Which of the six mice do you want to play as first, in the tutorial stage?


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Blinn

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As of August 1st, 2015, this project is no longer being worked on. It was never meant to be an RPG, and development has been brought to a stalemate. There will be a Uniques United game in the future, but it'll more closely resemble a stealth game with elements of mystery, adventure, RPG, and even horror.
 ​
I may decide to use the project from the RPG as a base for another game in the meantime.
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Uniques United
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Uniques United features a story about family of six siblings are separated from each other after a malfunction in their secret stone portal to a fantasy realm called Jipto lands them in random parts of the world. There, they must gather their wits to find each other again so they may eventually find their way home again. Meanwhile, during the course of their adventures, they observe all kinds of interesting, strange, and unusual things along the way, meeting new people and potential allies and building up a story to tell once reunited with their siblings.

The Story behind Uniques United

Uniques United first came into my head as an idea back in 2004. Originally, there were 8 brothers instead of 5 brothers and one sister. Out of the 8 character that were originally the family in Uniques United, 3 of them still have their original names: Neil. Daniel, and Andrew, and they look much different now than they did when I first began drawing pictures of them.
2004 was one of the darkest years of my life. Back in the school I was in, I was almost 12 years old in Special Needs. Every day, I was bullied by kids much larger and older than me. Every week, I was suspended from school. Every month, my mom would cry over the state I was in and the pain it caused her. In my second year, I was put in a little box called Isolation, where I wasn't even allowed to interact with the other special needs students. All I had was a laptop computer and a teacher aide that supervised everything I did. 3 of the teacher aides had a grudge against my mom, and often used me to get back at her. They'd get me in trouble with the school, and one of them slapped me in the face for reasons I don't recall. I was going to be expelled from the British education system during my second year, so I had to move to the American system so I could start over. Since then, things began to improve.

Uniques United was the only thing I had to comfort me during those long years in middle and even high school, and it was the only thing that gave me hope when I had none. It was only after graduating high school that I began to see the value of what I had nurtured and decided to take it to the internet. And from all that chaos, uncertainty, and pain I went through since, Uniques United is finally being made into something playable. Since 2010, I've built my experience in game development, sound design, and writing, and after failing at nigh up to 20 different projects, including earlier attempts at Uniques United as an animated show, I want to do it right this time. If there's one thing I've learned since the very beginning, is that I have a high appreciation for beauty, and to bring the very best out of it through Uniques United.

This game is the result of a troubled childhood, a depressing school life, and 5 years of languishing in my parents' house due to being financially challenged, living with mental and medical conditions. I hope this project is worth your participation in it; I really do want to make something special with it. I've already contacted some prominent names in the gaming industry and they're ready to offer their support if we can raise this project above its humble beginnings into something big.
My game dev history

I began my first project back in 2011 with a guy named Ari Wigdor. He and I both enjoyed a game called Might and Magic and we wanted to make a fan-based tribute to the series. We called it Might and Magic X: Children of the Void. Over time, our project grew and grew to a size of about 40 people as word spread that we were making a game with Might and Magic as its base.
One year, it got the attention of Ubisoft, particularly the creative director of the Might and Magic franchise over at Ubisoft. He sent us an e-mail commending our efforts to revive the franchise. 3 months later, Ubisoft announced Might and Magic X: Legacy and it was later released as a PC game which can best be described as a retro RPG with modern flair. They even made the game grid-based, despite its AAA feel.

I got to meet one of the developers from the former 90's game developer team called New World Computing, which originally produced the Might and Magic franchise. Since then, I've become a colleague of Tim Lang, level designer for Might and Magic 6, 7, and 9, and I've joined forces with Heroes 2 sprite artist, Shelly Garcia, who was also a member of NWC. When this project is in an advanced-enough stage and is able to secure some funding, any Heroes of Might and Magic fan is going to see her name in the credits and know that this is no small endeavor.

I also have befriended some famous voice actors including Lani Minella and Terri Doty, the first, Lani Minella, voicing many video game characters including Omochao, Rouge the Bat, Andariel from Diablo 2, and even the Terran Dropship pilot from Starcraft: Brood war, and the second, Terri Doty, voicing Young Franky from One Piece.

Any thing you can contribute towards the development of this game called Uniques United is not just appreciated, it's very much needed, especially in this stage where we need those first few supporters. It makes a world of difference.
Question - Which of the six mice do you want to see first in the upcoming tutorial stage?

(This is what each of the siblings look like, with Andrew being the youngest and Daniel being the oldest. I drew this picture 3 years ago, so my art has since improved a little.)


