RMMV Starcaller Demo V1.0

Cosmic_Wheels

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Starcaller is a High Fantasy/Sci-fi Adventure RPG based in the same universe as our first release, Myrkvidr. The gameplay is split between Side-scrolling exploration and top-down depending on the situation. We did this in order to better depict the gameworld. All of the pixel art and Music is original.

"So what's the story?"

A little bit of history
Starcaller takes place on a planet called Vaerok.. a world where technology and the magic powers of the universe have become intertwined over the course of the world's extensive history. During the years leading up to the events in Starcaller, the world has gone through a long period of peace and harmony.. All peoples and creatures of the world lived happily and formed a symbiotic circle.

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Current Events
A strange new force has begun to take root in the very foundations of the structures which house the planet's ancient technological wonders which harness the magical energy from deep within the planet. This causes the creatures of the world to become corrupted and evil against their nature.. as well as having an effect on the use of the world's technology and magic by its people. There is a prophecy which states that a young woman from the Order of the Serpent Stars, a Temple Guardian known as a "Starcaller", would rise up to face this evil and save the people of Vaerok from certain doom. One such woman was groomed from birth having been identified as this savior. Overwhelmed with the burden placed upon her and skeptical of the validity of these claims, she exiles herself from the city to live the rest of her life in the wild.. in isolation. The time comes when the people of Testralon become desperate for a solution to their problem and seek the aid of this solitary Starcaller. Will she rise up to face the challenge or remain in isolation?
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Gameplay

The mechanics of navigating the game are fairly standard. Basic interactions with the environment and NPCs laced with puzzles and a Metroid-vania style approach to unlocking new areas and abilities.
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BATTLE MECHANICS
Combat is true turn based. Each player takes a turn, followed by each enemy one by one. There will be 4 main characters in your party but for the duration of the demo only 1 additional player character will be unlocked. For the main Starcaller Class, actions you take will build up a resource called Starpower, which is then used to deploy powerful magic attacks that are learned through leveling as well as through quests. For the second character in the demo, a class called Sooth Sayer, the mechanics are based on chance and luck. The Sooth Sayer will draw cards at random for magical attacks and the target will also be random, adding a little bit more tension to battles. She is also capable of healing and removing status ailments. Here's the reason I made her mechanics so "random".. often times when playing a game that requires strategy to win, once you learn the right sequence of actions to take, the gameplay becomes a little boring, because you learn it so well that you can't lose. In this case, even if you follow all the steps correctly, there is always a chance that it wont work out as planned.. similar to a card game.. even the best poker player can lose due to the random aspect of the game. This in my opinion adds more drama and tension to the battles.
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The demo currently still has some remnants of the RMMV RTP sound effects which are being replaced as we speak. Instead of tilesets for the environment we decided to use Parallax Layers using GALV's Layers plugin. The game will contain puzzles, quests, crafting and other features you might expect in an open world RPG. There are elements borrowed from "metroid-vania" style games with a focus on exploration and unlocking abilities and access to new areas through various means. This is the first release of the demo and we are looking for as much feedback as possible. The demo is browser based so no downloads are needed, however there will be some loading screens. We hope you enjoy it!
Play the game here
 

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MushroomCake28

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I'm approving this thread since it technically follows the rules for posting in this subforum, but you should polish your thread: embed the images in your post, have sections, elaborate on the story, etc. Take a look at another Game in Development thread and you'll understand what I'm referring to:
 

Cosmic_Wheels

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I'm approving this thread since it technically follows the rules for posting in this subforum, but you should polish your thread: embed the images in your post, have sections, elaborate on the story, etc. Take a look at another Game in Development thread and you'll understand what I'm referring to:
ok i will take a look at it, but i feel that i said way more than i wanted to say. i was trying to make sure i was following the guidelines.
 

MushroomCake28

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ok i will take a look at it, but i feel that i said way more than i wanted to say. i was trying to make sure i was following the guidelines.
Yes, which is why I approved your thread. This was just a suggestion from someone who read and approved tons of similar threads.
 

