Indie game maker specializing in music composition and sprite creation.
Intermediate RM2k3 programmer.

Check out my passion project, NIHILO!

Avid fan of classic turn-based & action JRPGs.
FF6, 7, 8, 9, & 10
Chrono Trigger
Dragon Quest 6, 8, & 11
Breath of Fire 1, 2, 3, & 4
Legend Of Legia 1 & 2
Legend Of Dragoon
Rogue Galaxy
Secret Of Mana
Secret Of Evermore
Seiken Densetsu 3
Tales of Phantasia
Star Ocean
A throwback to the 90s Post Apocalyptic/Cyberpunk era. Nihilo follows protagonist Estes and his party as they journey to uncover the truth behind The Calamity.




Speaking of navigation, while I think the 8 directional movement is really cool from a technical standpoint for the engine, I honestly found it to feel kind of cumbersome and awkward at times.

It would be nice to have more than one slot of the manual save, though.
Finished too and I agree with these two points very much. Well maybe the movement is not a big issue but since someone mentioned that...

As I wrote before it is also a pity that the dialogue box cover half portrait...

Puzzles and combat encounters were cool and not too hard and I enjoyed a lot the story so far.
It is early, but I'd give 4/5. At least.

Now I'm looking forward playing a complete version.

Thank you for taking the time to mention these things!

Moving forward, the 8-way movement feature will be optional, and multiple save slots will available for the full release!

A 4/5?! I'll take that any day of the week! I'm humbled!
I'm really glad you enjoyed what's been released so far, and hope to make more improvements based on valuable player feedback such as what you have given!


Okay, so I just finished the demo. First of all, it's much longer than I anticipated and that's a good thing because I really enjoyed what I played. It reminded me a lot of SNES/PS1 era JRPGs while also having a really unique feel and aesthetic. Visually it's a really cool looking game. The way you blended assets works really well. The environments are very detailed with cool lighting and tone. However, it sometimes felt kind of hard to navigate because there was so much going on.

Speaking of navigation, while I think the 8 directional movement is really cool from a technical standpoint for the engine, I honestly found it to feel kind of cumbersome and awkward at times. I mainly played the game as if it was 4 directions and just found the 8 directions would sometimes take me off course with where I'm trying to go. I just can't help but think the game would actually FEEL better to play if you stuck with the 4 directions. Not a deal breaker by any means, just something I'd point out, I suppose.

The combat and puzzles were really fun and engaging. Though, I do wonder if there's better ways to introduce some of the mechanics since I would often find myself not really sure what was going on with some stuff in the combat. But having the tutorials in the menu is a nice feature. Speaking of nice feature, the auto save is a really welcomed addition to a 2k3 game for sure. It would be nice to have more than one slot of the manual save, though.

I should also mention that the boss battle animations were so on point and I can't even begin to imagine how much time you've put into everything in this demo.

Overall it was a very pleasant and nostalgic experience for me and exactly what I was hoping it would be. Great work on this so far, Giznads! I'm really excited to play the finished game! :)

Yo! Wanna start off by saying thank you so much for taking the time to point these things out for me!

Glad you enjoyed the length of the game! There were many times I was pushing to get the game out ending it at different locations, but I wanted to give players a little more! Glad you enjoyed the atmosphere, and I'm sorry it was hard to navigate.
Can you give me some examples maybe in a PM where things were hard to navigate? Also, did you have way points turned on?

Got a few people that have said the same thing about the 8-way movement so far!
I'm thinking of making this an optional feature that you can turn off or on.
I personally perfer the 8way movement, but maybe I'm just so use to it now, BUT I can totally understand the fact the rm2k3 isn't based on pixel movement can lead to some odd feeling controls for people.

I'm going to find a new way to introduce battle mechanics as throwing the majority of the battle basics into ONE battle like I did was probably a bad idea. I'm sure people didn't want to read all of that in one go. I'm hoping that will clear up things a little more for players. Just a matter of figuring out how to implement it in-game.
Glad you liked the auto save feature, I'm currently working on a system to have multiple save slots and keep the auto save!
The 1 manual slot feature was strictly for demo purposes as I just never got the chance to put the fully planned features into the demo.