Every character has a distinct set of skills and abilities that are unique to them. No two characters are alike, thus the title Uniques United comes into play. The characters build the story through their interaction with the world. There is no linear path to victory, and it may not necessarily result in returning home, since their newfound world may have some charms so precious, they may not want to leave.

Although the world is not entirely peaceful...especially where a 16-year-old Miranda finds herself upon arrival.

Latest Version - without RTP - 0.0.22 (smaller filesize)

Latest Version - with RTP - 0.0.22 (Does not require RPG Maker VX Ace)

Battle Demonstration

*This stage of the game uses placeholder graphics for the time being, until I can get better ones. This is the best I've been able to draw on my own*

The game is currently in a very early Alpha. As I'm finding out, there's more issues to iron out than I thought. A lot of these are being worked on right now and by 0.0.3, the game should be easier to play and understand. Expect some major changes ahead.

According to recent feedback, there's not much storyline at this time. The storyline is actually a work in progress as the game is being developed, as the gameplay grows, so does the story.

The game is designed to play like Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven, have the rich character development of an indie horror game, and yet feel like something all on its own. The game also has many humorous moments during the story and especially when Miranda's youngest brother, Andrew, makes his appearance, since his entire combat style is centered around pranks, booby traps, and gag weapons.

The HP scale in Uniques United is centered around 2-3 digits, with the first third of the game being mostly within 2-digit values for a character with average HP. Balanced so the game stat progression scales nicely long-term, so 4-digit numbers are something only to be achieved at very high levels. It doesn't seem quite as fun when a level 1 character has 500 HP like in Final Fantasy games.



This game features original sound design and eventually, it will feature music that's just as unique. I've already got a clear mental picture of how Miranda's boss fight theme will sound.

Healing items can come in the form of potions, magic scrolls, and even food items. Food items begin to take a strong foothold after Miranda finds a cookbook and learns how to cook many different recipes, using ingredients she finds along the way. Players can use these items outside of combat to heal their characters, restore their magic, and even cure status ailments. A Red Apple heals some health for one character, but a link of Smoked Sausage heals every character at once, making it most useful as a healing item.

Different characters have different talents that enable them to perform different tasks, such as combining items like in Resident Evil games or even Rikku's Mix ability from Final Fantasy X. Some can craft items and ammunition, customizing the party's weapons to make them more useful. One crazy scenario is for one character to turn potatoes into explosives, and combine parts to form a Potato Launcher! See where the humor kicks in? :)

Each character will learn skills in different ways. Some can be learned from a book, while others are innate powers that are level-based; when a character reaches a certain level, that skill will be unlocked. Still, others are used depending on what weapon you have currently equipped; you can launch fire arrows from a bow.

These three spells are learnable through books,



Some skills use Magic while others use Drive, which is the game's version of TP. Here are a few abilities that use Drive:



Players can save their game at any time, and careful attention will be paid to level design to prevent players from gaining an unfair advantage or disadvantage.

As for the levels themselves, player can wander in and out of levels without restriction, but may end up in hot water if they enter high-level territory. Also, as the party gain levels, the map's monster spawning conditions change. Some levels that were easy early on will have more numerous, more varied, and stronger monsters. Mixed encounters of creatures from different regions of the world are also possible, so the player is forever wary that they can expect a decent fight wherever they go.

Any feedback related to improving the game is welcomed!

UPDATE:

Uniques United was recently featured on NewGamingOrder, a podcast series done by several gamers who talk about the latest happenings in the video game industry. They liked it so much that they offered to feature more videos and updates in future episodes of their show!

7:10 is when the video is shown:
 
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Kes

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Hi,

I downloaded your demo to give feedback, not realising just how short it was, so detailed feedback is not possible.  However, a couple of comments.

Your download is very large – 357Mb and this is only for a small demo.  This will put a number of potential players off.  Not everyone has a fast internet connection and some have limits on the amount of data they can download.  One of the reasons for your file size is your audio files which include a number of WAV files.  I noticed one of 20+Mb, another of 30+Mb.  If you were to convert your WAV files to .ogg you will see a huge reduction in size.

As there are custom music assets I would strongly urge you to re-upload an encrypted version.

When Miranda finds bottles on the pathway, it would, I think, add an extra layer of polish if they disappeared once she had collected them.  Having them remain there just looks a bit odd, imo.  I liked the books to get the spells.  I did wonder how you intend to handle the new-comer to RPGs who may not be aware of the need to check everything?  It's not just newcomers; it's possible to play a number of games where things are only ever found in chests or have sparkles on them.  Such a player will go into battle with no skills or equipment, which I assume would result in a nasty experience.

