mf_Will_Black

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JackOfAllOps streamed Trailblazer last week, testing out the new content. For anyone who hasn't scene it yet, he also does some great voices for the characters. Enjoy!
 

mf_Will_Black

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In a crazy and amazing one-off, Studio Blue came out of RPG Maker Let's Play retirement to take a look at Trailblazer! It was a rootin' tootin' shootin' good time, as Steel breaks down a lot of the literary tools I used to deliver some of the most fun and powerful scenes, as well as add suggestions to improve the gameplay and dialog - nearly all of which will be getting added to the full version of the game!

 

Wavelength

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Looks very cool! I love how tightly all of your interface elements, gameplay mechanics, and stylistic choices fit around your theme.
 

Ninjakillzu

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I've played over 2 hours and this game is great! It's easy to understand and the music is awesome. The atmosphere is pretty good and makes me feel like I am there in the world.

I did come across a typo. It seems like a word is missing between "they" and your".
Screenshot (123).png
 

mf_Will_Black

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Looks very cool! I love how tightly all of your interface elements, gameplay mechanics, and stylistic choices fit around your theme.
Thanks! I know it's some basic RPG Maker stuff, but I wanted to at least do what I can to disguise it or cause people to overlook it. I'm glad you like how everything is coming together!

I've played over 2 hours and this game is great! It's easy to understand and the music is awesome. The atmosphere is pretty good and makes me feel like I am there in the world.

I did come across a typo. It seems like a word is missing between "they" and your".
Thanks! This means a lot! I really did a lot to try to make it feel like a western, and not just a fantasy world with a western coat of paint. And thanks for letting me know about the typo, and for sharing the screenshot. It made me realize that the icon is also wrong in this text box. I've just finished fixing both, and will have this in the next deployment.


I've been working hard on the next section of the game, working toward full release. I came to the realization that since I can't make dungeons in the traditional sense due to the setting, that I can still use dungeon mechanics. So I've decided that for most dungeons, instead of using locks and keys to navigate your way through the dungeon, I'm going to use posts and ropes to allow you to access higher and lower elevations.
Throw Rope.png
 

padr81

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Amazing work as always Will.
 

mf_Will_Black

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I don't have any more updates to the demo this week, but a lot has happened in the past week. I've got a new playthrough from Toasty, better known as RPG Time, and I've done a ton of work getting the groundwork for Chapters 2-5 complete, moving the game one step closer to release! I've also updated the OP to include a full playlist of LPs instead of having links directly to them in the thread.

Here's the link to my most recent devlog on itch.io:

And here's the link to Toasty's playthrough of Trailblazer:


Thank you all again for the continued kind words, the compliments, feedback and support! I really want to make the most fun RPG Maker Game I possibly can!
 

mf_Will_Black

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I've been quiet for a while, but I've been working hard! Here's my latest devlog about the two newest systems I've added to game, that will be available in the Full Version:


Overall, both of these systems have been a ton of work, but I'm glad I got them in and working, as I think they'll add a lot to the player experience.

I'm also holding a bit of a secret contest as well. Reply to this thread or comment on my most recent itch.io Devlog with your itch, Discord, or RM Forum handle, or your Western Name, along with the crime you committed. You can also include art of your character here if you like. If I like what you wrote, I might just throw you into the game as a Bounty to Hunt!
 

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Not often you see a cool western themed rpg, really great stuff. ^_^
 

mf_Will_Black

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ADMtn

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Played through the demo (after watching a bit of someone else's "let's play" video). It's definitely enjoyable. You've obviously tweaked and fixed things in the game since the "let's play" video I watched. As a result, I feel like this demo is fairly polished and doesn't really need too many notes.

The aesthetics are working. You're doing a good job utilizing the assets (and customizing) things for the Western theme. Some of the cliff heights, however, seem inconsistent to me (sometimes it could be explained by inclines the player can't perceive due to the POV, but sometimes not so much; I don't think it's a detail most players would notice).

I like that the player can have Jean perform nonsense while he's stuck in jail. I wound up giving the ten gallon hat to Diamonds right after she joined since she didn't see where it came from.

I appreciated most of the references I noticed (though the Leroy Jenkins bit felt a bit too meme-ish for me; I'm sure others wouldn't mind).

Something that threw me off was hearing the Wild Arms rest/theme melody when resting at the campfire. Before that point, I was under the impression all the assets were properly licensed (along with the RPG Maker editor/engine or other purchased assets). So hearing the Wild Arms tune was a surprise.

Speaking of Wild arms, I can see where much of the inspiration for Jean comes from. He has a similar personality to Jack from Wild Arms and they both have a rodent that steals for them. He also seems roughly the same age (i.e., not a JRPG teen hero but someone in their twenties or possibly thirties).

