RMMZ Maze of the Lost MZ (Demo 0.99 Released 10/17/20)

Knightmare

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Maze of the Lost - MZ Version

SYNOPSIS
Maze of the Lost is a Hybrid of Old-School Dungeon Crawlers and Traditional Japanese RPG's with a splash of the likes of Shadow Gate/Uninvited/Deja Vu and Metroidvanias that may also serve to satisfy that palette as well if you're into those. By Old School Dungeon Crawler I am talking about the likes of Wizardry and Might and Magic from the 1980's. If you are a newer gamer then you might not "get it" when you play the game and may not know why things are a certain way but the older gamers probably will. I have also incorporated a lot of more modern and traditional RPG tropes and certain quality of life settings that will also hopefully make the game likeable by newer gamers as well.

Maze of the Lost is a little on the harder side like the Old School Dungeon Crawlers but not frustratingly so like they were. The game in its finished form will be between 30-40 hours of play time and will feature 12 full levels and a secret 13th level and a few dozen smaller areas in the levels themselves. The game is actually half completed in MV but I have decided to port it over to MZ and am in the process of doing so now and have enough ported over to release a small demo of the beginning area and the first 2 levels/floors which will likely take 4-6 hours to beat.

The story isn't anything grandiose at the start but will develop as the game goes and small pieces of the story will come out as you play and beat more levels and collect more items. The story will start simple enough and then after each Level there will be some cutscenes that will answer some questions but also leave more questions to be answered and on and on until the story is complete so it is kind of like a slow drip story feed with cliffhangers after each level that are answered later in the game. Expect some shocks and twists as the story goes.

The story starts that the Kingdom of Fardonia is in trouble when a mysterious cave appears in the middle of forest that wasn't there before. Out of curiosity the subjects have gone in or around to see what is going on but the ones that go never return. The King sends his scholars and soldiers to see what the fuss is about and none of them return either. The King starts to call for adventurers to try to see what is going on and he offers them the Kingdom if they can figure out what is going on and report back. Suddenly the King is visited by 4 would be heroes who have a look of promise...

SCREENSHOTS
Colony1.PNGMenu.PNGBattle.PNG

FEATURES IN A NUTSHELL
-Character Creation and character stat distribution that lets you take control on how you want to develop your characters. (Stat Distribution is very basic now but will have a better system as soon as a plugin is made for it.)
-Dungeon Crawling with mostly randomized loot but some static persistent loot so no playthrough will yield the same treasures.
-Steal gold and items from enemies, this may be the only way to get certain items. (Stealing not in Demo yet.)
-Puzzles and riddles a plenty to solve and figure out as well as mysteries to unravel.
-Randomized enemy encounters so no encounter will be the same.
-Quests and Bounties (Bounties not in Demo version yet.)
-Classless system, you make your own classes based on the equipment you give your characters and the skills you want them to learn.
-Each type of weapon and armor has strengths and weaknesses where no weapon or armor could be considered useless. Anyone can equip anything but a variety is strongly recommended.
-Finished game will be 30-40 hours long.
-Evolving and building storyline with 3 possible endings.
-Gem System to further fine tune stats and elemental and status properties.
-A cast of supporting characters that have a variety of different personalities, some quirky, some serious, some violent, and several more inbetween.
-Note system keeps track of important info found in the dungeons so you don't have to write them down like in the 80's crawlers, maps can also be acquired instead of having to draw your own, a minimap skill can also be learned.
-Monster graphics by the very talented @Thalzon to give some life to the dungeons. (seriously check out his monsters, they are awesome)
-Music by a variety of talented artists like Dibur.

DOWNLOAD LINKS

CONCLUSION
Hopefully this will be enjoyable to at least someone. I do appreciate all feedback and constructive criticism and hopefully someone will give me some. There are some mechanic changes that will be in the completed version or in further demos once the right resources and plugins become available for MZ so not everything will remain the same, I tried to note these in the actual game. I'm more interested in knowing how the overall feel and balance is and less about my choice in graphics or music but I am interested in all feedback as a whole. Some things I will be adamant about and will not change, others I am open to changing if the demand is high and/or a good logical argument or point can be made that will make more sense overall to include or exclude in the game. Thanks for reading and playing (if you decide to play.) The full game will probably be free or something like $5 if I decide to go commercial with it.

A couple things to note...Steal Gold skill doesn't work yet. The Stat Distribution System is very basic now and will change into a better one when the plugins are available. The Skill Learning System may change depending on feedback, I have been toying with using an Equipment Skill Learning System and a Skill Shop System, also may wait for VisuStella's Skill Learning System and try that version. Character Classes I have toyed with on and off and couldn't really find a groove with it that I liked but I may try that again in the future depending on feedback and what plugins are available. The maps themselves will probably be reworked somewhat to make them more interesting, I know as of now they're not dreadfully boring but they could definitely use some more spice.
 
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KakonComp

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So I just finished it in about 2 1/2 hours time. I jumbled some thoughts together while I was playing it, which I'll put in a spoiler below:

- I would edit the title screen to have all four options visible without having to scroll. This can most likely be done with Visustella's Core engine's menu layout section.

- I'd lower the translucent opacity from the VisuStella Core Engine so greyed out options don't look the same as the normal text. You can't tell what options are on or off for one example of why this isn't a good idea.

- I immediately wanted to explore the cave while reading the intro text; I wish I lived in a dungeon crawler, yo.

- For my party, I did what I always do which is go one dude, and one dudette; these are who I ended up with. At the time I didn't know whether or not character choice would affect classes or not:
Peeps.png

- The lack of a biography makes sense on the status menu, but is odd to show the players. Even taking out the word "Biography" or trying to make it something else would be better.

