RMMV Path of the Martyrs

KazukiT

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If this is the wrong thread for this, feel free to move it where it needs to go. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone would be interested in playtesting my game. Any sort of feedback is appreciated.

Link to game: https://www.dropbox.com/s/prct6oxttdr6inv/Path of the Martyrs 1.4 -Game-.zip?dl=0

Path of the Martyrs was loosely based on a dream I had a few years ago. This boy lost a baby sibling and had to some ancient ruins to revive them. They lost many of their allies on the way to the bottom of the ruins where the treasure lies. However, each person willing sacrificed themselves so the boy would be reunited with they baby sibling.

Genre: RPG

This dream made me come up with the framework for the game where the "treasure" is at the bottom of a laboratory. The theme of sacrifice from the dream carries over into the game's story as the main character journeys to mysterious laboratory on his own to resurrect his friend. The gameplay focuses on battles fought in the lab and going back to the past to see what led the protagonist to go on such a dangerous quest to such a mysterious place.

Story
After the passing of the princess of the peaceful land of Delma, her retainer Saiyato Ichia goes to Lidoffad Lab. This lab houses many deadly foes and secrets within its walls. Will Saiyato be able combat all foes and revelations that come his way?

Screen Shots







Features
Exploring the Lab
Each time you enter Lidoffad Lab the order you experience each floor will be different. Along with experiencing all the labs floors in a different order each time you play the game, some of the treasure will be randomized as well. So each visit to the lab will be completely different than the last.

Trading
You can trade any unwanted items you have and trade them in for something else you may need.

Skills
You can also pick how some of Saiyato's skills will grow. You can pick which path it follows, you can either make a skill more "Offensive" or more "Defensive". This allows you to cater Saiyato's skills to your playstyle.

Visit the Past
Periodically, you will visit Saiyato's past to experience his life and the events that led him to go to Lidoffad Lab.
 
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ImaginaryVillain

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So after a bit of testing...

Graphics:
Your custom art really sets up your world, a welcome refresher as it makes your world more memorable. Though your early cutscene appeared to have full panels of custom art which might have been enjoyable, except they flashed by so fast I only got to glimpse them. Maybe make an invisible window appear so the player can click when they want the page to advance?

Sound:
Not going to lie, I kind of tuned it out after awhile. It's probably fine and definitely not annoying just not really memorable.

Combat:
You have well... An insane amount of skills. It's true you have a tutorial, but the player starts with what looks like an end game set of skills. Add to that the weapon switching and items giving me more skills, levels giving me more skills.... After awhile I'm not going to lie, it didn't take long before I didn't bother with them.

It wasn't very hard to simply loop specific skills and go infinite or at least infinite enough to win any fight. Even the mob before the lasers that seems like a mini boss in comparison what was before it (no real clear indication, could just be wildly random mob strengths) just died to Staff/Heal/Frost Heart (or Spark Craft, Blazing Will)... No items required, I finished all the fights (except the first 3) with full health and MP. Which reminds me, I noticed I couldn't heal outside of battle if the Rod wasn't equipped but it can't be equipped outside of battle.

Also worth noting some of your attacks have unique ways of activating them, but with no real warning to the player so they just have to guess. Double Attack and Z-Strike being prime examples. So as a player I figured them out, but they were definitely an awkward surprise.

You also have a very large number of status ailments, but the explanation of what each one is, isn't very clear. Though mobs applied them like crazy even at the start of the game. Also the mob damage was very, very high the second mob in the game did 40% of my health in a single hit. To be clear I never died once, but heal looping quickly became the only way to play.

Map:
Seemed pretty serviceable, mobs seemed to refresh a bit too often though. I get them refreshing if I change rooms, but when I opened the menu for upgrading skills they also respawned. I get that's because it's a map that's been repurposed as a menu. But you may want to add a switch to prevent that.

Progression:
Lots of options, I kind of wish the information about the skill appeared when I hovered over it instead of having to click. But that's not super necessary. I did notice the stat upgrades were listed down by the "Offensive" word on the menu, kind of makes them hard to read or notice at first. Probably going to unbalance your game allowing the player to buy stats like that. I know that's basically all I bought since I already had so many skills and didn't see a huge point in the new ones.