I'm really glad you appreciate the battle animations!
I did spend a great deal of time getting things looking as right as I could for battle. :D It was worth it in the end though.

Thanks for playing, my man. Compiling a list of fixes to implement into the full game itself.


It was definitely my pleasure! The text box is really more my eyesight being the problem and not so much the game being at fault, so I'd consider that one a subjective point at best.

And I thought I noticed Nikolai losing fortitude when he acted! I thought I was imagining it but now that I know, another playthrough is going to be easier.

After finishing the optional quest in the demo, I'm definitely appreciative of how you've built this so far! Tutorials are straight, to the point, and having the ability to go back is handy (despite me not realizing the fortitude building with Nikolai - that was an oversight on my behalf and I'll admit that lol)

Too, if other side quests are like the one in the demo, I'm excited to see the backstory and lore play out through them.

Still, these are all valid points, and I really appreciate them. I'm only one person and things can get a little hectic to take on alone, but I want to pick through everyone's criticisms and fix as many things as possible! So again, thanks so much for the feedback!

I'm glad you liked the side quest! I put more time into that than I'd originally planned, but I'm glad I did. It's definitely a great way to add much more details on the lore of the story and characters!


author=Ashes of Emerald
Color me impressed; this looks pretty good. I'll play this.
Yesss! Downloading the demo RIGHT NOW!

Thanks fellas! I really appreciate the support and I hope the demo is enjoyable!

Currently playing through the demo and made it past the second big baddie and some thoughts:

  • Battle fields with pipe work in the mapping tend to obscure damage dealt to the party - while not a huge problem for mob encounters, the obstruction is noticeable.

  • Maybe I missed how but is there a way to get my characters energy back up in longer fights? There likely is and I missed it, though it hasn't been an issue.

  • The text box can be hard to read depending on what map you're on - the first few maps had me squinting because it was white text against lighter background outdoors, meanwhile in caves and buildings it wasn't an issue.

I'm going to outright praise this demo for it's art, detail in mapping, and the UI and sprite work. Seeing how upgrading and crafting are going to be a bigger part of the game moving forward, definitely excites me to know the power-creep for the characters is going to be more of a natural drip vs it being a grind-fest. Crazy good work, thoroughly impressed!

  • Yeah, the piping overlays, that's something I kind of second guessed myself about before releasing the demo, but I wanted to get something out!

  • Yes! In the first battle, (the tutorial fight) that... very long drawn out explanation of battle, it does refer to how to build each character's fortitude gauge. You can also refer back to every tutorial learned in-game in the logbook menu. (logbook>tutorial) One good way to build both Estes's and Nikolai's fortitude (especially in boss battles) is to use the "Provoke" skill with Nikolai as he has more defense and builds fort when being attacked and loses fort when acting, and have Estes hammer away at enemies as he builds fort performing commands and loses fort when being attacked. I think the real problem is asking players to go through such a drawn out tutorial for their first fight. This is something I should look into.

  • Hmm, first time I've actually gotten this one. I could probably simply tweak the transparency a little to fix.

I've jotted all of this down and will implement fixes accordingly!
Thank you so much for your kind words valuable feedback, I very much appreciate you taking the time to point these things out!

Our Dark Heart

author=Ashes of Emerald
Doesn't matter when, at least you showed up for the party, so-to-speak! Also... Nearing the end of the demo development phase. Should have it out early April, before the podcast

Oh HELL YES, man! I'm stoked! I always look forward to how you're going innovate new systems and mechanics!
Can't wait to play!

Our Dark Heart

Aww HELL yeah! How am I JUST finding this page?! Can't wait for updates!

Nihilo - Official Demo V1.0 (03-25-2021) is officially live!

Thanks, guys!
I'm looking forward to any and all feedback!

Screenshot Survival 20XX

(Basically putting together scripts to try and make a coherent sidescrolling life sim tee hee)

Cash, this is so rad!
What engine are you using again?

+++ DynRPG - The RM2k3 Plugin SDK +++

Does anyone know of any fix or plugin for "Enter hero name"?
Solved as soon as I posted xD

+++ DynRPG - The RM2k3 Plugin SDK +++

I fucking love you Aubrey...