- I made two attackers, a mage with fireball, and a healer with heal.

- When talking to Nigel, sometimes his name will pop up in his message box as <Nigel> at the end when talking about Elric. I found his dialogue about the people in the maze to be really interesting; made me want to meet 'em. Also, when mentioning the Syndicate, his face changes to a woman's face.

- Bought the best current weapons and weakest armor, might regret going light on protection; we'll see.

- I was told the Notebook wouldn't be available yet, but seeing as you have a Note bit in the item menu, I'd probably stick with that as it's easy access and less extra menus to flip through.

- In the first couple battles I noticed my physical attackers were just about one shotting everything before my mage could get off a fireball. Eventually when he did it did only about half of what my "World of STR" MCs were doing, unless the enemy was weak to it like Mandrake. I decided to stick with it since there would probably be physical damage sponges out there lurking in the shadows.

- I don't know how feasible it currently is, but it'd be cool to see just how much AP we get per battle. I do like that you got AP by winning and leveling up instead of just one or the other.

- I did the early NES strategy and grinded a bit near the entrance to the town once I realized I may have to draw a map, like the old days. Plus I wanted those class Gems.

- Once I gained that level and got more AP, I realized I probably didn't have to grind as much as I did, but I do like watching my numbers climb.

- Also wanted to say I liked seeing the drops pop out from the enemy and flop on the ground once defeated.

- When I found a hidden wall, the first step made me think it was a bug, but it actually led me to an Odd Spectacle. Not sure it'd look better with you going under the wall instead of over, or not.

- As soon as I read the message about the spikes, I knew the direction one of the quests was gonna take.

- Only realized an hour in that there was a map of level 1 being shown. I went through the entire right side with little problem though, so it's not so bad on my part.

- Noticed I could equip two of the same type of Gems/Accessories, so I made my people
into powerhouses that'd probably one shot even floor level 2 enemies. I might change that so balance isn't completely broken in the beginning.

- My non magic duo shook off the boss' hits like nothing, while it would one shot my magic casters. Thankfully it only attacked them once each, and I had reviving items. I'm glad my equipment can increase target rates.

- End of demo, had fun, am sleepy. Also, here's what my team looked like after the boss died:
Peeps Redux.png

Doubled up on the class gems and stat accessories like I said before; sold all the crafting stuff to make it happen.

I'd mostly, based on what I typed up in the spoiler, balance out the physical and magical side of things a bit more. The builds I went with made physical attacks a joke from every enemy besides the boss, and even then it only did 9 x 2 damage to my physical powerhouses. In the future I assume this will be mitigated a bit by having enemies use magic to shred my otherwise hardy walls.

On my side, I could just use regular attack and consistently do more damage than my magic people using the enemy's weakness. I didn't even buy physical skills for the two physical attackers; I imagine that'd make them even deadlier.

In any case I had fun, and am looking forward to seeing where your project goes in the future! Now I must sleep :kaoswt:
 

Knightmare

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So I just finished it in about 2 1/2 hours time. I jumbled some thoughts together while I was playing it, which I'll put in a spoiler below:

- I would edit the title screen to have all four options visible without having to scroll. This can most likely be done with Visustella's Core engine's menu layout section.

- I'd lower the translucent opacity from the VisuStella Core Engine so greyed out options don't look the same as the normal text. You can't tell what options are on or off for one example of why this isn't a good idea.

- I immediately wanted to explore the cave while reading the intro text; I wish I lived in a dungeon crawler, yo.

- For my party, I did what I always do which is go one dude, and one dudette; these are who I ended up with. At the time I didn't know whether or not character choice would affect classes or not:
View attachment 162209

- The lack of a biography makes sense on the status menu, but is odd to show the players. Even taking out the word "Biography" or trying to make it something else would be better.

- I made two attackers, a mage with fireball, and a healer with heal.

- When talking to Nigel, sometimes his name will pop up in his message box as <Nigel> at the end when talking about Elric. I found his dialogue about the people in the maze to be really interesting; made me want to meet 'em. Also, when mentioning the Syndicate, his face changes to a woman's face.

- Bought the best current weapons and weakest armor, might regret going light on protection; we'll see.

- I was told the Notebook wouldn't be available yet, but seeing as you have a Note bit in the item menu, I'd probably stick with that as it's easy access and less extra menus to flip through.

- In the first couple battles I noticed my physical attackers were just about one shotting everything before my mage could get off a fireball. Eventually when he did it did only about half of what my "World of STR" MCs were doing, unless the enemy was weak to it like Mandrake. I decided to stick with it since there would probably be physical damage sponges out there lurking in the shadows.

- I don't know how feasible it currently is, but it'd be cool to see just how much AP we get per battle. I do like that you got AP by winning and leveling up instead of just one or the other.

- I did the early NES strategy and grinded a bit near the entrance to the town once I realized I may have to draw a map, like the old days. Plus I wanted those class Gems.

- Once I gained that level and got more AP, I realized I probably didn't have to grind as much as I did, but I do like watching my numbers climb.

- Also wanted to say I liked seeing the drops pop out from the enemy and flop on the ground once defeated.

- When I found a hidden wall, the first step made me think it was a bug, but it actually led me to an Odd Spectacle. Not sure it'd look better with you going under the wall instead of over, or not.

- As soon as I read the message about the spikes, I knew the direction one of the quests was gonna take.

- Only realized an hour in that there was a map of level 1 being shown. I went through the entire right side with little problem though, so it's not so bad on my part.

- Noticed I could equip two of the same type of Gems/Accessories, so I made my people
into powerhouses that'd probably one shot even floor level 2 enemies. I might change that so balance isn't completely broken in the beginning.

