RMMV The Guardian Angel of the Rural Village (No Travel Game Jam)

Aerosys

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This is my submission to the No Travel Game Jam! I decided to put it into "Games in Development" as it is playable, but I still have so many ideas to extend it. This game is inspired by the JRPG Nights of Azure and all the other JRPGs that I spend full price just to play with ridicously sexy and cute Anime Girls fighting through Monsters with their leight-weight armor. *cough*

Synopsis
You play the female Monsterhunter called Lisa, who secretly clears her village from monsters. She is a Beast Tamer who can summon Pets that assist her in fights. Some maps are randomly generated.

Features
- Lisa can summon Pets, every Pet has special skills
- Pets can be ordered to leave the Battle. When they re-enter, they are fully recovered. However, to leave and to re-enter costs you 2 turns
- Lisa can transform into Fire Form for stronger attacks. Ice and Thunder Form are planned for the future
- Some areas are randomly generated

Ideas and Plans for the Future
- The gameplay on the Maps must become more interesting
- In Battle Weapon Swap: Greatsword with strong, but slow (AoE) attacks, Crossbow with trickser-skills, eg. Stun-shot, Sleeping arrow...
- Making this game less linear
- Making loot chests more interesting, pets should not join the party automatically
- Taming system

Screenshots



Unfortunatly so many ideas that I planned didn't make it into this version of my game. Also, I moved some skills, that I prepared but didn't had the time to integrate them for the party, to the enemies. Eg I wanted to add accelerate / decelerate as Thunderform skill, now the enemies use them.
In the end chances are high that I will continue on this project when feedback is positive.

This game is in a very early state. Please don't expect well balanced battles. I just didnt had the time.


play it online here: http://play.v-aero.me/guardian-angel/
 
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GoodSelf

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Not a big fan of the "super cute anime girl fights monsters" trope, but it's apparent from your screenshots that a lot of effort went in to making this game. I'm looking forward to trying it soon!
 

atoms

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@V_Aero Hello I played through your game, and keeping in mind it was for the game jam it's quite good! A lot of your maps look good, I understand you had to rush some things so it probably makes sense when I say the castle mapping could do with some work. I read your developer note at the end that you plan to expand upon the game, so I thought to mention that would be a good idea.

It's up to you in what direction you take the game next but I think if you mapped out a sort of creepy castle for the end area that would work well. You could have different rooms and unexpected pathways than the player can explore them and perhaps find some rewards for doing so I.e. Items, Equipment etc. Perhaps some NPCs are trapped or live there? Maybe in each of the three areas and other areas, you may want to add shops at some points, so collecting some money and gaining some equipment can be worthwhile and rewarding. (I know you didn't have time for these things yet, make sense). And NPCs in each of the areas can still fit well in here I think. Maybe a safe area where the crystals are?

I can see expanding the castle could work well here.

Maybe a few optional bosses in each area? Again with rewards?

I did like the summon system and transform system you created. I would add more summons and choices along the way, but not too many more at the same time.

My thoughts on how to improve the battles would be to add in a plugin that lets you speed up the battles if possible. With the animations and everything playing and having to summon and transform in battles, it takes a looot of time of just staring at the screen. Which is a good thing and nice at first, but the option to speed them up would be a good idea, as it can otherwise get a bit boring waiting for quite a while of time during each battle.

And I don't want to encourage removing the fancy animations and such, I like all that, so instead I encourage you to find a way to give the player the option to really speed them up and see if that does the trick first. But as long as you solve the waiting problem one way or another that should be fine.

The story elements are interesting, I like it and I do like your concept. I think for the game jam you did well but I share these points only to try and aid / help on how to improve it further.

I think as well as Ice Form and Thunder Form, maybe you can add something unique to the forms? Like metal form for instance, and then what will that do?

Or if you want to stick to just Fire, Ice and Thunder then expand and add something a bit fresh or unique in the skillsets they give? Maybe Ice Form has a skill that lowers MP Costs (if that becomes of use) or maybe a skill that always acts first and has a 50% of freezing the target.