Concluding thoughts:
Honestly I did find messing with the skills fairly interesting. But I love finding OP things to do in games, so I'm probably a minority. Still it's far and away too many to start a game, you just run a risk of people ignoring skills due to so many options. I liked the weapon switching mechanic, even if it quickly turned into Rod does everything, other weapons just regen MP. Balancing can fix that.

The character graphics were charming, and instantly memorable. Definitely underused. Menus were well done, and honestly it seemed very polished in that regard.

As for the randomized dungeon, I know it's supposed to be random but if you hadn't told me that I wouldn't have known. If you want the randomized dungeon to matter more maybe allow the player to leave and have it change? Otherwise it just seemed like a regular dungeon to me. I did create a second game just to see the difference though. Definitely cool once I saw it change, but a normal player will probably never see that.

Oh and worth noting, the only bug I saw is that Chrome Dev Tools opens when the game does. Other than that it seemed bug free.

Anyway, seems like a solid foundation. I'll keep an eye on it in the future.
 

KazukiT

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Thanks for taking a look at my game,I will definitely apply some of the changes you recommended. As for using healing outside of battle with the Rod, you just need to change your weapon to the rod to use it. What did you think of the game's story?
 
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ImaginaryVillain

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Ah, yeah for some reason I thought the weapon switch skill would also work outside of battle. I suppose changing the equipment manually to heal works. Either way it's very, very tedious especially given how often you have to heal.

So I had a friend of mine play the game as well. He got the exact same layout as I did, so the random dungeon didn't really work. He also ran into the same things I did... Mostly enemies that are way too strong (even being level 6 mobs in the first room could do 25% damage in a hit) for where they're at. Combine that with the constant respawns and it turns into a slog. He got exactly as far as I did before simply stopping which is right up to shutting the lasers off.

This leads to way I didn't comment on your story, I was already level 7 by the time I turned the lasers off... There was that many forced fights (mobs run too fast to dodge). But by then I'd only seen the meeting the princess cutscene. But the constant grind was so much that I was bored before ever having time to be invested in the story, the same happened for him (and he's a story buff). So I didn't feel right commenting on your story because I honestly don't know it.

Best advice, tone down your combat a lot. Monsters in the first room shouldn't have multiple status ailments, shouldn't do 25% damage to someone level 6 plus, shouldn't require 3-4 hits per for a character greatly higher level to kill them, nor be forced fights because they're too fast to evade. At that point it's worse than random encounters because you're forced into more encounters than the default 30 step random RPG Maker has.

This advice is really just because few people are going to make it past that kind of grind wall just to learn the beginning of your story. As exampled by the two of us.
 

KazukiT

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Ah, yeah for some reason I thought the weapon switch skill would also work outside of battle. I suppose changing the equipment manually to heal works. Either way it's very, very tedious especially given how often you have to heal.

So I had a friend of mine play the game as well. He got the exact same layout as I did, so the random dungeon didn't really work. He also ran into the same things I did... Mostly enemies that are way too strong (even being level 6 mobs in the first room could do 25% damage in a hit) for where they're at. Combine that with the constant respawns and it turns into a slog. He got exactly as far as I did before simply stopping which is right up to shutting the lasers off.

This leads to way I didn't comment on your story, I was already level 7 by the time I turned the lasers off... There was that many forced fights (mobs run too fast to dodge). But by then I'd only seen the meeting the princess cutscene. But the constant grind was so much that I was bored before ever having time to be invested in the story, the same happened for him (and he's a story buff). So I didn't feel right commenting on your story because I honestly don't know it.

Best advice, tone down your combat a lot. Monsters in the first room shouldn't have multiple status ailments, shouldn't do 25% damage to someone level 6 plus, shouldn't require 3-4 hits per for a character greatly higher level to kill them, nor be forced fights because they're too fast to evade. At that point it's worse than random encounters because you're forced into more encounters than the default 30 step random RPG Maker has.

This advice is really just because few people are going to make it past that kind of grind wall just to learn the beginning of your story. As exampled by the two of us.
I just updated the file and I fixed the respawning so they only reappear if you leave the room. I also cut down how many monsters and slowed them down on the overworld. I also did some balancing, so if you feel like giving it another try you are free to.
 

UnwantedHero

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Yo. I'm the guy ImaginayVillain roped into play testing your game.

1. On launching the game executable, some kind of web debug console window pops up. Please get that to stop happening, if you can.

