RMVXA Moonfall - Complete Demo (6-10 hours of gameplay)

jasonzeno

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WARNING: This demo is pretty big, and has about 6 to 10 hours worth of content.
If you happen to make it to the end, please let me know!

Click Here For Demo

Unfortunately, this project has been temporarily shelved. I am focusing on a different project within MV that doesn't require as much time.


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jasonzeno

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Please feel free to comment and leave input on opinions or any issues you may find.
Here's one of my favorite parts of this demo, what's yours?
 

Bwoltz

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Hey I just tried your demo, I didn't finish it yet obviously but I wanted to say this seems very well made. The intro got me interested in the story and you make good use of moghunter's scripts. The battles are snappy so far which is good. You have very good eventing and sound effects for your story scenes, and I like the touches you gave to the swordfight in town. I do have a couple recommendations, though. First I would say to ditch the RTP music. The rest of your game is not default, so this is pretty glaring to anyone who's played these games before. There is tons of royalty free music. Secondly, I would take out random battles when you are having to do map battles for quests, it makes for too many fights. Overall I'm liking it a good deal so far, just wanted to give some early impressions before i go to bed.
 

jasonzeno

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Thanks for the reply, Bwoltz. And thanks for checking it out, I appreciate it. That's a good point about map battles, and it makes sense, I think I can fix that one. I'll look into the RTP music as well, I'm sure we've all heard that music too much already, I'll see what I can do!
 

jasonzeno

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I'll be updating the link today, I noticed there was an issue with the jobs that are unlocked later in the game. The skills weren't under the right category, so even though you can unlock the skills, nothing was showing up in the Jobs category.
 

FleshToDust

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Aw man... Download link doesn't work. This game looks real cool too...
 

jasonzeno

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Hmm, thanks for the reply FleshToDust. It seems to work fine for me but I can look into it.
 

jasonzeno

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Check back in a bit, I'll upload it to a second site.
 

jasonzeno

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Quite a few errors have been discovered in the later parts of the game, I'll be updating the link that fixes those today.
 

jasonzeno

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Played your game and enjoyed it quite a lot.
That's awesome, thanks dude! What you covered is about a quarter of the demo, there's definitely a lot of content there. I agree with the things you mentioned, now that I've completed the story portion of this demo, I intent to go back and make tweaks to the pacing and things like that. Thanks for checking it out!
 

FleshToDust

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I bet if I wanted to I could play it for 6 hours. Some of the most content for a demo I've seen.
 

Fooljastic

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Well I just started like 15-30 minutes ago but i want to say a few things:
First of all: The tutorial is really good, except when bill breaks the fourth wall and talks about quests and the like. Would have been better to do that trough a narrator.

Battle Animations all seem very... standard so far. This might change later maybe so take that with a grain of salt, but if you are making a free to play game that is already this good on the map than there is a wealth of free rpg maker animations to use like lexus stuff. ( https://www.deviantart.com/lexusx ) or Mr Bubble's stuff ( https://mrbubblewand.wordpress.com/download/ ) or also hadecynn who made some rpg maker mv battle animations collections also has some free stuff ( https://hadecynn.wordpress.com/archive/ ) it just feels wrong to have standard animations in such a good looking project for vx ace. At least so far it looks good. lol

You could also buy the animations for rpg maker mv (most of them are from hadecynn) and use it for vx ace stuff, since they are useable for vx ace too. (Quintessence, thaumaturgy, quantum, cursed kingdom are the ones i know on top of my head)

Music so far felt pretty fitting, except when you encountered the king in the tutorial with elizabeth. Which is a rare compliment for me since i normally play muted lol

Will play more tonight and get actual feedback out too. Its only 6 hours but i have some things to do tomorrow and today. So expect feedback on friday or tomorrow depending on how gripping it is and if i am willing to stave off sleep for this.

Have a nice day!
 

jasonzeno

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Hey Fooljastic, first of all, thanks for checking it out! I also appreciate the helpful advice, it's even more awesome that you helped me out by adding some useful links, thanks for that.

Unfortunately, in the current state the battle animations are pretty standard. Lately my focus has been finishing the story for the demo and making everything work, I'm in a comfortable spot now where I can start making changes to other things like animations, pacing and music.