Maybe Thunder Form expands HP but lowers MP. Maybe Fire Form gives a super helpful Mdef debuff that requires TP to use.

I just mean add something a bit unexpected, don't go overboard with that but some surprises are nice. And I think your main skillset for your main character so far works well because it has some surprises in it.

I think it's a nice idea to have the option to recover 40% MP without consuming any MP or TP, but maybe introduce Cooldowns or some other mechanic like that, to prevent them being overpowered. Or keep it but don't let it be used outside of combat since then it becomes OP lol.

Weapon Swaps sounds good! I think that can be a huge fun factor if you include it. It looks like you've got a plan there with weapons already, and it can add nice surprises to master which weapon is best to use in different battles.

That brings me to the next point, I'd mix up the enemies a bit further. They felt a bit plain here? Maybe they can be a bit more unique and have different advantages and disadvantages. You don't need to think about it too much, but a little. It just that it can add another huge level of flavour and fun to the battles, and it doesn't have to be a super tight balance but of course, general balancing should be done on everything you do. The balance was very good in this game jam version, but because of how slow the battles were they felt they dragged on. I don't recommend lowing the enemies HP or decreasing the hits needed, but as I said above, find another way to speed them up a little more.

As an example on what you can do with enemy troops, maybe one type of enemy is very easy to kill and another enemy in that troop is sometimes average to kill and sometimes harder to kill, since it could sometimes it raises its defence perhaps? A third enemy has low HP too but despite that is different from the first enemy as it has much higher defence stats, so it's average on the hits it takes to kill.

Adding and changing stats between enemies is what I'm trying to aim for showing here. Of course, skillsets would come into it too and status effects.

Maybe that enemy that is very easy to kill is just that, but another one from a different enemy troop that appears later is as easy to kill but this time this one has a huge powerful single healing skill so unlike last time where you still choose which to KO first, this time you want to definitely kill it first. But don't tighten them too much either, if that makes sense.

You don't have to take any of these examples, you do with what works for you with what you got planned, but try and add some more uniqueness and surprise to the combat and I think the concept will work very well.

As it is for this game jam, I did enjoy the game a lot!

I think linear paths worked here, adding multiple paths that are otherwise linear I think would work better as an improvement to this, but if you want to create true multiple paths that would require more work but can work here if you want to add replayability like that.

I also think it was nice the wolf pet did join the battle automatically because of it's attachment to the main character, I encourage that one to continue to join but perhaps be a bit more special. Maybe expand it's TP and MP list overtime or give it transform forms as well. Or not, if you really want it to be more like a normal summon like the rest you can do that.

These are all just my thoughts with some feedback. Hope it can help you out.
 

Aerosys

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@atoms biiiiig thank you for your nice and long review! I had such a big smile on my face when I read it! :)

So, some days ago when I started with this game, I had a slightly bigger vision. I wanted a battle system in which the player can choose from different weapon sets, pets and transformation forms and actually I designed lot of them in the database. But such a battle system needs very good balancing and time to teach all the abilities to the player.

For the mapping
I picked my Random Map generator because I thought it can be cool to encourage players to re-visit old areas and they have a slightly different experience each time. But you already pointed out the down-sides. There are no real secret passages, and once the player finds this out, he will just rush through the labyrinth. I think I will stick more with natural maps and maybe use the Random Maps as bonus stages, maybe an "Infinite Tower".

NPCs and Progression
I think you already understood what I'm going to write here, but I write it anyway. In this version I cut all sort of progression besides the pets that join you, as this game has a playthrough time of ~60 minutes. But with the game becoming larger, I will add more progressions, that can be leveling, shops, customizations of weapons, attachable augments... maybe the pets also get EXP and level up.

Battle
Okay, I noted it with the long animations. Especially when you have 4 actors and 3 enemies and each one has cast and fire animation it takes too long. Then I noticed, that you get the Imp and Fire Transform, as only magical damage dealers, not before stage 3. That means, in stage 1 and 2 you only have access to physical attacks. Also, the party doesn't have good Crowd Control, so I haven't found good ways to make battles more interesing. As soon as I design more veraious pets, I can design more divers enemies and enemy troups. Thanks for your tips about this topic!