- My non magic duo shook off the boss' hits like nothing, while it would one shot my magic casters. Thankfully it only attacked them once each, and I had reviving items. I'm glad my equipment can increase target rates.

- End of demo, had fun, am sleepy. Also, here's what my team looked like after the boss died:
View attachment 162210

Doubled up on the class gems and stat accessories like I said before; sold all the crafting stuff to make it happen.

I'd mostly, based on what I typed up in the spoiler, balance out the physical and magical side of things a bit more. The builds I went with made physical attacks a joke from every enemy besides the boss, and even then it only did 9 x 2 damage to my physical powerhouses. In the future I assume this will be mitigated a bit by having enemies use magic to shred my otherwise hardy walls.

On my side, I could just use regular attack and consistently do more damage than my magic people using the enemy's weakness. I didn't even buy physical skills for the two physical attackers; I imagine that'd make them even deadlier.

In any case I had fun, and am looking forward to seeing where your project goes in the future! Now I must sleep :kaoswt:
Thank you so much for the detailed review! I appreciate it a lot. I immediately fixed the text issues.

Wow you really grinded up lol! Level 3 or 4 is where Level 1 usually ends if there's little to no grinding. The balance is definitely off for now, the MV version was a lot more balanced and a little more difficult and had a stat distribution system where you would get 10 points per level that you could distribute and skills were learned with YF JP System where you could learn 1 skill per level (and most bosses would give you an extra point too) so it made it to where each character couldn't purchase every skill. That and the Stat Distribution and Skill Learning were completely separate. Eventually when the plugins are available it will go back to that. The system I have in play now is only temporary as I know it is not balanced the way it is now. The new (old) system will also make it so the gained LP (Learning Points) will be seen after Level Ups and Boss Battles.

The Gem System is new-ish, the MV way was having Passive Equip Skills but I decided to go with a regular Equip setting with it this time and will probably stick with this. I may go with my original idea and have 1 Gem Slot for a Class Gem and another slot for an Element or Status Gem, and I may reduce the Accessory to 1 instead of 2 or split it up where you can't equip the same thing.

I also fixed the Title Screen to have 4 rows and the Traslucent Opacity issue, funny I had been playing and asked myself "why isn't the stuff I can't do not greyed out like in MV." Come to remember that I had changed the opacity to 255 because I was thinking it was for the background only but realized there were 2 different settings for opacity after looking again so thanks for pointing that out, it was definitely something I wanted to fix.

I will probably stay with the note system I have now as I also kind of like it better, the Notebook was a separate Common Event Menu in the Main Menu where it stored all your notes and you could go through them easily enough so it wasn't too bulky or anything.

I did forget to put descriptions for the Class Gems so I'm putting those in now. There will be more available as well and some are hidden or gained through other means.

It's kind of a trope in my games to have the main RPG Maker Hero be killed at the beginning of the game or be dead towards the beginning so you may have noticed the dead Marian's Husband was the boy "hero" of RPG Maker MZ haha, I killed Ralph off quite a bit too.

I tried experimenting with an Overpass Tile plugin with MV but it didn't play well with the Terrax Lighting Plugin so I had to scrap it, I may see if the 1 for MZ works with it, because I agree it would look better if the characters went 'under' the fake walls. There are 3 fake walls in Level 1 (1 goes to the Dark Zone, 1 to the Odd Spectacles, and 1 that is a shortcut to the left half and right half of the Level) and every level has at least 1 and they can be discovered with 'Detect Secrets' Skills if you don't find them manually.

The Big Picture of the Level Maps I am going to try to find a way to indicate where the player is to make it easier to navigate from where you are instead of "guessing" where you might be.

The boss can be more challenging if it uses it's 'Afterglow' Special move (especially more than once) as it does damage to all party members and can inflict Blind so it may not have used it in your fight with it but you were also powered up quite a bit so maybe he used it but it only did like 3 damage or something haha.

I am working on trying to get the Armor Scaling to work with MZ like I did with MV to where the fights were tough but fair but more damage was done to the tanky characters and less was done to the squishy characters, because I noticed as a whole that this MZ version is easier than the MV version.

The next demo version will feature Level 2 and the above fixes and hopefully a better overall balance. I hope to have that done by the end of the weekend (so Saturday or Sunday most likely.)

Thanks again for playing through and for giving a lot of feedback!
 

KakonComp

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Haha yeah; the grinding was mostly so I could buy all the overpowered stuff since I assumed you could put two of the same kinds on each character. It's good to find that kind of stuff out now while you're still in the earlier stages. I do think separating stats and skills is important, or else people like me will make their attackers go all in with attack and defense, with some agility. I mean, that probably wouldn't be optimal in the future, but it definitely carried me through the current demo.

I would definitely separate the Gems; The elemental ones would see some use and the player would have to think harder in the future once more and more of each type is found in the dungeon. Two accessories is cool, but separating their types is important if it's possible to do so.

I'm making a pixel game with little to no transparent backgrounds, so I actually had trouble with the translucent opacity too at first. Very glad I figured that bit out before I went to report it as a bug.

I did notice the hero was Reid; poor kid. That would be the fate of most people traversing the dungeon. Also speaking of the map, it'd be good if there's a way to close out of it when you do get the player's position in there, instead of the timer it's currently on now.

Lastly, the boss never used Afterglow, just Dual Attack, which it only got to use 4 times before it got killed by spears and fire. I was happy to test your game! The dialogue was interesting; sounds like there's a decent amount of activity going on down there, which would help to explain the mystery of this cavern to the player as they delved down deeper.
 

