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A dreaded warlord who died sixty years ago rises from its grave thanks to the efforts of the necromancer Damian. It now must seek its nine artifacts, scattered across the world, to regain its power and free itself from the domination of the necromancer.

The game is an attempt to create a highly nonlinear experience while still maintaining a story-heavy focus. Each of the nine artifacts can be retrieved in any order. The scenarios surrounding each artifact evolve both as time goes on and based on your own actions elsewhere. Each of the twenty-five party members have their own distinct set of skills, personality, and personal goals. Recruiting one may cause others to despise you. Your current party members will contribute deeply to the events unfolding in front of you, and have their own unique detailed dialogue. Your actions and your words ultimately determine how the world views you; a forgotten pinnacle of justice, a sinner seeking redemption, a rogue spirit acting on its own whims, a tyrannical abomination bent on world domination, or something entirely else.

Features:
-A nonlinear, open-ended game with a focus on story and characterization.
-The world and remaining dungeons radically change based on your decisions, actions, and inactions.
-Recruit twenty-five different party members, each with their own personality and specialties.
-Unique strategy-oriented Battle System (that STILL isn't quite 100% finished yet.)
-Determined Encounter system allows you to steadily progress through a region and lessen its monsters.
-Day/Night system with dynamic NPCs that have their own routines.
-Everything culminates; even sidequests have an effect on the world, though you may not immediately see it.
-Essentially everything (sans some music) is custom and was personally made from the ground up.

Latest Blog

DR 0.8.8 Released

0.8.8 can pretty much be called the 'Antonio update’, as almost all of the major new events are centered around him, directly or indirectly. Two story events, one of the most vital sidequests, and the desert’s second scenario are all new, and all circle around him to some extent. Hopefully, deciding how to deal with him, or if it’s even worth it, is a challenging mental dilemma. There’s a whopping 17 outcomes to one of those events, and it sure would suck if everyone ended up on the exact same path.

Beyond him, there’s a few more changes, but they can’t be grouped as nicely. The Mines finally got its third alternate boss. Attack+Movement skills got added. Multi-elemental skills, debuffs, and 8 'unique’ spells have gotten bugfixes. Some simpler sidequests were added, alongside (currently ugly) framework for others. The final party member can finally be accessed through normal means, and another received a whole new alternative recruitment sidequest.

This still isn’t at the stable final release point yet, though. The final two Damian events and following Endgames aren’t done. Certain paths haven’t been tested in years, but at some point worked. In ideal circumstances (ie. there’s no bugs I haven’t found yet), all artifacts can currently be acquired at any time during the game, but the game stops being able to react to the last two. My testing playtime for one file is hovering at just under 30 hours. Whether that’s all entirely stable or what a normal player would reach is unclear, but it’s nothing to scoff at, either way.

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I know exactly what it meant. It's just prior to then, it was pretty much equal to the number of actual downloads.

While 10k page views may seem impressive, I'm pretty sure 14 subscribers and 60 downloads isn't at that ratio. The grand sum of the feedback I've received (if you exclude Dyhalto) is 'Rem's walking sprite looks nice'. Although, I suppose that someone thinks it worthwhile to stick me on the frontpage is feedback of its own. It's just totally failing to generate anything beyond that.

EDIT: Oh yeah, I guess there was also sixe's topic about the music back in August, in which the consensus was that the music was good, but the game looked like a piece of shit. So, there's that.
spoiler minefield:

= What do you think is the most important thing to be focused on; the story or the mechanics? If the story, which scenarios, locales, or characters would you most like to see fleshed out? If mechanics, what do you think needs to be done most immediately; the inventory and equipping, magic and skills, or improved AI and 'fixed' versions of certain fights with special conditions (ie. time limits, 'large' monsters)?

i'm sure that a lot of this can be attributed to incompleteness, but i'm not going to try very hard to distinguish aspects that need working on from aspects that simply didn't get worked on *yet* (the game isn't exactly very clear on that either) and simply give you the entire item roll.

to your first question: the unhelpful answer (and one that comes to mind first) is that both aspects need more focus. the other unhelpful answer is that it's up to you. i'll say this: as it stand now, there is not a lot to get out of the "mechanics" part of the experience. it serves to convey a "battle" or "winding trip through the forest" or "journey to distant landmarks", but i'd be lying if i said i even half-enjoyed trying to play through any of that (unfinished fight system battles, frustrating treks through empty mazes, constant walking back and forth between cities). needless to say, i used the variablizer heavily. i don't have much else to comment on this besides.

