RMVXA Untold Story (Demo Version Available!)

kimo

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I actually made the beach front when I was on vacation at my state's beach town. It felt like the right thing to do. :) I do have plans for it later, but for now it's just a neat little area. I plan to eventually create a lot more tiny side areas just there to explore (like the random trees in one sea).
My whole world right now is somewhat small islands in the ocean so I immediately noticed your beach front area. I liked the surf effect and tried to catch a wave to no avail. :guffaw:
If you would like, I have a list of all the Friend Conversation spots. I just didn't post because I like letting people explore and find things on their own without just being told where it is. :) But I also understand that feeling of missing literally one thing and not wanting to scour the entire world for it.
Thanks for the offer. Yes, I'd love to see the list since I found out there's am extra scene for completionists. Some of those conversation spots are found at times when the "correct" people are not present.
By the way, I finally went ahead and made an actual visual intro cutscene to go with the narration instead of just a blank screen. It's not updated yet, but whenever I get around to it I'll get a small update with the intro and a few mapping changes as well.
Great, but I would rather you spend your time adding places to your current world .... if I have a choice.
 

Meowsticks

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@kimo
Here's a list of all the locations of Friend Conversations (except for the seven required ones)
  • Purple Pirate House, Pier
  • Telles Castle, Foyer
  • Witch's Cave, Connector
  • Witch's Cave, W/E Passage
  • Witch's Hut, Interior
  • Camp Site, Inside the Tent
  • Lesaria, Inside the Inn
  • Ocean Pathway [the cliff path below the Kelver Mansion]
  • Lesaria, Graveyard
  • Angel Lake Market Place
  • Angel Pathway, 10F
Get used to finding one and being told you can't do it yet. I based them off of "Heart-to-Hearts" from Xenoblade Chronicles you'll be finding a bunch of these across the world that you won't be able to do until either the story bit happens, or you've done earlier ones between characters.

Great, but I would rather you spend your time adding places to your current world .... if I have a choice.
I'm working on progressing forward as well. :D I find it hard to do one task for a period of time so I like to jump between different things which is how I ended up making the intro visuals.


@Lady_JJ
-Will the cap of 20 be lifted once more content is added?
I was looking for something else but saw your edit for this part. But yes, the level cap of 20 for this was because that was a little above what I usually ended up at in my playtests. Seemed like a fair (and even level) cap. When more areas are added the cap will raise as needed. The idea is that players will reach the max level (99) by the final boss, provided they do at least a good chunk of the optional content.
 
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kimo

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Thank you so much for the list. It'll give me something to do after I find a place to plant my new banana tree.

EDIT: okay, I am stuck on this one. I revisited every conversation site and nothing is there to find right now. But, while I have found the "Connector" map in the witch's cave I cannot find a map named "W/E Passage". But there is a "W/E connector map" just to the west of "Witch's Cav-Telles Entrance". I assume they are the same thing.

You say 7 conversation points are "Required" so is it absolutely impossible to not activate one?
 
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Meowsticks

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Thank you so much for the list. It'll give me something to do after I find a place to plant my new banana tree.

EDIT: okay, I am stuck on this one. I revisited every conversation site and nothing is there to find right now. But, while I have found the "Connector" map in the witch's cave I cannot find a map named "W/E Passage". But there is a "W/E connector map" just to the west of "Witch's Cav-Telles Entrance". I assume they are the same thing.

