Heart of the OHR Contest 2018

Make games! Discuss those games here.

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Pepsi Ranger
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Post by Pepsi Ranger »

It's time for the inevitable question I ask at this point in every Heart of the OHR: How are we doing on voting?

Deadline's coming up this weekend, but we've had an exceptionally crowded field this year, and six weeks may not have been long enough this time. Does anyone need more time for voting (besides me)?

Remember, you can vote in this thread, the thread on Castle Paradox (if you're into that kind of thing), private message, or in the #HotOHR2018 forum on Slime Salad's Discord channel.

Last day to vote is February 3rd, unless you all inform me you need another week or two (like me).
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guo
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Post by guo »

Another week wouldn't go amiss. Life is busy.
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Post by TMC »

Considering that I haven't placed any votes yet, I'm kind of short on time. Though I can't expect to get through all that many games even with a generous extension.
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Post by Idontknow »

Another week would be cool
Last edited by Idontknow on Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Pepsi Ranger
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Post by Pepsi Ranger »

If I extend the deadline (and I likely will, for myself as much as for anyone else), it will be for two weeks, not one.

I also hope to get the video playthroughs online by then. I've finished recording the complete Kaiju Big Battel playthrough (last episode will air at 1pm EST, Friday, February 8th), so all of my recording from now on will be devoted to the remaining Heart of the OHR games I still haven't gotten to yet: One Pirate Summer (thanks to some trouble I had getting it to download or open--should be fine now), Rolling, Radical Revolution, and everything that follows alphabetically.

I will likely record a full playthrough of Bale after the contest ends, and also quite possibly Really Hard Game. Not sure about the others yet. I'd like to record a full playthrough of Fallen Skies eventually, but probably not until it's finished or far enough along that I could get a lot of content out of it. The shorter games that I understand, like Birdcaged and Masks, will already have complete playthroughs recorded.

At any rate, stay tuned. The videos will debut the new Heart of the OHR theme song, courtesy of Kylekrack.
Last edited by Pepsi Ranger on Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Pepsi Ranger
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Post by Pepsi Ranger »

Earlier tonight I worked on a new Excel template that can quickly calculate votes, voter totals, averages, under-votes, etc. just by entering the score in a grid that matches with the voter. This means that all new votes will update the score, rank, etc. in real time. It's pretty cool. I wish I had done this as far back as 2014 when I first got Excel.

That said, I can give you these running stats to show you where we stand on votes:

Current Number of Games: 21
Current Number of Voters: 12
Current Number of Maximum Votes for a Single Game: 10 (Arc Wars)
Current Number of Minimum Votes for a Single Game: 5 (Hinterlands: Pilgrimage, My Little Pony: Trixie's Rock Farm, really hard game, Rolling Radical Revolution, You Need a Hero)
Current Voter 2/3 Threshold (the amount of votes a game needs to retain a genuine average score): 7
Number of Games Currently Below Threshold (meaning they collect robot scores of "5" for each empty vote below threshold): 10 (Those listed in the minimums, plus Asphodelus, Kaiju Big Battel, Masks: 15 Pages, Px, and Zalag)
Highest Average Voter Score: 7.09
Lowest Average Voter Score: 2
Highest Number of Votes to a Single Voter: 21
Lowest Number of Votes to a Single Voter: 4

So, what does all of that mean?

It means that we're above the requisite eight voters needed to close the contest, so I am cementing the final scores on Sunday, February 17th, whether all the votes are in or not.

It also means that if your game is one of the ones below the threshold and you did not vote for your own game, then you are doing yourself a disservice, and you may want to fix that before Sunday.

It also means that the games listed below the threshold are not getting true scores based on voter average (remember, the point of this system is to make sure all games get fair play among all voters), so if your game is below the threshold and you already voted on it, make sure you encourage your fellow voters to also vote on it. You only need 7 (as of now) to meet the threshold (unless Arc Wars gets more votes).

It also means that if you've entered the contest and you did not vote, you should seriously consider voting.

TL;DR: If you haven't voted for any games and you still want to, you've got time, but not much.

On a video note, I've decided to release the videos when I release the results, so we'll make a day of it.