ADMtn

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Played long enough to get to the first quick travel spot.

Has an interesting old school feel to it (from the look to the synth-y sounds). From the look of it I thought it might be an action platformer a la Metroid, so I was mildly surprised when the combat was more or less the default turn-based system. The custom animations, though, are pretty cool.

Will play more later to see if I can provide any useful feedback.

Edit:

Finished the demo. Game is pretty fun. The funky retro aesthetics and music is definitely a plus; it's a refreshing change from the norm.
 
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Cosmic_Wheels

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Played long enough to get to the first quick travel spot.

Has an interesting old school feel to it (from the look to the synth-y sounds). From the look of it I thought it might be an action platformer a la Metroid, so I was mildly surprised when the combat was more or less the default turn-based system. The custom animations, though, are pretty cool.

Will play more later to see if I can provide any useful feedback.

Edit:

Finished the demo. Game is pretty fun. The funky retro aesthetics and music is definitely a plus; it's a refreshing change from the norm.
thanks for playing, and thanks for the feedback! Glad you enjoyed it. Any suggestions for improving on this idea?
 

ADMtn

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thanks for playing, and thanks for the feedback! Glad you enjoyed it. Any suggestions for improving on this idea?
Well, the animation walking downward seemed to jump left and right a bit. Maybe see if the sprites are aligned properly.

Might be nice to have more little bits of dialogue hints to aid in exploration, e.g., "There might be another switch nearby." I ran everywhere again, including outside of the cave, before I found the second switch for the trap/laser door. But if you want exploration to be difficult then you don't have to; up to you and your team.
 

Cosmic_Wheels

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Well, the animation walking downward seemed to jump left and right a bit. Maybe see if the sprites are aligned properly.

Might be nice to have more little bits of dialogue hints to aid in exploration, e.g., "There might be another switch nearby." I ran everywhere again, including outside of the cave, before I found the second switch for the trap/laser door. But if you want exploration to be difficult then you don't have to; up to you and your team.
thanks for the input. I did notice the main character has a slight "limp" when walking down LOL. that will get fixed when i get into the deep edits for the beta. I am torn about how i want to approach giving clues. I want to make it so you dont get stuck for too long, but I also don't want everything to be too obvious. there is a fine line there
 

ADMtn

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thanks for the input. I did notice the main character has a slight "limp" when walking down LOL. that will get fixed when i get into the deep edits for the beta. I am torn about how i want to approach giving clues. I want to make it so you dont get stuck for too long, but I also don't want everything to be too obvious. there is a fine line there
I felt like the exploration was intentionally old school in that it avoids hand-holding. Some players might like that and it would go with the retro aesthetics. Of course, I think the modern trend in game design is to give more hints and nudges to avoid frustrating the player.

That's the trick, I suppose: having players describe your game as "challenging" as opposed to "frustrating."

Edit: FromSoftware, I think, is a prime example (of a popular and successful developer) that makes games people call challenging as opposed to frustrating all while avoiding tutorials/hints.
 

Cosmic_Wheels

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I felt like the exploration was intentionally old school in that it avoids hand-holding. Some players might like that and it would go with the retro aesthetics. Of course, I think the modern trend in game design is to give more hints and nudges to avoid frustrating the player.

That's the trick, I suppose: having players describe your game as "challenging" as opposed to "frustrating."

Edit: FromSoftware, I think, is a prime example (of a popular and successful developer) that makes games people call challenging as opposed to frustrating all while avoiding tutorials/hints.
yeah. if things are totally hidden and a player needs to do some obscure thing to reveal it, that is frustrating.. i don't particularly think its too frustrating to have to search an area to find a doorway. those caves are very simply designed, not a labyrinth by any means. i have heard from a few people that they had difficulty finding that 2nd switch though so i might have to do something like "you hear something to the south" like in the old ultima games or something to that effect
 

ADMtn

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Haha. Yeah. The darkness at the edges combined with the map made it a tad harder to find.
 

phamtruong1992

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Game seems promising. Might try it out when my pc is back. The semi realistic art style and the whole customed graphics got me hooked.
 

