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Latest Release
9.0.0b - February 1, 2013

Synopsis
In Starless Umbra, you play as Andoru in a quest to attempt to return home to save your sister after bandits raid your village. This simple task complicates itself quickly, as a strange phenomenon leaves you not only away from your village, but with little direction in a completely new continent.

As you travel, you'll learn the people around you aren't what they seem, and ties begin forming between yourself and others as your past is revealed. Unfortunately, no one can answer the simple question: "how do I get back home to save my sister?"

http://www.starlessumbra.com/
http://www.twitter.com/zexyu
http://www.facebook.com/starlessumbra

Latest Blog

2020 is over!

2020 is over. To briefly reflect on the past year, it has been stressful in ways I'm sure don't need belaboring. On the bright side, I feel like I've endured a year of both personal and professional growth. I've also cherished the positive life moments a bit more. Most notably, I'm a dad now. ("This COVID thing will totally blow over by the time our daughter arrives." --me, completely wrong circa last February)

Anyway, hello 2021! Time for game updates.

I went almost eight years without a release. Yesterday I finally broke that streak. I'm not very good at sticking to dates I set for myself; however, I did push myself to publish something before 2021, no matter what that something was. In good old "Release Something" tradition, I did it! There's now a new download of the latest something I could share with you guys at the literal 11th hour of 2020.

What happened? Why did it take so long? I talked about this a couple months back, but the short story is that Heroes of Umbra became a thing and I don't like leaving projects unfinished, even if they take roughly 15 times longer to complete than planned.

It's not a lot, but mostly everything is there in some shape or form. It's not a true vertical slice--most notably the demo doesn't have any minigames (yet!!)--but it should give you a bit of an unrefined taste of what I'd like to try to accomplish. If you have an opportunity to give it a try, please let me know your thoughts, what you'd improve, if you see this as something you could get into, and so on.

As an aside I did realize right before I published that none of the plaintext data is obfuscated or hidden in any way. Ooops. Feel free to mod the demo to taste. Crank the profanity to 11 or give your characters millions of HP.

To indulge you with the history of this project, I remember the first maps I made dabbling with RPG Maker 2000. I used the circle tool to draw a Mickey Mouse-shaped island with the default RTP assets in all their saturated glory. My mom asked me if I was into a girl who liked Disney. I wasn't. I had just gotten done playing Kingdom Hearts though.

I then went on to create a series of dungeon mazes and a village. With no direction and a vague "find adventure" plot I submitted a demo to GamingW.net. My ego was shredded. But I kept it up and learned to appreciate the criticism and continued to be inspired by contemporary game developers. It's weird to think of a time before the adjective "indie" described video games.

The older I get, the tighter I embrace my childhood dreams. I'm so grateful for all the support I've received in the near two decades I've struggled to make an RPG. The sincere messages I occasionally receive mentioning how they used to play the game way back when it was Dragon Heart or how they still have their scratch and sniff stickers are my fuel.

Enjoy the demo! I hope to share more with you guys in 2021. Thanks for your support.
  • Production
  • dragonheartman
  • GameMaker Studio 2
  • Action RPG
  • 02/20/2008 08:51 PM
  • 01/03/2021 10:52 PM
  • 01/01/2030
  • 655343
  • 336
  • 16027

Posts

dragonheartman
Developer, Starless Umbra / Heroes of Umbra
2729
Seems the plugins aren't loading. I'll fix that soon. Are you on Windows 8?
author=dragonheartman
Seems the plugins aren't loading. I'll fix that soon. Are you on Windows 8?
yeah I am
I just found this game, and I absolutely love it. I'm still very much in the middle of it, though, so I can't provide full feedback yet. So far, it looks fantastic and plays just fine. My only real concern is the font. That font- sometimes it's more of an enemy than the actual enemies.

I'm doing a let's play of this game, so most of my feedback would be in there. Great job, and keep up the good work! :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AAEApwg8-w

Okay, having finished the game, I can give some proper feedback now! I figured out why the font was wonky- turns out I didn't have the actual font installed. Ooops.

That was my only real complaint. There were a few small things, though. There was an awkward line when Andoru and Clydan were talking in Arkor- something along the lines of "I know how important your sister means to you". Which just sounds silly. There were a few times when the battle background didn't match the dungeon. And, finally, it's really obvious when the music on the title screen loops, so some smoothing out would be nice.

