The Frostfell Companions - Demo

Deshy

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The Frostfell Companions


(logo pending)


 


 


"Don't you understand what's at stake?!"


"Of course she does. She's made her choice."






Link: The Frostfell Companions (Demo) - Chapter 1


Updated 1/22/16

Spoiler





- Added new gear and items in the Markets


- Added new skills and trials in the Barracks


- Added Khas Awesome Lighting script and implemented


- Added Mog's Weather EX script and implemented


- Added Thalzon's battlers. Not sold on all the styles, but they're in there


- Rebuilt the Markets from the ground up


- Reworked mapping across the board


- Nerfed enemy Evasion stats


- Nerfed Plague Rats


- Implemented variables and switches necessary to transition smoothly to Chapter 2


- Updated dialogues


 
Setting
 
Perched atop a wide plateau in the Skarajin Rim sits the great city of Nara'kul, a city born of goodwill and cooperation - a city born of ancient catastrophe.
 
Citizens of great talent and ability are called upon to lend their services when the community is in great need.
 
There is such need now.
 
Four letters have been sent, and four warriors - who may or may not give a damn - are called to service.
 
They expect to perform a simple task, and then be free from service for at least a year.
 
What they find instead becomes much more, and the fate of the Rim may be in their hands.
 
Disclaimers
Fictional religion, mature language, alcohol
 
Background
This game is being made to chronicle the adventures of a D&D campaign I wrote and ran to completion over the course of two years. There's no true "main character" - every playable character is important to the plot and brings with them their own personal reasons for doing what they do or don't do. The story has already been written in its entirety, but I'm looking to add to areas of the story that the original players touched upon, but never explored.
 
Gameplay
 

Spoiler



Battles: The original game was played in D&D version 3.5. The turn-based battle system that comes with RPG Maker VXAce is fairly similar to this system and is used in the demo, though I am working on a script to run battles based on an Initiative system instead. Skills and spells are tuned to be used constantly - there is very, very little need to use Attack to boost your TP, and casters all have ways of getting MP back if they need it. Skills come in a number of varieties, and many offer both damage/debuffs to enemies while buffing the user. Strategize your way to victory!
 
Exploration: The scope of the game is contained wholly within the Skarajin Rim. Because of this, there is no world map. Instead, larger zone maps will be used to travel from location to location. Peppered throughout these maps are treasures, caverns, and NPCs to discover. In the city, you can choose which area to go to in the city when you leave a particular zone. At a certain point in the game, you will get a Sending Stone, which can be attuned to different locations. When used outdoors, it will allow you to teleport directly to the locations of your choice.
 
Markets: There's been a mysterious disruption in the trade routes from the west, and the markets in Nara'kul are suffering! You can help them (and make some gold!) by giving them the raw materials they sorely need. Once a shop has all the raw materials they've asked for, it levels up, and new gear is made available for purchase. While this isn't the only way to upgrade your gear, enemies and maps will give you tons of raw materials, so you may as well cash in! Now, if only the trade route could be reopened...
 
Skills: While you gain levels through killing things, you do not learn new skills this way. A strange trainer has appeared by the Barracks who will teach you new abilities... for a price. Each character has three skill types that they can progress, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Build your characters to be well-rounded, or teach Niyri to rage as hard as she can - the choice is yours!
 
Inns: You are going to make a lot of friends, and that includes innkeepers! In the demo, you will be able to rest and recover free of charge!
 
