RMVXA Sacchariine

Discussion in 'Games In Development' started by Maximus32, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Maximus32

    Maximus32 Absolute Genius Veteran

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    [​IMG]

    “Why does everyone make mama work so hard? Sometimes, I wish everyone else would just go away! At least, for a little while…”

    As she utters these words, the bright light abruptly falls to dimness, followed by a rising din of light laughter

    “That is an interesting request,” an eavesdropping demon muses aloud, slithering into view from a recluse underneath the bed, still chuckling

    In its ringing voice, it addresses the girl “Would you, perhaps, entertain the thought of it actually happening? I could be of aid.”

    ---
    Sacchariine (pronounced “sak-er-in” or “sak-uh-reen”, trust me, the two ‘i’s is intentional) is a JRPG style game built using RPG Maker VX Ace. It is a project I started over a year ago and has evolved considerably since then (I did actually post this game long ago to this forum, but it has changed radically since then)

    Right now, a demo (or as I like to call it, a
    Demonstration) is available, featuring all of chapter 1 of the game (out of 8 planned chapters). The demo is about an hour long. Try it out! I am open to critique and any suggestions. I am also looking for any help on the game (right now it's a three man team of me, myself, and I); please reach out to me if you are interested

    UPDATE: Version 1.0.2 has fixed the issue with the shortcut executable malfunctioning and not launching the game

    Download of the Demo


    The Soundtrack to the demo is composed entirely by myself and is also available for free listening and download on BandCamp, if you're interested

    Check out the Soundtrack

    There is also a website where I'll be posting (hopefully) monthly updates as I work on the game. A list of attributions, helpers, and other credits can be found here

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Artwork courtesy of tortillua

    Musical Sample
    Here's a sample of the music from the game. It's probably the aspect of gamemaking I have the most experience with. The aesthetic I've tried to convey through the visuals and sound is a kind of wacky, sinister vibe


    Screenshots
    [​IMG]
    Various enemies encountered early on

    [​IMG]
    The Player action selection. The queue is used to order multiple actions for a single character
    [​IMG]
    At home

    [​IMG]
    Of course, Cerberus holds an esteemed secretarial position in the Underworld

    [​IMG]
    Some doggo dialogue

    ---​

    Synopsis
    Sacchariine is a story about a 10-year old girl named Sugar with a vivid imagination and a potential for psychic abilities. She lives alone with her mother, sheltered from the world, and has a considerably naïve view of her own life and the lives of others. Yet with her abilities, Sugar perceives unearthly beings that others cannot, exposing her to a world entirely different from our own

    One day, Sugar accidentally stumbles into the domain of these creatures and is acquainted with several of their kind. From then on, she is ensnared in the sinister designs of ill-bearing demons: a conflict that teeters the dim line bordering reality and imagination. As the game progresses, Sugar tries to find a way to preserve the safety (and sanity) of herself and her mother from these threats, but looming at the end, like in the descent of Dante, Treachery beckons…

    Gameplay
    Sacchariine follows a traditional JRPG format in most respects with random, turn-based battles. However, the battle system does contain unique features, including:
    • An Action Queue which allows you to attack multiple times in a specific order with actions of different “sizes” that take up space in the queue
    • A regenerating “mana” (called Aptitude) that is used in all attacks
    • Enemies that “wait” and may not always attack
    • Many puzzle and trick enemies that must be defeated in a specific way (i.e. using a specific attack at the right time)
    • Customized visual display and window layout
    Overworld gameplay is puzzle-heavy and dialogue focused, with much detail attributed to the story and the ideas it represents (more so than to the Player’s experience, I would say). The game is extremely linear but features many different endings, some of which depend on the simplest of actions. The Demo features two such endings…

    Style and Genre
    Sacchariine employs what I call “Abstract Horror”, a type of horror not meant to frighten the player, but to convey ideas and encourage thought-provoking gameplay. The visual and musical style may be described as “sinister”, “demented”, or “surreal”. Sacchariine is also allegorical in nature, providing commentary on morality, human emotion, and the power of the imagination. The game isintended to be fun and compelling, but most of all thoughtful and engaging in an intellectual manner, and I hope it can be enjoyed as such

