YourClosetLlama

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Download link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/x8kkds47fqz0ub1/soulbound-zac.exe?dl=0

Hello RPG Maker Community! This is a small dev team project, consisting of two members, so if we're getting good feedback then we'll continue to add to the game. We wanted to post a small portion of it to give a taste of how our game plays out in order to see what you all had to say about it. The  idea is similar to a Pokemon / Digimon combat system in a Final Fantasy / Deep exploration kind of world. The reasoning behind the name "SoulBound" is because in the game you receive an animal that reflects as a fragment of your characters soul and it becomes bound to you for the rest of the game. While you explore the town of Margonde, and the other areas my current build has to offer, be sure to search thoroughly as I've hidden quite a few bits and bobs all over the place! In Soulbound you'll be playing as Fulric, the half elf. I've tried to add character portraits to the more important characters while random encounters don't have one in order to provide a sense of importance but please tell me if I have one misplaced or if there isn't one where you think there should be!

Total Maps.png(just to give a feel for how long the game is in its current state)

Side Quests.png(features side quests!)

ss+(2015-10-11+at+11.03.24).jpg(sample dialog / home map)

Margonde Map.png(map of Margonde)

Confusing Caves.png(confusing dungeons)

It's worth noting that once you leave Gorruk Cave there is a little forest map that's supposed to connect you to the next city and a water area. BOTH haven't been finished yet so you can't access the water zone yet but there is a path that hints you toward it and also the next town is accessible but by no means finished as I've only just begun mapping it all.

We're by no means a professionals so we wouldn't be surprised if a script doesn't behave as we intended it to be or if a tile that's supposed to be a wall ends up acting as a floor however we did try my best to sweep up errors like these before uploading. You'll notice that we haven't done anything with the HUD or Menu UI, this is because we haven't figured out how to go about doing such a thing yet although I'm sure we could find plenty of tutorials and do so once we have the foundation of the game laid out. There also are missing portraits here and there as we used the character generator but with unique characters there won't be a simple way for us to make the animals we have planned for the game. As always, if there is an error we did not find or did not think of as an error  please do let me know so we fan fix it right away!

Known issues: 

-Grabbing side quest items before accepting the quest could result in not receiving a reward once completing said quest.

-No enemy sprites in current build

perhaps you guys know how to go about fixing these and I can touch them up right away.

Soulbound is still in a very early development stage due to my constant revamping. I do plan on continuing to add new content and uploading back here when a new zone or two is available for testing. 

Thanks in advance for checking out SoulBound and we look forward to your feedback!  :rock-left:   :)   :rock-right:
 
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YourClosetLlama

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I'm in the process of adding an event that gives the player a class and introduces combat for the first time! I'll re-upload my project once the next zone is completed and ready for testing.
 

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Have you uploaded the amended version?
 

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I've re uploaded a version with more content than the first build but encountered an error. I'll re upload the patched version today.

Edit: Should be good to go! I hope you enjoy it.
 
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On the basis that you got Ace over the holidays (by which I assume you mean the Christmas holidays) you are a very new developer, in which case, I think you are doing well with what you've put together in just a month or so.  There is a lot of text because I think it more helpful to give details, rather than just general remarks.  These notes were written as I played, so I hope they are clear enough for you.  There is an overall assessment at the end.

Nice title music – maybe just a shade too quiet?  Can you boost it slightly?  Actually, that's true for all the music, it seems much quieter than normal.

Names?  As a player I have no idea what this character is called, unless I’ve missed something.  I only know he’s Fulric from your OP.  As a player I do find it helpful to have the names of main characters appear in  or above the dialogue box.

Orange window skins seem to be having a sudden splurge of popularity.  They are a bit trying on the eyes after a longish time playing.

It’s good that you realise from the very beginning that internal maps do not need to fill the whole screen.  I think, though, that the first map could do with being shrunk a bit more.  This is even more true downstairs where you have a lot of empty space.  I would put some chairs around that fireplace, the family have nowhere just to sit and relax.  Neither do they have cupboards to put food or dishes in.  Try and furnish it in a way which makes it look lived in.