Is the wall of text just because it's the end of the short demo and you're giving a bit of the back story or is this how you intend to keep it?  It's a bit much in one splodge.  It also goes a bit quick for those who do not have English as their first language, or who simply read a little more slowly so as to take everything in.  As Miranda knows that she's in a castle, judging by her remark on the Molotov cocktail, might some of this be given as she's walking along?  e.g. have some ground tiles call up a common event which gives some of this? 

Mapping I thought was good; the minimalist style suited the mood, and with that sprite you need to keep it simple.  Is the sprite a placeholder?  Having her in outline and just black and white meant that she didn't really go with the tiles.  I am assuming from the image in your avatar and signature that this will be coloured at some stage.  It wasn't possible to judge the story or anything else on such a short snippet.

I got the Easter Egg, btw.

Good luck with your project.  From the morsel here it looks like it could be interesting.
 
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Blinn

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Hi,

I downloaded your demo to give feedback, not realising just how short it was, so detailed feedback is not possible.  However, a couple of comments.

Your download is very large – 357Mb and this is only for a small demo.  This will put a number of potential players off.  Not everyone has a fast internet connection and some have limits on the amount of data they can download.  One of the reasons for your file size is your audio files which include a number of WAV files.  I noticed one of 20+Mb, another of 30+Mb.  If you were to convert your WAV files to .ogg you will see a huge reduction in size.

(I'll add that to my to-do list for 0.0.3. The reason it's so big is also because I included the RTP, so nobody would have to install RPG Maker first in order to play the game. But I will convert the wav files to ogg. I was only able to upload such a big file recently due to a connection speed upgrade.)

As there are custom music assets I would strongly urge you to re-upload an encrypted version.

When Miranda finds bottles on the pathway, it would, I think, add an extra layer of polish if they disappeared once she had collected them.  Having them remain there just looks a bit odd, imo.  I liked the books to get the spells.  I did wonder how you intend to handle the new-comer to RPGs who may not be aware of the need to check everything?  It's not just newcomers; it's possible to play a number of games where things are only ever found in chests or have sparkles on them.  Such a player will go into battle with no skills or equipment, which I assume would result in a nasty experience.

(I left them that way temporarily since I don't know how to make them disappear yet. Otherwise, I would have.)

Is the wall of text just because it's the end of the short demo and you're giving a bit of the back story or is this how you intend to keep it?  It's a bit much in one splodge.  It also goes a bit quick for those who do not have English as their first language, or who simply read a little more slowly so as to take everything in.  As Miranda knows that she's in a castle, judging by her remark on the Molotov cocktail, might some of this be given as she's walking along?  e.g. have some ground tiles call up a common event which gives some of this? 

(If you mean the "cutscene" that plays at the end of the starting room, I put that there in 0.0.1 to add some backstory to the place, since it's based off a project I began two years prior that went belly up, due to the old production team I had back then parting ways. Of course, I need a new voice actress to fill in the other 95% of the one-liners in the alpha, since the old one isn't here anymore. As for the scrolling speed, it was as low as I could get it. RPG Maker VX Ace on its slowest setting is what you experienced. I actually had to create a Proceed? Yes/No event so the player wouldn't move on to the next room before Miranda was able to finish her dialogue.)

Mapping I thought was good; the minimalist style suited the mood, and with that sprite you need to keep it simple.  Is the sprite a placeholder?  Having her in outline and just black and white meant that she didn't really go with the tiles.  I am assuming from the image in your avatar and signature that this will be coloured at some stage.  It wasn't possible to judge the story or anything else on such a short snippet.

(It was the best I could draw, since nobody else is offering to help me design better sprites. I'm having to pay out of my pocket to do anything better for the moment. This is why I have a ******* made for Uniques United. I drew the monster sprites too, and those are the very best I can do right now, until I get some help.)

I got the Easter Egg, btw.

(Awesome! Did you receive the instructions on what to do afterwards? (assuming you'd like to participate)

Good luck with your project.  From the morsel here it looks like it could be interesting.

(Thanks! I'm pretty much doing everything myself and any help would be appreciated if you know anyone, even if it's just putting in a good word for the game. I promise you, it'll shape up to be something much better as time progresses. This is only 1 month's work so far. :) )

(By the way, I forgot to mention that 0.0.2 is up, so there's more stuff to do and explore. Have you tried it out yet?)
I should update my thread more often here. I wasn't sure I'd get any feedback at all as the days went by.
 

