RMMV The Heart of the Bone Witch (Rough Demo)

Discussion in 'Games In Development' started by Akiyama, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Akiyama

    Akiyama Veteran Veteran

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    Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 5.31.55 PM.png

    So I've been working on this for a few months, it's still in very early stages. But it's going to be a plot heavy JRPG, with a very unique story, strange and wonderful characters, and an art style that's low res (snes resolution) and low color (limiting myself to about 32 colors for the whole thing, just to give it a unique feel...with certain areas having a different palette for that same reason...)

    The plot:
    You wake in a cage, captured by a bone witch, who wants to steal your heart and use it for a spell. You plan your escape, and then a box next to the cage starts talking to you, telling you of a way out...

    And that's when things get weird.

    Some basics-
    -Narrative first game design, where the narrative influences the mechanics and sets the puzzles and combat in the world. This means nothing exists in the game that isn't part of the narrative (characters, world design, etc).
    -Enemies on the map similar to Ultima:Exodus (NES version) or Ultima: Avatar (PC/Amiga/AII versions), and they respawn every time you exit/enter someplace. When you hit the enemy, it goes into a side view turn based battle. Dungeons and caves and ruins, the enemies do not respawn, so you can clear floors and rooms/etc.
    -Kawaii art style with a dark and weird plot that gives it (I hope) a very Tim Burton meets Adventure Time/Dragon Quest kind of feel to the whole thing
    -Light and shadow based puzzle design
    -A combination of heavy narrative plot and free form world exploration, using a chapter design and open world, where you can go off the plot to explore at any point. Also has several unique sections where you can do things multiple ways and get different results

    I did a lot of custom JS for this...which was fun to do. So far, I've got about an hour and a half or so worth of gameplay, with the final game being about 24-40 hours or so, depending...which means it's going to be a bit before a full release. At least a year, if not more.

    Scripts Used:
    YED_TileD
    Community Basic
    KHAS_UltraLighting
    GALV_LayerGraphics
    GALV_MessageStyles
    SRD_WalkCharBattlers for enemies (but not for actors)
    YEP_EventSpawner
    SVActorPosition
    WAY_CustomOnEquipEval
    HIME_PreTitleEvents
    SRD_ALT_MenuScreen_Info
    And tons of personal Javascript I wrote, scattered through events and small one shot plugins...

    Tools used:
    AsePrite for art
    TileD for Mapping

    Latest Demo (with streamlined first dungeon)
    Windows
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/p2oanluk1yajdud/Heart of the Bone Witch Windows Demo.zip?dl=0
    Linux
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0qkt9jd71210e07/HeartoftheBoneWitchLinux.tar.gz?dl=0
    OSX
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/65w0fli28kz42hc/Heart of the Bone Witch OSX Demo.zip?dl=0

    Screen Shot 2019-09-01 at 11.20.06 AM.png
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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
    #1
  2. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Akiyama Instead of having small thumbnails, could you edit your post and give full sized screenshots. As there are several they would need to be inside a spoiler to keep the size of the post manageable. At the moment, readers either have to squint to see what they are, or have to click each one individually and then close it before repeating with the next, and the next...
     
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  3. bazrat

    bazrat Veteran Veteran

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    this pixel art is amazing, very cool project
     
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  4. Akiyama

    Akiyama Veteran Veteran

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    Kes- So sorry! Will fix tomorrow. I haven't used a forum in aggeessss.

    Bazrat- thanks so much, that compliment means a ton to me. You know how it is, slaving away at something and not knowing if it looks as good to everyone else...
     
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  5. Korthulhu

    Korthulhu Immortan Veteran

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    At the end of the day, this game is worth playing if for no other reason than the unique art style and interesting story. A lot of love went into the making of this one, and you can feel that when you're playing. Can't wait to see more!
     
    #5
  6. Akiyama

    Akiyama Veteran Veteran

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    Thanks! That means a lot.
     
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  7. Akiyama

    Akiyama Veteran Veteran

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    Aww, it's a happy game

    Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 5.23.17 PM.png Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 5.23.05 PM.png Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 5.22.50 PM.png
     
    #7
  8. RitualTeeth

    RitualTeeth Neurotic Artist Veteran

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    Ooh, this looks great.
    I love the desaturated palette, its really pleasing to the eyes and has a real cohesive aesthetic!
    Is there a playable demo?
     
