RMMV Switches and Blades (Now Released!)

Autofire

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Switches and Blades

SYNOPSIS
  • Switches and Blades is a tactical, character-driven RPG. Opting for quality over quantity, the game will only feature two playable characters, each with diverse skill-sets. The core mechanic of the game is weapon switching, which replaces the Guard command found in RMMV's default command list. The skills and playstyles of each character is determined by the weapon they are currently wielding.
  • Outside of battle, Switches and Blades will focus primarily on character development. (As a developer, this is really something I want to become good at.)
  • In its current form, this game will be fairly short, but it will also be free! (See the Background section for an explanation.)

DESIGN GOALS
  • Create an interesting game using "mostly standard" RMMV.
    • This means no massive overhaul plugins, like Yanfly's Active Battle System or Quixios's QMovement.
    • However, I am making heavy usage of Yanfly plugins. They're awesome!
  • Experiment with character development and player choice.
  • Avoid stat bloat to help keep small power increases feeling relevant.
  • Time permitting, make it visually pleasing.
  • Time permitting, practice hyping up a project. (Hopefully it's working! ...right? Is it?)

BACKGROUND AND PLANS
  • Thanks for taking the time to read through this stuff! This is my first time posting a project like this here. In fact, it's my first project of this kind! In my spare time, I typically work with Unity as a programmer. However, last month, I had a medical issue and couldn't use one of my hands to type. After being somewhat unproductive for a while, I decided to fiddle around with RMMV. Being inspired by Pokemon's switching system, I decided to try making a weapon-switching mechanic. It ended up being pretty cool, so I decided to continue working with it.
  • Since my hand has fully recovered, I'm looking to wrap up this project. However, I'll still try to do it justice. I'll continue working on it until the end of this month (July 31, 2018). I really don't want to have it go on longer than that. My goal is to create the equivalent of about one dungeon, including cut-scenes, hidden items, etc.
  • Regardless of what happens, this current iteration of the project will be totally free! If I decide to pick up this project later on, I'll consider charging for that version. (Which will obviously be much longer and more complete.)
  • Currently, level ups don't do much beyond increasing Max HP and Max MP. If I return to this project, I would focus primarily on equipment-based progression. This means things like equipment level-ups, and the like. This would allow me to more tightly control the player's power level while giving a lot of choices. Right now, though, the game is too short for such a complex system to be viable.
  • I don't consider this a prototype. The basic mechanics are fun, and I'm no longer just fiddling around with Eric and... the other basic actor. This is still an experimental project, but I'm no longer just tinkering with basic ideas. Rather, I'm trying to show that those basic ideas can work on a slightly larger scale.

SCREENSHOTS
Everything here is pretty old. For my next update, I'll be replacing these.

Preview1.png Preview2.png Preview3.png

CREDITS
This list is in no particular order. Keep in mind that I'm the only one who actually worked on this game. They cannot be blamed for bugs, typos, etc. Most of them have made nice resources that they've graciously allowed others to use. After all, my forte is code, not art!

KNOWN BUGS & WISHLIST
  • The final boss's Lock On ability lacks animations, and the state lacks any visual effect.
  • I want to recolor many of the icons so that they make more sense for how they're being used.
  • In some situations, battle animations draw under their targets instead of above them. I'm not sure what's causing this...
  • As of now, I'm the only human being who's looked at 90% of the text in this game. There are going to be a lot of typos.
  • More secret weapons. These things are fun to make.


NEXT UPDATE: PROBABLY NEVER (REASON HERE)
  • According to the rules, I can't do a self-bumping update until 72 hours have passed since the last one. I'll reply to questions and things, but I'll space major updates 3 days apart just to help keep consistency while giving me space to develop things.
  • At this point, I'll be primarily answering questions and/or talking about updates.

LAST UPDATED AUGUST 4TH
DOWNLOAD: Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, Older Versions

Itch.io page here
 
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Autofire

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Time for the first bio! Yay! I'll be keeping the backstory short because I don't want to give too much of that away. I promise there will be opportunities to learn more in the game itself.


Reena
ReenaBattler.gif

Backstory
Though a novice mercenary, she is a talented sword fighter. When things get rough, she may appear impulsive, but she spends each moment planning ahead. She can be impatient with people who don't see things her way.

For her latest contract, she must steal some ancient technology and take it to her contractor. The contractor promises excellent pay, despite the simplicity of the mission. Though Reena had her suspicions, but she couldn't afford to turn down the job.

Swordplay
As previously mentioned, Reena favors the sword. While wielding any sword, Reena's basic attack is determined by her combo counter. At the start of the battle, her basic attack is Slice. Though this attack is rather lackluster, it gets her a Combo Point. With one Combo Point, Reena's basic attack becomes Dice. which is a more effective strike that also gives another Combo Point.
ComboDiagram.png
Once she has two Combo Points, she gets access to her Break skills. Her basic attack is replaced with Break Armor, which deals heavy damage and gives the target a Defense debuff. This debuff can be stacked by hitting the same target with Break Armor many times. Alternatively, she may choose to use Break Ranks, a move that hits all enemies. Either of these moves (and any future Break moves) make Reena lose all of her Combo Points, and she goes back to having Slice.

