially, so I am unsure if I am a fan of the mechanic in its current state.
I'm sure the aegis mechanic probably does feel tacked on since only Aksil can break it but I think it's highly beneficial to the battle system at it's core because it goes in tandem with the Spirit Shard mechanic. In the old build not selecting an ability at the start of the turn was encouraged because counters cost nothing while using an ability consumes mp. Giving the enemies aegis along with the Spirit Shards encourages the player to make strategic plays to whittle down the enemy's defenses before bombarding them with a high powered Spirit Shard attack. That system feels restrictive because Abigail doesn't start the battle with enough shards and she has no means of tearing through aegis on her own, but I will rectify this soon.

I’ll be sure to play more, and easily think this could be a commercial game from the level of care that went into designing every aspect of it. I am very excited for my next session.
Thank you so much for your thoughts. Also would you mind sharing how far you've gotten so far and if the combat has gotten any easier for you with more time spent on it? If it has gotten at least somewhat easier over time then I know it's just a pacing issue for the most part.

I apologize for releasing such a poorly balanced update guys. I know some of you were really looking forward to it but it's currently an unacceptable mess. Had I been aware of this earlier I would have never released this version. These fixes will be coming asap and thanks again to those that gave me the swift input.
 

Biestmann

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Thank you so much for your thoughts. Also would you mind sharing how far you've gotten so far and if the combat has gotten any easier for you with more time spent on it? If it has gotten at least somewhat easier over time then I know it's just a pacing issue for the most part.

I haven't yet continued from where I stopped, but I'll be sure to write an update after every bit of playtime spent. I am sure familiarity will ease me in a little bit, though I worry about new enemies with new patterns that will have me repeat the cycle anew. A bit of struggling isn't a problem, but when you think you've got it just as you kill the last of that specific enemy, that might be too late.

I apologize for releasing such a poorly balanced update guys. I know some of you were really looking forward to it but it's currently an unacceptable mess. Had I been aware of this earlier I would have never released this version. These fixes will be coming asap and thanks again to those that gave me the swift input.

To be completely fair, the difficulty isn't the problem per se. Even though those bandits managed one hit after another on me, the damage was small enough for me to still win the fight in the end. The real problem is that I felt I should have lost, given that they landed a good 90% of their hits on me. Therefore, reducing their damage is not going to fix the problem, and really not necessary; only making their attacks more visible as you said you will will do that.

Either way, this version hardly is 'poorly balanced', so don't beat yourself up over that. I'll write more on my time with the game next chance I get.
 

alcreator440

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Okay guys here is the hot fix; v0.25.1.

  • The tutorial has been truncated and spread out more throughout the beginning areas of the game.
  • Activating Lyrkru's Sight now disables random encounters.
  • The player-like enemy's attacks are now easier to react to and have better tells for which direction to dodge in(you'll still need to stay on your toes but with a tiny bit of practice you should be able to dodge everything consistently now).
  • Abigail's class has been changed to the Scarlet Caster, a main weapon that can parry, and more support abilities. She has also been given an ability that can break through aegis as her main attack and starts the battle with more Spirit Shards so the player can take advantage of the system more.
I overlooked the fact that the very beginning of the game has only two characters and both are classes that are designed for intermediate to advanced players, especially the Blavyk Caster. By switching Abigail's class to the Scarlet Caster she's more beginner friendly and can keep up with Aksil better in battle.

I'll release another small update this weekend to polish up the section containing the job system but at least the game won't scare off new players as easily anymore.
 

alcreator440

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Okay guys here is an update fixing the job portion of the game called v0.25.5. Honestly this is what v0.25 should have been. This update fixes a lot of issues and the game should feel very balanced and somewhat polished now. This in my opinion is the very best version of the game to date so give it a download.

