RMVXA Road to Paradise: The Staircase

Discussion in 'Games In Development' started by CrowStorm, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. CrowStorm

    CrowStorm Check my résumé, your residence is residue Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Wouldn't you like to know?
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    OKAY FIRST LET ME STATE I HAVE LITERALLY NOT MADE ONE OF THESE THREADS SINCE GAMINGW MOST OF YOU PROBABLY DO NOT EVEN REMEMBER GAMINGW BUT IT WAS LAST RELEVANT TO THE RM SCENE LIKE 14-15 YEARS AGO IN THE INTERVENING DECADE AND A HALF I HAVE COMPLETELY ADAPTED TO RMN'S "GAME PAGE" MODEL SO I APOLOGIZE IF THIS IS A TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE GAME THREAD I HAVE JUST NOT DONE ONE OF THESE IN FIFTEEN YEARS. I ALSO APOLOGIZE FOR CAPSLOCK. NOW...3...2...1 Let's Jam!

    Oh, yeah...the first episode of this game is completely ready for you to download here. I imagine that lots of the time people don't have a download link RIGHT when they make a thread in games-in-development, but this time I do!

    Overview
    [​IMG]

    It is Earth, the not too distant future. You are Master Sergeant Devlyn Ryder, a highly decorated Green Beret who was "lent" to JSOC (the Joint Special Operations Command) so he had more latitude to participate in Black-Ops: in other words, you have made a career of doing the dirtiest of the United States' dirty work. A call comes in from a former CIA colleague that you knew from the Iraq wars, Director Simmons (he never told anyone his first name), now in charge of the CIA's Africa Desk. Something has been found in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    That something turns out to be a staircase that just appeared overnight in the basement of a bar in the Alexandria slums. The staircase, which leads down, is not shown anywhere in the city's building plans. It's like the building just grew it. Nothing that goes down comes back up. Simmons acted quickly to seize control of the site under some acceptable paramilitary pretext to keep the UN and the South African government from interfering with what might be an important find for DARPA and other US Military research affiliates. Dr. Naomi Watanabe of the university of Tokyo, a brilliant experimental quantum physicist, was brought in to investigate the Staircase. She was forced to conclude that in this particular circumstance, the simplest explanation via Occam's Razor really was that the staircase was a portal to another dimension.

    Specially, it leads down into the top floor of a deadly, monster-filled tower that has claimed the lives of dozens and dozens of US soldiers. Rather than escalate things by sending more regular troops to a potential slaughter, Simmons has chosen to lead a small team consisting of Ryder, himself, Dr. Watanabe, and Army Airborne combat medic Corporal Mary O'Hara (whose primary concern is making sure everyone who goes down comes back up alive) down the Staircase, and into the unknown...

    You Guys Are Visual People, So Here's 10 Screenshots That I Thought Were At Least Okay Looking

    Most of these show a font that many people had readability issues with. The last one shows what that font has been changed to.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Characters

    I like games that have characters. Don't you!?

    [​IMG] Master Sergeant Devlyn Ryder
    Class: SpecOps
    Age: 37
    Height: 5'11"
    Weight: 199 lbs.
    Likes: Risking his life, stand-up fights, the camaraderie of fellow soldiers.
    Dislikes: Being manipulated and lied to by the top brass, the way people Downstairs look.
    Proficiencies, Modern: Handgun, Assault Rifle, SMG, Shotgun, Heavy
    Proficiencies, Downstairs: Dagger, Sword, Bow
    Signature Skills: Focused Autofire, Grenade Launcher, Soldier On

    [​IMG] CIA Assistant Director Simmons (No First Name Given)
    Class: Agent
    Age: 57
    Height: 5'10"
    Weight: 166 lbs.
    Likes: Being able to pursue his various agendas in secrecy; power.
    Dislikes: When subordinates are insubordinate, the way people Downstairs look.
    Proficiencies, Modern: Handgun, SMG
    Proficiencies, Downstairs: Dagger, Sorcery (not available in this Episode)
    Signature Skills: Lift, Aim: Vitals, Mozambique Drill

    [​IMG] Corporal Mary O'Hara, 101st Army Airborne Division
    Class:
    Medic
    Age: 28
    Height: 5'5"
    Weight: 118 lbs.
    Likes: Rom-Coms, Action Movies, Movies in General, Guns
    Dislikes: Mimics, People Who Don't Like Guns, Leaving A Man Behind, the way people Downstairs look.
    Proficiencies, Modern: Handgun, SMG
    Proficiencies, Downstairs: Dagger
    Signature Skills: Triage, First Aid, Lifesaver