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Haha yeah; the grinding was mostly so I could buy all the overpowered stuff since I assumed you could put two of the same kinds on each character. It's good to find that kind of stuff out now while you're still in the earlier stages. I do think separating stats and skills is important, or else people like me will make their attackers go all in with attack and defense, with some agility. I mean, that probably wouldn't be optimal in the future, but it definitely carried me through the current demo.

I would definitely separate the Gems; The elemental ones would see some use and the player would have to think harder in the future once more and more of each type is found in the dungeon. Two accessories is cool, but separating their types is important if it's possible to do so.

I'm making a pixel game with little to no transparent backgrounds, so I actually had trouble with the translucent opacity too at first. Very glad I figured that bit out before I went to report it as a bug.

I did notice the hero was Reid; poor kid. That would be the fate of most people traversing the dungeon. Also speaking of the map, it'd be good if there's a way to close out of it when you do get the player's position in there, instead of the timer it's currently on now.

Lastly, the boss never used Afterglow, just Dual Attack, which it only got to use 4 times before it got killed by spears and fire. I was happy to test your game! The dialogue was interesting; sounds like there's a decent amount of activity going on down there, which would help to explain the mystery of this cavern to the player as they delved down deeper.
Cool, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Yeah the game really picks up after Level 1 as Level 1 is mostly an introduction and is meant to ease the player into the game. After each level there are 2 cutscenes to further the story and some within Levels themselves but I may add more as well to develop the characters more. I purchased the Battle AI plugin from VisuStella and noticed it makes it to where the boss only does the 1 Dual Attack even though he can also use Cyclone (Always), Afterglow (Less than 60% HP), and Phase (which makes him invulnerable to all attacks for 1 turn, when less than 30% HP) but for some reason they don't trigger so I have to figure out how to tweak it so he does or else it's just a boring fight. I'll have to brush up on my eventing skills to figure out how to close out the map instead of using the timer but I'm pretty sure I can figure it out quickly enough. '

What's your pixel game about? I may need to check that out.
 

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You could set it as an image like you have, but then have a transparent message box, so when the players press enter the map image closes out. This gives the player control on how long they want to look at the map before continuing.

I noticed the AI bit too with some of the plugins for MZ, so what I'm doing is making a single skill that adds a common event that will play the actual enemy skills in an order, or when a certain condition is met. It makes for some interesting encounters as I was doing it on a MV game while waiting for MZ to come out.

Also my game is currently just in the "making graphics" phase; I have yet to make more than one animation, which I've been putting off :LZSblush:
I have to get on it sometime, but my profile does have a picture of a monster pub, and further down is the title screen. The main character is going to be a blue slime who is also a blue mage, and any skill that is used on the slime it will learn, which can be equipped to a max of 8 skills at any one time. I don't want to clutter your game thread with my own, so if you wanted to know more feel free to msg me.

I look forward to being able to delve further! I'd also get any extra plugins you may need out of the way, so players will be able to still use their old saves in the future, when you do have the balance you want.
 

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Wow those are some good ideas that will make it a much simpler process. That's a really interesting idea on how to do skills with common events, I might try that if I can't get the AI thing to work properly.

Well at least you know how to make the graphics, I'm not an artist at all so I have to depend on others assets. Sounds like a fun idea of a blue slime though.

Yeah there might be a slight waiting game on the plugins so that's why after the next demo of Level 2 I will probably stop at that until all the plugins I need are out of the way because old saves will be corrupted. Getting the feedback from others will help me to polish everything in the overall game when I do get to that point so the early feedback is very helpful as well. I'm glad you enjoyed it, I think you will like it more as it goes as the story gets deeper and it branches out a bit once you get to Level 5 and on where you can sort of pick a direction to go with some of the people down there but I won't spoil it.
 

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Not gonna lie, dungeon crawling and making my own characters are what initially sold me on trying your game out. Seeing people I chose, named, and customized grow and traverse deeper brings me great satisfaction. To where I'll play a game like Elminage Gothic, in all its faults, several times to completion. I do also think I will like it the further down the party traverses. Definitely keep me in the loop for releases.

The common event idea is only a little wonky in that first the base skill that calls the common event has to be used. In the game I used it on, I had a couple skills that called the same common event, and gave the skill name a small dialogue snippet the monster is saying as it readies an attack. I'll leave a couple images to show what I mean:
EX01.png
EX02.png
 

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Oh yeah, I'm big on character creation and character customization and having loads of skills, weapons, armor, and enemies. I was a huge fan of older Wizardry, Might and Magic, Bards Tale, Dungeon Master, Elminage, Infinite Adventures, (great modern crawler you should try it if you haven't), StarCrawlers, and there's a light hearted one called Frayed Knights that's pretty fun too. I know 'm forgetting some but if it's a crawler I'm all over it.

That's really clever with the common events, I never would have thought of doing it like that so that's a good idea I may steal from you haha. Lol at "FEED ME!"

Thanks again for the time spent on the game and in the topic, stuff like that means a lot to me, I'll put you in the creds and I might make a "cameo" of sorts of you in the game itself since you're the first tester with feedback (besides my sister.) I'll most likely release Level 2 this weekend and hopefully get a good balance going and fix a couple of the issues that you had so I'll let you know when it's done.
 
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New Demo released. Demo 0.9 is ready. Updated Link in the OP.

Changes in this version from previous 0.2 version.