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  9. Akiyama

    Akiyama Veteran Veteran

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    No playable demo just quite yet...I'm still knee deep in breaking stuff and fixing it...

    So not quite ready yet for even an hour or so demo. Soonish, I hope? It's getting there.

    Eventually I plan to put on Steam, etc, but that's still a year away...

    And thank you so much! Glad you liked the art
     
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  10. Akiyama

    Akiyama Veteran Veteran

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    #10
  11. Lemonrice

    Lemonrice Veteran Veteran

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    Hey there,

    just had a quick look at your demo. I really love the look and where the story is going. Also the characters seem very enjoyable. Dialogues vary in quality but that is absolutely fine for a crazy beta demo. So far I can say I'd already play it just to see how the story continues. What I really love is, that you don't have that "stranger you look trustworthy" problem.
    I have not yet played it entirely through since I got lost in the caves and probably missed a few things, that I have to go back and get :D But what I wonder is, how Sophias magic is supposed to work. I tried it with regular enemies and ghost enemies, the shadows appear but it's always a miss. Therefor I wasn't able to defeat a ghost.
    Is there anything you especially wanted to showcase with the demo, something you'd like people to pay attention to and give feedback, or did you just plan to give us a first look and feel for now?
     
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  12. bazrat

    bazrat Veteran Veteran

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    I also had a brief play last night as well. The art is crazy good, it's probably what kept me going the most. The story was very clever too, I like the bone and blind features you have in the game.

    The good:
    - Like the random things to pick up, super helpful that they respawn too.

    - You nailed the retro look

    - Most the music was awesome

    Where I feel the game can improve:
    - It was a little too chatty for me (btw so glad you didn't spam emote balloons!) the needed dialogue was fine, but opening a chest, unless there is reason not to take things, just let me take it instantly xD

    - The menu is on track to being a nice simple design, however I couldn't see my health while using items. It was hard to know if I needed more.

    - I also had problems with spells and I feel her confuse thing should rarely miss, matter of fact I would say never on a normal enemy. I never use abilities that have a chance to miss. I ended up AA almost the play test. Except the blind man has the heal.

    - I'm not sure what lighting you use, but if it's terrax or ocram, I would try to add in some transparency, to get the ring look out of the lighting. Not the biggest deal.

    - The messages weren't always word wrapping. I'm guessing you have yanfly message core and galvs message styles. The galvs were fine, but some of the normal messages could wrap.

    I had to save in the cave, so far so good :D
     
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  13. Akiyama

    Akiyama Veteran Veteran

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    Feedback works great! And thanks for mentioning what you said. Ah, the thing was- you weren't supposed to defeat the ghosts yet...you get an item far later in the game. Though this is a common complaint, I think I will change it, make the ghosts beatable...and go a different route. This is a huge help.

    Also thanks for letting me know about getting lost in the caves- I am super used to the cave layouts since I designed them, it's good to know that it's way more complex than I thought. Since it's the first cave, I'll have to change that and make it less maze like.

    These are a HUGE help. Thank you!

    Also, not showcasing anything, just trying to get feedback, so any problems you see are a huge help.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  14. Akiyama

    Akiyama Veteran Veteran

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    Thank you for checking this out!

    response to what you were saying (kept the spoiler tag)
    you said:
    It was a little too chatty for me (btw so glad you didn't spam emote balloons!) the needed dialogue was fine, but opening a chest, unless there is reason not to take things, just let me take it instantly xD

    My response:
    Thank you for letting me know- I was actually worried about this. Though I'm going to keep the asking to equip weapons automatically- the original beta I didn't have this, and my few beta testers (just a few close friends who don't play jrpgs much) didn't think to equip and got slaughtered in battle...

    But I will just let you snag it then, instead of asking if you want to take it. That's me trying to imitate Ultima:Exodus :)

    You said:
    The menu is on track to being a nice simple design, however I couldn't see my health while using items. It was hard to know if I needed more.
    My response:
    Thank you for this- I noticed this, too. I'm using a plugin for this menu screen, but I think I might have to change it for this reason. It can be very annoying. I might just crack open javascript and make a new menu screen myself.