2. Enemy damage seems better on the receiving end, but it's also kinda random. Enemies will hit for 0, or 2, or 40, and then sometimes 200. It's far more manageable as it is now without needing to go into a attack / heal / attack loop, so that's an improvement over version 1.2. Still see little reason to switch weapons off of the Rod, though - Sword just doesn't do enough extra damage to justify switching from the life saving heal stick, and I don't think I've bothered to switch to the gauntlets on either play test. Enemy encounter rate feels a lot better, and the fact that you can run from them now if you don't desire an encounter is a good thing. I am a little confused why the run button is X and not B, as B is the first button I tried to press to run, and I think it would be for the majority of people out there.

3. On the Sword Upgrade screen, the ATK / SPD Up button text is crowding the other upgrade texts. Might not be the ideal place for them.

4. Map Randomization feature worked this time around on a fresh save: Got the Vending Machine to Monastic Giant room layout. Also encountered a game breaking bug: when playing 'Hide and Seek' with Stella, if you fail to find her on the second guess on round 3, she makes you restart. BUG: On Hide and Seek restart, you gain a second sour tart. BUG: On round 2 of Hide and Seek, only one shiny icon appeared, in upper break room bookshelf leading to safe room, and it gave the 'wrong choice' text box. No other icons were on the map, and no interact-able locations interacted with the Hide and Seek mini-game (Vending machines, stinky cupboards). Walking off map into safe room or into Monastic Giant room did not reset the shiny icons. I was unable to progress, and had to reload a prior save. I proceeded to save before choosing any shiny icons before Hide and Seek round 3.

5. You can save anywhere on the map. Unsure if that is intentional, due to the blue energy pillar that offers Save, Upgrade, and Healing options.

6. In my opinion, your SP / Upgrade Points should always be visible when interfacing with the blue energy pillar. You should also be able to check the amount you currently have via the game menu, either on the first page or in the status menu. This might just be a personal preference thing, but since I feel they are effectively a currency, I always want to know how many I have, and the total disappears too quickly after fights for me to remember from one time to the next. And yes, checking via the upgrade menu is annoying and feels like it takes too long when you don't have enough points to upgrade anything.

7. Encountered another game breaking bug: after Monastic Giant room, I entered the Subject Creation room, I think it was labeled? The one with Lab 1, Lab 2, and the awful rotating column puzzles. ImaginaryVillain and I could not figure out the right combination for the columns inside Lab 2. ImaginaryVillain even told me he would have given up on it far before I did, and I think I tried a good 10 iterations of the code before I caved and called it quits. We found SCS CodeHints 1, 3, 4, 5 and SCS Lab Code 2. Due to the 'backwards' hint, we started at the clock, running the combination 42321413 anti-clockwise with no result. We also tried 31412324 from the clock Anti-clockwise, no result. We tried the code forward and backwards clockwise, no result. We tried the code as 42321413 only starting the top left column, and proceeded to brute force positions from there with no result. I saved the game and quit at this point. I realize you probably don't want a player to brute force the solution to the first column puzzle, but since the reward is just the code that leads to the next column puzzle, why not make the little blue dots on the columns light up green when the indicators are facing the right direction? Either an indicator needs to be activated for the Lab 2 puzzle, or more / better worded clues need to be added as I put the game down from frustration at being unable to complete this puzzle.

If you release a 1.4, I might give it another go.
 

KazukiT

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Yo. I'm the guy ImaginayVillain roped into play testing your game.

1. On launching the game executable, some kind of web debug console window pops up. Please get that to stop happening, if you can.

2. Enemy damage seems better on the receiving end, but it's also kinda random. Enemies will hit for 0, or 2, or 40, and then sometimes 200. It's far more manageable as it is now without needing to go into a attack / heal / attack loop, so that's an improvement over version 1.2. Still see little reason to switch weapons off of the Rod, though - Sword just doesn't do enough extra damage to justify switching from the life saving heal stick, and I don't think I've bothered to switch to the gauntlets on either play test. Enemy encounter rate feels a lot better, and the fact that you can run from them now if you don't desire an encounter is a good thing. I am a little confused why the run button is X and not B, as B is the first button I tried to press to run, and I think it would be for the majority of people out there.

