Just an indie game developer out of Alberta, Canada, building games for fun, never for profit, and always giving full effort to every project.
Bloodstained Hands
Read-on Classic RPG with an artistic approach.


[RMVX] Controller Support?

Hey, so I'm looking at developing a little bit more in-depth controller support for Thrall. Essentially this just means changing the on screen prompts to match whatever controller the player is currently using. I've figured out a way to do this, but I'm curious if anyone knows what controllers are compatible with RPG Maker VX games. I know certain PlayStation controllers work, but has anyone tried other controllers? Or does anyone know what some of the most common controller types are that are typically used for RPG Maker games? I don't have many controllers, and my laptop is so old that connecting them is nearly impossible, so I haven't been able to test this myself.

Game Jams and Events - Your Experience

So I've seen several events and game jams come and go, and have yet to participate in one through to completion. The most I've done is start a project and never actually follow through and finish anything. My mindset around them previously has been "well I'm already working on a big project, this would just be a distraction," or "yeah but I prefer quality over quantity, so I'd end up missing the deadline anyway." And yet, most developers I know will say you should absolutely participate in these types of events, as it really stretches your abilities as a developer, helps you feel like a part of the community, and gives you experience working with deadlines.

So, my question to the community is, what's been your personal experience doing events and game jams? I'm looking more for perspective from people who've actually followed through on them, but anyone is welcome to chime in. What did you learn from them? Would you recommend them to someone who's never done them, and if so, why? Did you find that they distracted you from your larger projects, and if so, was that a bad thing? What are maybe some things to consider going into one that most people don't think about?

Elite Affixes

Back with another game design topic where I ask the community for ideas and then shamelessly steal them.

Or, uh, ask the community what they like to see in games and then humbly oblige them. Yeah, that.

So, I'm working on adding a new element of randomness and challenge to Thrall in the form of Elite enemies. Basically, enemies that have a small random chance of spawning in any normal group of enemies that are basically a buffed version of those enemies. They have higher stats, but also a unique reward with additional EXP, and a guaranteed rare item drop, with a decent chance of an epic or legendary item.

In addition to these buffed stats and rewards, I'm adding one more component to Elite enemies, which is a passive modifier that affects the entire troop. So if an Elite enemy appears, every enemy in that battle gets a buff.

My question to the community is, what are some ideas for good passive modifiers like this for a turn based battle system? What kind of tropes do you like to see in tough mini boss battles, or what unique mechanics have you seen in boss fights that you'd like to see in other games? I'm flexible, so anything goes.

Couple ideas I've already come up with:

Hearty: Enemies have double HP
Thorned: Enemies reflect 10% of all damage
Regenerator: Enemies regenerate HP each turn
Swift: Enemies get a significant AGI boost

What makes a good Crafting system?

Question to the community. What in your opinion makes a good crafting system? Be it for weapons, armor, potions, other items, whatever you want, what are some of the elements that you look for? What makes crafting tedious, and what makes it fun?

For me, I can't stand crafting systems where you don't know what an ingredient does, or it's not clear what could potentially be an ingredient for crafting. That kind of system creates a terrible case of item hoarding, and can be extremely complicated. I like when things are simple and clearly communicated.

The crafting in Diablo 3 was pretty good, in that you could break down old equipment into crafting materials which you could then turn into new items, and they were clearly labeled. If you wanted to make a new legendary weapon, you'd first need to find a plan for it, and the materials needed would typically be much rarer.

What about you? What are some of your favorite crafting systems and why?

What do you look for in games that you want to play?

Kind of a derivation of the recent topic about your favorite aspects of game development, but from the perspective of the player instead of the developer. I'm curious what people like to see in the games they choose to play, and what makes them want to play those games. Couple examples.

I've seen quite a few games around (both here and AAA) that have rave reviews, but frankly in my personal opinion aren't all that great. Don't get me wrong, they're good, but not as good as they're hyped up to be. Not calling anyone out, let's keep it neutral. On the other hand, I've seen games that don't get NEARLY the exposure I think they should, despite being near masterpieces. I've started to wonder why that is. Maybe my tastes are just radically different than the majority of people's? So that's what I want to find out. What are people's tastes?

