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  1. Yeah, the most of the current screenshots don't give the changes enough justice... That'll be a priority for the next version. ...Which is a pretty good segue for an update: The next version may, admittedly, take quite a bit longer to get out the door than I anticipated. Thinking about the design for the third super-ego area and how I want to present the story for the third route is proving quite the cerebral challenge. Plus, my new full-time job restricts my dev time to nights and weekends, so a monthly release schedule is looking...kinda crazy at this point. Might be a good idea to expect the release interval between updates to be 3+ months instead of my previously-predicted one month. But by golly, I want to see this thing through! Thanks for your patience, guys!
  2. I am glad you noticed the mapping improvements, good sir! ;D I'm very certain there are a few places that could use more work, so I'll give it to 'em as they come, such as the aforementioned room shrinking. Yeah, I was thinking of adding one more puzzle in there, but an idea scarcely came to mind. However, I think I'll add another one to her super-ego in some way in a future version. Looking back, the lack of puzzle content for that area leaves me a bit unsatisfied. As for that guardian being tricky, perhaps I should do some tweaking to it after I get more metric data. Puzzle difficulty I'll also keep in mind, although I am making a conscious effort to not make them too difficult lest they disrupt the story's pacing. I guess I'm holding back a bit too much. Aw, dang it, must've missed a few spots! That'll definitely be fixed. As usual, hiromu656, your feedback is much appreciated! You rock!
  3. Perhaps. Still left a nice impression on me, though. I could post everything I know without regard for length, but that would probably be impractical. Instead, I'll just address the comma splice thing, since that seemed the most apparent and will be where most of the improvement will lie. As an example, consider this sentence: "I have to go to the store, I'm out of eggs." I read that sentence and don't mentally read a long enough "pause" in the middle of it, so it reads a little funky to me. Instead, I'd replace the comma with a period, a semicolon, or an em dash, like these: "I have to go to the store. I'm out of eggs." "I have to go to the store; I'm out of eggs." "I have to go to the store--I'm out of eggs." Alternatively, you could still have a comma but put in a conjunction after it, like so: "I'm out of eggs, so I have to go to the store." All of those look more natural when being read because of the "mental pauses" that each bit of punctuation gives you. Commas used for independent clauses generally don't have as much of an "oomph" in regards to these pauses, but using a conjunction after one will generally substitute the mental pause for you. That's basically the gist of it. Use this technique on where you see comma splices, and the issues I saw will be mostly fixed. However, before I end this, I must urge you to take what I say with a grain of salt, because admittedly, I'm really strict when it comes to punctuation and grammar--perhaps incessantly so--so this advice might come across as esoteric. Some people might not even really agree with me and consider it a non-issue. Just do what you think is best.
  4. Feedback noted. In a few of my maps, since there's a minimum limit on map dimensions, I already utilize negative space to make my rooms smaller, so for the rest of them, I just need to shed my fear (in light of lack of version control) and apply the same principle to them. I really have no excuse for leaving them like that. Much appreciated!
  5. I've given this a bit of play time, and I have to say that I like what I see--literally. The mapping and use of lighting are quite sublime, and things are interesting to look at. Even more, I like how the game doesn't actively restrict giving you access to different areas on the world map (which also looks very nice, by the way) by saying things like, "We have to go north!" or, "NIGHTSHADE CAN'T DO DAT." The game lets you explore a bit and get your bearings while assuming competence on the player's part. Thumbs up, right there. The dialogue appears better than you let on at the top, so I wouldn't worry about that, especially since you seem to have a good grasp on using pauses to emphasize sentence flow. What I would work on, however, is the punctuation itself. Perhaps