RMMV The Psychic Youth (20 Hour 2020 Game Jam Entry)

MechScapeZH

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The Psychic Youth
an entry for @FleshToDust 's "20 Hour 2020" Game Jam (many thanks to him for inviting me to participate!)
The Psychic Youth is a fantasy-adventure visual novel with Action RPG battles with gameplay inspired by adventure game classics like Squaresoft's Radical Dreamers and Templar Games' Mata Nui Online Game and written in the style of classic cartoons like Columbia's The Real Ghostbusters and Hanna-Barbera's The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo that was evented/programmed in a 20-hour time limit (time spent planning, animating, and creating graphics was not counted towards this limit- only time spent in-engine was counted towards the 20 hours).

A week before the events of the game, ace psychic Aero and his vampire bat familiar Delphi attended an auction of old magic memorabilia. One of the items at auction, an ancient journal that once belonged to the eighteenth-century nobleman Count Henry Gigax (a legendarily eccentric character who claimed to be a sorcerer), emitted a strong psychic signal undetectable by non-psychics. Aero purchased the book and found that its last six pages were not only blank, but the source of the signal! Their curiosity piqued, the duo set out to investigate the Count's castle. They finally arrive at their destination in the dead of night and set out to unravel the Count's conundrum.

There's only one small, itsy-bitsy problem: the castle contains many, many ghosts.

Explore the haunted castle's 8 rooms and solve the mystery of the missing pages! In the castle, you'll encounter several specters charged with guarding the pages. Depending on the actions you take, the outcome of these encounters will change- make the right choices and they'll give the pages to you freely. Make the wrong choices and you'll have to use your formidable psychic powers- dash, air-dash, barrier, energy blast, and the six powerful combination abilities known as the Psi-Skills- to fend them off in dynamic, fast-paced Action RPG battles (made possible by Moghunter's amazing LMBS plugin)!

Who was Count Gigax? Why did he hide the last six pages of his journal? What exactly befell the Count and his servants, and why do their shades haunt the castle's hallways? Collect all 6 pages and the truth about the castle and its enigmatic owner will be revealed!






Though the journal's pages may be missing, The Psychic Youth's itch.io page is not- rush there and download the game today!



Here's a devlog where I talk about the making of The Psychic Youth!



If you enjoyed The Psychic Youth and its particular brand of story-heavy gameplay, it's likely that you'll also enjoy my main project MechScape!
 
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FleshToDust

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Very interesting game. All the art is completely custom. Lots of points for that. It's also kind of a detective game. You find different items and have to determine which is the right one to take. A good addition I think would be if you're limited to what you can take. For example there's a cupboard and 3 items. It would be good if you could only take one of those. If you pick the wrong one you could always go back and replace it with another item. It's more thoughtful in my opinion than just scavenging everything you can.

I very much like the different rooms you can explore via choice command, each with it's own custom art and dialogue to read. It made me want to see everything. Sadly I wasn't able to. There's one area called dungeon and I thought it was the place you were suppose to go so I decided to save it till last. The next thing I know I'm at the last boss of the game. I'd of liked an indicator and chance to go back and explore more before returning and finishing the story. It was hinted at that there are people down there but can't know for sure and now it's too late to go back and check without starting the entire game over again. An improvement I can point out is at the end of the game it doesn't return to the title screen but gives you an endless repeating text box telling you to close the window. That's something easily changed. I noticed the word Saurian in the game and instantly thought "Lord of the Rings".

I did have regret killing someone in the game. I won't spoil it but there's an item you can take and if you do and attempt to leave with it you'll start a fight. The character seemed like a nice guy. I wish I had the option of giving it back and not having to kill the guy. That leads to the combat.

Now for the combat.It's great sidescroller combat. You shoot projectiles and move around on screen in a left to right fashion. Was very fun and engaging Eventually though(on the last boss) I just stood there, blocked when the enemy was about to attack then shot my magic blasts at him and blocked again till I ran out of magic.I then shot my regular blasts and blocked till he died. The game has more complex attacks but I didn't feel much of a difference vs what I was doing. Oh, you can also jump in the game. Didn't feel like it aided me but actually made me lose a few times.

Had fun with it. Custom art which is a huge plus and exploration of different areas instead of linear storytelling which I thought it was going to be after the first few screens. That brings me to the dialogue. I feel it's too text heavy. I'd of liked it to be split up into smaller chunks with text boxes like regular rpg's. That's much easier for me to digest. The text was also often not split up into paragraphs which made it harder for me to follow.
 
