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***

We live on this platform of dirt and stone, suspended above what, we know not.

The violent, unpredictable ravages of Sky, its contents a mystery as well, scar this Ground we tread...


***

So begins Sandstone, an adventure set on the turbulent world of Ground.

You take the role of a wanderer, fighting to weather the violent Skystorms, rescue your beloved, and ultimately to unlock the mysteries of Ground, Sky, and yourself.

Your main tool is your hands. They will become progressively tougher and stronger as you smash your way forward, enabling you to pulverize harder stones. Combined with your wits, they will help you complete quests, and unlock new areas and mysteries.

Along the way you will encounter a variety of colorful characters, and make tough choices with real consequences. Though Sandstone is not a long game, it aims to provide a fully realized story and an entertaining, reasonably challenging experience.

*Tips*

- Leave no stone un-smashed.

- Exploration is often rewarded.

- If there's nothing left to do, there's probably something left to smash.

- If there's nothing left to smash, there's probably something left to do or find.

- If there's truly nothing left to smash, do, or find, you may need to try again.

*Let's Play by Sy*


Latest Blog

Sandstone v2.3 Changes

Much thanks to TheRPGMakerAddict for the review, which inspired
the first five changes:


- Exploited cliff shrub tile priority error.

- Added new NPC in Sandstone camp.

- Stopped use of airship from effecting BGM.
(thanks to Zevia for the plugin)

- Added option to process a single Balm to hidden herbalist.

- Slightly altered color of passable grass tile.

- Added final smash at the Ship

- Softer new menu SEs.

- Various map tweeks in Sandstone and Sowthin, others.

- Fixed first stone smashed explaining mechanics twice.

- Fixed lategame bug that caused missing dialog with key characters.

- Fixed bug with abandoned town parralax during Act 2.

- Fixed game-locking bug when Droppre is first met if player moves left immediately after smashing Granite.
  • Completed
  • akoniti
  • RPG Maker MV
  • Action Adventure Puzzle
  • 04/29/2021 07:23 PM
  • 04/13/2022 06:13 PM
  • 07/27/2020
  • 4754
  • 2
  • 77

Posts

Pages: 1
Tried this game and got as far as chapter 3 where i was permanently stuck with no rocks to smash. This is probably because i didnt smash all the rocks in chapter 2, but the reason I didnt is because there are several hidden game mechanics that work against you and you are never informed about them. When I noticed these mechanics it made me fairly annoyed and also disinclined to smash rocks in general. I figured something was up when the game was constantly prompting saves but I didn't expect there to be hidden mechanics like this:

- when you hands level up, you are fully healed. However, you are not informed WHEN your hands level up (e.g. at 200 there is a level up) so you might end up wasting balms when you are close to a level up. This punishes people who use alot of balms at once to heal up.
- when you smash a rock at low hp (you have 1HP more than the amount required to smash a rock), the game ignores the smash but takes your HP down to 1. This punishes people who use balms at 1HP to avoid the first problem, resulting in wasted HP.

Basically, the player will be punished whether they like using all balms at once AND using balms one at a time at low hp. Neither of these mechanics are ever told to the player. The result is that alot of HP and balm gets wasted in the long run, and it will be easy to get stuck without balm. So when I tried to avoid this eventuality it resulted in me running out of rocks instead. If these mechanics weren't in the game then Im sure i wouldn't be avoiding rocks in chapter 2, avoiding the softlock situation that I am finding myself in. I hope these arent intentional features, because they are really annoying for someone who notices them.

Another thing, is that each type of rock do not appear to give equivalent rates of HP for points. Some of the rocks are 1 for 1 but others are not. Thought that was strange because that means you should smash some rocks over others, but in the end i ran out of rocks anyway.
author=bicfarmer
Tried this game and got as far as chapter 3 where i was permanently stuck with no rocks to smash. This is probably because i didnt smash all the rocks in chapter 2, but the reason I didnt is because there are several hidden game mechanics that work against you and you are never informed about them.

Thanks for trying out Sandstone!