3. On the Sword Upgrade screen, the ATK / SPD Up button text is crowding the other upgrade texts. Might not be the ideal place for them.

4. Map Randomization feature worked this time around on a fresh save: Got the Vending Machine to Monastic Giant room layout. Also encountered a game breaking bug: when playing 'Hide and Seek' with Stella, if you fail to find her on the second guess on round 3, she makes you restart. BUG: On Hide and Seek restart, you gain a second sour tart. BUG: On round 2 of Hide and Seek, only one shiny icon appeared, in upper break room bookshelf leading to safe room, and it gave the 'wrong choice' text box. No other icons were on the map, and no interact-able locations interacted with the Hide and Seek mini-game (Vending machines, stinky cupboards). Walking off map into safe room or into Monastic Giant room did not reset the shiny icons. I was unable to progress, and had to reload a prior save. I proceeded to save before choosing any shiny icons before Hide and Seek round 3.

5. You can save anywhere on the map. Unsure if that is intentional, due to the blue energy pillar that offers Save, Upgrade, and Healing options.

6. In my opinion, your SP / Upgrade Points should always be visible when interfacing with the blue energy pillar. You should also be able to check the amount you currently have via the game menu, either on the first page or in the status menu. This might just be a personal preference thing, but since I feel they are effectively a currency, I always want to know how many I have, and the total disappears too quickly after fights for me to remember from one time to the next. And yes, checking via the upgrade menu is annoying and feels like it takes too long when you don't have enough points to upgrade anything.

7. Encountered another game breaking bug: after Monastic Giant room, I entered the Subject Creation room, I think it was labeled? The one with Lab 1, Lab 2, and the awful rotating column puzzles. ImaginaryVillain and I could not figure out the right combination for the columns inside Lab 2. ImaginaryVillain even told me he would have given up on it far before I did, and I think I tried a good 10 iterations of the code before I caved and called it quits. We found SCS CodeHints 1, 3, 4, 5 and SCS Lab Code 2. Due to the 'backwards' hint, we started at the clock, running the combination 42321413 anti-clockwise with no result. We also tried 31412324 from the clock Anti-clockwise, no result. We tried the code forward and backwards clockwise, no result. We tried the code as 42321413 only starting the top left column, and proceeded to brute force positions from there with no result. I saved the game and quit at this point. I realize you probably don't want a player to brute force the solution to the first column puzzle, but since the reward is just the code that leads to the next column puzzle, why not make the little blue dots on the columns light up green when the indicators are facing the right direction? Either an indicator needs to be activated for the Lab 2 puzzle, or more / better worded clues need to be added as I put the game down from frustration at being unable to complete this puzzle.

If you release a 1.4, I might give it another go.
I applied the changes you suggested so you are free to continue playtesting the game.
 

UnwantedHero

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I'll download it now and take a look later this evening when I have some time.

One thing: you changed the text for your hyperlink in post 1 to the new version's location, but the hyperlink itself when clicked is still linked to the download for version 1.3.
 

KazukiT

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I'll download it now and take a look later this evening when I have some time.

One thing: you changed the text for your hyperlink in post 1 to the new version's location, but the hyperlink itself when clicked is still linked to the download for version 1.3.
It took me a while I got the link fixed so it should download 1.4 now. I recommend you start a new game because I broke up the battle tutorial into two battles instead of one so it’s easier to digest the information.
 

UnwantedHero

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Bug report for Path of the Martrys 1.4

Bug: When Machia needs to go to the basement, if you wander around and find her father's bedroom, after the text box disappears, her portrait remains on screen. It can be removed by selecting any other door with the “I shouldn't intrude” dialogue.

Bug?: When in the basement, once you can access the inventory, you do not have a Rod to equip in your equipment inventory. Once you start the fight with the Rapier equipped, you can use Weapons → Rod switch to switch to a Rod not listed in your inventory. Not sure if intentional or not.

Bug: After placing the flowers on the gave, and switching to Saiyato, once he uses the sparkly point to leave, Machia's sprite is replaced with Saiyato's during the conversation with the guard.

