padr81

Guy whose game is taking too long.
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Your battle system is amazing and I hope you don't have to bin it. What I'd ask is, is there anyway you can implement each feature slowly over the course of many battles. I watched a few LP's of you game and will likely play it but if possible could you not ramp the battle and info dump slowly.

For example, first fight focus solely on attacking and timing those enter presses. 2nd fight add in blocking, 3rd fight add in dodging. 4th fight a bit of status effects etc...
Your battle system has amazing potential but the vibes I got from the LP's is that the player is overwhelmed.

Can you break the system up enough.

Honestly if you can introduce a feature at a time, remove the random battles and make the early enemies much easier than your game could be amazing dude.

Don't let some tough reviews get you down buddy. There is great potential in your game, you just need to find a way to ease people into it.
 

alcreator440

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Hey man thanks for the response! I've already done everything you described in the latest demos(not shown in lps) but playtesters have been telling me that they don't like having multiple battles with tutorials in them. The thing is I introduce the battle mechanics slowly over the course of the beginning areas but the vibe I'm getting is people don't want to read(or will never remember what is said in the tutorial) and just mash buttons.Sure I can trim some of the explanations down a bit but I'm not sure that will help much.

EDIT: Thank you to whoever just gave me my first donation! I'll be sure to work very hard to iron out the kinks and get this project expanded on!
 
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Alright...real talk @alcreator440 . This is how to take your game to the next level...

1) Make a new intro title screen. Even if it's just something similar to your signature banner. Whatever, it just needs something more/different than a recolored RTP. If you don't have time/effort/money for something fancy just find a basic, yet unique, screen.

2) Scrap random encounters. Again, if it's too much time/effort right now you can use placeholders for the monster char sprites instead, but you 100% need to scrap the random encounters.

3) Scrap the visibility of your those passive states. They just add visual clutter and confusion. If they are passive then there is little to no reason to have them displayed anyway.

4) Scrap the Shield Mechanic for the first couple of dungeons. Maybe even entirely. It's an irritating mechanic, that will turn away many players, especially given the fact that it replenishes every turn.

5) Remove resurrection and healing capabilities from enemies from at LEAST the first dungeon. Maybe even entirely.

6) Since so much of your game is skill/reflex oriented you have to realize that the player need PRACTICE to become familiar with it. Limit your entire first dungeon to ONLY the following mechanics....Timed attacks (maybe ONLY have the multi-stab, and the Fire Spell be available to the 2 heroes), Basic dodge (Like ONLY one direction for the entire first dungeon), and Parry (and I would ONLY implement this by the end of the first dungeon boss). This would only require like 4 BASIC explanations along the way "Gotta time my Fire Spell/MultiStab JUST right!", "Look out, I gotta hold back to dodge these attacks/counters when they come", and "here's the boss, dodging may not work, I'm gonna have to parry his attacks."

7) Scrap Fifi, Scrap the Tutorial guy, bury them deep in the ground.


I realize that sounds like a lot. And it is. But if you follow those 7 steps, I can guarantee that the reception to your game will increase exponentially. You clearly have put in a ton of time and effort into something that has great potential. I wouldn't even waste my time spelling this out for you if I didn't feel that way.

If you ever need a hand with any of it, feel free to reach out via DM or on Discord.
 

alcreator440

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Hey man thanks for the extra feedback!

Alright...real talk @alcreator440 . This is how to take your game to the next level...

1) Make a new intro title screen. Even if it's just something similar to your signature banner. Whatever, it just needs something more/different than a recolored RTP. If you don't have time/effort/money for something fancy just find a basic, yet unique, screen.
Yeah, I'll mess around and tweak my title screen until I can get a better one. I plan on switching title screen plugins as well.

2) Scrap random encounters. Again, if it's too much time/effort right now you can use placeholders for the monster char sprites instead, but you 100% need to scrap the random encounters.
I don't want to completely scrap them and I think I already solved the issue they had by making that ability negate them while active. This is just a personal touch but I like random encounters, especially for grinding since that will be a thing with the job system.

3) Scrap the visibility of your those passive states. They just add visual clutter and confusion. If they are passive then there is little to no reason to have them displayed anyway.
I'll definitely look into changing this if I can. Thanks for the advice.

