Reinarc

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CONTENT WARNING
To be on the safe side, I'll go ahead and provide this section.

This game contains:

Use of alcohol
Physical and mental harm
Strong themes/Minor language

Note that most of these things are implied not show .

This game does NOT contain:

Nudity

This demo does NOT contain:

Blood

SYNOPSIS
Sempiternal is a dark fantasy character focused JRPG, with strategic and in some cases brutal turn-based combat. I give you plenty of options to prepare yourself well, however!

This game was designed for LGBTQIA+ friendly gamers.


Features


  • Amazing art from the talented Low and Ateliae.
  • A cast of LGBTQIA+ characters.
  • A dark, story driven narrative.
  • Through the alter system, each core ability in the game can be changed to suit different playstyles. Mix and match with other characters to create deadly combinations!
  • Strategic combat that will call on you to mix defense and offense, or perish!

IMAGES/SCREENSHOTS
DEMOSCREEN1.jpg

DEMOSCREEN3.jpg
DEMOSCREEN6.jpg
DEMOSCREEN7.jpg
DEMOSCREEN4.jpg
DEMOSCREEN2.jpg
uiscreen6.jpg


CHARACTERS
Aarlin Rein

Aarlin_0000_Neutral.png


Aarlin grew up half his life with his parents in the city of Alavon, and the other half in Hrelda, where he trained to be a Hallowed Knight. As time went on, he understood that he was different from people around him. His need to belong caused him to instead retreat into himself, focusing on his duties and leaving that part of his life behind. His conflict stems from the Alfrean literature, which has interpreted to say that man should reside with woman. The southern lands follow this doctrine literally, and so Aarlin is forced to conceal himself. When the Hallowed Order betrays Alavon in the Great Massacre, he is again left without a home.


Kara Bulal

Kara_0000_Neutral.png



Kara was born a native to the Dulcan islands. She grew up in poverty, and with the heavy hand of Lede (one of the tribal leaders) who would make the weakened people of a weakened nation do as he pleased. When she was a young girl, a foreign man arrived and noticed her beauty. He offered to marry her and take her back to his home in Jora. Her parents tried to force her, but she refused and ran away from home. She later was found and recruited by the Alchemist Guild in Hrelda.

Kara is a sarcastic, but strong willed individual. She loathes her past but longs one day to make amends, and make Lede pay for what he did. After the Great Massacre, she struggles with her previous identity of being the beautiful and intelligent Dulcan.


Quinten Nilford

Quinten_0001_Happy.png


Quinten was born on Skirv on the western continent of Agrad. His mother died when he was young, leaving only his father, who loved him greatly and pushed him to be a better person. In school he was made fun of, and vowed to become someone of merit to prove them all wrong. He was studious, and gained entrance to Hrelda where he studied to be a mage. He quickly dropped out, however, as he found the bureaucracy and snobby demeanor of mages to be repulsive. He returned back to Skirv for a few years, until his wit as a bookkeeper for the local government gained him enough fame to be recognized by a traveling Alavon man, who had feelings for him and granted him an audience with King Falke. Employed as a scholar to Alavon, Quinten was tasked with studying battle strategies. With his vast intelligence, he learned how to replicate the abilities of certain monsters.


Belai Ludwin

Belai_0000_Neutral.png


Born in Hrelda, her mother died at childbirth. Belai grew up in solitude, doing everything in her power to please her father. Unfortunately, her father was not a kind or decent man. As soon as she was able, she fled Hrelda in search of meaning. After two long years exploring the world and finding her peace, she returns to confront her father one last time. Belai is a kind soul, but will not be taken advantage of. She tends to play the motivating role in the party.


Vadaj Hendagge

Vadaj_0006_Young-Neutral.png


Vadaj was a young man, born in Dulca before the war. His parents died early on, and he was raised by his grandfather. As the fighting tore Dulca apart, his grandfather took Vadaj to Jora to meet with an old friend in Bagavo Woods, where they stayed in hiding. His grandfather died shortly after they arrived, as a result of his wounds and exhaustion.

Vadaj meets his best friend Darius in Bagavo, and the duo love to go hunting together.

Jardak Stolzkrieger


Jardak_0000_Neutral.png

Jardak was born in a neighboring town to Alavon. He was rather average as a child, and his two brothers often stole the attention. As a result, he developed a narcissistic personality, seeking to be admired by everyone around him for any meager achievement. He joined the Alavon army during peacetime, eventually becoming the general. He has yet to achieve the glory and recognition he believes he truly deserves.



