RMMV The Unborn Daughter (Last Updated: 31/12/2021)

Ouro

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It's yet another bugfix update! But this time I'd also like to take the chance to talk about future content and the next big update.
As always, you can find Unborn Daughter v0.23 here. Save importing still works, provided that your save is from a v0.2 version (The Snake Agenda) or higher.

Patch Notes for v.023
-First and what you’ve probably noticed already, I’ve finally started assigning numbers to each independent patch and have been putting those numbers into the name of the file itself. Hopefully this leads to less people confused about which version is which, especially in these heady post-Snake Agenda days where I’m putting out quite a few bugfixes!
-Fixed an annoying repeating textbox that could trigger after obtaining the Black Tortoiseshell.
-Fixed an issue where the Bandit Archer and Bandit Spearman enemies would not use all of their moves.
-Fixed an issue where Dorothy would sometimes not learn Dreamwalk even after witnessing the Red Emperor use it.
-Updated Clump’s battler sprite with one that looks less jank.

Hopefully this will be the last bugfix required for v.02 (The Snake Agenda update). And with that in mind, I’d like to start talking about the next big content update in the future. I’m calling this, which would be v.03, the Hex Ed update.
Here’s a little description of what will hopefully be within:

Features of the In-development ‘Hex Ed’ content update
-A slight expansion to the story content, following on from where the end of the demo currently leaves off. Not as big as the story expansion the Snake Agenda update did however.
-Some more sidequests throughout the Southlands that will be triggered by an event within the new story content. How these new missions appear and take place will depend on your in-game choices!
-Probably most importantly, the Hex Ed update will be introducing the fifth party member. Not a temporary recruit, not a summon but a fifth permanent member of the main cast. Her name and appearance are under lock and key but I can tell you that her class is called Witch, she is a Magic/Weapon user and she focuses on curses/hexes and Familiars in battle.
-Redesigning the Brack and surrounding areas like the Sprite Hive and the Cursed Road. This is by far the ugliest area in the game and desperately needs an update!
-More face expressions for all of the main characters! These will be seeded backwards retroactively throughout the game, not just suddenly manifesting in the new content.
-Updating the Bandit Camp area. It’s not getting a full Brack-style redesign but it will be made a bit less bothersome than it currently is.
-A new hidden bossfight that can be found in Threnody.
-A lot of general minor changes to various dialogues, events and battles. Just to make it all a little bit smoother.

As you may have noticed, Hex Ed is not a content-focussed update like Snake Agenda was. This coming update, though it does add the new party member, a little bit of story development and a few optional sidquests, it will be mostly focussed on improving what’s already in-game.
Hopefully, now that the Snake Agenda update has gone and created the base for what is going to be the rest of the game, this update and any future ones will be able to be completed much quicker!
 

Ouro

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Woah! Just one day after releasing what I said I hoped was the last bugfix patch for v0.2, here comes v0.24! Well, yes. This is just a quick little patch aimed at fixing an issue that can occur in the battle with the Revelationist, a side-quest boss.
Now, I know that it probably hasn’t been fun for anyone playing the game, having to keep up with this absurd amount of bugfix patches that come one after the other, forcing you to import your save over and over again. It’s not a lot of fun for me either, having to do the bugfix walk of shame to this degree. It’s really embarrassing, actually! This whole thread has basically just become me yelling bugfix updates into the void and that gets more and more mortifying as time goes on.
So in the interests of transparency, I’ll explain. In regards to the Snake Agenda content update, I tried a different approach to playtesting and playtesters then I did with the original demo release. It was supposed to make it easier and it evidently didn’t work. The only person who can really hold the blame for that in the end is me.
Starting with the next big update (Hex Ed), I will be doing things differently.
 

Ouro

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Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! Here, on the last day of 2021, I am uploading a small update to ...well, not to do anything especially huge. Just a bunch of small fixes, a bunch of small improvements. I hope you all like it!
As always, v.025 can be found here.

Patch Notes

-Fixed an issue where using the Gravity Feather to collect a certain tortoise could result in temporarily messing with collision.

-Fixed an issue where successfully taking the Hermit’s Last Respite without dying can cause your ears to ring for a long time afterwards!

-Gave the Dead Dragon enemy +2000 more HP.

-Fixed the Unborn Duellist’s battleback.

-Increased the damage the Unborn Duellist and the Trot enemies deal to Dorothy when she uses Judge on them from 50 to 100.

-Gave the Red Emperor enemy +500 more HP.

-Fixed an issue where using a Memory Ticket to view the various possible party-member conversations in the Snake Pit didn’t make all of the required events play out.

-The screen now fades to black for a fraction of a second before an illustration shows up. Hopefully this makes their appearance less jarring and sudden.

-Renamed the ‘The Right Tool’ Tome-skill to simply ‘Right Tool’ to prevent it overlapping its cost.

-Changed the effects of Right Tool so that now you receive a series of message boxes informing you of what state it has inflicted.

-Fixed a bug where Myrha’s father’s textboxes would occasionally not include a picture of his face.

-Made it so that when you’re about to learn the Innuendo skill from Karie, she gets a little exclamation mark above her head briefly. Hopefully this stops the player from skipping the textbox by accident.