Kes

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(I left them that way temporarily since I don't know how to make them disappear yet. Otherwise, I would have.)
It's quite straightforward.  You do it by using an event, not a tile.

for the event, page one, for the graphic select the tile with the bottles.  If you scroll right down to the bottom of the graphics that you are given as a choice, you will find the tile sheets that you are using.  Set the priority to Same as character, Action bar.  

Put in the commands exactly as you have done, and a self switch.

On page 2, have no graphic.

Now when you interact with the event and get your bottles, the bottles disappear.

yes, I did get the instructions.  Remember, I'm financing my own game making!

EDIT

You might like to be explicit in your OP that the graphics for the monsters etc are only placeholders.

I'll wait until the smaller 0.03 version comes out to download again.
 
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Blinn

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It's quite straightforward.  You do it by using an event, not a tile.

for the event, page one, for the graphic select the tile with the bottles.  If you scroll right down to the bottom of the graphics that you are given as a choice, you will find the tile sheets that you are using.  Set the priority to Same as character, Action bar.  

Put in the commands exactly as you have done, and a self switch.

On page 2, have no graphic.

Now when you interact with the event and get your bottles, the bottles disappear.

yes, I did get the instructions.  Remember, I'm financing my own game making!

EDIT

You might like to be explicit in your OP that the graphics for the monsters etc are only placeholders.

I'll wait until the smaller 0.03 version comes out to download again.
Would you be able to play 0.0.2 without the RTP? That's one reason why the game's filesize is so big. I'll go ahead and start on converting the wav files in the meantime.
 

Kes

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I can play without the rtp, but version 0.2 is even bigger than v.0.1 (up from 357 to 372Mb)
 

Blinn

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I can play without the rtp, but version 0.2 is even bigger than v.0.1 (up from 357 to 372Mb)
Yeah, it's definitely the rtp that constitutes most of the file size. I'm compressing 0.0.2a now, which fixes a couple problems. The shield event works correctly now and you should now start to see an item that you can revive fallen characters with.

0.0.3 will be released after I convert the wav sounds to ogg files and reimport them into the game.

Okay, here's v0.0.2a. It's just under 190 Mb, so it's about half of what the original version was. 3/4 of that is probably wav files from my sounds and ambient tracks, so it should be much less once I have the wavs converted to ogg format. Sound good?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jxe8amlsaavys9v/Uniques%20United%20v0-0-2a.exe?dl=0
 

Kes

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Tried out the next section.  Interesting.  At the moment it seems that all I can do is wander around levelling up.  Or am I missing something?  I'm not sure that the balancing is quite there yet. The amount of damage I'm taking is quite high.  I've found the scimitar, the shield, and got the +4 on my spells, but it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference.  Maybe there's other gear I've missed?  Neither have I found the revival items - not that they would be the slightest use to me, as there is no one to use them on me, so when I die, I die.  I didn't find your battle tutorial all that clear.

Did you intend this to be a brutal game?  It's not just the ordinary enemies that the player faces from the very beginning which seem a bit over powered.  That crack in the area behind the fireplace is not something that should be open, without warning, to a level 2 player.  That ghost in the present ditto.  If you want it to be a brutal game, no problem, but your game description should make that clear.  My guess would be that when players find they die every other minute in just the opening of the game, a good many will walk away.

I have worked out what I thought was odd about the map.  It's much clearer in the second area, but easier to describe in the first area.  Look at the tiles around the stairs up.  You have the heavy stone ceiling tile and beneath that the grey wall tiles on which hangs the picture. Now run your eye to the right, next to the pool of water.  You have the ceiling tile, but the wall tile has vanished.  Up the second area, you have no walls, or perhaps you are using the wall version of those stones and there is no ceiling tile.  Either way, you've lost all perspective, and everything is totally flat.  The same in the area behind the fireplace.
 

Blinn

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Tried out the next section.  Interesting.  At the moment it seems that all I can do is wander around levelling up.  Or am I missing something?  I'm not sure that the balancing is quite there yet. The amount of damage I'm taking is quite high.  I've found the scimitar, the shield, and got the +4 on my spells, but it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference.  Maybe there's other gear I've missed?  Neither have I found the revival items - not that they would be the slightest use to me, as there is no one to use them on me, so when I die, I die.  I didn't find your battle tutorial all that clear.

(It's doable, you just need to keep your health above 50% at all times. Remember, this is only the 2nd build and the combat is going to have some flaws. But it is doable if you use the right strategy. It's tough in the beginning because you're only playing as one character and for the most part, you're outnumbered anywhere from 2-8:1. Here's a life-saving tip: Cast Foresight as early as you can. You will need that extra action that it gives you. If you don't use it, you will die a lot. I will work on rebalancing the game to something where it's easier to get the hang of, but again, it's doable. Use Foresight on as close to Turn 1 as you can, keep Miranda above 50% health, and use your extra turns intelligently. Use your Scribe skill to draw extra spells from the monsters. #1 cause of death - failure to use Foresight.