There are several other characters that will be added soon.

STORYLINE/PLOT

  • The kingdom of Alavon won the last world war through the power of the adept, magic wielders blessed by the Goddess Alfrea. Forged in an alliance with the neighboring mage nation Hrelda, they decimated their foes with Hrelda's Hallowed Order, a league of holy knights. With the dust settled, the Hallowed would serve Alavon in peacetime by being its protector. Until the day they all went mad.

    Aarlin Rein, a member of the Order, flees with his life. On a small boat with his friend Kara, the duo escape Alavon as convicts, hoping to start a new life. Yet the fleeting calm is shattered when their past comes to find them. A shadow is looming over the lands of Agrad, uninhibited and sprawling. Left unchecked, all will be consumed in darkness.


DOWNLOAD LINK
Itch.io Link - https://reinarc.itch.io/sempiternal
Credits listed inside the folder (mods please advise if you require it listed out here as well)

DEVELOPER'S NOTES
Thank you so much for checking out my page! This is my first attempt to create an RPG, and I've been diligently plugging away at it since last year. This demo covers the first 20-25% of the game that will take you roughly 4-6 hours depending on your pace. It is a fairly linear, story based RPG experience, though I'm looking at adding more side exploration options. I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback!

While I've personally tested this demo many, many times, I have no doubt there will be bugs. Please save early and often. If you encounter any bug that prevents you from proceeding, save as best you can and leave me a comment. I will be taking a break from development for the next two weeks to recuperate, absorb feedback, and be available to fix any bugs that present themselves.

The file size is quite large for an RPG Maker game, I'm aware. That's because I'm essentially finished with the game. The skeleton of it anyway. I need to polish, balance, test, and add things over the next few months. I didn't want to publish a demo until I was pretty much finished with the game, and I'm nearly there. :)

Enjoy! Any donations will go straight to buying assets to make this game better.



Talented Artists! Check out my commissions page. I'm looking for all the help I can get to polish this game up! I will be adding a few more items over the weekend. I need help with custom: Boss HP Bar, main menu background, static scene drawings, battle UI, and more.

https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?threads/paid-art-mapping-mz-updated-2-1...

KNOWN ISSUES
Clicking on Credits on the title screen exits you from the game. Still need someone to advise me on how to adjust this/make a credit page.

There is a extremely small chance that when a character dies in combat, the game may soft lock. I've been trying to hunt the origin of this bug for months, which is not easy because it only happens to me once a month or less. If you happen to have it happen to you, please record any details about the way the character died and the battle itself. Thank you :)

CHANGE LOG
9/20/21 - Changed some screenshots, reduced project file size.
9/20/21 - Filled in the dialogue boxes more thoroughly, reduced wait time between most conversations. I have not tested any of these changes yet, but they looked fine in the message previews. Let me know.
9/20/21 - Minor changes to skill descriptions/alter skill descriptions. Minor typo/bug fixes.
 

