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Depression changes

So I watched Liberty's Let's Judge Depression, and... well, let's just say her reaction wasn't very satisfactory. "I hate this game", "I hate you Calunio", and "Whyyyyyyyyyyyy" were some of her comments, and that's because she was clearly trying to be nice.

Depression was supposed to be frustrating and repetitive to an extent. But having players hate it because it's extremely boring, repetitive and enraging was never my intention. So I took some of Liberty's suggestions and things I noticed about the game myself and made a few changes to it. Hopefully it will make the game more bearable, and in being bearable, players will actually try to take something (good?) out of the experience.

Among the changes:

  • Every monster gives twice as much XP.

  • Monsters drop more different items, and drop items more often.

  • You start the game with a limited use item that teleports you home.

  • Healing items heal more.

  • Healing magic power is proportional to the user's magic attack, and it has a higher priority in battle.

  • The dog had no MP before, even though he had skills that used MP. Yeah, I'm dumb.

  • The Very Tall Tower is taller, and the final bosses are stronger.

  • NPCs that tell you what to do are less obscure.

  • Minor bugs and spelling mistakes corrected.

I don't plan on changing the game much, but I'm still open to feedback. There's a meaning behind the game and its mechanics, and I don't it lost in the middle of horrendous gameplay.

The modified download is set as the main download. You can also find the previous version for download in the Downloads section.


Development Diary 3 - It is over

I'm done with Depression!

My event download is up. Now I'm hoping there won't be any important bugs, spelling errors, missing files, etc. If you find anything, please report.

I had a lot of fun making this game. It's actually odd how I really like this game and enjoyed making it, but at the same time I feel like no one else is going to like it. I could be wrong. Hopefully I am!

This is not a game meant to be fun and enjoyable, though. It could have its fun moments, but that was no the point. What I tried with this game was to use traditional RPG elements as metaphors to what I believe are the components behind depression. It's a game to be played and experienced. It is a very experimental idea, probably riskier than anything else I've ever made.

Also worth noting, I enjoyed using RPG Maker VX Ace. I had use RPG Maker VX before, and it wasn't an enjoyable experience. But this version is so user friendly, so open to customization without being too complex. I'm definitely getting the full RPG Maker VX. That's goodbye RPG Maker 2003. I'll miss you... we had great times together!

I don't plan on changing this game after the contest, only if I need to fix any errors. I don't expect my download count to go wild either. But some feedback would be nice!

Progress Report

Development Diary 2 - Depression is a Puzzle

The game is almost finished.

Today I spent most of my development time playing the game, and adjusting numbers. It's really hard to balance a traditional RPG. In essence, Depression is a game that requires grinding, leveling up, going back-and-forth. I'm a little worried that it may become boring and/or tiresome to players, especially for those who are not fans of traditional RPGs. I expect some players to quit the game prematurely. But it is a risk I'm willing to take. I tried adding some motivational elements to grinding. For instance, I just posted a tab describing the game's Job System.

Right after making the ending of the game, I found out that this game is actually a puzzle. It has all the traditional RPG elements in it. But there is more than one ending, and only one of them is the "good" ending. In order to get this good ending, you must not only find out how to reach it, but you need to... let's say... solve it. In this sense, it's not like most RPGs, in which if you're powerful enough, you win. And it's not like adventure games that require you only to figure out what to do. You need to know what and how.

What has been amusing me in the process is how much I get involved with it. When I'm making a game, everything becomes secondary in my life. I described the feeling when I was making Polymorphous Perversity. It's a good thing.

Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with how this game is turning out. I don't expect it to get any popularity, and I'll be lucky if anyone goes as far as playing the game to completion. But this, more than any other, is a game I'm making for myself.

Progress Report

Development Diary 1 - The concept

Depression is my entry for RMN's RPG Maker VX ACE Lite's Cook Off. The point is to make a game within a short period of time, and restricted by this engine's (huge!) limitations. It's been a while since I had put any serious time in making games, so I decided to join.

All my games are, in a way, autobiographical... in a very metaphoric way, don't get me wrong! I decided this one should be too, because even if it doesn't out to be a great game, there would be something in for me in the experience of making it.

I decided to make a game about depression because, well, I'm not really depressed (I think), but I've been very uninspired and demotivated lately. I don't have much will or strength to do or pursue anything... like a chronic and aggravated state of laziness. I wanted to make a game about that.

Depression in a traditional RPG, at least from the onset. You're a hero supposed to save the world. It's not traditional in its construction, though. Given the limited time, I thought of using RTP graphics and stuff, but I just felt too bad about it (that's how much I hate RTP). So I went with custom, and as always, this custom is supposed to be a mixture of style (something that can give the game a unique flavor) and laziness (something not much difficult to make). Graphics are all custom, black and white, maps are mostly panoramas (almost no tiles), battle system is the engine's default, and the music.... oh well. I'll be called names after people hear it, but I'm having so much fun making it.

I started the game Saturday, Feb 9th. Today is Feb 11th, so my third day begins. We're having Carnaval holidays in Brazil until Wednesday, so that's when I want to finish the game, even though the event gives us more time (life doesn't).

What's really interesting about making this game is that, even though it comes from a time when I haven't found motivation to do anything, I'm very highly motivated to work on it. I've been spending like... 10h/day working on it, and I don't spend more because I need to sleep, and give my eyes a rest. Time flies by, and that's been a good thing.

What's also interesting is that the time I spend in front of the computer, my mind often goes blank for inspiration, and I'm frequently questioning my design choices. But as soon as I lay down in bed to sleep, I get this involuntary brainstorm and a bunch of useful ideas... almost can't sleep wanting to work on them. Have you ever guys experienced something like that?

Right now I'd say I'm about 60% done. Time to work.
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