• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS
Unbridled fury, innocent optimism, intentional concealment, peaceful comfort. Whatever the reason, there is always a purpose for concealing truth. To find this truth, one must break apart these damaging fallacies. This is, of course, assuming the truth is something you wish to attain in the first place. There are reasons people willingly ignore truth, after all.

A party of four are bound together in a strange twist of fate and must depend on each other in order to survive the harsh wilderness of the Under, a world beneath the soil. As their journey progresses, however, they begin to see hints of a deeper web of lies and conspiracies that spell trouble on a scale much larger than themselves.

It's best to ignore those hints. Your tale is nothing more than a simple journey to escape the Under. Beware of blundering into matters you do not understand.


Through Dark and Liar's Soul is a game made in two weeks for the RMN Swap event. The initial half was developed by Liberty, while the second half was completed by Red_Nova.

Latest Blog

Through the Dark

Here you go, everyone! Through Dark and Liar's Soul is complete!

Deadlines are great, aren't they? They really force you to pick and choose what's important to the project since you don't have time to add in everything you want. I spent the first two days with Liberty's half just playing through it and picking apart story/lore/gameplay elements to see what I could use and expand on. To my excitement (and dismay), there was a lot to building blocks. I planned out a pretty elaborate plot with lots and lots of dialogue, but there just wasn't enough time to implement it all and do it justice. Sure, I could've just copied/pasted it into the game, but then I wouldn't be doing it justice. As such, I had to cut out about 30% of the planned stuff and rewrite other elements to plug the resulting plot holes in order to make more time for gameplay and stuff.

I console myself every night that it's better to cut content than to arbitrarily pad it out. Like Antoine de Saint Exupéry said, "...perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove."

... Not trying to imply that this game is perfect. Far from it, in fact. But you know what I mean.

Dammit, Liberty. You made more work for me by being too good at this. I cannot believe that was an actual sentence that I just wrote.

Overall though, I hope Liberty likes where I've taken the game, and I hope YOU like playing it! There are five endings to this game, and I'm really interested in hearing which ending you got first. And, of course, let me know of any bugs you find!

Thanks for playing!

*dies*
  • Completed
  • Red_Nova
    Liberty
  • RPG Maker VX Ace
  • RPG
  • 03/15/2016 09:06 PM
  • 11/02/2016 05:57 PM
  • 03/20/2016
  • 29886
  • 16
  • 290

Posts

Pages: first 12 next last
This game brings me a slight vibe of nostalgia for some reason. Best of luck with this, Red Libby!
This sounds very interesting. Is the event currently ongoing?
unity
You're magical to me.
11150
It ends this Friday, unless the deadline's extended ^_^
The event is currently on-going but should be finished in the next 3-4 days or so. (Yeah, the deadline has been extended... I think I pushed that through? Shit, I better check that. >.<; )
unity
You're magical to me.
11150
Cool! Good to know :D
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7488
Oh yeah, I forgot about the extension! That takes out a lot of stress. I may have been a little too excited on this project, so I may have overscoped just a little bit, so I'm definitely gonna milk every minute of this extension I can to polish this game.

I just hope I can do Liberty's half justice!
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
13387
Played it. I kind of have mixed feelings on it overall. I got the "leave" ending as somewhat of a reflection of my frustration with the experience and not wanting to go back, or in this case not replay the game.


> I kind of get from the blog that you were attempting to have better control over the game's sound design, but I can't really agree that it was done right, here. My volume settings are basically at normal, and even then the BGM was barely audible... yet at the same time the attack sound effects fluctuated to being EAR-PIERCINGLY LOUD to way too quiet to be noticeable. That's a big deal because sound not only contributes to a game's atmosphere, but to things like player satisfaction as well. If your attacks sound lame, it feels lame.

> Also, if you really wanted to "immerse" your player with your sounds, you probably shouldn't have chosen music that calls so much attention to itself in your battles. Probably something a bit less upbeat or more atmospheric? Generally, there is only so much immersion you are going to get on a 2D overhead view game, because there is an inherent detachment between the game and the player when stuff looks that way. I honestly feel like the game would have been better off with more typical sound volume found in RPG Maker games.

