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UPDATE 7: Every Which Way But Release Day

  • mellytan
  • 05/30/2012 05:11 AM
  • 1941 views



Good day gentle readers! Incoming transmission from my brain to yours imminent...

Over the past week or so, I received several bug reports/feedback regarding the second beta release of Oathguard Part I. These cool collections of wonderful words are incredibly invaluable to me in that not only did they reveal the most common technical bugs, but some even provided commentary at length on multiple aspects of the game, and all of them provided the ample encouragement that anyone making an RM game in his/her spare time needs to go on during times of extra RM2k3 darkness. So, many thanks to Ciel, PentagonBuddy, Dyhalto, Ocean, argh, alterego, and ElectricalKat for their help!

(And thanks to kentona or whomever opted to put up Oathguard as the featured in-development game on the RMN frontpage, it seems I have gotten many new victims....err Subscribers...as a result. Prepare yourself for the initiation ritual, neophytes: huge walls of text.)

("n-Noo not thatnonoo i aaaaaaa" *wailing and gnashing of teeth*)

Anyway, after combing through said reports and comments, I picked out the most irritating bugs, common issues, and insightful ideas that they had in common, or that resonated the most with me. It's maybe a little too early for for me to write a real "post-mortem" seeing as I haven't even released the game officially yet, so here's something like an Endgame Battleplan for the public beta release, outlining what's not working at this point and how I plan to fix it moving on...

Top 3 Things That Worked


read all about genvieve's panty color and domtrau's fave kind of girl

3. Doing cool things with the DBS - I got a lot of positive reactions regarding the interesting skills and mechanics, such as the demon transformation system, that were woven/bruteforced into the DBS and equipment system. They may not have worked correctly 100% (or 80% (or 50%)) of the time, but there are some cool ideas there and they seemed to alleviate some of the players' pain from RM2K3 DBS.

2. Unique touches - Little things like the random item boxes dropped by enemies, the checkpoint system (meant to keep the player from throwing his/her controller too far when he/she dies in battle), and some peachy presentation in the right places seemed to be hits with the players.

1. Atmosphere, Scenario, and "Feeling" - Given that this was the area that I sunk (""invested"") the most time and mortal soul particles into, it was very satisfying to hear from every player that it was the setting, dialouge, and general feel of the game that really enthralled players and drove them to complete the demo and want more. I was always afraid OG would strike players as "melodramatic" or be diagnosed with a case of verbal diarrhea, but in fact the average response was extremely positive. Indeed, my main mission was to impart a "feeling" to the player with Oathguard--and so I'm beyond tickled pink to have succeeded at all.

Top 3 Things That Didn't Work


"the file u_mad.png cannot be opened"

3. Deluding myself into thinking that RM2k3 would do what I wanted it to (aka, "Wait 0.0s can only do so much") - Or even what it's supposed to do! The default RM2k3 formulas are wonky, and the skill options, like "ignore defense," etc are often useless. But I didn't take these facts into account, mainly because doing so would have made me cry uncontrollably.

The dumbest thing I did, though, had to do with the equipment skill checks--like, I knew common events wouldn't process while the default menu was open, but I ignored the facts and just hoped no one would fiddle around with the equips enough to reveal this problem. Oops!

...And did I mention that patches can sometimes have weird (read: infuriating) effects?

2. Unrefined Battle Mechanics - In addition to being technically flawed, there were a lot of general design issues that players thought at best undermined the game's potential, at worst flat out sucked. This is probably due to me periodically going "hey wouldnt it be cool if" and throwing random half-baked battle mechanics at the DBS wall, hoping in vain that they would stick.

1. General Lack of Organization and QA (aka "changing things after a playthrough!! melly, have a seat. Let me talk to you about quality assurance..." - dhm) - Bad time management, changing things at the last minute, lack of cohesiveness, patches everywhere--these are just a few of the silly self-defeating things I did that could have been easily remedied if I had been a little more diligent. Lesson learned!

