Subterranean Starfield

Matseb2611

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I've never played Baroque, and if it has perma-death, I probably never will. Yeah, I do like to make constant progress, but I also enjoyed Dark Souls, because it lets you learn from your mistakes and to continue retrying the same section without destroying all your progress. Also, in a game where you can save anywhere, what's stopping the players from simply spamming save a lot and then reloading their game if one of their party members gets a perma-death? In this instance perma-death doesn't serve anything, since it doesn't have a long-lasting and intended effect. It's only a minor nuisance that the player goes round via save spamming.

As for comparing Eremidia and Substar, I compared them as RM dungeon crawlers. Yeah, I get it that mechanics will obviously be different, but the overall goal will be similar to most other dungeon crawlers - to beat each level one by one and get to the end.
 

Archeia

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I've never played Baroque, and if it has perma-death, I probably never will. Yeah, I do like to make constant progress, but I also enjoyed Dark Souls, because it lets you learn from your mistakes and to continue retrying the same section without destroying all your progress. Also, in a game where you can save anywhere, what's stopping the players from simply spamming save a lot and then reloading their game if one of their party members gets a perma-death? In this instance perma-death doesn't serve anything, since it doesn't have a long-lasting and intended effect. It's only a minor nuisance that the player goes round via save spamming.
A LOT of dungeon crawlers have permadeath. Therefore its sub genres might not be conforming to your taste.   ;)

And considering an hour is NEVER enough for a dungeon crawler's mechanics, I know I play a lot of them, a hardcore dungeon crawler fan would usually play 2-3 hours. You play it for very different reasons than your standard game design. (Also p.s. Fire Emblem is the same where it has permadeath but it won't stop you.)

Nobody is stopping anyone, however, NO ONE wants to lose progress and would try again, and there's nothing wrong with that. Unlike Dark Souls however, we don't confine you to a SINGLE save. Making a mistake shouldn't feel punishing. If you lost someone, it's upto you whether you want to defeat that one enemy again or proceed onwards and not look back. And Substar is not going to punish you for deliberately trying to go against it. You can try and try again until you get your 'perfect party.'  But how would you know if it's the perfect party? By playing the game. Being a gamer is all about defeating a possible challenge and how while conforming to the rules of its world. I don't see why reloading a save is a bad thing if it means I can intimately learn the mechanics of the game.

What if I want a challenge to be able to solo the game. Or how about finishing a game without losing anyone? Or how about finishing the game and then never returning to town (it's possible). I don't see why we should deprive players from self inflicted challenges? I loved that in FF7, FFT and many various games. As long as the option is there, a player can have a grand old time.

As for comparing Eremidia and Substar, I compared them as RM dungeon crawlers. Yeah, I get it that mechanics will obviously be different, but the overall goal will be similar to most other dungeon crawlers - to beat each level one by one and get to the end.
How to get to the final dungeon varies greatly from each Dungeon Crawler Genre, such as Baroque as I mentioned. You die, and try again. But for every iteration of your death, you will discover and unlock more floors at the risk of your character progress (starting from lvl 1, max 5 items). Is that bad design? Hell no. It's an unconventional mechanic that appeals to a certain group of people. And there is nothing wrong with that. :)
 
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Scythuz

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 I would discuss about it here but that would be going off topic and something that is better in a new topic. 
Yeah it'd be great to discuss this particular topic (on perma-death, unforgiving mechanics and rng) in more detail elsewhere as there's a lot of elements to it that are worthy of discussion.  

On a separate but more thread relevant note; I'm not sure if Baroque is the best comparison to make here.  Substar is a bit more like the old school rpgs that weren't rogue-likes but were still difficult e.g. The Bard's Tale, Wizardry, Might and Magic, certain Ultima games.  All of these games had you start in a safe area, a small town with an inn and various shops.  You would then head out into the unknown after having stocked up on supplies.  I believe most of the games mentioned also had an option to pick a random party, some of them even had an "ironman" mode which added perma-death. 

The difference between them is that the viewpoint is top down in Substar instead of first person in the aforementioned games, Substar is also a lot more jrpg-like in aesthetic, audio and gameplay terms too.  The combat mechanics and the games approach to enemy encounters being good examples of the gameplay differences.  The games I compared it to also had more open worlds than Substar too.

I guess you could say that Substar is a melting pot of many different genres.  This comes with the distinct characteristic of having what one person might call a positive point - be interpreted as a negative point by someone else.   