4) Scrap the Shield Mechanic for the first couple of dungeons. Maybe even entirely. It's an irritating mechanic, that will turn away many players, especially given the fact that it replenishes every turn.
You know what, I think the main issue with the Aegis mechanic is that players aren't utilizing the Spirit Shards. If I were to remove the Aegis mechanic the Spirit Shards would have to go too and to me that just adds too much fun and strategy to the game to do so. I think I'll just introduce the Spirit Shards mechanic first, and then the Aegis mechanic later so people will learn to properly use the system.

5) Remove resurrection and healing capabilities from enemies from at LEAST the first dungeon. Maybe even entirely.
I'll just limit all healing and resurrections to the casters in the beginning but I don't want to remove it completely. I don't think it hurts anything for the player to learn early on that targeting healers/spellcasters is important.

6) Since so much of your game is skill/reflex oriented you have to realize that the player need PRACTICE to become familiar with it. Limit your entire first dungeon to ONLY the following mechanics....Timed attacks (maybe ONLY have the multi-stab, and the Fire Spell be available to the 2 heroes), Basic dodge (Like ONLY one direction for the entire first dungeon), and Parry (and I would ONLY implement this by the end of the first dungeon boss). This would only require like 4 BASIC explanations along the way "Gotta time my Fire Spell/MultiStab JUST right!", "Look out, I gotta hold back to dodge these attacks/counters when they come", and "here's the boss, dodging may not work, I'm gonna have to parry his attacks."
I'll definitely look into simplifying things even more if I can. This will be tricky to do because I don't want the game to be too simple and boring in the beginning.

7) Scrap Fifi, Scrap the Tutorial guy, bury them deep in the ground.
I can't scrap Fifi because she's too integral to the story but I will tone down her explanations. Scrapping Kaazaq(tutorial guy) would only hurt the game in the long run because he's great for letting the players master their timings when they learn a new ability or acquire a new weapon.

Overall thanks for the advice and I'll be sure to try and implement them the best way I can.
 

alcreator440

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I have another brief update guys. I decided to take some more time off from developing so that I can reevaluate the beginning of the game. Stepping away from this project will allow me to clear my mind and hopefully approach this issue differently, that of a player's perspective than a developer's. The beginning will be restructured and simplified to the point where explanations will be at a minimum. I don't know when I'll get around to these changes since I'm currently preoccupied with something else more important now. But for the few of you who are following this project closely I hope it gives you some solace to know that I already have some fun solutions floating around in my head.

With that said I won't be bringing this up anymore. Instead the next time I give out an update it will be in regards to Uoltaur's Labyrinth, the next big story quest. You guys can look forward to that in v0.27.
 

alcreator440

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Hey guys! Just chiming in to let you know that this project is still alive and that JackofAllOps Plays is doing a LP of my game! He does great commentary and I highly recommend you ask him to play your game as well.
 

alcreator440

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Hey guys! In my next update I'm going to be showing off more of a remote dungeon I've been tinkering with on my free time. It will still be a while before I release a new version of the game but at the very least you guys will have some new content to watch soon.


I also have a short video of d757gaming giving my game a review. As far as playthroughs are concerned he's gotten further than anyone else in my game.(He and my main character share the same hairstyle. Maybe that's why he liked the game lol jk.)
 

alcreator440

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Here is a brief video of the optional dungeon Karthomos' Catacombs. I'm just testing the new Undead enemies and brainstorming what the dungeon will be like once it's finished so don't think this video will be fully indicative of what will be released later down the line.


As for the next update, I know I've received a lot of criticism regarding the enemy's attacks and how to deal with them. The thing is this is a trial and error game. The player is supposed to troubleshoot which defensive option will work for each attack(whether it's blocking, parrying, or dodging). Certain attacks that don't have clear tells of which direction to dodge are meant to either be blocked or parried. I've noticed that a lot of people just want to rush through the game and not put the time in to learn the attacks then blame the game when they get a game over. All of the fun is in learning and overcoming those challenges.