-Made it more obvious that learning Innuendo from Karie will cause her to stop restocking the potions chest outside the Threnody Inn. This was always how it worked but it had not been accurately signposted to the player before this patch.

-Fixed an issue where you could be tricked into paying Trish’s reparations to the sprite blood guy in Shallas Grove multiple times.

-The haunted singing spot on the pier where you can summon up the Waterwitch and various other optional bosses is now more obviously a thing you can press a button on.

-Fixed the bug where the Shallow Grave state-icon was showing up twice when it was applied, either by Corpse Knight or Queen of Worms.

-Shallow Grave’s help text altered a bit to emphasize the fact that it will kill you regardless once your time limit expires.

-Fixed a mistake where the Prototype Brews item could be used in battle but not out of it, which is the exact opposite of how it should be.

-Fixed a bug where starting the Azi questline after you get Jameson in your party could cause the game to freeze due to a movement issue.

-Lob-bodies now face the party. Cool Lob-bodies don’t, though. They’re too cool.

-Buffed the damage scaling of TON *considerably*. Hopefully it’s now worth the lengthy set-up time!

-Fixed one or two spelling/grammar mistakes.

-Moved some enemy battle sprites into less awkward positions.
 

Ouro

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Dev's Notes: Hex Education Part One

Hey! I've decided to resume my old practice of posting weekly little blogs to tell anyone who's interested about all the kinds of stuff that's going to be in the next big content patch, which is tentatively been titled Hex Education.
Why is it called that specifically? Well, the last big patch was called The Snake Agenda for what should be fairly obvious reasons for anyone who played through it. In this case, Hex Ed owes its name to the new feature that I'll be talking about this week. That is to say, a brand new party member!

Unlike the recruits you can find scattered around the map, this one is a new core party member. She does not leave the party. She does not have to be rehired. And she's going to have all of her own unique party dialogue/rest events just like Ria, Jameson and Trish do. Her name is Kattelina and the name of her class is Witch.
The following description is somewhat of a minor spoiler, so if you care about such things I'd advise against reading further down.

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If you've played through a bit of the pre-existing demo, you might recognise her. Her joining the party is not the first time you'll encounter Kattelina! As a disgraced witch, Kattelina is a Magic/Weapon user and she focusses primarily on two new special class mechanics: Familiars and Hex.
You may have noticed certain 'Familiar' equipment scattered around the game in pre-existing builds, mostly obtained from beating secret bosses. Up to this point, they have had no use! But Kattelina can equip them and make use of them in battle. So with that in mind, let's take a look at her starting skills.

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Probably her most important Weapon skill is Silver Bell, one of those rare skills that can be used both in and out of battle. Silver Bell is an Instant technique that calls up whatever Familiar Kattelina has equipped, manifesting it in the battle beside her. This will not only change her in-battle sprite, it'll have a drastic effect on several of her other skills.
For example, the other Weapon skill Brass Bell is highly Familiar-dependant and cannot be used if Kattelina hasn't manifested a Familiar. Use Brass Bell to unleash your Familiar's 'ultimate move', something that the Familiar would have had to have spent 100 TP to use back when it was an enemy. If Kattelina has the Ooze Familiar equipped, ringing her Brass Bell will cause it to use Slumbering Beast. If she has the Drake Familiar, the Brass Bell instead summons forth a formidable Dragonbreath.
Her last Weapon skill, Bodyblock, is a testament to Kattelina's own cruel and cowardly nature. Using this forces your current Familiar to take a hit for you, negating the next instance of damage. But once having done so, that Familiar is de-manifested and cannot be resummoned for the rest of the fight, forcing Kattelina to use her Silver Bell to swap out to another Familiar in your inventory. It's not a very heroic skill but oh well! None of you are heroes anyway.

That just leaves her two Magic skills, Hex Charge and Word of Command. To those who've met Kattelina before, these mechanics might be familiar. When Kattelina uses Hex Charge, she backs away from the battle and lets her Familiar fight in her stead while she gets ready to charge up a wicked curse. That is to say, Hex Charge gives Kattelina a stack of the cumulative status Hex and, if she has a Familiar manifested, that Familiar performs a random technique that it used back when it was an enemy!
But what does Hex itself do? Well, it's a stacking status, like Fatal or Ill. You can have as many stacks of it as you want, though you'll only ever get those stacks from Hex Charge or an enemy using a skill like Mimic Venom on you. At the end of every round, Kattelina gains a small amount of HP and MP for every Hex stack she has. But Hex also matters for her other Magic skill, the one selected in that screenshot above.
Word of Command is pretty simple. Kattelina commands the target to take an action and the target must obey. She can't outright take control of an enemy (yet) but she can tell them to close their eyes (inflicting Blind) or to shut up (inflicting Silence) or, if she has enough Hex, to simply die. But it all depends on how much Hex stacks she has. The more stacks, the stronger and more versatile Word of Command becomes. When you use Word with zero Hex, the only possible option to select is Taunt, forcing the target to focus on Kattelina and Kattelina alone. Use Word with a whole bunch of Hex stacks and you'll find that you can do all kinds of things to your poor target, inflicting a range of Targeted, Silence, Blind, Rage, Poison, Blight or Fatal status effects.

