RMVXA Shoutai: Possession [DEMO NOW AVAILABLE!]

rpgdreamer

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Shoutai: Possession is a mystery-thriller that puts you in the shoes of the social media starlet and influential gyaru girl Ishiko.
During her return home from hanging out with her friends in the Japanese district Harajuku,
she finds herself lost in the infamous suicide forest of Shoutai, with no clue on how she got there.
In order to escape the winding forest, Ishiko must rely on the assistance of a mysterious ghost girl,
who states she will help Ishiko escape if she locates her missing treasured items that were lost in the
forest upon her death. With no other option, Ishiko begins her search through the forest, in hopes of
learning how she arrived in the first place, and about the mysterious spirits that linger the forest.

Shoutai: Chaos Theory is the demo, which is there to test out game mechanics that are planned to
be implemented in the main game. Chaos Theory stars the young primary student Chou, who enters
the forest looking for a prized possession he had lost while playing with his friends in the forest.
However, he discovers a foul monster has stolen it, and he is forced to solve clues to further gain
entrance into the creatures domain. Along the way, he begins to learn the motive of the monster
who has been keeping his eyes on him throughout his journey through Shoutai...

The primary game mechanic is the introduction of "WILL". Will is your character's, well, will to
perform actions called "FEATS". Sometimes a task is particularly terrifying, and you must choose
whether or not to spend will in performing the feat. However, your character only has so much
tenacity! They're an elementary school kid and a teenage girl, after all. Once you lose all your will,
navigating the mysterious Shoutai Forest will be impossible...

DEMO AVAILABLE NOW!!!!


CHARACTERS


SCREENSHOTS











Download the game on the following platforms:
ITCH.IO
GAMEJOLT

We'd love to hear what you think! We're excited about the game and are super pumped to get some feedback! Thanks for all your support... this community is the best!

Love, Grim Prophet! ♥

Created by
Grim Prophet

Character Art
Aclairic Ambrosio

Monster Art
Mikael Lim

Spriting
Mikael Lim

Misc. Art
Mikael Lim

Mapping
Mikael Lim and Aclairic Ambrosio

Eventing and Writing
Aclairic Ambrosio

Music
Darren Curtis

Voiced By
Anairis Quinones
Alex Anderson
Mikael Lim
Aclairic Ambrosio

Scripts
Yanfly
mjshi
Yami

Assets/Resources
please note, not all are utilized in the demo but are utilized in main game
BenBen
Alisa Tana
Mack
Soruve
Dezz123
Hanzo
PandaMaru
Matseb2611
Rico
Kes
EB
Ying
Ayene
Moge-moge-kun
Asato
Kimaila Cage
whtdragon

Windowskin
ItaHoly

Photography
Scanner Girl: Dave Dyet (FreeImages)
Red Eyes: George Crux (FreeImages)
Spider: Melissa Stratton (FreeImages)
Spider: Gustavo Bueso Padgett (FreeImages)
Doll: John Marcotte (FreeImages)
 
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greensdream

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I love how dark this project looks! Keep up the good work pushing the idea as far as it will go!
 

corvusaraneae

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Just popping in here to say hi as I'm the other half of this team! But yeah, please feel free to leave us any questions, comments or suggestions. Feedback would be great.
 

rpgdreamer

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Changed some release info and character sheet... hope to see everyone in March for when we release the game (and an actual trailer, instead of a teaser)!
 

rpgdreamer

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A new trailer up... and the demo is now available for play! We hope to hear from you guys... and what a great way to spend a Sunday, right?
 

rpgdreamer

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It's spooky month, so bumping to hopefully get some critique on our game! We're working on the full version now. This game is a stand alone story, however!

Happy October!
 

rpgdreamer

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New game information added! We've actually changed the main character of our game from the lolita Elara to the gyaru girl Ishiko, and redid our artwork for the game's banner. Please check it out and leave any comments you may have!
 

GoodSelf

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This looks pretty neat :D although I'm not a fan of dark and twisted themes, it seems that a lot of love and passion has gone into this project. How long do you expect until the full game launches? Keep up the great work!
 

rpgdreamer

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@GoodSelf I wish I could give a launch date. Only recently we changed the MC and the personality..
Which means I have a lot of scenes to rewrite in the script :kaoswt2: But I have a goal of maybe a year and a half, if we can buckle down!
 

hiddenone

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I gave your demo a try, though I should preface my feedback by saying that I don't enjoy playing horror/scary games... But I do like seeing what makes them 'tick', so to speak. So feel free to take my comments with a grain of salt, since I'm not really your target audience (I just want to help you spook the pants of them :LZSevil:).
I'll start out with a pet peeve of mine: jumpscares. My fight or flight response leans towards fight, so when there's a jumpscare out of nowhere I punch things... And I end up disliking things that make me punch things on accident. But the issue with static screen and image jumpscares is that once a game has one the player will know what to expect, and that lessens the effect of them. Personally I find static screens to not make sense in games usually, since it's telling me "hey, you're playing on a screen!" and that takes me out of the experience. Instead of static image jumpscares (or at least instead of only static image jumpscares), why not have the monster partially show through trees to the sides of the path? It could move fast or slow, but not actually touch Chou... But all the player would know is that there's something in the forest and it's right there. Add in some spooky sounds and breaking branches, and the player would end up scaring themselves imagining what could happen.