on the story side, the thing that primarily appealed to me was seeing the variations on how a same or similar situation is handled by different characters. a memorable example is when, if Marcia turns on you for recruiting Thrall and you have Gale in your party, Gale stays with Marcia for the tussle, but if you have Clair around instead, Marcia pretty much gets abandoned. it's a little unfortunate that the only way to see any of this is by doing multiple playthroughs, since i'm not sure if there's much replay value beyond variablizer-cheating through the bulk of the game just to see different scenario outcomes. i would not have done multiple playthroughs myself if game wasn't so short in its current state, but maybe that sentiment will change with future versions of the game. as for specific story elements, i feel that Loki and Thrall seriously need work, as they're basically pointless to have around if you want any meaningful dialogue. i understand that they're supposed to be "evil" (more on this later, if i remember), but do they really have to be so uninteresting and/or unlikeable? Alice also suffers from something similar, though she is not so much actively boring as she is simply non-notable. what is her motivational backstory or tie-in to the plot, besides being a part of the Clair-clique (Alice, Clair, Gale, Rem)? Kazumi also felt pretty nondescript, but i didn't play around with her very much (are most characters women?).

i know that this isn't really what you asked for, but one other thing i would recommend is trimming out extraneous details from your dialogue, especially at the beginning. there is far too much "expositional" stuff, sometimes unnecessarily. don't get me wrong: i didn't skip or skim anything. i read and understood every word, but not a lot of it stuck, and i don't think that the problem is specific to just me. there's a lot of information (that i just have no reason to care about at the start) being thrown about that, combined with the forgetting time that passes between sessions (there's a save file, so i assume that you're not supposed to play this in one sitting) and the fact that players don't bother actively trying to remember anything that doesn't catch their interest (quite fair for a game, i think), makes getting into the plot a bit of a chore. perhaps it's fine if you play the game with a mindset of a critic, but i think that a regular player would be turned off by it pretty quickly! maybe you disagree--i'm just more partial to concise dialogue.

= Clarity. I obviously know everything about the project (although I have a bad habit of forgetting what I have and haven't added in yet), so this is particularly hard for me to discern. Is it clear what you're supposed to be doing? Where you're supposed to go? Why things are happening?

sometimes, no. most of the time, yes--vaguely. i ran into quite a few "okay, now what?" blocks and other moments of confusion in my initial playthrough of the game. i'll try my best to remember them:

the thing that comes to mind first is that as i started out, i had absolutely no idea where anything was. i know that Ethel does a map runthrough of the artifacts and locales with you at the beginning, but i found that 1) i didn't retain a lot of that information once i set out (this is going to be a common theme throughout this post; i'll comment on it at the very end) and 2) the map doesn't actually have illustrated paths to tell you how to get anywhere: just their relative geographical locations (this one might seem silly to you, but save for a few obvious ones, it's hard to tell for a new player ). it doesn't help that you can't refer to the map whenever you need it (or can you?), nor does the fact that, for certain locations, there's nothing telling you where you are at the moment (i did later discover that your savefile shows you your save location, but there should be a better way of finding that information). the point is: i did a lot of puzzled meandering about as a result. a remedy would be to include an anywhere-accessble map with city/artifact annotations that marks your present location, but then you might have to come up with another excuse for the player to revisit Ethel if you did that.

oh, on that subject: maybe a nudge back to Ethel at the end of the first few artifacts (i found myself thinking: "so, is this scenario over or what? should i just go find the next one?") would be helpful. also helpful would be moving the "what should we do first?" prompt at the end of the swamp back to Ethel's place where you still have access to the map, since, let's face it, not many players are going to remember the entire briefing, if any of it. i'd like to see the map *after* i develop some sort of an aim, rather than before.

keeping in a similar vein, the top-left path to the Ice Caves is not at all obvious, and the fact that there's a mini-cave in town with a skeleton in it just excaberates the confusion ("wait, this can't be the cave they were talking about... or is there a secret entrance? do i need to trigger something?" etc.). admittedly, it's not really that big of a deal, but neither is, i imagine, adding a small path to lead players to the correct corner of the map.

i did catch on to the fact that there is supposed to be a loose artifact-camp-artifact-camp pattern to the game once i realized that Ethel would comment on my previous hunt if i talk to her again (it added a lot of structure to the plot!), but revisiting the camp regularly was something that didn't even occur to me to do until my second playthrough of the game. i discovered (on my second playthrough) that you're actually told to do this at the very start by Ethel, but that ended up being one of many suggestions that the game tries to make that i just sort of dismissed and forgot about (again, more on this at the end). perhaps being more direct and forceful about bouncing players around, at least for the first one or two scenarios, would help. i know that it's supposed to be a non-linear game, but i feel that it'd also be better to ease the player into open-endedness instead of paralyzing them with too many choices right from the start (though i guess that you already sort of try to do this by introducing only a few artifacts at the time), because if you did that, it would also mean that you get to write one or two high-quality beginner scenarios (instead of, like, six lesser ones) to keep the player interested until they continue to play the game on their own momentum. the thing about Draug's Resurrection is that it can be pretty interesting once you become familiar with it (i mean, i did do three playthroughs), but it's difficult to get past the, i'll just be honest, totally sleep-inducing beginning.