Typically players do need to retry here and there during the adventure as they learn the ropes, thus the early notes to save often and leave no stone unsmashed, and the are you sure? save prompt at the end of Act 2, which is the only Act where you can get softlocked in the following Act for not breaking enough stones before you proceed.

In your case, it sounds like going back to Act 2 will be the ticket. One thing to help you is a free balm you may have missed: If you visit Droppre (the herbalist in the Act 1 abandoned town) while playing as Wrix (the elf girl), he'll help you out :) Also be sure to explore the abandoned fort Wrix guards once she moves, and it's a good idea to visit Droppre one last time before you proceed to Act 3 to cash in the Shrubs you've collected.

Here are some notes on your comments:

However, you are not informed WHEN your hands level up

This is not shown explicitly, as is often the case in RPGs, but it is a simple system to guess after the first couple levels. Each level requires double the Calluspoints of the previous.

when you smash a rock at low hp (you have 1HP more than the amount required to smash a rock), the game ignores the smash but takes your HP down to 1

Apologies for this, it is a bug that will be fixed in a future release. Losing HP but not breaking the stone when you have < the required HP will always be the case, but if you in fact have 1 more than is needed, the correct result would be for the stone to break. A fringe case, but one that can be frustrating when it happens, sorry again.

tbh Sandstone was my training ground for RPGM, and I did things in individual events (eg stones)that should have been common events. Over time I've rolled much of the stone behavior into common events, but as each of the hundreds of stones needs to be correctly replaced each time I refine the functions or fix issues like this, it's a slow, methodical process that requires great care.

Another thing, is that each type of rock do not appear to give equivalent rates of HP for points. Some of the rocks are 1 for 1 but others are not.

That's correct, only Hills are 1:1. Harder stones do more damage, and provide a chance at more Chips, but the damage -> Chips ratio is worse for them.

Thanks again for playing, and for your feedback!
hey, thanks for the detailed explanation!I actually had a backup save right before entering chapter 3 so I did manage to complete the game after all. Aside from that one bug with low hp smashing I didn't get any other major errors. Honestly this has more of a survival feel to it instead of simply mining everything on the map, good game!
author=bicfarmer
hey, thanks for the detailed explanation!I actually had a backup save right before entering chapter 3 so I did manage to complete the game after all. Aside from that one bug with low hp smashing I didn't get any other major errors. Honestly this has more of a survival feel to it instead of simply mining everything on the map, good game!


Nice, thanks for playing through! I'm glad to hear that Sandstone ultimately proved a good game for you :)
Subbing because I'm commenting. Came from "Users who like Alchemistress Vivi​, also like..."

And was intrigued by the sorta silly description! Will play after Vivi.

Interesting vague cover art!

Alchemistress Vivi​: https://rpgmaker.net/games/11733/

And I failed to win again. Ah well. I got real lucky my first time. Second time I didn't think as hard.

----

Minor typo in the beginning:

"ravages of Sky, it's" > "ravages of Sky, its"

...

Ha! Buy two get none free!

...

Can the Level Up Stone never drop a Chip? Or is my Save Scumming just unlucky?

Yep, just unlucky.

...

Grubbin Cave: Wrecks > reeks

...

Ah, and if I want to not need to spend 20 on a Balm, I should buy them early, and remember to sleep in my home tent. I didn't know that was possible until I tried!

And I only understood Waifoo / Waifuu's name after Wrix called her the latter!

...

And I can't run away from Sandstone to avoid the bridge breaking! Nice!

Weird how Strong Hands isn't a full heal, just a 50 heal?

...

That Dangerous Pot! Ha!

...

How did the Thiccboots get made in the Alternate path? Aren't we missing an ingredient?

Weird that the Oryx messages don't occur every time?

...

Choices matter! I thought so.

Can't sneak into the shacks! Good programming!

Fell off the tree and survived. Is that all I get out of it? No item?

Save scumming means never having to use the expensive shops... ... BigBalm is big. There's no Skystone marker for the Balm-maker's town?

Never had to return to WaiFoo to finish the game. Huh.