Remember: VOTE NOW!!! or forever hold your peace. The fate of the winners is in your hands (and everyone else who's read this announcement).
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guo
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Post by guo »

Bale: 8
False Skies: 8
Pilgrimage: 6
Trytuges: 6
YNAH: 6
Really Hard Game: 5
Kaiju: 9, but I only played the demo. Fantastic.
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Post by Nathan Karr »

Kaiju Big Battel: Fighto Fantasy (Demo Version) 9/10.
Not gonna lie, I was a casual fan of this media property already over a decade ago, and very happy to see it getting the Surlaw fangame treatment (since he excels at taking ridiculous premises and putting serious game design and writing efforts into them). This is one of the best Surlaw OHR games I've ever played, if not the very best, and this from a guy whose works tend to be very good to begin with.

First choice the demo gave me was one of difficulty options. I'm used to RPGs being vastly too easy to the point of barely being fun, so I knew that I didn't want to play Easy mode when I read its description. However, I as much as I love to be challenged by a game, I am also terrible at playing them and have very little patience for games that get difficult in ways that I feel are outside of my control, and Hard Mode specifically said that its difficulty cannot be changed later so I decided to just try Normal at first and see how it went. The game kept pounding my face in, but I kept coming back for more so I say that's good difficulty.

I lost at least once to the big enemy encounter right in front of the flame wall, at least twice to the Tetris-inspired enemies blocking a door later, at least four times to the various optional Burger Bear fights, and somewhere between two and four times to the boss encounter at the end of the demo.

When I first started playing I was always rushing my way through the menus to quickly select my moves, having already decided them during the attack animations of the previous turn, not realizing the game was turn-based rather than a frantically fast active-time game with menu pausing turned off - it took me until after my first couple of deaths to realize that I was getting sloppy in my haste and actually had all the time I could need or want to make my decisions.

There are a few minor hiccups in the demo's presentation, like some healing items working in battle but not out of battle. I don't know if any of these are present in the full version, as I can barely get Steam to run on my 2007 PC (but hopefully I find time to play RPGs long-term in the near future and buy a copy, since what's here is pretty good).

One stylistic choice I find somewhat questionable is making random NPCs as big as the kaiju characters, but that's true to the original series even if it's a little off-theme from what inspired that and the reason matches sometimes have prop buildings built into them to be smashed apart. I fully accept the decision to go this route.

One graphical design choice that baffles me and even hurts my eyes a little is the way walkabouts are flipped including American Beetle's stars and stripes reversing when he's walking towards the camera and in the lead of the party (which he usually was for me). Flipping left and right facing works fine even if it makes no sense in 3D space (like Link changing from left to right handed shield use in 2D Zelda games) but having such an intricate pattern of very different colors flip between his left and right legs while walking in a single direction makes for an uncomfortable flicker and looks as jarring as someone tossing his shield between two arms in a two-frame walking animation would. This, and the aforesaid issues like the healing item that doesn't work outside of battle while all similar ones of the same type do, are the only reasons I'm not giving this demo a full 10 out of 10 score.

And in closing, skeletons are objectively cooler than mummies.

Masks 4/10.
Yet another depression/surrealist hell/low-key horror themed OHR game this year (we sure seem to have a lot of them this time around), in which you play as a Shy Guy and fight vague shadow things, recruit a pink Shy Guy who can heal, then get a two-tone Shy Guy who can do two things poorly but serves to distract 1/3 of enemy attacks away from the two useful party members. Inspecting some stuff gives you a textbox saying that you don't have the key needed to pass, others trigger very long, tedious fights that I'm not sure are winnable and others that are merely painful but yield some rewards after being easily (if slowly) won.

Pilgrimage 7/10.
The characters all feel oddly stick-figure like, the graphics are all over the place, but I really dig the game's worldbuilding, atmosphere, and some quests having multiple ways to achieve them. The Grand Zark is my favorite party member so far even though he's not as capable in combat as the first two, and only 60% of that is because he's a rat. Money was super harsh and limited most of my way through my first quest, but once I started getting a lot of potions and other stuff I could sell I was able to fully outfit my two humanoid characters with weapons and armor. The sound effects fill me with a simple sensation of fun whenever I hear them and I'm not sure why. I haven't finished the game (I got far enough into the bug quest to get myself a second little furry companion) but I enjoyed what's there...aside from most of the skills being trash. The spread attacks are fine, if a bit too costly compared to their accuracy, but all the single-target special attacks the characters learn like Zen Strike or whatever it was called are absolutely worthless doing either no more or considerably less damage than the default weapon attacks.