anyway, i also had trouble with the greaves. i suppose that the source of the confusion was that i didn't so much travel to Dorrum on a deliberate artifact search as i sort of stumbled upon an unexpected scenario while looking for Sapin (which, by the way, is not an obvious destination; it connects from the bottom of a completely empty town) for an Estoc quest, so i actually had no idea that i was supposed to find anything down there. i started and finished the Dorrum caves (mines? are they different?) flush scenario anyway, but somehow missed the entire post-rout conversation about the location of the artifact. the conversation actually does happen as i found out later with an older save file; it just somehow failed to register in my mind at all. i suppose that i just didn't take the whole bit about the artifact and Wayu seriously (it wasn't something that i was expecting to happen), especially since this was after repeated attempts at trying to get the Nirnwood artifact scenario (which turned out to not even exist) to activate after i was instructed to go "talk to the gate at north", so i was accustomed to things not making sense at that point. it might have helped if someone in town repeated the "go find Wayu" line for you (i made a return trip to Dorrum later when i realized that it was one of the artifact locations and once i got there i had no idea where to actually get it), but maybe that's overlooking the fact that i was able to wander into an artifact scenario completely clueless about why i was there.

one other thing i was unsure about was the prison break scenario. the game never gave me the prompt for it again in my first run, but i triggered it pretty much immediately in my second. my guess is that you just can't do that scenario after a certain point (do they... just rot away in prison or something?). if the scenario does becomes unavailable after a while, could you please indicate this in a dialogue?

one other, other, thing is that i wasted some time looking for artifacts that weren't even included in the demo. this one obviously won't be a problem once the project is finished, but it would have been considerate of you to mention that in-game somewhere (though i may just missed it, in which case, nevermind).

= I'm also looking at which characters are the most and least popular, and why. There's supposed to be enough people so that everyone can find a couple of people they really like, but also some they loathe. Ideally, these people shouldn't be the same for everyone; after all, what's the point of nonlinearity if everyone does the same thing? If you think a character is too weak, uninteresting, a Mary-Sue, or whatever, I might look into tweaking them a bit.

i had Clair, Marcia, and Alice in my first run, Gale, Thrall, and Caim in my second, and switched people out pretty regularly in my third (Alice, Clair, Raphael, Loki, Julie, Caim, Thrall, and maybe one or two more). i had Lucy, Rem, Chizuru, and Kazumi briefly across the three playthroughs, but save-loaded them out at various points for no particular reason. among those with whom I had any interaction, i would have to say that Caim wins the favorite character trophy for not being mindlessly righteous (as Marcia and Raphael appeared to be at times), nor one-dimensionally "evil" (Loki is *not* an interesting character), and for having a meaningful motive and backstory that twined intimately and convincingly with Draug's own stem of affairs. i was a little disappointed that he didn't have more dialogue, but maybe that's being remedied for a future release?

Marcia is generally likeable (because, i suspect, she was written to be; the game seems to favor certain recruitables over others), but there is a dramatic edge to her character in one scene that comes off as being a little laughable. it's impossible to have any sort of empathy for her when she makes the decision to eradicate Thrall from existence, even going as far as making a (pointless) lone stand-to-the-death for the cause (but i can understand that searing hatred of animated skeletons is a common sentiment in our modern society... i'm just personally not very involved with necromancy!), since i'm never clear on why the existence of a Battaranga is an evil (or even a morally dubious) concept or why priestesses hate them so much. point is, it's a lot easier to relate to, say, Caim and his mini-tragedy backstory than Marcia's weird ethical commitment against the mindless undead and her ongoing service to some vague (and maybe even naive?) notion of a "moral good". her entire motivational directory feels a little artificial to me (though i save-loaded out and let her have her way anyway since Thrall is a boring character), maybe even in the same way as does Loki's outlandish "evilness" trait, but i suppose that i just have a time of it trying to reconcile some of the more somber facets of the game with the colloquial and joke-y bits that tend to wedge themselves into random points in the narrative tone, sometimes without regard for pacing or rhythm (i.e.: completely out of place).