  • Enemies have been rebalanced for the new job system by decreasing the amount of Aegis they have and the amount of damage they take. (So when you regain control of Aksil in the story everything should feel natural in terms of difficulty.)
  • Bumped the difficulty of the enemies in the beginning of the game. With the enemy's attacks now being highly telegraphed I slightly increased the damage they dish and take to help players learn to be more strategic in battle. Before you could just curb stomp everything with Scarlet Strike but now it shouldn't be as simple.
  • Leveling jobs should feel more natural now as the KP required to learn abilities has been properly readjusted.
  • The Iynvyk Caster class has been modified. They can now learn Clyrsis again(standard heal spell) in addition to their healing hammers. The Clyrsis spells can be boosted by Spirit Shards to take full advantage of Overflow. Abigail now starts with Clyrsis instead of Clyrsis Hammer.
  • Clyrsis now heals a balanced amount of hp. Before it would heal for a ludicrous amount but now it's much lower since it's based off of the user's magic stat instead of their Mana now.
  • Fixed a nasty bug that halved all of the party's damage whenever Orna used a summon in battle. With this change Hoshiah should be dealing the most damage in that section of the game(especially if you steal the Argyk Sword from Volgus) since his damage was nerfed by x2.5 from that bug.
  • Gave Prince Zekiel a powerful and unique ability called King's Cross(you can see it in two of the videos). It's a move fit for a character that is meant to be op. This move cannot be learned by any available job and only certain characters can use it.
Moving forward I plan on releasing Uoltaur Labyrinth and its story in the next update(barring no major bugs creep up in the meantime).We'll see if I can get to the Mushmarr Mountains before the month is out. Believe it or not the maps of the Gethal Mines and Uoltaur Labyrinth were the very first dungeon maps I made with rpg maker so they may seem a bit bare bones and primitive compared to the other, more recent, maps I've made. Actually, I came up with the entire beginning premise of my story just from the mines map since it was the only one I had. I guess I just lucked out with people seeming to like it.

With this update I hope those who play it can get to the portion with the job system now as I think that part of the game is the most immersive and fun so far. It really does feel like you're playing an old school JRPG once Hahrah joins(at least to me lol). In the next coming updates the game should feel a lot like FF4 with some of it's story beats and gameplay, then like FF6 after the Aevyk Caster & Vahl-Cre class is unlocked(searching and acquiring optional aeons should be a blast after that point in the story). I just gotta get over the hump of this current segment so I'll know how to balance everything moving forward. If anyone is still interested in playtesting and getting to the point where the job system is introduced then feedback on that would help me tremendously.


Here is a small video of an ambush that takes place in Fort Ozma. In the previous version of the game it was left out because I forgot to put it back in from playtesting. It's a short video so there's not much to say(especially since I want to avoid spoilers).


Here is the Labythia boss I mentioned in an earlier post which takes place briefly after the previous video. She's actually not as tough as I originally described because Aksil is in the Uardolin class during the fight. The Uardolin class inherits all of the other class's abilities and passives once mastered so needless to say Aksil is pretty op here. Later on in the game the Uardolin class will function similarly to the Caster class except it inherits everything from a fully Mastered job and has the highest stats of any class(think of it as the Freelancer job from FF5). Aksil will sometimes have all of these abilities mastered for certain story segments only(the class itself isn't unlocked until every other class is unlocked). I purposely cut out the cutscenes surrounding the fight to avoid major spoilers so you just get the battle here.
 

alcreator440

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Okay I have a quick update here called v0.25.6 which addresses a heinous bug that caused the Aedrymos spell(revive spell) to hide the battle menu whenever it was used.This update is small so it should allow you to keep your save but if you don't want to risk it then whenever the battle menu becomes hidden just enter the equip menu(move the cursor down 3 times or up 1 time). When you exit the equip menu the battle menu will reappear again.You'll have to do this every single time Aedrymos is used, otherwise you can just download the patch. Sorry about this guys, during my playtesting I never encountered the bug because my characters hardly ever died, and at the off chance that they did I would just use a Life Cider I had stocked up.

On a side note d757gaming is doing a playthrough of my game so check out the video below(his playthrough is how I found out about the bug)! I would advice avoiding part 2 of his playthrough if you're weary of spoilers.




EDIT: Okay I have a list of changes I'm going to make before I upload v0.28 and they mainly involve the beginning tutorial. I'm going to truncate it drastically and introduce the Aegis system a little later in the mines. The tutorials will be split up into more digestible chunks to the point where virtually anyone can learn how to master the game. This version of the game will be uploaded to Game Jolt first and should be super new player friendly.
 
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alcreator440

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I just wanna let you guys know that the tutorial has been completely revamped and the beginning of the game is extremely new player friendly now compared to some of the previous versions. So if you were turned off before by the complexity of the tutorial give v0.26 a shot!
 

standardplayer

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I've seen this pop up several times over the last year or so, I keep going back and looking at this thread, and I want to give your game a chance.
But I'm a firm believer in (even for non commercial) smart advertising and not being out-of-touch with your general audience. This thread has 6k views, so people are seeing it.

These are just my personal opinions, but here are the things stopping me from wanting to play your game

-Under the screenshots spoiler, I counted 48 screenshots!!! Are you kidding? Screenshots are supposed to be a quick way for me to get an idea of what your game might be like.

