[POLL] DOES RPG MAKER NET HAVE LOW ENGAGEMENT RATE?

Poll

Does RPG Maker net have a lower than average engagement rate for the submissions? - Results

Yes
13
52%
No
12
48%

Posts

pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
27193
I know that I personally prefer the aesthetic appearance of XP RTP over the chibi RTP VX Ace uses. With the exception of the swapsie game I did with Frogge, though, I've never used the style. I suspect Tuomo went with that style for similar reasons.
Visually speaking, there's a lot to this game that could use some improvement -- especially to put justice to the hard work of the artists you hired, as the way their artwork is used is inconsistent at rather poor at times.
Thankfully, this is a matter of arranging, not redoing, so you can rebuild things to look far neater with just a little work. Things such as using default XAS gui graphics (or whichever abs you're using but i think its XAS from a screen i saw on steam -- using default projectiles no less!), somewhat poor mapping, spritework that could use some work...

My 5 cents here is that just by improving the feel / look of the menus and interface, you'd already have a much more inviting game.
I was glad to give this an upvote on steam and who knows I may buy it in the future but... I'm just not really excited to do so at all, other than to support a fellow developer, to be honest.

Anyway, since you have a highly sucessful game at hands however, that means you have enough funds and experience to do better on your next game! If you take all the critique and your experience to heart, I'm sure you can iterate into something that will definitely set a new personal record for yourself. Good luck!




edit: Also, RMXP tiles are far far better than RMVXA in my opinion. More organic, better spritework (none of that disgusting brushy look from VXA, XP tiles are actually done pixel by pixel) more varied. I support the decision of using XP tiles on VXA, although visually the game does show inconsistency and lack of polish in lots of places.

Off topic but what I don't understand is how other games take the hideous tiles from VXA and drop them inside the clunky, outdated engine that is RMXP... then proceed to sell it commercially. With no adjustments whatsoever to the default systems so characters are even distractingly semi-transparent the whole battle. welp
Also i'm pretty sure they don't edit the default battle formulae and RMXP is well known to have the worst battle formulae from the rpg maker series
unity
You're magical to me.
12188
author=pianotm
I know that I personally prefer the aesthetic appearance of XP RTP over the chibi RTP VX Ace uses. With the exception of the swapsie game I did with Frogge, though, I've never used the style. I suspect Tuomo went with that style for similar reasons.


Yeah, I have a soft spot for both the character sprites and tilesets from XP. I understand why some people don't like them, as the tilesets can look a bit washed out, color-wise, but they strangely appeal to me and seem less, I dunno, blocky that some of the more recent RTP.
2 - XP. I hate that engine and I'm already less inclined to play games made in it because of how clunky and bleh it can be. Personal bias but I know there's a fair few out there who share it.

It's done on Ace, not XP.

author=Sooz
Yo T, why did you decide to go with XP RTP in Ace?

They didn't fit, Alice's sprite is so much bigger than regular Ace that anything from Ace would have made her look giant. Also, all curves and everything is just square box.

author=JosephSeraph
Visually speaking, there's a lot to this game that could use some improvement -- especially to put justice to the hard work of the artists you hired, as the way their artwork is used is inconsistent at rather poor at times.
Thankfully, this is a matter of arranging, not redoing, so you can rebuild things to look far neater with just a little work. Things such as using default XAS gui graphics (or whichever abs you're using but i think its XAS from a screen i saw on steam -- using default projectiles no less!), somewhat poor mapping, spritework that could use some work...

It's not XAS and they're not default. They are custom graphics.

Example

Original batte hud



Save Your Mom's hud




Lava room was going to have more room but then ran into limitations of RPG Maker since I found out there's hard coded ammount of stuff you can have. Save Your Mother pushes RPG Maker VX Ace to its limits and I constantly was reaching the maximum number of events on map in the lava minigame, hence I had to cut it into segments and it flows not as smooth as I would have wanted to. That's also the reason sprites had to be reduced from original size since the originals had lots of clipping issues and others due to the small 32x32 grids as opossed to 48x48 of RPG Maker MV which would have helped.


Also you can skip the intro.


Did you not like the hallucination?
unity
You're magical to me.
12188
author=Tuomo_L
Lava room was going to have more room but then ran into limitations of RPG Maker since I found out there's hard coded ammount of stuff you can have. Save Your Mother pushes RPG Maker VX Ace to its limits and I constantly was reaching the maximum number of events on map in the lava minigame, hence I had to cut it into segments and it flows not as smooth as I would have wanted to.