actually, i guess that this warrants further assessment. this is kind of subjective, but i'm presented with a logical segue, so i'll share my impression anyway: what exactly is the intended overall tone of the game? it's consistent for the most part, but at times, the game can feel like a schizophrenic hodge-podge of voices oscillating wildly between serious drama and a state that i can only approximate as some combination of indifference and dismissiveness. better yet, the dialogue seems like it was written not at once linearly, but over a lengthy period of time, at random points in the plot, across very different states of mind on the part of the writer (which i suppose is naturally what happened, but the problem is that it's *noticeable*). at best, bits of dialogue just seem out of character; at worst, it starts to feel like shoddy writing. but i suppose that it's just a natural consequence of non-linearity. maybe it's nothing you can do anything about with any reasonable measure of effort. that's up to you.

Clair is a little more realistic. she is a decent character, as is Gale, and i don't mind the fact that they're sisters, but could there maybe not be a little posse in the corner of the recruitables lot while the other characters are awkwardly shifting around on their own? Alice is more or less superfluous already, and it seems to me that Rem is too (i hate her stupid quirk-ridden dialogue anyway), so why not remove them? there is already a bit of a "favored by the writer" club amongst the characters that is faintly detectable at best and plainly transparent at worst. certain characters, i think, you enjoy writing for: their perspective and motives are natural and easy, and you have a lot to say about them. the others, the "outsiders" i'll call them, are just there to populate the game or to fill some other arbitrary need, and you just try to force something that might be in-character for their lines. am i wrong? if i am, sorry. that was just my impression (i like that if you try to kill Marcia for Thrall, Caim thinks you're "going too far", but if your opponent is Raphael and Kazumi in the same Thrall scenario, he actually sounds enthusiastic about stomping their faces in. oh dear. what changed, Caim?).

anyway, yeah: Clair is good. i really like the Leon backstory, and the bit about the ring--that was a *really* nice touch (though that dialogue runs in the inn and repeats in the shop, dampening the effect a little). the thing that i found strange was that she seems to know absolutely everyone, everywhere, with a phonebook of inexplicable connections to crucial bits of game history, so tightly wound around what i assume is the "main plotline" that she really might as well be a permanent co-maincharacter (and essentially is!) of Draug's Resurrection, because i'm forced to wonder: how much plot (which i repeatedly state is, so far, the only reason for playing this game) am i missing out on by not having her in my party? is that a good thing for a "non-linear" game? or maybe you just haven't written at all for the other characters yet (though if that's the case, i feel that was a little inconsiderate of you to request this section as feedback). she may not be the center of the game's universe, but i can feel other recruitables orbit just a little around her pull.

as for least-favorite characters, i don't think that i can make one or two specific selections with any genuine sentiment. Loki is clearly very unlikeable (i am finding it incredibly hard to believe that the popularity spectrum in the readme was based on any real or legitimate sources), but the fact that he's so obviously written to be that way takes the edge off just a little (a lot), and i just start feeling sorry for him instead. it doesn't help that he has no real backstory (none that i came across, anyway, beyond that he killed Leon, which is really Clair's backstory) or any real motivation for being "evil": he's just there to be a scummy villain for no reason, and apparently (according to some NPC) being very bad at it. there's nothing particularly interesting about him and there's really no reason to keep him around (it's hard to even get him in the first place, since he charges money and your probable current recruits don't want him to join). oh, right: nobody likes him, so i guess that's kind of sad too. Thrall is even less interesting than Loki, but he has the one speech quirk in the game that i actually like (undead puppet minion talking like a robot? how novel. and sensible, in a weird sort of way), and oops i've just exhausted everything there is to say about Thrall. no reason to keep him around, either. what's the point of that character (i assume that if you keep him alive he turns on you at the end in some kind of a penultimate showdown against Damian)?

= City size / walking speed / building distinctiveness. You'll quickly notice that cities are rather large. For an RPG, at least. This is because all NPCs actually have houses listed where they live. The question is, do cities feel far too big and pointless? Furthermore, are the generic houses and 'important' buildings clearly enough distinguished that you can tell what buildings you should be able to enter, and what ones are just generic houses that you can ignore? Ignore the fact that characters live in relatively normal houses; they don't count as 'important' buildings as far as I'm concerned here.

yes, and yes.