Really Hard Game 7/10.
This is what I would call the right way to make a difficult, surreal RPG compared to a lot of the other efforts I've seen (from myself and in this very contest). There's a great sense of whimsy here, like finding a key that blocks your path and has a keyhole-shaped handle, needing to find another key to unlock that key, or how there are four classes called wizards but only one of them can actually use any magic (the other three being a fighter, a guy with a gun, and a fat guy). I picked the sorcerer and wound up exploring for about half an hour before getting killed by the Neck Romancer. The game is really hard, but I might actually revisit it one day, which is more than can be said for certain other difficult and surreal games I played in this contest.

Rolling, Radical Revolution 4/10.
I wanted to give this vegetable a fair shake, but I don't think even if I did understand German above Kindergarten level that I would have been able to make sense of its intended challenge. I found two fights, neither of which I found winnable (one main character alone vs. a pack of wolves, one of recruiting a new friend to get stung to death by bees together with; or was it the birds? Can't remember anymore). There's one NPC who gives away a pile of items for free, none of which seem to do anything. Can't find any shops, and I can't understand the benefits and drawbacks between various special moves (they all seem to be like maybe a 10% increase in average damage and hurt myself on the main character, and just be pathetic on the secondary character).

The graphics are nice, but the game isn't. It might be a bearable challenge if I understood the text, or it might still be a broken and incomprehensible mess.

My Little Pony: Trixie's Rock Farm Adventure 5/10.
This game is about as good as the others from the same author. I think the character writing is a bit better here, and it's nice having the random monsters drop sellable treasure instead of dropping money directly purely for the sake of worldbuilding. I'm a fan of the cartoon this game is based on, having ceased watching it a full two seasons after the episode that this game is built around (as a throwaway line in said episode).

As soon as I got Maud in the party, I had Trixie pass her the pickaxe since Trixie was mostly about magic attacks and Maud about physical attacks. Every little bit helps. I found most of the secret items to unlock an extra ending, but didn't find the first one and didn't very thoroughly explore the final dungeon. I probably won't go back to seek out this alternate ending since the post-ending developer commentary said the ending involving the secret items is actually the bad ending and the game, while harmless, wasn't very engaging. It's mostly just "Have Trixie use her spread spells and Maud attack whatever enemy seems the toughest until you win" and Trixie's healing spell, when she learns it, is unlimited so there's no tradeoff between attack spells and healing, thus making apples obsolete except as a way to revive Trixie.
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A very difficult decision, but I went with "Normal"
A very difficult decision, but I went with "Normal"
kaiju-demo0000.png (14.19 KiB) Viewed 2165 times
I should have realized it was turn-based when I saw such a kaiju-sized speed stat.
I should have realized it was turn-based when I saw such a kaiju-sized speed stat.
kaiju-demo0002.png (11.25 KiB) Viewed 2165 times
I can eat goo soup and lentil soup out of battle, but can only eat the new goo when I'm in the middle of a fight?
I can eat goo soup and lentil soup out of battle, but can only eat the new goo when I'm in the middle of a fight?
kaiju-demo0003.png (5.78 KiB) Viewed 2165 times
The funniest line in the game, and one of the most sensible.
The funniest line in the game, and one of the most sensible.
masks1.00000.png (8.07 KiB) Viewed 2165 times
I'm not sure if a Trieq is a rodent, a mustelid, or what. Seems to use the same sprite bse as a Zark, but have a fuzzier tail.
I'm not sure if a Trieq is a rodent, a mustelid, or what. Seems to use the same sprite bse as a Zark, but have a fuzzier tail.
pilgrimage0002.png (12.66 KiB) Viewed 78 times
Zarks are rats. Lots of fantasy games have exotic names for familiar creatures, and this is one of them.
Zarks are rats. Lots of fantasy games have exotic names for familiar creatures, and this is one of them.
pilgrimage0001.png (12.76 KiB) Viewed 77 times
reallyhardgame0000.png
reallyhardgame0000.png (8.67 KiB) Viewed 2166 times
You hate floppies.
You hate floppies.
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Maud is best pony.
Maud is best pony.
rockfarm-adventure0000.png (19.24 KiB) Viewed 2167 times
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Bird
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Post by Bird »

That was a fair vote there. For the next Heart of the OHR contest, no pony games will get any higher score than my game! Because a translation will be ready by then. Plus a lot of new ideas, that came up while re-reading all the phrases. But translating takes a lot of patience.

