Castle Oblivion: Remake
Have you ever made a mistake you regretted so much that you wish it possible to turn back time?


How long should it take for one to finish a game?


Like dust through an hourglass.

I've been wondering about this for a little while. Since time is precious and limited, it would only be natural to value estimations of how long it takes to finish certain projects. One game you're working on may not be worth the time that it takes to finish it. Sometimes that time could be better focused on other things, like your magnum opus, or just other hobbies for example.

My first game I made took 3.5-4 years to make. My only goal with that game was to have something that I've actually finished. I do love the game, but it's not my magnum opus by any means. Even though I'm overall pretty happy with it and its reception, I can't stop thinking that the game stole 3.5 years of my life. Of course, I had something called a dream that kept me going during development.

My second game, which is of pretty short/medium length (30-50+ hours) took a little under a year to make. I am happier about this, since it feels like I got a lot of stuff done in short time. Still, this might not really be true. I read that Mr. Indinera Falls finishes his games (100-200+ hour RPGs) in 1-2 months. This is a lot faster and just shows how the development time for my second game took too long. An eternity if you compare it to Mr. Falls.

So, the questions I have are; how long should it take to finish a game? How do you calculate the time you will (most likely) spend on working on it? How do you calculate the value of that time, or the value of the project? How long does it usually take for you to finish your games/projects?

My dilemma right now is that I'm teeming with ideas for games. So. Many. Ideas. I don't want to spend too much time on experimental games that people won't like. Cancelling a game is not an option here (I feel like I'm through with that style).

I know that this is very subjective. It depends, I know it does. Still, this is just something that I wanted to discuss with other (perhaps) like-minded people.

I will answer some potential questions before I submit this post.

1. Am I high/drunk? Nope.
2. Am I writing this late at night (3:34 AM) before going to sleep? Yes.
3. Why am I asking weird questions like this? It's something that I've been carrying for a while later. It always feels better to talk about things, right?

As always, I deeply apologize from the bottom of my heart for my English. I try my best, but I always seem to fail. My spell/grammar checker says that I'm good to go, but I'm not too sure about that. If anything is unclear, please let me know.

Good night and (maybe?) see you tomorrow later.


It never ends!

[RMVX] Missing files after game compression + two strange bugs

Howdy! I've finished my game made in RPG Maker VX and am getting ready to release it to the public very soon. However, one of my beta tester is experiencing some
seriously weird bugs that break the game. Everything works fine for me and I haven't heard any troubles from any other tester, so I'm guessing that the error might be a PC problem.

I think this might be the problem:
Every time I extract the game, there seems to be 5 files missing (0.1MB). 1 Audio File & 4 Graphic Files. All Data files appear to stay though. This is seriously so strange...since when I take a look inside the files manually, everything is right in order.

Potential Solution/Fix:
Include the RTP with the game. I'm not sure why, but I think that the missing files might come from it. This is just me guessing though. However, I know that
VX's (maybe ACE's too) compression is bugged. It simply can't compress all files if the overall game size is too big. My first and only released game, Castle Oblivion 3, is 235.3 MB in size. I remember that I had to follow a little tutorial (that no longer exists) to compress all of the game's files into one folder.

The game I'm trying to release is 89.5 MB without the RTP. Is that simply too much or should the compression work fine?

Two weird bugs my tester experienced (same tester as before):
The game would crash with an error message that said: "Unable to find file Audio/ME/20-Victory". That file is from my previous game but NOT in this one.
The victory music I use is named "Oblivious Victory" and is located in the BGM folder.

The other bug is that a "Save Folder" has somehow appeared in the project folder. There exist no such save folder and this has never ever occurred to anyone else.

Has anyone else experienced similar problems and if so, do you know how to fix this?

Thanks in advance and I'm really sorry for asking for so much help! I've tried to solve these problems without any luck.

Creator handicap during play testing

Recently, I started a new play-through/test run of my game. While I know the game can be difficult (and is supposed to be), I'm still afraid of making the game too hard for the players, since I am biased as a developer. Therefore, I have decided to handicap my playing by not allowing myself to use certain items for example.

Now, during my current test run, I've taken it so far as to try to speed run the game. This means that I try to escape from as many battles as possible, without exploring too much for treasure/loot and avoiding to buy gear from shops.

So, I'm wondering if this handicap is bad and that it makes my game seem unbalanced, when I am technically playing as a rushed player who just tries to get through the game as fast as possible. My game is not a book; if you play badly/carelessly, you DESERVE to be punished.