even Estaria and Taiga, which i assume are the most complete locations in the game so far, can feel sparse. the emptiness can be attributed to the fact that 1) cities are literally mostly empty, 2) there is absolutely nothing to do in cities, and 3) there are no indoor locations anywhere (except in Taiga and the one in Ob). maybe it's because you just haven't finished working on them yet, in which case, i don't see how this helps you. the only one other thing i can think of that contributes to the problem is the graphical style. there's too much detail in certain places (bookshelves, merchant stalls) but not enough details in others (nondescript screen-spanning blobs of a single color as "ice walls" in the field about Taiga deserves special mention. you have no idea what it's supposed to be until you actually walk up to it), which makes the larger, less-detailed surfaces seem really barren in comparison. actually, the game could use some more texture in general...

important buildings are distinguishable enough. using a more distinct palette for key buildings might be better, but i think that they're fine as they are (of what i can remember, anyway). i do recommend removing doors off of the un-enterable houses. i also recommend more uniqueness in the architecture between cities.

= I'm always looking for new, interesting sidequests or dialogue and stuff for the lesser characters. Anything to make them more interesting and standout. If there's anything you think is either missing or would fit in nicely, I'd like to hear it.

i'm afraid that i'm not very creative. skip.

= Though it's a bit subjective, I'd also like to hear about anything you think is an extreme jump in a character’s thinking, them responding to a non-existant question, or otherwise acting oddly or out of character. It's possible (probable) that there was supposed to be some proceeding dialogue before the line that somehow failed to activate.

Zahn is apparently modeled after a bored teenaged retail worker who can't be arsed to do his job (i.e. carry you to the portal), but shoos you out the door (teleport) and comments: "i look forward to seeing what chaos you sow this time, Draug (or something like that, you get the point)". he's interested, but doesn't care enough to teleport you out (and makes it a point of saying that out loud)?

there was something extremely nonchalant about the way that you, an undead warlord of bloody lore, gets sent out on an epic, continents-spanning quest to find the nine legendary magic relics. Chizuru essentially says "hey, how about <the plot for rest of the game>" and Damian goes "sounds great. you guys got this, right? get to it; i've got other shit to do". i understand that you're not really meant to be very important at the start, but... wait, you *are* that important. apparently, entire nations would go ape over the fact that you were resurrected, necessiating the "heightening of defenses" around the camp.

Raphael "meets" Marcia twice, if you take her to his library in Estoc. once in the room for the shield quest, and once as an NPC, right outside in the hallway, immediately afterwards.

"is that really supposed to hold us"? runs twice in the Midland Woods scenario, right after they make an ice wall on you.

the skeletons seem a bit human sometimes.

= I have many, many concerns with the battle system that I'd like to hear on, but, admittedly, some of these are a little hard to say much on as things sit, due to there being no real way to change your equipment and all. Still:

sometimes, enemies attack you right after they've been killed. no other comments. skip.

= Length/difficulty of battles and the frequency of battles. I think I'd rather have battles be uncommon but difficult, rather than lots of minor nuisance battles. Right now, most random monsters are pretty much bottom-feeders, but you also start relatively weak, so keep that in mind. Do random battles feel like just padding, or are they a legitimate threat?

padding. i agree with uncommon/difficult. no other comments. skip.

= Stat Balance, most notably defense and accuracy. Do you think attacks miss too often? Do battles take too long because both you and the foes take forever to chip HP off? Again, worth noting this might be partially due to the mediocre equipment you have; your characters have an innate accuracy around 80 ~ 95%, before the target's evasion reduction. Later equipment will start to give accuracy boosts up to as high as +20%, so I think this might fade off. Copper weapons, like Draug's starter axe, also have accuracy boosts. Put simply, equipment is the game's levelling system, so doing horrid damage might mean the foe is just way out of your league. Or nigh immune to a certain kind of attacks. Lastly, there's luck. I've flip-flopped around on what it does several times; currently it doubles the attack's damage, after defense/resistance reductions. And, yes, magic attacks can and are supposed to be able to get criticals. Are they happening too often? Again, some people, most notably Julie, Ulf, and Grimboldt, are designed to get criticals quite a bit.

i did not evaluate this aspect of the game. after trying out the menu and the first few battles, i just wasn't even going to bother. i may look at it again later when it's in a more complete state. skip.

= Character Balance. Is one character more useful than the others? This mostly ties into stat balance; some characters might be overpowered because one stat is 'more useful' than the others. Worth noting is that Kazumi and Chizuru have better equipment than the others to start, and Rem is designed to be a bit of a joke character. Draug personally starts out very weak and with positively awful equipment, but is rather unique as its base stats increase as you gain artifacts, ultimately having the highest base stats.

same deal as above. skip.

