It turns out that I really dislike words. Not surprisingly, I recently switched from a CS Engineering major to Creative Writing; practically left my degree at the altar.

I like fine-tuning mechanics and writing long novels on the beach.
Zoids | Whisper
A healer tries to piece paradise back together after tragedy strikes...or at least keep the shards from slipping through her fingers.



Zoids | Whisper

...pana's level jumped to 99 (is that normal?)...


That is...not normal, lol.

There's no point anywhere in the scripting for that quest where Pana gains EXP, so I have no clue why that happened. I haven't been able to replicate it either, so it must be even trickier than it appears. Do you know what level she was before?

You don't have to worry about an Honorbound nerf. The requirements are fairly stiff and the drawbacks severe. It's intended to give players who put in the work something to show for their effort. Besides, since Day 1, Pana has always had the highest single-hit damage potential.

My challenge with chapter 3 is to create interesting boss battles that don't get boring because players are strong but also aren't annoying and also don't just disregard what the player does. Much of what I'm doing right now is the necessary scripting to make that a reality.

edit: Concerning your edit from your previous post. There's a bug that prevents the lights on Lori's statues from showing up if a certain revenant exists anywhere in the world. If she's tracked down and firmly defeated, the lights will come back on...or wait for the next patch, but that will be a while as I can't release partial builds while doing the Mobile NPC update.

Zoids | Whisper

The mallet guy should move on now (at least as of the next patch), but the rain making the screen darker leaves ample visibility on my end. I'll have to look into just having a rain effect without changing the screen brightness.

I have old plans to add a bunch more optional bosses, but I'm hindered by the lack of usable zoid photos around the net. A few newer bosses make use of custom zoids, though, and I hope to keep going in that direction.

Zoids | Whisper

I'm glad to see that the game is enjoyable~

Over the next few months, I'll be re-coding some systems (in ways that will not corrupt save files) and trying to polish some of the rougher edges. Some art is being updated, a ton of behind-the-scenes stuff is being simplified, and I'm considering giving cutscenes a pass.

Chapter 3 has technically been in pre-production for a while. I have major scenes written and a list of maps to be made. All that remains to be done is everything translating it into the game. Still, I plan to take the time to do it right.

If there's anything that doesn't feel quite right to you, give me a PM (or post here) and I can maybe do something about it.

Zoids | Whisper Review

Thanks for the review! And the videos!

I promise that, barring my untimely death, I'll get part three out. It may be a year from now, or it may be sooner, but I'd feel way too guilty if I just dropped it after all this~

[RMVX ACE] Force Action overflows actions?

I've heard about a Force Action bug, but I can't seem to find much info on it. I'm using Yanfly's Core, though, so it should probably be fixed.

That said, the bug I'm experiencing is that if too many Force Action commands are used in a single round, the tail end of the actions array is cut off. Slow moving party members will queue up their attacks but never execute them.

For reference, here's my Force Action module.
author=Enterbrain, possibly edited
# * Force Action
def force_action(skill_id, target_index)
action =, true)
if target_index == -2
action.target_index = last_target_index
elsif target_index == -1
action.target_index = target_index


and here's Yanfly's alias
# alias method: force_action
alias game_battler_force_action_ace force_action
def force_action(skill_id, target_index)
game_battler_force_action_ace(skill_id, target_index)

Mayhem Maiden

Doesn't seem like a full review is warranted, but here's half of one.

Part II
-Title screen is fairly vanilla, but it's Demo 0.3, so I imagine all of that will change.

-Obviously, I choose LEGENDCORE difficulty.

-The dev warns that even he hasn't beaten the game on this difficulty. NP.

-I get a choice of saving anywhere or just at save points. I like this idea, in theory, but I suspect it means that the method of saving is not something that was considered when designing areas. Will probably work out fine.

-Opens up with MAY and CUCUMBER preparing to leave on their AWESOME JOURNEY to the tower that has never been found, not even by the people who built it.

-Skips to 4 MONTHS LATER where MAY and CUCU have broken up. They part ways and MAY is immediately kidnapped. She puts up a fight, though...hope that AUTO CROSSBOW isn't a cutscene only skill.

-Skips to MAY in JAIL in the FTOWER along with GHERKIN, CAULIFLOWER and EGGPLANT.

-Maybe I should eat dinner before continuing? No? Ok...

-MAY remarks that it may take WEEKS for CUCU to find the UNREACHABLE tower, if he ever does. I guess UNREACHABLE just isn't what it used to be.

