RMVXA Suikogarden *DEMO* Suikoden-inspired rpg

gvduck10

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Minor UPDATE demo V4.1 (6/23/2019)
+
Some additional balance to exp. growth
+Slightly lower encounter rate
+1 new small area
+2 additional characters to recruit (total: 22)
+Blinking Mirror as a reward for completing demo (allows teleportation)

Also, check out the updated Magic Runes and Recruitment guides in this thread
 
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Minor UPDATE demo V4.2 (6/29/2019)
+
Some additional balance to exp. growth, lower difficulty
+Some changes to enemy abilities
+Damage output from Great Hawk and Kite Fury increased
+New window color
+Added Chateau in Bellan Harbor
+Characters already in party no longer display the "Join" option when you talk to them
 
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UPDATED demo V4.3 (9/1/2019)

+NEW ITEM
Camp Light (allows full team heal outside of battle)
+2 New characters to recruit
+1 New dungeon
+Teleportation mechanic (Blinking Mirror) added
 

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UPDATE demo V4.4 (10/13/19)

- Total # of characters: 27
- updated castle (minor changes)
 

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UPDATE demo V4.5 (10/20/19)

+1 recruitable character (NEW TOTAL: 28)
+Additional changes to castle (decor, layout, character placement)
+actor-battlers from chaosport added for two battles
 

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ANNOUNCEMENT 12/9/2019

If anyone is still interested in this project, it is possible I can likely finish it over the winter holiday. Your encouragement would be appreciated!
 

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IS ANYONE STILL INTERESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

If so, your thoughts & suggestions would be very appreciated.
 

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@gvduck10

I finally played the most recent demo... and I like it.

I do feel though that the story plays more like a plot skeleton, but with some personality at moments, rather than showing much character development and personalities between the different parties.

I understand that there is a huge cast, but I only mean in the dialogue during the different plot events.

At the moment each character shows some personality and has clear goals that can change asthe story progresses, but they only seem to speak what is necessary to advance the plot. The plot is clear and I like that, but characters can have more depth in what they say and do.

The plotting is good, as simple as it all is, and I enjoyed watching each plot event unfolding.


In term of gameplay, I found it ok. I enjoyed finding items and things by interacting with objects and the way you mapped it, it doesn't feel there are too many objects to interact with, and I like that a lot. It's probably what I liked the most about the game so far.

I preferred a party of Maximus, Ayana and Devon when I could. I seem to beat most of the stuff with them. I had a lot of trouble during the dungeons since I had to grind a bit, not heavily but a little, before I could take on the enemies. The icy cave was really hard for me, and I didn't like how I was dragged into it suddenly, I hadn't finished looking around town yet! But, otherwise, I enjoyed the gameplay. I recommend either lowering the difficulty a little bit or giving the player the option to choose there own difficulty setting, there's a lot of advantages to doing that.

It would be cool if that singer could become a party member like a bard type, but I'm not saying you have to do that.

I have never played Suikoden, but I've heard of it a lot and it's the type of game I'd probably enjoy playing.

I think reducing the party to 40 is a good idea, with the plot structure and way the game is currently going.

What would be nice is if with the mechanics each character feels equally useful in some way, I felt at the moment there isn't much of that when there could be more of it. And the same with combining character skills together. I think the rune format you created for yourself is a good structure and it works and is good as it is, but then expanding it further, this time checking each character skillsets/runes, with the suggestions I've given at the start of this paragraph it would be nice.

I like your mapping, I think it's a really good use of RTP for the mechanic side of things.

I don't know how much more work you want to put into this, but if you still want to add features you could perhaps try a create items/equipment system. Since you have random encounters you can add crafting/cooking/alchemy, that type of stuff, material. You don't have to call it it's usual terms if you don't want, but I think that would be interesting in this type of game. Not too overboard and too limiting with where to get material from, but still, it feels like something that would fit this type of game if understood from how I'm explaining it right. If you aren't interested in such a thing, I don't think it would matter too much but I can see this working well in this type of game.

I like how you handled recruitment where different people have different requirements for joining. I did try to add as many as I could to the cast, and I enjoyed doing that too.

