Tome571

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The idea of this project is to get some skills with RPG Maker, as well as pay homage to the old school RPGs. My original plan was to just use RTP assets, but have decided to go on with some upgrades and will be continuing to do so. With the feedback I've gotten so far, the project has some good promise, so I may continue to upgrade assets and polish the product, if there continues to be interest in it.

Brief Overview -

 



The Valley of Ashe has seen an increase in the number of monsters lately. Valen, a ranger from the town of Ashe, hunts and gathers for the town's survival. Although he is known as "The Lone Wolf", his fiery sister Sylvyth insists on helping him gather food for the coming winter. The Village of Ashe may be on the brink of starvation, but Valen swears to the Faeries to only take what they need to survive. Both he and the Faeries understand that the balance must be kept...

After finding out that the horde is led by a certain Lord Tyrak and the recent monster attacks are an effort to starve out the town of Ashe, Valen and Sylvyth volunteer to leave the valley and seek out allies as well as gather any other information they can find about Lord Tyrak and why he wishes to invade the Valley of Ashe.

Upon their return, Valen and Sylvyth find the King of Ashe has passed away, and a new king has been installed. The new king does not believe in the balance Valen seeks and tensions mount. After tragedy strikes, how will Valen set the wrong deeds right? Will he learn to lead, instead of always being "The Lone Wolf"? Will Lord Tyrak triumph over the people of the Valley?

I invite you to take this journey and help Valen become the hero he is destined to be. With over (planning on..) 25 hours of gameplay, multiple characters and realms to visit, we watch our Lone Wolf become a hero, leader, and lord of his own kingdom to help take back the Valley of Ashe and restore balance to the kingdom. Progressive re-building of your own kingdom, rich environments and storyline, with concept/conflicts that are not just a recycled story you are used to! Each class has unique skills and abilities to differentiate combat style and tactics. Difficulty increases as your skills become more diverse, first allowing you more options to defeat enemies, then requiring you to be creative in how you handle your skills in order to succeed!

 


I have the first branches of storyline complete and enough content so you know the main conflict. At the end of the Demo, you are just starting the main quest which branches even further later in the game. This demo is about 30% - 40% of the game complete. Estimated gameplay time so far - 4 - 8 hours depending on pace of play, leveling, exploration and balance. All of my play tests were around 2.5 hours, but most others' play tests were closer to 6 - 10 hours. There should be enough content to give you a great idea of style, content, writing, character progression, etc.
 


I'm looking for feedback on:


Battle Balance and Progression - I will continue to update item names and skills as we go on. I'm looking for the balance of progression from area to area. Basically, you don't have to spend too much time or too little time leveling to move to the next area. Do you get overpowered too quickly? Are there too few encounters or too many?

Mapping Detail and Overall Presentation - Does it create rich environments? Do the music and mapping match up to create a "feel" for each area? What would you improve on for mapping/ambience? Are there any event bugs that you see so far? Are there enough non-story interactions - town people, events attached to town characters, and cutscene events, that also enrich the gaming experience?

Storyline and Characters - Feedback on the speech, character development so far. Is there good breaking in speech/text to give it good flow and thought breaks? Are you getting a feel for who the characters are/think/feel? Does it make you want to play on more? Where would you add/take away from to enhance the understanding of our characters?

Features and gameplay - Feedback on the skills for each separate class, are they balanced, are there enough skills and are they helpful/useful to enriching the gameplay? Is this something that should be expanded on?


Upgrades to the RTP - With some more time and polish, is this a project you would want in your library? Would custom sprites/characters/battlers add a lot to enriching the overall presentation of the game? Does it have the potential to be commercial? What would YOU add?


Dropbox download - Moved to next comment!
 


Credits!