-Biggest change is that Level 2 is now fully playable and Demo should take 4-5 hours to complete.
-Rebalanced many aspects of the game, from stats, changes to equip types, to damage formulas and battles, to prices. Should feel more balanced overall.
-Fixed a few text issues and typos. Added some text here and there to NPC's.
-Implemented a new Teleport/Travel System that opens up in Level 2 when a certain quest is complete thanks to @casper667 for this new awesome plugin.
-Fixed most enemies only using basic attacks to enemies using their specials as well so battles will be more dynamic and interesting, apparently I changed a setting in the BattleAI plugin that made it to where enemies mostly or completely just spammed attack and didn't do anything else.
-Implemented a block system for shields.
-Tier 2 Skills are available to purchase through Skill Buy System once you reach Level 2 (not EXP Level 2 but Level 2 - Hedge Forest location.)
-Changed the size of some of the enemies.
-Changed a few SE's.
-Fixed embarrassing bug as Skill Buy Stat Allocation didn't raise stats properly.

Things that still need done before Demo 1.0 (Final Demo) is released.

-Fix any bugs or discrepancies that may appear in Demo 0.9.
-Better Stat Allocation System (Separate from Skill Learning for better balance)
-Better Skill Learning System (Separate from Stat Allocation for better balance)
-An Alt Currency Plugin that works with my game. I know there's a decent one available now but I can't get it to work properly with my game.
-Making Steal Gold and Steal Item Skills Functionable.
-Getting the Minimap Skill to work when a Minimap Plugin is available.
NOTE: For this demo do not purchase Steal Gold, Steal Item, or Minimap Skill as they will not work and may crash the game.

The Final Demo will hopefully be released by the end of the month if certain plugins become available. After the Final Demo is released it will likely be several months before the game is completed as I still have to port Level 3, 4, 5 over from MV and make all the necessary adjustments and then finish Level 6 and then start and finish Level 7-12(13) and the final stretch.

For those who really like the game and want to see the completed version and want to test each level as it becomes available I would totally welcome 1-3 Beta Testers to help me through this journey and will send you Demo's of each level as they become available. You will of course be credited in the final version (and possibly paid a small amount via PayPal if the game goes Commercial which I'm 50/50 on at the moment) and I will probably put some sort of cameo of you or a character you make in the game as long as it can tie into the main plot or be a hidden easter egg or something. We can work all that out.

Enjoy the game, and please leave comments and constructive criticism as you feel the need.
 

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Okay, so I think I hit a snag while I was exploring the second floor. I'll put that and everything that lead to that point in a spoiler below:

- This time around I decided to see how balanced a physical only run would be.

- I made two main fighters, a more tanky character, and a thief character to throw my dungeon field skills on, so I could unlock stuff this time around. I'll be relying entirely on healing items, something I've never done before on a party building game with healing magic.

- Named them all something beginning with F; who knows why. I sure don't.

- Went into the parameters first thing to see what might be different. I hope my Strength won't be divided by 8 o_o. Wondered what this meant:
10-8.png

- Now that the stat gaining works properly for raising a stat instead of being percent based? like the previous demo, raising Vitality is quite overpowered as regular enemies (including the snake) started out doing 0 to my defensive character.

- My Max HP went down when I leveled to 2. Other levels didn't do this, so maybe it's the Parameter Curve from 1 to 2.

- I found a fun build on my Thief character who I gave unlock chest, throw rocks, and everything else in agility on the first floor. He did about 2/3 or nearly the same damage to what my other attackers dished out, once I invested in throwing knives, and with his speed his actual DPS would overpower them. This is all before level 2, so we'll see what happens. I saved points on everyone just in case.

- First time meeting Kelvin; I will say I'm glad I stocked up on healing items now.

- Poor Reid, again.

- Boss was more defensive this time, but so was I. It felt weird breaking out the healing items I'd been stockpiling. My team was probably happy to lighten the load, though. Mind Missiles was cool looking.

- During the cutscenes once taking the stairs to level 2, Vane will have a message box similar to Nigel's the first time I tried the game, where his name as <Vane> will appear after the message in the message window.

- Now that I had access to the floor 2 skills, I could finally spend the 300 points each character still had. The poor agility character took a lot of damage before I remembered. He's gonna need more defense; the others took between 3-7 damage from enemies at this point before allocating more AP to stats.

- I wasn't sure if steal item would be like steal gold, so I didn't get it, but I did give him minimap, which didn't do anything, so I reloaded and gave everyone stat boosts. Seeing Mind Missiles on there made me want to make a magic caster again. Maybe next time.

- Stepped on my first damage tile; will try not to do that again. Poor agility guy died, but luckily I have revival items at my disposal.

- Stumbled upon some ruffians and didn't leave when they warned me. This battle made me realize the enemies have a lot more defense than floor 1, so my Agility bro now does double everyone else with double the frequency of attacks. Only problem is that I almost ran out of throwing knives at this point. This floor shows how good an agility build is though; I forgot to give him vitality, but thankfully not much actually went after him.

- Found the Lyre in a random pot, and saved a woman who I assume gave me the item that allows me to fix the transport system the save points provide. Once I used a Evac Scroll to find out, I was indeed right; would have been sad if I wasn't, but I did still have to walk back to level 2.

- I felt tempted to escape from a bunch of battles to see how the Coward Knuckles worked out, but decided against it for sanity's sake.

- The AGI +20% Gem gives you less agility than the Rogue one, even though the latter only says it gives you a +15% boost. Guess it gives you more base agility. I only notice now that the Luck gem is the same way.

- I liked the battle music change once I fixed the transport system.

- The Map image for Level 2 is apparently missing:
Mappy.png

- Thanks to getting better equipment, all my characters are doing about the same damage again, though still 2/3 of agility guy. An inverse of before.

- Of course, with better equipment also means it's back to the regular enemies doing 0 damage with normal attack to three out of four of my characters again. I did see a couple do 1 and 2 damage, which raising vitality a couple times would stop.