The sink and oven are placed too high, they are, in fact, on the wall not on the floor.  If you look you will see that the bottom edge of the sink etc. is on the same line as the bottom edge of the wall.  What I think is going on here is that you realise that one tile down they look unnatural against the wall.  It’s good that you have spotted this, but that is not the way to solve the problem.  Have a look at this thread. You will see that he has adjusted the placement of the furniture so that it sits more comfortably against the wall.  You might want to think of using his tile sheets instead of your own.  The drawback, of course, is that you would have to put the furniture back on to your maps in the correct place.  However, it could be worth it.

Outside – that’s interesting what you have done with the shadows.  I think they might need a bit more tweaking to get it right.  An alternative (once you’re confident enough to do this) is to use something like GIMP (free, and does the same as PhotoShop) to make your own shadows which you can add to your tile sheet.  You could then make a slanted shadow which would give a more natural feel to the shadow for your roof.  You have a screen tint which makes the map feel a bit more like night than morning, but good that you are thinking of tints. 

House above Fulric’s – same problem with the furniture being on the wall.  The woman comes out with a remark, and the protagonist makes no reply.  This is something I often see in first games, the lack of interaction between the party and the NPCs.  You can use these moments to reveal something of the characters, their personality, their backstory.  For example, we’ve seen Fulric’s mother, there was no evidence of a father.  If he too died, this would be chance to let the player know that.  It could be “At least they got his armor back. When my dad died, they didn’t even find that.”  Or, “At least you know for sure he died.  My dad just disappeared, and it’s hard not knowing what happened.”  To which the woman could reply (in either case), “Yes, I know it’s been a struggle for your mum to bring you up on her own. Mind you never disappoint her!”.  Now you have a more natural bit of conversation which has also given the player a lot of information painlessly.

There is a dog SE you could use as well as the text.  When I give the girl her yoyo, the message reads “I received…”.  Just checking this because normally it’s “You received…” and that’s what I get when I receive the reward for finding the hand axe.  I still have the Yoyo in my inventory at the end, you haven’t removed it.

 The tall section of your pub doesn’t look like it’s the same building as the lower part because of the way auto tiles work.  You might want to look into this tutorial about shift-click mapping. It’s an essential skill to have.  You don’t have ‘Direction fix’ checked on the event of the drunk man in the pub, so when you check him standing on his right, he turns into the next sprite along on the sprite sheet.  .  The girl seems very casual about being excluded from finding out what this scroll is all about.  Is she really that not bothered about it?  Her question if you check her after she’s given the scroll seems unnatural.  Wouldn’t she be more likely to ask about the scroll?  And here is a clear example where I would expect Fulric to say something in reply to her.

Nice placement of the small concealed cave.  On the exit from it, however, you have put a black tile (looks like the lower half of a door opening).  This looks deeply weird.  If anything there would be light coming in there.  This, I think, is a consequence of your decision to put doors at the exits of your rooms.  This idea does not, imo, work.  They look very odd, and here we see the consequence of being consistent about it.

When I pick up the hand axe, I can’t be sure but I think the graphic changed.  Do you have Direction Fix checked?

Up the stairs outside, there is an impassable floor tile just to the right of the lower bundle of wood blocking access to the bridge going left.  In the Shrine I can walk up the first tile of the pillars on the upper level, and all the way up on the left hand one.  Nice floor tiles.  I don’t think I’ve seen those before.

Is there a day/night system?  The blue tinting has gone and it’s now quite sunny.  You’ve used the wrong water tile.  You have used the one which is normally only used on the upper edge to look like underwater cliffs, and so give the impression of depth.  If you use the one to the right of it on the tile sheet you will get the normal water everywhere else.  It’s also not clear to me why you have the waterfall event happening on the edge of the bridge.  Personal bugbear here – the top of the map is just an endless invisible wall.  I think it looks a lot better to have something visible blocking the player’s access to the edge of the map.