I use the program daily. I know what its capable of. You may not be able to add more events to the lava room, but you can add all the B-tileset details you want. My criticism wasn't about the size of the room. It was that the room lacked details and didn't look like a cave (being a big rectangle).

author=Tuomo_L
Also you can skip the intro.

That's not a fix. "No story" is not a solution for "long-winded story that bores the player."


author=Tuomo_L
Did you not like the hallucination?

I did. I said so in my post ^_^
author=unity
author=Tuomo_L
Lava room was going to have more room but then ran into limitations of RPG Maker since I found out there's hard coded ammount of stuff you can have. Save Your Mother pushes RPG Maker VX Ace to its limits and I constantly was reaching the maximum number of events on map in the lava minigame, hence I had to cut it into segments and it flows not as smooth as I would have wanted to.
I use the program daily. I know what its capable of. You may not be able to add more events to the lava room, but you can add all the B-tileset details you want.

Oh that's what you mean, I was worried clutter may be bad in that spot though because you have to dodge lava and the fire pits, I think too much visual information would make that segment really tough as it's all about paying attention to the lava to be able to cross. There's clutter and stuff like that in upper levels though.

author=Tuomo_L
Also you can skip the intro.
That's not a fix. "No story" is not a solution for "long-winded story that bores the player."

You can skip the story and can speed through it. (By holding action button) And the god stuff and such are important, I mean if you talk to Glamour you'll find a lot more about it. I didn't want the game to stall so long before the gameplay began though because that'd get in the way of adventure. There's already stuff hinted about Elisa's and Alice's relationship in the intro but I didn't want to get too far into it in start, you do get more of that later too especially in the hallucination. (That scene has made people actually cry, you know the one I mean?)


Also it's 2:42 minutes without speeding up not 5 minutes long.



I have made combat a lot easier than it used to, there were a ton of more stragegy involved in earlier levels including poisoning by the shrooms but it was too hard at start and was made easier since people complained and instead, I'm making the curve go slowly harder and enemies using more skills and healing themselves. This game was sadistically hard, you didn't even have boomerang at start but had to find it as a treasure and went in unarmed otherwise.

You gain tons of magic and equipment during the game though, just as using boomerang is getting old, you get a sword, then you get new magical spells and such. This is delibaretely done to try and keep the combat always appear fresh as possible and thus also thematically each enemy is different. Have you gone to Ice Hell yet?


I tried my best, really. But having bigger party wouldn't make sense in the context and for the storyline purposes.
unity
You're magical to me.
12188
"The enemies can poison you" is not a big boost to strategy. Strategy is about giving the player options to deal with problems. Having a one-character party with one special move for an hour or longer is a big problem if your not re-making Dragon Quest I.

This is disappointing. You wanted engagement. You promised me a lot about this game. I even went and bought it to give it a fair chance. But you sweep everything I'm trying to tell you about it aside. Next time someone comes along asking that I buy their game and give it a chance, I won't be so gullible.
author=unity
"The enemies can poison you" is not a big boost to strategy. Strategy is about giving the player options to deal with problems. Having a one-character party with one special move for an hour or longer is a big problem if your not re-making Dragon Quest I.

This is disappointing. You wanted engagement. You promised me a lot about this game. I even went and bought it to give it a fair chance. But you sweep everything I'm trying to tell you about it aside. Next time someone comes along asking that I buy their game and give it a chance, I won't be so gullible.


I'm not sweeping it under the rock, I'm trying to explain why things are the way they are.

I mean, really, from the context there really is no way you'd have friends with you, right?
unity
You're magical to me.
12188
author=Tuomo_L
author=unity
"The enemies can poison you" is not a big boost to strategy. Strategy is about giving the player options to deal with problems. Having a one-character party with one special move for an hour or longer is a big problem if your not re-making Dragon Quest I.

This is disappointing. You wanted engagement. You promised me a lot about this game. I even went and bought it to give it a fair chance. But you sweep everything I'm trying to tell you about it aside. Next time someone comes along asking that I buy their game and give it a chance, I won't be so gullible.
I'm not sweeping it under the rock, I'm trying to explain why things are the way they are.

I mean, really, from the context there really is no way you'd have friends with you, right?