Outside of a few minor instances where I know the game does need some tweaking this game is built for people who are patient and enjoy learning through trial and error. It heavily rewards the player for taking their time with the game, learning the battles, and using the options that are available to them. If they die then 9/10 times it's because of something they didn't do. The player getting frequent game overs was a part of the core design philosophy but I've been unknowingly shying away from that to try to appeal to more players. I'm not working on this project for the masses, I'm making it for people who like rpgs and really want to challenge themselves.

So moving forward I'm going to go back to what I originally intended for this game and kick the difficulty back up once you leave the mines(mainly just the damage on some of the enemies). I'm also going to give the player constant access to an information file(through the Fairies) that briefly explains the basics and advanced features(hopefully through pictures). I'm not going to baby the player and have them only deal with super basic attacks for the first quarter of the game. I also will not be making the action cues more noticeable than they already are and I will not be slowing the game down and widening the frames for any attacks(unless I overlooked something and it's just way too fast for everybody). I believe sticking to my guns like this will be the best for this game in the long run.

This game is old school, so beating it should make you feel like you actually accomplished something.
 

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I just read again your entire classes descriptions to inspirate myself for creating new skills in my game. I have seen very interesting ideas to work with.

So, this message is to thank you and to encourage you to keep going.

I don't know where you live, but I guess that as the people around the world are pleased to stay at home, maybe it's your case and I hope you will take advantage of this to progress on Mana Raiders !
 

alcreator440

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I just read again your entire classes descriptions to inspirate myself for creating new skills in my game. I have seen very interesting ideas to work with.

So, this message is to thank you and to encourage you to keep going.

I don't know where you live, but I guess that as the people around the world are pleased to stay at home, maybe it's your case and I hope you will take advantage of this to progress on Mana Raiders !
Thank you for the kind words, they are truly inspiring. I haven't updated this thread in a while because I'm still working on another project that's much bigger than this(I'm a writer), but I certainly intend on continuing development when I have the extra time. Believe it or not current events have lead to me having less time to work on this project anyway.

Moving forward I certainly plan on making the next patch I release much bigger than previously intended. If you've played up to where the current demo ends(there's a youtube playthrough of it on d757gaming's channel) then there are many more characters to be introduced, several balance adjustments, the Yhol-Yin class revamp, and the Advice System. I'll get into the specifics on a later date but to give you guys an idea of what I plan on doing progression-wise is:

Uoltaur Village(4 new Classes) --> Mushmarr Mountains --> Avalian Military Camp(you'll learn more of the villain's backstory here) --> Gethal Castle Siege --> Ervyka's Temple(3 new Classes).

I'm not gonna release any new big patches until I've completed everything up to Ervyka's Temple, which is a lot of work and should add roughly 5-10 hours minimum to the current game. The Vahl-Cre class is unlocked at that temple and is amazing fun so I really want to share it with you guys soon. I'm aiming for a late spring, early summer release but in the meantime I might release a small patch to fix some bugs and tweak the balance. The next big patch will be called v0.3.
 

alcreator440

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Hey guys just chiming in again to let you know that I have some free time opening up in my schedule and I'm going to be dedicating that time to Mana Raiders! My muse for this game came back so expect more frequent updates and videos in the next coming weeks. I could be doing some other things right now but with so many people indoors why not give them some fun new content to keep them occupied?

d757gaming has done a full playthrough of the current demo and that playthrough has opened my eyes to a few things about my game. As it stands I'm going to be making some big balance adjustments, chiefly making the enemies hit harder.

As I said before I'm going to stand by my decision to keep this game really difficult and maintain its high learning curve. This is for skilled veteran rpg players who are looking for a challenge so I want to continue to aim this project at them, not people who are just looking for an easy time. So if you thought this game was too "overwhelming" before then this is still probably not the game for you. I can't dumb my game down for an audience it wasn't intended for.

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My next videos will most likely be of Uotlaur Labyrinth since that is what I'm currently working on now. It will be a big dungeon and the mark of a difficulty spike with its unique monsters, bosses, and puzzles. I'm going to get to work on the Hyrvyk Caster job which will be unlocked once this dungeon is completed. With this class the player will have access to some fun skills like Auto-Tonic and some !Mix inspired abilities. You guys can look forward to that later this week. In the meantime d757gaming uploaded a more thorough review of my game. It also contains gameplay I never showed off before that is available in the current demo.
 

alcreator440

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I'm back with another update on my project and this time it's a class reveal! So far I've already tweaked the balance on enemies to the point where they are much harder, and revamped some bosses to be more nuanced and difficult. I don't know what I'll showcase next after this but hopefully it won't be too long from now.