Bug: After switching back to Saiyato in the Subject Creation Sector, I cannot interact with the blue energy pillar, I.E. pressing the A button does not bring up the menu for Save / Upgrade / Trade. Exiting room into the Subject Storage West Wing room, I also can not interact with the energy pillar by the restroom. Reloading a save from Subject Creation Sector does not solve the issue. Reloaded the save from the Delma Basement as Machia, and I could use the blue pillar there to access the Save / Trade menu. Completing the scene by reading the book on flowers, collecting the bouquet, and placing it on the gave repeated the Saiyato sprite bug, and once back into the Subject Creation Sector, I could not use the blue pillars again.

Started a new game, to see if I could get a different room to play around in. Upside, game started me in the Subject Storage West Wing room, and the blue pillars are usable again for Save / Upgrade / Healing. So your problem there is something that happens after that flashback map.

Game Breaking Bug: Sooth is no longer available in the skill / spell list as a known / castable skill at level 1 or level 2. When interfacing with the upgrade screen, it is marked as a known skill. I gained enough SP to upgrade to Kind Sooth, and the skill is still unavailable to use. It's completely missing from the spell window both in the Battle menu and in the Skill → Spell menu.

Going to stop here until the pillars are working again and the crucial heal spell returns from it's lunch break.
 

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KazukiT

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Bug report for Path of the Martrys 1.4

Bug: When Machia needs to go to the basement, if you wander around and find her father's bedroom, after the text box disappears, her portrait remains on screen. It can be removed by selecting any other door with the “I shouldn't intrude” dialogue.

Bug?: When in the basement, once you can access the inventory, you do not have a Rod to equip in your equipment inventory. Once you start the fight with the Rapier equipped, you can use Weapons → Rod switch to switch to a Rod not listed in your inventory. Not sure if intentional or not.

Bug: After placing the flowers on the gave, and switching to Saiyato, once he uses the sparkly point to leave, Machia's sprite is replaced with Saiyato's during the conversation with the guard.

Bug: After switching back to Saiyato in the Subject Creation Sector, I cannot interact with the blue energy pillar, I.E. pressing the A button does not bring up the menu for Save / Upgrade / Trade. Exiting room into the Subject Storage West Wing room, I also can not interact with the energy pillar by the restroom. Reloading a save from Subject Creation Sector does not solve the issue. Reloaded the save from the Delma Basement as Machia, and I could use the blue pillar there to access the Save / Trade menu. Completing the scene by reading the book on flowers, collecting the bouquet, and placing it on the gave repeated the Saiyato sprite bug, and once back into the Subject Creation Sector, I could not use the blue pillars again.

Started a new game, to see if I could get a different room to play around in. Upside, game started me in the Subject Storage West Wing room, and the blue pillars are usable again for Save / Upgrade / Healing. So your problem there is something that happens after that flashback map.

Game Breaking Bug: Sooth is no longer available in the skill / spell list as a known / castable skill at level 1 or level 2. When interfacing with the upgrade screen, it is marked as a known skill. I gained enough SP to upgrade to Kind Sooth, and the skill is still unavailable to use. It's completely missing from the spell window both in the Battle menu and in the Skill → Spell menu.

Going to stop here until the pillars are working again and the crucial heal spell returns from it's lunch break.
I put Sooth back into the game, I apologize for accidently taking it out. I also fixed the bugs you listed off as well.
 

UnwantedHero

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Bug: When you return to Room 106 to speak with Machia after Saiyato's pep talk with his mom, after the yes / no chice selection, Machia's portrait of her looking to the side overlaps her portait of her looking forward. The secondary portrait dissapears after the Osana Empire anime reference. However, when the side portrait is suppsed to disappear for the front facing portait in the next dialogue, the side facing portrait remains.

Bug?: Trade function does not seem to work? Selecting Trade from the blue energy pillar leads to a "What do you want to trade?" dialogue, but then does nothing.

Bug: In the sliding bed puzzle that protects the switches, of the two beds on the right side, if you slide the one that's away from the wall down, you can not pass through the gap it creates and have to exit the room to reset the puzzle.

Game breaking bug: When fighting the monsters in the palace, and given the monster count in the top left corner of the screen, I got stuck with one monster emaining on the counter and no monsters found anywhere on the availible maps. Could not access the Library, knight's quarters, Balcony door or Kitchen door from garden, Basement 1, or the Throne room. All other rooms clear, saw cut scene with Mirai, and talked to all NPCs on the map. Attmepted to open every observable door on the map, no result. Stopped playing as I could not continue.
 

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