Gameplay is okay, but I think there are a few things that could be improved. The player won't know the game like you do, so when you hide items like the pinky finger in a pile where Chou has to check an exact place, it's likely that the player would end up missing it and possibly think the game's bugged. Make sure either it's clear that the player needs to stand in a different spot (like having Chou mention seeing something odd on the other side) or let the player pick up the item from any spot. Choosing which item to give the hand was also a bit of a pain, since the player has to go through all the items via the choice command. You could use the select key item option instead, and let the player pick from all the things they picked up on that map... And if you don't want the items from the previous maps available, just make sure to have some conditional branches that remove and then add back the items once the choice was made.

I'm gonna loop back around to my 'player won't know the game like you do' comment, because it ended up with me getting a game over in the face-off with the monster. I didn't know the cutscene was finished, and by the time I realized it the monster had me pinned and killed me. There's very little leeway if the monster touches you since it seems to just repeat almost instantly, please consider either having the monster move back once it hits you (maybe like it's rearing back for the next strike) or putting in a small wait so the player has time to get away from it. On a different note for that scene, it's possible to get the monster stuck on the trees if the player runs past it back to how they got it... Which turns the scene from scary to pretty funny. Keeping the area to just the round clearing would stop that, you could do it by having the monster put up spiderwebs to block the path.

Something you may want to think about adding is an autosave feature. While it is ultimately up to the player to save properly, it's possible the player will not save right before a scene like the monster chase and end up having to repeat a ton of work. It's not as important in a short demo, but for a longer game it's always nice to not have to start all the way from the last save after getting killed in a situation you didn't know was coming.

I'll point out that I rarely play games with sound so my first playthrough was silent. I tend to get headaches from game sound effects, so it's just easier on me to have games silenced. However, I figured this game would really rely on sounds so I turned it on... And noticed some things that need changed right away. You're using the default choice sound effect in the game, which seriously doesn't fit the game's look (the "DUWICK" took me out of the moment every time). Switch to a simpler sound like a "click", or maybe go with a cell phone sounding thing since Chou used his phone pretty often.

The voice acting was nice overall, but the volume of Chou needs tweaked. Right now each time he went "Oh!" it was like a sound jumpscare since it was so much louder compared to the music playing. Quiet him a touch, and maybe bring the music's volume up a bit. Most of your movie clips had subtitles which was nice, please consider adding some to the intro as well (as I said, I played without sound the first time so I had no clue that someone was talking the entire time... I figured it was just a music video :rswt).

Now I'll make a sound suggestion: add more! Sounds seriously can make or break a scary scene, so you want to use them to your advantage. Chou was walking around a forest, so add crunching footsteps. It's a forest, that probably has some animals in it, so you could have some hoots or growls, and have them get progressively more monstrous as Chou goes deeper into the forest until they suddenly stop. For the monster, get some crackling and squelching noises to accompany it when it's dragging itself towards Chou. The sounds for the hand going away could also be a lot creepier, though I'm sure that will take you time to find some good sound effects outside of the defaults.

There were a couple minor errors with tiles floating about Chou's head when they should've been on the ground:
floating skeleton.png floating weeds.png
And an error message when I tried to click on an item in the menu (I'm sure I wasn't supposed to interact with them, but it never hurts to try):
item error.png
Overall it's probably fun for players who like horror games with simple item puzzles, but it could use some more adjusting and polish to make it both more player friendly and terrifying. Good luck with your new MC for the game! :rwink:
 
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rpgdreamer

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@hiddenone

Hey there! Thanks for trying our game out. All of your critique really helps us. The sound thing is good to know, cause of course it sounds fine on my end. Sorry for Chou's unintentional jumpscares Haha.

The static comes from the fact that in the main game, there is a lot of electronic interference, and we're slowly trying to push it into fourth walling territory, such as the faux error screen to the end. It was our first time using parallax mapping so we can be more diligent in the future (but that second screenshot is... apparently a tree make with bushes, idk, the main artist did it lol), so its technically not a mistake.

Yeah, I agree with more sound effects! Footsteps might be difficult, i know absolutely nothing about scripts, but the is probably something out there for it. We plan to make the whole game have original SFX so we won't be using default noises... but good to know some sounds will destroy the immersion.

There's more to say, ...but thank you! But I do have a question: how was the story? I noticed you didn't mention anything about it.
 

hiddenone

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I find breaking the fourth wall a tough thing to get right in a horror game. Break it too much, and the player will just be constantly reminded that they're playing a game (which is less scary than being invested in the world). Personally I think P.T. did it well with its screen tearing that slowly got worse, so instead of the player's first thought being "oh yeah, I'm playing a game" it was "why is that happening?!". It also helps is it doesn't happen too early, to make sure the player has time to get invested. Though as I mentioned, since I'm not your target audience they may feel differently. :)

I skipped talking about the story because I'm not sure how much my thoughts on it would help. When I was a kid in a spooky forest at night I just noped right out of there, so I see Chou as a kid with very little common sense and no survival instincts. Doesn't matter how much I wanted to find something I lost, if there was blood and bones in a forest and a monster I'd actually seen, I'd be leaving and not coming back until it was daytime and I had backup. Chou could've left since there wasn't anything blocking his way out of the forest (at least not that I noticed, if there was a comment about the path home being blocked or just disappearing it'd be a different situation), so he's the main reason he could end up as monster chow. I'm not saying the story's bad, just that the premise doesn't quite work for me.
 

rpgdreamer

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@hiddenone Chou's reasons stem far deeper than just getting back a treasure, but the reason is only found out in the main game... So it's okay for someone to think he's just crazy for going in and going through all this trouble when he could have so easily left.

Thank you again! All of this really helps!
 

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