Subterranean Starfield

♥ azura ♥

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I download this a week or so ago and have played about 3 hours into it. First impressions: the art and music are solid overall, and I will agree with earlier posters that I like the map name effect. It's very clean and striking. I definitely enjoy the sort of minimal and clean UI the game has. However, I'm feeling mixed about the game due to a few factors. Here is what I have taken away so far:

+ Pros

  • The character design is good.
  • The battle system makes sense and is generally easy to follow.
  • In general, the game is very 'shiny' and is appealing to look at. I really like the UI.
  • The music is good. Unique enough and the battle music is exciting without being distracting.
  • Art is well drawn across the board.
  • The dungeon monsters are varied in type enough to not be boring.
  • The system of rewarding the player for the longer they stay in the dungeon is commendable. It's very clever and I want to see this in grind-oriented games. +++
+ Cons

  • There is pretty much no plot. Not all games need an in-depth plot, but even a dungeon crawler focused on exploration needs to start out with more than "Hello party of random explorers! Go into the dungeon and kill the things!" Why are the monsters there? Why are we killing them? Why do we want to go deeper into the dungeon? At least give us a hint into these basic questions before we start exploring. ---
  • I'm going to agree with other posters in that the balancing of money versus price of items is just too steep. I understand grind, I like grind. And it's fine for the equips, buuuut... the price of restorative items being so high in a game that also has very deadly enemies and permadeath is kind of ridiculous.
  • I know the characters are randomized, which is cool, but they need to have interaction of some kind at least. If they at least spoke to each other (or at all), I could feel attached to them. What I have instead is a party that means absolutely nothing to me, so when they die it's not emotional but instead just annoying that I have to buy a new puppet. Permadeath works because you feel strongly about losing that character. You feel the weight of the consequences of the (your) mistake that caused that character to die. I love permadeath and roguelikes, but this feels half-hearted as opposed to a core mechanic.

In case is was taken in the wrong way, I want to say that I do not give this criticism in a harsh or offensive manner. I think that thoughtful criticism from players is the best way for a game to grow, and I hope that when I have my first RPG Maker game release, that I will get as many players and as much feedback as I've seen so far on here. :3
 
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Archeia

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There was supposed to be a plot (actually there still is and if you reach the end. Each stages does have a story of its own but subtle). And you can interact with characters through the cafeteria. We had plans that more animals in the Dusk Garden will appear if you have Cirine in the party etc. It's hard to write any interactions if all the characters are supposed to be silent (that's what rhyme wanted) so all we can actually do is imply their actions. There was gonna be more story-related quests like Rhyme and Nessiah in the game but it's really hard to put story quests on a game that's about balance without breaking it. 


At some point we have to call something done. I don't disagree with the feedback though, I just wanted to tell what happened on that aspect .w.)


Thank you for the review~
 
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granny steph

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Hi. Just to ask if you would kindly reply to my question regarding Level 23 above please. Many thanks. :D
 

rhyme

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there's up to 25!
 

granny steph

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I have been on Level 23 for a few days now............... :p  

Would someone please please tell me where the stairs DOWN to Level 24 are PLEASE>   HELP!!
 

granny steph

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I am still on Level 23 looking for the stairs down to Level 24.

WOULD SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME WHERE THE STAIRS ARE TO NEXT LEVEL SO I CAN FINISH THE GAME. :(
 

Clangeddin

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I'm gonna go ahead and beat the dead horse some more, but the randomized party mechanic can be bypassed by restarting the game over and over until you get a desired party. I spent a good chunk of my playtime in (and out of) the game like that. I do not know what kind of goal you wanted to achieve with that mechanic, but all you did to me was make me restart the game about 20 times before I got a party I was comfortable with. Can't say I really enjoy this aspect, and, in the end, it really was not enforced to me anyway (since I bypassed it), so I wonder why is there no option to choose (along with random, of course) right away and just skip that silly restart of the game. There is an option to make the game easier and faster in other variables (like exp, gold and difficulty) I wonder why there is no option to speed up the selection of party.
 

Dalph

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I am still on Level 23 looking for the stairs down to Level 24.

WOULD SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME WHERE THE STAIRS ARE TO NEXT LEVEL SO I CAN FINISH THE GAME. :(
The stairs are on the lower right corner of the map, beware not at the absolute lowest right corner though (where there's the treasure chest) but a bit on the left and then up from that point. Hope this helps, good luck!
 