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Cythera

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Ahh, thank you for distracting me from working on my own project :3
I got past Jardak and here's some feedback for you so far!
  • The amount of customization with the options is great!
  • Gorgeous animations and action sequences – I’m jealous! I’m gonna kidnap you and make you do my animations and action sequences, okay? Good. I’ll feed you in cookies.
  • The menu is easy to navigate and nice to look at. I love how skills have that little table on the right-hand side that shows some info about said skill!
  • I love the element aggravate mechanic
  • The state popup plugin is used perfectly here. I often say that kind of thing isn’t needed because most games have the typical states (atk down, defense up, poison, sleep, etc) but your game uses the reveal and resist states, and that state popup plugin is a huge asset for your element system.
  • I really love your element aggravate mechanic. I can either inflict more damage on a reveal, or use it to inflict a strategic state!
  • Thank you for the MP regen on Vadaj; you introduce this great element system, then give me the resources to actually utilize it
  • Nice use of SE
  • Oof, bye Darius. Nicely done on the starting bit, dev. Not much else to say; it sets a good tone. I’ve got high expectations for the rest of the story
  • Is that…skill customization?!?! :kaoluv: I’m a simple person. Give me the ability to customize my team and create funky team configurations, and we’re golden
  • Hehe, I took items from the houses in the town full of people who mistrust me. I hope that comes back to bite me later
  • Jardak was a fantastic battle. I had to be strategic to win. It was a difficult battle, so some may be turned off by it, but I had a great time in that fight. I was level 4 in that fight; take that how you will
  • The opening scene was visually very well done, but following the conversation could be a little tricky – just give both of them name tags so poor players like me can always tell who is talking :3
  • This could very well be personal, but I’m never a fan of the whole [3][M][St][(icon)] thing in skill descriptions. What does it mean? I have to memorize what the stuff means? I’m looking at the skill description for a reason; just tell me in plain words what the skill does. Even if it’s just Type: Magic Speed: Normal Inflicts: Status X. It also just looks so…tacky. I feel based on my level of dislike for this setup it’s my personal thoughts, but you wanted feedback ;P
  • There’s a 1-2 second pause between closing a text box, and the next one appearing. This badly affects the flow of conversation. If you have some kind of wait command between dialogue boxes, don’t. If this is an engine thing (I don’t have MZ, so it could very well be and I’m not aware of it) then please fine a way around it
  • I’m not sure if the forest is an indicator for the rest of the game, but the encounters seem to be random – or at least, fixed in place and not visible to the player. This is a negative to a lot of players. Random encounters are a thing of days long past. Have some kind of visual identifier, even if it’s just dust and the enemy is hiding underground? Just something – okay, I retract this statement. It was just for the starting area. That’s cool. I would still like a visual indicator, but it’s just a suggestion now and not a negative point
  • There’s some polishing to do on the maps – Tella’s fences at the map edges, the shading on the entry gate thing, the forests are quite square. Minor things to be done, but I wanted to mention it anyway. The maps aren’t bad by any means, but they can be improved is what I’m saying. The interior maps like houses and the inn are really nice – compact and full of just enough clutter
  • I paid all that money to stay at the inn, and it didn’t heal me? Yeah, just give the player a full heal there
  • The game simply closes itself when I try to open the credits
  • I noticed your text doesn’t take up the whole length of the text box so
    it ends up looking like
    this where the text
    only takes up part of the box. This should be fixed; it looks really awkward
  • Minor issue, in the starting farm village, the colour of the grass under the path is yellow when the rest of the grass is green. Use a different path or recolour the grass in Gimp/Photoshop/etc. Same issue with the rounded cliff edges
  • Darius’ balloon icon was a heart, then he proceeded to complain about me ;P I think that was meant to be a different balloon icon?
  • I tried your auto battle feature for fun, and oof. It’s rough. All my characters did was spam ‘attack’ randomly until they were killed and I game overed. You either need to make your auto battle actually viable as in, it’s not a given game over when you use it haha. Or just remove it. I’d err on the side of removing it to be honest, as I can’t see too many people using an auto battle feature
That 'sounds bad' or it 'sounded bad'
1.png
2.png
I do this one too. It’s because the items are set to ‘x’ but the top of the shelf is set to ‘*’ so the shelf draws on top of the items (‘x’ is seen as the same level as the player)
3.png
I can use the hole on the right to travel to the hole on the left, but I can’t travel anywhere. It just spits me back out in the same place. Easy to fix. If this was intentional…no. Don’t. You set the precedence each hole would take you somewhere else. Others will think this is a bug or a glitch if one hole doesn't take you anywhere, but the rest do. Consistency
  • The fact that the game icon is slanted and not perfectly centered is seriously triggering me…did you do this on purpose?
  • All the customization in the options menu, and I can’t turn off the stepping animation for my character haha?
  • The party battlers are great, but the starting fight has a different style of drawing, yet they’re human too. Be consistent. If you drew the party battlers, draw the human enemies too. Jardak had a human battler? Not having a consistent battler for the starting fight was little jarring. I'd just fix it so your game is more consistent :)
  • Your threat/aggro system is very exploitable. I’m not sure if this was intended to make combat easier, or if you weren’t aware of it. I’m not saying it’s a negative or a positive (yet...) but I want you to be aware I am exploiting it like crazy. I have no fear of dying because I hype up Aarlin’s threat meter, then have him simply guard while Kara kills everything. I have her Rescue skill as well if Aarlin gets too hurt, but so far, I haven’t had to use it

I'll be back :) This was fun to play; keep up the good work!
 