    There is an abundance of allusions to Dante’s Divine Comedy, which is the chief inspiration for the game. Other influences include the writings of Lewis Carroll, C. S. Lewis, and Nabokov, and games like Earthbound, Yume Nikki, and Undertale

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Artwork courtesy of tortillua
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
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    greensdream, InkPotion and Leanne like this.
  2. hiddenone

    hiddenone Lurker Extraordinaire Moderator

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    I tried to play your demo, but I kept getting this message and the game wouldn't start.
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Maximus32

    Maximus32 Absolute Genius Veteran

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    I will look into this. I used a free program to create a shortcut executable to the actual game executable and perhaps it has some restrictions I did not take into account

    You should be able to play the game directly though. If you turn on hidden files and folders from control panel->file explorer options->view, you can see the hidden "Game Data" folder which contains the "Game.exe" file itself

    EDIT: I just released a version that fixes this issue by doing away with the shortcut entirely. The download link reflects the new file
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
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  4. hiddenone

    hiddenone Lurker Extraordinaire Moderator

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    Ah, okay, I was able to play the hidden folder (so if there were any other changes in the new version I missed them). The game's got an interesting style and story it seems, but there were some things that lessened my enjoyment.
    I'll start with the graphics. I liked the style, but there were quite a few inconsistencies. One of the ones I spotted right away was that the dresser in Sugar's room was front view while most of the other tiles were 3/4 view, which seemed odd. Other tiles had similar problems, it's not a huge issue but later on you may want to go back an fix them up so they all have the same viewpoint. Another thing I noticed while wandering maps was that there wasn't consistency with walls. Some maps like Cerba's had one wall near the top of the map but none of the other hallways had walls. It's probably a style choice, but I think either being consistent on the same map would be good. The sprites were neat, but Sugar and her mom tended to blend in with the light floors. Either darkening their outlines or changing the floor color a bit could help with that. The change in style for the circles area's walls and floor was a nice touch to show Sugar wasn't in the store anymore but they stood out a bit too much compared to the other pixel tiles in those areas like the boxes and pallets.

    Battles were fine, though personally I would have preferred to have been able to see the enemies while choosing what I'd do that turn (the enemy battlers are cool, seeing them more would've been nice). Since there wasn't just an 'attack' option I actually played around more with the different skills to see how they'd affect enemies, and having special enemies like the mirror demons react differently was nice. I did have a minor issue with the naming convention of the skills though. Having the 'A' before some of the names (like 'A Telepathy') was odd, since I kept reading it the same was as I'd read 'a chair' or something. Moving the letter to the end of the name (like 'Telepathy A') would fix that issue. Also, I could use Ranahara outside of battle but it didn't seem to do anything (since Apt. came back it wasn't too bad, but it seemed strange that it was available.)

    Mephel's battle had some interesting things happen, but since Sugar's health couldn't go below 1 HP it lost a lot of impact early on (I realized it right away since Mephel hit me for 31 damage but it only took 24 health from me). So the battle ended up just being me using Push until something new happened.

    I really enjoyed some of the puzzles. The mirror demon one really stood out as great, and it was just hard enough to make me think without driving me crazy. Other puzzles were hampered by Sugar's movement speed. Since she only walks, it makes traversing maps take a while, especially when you have to retread previous locations (like swapping the music to go to different locations behind Cerba) or when the maps were big but empty (like the Obese Dragon's mud area). Either letting Sugar run or making the maps a bit smaller could help. I liked the desk puzzle at first, but it went on two or three too many times so by the end I didn't even care what the desk jockeys were saying.

    There were quite a few missing periods in the dialogue. I only noticed a couple spelling errors though, one being the blue kid in store says "You're to slow!", 'to' should be 'too', and another was one of the desk jockeys saying 'wuld' instead of 'would' (forgot to mark down which one it was though).

    Overall it was a neat demo, it'll be interesting to see where the story will go.
     
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  5. Maximus32

    Maximus32 Absolute Genius Veteran

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    @hiddenone
    Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it

    The two versions are identical. The new one I uploaded just doesn't have the hidden folder
     
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