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For all of known history, Chosen Ones have been birthed as part of a cycle to maintain the Equilibrium. The Kingdom, being under constant threat from the Horrors of the North, depends on a military bastion known as Blackrose, the last settlement between the Kingdom and the Horrors.

The Ancient, a man from another age is awoken by the Creator and sent on a pilgrimage to restore the Equilibrium.




The Iron Age started as an attempt to make a decent game in 24h after picking up
RPG Maker 2003 on Steam, as I've used the software for more or less 10 years, I made a lot but never completed a full project. The scope of the project eventually changed and the deadlines were pushed, but really this project's purpose was just to get my feet wet with RPG Maker after a long break from the engine and game making in general.



The game uses the default RM2k3 combat system and menu systems. I try to exploit the maximum out of the system and make it challenging yet fair and emotionally engaging where every single decisions in a combat matters.


Although he has his trusty Glorious, a ceremonial sword which he uses to cast miracles, the Ancient is alone in his quest.

Ultimately, he cannot restore the Equilibrium alone. Throughout his journey, the Ancient will come into contact with previous Chosen Ones and can summon them in battle at the cost of half of his remaining MP, so its always available but remains a tactical choice which puts the Ancient in a tough spot.

Four of them are found in the game, each with a different tactical function in combat.

The music is a set of fantasy compositions by Kevin MacLeod.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_MacLeod_(musician)

Obviously this game is free as it uses rips and resources distributed online.

Latest Blog

Progress Update

Hey everyone!

I hope you enjoyed the holidays thus far (and the food).

I managed to get the game tested quite a bit by a few players during the vacations.
I only really had time to add one area, but it pretty much concludes that chapter (so to speak) of the game.
On the other hand, I made quite a few changes in other areas:

- So far I only used RTP combat animations, I've brought in a few animations with more fitting visuals to mix it a bit. I don't know yet if I will remove all of them.

- I balanced the foes, the equipment and the available evocations to provide an interesting challenge without boring the player.

- The quality of some of the earlier maps and their general coherence were improved.

- I fixed a bunch of stupid bugs. :)

I just uploaded the latest test build to kick off 2016 the right way.
Let me know what you think, I am always looking for the feedback.

Happy (early) New Year!
  • Cancelled
  • Superstroke
  • RPG Maker 2003
  • RPG
  • 12/06/2015 09:44 PM
  • 05/29/2016 06:45 PM
  • 03/24/2016
  • 17509
  • 8
  • 84

Posts

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Whoah... I love the feels in this game. Can't wait for the download!
Downloaded. Looks interesting. I'll let you know my thoughts.
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4338
I got a download too! I'll play it here soon and leave my thoughts as well if I remember to do so :D
I just finished my playthrough. I must begin by saying that I really enjoyed this demo and I think this game shows a ton of promise. I very much desire to see more and I urge you to continue. I beg of you to continue, even.

I was extremely impressed by the atmosphere and pace of this game. It reminded me a lot of Dark Souls, and it would not surprise me at all if you said that was one of your main influences. The premise, dismal atmosphere, mysterious nature of the world, and the Solar Pilgrims/Zealots among other things: all were extremely reminiscent of Dark Souls, and being a huge fan of that game and series, this is not a downside to me by any means.

I really enjoyed the leveling system. It was sweet how it allowed for slight customization. Giving the player a choice of which skills to learn is an interesting system, as well, and shows promise. I thought that the battles were very well balanced, and the pace at which you leveled was very consistent. I constantly felt like I was getting stronger and I loved the feeling. The summoning system was pretty cool, too. I also liked the idea of having an NPC who follows you around and sells you items.

The music was amazing and impressed me a lot. It fit the atmosphere well. Great choice, there.

However, that being said, there are definitely improvements that could made. The number one issue I had with this game is the "running" system. Frankly, it's broken and pointless. I'm not sure if this is what was intended, but it only allowed for me to run at short, one second bursts, and most of the time I was forced to walk at the painfully slow speed. I'm honestly not sure why you have this system in place when you can simply allow the player to run by default, which would make the game a number of times more enjoyable. There's no reason to ever walk slow. Did you want to make the game longer? If so, forcing the player to walk slowly is a shallow method of accomplishing this. As well, sometimes when running the teleport events wouldn't trigger for whatever reason. This is another reason to simply get rid of the system.

My other problem is that the areas didn't seem to connect to each other at all. I did not like how I exited a cavern at the base of a mountain, and upon leaving the map I'm instantly teleported to a dense forest that uses an entirely different art style and tileset, whilst facing a different direction. It felt like, perhaps, this was supposed to be a few hours later, after some uneventful traveling or something. That's fine, but maybe you could put a world map into the game to simulate this instead? It was rather jarring how quickly the location changed.

Finally, I did not like how slowly the title screen took to load. I would have preferred if the text faded in at least twice as fast. I'm probably just accustomed to the default title screen, which is quick and to the point.

However, this game definitely shows a lot of promise and is highly original, at least in the RPG Maker scene. I enjoyed playing very much. I ended the game at level 8, if that helps you at all. :-)
Also, one bug I forgot to mention: When fighting the Nymphette in the forest, I couldn't summon the Red Cleric.
Hey, thanks for the feedback!

author=dethmetal
I very much desire to see more and I urge you to continue.

Well that's good to hear and a good place to start :D

I am indeed very inspired by the first installment of Dark Souls and the way the story is delivered.

author=dethmetal
The music was amazing and impressed me a lot. It fit the atmosphere well. Great choice, there.

http://incompetech.com/music/
I was lucky enough to find his library very early in development (like in the first two hours of development). His work has been used by TV shows, CollegeHumor, Movies... and it's Creative Commons as long as he gets credited. I definitely recommend any maker looking for strong professional music to take a look there.