= I'm sure there were other finicky things bothering me, but I can't think of them at the moment. If you want to do me favour, try to respond with as much depth as you can about these issues. If you can't think of anything to say, then don't try to force a response. I'd rather hear about one particular point, than to get nothing at all because responding to all points would take too much effort. Don't forget to bring up whatever other points you might have beyond these. In fact, I'd argue that they're probably going to be more important.

some miscellaneous comments:

i really liked the Rukh event! it was sudden, exciting, but made sense and laid new depth to the growing tension between Draug and the Damian bone crew, to Roderick as a character, and to the nature of the art of necromancy ("ohh, that's why that guy has white hair."). i feel that this is one example of game world exposition done right in the game: i didn't feel like i was being spoon-fed information, it wasn't distracting, and i had a reason to care about the things that were being said (and as a result, the details of the conversation stuck better!). one suggestion would be to slow down the walk speed during cutscenes just a hair. i barely noticed the "i'll be watching you" pause that Rukh does before walking away to join the others (was that intentional? i thought it was good).

it's "whose", not "who's". you will have to do a file search for that error; i can't remember where i saw it (hint: Chizuru says the line).

i'm sure that i had other concerns, but i can't remember them now, so that's it.
I should state that I'm fully aware of what's going on here (failure to capitalize and reiteration of dislike for Alice and Rem really gave you away; there's also the fact nobody but you and Star would possibly care enough to write this much), but I'm not sure as to why. So I'll just act like this is input from somebody completely new.


First, I think this point should be addressed first. The overall tone of the game is meant to be somewhat on the lighter and softer side of things (especially in this day and age when everything is supposed to be all dark and gritty), but the game still takes itself seriously. It has its darker moments, to be sure, and they're supposed to be taken seriously, but they're not indicative of the greater whole.

Next, lemme just spurt out these little errant one-liners before I dig into the heart of the matter:

My current sentiment is less towards people playing it many different times to see all the little changes and variations, but more as how two people can play it and have radically different stories unfold. A sort of thing for people to talk over the water cooler about, as the expression goes. This is of course a bit of a grandiose, over-reaching goal, but, there it is.

The ability to view the map anytime was added in 3.1. I was going to go back and add roads to the map, but I forgot. Again. It will be done this time, for certain.

I'll definitely make sure to add in a bit about going back to talk to Ethel after getting your first artifact. It's painfully obvious in hindsight.

For the missing three artifacts, I do believe it's casually said in the readme you pulled this feedback list from, but I don't believe it's properly addressed in-game. An oversight, obviously, but the intent this time was to move a bit away from constantly going 'oh, tee hee, it's just a demo, just ignore this'. Perhaps a bit too pre-emptively.

Clair asking you where you want to go first at the end of the swamp was something I threw in at the last second, as a way to remind you what you were doing in the first place, and make it clear you do have a choice in the matter. I can certainly see it working right after Ethel, I suppose, but I think the poke there is kind of necessary. Any further ideas?

I've admittedly been personally bugged about making areas transitions obvious, especially in regards to field boards. My first thought was to try to do what the likes of Mario RPG did and have a bit of the map stick out, but I kind of think it would look awkward in a non-isometric style. I suppose making the path even more clear would work, but, within context, there's little reason for there to be a clear path heading further north past Taiga. If anyone has any more distinct ideas beyond 'make road on ground more clear', I'm all ears. That probably isn't the only time it isn't very clear. On mention of the cave, I'm pretty sure Draug always responds with 'let's go look somewhere else' after talking to it, and, as I recall, NPCs Elizabeth (who you will almost certainly talk to you when items exist) and Juri both clearly say to keep going north. There's eventually a purpose for that guy if you still remember he exists, but, yeah, I can see it as a little misleading at the moment.

Raphael meeting Marcia: Yeah, that sounds familiar. I recall I changed that around to make it work better. Obviously not. I'll fix it shortly.

The canon explanation for Damian's nonchalant attitude about Draug is that he mostly sees Draug as warm-up for his next creation, Drolta. Chizuru more or less says he's just making excuses so he doesn't need to get too involved in it. There's also something implied by the fact Roderick doesn't see it as worthwhile to even be there. Even so, it's probably a bit too subtle. Some of it does touch back on the fact that this was written very early on and has kinda gotten locked in place. As time has marched on, the nation of Estaria has shifted a lot more towards the friendly side of things. Their lack of a freak-out has a justification (Bodhi), which is currently barely touched in a couple errant conversations. I suppose something else to list as 'something to keep an eye out for', I guess.

author=Isacsveya
...perhaps being more direct and forceful about bouncing players around, at least for the first one or two scenarios, would help.

... the thing about Draug's Resurrection is that it can be pretty interesting once you become familiar with it (i mean, i did do three playthroughs), but it's difficult to get past the, i'll just be honest, totally sleep-inducing beginning.