The contest has done great so far. It improved our games, it improved the OHRRPGCE in itself and most important, it probably gave everybody some moments of fun.
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Kefyrra
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Post by Kefyrra »

I'll give Birdcaged a 6/10.

While I'm mostly satisfied with how the rest of the game turned out, I do agree with the reviewers who suggested that the random encounters inside the room could've been better flagged, since that caused a lot of people to have trouble with the outside fights without knowing they could've grinded earlier
I'll try to address this issue soon and maybe then my personal score will go up.
Last edited by Kefyrra on Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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charbile
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Post by charbile »

hey Kefyrra, I played through Birdcaged and am compelled to fanboy a bit, my apologizes. The aesthetic is great, and while the character encounter scenes were short, they were lots of fun and creative (that wedding). One of the rare games where i grimaced my way through random battle padding. smashing that like button and subscribing
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Post by Kefyrra »

Dark Planet - 6/10
Very cool music and an interesting, fleshed out UI but with various clashing art styles which I found slightly-off putting. I'm a bit interested to see where the plot goes, though i can't tell whether it's building up to something or if it's just an episodic mission structure.

Hero: Adventure in Animal Kingdom - 4/10
Typical newbie game flair. Not as buggy as the One Pirate games, but not as interesting either.

Asphodelus - 3/10
Borrows a little too much from Yume Nikki. Maybe this'll be fixed later, but for now where to go and what do makes very little sense.

Px - 8/10
Now this is a Yume Nikki fangame done right. Love the minimalist atmosphere and graphics, though some of the puzzles were a little to obscure for my liking.
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Kefyrra
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Post by Kefyrra »

charbile wrote:hey Kefyrra, I played through Birdcaged and am compelled to fanboy a bit, my apologizes. The aesthetic is great, and while the character encounter scenes were short, they were lots of fun and creative (that wedding). One of the rare games where i grimaced my way through random battle padding. smashing that like button and subscribing
Thanks, glad to hear you were a fan of it.
"grimaced my way through random battle padding"? I hope that's a good thing, haha.
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Post by TheLordThyGod »

Hinterlands: Pilgrimage (self-score)

I don't like self-voting / self-rating / self-reviewing, and I'm not ready to autopsy a game that I still consider to be an alpha. I'm going to go ahead and score it though, because my game didn't get many ratings.

I'm intimately familiar with (and still working on) all sorts of issues, bugs, and shortcomings in Pilgrimage (unpolished graphics, bugged dig sites in the bonus dungeon, larger dungeons get a bit tedious, etc.); but it's also playable from start to finish, pretty substantial in length, and has a lot of side-quests, optional content, multiple solutions to most obstacles, and several endings. I also happen to think the music and setting are pretty good, but I'm a little biased.

It's not yet everything I want it to be, but I'm going to give it 8/10 anyway because I think it's pretty much on par with other games which I awarded the same score.
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Pepsi Ranger
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Post by Pepsi Ranger »

Thanks for the votes.

Games that are still under par for the 2/3rd vote rule:

My Little Pony: Trixie's Adventure on the Rock Farm (needs one more vote)
Rolling, Radical Revolution (needs one more vote)
You Need a Hero (needs one more vote)
Zalag: Glustu (needs one more vote)

Remember, the voter par is 7 and the current top vote is 10.

Games with 10 votes:

Arc Wars
Bale
Birdcaged
Dark Planet

If any of these games receives one more vote, the par will remain at 7. If any of them receive two more votes, the par will become 8.

Why does this matter? Because every missing vote below par will be given a 5 until it reaches par. For games with an average of 4-6, that value won't matter much. But for games with an average 1-3 or 7-10, that under-par value can influence the game's position for better or for worse.

So, your vote makes a difference.

You have one more day to get them in.
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