(Also, let me be honest here... I think Substar is a far better game than Baroque anyway.  Baroque was far too repetitive for me with it's extremely uninspired combat and area layouts.  It's a shame because the world and setting seemed so promising, there just wasn't enough of a balanced payoff to patience ratio I guess.)
 

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Yeah it'd be great to discuss this particular topic (on perma-death, unforgiving mechanics and rng) in more detail elsewhere as there's a lot of elements to it that are worthy of discussion.
Someday...maybe someone will try. This is usually degrade to modern game design or opinions only base that I don't know how one would interpret it.

It honestly boils down to are you designing for Mainstream or a Niche fanbase?

On a separate but more thread relevant note; I'm not sure if Baroque is the best comparison to make here.  Substar is a bit more like the old school rpgs that weren't rogue-likes but were still difficult e.g. The Bard's Tale, Wizardry, Might and Magic, certain Ultima games.  All of these games had you start in a safe area, a small town with an inn and various shops.  You would then head out into the unknown after having stocked up on supplies.  I believe most of the games mentioned also had an option to pick a random party, some of them even had an "ironman" mode which added perma-death.
I was trying to avoid mentioning those games for various reasons, but yes you are indeed correct. The design is based on old school dungeon crawlers. I was curious if he played a sub-genre (that's why I mentioned Baroque being one of them). And don't worry, I totally understand what you meant by repetitive (but I loved that aspect of it for various reasons) and that is a legit complaint since they could've added more to it if dying was such a core mechanic.
 
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Matseb2611

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I see what you mean. I haven't played those games that were mentioned, but I have played a few others, lesser known old-school RPG dungeon crawlers. But at this stage you have to ask "Am I adding this gameplay mechanic because it's truly a good mechanic or am I just trying to emulate that same experience those games had".

Back then those games had to have a gameplay like that due to a: limitations of the engine, and b: gaming being mostly a hardcore hobby that only a few people were involved in. Gaming industry has come a long way since then, and using the same limitations and artificial difficulty that the older games had does not always cut it anymore (and let's admit, having to grind endlessly for money IS artificial difficulty).
 
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Susan

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21st century games that require mapping:

Etrian Odyssey series (2007 - present) - semi-automated.

Class of Heroes (2008), 2 (2009) - if you don't have the proper maps.

Legend of Grimrock (2012), 2 (2014) - auto mapping can be switched off.

Persona Q (2014) - semi-automated.

21st century games with (semi) permadeath:

Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs DarkDeath Evilman (2010) - losing reduce the character back to level 1 but will make him slightly stronger each time.

Diablo 2 (2000), 3 (2012) - hardcore mode.

I enjoy all the games I've played so far from Matseb, Archeia, rhyme, and from some other developers here. Each developer have a different vision when they create their games, and I respect that vision. Games like Oh! Ko!, Antagonist and Last Word widely differ from the usual RM game and are all the better for it.

I think the idea is to not think of the games here as RM games made with an RM engine, but rather, what kind of games you can make period. If you can create a game that resembles triple A games in terms of story, gameplay, graphic, music, or whatever you can think of, it's all the better. It only shows what you and an RM engine are capable of creating. People won't look at an RM game and go "Not another RM game!" or "It's obviously an RM game!".

That said, I'm not ashamed to admit that I love the Incitement series, Atonement, Just face it!, Princess Princess and Subterranean Starfield.

By the way, I find myself agreeing with Matseb regarding the additional dialogue with the shopkeepers. It never seemed to be a problem for me since I never revisited the town, but it does seem a bit redundant.

Edit: Oh, and the games Scythuz mentioned are great examples. I just didn't want to mention them because they were made around the '90s. And, yes, I have played them all. ^^

Man, I'm old....
 
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Matseb2611

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Diablo 2 (2000), 3 (2012) - hardcore mode.
See, that's exactly what I meant. There's nothing wrong with giving perma-death in harder difficulty modes, but I find it too harsh for a Normal difficulty. Hell, I'd be a hypocrite if I said perma-death is bad full stop, since I too have included it in my recent dungeon crawler, just that I only reserved it for the final difficulty level.

I haven't played any of those games that require mapping, but I am willing to bet they had some kind of a system that made it easier on the player. I mean, do I really have to get a pen and paper out and draw a crappy map diagram just to get through the first dungeon? Also, let's not forget, just because SOME games do it, doesn't automatically mean it's a good idea. Again, let's remember old games of the past had a reason or a limitation as to why they did it, but what reason is there for modern games to do it?