    [​IMG] Professor Naomi Watanabe, University of Tokyo
    Class: Scientist
    Age: 33
    Height: 5'4"
    Weight: 127 lbs.
    Likes: Science!, Dungeons & Dragons, scientific integrity, examining things until she has them completely figured out, the way people Downstairs look.
    Dislikes: Guns, when people don't get her Dungeons & Dragons references, not being allowed ample time to examine things until she has them completely figured out, being bombarded with questions she obviously lacks the data to answer.
    Proficiencies, Modern: Handgun (but ew)
    Proficiencies, Downstairs: Dagger, Axe, Spear, Sword, Katana, Hammer, Staff, Bow, Sorcery, Enemy Skill
    Signature Skills: Scan, Analyze, Occam's Razor

    Features & Other Cool Stuff

    This thread is growing rather long and rather image heavy by this point I imagine, so I'm going to try and lock these feature demos behind spoiler tags. Hopefully that'll work without any hitches.

    Stealing
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This one's pretty simple. You don't get to be a master spy without knowing how to pick a pocket. Simmons' Lift skill is powerful, with a much higher success chance than you've learned to expect from mainstream JRPGs and the potential to steal powerful, game-changing items, like the "Ring of Spellturning" pictured above.


    "Blue Science"
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Watanabe's analyzer can, well...if you find the font above hard to read, it can "Scan' enemies weaknesses/resistances or absorb some Sorcery spells and Enemy Skills from enemies with 'Analyze'. Watanabe starts the journey weak and fragile but absorb enough magic and she becomes a fearsome blue wizard. Observe:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    This also ties into the Research Points system described below.


    Use-ID & Strangers In A Strange Land
    By now, I think you might have gathered that the alternate dimension down the Staircase is, or appears to be, Archetypical JRPG Land. Well, this spec-ops team made up of "real people" from present day Earth have no idea how to deal with that. They spend half an in-game hour figuring out what a Save Crystal is. They are fascinated/baffled/infuriated by the arbitrary cruelty of Mimics. This is their reaction when they first hit an on-touch encounter:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Once again, please forgive the janky font-switch. I took 80% of my screenshots before converting to the more readable font.

    Anyway, it stands to reason (and thanks to JustAShyDoge for pointing this out) that the magic potions they encounter would be equally incomprehensible to them. I borrowed a common feature from popular roguelikes (the only thing really roguelike at all about this game) by letting you "use-id" these potions. Observe:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Note that I happened to use Watanabe while taking the above screens but ANY character can identify potions by drinking them.


    Research & Ordnance Points
    The amount of "Interdimensional Artifacts" (magic items) you collect, the amount of enemy corpse pieces you lug back, and the number of Sorcery spells and Enemy Skills that Naomi successfully analyzes all contribute to your Research Point total.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Research points don't do anything in Episode I (besides get you a better research grade), but...
    [​IMG]
    Starting with Episode II, you'll be able to allocate your earned Research Points to six different Research Paths.

    Now Ordnance Points are the flip-side of Research Points and are awarded for things like battle performance, killing optional bosses, and collecting dog-tags from dead enemy soldiers.
    [​IMG]
    From Episode II onwards, you'll be able to use your Ordnance Points to well...
    [​IMG]


    The Bigger Picture
    Road To Paradise
    A game--actually two closely related games--about two very different worlds colliding and the spectacular consequences that result. As you may have noticed me being cute, the initials are indeed "RTP". Take from that what you will.

    Road To Paradise - The Dragon is the story of Izuno, a very young dragon and the protege and ward of one of the Seven Dragon Barons that rule the world of Ryntparthea. On the floating isle of Veridian, Izuno's master discovers a strange spacial anomaly at Voidsreach Tower, and sends Izuno to investigate along with Teos, a mage of the Chronomancer's guild, a Princess from Fellgard seeking aid for her people's war against the Ebon Dragon Baron, and a Dark Acolyte of the Ruby Goddess Lenore, from distant Silvermoon. The player can choose at the beginning of the game whether Izuno is a Flame Dragon, a Frost Dragon, a Forest Dragon, or a Sky Dragon. Izuno can also shift freely between his true dragon form and a human guise. Some NPCs will treat him differently based on his appearance.