Musashi - Mapping/lighting http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/topic/50399-musashis-room-hire-a-mapper


PandaMaru - Mapping assets http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/topic/46811-marus-mv-bits/


Geoff Moore - Custom music http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/topic/31649-misty-mountain-music-hut-geoff-moore-open-free-giveaways/


Dainiri.Art - Title screen http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/topic/54453-d-art-commission-shop-2-slots-open/



Screenshots:

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Thanks for playing!


 


 
 
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Tome571

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Some Videos of Storyline scenes...

Demo 2 scene:

 
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fish

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hmm... I'll give it a try once I get onto my own computer
 

fish

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Here are some impressions for the parts I played:

Battle:

-I think the random encounter rate is way too high. I was running into a fight about every 5 steps, and escaping fails a lot. This becomes quite annoying when I just want to progress through the story. To me, this is the biggest issue I have with this game right now. It was literally making the experience a chore.

-Adding on top of that, some enemies you encounter, like skeletons or ghosts, are quite strong. If encounter is infrequent, this wouldn't be an issue, but since they appear so frequently, they become overpowering rather quickly. This makes exploring every corner of the dungeon difficult. In fact, this punishes exploring because the more you explore, the more encounters you'd run into, which drains up your supply of potions etc. much faster than just rushing to objective.

Mapping/Presentation:

-I'd say, mapping is serviceable. Nothing that makes me go "wow, this is so unique", but nothing that looks particularly bad either.

-The music is... passable I guess? I didn't notice anything particular special about music selection.

Stroy/Character:

-I feel like the characters are rather plain. So far, I haven't met a single likable character. A part of this I think, has to do with the default RTP faces, since it's always the same face regardless of the character's emotion. To me, seeing a same face when the character is happy or sad breaks the immersion and makes it harder for me to relate with the character.

-The story gets the job done, but the overall theme doesn't really motivate me to find out what'll happen next. This can just be my personal preference though; or the fact that I don't find the characters particularly appealing.

Features:

-Well... didn't pay much attention to this because I was more irritated by the random encounter rate.

-I think this game will benefit from having a quest log of some sort. Anything that reminds me what I should do next will be helpful.

Upgrades from RTP:

-To answer your question specifically about whether this game can potentially be of commercial value: in my opinion, as the game stands right now, the answer is... not really. The reason for that is because the overall gameplay is too generic, and there're already tons of other RPG maker games out there that plays like this. While the story is serviceable, it is not particularly good either.

-Using custom assets always helps make RPG maker games stand out. Especially if you can include multiple facial expressions to give the characters a much more believable feel. 

These are my thoughts after trying the demo. Let me know if you want me to elaborate on some of the points listed here.

Good luck with the development!
 

Tome571

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Fish -

Thanks for the feedback! I appreciate you taking the time to play, and to give me some feedback so far. Some of your feedback was similar to some of the other playtesters I have had as well - specifically encounter rates, and progression with battles/difficulty. From what I understand from those who have played it, the project has a little too much grinding in it than what I am going for, so I will be making some adjustments there.

I am also getting work done on maps/tiles and on face sets and sprites! This should help separate from the RTP. Since I am taking the time to get these updated, I will be making the switch to MV as well, so the look will be far different.

There are a few points at the beginning that I will be updating as well, to give some better setup to the setting and story that can help with connecting to the characters as well. I am working on an intro cutscene to give some background, and a dinner cutscene where you see more interaction with Valen, Sylvyth, and their family. This will also lend some more information to what is happening in the town, and the dangers they are facing.

Thank you again, and I appreciate the feedback! I'll get some more adjustments made and continue to polish the project.
 

fish

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Cool!

How are you creating your custom assets? Do you draw them yourself?

In any case, good luck with your development, and most importantly, have fun while doing so!
 

Tome571

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Converted project to MV! There are a ton of environmental updates (mapping, music and layout) as well as balancing and skills added. Hope you enjoy the updates! Still looking for feedback on the game. With the battle skill system I have in place, I was thinking about updating to something similar to a Chrono Trigger style, where it is ATB and there is mix/match combos for the skills. Any feedback is welcome. Thanks!
 

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