Also, if you find the 2nd character, keep him alive too. He starts at level one, and if you train him, he's quite strong and his health will surpass Miranda's at some point.)

Did you intend this to be a brutal game?  It's not just the ordinary enemies that the player faces from the very beginning which seem a bit over powered.  That crack in the area behind the fireplace is not something that should be open, without warning, to a level 2 player.  That ghost in the present ditto.  If you want it to be a brutal game, no problem, but your game description should make that clear.  My guess would be that when players find they die every other minute in just the opening of the game, a good many will walk away.

(No, I wanted it to be challenging, but not brutal. As for the fireplace, that was the one thing that I forgot to make a warning for. But I'll put one in for the purposes of the early alpha builds. You found the one thing I forgot to fix, but please watch how you present some of these bugs or issues you find. I did not choose to impose these on the players; there are things that I miss that people find, and they think I did it on purpose or something. This is only 0.0.2. There's going to be a few flaws as the game goes through a fleshing-out process.)

I have worked out what I thought was odd about the map.  It's much clearer in the second area, but easier to describe in the first area.  Look at the tiles around the stairs up.  You have the heavy stone ceiling tile and beneath that the grey wall tiles on which hangs the picture. Now run your eye to the right, next to the pool of water.  You have the ceiling tile, but the wall tile has vanished.  Up the second area, you have no walls, or perhaps you are using the wall version of those stones and there is no ceiling tile.  Either way, you've lost all perspective, and everything is totally flat.  The same in the area behind the fireplace.

(That's because I'm having to use RPG Maker's built-in terrain until I can get my own tilesets. I've probably spent least 1/4 total development hours trying to fix the visual errors on the map. I got it partially right, at least enough that you can walk through without getting stuck. And please remember, I'm doing everything by myself, and it's hard to figure out the way the built-in tilesets are oriented sometimes. The map looks the way it does because it was the best I could do with the resources and knowledge that I had at that time. You'll start to see some better terrain when I'm able to afford a custom tileset.)
 

Kes

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Ah, but the description of foresight is so uninformative that I had no idea it gives an extra turn.  It's nice having flavour text, but the player needs to be in control and for that clear, unambiguous information is essential.  All I could see when I tried it was that it told me the enemy stats, it didn't seem to give me an extra turn.

I have been all round that area and not found the second character.  I can't go any further along the corridor either to left or to right.  If he's in that initial area (bounded by the table at the top and the mini areas requiring level 5, level 10 and level 15 at the bottom) then he is so cunningly concealed that I suspect a lot of people will miss him.

I am not saying that you have chosen to impose anything, which is why I asked what your intention was.  No one thinks that bugs are done on purpose.

Getting your mapping skills up to speed is essential.  If you can't get the terrain worked out with the default tiles, having custom ones isn't going to solve your problem.  All ceiling tiles are on the same rows as each other, and all walls are on the same rows.  And I do understand what it's like doing everyone on your own.  I make mine on my own.
 

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I have some pretty fast internet so I decided to tough out the download.

I want to go ahead and open with this: I know this is a very early alpha build with nearly infinite room and intent to grow and implement more. I’m writing this all down because I want to cover all my bases and be thorough with my feedback from my prospective as the player. I do think this has a lot of potential. I’ll be looking forward to playing the new demos and following this. I know it's going to come off as a laundry list and with a lot of laundry. But trust me. I understand you're just beginning to build your game here.

Mapping

·         I notice the same issues as ksjp17. It often looks like I’m walking through walls because there are floor (?) tiles where there are supposed to ceilings. There are also a lot of perspective issues with the walls in general.

·         I find the area inside the fire place absolutely massive for it containing nothing but a lone crack in the wall.

·         The mapping errors need addressed, but overall your sense of layout is pretty good. I enjoy the simplicity. They work well here and still address what the location is.

·         I think your maps would highly benefit from some lighting effects given the type of game it is.

Story and Narrative

·         How did Miranda end up here? Or at least, what recollection does she have? She says “Oh, God” like it’s some mistake and seems to know where she’s at. So why be there in the first place then?

·         Since we’re so left by ourselves I think this begs for some more inner dialogue from Miranda. The area may seem more terrifying if I knew how she was feeling and reacting to it.

·         Read the letter and got more scrolling text. Faster too. I’d avoid using it whenever possible, to be honest.