Something you might also have noticed from those above screenshots is that our new Witch friend has a passive status effect like Ria and Jameson do. This is Witch Hunt and it's a passive that Kattelina would prefer to do without. It makes all enemies much more likely to target Kattelina than anyone else. Fortunately, Kattelina is the kind of person who finds joy in people being mad at her so such persecution also lets her regenerate 1% of her max HP every turn. That's not a lot but if you can combine it with a bunch of Hex stacks...

As you may have guessed from that passive and a few of these skills, Kattelina is a tank. She fills a similar role in the party as Jameson does. Though where Jameson focusses on protecting party members, damage resistance and counter-attacking, Kattelina prefers to tank through constant HP regen, inflicting an array of debilitating debuffs and leaning on her Familiars to provide modularity and versatility.
Thank you for playing!
 

Lunesis

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I'm going to download this and give it a whirl, I'll let you know what I think.
 

Lunesis

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After playing for a few hours here are my impressions:

-Didn't run into any bugs so that is great!
-The hand drawn art is the biggest draw for me here. It helps to expand your characters and see what they should really look like. Would love to eventually see some busts in the game but the chargen faces are ok too.
-Would love to see/hear more custom assets, but I understand this is a work in progress and some things may be placeholders.
-I like the pink slime enemy, are these Tyler Warren battlers? I would buy some more packs if/when you can afford it.
-I like Dorothy's low key personality, she feels like a good avatar for the player, asking questions about the world and what not. Ria is a little more brash, has to a bone to pick with everyone, the impression that I get from her is that she has unresolved background issues so if that is what you are going for that is a good place to begin. Judging from what I've seen you understand how to do character arcs.
-If you are going to ship Dorothy and Ria I would put them in some precarious situations together where they need to support each other in order to persevere. Explain or maybe just allude to why Ria takes to Dorothy so quickly when she seems to dislike most other people from her home world. I'm sure you already have plans for this.
-I like the multiple text lines from NPCs, gives the game more depth. The self-realization jokes were good too. I think it's ok to break the 4th wall sometimes to say what the player is thinking, or to get a laugh out of them to lighten the situation.
-Overall I really like your worldbuilding and custom created half monster NPCs that fill out your village, they don't feel generic by virtue of their designs and convos.
-I don't mind the f bombs, I use them all the time at work, but they might un-immerse some players. I fully advise you not to change it if you feel like it helps the characterization.
-I really like the idea of the blue mage learning system, it gives you an incentive to get into battles. I am curious to see how you avoid redundancy, but it might not matter as long as each move has its own personality. Two of the same attack can be fine if they have a different appearance or animation.
-The maze gen forest may need to be reworked, perhaps you can revisit it later on in the dev cycle. I get massive anxiety around mapping but I just force myself to start until I get over the blank page issue by placing some basic framework and then refining around that
-Other than that I think your mapping looks just fine and you do good keeping boxes and straight lines to a minimum, as long as you break up empty floor tiles a bit in the large open areas with some random weeds or something. This is also something I struggle with, trying to make all of my weeds and doodads make "sense", I can drive myself crazy with it but sometimes you just have to slap down some flowers without overthinking it.
-In the Jameson conversation where he joins the party I would make the characters face him instead of facing away

Those are my thoughts for right now, trying not to repeat what others have said. I look forward to your progress!
 

Trihan

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Feel free to assign some blame to me for the bugfixing situation. I prioritised my time poorly and really let you down with testing; had I realised how soon you intended to release The Snake Agenda I might have shuffled things around and done better. :(
 

Ouro

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After playing for a few hours here are my impressions:

-The hand drawn art is the biggest draw for me here. It helps to expand your characters and see what they should really look like. Would love to eventually see some busts in the game but the chargen faces are ok too.
-Would love to see/hear more custom assets, but I understand this is a work in progress and some things may be placeholders.

Agreed. I'm working on adding some more varied assets right now, actually. Including custom-drawn faces!
-I like the pink slime enemy, are these Tyler Warren battlers? I would buy some more packs if/when you can afford it.
Virtually all battlers that are not RTP (or dragged from XP's RTP like the Lob-bodies) are from here. The only exception to that rule I can think of are the Void enemies, which are scribbled out by me personally and the 'Unborn Duellist' boss, which uses a battler made by my illustrative friend.

-I like Dorothy's low key personality, she feels like a good avatar for the player, asking questions about the world and what not. Ria is a little more brash, has to a bone to pick with everyone, the impression that I get from her is that she has unresolved background issues so if that is what you are going for that is a good place to begin. Judging from what I've seen you understand how to do character arcs.
-If you are going to ship Dorothy and Ria I would put them in some precarious situations together where they need to support each other in order to persevere. Explain or maybe just allude to why Ria takes to Dorothy so quickly when she seems to dislike most other people from her home world. I'm sure you already have plans for this.

I do, yes. Though it's always worth sounding them out. I'm a little worried that this game might end up with too many important character details bound up in missable optional conversations. That's part of why I have the Memory Ticket system.
-Overall I really like your worldbuilding and custom created half monster NPCs that fill out your village, they don't feel generic by virtue of their designs and convos.