Transforms
I think of
- Fire Form: Strong attacks, but nothing more. Maybe useful for all the small encounters on the Maps
- Ice Form: with a little bit of water, heal and support, Glass Shield, maybe freeze as attack to slow down enemies
- Thunder Form: Accelerate and Decelerate
- Celestial Form: Ability to drain HP and spend it to allies simultaneously
- Demon Form: Same as Celestial but only with MP

but these are just ideas ^^

And last but not least:
I'm happy that you mention the relationship between Kaito and Lisa. I was a little bit afraid that this didn't come out to the player. I thought it would be nice when Lisa has her pet that she really loves, this is why he has an individual name and both show a heart balloon at the beginning :)

I really appreciate your long review and I'm happy that you played it to the end :)
 

atoms

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@V_Aero No problem, if it helps you then I'm glad!

Further feedback I thought of now. With the mapping events, I liked how there were hidden chests around perhaps in the updated version some of the chests could contain different reward scales, maybe they mostly do contain simple items but some could be easier to get than others, and others could be harder, and depending on that it can depend on how valuable the reward they get is. Some powerful equipment or a piece of equipment that you can also buy but find in a chest can be rewarding sometimes. Yet, if you do decide to do this, sometimes I would make the easier chests and average chests contain a higher reward, but not too often.

Again that's all up to you, but I'm writing the above as more to try and give you ideas then tell you "do this exactly", I hope that makes sense the right way.

One of the advantages of the Random Maps in the game jam version of your game is that the house areas buildings looked interesting, I admit it looked more like a labyrinth maze, but searching every corner and area for chests you could open and gain items from was fun. (They weren't as useful for rewards because of the freeway to increase MP and HP, and separately if that was all chests contained while that could work as still work as being high rewards, if I ended up with a lot more HP recover and MP recover items than I needed the rewards would start to feel a little stale at times.)

NPCs and Progression
Understandable!

Battle - General
Agreed, but at the same time, you can start it slow. I think it was great you started things slowly here because of 1. Slow meant I was able to get the hang of how everything worked at a good pace. 2. It's kind of fun to be introduced to something new and useful between certain areas. 3. If everything comes at the player at once, that may get a bit confusing. I'm not sure it would cause confusion to the player in this case but usually, it'd good to be careful how much you introduce at a time.

"Infinite Tower" / or a similar idea, sounds useful and nice as your bonus dungeon.

Battle
I think just changing the pace on how long it takes between animations in battle would make it run a lot smoother and a lot better, that alone will fix / improve it a lot!

I think you answered your own question "As soon as I design more veraious pets, I can design more divers enemies and enemy troups. Thanks for your tips about this topic!"

That sounds exactly right and what to do. Your battles were already interesting though, I'm just saying ways I hope can help make them better, and I think your plan with creating more summons / pets and then looking at enemies and troops is the right way to go about it. That sounds good!

Transforms
That all works already as ideas, I'd say brainstorm (what I actually mean by "brainstorm" is just keep coming up with ideas how you do it) and go from there. From what you are saying you look like you are doing things right, or I think that from your ideas here so far, I think that sounds good, keep going! : )

Last things - Kaito and Lisa
Kaito and Lisa relationship is really neat, I like there bound a lot and that sounds something to focus on with story, if you want Kaito to remain as Lisa's main pet. I think that's a good direction to go and also why I advice continuing the story that way and possibly keeping Kaito as a summon / pet but secondary main character as well in gameplay meaning his skills might expand or develop alongside Lisa as well. But if you have a different direction for gameplay I'd say try it, or it's up to you since you may have a good idea on how you want to handle that. Definitely though, my advice is to keep Kaito and Lisa bond strong in the story elements of the game.


