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Why didn't YOU play this game? (LET ME HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS)

So I'm curious as to why you haven't played this game.


I got a little bit of a break this summer, about a couple weeks worth. I was looking through some projects of mine, and I noticed that this game barely broke 100 downloads (and one of them was likely me testing it on another computer). This is one of my favorite releases, even though it never got much attention.

So, I'm curious as to why you didn't play this game. Why is it not interesting, and what would you like to see done better? What would interest you enough to play this game? I have my own thoughts as to why this title was largely neglected (and I can share it in the comments if someone is interested), but I'm curious as to why people aren't interested in this title despite it being featured at one point.

Perhaps you played the game and didn't care for it enough to leave any feedback? That would be helpful, too.

Or maybe you're even looking at this page now and thinking, "This isn't interesting to me." Then why not? What is it that I can do better or focus on more in the future, both with my game page and the game itself?


Thoughts, comments, critiques? I'm open to any and all criticism: let it rip!

Posts

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unity
You're magical to me.
11182
I did play this game, and enjoyed it ^_^

It's a real shame that more people haven't, though. Maybe it was the event? I don't think anybody played my "The Darndest Trial" from the same event.

At any rate, hopefully this gets more people interested. I'll put a link on Twitter to let people know about the game :DDDDDDDD
For me it's the graphics's colors to be exact. They are super glaring to my eyes since I use the pc at night and I'm a night owl. I can't look at them for no longer than 3 secs. ;;;
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6042
Apart from the fact that I already have a huge backlog of RPG Maker games I still want to play, the main reason I wouldn't play this is that I don't like horror games. Seeing that tag on any game page is usually enough for me to know I probably won't enjoy it. Of course, this is not very helpful to you since it's a matter of personal preferences.
this probably doesnt apply to most people, but I usually avoid games that use the default 'front-view' battle system. However, my guess is simply that this site doesnt get that much traffic from random strangers (most traffic is probably from long time users of this site). You might get more random stranger traffic from generalist sites like gamejolt or itchio.
@uni:

Awe, thanks Uni, you're the best. I also enjoyed The Darndest Trial. The epilogue of the game made we wish there was more!

@Archeia_Nessiah:

Thanks for letting me know! After I made the graphics, I realized I never wanted to use this palette again. The palette is unwieldy and I found myself recreating tiles over and over. The palette is pretty much all of the primary (and some secondary?) colors at full blast (e.g., hex FFFFFF). Even years ago, I think there was only one computer gaming system which used this palette, and computer gaming was very quick to change and adopt a more well-rounded palette shortly after that.

@NeverSilent:

Good observation! I probably should not have added the horror tag to this game in the first place, since it's not exactly a horror title. It's a short turn-based rpg focused on combat, and the only thing scary about it is... the music? Yeah, I should probably remove that tag.

@bicfarmer:

Thanks for your input! I like your recommendation for gamejolt and itchio. I think I should give those a try in the future.
Cap_H
DIGITAL IDENTITY CRISIS
6528
I think it's nothing unusual here. You need to be featured or get popular outside of the site to get big numbers.
I think that it's more imprortant that people know about your game (and this is decent amount of comments) and have a small group of people you can rely on with feedback. As unity pointed out, there are even more lost games.

Custom css could get you few extra downloads. Archstone 2 is another idea. Bigger and better. Now with 16 colours.
kentona
When you're so cool you can troll your own website.
21214

I don't make time to play videogames much anymore at all.
CashmereCat
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
10503
I played a few games for Retromania but other than that I haven't had time to play anything. But I would like to play this game!
@Cap_H: I think you're right! Online presence is something I've always struggled with. Part of it, I think, is because I never make much adeu about my own games. I just pop them out and announce "I did a thing", and they usually disappear. If I start developing again, hopefully I'll change that.

I do like the idea of an Archstone 2! But 16 whole colors!? Let's not get crazy here! Heh


@kentona: I can imagine. Especially having children: that's something I don't think I could manage at the moment.

As for Diablo 3 that I saw in there, that's something that pulls my attention away every few months. It'll grab me in a vice grip and refuse to let me do anything else in my free time.


@CashmereCat: Thanks! If you do get the chance, I hope you enjoy it! It's something I had to work hard on getting juuust right, and it was tough to come up with ways to make the battles engaging. Let me know how you feel about it!
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
18341
I think, when this first came out, my life was swamped with with work? Then, when things became less hectic there (around mid-April), I probably shifted my attention to my active project at the time, Nakaishi Wars, rather than play games. I have mixed feelings about that game, but, I just wanted to do something else.

Which I have! It's been a veritable whirlwind of gammak since then. Starting SuikoProject. Doing both Retromania, and Gaymak. Guess I'm trying to make up for lost time, or something :P
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5146
The first time I heard of this game was about 40 seconds ago when I saw this blog on the list of recent posts.

I don't really have any reason to play it. Graphics look unbelievably hideous, which isn't a deal-breaker, but they certainly don't draw me in. You'd think the graphics would be the main appeal of a game designed as part of an event about making graphics. Right now I can't figure out what the main appeal of this game is. At a glance, everything about it looks passable, but nothing about it looks like it's worth finding out more about. There's no hook.
@Marrend: I'm glad to hear you're feeling inspired lately! That's something I've had trouble with: I feel like I released a bunch of games in 2016, and I had all of these projects I was completing, but this year I've been exceptionally busy, and I haven't had the kind of inspiration I used to. Hopefully that will change.