·         I rather adore the idea of this spirit feeling like it is in danger of this castle as well, but I find it slightly odd that Miranda is all, “Sure, come on dude, no questions here.”

·         I would work on making this location a bit more ambient and immersive; filled with things that help communicate its back story and what inhabits it. I rather like the back story given in the scrolling text after the first room. I'd like to be shown some of that.

·         This house is clearly filled with something malevolent and things like Miranda reacting more, adding some lighting, more audio complexity, and making the flavor text when we interact elude more toward the location would really help tie this together. Need more spooky.

·         I’m interacting with a lot of things and picking up a lot of things and I feel like these are opportunities to learn more about the house and Miranda’s experience with the house, as another example.

·         White scrolling text is really difficult to read over the brick fire place tiles.

·         In other words, I could have just said; tell me a little less with the scrolling text. And show me a lot more with Miranda and the actual house.

Gameplay

·         There are a lot of items found right in the first map that would put someone at a major disadvantage if they did not find them. Someone unaccustomed to checking all the things will likely just walk right past those shelves. A simple “I should check my surroundings” would not break immersion while still teaching most new RPG players.

·         Sort of unsure why we need to even find the short sword if there is no combat at all leading up to the next weapon upgrade, the scimitar.

·         I would have had no idea that I had to consume the spell books unless I just happened to start looking through all my menus and clicking everything, which I did.

·         Insidious Knife. “Can cause different status ailments.” Such as what? Be specific.

·         So, at level 1, I use a special attack “Fireball” that does 10 and the shadow dude does a basic attack that does nearly all my health. Something is not balanced about that.  

·         Considering nothing explained how to equip my skills it’s conceivable that someone may even go into these fights without them.

·         I find myself using tons of First Aid and tons of potions just to get through the very first basic fights. Of which I am now blowing through my magic restore items quickly to keep up this charade.

·         I’m finding that I have nothing to do but grind since the only place I found within my level suggestion has a fight that instagibs me (the spirits in the fireplace).

·         I can’t really tell if Foresight is doing anything at all.

·         Ok, I finally beat the fireplace spirits. Grinding to level 5 and using First Aid a lot. The “Insidious Knife” skill was very useful in this fight and I think I’m seeing that Foresight gives an extra turn.

·         That needs to be very, very clear.

·         Now that I have Vuk, I feel like I have no choice but to grind once again. The game even tells me to. Since I am craving more story and have been wondering about this place with only "Oooo, spooky house", I find it rather off putting that he can’t simply join the party at level 5 so I can continue into the next area and get some answers.

·         I enjoy that weapons level up as well.

·         I did notice the mobs change as I leveled up. This is also a pretty neat feature. Really keeps the player on their toes. Very nice for a horror game like this to never get too comfortable.

·         Now that I’m leveled up a lot and have a second party member, the initial brutality of the beginning is starting to wane.

·         Acquiring the stat rewards via interaction with some of the objects is pretty neat as well. I chuckled when Miranda broke the piano.

·         Ok, so is this the end of the demo? I’m not really sure as I cannot find anywhere else to go now.

General

·         Be careful with audio control. While I like that I am hearing some different effects here, some of them are really, really loud. Especially when you consider how drawn back the music is. I'd lower the SFX or make it a menu option at least.

·         I wanted to refrain from making comments on the music but I find the droning low pitch wind effect only accompanied by occasional noise and the same faint sounds a bit uninteresting. It doesn’t really make me feel that unsettled or scared as there is nothing particularly dissonant about it. I just sort of tune it out. Ambient music still needs a bit more going on.
 
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Blinn

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Ah, but the description of foresight is so uninformative that I had no idea it gives an extra turn.  It's nice having flavour text, but the player needs to be in control and for that clear, unambiguous information is essential.  All I could see when I tried it was that it told me the enemy stats, it didn't seem to give me an extra turn.

I have been all round that area and not found the second character.  I can't go any further along the corridor either to left or to right.  If he's in that initial area (bounded by the table at the top and the mini areas requiring level 5, level 10 and level 15 at the bottom) then he is so cunningly concealed that I suspect a lot of people will miss him.

I am not saying that you have chosen to impose anything, which is why I asked what your intention was.  No one thinks that bugs are done on purpose.

Getting your mapping skills up to speed is essential.  If you can't get the terrain worked out with the default tiles, having custom ones isn't going to solve your problem.  All ceiling tiles are on the same rows as each other, and all walls are on the same rows.  And I do understand what it's like doing everyone on your own.  I make mine on my own.
You two are proving to have some really valuable feedback, especially for a game that I'm only just finding out has a lot of missing and important information that I need to add. I'll work on my mapping skills and see if I can get some tips from people. I will confess to being a little sensitive about critique sometimes, since I really need to earn peoples' trust in the beginning if I want this game to amount to something, and sometimes I feel short of that for one reason or another. >_> ;

But I'll definitely address all these points you bring up while working on 0.0.3. In fact, I may even add a to-do list on the OP so people know what's being addressed.