Probably the only time MV's default character creator is gonna work in my favour. It's very good at making people that look ill-made and awkward, like Scions.

-I don't mind the f bombs, I use them all the time at work, but they might un-immerse some players. I fully advise you not to change it if you feel like it helps the characterization.

I go back and forth on this. I think swearing can be part of any character's voice but I also can't deny that I mostly just do it because it's easier. I was raised by and amongst people who swore like sailors and it can be pretty invisible to me as a result. When I work on stuff that is more 'all-ages' than UD is, I always end up having to waste a lot of time and effort going back over everything and making sure that I didn't swear unconsciously.
This could be a problem in the future though, if it ends up blurring character voices together. Ideally different characters have slightly different profane preferences! Jameson ends up cursing pretty differently from how Ria does, hopefully.
-I really like the idea of the blue mage learning system, it gives you an incentive to get into battles. I am curious to see how you avoid redundancy, but it might not matter as long as each move has its own personality. Two of the same attack can be fine if they have a different appearance or animation.

The problem with the unfiltered and unfettered blue magic fantasy that the game offers (that every single enemy skill is learnable, every single god-dang one) is that skill bloat is inevitable. Dorothy's specific type of blue magic runs counter to good game design.
Ideally there are ways to work against this however. I've been slowly patching in and updating really bad skills to at least give them niche uses for players who want to use them. And hopefully stuff like the optional Filter system that you can get from the Taroi Camp will help, as will future planned mechanics like an NPC in Low Kallech who can fuse several of your more uninspiring skills together to give you something better.

-The maze gen forest may need to be reworked, perhaps you can revisit it later on in the dev cycle. I get massive anxiety around mapping but I just force myself to start until I get over the blank page issue by placing some basic framework and then refining around that
-Other than that I think your mapping looks just fine and you do good keeping boxes and straight lines to a minimum, as long as you break up empty floor tiles a bit in the large open areas with some random weeds or something. This is also something I struggle with, trying to make all of my weeds and doodads make "sense", I can drive myself crazy with it but sometimes you just have to slap down some flowers without overthinking it.

Shallas Grove really does look ugly. But I'm a little torn because its ugliness is somewhat of a plot event, a clue to a secret area within. But boy oh boy it looks bad. Were there any mechanical issues you had with it or is it purely just a case of aesthetics?

-In the Jameson conversation where he joins the party I would make the characters face him instead of facing away

Good catch. I think this is probably an artifact of an earlier version, accidentally carried through the system. The way you meet Jameson in-game has evolved and changed a lot from my original idea of it and sometimes goofy little stuff like that survives all the updates even though it serves no purpose anymore. Like an appendix.

Feel free to assign some blame to me for the bugfixing situation. I prioritised my time poorly and really let you down with testing; had I realised how soon you intended to release The Snake Agenda I might have shuffled things around and done better. :(

Nah, nah, nah mate, no worries. For starters, I really messed up the playtesting to begin with, to the point where I handed you a *really* buggy playtest model. That stems from me. In fact, I would be very happy to have your input for playtesting the Hex Education update once it's done.
 

Lunesis

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With Shallas Grove, it is transparently a maze gen map and any lore you use to explain it might be lost on the player before they can get to the explaination, but if the reason you have it the way it is is because of the lore, or a secret, then stay with it and prove your mapping chops elsewhere.

Using Avery's forest tileset may help as well:
 

Ouro

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Nah yeah, that's fair. There's no reason it has to be as bad as it is. I'll see what I can do about it in the next update.
 

Ouro

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Dev's Notes: Hex Education Part Two

Another week, another little dev-blog to assure everyone that some sort of progress is being made on the next big update. In this one I wanted to talk about party member upgrades. Specifically, Ria. As you may know, you don't learn skills in Unborn Daughter through levelling up. Dorothy is entirely dependent on her blue magic to gain skills and all of the other party members have fairly static skill-sets and can mostly only pick up new skills through the use of equippable Skill Tomes.
Well, no longer! In addition to the versatility that their two Tome slots give them, your party members will also be acquiring new skills in the coming update.

The area of focus in Hex Education, Low Kallech, is a much harsher and harder place than any plot-relevant area before it. But it is also a place where resolve can be hardened and potentials realized. As you progress through various Low Kallech dungeons and zones, your formerly static party members will unlock new Skills of their own. These unlocks are tied to specific plot events and locations to explore so they won't happen all at once but by the time you're leaving these wretched ruins, every one of your allies should be much more versatile.
So let's talk about Ria and what she might have to look forward to in Low Kallech.

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Ria is a pretty simple character and intentionally so. In the earlygame when the party is just Dorothy and her, her simple strength serves to babysit a stat-deficient Dorothy who has yet to learn any significant skills. You don't have to jump through any hoops to use Ria, she's just good.
And while Low Kallech serves as a place where every character gains a new level of mechanical complexity, I want Ria to stay true to these roots even as her playstyle expands. I'm hoping that these additional skills continue to maintain her essential Ria-ness.