You say 7 conversation points are "Required" so is it absolutely impossible to not activate one?
@kimo
Hmm, that's weird. Yeah, the W/E passage/connector is the same thing. If you went to all 11 of those places, then either I messed up my list or you found some way to skip one of them I need to fix.
* = required
  1. *Igloo Cavern - You cannot progress until you view this one.
  2. *Cosse Shrine - It's blocking the path, you must activate it.
  3. *Coastal Cavern - Again, blocking the path so you must activate it.
  4. Purple Pirate Pier - First optional one, should work just fine.
  5. *Tower of the Monument - Required by blocking the path.
  6. Telles Castle Foyer - Optional, but should work just fine.
  7. Witch's Cave, Connector - Optional, works fine.
  8. *Witch's Cave, N/S Connector, Top Half - Required. The right path should be blocked at the time, meaning this is blocking the required path.
  9. Witch's Cave, W/E Connector - Optional, works fine.
  10. Witch's Hut, Interior - Optional, works fine.
  11. *Twisted Valley, by the SW Exit - Required, and doesn't appear until Xeno and Via are in the party. It shouldn't be skippable, and even if, it never leaves once it appears until it's done.
  12. Camp Site, Tent - Optional, and works fine.
  13. *Flora Forest, by the NW Exit - Required in the same vain #11 was. Doesn't appear until Virgil joins the party, and shouldn't be able to be skipped. Again, once it appears it won't leave until it has been viewed.
  14. Lesaira Beds - Optional, works fine.
  15. Ocean Pathway - Optional, works fine.
  16. Lesaira, Graveyard - Optional, works fine.
  17. Angel Lake, Market Place - Optional, works fine.
  18. Angel Pathway, 10th Floor - Optional, works fine. Can be done after battle with Sigma.
That's a full list of all 18 locations. I am not sure which one you're missing or how it got missed. The only required ones I might think could be missed are the ones in Twisted Valley and Flora Forest because they don't appear until a certain switch is turned on, but I still wouldn't get how they didn't appear then when the switches should have turned on. At the very least, no Friend Conversation should disappear from the map until its been viewed, they all have a Self-Switch on them.

I would say maybe I forgot to increase the count for one of them, but @Lady_JJ was able to get all 18 so I'm not sure about that either. Honestly I am unsure how that happened.
 

kimo

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@Meowsticks

"Cloud Bass" in last cut scene. Should that be "Cloud Base"?
Thanks for all your help with the conversation points. It was the Castle Foyer (#006) I missed because I didn't climb those short stairs.

But, in my journey looking for those points I discovered a hard break issue. I decended the Coastal Path from the Mansion area. If you do not have a boat, there is no way to return upwards. A simple fix so it's good it happened to me. I have a way of breaking things and your game has been incredibly well constructed and therefore a joy to play.

Untold Story_Ocean path No Boat.png
 

Meowsticks

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"Cloud Bass" in last cut scene. Should that be "Cloud Base"?
Short answer: No. ;)

Glad you found the one you needed! (That also means I don't have to panic about them being broken)

Thanks for finding that issue! I knew there was potential when making a 1 tile area like that, I thought I got most of the issues but it seems some slipped by. I'll get that fixed soon.

Edit: Fixed one uploading now. I made it so that the game checks if you entered that location from the sea or from the mansion. Entering from the mansion won't allow you to leave the area from the shore since the characters know they don't have the ship with them.
 
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Meowsticks

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Hey!
Quick update for everyone.

Last night (May 10) Studio Blue was nice enough to do a live stream critique of Untold Story! :D
They played an earlier version of the demo so there are some differences between the video and what's live now, but their advice (and chat's advice) was helpful for several things I can still improve upon and work at so it's still extremely helpful and a fun watch!


While I'm here I might as well just give some other updates:
-Forward progress is going along nicely...except I recently broke my pinkie so I kind of have to slow down or outright stop working on it as much as I could. I can still do somethings so I'll work on that, but it's gonna be more behind.
-I am adding an in-game list of collectables (like Friend Conversations and Hidden Items) so players can easily reference where they are for themselves or others.
-Thanks for everyone's support on this! :D
 

Lady_JJ

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I watched quite a bit of it last night. Nice that the overwhelmingly response was favorable. It did seem, though, that Steel never got over the fact that the professors 'threw the students to the wolves' (or maybe that should be 'residues'). It was a fun watch, though I wish they had moved a little more quickly and played a bit more. Hoping your pinkie heals well.
 

kimo

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@Meowsticks

I watched all except the last 15 minutes on You Tube. I agree with @Lady_JJ that the review was overall a good one. I'll try to watch the last 15 minutes tomorrow. Too much RL going on.

Their comments about the your story text (like in the town hall) can be "easily" fixed. I just look at this as a demo that needs polishing. I assumed that you may have added text as a patchwork fix for explanations you felt necessary and that you will be reviewing the entire text for flow at a later time. That's when a solid written script is incredibly helpful even if it is a giant pain.

Some of Steel's comments were somewhat petty considering it is a game and he apparently requires logic as part of a RPG game. When auditors make petty observations, you are generally doing well in business.

