RMVXA "The Root of All Evil" - A Micro RPG [RSW]

IamGilgamesh

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I'll probably do it again tomorrow or something.
 

TheTitan99

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Gilgamesh:


Yeah... I understand the potential frustration... But, I wanted that arcade style balance, that the entire game is almost like 1 giant encounter! Just like you can screw yourself over mid-boss fight, you can also mid-game, and it may no longer be beatable. This is a decision that was made at the start of development, and the entire game is based around it. Is this a GOOD decision? Well, I'm not sure, it has its ups and downs (I prefer strict resource management myself, but have been on the receiving end overly punishing games before, hence why I actually have made this game easier in patches), but its what I picked early on for this game. You can make it unbeatable if you mess up too badly, be it wasting gold or items or whatever. The entire game would need to be reworked from the ground up to change this, and I think its pros outweigh its cons. There ARE cons, I admit, but I think the resource management and tense encounters, which would be lost in a more lenient game, make up for it.


But, I can understand if you disagree, there are plenty of counterarguments.


To make this less frustrating, I have 16 save files, AND the game is pretty short. You were getting near the end. If you do decide to replay, I hope you can make it further into the dungeon!


Vannt:


Thanks for the score! Though, I am curious as to what made you decide on 4/5 as oppose to, say, 3/5 or 5/5.
 

IamGilgamesh

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Now that I saw you say that there's a secret and a boss on every level, I'm scouring level one for a secret and see nothing...
 

IamGilgamesh

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Gilgamesh:


Yeah... I understand the potential frustration... But, I wanted that arcade style balance, that the entire game is almost like 1 giant encounter! Just like you can screw yourself over mid-boss fight, you can also mid-game, and it may no longer be beatable. This is a decision that was made at the start of development, and the entire game is based around it. Is this a GOOD decision? Well, I'm not sure, it has its ups and downs (I prefer strict resource management myself, but have been on the receiving end overly punishing games before, hence why I actually have made this game easier in patches), but its what I picked early on for this game. You can make it unbeatable if you mess up too badly, be it wasting gold or items or whatever. The entire game would need to be reworked from the ground up to change this, and I think its pros outweigh its cons. There ARE cons, I admit, but I think the resource management and tense encounters, which would be lost in a more lenient game, make up for it.


But, I can understand if you disagree, there are plenty of counterarguments.


To make this less frustrating, I have 16 save files, AND the game is pretty short. You were getting near the end. If you do decide to replay, I hope you can make it further into the dungeon!



Nah, I totally get it and I think you actually did a really good job at it. Its just not my preference in RPG's generally, and honestly my main frustration was that I was having so much fun and felt like for naught. As you said tho, the game isn't that long, so its actually rather fitting. I'm playing through again now. There's a lot to like, and I must say, my opinion contrasts largely with many of the others on it. On one hand, I'm an OCD player that likes the challenge of doing everything the game has. On the other hand, I hate when a game is more difficult than necessary cuz then I feel like I'm peeling potatoes by the barrel just for one bowl of mashed potatoes. So I'm playing on easy mode, and it seems quite reasonable to me. Easy enough without being stupidly easy. Challenging enough that I don't really wanna try it any harder. lol I really enjoy your style of ambient minimalism. There isn't much to it, but it echoes widely enough to be quite dynamic. I'll say more as I play.


*Edit: So two 'secret' level ups on Level 2 instead of one on 1? Does the Titan Blade do anything? Can I get it? Seems like extra info that leads nowhere. A red herring on purpose?


Aaaaaaaaaaannnnddddddd now I'm obsessively fight death over and over and over when its too late to get any more items than I have. smh sigh. You are heartless sir.


1-2 hours is a straight up lie. lol


There's basically NO opportunity to get any more gold after the Level 4 boss and before the level 5 boss. So basically all you have for Level 5 boss is the gold you get for beating the Level 4 boss. Which really doesn't even seem to be enough money even if you ARE well stocked up on items. Can't SELL items, so I can't get better ones than the things I no longer need at that point, like cabins. 


Basically it seems really awesome, and there's a lot you did right, but then all the other aspects make it SO unfun, for me, that I go from feeling like 'I could play this over and over!' to 'I hope I can forget this game exists.'

I got ALL the secrets, all the levels, and barely spent any gold and I'm still running out on the final boss even on easy mode. 

Polina's powers are almost all the same worthless small amount of damage unless you spend turns and turns of item burning and healing to do the buffs or debuffs necessary to get anything worthwhile out of them(which is like three degrees of redundant. I wanna get buffer powers that are buffer if I use buffs but are useless as my old cheaper power if I don't have'em), and their bonus can be taken away before her turn even comes. Like Titan Blade, I did the quest for it at the beginning but didn't get it til the end and it basically does a useless amount of damage unless her health is at max, which is almost never. Plus her turn is always before the people that do the buffs she needs to be worth anything. So in the rounds necessary to set it up, you can just easily lose two characters and have to spend three rounds of recovery to start over the three rounds of buffing.

