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Latest Release
0.0.1a - December 31, 2020

Synopsis
Join Amalia, a tracker from the simple orphan colony of Tulron, as she discovers the veiled world of Alcuria in search of her friends.

Links
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Legacy 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?"

Latest Blog

January Progress Report

Hello! Can you believe it's February already? Hope you're doing well. As I slowly move forward I wanted to share what's new, hopefully getting into a cadence of updates every month or two.

Before that, I wanted to express my sincere gratitude to those that played last month's prototype. Specifically from RMN, Darken, Zaeran, Aldu, and Zion you guys all gave me solid feedback I've taken to heart moving forward. I think it confirmed a lot of my assumptions (AI should be smarter, tutorials and input could be improved, puzzles are buggy, battles are frustrating.) and also opened my eyes to some questionable design decisions. All in all, for such a rushed release I feel confident with some polish this is something I'm happy to continue working on. On to new stuff.

Content-wise, I've been chugging away on maps. The first major village/hub is in-progress. This will take some time to flesh out, as the asset need for faces increases exponentially here. (Two new characters as well as several basic NPCs are introduced here.)

I've also done maps/cutscenes for the intro sequence of a new character and mapped out the second dungeon.


If you've played previous iterations of SU I'm sure you can guess what's next.

To speed up cutscene implementations, I spent some time creating tools to debug and modify events on-the-fly.



The top console displays the current state of event execution. The special pause() command is used in event scripts as a sort of breakpoint to modify and reload the current event. Additional debugging info is shown here so I can easily test different camera positions and find out where characters need to move to. I might expand this later on to allow stepping forward/backward through the event timeline, but as-is this should speed up cutscene implementation significantly.

Up next I plan on fleshing out the village flow with more cutscenes, small sidequests, shops, villagers, and of course fun banter between Amalia and Illari. After that, the second dungeon needs monsters, cutscenes, and a couple final maps.

Thanks for reading. Moving forward, progress will slow as I adjust to getting back into a schedule of fulltime work + parenting. I do hope to continue the momentum of working in bite-size daily chunks if possible to keep on track. Before you leave, I'd love to know: what tricks do you use to keep focused on your projects?

P.S. Shameless plugs for twitter and discord.
  • Production
  • Commercial
  • dragonheartman
  • GameMaker Studio 2
  • Action RPG
  • 02/20/2008 08:51 PM
  • 06/11/2021 01:25 AM
  • 01/01/2030
  • 679671
  • 336
  • 16229

Posts

I got some weird error that said "Zero battle id" and then another error message popped up but forgot what it said, then it went back to the title screen.
dragonheartman
Developer, Starless Umbra / Heroes of Umbra
2743
The more I think about it, the more I want progress over perfection. There's no need to argue otherwise about what this will shape into or what it can be compared to. Let's just see where it goes.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7527
author=eplipswich
author=Corfaisus
Simply put, make a game just like yours.
You mad? He's stating feedback very nicely, and you're being sarcastic for no reason. Go away.


I was in no way being sarcastic.
author=Corfaisus
Simply put, make a game just like yours.

You mad? He's stating feedback very nicely, and you're being sarcastic for no reason. Go away.
dragonheartman
Developer, Starless Umbra / Heroes of Umbra
2743
And honestly I've also learned so much in terms of game design decisions, characters, and so on that it would be much suited for a new game I feel rather than trying to retrofit it into a project that is for lack of a better words a big (nearly!) ten-year-old mess under the surface. It's a mess I am happy with though. ;)
dragonheartman
Developer, Starless Umbra / Heroes of Umbra
2743
Naw it's true, it's like you are dropped into the action but you don't actually witness any of it. I had ideas for having bandits hop in and mess stuff up but ultimately it never got executed because I have to try to balance what changes I put in, otherwise this will never get finished.

It's already something jumping back and redoing so much at about 85% completion, but I do know the importance of the intro. I might make some slight changes down the road but I really want to have more content-wise because I do feel the gameplay will pull you in while it is my goal that the storyline/characters will eventually follow, if that makes any sense. The storyline is honestly not meant to be terribly complex, but at the very least my priority was to make it presentable and clear without some of the inconsistencies in flow the older version had.

Will I change up the intro? It's inevitable, but it's finally at a point where I feel okay with it. Your comments have been noted, though, because as you said I am trying to make this the best I possibly can. It's just I do want to move on to other things in the future and if I do that I might not get to everything I want... I'll gut it and save it for another project (or a remake in three dimensions!!)

Jokes aside, I do appreciate you taking the time to write up some feedback. It is helpful.

tl;dr, it takes me a really long time to make a decent game.
TFT
WHOA wow wow. two tails? that is a sexy idea...
366
yeah, well i am trying to give the guy constructive feedback from what i've experienced. instead of just circle jerking him, and going "heh gg bro props". and just leaving it at that.

the difference is i truly appreciate what he has created. do you think i would go out of my way to write that for it to translate "just copy me bro". i gave him examples because it might perk his interest vs "HEH G8". i cannot expect someone like you to grasp the concept of indie devs bouncing relevant ideas or concepts off each other to improve their craft, so lol.

it's kind of funny dude, because i thought about dropping a hiroshima burn on you, but then i realized, people like you are pretty much the reason why this site is so bad.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7527
author=TFT
yeah dude, i played this today. like, i appreciate the detail and effort into everything.

