ANNELAURANT'S PROFILE

Hello, I'm Anne! I make art, write stories, and apparently develop games now! Occasionally I sing and compose songs.

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Arcanium:Magia

author=Strak
I saw that a demo had been posted earlier this week, I just haven't had a chance to get around to it. I'll check it out today though!

Thank you! However, I had to pull the demo for the meantime because the asset encryption caused a major game-breaking bug that, somehow, I did not catch while playtesting Demo V2.0. :( I will be sure to upload a new version real soon.

One Hour

Man I missed that in the blog post, lol!

But yes, in terms of the systems and the puzzles, I think the game is good! Even if the puzzles themselves are not really new concepts, I think they hold each other up pretty well, and it is pretty difficult to keep puzzles within a single game of a more or less consistent quality. (I like puzzles a lot. Is that too obvious? XD)

If there is one thing about the puzzles I want changed, it's probably the level of information you feed the player, e.g. difficulty level, what must be done, what I should look for, etc.

Arcanium:Magia

author=Strak
Nice! Looking forward to the demo. Subbed, so I'll keep an eye out. You had said this is your first game, yeah? I hope you enjoy the game dev process!


Thank you! I used to be a programming student, so it's very fun for me to game dev! (Except I actually managed to break some plugins, so I'm off to an amazing start.)

One Hour

I'm hesitant about adding a review since the other guy pretty much summarized my personal thoughts about the game too.

So here's my feedback as a comment:

It IS pretty jarring! And the lagging (mind you I only have a 2-year-old laptop) adds to the atmosphere! XD In a way it really, really, really feels like you're alone and you got nobody but yourself for this game.

The puzzles are nice. The rocks gave me a good time and left me wishing for more of them. The vines maze is a good maze; while navigating it, it felt like I was doing something that had more impact beyond looking for the next path to cross. The cave maze too, while simple, really worked well with the lamp thing. The swimming while very standard is of good enough quality to complete the quad.

The story was pretty lacking, and I personally think it's the lack of set up. I'd rather have a short message on a black screen open up before we start with the character waking up. Put me in his shoes, you know? I'm also not even sure why I should care about the locked box in the first place. While twists and surprises are nice, not having a proper set up for game mechanics will likely leave the player feeling very, very confused - and this is something that my non-RM friends taught me when they played the initial demo of my own game.

It does leave me wanting more; I'm just not sure where you're taking this game to. (Open spoiler tag below for my personal recommendation.)

BUT if you took this to a horror level, perhaps an atmospheric horror game where the "enemy" is an unseen supernatural entity of the wilderness, I think it'd really pop out and shine. You can go "this is a horror game", and when people open its executable file and see "you have one hour" they'd really feel like, "Oh I gotta do something I gotta SURVIVE". Not only is our character poisoned, but something out there, whatever that unseen is, is watching our every step, waiting for our demise.

And I would love that. I love horrors based on everyday concepts. There's no real "killer" or "enemy"; just us and our fear amped up by our perceptions and our worries. And this game has the potential to be that; I just don't know if this is how you want your game to be.

But, if your intention is to merely show concepts, this is a good game. It did leave me thinking, "I want to see more of this guy's work," in a "That's it?! Don't leave me hanging!" kinda way. XD

Game submitted! Awaiting approval!

author=Marrend
Relevant portion goes from 0:08 to 0:20

Aw man, I thought it was some tutorial on how to squash programming bugs! Ya got me! XD

Game submitted! Awaiting approval!

author=Strak
Looking forward to checking it out!

Thank you! Hopefully I can roll out the demo within mid November 2022. Right now all I have are screenshots and a game profile, and my game is still filled with bugs, bugs, and more bugs! I need a strong repellent! XD

Bloodstained Hands Review

author=Strak
Hey, thanks so much for the review! I always appreciate the feedback, and I'm glad you enjoyed the game!


Aww, you're welcome!

Also, I'm glad you noticed that the overworld towns actually do represent the town layout! It wasn't a huge detail, but it was something I was proud of, and I don't think anyone else has pointed it out yet, so I appreciate the nod!


I appreciate the small details and I had to stop and stare at the Overworld towns when I noticed something wasn't quite "right". And when I did realize how the Overworld towns reflected the actual maps of each town I was like, "Woah, these are some CUSTOM stuff."