That said, did you know that Ria can play at being a wizard too? She does have access to Magic skills after all, it'd be crazy to never use them. This is where Slimespittle comes in, a magical attack that deals elemental Water damage and inflicts Slimed on the target. The damage of it scales with Ria's M.ATK, which isn't great, but it also scales with the amount of TP she currently has stored! It doesn't cost TP but it cares about how much she has. This type of skill isn't Ria's usual forte but in a place that has a lot of ghosts with Physical resistances, she has to make do.

But it wouldn't be Ria if she didn't mostly care about pummelling people to death, resistances or no resistances. So meet another skill that she can unlock in Low Kallech: Fury. Fury mirrors Ria's traditional Overclock in that it costs 3% of her max MP and HP but it also costs 20 TP, making it the very first triple-cost skill in the game! Using Fury puts Ria into a new state called Haze, a stacking status whose stacks increase every time she strikes a foe with Physical damage. She can have up to ten Haze stacks at a time and every single stack of Haze increases her Physical damage by an additional 10% when dealt. It's great for long fights and lets Ria build up her damage without succumbing entirely to Boiling Blood. Or you could combine Fury and Boiling Blood for some truly absurd numbers.
This also comes with a Special skill called Haze Barrage. This skill is paired with Fury, you couldn't have one without the other. It's also pretty simple. Activating Haze Barrage calls upon Ria to use one of her most powerful starting skills, Split-Fist, but without having to pay Split-Fist's usual HP or TP costs! So what does it cost then? Haze. Haze Barrage costs 5 stacks of Haze to use and the three hits that result from the skill don't give Ria any Haze in return.

And finally, what could possibly be more 'Ria' than Passive Skills? Ria starts the game with a pretty formidable passive but depending on what you do in Low Kallech, she can end up with more.
The first is Seething, which is short and sweet. Whenever Ria is below 50% of her max HP, Seething activates and gives her a +20% bonus to her damage. Naturally this stacks with other effects like Boiling Blood or Haze. Naturally.

The second Passive that can be unlocked and the final skill Ria may obtain from Low Kallech is Your Guide. The first time Ria would take lethal damage in a fight, she's dropped to 1 HP instead! However, this only works if Dorothy is in the party and isn't Downed. If Dorothy has already lost, Ria cannot make use of this.

Thank you for reading and I hope you've all been having a splendid start to 2022.
 

Lunesis

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D7 is streaming your game
 

Ouro

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D7 is streaming your game
Sadly I was asleep when it was happening and I'm a little busy with RL stuff today but I'm looking forward to checking out the VOD a bit later.
 

Mr. Detective

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While I'm not good at mapping myself, I must say that some of your maps are quite lacking in visuals and leave a lot to be desired. Are you going to polish them or do you prefer to devote all of your time into working on other aspects of the game and get it done with?
 

Ouro

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While I'm not good at mapping myself, I must say that some of your maps are quite lacking in visuals and leave a lot to be desired. Are you going to polish them or do you prefer to devote all of your time into working on other aspects of the game and get it done with?
Oh yeah, I'm well aware. I initially tried bringing someone else on to do maps a year or so ago and they flaked immediately. That said, I'm working on maps (and visuals in general) in the update that's currently in-progress.

EDIT: That said, all this stuff are placeholders. Even the updated maps in the future are just going to be placeholders.
 
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Ouro

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Dev's Notes: Hex Education Part Three

As I said, I will be doing weekly dev blogs about new stuff in the upcoming content patch. This one is a few days late but it was an extremely hectic week IRL. So it goes!
In the last one of those, I looked at some of the skills that'll be getting unlocked for Ria in Low Kallech. But of course she isn't the only one getting an expansion to her kit, they all are (except Dorothy, her kit is expanded enough). So for this week, I'll be talking about Jameson and a few of his new mechanics.

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Jameson's starting skills come equipped with some hefty survivability tools already and if you've played the previous demo all the way through, you've probably put them to good use. However, his initial kit leaves a little to be desired outside of boss-fights. Specifically, his damage. If you never find the sidequest that rewards you with the Faeblade, Jameson's damage can begin to lag behind the rest of the party in a major way.
Now, that's not a problem to be fixed per se. He can't be good at everything. But the trials that await him will require him to be more than simply enduring. Even a rock can do that, Jameson! So with that in mind, I've looked into expanding his damage options while still keeping his essential Jamesonosity and his playstyle.

Now while Jameson isn't getting passive skills like Ria is (passive skills will probably always be a Ria-only mechanic) but he can do something that's ultimately pretty similar. He can upgrade his pre-existing skills. Specifically in this case, Counter. During the upcoming segment, you will be required to choose between two upgrades to Jameson's basic Counter skill, upgrades that will apply to all other skills he gets that includes the word 'Counter' in the skill name. The two upgrades are:

1) Jameson's Counter skills trigger on magical attacks in addition to physical attacks. (As you may be able to tell from the above screenshot, this is the one chosen in the save that shot is plucked from).

or

2) Jameson's Counter states all last one more turn than they normally would.

You can only pick one. But fear not! Whichever option you don't pick will show up later in the game. Probably in High Kallech. Whatever option you don't pick isn't being discarded, merely delayed.