I guess an excuse I can use here is that hopefully coming to grips with the mechanics and growing your characters initially draws you in past the first bit, then when the characters and story start to get interesting, it can help pull the slack if stat-crunching isn't your big thing. This how I've personally felt about quite a number of games. Right now, yeah, it's pretty much a very quirky visual novel, but the mechanics, story, and non-linearity aspects are designed to weave together more than is apparent now. This is probably a sentiment I'm going to re-iterate a lot. I suppose there's also the old adage about different people playing games for different reasons. Story is the central focus, to be sure, but a lot of people are just here for the mechanics, to build their own personal little death squad, and so forth. I think there's enough here (or will be some day) to please a variety of crowds.

The bit about making just one or two beginner scenarios and having them more fleshed out isn't a bad idea, per se. But I strongly feel that none of them should be mandatorily first; this just pisses people off when they know what they can/should be doing. On later playthroughs, you're fully open to just waltz into a location you shouldn't necessarily know about until later and deal with it right away. So, I think I'll go halfway with this. Ethel will mention the same five, but now strongly urge towards either the Midland Woods or the Northern Wastes, and discourage you from going to the Ruins, Estoc, or helping Chizuru until a bit later.

author=Isacsveya
anyway, i also had trouble with the greaves. i suppose that the source of the confusion was that i didn't so much travel to Dorrum on a deliberate artifact search as i sort of stumbled upon...

You CAN get any of them in order, but the intent is that a few are designed to be earlier and others a bit later. The later it is done the more complex the scenario is; something I know you're aware of, because you mentioned fighting Jade. I kind of need six to be around right now so Estoc and the Woods can change, but perhaps I didn't go about it the most newbie-friendly method. So, yes, the intent is to allow you to stumble onto that one, but you're typically more likely to dismiss the sidequest as being too intimidating for being exactly that at the time; just a sidequest. But point taken; I'll do something to make it clear what gets brought up but can't be done yet.

Actually, upon further thought, I should probably add one of those 'quest logs' like every single game ever these days has. It won't see as extensive of action as its counterparts, but the ability to refresh your memory and some clarification on more precise details of what you're supposed to be doing could be sorely needed. Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure I had planned to add just such a thing to the Codex part of the menu, before promptly forgetting all about it two or three months into development. Consider it moved to the top of my to-do list.

author=Isacsveya
one other thing i was unsure about was the prison break scenario. the game never gave me the prompt for it again in my first run, but i triggered it pretty much immediately in my second. my guess is that you just can't do that scenario after a certain point (do they... just rot away in prison or something?). if the scenario does becomes unavailable after a while, could you please indicate this in a dialogue?

As I recall, the requirement for this scenario to begin is that you have at one other person besides Clair who will help rescue Gale. Clair needs to be alive, obviously. For other people, Alice, Chizuru, Caim, Loki, Thrall, and Lucy always work. Marcia may or may not work, depending on how much she likes you. If you do it later on, what happens inside does change, but it should always be available. You may have found some sort of oversight. Even further details about your first playthrough would help.

author=Isacsveya
Characters....

I'll openly admit that I kind of heavily favour Clair, and have a fairly open detestment for the likes of Thrall and Loki. Kazumi is extremely under-developed. Even now, I'm not 100% on her motives and full backstory.

It seems that most earlier people I've heard from (bar one or two) don't care much for reading (and yet, what they are doing around RPGs, I don't know) so I think they like Thrall and Loki for the very reason that they don't speak much and never appear to have emotions or whatever. I think a lot of Thrall's popularity also comes from appearance alone. They're more units than people; simply there to bash numbers together. To an extent, they're also crutch characters. They're strong, but have less overall utility than others and little room to grow. The design is that they're super-useful at the beginning if you need a hand, but perhaps you'll want to phase them out sooner or later if you don't like them as people. So, yeah, maybe you are supposed to feel a little dirty about using them. They also, yes, do serve additional villain roles in the story. Thrall inevitably sides with Damian if not killed before then, and Loki acts as a sort of recurring villain if you don't recruit or kill him.

One of the very first things written for the game was the Thrall and Marcia recruitments, over a year and a half ago. So some of the characters weren't fully fleshed out by then. It also shows remnants of a mostly discarded concept that the characters all had several people they were incompatible with. Bottom-line, I'll look at adding clarity here, but the event is gonna happen more or less the same. Anyway, this touches on a lot of little tiny details and the logical progression of it all, but when the original nine were designed, they were more or less classes before they were people. Different characters lean towards different playstyles. Thrall and Loki hit things really hard, Raphael is a debuffer, Kazumi is invincible but can't fight back, Marcia works good at any range, but isn't too strong, and so on. Later on, four more characters (Alice, Rem, Lucy, and Julie) were added, to round out some areas and have a little more shades of grey. For instance, I personally detest thief-type characters, but I know most people seem to love them, hence Rem's rise.