You might like to consider having a conditional on your transfer event so that if Fulric does not have the scroll in his inventory, he says something like “I must check with (whatever her name is); that scroll might be interesting.” And then a forced step to the left.

I deliberately did things in the ‘wrong’ order and went to the forest and had the fight before getting the scroll.  I therefore fought it without armor or weapon.  Nasty, and it revealed a problem (see next paragraph about healing).  I also got the character with the beard speaking to me, but I hadn’t actually met him yet and he appears literally out of nowhere at the side of his fallen companion.  If you are happy for the player to go through at this stage, I think a hint somewhere about the forest getting more and more dangerous is needed.  Though if you are going to allow the player to go through, there’s even more of a case for sorting out what I describe next, as well as putting in a conditional so that it is Fulric who finds the soldier, with no bearded guy appearing at all.

I’ve just hit a major problem.  I cannot rest in my own bed and the inn is full.  How am I supposed to heal up from the fight with the assassin?  This is very strange if I can only heal up with potions.  I took nearly 500HP damage (that fight went on way too long for the first encounter), so that’s 10 potions = 150 gold to heal up fully and that would not include MP..  I cannot afford to fight anyone/anything without running the risk of bankruptcy.

It said that I learned 2 skills when I went up to level 2 – Attack and Dual Attack – but I have Attack anyway, by default, and nothing new shows up in my skill list.  Unless maybe you have disabled ‘Attack’ while I’m at level one, which would help explain why that fight took forever.

Okay, we’ve gone back to night again.  The speed of the cycle seems overly fast.  I’ve not done much and a whole day has passed, according to this.

Went back to my save and did things in the ‘correct’ order.  I am very surprised that after having checked out what the meaning of the scroll is, there is no change in the dialogue with the girl in the pub.

This time for the fight I got critical hits on both daggers in the second turn, so finished the fight with almost no damage taken at all.  Skills still don’t show up, including for Essence of Courage (that’s what I chose.).  However, I would still like to be able to heal up as I’m about to face that ghost.  The First Aid kit is in Key items and I can’t seem to access it.  I am very surprised that at the end of the fight Fulric says and does nothing.  He’s got 2 dead soldiers and a dead assassin in front of him, and he doesn’t think to at least mention it to anyone in the village or barracks?

There are very few typos, for which I am deeply grateful.  You have clearly taken to heart the need to proof read properly.  Inevitably a few have slipped by, and I've put them in a spoiler.

The description for Small Picnic begins with a lower case ‘A’ instead of an upper case one, and it looks like the description might run off the edge of the box.  Is that ‘heal’ or ‘healing’? 

“Find the little girls Yoyo” should be girl’s.

“You have gained the Ancient Scroll” starts with a lower case ‘y’ instead of an upper case one.

“…a long days work.” (day’s)

When the man in the pub asks you if you have found the axe, the sentence begins with lower case ‘d’.  When you return it to him, the second sentence of his reply begins with a lower case ‘t’.

“You received 100…” begins with a lower case ‘y’.
Overall assessment

I think you have good basic mapping instincts, you just need practice and experience to gain design and tile placement skills.

There is obviously a lot of attention to detail, and that is very good to see.

You have missed several opportunities to develop your character's personality and back story.  Again that comes down mainly to experience, but I also wonder how much you have thought through the 'fleshing out' of your character.  In your OP you refer to him as a half-elf.  This is something unusual, but is not mentioned anywhere in the game that I could see.  Is it the father who is an elf?  Where is he?  Has he done a runner?  Is he dead?  Is Fulric the result of a moment of passion?  Different possibilities and all give different narrative lines, none of which are explored.  I've also pointed out a couple of places where I think you have something of a hole in the plot.