Took the Slow Ending and important event wasn't mentioned. And I got confused by the Fast Ending until I reread it.

For further explanation:

I killed Skygod but WaiFoo's death was unmentioned.

I paid Skygod and it says I took one of Wrix's eyes, but she had them both... Or did it? I need to reread. Ah, I see. "And to have have taken... unthinkable" indeed.


have have > have
Greetings, thanks so much for playing Sandstone!

I'll have to check out Alchemistress Vivi. I like it already as it somehow led you to Sanstone :)

Glad the description and vague cover inspired you to find out more!

Here are quick notes on some of your comments:

author=Malandy
Minor typo in the beginning:

"ravages of Sky, it's" > "ravages of Sky, its"


Just when you think you've got the text fine-tuned, a glaring grammatical error in your intro is pointed out by a new player...heee....

author=Malandy
Ah, and if I want to not need to spend 20 on a Balm, I should buy them early, and remember to sleep in my home tent. I didn't know that was possible until I tried!


Definitely there are ways to maximize resources through careful timing, and small helps to be discovered along the way like camping in a few places. Some are only apparent once it's too late (like the Balm pricing you mentioned), but come in handy to help you succeed on replays.

author=Malandy
Weird how Strong Hands isn't a full heal, just a 50 heal?


Strong Hands will be a full heal in the next release, nice catch!

author=Malandy
That Dangerous Pot! Ha!


lol yes Dangerous Pot is dangerous! :)

author=Malandy
How did the Thiccboots get made in the Alternate path? Aren't we missing an ingredient?


If you choose Wrix, you wait for the lava to cool instead of crossing it right away, which has consequences...


author=Malandy
Weird that the Oryx messages don't occur every time?


I set the Onyx message to play when you smash the one in Act 3 just to make sure players are aware they got one, but left if off on the ones you can smash in Act 4. One one hand they are needed to proceed so are a special smash, on the other I worried I'd annoy players. What are your thoughts?

author=Malandy
Fell off the tree and survived. Is that all I get out of it? No item?


Yep, the encounter with Wrix in the branches is just for fun, for story. It is slightly different if you choose WaiFoo over Wrix, but either way no item.

author=Malandy
There's no Skystone marker for the Balm-maker's town?


I'll add a Skystone marker to the Abandoned Town, another great catch!

author=Malandy
Took the Slow Ending and important event wasn't mentioned.


- Regarding the vengeance ending, WaiFoo isn't mentioned explicitly in that outro text, but is covered when you visit her in Act 4. Interesting, I'd never considered that someone may skip that! I'll consider whether/how to prompt/force the visit before the finale.



Thanks again for playing and for your great notes! I'm happy that you found a few laughs along the way, and that the adventure was fun enough that you took the time to see it through.





author=akoniti
Greetings, thanks so much for playing Sandstone!


You're so welcome! I wasn't sure if this was still active and stuff! I guess I thought this was older than it was?

author=akoniti
author=Malandy
How did the Thiccboots get made in the Alternate path? Aren't we missing an ingredient?


If you choose Wrix, you wait for the lava to cool instead of crossing it right away, which has consequences...



Yeah, but IIRC the message still talks about the boots like they were made?

Since the message says they're destroyed by the hot lava? As if you were actually wearing them?


author=akoniti
author=Malandy
Weird that the Oryx messages don't occur every time?


I set the Onyx message to play when you smash the one in Act 3 just to make sure players are aware they got one, but left if off on the ones you can smash in Act 4. One one hand they are needed to proceed so are a special smash, on the other I worried I'd annoy players. What are your thoughts?


Well, I only really noticed / got confused because I smashed all / both of the available Act 3 Onyx, instead of just one? Maybe put all Act 4 Onyxes in the Act 4 section?

Is it Oryx or Onyx? Now I'm confused elsewhere too, hehe. Well, a replay will set me straight.

author=akoniti
author=Malandy
Fell off the tree and survived. Is that all I get out of it? No item?


Yep, the encounter with Wrix in the branches is just for fun, for story. It is slightly different if you choose WaiFoo over Wrix, but either way no item.