I have some pretty fast internet so I decided to tough out the download.

I want to go ahead and open with this: I know this is a very early alpha build with nearly infinite room and intent to grow and implement more. I’m writing this all down because I want to cover all my bases and be thorough with my feedback from my prospective as the player. I do think this has a lot of potential. I’ll be looking forward to playing the new demos and following this. I know it's going to come off as a laundry list and with a lot of laundry. But trust me. I understand you're just beginning to build your game here.

Mapping

·         I notice the same issues as ksjp17. It often looks like I’m walking through walls because there are floor (?) tiles where there are supposed to ceilings. There are also a lot of perspective issues with the walls in general.

·         I find the area inside the fire place absolutely massive for it containing nothing but a lone crack in the wall.

·         The mapping errors need addressed, but overall your sense of layout is pretty good. I enjoy the simplicity. They work well here and still address what the location is.

·         I think your maps would highly benefit from some lighting effects given the type of game it is.

Story and Narrative

·         How did Miranda end up here? Or at least, what recollection does she have? She says “Oh, God” like it’s some mistake and seems to know where she’s at. So why be there in the first place then?

·         Since we’re so left by ourselves I think this begs for some more inner dialogue from Miranda. The area may seem more terrifying if I knew how she was feeling and reacting to it.

·         Read the letter and got more scrolling text. Faster too. I’d avoid using it whenever possible, to be honest.

·         I rather adore the idea of this spirit feeling like it is in danger of this castle as well, but I find it slightly odd that Miranda is all, “Sure, come on dude, no questions here.”

·         I would work on making this location a bit more ambient and immersive; filled with things that help communicate its back story and what inhabits it. I rather like the back story given in the scrolling text after the first room. I'd like to be shown some of that.

·         This house is clearly filled with something malevolent and things like Miranda reacting more, adding some lighting, more audio complexity, and making the flavor text when we interact elude more toward the location would really help tie this together. Need more spooky.

·         I’m interacting with a lot of things and picking up a lot of things and I feel like these are opportunities to learn more about the house and Miranda’s experience with the house, as another example.

·         White scrolling text is really difficult to read over the brick fire place tiles.

·         In other words, I could have just said; tell me a little less with the scrolling text. And show me a lot more with Miranda and the actual house.

Gameplay

·         There are a lot of items found right in the first map that would put someone at a major disadvantage if they did not find them. Someone unaccustomed to checking all the things will likely just walk right past those shelves. A simple “I should check my surroundings” would not break immersion while still teaching most new RPG players.

·         Sort of unsure why we need to even find the short sword if there is no combat at all leading up to the next weapon upgrade, the scimitar.

·         I would have had no idea that I had to consume the spell books unless I just happened to start looking through all my menus and clicking everything, which I did.

·         Insidious Knife. “Can cause different status ailments.” Such as what? Be specific.

·         So, at level 1, I use a special attack “Fireball” that does 10 and the shadow dude does a basic attack that does nearly all my health. Something is not balanced about that.  

·         Considering nothing explained how to equip my skills it’s conceivable that someone may even go into these fights without them.

·         I find myself using tons of First Aid and tons of potions just to get through the very first basic fights. Of which I am now blowing through my magic restore items quickly to keep up this charade.

·         I’m finding that I have nothing to do but grind since the only place I found within my level suggestion has a fight that instagibs me (the spirits in the fireplace).

·         I can’t really tell if Foresight is doing anything at all.

·         Ok, I finally beat the fireplace spirits. Grinding to level 5 and using First Aid a lot. The “Insidious Knife” skill was very useful in this fight and I think I’m seeing that Foresight gives an extra turn.

·         That needs to be very, very clear.

·         Now that I have Vuk, I feel like I have no choice but to grind once again. The game even tells me to. Since I am craving more story and have been wondering about this place with only "Oooo, spooky house", I find it rather off putting that he can’t simply join the party at level 5 so I can continue into the next area and get some answers.

·         I enjoy that weapons level up as well.

·         I did notice the mobs change as I leveled up. This is also a pretty neat feature. Really keeps the player on their toes. Very nice for a horror game like this to never get too comfortable.

·         Now that I’m leveled up a lot and have a second party member, the initial brutality of the beginning is starting to wane.