In addition to that, Jameson's all-round counterattack suite is being expanded with Wide Counter and High Counter. High Counter and Wide Counter are slightly more expansive versions of Jameson's base counterattack, just with a little bonus added on top. The counterattacks from High Counter deal double the damage as his regular counterattacks and while the damage from Wide Counter is only 75% of Jameson's normal counterattacks, each one hits all enemies. And as previously mentioned, whatever Counter upgrade you choose for Jameson will apply to both Wide and High Counter as well.
With these paired skills, you can swap between using AoE counterattacks for swarms of enemies and single high-damage strikes for singular bosses as you see fit. And the regular counter-attack is still there too, in case those both get too expensive. Jameson doesn't have the most ideal mana pool, after all!

But, also included among his Weapon skills, is a new skill for when you just want to mess stuff up. Traitor's Blade is a high-damage physical AoE that has a chance to inflict Targeted on every enemy it hits, forcing all of them to target Jameson. Beyond that, it also deals double damage to all human enemies. Not merely humanoid like Ria or Dorothy, just human. Fortunately, there are a great many human foes to come.
Jameson is himself human of course, so using such an anti-human technique is not without its downsides for him. The skill rejects him, just as it does all Man. This is a very flowery way to explain that using it costs 25% of his max HP but whatever. That's what it costs. No TP, no MP, no cooldowns, just health.
With this skill, Jameson finally joins the rest of the party in being able to throw his life away.

Those are all Weapon skills however and Jameson is a Weapon/Special user. So what of Special? Well, Jameson will be getting just one new Special skill in Low Kallech. It is a small thing but it took an unpleasant amount of thought to make. This is Receive Magic, a 5 TP-costing Instant skill that takes advantage of both Dorothy's extraordinary talent for blue magic and a specific practice shared between Church knights and their mage companions. Jameson cannot wield magic but he can be a vessel for it, drawing from it to strengthen him.
After Receive Magic has been activated (and at Instant speed mind you, so it ignores the usual initiative order), the next skill Dorothy uses will, if it is a Magic skill, be imprinted upon Jameson for the rest of the battle. The exact effect this has varies from spell to spell but generally speaking, they tend to be elemental attack buffs with a few extra gimmicks thrown in. There probably won't be much difference between say, a Blaze and a Firestorm but there are a few secret results in there.
Now, it might be worth asking why Jameson is extending this partnership to Dorothy and not to Trismegistus, the actual mage around here. This reason is twofold. Firstly that it should serve as another good way to demonstrate and reward the breadth of Dorothy's blue magic.
Secondly: Jameson doesn't trust Trish with that. I mean, come on.
 

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Dev's Notes: Hex Education Part Four

This week's weekly devblog is actually coming in on time for once! What a novelty. As the last two of these things covered the new skills and mechanics that Ria and Jameson will be able to unlock in the coming update, this one is rounding off that little series by doing the same to Trismegistus.
Making new skills for Trish was easy. Or rather, coming up with the ideas for new skills was easy. Implementing and using them on the other hand....Well, that's just Trish's whole deal, isn't it? Anyone who's used Trismegistus in the previous demo is probably aware not only of her versatility and power but also the level of busywork she requires to use to her full potential. She's all about class-switching and mode-changing and having a skill for every single situation but often having it gated behind her class and mode gimmicks. To keep Trish's new skills in the spirit of her design, they've got to be needlessly baroque. They've got to result in you pressing more buttons in her turn than you have to in everyone else's. They have to be a little bit of an inconvenience to keep track of.
But the flipside of that is that any player who chooses to pay that cost and engages with her gimmicks wholeheartedly is rewarded with a great swathe of power and versatility on the other side. In the current demo Trismegistus is the second-most versatile character in the game, second only to Dorothy and her infinite blue magic. And while Ria has the highest DPS in a more lackadaisical playthrough, a playthrough that really knuckles down and delves into set-up strats and combos will find their Trish outstripping even Ria in the damage department.
She's a troop-clearer, an utility mage, a weird support and, if her Pure Flames are backed up by supporting skills like Hot And Cold, Neutral Foe and Cosmic Crown (etc), an absolute boss melter. But ultimately, what you get out of her is equal to what you put in. She's a reward for players who enjoy spinning plates, so to speak.

Here are some more plates.

trish2.jpg

Most of Trismegistus' skills are bound up in her class-swapping mechanic, between Theurge, Astrologist and Alchemist. The three new skills she'll be receiving in the update will be no different. One for each!

In her Theurge form, she'll have the new Void skill OIVZ. OIVZ is an Instant-cast skill that, upon being cast, acts a little like Three Masteries in that it'll present you with a list of options. Those options are:
  • Word of Flame
  • Word of Frost
  • Word of Storms
  • Word of Oceans
  • Word of Stone
  • Word of Air
  • Word of Radiance
  • Word of Shadow
After selecting, Trish will call down a 'minister' to bind itself to her and to speak, granting her a state where she channels the chosen element for the rest of the battle (she lacks the expertise for elemental Crab or Physical however). Once she's channelling an element, Trish is immune to damage from that element and all of her skills that deal damage of that specified element deal 25% more damage.
Being in this state also unlocks a temporary skill called Hermetic Cannon. Like Hermetic Bullet, the elemental damage of this skill changes depending on Trish's current nature. In this case, the element of Hermetic Cannon will match the element chosen by OIVZ. Hermetic Cannon is a mana-intensive spell that releases the element you're channelling, dealing massive AoE damage and cancelling the 'channel' state.
Trismegistus can only use OIVZ once per battle so you better pick your element and your Cannon timing wisely!