-Over-featured. Since you aren't Square Enix or some company we've all heard of, there's no big, solid historical data that shows you've made games that were generally liked. So it's hard for me to believe that all of these features are going to be quality. It makes me doubt I should even try.

-Battle System. I watched through most of the videos, the battle system is hard to follow. The camera zooms in and flies around too much, and the system seems way too involved. Like it looks too similar to most RPG Maker battle systems for me to even imagine having so many extra features crammed in there. Also, with the quick zooming/snapping of the camera, it makes a lot of the maps look 'dirty', because they get too zoomed in. Same for all the stuff flying around the screen like snowflakes and stuff. Some look good, some look awful.

-My last point, and believe me this is the #1 reason I keep not testing your game....Your message boxes look like chalkboards. Wood borders and dark green?? They look like school classroom chalk boards.


You're so active with your updates, you obviously care a lot about this project.
I actually test way more games than I provide feedback on, but I often get the sense my feedback won't help or be heard. Or the person doesn't seem as invested as you.

But it's been shown that most people make their decisions about whether or not to consume media much more subjectively before they actually experience it. That means how you advertise can work for or completely against you.

I think this thread is built on top of itself, your first post, the one where people mostly decide if they'll play this game, is a nightmare. The content needs to be trimmed down on your OP big time, imo. 15 screenshots is about 5-10 too many for me. Again, I think I counted 48.
 
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alcreator440

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-Under the screenshots spoiler, I counted 48 screenshots!!! Are you kidding? Screenshots are supposed to be a quick way for me to get an idea of what your game might be like.


-Over-featured. Since you aren't Square Enix or some company we've all heard of, there's no big, solid historical data that shows you've made games that were generally liked. So it's hard for me to believe that all of these features are going to be quality. It makes me doubt I should even try.
Thanks for the input and I'll try to trim things down so there isn't as much content to sift through.

-Battle System. I watched through most of the videos, the battle system is hard to follow. The camera zooms in and flies around too much, and the system seems way too involved. Like it looks too similar to most RPG Maker battle systems for me to even imagine having so many extra features crammed in there. Also, with the quick zooming/snapping of the camera, it makes a lot of the maps look 'dirty', because they get too zoomed in. Same for all the stuff flying around the screen like snowflakes and stuff. Some look good, some look awful.
The camera looks worse than it is because most of my videos are recorded in poor quality and my laptop can't run a high framerate while recording. When you're actually playing the game the last thing you care about is how much the detail of the battlebacks is obscured when you're playing.

I also completely disagree with you when it comes to the battle system looking like every other RPG Maker battle system while it is in motion. I have yet to see any other in this engine even remotely mirror my game so I'm not sure where you're getting at there.

-My last point, and believe me this is the #1 reason I keep not testing your game....Your message boxes look like chalkboards. Wood borders and dark green?? They look like school classroom chalk boards.
Honestly I think that's just a personal nitpick and no one else has even complained about it(I've gotten some compliments on it though). Honestly that's a very fickle reason to not play a game and no offense but I can't cater my game to people who think like that.

You're so active with your updates, you obviously care a lot about this project.
I actually test way more games than I provide feedback on, but I often get the sense my feedback won't help or be heard. Or the person doesn't seem as invested as you.
I definitely hear your feedback and appreciate it. I know this game has an audience but the people who frequent this site aren't into the more action oriented game I made. They prefer games of a different ilk so an underground hardcore game like mine is a bit of a tough sell here(unless it's a pokemon fan game or something). But I currently don't have many other avenues at my disposal so I just end up posting updates here.
 

standardplayer

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Honestly I think that's just a personal nitpick and no one else has even complained about it(I've gotten some compliments on it though). Honestly that's a very fickle reason to not play a game and no offense but I can't cater my game to people who think like that.

They're all personal nitpicks lol, I stated multiple times these are just my opinions. I know not everyone thinks the same. And everyone has personal opinions and taste. And no one asked you to cater a game to them. This is feedback. I only shared some because scanning through your thread, I thought you took criticism a little better.
Also, there are TONS of reasons that might stop someone from wanting to play a game. No one is wrong for their reasons lol, be a little more open-minded. Everyone is different, and no one is wrong for having their own tastes.

This is why different games exist. Otherwise, we'd all just like the same one.

I also completely disagree with you when it comes to the battle system looking like every other RPG Maker battle system while it is in motion.

It does though. It looks like your average RPG Maker Side View battle, possibly with some Yanfly add ons(reminds me of action sequences). I'm sure there's other stuff going on, but the overall look from screens or vids lets me know right away that I'm looking at RPG Maker. That alone is not something negative I'm saying about it, my point was that to me, it looks too familiar to have so many add ons.