Reinarc

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@Cythera

Love your feedback, thank you for being honest. Some things (especially graphics, such as the human enemy in the beginning) I just don't have the budget for right now. But I will definitely fix what I can.

I'm sure you're plenty busy with your own things, but if I could pick your brain for a moment.

1) The threat system exploit. You're a game developer so I'm sure you immediately recognized it, but in my mind I left it alone for now because there was enough to learn about. But if a player did recognize it, do you think it's a deterrent that such a strategy works? I guess I'll have to wait until you finish the demo first, as I [tried] to purposefully make the starting areas normal monsters easy to practice the element mechanics.

2) What do you mean by the game icon? I'll fix it but not sure what you're referring to :)

3) The skill description is a quick glance at what a skill can do (single target/aoe, magic vs physical attack, elements used, etc) and had to be condensed because I wanted each skill to have the Aggravate Element line so you wouldn't have to remember it. Do you think adding a Field Guide item explaining what each one means would be helpful? Or including a menu option for it?


I'll work on the minor fixes later this evening. Thanks!


EDIT: For cookies I'll do whatever work you need. :cool:
 
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Cythera

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Happy to help ^-^
So I take it then, the party battlers were commissioned? They look really good!

1. Hard to say with threat exploit... some players will be really happy to discover and utilize the exploit. It's not broken; the mechanic works as intended. It's just super easy to use to manipulate combat. Some players would like using that. Some players would call it cheap and say it diminishes the threat of combat. You won't please everyone, so ultimately, implement the mechanic however you like. I wasn't sure if you intended it to be so powerful, so I wanted to bring it to your attention. I'm fine with it how it is. I can use it if I want, or I can just ignore the threat bar (I think there's an option to turn it off in your options menu) to give more challenge to combat.
I'll let you know my thoughts on the threat system when/if they change as I play through your game.
2. The icon on the taskbar haha. It's tilted ever so slightly
4.png
3. Don't read too much into that complaint from me unless others begin to echo it. It's more than likely me being extremely particular. I've seen games do it before (not just RM games; all games) and I have always disliked the setup of having to memorize different acronyms. As I said, I look at skill descriptions because I've forgotten what the skill does. I'm not going to memorize the difference between M and TD and S and M+, that kind of thing. Plus, I find the whole [X][Y][(icon)] to look meh.
If you want to keep the element aggravate on a separate line, that's fine. How I'd go about it is either change the top line to something like 'A powerful earth-imbued single target strike!" So I can tell, oh, it's earth-based, single target, and strike, well, that's gotta be physical.
Or you could expand on the little table in the skill description in the menu, because that...that I really like.


Good, I will provide one cookie for every animation ;)
 

Reinarc

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Huh...no I didn't make any adjustments to the icon at all. That's weird. It's just a placeholder for now, anyway. But I will see if I can manually adjust it :p

What I meant was that I didn't want to explain the system yet due to information overload. Don't worry though, my bosses post-Jardak are planned with this mechanic in mind. You won't be able to tank and spank (much, anyway).

Thanks again!
 

Rose Guardian

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I really like this game so far. I just wanted to point out an error with a missing file when I enter Tella Village. I know its not your fault. Exclude unused files removes files you actually need. Error.png
 

Reinarc

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Thank you! Uploading a new copy in 10-15 minutes.

EDIT: New version is up. It was a rogue sprite file that I used an "empty" image and later deleted to make more room. Not a clue why I did that. Thank you for your patience!
 
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Reinarc

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New version uploaded! Should be ready in 5 minutes.

  • Minor tile/typo fixes.
  • All tunnels in Tella Forest go somewhere.
  • Dialogue now fills the entire box.
  • Skill descriptions have been condensed to make them less harsh to look at.
  • Wait commands are gone, speeding up dialogue.
  • The hunter in Tella Village now offers tutorial battles, giving you a safe space to practice some of the game's mechanics.
  • Slight increase in gold for mountain pass enemies.
  • Slight decrease in HP for bosses. They still hit just as hard, though, but now the fights will hopefully be less dragged out.
  • Slight decrease in HP for mountain pass enemies.
  • I didn't delete anything this time! Yay :cool: (at least, there's a 90-99% chance I didn't).
  • Itch page updated.
I think that's it. Any feedback is highly appreciated! If you have anyone who is a part of the LGBTQIA+ community and likes RPGs see if they want to try this for me. :D
 

Meowsticks

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Hey!! I just played up until being allowed to rest at Tella Village Inn for the night. I'm sure that's not far at all, but I'll get to more when I can. :) I like it so far!