You depend heavily on Nemun for Polina's powers to function, to make Nicholas' powers worth using, or to make Edward's powers effective and yet Nemun dies the easiest and runs out of SP all the time, making everyone else largely useless after that. Focus mind is soooooooooo necessary and yet soooooooooo expensive to use that you can only use it like three times per dungeon, if that.


There's basically no healing over 1000. Except with Bless. Which can be deactivated more easily than anything.


It doesn't seem like there's strategy so much as just drawn out battles where you have to hope for the best while you burn through your resources to stay alive, but its just that much MORE of a loss with the gold rules. I feel like the gold thing added pressure without anything else be alleviated enough. I need gold AND sp to use moves? Every single one of Nemun's, except the one that costs so much SP that even at max level it can only be used twice per full SP bar.


Nicholas is pretty much useless except dispel and getting to use items before (most) enemies. 


You also had a couple typos towards the end there, like in the last ghost shop. 


You got boss creatures that with no buffs are healed by being attacked with something they're weak to. I think I might have better luck with something they're resistant to? I dunno. I got on before ten and its two thirty. I'm at the Arbiter and it MIGHT be possible to beat him, but after spending most of those hours just on Death and The Master battles just for the challenge, its not 'just for the challenge' any more. Its just a pain. I feel like I beat the game already without watching the credits. That's how it feels to still not have beat the final boss. 


I understand challenges can be fun, but I just lost sight of where it was fun. These kinda stakes for something that's supposed to be entertainment is just a turn off.


These notes are kinda rambly, but I hope they help. I actually am still curious to see your other work if you have anything else out.
 
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TheTitan99

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Oh, the feedback, even if negative, is welcome.


MOST seems to stem from "It's too hard". I promise, heh, the game is fully able to be beaten in an hour or so. That's a non-dying run. Counting dying into the playtime can make it, like, infinite, so I just decided to go with saying how long it'll take if you don't die. Maybe that's misleading, I guess, ha ha, but I can't effectively count an unknown number of deaths into a playtime!


I must say, I don't... entirely get why so many people are having THIS much trouble in the game. While it is meant to be hard, it's not meant to be teeth-churningly, life ruiningly, soul crushingly so. I typically found I could waste several turns just goofing off on easy mode, with the exception of the Death fight which is meant to be the hardest thing in the game, hence why its optional. I'll try to relook at things, but, the things your saying about Polina doing too little damage and whatnot I just don't see myself. She does, like, 700+ damage a turn, potentially on the entire team, and the final boss only has 15000 HP. Should only be, like, 6-7 turns of Nukes, Titan Blades/Overpower, Poisons, Smites, ect. And that's with no stat buffs/enemy debuffs too.


I'm thinking of recording an entire playthrough of this... IF I get time. I am very busy, life, work, ect.


Even if your feedback isn't positive, I still appreciate it! Ignoring the negative feedback just makes an unhelpful echo-chamber of design. I'll try to hone in on future projects a finer sense of balance.


And, on that note... This is my only game. Ever. In anything. Every other project or game I've made I've quit, or given up on, or got bored with. I'd be more than happy to share other projects, but they just don't exist!
 

TheTitan99

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Alright, gonna say, last time I'll bump this, barring anything crazy. Still looking for more feedback, but, if none more is given, I'd like to use this post to thank everyone who has played this little game of mine! I've really tried to take your comments to heart!
 

OwMeEye

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I gave it a try, may continue on it later. There was a little bit of criticism although not too much. I hope it will be helpful to you and that it won't be too discouraging because it's always nice to see more creators. ^_^


I'll leave you with some personal thoughts expanding on the video. Maybe these will also be of some help.


I feel the game suffers from some issues. So I'll try to explain my thoughts one by one.