-MAY uses CROSSBOWS, TRAPS and TURRETS. I can immediately see the use of CROSSBOWS and TURRETS, though I have to take a bit of a closer look at TRAPS. I'll have to see what the numbers (damage/heal wise) on them are.

-FANG TRAP retaliates when an ally is hit. It deals a little less damage than a NORMAL ATTACK, though, so I'm not sure why it would ever be better than just using the NORMAL ATTACK. Maybe it can be activated multiple times?

-Yes, yes it can. I LIKE.

-EGGPLANT has a HATE system or such that does not immediately make sense to me. Her defense gets lower and enemies target her more as it rises...but there seems to be no passive benefit. It can, however, be used for some kind of combo which I can only assume is FANTASTIC to make up for the other business.

-She also has a simple combo system where one type of move boosts the damage of another type on the same enemy. In addition, each of her attacks inflicts a status DEBUFF. Thus, the player must choose between debuffing everyone or focusing on one target for bonus damage, even if they end up getting debuffed in ways that don't matter much on them. I APPROVE.

-Though, the HATE combo doesn't seem to hit all that addition, all of her attacks cost 20 MP (except the combo, which is 30). Thus, she's gated by a resource, but how that resource is expended is largely beyond the player's ability to decide. She can use normal attacks as well, so it's not totally out of their hands, but I'm not sure what the point of her having mana is since whether or not it is going to be used is totally dependent on whether she can get away with normal attacks. Thus, she has a binary situation where she's either using mana or not based on factors that are not in her control. It may play out fine, it may not...we shall SEE.

-CAULIFLOWER has a normal set of skills and a state which can be activated for another set. While activated, her EX drains and the state ends when her EX runs out. Straightforward, but most likely still interesting.

-While in her state, her new skills cost EX. She can either remain in the state with the buffs it confers or shorten it by making use of the skills. The only revive skill I see is here, meaning a revive takes two turns at least. Seems like death might be a big deal, here. MAGNIFICENT.

-GHERKIN has some buffs and a heal, but everything contributes to her EX which causes her to OVERLOAD and do MEAN THINGS to EVERYONE before burning out for a turn. Could be interesting~ Unless she gets hit, it would take her 18 turns to OVERLOAD, so it doesn't seem difficult to avoid. The power gained from OVERLOAD seems well worth the risk...I WANT to see this in action :3

-I like that each character has a different way of fighting. It really breaks up the monotony of a fight to have to strategize differently depending on whose attack I'm picking.

-HEAL POINTS have an in-game reason to exist and do more than just heal things. Apparently, there's also a sanctioned, limited way of healing out of combat. Hopefully, this means that there won't be any POTION JUGGLING.

-Right away, I find some POTIONS. Still, all is not lost. Perhaps they will be balanced well. Then again, not sure if it's really possible to balance them well when they can be used in combat. Seems OK for now, at least.

-There are a couple of locked doors, but MAY doesn't seem to want to pick the locks like she did all the other doors.

-CAULIFLOWER's aggro seeker seems rather ineffective. I actually like when it's not guaranteed, but I don't see much effect at all. UPDATE: Ok, I see something. Perhaps it was just an unlucky streak.

-The GUARD dies without too much fuss. He hit pretty hard (~50% hp), but GHERKIN heals for about the same amount, so there was never any danger. He DIES before I can BLAST him and EGGPLANT yells at him to get up because she wasn't done with him. Neither was I Q_Q. Difficulty does not feel quite LEGENDARY.

-The WARP ROOM home base thing is really cool, though.

-I don't know what increases damage on MAY's turrets and traps. I think it's ATK, but it also seems like it might not be based on her stats or w/e.

-Encounters are all on-world, by the way.

-The FIENDS in the first non-starter area look IDENTICAL but hit MUCH, MUCH harder and have FAR, FAR more HP. Was a bit of a shock at first, then FATAL soon thereafter.

-ROUND TWO. Pull out the stops and manage to beat them, though MAY and EGGPLANT get very little EXP due to being dead at the time. Might be problematic since REVIVING is so tough that it's often wiser to leave allies where they lie.

-The afterbattle music is nice, but it ends and the default music comes on instead. Thankfully, the default music puts me in a DANCING MOOD.

-Oh, and won that battle thanks to OVERLOAD, which, incidentally, MAY or MAY NOT be why EGGPLANT died.

-EGGPLANT runs out of MP in the next battle and is forced to resort to NORMAL ATTACKS. As they are inherently uninteresting, I wish her skills were balanced around being able to use them constantly instead of her burning out mid-battle.