What I like
  • The Element Reveal and Element Aggravate system. It's such a fun idea that allows for the player decide if more damage is the better choice, or inflicting a debuff/healing MP. I didn't get to use it well given the early game skills, but I can see it being more in-depth later. It's really good.
  • The Alter System/Crystal. Being able to customize every skill in the game to either your playstyle or the situation? Yes please! Again, that's such a simple yet great idea. It being free to use is also a great idea. It allows players to freely try out different abilities without any penalty.
  • Admittedly I didn't see much of the story, but I'm interested so far. The opening with Vadaj was fine, it didn't explain much but I'm looking forward to seeing more about that. Aarlin and Kara's story just seems to begin, but I'm sure I'll learn more about them soon. Can't really judge it where I'm at, but it's not bad so far, so that's good.
  • The presentation is great, music is nice, the art is fine. Everything looks and does what I would expect, I didn't have many issues with that.
  • This is random as heck but having an option to turn footstep sounds on and off is amazing. It instantly reminded me of Final Fantasy 13 and how they had footsteps and that was all you heard. :LZSlol:

What I don't like
  • Nobody (other than our main characters) have a name box. Everyone just feels lifeless and exclusive when I'm talking to disembodied text box. I will 100% admit that might just be a personal thing, but having a name, even something like "Tella Village Kid" can go a long way.
  • Even with the text speed set to 'Instant' there are still pauses waiting for text to pop up in the middle of a text box? My computer was running slow so maybe it was just me, but it's a bit annoying to not have the entire text box appear at once.
  • Maybe I just missed it, but there's no description of what the Statuses do? The Skills talk about Enfeeble and Chilled, even being told to inflict Enfeeble on the troll...but I have no idea what these do. I inflicted them and just kind of hoped it did something good.
  • The very intro intro battle with the ??? people. For a fight you're supposed to lose, and the very first battle in the entire game, it goes on for a bit too long. There's no tutorial there so I'm not even learning anything, I think it would be better to just kill the player off quickly. That's just me though.

Overall I enjoyed what I played and I am definitely going to continue soon, so it's good enough to keep me interested. I'll post more when I get around to it but good job so far. :)
 

Reinarc

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First off, thanks a bunch for the feedback! It's super helpful.


Nobody (other than our main characters) have a name box. Everyone just feels lifeless and exclusive when I'm talking to disembodied text box. I will 100% admit that might just be a personal thing, but having a name, even something like "Tella Village Kid" can go a long way.

I can see how some people might see it that way. That's a good point of view. This shouldn't be too hard of a fix, actually.

Even with the text speed set to 'Instant' there are still pauses waiting for text to pop up in the middle of a text box? My computer was running slow so maybe it was just me, but it's a bit annoying to not have the entire text box appear at once.

The pauses in many sentences was a choice to imitate pauses in speaking. Another big change, but I can see your point. I'll reflect on it. You'll have to let me know if you feel it's really detrimental to gameplay. It's not a hard fix, just tedious.


Maybe I just missed it, but there's no description of what the Statuses do? The Skills talk about Enfeeble and Chilled, even being told to inflict Enfeeble on the troll...but I have no idea

So this is probably my largest struggle with the beginning: layering the tutorials. About an hour later, you get a tutorial explaining how if you mouse over the state icons in battle, a window will pop up explaining each state. I will go ahead and move this earlier in the game (thinking maybe just a quick snippet in Aarlin/Kara's first battle).


The very intro intro battle with the ??? people. For a fight you're supposed to lose, and the very first battle in the entire game, it goes on for a bit too long. There's no tutorial there so I'm not even learning anything, I think it would be better to just kill the player off quickly. That's just me though.

Easy fix! Battle has been shortened from 8 turns to 5. It was designed as a quick hook to get the players engaged (as I dislike story dumps with no combat in RPG intros).