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Hyrvyk Caster - The alchemist class of the game. This is the second healer class that is unlocked during the main story(right after Uoltaur Labyrinth). Because their healing can be extremely potent without needing a high magic stat the game will increase in difficulty sharply after acquiring this class. This class has some of the most powerful abilities in the game but the player will have to put in some work to reap their benefits. For those who like to grind and hunt down rare monsters for items this class will reward them greatly. On their own they're quite frail and boast zero offensive abilities.


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Full Master Alchemist - A standard passive ability that boosts the effectiveness of all normal items used in battle. It also gives the user a 30%(60% at Full Mana) chance to recover the used item, essentially making the item free to use. This recovery effect works on all of the class's skills and a small green flash will appear after an item is used to let the player know that the materials were recovered. Very useful since you can only carry a limited amount of items in this game. This ability is innate to the class and is shared.


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Auto-Tonic - The user will counter with the strongest 'Tonic' item available when either their hp falls below 40% or a party member has fallen(for Life Tonic). Pretty straight forward and useful. This ability is innate to the class and is shared.


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Auto-Water -
The user will counter with the strongest 'Water' item available when their mp falls below 40%. This ability is innate to the class and is shared.


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Auto-Cider -
The user will counter with the strongest 'Cider' item available when either their hp & mp falls below 40% or a party member has fallen(for Life Cider). This ability is innate to the class and is shared.


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Auto-Vial -
The user will counter with the strongest 'Vial' item available if they're suffering from a status ailment. This ability is innate to the class and is shared.


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Auto-Item -
This is essentially an all-in-one ability. Instead of having to equip either of the above you can just equip this and it will do everything for you. This won't be available until much later in the game and will be very expensive to unlock. This ability is innate to the class(once you reach a certain point in the story) and is shared.


The following abilities can only be unlocked when the player obtains the appropriate recipes. When the recipe is acquired the player will only have to spend a few resources to learn the ability.


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Bearradon's Blood -
The user applies a state that triples the party's attack and defense stats for 3 turns. This can be very effective if used properly. To use this ability the player will have to have the item components necessary and one of which is a Bearradon Horn, which means if you plan on using this ability frequently then you're gonna have to hunt down some Bearradons, and with the recent changes to their AI and attacks that won't be a walk in the park early on. Another component is Liquid Ooze, which is actually required for just about all of these abilities. Liquid Ooze is an uncommon drop from the Uubglop enemies and the player can carry up to 80 of them(you can only hold up to 20 for most items) so the player can stockpile them if they're wary enough to farm them when they can.


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Oxull Syrup -
Triples the party's maximum hp and defense for 3 turns. The components for this ability are relatively easy to farm so the player might find themselves using this often early on. This ability will make the player more susceptible to tank busters since the damage of those attacks is based on the player's max hp vs current hp.


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Oizarga Elixer -
Triples the party's agility and dexterity for 3 turns. This particular ability is extremely powerful because agility already boosts your damage by a lot and then couple it with dexterity which scales with a lot of attacks. I might have to nerf this one down the line but for now I'll just be keeping a close eye on it.


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Myrrindis Milk -
Triples the party's magic and magic defense for 3 turns. A strong one to use when you have a Blavyk Caster in the party.


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Fairy Water -
Triples the party's maximum mp for 3 turns. This is very strong but potentially makes maintaining Full Mana more difficult. Overall it's situational.


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Dragon's Nectar -
Sets the party's mp to 300% of their maximum mp. This is one of the strongest abilities in the game as showcased in the video below. Because it's so powerful the components to use it will be rare and expensive so it's best to save it for tougher fights. This does not trigger Hyrvyk Sickness.


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+Ultra Potion -
Triples all of the party's stats for 3 turns. This stacks with the other stat altering abilities. The components for this are not easy to obtain.


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Murpo Mix -
Grants the party immunity to most status ailments for 3 turns. Very strong but it won't be available until the later half of the game due to the components being hard to find.