But he also really liked some aspects of the game and readily gave you credit for that.

Good luck with that pinkie finger. I broke a tendon in one of mine many years ago and it never regrew the tendon. Keep that splint on and don't worry too much about the game's progress. We'll be here when you need us. :thumbsup-right:
 

Milennin

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Can't play the demo right now as I'm on mobile and away from home, but reading the description for the combat system being instant action and being able to choose actor action order, I was wondering which plugins you're using to achieve that. Or did you commission a custom one for the game?
 

Meowsticks

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Can't play the demo right now as I'm on mobile and away from home, but reading the description for the combat system being instant action and being able to choose actor action order, I was wondering which plugins you're using to achieve that. Or did you commission a custom one for the game?
It's just Yanfly's Free Turn Battle script.

You're able to do a lot more with the system such as giving the party more actions per turn, or making it a large amount of action points for the entire party that can be spread across everyone, but I just kept it simple and let each character have only 1 action per turn (aside from one accessory).
 

Meowsticks

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Hey, I'm back but not with an update (sorry), just a question. (If you want an update, my finger is no longer broken. The bone healed a little crooked but it works fine and idc much about a minor cosmetic issue).

So, question, namely about the Cavalier aka the ship you ride around the world in. I was thinking and I decided there are two options I have. It's ultimately up to me but wouldn't hurt to hear some feedback on it.

Option 1) Keep it the same. If you played the demo, you know how it is. You get in the vehicle and sail around the world. As it is right now, the world is pretty dang big and pretty empty. Obviously if I keep this option, I'll fix those issues as best I can and condense the world more or make it easier to know where the player is going.

PROS:
  • Players get to explore the world by themselves, taking control of where they go and feel the sense for the world.
  • Players can find and discover locations on their own and feel that discovery.
CONS:
  • Can be boring sailing around with not much to do.
  • There's no gameplay other than sailing so it's just time filler at that point
  • Can get lost easily and thus frustrated.

Option 2) Ditch the whole actual sailing part and make the Cavalier a place where you just fast travel to other locations. With this the player can't get lost and it just makes travel a lot simpler. As if Untold Story doesn't take enough from FFX, I was thinking something like the Airship location (albeit not as good looking).
ffxmenu.png

The Cavalier would instead be a map the player could walk around in and talk to other characters. Here's a terrible looking mock up I did in 30 seconds:
shiptemplate.png

PROS:
  • Simpler design, can't get lost.
  • Saves time since players just instantly travel to location instead of sailing (they will have to go into menu though)
  • Gives another chance to talk to party members at any time in the story.
CONS:
  • There's no discovery. Players are just told about a new location and they go there. They don't find anything, it's just there.
  • Players never get to see the world map (not that it looks that good).
  • Don't actually get to sail the ship anymore.
  • (More on my end but) I'll have to rethink some ideas I had with sailing around not being a thing. I can do that just fine but I will have to come up with something else.


Anyway, that's what's on my mind now (among 50 other things for this game) but I figure I'd ask you all and see what you say. I won't make any changes on this for a while but it's best to decide what I'm doing earlier rather than later so I can plan ahead for it. So let me know what you think and I hope to have some kind of update for you all in due time.
Thanks for reading! :)
 

Ouro

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Personally, I prefer being able to move around the map on my own. That way you can also put in secret areas that can be found and explored. If you want to keep the idea of the ship as a map that you can talk to your party in, you can do what Hylics 2 did and make it so that you can push a button while sailing to leave the overworld and go inside the ship.
 

kimo

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@Meowsticks
I have had to think through a very similar issue, since my world is mostly islands with a big chunk of "continent-sized" land.

I have decided a cut scene with fast travel to advance the game at low party levels would be okay. Then later, as the party gets to a higher level, let them go and kill themselves if they want. One of the most enjoyable things about the Aveyond series was the ability to explore anywhere regardless of levels. Just save before entering a new area and hope you don't get your party killed in the first couple of battles.

This gives the player a decent idea of survival potential and whether they are in over their head. I think the biggest issues are Events if they are encountered before a planned trigger and how that is handled in the script. Sort of an "IF-THEN" puzzle for the developer.