I didn't feel there was much point backtracking when told too since there wasn't much to miss at those points in the game. It didn't seem to really go anywhere for a while.

Overall I enjoyed playing the recent demo of your game and I wish you the best of luck finishing this, so long you want to yourself.
 
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@gvduck10

I finally played the most recent demo... and I like it.

I do feel though that the story plays more like a plot skeleton, but with some personality at moments, rather than showing much character development and personalities between the different parties.

I understand that there is a huge cast, but I only mean in the dialogue during the different plot events.

At the moment each character shows some personality and has clear goals that can change as the story progresses, but they only seem to speak what is necessary to advance the plot. The plot is clear and I like that, but characters can have more depth in what they say and do.

The plotting is good, as simple as it all is, and I enjoyed watching each plot event unfolding.

In term of gameplay, I found it ok. I enjoyed finding items and things by interacting with objects and the way you mapped it, it doesn't feel there are too many objects to interact with, and I like that a lot. It's probably what I liked the most about the game so far.

I like your mapping, I think it's a really good use of RTP for the mechanic side of things.

I like how you handled recruitment where different people have different requirements for joining. I did try to add as many as I could to the cast, and I enjoyed doing that too.
I am currently working on addressing EXACTLY some of these concerns. With the next update, you will be able to go inside the archer's house (so long as he is in your party), base HP for every character has been increased slightly (scales with levels), and additional dialogue is being added throughout for almost every recruitable character* (adding more flavor and sense of personality).
I will probably change the event in Bellan that takes you to the ice cave so you can opt in or wait a little bit. Just have to get to it.

*a great example is Gijo - he was added later (the tent near Azure Lake) with very little dialogue, but in the next update he has a lot more personality. He's the Morose Star, afflicted with ennui (melancholy), which is why he's not a PC despite being a blademaster. This wasn't obvious in the current demo but will be in the next update.
 
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atoms

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@gvduck10 That all sounds good, balance is always a tricky thing. I don't know what the best tactic to deal with it is, but for me, I have to keep playtesting until it feels balanced. Adding more or less HP is a very good tactic as that usually helps a lot with the balance, but you'll still want to test it a bit further since increasing/decreasing DEF, ATK, etc by X amount is as useful.

Your critical hit rate with Devon Lv11, maybe on the 2nd bow weapon you obtain, is nice. I'm not sure it's down to weapon or just stats, but it was a nice surprise when he'd suddenly critically hit and it was balanced well for that nice surprise type of setup.


For further feedback, I felt more could be done with the accessories. I like it as it is! It's nice and basic, but I think you can have accessories that mix between different things,

I.e. This isn't an example to add in the game, you can do that if you think it fits, but it's an example of mixing up accessories a bit. Let's say you have Warbelt and Adventure Belt.

War Belt could have slightly more ATK than Adventure Belt but Adventure Belt could have higher DEF. They're both useful and sometimes it can be up to the player choices whether they'd like a bit more ATK or DEF, but at the same time you can go beyond that too where War Belt doubles ATK of Adventure Belt but Adventure Belt has a higher critical rate.

Yellow Ribbon can increase the potential of healing skills and items but is much lower on ATK and DEF than War Belt and Adventure Belt.

I'm not saying you have to mix it even this much, you so far have chosen a basic setup for the accessories and you can continue with that basic feel and style, but still at times giving the player a few more choices, not dozen or many, but a couple, gives a sense of freedom with customization per character and it can be nice when done right.

Maybe simply creating a couple more accessories at early points and end of demo points in-game would be enough?

I look forward to the next update.
 
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gvduck10

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@atoms

Added a handful of new skills also to create more options. And several mini-cutscenes to give characters more personality and give players a reason to look around the castle more. They are small but fun conversations to add, so I will definitely continue to do more. One involves the music girl, for instance. Oh, and I added a tiny balcony area for additional cutscenes.

And next update will feature a full 31 characters (as Quinn, Teandra, and Katrina fully join).
 