Last things - Final piece of advice / Something probably important

As my final piece of advice, I'd say to see each thing you plan to do and add as different pieces of this game's puzzle and in the "brainstorm" you can go everywhere you want with it so long it's organized to you, but, when you take those pieces and add them in the game, try to take that one step at a time so it doesn't overwhelm you or confuse you, you have a lot going on in the game. I recommend to still start small and expand that to the extent you want the game to turn into.

I think you got the right concepts so you'll do well. Looking back at your maps a second time I realise you do have a good structure to them so I think you can come up with structures for each area and then add objects and detail into them to make them look good. I think it'll all work out well.

Hope the tips are useful, any that help you can keep a note on them if that also helps.

Good luck! I'm happy to play the game again in future and give feedback.
 

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Hi @V_Aero ,

I am new to the community but I have years of experience playing RPG games, so I hope my review is ok and helps better your game:

Intro

I didn't like the melody playing in the intro, but if you like it, that is important.
Liked the instructions, but not many guidance in form of quest or help tips that tell you like, "You need to kill all the monsters to advance to the next stage.." or something like that.
I wish you show a message here, that the player cannot enter or something, as it looks a little strange to me, and if you can when I follow the path to the bottom left it does not take me anywhere, so maybe you can edit the map so that the path does not lead there?

dreview3.PNG

also found a little grammatical error here, but it is easily fixable:

dreview2.PNG
Battle:

The overlay in the battles (not sure if that's what it is called) is a bit to dark, and the battle is not that visible to me.. I liked the skills, so great job there, but I tough that the battle menu seems like it is missing something and felt empty..

Overall:

Great job and a great game..and looking forward to see more games from you in the future :)

All the best and keep safe!
 

Aerosys

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Hey @Gokasy , thanks for playing my Game!

I didn't like the melody playing in the intro, but if you like it, that is important.
Actually it's one of my favorites from the XP RTP music, and I only used XP and MV RTP music in this game.
Liked the instructions, but not many guidance in form of quest or help tips that tell you like, "You need to kill all the monsters to advance to the next stage.." or something like that.
Okay, I will add some message like "I need to defeat all the monsters to save my village" or similar. In the future I will change this mechanic. For the game jam version I just didn't want the player to skip all of them.

also found a little grammatical error here, but it is easily fixable:
Thanks for telling me; I'm a native german speaker ^^
The overlay in the battles (not sure if that's what it is called) is a bit to dark, and the battle is not that visible to me.. I liked the skills, so great job there, but I tough that the battle menu seems like it is missing something and felt empty..
I used Olivia's Plugin here and didn't spend much time on setting Plugin Parameters. Okay, then I will try to improve the menu appearance.
Great job and a great game..and looking forward to see more games from you in the future :)

All the best and keep safe!
Thank you!! :kaojoy:
 

hiddenone

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I gave this a go, but ended up stopping after receiving the fairy summon. I liked the idea of summons being used in battles, but the huge maps and slow battles made me lose interest in playing.
The story from what I saw of it was fine, but I didn't get to experience much of it because of the gameplay. I was a bit confused as to why Lisa is apparently not only the only person who can fight monsters in the village, but also the only person there. Maybe there are more people later in the game, but from what I saw it really seemed like the whole area was abandoned...

The fact that all the maps were huge with few different things to look at or interact with didn't help either. You don't need big maps unless there's a very good reason for it, and I really think you could've cut the map sizes in half and still gotten the same feeling of wandering the streets looking for monsters. Big maps can be a waste of time for the player, especially if there aren't things to interact with or secrets to find. I ended up not even looking at the maps and just ran up and down the streets trying to find the enemies so I could start the next battle.

Unfortunately the battles are what made me quit the game. I loved the idea of summoning creatures to battle, but the slow pace of animations just made each turn drag on. It didn't help that Kaito was lacking in attack skills, which seemed quite strange for a wolf. I was really hoping that he'd have some TP related skills that would help me defeat enemies. Instead, his Specials were just buffs and debuffs which I ended up not using because I could end battles faster if I just had him attack.

Lisa's skills weren't much better, I would use Sword Art when I had enough TP but her other skills I ignored. It sounds like later in the game there are some more interesting skill options, but unfortunately I just wasn't invested enough to keep playing.