Good to hear about your finger. Hopefully it's not your "lane-change" finger. :rock-left:
 

Lady_JJ

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I'll be selfish here and say why not both?
You could enter the ship and talk to the other characters
Pro: Fun for the player if the dialogue is varied and follows the storyline
Con: Lots of work for the developer

You could go to the helm and then decide whether to (1) manually sail the ship around the world or to (2) autopilot the ship with known gps coords / locations to a specific location
Pro: Player can still sail around the world and explore uninhibited, but if the player can't find or forgets a specific location, the autopilot option can be used
Con: Again, more work for the developer to provide both options

Glad your pinkie is healing. It takes a long time for bone to heal.
 

Meowsticks

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Thanks for all the feedback/ideas! Lots of things I never even considered. :) It's got my brain pumping out ideas on how to do it already. At some point I'll probably try out these things and see what I like most and more importantly what fits best with the game. Until then it's just keep on pressing forward.
 

Meowsticks

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Hey! I'm here with an update about lots of stuff I changed. Don't expect any of these changes to be implemented in the near future (aka I'm not updating the current demo, I'd rather just make something new). There's quite a few changes and they all go together a bit.

The main topic for this update is SKILLS.
When I first created the skill system way back when I liked the idea of skills being attached to weapons and having to switch them out to switch your skills available. That was then, and now I don't particularly like that methodology. Instead, all characters will be able to permanently learn their skills for use at any time in battle without the need to switch weapons.

-Rover: He doesn't change that much, and still has his various Elemental skills attached to each Tome. However, what changes is that after a certain amount of uses, he will learn the skill for use without the tome. For example, use Flame x amount of times, and he can use it no matter what.

-Drake: Around the world will be "Soul Stones". Interacting with these with Drake will allow him to learn a new Skill for use whenever.

-Roxy: I don't have a concrete idea for Roxy yet, but I'm thinking it will revolve around finding some item around the world and having Cassik create a new arrow(aka new Skill) for her to use. But I don't want it to be tedious so I'm not sure yet.

-Geoffrey: I'm not set in stone for him either, but I'm thinking about having some kind of "training exercise" at Telles Castle that you can do at times that will give him Skills to have.

-Lazerous: Just as she makes items, I decided she will be able to create her own Skills as well. A new Crafting category will be made and using special Orbs that are given out at pre-determined times, the player will be able to craft new Skills of certain tiers. The player will be able to select the order of the skills they want to learn too. For example, there are 3 Tier 2 Magic Skills, the player can create them in whatever order they want. The tier system prevents overpowered skills from being gotten too early.

-Marcus: Nothing changes. He already behaves how I am creating everyone else to.

I've also decided to clean up the skill information to make it clearer what's happening.
newskillinfo.png

It goes like this:
Short flavor text about what the Skill is
[# of Targets] [Element] [Status Infliction Chance] [DP Gained] [Uses]

It's not set in stone yet so if you have any suggestions about it feel free to let me know.

That brings me to another change: DP
In order to help spice up the battles, I've made a small change to DP. At the beginning of battle, all characters will start with 0 (unless they have a certain accessory equipped). DP will be gained by getting hit, or by using skills.

As stated above, the skill info will tell you how much DP is gained when that skill is used. Using a standard Attack will NOT gain any DP at all. This is done to encourage players to use their skills rather than just attack. (As an aside, I've made much more DScrolls and Decisive Skills)


You might be wondering: if the skills aren't attached to weapons anymore, what makes them different from each other?

Just as Marcus has several weapons with different utility, so too do the others. Most were already like this anyway to be honest, I just made it more different now. The biggest change to weapons would be Lazerous. Her Rods will now have a chance of inflicting various status ailments upon contact, i.e. her Limit Rod can inflict Zero Impact on hit.

Rover is a bit of a special case, all of this Tomes are exactly the same, and that's because they are unusable. It occurred to me that a Tome is not a good weapon, don't beat people up with books. Instead, Rover's attack command is Sealed, he cannot use a standard attack at all. This is also done to encourage people to use his Elements. Because this means his damage output is strictly his skills, I'm reducing the cost of them to make up for it.


There are some other minor changes but that's a lot and I don't know all of them off the top of my head so I'll just leave it at all. I've gotten over a major hurdle in development so things hopefully go smoothly and maybe eventually™ I'll put something new out to showcase all of these changes. Until then just keep going forward. :D
 

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