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Hi Cosmic_Wheels,

I had a chance to try the game to just past recruiting Ithara. I really enjoyed the experience so far! I have some thoughts as follows:

- The aesthetics is really unique. While it's admittedly rough around the edges, I think it's perfectly suitable for the old-school adventure feel, as well as the surreal atmospheres of Starcaller. Very cool animations in combat scenes (esp. Ithara's Maleficium effects)
- The combat balance feels well done. I felt pressured at times, but it did not feel unfair. I'd personally like to see the combat sped up by a hair, as the animations makes it a bit sluggish

- I am a sucker for lore. The world seems very rich, and the "come-back-for-one-last job trope" premise for Avarran seems suitable to justify the expositions. I did feel there was a lot coming at me at a very short time though, especially in terms of terminology and names. The introduction scene, though atmospheric, did not make a large impact on me. Another thing that stuck out to me was the constant reminder that "things were not right" (the animals being hostile, the bugs being hostile, the machine oil, etc.) that felt somewhat redundant. Polish there would go a long way, as, despite the flaws, I'm still curious about the world.

I look forward to continue with the demo when I find more time! Keep kickin' ass :)
 

Cosmic_Wheels

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Hi Cosmic_Wheels,

I had a chance to try the game to just past recruiting Ithara. I really enjoyed the experience so far! I have some thoughts as follows:

- The aesthetics is really unique. While it's admittedly rough around the edges, I think it's perfectly suitable for the old-school adventure feel, as well as the surreal atmospheres of Starcaller. Very cool animations in combat scenes (esp. Ithara's Maleficium effects)
- The combat balance feels well done. I felt pressured at times, but it did not feel unfair. I'd personally like to see the combat sped up by a hair, as the animations makes it a bit sluggish

- I am a sucker for lore. The world seems very rich, and the "come-back-for-one-last job trope" premise for Avarran seems suitable to justify the expositions. I did feel there was a lot coming at me at a very short time though, especially in terms of terminology and names. The introduction scene, though atmospheric, did not make a large impact on me. Another thing that stuck out to me was the constant reminder that "things were not right" (the animals being hostile, the bugs being hostile, the machine oil, etc.) that felt somewhat redundant. Polish there would go a long way, as, despite the flaws, I'm still curious about the world.

I look forward to continue with the demo when I find more time! Keep kickin' ass :)
thanks for the feedback, i appreciate it greatly. A lot of the stuff you mentioned is already being fixed.. the redundant dialogue and stuff like that. I think the combat feels a bit slower on the browser version because those animations take a while to load. In the windows version, it feels a bit faster. We are also still working on mechanics to make the combat more engaging, especially with the additional followers that come later in the game .. The Lore will be fleshed out a lot more if you are into that kind of thing. This is a prequel of sorts? (same universe) as our first game Myrkvidr which basically pounds you over the head with lore constantly. we are building on that mythology but not as hardcore as that game. Thanks again for playing and for your feedback!
 

Freank

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Watched it few days ago! Incredibly good! The design is very good to be a "non-rpg" made using rpg maker!
Great work! I will continue to follow it!
 

Cosmic_Wheels

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we just uploaded a new version of the demo with a few adjustments based on some of the feedback that the team agreed with. There is no additional playable content added in this update but we did leave some of the maps open to explore a little after you finish the demo. This is all in the interest of really making a fantastic demo before we do any kind of marketing or get too deep into development. Keep the feedback coming in so we can really get focused on what this game is going to become in the long run. thanks again for playing!
Play Demo V1.2 here
 

Cosmic_Wheels

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This is the nearly final version of the Demo. Thanks everyone for your feedback.. it helped a lot. if you have any more suggestions, now is the time before we go diving into full development mode

PLAY DEMO V1.5
 

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