Also I do agree that making games different to one another adds spice and variety. I certainly would not support the idea of all games being and playing the same. Just that some conventions are there for a reason, and when doing things differently, we have to consider what effect that will have on the rest of the game and on the player's patience. Different does not always mean good. But that doesn't mean a different idea should be scrapped completely. Just that it needs to be refined a bit to make it worthwhile.
 

Archeia

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I see what you mean. I haven't played those games that were mentioned, but I have played a few others, lesser known old-school RPG dungeon crawlers. But at this stage you have to ask "Am I adding this gameplay mechanic because it's truly a good mechanic or am I just trying to emulate that same experience those games had".
I haven't played any of those games that require mapping, but I am willing to bet they had some kind of a system that made it easier on the player. I mean, do I really have to get a pen and paper out and draw a crappy map diagram just to get through the first dungeon? Also, let's not forget, just because SOME games do it, doesn't automatically mean it's a good idea. Again, let's remember old games of the past had a reason or a limitation as to why they did it, but what reason is there for modern games to do it?
Another one would be:

Am I adding this feature because I want like-minded people to play my game and are craving for the same experience that no other game is providing me for a very long time now?

Games are experiences, not mathematical equations that have to be perfect. Thus the niche fanbase wanting some specific things back since they are having fun with it. Is that a bad thing? Which is what I already said, rhyme wanted to make a game with Substar's Mazes to have that same idea for like minded people. And some people do enjoy that. And if a game is designed around that mechanic then it becomes a tight package, not because it's there for the sake of design and making the perfect flawless game, but 'fun' that they dearly miss.

Gaming industry has come a long way since then, and using the same limitations and artificial difficulty that the older games had does not always cut it anymore (and let's admit, having to grind endlessly for money IS artificial difficulty).
Yes and No. And I'm saying this as someone who hates grinding. I DO think there are factors where specific game design elements just don't fit or fits. Grinding has its place in Dungeon Crawlers, and there are players (like me) who loves battles too much that I don't mind grinding at all as it's a learning experience about the gameplay.
 
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Matseb2611

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Another one would be:
Am I adding this feature because I want like-minded people to play my game and are craving for the same experience that no other game is providing me for a very long time now? Games are experiences, not mathematical equations that have to be perfect. Thus the niche fanbase wanting some specific things back since they are having fun with it. Is that a bad thing?
That would still fall into the second category I mentioned. You want to experience what those games offered once more, so you're trying to emulate that same experience in this game.

Yes and No. And I'm saying this as someone who hates grinding. I DO think there are factors where specific game design elements just don't fit or fits. Grinding has its place in Dungeon Crawlers, and there are players (like me) who loves battles too much that I don't mind grinding at all as it's a learning experience about the gameplay.
Sure, that makes sense, but again, that's what difficulty levels are for, and forcing the player to grind on the lowest difficulty level is just going to get you some annoyed players who no longer wish to play the game, because they no longer have the patience for it. I don't mind grinding for a bit, but not to do it constantly. As Pink Guy mentioned in an earlier post, I'd gladly grind for money in order to afford a nice new weapon, but NOT to be able to afford a couple of potions, which I'd probably use to balance out all the damage I received in those encounters anyway.
 

Archeia

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That would still fall into the second category I mentioned. You want to experience what those games offered once more, so you're trying to emulate that same experience in this game.
 

There is a difference with an experience 'I had' and targeting an audience who 'wants to experience it' all over again. There is something that I would like to add when I reply with these kind of statements, I enjoyed Substar as someone who is outside the gameplay zone even though I'm in the development team (mostly some balancing which I thought was unfair, bug fixing when I encounter them and art). 

 

I don't like getting a pen and paper to draw the mazes myself when I played Substar. I just used it as a chance to memorize everything like a memory game instead and since I enjoyed the battles that wasn't a problem, but after a while mapping and discovering where to go and how to solve x puzzle is a load of fun and it grew on me. I believed the old school feeling it had was a charm in and of itself and was a nice experience from old Western Dungeon Crawlers except with JRPG elements mixed in. 

 

Sure, that makes sense, but again, that's what difficulty levels are for, and forcing the player to grind on the lowest difficulty level is just going to get you some annoyed players who no longer wish to play the game, because they no longer have the patience for it. I don't mind grinding for a bit, but not to do it constantly. As Pink Guy mentioned in an earlier post, I'd gladly grind for money in order to afford a nice new weapon, but NOT to be able to afford a couple of potions, which I'd probably use to balance out all the damage I received in those encounters anyway.
 