    Road To Paradise - The Staircase is the other side of the story.

    Both games will be episodic story-focused JRPGs. This will be a commercial game after the first episodes if there is sufficient interest, but the first episodes will always be free to play. Commercially released episodes, if and when there are any, will include both sides of the story--The Dragon and The Stairway. So, the best case scenario is: lots of people play the first Episode of both halves and enjoy them. Work begins on subsequent episodes as a commercial project, with the next step being Steam Greenlight. But if there isn't enough public interest to justify going commercial, this is sadly as far as this project goes, at least until if and when there is sufficient public interest.

    Thanks y'all for hearing out my pitch. Please play the heck out of it and let me know what you think.
     
    #1
    Jayje likes this.
  2. CrowStorm

    CrowStorm Check my résumé, your residence is residue Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Wouldn't you like to know?
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Hey all. Could I get a little constructive advice on how my thread went almost a month with zero replies? It's quite frustrating considering I worked my butt off on the OP, and honestly I thought it looked pretty good, so I like to think it was just buried from the frontpage by a lot of buzzing games. I also did not see the spike in downloads on RMN I expected when I finally advertised this here as opposed to RMN which is kind of a ghost town.

    Anyway, since NINE multiples of the mandatory 72 hour waiting period have passed since my OP...Le BUMP!
     
    #2
  3. VeryXInh

    VeryXInh Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    114
    First Language:
    Japanese
    Primarily Uses:
    RMXP
    It's always like this, this is what to expect when you publish your game.
    These day there are just too much games that you can grab easily for free (Google Play, itch.io .. )
    so it's totally expected.
    Heard that you worked hard on this game, i will give it a try to see how do you do with it = )
     
    #3
  4. VeryXInh

    VeryXInh Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    114
    First Language:
    Japanese
    Primarily Uses:
    RMXP
    This game gave me a good impression about it, here is some thoughts:

    Cons:
    - Dashing is disable, this is actually not recommend, i don't like slow walking and i heard people
    comment about it too so.
    - Portraits picture showing & fading is slow too.
    - First scene in game was a little dark to see things
    - Battle scene is too basic, it's not fun at all
    Pro:
    - Your mapping look nice, i really like it
    - Conversation & plot seems to be done well too
    - Each of Actor come up with some interesting Skills, i like it

    In the end i think you're doing well, some cons i mentioned above can be fixed easily,
    If you only have better graphics for characters' portrait, improve Battle Scene more,
    i think you will get good attention if you publish your finished game on Steam Store.
    (Artwork is really important to grab people's attention)
     
    #4
  5. CrowStorm

    CrowStorm Check my résumé, your residence is residue Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Wouldn't you like to know?
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Thanks! Random thoughts in no order at all:

    "- Dashing is disable, this is actually not recommend, i don't like slow walking and i heard people
    comment about it too so."

    Um...dashing is not disabled? I don't know what's going on with that. There might be one or two maps at the very beginning where you can't dash but...no...no, that's The Dragon, not The Staircase. I don't believe that dashing is ever disabled at any point in The Staircase, and if it is, it's a bug. I only disable dashing temporarily on very small maps--I know how people hate it. Just to be totally sure, you did play this game here, right, not its twin? Because that does have dashing disabled on a few small maps in the beginning.

    "- Battle scene is too basic, it's not fun at all"

    This is hard for me to understand as I see your first language is Japanese. I assume you mean the battles aren't visually appealing? If so, it's too bad you don't like that but minimalist RTP-style turn-based side-view is what I was going for with this project and it's what I got and I'm happy with it and it won't be changing, but the aesthetics shouldn't effect whether the battles are fun or not.

    "Each of Actor come up with some interesting Skills, i like it"

    THAT is what should determine whether battles are fun or not, not what they look like, so yeah, I'm having trouble understanding what you're saying. Or at least, to me, fun is based almost entirely on mechanics and very little on aesthetics.

    "In the end i think you're doing well, some cons i mentioned above can be fixed easily,
    If you only have better graphics for characters' portrait, improve Battle Scene more,
    i think you will get good attention if you publish your finished game on Steam Store.
    (Artwork is really important to grab people's attention)"

    Thankfully, I do have the funds put aside that I could use to purchase better art. But the problem is...I really quite like the art I have. I feel like the portraits suit the characters and vice versa, so I'm loathe to change them up much, if at all.