-In other news, EGGPLANT's HATE COMBO is much stronger than I initially realized and is totally worthwhile. Probably.

-ATTRACT + DISPENSER combo makes me feel like a GENIUS, despite being relatively simple. The cross-character interaction potential really makes things fun.

-LEGENDARY difficult feels much more LEGENDARY now, though it's not a problem for a GENIUS like me.

-If CAULIFLOWER is revived with an ITEM, she faces backwards for the rest of the fight.

-Feels great to get WRECKED by an enemy, then come back and defeat them with a SUPERIOR STRATEGY.

-Also, GHERKIN is using OVERLOAD as an excuse to kill EGGPLANT.

-MAY's 'once more!' mod is awkwardly lower-case.

-In the STORAGE ROOM, the player is told not to attack the red sentries, but later has to attack the white sentries. It can be a bit of a jump to realize this as it appears to be an identical reaction at first.

-5 random effects on OVERLOAD is too many. It takes forever and makes it very dangerous when the party is otherwise winning a fight handily as the effects seem to split evenly amongst living combatants. If there are 4 allies and 1 enemy, OVERLOAD is devastating. On the other hand, the actual overload attack is more effective against a single enemy, but it still feels off.

-EGGPLANT's hate level up triggers MAY's GADGETS.

-HP +1 gives +50 HP.

-I go to fight the LAZY BOSS. All is going well until he summons a full encounter's worth of minions...and not just any encounter, the one that I was avoiding because the enemies were too powerful to bring down.

-Actually, OVERLOAD seems to just prefer to hit Allies...just hit own party 4 times straight in a 1 ally vs 3 enemies scenario. Of course, it could have just been the >1% chance of that happening.

-Given that it takes time to reach OVERLOAD and that GHERKIN is pretty sub-par without it, it seems odd that it's so punishing. The other characters all feel great when building EX, but GHERKIN is iffy. Then again, it might just be all the surprise OVERLOADS caused by the high damage on LEGENDARY mode.

-Anyway, tiiiime to griiiiiind.

-The ANGEL FLASK is an excellent idea. It allows fights to be close enough to be interesting without the need to rush back to safety after each battle. It is superior to a mere after battle heal in that it still constitutes resource management, something that is a big part of the fun in a dungeon setting.

-I get everyone to LVL 4 and fight the BOSS again. GHERKIN overloads and wrecks the party, though death seemed IMMINENT anyway.

-I get to LVL 5 and fight the BOSS again. GHERKIN overloads and hits allies every time. Nevertheless, I still manage to beat him thanks to a shift in strategy and lucky miss.

-The EXP he gives is not proportional to the difficulty of the fight.

-Apparently I can fight BOSSES again if I wish. Given the EXP/DIFFICULTY ratio, though, I think I'll pass.

-Apparently BINDING enemies is important, but I don't really know why. The MOUTHBINDER seemed to silence, but there weren't enough spellcasters to bother with it. Those that did exist used normal attacks far more often anyway. Something else says it can BIND legs, but I'm not sure what that's supposed to do. Sounds like an AGI debuff...which is not something I need to go out of my way to get.

-In the MOONGLADE, EGGPLANT says "So they've got in a indoor outdoors?!" I understand she is surprised, but she just mangled that sentence.

-There is a MOON in the SKY. This TERRIFIES me.

-The first mob I encounter gives more EXP than the boss of the last area.

-I help some GENTLEMAN harvest BLOOD MUSHROOMS for his totally not evil plan. I should have asked him what his WEAKPOINT was.

-The second mob I encounter gives 1.5x the EXP of the last boss. Much easier, though.

-Given that MODS are only useful items to find once, they have a pretty high drop rate. I guess they're meant to be SOLD en masse.

-It is always amusing when GHERKIN gets WHACKED, goes into overload as a result of the built up EX, then kills herself.

-Seems LEG BINDING disables some of MAY's skills.

-At first, I don't notice the VINE revealed by the FULL MOON. I run around a bit in vain before realizing it the second time.

-GHERKIN gets smacked and overloads when she and EGGPLANT are the only people alive; both of them are at critical HP. Thankfully, she kills herself before she's able to kill EGGPLANT.

-It happens again and this time she hits EGGPLANT three times before killing herself. She does not hit the enemies even once. Worse yet, it is in a battle that I fought several times unsuccessfully and was finally within range of winning.

-The TRIPLE BEE + WOMAN EATER encounter is much, much harder than the rest due to the sheer amount of incoming damage.

-Ok, DOUBLE BEE + DOUBLE EATER is also very tough.

