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Announcement

Featured!

So quite a few things I'm tardy with in regards to this project.

#1) Oblivion Quest, along with the equally fantastic game Bloody..., won the grand prize for the Swap in the Middle With You Event!

#2) This game has been featured for this month!


Big thanks to everyone who gave this game a shot!
*dies*

Announcement

New Version Released!

Version 1.1 of Oblivion Quest is now up, fixing many bugs and addressing some complaints about the encounter rate as I witnessed in an LP of this game.

Changelog:

> Fixed a spelling mistake in the level-up string.

> Fixed an issue with face graphics not displaying correctly in the cutscene after clearing the Cerberus dungeon.

> Re-added "Row" to the menu to consistently allow formation.

> Fixed a passability issue in Dragonrock Castle.

> If you have an extra gold key in your inventory, the cutscene after the Cerberus dungeon will indicate it's there.

> Lowered the encounter rate for most maps.

> The "Dark Shield" text now disappears on its own when fighting the final boss.

> Slightly nerfed Rooge in the first map so that it would be less likely to survive more than 1 hit at level 1

Enjoy!

Miscellaneous

Leeburtee Streeemuuuun

Our hostess with the mostess, Australian anchor,Hot-headed Potty-mouth, RMN's very own lovely admin, Liberty, is streaming the games made the for the contest, including this one!



Go to 4:07:10 for the start of her stream of Oblivion Quest.

She deserves a big thanks to her support for this event and the community as a whole! Sit back and enjoy!

Announcement

Oblivion Awaits!

Version 1.0 of Oblivion Quest is finally ready to play! The main download is the version without the RTP files, but there is also a version that includes the RTP just in case.

... Not like this game even uses the RTP but better safe than sorry. :x

I have also linked to the original half-game by riderx40, just for comparison.

Some things to know about this game:

> Depending on playstyle, the game can take anywhere from about 3-5 hours to complete; a relatively short experience.

> By default, the game is set to "Active." It is highly recommended that you change it to "Wait" through the game's menu at the start.

The difference between the two is that Active allows both enemies and party members to perform actions while the player is browsing the command menu, while Wait pauses all actions when a command is being selected. Obviously, playing on "wait" will provide an easier experience, but there is nothing stopping you from playing on "active"...

> This game rewards exploration. Try to comb every inch of a map to gain the best items and equip yourself for an upcoming boss. This isn't truly required for beating the game, but it's handy to know.

> Items, especially MP-restoring items, are scarce in quantity and health restore points are limited. Use your skills/items wisely!

> Hecks the Geomancer comes with two signature spells: MP Vamp and MP Share. These are important skills for sustaining your party's MP pool, so use them whenever possible!

> There is a known bug in this game that seems to happen at complete random and I have no idea how to properly fix it. It is a "reference to a skill that doesn't exist" error that only happens in battle, and has the unfortunate side-effect of crashing the game.

My only advice to avoid it is to make sure all enemy attacks on the screen are completed before selecting a command or skill, as it seems to occur when either a party member or monster casts a spell at the same time a command is entered.


Let me know what you think!

And now, I will give some feedback/vent my frustrations to riderx40:
I'll be frank in saying that this game was a tough mess to work with. Not because I didn't have the resources to do it, mind you, you did an excellent job in leaving the next guy prepared to carry on the game from the start, the problem is that the game itself had so many design and balancing flaws that if you didn't give me the okay to alter, I would be stuck with a nearly unplayable slog that players would probably toss out long before they even got to my half of the game.

While I'm glad this game is turning heads and you displayed some mastery in getting a nice NES-feel with your graphical effects in the game, I still felt like I was putting a lot of band-aids over some fundamental flaws.

With that said, here's my suggestions for your future endeavours:

> DO NOT be lazy when designing the stats of your core party members. Every member of a team should serve a specific purpose, or one that the player can give themselves. By making the stats between members the have the exact same value in the curve, at level 99, it creates a scaling system where everyone kind of blends into one another, and it makes the game feel a bit lacking in depth and monotonous.

What I like to do when calculating stat increases per-level is start with a base value (the stat at level 1) and pick a number for how much the char will scale in that particular stat. I then multiply the "scaling number" by how many times the char will level up (default is 98 times), and then add that value to the base stat number, to create the total that I input in the "level 99" field in the EXP curve.

It's just one example of how to do this, but it just gets you thinking about how each character should differ from one another, you know? In case you were wondering, I created Lyra and Hecks in my half based on two main needs after playing the first part of the game:
1) The need for a dedicated caster. Tenda's INT stat sucks and he often runs out of MP to the point where using him for the caster role is hardly practical, and Virgil has a nearly non-existent damaging pool with his spells, so she's there to be the the strongest Black Mage caster in the game with hard-hitting spells, balanced out by limited equipment options (leaving her defenses vulnerable), slow speed and weak physical attack stat.

2) The need for a different kind of "support" that provides buffs, debuffs, and status problem infliction as oppose to healing, and also to alleviate the scarcity of Mana in the game. Hecks in particular is the fastest character in the game statwise, to allow him to be readily available to provide assisting spells.