it's the grammar Nazi in me being ornery, but I see a lot of comma splices, and those break the flow of the sentences themselves for me when text pauses aren't being used. Correcting them will also give the added benefit of professionalism. Regrettably, I would have played more, but...well, I encountered a couple problems. :/ First off is the ship; I'm pretty sure you're supposed to go on it to go to the "northern island," but I can't do much besides enter it. It won't even let me pause the game, so I assume there's an Autorun event messing things up--perhaps a move route that's being interrupted by terrain? Secondly, I'm getting null refs periodically, most consistently by reloading my save file: Script 'Move Restrict Region' line 238 (and 261): NoMethodError occurred undefined method 'include?' for nil:NilClass Still, good job from what I've seen. The game shows promise! (Kinda stinks I ran into problems this early, though.)
  6. Bumping due to an (overdue) update. A new demo version (v0.2.0a) is now available! This update is a story update and contains new content, as well as polish and bugfixes for Lili's route initiation. A more-detailed changelog can be found in the new Game Demo section. As before, you should be able to use your previous save file and continue where you left off if you so wish. (Or you can play as the character you didn't choose last time just for kicks and to see what's changed. Whatever floats your boat!) Speaking of a new section, the layout of the original post has changed a bit. The newly-created Game Demo section contains links to the most current demo version (two different options to choose from, although the .7z option is the recommended one), a changelog for every different version, and links to legacy demo versions should you want one of those instead. The Credits section, as well as the Game Progress section, has been updated to account for the new demo release. For added convenience, I've added a percentage change for every changed category to help see what's coming along and what's not. Finally, three of the screenshots have also been updated to account for both the windowskin change and further map polishing.
  7. Hmm... Yeah, I think I'll wait a little while--maybe until the v0.1.4a build or later. There might be enough progress after that to qualify it for the Gaming Lounge in my eyes. (Guess I'm a bit too overly critical of my work, haha.) Of course, I apologize in advance if I bug any of you guys about it. XD
  8. A bit of a late reply due to distractions and development, among other things, but thanks for your interest, Randy. And thank you for the invaluable feedback, hiromu656! I've recorded the bulk of it and will definitely keep it to heart, especially in regards to mapping. Sounds like that's the most egregious weak link of my project thus far. As for the reloading to the main menu thing, that is intentional, but perhaps it was misguided of me. Do you think I should add a little bit of game feedback there so that it's more graceful? (In future versions of the demo, you'll be able to reload that save and continue playing without being booted back to the main menu, but it will still probably feel a little random without an in-game justification.) I laid it on a little thick with the corny phrases, huh? Methinks I'm going to purge some of that in the next version, then... The feedback's much appreciated once again! I'm down with it, although isn't the Gaming Lounge for games that are in their beta or release-candidate stages? I'd ordinarily leave this here on virtue of it still being in alpha to not give the impression that the game's "good enough," but if a moderator thinks it's ready to move up, sure, why not?
  9. I'll be happy to clear that up! Focus and Fortitude are are a measurement of the stability of a mental connection; more colloquially, it's sort of like a dual-sided health bar. If either side of the bar reaches the middle, the connection is severed prematurely, and both the protagonist's and the patient's minds shatter. A game over, in other words. Different actions that the player does while inside someone's psyche can affect the bar differently. In the simplest example, shown above, if the player is caught by a "mental guardian," Focus--representing the protagonist's contribution to the connection--is lost. Fortitude--representing the patient's contribution to the connection--is lost when actions are taken that could adversely affect the mind of the patient. For example, if a mistake is made while solving a puzzle, it may go down. Some actions may even affect both bars simultaneously. Future plans regarding this mechanic include eventually being able to siphon one stat to the other, but that aspect of gameplay is still in preproduction. Additionally, most of the puzzles that deal damage in this way are intended to be optional. This, along with disabling saving during catharsis sessions, adds a bit of a risk/reward system, since solving these puzzles adds relationship values faster than when not inside a patient's psyche. That clears things up, I hope?
