Dragon Quest: Legacy of the Lost

Hi. Sorry to bother you with a tech support question, but I'd love to play your game. The text doesn't show up - I've installed the onboard font. Am I missing something?


Space Funeral Review

Yeah, I'm more discussing than nitpicking. Most good pieces of (dare I say art?!?!) are problematic in certain ways, and picking at the problematic seams is fun! :)
Hey, your game is discussion-worthy! You don't get too much of that.

Space Funeral Review

I disagree about the end though! The point wasn't to show that Moon's ideas were selfdefeating or whatever (if nothing else they were actually a kind of warped version of my own opinions on this stuff) but rather if anything that she didn't go far enough, that despite all the weird stuff on top the game was still a fairly straight/traditional RPG in many ways and so it was kind of inevitable that people would fight to reclaim their reactionary boring rural idyll etc. I'm not explaining it well but it was kind of about the generic rpg stuff fighting against the awful world I made them live in aaaa that sounds awful maybe I should shut up huh

I actually thought the ending was subtly poignant, when they marched out of the castle into a generic rpgmaker background - so I did appreciate that aspect. Something beautiful was lost, even if that beauty was mired in a nightmare/discord landscape. And let me reiterate that I really enoyed this game.

But I'm just talking basics. Whiny nerd plot hole stuff. I don't know if you ever watched the Buffy series, but there's an episode which features something like the Great Change, wherein a sideline wannabe warlock suddenly becomes king of the world. It's a great episode because the whole world is completely taken unawares; everyone (but the audience) wholly accepts what's happened without thinking. So why does Leg Horse know what's going on when everyone else fits seamlessly into the Change? I'd assumed he'd have had more to do with the origin of the Change itself, but apparently that's not the case.

More than anything, I was a little surprised to find that Philip really had nothing to do with the story. I think most players who start getting into the game start to wonder what the significance of this character is who appears dead everywhere in a mostly-dead landscape. The fact that he can't stop crying indicates that he's on some level able to appreciate the horror of what's going on around him. I'd kind of imagined that Philip would somehow be at the center of either the problem or its solution - that perhaps the state of the world played into his nightmarish/twisted view of life or vice versa. It reminded me of an Aleister Crowley story where a psychic reads the mind of a dying man only to find that the agonizing process of death goes on forever and only gets worse and worse and worse as the mind further decays, the physical manifestation of hell within the mind. I'm no philosopher, but I remember one thing out of Socrates was that happiness is a state that exists basically irrespective of circumstance. I guess I saw the potential for an Earthbound-style ending, where Philip stopped crying... who knows? I dunno.

EDIT: Also Jacob's Ladder... am I just rambling now?

Space Funeral Review

I thought this game was compelling. The entire setting was intrinsically moving, far more so that I can usually find with any flavor of traditional RPG fare.

It also featured one of the most intelligently implemented ideas for a game I've ever played. What that idea was cannot be precisely quantified - you're talking philosophy of the mind type of stuff - and I think it's funny that there's some attempt to fit it all into the realm of RPG tropes here. That said, in some ways I think the game failed to deliver; the postmortem imagery and repetitions of "it's too late for you" never turned into anything important, for instance, and definitely the battles felt like an afterthought. The whole theme of sadness and death wasn't really developed, and I think the part at the end where it all came together was very rushed. I think it would have been cooler if the undoing of Moon's madness was a perfect arrangement of chaotic happenstance rather than a disembodied leg-creature's revenge quest... you know? Symmetry.

But then again, the blood wizard scene was probably the most intense thing I've ever seen in pixel form. Overall, I think the game did something and said something unusual and genuinely intriguing, even cerebral, which is really quite an accomplishment. Thanks for the game.

Eden Legacy: A Knight of Eden Review

Sbester, I apologize for posting this here, but it's appropriate given the above discussion and I see the problem just about everywhere in this community...

In general, for those who care about this little niche, I would like to suggest that a more conscientious way of dealing with one another would be appropriate for a community that aims to support the process of game building - a hobby that is often tedious and grueling. Unnecessary grief given either to the creators of these games or the participants in the discussion thereof does no good for anyone in the long run. While I wouldn't go so far as to ask anyone to censor their viewpoints, a basic combination of common courtesy and constructive criticism would do wonders. Why not ask yourself whether you're doing net good or ill before posting?

At the risk of sounding patronizing, I'd just note that since the greatest fruits are generally borne out of the most fertile soil, we are the ones who will reap all the benefits of this support in the end.

Beautiful Escape: Dungeoneer

I'm not gonna play this game, but anyone who likes it should really go ahead and watch the movie "Martyrs." Horribly demented, very French, very similar in theme.

Cast Aside

What a professional piece of work. I don't suppose there's any chance of a non-active combat system in the future?

Two Questions

I've gotten into a lot of the weirder game genres over the last several years. I'm a longtime rogueliker (including the mind-destroying Dwarf Fortress -- ask me about my Goblin Steamtorture Cavern!) and I've even given some attention to those "critique the mode" sorts of games like We The Giants and what we see from the Anna Anthropy crowd. My feeling is that certain types of games lend themselves better to certain lengths.

RPGs, it seems to me, have a greater length sort of hardwired into them. A great deal of the fun is in watching your characters change over the course of the adventure. This is generally done in two ways:

1) they undergo some sort of philosophical trial and come out different than when they went in
2) they accumulate power and loot from the many battles they've fought, generally paralleling #1

I don't generally see this happening over the course of shorter RPGs. So, for me, long.

Of course, that's a tricky thing, because long games need to be good in so many ways that short RPGs don't. You can't just skate by on half a cool concept, some custom sprites, and a lifted theme from Dragonforce. It's the difference between an excellent short story and an excellent novel.

Incidentally, if there's anyone here who'd have the time to answer a few personalized questions about game design, I'd appreciate the chance to pick a brain.

Sore Losers

Oh, heh. Never mind. I somehow managed to miss the doorway. Completely my fault. You even had a big cartoon glove pointing to the door.

What Kurt Vonnegut Can Tell You About Game Design

Well maybe we just disagree, but my point was that there's no simple formula for designers to follow that will make a "great game," "great novel," "great movie," etc. It's not just a matter of, for instance and in the case of video games, making sure that pointless minigames and/or diversions are optional. What constitutes pointlessness, anyhow?

I'm not bringing this up to be a pedant - all I want to stress is that any sort of mechanical how-to on creative work is inherently limited (and limiting.) Successful examples of any art form demonstrate knowledge of the prescriptive rules for the given art form, but they almost invariably break some of those rules, as well. That's what I was aiming for with the authenticity spiel: that creative vision really needs to trump all other concerns in the end. I'm wary of advice that could be steering people away from the game they want to make and more toward what their bourgeois audience wants with their burger and fries ;)

Of course, if we're talking about someone who is completely out of game design but insists on making the player run down two thousand more banal hallways full of the same four monsters, all so that he can get to level 99 before fighting the azure dragon king, then I find it hard to imagine that this could ever be part of any real "vision." If that's what you were aiming for with "pointless," then we're probably talking crosswise.
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