@Meowsticks, @Rose Guardian, @Cythera, thanks for helping me out. I'll be looking into demoing your work soon in exchange if you have a project! :D
 

Cythera

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Happy to help; I'm enjoying playing your game, @Reinarc ! ^-^
I managed to sneak in a little bit more playtime between going back to work haha! It's all lumped into the same spoiler since it's not as extensive as my previous feedback :3 I'll have more for you when I'm able to play further, don't worry!
  • Haha, I really enjoyed the spider eating the rude mage in the cave ;P Instant karma
  • The tavern map in Hrelda needs some work. The table setup is really weird, I can’t walk on the stools, why are the barrels of booze stored where customers can grab them?! It’s the first map I’ve seen in this game that’s made me go ‘ehhh, this does not look good…’ so I strongly suggest taking a few minutes and remapping the tavern. Also, the two NPC at the bar say nothing; have they say something
  • Bug: Quinten learns the skill Predator from the wolf enemy in the mountain pass, but the text popup calls it ‘Wolf Fang’
  • Tileset issue: I can stand on the grave marker on the map right after the spider battle. The poor guy, talking to me while I stand on his wife’s grave… XD No screenshot on this, sorry
  • Spider defeated: Kara and Aarlin were level 7, and Quinten was level 6. Long fight, but not a huge amount of challenge to be honest. Using the aggro bars and the aoe barrier, I had no deaths that fight. Kara was the only one to go below half health, and that’s because I didn’t guard for the ground slam attack. The fight did go on for a bit too long. Cause: spider’s large HP pool and the health regen (either from the crystals or from the ground slam attack, couldn’t quite tell which was the catalyst there). I suggest dropping the HP or defenses a touch, removing that health regen, and giving a small boost to the spider's basic attack, which appears to be, and correct me if I'm wrong, the lightning zap attack. This way, the fight isn't as long, but presents more of a challenge
  • I would reword the sleep bonus at the tavern. +5% stats for every 2000 steps out of combat made me think ‘wait, if I walk 2000 steps outside of combat, then sleep, I get +5% to all my stats? So if I walk 40000 steps, I can double my stats for free?’ That is not the case, which I’m glad, otherwise you would have absolutely obliterated your game balance haha. But reword that as I doubt I will be the only way to have that impression! Something along the lines of ‘Grants a +5% bonus to all stats for 2000 steps’ perhaps?

Don't feel obligated to play my game just because I'm playing yours, but if it's something that sounds interesting to you, I'd appreciate any feedback ^-^ There's a link to the forum page in my signature below
 

Reinarc

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@Cythera not a problem at all, I'm trying to build up my karma a bit. Plus, I need a mental break from my project for at least a week or so. Haha.

Thanks for more feedback. If you're still playing the same version as last time, I did drop boss HP because I noticed it was dragging. For the difficulty, I'm torn. I'm already getting a bit of notice about the difficulty of the game, and lots of people are dying at the spider (mostly because they didn't pick the aoe shield or are not clearing Earth Reveal before Aftershock). If you are playing the most current version, I'll drop his HP a bit more. Since you had a solid strategy and used mechanics correctly, I can say I'm slightly okay with the fact it wasn't too difficult for you. Also, I have to account for the fact not everyone will have Quinten's aoe shield ability for that fight. But I'll wait for more feedback.

I'll fully admit out of everything, mapping is my weakest skill. I'll be working on those changes and then hit up your game this weeked ^_-.
 

Cythera

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I'm playing on the version you originally posted; no updates :) If you've already dropped the spider's HP, then disregard my comment on it! I do stand by my 'buff the damage output' stance, but perhaps I'm not the best person to comment on difficulty... If I don't want to punch a hole in the wall and throw my laptop out the window, it's not difficult enough :yswt:
From a neutral, dev standpoint, I'm not seeing any balance issues with your game thus far. Enemy HP is a little high in cases, but that's something more to keep in mind for future enemies than something you need to go back and patch right away.

Mapping is a skill that takes time to build up! Keep practicing, make a side project to just mess around with maps in, and try new things in that project. There's no lack of mapping tutorials online, if you find those things helpful. The RM community in general are nice, helpful people. I haven't checked the thread for a while, but you can also use the game and map screenshots thread on the forums here? It's a good place for feedback on maps, and also to see how other people map and gain inspiration from them.
 

Meowsticks

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I got to play a bit more, just beat the Spider boss in Mountain Pass!