-Even when I manage to scrape out victory, only the few surviving party members get any closer to being able to win on more than just luck since the EXP is so low on death.

-The DOUBLE EATER FLAIL is enough to wipe the entire party from nearly full.

-Tons of defeats later, I decide to go back to GRINDING.

-Or, I TRY to, but GHERKIN gets smacked, OVERLOADs, then hits allies 4 times and manages to wipe the party. In her defense, she did drain an enemy's speed in the middle of it.

-Also, I can't change the MOON to go down the I'm stuck fighting these battles and inching towards viability.

-I can't seem to reliably reset the enemies either...meaning only the super tough battles are available? NEVERMIND, taking the SLIGHTLY HIDDEN LADDER to a new screen and coming back does the trick.

-Too bad these enemies are much harder than the others but give less EXP.

-Also, the EXP boost items don't seem to do anything? Unless the stated EXP is wrong, that is.

-My most effective heal by far is my revive.

-It seems the answer to all of my prayers is BUNKER MAY. Set up w/e I can while my allies are BRUTALLY murdered, then spam guard and hope for the best. It's no where near good enough for the battles that were basically unwinnable before, but it does help a bit in the battles I manage to win ~75% of the time.

-This means that MAY is the only one leveling up, though.

-I find a skill that BINDS enemy arms. Unfortunately, none of the enemies I've seen lately have arms.

-Except GHERKIN. GHERKIN is an enemy with arms.

-She WIPES the party in what should have been an easy battle. AGAIN.

-I'm tempted to put a GUTS on her so that enemies kill her before she can OVERLOAD and kill us.

-CAULIFLOWER is near useless since she's no where near tanky enough to handle drawing aggro. She can't deal much damage, can't get into ANGEL form quickly enough for it to matter and can't take enough hits to buy time to kill the enemies. She helps, certainly, but only in the way that slow-moving friends help when fighting a BEAR.

-GHERKIN almost wipes the party again with a 4/5 ALLY OVERLOAD.

-The OVERLOAD skills are pretty cool, but I only get to use them on a fraction of the times she OVERLOADs since it so often means death or enough damage that death comes before her next action.

-Like right there. GHERKIN OVERLOADed, killed MAY, then killed herself. This leads to a WIPE.

-WOMANEATER hits the party at least SIX times with FLAIL, killing EVERYONE.

-If FANG TRAP kills a REDWING after the first hit of DOUBLE NEEDLE, it manages to sting her POST-MORTEM and the FANG TRAP then hits a random enemy.

-I manage to beat one of the tough battles due to several lucky EVADES and GHERKIN killing herself with OVERLOAD before hitting any other allies. The EXP is NOT WORTH.

-I find a SECRET SHOP and buy an INSTANT TURRET.

-The EXP booster from the shop, GOLD STAR, also seems to do naught.

-BUNKER CAULIFLOWER isn't bad either.

-CALTROPS seems to be in effect even when not equipped. Nor have I ever equipped them. This is when fighting WOLF BOSS.

-I fight the WOLF BOSS again. On his first action, he deals 900-1,000 damage to CAULIFLOWER in 2 hits. The TANK life is hard, yo.

-I imagine I should use the shortcut to fight him outside of the FULL MOON.


-I'm doing pretty well, then GHERKIN OVERLOADS, nukes MAY and herself to critical health and drains MAY's attack. She proceeds to DIE before getting any OVERLOAD spells off.

-Round THREE. I guard during the two moon phases where the boss hits hard and manage to kill him without too much fuss. GHERKIN OVERLOADS, but doesn't manage to kill anyone. Of course, she once again dies before getting any spells off.

-And that's it for the demo.

-All in all, it's a simple but workable dungeon crawler with a very interesting battle system. The characters are done well, though they don't try too hard to deviate from one trope or the other. This is probably for the best; different isn't always better. Of course, nuance in character could still show up in the larger game. There were snatches of it, after all.

-The thing that most stuck out to me about the battles was how guarding was incorporated into several of my strategies without feeling like I was wasting turns. Well played, there. I also appreciate how my team feels like a team rather than 4 randos who happen to be on the same battlefield. Strategies that require multiple party members are just more fun.

-Each character having a unique mechanic was also cool. MAY and EGGPLANT were the best and CAULIFLOWER was ok, if a bit bland. That may have been due to the difficulty and how it made tanking a shaky proposition. GHERKIN's mechanic needs work, though. I fully support having the player worry about her blowing up the team, but those fears shouldn't be realized so often. Even if her OVERLOAD effects were switched to primarily non-damage things, it would be immensely helpful...though still not ideal. Perhaps if, instead of automatically OVERLOADING, she had the option to take a few turns to cool off? Having her blow up the team would be less awful if it wasn't so uncontrollable.