Even though I am planning to add an Easy Difficulty later on for players who don't even try or are just playing for the story, I still feel a bit iffy about the situation.

With all this in mind, how much should I, as a creator of a game, handicap myself when play-testing?

[RMVX] Auto-Life State sometimes not working

This is a strange bug I can't seem to figure out.

Auto-Life is a state I'm using, which revives a character after its HP reaches zero (basically after K.O). It works for about 80-90% of the times. For the rest of the times, the fallen character simply doesn't get revived.

I will provide a few screens to show you how the state is set up in the database and the script editor.

Screen 1: Skill Setup

Screen 2: State Setup

Screen 3: Script Setup

If someone would like to take a look inside the game, then by all means, feel free to PM me. It's about 132 MB in size.

I have ideas for a skill (a skill that revives all characters) to replace it if I plan on scrapping the state, but I still think it's worth a shot to fix.

Also, the state can also be inflicted by using an item called Holy Cross. Same problem there though. Last time I checked, the state stopped working when my character were inflicted with a "Burn" state. The state doesn't get removed when the bug occurs however. It usually works the second time too.

I finally finished the game last night and the only things left to do is a final beta test and some minor fixes/additions. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!

Buying powerful Items near end-game without making the player OP

As I've finally reached the final world/level of my game, I've started to work on a special shop I had planned. In this shop, you'll be able to buy some of most powerful equipment in the game, but for a high price. You'll also be able to buy most of the best Items in the game. Since I'm going to make the Final Boss of the game the absolute toughest, I want the Player to pretty much use all kinds of Items they've got. It's the Final Boss; it's now or never.

The dilemma here is that I'm worried about making the Player too overpowered. This is a little concern, since the shop will be available at the start of the last level/world (and there will be about 10-15 mandatory boss battles) before the Player reaches the final stretch and dungeon of the game.

Here are the Items I'm worried about:

First Aid Kit: Restores 1500 HP and cures status ailments of all characters. Price: 2000 Gold

Holo Shield Generator: A shield generator that generates a temporary holo shield for the entire party for four turns! Guards all elements. Price: 3000 Gold

Holy Cross: A sacred cross that adds Auto-Life to one ally. Revives an ally immediately after being KOed. Price: 3000 Gold

Master Bomb: A bomb that does massive damage to one enemy. Deals about 3000 damage. Price: 6000 Gold

Super Mana Water: Restores 300 MP of all characters. Price: 3000 Gold

Here are some Equipment I'm worried about a tad:

Resistance Orb: Protects against Poison, Darkness, Silence, Confusion, Sleep and Paralysis. Price: 60000 Gold

Sage Ring: A ring that halves the amount of MP consumption. Price: 40000 Gold

EXP Ring: A magical ring that doubles Experience gained for the user. Price: 15000 Gold

Estimated amount of Gold the Player will have at the addition of the shop: 34823 Gold

Potential Problems:

All Items and Equipment listed above can be bought an unlimited amount of times, but you can't keep more than 99 of of each item. Being able to equip EXP Rings for all party members can encourage grinding. I've lowered the Max Level from 99 to 50. A good strategy and prepared party is the keys to success. Grinding should NOT be necessary to beat the game.

Potential Solutions:

- Copy all Items in the database and make the ones available in the shop a lot more expensive.

- Instead of the above, nerf down the Items in the shop so that they're not too powerful.

- Some Equipment, like the Resistance Orb, can be found instead somewhere in the game as a treasure or reward from a Boss.

- Simply remove certain Items that feel too OP from the shop.

- Not ALL of the Items will be available at the start of the final world. Instead, they'll be available when the player has reached the final dungeon.

- Limited stock of certain Items in shop or inventory.

So, what do you think about this? What solution(s) do you think would be best for the game? Do you have a different solution? Should any Items listed above be removed from the shop entirely?

My goal with these Items/Equipment is to make them useful. I don't want them to necessarily break the game's balance.
Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!

[Poll] Is this mechanic annoying/a problem?

I wanted to add a little touch to a dungeon in my game. Whenever you are inside the dungeon, the player's party will always be inflicted with an unknown disease (simply a stronger slip damage/poison state). The state can only be removed once the player uses a Healing Crystal; outside of the dungeon.

The problem here is that I'm wondering if it would be annoying to have the red flash that keeps popping up on the screen whenever the player takes a step outside battles. I personally like the effect of danger it has, just not as much how VX has it implemented.

Also, I think that red flash might be an epilepsy warning, which I would like to avoid if possible.

