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UPDATE 5: Greetings from Final 10% Purgatory

  • mellytan
  • 10/22/2011 02:49 AM
  • 2100 views
IN WHICH I aimlessly express my disappointment with life (games) and address/make excuses for Oathguard‘s progress during the last 6 months, focusing (???) on some changes and new features I have implemented in response to the bug reports/suggestions submitted by those who played the closed beta in April. (full version @ meridiandance.org)

“If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s {RPG Maker}.”

- Bob Hope


Hello, subscriber. It's been too long. My, you look fetching in that sundress. Have you lost weight?

But enough pleasantries...Today, I’m here to update you on the State of the Oathguard and how I have been working on it these past few months in hopes of averting the dreaded hypemania–>complete and utter disappointment cycle. In particular, I would like to address what changes and new features I have implemented in response to the bug reports/suggestions submitted by those who played the closed beta in April.


a beta tester running the mouse patch version


If Oathguard was a baby mammal, not only would it be a bastard child but also an incredibly postmature child; I’ve delayed the release about 5 times since the last closed beta (“The next release should come in less than a month now that i’ve got this done, stay tuned!!!” – April 2011). It’s likely already walking and talking and playing Call of Duty in my womb. But the reason I haven’t lived up to my self-imposed release dates is the usual: it just isn’t ready yet. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t inched steadily towards completion, though.

From the beta test, I learned how important testing by many others was; after 50493 hrs of Oathguard I was so numb to everything related to my game that I could not see any part of it with fresh eyes. So the testers helped me recognize that there was a whole laundry list of bugs, valid complaints, and potential features that needed attending to in order to make Oathguard the best it could be. I agreed with virtually all the testers’ suggestions, and made the appropriate changes/inclusions. Undoubtedly, there will be even more things to fix after the next demo, before the final release can go up.

On top of that, I still had the unmade to make: there was still the script, eventing, battle eventing, graphics, worldbuilding, music selection and editing, etc etc to finish for the rest of this first chapter of the game.

So yeah, I’ve been stuck on the “final 10%” of this chapter of the game for like half a year now, fixing and refining and continuing. But I’m almost done. (For real this time!!) See!

EXHIBIT A: 100 HRS OF GAMEPLAY AND EPIC STORY GOOD CHARACTERS L@@K!!


Well, considering I have been working on it for like 5 months, I guess in terms of “gameplay time” the game is not that much longer now. But as I am obsessed with every little detail and take forever to do anything, each chapter of the game is supposed to only be like 1hr+ so that I can release this within my mortal lifespan.

I have completed almost all the maps for this chapter, as well as the script, and done almost all the eventing as well. This is a big accomplishment for me. It often takes me several (like, 5) tries to get a cutscene map just right, to convey the feeling I imagine when I write the script and sketch the map. And I have revised the entire script at least 4 times to account for new details, ensure continuity, and make the dialogue less terrible.

Eventing is the worst, though; it’s where I make the most compromises with my vision. I’m a terrible spriter and RM2k3 is well RM2k3. So I have to find ways to convey the feeling I want within these limits. It’s frustrating and time-consuming, but in the end I am satisfied with the final product, and I hope you will be too.

I’ve also been revisiting the world building documents that I’ve neglected for 2+ years, since I realized that I didn’t want to go back to BS’ing the story and dialogue. It’s been time consuming but I’ve been simplifying the documents so that only the info I need is there. It’s also a nice escape from RM2k3.

EXHIBIT B: CAN I HAVE THE SCRIPT FOR UR BATTLE SYSTEM PLS???


ignore the weird hue lol

Somewhat retardedly, just before I released the April 2011 beta, I changed the level of the player character. This was a bad mistake, and has been corrected.

Another bad idea that I somehow did not realize was a bad idea was having attacks that missed. “Wow you don’t like not doing damage??? but its realistic!!” Many testers disliked it, and so I changed it so that previously high-miss attacks became low-damage instead, etc.

With the help of Cherry’s PicPatch and mucho gracias to MD’s own pixelwiz Ocean’s Dream, I also finally implemented picture versions of the battle tutorial (pictured above) after a long struggle with trying to do it with battle animations. Hopefully they are concise but helpful and make the custom DBS features understandable.

Lastly, boss battle designing has been fun especially after getting back into skill design, but as you know battle eventing is never fun. I’ve finished all the battles except the final one which is something of a half-cinematic two-parter, so it will be a little challenging, but rewarding I think.

EXHIBIT C: ACTION CUSTOM CARD DATING SIMULATION SYSTEMS

dynamic cover system in which you hide from enemies behind pictures and blind them with dark grey text on darker gray background

Oathguard lets you save anywhere. On this subject, Eike presented an interesting point:

author=Eike
I notice that you can save anywhere in this game. I always enable this too (<3 save anywhere), but I did realise that the downside is sometimes bosses etc. can catch people who aren’t obsessive savers off-guard – as the first boss here almost definitely will to some people, given that it triggers the moment you enter the map. There should probably be something signifying it’s a good idea to save – whether just a flash or some kind of heal-point or some variation of shop or… anything, really. (For instance, in the game I’m just finishing up now, I give the option to enable or disable Save Reminders (inspired name, I know) at the start of the game (and change the setting later). They appear in the area not long before a boss fight, exclusively to imply “u shud save now” – though I did also give the warning that enabling them can ruin the flow of certain scenes and give away some surprises too early, if you’re aware there’s a hard fight coming up.) Anyway, just pointing it out… it’s hard to decide on but you might want to think about some form of compromise.


This is how the “Magis Eye” system was born. Basically, it’s an icon in the bottom right of the screen that you can toggle that lets you know what’s ahead. The gem in the center is grey if there’s nothing going on (like in a town), blue if a (long?) cutscene is ahead, green if there are enemies present, and red if a “fateful battle” (lol) is ahead. The Magis Eye itself may even have some small importance in the story.

Your thoughts on this system? I am still not sure if this is a good idea, but I guess I’ll find out when the next demo is released.

Well, that’s the end of this post, my butt hurts from sitting, gotta go GTL GTL GTL now.

Next entry, I will more concisely discuss my troublesome visual encounter system, and the changes I am making to it.

Until then…

Posts

Pages: 1
benos
My mind is full of fuck.
563
That dog sure can use a pc.
It's a Mac?
I almost asked if it was a PC98, which would lead me to asking if this game would have H-scenes.
Will it have H-scenes?
author=Dyhalto
It's a Mac?
I almost asked if it was a PC98, which would lead me to asking if this game would have H-scenes.
Will it have H-scenes?


yes, i am fairly certain that that is a fruit in the bottom left-hand corner of the computer

yes. lots and lots of lo-res 80s anime style h-scenes . your score at the end depends on how many characters you can get naked
author=Dyhalto
Will it have H-scenes?

author=mellytan
yes. lots and lots of lo-res 80s anime style h-scenes . your score at the end depends on how many characters you can get naked


I knew it. The roll and crumpled pieces of toilet paper on top of the desk were a dead giveaway.
benos
My mind is full of fuck.
563
author=mellytan
that's a mac, bro...

steve jobs would have called you a moron and then would have destroyed you using all of apples money and his dying breath (oops!)


I know, I was trolling. derp.
Pages: 1