> Remember when I was complaining a lot about how difficult the original game was? I kind of take it back. The problem is it wasn't "difficult", nor was it "easy" it's that by and large, the battles in this game were tedious.

Enemies had way too much HP for their own good, and their attack patterns were so simplistic or irrelevant that all it did was make fights go on longer. In a day and age where players can easily dispose a game without much complications, this is detrimental. Don't waste the player's time.

Ever wonder why, in the game Dragon Warrior, the Slime died in no more than about 2-3 hits? Because the slime does nothing else but attack, and it's specifically purposed to be a warm-up for the player, to introduce them to one of the game's most basic mechanics of attacking. That point can be learned quite quickly, so the slime didn't need to overstay its welcome.

Something you can do to be more deliberate in how much health you give enemies is think "how many hits by character X do I want the player to use to beat this enemy?" and based on your player char's stats, make the enemies stats reflect that decision.

A lot of your enemies, even in the EARLY GAME, also used the "defend" command at the same usage rating as "attack". This is a bad idea for two main reasons:
1) "defend" cuts the damage of both attacks AND skills in RM2k3.
2) The way you had it set up in the database made the move impossible to predict, and I don't think you can make any skill bypass "defend" in any way with this engine.

What results is an in-battle turn that feels like a complete waste of time, because the player can't interact with it at all. Sure, you could take that time to recover, but what happens if the player doesn't need to, or the player is out of items? They are left to just take the punishment of having their attack reduced. It stalls out fights and makes battles a chore to play.

Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't use "defend" on enemies at all! You can probably make it work by making the action more predictable, then players can actually start thinking of ways to work around a problem, as oppose to just letting this stuff just "happen" and having the player simply go "welp! Sucks to be me!"

> Restricting access to saving your progress is both controversial among players and quite difficult to pull off effectively. It works in games like Undertale because save points not only restore your health, but traversing between point to point takes a considerably short amount of time and the path is made perfectly clear.

This is not the case with your game. Your character walks slow, maps are relatively large and designed in a winding, maze-like fashion. Random encounters always had the risk of pulverizing you, and recovery options as a whole are limited. This particularly made even the FIRST MAP OF THE GAME a complete pain in the ass, because the punishment was having to painstakingly navigate your way to collect all that treasure, accumulate levels, and just do everything over again. It was FAR too punishing, not challenging. You 'ought to especially consider that people's computers can crash or other crappy factors of real life that can happen beyond a player's control, and losing all that progress really is a big turn-off. That's why many modern games opt for saving everywhere.

> Back to battles, you had a troop which could potentially KO the entire party before they even gained access to the command window. This, again, is not a good kind of difficulty, as it takes away virtually all control from your players and puts them in an unwinnable state, and that's never a fun way to lose a game.

Just in general, when designing enemies for any kind of game, you need to give them a specific, distinguishable purpose in mind. Auto-attacking robots are fine for the early game, not so much after that, and high HP meat-shields that have few interaction options, like I mentioned above, are also unfun concepts.

Try out enemies that do more than attack with anything, in that regard. What makes enemy design fun for me is that I always like to experiment. In my half of the game, I created an enemy that was meant to switch up the challenge in a way where you had to use your most efficient moves possible, or the enemy will run away. This enemy, if defeated, will give you a ton of gold, but nothing if it's allowed to escape. Play around with this stuff, don't just rely on "do this skill at a 50 rating." and create something interesting!

> Something you should avoid when making enemy troops is making too many with just the same type of enemy repeated over and over. This is specifically important in RM2k3, because repeat enemies all attack AT THE SAME TIME and if RNG decides to gang on one member of a party, they're screwed. Not saying their isn't a place for these troop types, mind you, but you want to diversify your encounters not only to alleviate this issue, but to keep your game spontaneous and interesting in a good way.

> By and large, you should make a majority of your skill pool 100% accurate if they cost any sum of mana. It's more infuriating to miss a skill than it is to miss an attack, because with a basic attack, you don't have as much to lose. Missing a skill means that both the attack itself AND YOUR PRECIOUS MANA just went to waste. As a player, it feels like the game is truly cheating you in that regard.

I tried to alleviate this by making all single-target spells 100% accurate and most multi-target spells 80% accurate, but even I think my move was questionable in that regard. Just avoid using randomness in a way that makes the game feel too luck-dependent rather than requiring skill.

> Lastly, test your stuff out thoroughly. In your half I had to do quite a bit of bugfixing as skills wouldn't do what they were intended and chests would be opened without me actually opening them.

Sorry if I sound harsh in these, I have no ill-intentions towards you, but I'm kind of passionate about subjects like these. Ultimately, you should learn how to make difficulty a bit more fair and meaningful to players, as opposed to "hard for the sake of hard." that, coincidentally, a lot of NES games in the '80s employed. Avoid adding things that don't do much other than pad your game down. Again, a player's time is valuable.

To give you some credit, I absolutely adored how well you pulled off those NES effects at the beginning of the game! That lightning effect was SIIIIICK!
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