> The boss introduction was kind of too rough in difficulty and could have been handled better. Your party members have very limited tools to work with in terms of skillpools, and this boss not only takes a while to take down, but even has a counterattack... Like why would you do this at the start of the game? The items you could use at least provided some means to alleviate the pressure, but there were no clues at the start that suggested the party had any supplies to begin with, and the fact that part of the description of that meat item reads "10% chance of causing food poisoning" subliminally discourages me, as a player, from ever using it.

> I kind of feel like some of the dialogue could have been a bit more condensed. I kind of felt like the vast majority of my playtime was spent reading needless banter rather than actually playing the game. Take the scene where you first tell the player that they can loot bodies. You could have left it off at the "need to survive" explanation, but it instead drags itself on. "I get it, I can loot bodies, now shaddup!" - what I was thinking.

> I dunno, I like worldbuilding and "calling a rabbit a smerp" in general, but for a game so compact it only serves to just create confusion and meaningless info-dump. It was particularly bad in battles because enemies were given such off-kilter names that it made it needlessly difficult to pick out a specific target. Again, I don't hate worldbuilding elements, but in order to work well they kind of need a chance to explain themselves to connect to a player, and it was so sparsely touched upon in this game that you might as well have just stuck with everyone being human.

> The cooking mechanics were interesting! Sadly, there are like... two opportunities you could ever use it? It actually determined whether you could get out of the cave in one piece, as well, which is kind of harsh.

> On that subject, you have a typo for the Mushroom salad recipe. Upon crafting the item, the message says you cooked a "mushroom soup" instead of a salad. At least you still get the right item, though.

> Overall, it actually kind of felt like a chore to play, but I kind of get that swap games are bound to be a bit inconsistent/short. To give it some credit, I can appreciate the effort in implementing things that I don't commonly see with RPG Maker games, but maybe all of it would have worked out better in a longer, more fleshed out game.
Thanks for playing!
As was stated, the battle attack sounds were a case of me forgetting to turn them down, so... yeah, not intended.

When the event is over I have a few things I want to fix up in the game (like toning down some of the strength of certain monsters (fucking rats man) and making descriptions a little more clear on items (forgot to add that you heal MP as well). Depending on what Red did with his part, we might discuss adding another campfire or two. I haven't checked the game yet (gotta finish my second half... soooooooon >.<; )

The mushroom soup/salad typo came from me forgetting to fix the copy/pasted version of the second fire. It's fixed on the first one. Oops! XD

Boss probably isn't going to change because I very much like the idea of a team coming together to fight a boss and to have that you need to be feel suitably threatened else it just wouldn't work as well, imo. I will probably add a line about using items, though, so that people know healing items are there for use.

Sorry, I like talking and dialogue so... that's more stylistic than anything. Characters interacting is where it's at, imo. Granted, I've yet to see what Red did with the end parts of the game, but for my areas I like me some gabbing.
unity
You're magical to me.
11150
I think the biggest problem with the first boss is the counterattack, as it makes the bosses' difficulty reliant on how lucky you get with it countering you. I played it and beat the boss no problem on my first try, but then played again and quickly got a party wipe as it countered nearly every attack.

It comes down to not having any way to deal with the counter. Only one character even uses spells that can't be countered. The other characters have no choice but to roll the dice and hope they don't waste their turns and take damage instead of dealing it.
Hm, I'll lower the counter rate, then. Or make it a buff it can apply for a turn or two instead.
unity
You're magical to me.
11150
I especially like the buff idea ^_^ So you know that it's risky to attack him when it's on.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7488
I could probably add in an ability that removes counterattack temporarily. That'd make future encounters more interesting since I didn't really use counter properties after the first boss.

Shoot, we still have a little less than 12 hours. There's still time for updates!
unity
You're magical to me.
11150
I finished the game and got the "Rebuilding the Bond" ending! ^_^ ...Though no idea what causes you to get what ending.