Now the stuff that I liked. Being just about everything. I really like where the story is going. Nebulous enough to draw you in, but straightforward enough that you know what you're doing. The battle system was smooth and really fun, even if the focus system punched me in the head a few times. The characters were great. They were believable and I ended up liking all of them- even Reene. She kind of annoyed me at first, but she grew on me pretty quickly.

Overall, fantastic game. I'll definitely be coming back for the remaining chapters. :)
Uh...Is there PLce where I can download a full version? I got the one from here, but it only goes to chapter 1 and stops...And I really like this game, so...?
edchuy
You the practice of self-promotion
1624
author=Starlanasam
Uh...Is there PLce where I can download a full version? I got the one from here, but it only goes to chapter 1 and stops...And I really like this game, so...?[/quote}

It is being revamped. So yes, that's it for now. I do agree there's a lot to like. It is much better than the original version.
edchuy
You the practice of self-promotion
1624
Sorry, double post!
dragonheartman
Developer, Starless Umbra / Heroes of Umbra
2729
Yeah! I need to fix up some ugly and awkward dialogue in the first few chapters.
Currently that's still in planning; using 2k3 is burning me out so I want to make sure all the dialogue is written before I stumble around implementing cutscenes.

Around chapter 4 and beyond I am pretty happy with the game so relatively little will change from that point on. There's just a ton of plot-holes that need cleaning up.
Linkis
Don't hate me cause I'm Cute :)
1025
This ain't right :(
Downloaded and began playing. Realized I tried this game before...
Had to stop shortly after leaving town because I simply could not find my way
around due to the RMK3 graphics.

Not knocking the game at all. Just the graphics...

Wish it had been make in XP or Ace...
I can see them fine :)

Good luck with your game dragonheartman, looks like it will be a lot of fun for those who can see :)
dragonheartman
Developer, Starless Umbra / Heroes of Umbra
2729
author=Linkis
This ain't right :(
Downloaded and began playing. Realized I tried this game before...
Had to stop shortly after leaving town because I simply could not find my way
around due to the RMK3 graphics.

Not knocking the game at all. Just the graphics...

Wish it had been make in XP or Ace...
I can see them fine :)

Good luck with your game dragonheartman, looks like it will be a lot of fun for those who can see :)

Try turning off overlays or increasing your display brightness. When I started this project XP and Ace didn't exist.
author=dragonheartman
Yeah! I need to fix up some ugly and awkward dialogue in the first few chapters.
Currently that's still in planning; using 2k3 is burning me out so I want to make sure all the dialogue is written before I stumble around implementing cutscenes.

Around chapter 4 and beyond I am pretty happy with the game so relatively little will change from that point on. There's just a ton of plot-holes that need cleaning up.


Do you have any plans to release chapter 2 in the near future?
Tau
RMN sex symbol
3293
I'd love to hear something about this game man. It's been too long , were all in suspense here!
dragonheartman
Developer, Starless Umbra / Heroes of Umbra
2729
author=Tau
I'd love to hear something about this game man. It's been too long , were all in suspense here!
I'm working on the final dungeon for Heroes of Umbra then I'll hop back on this. :)
Ever since I saw some random clips of this game when I was looking through Youtube I was interested. Now that I've actually read and seen other screenshots/videos etc. I am so excited for this game. I hope you stick through with this. I'm probably gonna wait when you release all chapters until I play it, but good luck to you ;)
I cant read my font.... is there a way to fix it? Or is it supposed to be like that?
I cant read my font.... is there a way to fix it? Or is it supposed to be like that?
1. Did you installed the rm2k3 runtimepackage? Most issues with missing/crappy fonds are, in my experience, missing rtp's... just google you'll find it for sure... Thats why I have pre-installed all rtp's for all rpg-maker versions: VX,VX ace, rm2k,rm2k3 and some add-ons I dont remember yet. I NEVER had any font issues at all...

2. Be sure to install the fonds that are included in the gamefolder. Just double-click them.

3. Try to download the game again. Its always possible that files are missing due to connection issues or something familiar...
author=ExecutionGlitch
I figured out why the font was wonky- turns out I didn't have the actual font installed. Ooops.
I loved the game. I played on easy, but I think the other option would be all right (I chose that because I have played some ridiculously unbalanced games recently). The gameplay and story were pretty straightforward and catching, I couldn't move away from my PC for a long time. All the "minigames" were nice, except minecart which was lagging and thus unplayable. But that could be problem with my quite slow PC. I liked the battle system too, idea with EP increasing is good. I was pretty pissed off, when the game ended abruptly :) Hopefully development will continue on this one. Thumbs up!
Hey dhm, any idea when you will be able to release the next chapter?