@LockeZ: Thanks for your feedback! I guess the graphics were pretty bad. After all, they literally made someone feel pain just by looking at them (Nessy's post).

I also think you're right about the hook. I wanted the battles themselves to be the hook, because the game is essentially a 20-minute boss rush. Perhaps I don't articulate that well enough in the game page description, or maybe that's a poor/uninteresting hook? Definitely something I'll work on in the future. Thanks!
Yeah I think some recoloring with more muted colors will help a lot.
There are two reasons this hasn't interested me.

1. The graphics. This has pretty much been covered so no need to go into detail.

2. No hook. Like you said, the battles themselves are meant to be the hook, but because of something I read in the description, I felt that the battles themselves don't work well as a hook, which I'll go into below.

In the description, you mentioned that when a party member dies, they simply respawn. What this told me is that there is no possible way you can actually lose at this game, and because of this I see no point in actually trying out the battles. The only way I see myself playing this is if I tried to do a no death run. The moment a character died on me and instantly revived, I'd feel like stopping since I wouldn't have to strategize around that death in other to revive them.

I don't know if this is just me looking too much into what I read, but that is what turned me off. I could be wrong about it works, in which case it would be something I misinterpreted. In case I'm right though, I think a better system would be one that simply didn't hand you a victory, but also had a way you could save between each fight so that when you do finally lose you don't have to completely restart to try other strategies.

Off topic: Who knew rmn doesn't count strategize as a word. That's pretty funny.
I don't think the graphics are objectively bad, not when they were designed to mimic the garish/limited colour schemes of older systems. I would suggest that it's more a matter of taste. Some people do like dated colours, but maybe they're a niche-within-a-niche audience.

This seems like an experimental game, and the graphics fit with that theme of experimentation.

I personally didn't find them bad, and I thought some of the environmental graphics looked pretty cool.

As for a hook, that the game was short, complete, had mostly custom assets and an interesting art style was enough for me. When I did play it, I thought the battles were pretty clever, especially the way you revealed personality for each of the party members through their skills and descriptions.
In all honesty.... I didn't like the screenshots and the art and nothing really looked... interesting. I just wasn't bored enough to try it I guess. Nevermind that I normally play games for their story.... (There are exceptions but yours didn't make it to the "exception" list).

That's pretty much it. Nothing else to say.
Cap_H
DIGITAL IDENTITY CRISIS
6528
I think graphics are the hook (and a thing of personal preference) and they're helping to build your personal style, you just need to sell them better.

Also, I'm already thrilled that you confirmed Archstone 2. If you need any help with it (graphics feedback, story feedback, ideas) get in touch with me.
author=suzy_cheesedreams
I don't think the graphics are objectively bad, not when they were designed to mimic the garish/limited colour schemes of older systems. I would suggest that it's more a matter of taste. Some people do like dated colours, but maybe they're a niche-within-a-niche audience.

This seems like an experimental game, and the graphics fit with that theme of experimentation.


I think it works for le olde days of CRT monitors but doesn't translate pretty well on LCD? I don't think they're bad either but it's more like I physically cannot play the game because of the super saturation. (But I already said this haha)

I think it's more important to make it more accessible I guess?
Thanks for your comments everyone! Sorry I haven't been around much to reply a whole lot.

@Archeia_Nessiah: Yeah if I ever went for these kind of graphics again, I'd probably skip the whole 8-color thing and actually move to an 8-bit appearance. I did enjoy the outdated palette, personally, though I don't feel I'd use it again because it was quite limiting.

There's a game I think which does this better: it's an RPG Maker game which was never finished, called Nightmare Castle, which is in the line of Yume Nikki fan-games. I'd link to it, but the last time I tried to download the game, I may have gotten some malware from an infected site. If you happen to find it, to search for its images or video, they use the 8-color palette I did... but I think the developer also pulled it off much better.


@demonlord5000: Thanks for your feedback! You made a couple interesting points. First, about the question on how battles work, you can die in combat, but when your party is wiped out, instead of getting a game over screen, you're simply placed where you were before you began the fight.

Secondly, you bring up an interesting point I may mention in another topic. I know I may be digressing a bit, but this is what was brought to mind: we as developers come up with a lot of "remove-the-hassle" features in our games. Skippable introductions, skippable tutorials, removing game-over states, having options to turn off battles, removing options for grinding, etc. But at the same time, I've been watching a lot of RPGM reviews and I'm noticing that things we tend to champion, tend to be disliked and criticized by others outside of the RPGM community. I've seen some interesting critiques about these things, and I may open up a topic about this in the future to share what I've seen.


@suzy_cheesedreams: Thank you so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I enjoyed working on ways to make the character's personalities be somehow reflected in their skills. For the most part their conversations are terse, but I'm glad the skills show what type of people they are.


@dasgibtesnet: Thanks for your comments! I always appreciate feedback.


@Cap_H: Oh, thank you! This game and I have our very first fan! That was actually very, very encouraging, so thank you so much. I would like to continue the saga, perhaps by creating an Archstone 2 which would be a lot more story focused, with still a hefty emphasis on enjoyable combat. I think if I were to create it, I'd come up with a different art style. Perhaps something along the lines of digital watercolor-ish? I'm not a great digital artist yet, but I could work at it.

I'll definitely keep in touch if I decide to start putting Archstone 2 together. Thanks!
@Archeia_Nessiah Right, I get what you mean.
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