Then give me more than one move. You can make a one-character battle system interesting. We had a whole topic on in this very forum. Play some other RPGs and see how other people handle this.
author=unity
author=Tuomo_L
author=unity
"The enemies can poison you" is not a big boost to strategy. Strategy is about giving the player options to deal with problems. Having a one-character party with one special move for an hour or longer is a big problem if your not re-making Dragon Quest I.

This is disappointing. You wanted engagement. You promised me a lot about this game. I even went and bought it to give it a fair chance. But you sweep everything I'm trying to tell you about it aside. Next time someone comes along asking that I buy their game and give it a chance, I won't be so gullible.
I'm not sweeping it under the rock, I'm trying to explain why things are the way they are.

I mean, really, from the context there really is no way you'd have friends with you, right?
Then give me more than one move. You can make a one-character battle system interesting. We had a whole topic on in this very forum. Play some other RPGs and see how other people handle this.


Okay, I'll try and think of something.

You get 4 different spells in the Ice Hell; 2 of which are huge aoe attacks, does that help at all?
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
14263
Is Alice the only one who cares about her mother? Does she have zero able friends? Even if that's the case, perhaps she could encounter other explorers headed the same direction that are willing to team up temporarily. Heck, even her rival might be coy and pretend to help for a while, only to betray her later and ditch her in a bad situation. Making a compelling RPG with a single party member is tough. Even just one more character at least divides enemy damage between two targets.

It's okay to explain why things are a certain way, but understand that they were mentioned for a reason. It's your challenge as a game designer to find ways that solve the problem while maintaining your intentions.
author=halibabica
Is Alice the only one who cares about her mother? Does she have zero able friends? Even if that's the case, perhaps she could encounter other explorers headed the same direction that are willing to team up temporarily. Heck, even her rival might be coy and pretend to help for a while, only to betray her later and ditch her in a bad situation. Making a compelling RPG with a single party member is tough. Even just one more character at least divides enemy damage between two targets.


Spoilers, Jenna already does that in game which makes the hallucination thing.

It's okay to explain why things are a certain way, but understand that they were mentioned for a reason. It's your challenge as a game designer to find ways that solve the problem while maintaining your intentions.


I know, I'm thinking of a new spell right now. Something that could be "desperation move" that isn't anywhere in the game right now.
author=Tuomo_L
I'm not sweeping it under the rock, I'm trying to explain why things are the way they are.


You are. If a customer comes to you and says "hey this product you sold me is bad because-" your initial reaction shouldn't be "it's bad that way because reasons."

All you've done is admit to the customer that their input lacks any value to you, because you've shown a lack of interest in fixing the problem they brought to your attention. You've also done yourself the disservice of admitting that you knew it had those flaws when you sold it to them.

That's a great way to break trust between yourself and your potential customers.

What you should do with that feedback is first thank them for their time and purchase and input. Go away the comments they gave, sit on them for awhile and sort out what is useful information and what is not. (Because not every comment a customer makes its useful.) Then apply what you took away from the experience either to the current game or the next.

That immediate gut reaction to defend the things your customer found wrong with your product doesn't reflect well on you as a developer.
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5177
I was there when unity played the game. She timed the intro. Even with her holding the spacebar to speed it up, it clocked in at a little less than 5 minutes.

For an example of how you could have shared the information without giving a long speech to the player:

Open with Mom telling child Alice the story of the gods at bedtime. Alice asks about the cube, Mom says nobody knows where it is, there's some unrelated cute going-to-sleep stuff to establish their relationship.

Timeskip to Alice graduating as a scholar, with top marks. Do some more cute, supportive relationship stuff with her mom, drop in the "Silver Scholar" nickname if you must.

Timeskip to Alice working a few years later on some scholarly group thing, or even doing a lecture. Someone runs in to tell her something urgent.

Cut to Alice taking care of mom; maybe do some gameplay bits to let the player look around the house and get some extra info about their relationship, or just show how hard Alice works to help mom out.

Cut to several short scenes (or just a collection of similar images) of Alice trying different doctors and increasingly weird healing stuff to no avail.

Cut to Alice at the local library, give the player control and let them make Alice do the research. This allows the player some interaction with the story, and lets them choose how much info they care to get on the Elohim Cube; for our purposes, the only important thing is "miracle magic," which doesn't require a lot of backstory.

Then, the game could start as normal

This is still a bit clunky and frontloads too much cutscene for my personal taste, but it'd establish the core relationship much better, deliver lots of the information more efficiently, and also get the player involved earlier.