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Archeia

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I'm gonna go ahead and beat the dead horse some more, but the randomized party mechanic can be bypassed by restarting the game over and over until you get a desired party. I spent a good chunk of my playtime in (and out of) the game like that. I do not know what kind of goal you wanted to achieve with that mechanic, but all you did to me was make me restart the game about 20 times before I got a party I was comfortable with. Can't say I really enjoy this aspect, and, in the end, it really was not enforced to me anyway (since I bypassed it), so I wonder why is there no option to choose (along with random, of course) right away and just skip that silly restart of the game. There is an option to make the game easier and faster in other variables (like exp, gold and difficulty) I wonder why there is no option to speed up the selection of party.
The goal of the 'mechanic' was to force players to play something out of their comfort zone. You can restart if you really wanted to and we're not stopping you, but it doesn't mean we'll have to give the option to make it easier to get you back on your comfort zone :'D
 

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So I tried to play it but I think my native resolution is too high for it. When I hit alt-enter it doesn't stretch the game out, it leaves it in the native resolution, which makes all of the text really tiny.


Also the game was running at about 35 FPS for me.


I know development has probably stopped on this, but just thought I would drop by and leave by two cents.
 

Archeia

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Did you try F4/F5?

So I tried to play it but I think my native resolution is too high for it. When I hit alt-enter it doesn't stretch the game out, it leaves it in the native resolution, which makes all of the text really tiny.


Also the game was running at about 35 FPS for me.


I know development has probably stopped on this, but just thought I would drop by and leave by two cents.
Did you try F6? You can press it 3x.
 

✦ Stealium ✦

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Wonderful game! This is probably my favorite RPG Maker game. The aesthetics are killer, as is the music.  :cutesmile:
 

Authumbla

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-This is more personal. I don't like that "random party" system... at all. It would be way better if we, players, could configure our party, that would be more dynamic. You can't let important things like that be decided by luck... for example, i made a mistake and lost the tank of my team (i don't remember his name now but i think it was a blonde guy)... i paid 500C (or whatever the currency is named. I don't remember it now) which is a lot, btw, to get a new member... what i get? another mage, Sordis. The party is not balanced right now... i have Felicia which deals cool damage, i have Tyrund which deals nice damage too (none of them have resistances), Pastelle (which is the healer and that's cool) aaaand Sordis. 


That's the point of roguelikes! The idea is that you progressively learn how to manipulate the system of the game so that you can win with even underpowered random parties.


I'm kind of surprised an RPG Maker roguelike exists, but I really like this.
 

Super121830

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I really liked this game, I'll leave my feedback about it here:

Awesome: The battle system and the maze style dungeons, they are very enjoyable. The battler and actor graphics are great too.
So so: No gold after battles and AP skill learning, I'm not used to this, but this game turned it out nicely. Another thing is the character randomization, it is good to have a random party, unless someone wants to start over and get what they want, I experimented with several combinations and all of them feel unique but neither is stronger that others.


Bad?: The bosses are extremely hard, I can't beat the Malevolent flame. Oh, and there is little plot or character exposition. I always expect some unique and interesting story of those.

If I have to rate it: 9/10, just for the missing story, but everything else is amazing.

Did you think on making a sequel?
 

Oddball

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this game is lagging like crazy now. it didnt used to. whats wrong?
 

Jhale M.

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Hi. I really like this game. It reminds me of Final Fantasy XII in some ways, but it also goes completely opposite of that direction with the class system and specialized characters. The battles are tough, but they don't feel annoying like other RPGs where you can't cast status ailments on the enemies, but they cast a lot status ailments that slow you down too much. The skills flow together in a really interesting way, like the sniper class and the skills of the character named Sordis. Knowing what rates healing and status abilities have before getting them is really great and is something that is unfortunately absent in a lot of games. The dualclassing makes things really fun because you can basically take a character you find interesting and hybridize their skills into an even more interesting character.


 However, I have some unique critiques on the game's design decisions that you probably should think about in future games.


The overall problem I feel that this game suffers from is design choices fighting against each other.


Clash 1 - The game has a system that encourages you to fight a lot of enemies without leaving the area to get loot. However, it also greatly discourages grinding with the EX clear rewards being very valuable. This really makes the game feel a bit ruined because I feel like I should be taking the level slowly and trying to find rare loot, but I also am encouraged to rush from boss to boss if I want to get an amount of money that would be useful for someone playing the game the first time. It feels like I am forced to pay less attention to the game and enjoy it less just because I want to feel the least bit secure. The experience gained from fighting enemies seems excessive because it is necessary to run away from most fights if you want to get the EX clear and that is something that is easy to subconsciously miss.