What do you think I should do? Could I get away with this for one dungeon in my game? Would the red flashing bother you a lot?

My plan B is to have the state lower the physical and magic defense of the party instead.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: A good solution (for me) to this would be to adjust the frequency of the red flashing. If this is possible in any way shape or form, then I'd love to hear about it. I'd like to note that I am using RPG Maker VX and NOT Ace. I know this right here is best suited to be in the Help/Request forums. I just wanted to mention this for precision purposes.

EDIT II: Whoah! I just think I solved it myself, in a way, at least. The state no longer slips damage outside of battles. This means that there is no longer any red flashing going on when in that state! :D I guess my problem is solved in a way, but that doesn't mean that there will be some form of discussion about this mechanic as a whole.

Your favorite RPG dungeon(s)

Dungeons have always been an interesting area in game making and RPGs for me. There are many RPGs out there, each with their own set of dungeons.
What makes dungeons good and memorable can be decided by many things: fun mechanics, interesting enemies, creative puzzles, nice and fitting music, beautiful environments, dungeon development (dungeons changing bit by bit the further you go, getting tougher etc.).

I'm very curious to see what dungeons other people favor and most importantly: why.

An RPG dungeon I can think of to call my favorite at the moment would be Liligue Cave, from Grandia II. A simple reason why I enjoy this mostly because of the atmosphere, environments and monsters.
The dungeon has about three different looks, which changes progressively. At the start, it looks like a dark and abandoned mine:

As you get further, the dungeon turns into what appears to be an ancient ceremonial temple, infested with creepy monsters. Something like this:

Just before the boss, you will step outside the temple and find yourself at the edge of some massive cliffs. Unfortunately, I don't have a screenshot of the cliff edge. After the cliffs, you will simply go back in to the temple through another cracked wall/door and fight this thing:

That boss has always been memorable to me. Probably because of how bizarre it looks, the sound it makes and the brutal attacks/spells it uses.

As you probably have noticed, the main reason why I like this dungeon so much is because of the dungeons aesthetics and the bizarre monsters. Mechanic-wise, it's pretty straight forward. Traverse mazes, explore, fight monsters... There are a few puzzles, but they're pretty standard and overly simple switch pressing and block pushing.

The difficulty of the dungeon game is overall pretty easy. I've had little to no problems with this game in terms of battles and puzzles. And yet, this possibly simple dungeon has stuck with me for so long. Of course, there will be nostalgia and personal opinions why we favor the dungeons we do.

What the dungeon could've improve on (IMO): made enemies tougher and puzzles more challenging and/or a little more unique.

What is your favorite dungeon and why? What did you like about it specifically and what do you think developer(s) could've done to make it better?

(If you could include images, that would be very appreciated. ^^ Also, if you want to have any honorable mentions or dungeons from other genres, feel free to do so, but make it pretty brief. The focus here is on 'RPG' dungeons.)

[RMVX] Change the Level Cap

Sup! The max level (for party members) in VX is 99. However, I'd like to lower it to 50.

I tried changing line 582 in Game_Actor to:

level = [.min, 1].max

Just tried it, but it didn't work. Is there anyone who knows a good solution for this? I know it's possible, but I'm not skilled much at all in Ruby (or programming for that matter).

Also, if I would find a way to change the max level to 50, would I possibly be risking something, like breaking the game/engine?

EDIT: Sorry for my bad English. I hope that at least my post is readable. :S

[Poll] Your favorite RPG Setting

Deciding on a setting for a game is one of the first things I do when planning my projects.

I suppose that the Fantasy setting is my favorite, since my imagination is very vast. It can also add a lot of variety to the different locations of a game which I enjoy. I enjoy everything from humble little forest villages to dark, futuristic steel cities!

I'm curious to know what settings people enjoy the most and of course why! If I've forgot some important settings, just tell me! I think I got the most popular
ones at least. :)

(I was thinking about adding Dark and Happy/Bright as settings, but they feel like moods a bit more.)

What exactly IS a dungeon?

Or should I say: What counts as a dungeon?

I've been playing around with an idea for game a little while. The game would not feature a world map, since I'd like to make the world feel larger and more connected. Because of not having a world map, there will instead be more maps like these:

A simple field map, with a sole purpose for connecting various areas. Some of these field maps will have battles and some won't. There will also be different treasures to be found, as well as other stuff like NPCs and "secrets".

Would this count as a dungeon? If not, what would it be? A part of the overworld?

This is just a small thing that's been bugging me lately O.o