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The massive ancient tower known as the Spire has begun emitting a bright light. Everyone you know has transformed into a strange creature, or outright monsters.

Your grandfather's final words before transforming directed you to take up your father's sword and smash the Spire, and restore humanity to the known world.

Wield magic and tools to solve puzzles and traverse obstacles throughout the Spire.
Fight monsters in a turn-based combat system, boosting attacks with timed hits and parries, and making use of magic Runes to concoct spells and take down enemies.

Latest Blog

2021 - An Announcement

In 2019, I declared "FINISH. THE. GAME.", a bold statement detailing how I would either finish this game by the end of 2019, or not at all.

Obviously the game didn't get finished in that timeframe. In a tale as old as time (or as old as this gamepage perhaps), real life took some turns and I couldn't prioritize this weird hobby game dev project. The following year+ was obviously tumultuous for reasons I'm sure everyone can relate to, but especially so for my family as I had to both find a new job and take care of a brand new baby! And thus, the Looming Spire as a project fell to the wayside for the better part of two years.

So why am I posting this blog? For most of my life at this point, I've had a dream of being a game developer -- that is to say, being someone who has made a video game -- and it has thus far been a dream I've failed to live up to. I've grown up, I'm actually a real-life programmer now. I've dabbled in gamedev projects as a way to learn things, and could feasibly begin using a real engine like Unity or Godot or something to create a brand new game.

However, despite my best efforts (well, "best") this project, this god damn RPG Maker 2003 adventure puzzle RPG video game that I aspired to make and created a gamepage over ten ELEVEN years ago for, STILL sits at the forefront of the game-making part of my brain. The Looming Spire, living up to its name, stands tall as an eternal paragon of incompleteness -- that poisonous mineral, ever-shedding its sickness: every time I try to start something new, I always see this project sitting on my hard drive, just screaming at me, begging to be released from its unfinished purgatory.

Well, I'm making very large strides in recent weeks. I'm really trying my hardest to make it to the finish line this time. Yes, that means...

The Looming Spire is officially in development once again.

This game, this project has a lot of heart poured into it. There's a lot I want to show you all, but I need to stop myself and hold out for now. There's a very real phenomenon where showing off your progress activates the same parts of your pleasure center as releasing a finished product, and I can't do that anymore. I don't need people to see screenshots, I need people to see the "new game" option when they start the game up for the first time. I don't need validation that this looks cool, I need actual players telling me they think it sucks. I don't NEED the comments, but I love getting them, so I need to hold out and use that desire to fuel development of this thing.

So, a big blog to say, I'm working on this again. And it's a lot closer than its ever been to being finished. I don't want to break down exactly whats needed, but lets just say I've hit some pretty significant milestones lately. Also with the help of the RPG2k3 "Maniac" Patch, development is going WAY faster than ever before. Kinda wild what something as simple as being able to draw text to the screen can do.

The end result will be an admittedly fairly light-on-story, puzzle/exploration-heavy game, featuring fast-paced turn-based combat with some positioning and timing elements thrown in.

I really appreciate the kind words of encouragement and people looking forward to this game, even after all these years. It really does mean a lot, so thank you. Please keep looking forward to it, I'll let you know when it gets close.


Also, uhhh if people would like to volunteer to test this thing, feel free to drop a line.

Posts

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Ok quick feedback since i dont have much time, I really like the concept so far but the battle system needs a lot of work in terms of visual aid.
http://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/204/locker/weird.PNG
http://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/204/locker/weird2.PNG

Sometimes it's fine but the command window placed where the player graphic is... causes problems. Maybe make the spaces for the monsters more open? Idk it's also really weird being RIGHT in front of the monster in some tight corridor. CT made sure the character/monster placements were nice and spaced out and had the menu thing in the same spot. Also some notes:

-I did the open door puzzle by a complete lucky choice of the void rune, i don't get how voids have anything to do with ... moving wood down on another to open a door? idk i don't get that puzzle
-I don't like how some monsters wander around and a bunch ambush, there's just too many encounters at an inconsistent pace.
-I really like the menu and the skill selecting, though in battle it seems to lose consistency on how you choose the skills in battle (instead of pressing 1 or 2 you just press skill and it does whatever is on there, i wonder if thats good design?)
-I'm guessing the metroidvania elements are taken away because all the runes are given, so not much to judge on exploration aspects
WIP
I'm not comfortable with any idea that can't be expressed in the form of men's jewelry
11363
I am very pumped to see a new DS custom battle system!
Thank you much for the feedback, Darken.

The Void rune is supposed to work as sort of a gravity well, pulling movable objects nearer towards you. So in that puzzle, you're pulling the box towards you so it pushes down the switch to open the door. The game is definitely not clear on that, since you don't see any other movable boxes anywhere else, but glad you figured it out.

I plan on making the battle window stationary. Before I had all the other stuff added (HP bar, portrait, 1 and 2 buttons, etc) the battle window wasn't all that bad, and I like the micro menu aspect of it, but the whole thing is growing much bigger than that, and so a stationary battle menu is probably going to be implemented.