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Mighty 9999 -
Causes all of the party's attacks to deal 9999 damage to shattered targets for 3 turns. This is extremely powerful mid-game and even late-game before you unlock Limit Breaker. Very tough to farm the components for it but I think many with free time on their hands will think it's worth it.


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Hyrvyk Sickness -
I'm sure by now you guys are probably thinking, "Man this class is broken, just spam a bunch of potions and go to town.". Well unfortunately it's not that simple. You see, whenever you use another potion while either of the above abilities are in effect your party will experience Hyrvyk Sickness. What this does is it removes all Hyrvyk potions in effect, seals all Hyrvyk abilities, and reduces all of the party's stats(including hp & mp) by 90% for 3 turns. Ouch, now that's one bad stomachache. There is absolutely no way to cure Hyrvyk Sickness so the player will be forced to wait it out. I put this in to prevent the player from stacking potion effects but there is a way to circumvent it:


Iron Stomach - This ability grants the party a 60% chance at Full Mana to prevent Hyrvyk Sickness if a Hyrvyk potion is used while one is already in effect. So if the player is feeling lucky they can have as many abilities up as they want with this skill. This ability is innate to the Hyrvyk Caster and shared. The effect works on a party wide scale so if the user of a Hyrvyk potion procs Iron Stomach it takes effect for the whole party. Say a Hyrvyk potion is used on the party but one party member dies and is revived. On their next turn they can use a Hyrvyk potion without worrying about causing Hyrvyk Sickness to the rest of the party because the user doesn't have any Hyrvyk potions in effect. Overall this is a fun skill that will let the player experiment and pull off some cool feats.


There are some more potion abilities for this class but I'll reveal them on a later date. The video also showcases a balance adjustment I made to the Angelic Crash ability. It will now instantly kill any non-boss enemy and it is innate to the Vahl-Cre class.
 

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Just before reading the two last abilities, I was saying to myself that this class was OP !
 

alcreator440

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Hey guys! I have a quick video here. It's just a boss battle with me testing some abilities for late game. The boss itself is incomplete and mainly just has placeholder attacks for now. Once I finish some more skills I'll probably upload another version of the fight that will be more indicative of what the player will face.

Lately I've been messing around with Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and I really like how the harder bosses are designed, so I think I'm going to take that approach to balancing some of the tougher encounters. This means that hp thresholds will be a thing and I might even have some skills utilize Yanfly's Instant cast plugin more.

I'm also going to have the rarer weapons and armor give stat boosts like HP +20% or ATK +30% to make the equipment scene more complex and build oriented. This boss test has taught me that the ultimate class, the Uardolin, will be busted once the player masters all of their jobs(heck even just half of them) so instead of making the class available from roughly 60% into the story it won't be unlocked until the start of the final story dungeon.

Here is the video. It's really choppy and a bit repetitive. The boss has 6.5 million hp and I wanted to test if it was too much or too little for an endgame superboss.
 

Boonty

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Lately I've been messing around with Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and I really like how the harder bosses are designed
I don't play FFBE. Could you tell us more about how they are designed ?

This boss seems to not hit hard but to be a huge HP sponge
 

alcreator440

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I don't play FFBE. Could you tell us more about how they are designed ?

This boss seems to not hit hard but to be a huge HP sponge
In FFBE the harder bosses take a lot of setup to deal with. You have to lower their stats(through breaks) so your tank can survive the damage they dish and you constantly have to be aware of which threshold you're about to pass because they tend to counter with some vicious spells or attacks. Basically each fight has a specific gimick you have to be aware of but the key to winning is how effective your support units are to you in the battle.

At this time that boss doesn't have any complex AI because I wanted to test the abilities the player has access to and how much damage they can dish with high stats. Due to the new changes I'm making to equipment Hoshiah was able to reach 12,000 ATK with some late game equipment. The multi-jump spear move he kept using is probably the most powerful attack in the game which is why he dealt the most damage.