When I see totally custom battle systems in RPG Maker, I always feel more confident in them when they don't look too much like the RPG Maker. I guess it's because otherwise it feels like things are added on, rather than a build being custom.

All of this feedback is actually mostly about presentation. I try to test games semi-often, because people work hard on them. It bugs me sometimes when I see a game that someone seems to be trying hard on, but the presentation and advertising stops me from wanting to try it.

Don't get me wrong, I've seen the other side plenty, too. Where the presentation looks incredible, but the product doesn't match it. That's actually a bigger fall for me, because that creates a feeling of disappointment.
 

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@standardplayer The game's battle system is rather dynamic in a way that doesn't translate into video. And that may be a fault in itself, but I had the completely wrong idea of how it works until I actually played the game. It's really not for everyone, I previously expressed criticism myself, but I believe citing a lack of originality is misplaced criticism to make.
 

standardplayer

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@Biestmann don't criticise my criticism, especially when you clearly read replies and not my original responses. Go back, read again. Thank you for your reply, but I think you should actually mind your own business.

My responses are about presentation. I never cited a lack of originality, go read or hush.
 

alcreator440

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Hey guys! I have small update here involving an optional town called Myridia Village that is only available after the Fort Ozma segment in the story. Prince Zekiel is the quest giver that unlocks the portal to the village. This town is inspired by the Mysidia Village from Final Fantasy 4. In that town everyone there was a spellcaster of some kind so I adopted that concept for this town as well. Here the player will be able to learn an exclusive spell for the Blavyk Caster called Blavyk Lightning(the skill is covered in my Blavyk Caster revamp post). The player will have to keep returning to the village after certain points in the story to learn the higher levels of the spell. The village itself is only about 80% complete so not everything is shown.

The cutscene at the end gives the player a sneak peek at Prince Rylon. One of two royal twins that will serve as playable guest characters once they get involved in the main plot. Rylon is inspired by Palom and is a Black Mage(Blavyk Caster) while his sister, Rivna, takes after Porom, who is a White Mage(Iynvyk Caster). The continent of Traisia(the landmass the player teleports to in the beginning of the video) is their domain and the player will be able to explore it in full after the update involving the Vahl-Cre class.

 

alcreator440

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Hey guys I have an update here. For now there will be no new content for the foreseeable future because the beginning is still a mess. Right now it's still off-putting(I'm almost certain no one got passed the mines or the very first snow map) so I'm just going to scrap it and completely redo it. My battle system just might be too complex and tedious to even be worth developing further. If I can't find a way to implement a tutorial for it that's only 1-3 sentences then I'm just going to remove all input functions in it and make it basic and fast to put more emphasis on the story. If I do make this change I would have to completely redo the classes, enemies, and weapons/armor which means no new updates for several months to a year, and at this rate it looks like that's the direction it's going.

With that said I have some other projects that need my attention now so I won't even be able to work on this game for a while anyway. When I do release my next demo update it won't go any further than the mines segment so I can continue to get feedback on that segment until it's completely fixed and playable.

EDIT: Also Myridia Village is not the FF4 reference I was talking about that will be coming in the future updates. That town is just a small easter egg. The FF4 reference is an epic spoiler heavy story segment that will contain music from that game and boss battles inspired from it. Once that segment is complete it won't be long before the Vahl-Cre class is unlocked.

Also the FF6 segment I referenced contains spoilers but they're light enough to show off so you guys can look forward to that. This game borrows a lot of plot points from that game(look forward to a ghost train sequence and a military camp sequence with some fitting music!).
 
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Some people have too strong of an opinion about what maker is the best, I've seen discussions like:
- I prefer VXAce because I like the style of the RTP better than the older releases
- You're worse than Hitler
My number one take away from this game jam is to make small games that are as polished and bug free as possible. Far less dev time, and if the game flops, it matters less because my time investment is much lower. Also, whatever ambitions I have... aim for about 10% of them. They are clearly too high, and will involve stuff that likely won't matter.
I'm finally back! :kaojoy:
A lot of RL issues happened this year which didn't let me work on Aithne as much, but I am back with new inspiration!
In that time my art style also changed a little, so I'll be doing a small art change with busts/menu art
Ops forgot to fix the hand on the weaponless sprite o_O
opening old GIMP files is a blessing and a curse because it can be fun to look at art you started once upon a time and want to finish BUT come to a total halt when you remember your past self forgot to create separate layers for most files

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