As far as using skills in battle, the idea is eventually each rune will have 4 different skills to use, gaining more as the rune levels up, and so you'll be able to choose from a list of skills in battle. I just haven't gotten around to implementing each skill or a menu for choosing said skills. Furthermore, I also intend to allow the equipping of multiple runes for battles, and allowing the player to have a "dual rune skill" per combination, and later on "triple rune skills" (thus furthering the chrono trigger emphasis).

Anyway, thank you for giving it a go, even though there isn't much to speak of. This is just a small demonstration of what I've been working on (which has taken quite some time, I might add). If RS!X wasn't here, nothing would've been released at all. :)

edchuy
You the practice of self-promotion
1624
Sorry that I need to ask. Is getting to the shaft blocked by the large pool of water as far as you can get in the demo? Thanks in advance for the response.
Yeah. This release isn't anything more than a technical demonstration. Only about five maps.
edchuy
You the practice of self-promotion
1624
OK. I am aware that you have changed some things around. I think I have checked everything I could have regarding the demo. I used some RM2k3 french RTP 1.08 to be able to get the game going. Sorry to say I have tried anything else you have posted in RMN. Here is my feedback, mostly comments and observations, regarding the demo:

- I do like your implementation of a circular menu option for the Items and Runes. However, I would like it to able to remember what was the last item used or what the current rune is, to use those at starting points for selection when I call them up.
- I found the information given by the crystal to be very thorough and useful.
- I hope you will have an option in the menu to exit to title screen!
- I found using fire and earth runes field skills doesn't reduce Mag. I tried all others and they do reduce it, as expected. Also I found that using a particular rune skill, it takes a couple of seconds to recharge.
- For items, it would be nice to have a description of the currently selected one both in the field and battle, so that you wouldn't have to use an item to actually figure out what it does.
- I like the fact your battle system is passive ATB. That'll be good especially if you plan to have more skills for each rune and more runes equipped. There is nothing more frustrating than having to hurry a battle choice (often making the wrong one at that).
- Are RPs points that get assigned to the currently equipped rune? Will the different levels for the runes let you access more skills or just stronger versions of them?
- Exp. I would guess are assigned to the non-rune level that the character has.
- Your choice to have to use arrows to find the Flee and Defend options in battle was good, especially putting those little directional arrows as reminders. I hope you do something similar when you add all those battle sub-options you have in mind.
- When you open a chest and find an item, the characters lifts it up to show, kind of like the character in Legend of Zelda games does.
- I found if you walk into a diagonal wall and continue pressing the directional button you'll move to the next part of the diagonal wall in the direction you're pressing.
- I wasn't able to use neither the Sky nor the Freeze in the field against enemies for the intended use, probably in some cases because the enemies move too quickly.
- I don't feel it is bad to have surprise attacks. It keeps you on your toes.
- I hope there's enough magic restoring items available especially once dealing with stronger monsters.
- Probably due to RTP I used, in the screenshot where you show bats or moths (?), I had hogs (although some others have said they are orcs) for the sprites of the enemy. When I attacked these enemies, I found that instead of the expected animation, the sprite would get changed into that of a grim reaper. I have found that, particularly with RM2k3, it is probably best for the developer to include most of the resources you intend to need for the game, since there's no 1 standard RTP. I had also tried this KVlad RTP translation, but it wasn't enough for me to play the game. Otherwise, some things might work, but not as originally intended by the developer.
comment=24460
Ok quick feedback since i dont have much time, I really like the concept so far but the battle system needs a lot of work in terms of visual aid.
.
.

Sometimes it's fine but the command window placed where the player graphic is... causes problems.


If it's just two show picture events, the picture number you choose determines which one will show on top. Just reverse the order. I forget if the picture closest to 1 has highest prority or lowest priority.
Just played this, It is a very cool idea!

The visuals could use an upgrade, maybe its just me but with a custom system like this mixed with the RTP graphics.. its a big turn off. Is that a non-RTP chipset? The objects really stand out compared to the walls, I don't know if that's a bad thing or not..

I use a gamepad to play most RM games and having some of the main buttons on 1 and 2 makes it awkward to play. I guess there was really no other choice but even if I played on keyboard it wouldn't feel natural to have to stretch my hand up to press 1 all the time. Not much you can do about that though.

That said, you have done many things right and this has much potential!
I really like the concept of this game. Is the battle system an ABS or similar to Chrono Trigger as the description mentions?
author=undefined
I really like the concept of this game. Is the battle system an ABS or similar to Chrono Trigger as the description mentions?


It's more like chrono trigger, only not really active, purely turn based. There's a video of it in action if you click the "Videos" tab up at the top of the gamepage.
Wow, looks nice! If you need any help with anything, I'm open to assist you :)
How have I not noticed this before? Subscribed, and up to test play if you'd like some feedback.
Just watched your video. Looks pretty rad! Subbing.
Looks like I'll like this one.
Keep it up ;)
Can we have a blog post update soon :> ?
author=NewBlack
Can we have a blog post update soon :> ?


As soon as I have something done worth updating. :3
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
subbed. Love your maps, tilesets.
This looks great! Can't wait. Subscribing~ :3
CashmereCat
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
10827
This looks really really super cool! I'm excited for this. In particular, the implementations of the relics look rad. Subbed.
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