Clash 2 - There are essentially no quests. The main quests that give you money based on the level you complete them just don't really count as quests. Yet, I am almost done with the game and I have only gotten two real quests and three main quests, which is just really unbalanced. I don't think we really need quests explaining a big story, but if there were more people to help out, it would really give this game an environment. You call it Subterranean Starfield and it sounds like something that would be beautiful and have maybe a lighthearted story and the game even presents itself that way with music and character designs, but you went in a very character-less direction. It seems like a major disappointment to have such an enchanting name when the game progresses without any charm of its own. 


Clash 3 - I still have not found Nessiah's friend (Rhyme) and I think that is absolutely ridiculous. I thoroughly searched the first and second areas and I went through almost all of the third, but I did not find her yet. She went alone from the entrance of the dungeon, abandoning her partner in the forest but she seems to be deeper in still. This is one of the only two quests we receive at the very beginning of the game (and there don't seem to be any other side quests at all) and the rewards for the quest are pretty modest. On the other hand, the flower quest was pretty easy and it gave possibly the best item reward in the game. Maybe you designed her to be a special person with a lot of hidden power, but the person requesting your help should have given you the tiniest hint that this was a special person if that is true. She just sounds like she got lost in the confusing forest maze.


Clash 4 - AP is really hard to get and then when you spend it, it is usually hard to know what you want to use unless it is a status ailment, buff or healing ability. Also, I got such an expensive high level ability called Thousand Strikes, but the damage output is really worthless while Pastelle's Zero Degree Goddess was very worthwhile. Even with high attack power, Thousand Strikes is generally doing a lot less damage and at a higher MP cost. It makes sense for things like money, equips and healing to be limited, but with the amount of mystery behind skills, it seems to encourage saving and retrying when you get things that you don't want (something which the random party members was supposed to get you out of the habit of doing). It seems like it would be better if we had more items like AP Shower, at least in the later stages. I can understand not wanting the player to get extremely powerful upgraded abilities early on once they know what they are doing, but I think the MP costs are already enough to prohibit abuses like that. The reason why also seems like a big design flaw - why does increasing the power of a skill require that I never keep the original skill? Considering that the upgraded skill has higher MP costs, it seems very unfair and illogical to take away the lower forms of magic and technique skills. Someone could easily make a mistake early on and not have enough MP to win battles that require magic. I guess dualclassing could be used to circumvent that, but it seems like a rather steep price to completely miss out on your favored class because you made an original character skill cost too much MP too early.


I hope you can see what I mean and I hope this can help you guys or someone else thinking about designing a game.
 

Archeia

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Clash 2 - There are essentially no quests. The main quests that give you money based on the level you complete them just don't really count as quests. Yet, I am almost done with the game and I have only gotten two real quests and three main quests, which is just really unbalanced. I don't think we really need quests explaining a big story, but if there were more people to help out, it would really give this game an environment. You call it Subterranean Starfield and it sounds like something that would be beautiful and have maybe a lighthearted story and the game even presents itself that way with music and character designs, but you went in a very character-less direction. It seems like a major disappointment to have such an enchanting name when the game progresses without any charm of its own. 


Clash 3 - I still have not found Nessiah's friend (Rhyme) and I think that is absolutely ridiculous. I thoroughly searched the first and second areas and I went through almost all of the third, but I did not find her yet. She went alone from the entrance of the dungeon, abandoning her partner in the forest but she seems to be deeper in still. This is one of the only two quests we receive at the very beginning of the game (and there don't seem to be any other side quests at all) and the rewards for the quest are pretty modest. On the other hand, the flower quest was pretty easy and it gave possibly the best item reward in the game. Maybe you designed her to be a special person with a lot of hidden power, but the person requesting your help should have given you the tiniest hint that this was a special person if that is true. She just sounds like she got lost in the confusing forest maze.
Hello! Thank you for all the feedback!


I'll let rhyme reply to some of the design choices since that is primarily theirs.


For Clash #2's feedback we simply didn't have time to really add quests (and partly because we were spending too much time on it). There's also some difference in our storytelling preferences (silent protagonists vs. protagonists with a voice) and we couldn't quite hit a middle point. Maybe in the future when we feel like making an update.


For Clash #3's from what I can see, you still haven't finished the game? This was intentional game design but you can find rhyme at the final stage of the game. And to be honest, it's a pretty sadistic quest. The idea of the quest is it's supposed to be one of those persistent, long ones that lasts for a whole game. We just didn't expect that we'd only have two quests I guess haha;;;

this game is lagging like crazy now. it didnt used to. whats wrong?


We haven't changed anything. It's possible VXA isn't compatible with a lot OS updates now...
 
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