In her Astrologist form, Trismegistus will gain access to the new Void skill, Cardistry. This skill lets Trish draw a card from her opponent's fate, draining their MP for an amount equal to her LCK stat and drawing a random card. How many possible cards are there?
Seventy-Eight.
Trish's deck is comprised of four suits: Fire, Air, Water and Earth. There are 14 uniquely named cards in each suit and 22 Trumps that sit above them. Drawing each card is mostly without fanfare, though each of the Trumps has a unique on-draw effect. But once Trish has assembled a 3-card spread, she reads the future and attains an 'Ascendency' state that lasts for five turns. The exact details of this state depend on the elemental makeup of her Spread and how many Trumps make it up.
For example, if the Spread is predominantly Water and has no Trumps, Trish will gain the 'Water Ascendant' state that will grant her +20% M.DEF. But if there was a single Trump in the hand, it would be 'Water Ascendant+' and grants +40 M.DEF instead. And on for all the four elements like so:
  • Water: M.DEF
  • Fire: M.ATK
  • Earth: DEF
  • Air: AGI
But each of these Spread-induced states also unlocks a Magic skill called Horoscope, which is usable as long as Trish remains in her astrological state. Horoscope is a damaging elemental attack whose elemental type depends on which elemental star-sign is reigning over the Spread. And just as the number of Trumps contained within the Spread effects the potency of her passive stat buff, it also improves the power of Horoscope.
Cardistry is an Instant skill with a Cooldown of 1 so it can be done once every turn for free for as long as Trish's Mastery is Astrology. Furthermore, the cards in the Spread carry over between battles, allowing you to assemble the first two cards for free against random mobs and then being able to finish the Spread on the very first turn against a boss. And while Cardistry requires Trish to be in Astrologist mode, all Horoscope requires is that it be within at least five turns from completing a Spread. You can swap her to Theurge or Alchemist in the meantime and the Horoscope will still carry over!

Speaking of Alchemist however, Trish's third and final new skill that she'll be picking up in the update is the Void skill Magnum Opus and can only be used while she is in her Alchemist form. Magnum Opus functions as essentially another, more limited version of Three Masteries and one that can overlap and stack on top of the effect of Masteries. That is to say, Magnum Opus gives Trish another 3 classes to swap between, classes that grant skills and exist independently of Trish's usual triple-class mechanics. On the fly multi-classing!
Of course, it's not a 1:1 comparison. Unlike Three Masteries, which can be used by Trish whenever it's not on cooldown, Magnum Opus requires her to be in Alchemist form. It also costs mana, unlike Three Masteries cost of absolutely nothing. And the new forms unlocked through Opus are also time-limited, lasting for 10 turns each.
That said, these alchemical form changes are absolutely worth the trouble.

When using Magnum Opus, you will be presented with a menu with 3 choices: Nigredo, Albedo and Rubedo. Your choice here will not only transform Trismegistus' skill list, it'll also effect her appearance.

trishblack.png
trishwhite.png
trishred.png

Each of these three colour forms represent a different stage of alchemical transcendence. That said, an attempt has been made to balance them with one another. Regardless of which one you choose, it will give Trish a passive effect and two new Skills that she will be capable of using for the duration of her transformation. And though Magnum Opus requires Trish being in Alchemist form to use, there's nothing stopping you from class-swapping out afterwards. This will let you freely mix and match Trish's 3 'natural' classes with the three alchemical transformations unlocked here. A lot of combo nonsense potential.
But what do these 3 coloured transformations do?

While Trish is in Nigredo, she talks only half damage from magical attacks of any kind. Trismegistus has always been very physically fragile but when it comes to magic? That's her domain! Nigredo also allows her to use the Magic skills Royal Water and Handful of Dust. Handful of Dust deals Earth-aspected damage to all enemies and sharply debuffs their M.DEF for 5 turns. Royal Water, on the other hand, deals powerful Water damage to a single target and inflicts 'Decomposition' on them. Decomposition is a DoT that lasts forever and cannot be removed through any means. And rather than rely on percentage damage (like Frostbite) or the number of stacks (like Ill), it simply deals damage equal to Trismegistus' M.ATK every turn forever. This works off her M.ATK when you first apply it so make sure that her magical power is buffed up before using Royal Water for maximum effect!
And lest you think that the addition of this parameter-defined DoT is marking a new approach to damage-over-time effects in Unborn Daughter, this kind of effect is specific to Decomposition only and will never apply to anything else. And Decomposition as a status is specific to Trismegistus alone.