Sometimes, there's no time to rack up Combo Points. That's where Dance of Blades comes in! Costing 2 MP, this skill causes her to instantly gain a Combo Point, and then she may take another action afterward. This is perfect for rushing out the more powerful Break moves. (Note that Break moves cost no MP on their own.)
I noticed that the Combo Point indicator is a little hard to read. I'll make sure to fix this.

Gunslinging
But not all of life's problems can be solved by swinging sharpened metal around. That is to say, a sword can't always cut it. That's where the gun comes in!

Unlike the sword's combo cycle, the gun uses a simpler ammo system. While wielding a loaded gun, Reena's default attack becomes Shoot, a slightly above-average attack. The current gun can have 3 bullets inside its chamber. After all 3 shots have been fired, Shoot becomes Reload. True to its name, this move replaces the missing bullets. She can also use Double Tap, which fires two shots in one turn at the cost of some MP.

Though the sword is a much better offensive option, the gun has its uses! Whenever using any of the gun's abilities, Reena gains the Dodge state, which makes her much harder to hit. However, this benefit only applies to attacks that come after Reena makes a move. To make sure she gets to go first, Reena can use Crippling Shot to reduce an enemy's Agility.

Guns in this game use a slightly odd damage formula: they use the user's Magic Attack, but the target's Physical Defense. Furthermore, they can hit evasive targets without much difficulty. Occasionally, you may need to take advantage of the gun to pick off slippery enemies, but this will be rare occurrence. Most of the time, you'll be able to choose which one you feel is best for the situation.

Conclusion
A good offense may be a good defense, but there are times when you can't afford to take any more damage. Which one will you choose? Will you spam Dance of Blades until dawn? Or conserve your MP for some Crippling Shots? I hope you'll enjoy experimenting with these different options.
 

Autofire

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Nit-1N
Nit-1N.gif
Backstory
In the (game) world, machines are a relatively foreign concept. There are a handful of researchers who work night and day to unravel the cryptic technologies left behind by the Ancients. Other researchers are trying to learn who exactly the Ancients were, and what disaster ended their high-tech era.

When Nit-1N, a fully functional android, was discovered, the researchers were ecstatic. However, Nit-1N's memory banks have faded after going unused for centuries. All he knows is the irrepressible desire for peace and knowledge...

Pacifism

Nit-1N is exclusively a healer. Even his default "attack," Pacify, heals instead of damages! It's a very weak heal that heals all battlers at once. Against enemies, it has a slight chance of inflicting the Pacified state, which can cause the enemy to flee the battle. This will deny you experience and loot, but it could be helpful in a bind. Also, a Pacified enemy won't attack, and they lose the state if they take damage.

But Pacify is no good when your HP falls to single digits. When you need some extra help, Soothing Beam and Curing Beam can restore HP and cure statuses, respectively. These skills do cost MP, but they're far more powerful than Pacify, and will not heal enemies.

Finally, Nit-1N can also Reboot. This puts him out of the battle for a couple of turns while restoring a small amount of HP. Again, this skill doesn't cost any MP. It lets you waste turns without healing the opponents. But use it with care; you might be unable to use his skills when you need them most!
It took me a while to settle on Nit-1N's default attack. He originally had a skill called Panic, which hit any random character for a variable amount of damage. This was too RNG-heavy.

Nit-1N's pacifism came from the Pacify skill. He was originally going to be more of a goofy character that served as comic relief. While this is still occasionally the case, the more serious tone lets me tell a more interesting story, IMO.

I originally had Reboot restore MP as well. This... wasn't good. It encouraged grinding up MP. And then this MP could be converted into HP. With enough grinding, you could infinitely heal the party and have enough MP available for future encounters. This made healing items and areas almost pointless while roaming around an area. It rewarded dragging out random encounters far worse than Pacify ever can.

Conclusion
Nit-1N does have an alternate weapon. However, I will get into that next update; it's unique enough that it deserves its own post.

Overall, Nit-1N can be a little annoying to adventure with. He can cause you to take a little longer to get a kill. However, he is best against many enemies, as he has a higher chance of taking an enemies out of the fight.

And, well, a healer is always useful.
 

Jayje

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interesting concept. I'm curious how this all turns out.
 
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Autofire

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Alright, so, due to IRL things, I haven't been able to work on this as much as I had hoped. Thus, I'm going to be pushing back the release date to give me time to fill stuff out.

But, in the mean time, I've prepared a demo! Some of the more bleeding-edge stuff is guarded by a fierce doggy that asks for a password, but I'd love some feedback on the other stuff in the game! If you don't want any spoilers... uh... avoid the spoiler section. As long as you avoid password-protected areas, your save file should be mostly compatible with future versions.
Keep in mind that the area itself is mostly done, but encounters aren't set up and the main cutscene in the area is only half-baked. You should be able to get a good idea of what will be going on. If you decide to save, please do not overwrite your normal save file.