My only point of real unease is your device of him being "The Chosen One".  This is a well-used trope, and needs careful thought if you are going to use it again.  Why is he chosen out of all the inhabitants of that presumably large world?  He's too young to drink (if I remember the dialogue in the pub accurately), so what's he got that all those adults around him don't have?  He doesn't sound at all taken aback to be called The Chosen One - where does he get his sense of inevitable destiny from that he doesn't really question this at all?  If it's a God of Judgement who has summoned him (through a somewhat haphazard process of a scroll found by someone else - what would have happened if the girl hadn't shown it to him?) all he can provide is some basic clothing.  I can see that you don't want Fulric to gain Hero gear right at the beginning, but a god would, I am sure, give something more than this.  Therefore, you might have to make this the god's minion who is having to act because the god in question is dealing with something in another dimension and he (the minion) doesn't like to take too much on himself by way of what gear he dishes out.  Or something.  That's merely an example. 

I think if you can sort this basic question out you will be able to go forward in a much better way.  There isn't yet enough of your story for me to judge how it might go, so I can't say anything more than that.  On the technicalities of game making (mapping, eventing etc.) you seem to be off to a solid start.

Good luck with your project.
 

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Thank you very much for taking the time to check out SoulBound and I really appreciate your feedback as it has given me plenty to think about and edit.

The reasoning behind making the music so soft is because on my system it seemed to be obnoxiously loud so I halved the volume and it seemed fine but I never considered other peoples situation.

Orange windows are indeed a bit bright but at the time I'd changed them from the default blue and haven't really bothered to find a more visually appealing color having not taken into consideration the extensive amount of play time and how taxing a bright color can potentially be. 

Shadows are something I'm still trying to picture from that perspective and "master" per say. Perhaps once I'm done with all of the maps (or even go map by map) I'll take them into gimp and give the shadows a much more detailed feel on terrain so it's not as awkward as it currently is.

Most of the mapping errors you've mentioned were in fact because they did look awkward any other way but thanks for providing links to tutorials so I can fix them when I get the chance. I'm not sure if you noticed or think this but the first few maps don't seem to be as detailed as the other ones as you progress throughout the game- I'd think this is because they are some of my first ever maps and I probably will rework a lot of the interiors (especially the ones I designed while figuring out the program.)  

The current dialog in the game is more of a placeholder to help me design the game around a story and I plan on going back and actually writing a more compelling dialog later on. The inconsistency of "you" and "I" some of the dialog is something I'll definitely need to take a look at. I would have to agree that currently the story lacks depth and a lot of explanation so I'll definitely be revamping that. Nameplates on the dialog is something I plan on having but haven't figured out how to implement yet. I should most likely look into it before I end up having to spend a long time going through the final product and adding nameplates for hours on end  :guffaw:  . As for holes in the plot, I hope I can get around fixing those when I rewrite the story but like I said earlier I'm mostly focused on the foundation and mapping (It's something I'm considering but not at the moment focusing on.)

The encounter with the assassin: I would agree that it has a large amount of health but I didn't want something that was intended to be a boss fight feel like an any day normal mob. You didn't mention it but I wanted to note that the assassin portrait is a placeholder until I can get sprites to suit the situations (including in Gorruk Cave which you didn't seem to mention so I wonder if something happened that didn't allow you to get that far?) You'd mentioned that I should make it so if you haven't accessed the scroll and the other guard hadn't been assassinated yet that I should make it so they're just guarding the village- Would that involve me just copying the map and changing the encounter accordingly but set up the transfer so it takes you to the separate map otherwise? 

The day / night system is something I wanted to add and I'd have to agree that daylight gets a bit bright however not being very advanced in scripting I'd downloaded a pre-made script that probably fit the original writers project and I need to alter it for my game. 

The first aid kit was intended to be for the fallen soldier but I guess that wasn't clear so I'll take a look at that.

The class system is something I sort of threw together and attempted to balance but is something I definitely need to spend some more time on.

There are also some missing portraits (the essences in particular) but that's because I'm no artist so I'll need to hire somebody to do them but figured I'd just place a massive order at the end with everything I need rather than go one at a time.

The game does seem to lack a method of leading the player through the game so when you say it was confusing or how you did things in the wrong order I guess that's something I overlooked having mapped the game and already know where to go so that is definitely something I'll need to look at as well.

As far as resting and healing goes, I didn't think to make it so resting in your own bed would heal you even though I've seen it in other games so I will definitely add that! I think also having a day/night system I could make it so resting resets the day back to the morning or perhaps add a system of letting the player decide how long to rest and doing so will depict how much you heal. 