The turn based rpg-maker combat, generally, isn't it's strongest point, it is ok, but probably not something to keep attention.
- There are some ways in which such combat can be made more interesting, for example gathering items, and this is the first thing which I feel works against this game. It seems you decided to remove the equipment system and the player only gathers usable items, but I have not seen a way to increase equipment, this makes the combat less appealing.
- The next feature which makes turn based combat more enjoyable, is the perception of constant growth. You decided to start the characters at a level which feels very advanced, characters with 2500 hp etc. (I don't know how this changes on different difficulties), this counteracts the feeling of making the character grow. This way the combat is even less appealing.
- Random encounters are generally not appealing, and they furthermore detract the player from wanting to explore the terrain. You could have turn based battles but have enemies as events on the map, and you could have them respawn every time when player enters a map, but this way when the player cleans the map of enemies he can explore the whole area for items without having to deal with more tedious encounters (until the time he re-enters the map again)
- Sometimes I can deduce that, let's say a flame monster will be weak to water, but other times it is unclear. Many cult classics solve this by simply giving the player a skill to analyse enemies in-battle. Or, alternatively, some games engage a system when game reveals to you information about enemies after a sufficient amount of enemies of a type is vanquished.
- For a game which seems purely focused on battles, it would be nice if there was more custom aspects to the battles or skills or something, that would probably make it more interesting. An old rpg-maker sci-fi classic which I played in the past, A blurred Line, for example, if I remember correctly, employed an interesting system when killing enemies (or maybe it was using skills...) of a specific type increases your special affinities which can later expand to bonuses or skills. I would have to look it up to recall the details, but I remember just this by itself made me want to defeat more and more of enemies of every possible type.
- For a game which is so heavily based on battles, having custom enemies rather than stock ones could make things more engaging and interesting, especially quirky enemies. For example if we think about a game like Off, its has very weird enemies, just seeing new enemies is fascinating. Although I understand there are limits to what a person can make.
- I think making the very first battle so long when the player has no investment in any of the characters, I think it has the potential to loose a player's interest even at the very start. Even adding some dialogue inside the battle somehow, if possible, could make this more interesting. Worst case scenario, you could break the boss battle into a few "rounds" or "stages" with some dialogue in between.
- Having a strong story can help to engage the player to battle, it would be nice to have at least a bit of dialogue at the start telling us why, other than a simple "go in there".

- Mentioned it in the video, small things can go a long way. The save script you are using allows you to display variables on the save screen. You could make things more interesting by adding a stats screen there or somewhere else, even if jusst stuff like, how many enemies were killed or how many items were found, how much gold was lost or used, etc.

- Adding interesting and funny descriptions to random map features could make things more interesting and engaging, and encourage further exploration, even if it's just flavor.
 
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TheTitan99

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Thanks for playing. I'm hoping you continue!

I'm keeping note of most of your comments in a folder, especially the notes that seem to align with others: Random Encounters may hurt exploration, Early Enemies are too simple, ect. And some that others haven't, like dialogue scrolling too fast at times. I greatly appreciate your comments!

The one thing that I find odd from your comments is calling these battles "long". The mermen you fought were beaten in 4 turns, and could have easily been done in 3. I don't think that's long, haha. Maybe uninteresting, if you don't find it fun (which you don't have to, my job is to make it fun, not yours), but you can do 1/2 their max hp with 1 spell, so I think it can't be called long.
 

OwMeEye

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Thanks for playing. I'm hoping you continue!

I'm keeping note of most of your comments in a folder, especially the notes that seem to align with others: Random Encounters may hurt exploration, Early Enemies are too simple, ect. And some that others haven't, like dialogue scrolling too fast at times. I greatly appreciate your comments!

The one thing that I find odd from your comments is calling these battles "long". The mermen you fought were beaten in 4 turns, and could have easily been done in 3. I don't think that's long, haha. Maybe uninteresting, if you don't find it fun (which you don't have to, my job is to make it fun, not yours), but you can do 1/2 their max hp with 1 spell, so I think it can't be called long.

The random encounters weren't very long, I think the only really long battle so far was first battle, but maybe that creates a bias against the later battles (you expect them all to be long, confirmation bias). I think I even said it in the video at the first random encounters, I commented something like, "at least these were much quicker than the first two guys". So, I think the long initial battle is the problem. But I expect other boss battles will be similarly long as well.

So, to clarify, the monsters which only take 4 hits aren't long battles, they are ok, even if generic and a bit boring. There is probably still too many of them for my taste, especially because I like to explore everything. If I didn't explore everything to the sides it probably wouldn't be as tedious with the random encounters. But, also, because there is a lot of them when you explore, maybe it gives me the perception of them dragging on a bit?

- Here's another suggestion of what you could do. Even with generic monsters graphic, you could do stuff like, make weird (flavored) and interesting-sounding skills/attacks/items and names, to make things a bit less generic. In games like these it's always nice to have some kind of twist. Take Off or Undertale as an example, even if you take away Undertale's special battle system, all skills have flavored names and descriptions and it catches interest. You can give your game that kind of flavor even without using any special graphic. I remember at least a couple of other interesting rpg maker games which did some variation of this.

Here's some random example from the top of my head. Rather than have a monster called a Skqawker or whatever it was called, you could call it something silly like "Angry chicken", or "Feathery doom", or some other silly term, and give it it some attack like "egg blaster". While it may sound stupid, I think it would make things more funny, and by proxy less tedious. The game already starts with a somewhat silly premise, having characters like the lord of darkness in the party, you could go with it all the way and make it all silly and fun. Give it your own flavor and make it creative and fun in every possible way you can think of.
 
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