For myself, I love great gameplay and solid mechanics. That's where the fun is for me. The narrative helps tie everything together and keep it interesting, but in my opinion, if the gameplay is dry or slow or frustrating, no narrative can save that for me. Besides which, if I've played a story driven game and finished it, then I don't have a lot of reason to play it again. I've seen this movie, I've read this book. But if there's a solid gameplay loop with some great mechanics, yeah, I can dig into that over and over again, and try new ways to optimize those mechanics.

Unpopular opinion incoming: Metroid Other M was a good game. The narrative sucked. The characters were awful. There were plot holes and loose ends everywhere. The cutscenes were long. But. The gameplay was solid. It took the classic 2D side scroller Metroid games and brought it into a 3D platformer FPS world in a way that worked surprisingly well. The mechanics blended well, and it just felt good to best enemies when you're overpowered as hell. Even the exploration was solid. Plus, they brought back a bunch of classic bosses like Nightmare and Mother Brain, which was a pretty neat take. Although the narrative sucked, I could skip the dialogue and cutscenes and just cut to the fast paced shooter action I was looking for. It was actually replayable in that sense, if you just ignored the story.

On the other side is a game like Villnoire. I love Villnoire. The gameplay is fairly simple, and not terribly replayable. But the narrative is excellent. The characters are gripping and engaging. The story is beautiful. But... I kind of have a hard time replaying it. Not because I don't enjoy it. I enjoy it more than most games. But... I've seen this show before. There's nothing really new to see. The gameplay doesn't really change from one playthrough to another. It's the kind of game I can really only play again once every couple years at best. Is it a masterpiece? Heck yeah, I would put it in my list of games I mentioned before that don't receive enough recognition. But honestly, it's not what I typically look for in a game, simply because I know it'll be a short lived experience. A beautiful, incomparable experience, sure, but a very very temporary one.

All that is to say I'm typically drawn more to games with excellent mechanics and gameplay over narrative, although I definitely see the value in and appreciate both. How about you? What do you look for in games?

Censorship in Video Games

So, I've been thinking lately, how do people feel about censorship in Video Games? I know this can be a bit of a contentious topic, so let's keep it light if possible, but I'm curious as to what the community thinks.

My perspective is that first of all, there are three common types of censorship: gore, nudity, and coarse language. In the western world especially, nudity has been essentially outright censored except for in adult games, as it tends to be used strictly to represent sexual content, regardless of the context.

Coarse language has some censorship, but not as much in games rated M or higher. Even still, games that do use coarse language typically don't overload the player with it, and it gets sprinkled in here and there. Assassin's Creed does this quite a bit. It's used for emphasis and character depth, but it's not used every second sentence. Granted, although I've never played it, I'm sure games like GTA are far more liberal with swearing. However, in games that are intended to be more kid-friendly, such as FF7 (original not remake), the words are censored entirely. Barrett is known for having a foul mouth, but the actual words on screen are replaced with symbols.

Blood and gore, however, has a bit of a different usage. Most games won't shy away from it, but there are many games that have accessibility options that allow you to disable gore. And that's actually sort of the point of this topic, honestly.

Although appealing to a wide audience is great, if your game is intended for a specific audience should it be moderately censored to consider audiences outside of its target? Should games have more accessibility options to enable player-chosen censorship on more than just blood and gore, such as course language and nudity? And how much profanity is considered to be too much?

As I said, I know this can be a contentious topic, but I'm not trying to create a cesspool of negativity. I just want to see what everyone else's objective views are, without resorting to arguing one point over another.

Common Items in Rogue-likes

So, you've got a randomized weapon system, wicked skill trees, random dungeon generation, unique and fun mechanics and a cool story, but what's missing?