And finally, saying that this game is not just a game, but an experience, that's gotta be the best compliment anyone has given me for this game.


The alchemy, the quests, and the battles carried it so solidly that I was willing to grind to Level 99 on my first playthrough if that meant I can beat all of the optional bosses before I face the final boss.

Excellence in Narrative - Pacing

Prefacing this with, "I'm someone who gets very easily bored with reading. Even if I'm a writer. Even if I'm writing for my own game. Even if my actual day job, in fact, involves reading huge walls of text."

I don't fully agree with your Method One. Having the players mash the button to go to the next line of dialogue seems pretty excessive, and it's definitely something I didn't like to go through back when I had to replay scenes to get screenshots for my review of your game. I wouldn't recommend "line breaks" for ALL the dialogue; I would want it used sparingly and as an effect, not a mandatory part of every dialogue.

However, I do like having pauses between sentences. Sometimes I utilize the short pause between phrases or words or even letters/characters. These pauses suggest the manner in which the character is speaking and thus gives me a better flow of how to perceive the words I'm reading on the screen. (Yeah, I kinda disagree with the first commenter. While people can have different headcanons for how a character speaks on a written medium, the writers are allowed to suggest how their own characters speak their words and sentences. Also consider that there are people like me who see a wall of text on one go and instantly lose interest, and sometimes presenting messages in small chunks can make it easier for us to absorb information.)

Also, very obviously, Method One is not applicable to all games. Text-based adventures, for example, requires the dev to present everything as a wall of text. But I do think Method One is one way to at least introduce a bit more flavor to RPG Maker engine dialogues.

I do agree with your Method Two, meanwhile. The OSI can add nice breaks between walls of text. Like what the commenter above says, even the basicest of actions you can do with your chosen engine - animations, bubbles, and movement routes - can add a little more flavor to the dialogue.

I agree with both sentiments that OSI is underutilized and excessive. For me, it is underutilized in that many games will let dialogues go on and on without even having a single change in the screen beyond the dialogue boxes, and it is excessive in that devs will sometimes have OSI occur while they're trying to give important information in dialogue boxes, making it difficult to focus on just one aspect of the scene.

The only thing I would want to add is my own advice and personal guide on (dialogue box-related) pacing, which is related to some of the sentiments that the first two commenters implied:
  • cut your dialogue and/or narration,
  • learn how to express ideas in less words, and
  • assign a rough number of dialogue boxes that would feel acceptable before the boredom or reading fatigue sets in.


After all, pacing isn't just "how do I make sure the player is reading the important information I placed in the game"; it's also "how do I make sure the player can follow what I'm trying to say in my game".

Bloodstained Hands

Woops I forgot to post this! It's about my personal stats for the game. I haven't actually defeated the final optional boss because I can't put enough attention to do it. XD

Anyway, this post contains total MAJOR spoilers. (For other players: don't open if you haven't finished the game yet!)

I first finished the game with my active party at average Level 50-ish; the one where I finished all the hidden/optional bosses I could find in the first playthrough was at Level 55/56.

My winning active party consists of: Rain/Fang, Grey, Matthew, and Shadow.

In order, my favorite sidequests are:

Exports - Love that around the world trip I made, and I also adore your brilliant usage of the NPCs who just seemed they were just complaining about their day-to-day lives.

The Academy - The focus on Grey was an amazing change of perspective. Also, it was my chance to level up Grey's spells without the other guys in the way.

Treasure Hunt - For the unbreakable lockpick. I love the lockpick mechanics; I just hated breaking my lockpicks and having to buy them all the time! I carry like 20-30 lockpicks everytime I go out of the Sanctuary. XD The Alchemist might have paid me lots for doing missions for him, but I also paid him lots for the lockpicks.

Boss fights:

The boss fights against the generals and Kain annoyed me (in a good way) when I discovered they would heal themselves. Well, of course, why didn't I think of that? XD

Kouryuu was the hardest boss fight for me. I had to level grind in Abyssus to do this fight without having everyone die on my every 2-3 rounds of Kouryuu's attacks.

My favorite boss fight is Crevasse. I probably just didn't level up enough for her, but she was tough in a good way.

Bloodstained Hands

Thank you for your patience; I just submitted a review!

It's way more difficult to get the right kinds of screenshots VS playing the parts of the game I need to get to to grab screenshots. XD I almost got pulled into playing into the Amethyne arc, hahaha!
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