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UPDATED demo V5.0 (12/24/2019)

+New skills
added to 5 ability runes for more options in battle:
(Torch>now called TriSeal, Kite, Knight, Turtle, and Wizard Runes)
+
3 New characters to fully recruit (grand total: 31/40)
+1 New shop (jeweler); available at end of demo
+1 New vehicle (ship); available at end of demo
+Teleportation mechanic checked and functional
+3 castle mini-cutscenes added for depth and flavor
+House at Archer's Respite unlockable (if Jericho is in party)
+Slight HP increase to all characters (scales with level)
+A few enemy ability changes
+Additional dialogue throughout entire demo
 

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BIG UPDATE!
demo V6.0 (1/2/2020)

+
Total number of collectable characters has been increased to 43
+7 New characters now fully recruitable (grand total: 38/43)
+New Town (Ft. Molth) completed
+New Dungeon started (Dalthwain)
+A dozen "private conversations" that add depth and flavor to the characters
+Some character models have been changed/improved
+Balcony area & book alcove added to the castle base
+Unearned Stars of Destiny now display the correct "????" based on the not-yet-recruited character's name and the name of their Star.
+Additional new items, food, and wares (sellables)

Recruit guide and PC (private convo) guide will be updated/added here
 
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PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS GUIDE
Where to find every unique conversation

*Lorabelle's "gossip" changes depending on who is in your party
*Lucius & Devon in the barracks
*Gijo in the restaurant
*Okage and Dr. Phineas in the infirmary
*Ayana and Delilah on the balcony
*Aria on the balcony
*Hisako in the bed chambers
*Ichika (Genshi's wife) on the balcony & courtyard
*Madea and Jewel in the infirmary
*Speak to Nan with the Old Diary item

Not yet added, but planned: instead of giving vague hints, when you talk to Lorabelle, she will make different remarks depending on who is in your current team. This will add additional biographical info and flavor for each PC.
 
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Hey there, I played your game again but to be honest I didn't notice that much change at all since I last played it. I think this game is just not for me the way it is set up. I loved suikoden but I wouldn't compare this to it other then the idea of recruiting an army and having the name runes instead of skills.

The way the story is written, I think it's too simplistic without any proper build up. I like simplistic to a certain point, but for me having a high level of convienence in it and lot's of logical issues makes it hard to get hooked.

Good luck with your project though! I'm just 1 guy with 1 opinion leaving you some feedback the way I would have liked the game better.

Suiko

In general, you said much has changed but to be honest I feel like I'm writing down the same stuff as last time. If it is how you want your game to be then I guess I'm not someone that likes it. It might be better to search for someone else if you want someone to play it again.

--- Feedback ---

Big stuff
- Bad music transitions. Fade in-out music or at least fade out.
- Having 4th wall breaking books to read in the game itself is weird, why is such a book in the castle... Make a Key Item that sends you to a common event that explains you game info.
- Having to hold SHIFT the whole game feels pffff... Maybe make an option screen to choose to turn it on/off, surely there is a free pluging for that.
- Having a visual que as a village in a wood and not being able to move there or get a indication why you can't enter the forest there feels weird.
- Small critters like butterflies should not obstruct the player, put them above or below the player. A butterfly is holding me off from moving now...
- Guy in the inn; 'Some services don't come cheap' - 'You don't have enough', let him say how much he needs first, now he is peeking into my wallet or something with his x-ray vision?
- People at Bar don't turn around but talk to you, I think that's weird (being sarcastic cause the guy at the bar says something is weird). Alright after playing some more; All people on chairs are glued on them cause they don't turn around if they talk to you.
- I play the Piana, tune changes indiciating I am playing, I leave piano, Tune keeps playing... Ghosts?
- I really think it is stupid to mix modern with medieval tiles - steel hospital beds in a inn in the medieval times.
- I like how I feel while playing the game, guess the game flow is good and easy to understand (Finished the town event).
- Having to go through the same area for more then 1-2 times is just dull, backtracking is one of the highest 'bad feels' players have these days. Especially when nothing is happening there.
- It feels weird that you not instantly ask Ayana what is going on and blindly follow her into the sewer. I don't see anything indicating that I was gonna get assasinated on screen, why would I trust her, no reason to.
- Talk in sewer; I talk to her, she doesn't asnwer my question why she isn't gonna try and kill me, and the player should just accept that and keep walking till the next talk event xD That is a bit funny/lame.
- Way to convienent that there is a hidden passage in the castle leading to the assasins lair.
- And there you go again with that wack logic, why would they ever revoke a assasins contract on the protaganist if you just kill a beast in a forest? It's just plain stupid.
-