When Trismegistus is in Albedo, on the other hand, she gains a +10% boost to all of her non-HP and MP related stats. It also gives her the Void skill Distillation and the Magic skill White Flash. Distillation is simple: it buffs her M.ATK. For 50 turns, ten times as long as the default length of buffs/debuffs in this game. White Flash is also pretty simple, a costly spell that deals a very large amount of Thunder damage to a single opponent. It's stronger than Pure Flame, essentially replacing it as her premier single-target damage spell but is much harder to access and use.

And then we have Rubedo, the 'Alchemist' to Nigredo's 'Astrologist' and Albedo's 'Theurge' respectively. Rubedo is supposedly the perfect state of the Magnum Opus, the stage where one may transcend themselves through alchemy. Game balance forbids that but I hope that Rubedo's passive effect, a 20% chance for Trish to gain an extra action every single turn, helps convey that regardless.
trishpost1.png

As you may note from this picture, which shows Trismegistus in Rubedo form while also being in Astrologist form, Rubedo temporarily unlocks two additional Void Skills and they both have alchemical costs. Immortal Metal costs 1000G to use but, provided that you can meet that cost, will provide a full heal to any ally. And Sun/Moon Master, somewhat cheekily named given the circumstances, allows Trismegistus to apply a state called 'Dyad' to any ally, including herself. This gives the target an extra action for this turn only, allowing for all sorts of godawful nonsense. Sun/Moon Master is also an Instant-cast spell, to allow Trish to bestow Dyad upon people who go before her in the initiative order and instead of costing MP or TP or HP, it costs a single regular Potion.
Who knows, maybe carrying around those basic Potions long after they've stopped being relevant might be useful now?

This game has always been about a character who can basically do anything. That's Dorothy's whole deal. But Trismegistus should never be that far behind. But like anything to do with Trish, why would it be easy and simple when it could be needlessly painful instead? That's the price she pays for being merely human.
I hope you enjoyed this monstrosity of a dev-log.
 

Ouro

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Dev's Notes: Hex Education Part Five

It's been a while since the last Dev's Notes on the in-progress patch. Like, a month. It's been a pretty hectic time. But there's no point to just laying around forever feeling sorry for myself now, is there? So here's two topics:

Firstly, I'm hoping that the new demo build will be entering playtesting sometime in March. That doesn't mean the demo will be out by then, not necessarily, playtesting might take a while. But I want to set this as a goal. Hopefully it'll work out better than last time.

Secondly, I guess this Dev's Notes will be about some of the new art assets that'll be joining the game come the new update. Most importantly, Hex Education will be bringing with it a complete face overhaul. Up until now I've been using MV's innate sprite-maker to just sort of muddle my way along but that's over now.
With the help of Eadgear (whose personal thread can be found here), all of the facesets currently within the game have been getting reworked and replaced. This is the first step of moving Unborn Daughter away from default assets entirely and I'm very happy to finally be starting this process. Here are a few of the results:

devnote1.png
devnote2.png
devnote3.png

As well as giving updated art for the faces of not only the PC's but also (eventually, it'll take a while to roll this out fully) every NPC, this also allows me to go back and fix a problem that's been noted by several people. The old placeholder facepics didn't have much variation in visible emotion, aside from a few extreme circumstances. But now all of the party members will be able to visibly express themselves much more dynamically!

Dorothy.png

Okay, maybe using Dorothy was a bad example. She's pretty stoic. Look at Ria instead.

Ria.png

Another upside of this is that Ria finally gets to be depicted as much more realistically goopy looking and mutated than her face-painted placeholder ever did. This brings her much more in line with her in-game illustrations.

And speaking of illustrations, those haven't stopped either! Here are a few pieces courtesy of Gehn, who's done most of the illustrative work for Unborn Daughter thus far.

starchildren.png

This stark and sketchy piece is not actually part of the new content. It's going into Dorothy's dream sequence in the Snake Pit, which has languished without an actual background for far too long.

75gaxJC.jpg


And this little lady is a character who has actually already appeared in the demo, albeit only briefly. But she'll be playing a much bigger role in the new content and with that comes a significant visual redesign, paired with this fantastic cutscene illustration.

This is just a little taste of the new art assets coming in the next update, many of which are still in development. Thank you for your time.
 

Ouro

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I know I've been radio-silent for a few weeks. It's been a weird time of my life. Over that time period I quit my old job and am (hopefully) starting a new one. Lots of other stuff too. Anyway, this is just a general notice to say that I've begun personally playtesting the new content! Look forward to a new update soon!
 

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Just finished and uploaded the delivery truck base/sprite sheet. I've been steadily replacing the default assets with early modern alternatives. The air-ship for a biplane, horse-drawn wagon for a delivery truck, and next a sailboat for a steam-powered passenger liner (think of the SS Olympic and RMS Titanic).
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one of the coolest things I've learned from the forums is the ability to give yourself a hitbox. I have a move you can do on the fields. shoulder tackle. thanks to the forums, that tackle triggers self A switches on some events. NPC's and the environment now react to the tackle. awesome.
I really liked how this one turned out! :kaopride:
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Character (Yes, this is a character): Nibiru the Primal Being from Yugioh.
Dragon Quest style enemy selection plugin work in progress:

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It's a simple targeting system from the NES era. Select an enemy group; single-target skills will target the first enemy in that group.

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