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MechScapeZH

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Very interesting game. All the art is completely custom. Lots of points for that. It's also kind of a detective game. You find different items and have to determine which is the right one to take. A good addition I think would be if you're limited to what you can take. For example there's a cupboard and 3 items. It would be good if you could only take one of those. If you pick the wrong one you could always go back and replace it with another item. It's more thoughtful in my opinion than just scavenging everything you can.

I very much like the different rooms you can explore via choice command, each with it's own custom art and dialogue to read. It made me want to see everything. Sadly I wasn't able to. There's one area called dungeon and I thought it was the place you were suppose to go so I decided to save it till last. The next thing I know I'm at the last boss of the game. I'd of liked an indicator and chance to go back and explore more before returning and finishing the story. It was hinted at that there are people down there but can't know for sure and now it's too late to go back and check without starting the entire game over again. An improvement I can point out is at the end of the game it doesn't return to the title screen but gives you an endless repeating text box telling you to close the window. That's something easily changed. I noticed the word Saurian in the game and instantly thought "Lord of the Rings".

I did have regret killing someone in the game. I won't spoil it but there's an item you can take and if you do and attempt to leave with it you'll start a fight. The character seemed like a nice guy. I wish I had the option of giving it back and not having to kill the guy. That leads to the combat but before I get into that...

I'd like it if when given the option of taking a group of items you have to pick and choose which to take. If you take the wrong one you can always go back and get the right one. It adds a bit of thought into what you should grab rather than just scavenging everything.

Now for the combat.It's great sidescroller combat. You shoot projectiles and move around on screen in a left to right fashion. Was very fun and engaging Eventually though(on the last boss) I just stood there, blocked when the enemy was about to attack then shot my magic blasts at him and blocked again till I ran out of magic.I then shot my regular blasts and blocked till he died. The game has more complex attacks but I didn't feel much of a difference vs what I was doing. Oh, you can also jump in the game. Didn't feel like it aided me but actually made me lose a few times.

Had fun with it. Custom art which is a huge plus and exploration of different areas instead of linear storytelling which I thought it was going to be after the first few screens. That brings me to the dialogue. I feel it's too text heavy. I'd of liked it to be split up into smaller chunks with text boxes like regular rpg's. That's much easier for me to digest. The text was also often not split up into paragraphs which made it harder for me to follow.
Thanks for playing @FleshToDust ! The dungeon is explorable if you don't take a certain item- it's either/or. If you were to play again, you'd discover not only that area, but other events as well.

That character actually had a alternate sequence where you wouldn't fight him, but it was cut for time. If I were to redo this without time constraints, I'd implement it.

The sequence involved you exorcising the evil elements of his personality which would then take ectoplasmic form, but that would require another model that I just didn't have time to do.

A saurian is a type of dinosaur- LOTR's Sauron was named after it.

I understand what you mean with the items and agree with you. That was actually the original plan, but I realized at the last moment I'd made it so you'd need to have 2+ of the items in each set to continue so I had to remove that limit. Again, if I had more time I'd have made that change.

The final boss' AI was also a time limit thing (...I realize I'm getting repetitive here, but that's what happened :guffaw:). Another thing I'd add if I was given more time.

It was originally supposed to breath fire, thunder, and ice, as well as teleport to your location and use 2 unique claw attacks, each of which was to have a unique animation- but by the time I started programming the boss I had less than 2 hours left, so... I had to cut all that.

As for the dialogue, that's just the way it's written- I'm afraid this is something I absolutely wouldn't change. This kind of writing style & text-heaviness is just how I envisioned this game, and that's the way it is. It definitely is NOT for everyone, but I personally enjoy it, so that's the way I wrote it. You're certainly right about the paragraphs, though- that's because the text was written in Microsoft Word & I didn't know Yanfly's word wrapping plugin (which allowed me to paste the text directly from Word to MV without worrying about the size of the message window, therefore saving a lot of time) required me to add a <br> note for a line break rather than just pressing Enter, and I didn't have a lot of time left, so I had to just add line breaks to the most important parts of the text rather than all of it. That's why some of the text doesn't have line breaks.

Again, thanks for playing and I'm glad you enjoyed it!
 

FleshToDust

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Yeah I understand. 20 hours isn't much time at all to put a game together so a lot of corners had to be cut. What you did with that time is astounding though.
 

MechScapeZH

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Yeah I understand. 20 hours isn't much time at all to put a game together so a lot of corners had to be cut. What you did with that time is astounding though.
Thanks! I am very proud of what I was able to accomplish, yes. Glad you liked the game!
 

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