In Moonfall there are several different primary classes and jobs for each character and I want that to be fun so the standard battle animations is definitely something that's going to change.

Yes, please let me know, I hope you enjoy it! It is a rather large chunk of the game, so let me know how far you get.
 

ADMtn

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Hi,

Haven't finished the demo yet, but I have plenty of first impressions. I would prefer to play more (and complete) the demo before saying anything, but I actually got stuck (supposed to go into the cave, but I have no light and didn't notice any hint about lights; so I'm taking a break).

Anyway, here are some critiques which I hope are useful:

Detail in Eventing
I'll start with something I liked: the little details you have the walking sprites perform. E.g., Eren picking up his sheathe and sword, the little duel with Bill. Those are nice touches. Would be nice to see that consistently throughout the game.

Slow-moving Cutscenes
Now, a lot of my following notes relate to pacing which you've already noted as something you will be focusing on soon. So you might already be in the midst of fixing these issues, but I'll provide the critique anyway in case there's one you haven't considered.

The cutscenes move unnecessarily slow. It's not that there's too much story or dialogue, but the characters and the camera literally moving too slowly. It's one thing if you're showcasing beautiful graphics (which is almost never the case with tile-based 2D games, and that includes most custom art or RTP in my opinion), giving the player a glimpse of an elaborate maze (i.e., there's a gameplay reason, like giving the player a hint), or panning over an interesting event (e.g., a big battle). None of those things are happening in the cutscenes I've seen. Based on that, I'm worried that the hours of gameplay being advertised is artificially inflated by having characters and cameras move slowly (with so many quests, it'll add up).

So, in my opinion, it's better to increase the characters' walking speeds for the cutscenes (at least be as fast as the player character's walking speed).

Player Walking Speed
Speaking of walking speed, the player walks so slowly. I'm surprised there's no dash. With MV games I've been playing, I usually turn autodash on if it's not on by default.

Main Character Starts Waking Up
You technically start the game with a cutscene with the elf who is definitely awake. However, as soon as the game cuts to the main character, he's in bed fast asleep.

I'll reiterate the common advice: The trope/cliche of starting your game iwth the player character in bed generally should be avoided because it kills momentum and is a wasted opportunity. You can make use of the opportunity by introducing the main character in the midst of doing something active; it's better for the momentum of the narrative and game. Why start Eren in bed when you can cut to him in the middle of a duel with Bill and showcase your walking-sprite animations?

Redundant Information in Dialogue
Right at the start of the game, the elf woman speaks to two soldiers about how a wing is clear and she's going to talk to Triva. Then she walks super slowly to the bottom of the map and talks to another soldier and basically repeats the same information: a wing is clear and she's going to talk to Triva. Now this was actually the only example of redundant dialogue I noticed in the demo, but it's also the very beginning of the game. Probably wouldn't be good for early impressions.

Slow Transitions
Every time you try to open the Main Menu there is a huge lag. Intentional input lag works for certain things, but right now it's definitely too long and makes accessing the menu a pain. Other transitions also feel too slow. E.g., when you choose to rest there's a notable lag before the screen fades out.

Message Box Utilization
Whenever there's an ellipsis, every dot in the dot-dot-dot forces a pause for the message box. This works in certain scenes for dramatic or comedic effect. However, every time it's shown up so far hasn't been for drama or comedy. This also feels like an artificial inflation of gameplay time. It's almost like waiting for a game to load but there actually isn't any loading required.

Another thing about the message box that's hurting pacing is how the character bust and message box disappears and reappears again even if it's the same character speaking. It happens with every line of dialogue. It's not aesthetically pleasant and it also adds to the general pacing issues. I'm not sure, but if VXAce (or a plugin you're using) allows you to avoid this issue, then I think it'd be a good idea to make it happen (I believe Yanfly's plugin for MV lets you turn it on and off, so whatever you're using might be the same).

Quest Cliches
It's unfortunate that the first two quests given to the player are cliches: killing slimes, and gathering flowers. Even parodies of these quests are overdone. On top of the cliched premises, all the start quests are basically accomplished by walking around and spamming attack.

