Max McGee
My name is Legion: for we are many.
Hi, my name is Max McGee. I have a mood disorder, an anxiety disorder, moderate to severe Crohn's disease, and way too much free time. I make tabletop roleplaying games for a living and RPG video games for fun. I have over ten years of experience with the latter. It hasn't always been easy--plenty of the time it's straight-up sucked-- but I'm never going to give up.

"To the quitters and the complainers,
if we never meet again, remember when.

They lost their nerve
They just went straight
They didn't have the balls to hold it down and they brought everybody else right down with them.
While clowns must stand.

We'll make a toast to absent friends and better days,
To remembering and being remembered as brave
And not as a bunch of whining jerks!

Don't lose your nerve.
Do not go straight
You must testify (or I'm going to come to your house and punch you in the mouth)
cause clowns must stand."

And uh, I can't believe it's come to this, but: Ahem.
There are three sides to every story. Your side, my side, and the truth.



Iron Gaia Review

I sure do love arguing on the internet.

Actual inspirations for Iron Gaia were the movie Deep Impact, the book Lucifer's Hammer, and the videogame Xenogears -- opening cutscene only, did not play rest of game. I have a feeling that the Aether stuff was inspired by Final Fantasy VII too.

I personally feel that ABL > Iron Gaia: Virus > Iron Gaia I. While I think it's slightly subjective re: the relative merits of ABL and IG, I can't help but feel some informational authority on the matter of the relative merits IG:V and IG1. When I say that IG:V is a substantively better game than IG1, that certainly feels like objective fact, especially since I created both games and know their ins and outs and particularities better than anyone.

I mean obviously you have some strange tastes when you've said that the graphics of ABL were good. That is not a popularly held opinion. I didn't notice the lack of enemy skills in ABL because I was too busy crushing on the delicious Aura system. I saw enemies more as a source of skills for me via absorbing their delicious auras than as entities that may or may not have skills to use themselves.

Anyway if you're going to post a scathing review of Iron Gaia: Virus I might as well be fully candid and transparent and ask that you just not. Send me a PM instead. The game has been available for the better part of a decade and has reached less of an audience than games available on here for less than one year and that fact already fills me with total despair. However you may feel about it as a sequel, the last thing I want is for it to have an even lower score and reach an even smaller audience, making the act of unpaid game development seem like a stupider and more fruitless waste of time than it already is.

Oh, one last important clarification (albeit kind of random): it is pretty essential to understanding Iron Gaia and all of its subsequent spin-off works to know that, officially speaking, BOTH the Dream ending and the Escape ending are considered canon. All subsequent and derivative works proceed from that (strange) premise.

ATTN: Scripters, will you beautiful fuckers please stop making crafting scripts for VX Ace. I've already had to download like six just to see which one I like best, and that's not even counting all the ones I immediately hated.

Actually, Coelocanth's is the one that I've decided to go with for the time being. That definitely doesn't mean it's the BEST, it just conforms to my personal biases nicely. Glasses' simple crafting script for instance has some additional functionality, but I vastly prefer to set up crafting recipes using notetags in the database to setting them up in a config array in the script itself. I also like how Coelocanth's script can limit specific recipes by specific switches. That creates a lot of flexibility for a veteran eventer like me.

This is another thing that's not for any game in particular, I'm just messing around with what Ace can do functionality wise.

Engine Tips, Tricks and Bits (of information)

-In Ace and maybe others: in the Animation editor, if you have more than one cell in a frame, you can hold CTRL and click to get to the cell immediately behind the one on top. You can hold CTRL and double-click to bring up its properties, or hold CTRL and drag it around without affecting the one on top.


H!F!S!: No Man's Sky

Everything that this game is promising (and demonstrating the lovely beginnings of) is BLOWING MY FUCKING MIND. The game is basically promising: a procedurally generated open universe game where players take the role of a planetary explorer with a spacecraft, allowing them to explore the surface of numerous planets and interact with the flora and fauna, and take to space, engaging in combat with hostile forces and travel to other planets. Planets and other features of this universe are procedurally generated; though initially built based on a 32-bit number processor, the final game will use a 64-bit seeding key, with the developers stating that this allows for more than 18 quintillion possible planets every single one of which is lush, gorgeous, and unique. The game will have online features that allow players to share details of planets they have visited with other online players, and will allow players to visit these planets through a large galactic map once they have upgraded their ship for hyperdrive capabilities.