(uh maybe)

Top 3 Things I Want to Do From Here On


"u thought u could slip this by!?!?" - tardis

3. Work within the limits of RM2k3 - from this point on, I would like to keep in mind RM2k3's limits more, and try to limit my work-arounds to "feasible" rather than fantastical. I've made my bed in choosing to develop Oathguard in RM2k3, so I guess I've gotta continue to hold my nose and sleep in it (until Part I is done, anyway...)

2. Refined battle mechanics - I'd like to narrow the mechanics down to the bare minimum; I know simple is best...I just have trouble with the simplicity part. I set a bunch of battle balancing goals after reading the feedback (especially from Ciel, thanks braH), most of which have to do with giving players a tougher choice when it comes to what to do in battle/what stuff to equip/etc, eliminating fluff (useless things), making every battle worth the player's time, and making sure the game fosters a sense of mastery and discovery and "woah cool" when it comes to the gameplay.

1. Destroy All Bugs - DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BUGSHED DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BUGSHED DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BUGSHED DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BUGSHED DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BUGSHED DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BUGSHED

Well, that's all I've got for now...I'll be working on fixing/addressing those big issues, and hopefully there will be a public beta Release Day in the near future!!

But then again you know me...these things take time...Oathguard is a free spirit, it happens naturally ok~

Thank you for your continued interest and herculean patience!!

Fishy regards,

mellytan

Posts

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hmm... Given what feedback the other testers have provided you with, I'll have to amp up my game for future lists-of-stuff-I-thought-of-while-playing.

Also, I'm glad to see you haven't decided to do something idiotic like move to VX Ace and delete everything you've ever done on this and start all the way over again and here goes nothing guyz. With all your issues regarding the DBS, I was going to suggest a CBS, but naaaaah ;-; The DBS is fine if you add flavor, which you've done.

Also, it was alterego who pulled the strings to get you a gamespot. Buy him a christmas present.
dragonheartman
Developer, Starless Umbra / Heroes of Umbra
2750
I'm glad you got good feedback! Combine fanime with a diablo 3 release and I've been quite "busy" ohoho so sorry I haven't gotten to this in a timely manner.

Seriously though, bug trackers are really cool--let me know if you need me to host one for you. (I think I showed you the one I'm using, correct?)
Don't be too hard on yourself, it looks good so far! I am pretty interested in getting past the prologue and actually seeing the world and main characters that you have fleshed out so well on their respective pages here. Practice makes perfect.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13829


this video also summarizes my feelings about this blog post (see: fuck me and give me your shit)
Hey melly, sry I didn't have the time to play through the closed beta yet. Did play a little bit yesterday but haven't had the time to continue. I'll make sure to play through to the end and let you know my feedback, even though I think you've already got plenty :)
author=Dyhalto
Also, I'm glad to see you haven't decided to do something idiotic like move to VX Ace and delete everything you've ever done on this and start all the way over again and here goes nothing guyz. With all your issues regarding the DBS, I was going to suggest a CBS, but naaaaah ;-; The DBS is fine if you add flavor, which you've done.


yea there is no way im starting over, im not "that kind" of developer. the only way to go is forward

author=dragonheartman
Seriously though, bug trackers are really cool--let me know if you need me to host one for you. (I think I showed you the one I'm using, correct?)


jaja thanks dhm, i remember being impressed by that one bug tracker with a clever name you showed me, especially now that i know the pain of bugs even more it would be super cool if we could set something like that up sometime!!

author=argh
I am pretty interested in getting past the prologue and actually seeing the world and main characters that you have fleshed out so well on their respective pages here. Practice makes perfect.


thanks, yes i've always been frustrated that it takes so long to complete just a little slice of the whole thing...but having the groundwork of the setting and characters done does give me a lot of confidence and eases the process going forward

author=Craze
this video also summarizes my feelings about this blog post (see: fuck me and give me your shit)


oatguard indeed smells of cocoa butter and cash. prepare ur body

author=eplipswich
Hey melly, sry I didn't have the time to play through the closed beta yet. Did play a little bit yesterday but haven't had the time to continue. I'll make sure to play through to the end and let you know my feedback, even though I think you've already got plenty :)


no worries, i had just sent the demo out to people who might enjoy it, dont feel obligated to provide feedback. looking forward to reading your feedback if u do write some tho :)
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