  10. Through the Mind (Working Title) Note that any and all sections are subject to change as development progresses. Abstract: When three unfortunate girls end up mentally scarred and immobilized, it falls to a young man to go inside their minds and confront the ill memories that ail them. Genre: Romance, Psychological, Mystery; Visual Novel, Dating Sim, Puzzle Solving Recruitment: Aside from playtesting, no areas of production are available for recruiting at this time. Game Progression: Overall: 41% (+8%) Routes: 38% (+7%) Lili: 62% 33% implemented 90% preproduced Angel: 28% (+13%) 25% implemented (+25%) 30% preproduced Ari: 23% (+8%) 15% implemented (+15%) 31% preproduced Main Arc: 55% (+7%) 35% implemented (+15%) 75% preproduced Gameplay: 30% (+10%) Game Demo You may pick a demo version to play from the list below. Newer versions will be made available periodically and will include story continuations, bugfixes, performance improvements, and more polish. Take note that save files from legacy versions should be compatible with newer demo versions, so you should be able to continue where you left off when the next version comes out. Current Version (v0.2.0a) (.7z | .exe) The .7z version is recommended. Changes since v0.1.3a: - Story continuation; Angel's route initiation added. - Added music to main menu. - Removed Zelda dialogue sounds. - Various areas touched up some. - Changed windowskin. - Modified save/load menu to use mugshots instead of map sprites. - Ending a demo gives feedback before booting to main menu. - Minor dialogue tweaks. - Various bugfixes and performance improvements. Legacy Versions v0.1.3a (.7z | .exe) This version covers about the first third of Lili’s route and about 20% of the main game. Story Features: Select between two different protagonists, with different personalities and demeanors. How you respond to people can affect how they treat you down the road. Choose one of three girls’ psyches to heal, follow their story, and build affinity with them. Who knows? If you play your cards right, a romance might even sprout! Character Bios The Protagonist: In this game, the player has the ability to choose one of two possible protagonists. Each one has a slightly-different personality and dialogue, allowing for more replay value. The Ladies: During the protagonist’s time at the telempathy clinic, he comes across three girls who have been traumatized to the point of ceasing mental function, a peculiar ailment that he himself is specially equipped to remedy and, possibly, eradicate. Miscellaneous Characters Chris (“Chiefâ€) Assistant director at the telempathy clinic and the driving force behind telempath recruiting. However extremely laid-back and otherwise amicable she is in casual conversation, she makes up for it professionally with a tough, strict, take-no-crap-from-anyone attitude, especially if there’s work to be done. She also serves as the protagonist’s mentor, watching his back while he handles his catharsis training under her guidance. Screenshots Credits JDB Artist Joel Steudler Noriyuki Iwadare Toshihiko Horiyama Enterbrain, Inc. Nintendo Capcom Square Enix Blue_Nocturne (arrangement) Sprites and Portraits Enterbrain, Inc. Kimaila Blog Between Sky (http://soramani.kagome-kagome.com/) In Miso Tilesets Enterbrain, Inc. 阿沙斗 DKAINERU AINDRA TEKEPON FSM COUNTERCLOCKWISE SIMULATION COUNTRY GAPAN KURURUMILK MACK Sprites Enterbrain, Inc. insomnia hermit crab eb seabird PinedaVX Windowskin mikie0100 Fonts Fontworks (fontworks.co.jp) Sound Effects Nintendo Capcom Mike Koenig blastwavefx http://www.freesfx.co.uk soundbible.com Enterbrain, Inc. Soundscapes 0877579262 Asset Compilation Du Sha Ali painhurt GrandmaDeb Yumi <3 Under Feel free to tear it to shreds give any kind of feedback! Trying out the demo and answering this (brief) GreaseMonkey survey would also be very helpful for metrics and much appreciated.
  11. MagmarFire