I did notice a few minor issues in the battle scenes. The first one was that it's hard to read the different Special skills because the background to the message box isn't opaque enough:
guardian_angel - bad overlap.png
If you're gonna overlap boxes with words, make sure you can barely read the words on the one under it so that your game is not causing accidental eye strain for your players.

The other issue was an odd bug when I checked the Summon menu. I'm assuming it was because Kaito was already summoned, but the menu would open without anything available to click on. I'm not sure if there's a good way to fix that, but it did look odd while playing.
guardian_angel - summon bug.png

Overall, you clearly put in a lot of work but this game just wasn't for me. I think atoms has already given you a ton of great advice so I think you're on the right track, but keep in mind that a slow pace in the beginning can make players lose interest. Good luck if you decide to keep working on this project! :rwink:
 

Aerosys

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I gave this a go, but ended up stopping after receiving the fairy summon. I liked the idea of summons being used in battles, but the huge maps and slow battles made me lose interest in playing.
Although it makes me sad seeing other people quit my game, this probably is the feedback a developer needs :(

Okay, I didn't plan to update my game after Code Freeze; but as you are not the first person complaining the long animations I decided to upload a new version. Also I'm afraid that you are not the first person who quit right in the beginning.

I use Yanfly Core to speed up all animations, in future I will look for better possibilities. Additionally, I made the maps smaller. I wanted the player to feel like in a maze, but I can understand that this feature does not work well.. yet.
but also the only person there. Maybe there are more people later in the game, but from what I saw it really seemed like the whole area was abandoned...
I just didn't know how I should integrate NPCs into the maps, so I left them. But atoms also gave me some inspiration, so I can work on it. It could be another downside of the maze generation, not sure..

The fact that all the maps were huge with few different things to look at or interact with didn't help either. You don't need big maps unless there's a very good reason for it, and I really think you could've cut the map sizes in half and still gotten the same feeling of wandering the streets looking for monsters. Big maps can be a waste of time for the player, especially if there aren't things to interact with or secrets to find. I ended up not even looking at the maps and just ran up and down the streets trying to find the enemies so I could start the next battle.
I fully understood you. As arealdy said, I made them smaller. But I really need to think about mechanics to motivate the player. My loot chests aren't enough.. especially when the loot is trash.
Lisa's skills weren't much better, I would use Sword Art when I had enough TP but her other skills I ignored. It sounds like later in the game there are some more interesting skill options, but unfortunately I just wasn't invested enough to keep playing.
Okay. I don't want to defend myself, but still I want to eplain the thoughts I had:
- Bleeding Blade: it's a Damage over Time-attack, so it's very useful in Boss Battles, because it steals about 10% HP each turn. But yes, it's useful in Boss Battles ONLY, so maybe I remove this skill or the player gets it later in the game
- Blade Dance: It's a AoE attack. Still I made it a little bit stronger
- Protect: I thought it would feel cool when the main actor protects her allies, but I noticed some mistakes her: When Lisa's Death leads to Game Over immediatly, why would a player risk to send her to the front? When an ally is almost dead it's much better to let the ally leave the field and summon again. I removed this skill for now

I did notice a few minor issues in the battle scenes. The first one was that it's hard to read the different Special skills because the background to the message box isn't opaque enough:
I lowered the transparency. I hope it's better for now. I used a Plugin without tuning the parameters.
The other issue was an odd bug when I checked the Summon menu. I'm assuming it was because Kaito was already summoned, but the menu would open without anything available to click on. I'm not sure if there's a good way to fix that, but it did look odd while playing.
Yes, you are right. If Kaito is not in the Party, "Summon Kaito" is listed here. A better approach would be, to always show the skill, but disable it when Kaito is already there. It just was easier for me to remove the Skill instead of making it disable. But I can improve this.
Overall, you clearly put in a lot of work but this game just wasn't for me. I think atoms has already given you a ton of great advice so I think you're on the right track, but keep in mind that a slow pace in the beginning can make players lose interest. Good luck if you decide to keep working on this project! :rwink:
At least you noticed the effort I invested. I'm going to work on the problems my game has right now and I really hope that then not so many players quit in the beginning.