I used a mp3 compressor to (greatly) reduce the size of the game archive, but I have heard a loss of quality as well :| Did you notice?


author=dethmetal
The number one issue I had with this game is the "running" system. Frankly, it's broken and pointless.

My issue is I've always found the default running speed in rm to be a little too quick, like if you were flying across the map like the Flash, but then the next available speed down feels annoyingly slow. The sprint was meant as a compromise but as you probably also noticed (you mentioned broken) sometimes you will start sprinting by accident. I was very doubtful about this and it was added pretty recently in development, but I can't really think of a better solution, so I think I will follow your advice, remove it and give the Ancient the "regular" speed.

It was absolutely not meant to make the game longer, I do feel that would be extremely cheap.

author=dethmetal
My other problem is that the areas didn't seem to connect to each other at all.
If you've felt that way in other areas as well let me know.

I need to copy an event page to each combat group for the summon, and I believe I forgot this one (teehee)

And yea, no reason for the title screen to be too slow. I will make it shorter.

Thank you again for your feedback, but:
What did you think of the first puzzle to enter the cavern? (The L puzzle)
It has gone through a few revisions because my testers felt it was too hard, did you feel its current incarnation is reasonable?

Also how did you feel about the other summons and their combinations? (available at the end of the demo)



:)
author=Superstroke
I used a mp3 compressor to (greatly) reduce the size of the game archive, but I have heard a loss of quality as well :| Did you notice?

I could tell, but I didn't really have a problem with it, and the quality doesn't seem to have suffered all that much. If it made the file size a lot smaller, than it was definitely worth it. What I've seen other game creators do is release two versions of the game: one with a small file size and compressed music, and one with a larger file size and uncompressed music. It's not necessary, but it's something to consider if you want to please everybody. Alternatively, you can simply put a "music" folder up for download that contains the uncompressed music so that players could simply replace the existing music files with the uncompressed ones, if they so desire. That might be easier for you. Again, not really necessary; I'm not even sure if people will care all that much.

I understand what you're saying about the run speed (it would be great if there was a speed between 3: Half Normal and 4: Normal, especially for games that use small maps), and the sprint system seems like a good compromise in theory, but it doesn't really work too well and it's kind of annoying having the constantly mash the arrow keys. Best just leave it at the default speed. Plus, it makes backtracking really tedious (which I had to do a few times in the caverns).

author=Superstroke
If you've felt that way in other areas as well let me know.

The other abrupt change I noticed was coming from the opening forest to the swamp area before the cave. You go from a bright and somewhat cheery-looking forest to a gloomy swamp. An easy way to fix this would be to change the tileset, and have the forest use a tileset more similar to the swamp one (use the same grass tiles, use similarly colored trees, etc)
author=Superstroke
What did you think of the first puzzle to enter the cavern? (The L puzzle)
It has gone through a few revisions because my testers felt it was too hard, did you feel its current incarnation is reasonable?

Also how did you feel about the other summons and their combinations? (available at the end of the demo)

I thought the puzzle was really easy. I don't really think anything needs to be changed regarding it. It's fine for an early-game puzzle.

I actually didn't even know that I was able to try out the other summons, so I went back to try them out (there wasn't really anything telling you to hit the action button at the throne to try out more battles). They seem fun to use. Iron Arm, however, is extremely slow: so slow that the the other two characters I had in battles got at least 5 turns each before he could attack. This may be intentional: you may have intended that he be extremely slow to make up for extremely extremely high damage output. However, the Ancient actually dealt two times as much damage and could attack 5 or 6x faster, making him useless (I didn't increase my level at all, by the way, I fought the enemies at the level I was at the end of the demo).

My only other concerns regarding the summons is that once they run out of MP, they're nearly useless since they don't have any regular attacks. I know you can use an item to restore their MP, but it never seems worth it. I think you should consider giving them all a skill that wastes a turn but allows them to recover at least a small amount of MP in the event they've run out. The only exception to this is perhaps the Red Cleric, because if I recall correctly she can still heal HP when out of MP.


Here are some other things I forgot to mention in my original post:

I really liked the death system. I like that, instead of getting sent back to the title screen, you return to the last save point with you EXP intact. I think this is great, and I can imagine that once we are able to progress further in the game, reaching those save points will feel wonderful, just like reaching a new bonfire does in Dark Souls (and, similarly, reaching save points in the old Resident Evil games).

I also thought it was nice that you kept the stats low in the beginning. I prefer RPGs where the will small numbers. This is just a personal preference, though.
Yea for a really stupid reason.
The enemies were becoming more disbalanced as development went on and I realized I had to start testing from the beginning a lot to balance the stats increase of the main character and the enemies.

At that point, I realized that it was so much of a pain I was getting no pleasure from development and really this game was becoming a chore I was just finishing by principle. In the end, I guess the result I would get would simply not be worth the amount of energy I have invested over the last month cast over the next months over that project. I'm also working on my computer science thesis in computer security and I am busy working with a startup most of the day. I put it on hiatus in case I might go back to it, but honestly I doubt it.

However, I did start a weird Off/Taut inspired rpg maker mini-project earlier this week, and I'm already done so maybe rpg maker won't taste as sour to me in the future, but then again, maybe I'll never learn.
Ah, I see. I've come across the same problem with my own project. I've had to rebalance stats completely twice which involves a lot of play testing on my part (especially because my game allows for certain dungeons to be completed in any order which means I have to play the game while complete all the dungeons in every possible order). I've just been working on my game for too long to give up and, besides that, working on it is rarely a chore.

I can't say I'm not a bit disappointed because I thought this project had a lot of potential, but I look forward to your future projects.
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