During my playthrough fo the demo, I thought to myself that if this game went commercial (for a reasonable price), I'd get it (would have to do something about the non-licensed Wild Arms music effect though).
 
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mf_Will_Black

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Thanks for the feedback sir! I'm really glad you enjoyed yourself, which makes me happy!

You are correct, that Inn theme is from Wild Arms 1 and is a placeholder until an official Musical Effect can be completed. The good news is: the piece has already been completed! It's called "Lay My Head" and was composed by Padr81! It'll be in the next version of the Demo coming up here in the next few weeks! I'm sorry it felt a bit jarring, but I felt that using that SFX would probably be less jarring than one of the RTP Inn one that comes with MV.

As for the elevation and perspective issues, would you mind sharing a couple screenshots with me to show what you're talking about? I can think of one place I purposefully used a slow-shifting ramp on Mount Moriah, but if there's other places where it looks weird I'd like to know so I can fix them.

Don't worry about Leeroy - he'll make an appearance in Chapter 2 as well. That meme moment is meant to distract a first time player from the sound effect as Diamonds swipes the keys as he passes. Just something to pick up on in a second playthrough.

And yes, Wild Arms 1 is one of my favorite RPGs of all time - if not my favorite. I drew a ton of inspiration from it. And yes, Jean is heavily influence by Jack Van Burace, being 35 and having smart alec pet rodent who steals for him. I'm glad you caught that! You'll also notice more personality parallels between the two as well as the game goes on; but you will also see that the two are very different. Jack is an inspiration, not a template.

As for the price when it goes commercial, I think you'll find the planned price reasonable, as I plan to never charge for this game. I've been making it for fun, and really want to share it with the community to show that a fun and engaging game can be made in RM, and hopefully it can be an inspiration for new devs just getting into the software.
 

ADMtn

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All good to hear. Looking forward to the finished product!

I'll try to find the uneven cliffs, assuming my eyes weren't playing a trick on me.
 

ADMtn

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Rushed through the playable areas in the demo to take a look.

I guess you could say there's an incline/decline to explain why the cliffsides aren't the same height in these maps. The shading and whatnot doesn't quite suggest it, so I personally find that it looks off but I'm sure other players are fine with it. Here are the spots I could find (aside from Moriah which you've already mentioned was intentional since there obvoiusly needs to be a ramp for the characters to walk up there):
screenshot1.jpg
This first one (northern area of the widow's town) isn't particularly jarring since the difference in cliffside height is a single tile. I only found this because I went looking for it.
screenshot2.jpg
This (road to the mines) is the one that caught my eye while I was playing, obviously because of the larger difference in height. The cliffsides up front are 7 tiles high; the cliffsides in the back are 4. Also just noticed the cliffsides on the left add up to 6 tiles instead of 7. So there are ramps over there, too (I guess the area with the dead tree is on a slight slope).
screenshot3.jpg
Here, (west side of the second town) the indicated portions add up to 4 tiles in height; so the cliffside in the foreground to the left of the stairs should also be 4 tiles in height and not 3, if ramps aren't involved. This last one is similar to the first as the incline/decline explanation can work pretty easily.

So, if you intend these to be inclines/declines instead of flat pleateaus, that's totally fine. It's up to you and I'm sure other folks do the same. I personally assume these are errors when I'm playing 2D/RPG Maker games because the tiles themselves don't suggest a ramp (i.e., the lighting/shading/everything on the supposed ramp looks exactly the same as the tile that's intended to be flat).

I hope that's helpful.

Side note: These screenshots make me think of the Earthbound bits where the guy comes down and takes a photo of the player characters.
 
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mf_Will_Black

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@ADMtn - thanks for pointing all these out. You are correct in your assumption that those are cliffsides I overlooked, I'll have them fixed in the next playable version of the demo.

Thanks for your hard work!

Out of curiosity, do you remember whose LP you saw that turned you onto my game? I'd like to thank that person :)
 

ADMtn

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I watched FleshToDust's video; was treated to Western dialogue with a Canadian accent.
 

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I'm hoping to get a call October 1. They should be fully open by then.


With this, all demo dungeon graphics are done.
Eventually I need to make animations...send help.
OcRam demo project is now available at https://ocram-codes.net !!!
mzBaseBody.png added!

Ami
--- Mushroom ---

F.Knight: We runs out the food!
Hero: Anything could eat in this place?
F.Archer: It's a bunch of Mushroom over there. I wonder it's safe to eat.
F.Knight: No worries,we have to fill our inside no matter what it is.
(Hero & F.Knight Eat The Mushroom,After 10 Seconds They Collapse With Foam)

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