EDIT:

Instead, his Specials were just buffs and debuffs which I ended up not using because I could end battles faster if I just had him attack.
Okay, noted.
 
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Hi!

A small bug:

Right after you defeat all the bats and I think just before meeting the fairy, I have a black screen when you change map.
firefox_O5nGGpeGQQ.png
 

Aerosys

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Hi!

A small bug:

Right after you defeat all the bats and I think just before meeting the fairy, I have a black screen when you change map.
Thanks for telling me! After I added Yanfly Core my game has some problems with Fade In / Fade Out. I uploaded a patch for it. Unfortunatly it sometimes looks ugly as I removed some FadeIn / FadeOut statements.

Please try again. If it does not work, please try to start a new game instead of continuing. I'm very sorry for the interuption.
 

daheji

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I finished the game.

And I'll be honest, I didn't enjoy it.

It wasn't a bad game. Technically, there isn't anything wrong with it. Thing is, I was just bored. Nothing interesting happened.

The problems I had with your game:
The Cerberus kept on spamming Shout and Frighten the whole fight. Not even attacking once. And since he was keeping lowering my Attack stats, my attacks against him were weak, making the battle really slow.

Same with the Witch who just spammed the paralyze skill on Lisa the whole fight. The pets were doing all the damage and that's it.

Battles with monsters were just about waiting for having enough TP to use a skill and heal from time to time.

Maps were too big and exploring to just get some small potions was not rewarding.

-

You already got a lot of good advices so I'm expecting you to do something interesting in the future!

Good luck!
 

Aerosys

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@daheji I made this game in 2 weeks, I think you understand that I didnt had much time in designing enemy skills. And there's no plugin or system which avoids spamming same skills for the bosses besides the default battle system. It was not intended by me that the Boss always uses Debuffs or Stuns on the Main Actor, I promise.

The same is for the Map rewards. As soon as you get the Fairy, Heal potions get useless. MP potions are useless before stage 3 because the Imp needs them.

I just want to ask you: let's assume Bosses would not use same attacks all the time and loot chests would be more rewarding, as these are your main critics, how would you think then?
 

daheji

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One thing you can do to make boss fight not spamming the same attack is to use a plugin to add cooldown on skills. It forces your boss to have variety or a pattern on their attacks.

One other thing you can do is to put phases in the boss fight. You can easily do that in MV without a plugin. In the Action Patterns on an enemy screen, you can set the conditions for certain skills.
Example:
Fire Bolt when HP is between 75% and 100%
Fire Field when HP is between 50% and 100%
Surprise Ice Attack when HP is 25% and 50%

Those are just example. You can even add some dialog in the battle in the Troops setting. For example:
Enemy HP Witch at 75% HP or below, it triggers a dialog like "Oh! You're better than I thought! Let's get serious!"
When one of her pets dies "He was my favorite! You'll pay for that!"
Something like that.

If you intend to make a bigger game, adding more elements will be a good idea, but you already thought of that.

As for the loot chests, there weren't really the problem, the main problem for me was the size of the map. I truly believe that smaller is always better for RPG Maker maps, unless there is a reason for it to be big or you want to set some kind of atmosphere or tension, like cinematic stuff.

So, because the map was so big, it felt like I had walked a lot for not much.

Better loots could feel more rewarding, but it's kind of tricky here. You don't want to give the player something too overpowered or too weak. Balance is difficult to have.

You can always add a small puzzle. It's always fun to have.

And something that I forgot to talk about last time. Any game needs a proper ending? It can be as simple as "The village is safe now! Let's go home!" and then, black screen, then you can put the thank you message.

Don't get disheartened by bad reviews. Bad reviews are as important as good reviews. It only means that you can improve and you WILL improve. You don't need to follow every advice of course, but you can keep them in mind to make other games in the future.

Good luck!
 

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