    "- Your mapping look nice, i really like it"

    Well, in 17 or however many it's been years of doing this, I've never heard THAT ONE from anybody before, but I'll take it! I'd sort of come to take it for granted a long time ago that mapping would always be considered the worst aspect of my games.

    Anyway thank you for playing the game and for your feedback, I really appreciate it!

    ATENCIONES GENERALES:
    That was probably some really butchered Spanish, I apologize. Anyway so, here is where I'm at, since I don't visit here as often as I should and when I do, I don't post as much as I should. I am waiting for Road To Paradise: The Dragon and/or Road To Paradise: The Staircase to reach a certain level of attention. If and when they do, this is the project I want to monetize. If it never happens (or rather, fails to happen in a reasonable time frame, since I won't live FOREVER), well...I'll make my way out of this "business" without ever really getting in, and then gradually fade away from this hobby. Finally. I hope. But I've said that before. This isn't sour grapes btw I know it might sound like that I'm just trying to be really transparent about what I'm thinking, planning, making, and marketing.

    My secret identity and the nights I spend fighting (and by "fighting", I obviously mean doing) crime have been really cutting into my RM time and RM energy and I'm not sure how much longer I can keep up both.

    So, as I try to keep this project afloat (i.e. visible to potential players) I am working on two other NON-COMMERCIAL projects--sequentially, not concurrently. One of them, AfterSaga, is "the RTP story, the Epiclogue", experimental* spiritual sequel to the experimental* RPG When You Were Young, the first half of which is "the RTP story, the Prologue, w/ RTP babies" (the second half was finished by the sweet and talented JustAShyDoge, but as English is not his first language and the game's primary focus is its writing, the game as a whole is not as perfect as I'd like).

    The experiment* is basically that I'm doing the prologue chapter of yours standard "epic" JRPG game and the post-game content/finale, but all of the game in between doesn't actually exist and has to be inferred. When it's in a presentable state, I really hope Archeia_Nessiah (Nessy) will look at it because...reasons. Some but not all of which are that it makes good use of her graphics, she's requested that she receive free copies of games using her graphics, I don't know how often she actually gets those free copies, and this one I think would be worth her time to play. Again I will add the vague non-explanation of...because reasons. I believe is the one great, true story of Ralph for the ages.

    I'm also making Stryx, an uncharacteristically (for me) cute game about a Wizard's Owl, for RMN's Then Year Of The Owl event, because I love owls (and birds in general if you haven't noticed), and wizards. It will be the first and only project since last summer/fall's Chapelwaite for which I have made all of my own maps.

    Both of these games are probably more eye-catching/attractive than Road To Paradise. I think that AfterSaga has a good look with Tall mack-style versions of the RTP characters, Mack tiles, and some cool visual effects and portraits with lots of emotes. The battle system looks similar to the one from Road To Paradise, but it uses an ATB system so it functions a bit differently. Also some battles are one-on-one duels and switch to a front-view battle system. Stryx makes, I think, very nice use of the Time Fantasy graphics packs, with some nice little flourishes. I'm curious what Jason Perry (finalbossblues, the fellow who makes TF) will think of it when he gets his free copy (well, not that any copies aren't free). But neither one is anything I was planning on commercializing. There is a longer, stronger story to be told over the course of Road To Paradise's seven episodes which in the end I think is more worthy of monetization. But I'm not working on RtP for the moment, besides to occasionally remind people it exists and could use some reviews on RMN.

    I am hoping that one or both of those two non-commercial projects will be a success and will splash some attention over this way. If not, I suppose I could try to monetize Stryx--I legally own all the assets, I believe--but AfterSaga will always be purely a labor of love.

    Anyway, neither game is even to the point where it has a game page on RMN.

    I also have a cyberpunk action RPG called Night City that I developed the first half of and shelved. It's a game where you wake up as a beautiful young girl in a hospital with no memory of how you got their or why your arms have been replaced with laser cannons. And from there it goes further down the Gibsonian cyberpunk rabbit hole. It uses Falcao's Pearl ABS (an incredibly powerful tool with maddeningly poor documentation) to deliver real time cyberpunk combat. I'm not really sure I have a good reason why that one's sitting on a shelf, besides that I just haven't really felt like working on it since the initial spree.

    So that's the end of the uninvited "Report From The Crow's Nest".
     
    #5

Share This Page