Not every quest should be incredibly challenging, however, every quest should be able to be described as one of the following: (1) it's NOT grindy; (2) it presents a moderate challenge in terms of strategy or skill on the part of the player; and (3) it has an interesting story to go with it. Ideally, every quest should hit all three of those points.

Here, all three starter quests feel grindy (kill 6 slimes, grab 3 flowers, grab X # of herbs). The strategy is minimal and the only thing the player really learns is to craft (and spam attack). None of the starter quests present much of a story ("slimes are attacking us, let's get them back," "I need flowers to decorate," "go get materials and craft this for me"--that's kind of the extent of the story for each of the quests).

Game Flow
Generally, you don't want to force the player to go back and forth through the same maps too much. Although in an open world game, that's inevitable (but then you can throw the player a bone with some Fast Travel, right before they get angry).

Right now, you have Eren leave his house and duel Bill. Then you automatically send Eren back into his house again only to force the player to go back outside and talk to BIll. There are no real gameplay options available except to talk to Bill. You can walk around and flip your house light on and off, but even the townspeople only say a simple "Hey, Eren." So, after the duel, I'd say you should avoid sending Eren home. Instead, have Bill immediately tell Eren about picking up some quests from the villagers.

Similar to sending Eren back into his house only to have the player walk back out to where he just was--Right now, you have the player pick up two quests from the villagers to go outside to attack-spam their way to success. Then they go back in and turn in the quests, but then another villager gives them a third quest that forces the player to go right back outside into the exact same place and perform another quest that's more or less accomplished by spamming the confirm button. It would be better to simply give the player all three quests immediately so they can accomplish the quests in one journey and not go back and forth. Otherwise, this also feels like an artificial inflation of gameplay time.

Tutorials Breaking the Fourth Wall
Someone else already noted this, but I'm from the same school of thought: Tutorials should be provided directly to the player by the game (through a "narrator" as the other person said). For me, the only exception is if the dialogue sounds natural and doesn't break immersion. For example, depending on the context, a character can teach a player to save by saying, "Make sure to write your report," "You should try writing in your diary before you sleep," or whatever makes sense in the characters' world. An example of what I wouldn't like is, "Hey, Harold! Go press X in front of that giant crystal to Save your game!"

Good Plugin Utilization
Though I own VX Ace, I never got around to using it, but it looks to me like you're doing a good job utilizing plugins and customizing a lot of your game.

I hope the above is helpful and not too blunt. You're proficient at using plugins and eventing, so I think some tweaking can leave you with an awesome game.
 

Fooljastic

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You can run, just not in all locations. On the worldmap so far it is possible. You can do so by holding shift down. (It doesnt toggle you need to constantly hold it down...)

I don't really notice any huge lag when playing this. There is a small amount of lag when opening the menu, but it is not really that annoying since its at best a quarter of a second or so.

I personally liked him waking up in bed, not because its cliche, but because of the snoring sounds, the slow waking up (most throw him just out of bed with a black screen) and so on. It isn't bad and i don't think that needs a change.

Yeah the intro quests were rather overdone. You could accept two quests at once, would have been better if i could have gotten the third at the same time. It felt like this game was made a long time ago... And never finished. But thats just the feeling i get so far.

The rest i agree with though. Most of this i have noticed with my almost two hours of gameplay by now. If that keeps going on troughout the entire game it might end up being annoying. But i will withhold judgement for now until i have finished the demo.
 

jasonzeno

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I did actually start this game a long time ago, about 10 years or so ago with breaks here and there. Back then I believed the slow pacing to be a good thing, like the silly pauses in the dialog between periods. So saying it "feels like an artificial inflation of gameplay time" is pretty accurate. But after picking it back up and playing it myself, I know now that that was way wrong.

I can assure you guys, the game opens up and pace picks up very soon. However, I am currently looking into all these issues and making changes. So although I appreciate the input, if you're not enjoying it, check back for the next update!
 
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ADMtn

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I did actually start this game a long time ago, about 10 years or so ago with breaks here and there.
. . . .
I figured the early parts of the game might have been from when you first started tinkering with RPG Maker. If you're already aware of most of what I mentioned, then we're probably pretty aligned in what might make a good game. I might keep going forward with the current version for the time being, but I'll be interested to see changes in your updates!
 

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