Response to your response to me
  • I get behind the pauses in text to represent normal speech. It probably works much better when being read aloud. It's definitely not detrimental to the experience or anything, and after a while I barely really even noticed it to be honest, so don't go through the tedium if you don't want to :guffaw:
  • Okay yeah knowing that I can hover over an enemy/character to get a brief on their Status and what that does...very helpful. Would greatly benefit from know that earlier! It's an extremely handy thing so that's something that should be made clear. I found the tutorial in-game, but it was on a enemy encounter (with the Magic Reflect) that someone could easily skip. Not the best place for it.

New thoughts on this play session
  • Jardak is cool. He's 100% evilish, but still cool. :LZSlol:
  • With Quentin in the party, and having more options for Element Reveal/Aggravate, really starting to get more into the depth of gameplay. Also I just really like Quentin as a character so that helps too.
  • After beating the enemies and the mage locking us behind the door, I got a bit lost. The characters mentioned the caves below, so naturally I went there and saw a key, but it was blocked. I wasn't sure where to go/what to do until I eventually went back and thought to try interacting with the rocks. I really like the puzzle aspect of pushing the rocks to break the crystals, I just wish I had know I could interact with them before walking around for a bit. I did figure it out in not much time and obviously not everyone will have that issue, just something to think about.
  • Spider boss was fun. For the first time I got to really try my hand at using the Reveal/Aggravate system to it's fullest, having to balance the reveals and immunities to deal damage. Also Quentin's Barrier skill that affects the entire party is amazing. This might happen later, and some Skill Alters do allow for it, but I really do wish there was more attack all Skills. Though that's probably the trade off for the customization I'm using so honestly that's fair.
  • I'm split on the enemies (namely the Spider) having too much HP and the right amount, though I'm leaning towards good amount. The fight didn't drag on by any means and it allowed me to use my skills before it was over too quickly. I'd say it's fine, but HP is something you should keep an eye on as it could become an issue later.
  • That scene with Lila before I stopped for the time, that got me intrigued. Don't really know what's going on with her and why she seems to hate Aarlin, but I am interested.

Overall: I'm still enjoying the game, and as we progress and get more skills, the gameplay gets more fun and advanced. Looking forward to more, keep up the good work. :)
 

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Much appreciated as always! :D

Another little update being uploaded right now, then I'll be taking a break this weekend.

  • Mountain pass normal enemies HP reduced again, while increasing their damage output.
  • If Spider Boss absorbs crystals' energy, buff changes from HP Regen to an increase in Thunder Spit's damage for 8 turns.
  • Several tweaks to numbers for fights in the next area as well.
  • Typo/bug fixes.
  • Fixed a bug in a scene in Hrelda where the event doesn't load because a random item requirement was checked in the event page. I swear I have a ghost in my software. It's not game breaking, thankfully.
  • Direct healing spells can now be used out of combat. Due to how MP works, you'll have to enter combat to restore MP again, but this should hopefully help to avoid entering combat with very low HP when you run out of items.
  • A few animations speeded up.
  • Introductory fight reduced in duration.

Feeling confident after another week or so of feedback I can continue moving forward with step 2: polishing and releasing the next 20-25% of the game.
 
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kimo

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I am only about 2 hours into the game and have just entered Tella just before boarding the ship. Obviously, my observations are based upon minimal play of what may become the "demo" if this game goes retail.

Here are my first impressions:
There are some spelling errors in the very beginning which I ignored at the time. This is typically a real turn-off for me because I immediately assume the developer didn't take the time to fix these things. I know that isn't the case in your game. It's obvious you have spent considerable hours working on this.

The Reveal and associated skills are a good idea from the perspective of strategy, but they are a bit overwhelming in understanding exectly what they do.

States like "Rage" typically prevent player control of the character, but I cannot figure out the effect of states on the characters. There are icons used which I do not even understand and one which looks like a "silence" icon, does not inflict silence. There are a lot of icons used in this game and a guide should be included (at no charge) to explain what they signify.

The use of the Hunter NPC was a good choice to help practicing the unique aspects of the battle system which is not very intuitive.

The Skill Tree (crystals) have completely lost me. Typically, advanced skills build upon a previous skills; but they seem to replace previous skills with what appears to be an entirely different skill in your game (i.e. multi-hit with Reveal no longer possible). Maybe its just the skill definition, but I really do not understand the specific advantage to upgrade each skill.

The battle with Jardak was unreasonably long (20 mins.) from my point of view and used up too many resources (items). But, maybe I didn't have the "correct" skills.

I was totally lost watching the opening scene(s) without have any knowledge of the characters involved.

