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Download updated!

Thanks to Malandy to the grammar/spelling fixes!

Though, with this update, I will probably not support any further changes, unless I feel inclined to pursue getting VX on my current machine. Which, given the age of my VX games in general, seems fairly slim. I know one of my favorite sayings is "It's never too late for a bug report!", but, it's time I move on to other things like getting MV, maybe.


A few changes

Courtesy of Red_Nova, I'm going to make a few more updates to this game. So, here's a few notations about what's coming.

  • Two rounds against Shirai

It was possible to have anywhere between three and four separate fights, without rest or a save-break, at the end-game. With this change, these numbers are changes to two and three respectively.

  • Story-breaking with Katai

It was possible for Katai to have spoken dialog where he might not be in certain scenes. With this change, I hope to stamp out this inconsistency.

  • More side-quests

Chapter 2 sees the induction of side-quests into the game, but only has two quests available. The hope is to add at least one more, if not two. This item might turn into an optional task (which is pretty ironic), depending on what ideas I can actually come up with.

At this juncture, I've done the first two items on this list. Which is half the reason I'm considering the last item to be optional. Though, I'm figuring I can't get a clear head of what I would want to do with this game so long as what I want to be done in regards to Oracle of Askigaga looms over my head. At best, I figure I can get that out of my hair by early October. Which... might actually be just in time to consider what I might want to submit for Liberty's Manor Map Madness project for this year. Oh, joy.

Anyway, when all this gets in, I'll do another play-test of the game. Which I'm kinda not looking forward too, particularly since I practically just finished playing this, and making an update, and all that good stuff. Then again, I didn't think I'd be doing updates on this all all, so, there is that.



I've been getting some PMs about the puzzle in the Wind Trial of late. While I could post the long-version-solution and the deviousness of it all as a separate tab, I'm wondering how useful it could be to have a walkthrough of some kind? If I go the walkthrough route, I doubt I would put every little bit of information about the game in it, but I figure it would be fairly comprehensive, covering as many options as I think are available to the player at any given time.

Anyway, this isn't as-so-much a traditional "I need help yesterday!" request blog, but more of a "I could use some opinions on whether or not I should mess with this idea, so let's have a poll!" request blog.

Now I watch, as nobody responds to this blog.


Small update

As the title suggests, I've updated the game. It now uses MP3s rather than MIDIs. This makes the download size somewhat larger, but it's a change I've been thinking about since even before the release of the prequel.

Other changes have been made, though they minor. Among such changes is that I fixed a few "thought bubbles" to have the dim backgrounds that are my standard, and altered the on-screen graphic for Rasuna. If you have no clue who Rasuna is, then shame on you it's a moot point. I did not check the various lines for spelling or grammar. If there were any mistakes on that front, I fear they are still there. In any event, it is my hope that all students of Matsumori High, new or old, will feel welcome.


Stream of Consciousness: Of Summer Games, Prequels, and Sequels

I've got to face the facts: Matsumori Days, as it stands, leaves out a lot of information. That there's no real sense of closure doesn't help matters either. That I decided to do these things on purpose is, perhaps, the most grievous offense to players.

What does this have to do with the Summer Games Event? Well, I was playing Aetherion last night. While I was doing so, I got this odd sensation that the school in that game is what Matsumori High wanted to be. Not in the whole "We teach magic!" bit, but the layout. It also doesn't help (or maybe it does) that the first moments of Arbiters From Another World resides a magic-learning facility.

What's Arbiters From Another World? Well, suffice it to say, it's a prequel to Matsumori Days that was one of my early (read: before I visited RMN) games made in VX. Even if I do present this sequel to the RMN community, there is still the matter of the lack of closure that Matsumori Days has. Which is supposed to be where Konae Detective Agency comes into play. As for Konae it is, you guessed it, a sequel I made during my pre-RMN days.

However, before I re-tackle Arbiters From Another World or Konae Decetcive Agency, with any amount of seriousness, I want to grow as a developer. Take on small jobs, so to speak, in hopes that I will learn the skills I need to make my games closer to the vision I have for them.

Funny thing is, I'm not sure where to start, as the other early projects I have, are, of course, waaay to ambitious for their own good (I can be such a "newb" like that). Consider:

Nakaishi Wars
This game predates Matsumori Days, actually. Anyway, this game wants be a tactical strategy game with a science fiction flavor (Mechanized combat armor!). If you're thinking something along the lines of the Super Robot Wars, or perhaps Fire Emblem in space, we're probably on a similar page. To say the least, the amount of scripting/coding knowledge to pull this off is not something I currently have. Not to mention what graphics this would need.

While this is being semi-resurrected with the custom content options of Heartache 101 - Sour Into Sweet, it was never meant to be a dating-sim. It was supposed to be a personal take on "magical girl" anime. I wanted players to have the feeling that they were interacting with an anime movie/TV show/whatever, but my graphic skills are not up to this task.

Oracle of Askigaga
This game was mostly made as a means to unleash certain emotions. The idea was to cause players to share in them. However, I think the emotions cannot be properly relayed unless the player understands the context of these emotions. To be frank, I have no idea if this would ever work.

What does this mean for what the next "Marrend game" is, or when it will be seen on RMN? Both queries can be answered the same way: I have no clue!


What's with the "sneak attack" vids?

So, randomly, I Googled "matsumori days". Looky at what I found:

RPGSnapshot 03 - Matsumori Days Episode 1
RPGSnapshot 03 - Matsumori Days Episode 2

I've not seen either of these videos as of yet, and will be putting them into the "Media" tab for all to see and gloat on how much fail I am. That's how that tab is supposed to work, after all. But, really, am I the only one who thinks that doing a review/let's play/whatever without notifying the maker of it's existence is kinda... weird?