Demo length: Approx. 5 hours

 
Characters

Spoiler



Niyri:

You ever met a female dwarf? No? Well, now you have! She used to be a soldier in the Militia, but she left after an intense disagreement with her superiors. She's been angry ever since. She's skilled with both axes and sculpting hammers, and is just as likely to kill you with either.
Skill sets: Rage, Discipline, Shielding


Original D&D classes: Fighter, Barbarian, Weapons Master, Frenzied Berserker
 
Faenor:

One of the few Snow Elves living in the city, Faenor gets by as a hunter, tanner, and ranger. He owns the Leatherworks shop in Market Square, but he lets a couple of the local kids run it. Sales are better that way - people don't really like the Snow Elves very much, not after the war. He keeps a winter wolf named Kiba as a companion, though he often gets himself into more trouble than Faenor cares to deal with!
Skill sets: Swordsman, Bowman, Companion


Original D&D classes: Ranger, Deepwood Sniper
 
Eira:

The Rimefire Witch of Nara'kul, a celebrity in her own right. She is a chosen of the shattered goddess Hleid, who was split into myriad pieces after her evil half-brother, Iborighu, struck her down in battle aeons ago. Most of Eira's Techniques restore MP, and her spells all generate TP - so go crazy with the casting!
Skill sets: Rimefire, Nature, Attunement


Original D&D classes: Druid, Rimefire Witch
 
Fallion:

An errand boy at the Lady Silver Inn, owned by the lady Elmindreda. How did this little tyke get picked for service?! There has to be a good reason... and to hear him put it - if you see him coming, it's already to late! He is good friends with Alistair, who also works at the inn, and with whom strange secrets are kept...
Skill sets: Shift, Sneak, Unleash


Original D&D classes: Beguiler, Binder -- performs more like a Rogue with Beguiler flavors for this project
 
There are more characters to meet and ally with, but the demo has just these four... and maybe one more...

 
Screenshots

Spoiler



Gathering.pngMarkets.pngThe Lady Silver.pngNiyri's Caution.pngBlaelock.png

 
Notes
This is the last version of the Chapter 1 Demo that'll be posted. Chapter 2 is ~50% done, and once it's complete I'll start posting this in Project Development.
 
Credits


 


Mack - Autumn and dungeon tilesets


Aindra - Moose sprites


reedflower101 - Kiba sprites and facepic


Thalzon - Battlers


Hime Works - Permanent States script


Mog - Weather EX script


Khas - Awesome Light Effects


 


THANK YOU!




 


 


I'm excited to share this, and I'm looking forward to your tips, critique, etc!


And, some Chapter 2 teasers...

Spoiler





Poor NPC.pngOne Shot.pngDead of Night.png
 
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IAmJakeSauvage

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It looks like you've really thought about your story - which is great! Some suggestions when it comes to the mapping though...

  • The pink trees really stick out in the forest maps.
  • The dark cliffs look almost like they're floating due to the difference in color. I'd use a different cliff tile to transition to those if you really want them as part of the map. 
  • Try adding some greenery/overgrowth to the paths/cliffs. It all looks very clean/methodical right now. 
I'm excited to see more!
 

Deshy

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Thanks for the tips! I've been reading up on better mapping methods, so your advice is timely and helpful. The entire cliffs region needs a rework - I hate the way it looks, but until today I didn't know how to fix it. Expect better maps in Chapter 2 ^_^
 

IAmJakeSauvage

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Thanks for the tips! I've been reading up on better mapping methods, so your advice is timely and helpful. The entire cliffs region needs a rework - I hate the way it looks, but until today I didn't know how to fix it. Expect better maps in Chapter 2 ^_^
Look at the Game and Maps Screenshot Thread (in General Discussion) - I'm a visual learner so seeing the way some people do their maps really helps me. Especially with elevation and the like. 
 

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Uploaded an improved Demo, based on suggestions from IamJakeSauvage and others outside the forums. Check it out!
 

IAmJakeSauvage

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I like the way you introduce your characters! I think your area of focus right now is just mapping - the maps are very, very organized - and people grow tired of traversing a grid-like map...add some chaos/clutter to some of the maps! I don't mind the exteriors of your buildings being so large - but try to give them some flair.

Also, why did you choose the glowing particles weather effect when most of the NPCs talk about it being autumn? And if it's autumn...why are there pink trees everywhere?
 

Deshy

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Thanks for looking at this again! A quick response (I'll be back to do a longer one):

- I'm glad you like the character intros! I hope the rest of their story is just as fun!