- I ended up at a crossroads, where I assume the only way to continue is to the left, but it's blocked by one of the tiles, and I can't actually go further into level 2. Here's a pic of where I mean:
Blocked Progress.png

If I'm wrong, let me know. I didn't see any other path, unless it was a secret one, but the lack of a map made me want to stay put.

- Here's the characters as of this post, for those interested in looking at numbers:
Final Peeps.png

Let me know if I got it wrong, and can actually continue. :kaoswt2:
 

Knightmare

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Sorry just now getting to this, had a busy day.

Wow! So much detail in your post again! Impressive, thank you! That tile in the way was a stupid oversight on my part, yes you do have to go that way. I fixed it and combed through to make sure there wasn't more like that. I also fixed the map issue and the <Vane> issue. I also changed the way the +x% Gems work by changing it to 35% of base, I will try in more detail to make it total stat and not base stat in the next version. Kelvin is fun, you'll like him I think.

Enemies are supposed to do a minimum of 1 dmg so I'll have to figure out why they are not, I think it might be Ramza's Blocking plugin I just purchased and put in a couple days ago. I may also have to find a way to offset the Vitality stat some. I always played by balancing stats so I never put all my points in one thing but I need to balance it for all types of gamers, I will definitely work on that. I did try doing a "dice" type system for damages and what not in one iteration of this on MV but scrapped it, I may revisit that again though if balance is off again.

The 2 numbers next to some of the stats are Ramza's Dual Wield Plugin, it shows the number of the offhand. The Dual Wield won't really come in till later in the game but it still shows the numbers, you can ignore the second set of numbers for now.

Oops, the Battle Music wasn't supposed to change lol. That was the old battle music I used but changed it to the other one. I may go back to that one if others or just you like it more.

Yeah, the Steals and Minimap do not work right now. I'll need the MZ version of the plugins for those.

Weird issue with HP going down from EXP Level 1 to EXP Level 2, I'll try to discern why for the next version.

Thanks for pointing these things out and sorry about the stupid tile oversight. I appreciate you taking the time to play this and offering such detailed reviews. After that "roadblock" the Level picks up and there are some story pieces you can acquire in the level. Hopefully you find everything on Level 2 and the boss isn't too much of a pushover haha.
 
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KakonComp

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I have to get some work done this morning, but I'll definitely continue through Level 2 once I'm done. I did think it could be for dual wielding, something agi-bro would love.

I do like what the battle music changed to, but that's partly because it was something new at the time. I don't know how the filesize would be treated, but having different music for the levels would add a lot to the experience, at least imo.

As for my build this run through; I mainly wanted to focus on what made the previous demo easier to see how the balance would be. I think the damage from what I've seen that the player does is quite balanced. If I didn't bother to upgrade my equipment and focus on damage, World of STR wouldn't be able to steamroll everything like it did before.

I have a friend that likes to run the opposite of what I do, being I like glass cannon builds, and he's all about defense. I made one character like that to see how they fared, and as it stands Vitality is the best stat to raise if enemies give you trouble. I think you could solve half of the problem just by having stat raising be a level up thing and not a skill buy one, since there's no shortage of AP if you want to get more. Perfect for skills, not so much for stats.

Other than that, I remember once RM let you do your own damage formulas, I did the simplest ones like atk - def, but with that comes the attack stat usually being much higher than the defense stat, unless you're supposed to use magic on it. Not a very good fix for builds the player makes. In my current project I've taken a more evasion approach in that chance to hit is more important than weathering it.

Anyway, probably later this evening, I'll have the rest of my thoughts down about the current demo. Gotta get back to work for now. :kaoswt:
 

Knightmare

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I have to get some work done this morning, but I'll definitely continue through Level 2 once I'm done. I did think it could be for dual wielding, something agi-bro would love.

I do like what the battle music changed to, but that's partly because it was something new at the time. I don't know how the filesize would be treated, but having different music for the levels would add a lot to the experience, at least imo.

As for my build this run through; I mainly wanted to focus on what made the previous demo easier to see how the balance would be. I think the damage from what I've seen that the player does is quite balanced. If I didn't bother to upgrade my equipment and focus on damage, World of STR wouldn't be able to steamroll everything like it did before.

I have a friend that likes to run the opposite of what I do, being I like glass cannon builds, and he's all about defense. I made one character like that to see how they fared, and as it stands Vitality is the best stat to raise if enemies give you trouble. I think you could solve half of the problem just by having stat raising be a level up thing and not a skill buy one, since there's no shortage of AP if you want to get more. Perfect for skills, not so much for stats.

Other than that, I remember once RM let you do your own damage formulas, I did the simplest ones like atk - def, but with that comes the attack stat usually being much higher than the defense stat, unless you're supposed to use magic on it. Not a very good fix for builds the player makes. In my current project I've taken a more evasion approach in that chance to hit is more important than weathering it.

Anyway, probably later this evening, I'll have the rest of my thoughts down about the current demo. Gotta get back to work for now. :kaoswt:
Cool. If I can find enough decent battle music for each level I will strongly consider having a different battle theme for each Level like how's there's different bgm for each Level.

If the VisuStella Stat Allocation doesn't come out in the next wave I have another idea that will balance out the skill buying and stat distribution where I can split the 2 up. Too bad Fomar's plugins don't work in tandem (Skill Buy and Equipment Skills) or else it could solve both issues at once but I have another idea that will balance it better if Stat Allocation doesn't get released. I will basically have 6 sets of 'Class' type buys you can do where you can get one per level up. For instance the Class buy 'Warrior' would increase HP by 8, STR by 2, VIT by 2, and AGI and LUK by 1 and 5 others that you can use to build up each character how you want. This would also limit the amount of points going in any particular stat per level. And the skill buying part may come from items as there is an edit that let's you do that

I used to have low stats like in early 80's dungeon crawlers where like 25 STR was the highest you could get and character creation you got 100 points to distribute to stats and STR would be an additive number to overall damage and the weapons themselves would be the indicator. For instance Wooden Axe would do 6-16 dmg + a.atk - b.def / 5 and I had an AC (Armor Class) type system that was more EVA based like the older games were and Armor didn't really raise VIT much but raised a % of damage reduced instead. I am considering exploring that way again.
 