The current password is "PencilEraser"

I was actually going to release this as the July 29th update, but... I have a shortage of testers. I couldn't get anyone to play the game on that day. Nor have I been able to get anyone to play the game sooner. TBH I actually much prefer testing throughout the dev process, but I got so wrapped up in the development that I forgot... :kaosigh:

Oh, right, demo links! Here you go!
http://www.mediafire.com/file/22xyfqla4byjian/SwitchesAndBlades_Win04.zip/file
http://www.mediafire.com/file/29a8x2crf8a0ggw/SwitchesAndBlades_Mac04.zip/file

Also, can I just say... WRITING DIALOG WITH LOTS OF OPTIONS IS HARDER THAN I THOUGHT! BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.........

iteresting concept. I'm curious how this all turns out.
Thanks! It's encouraging to know that someone cares. :kaohi:
 
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Jayje

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Are you getting any help with testing at all. It's difficulty sometimes with projects like ours.
 

Autofire

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Not at the moment, no. I know a few people who have shown interest in giving the game a whirl, but they have been busy and whatnot. I might end up rattling a few cages. After all, a making a game without testing is kinda like driving with a blindfold...

EDIT: Alright, I finally got someone else to play it, and there's a pretty severe bug at the start of the game... one of the cutscenes gets stuck. It's really weird because I've tested that a bunch of times and never had it happen, but now it happens reliably... :LZYangry:
 
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Jayje

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That's how it usually goes...?#relatable
 

Autofire

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I got the new version out. It should fix that issue. I found other issues, but they'll be fixed in the next release.
 

Autofire

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Sighs. I was just in the middle of typing this up, and then my Macbook had a weird hiccup and I lost the entire post.

Hopefully, the moderators will cut me a little slack here. This is more like 48 hours since my last post, but this is a pretty significant update. With version 9, I now consider the game pretty much done! Since the last update, I've done several things:
  • Made the game more fair by having enemies give you berries that restore HP and MP.
  • Removed Rogue Claw's MP cost. It's not powerful enough to warrant an MP cost, and you already need to spend HP to access it.
  • Fixed a (rare) crash caused by Rogue Virus.
  • Phase Shift now has a special animation. Spooky!
  • Completed the last encounter, and added credits afterward.
  • Created special animations for the Steadfast Seeker.
  • Fixed a bug that caused Reena's gun skills to sometimes not provide the Dodge buff.
  • Removed password puppies.
  • Added credits. Three cheers for awesome people!
  • Added better rewards for finding secrets.
  • Many other things. I forget some of them; others are better left for you to discover!
But this isn't the end of the development! Though I'm not planning on adding more areas, I will be fixing issues that are brought to my attention. Anything from game play issues, to typos, to things that just annoy you. I would love to know what you have to say about the characters as well. I tried to make the actors have personalities that jive with their play styles.

Could a moderator move this into the "Completed Games" section?

In the mean time, I'll be adding the credits to the OP, and I'll also be listing the known bugs and things I want to add for the next update.
 

Jayje

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congrats on finishing this!!! w00tw00t
 

bgillisp

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@Autofire : To have it moved, report the post and ask us to move it, else we might not see it. Of course, now that I'm here I'll move it for you.

Moved to Completed Games

 

XdnaX

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The story and gameplay seems awesome thank you very much:)
Btw, how much hours of gameplay is there? I red the OP and saw you say it's not a big project but still it would be good to know how many hours can we enjoy in it :)
 

Autofire

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The story and gameplay seems awesome thank you very much:)
Thanks and you're welcome!

Btw, how much hours of gameplay is there?
I'm not totally sure, though my estimate is probably around 1 to 2 hours. I can beat the game in 30 minutes, but it took my brother that long just playing around in the first area, finding goodies. (Because, yes, there are secrets.) It also depends on how much you skip the text. For my most recent play through, I wasn't reading everything so that reduced the time it took to get to the end.

But then there is also a little bit of replay value. Some of the dialog changes depending on your actions, and there are different equipment strategies to tinker around with. If you want to see every line of text, you'll need to play the game twice; possibly more if you're just using trial and error.

Future versions will probably boost the replay value as well. I have some ideas for secret weapons.
 

Kes

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@onekksu Please do not spam yet another thread with one liners.
 

onekksu

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@onekksu Please do not spam yet another thread with one liners.
It's not a spam. I really like it… But yea. Next time i'll write more. Sorry for the inconveniences.
 

Autofire

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Welp, super late response... glad you like it, @onekksu! But yeah, my advice is just try to be a little more specific next time you complement someone's stuff. That way, it feels a little less... er... spammy.

Unfortunately, several months ago, my laptop with the latest project files had some issues. I thought the hard drive had gone bad, and in the process of trying to fix the laptop, I wiped the drive. This drive was the only one with the latest project files. I made a backup, but it was about a month old. In retrospect, I should have made another backup as soon as I published the final version of the game.

In other words, I don't think I'll be updating this game any time soon. That would require recreating the second half of the game. At that point, I might as well... idk, make a sequel? Do something new? idk...

On the bright side, I've published the game to Itch.io! If I still had the project files, I would have published the browser version of the game, but alas...

Fortunately, I have all of my the scripts backed up to GitHub, so I still have all that handy for future projects.
 

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