- Mapping (and graphics in general) is easily my weak spot. I've looked at stuff in the Maps and Environments thread, and most of what is posted there seems to show blown-up views of what I'm trying to do slightly smaller. I could see the first forest, for instance, being an even larger zone by expanding certain parts of the overall map into their own areas. My worry is that the first forest will seem very long for a starter zone, so I'm thinking of how to reconcile that.

- I definitely need new tilesets so I can add flair to the buildings.

- When you say maps need chaos/clutter, were there particular areas you were really wanting it in?

- Pink trees in autumn: http://www.treepatch.com/trees/treeinventory.htm

- I'm not sure what the weather's like in Calgary, but where I grew up we had small snow showers in autumn. Usually, it didn't amount to much - like the snow in the first day of this game, it didn't stick. When winter arrives in the game, it will be brutal and obvious.
 

IAmJakeSauvage

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Thanks for looking at this again! A quick response (I'll be back to do a longer one):

- I'm glad you like the character intros! I hope the rest of their story is just as fun!

- Mapping (and graphics in general) is easily my weak spot. I've looked at stuff in the Maps and Environments thread, and most of what is posted there seems to show blown-up views of what I'm trying to do slightly smaller. I could see the first forest, for instance, being an even larger zone by expanding certain parts of the overall map into their own areas. My worry is that the first forest will seem very long for a starter zone, so I'm thinking of how to reconcile that.

- I definitely need new tilesets so I can add flair to the buildings.

- When you say maps need chaos/clutter, were there particular areas you were really wanting it in?

- Pink trees in autumn: http://www.treepatch.com/trees/treeinventory.htm

- I'm not sure what the weather's like in Calgary, but where I grew up we had small snow showers in autumn. Usually, it didn't amount to much - like the snow in the first day of this game, it didn't stick. When winter arrives in the game, it will be brutal and obvious.
My only problem with the pink trees is that they're not a deep pink like those ones - they look more like sakura trees. The color palette clashes with the idea of autumn is all. When it comes to your exterior maps (town) - it's OK for it to be organized but there should be some wear on the ground where people walk, maybe some broken stones etc. (There are so many alternative tiles included in the RTP)...those kinds of things help to break up the grid-like look.

And Calgary's weather is actually crazy (I got here for business in June) and we can get snow in the summer and have summer-like weather in the winter. I'd recommend ditching the snow and looking at one of the weather scripts for VX - they have options like falling leaves etc. which would fit better. Also, I'm typing from my phone so I can't find the link - but google Luchino's tutorials...they have some awesome recommendations for tint/effect for different types of maps.
 

Deshy

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I think the town maps you're thinking of most are the Market Square and Lekthul (which even I can see needs to be rebuilt from the ground up). Lekthul can definitely be run-down, but I want the Important Sites in Nara'kul to look well-kept. I'm considering changing the layout of the market to look more dynamic while also making it take less time to visit each of the vendors. The Carpenter and Armorer do *not* need to be a million miles away from entrance.

I really like the tinting idea - it may even fix the pinks on the trees for you. I really like having those different-shaped trees where they are, though. It breaks up the large map and shows where some deliberate planting has been done - shows where human(oid) intervention has played a part in the growth of that forest, which fits the lore of the area.

That being said, graphics are not my #1 priority - pumping out the story is. A make-over can happen at any point in development, but I want the core of the game to be in place before I agonize over aesthetics.

EDIT 1.18.16: Okay, since the only feedback I've gotten is about the visuals, I'm putting more attention there. Feedback on story, characters, balance, etc. is more than welcome, though!
 
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Deshy

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The final Demo of Chapter 1 is posted! Please see the first post. Chapter 2 is about 50% complete! Once I've gotten feedback on Chapter 1 and completed Chapter 2 (and possibly the Prologue/Opening), I'll post the project in the Project Development forum. I'm really excited about some of the cutscenes in Chapter 2!!
 

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