For the purposes of completeness and knowledge, I'll try that path when you update! Unless the lack of knowledge gets too annoying. Hehe!

author=akoniti
Thanks again for playing and for your great notes! I'm happy that you found a few laughs along the way, and that the adventure was fun enough that you took the time to see it through.


Helping people is fun and contributes to the game making community! But in more specific things to you... Gonna try your Starbaby!

Err... https://3b48.itch.io/starbaby ... Because the RMN page doesn't have a download link for some reason. Well, I have an itch.io account, so if you see a name like mine there, you'll know who to message and stuff!

Because baby protags are fun(ny)! Like this other game I also haven't played, "D is for Dungeon"!

author=Malandy
Yeah, but IIRC the message still talks about the boots like they were made?


Ahhh, now I see it, thank you. Whether you have them or not, as you proceed to Act 4 the Thiccboots are mentioned. How I've missed that in playtest after playtest I do not know...I guess it's easy to get used to how things are, instead of how they should be. Enter the power of your fresh eyes and attention to detail!

author=Malandy
Well, I only really noticed / got confused because I smashed all / both of the available Act 3 Onyx, instead of just one? Maybe put all Act 4 Onyxes in the Act 4 section?

Is it Oryx or Onyx? Now I'm confused elsewhere too, hehe. Well, a replay will set me straight.


Heh yeah it's 'Onyx'. And you are correct, there are actually 2 in Act 3.

That's a great idea, I've moved the second Onyx over to the Act 4 side for the next release. So players get the one 'training' prompt in Act 3 making it clear that smashing them gives an item, and from then on won't have the extra text popup to keep things moving.

author=Malandy
For the purposes of completeness and knowledge, I'll try that path when you update! Unless the lack of knowledge gets too annoying. Hehe!


Nice! Hah no yer not annoying at all, this is great!

I'll post a changelog when the update is released (and credit you for the fixes you inspired), so you'll get a Notice. Also:

In case you didn't the first time around, pay Droppre (the herbalist) a visit with Wrix, he'll help you out.


author=Malandy
Helping people is fun and contributes to the game making community! But in more specific things to you... Gonna try your Starbaby!


Supercool, I hope it's entertaining for you! Just a quick bit of fun for a jam, lot's of goobly baby noises :)

I wonder what happened to the file here? That's so weird, I know I uploaded it when I submitted the game. It's up here again, glad you found the itch option.
author=akoniti
author=Malandy
For the purposes of completeness and knowledge, I'll try that path when you update! Unless the lack of knowledge gets too annoying. Hehe!


Nice! Hah no yer not annoying at all, this is great!

I'll post a changelog when the update is released (and credit you for the fixes you inspired), so you'll get a Notice. Also:

In case you didn't the first time around, pay Droppre (the herbalist) a visit with Wrix, he'll help you out.



Woo! Notices!

I meant I'd play it again, if the need for information burns hot enough that I get impatient, heh. But I have Starbaby, and stuff.

I got the Charm that lets you see hints so I knew to do that thing, but it took my second playthrough to figure out what the hint from that event meant, and that was just because I accidentally went on the right path.

A.k.a:


I only found the hidden herbalist after accidentally making my way into the first steps of the invisible path. I thought I'd have to be able to break Skystones to get in, but no.


Thankfully, my save scumming for Chips meant I didn't have to use any of the pricier vendors.

Due to the RNG nature of whether Chips drop, I wonder if it's possible to be softlocked if the RNG hates you enough. Eh, thankfully the game's short, and you don't need that many Chips, so it should be fine.

author=akoniti
author=Malandy
Helping people is fun and contributes to the game making community! But in more specific things to you... Gonna try your Starbaby!


Supercool, I hope it's entertaining for you! Just a quick bit of fun for a jam, lot's of goobly baby noises :)

I wonder what happened to the file here? That's so weird, I know I uploaded it when I submitted the game. It's up here again, glad you found the itch option.


Yay! Now others can play it and stuff!
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