Small stuff
- Would be cool to have keyboard input for the name.
- Your 'team' is well-rested (I'm alone so far). Maybe flip a switch when you get your first party member.
- An announcement about the book shelf being filled with books; why does it as a SE sounds of a page being flipped? That is weird having random SE sounds when there is just a statement.
- Why Question Mark a empty statue when it is his own castle, doesn't the prince know that that empty platue is there or? Maybe let him say something then just doing a random question Mark, the player will not understand why there is a question mark there in his own room.

General points of possible improvement
- Having the game in full screen but then having a small window with a LOT of black around it feels stupid.
- The one explaining the destiny tablets room, why not just narrate it to the player as they enter the room as when you don't talk to her it will be questionable what that room is about and why it is in the castle.
- I liked the story till the point I mentioned that I liked it, from that point on it just went downwards, no logic anymore and that's just breaking my fingers to be able to play this game.
 

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@Dutch Power Creations
I'm sorry you just seem rather malcontent. Most Suikoden games (which you claim to have played) have some pretty straightforward and simplistic storylines, only with fancier graphics.

Most scenes do have fade out music, but I will have to recheck the earlier ones when I can.

It doesn't sound like you played any further than the very first demo.

Butterflies FIXED - they will now go above the player.
 
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Hey hey, like stated, I did play all suikoden games and I find their story lines simple but effective to believing the world that it plays in and the story behind it.

The difference between your game's story and suikodens concept is that they have a proper build up to the point that you understand what is going on till the point you start building up your army against the enemy forces. They also set up their world building in a way that it doesn't break any game rules (Like 4th wall breaking, logic issues like around which timeline your game evolves and sticking to that and giving reasons to things that are believable and not writers convienence).

I find your way of typing to imply that your game is like suikoden and as a fan I can't disagree more to that at this point. Like stated in my last message, I think you just took some of the basic concepts of suikoden. Though, I don't like the 'spin offs' they made, just the core games (cq. the popular ones).
 

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Alright, I'll try and give an example and explanation on story logic. As it does tie in with the idea of giving characters more goals and personality like I said before.

Yes when I played, and I have not now played the most recent demo, but with the story I saw it's simplistic style as just part of what you're aiming for with the game, it didn't bug me and for me I actually enjoyed and liked it after a while!, but I'd agree there wasn't much logic behind most, not all but most, plot points and the actions. If you want to improve on that, I don't think actions and plot points always need to change for it to have more logic rather the character motivations need to make sense in the plot, then it probably would look better from @Dutch Power Creations feedback.

I.e. If the assassin is willing to break the contract over a beast then that beast needs to be implied as threatening towards them like it's a terrible disaster for them. Perhaps they didn't want to kill the prince in the first place but reluctantly they felt they had no choice, maybe the queen even put the beast there and it's like a curse to them in some way?

That's just one possibility you can brainstorm and try anything would work have a bit more logic. You can change the plot point entirely though if it's easier.

It just could do with more human motive logic, I mean. There should be a reason the prince knows he can trust the assassin girl, maybe he knows good things she's done for the kingdom in the past? Maybe she just recently helped save his sister life? Some reason to trust her, or by force, she forces him to go to her village and he doesn't feel he has a choice and only hopes he can either escape from her or she's really safe.

I'm not saying you have to do this exactly, you can do anything just adding more logic to it to make sense would help. I like what you have so far as the plot events with what I say, but that personality to characters is partly what I meant and while I wasn't thinking about story logic, that is what I thought would help with story logic too. I.e. Goals and motivation that make sense both in particular scenes and across the story for these characters.