I also need to make the cave darker but haven't yet figured out lighting changes (the day / night system was a script I'd found) but I'd assume I'd need to just take gimp and make it darker? 

I'm really glad you didn't find what I've made to be a total train wreck and once I've made the tweaks (if you're okay with it) I'll let you know and you can tell me if it's better or worse? 

thanks again, I really appreciate such thorough assessment. Happy gaming! :thumbsup-left:   :cutesmile:   :thumbsup-right:   
 
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Those better interior tiles looks really nice and they flush way better than the default ones, Thanks a bunch for sharing!
 

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Yeah, I thought the dialogue and story had the feeling of a placeholder.  As for the cave, I tried to get in, and couldn't so assumed that I had reached the end of the demo.

As for the soldier bit - I think it will make your life incredibly complicated if you let the player go through before the scroll has been collected and he goes to the Shrine.  I would just put a conditional on the transfer event which looks to see if the Shrine has been visited (maybe your existing set up turns a switch ON when you've finished the cut scene at the balance?).  If it has, allow the transfer, if not, then some suitable comment and a forced player move left one tile.

As for doing things in the 'wrong' order, that was my deliberate choice.  What I was supposed to do was quite clear to me, so you needn't worry about that, but I wanted to see how you had handled players doing something in a different way to what you intended.  This is something you have to anticipate at every move - people think differently, have different play styles and so on.  That's the advantage of putting it out for public testing, you will find people doing things you hadn't ever considered possible, let alone sensible.
 

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margondetopfix.pngI've touched up the top of Margonde. I agree that the cut off looked pretty bad compared to this new version. 

I've also been taking the tileset that you linked me to clean up the interior. 
 
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Yes, much better to block it off that way.  I would try and make the forest look a bit more natural by having a few open spaces (glades) in the middle of the clumps.  Place them so that they don't leave a way for the player to get through, but still provide some visual interest.  I noticed that you are still using the 'cliff' water for all the water.  See how it should be used in this post.
 

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As mentioned above, there's some stuff that's preventing you from progressing so I plan on fixing that today if you care to wait a few hours. :)
 
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Yes, much better to block it off that way.  I would try and make the forest look a bit more natural by having a few open spaces (glades) in the middle of the clumps.  Place them so that they don't leave a way for the player to get through, but still provide some visual interest.  I noticed that you are still using the 'cliff' water for all the water.  See how it should be used in this post.
I wasn't sure what you'd meant by the cliff water. Thanks for the tutorial once again. Haha :)
 

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LARGE PATCH IMBOUND:

I've fixed the progression of the game so you cannot progress through the game without an essence. 

I've changed it so the God no longer provides basic armor, the elderly man provides it after the encounter.

I've fixed not being able to enter the cave.

I've touched up on wall furniture and changed staircases with the tileset you gave me earlier (It looks way better than the tiny staircases.)

I've changed the cliff water back to normal water. 

It was mentioned that the protagonist doesn't reply much- I've added some to the dialog as well as added a bit of depth to the character.

You can no longer keep the little girls yoyo.

Music volume was put back to 100%.

Bartender is less vicious.

Janna dialog is a lot more realistic - Scroll disappears from table when you receive it.

Due to numerous requests, I have hidden items in furniture. I hope you enjoy finding them, guys!

I have attempted to make the "you" and "I" dialog more consistent. (please tell me if I missed any of them, I changed them to all to "you")

Menus are now (hopefully) a lot less visually demanding.

Guard before assassin encounter doesn't blink onto the screen.

It's not perfect but I'm in the process of revamping the lighting of day/night. (In my opinion it looks better than before but it's still not perfected)

I'm working on finding a decent sprint speed because currently it's like using rocket skis on ice.

It's uploading now. Hope you guys enjoy!
 
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I thought I'd check out the revised demo, and found quite a bit of stuff that needs fixing.  I'm putting it in a spoiler, so it's not another wall of text.