A big exposition crawl works in movies and books because these are inherently passive media. With video games, it's important to involve the player as early as possible, even if that's just walking around and looking at things. I have immediately written games off when they took too long with an opening cutscene, because it's a sign that the game doesn't really care about letting me experience the story myself, it wants to tell the story to me.

ETA:
author=Tuomo_L
author=halibabica
Is Alice the only one who cares about her mother? Does she have zero able friends? Even if that's the case, perhaps she could encounter other explorers headed the same direction that are willing to team up temporarily. Heck, even her rival might be coy and pretend to help for a while, only to betray her later and ditch her in a bad situation. Making a compelling RPG with a single party member is tough. Even just one more character at least divides enemy damage between two targets.
Spoilers, Jenna already does that in game which makes the hallucination thing.

Hali was talking about having her join the party for a while, not having a short cutscene.
author=Sooz
I was there when unity played the game. She timed the intro. Even with her holding the spacebar to speed it up, it clocked in at a little less than 5 minutes.

Actually, the intro is in entirity on Youtube without spacebar pressage. The video without touching anything is 2:34. I have no idea why it lasted twice that long for you two, especially with spacebar.

author=MakioKuta
author=Tuomo_L
I'm not sweeping it under the rock, I'm trying to explain why things are the way they are.
You are. If a customer comes to you and says "hey this product you sold me is bad because-" your initial reaction shouldn't be "it's bad that way because reasons."

All you've done is admit to the customer that their input lacks any value to you, because you've shown a lack of interest in fixing the problem they brought to your attention. You've also done yourself the disservice of admitting that you knew it had those flaws when you sold it to them.

That's a great way to break trust between yourself and your potential customers.

What you should do with that feedback is first thank them for their time and purchase and input. Go away the comments they gave, sit on them for awhile and sort out what is useful information and what is not. (Because not every comment a customer makes its useful.) Then apply what you took away from the experience either to the current game or the next.

That immediate gut reaction to defend the things your customer found wrong with your product doesn't reflect well on you as a developer.

I'm really not, I thought you guys wanted me to comment and be more active, that's why I'm replying to those, not to come off as defensive dick. Do you like the idea for the new spell?
Kloe
I lost my arms in a tragic chibi accident
2236
By comment and be more active, I think they meant in the community, not just in arguing about the feedback about your game...

I'd play it but I don't have available funds and the game really isn't my thing, so I'm sorry, but please take the advice everyone is giving on board, it all seems really constructive.
author=Kloe
By comment and be more active, I think they meant in the community, not just in arguing about the feedback about your game...

I'd play it but I don't have available funds and the game really isn't my thing, so I'm sorry, but please take the advice everyone is giving on board, it all seems really constructive.

Oh, I see.

I will, I'm adding new spell. I'm listening to Unity, I really am. I didn't want to come off as ignoring her. I value all feedback, I just wanted to explain why some of the stuff is the way they were, as a designer to another, not as developer to customer.

You guys said you're mostly developers yourselves, that's why I'm interacting with you in ways I wouldn't in Steam.
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5177
author=Tuomo_L
Actually, the intro is in entirity on Youtube without spacebar pressage. The video without touching anything is 2:34. I have no idea why it lasted twice that long for you two, especially with spacebar.


The Let's Play you linked on the front page has the intro going from 1:10 to 5:55. Your intro's way long, mang.
author=Sooz
author=Tuomo_L
Actually, the intro is in entirity on Youtube without spacebar pressage. The video without touching anything is 2:34. I have no idea why it lasted twice that long for you two, especially with spacebar.
The Let's Play you linked on the front page has the intro going from 1:10 to 5:55. Your intro's way long, mang.

I have no idea what's going on. The actual intro itself is not that long, it's posted in entirity here.


I like the way your intro is suggested but I really don't know why it's nearly twice as long as it should. I do agree, 5 minutes is really way too long.


EDIT: I think I found a reason, the game's intro is going to be shorter in the next update back to 2:34.
author=Tuomo_L
It's not XAS and they're not default. They are custom graphics.

Example

Original batte hud



Save Your Mom's hud




I'm sorry then, it seems I was mistaken. But you see, from a consumer's standpoint, it still felt like I was seeing default systems even though they were custom. And in fact they are -- but they're custom stuff that still uses RTP stuff and is visually and style-wise very similar to the source material.

To show people that it's something original you need stronger visual design. It's very important. But given that you're pretty much refuting every piece of feedback that everyone says shows that there isn't much of an intent for improvement, which means I might as well go give feedback to a project that benefits more from it : p