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I guess you took down the demo. Too bad...
 

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I guess you took down the demo. Too bad...
I fixed it a bit ago. At least the Dropbox version works nowfrom what I was told. I will work on getting the itch.io one working. I am new to itch so I probably did something wrong but I will look into that and hopefully have it up by tonight (about 10-12 hours from now.)
 

KakonComp

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Okay, so I downloaded the fix and here's the rest of my thoughts:

- Immediately tried to see if the map would work, and it does now. Seeing the ground I covered compared to what was left, I grew excited to explore more.

- It was cool to know there was a teleportation device at the house of potions. As an item only run for heals it helped to have more sources for stuff. She also said to buy three of the item of the day, so I bought a lot of explosives.

- The old dude in the same area sold me a blacksmith's hammer...that means I can now make several Shurikens, an upgrade from throwing knives. I'm going to save them for the boss of floor 2; poor boss.

- I wanted to point out the 8-directional movement allows me to glide past damage tiles with ease. Felt cool.

- Kloak appeared out of the shadows to give me cryptic messages. At first I thought I was about to get into another fight.

- When magic actually hits, it hurts. Giving enemies more of a split could also help alleviate the no damage from enemies.

- Giant crow made me decide to test the shuriken, which one shotted that poor giant bird for 85 damage. Also found a diary, which was interesting.

- Detect Secrets is a good idea to have, just got a permanent +5 vitality boost. I consider this skill the most useful of the field skills, in uncovering notes as well.

- Found a traveling post, with a very nostalgic song. Good to know I can find places to rest outside the colony.

- The first dialogue with Gene also ends in <Gene>.

- Found the hidden medal shop. Got the crafting books and admissions ticket. Skipped the key since I assumed my pick lock would suffice. When looking at the ticket, it was for something on the 4th floor.

- Doesn't seem like the crafting books contain recipes yet either, as there was nothing new to make; perhaps in a later build.

- I got a decent amount of plant pods on floor 1, so once I saw the other ingredient for the stat boosting items was on floor 2, I thought about the potential of being truly overpowered.

- The boss' entangle made it harder for my STR attackers to do much damage, but those 5 shurikens left really did a number on the poor boss. The boss used said move 90% of the time, until I got a stun off on it with my stun gemmed party.

- Now it's been confirmed where those ruffians came from. It was assumed, now we know. They even mentioned the place I got that ticket for.

- The tile that The Lion is standing next to looks strange, since it's meant to be a stair railing, and he's on top of it.

- Poor Prince.

- Also it was weird seeing her materialize an Inn sign, a placeholder?

- I assume so, because then it fails to load the next map data, which I assume will be Floor 3, and thus the demo ends. I would probably end the demo on "AWAY!", so it looks more professional.

- I made a save just before going down so I can show the final stat allocations:
Peeps Redux.png

Had fun yet again. I hugged the walls a lot once I learned Detect Secrets, even purposely stepping on damage tiles to do so. :LZSlol:

Makes me wonder how many floors it will be in all.
 

Knightmare

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Okay, so I downloaded the fix and here's the rest of my thoughts:

- Immediately tried to see if the map would work, and it does now. Seeing the ground I covered compared to what was left, I grew excited to explore more.

- It was cool to know there was a teleportation device at the house of potions. As an item only run for heals it helped to have more sources for stuff. She also said to buy three of the item of the day, so I bought a lot of explosives.

- The old dude in the same area sold me a blacksmith's hammer...that means I can now make several Shurikens, an upgrade from throwing knives. I'm going to save them for the boss of floor 2; poor boss.

- I wanted to point out the 8-directional movement allows me to glide past damage tiles with ease. Felt cool.

- Kloak appeared out of the shadows to give me cryptic messages. At first I thought I was about to get into another fight.

- When magic actually hits, it hurts. Giving enemies more of a split could also help alleviate the no damage from enemies.

- Giant crow made me decide to test the shuriken, which one shotted that poor giant bird for 85 damage. Also found a diary, which was interesting.

- Detect Secrets is a good idea to have, just got a permanent +5 vitality boost. I consider this skill the most useful of the field skills, in uncovering notes as well.

- Found a traveling post, with a very nostalgic song. Good to know I can find places to rest outside the colony.

- The first dialogue with Gene also ends in <Gene>.

- Found the hidden medal shop. Got the crafting books and admissions ticket. Skipped the key since I assumed my pick lock would suffice. When looking at the ticket, it was for something on the 4th floor.

- Doesn't seem like the crafting books contain recipes yet either, as there was nothing new to make; perhaps in a later build.

- I got a decent amount of plant pods on floor 1, so once I saw the other ingredient for the stat boosting items was on floor 2, I thought about the potential of being truly overpowered.

- The boss' entangle made it harder for my STR attackers to do much damage, but those 5 shurikens left really did a number on the poor boss. The boss used said move 90% of the time, until I got a stun off on it with my stun gemmed party.

- Now it's been confirmed where those ruffians came from. It was assumed, now we know. They even mentioned the place I got that ticket for.

- The tile that The Lion is standing next to looks strange, since it's meant to be a stair railing, and he's on top of it.