·         Acquiring the stat rewards via interaction with some of the objects is pretty neat as well. I chuckled when Miranda broke the piano.

·         Ok, so is this the end of the demo? I’m not really sure as I cannot find anywhere else to go now.

General

·         Be careful with audio control. While I like that I am hearing some different effects here, some of them are really, really loud. Especially when you consider how drawn back the music is. I'd lower the SFX or make it a menu option at least.

·         I wanted to refrain from making comments on the music but I find the droning low pitch wind effect only accompanied by occasional noise and the same faint sounds a bit uninteresting. It doesn’t really make me feel that unsettled or scared as there is nothing particularly dissonant about it. I just sort of tune it out. Ambient music still needs a bit more going on.
And I thought my demo was easy to understand... .w.

Actually, you do bring up some really good points here and things I didn't anticipate, especially with the habit of players being at a disadvantage because only I know where everything is in the beginning, since I made the map. When 0.0.3 is released, things will definitely be clearer and easier to understand. I kept saying to people "use Foresight at turn 1" and what I should have done was explain what Foresight does. I'm finding out now that it's easy to miss and be in serious trouble, which isn't fair for someone who's just starting out. I'll also examine this issue of repetitive grinding to get Vuk leveled up, as even I get bored pretty quickly when all you can do is level up and level up. It's the very thing I'm trying to avoid in this game.

I'll keep these two posts on hand while I'm working on the next version. You two are a really big help and in more ways than you're aware of. I can probably expect to have 0.0.3 ready in about a week. Since these are basic issues we're discussing, it shouldn't be that hard to fix. But yeah, good call on all of these issues. The most obvious is the least obvious sometimes. :)
 

Kes

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If you decide to have the second character join at the same level as Miranda (or maybe a level lower, or whatever) this is how you do it. (If you already know this, then sorry for telling you something irrelevant.)

In the event which puts Vuk into the party

Set a variable which get's Miranda's level. Select Variable Switch, select Game Data, click the ... at the end, select Actor, select Miranda, and the first choice is Level.  The  variable has the default name of the character plus level.  I shall call it [Hero's Level]

Change Party Member: Add [Vuk]

Change Level [Vuk] + Variable [id no:Hero's Level]

Change Level [Vuk] - 1

The reason for the second change level is that Vuk joins at level one and you are adding Miranda's level to it, so now he is one level higher than her.  Taking a level away means that he is the same.  If you want him a bit lower than Miranda then just reduce the level by more than minus one.
 
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Blinn

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I've just included the story behind Uniques United and how it came to being over 10 years ago. A lot is going into this game.
 

Ms Littlefish

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I read the addendum. I think if you can capture that life experience through the story of this game; it would be quite powerful. I'll be looking for updates. :)
 

Blinn

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I read the addendum. I think if you can capture that life experience through the story of this game; it would be quite powerful. I'll be looking for updates. :)
Each of the six mice contains a piece of my own life. But that will only become apparent as the story unfolds. ;)
 

Simon D. Aelsi

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Dat story. T___T

I'm definitely following this. Keep up the good work!

And if you think you can use me, I offer my voice as a VA.
 

Kes

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Completely forgot to say:

If you bring a character in at a higher level using the method I suggested, then you will also have to do a Recover All on that character because their HP/MP will need topping up to the level they are now at.
 

Blinn

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I just found out from a stream that someone's doing of Uniques United...that the game's utterly BROKEN! Because it didn't export the scripts I had put in correctly. Emergency build coming soon.

Here, try this out for now. It's version 0.0.2b. I hope it works because I had a really bad experience when I watched someone play the game *without* the scripts the game needed.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1w1vf5uvvcg96gm/Uniques%20United%20hopetogodthisworks.zip?dl=0
 
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Kes

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It seems to work fine, and runs identically to the previous version - except (haha) this one has your save files in it.  Miranda at level 18 is one awesome mouse.  I didn't play that save file until after I'd checked out from the beginning.
 

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Yay! Someone did a playthrough of my game. :D


When you thought you'd be finished with the grid, and spend ~8-9 hours on an arrow. How is this more difficult to than player movement?

Still some bugs hiding in there, but it's nearly complete.

I'm having it strictly follow the path a user draws, because there will be booby trap and other similar mechanics where you want to avoid specific cells.
I feel like banging my head against a wall every time I want to find that post that shows all the plugin header codes. Then I think "next time I find it, I'm going to bookmark it". Then I think "wait a minute ... maybe I bookmarked it last time because it took me so long to find it". Check bookmarks, and there it is :)
... a few of my main characters standing around doing nothing lol. I mostly wanted to see them together on screen.

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