Stream of consciousness: I am the completeness!

After going through the motions of implementing/testing Chapter 3 content and optional tasks, the time came to play test the game from the beginning to end. The game flowed slightly worse at some points, slightly better at others.

Regardless of how happy this makes me, or others for that matter, I've decided to call this game done. Finished. No more blogs. No more development (outside of random bug fixes I didn't catch earlier). Time to take a step back, and perform a self-evaluation (You knew this was coming, right?).

This game isn't being well-received at all. Sure, it might have to do with my lack of marketing the game, but there's also the sense fact that the game brings absolutely nothing new to the table to use as a marketing ploy. Of course, Hero's Realm does well because it brings nothing new to the table. However, it does so in such a way (the nostalgia factor, mostly) that people can't bring themselves to hate on it. Can the same be said of Matsumori Days? Probably not.

I'm a writer first, and a game-maker second. This game probably reflects that fact. Indeed, if ever there comes a review for this game (which, in itself would be a miracle), I'm half-expecting one that would cause a "Not Recommended" or "1/5 Stars", or "Terrible", or whatever system is going to be in place. This is because the game's audience is so incredibly narrow, it's not even funny. Not that I wouldn't mind seeing a "Recommended"/"5/5 Stars"/"Awesome" review, but I'm not expecting one.

I'm not seeing this game being an RMN featured game. Or be a featured game anywhere. Ever. I would be mightily surprised if it does, though. It would be quite ironic if this game suddenly became the center of attention, after having so little attention before-hand. Not holding my breath, though.

I always thought it would be cool to re-write the manual (that nobody reads, or admits to reading) to read like a school pamphlet. Kind of like how the manual of Bully worked, only with a different flavor. However, as that sounds like too much effort for too little return, I guess it won't really happen.

I have no clue what my next project will be. It's not as if I don't still have old projects that desperately need working on (Legacy Reborn among them), but I think I want do to something simple, quick, and easy. Though, what that would mean as far as quality is concerned is questionable at best.


Gratuitous playtesting!

While I completed all the content for the game, I've miraculously decided to do some playtesting. Good thing I did too, as I've already been seeing a few NPCs that shouldn't even appear until later (Chapter 2/Chapter 3). Also, I've been fixing up various character lines to make more sense for the character to say, or what-not.

I have no idea how long this playtesting is going to take, or how rigorous it will be. All I know is that when the full release comes out, I expect to make another of my infamous self-reflecting blog posts.


Ah yes. The optional tasks.

Now that has been the game's main plot of Chapter 3 is in and tested 'n stuff, the time has come for me to think about my lame excuses for optional tasks. While it's certainly possible to beat the game without doing any of them, albeit with a bit of grinding on the player's part, what the optional tasks aim to do is give the player a little extra help, be it in bonus items, experience, or money.

Chapter 2 tasks won't be as advantageous as Chapter 3 tasks, obviously, but they should still provide some benefit that would otherwise not be available until Chapter 3. At least give an experience/money boost to help with the grind factor a bit.

Chapter 2 tasks are available right at the start of Chapter 2. Note that ones the player chooses to leave the campus of the "real" Matsumori High, any tasks left undone basically become unavailable until Chapter 3 begins. Then again, since I'm only really planning two tasks for Chapter 2, I guess it's a moot point.

Chapter 3's tasks are centered around the party-able characters. Which ones are available depends on who's leading the party at the time. The initial bonus for completing these tasks wouldn't be much, but, if the player visits a certain NPC in the "dream" world, and the character is in the party, the player will receive the character's best weapon. As an added bonus, reporting all six character-related quests in this fashion will unlock the game's item database in Ichiro's shop.

Half the time, the game takes control away, and you're stuck in the event until the task resolves in some way. The other half of the time, that game allows the player to resume the game as he or she sees fit. While some people would prefer more free-roaming based tasks, I personally prefer to have this split.

As another notable change, two students at the front of the school have become something of rumormaesters. They have something different to say each chapter. For Chapter 2, they give hints to players looking for optional tasks available in that Chapter. For Chapter 3, they mention the various optional tasks that are available in that Chapter. The female student gives hints as to what Masako can do, while the male student offers hints on what Goho can do.

Once these things get implemented, I've got the bad feeling that I'll pick up from an old end-of-Chapter 2 save, check to see how the Chapter 2 stuff works (since those should be available at the star of Chapter 3 anyway), move on to Chapter 3 stuff, check to see if that works, then call this done. Not exactly the professional approach, but I'm starting to feel stretched by this game. I'm totally open for volunteers to playtest this monstrosity, though. It'll still be a while from now, but any takers?


Chapter 3 progress

Well, after what feels like ages (though it's probably not that long at all since last blog), I've polished off Chapter 3's main events. Of course, I haven't touched the majority the optional tasks yet, but one thing at a time.

After implementing all the events, being mostly sure that they work the way I want them too, I'm going to have to do at least one, but probably several, beginning-to-end playthroughs. That much is certain to a "duh" degree. While it would probably behoove me to wait for the beginning-to-end playthroughs for after the implementation of the optional tasks, playing beginning-to-end playthroughs after getting the optional tasks might also prove useful.

I'm not going to set a specific date for release of the newest "final" version of the game. For one, I don't know what kind of consistency I can work on this project is. Second, I want to be able to take my time anyway. Third, um... no, there isn't a third. The Rule of Three has failed!

I doubt the game is going to get another huge overhaul after the newest "final" version releases, as I feel I've spent more than enough time and effort on this project. Who knows, but I'm pretty happy with the project, whatever faults are still in it.
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