The characters were good and the story was interesting. I honestly had a little trouble, especially at first, keeping track of who was saying what, having only color of text to judge by, but I think that's a problem that only I was going to have as I'm a bit scatterbrained in that area.

The enemies in the beginning are a little all over the place in terms of difficulty. As it has been stated, those rats are jerks, sometimes being able to attack twice. I always targeted them first. XD

This may be a nitpick, but a huge pet peeve of mine is when you have to select enemy targets based only on their names, and their names aren't displayed in the same order as the enemy battlers appear on-screen. It is not difficult to have the enemies appear left to right correspondent to how their names are displayed. Instead, I must remember what creature had what name in order to even target who I wanted to target.

Battles were a little on the bland side, as I felt like I didn't have a whole lot of options on the strategy department. My caster could offensively use fire or drain, tho I liked having the regen spell. The swordswoman had a neat combo with a move that damaged and lowered her defense and then another skill that does more damage with the defense lowered, but the archer is just "Wooden Arrow unless I can afford a better arrow" and the Hunter is just "attack/defend/item." I feel like this could have worked if the other characters had a more useful pool of abilities but they just weren't there.

The cooking was fun, and I made a lot of stuff with it, but I only used about half the stuff I made, if even that. Still, a neat system!

All in all a fun game with interesting characters and a neat conflict, but nothing really blew me away or anything. Solid work, though. Good job, you two! ^_^
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7488
Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, I was so wrapped up in getting the story right that less effort was put into the battles than I would have liked. Well, I'm glad the game was enjoyable overall!

Ratty: I agree with some of the worldbuilding criticism. Like I said in the blog, I had to spend the first two days getting it all straight in my head and planning out where I was going to go with it!

You'll hate me for saying this, but character banter and more dialogue actually was part of the cut content on my half, and I was pretty upset that it was XD. If I added everything I wanted to add, there would have been LOTS MORE banter! I am ready for you rage.
unity
You're magical to me.
11150
Played some more. Hidden for spoilers:

Turns out I missed a note and that's why I couldn't get a different ending. Wow, there's the more interesting thought-provoking endings that Red does so well! :D Very interesting indeed! I tried both sparing and slaying the offending party to see what happened. Very nice, and puts a whole new spin on the events of the game.
I decided to go in a different direction for character builds just for the hell of it. I knew I wanted one person who could never use skills, and they'd be useful in that their attacks are okay, but they can also be used for item-tossing if needed, since they wouldn't have to worry about spells or skills. Items were there for the using~ ;p

As for the other skills, I had plans towards a bit more variety but I do like what Red did when it came to skills that interacted with each other (okay I admit I had a peek >.> ). If there'd been more time I would have liked to have done more balancing, as well as mess with the random encounter set-weight a bit more (currently it's a straight 20 steps, I think?)

And more dialogue... XD

ALL THE DIALOGUE!

:I haven't finished it yet, I just played a small bit to see what was going on with it, but I will after Shore is done. Not long now, just a last boss fight to jam in and ending events.)
unity
You're magical to me.
11150
I admit, having a character who could only attack was a great way to encourage item use ^_^
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7488
Thanks for giving it another shot, unity!

There's also another ending if you lose the fight.


Liberty: The step weight was actually pretty scattered depending on the size of the map. It was an even mix of 10, 15, 20, and 25.
Weird, I'm sure I made it set a specific amount.

I had a look. I set it to at the very least, 15 steps. So there were sure case of no one-step encounters. I thought I'd put it at at least 20 but welp. Must have changed it. There would never have been a 10, btw. The way it works is that since I set the absolute least amount at 15, it would be 15 steps + whatever random numbers were generated. Well, unless you changed the script encounter rate, that is. XD
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7488
Map IDs 9, 12, and 13 have 10 step averages, and I never edited them since they were, obviously, in your half. I'll be happy to change them to 15 if you want.
Pages: first 12 next last