what even are games anyway
Dreaming Mary
The adventure through a girl's final dream.





I like how you're even going to add effects to the outfits bahaha I look forward to "extremely likely for customers to leave unhappy and possibly terrified"

Also, the graphics overhaul looks amazing! Do you think you might make this commercial? Or donate-able? There's obviously tons of work being put into this, and I'd love to support you guys somehow.

I love this place. So many of you constantly motivate me and inspire me and warm my heart. Thanks :)

Not Seeing Names

This is hilariously terrifying, or terrifyingly hilarious.

Pinch, Punch, First of the APRIL FOOLS MOTHERFUCKERS!

now I'll never know who's talking ):

How to not fall into the trap of making pretty but vapid games?

Cash, Slash, and Housekeeping, thanks very much for the thorough comments!

You guys (except for kentona >:E ) helped a lot and pointed out some important stuff I didn't consider. I think I have a clear view of the driving concept of the game now, focusing on why the story is important for the protagonist rather than just throwing him into the plot.

I'll follow the advice of pushing one facet of gameplay to complement the story. It technically won't be anything new (such a noob at rpgmaker...) but with any luck it'll work out conceptually and trick people into thinking it's innovative. Or something.

Just as an example, if your game was about a kid who gets nervous talking to others and has a hard time speaking his mind, you could have some dialogue choices wobble and disappear if the player takes too long to read and decide; this kinda fits the kid's inability to say what he's thinking. Another example - one of the things I thought was clever about Depression Quest was that, as the game progressed and you fell into depression, it would show you dialogue choices that you weren't allowed to pick (because of your growing stress levels) to emphasize your helplessness.

Slash, this is an awesome suggestion and I'm totally going to steal it *slapped
Well, not exactly this, but after reading the article Hasvers linked in the old thread it sparked some ideas.

All in all I'm going to try to develop some thorough, realistic characters, and ruminate some more on how to play around with player agency and character agency to capitalize on making something fresh and subverting expectations. The lying and deceiving is definitely a big part of this... I think the various ends of the game will be the MC deciding the truth of the matter for themselves. Will definitely have to do a lot of work subtext and nuance, among the other things in Housekeeping's comment >_<

Now I'm really pumped! Thanks again for all the advice, I'm feeling confident that I can make something now!

Peri's assorted art

Don't know what else to say, your concept art is incredible! The mood is really unique, especially when you contrast this one with your latest one.

How to not fall into the trap of making pretty but vapid games?

Thanks for the advice so far!

Treat the character like a living person. Give them real reactions to things. Give them a personality. Do not fret over the differences between genders or bullshit like that - kids under 10 don't have a defined gender issue unless they've been brought up to. Keep that in mind.

Talk to some kids. Get in their heads.
Like, seriously, get to know the subjects a little. It's something you should do if you're serious about portraying the character correctly.

Yeah, it's a good idea to have better and more fleshed-out characters... Children are a little hard to come by on a college campus, but I'll give my niece a call and see what she's up to. >_<

My solution is to not make very good looking games.


@Corfaisus, thanks for the tips on setting up dialogue and gameplay :) I'll do some brainstorming and research on the characters and do the visualizing when it comes down to making the dialogue.

How to not fall into the trap of making pretty but vapid games?

I'm gearing up to get rolling on a game, but I'm worried it'll be horribly bad and bland and boring. It's supposed to be an 'atmospheric adventure game'. (Yes, another one of those.) If you played dreaming mary it's supposed to be a spiritual sibling, but with a boy main character and with a whole new set of issues.

My goal is to make a symbolic dialogue on a personal insecurity and to treat it with a degree of seriousness, but to also make it palatable for other people to experience. I tried the same thing in my first game with mixed results.

I think it's very easy to make a story that comes off as too vague and purposeless, or a story which tries too hard to be edgy and deep and which ends up reading like a preteen's poetry journal. Do you have any advice for writing this kind of stuff?

It'd also be super cool if you have any advice for improving gameplay in the adventure genre. I know everyone's real tired of the whole 'pick up a key, walk through ten maps and use it on a door' shtick. Even writing about other tropes that you're tired of seeing would be great help.

Dreaming Mary

Hello. I don't know if you're still reading these or not, but My boss and i just finished playing. This was such a wonderful game, and so whimsical too. We got all of the endings, including the joke ending, but we didn't get a pass code to unlock the file to the bonus content. Did we screw up by getting the joke ending before the Good ending?

Also we'd love to talk to you some time if you are available!

Hi! Passwords are in the spoiler tags below.
The password for the locked file is " roastchicken " and the magic word for the broken bowl is " SUPERMARY ".

To contact me, it's easiest to message me here at RMN :)

Painted Heart Review

Thank you for writing this review, Liberty! It's very clear and helpful.