And, yeah, I guess the thing about things being written at various points (I have been at this for a year-and-a-half, after all) is kind of true. I feel it's inevitable, but I guess maybe when things are nearing the end, a thorough re-read and touch-up is in order. If any area is particularly blatant, I guess I could give it a look now.

Clair does certainly sidle the line of 'true main character', I must admit. It may be a bit excessive, but I don't see it as an entirely bad thing. Draug is a wildy variable character (and weirdly underdeveloped at the moment), so I guess I feel there needs to be a strong supporting voice, at least at the beginning. As time goes on, I think her prominence fades a little. If you just leave her on the sidelines, I don't think you'd be missing as much as you expect. Most of the other people do have friends or family from other places they know, but Clair gets a bit more of an early showing than others, so it probably seems more pronounced. I think with time this will fade a bit as the world gets a bit more developed.


Even though it was a little bit cutting at times, I thank you for the input. It really came at a time when I was totally losing motivation or expecting to hear feedback about it.



EDIT: Here, I thought of a real good reason for Marcia's hatred of necromancy, not to mention plenty of backstory, all around. Spoiler alert, I guess.

About thirty years ago, there was a man named Gorm who lived in Sapin. His secretly learned the forbidden arts of Shadow magic at Sapin's Academy, and when this was found out, he was hunted down. He fled north, where Chika (Chizuru's mother, currently serving the interests of Sapin's Sultan) attempted to assassinate him. Paranoid, he created several undead and fled to the Garnet Sanctuary and attacked the priestesses while their guard was down, managing to slay them. They too were turned into Battaranga by him. He set up camp at the base of Mt. Dorrum, attacking and turning anyone he met into skeletal servants. Eventually, he was killed by a group of heroes and some priestesses from the other shrines, including Natalia, now the current leader of the priestesses, who has decreed necromancers as the greatest bane of all that is good and holy. While they weren't charged with treason, Gorm's wife and child were persecuted for his actions. Eventually, Gorm's wife commit suicide, leaving their son, Roderick, an orphan.

Roderick somehow found his way into the Sapin Academy years later, where he met Damian, the one person who cared about him, and the cycle repeated. Damian was after power, Roderick simply wanted revenge on the nation that ruined his life. Their attempt to overthrow Sapin failed, and they since fled to Nirnwood, where they have started to build their army for revenge.
Please, PLEASE do not abandon this! I LOVE the ideas behind this game (nonlinearity, choice-based gameplay, scenarios evolving over time), which unfortunately are featured too rarely in RPGs, let alone *indie* RPGs.

Oh, and I actually LIKE the graphics, even if it seems I'm in minority here - although i'd say that judging a game like this by its looks rather than by its impressive ideas, features and scope is idiotic at best.

I'll be sure to try it out and give you some feedback.
Fun Fact: Within 24 hours of being accepted onto the site, my former musician's game profile already has as many subscribers than I did at my peak (it dropped a couple shortly after Marrend's review). I'll let you draw your own conclusions about much of a sack of shit that makes me.
author=Acra
I'll let you draw your own conclusions about much of a sack of shit that makes me.


My conclusion is that his game's graphic style is appealing to a wider audience than yours. It says nothing about you or your game.
I like the sound of the premise. The graphics are cool, too.
sevene
i just want to be an icy spitted glass of coke.
1000
looks dope.
Nice to see this game is still alive. Subbed
Just thought you should know : The recently released Villnoire did a bunch of in-game shoutouts to fellow RM legacy games, and Draug's Ressurection was included :)
Wow. That's one of the most heartening things I've heard in years. To be honest, I've definitely seen the name before, but it didn't ring any particular bells. And I mean, yes, it looks like there's dozens, if not hundreds, of RMN references in there, but that someone who I've never interacted with still picks DR out of thousands of other things definitely means a lot.

It's definitely a reminder that I really need to look at other RMN games more often. Or like, ever. I'm sometimes a bit too focused on getting my own work to a playable state. I think with my own testing, I've gotten pretty good at it. Should definitely look at lending a hand on that front some day. Still, gonna have to be a hypocrite for a bit longer. I really wanna reach 0.9.0, so that I'm at a point myself where outsiders might see this as something worth playing and testing.
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