Custom Battle System in progress

You should definitely blow off your exams so that I can play this sooner.

Learning to Use Damage Formulas in VX Ace

When designers don't want that, they use a divisive defense formula instead (damage = attacker.atk / target.def). With this type of formula, if you do twice as much damage to one enemy, you'll do twice as much damage to any other enemy also. The interaction between HP and defense becomes much simpler: HP helps you survive both physical and magical skills, while defense only helps you survive physical skills. This would seem to make HP better than defense, but having HP instead of defense also makes a character harder to heal. Most novice players find this to be an easier system to understand; if an enemy has high physical defense, they switch to magic, instead of micromanaging their stats.

I mostly understand, but I think there are some common assumptions about magic here that I'm not catching onto (unless MDF does not correlate with DEF, which is essentially an elemental system with physical and magical as elements). I fully support divisive systems, but it turns out I misread the formula and have been railing against a non-existent monster q_q

If attack and defense are equal, both formulas yield the same result. However, if you then change either one of those, with my formula the damage will be closer to what you get with equal attack and defense than it will with the default Ace formula.

Contrary to what the attack squared part may indicate, my formula does not yield more extreme results than the default one. In fact, I designed it for the opposite purpose, to yield less extreme results. It's just that the attack squared part may look scary if you don't realize what having attack also placed in the divisor does.

The behavior of attack is pretty normal, as you demonstrated. I was mistakenly reading it as (4atk)^2 rather than 4atk^2, which made it very, very different.

The rest of this is relatively unimportant, just things I did to make sure I wasn't crazy.

Adding points to defense has a negative curve. Note that (4atk^2/(atk*def)) yields:
64 atk < 00 def = 256 ( straight 64 * 4 )
64 atk < 64 def = 128
64 atk < 128 def = 102

whereas the default formula (4atk-def) yields:
64 atk < 00 def = 256
64 atk < 64 def = 192
64 atk < 128 def = 128

The value of each point of defense drops off drastically compared to the subtractive formula, but when compared to a divisive formula, it is pretty normal:

An exponential curve on defense...
64 atk < 1 def = 256
64 atk < 64 def = 4
64 atk < 128 def = 0.5

...and a pretty stable line on offense for a total of 1 exponential curve.
1 atk < 64 def = ~0
64 atk < 64 def = 4
128 atk < 64 def = 8
That curve being a feature in that it ensures an offensive game rather than armor stacking.

When properly read, CG's formula is less punishing at low def values and everything everyone has been saying makes more sense.

Learning to Use Damage Formulas in VX Ace

What worries me is that there are two opposite curves. If it was one or the other, there would be a larger 'reasonable' area. With both, the numbers can get very silly very quickly.

It will work well as long as enemy defense is approximately equal to allied attack. There can even be enemies with relatively high or low stats. However, if the player is not very near the strength level the enemies are intended for, they outclass or are outclassed very quickly. It makes balancing the environment level much harder than it needs to be. Meanwhile, the problem that it solves seems better handled in ways that don't create new problems, such as the methods you suggested. Thus, while I can see it working, it seems limited to games where the developer has a tight reign on what the player will be seeing at any given moment.

I've always seen the HP/Def distinction as a way to mix up how players interact with enemies. Some are best approached with slow, powerful attacks while others are better taken down with a flurry of quick strikes. Perhaps that's flavoring how I see this as such a system would be much more complex to implement.

Learning to Use Damage Formulas in VX Ace

I also didn't know that ** was for exponents :o

Though, I'm hesitant to use that formula as it is very attack focused. The points in defense have diminishing returns as illustrated by JosephSeraph's post.
64 atk < 00 def = 256 ( straight 64 * 4 )
64 atk < 64 def = 128
64 atk < 128 def = 102

Meanwhile, points in attack have the opposite relationship which is not surprising because exponents tend to do that.

16 atk < 16 def = 32
32 atk < 16 def = 85
64 atk < 16 def = 204

Given this mismatch, any defensive strategy that relies on a defense stat is going to be a fool's game. Any offensive gap in attack/defense stats is going to result in heavy punishment while on the defensive end, one will have to strive to hit that sweet spot where their efforts are still worth it.

That's not to say that it can't be used in a game; with care, it may work out well. I think it would take some skill to do, though, and the relationship will ultimately be rather limiting.