Then it's simple, you are not the target audience. This is a hard game meant for people who love hard games and for people who want to experience an authentic Dungeon Crawler game experience even at the easiest difficulty. What does a lot of Dungeon Crawlers do? Grinding. It's an experience. Also as I mentioned way back, Substar has a lot of field items that this shouldn't be that big of a problem especially if you explore a lot. Yes, you even get these items the moment you touch them. The more you get used to your characters and enemy patterns, the easier it is to resource manage which is the point of this game. Adding new conventional features to remove the annoyances about your journey removes the point of the EXPERIENCE rhyme was aiming for. Which is an immersive cartographic experience. The idea of discovering a new hidden area and avoiding the obstacles in it. It might not make much sense to you because you only lasted the first floor, but the later floors had more to them in the same scale as Shin Megami Tensei level design that the mapping was just imperative.

 

This is something that we have to agree to disagree on.
 
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Matseb2611

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Yeah, I think we're just repeating ourselves now. Just to be clear though, I DO love hard and challenging games. I just prefer for those challenges to be overcome via strategy and preparation, and not grinding.
 

Archeia

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And again, Grinding provides you a way to prepare as you get stronger (in fact I'd argue Dark Souls did grinding in a subtle way), and it would highly depend on the execution. rhyme's way of 'strategy and preparation' are legit and you can beat enemies even at low levels (Escape is 100% IIRC). You don't have to grind in this game and just battle all the mooks you face. And you still have a chance of winning against that one boss. EX-Clear actually discourages you from grinding. (Beat the boss at a low level and get rewarded super highly to get all that awesome gear).
 
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rhyme

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Yeah, I think we're just repeating ourselves now. Just to be clear though, I DO love hard and challenging games. I just prefer for those challenges to be overcome via strategy and preparation, and not grinding.
Try harder.

(yes this is a challenge! challenge yourself!! there is no requirement to grind in subterranean starfield, as the main hall itself already has free healing!)
 
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Jinxt

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Hey guys,

started playing Subterranean Starfield a few days ago and i realy like it. I like the Battlesystem coupled with the way you can progress your characters and the bossfights (especialy on Ex-Clear) a nice Challenge. Im in front of the thrd boss now and was wondering if anybody knew when i get the second Rainbow Flower? The first one i found in the first Boss Room but i cant seem to find the second one...did i miss it or is it yet to come?

Thanks and keep up the good work

 
 

Archeia

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The purple flower right? It's somewhere in Floors 1~3 If I remember correctly. It's hidden in a 'dead' end covered in vines.
 

rhyme

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It's like months since it's actually updated, but I realized I haven't updated it here! So, main topic is now updated with the new download link (v 2.4)

Changelog is:
Skills
Crawler's First Strike is given a higher activation rate.
First Strike's damage is slightly increased.
Natalie's Thunderstorm has increased damage.
Felicie's Passive effect has been changed: Brave Strider lets her recover HP whenever she attacks an enemy with higher HP rate than her.
Cirine's Assassinate's damage is increased.
Overdrive Bomb now inflicts a state that reduces the Flare resistance of all targets.
Timeless Blaze no longer one-hit kills the Devourer of All (oops ahaha)


Items
Changes to a few of the enemies' drop rates.
New equipment may occasionally drop from enemies!
More equipment can grant skills to the owner!!
A few equipment's stats are altered.
Anger Fang and Tiger Fang's Counter chance is reduced.
Star Shard and Moon Shard's Reflect chance is reduced.


Enemies
Malevolent Flame's Flame Shells have more HP
Devourer of All resists Timeless Blaze


General
Slightly increased the speed of all UI animations.
 

granny steph

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Hi. I am back tracking in the game at the moment to bring the girl to the chappie on Level 16. I am in the volcano dungeon and every time I go towards an area of lava the following comes up...Script 'Game Interpreter' line 1411: NoMethodError occurred. undefined method 'refresh' for nil: NilClass

Can you help please as my characters are on Level 64 and I really do not want to start again. This message never came up when I first entered this dungeon when my characters were on a much lower level.
 

Joewoof

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I just want to mention that I really like the game post. Short, to-the-point, with screenshots. Far too many game releases are unnecessarily bloated.

Looks really fun. :D
 

granny steph

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Hi. Can anyone reply to my post please made on 11th Nov regarding having probs with the lava dungeon. I have not been able to play the game for two days. HELP!!

Cheers.

Brillinat game by the way.
 

granny steph

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Hi. Has anyone completed Level 23??? I cannot find the stairs to Level 24.

Is there a Level 24?  Can someone please put me out of my misery. :(
 

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