Consumable items, specifically. I'm working on a rogue-like dungeon crawler, and I need consumables. You can label them as potions, scrolls, food, or whatever, but what should they do? I'm looking to design a plethora of items that players can find in random dungeons, with a variety of effects that suit the type of game. Problem is, I've only got like... 12 items. And 4 of them are healing items. That's... not enough.

Here's what I've got so far:
- items that heal between 20% - 100% of HP
- items that immediately reset skill cooldowns (no MP in this game)
- an item that revives fallen allies
- items that cure various status ailments
- an item that warps you out of dungeons, or automatically escapes common battles

That's all I've got so far. So, my question to the community is, what kind of items do you like to see in Rogue-likes?

Couple notes about this system, items do have rarities, so some items can be very common and others can be extremely rare. Also, if you die in dungeons, you lose all consumable items you currently are carrying, but you can store items at your base. Item costs scale to the party level, and certain stats can as well at the time of acquiring. Would love to see what ideas you guys have, and I'll do what I can to implement them!


So I managed to reach out to one of the veterans of an old rpg maker community that's no longer active, and he gave me access to a skill tree script for RMVX that had been taken down long ago. Thanks to Deity, and a cooldown script from Modern Algebra, I now have everything I need to create full skill trees for each of the four characters in my new game. I put together a few sample skills to test it out, and it works beautifully.

EDIT: Updated the image to better reflect how the skill trees will look in the final product. All skills are placeholders for now.

I'm going for an ATB style RPG, but with a lot of mechanics similar to the Borderlands series. One of those mechanics is Action Skills, abilities unique to a given character that can change the way you play the game, and can grow over time, but are set to a cooldown timer so they can't be used excessively. Some of those skills are simply alternate attacks (Bloodwing), some are enemy debuffs (Phaselock), and some buff your own character (Decepti0n and Berserker Rage).

So, my question to the community is, what would you like to see as action skills in a turn based RPG? What sort of skills would you like to see that could buff those action skills? Some of the ideas I have are an elemental attack, a skill that buffs the damage of the next attack (and could possibly buff other traits while active), and a healing skill for team support. The last one is the only one I'm a little sticky on, because I've found that heal skills can be BROKEN AS HELL in turn based RPG's, especially when they offer full restoration or group healing.

Anyway, that's the subject of this weeks development challenge. What are your thoughts?

Canonical Respawns

So I've been hard at work on a kind-of rogue-like not really game, which focuses on a loot system that randomly generates unique equipment. This sparked the thought of moving loot between save files, which I figured out how to do (think storage in Diablo), which then prompted the necessity for a save system that creates accounts rather than files. In other words, a system that doesn't allow you to duplicate items by saving twice and moving gear from a disposable save file to your actual save file.

However, this prompted another issue. Dying. What happens if you find a wicked legendary weapon, forget to save, and die in the next encounter? The answer? Death doesn't mean game over. Simply respawning. But that begs the question that is the focus of this topic. What are some ideas for a respawning mechanic that makes canonical sense to a game world?

Pokemon had one of the best systems I've seen, where it's not actually YOU fighting and fainting, but creatures you control, and if they lose you run back to a health center which acts as a respawn point. Diablo has a respawn system that doesn't make a ton of sense, but is very functional. And Borderlands has New-U stations, which make sense for the player, but aren't the most sensible thing in the actual game world (especially when characters actually LEGIT die).

So yeah. Let's have a conversation. What are your thoughts on respawn systems, how they work with your game world, and whether or not it matters if they make sense?

Are vampires overdone?

I like mine medium-well, after all.

Jokes aside, I'm struggling to find an enemy to fight for the game I'm making. I'm so focused on gameplay and mechanics that I haven't really figured out a story or a villain in any way. Diablo has the forces of hell, Borderlands has bandits and Hyperion and Atlas, and I wanted to do something sort of different, and I thought of a general idea I could do with vampires. But every time I think about it, I always think they've been so fleshed out in so many different forms of media that nothing I do would ever be even close to original.

And that begs the second question, if mechanics and gameplay are original, how much originality is necessary for a story to have?
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