Basically, it seems to be offering the freedom of a space exploration, combat, and trading game like X3 combined with the freedom of a vast planetary exploration game like Planet Explorers multiplied by about 18 quintillion due to Dwarf Fortress style procedural generation and cloaked in a layer of lush gorgeous graphics and just AGGGGGGHHHHHH. AGGGH. I cannot even handle this. What the fuck.

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Iron Gaia Review

This is a well written and fair review. Even a bit on the generous side, perhaps (certainly when you hint it's better than ABL, that's going too far: it's DONER but that's where the superiorities end).

I will point out one piece of interesting trivia: I first played a System Shock game (System Shock 2) AFTER I had finished making Iron Gaia, but before I started Iron Gaia: Virus (which you should totally play if you haven't; it is better than this in just about every way). So the similarities between System Shock and IG1 are actually a weird coincidence, but the similarities between System Shock and IGV are the homage you would think.

Thanks for the review, NTC3! It was a good read, so keep them coming. : )

Looking for tips to make a horror game that doesn't suck

I am probably the person most qualified to assist here (also SnowOwl) but it is clear without even reading the thread that you already have a LOT of advice to parse and consider.

Instead I will say this. There are many types of "horror" and many flavors of "scary".

I hate horror games because they use too many jump scares and/or don't build a creepy atmosphere, (That's why I hate five nights at freddy and slender: the 8 pages) so what i'm gonna do about it? try to make a horror game to see how hard it can be!

This tells me more about your specific prejudices (I am NOT using that word in a negative sense) and the kind of horror game YOU would find satisfying to play, which is absolutely the kind you should attempt to make starting out.

It sounds like your primary concern and jones is with the gradual building of atmosphere and suspense. I suggest you play at least the first act of genre classic The Longing Ribbon (available on this site) and think about how it builds atmosphere and tension.

Then, before you even start work in the editor, I want you to think long and hard about WHERE your game takes place, about WHY your characters are there, WHAT that says about WHO they are, and HOW you want the pace of the game to flow. In most shit horror games I've played, all of these things were obviously given FAR too little thought by the creator.

One last bit of advice which is probably not PC but fuck it... if you are writing your game in English ... and you plan on using writing to help build up the atmosphere and tension which are important to you ... I'd recommend you either perfect your English first (WAY EASIER SAID THAN DONE) OR (this one is easier) bring in outside help from a native English speaker. Because nothing sends the buildup of suspense and tension reeling backwards like an unfortunate typo or an awkward bit of phrasing. You want your writing to be taut, to be spare, to be effective and to have style. This is really hard even when writing in your native language, and may even approach impossible when writing in a language you're struggling with.

How do you feel about dungeon crawling?

My favorite dungeon crawlers are all roguelikes (which are technically a kind of WRPG) and not JRPGs. Of course I have still never played the Persona series, so that's a major blindspot I'll acknowledge.

Engine Tips, Tricks and Bits (of information)

Put a lot of empty space between your categories of items and spells in the database, so you can add to them easily later.

This is a real good one! And I'd add "however much space you initially think will be enough...TRIPLE it!". I've been making games like a hundred years and my databases are still not as nicely organizede as I'd like because of this factor.

Max McGee
The higher the Luck stat in Ace, the higher your chance is to defend against or inflict a status effect, buff or debuff.
Does anyone know the exact formula of this?
Chance (%) = 100 + (user's luck - target's luck) ÷ 10

So if the caster has 50 luck and the target has 10 --

100 + (50 - 10) ÷ 10
100 + 40 ÷ 10

This means that the inflict rate is raised 4%. So, a 50% infliction rate becomes 52% (0.5 * 1.04).

WOW. Ok. I just recently had a Cleric resist a status effect she really shouldn't have (100% chance of infliction, she had no special resistance) and I thought it must have been because her Luck was 86 and the enemy's was 10. But that's only a 7% difference so...if that is why it happened, that must have involved ACTUAL luck as well.

Whatchu Workin' On? Tell us!

I definitely find myself wanting to know more about the ARDVARK KING or whatever.

Engine Tips, Tricks and Bits (of information)

The higher the Luck stat in Ace, the higher your chance is to defend against or inflict a status effect, buff or debuff.

Does anyone know the exact formula of this?