- Poor Prince.

- Also it was weird seeing her materialize an Inn sign, a placeholder?

- I assume so, because then it fails to load the next map data, which I assume will be Floor 3, and thus the demo ends. I would probably end the demo on "AWAY!", so it looks more professional.

- I made a save just before going down so I can show the final stat allocations:
View attachment 162936

Had fun yet again. I hugged the walls a lot once I learned Detect Secrets, even purposely stepping on damage tiles to do so. :LZSlol:

Makes me wonder how many floors it will be in all.
Thanks again for the detailed review...

I wanted to add more QOL features in the game so that newer and more casual gamers could enjoy it too so I added plenty of teleports and save points and ways to restore. The first version way back when didn't have save points or teleports in the Hidden Shop or Tellis HOP, just around the halfway point at the Traveler Posts. I realized that people wouldn't probably want to walk all the way back to those shops again after they beat Level 2 so I made the quick in and outs if you have the Lorelite for it just so it's not annoying backtracking there if you want to get some rare goods.

Yeah as the game goes on there will be more skill using enemies so if the player neglects raising Willpower they will at least be able to be hurt by enemy skills. Luck is also somewhat useful now with the way I modified it as it greatly increases the chance of debuffing and inflicting status ailments and greatly increases the chance of avoiding them compared to how the default Luck does almost nothing so it can be important as well when you get to Level 4 and beyond where enemies start to use a lot of debuffs and ailment inflicting skills.

The Avenger Crow was supposed to be scaled back in size, I forgot to do that to that enemy but the Straw Man and Scissor Mantis were gargantuan also so I scaled them back with GIMP, there used to be a <Scale Sprite: x%> notetag for a plugin for MV that was very useful but for now I have to go the GIMP route so I'll have to manually scale them for a bit and may miss one here and there. But yeah, it's meant to just be a normal enemy that can counter attack on occasion like 15% or 20% of the time if it is hit with normal attacks. Size now fixed.

I thought about the Seeds as well a few months ago and the potential of exploitation so I'll add 1 more ingredient needed to craft them. to make them a little harder to get.

I tried to make the 3 Main Exploration Skills (Pick Lock, Disarm Trap, Detect Secrets) useful but not required. You can still open locks with the respective key (Bronze for Level 1 Locks, Silver for Level 2 Locks, Gold for Level 3 Locks, and Platinum for Level 4 Locks) I was considering making the keys each open 1 special chest or door that lockpicks won't open to make getting the keys actually worth something, I'll most likely do that at some point. Traps you can just set off and hope for the best and Detect Secrets you can still find the hidden paths through hugging the walls but there are a few little extras that will be helpful if you do get it.

The crafting books were supposed to work but I think I fixed why they weren't working and it was because I didn't assign a category to them but it should work now. If they don't then I'll have to troubleshoot further.

The Level 2 Boss has a nasty special move if it uses it called 'Nasty Breath' which it'll use with less than 40% HP that does damage to all party members and can inflict a variety of ailments but yeah Entangle is it's main method of attack. I did have it regenerate at one point but took it out as the battle seemed unbalanced when I played through with that but if it is too easy I may have it regenerate at like 1% or 2%.

Level 4 is my favorite Level so far, both playing through and designing it so I think you'll like it too when you get there.

The 3rd Cutscene was an oversight on my part I forgot to change the tiles in that room but it is fixed now. In the 4th Cutscene I forgot to change the tile that appears to a dark hole and not an Inn sign but it is now fixed.

Yeah after the 4th Cutscene that was the end of the demo. I forgot to add my text to the end so that I could officially announce the end of the demo.

Did you find the Archaic Tome 1 and the Cryptic Letter 1? They are also on Level 2.

The Final Version will have 12 Full Floors and a hidden 13th Floor that is an extra and not part of the main game or quest but you'll have to fulfill some conditions to find it. Time is approximately 2.5-3 hours per floor if you find everything so the full game should run about 40 hours. Each Level is 125 x 125 tiles so they are all pretty meaty. Glad you're having fun, I always tell myself and believe this with all my heart that if even one person besides myself enjoys the game then it was worth making.

I fixed the smaller things you brought up and am working on fixing a couple of other little things and I will release a Demo 0.92 pretty soon. Probably in an hour or less.

As far as further plans from here...First I'll work on polishing the public demo and likely revamping the Distribution/Skill Learning features to balance it out more and after that I will work on the port over of Level 3 and will release that to you only and will keep the public demo to a solid and balanced Level 1 and Level 2.
The MV version I got done with Level 5 and was halfway through Level 6 so those shouldn't take too long to port over but the other half of Level 6 and the rest will be fresh so those will take longer to have content for. My goal is to have the entire game out by the end of next Summer.

I'm currently playing through and am halfway through Level 1 but I will have to leave for a few hours but I will release Demo 0.92 n Dropbox before I leave and try to figure out the itch.io issues tonight.
 

KakonComp

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I did find the tome and letter; gave the tome to Linus, who revealed a little bit about what the dungeon is, or could be.

The number of floors you have there is a good number. I was guessing about 10, but 12 with a hidden floor is good. As long as it's not 100 :kaoeh: I feel the same way; so long as someone played and enjoyed something I made then it had a point to it beyond something I can look back fondly on in the future.
 

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Lately when I listen to 1970s songs, I always think that the "real world" is still at mid 70s. What we experience now is a futuristic dream. With this point of view, even 80s and 90s looks super futuristic. :D

The GIF of this seemed too cool to bury in replies. :LZSwink:
You may have slept with my aunt... but, given the circumstances, cheers.

- Professor Ian Duncan, 2013
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--- Swimming ---

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