For me the way Suikogarden goes at the moment, it wasn't a problem for me since I just see this game as focusing on gameplay mechanics and moving forward from there, but I can see people who want and expect a good story with story logic being put off. I don't think everyone who plays the game would be, but we are all different so we look at different aspects as something we like.

In truth this probably isn't a game for @Dutch Power Creations like he said at the start, but the feedback point on story logic makes some sense.

I like the story you have already and think it's good but it is missing certain pieces needed for it to be more believable (story logic) and lifely (goals, motivation, personalties for characters). I don't see this as being too difficult it just means the story needs a bit of a change in certain places, how much of the change isn't what matters it's adding these pieces into it someway, either with a small change or large change but that amount is up to you it's those two pieces that are more needed.


Also

- Having to hold SHIFT the whole game feels pffff... Maybe make an option screen to choose to turn it on/off, surely there is a free pluging for that.
Unfouratenly RPG Maker VX Ace does this automatically, and it's a mistake everyone seems to make, including me, even by just forgetting it it can happen. but yes an option to enable dash automatically is always a very good idea with that engine.


and....

- Having to go through the same area for more then 1-2 times is just dull, backtracking is one of the highest 'bad feels' players have these days. Especially when nothing is happening there.
I think this game is suited to do backtracking, and I think you can even do backtracking a lot, but this is what I meant about nothing worth backtracking for in my previous feedback comment, I haven't played the latest demo but if you want people to backtrack there needs to be new content there and rewards for doing it

The reason I like the idea of backtracking in this game is because it's set up to easily access everything on the world map, and it's about recruiting a lot of characters, so it makes some sense to have it, and it can be rewarding and fun I believe if handled well, but you need something there. Like even just new chests appearing or a new character appears for a fight and beating them gives you a better weapon. Stuff like that can work, but it doesn't have to go like that, it can just be recruiting new characters through it, but the point it some new content of some sort has to be there for it to be worthwhile. Maybe the NPC's dialogue changes when revisiting towns? Maybe side-missions or quests can be done to help the NPC's I.e. New problems occur for them, new characters appear, or something? It doesn't have to be an extreme amount of effort, it can be kept and small simple things and just gaining/recruiting new characters, if you prefer it. But there has to be some good reason to backtrack that feels worthwhile to players. That's what I was trying to say in my previous feedback.

I hope this can help you out.
 
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gvduck10

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The reason I like the idea of backtracking in this game is because it's set up to easily access everything on the world map, and it's about recruiting a lot of characters, so it makes some sense to have it, and it can be rewarding and fun I believe if handled well, but you need something there. Like even just new chests appearing or a new character appears for a fight and beating them gives you a better weapon. Stuff like that can work, but it doesn't have to go like that, it can just be recruiting new characters through it, but the point it some new content of some sort has to be there for it to be worthwhile. Maybe the NPC's dialogue changes when revisiting towns? Maybe side-missions or quests can be done to help the NPC's I.e. New problems occur for them, new characters appear, or something? It doesn't have to be an extreme amount of effort, it can be kept and small simple things and just gaining/recruiting new characters, if you prefer it. But there has to be some good reason to backtrack that feels worthwhile to players. That's what I was trying to say in my previous feedback.
That's exactly the idea I am building on already. The first time it's suggested you revisit old places is exactly for the purpose of recruiting characters. I am getting close to the mainstory actually being completed, and then I will definitely look at going back and adding in some sidequests that don't become available until you've visited a place multiple times. Once you get the Blinking Mirror you are able to "hop around" the world (fast travel) so revisiting old places becomes pretty easy.
 

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DEMO UPDATE!
demo V6.1 (1/2/2020)

+
Total number of collectable characters has been increased to 44
+1 New character (grand total: 39/44)
+1 Small dungeon complete (Dalthwain)
+Special item (coupon) added
+Merchant campsite added
+System messages added to warn player about "point of no return" and "demo complete"
+Lorabelle revamp: Once recruited, speak to her in the royal chambers. She will provide you "the scoop" on each cast member currently in your party. This adds some biographical info and flavor to each character.

DEMO Download Link:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/ku9qpzfrppqqunr/Suiko.exe/file
 
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