    You said:
    I also had problems with spells and I feel her confuse thing should rarely miss, matter of fact I would say never on a normal enemy. I never use abilities that have a chance to miss. I ended up AA almost the play test. Except the blind man has the heal.

    My response:
    I'm sorry- I don't understand what you meant by "AA almost the play test"? Could you please elaborate? And I see your point. I'll change it so that spells work 100%. That makes sense.


    You said:
    I'm not sure what lighting you use, but if it's terrax or ocram, I would try to add in some transparency, to get the ring look out of the lighting. Not the biggest deal.

    My response:
    I see what you mean, I find trying to get the right lighting kind of hard (too dim in good lighting on my computer...or too bright when you're playing the game in a well lit room- eg screen glare) I use KHAS_UltraLighting. I'll check those other ones out...

    You Said:
    The messages weren't always word wrapping. I'm guessing you have yanfly message core and galvs message styles. The galvs were fine, but some of the normal messages could wrap.

    My response-
    Not using Yanfly, but yeah for Galvs. It's me...I was used to older versions of RPGMaker that don't use wordwrapping, so I didn't find out until later that this word wraps automatically. I just have to go back and fix those. Thanks for pointing them out! I was hoping no on would notice hah.

    Thank you for your crits, these are a huge help.

    And really, if anyone sees anything that stands out, just let me know! Not looking for anything in specific. These were all great.

    Also, side note- most of the music is from RPGMaker DS and DS+ expansion packs, I need to add credit for those...the only one that's not is the cave music, which I need to find better music for (that's by me, made in Google Song, LOL)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  15. bazrat

    bazrat Veteran Veteran

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    Wow RM music was great for the DS!

    I meant AA = Autoattack, I guess that's the wrong term though lol. I normal attacked pretty much my whole playtest. Didnt use the bone spell but once and when I realized the confuse spell missed quite a bit I stopped xD
     
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  16. Akiyama

    Akiyama Veteran Veteran

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    Oh! Auto attack. Yeah, that's okay. It's the start...using the spells don't become super important into later in the game (this is post-demo stuff, like the second dungeon). But I get that. I do want to fix those other issues raised for sure, though.

    And dunno if the music was actually the music used on the DS? I just bought those expansion packs yeeaaaars ago with VXAce, and I've always wanted to use that wonderful music in something
     
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  17. Akiyama

    Akiyama Veteran Veteran

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    Quick question- when you got lost, was it on the second level? Did you have the purple lantern?
     
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  18. Akiyama

    Akiyama Veteran Veteran

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    Okay, fixed pretty all the errors/issues people noted here an with my other beta testers (including creating a new menu that lets you see health when using items and magic outside of combat, and adding in more sign posting about tricky areas to make it less likely to get lost in the first dungeon)...I need to figure out what I'm going to do with the ghosts (when I explained why you couldn't beat the ghosts, and what you would eventually have to do, a few beta testers wanted to keep some of it)...

    That said, I also wrote my own inn code, so that it now switches night/day when you sleep at an inn, and the party goes and lies in a bed, and wakes up in their beds in the morning, ala Final Fantasy or Ultima:Avatar on the NES

    Some screenshots!
    Spending the night at an inn
    Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 1.15.03 PM.png

    Using a spell to heal someone in the new menu
    Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 1.19.51 PM.png
    using an item to heal someone in the new menu
    Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 1.19.34 PM.png
    New menu main
    Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 1.19.18 PM.png
     
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  19. Lemonrice

    Lemonrice Veteran Veteran

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    No it was on the first level. I think I would be able to find the way again. I'll keep an eye on that next time I give it a go. Did you already upload the fixes you said and is the link still the same? Maybe you can add it to your first post, so that people find it without having to scroll through the entire thread :)
     
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  20. Akiyama

    Akiyama Veteran Veteran

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    Oh yeah, sorry- haven't added them yet- working on a few more fixes. Will upload it later, and then update the top thread. Thanks!
     
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