The boss actually doesn't have as much hp as some other bosses and I didn't utilize spirit shards effectively because the one character that can break his aegis in one turn action was too slow. If I had utilized those shards the boss would have died within three turns. My end game bosses will be all about debuffing them and setting them up to be wiped out quickly with spirit shards before you reach a threshold that's too difficult to overcome. The next time I upload this fight the boss will have thresholds, buffs, and some instant kill moves.
 

alcreator440

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Okay guys, I have a special treat for you today. I just uploaded a new version of my game that has some very unique changes to the combat. I've made a significant tweak to the Aegis mechanic. From now on all of your attacks will deal normal damage to enemies with Aegis. That's right, no more nerfed damage to enemies! And on top of this whenever you shatter the enemy's Aegis you will instead deal x2 damage to them until the turn ends! This means the same concept of using your Spirit Shards to maximize your damage against a Shattered enemy is still optimal but you won't be restricted in what attacks you can use anymore, resulting in much faster paced battles. This makes the game much more free form and newcomer friendly. It also makes the Aegis mechanic function similarly to the Stagger mechanic in FFXIII and FFVII Remake.

Due to the nature of these changes I had to nerf the damage multiplier of Spirit Shards. The most they'll boost your damage now is by x4 if you use all 7 of them. However just using a single shard will result in a x1.25 boost instead of nothing now.

This is a great time to give the game a download if you've been curious about it. However I must inform you that this version of the game is still a work in progress for my next official update. It doesn't have any new changes outside of what I just stated(although a few characters have Auto-Tonic now) and I haven't even bug checked them. The beginning tutorial hasn't even been updated with these new mechanics yet either. This is just a quick update that makes the current game way more fun. So if you run into any game breaking bugs please let me know so I can fix them asap. I'm currently too busy to really give this project the attention it deserves right now but I knew this one tweak would result in an extremely fun game for many new players.

Moving forward I decided to revamp the buff and debuff system. It will function similar to how the break system works in FFBE. I'm also going to change the damage formula to accommodate this. Right now the Stagyk Caster is the buff oriented class but due to the fact that stat buffs are going to play a more significant role other classes will have skills that will debuff the opponent in addition to their existing mechanics. Anyways have fun guys and if you get stuck please read the skill descriptions. They answer over 90% of the questions new players ask.

Download link
 

alcreator440

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This is just a quick video of a new zone. Just some simple battles here, nothing really noteworthy. I figured I'd upload something today since it's been a while since my last upload. I'll try to upload that boss fight I promised in my last post soon. This video contains the new Aegis mechanic I mentioned in my previous post. You guys can expect an update to the game's current download link soon as well.

Moving forward I plan on buffing the damage of magical attacks as this video is a clear indication that they need to be buffed. I'm also going to add more magical attacks to the game to compliment this buff since there are an enormous amount of physical skills in the current build.
 

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Okay guys right now I'm currently working on something really big for this game. I am extremely confident that this will really be a favorite for you guys. I won't give away too many details now but it will be released in the next demo update(v0.27) which is planned to go out within the next two weeks. This alone could easily double the game's playtime and greatly extend its replay value.

v0.27 will only expand the story to Uoltaur's Labyrinth and the 4 new jobs that come with it, but you guys will get the Nightmare Realm along with it. I'll be posting more videos of this new place as I develop it but just know that there is a whole lot more to it than what this video is showing. I'm very excited about this one guys, stay tuned!
 

ShadowDragon

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ping me so I can redownload the next version, didn't had the time to play it.
so didn't got many bugs to reports, will do in the next version when possible
and when able. to busy in RL at the moment.
 

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Back home now. I had a good time, but I had a checkup this morning so I had to come home for that. Now I'm just waiting for my therapist meeting tomorrow...
Decided to work on Wishful Wanda today. Since it's a BFB spinoff game, I decided to make the Huang brothers
Easter eggs! I'm actually pitching this to the BFDI team, btw.
I'm a bit perturbed that my two week project in a different engine is already shaping up to be far better than anything I've done in this one. It really calls into question my future plans. :kaoswt:

I guess I'll release whatever patches I made for Poppet Quest, then abandon it for my new project. I mean unless it somehow wins (I doubt it but hey sure). I'm not sure about And Remember Tomorrow.
It's really not fun burning 4 hours looking at code and trying certain things and getting no where.
:kaoswt2: Steam seems down again... oh nevermind, it's up now
After so long, my random sprites set is complete! I wonder who could guess them all? :kaothx:
2COlHup.png

And yes, I'm doing more.

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