Your game is uniquely different from many other games, but that also means some players will just give up because it is too different and stuff like the icons are impossible to figure out what States they represent let alone what the states even affect or their effect.

I will continue to play because @Cythera thinks so highly of it and I know you have played her game. But, I just wanted to offer my first impressions.
 

Reinarc

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@kimo

Thanks for your insights! Just so I know, are you playing the most current version I posted last night?

Or a previous version. This is just for my knowledge, as I did make a few changes already from feedback (for example, nerfing Jardak's HP, and explaining in the first fight with Aarlin/Kara that you can mouse over state icons to get an explanation of what they do). There's been quite a lot of tinkering since I've launched, because as a developer I needed more sets of eyes. If you are playing the current version as of last night, I'll test Jardak a few more times to see if I can make him a bit more time friendly.

Alter tree: the skills don't build on anything. You have 3 choices (4 I suppose if you want to keep the original skill) per core skill of what you want to use. Some just add functionality (Bless can heal all allies, but costs more MP and has a charge time) or just replace the ability altogether (you can swap Ice Molotov for Prism Bomb with Kara. Prism Bomb can spread reveals to all enemies, which will be helpful later on with more party members). The design choice here was to provide options. I've tried to ensure there's no "wrong" choice, but you'll want to think about how different characters might compliment each other. (For example, later on Kara will acquire a skill that hits hard but has low accuracy. Aarlin's Sanctuary ability buffs accuracy). I can see how this may be overwhelming at first. Do you have any suggestions on how to approach introducing the system that would be better?

As for the story: I totally understand it's not as intuitive as other games. I am opting for a bit of mystery in the opening to make you wonder, without fully understanding. I know this approach may not be appreciated by everyone.

Again, your thoughts and feedback are appreciated :D
 

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If you don't mind me just offering some ideas on it...
Do you have any suggestions on how to approach introducing the system that would be better?

Considering I don't know how the Alter system is done in the editor, I don't know if it would work for sure, but one of the more simple solutions to to just provide less choices at the beginning.

When the player first opens the Alter Crystal, they're greeted to a bunch of choices without really knowing how or why they should do any of it. Each of their skills has 3 different options to pick from and that can be overwhelming for someone just starting out that isn't quite used to the mechanics yet.

By limiting this down to say, the default one or another choice would give players time to try out things slowly and get accustomed to the Alter mechanic. Overtime (it doesn't even have to be far into the game) you can unlock more customization options in the Alter Crystal so players can then adopt new strategies after they are more comfortable with it.
 

kimo

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I may have downloaded a previous version yesterday afternoon. I'll install the newer version tonight and offer any future feedback based upon that. I read the other comments so I will try to not be duplicative.

I did see your comment about hovering with a mouse. But, I could not get my laptop pad to make that happen and it is typically great about that.
 

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That’s a good suggestion. Initially, I thought about having each tier unlock at a certain level. This wouldn’t be difficult by itself. But I thought it would inhibit some freedom of choice. So I can either go ahead and level gate some of the choices, or I can erase all the options for skills you haven’t learned yet (and therefore can’t Alter). I’ll start tinkering with this soon.

@kimo

That’s really weird that the display isn’t coming up for you when you hover. To be fair, the plugin is fairly new. It was designed for generic chibi battlers, so it may not be 100% precisely on the icon. You may have to wiggle your mouse around a bit on the character/enemy.

Quinten provides you with Field Guide: States when you recruit him. For unique states from bosses, I’ve incorporated some dialogue/indicators to help. I would have no problem including a guide with the game though. :)
 

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It seems that I have to change the order with which I make the fantasy games on my bucket list, because the intended title is used as a story element in the first two games in the line, and somebody else might take the title for their own game because the term uses real words. I can't risk going over the apparent three year limit for registering trademark ahead of time.
I am interested in collaborations so if you like my art, hit up my messages! :wub
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Making good progress with the second chapter. :)

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(Real life, it is chronically the fourth chapter that I am making.)
constructionworkconcept.pngezgif-2-0acb620ecf8d.gifezgif-2-afeaf16ebb8d.gif "The Great Wall is great. But, most people can only be the slaves who built it, leaving their bones underneath that wall. They spent their whole life to build that wall and the empire, an empire that enslaves them." :kaoswt2: I'm just going to turn it into a modern-day sad tale.

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