it is really hard to get a vibe for the game, because its exceptionally well done in terms of mechanics and mini games or whatever. the pacing is really weird. like, i just kind of breezed through the text, the two characters in your party were really hard to enjoy. like, idk the intro is very hard to get into.

overall i think it is really impressive in terms of design mechanics. the battle system is a really nice improvement. the edits are very well done. lots of animations. i p much did the disco dance several hundred times. like, i cannot put my thumb on why i can't get into it, maybe it is the setting at the start i am not sure.

it's just an incredibly weird introduction. it's just one of those situations where its very difficult to introduce the "cool" factor with bandits raiding a village basically. like, it would be cool if they rode in on dragon/wolf hybrids and just started throwing spears into the buildings. even stuff like that is underwhelming because you can't do very much with the setting.

like, have a cutscene sideview of these animated black images of the bandits riding while the background is fading from sun to darkness and the bottom can have some kind of backstory to get you pumped. idk man, like i said great mechanics, great details. keep it up.


Simply put, make a game just like yours.
TFT
WHOA wow wow. two tails? that is a sexy idea...
366
yeah dude, i played this today. like, i appreciate the detail and effort into everything.

it is really hard to get a vibe for the game, because its exceptionally well done in terms of mechanics and mini games or whatever. the pacing is really weird. like, i just kind of breezed through the text, the two characters in your party were really hard to enjoy. like, idk the intro is very hard to get into.

overall i think it is really impressive in terms of design mechanics. the battle system is a really nice improvement. the edits are very well done. lots of animations. i p much did the disco dance several hundred times. like, i cannot put my thumb on why i can't get into it, maybe it is the setting at the start i am not sure.

it's just an incredibly weird introduction. it's just one of those situations where its very difficult to introduce the "cool" factor with bandits raiding a village basically. like, it would be cool if they rode in on dragon/wolf hybrids and just started throwing spears into the buildings. even stuff like that is underwhelming because you can't do very much with the setting.

like, have a cutscene sideview of these animated black images of the bandits riding while the background is fading from sun to darkness and the bottom can have some kind of backstory to get you pumped. idk man, like i said great mechanics, great details. keep it up.

dragonheartman
Developer, Starless Umbra / Heroes of Umbra
2743
Thanks for the positive encouragement. I've started on chapter 1 development, by the way. Diablo III also came out so I won't say any words on a release just yet... :)
The new demo was phenomenal. I was upset that it ended. Keep it up, DHM!
Just played this. Your tweaks to the battle system were neat and I liked the knife throwing minigame. I had fun--looking forward to more.
dragonheartman
Developer, Starless Umbra / Heroes of Umbra
2743
author=Skie Fortress
I finished playing the new demo. The new additions to combat through dynRPG certainly made things a lot more enjoyable. I thought the first bosses' gimmick was pretty interesting, deliberately managing your character's focus to achieve a goal that didn't involve killing the main boss.

The way dungeons were constructed was really cool as well. I liked how they were more about overcoming obstacles and minigames rather than fighting a horde of random battles to the end. The knife throwing minigame was probably my favorite so far. But the partner segment was rather well made as well.

I can't say much about the narrative however, as it seems to have barely kicked off. I was ultimately disappointed to see the 'To be continued' screen after escaping the forest. But, I'll be looking forward to future releases now. Surprised I didn't play this game before actually.
Thank you for all the kind feedback! I'm glad you found the changes the the battle system enjoyable--I spent a lot of effort on them. Hopefully releases will be more frequent now. :)
I finished playing the new demo. The new additions to combat through dynRPG certainly made things a lot more enjoyable. I thought the first bosses' gimmick was pretty interesting, deliberately managing your character's focus to achieve a goal that didn't involve killing the main boss.

The way dungeons were constructed was really cool as well. I liked how they were more about overcoming obstacles and minigames rather than fighting a horde of random battles to the end. The knife throwing minigame was probably my favorite so far. But the partner segment was rather well made as well.

I can't say much about the narrative however, as it seems to have barely kicked off. I was ultimately disappointed to see the 'To be continued' screen after escaping the forest. But, I'll be looking forward to future releases now. Surprised I didn't play this game before actually.
dragonheartman
Developer, Starless Umbra / Heroes of Umbra
2743
I should have a mirror soon. I actually can't update my site right now because my friend (who hosts the site) is having dns issues.

Maybe this URL works?:

http://rpgmaker.net/games/407/downloads/1176/
benos
My mind is full of fuck.
559
wtf cannot even press the download section. Or any section for some reason. Stupid browser.
Hiatus doesn't mean cancelled though, as stated in dragonheartman's blog on his official website.

In short, he's basically needing all the help he can get because of his frustrations with RPG Maker 2003 (Yeah, you know how buggy RPG Maker 2003 is...)

Read his blog to find out more.
author=Tau
Hiatus? This game, fuck me. I never thought I'd see the day.


my thoughts exactly!
Tau
RMN sex symbol
3278
Hiatus? This game, fuck me. I never thought I'd see the day.
dragonheartman
Developer, Starless Umbra / Heroes of Umbra
2743
Nothing yet!

I'm keeping quiet. Things are moving around a lot and nothing ever seems to be final.