You have forgotten to set the passabilities on your new tile sheets.  I can walk all over the sink and worktop in Fulric’s house.  Also the cupboard in the kitchen. And because of the pictures I can walk up to the ceiling.  Just a suggestion – ordinary face down cupboards when set on the tile sheet like this occupy parts of 3 tiles.  What I do is set the top tile to star so that if I use it in the middle of a room instead of just up against a wall, the player can walk behind it.  The middle is set to X because I don’t want the player to walk all over it, but the bottom tile (which should only be, at most, half occupied by the cupboard) I set to O.  This means that the player can more naturally walk up to it instead of being stopped some distance away, and also means that I’ve got more walking around space on small maps.  If there is an event on the cupboard e.g. finding an item, I place it on the middle tile.

The house with the woman who lost her husband has got a fireplace inside but no chimney outside.

Innkeeper’s dialogue runs off the right side of the text box.

Because of the vase of flowers, I can walk over part of the counter in the bread shop.

Getting the reward for giving the girl her yoyo – it still says “I received…”

Graphic for the hand axe definitely changes to another when I click it from above. It still needs the Direction Fix box checked.

The graphic for the gold to the right in the hidden cave needs to have Direction Fixed checked.

When Fulfric speaks to the girl again after getting the scroll, her bit of dialogue is missing her face.

When returning the axe to the man in the pub  “Ipicked it up…” (I picked)

I can still walk over the same parts of the columns on the upper level of the Shrine.

For the dialogue on the balance (“The Shrine of Judgement. I wonder…”) I would suggest that you have this in a conditional which checks that the player is facing up.  I was facing sideways when I got the dialogue and it looks wrong.

At the end of the little cut scene, when Fulric is back in the Shrine, I would have a bit of dialogue to himself along the lines of

“It’s all very well telling me to get going [can’t now remember the exact phrase you used] but he could at least have given me an idea of where to start! What am I supposed to do?”

Depending on how the story was being constructed, I might also add:

And as for being the Chosen One, no way am I going to tell anyone that. They’d laugh in my face!”

Both of these, imo, give a more natural reaction to what’s just happened.  I think you need to consider a bit more how ‘normal’ people (as opposed to RPG Heroes) respond to things.  Fulric isn’t a hero yet, he’s only a potential hero.  At the moment he’s a level one newbie, and will have appropriate reactions.  Putting things like this in now will give you the narrative space for his character to develop and change.

And for the old man, I would add in something like this at the beginning.

“I can tell from your face that something has happened.  Let me look at you.”

“Hmm… yes, something has definitely changed you. You’re not quite the kid you were before.”

Then have him give the stuff.  Otherwise, why would he do it?  Even NPCs should have motives and reasons for their actions.  This will make your story so much more convincing.

Battle theme is still set at lower volume, as is the victory theme.

After the fight with the Assassin, I decide to go back to my bed to rest and heal up – but you forgot to change the transfer event when you added in the strip of forest on the village map, so I’ve landed in the middle of a clump of impassable trees and cannot move.  So I’ve stopped.
There are a number of things which have clearly improved over the first demo.  But, it doesn't matter how much potential any individual aspect might have, no game can be good, let alone great, without attention to detail.  And it's attention to detail which is lacking.  Take your time.  My guess is that you were so eager to show what had improved that you didn't do a thorough play test yourself, and so didn't notice the problems about passability, or the error in the transfer event.  If you'd played through again you would have seen the need for Direction Fix on those found items.  So yes, play test, play test and play test again if you want a great game.
 

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Interestingly enough, the reason most transfers are messed up is because I installed a script that (for some reason) made all my transfer destinations change completely.

As for the other issues- I guess I was a bit eager. I'll get right on it. Thanks for the heads up!

Edit: I (hope I have) fixed all of the issues you've mentioned above, one of your earlier details I'd messed up helped me clean up the next zone as well, the one you weren't originally able to go to because of the transfer error.  I'm re-uploading now. :)
 
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Is it necroposting if I ask for more info in my own months old thread? All the information in the thread is relevant
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