    Request: EXP mathamatical Formula

    By the looks of things, it's because you have a conditional block outside function definitions. Now, that could be a valid approach in Ruby, but speaking from my experience with C++, that may be what's giving you errors. Instead, try to put the conditional statement inside the functions themselves, like this: class Game_Enemy < Game_Battler def param_average total = 0 (2..7).each do |p| total += param_base(p) end return (total/6) end def gold if $game_switches[14] param_average (total/2) else param_average (total/4) end end end That should get you in the right direction.
  12. MagmarFire

    Character Development

    Addendum: As the others have said, it's not about the mechanics, but mechanics can certainly be used as a tool, especially as a means of complementing a character's role in a story, because a good rule of thumb is "actions help define a character." Unique skills are an example: A character with attacks that deal damage at the cost of some of his/her life could lend some insight into his/her means of making decisions. Perhaps he/she tends to make self-sacrifices. One way of looking at things, I suppose.
  13. MagmarFire

    How much is too much?

    I think you're good there, mate. In a way, a factor of willing suspension of disbelief is by how quickly an audience is able to personify a game's elements, and it's actually quite amazing how quickly the human mind can grow attached to something that isn't even remotely "real" and think of it as a living, breathing entity. Although, I do imagine there are some people who wouldn't like that overall 2D aesthetic sense, so I could see where the worry comes from. But I still think you're good, because depending on the platform you choose, you're already (likely) deciding on what audience to aim for, and the audience that 2D RPG projects typically aim for is those who don't mind, and those who do mind are probably steering clear of 2D RPGs anyway. However, I'd say many people already understand that if they download a (presumably) free game from the Internet, it's not going to be a AAA scope-title, so opinions will likely be forgiving on that front.
  14. MagmarFire

    Disabling the MP gauge for some characters in GTBS

    Have you tried putting the script below GTBS? It's possible GTBS is overriding functions from the other script.
  15. MagmarFire

    How much is too much?

    I'm a huge narrative junkie myself, so I tend to think of things that try to push the narrative forward. That does make me biased, and I have a feeling I'm gonna sound...pretentious in the upcoming post, so please take what I say with a grain of salt, haha. Here we go, then... Gameplay I, for one, am not in the camp that necessitates gameplay for the sole reason being that the medium is uniquely qualified to allow it. (That is, I don't say one should shoehorn "gameplay" or "fun" into it simply because it's a "game.") One would then have to consider putting in more and more words for a novel simply because a novel is only words. A purpose has to exist behind gameplay to fulfill the goal any other work of art in every other medium aims for, and that's engagement. As such, it varies between what you're trying to address, but for the purposes of this discussion, I'll limit it to pacing. Good pacing should be what one strives for when telling a story, and this includes gameplay narrative. Think of a game that breaks up gameplay through a myriad of cutscenes. This isn't necessarily a bad thing--but if the audience's in the "zone" of thinking that most of the engagement comes from gameplay, anything that breaks the flow of gameplay will probably tick them off. Likewise, if the audience is in the "zone" of thinking that "OMZVG, what happens next?" is the primary form of engagement, and the gameplay is an afterthought by comparison, putting in a hard puzzle that the player can't solve quickly will probably only encourage him to look up a guide to figure out what happens next. So a balance should optimally be achieved, although, again, this varies depending on the kind of experience you're aiming for. In other words, perhaps it's not a matter of "too much detail" so much as it is that it's obvious that switching to different modes of delivering narrative is too noticeable. Gah, I think I'm rambling here. My bad. XD Graphics Aesthetics Yeah, I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but for some reason, I don't see this terminology being used too often. I myself specifically restrict the term "graphics" for things pertaining to technical rendering techniques for drawing images to a two-dimensional medium (stuff like shading, bump mapping, specular lighting, etc.). "Aesthetics," on the other hand, pertains to the overall "mood" of the game, including not only visual appeal but also sounds, voices, dialogue, music, etc. Here, like in the gameplay section, too much detail is not the issue, I don't think--it's consistency. <i>Mass Effect</i> is a great example; it has a lot of detail, right down to its lore, but it's all consistent because it's themed with how we'd imagine sci-fi space to be like, right down to species' speech patterns and looks. Now, obviously, creating a game of that scale in RPG Maker would be absurdly difficult, if not a pipe dream, but I find my willing suspension of disbelief increases if things are internally consistent and, therefore, don't clash and stand out and be distracting. I hope the salt shaker can use another grain.