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Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostFri Jan 13, 2012 1:01 am
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JSH’s 2011 OHR Game Blog #23 – Monster out of Six by Pepsi Ranger

The concept of Monster Out of Six is really quite groovy. It's sort of Battle Royale meets Clue; you're supposed to walk around, figure out which inmate in the prison is guilty and free all the rest. Everyone remaining dies. This makes for a great set-up, but with this demo we only get to see an inkling of what it could be.

The demo was clearly rushed out the door for a contest (I forget which one) and doesn't function as intended. That said, we can at least analyze the idea and ponder on whether or not it could work. Personally, I think the overhead view might not be the best interface for such a game. I'm also not sure if a randomly generated innocent is the way to go.

Rather, if I were making this game, I would have gone for the visual novel/adventure game approach of having a story based around such a game. 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors accomplished this well, and I could see a great story being built off of Pepsi Ranger's game. As a virtual version of clue, though... it kind of falls flat. I'm not saying it couldn't work, but I'd much rather play this sort of thing with friends than as a solo experience.

Rating: 2 Revolvers in the Observatory out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostMon Jan 16, 2012 10:22 pm
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JSH’s 2011 OHR Game Blog #24 – Habla no Ingles: The Movie by Gomey

HE WOULDN'T. HE SHOULDN'T! HE DID.

HNI: The Movie is an OHR film that was made just for fans of The Giz's previous works. I don't doubt that the average viewer would take a look at this and disregard it entirely, and rightfully so as it's extremely silly and probably offensive.

However, for those like myself who have enjoyed Giz's style over the years, HNI: The Movie is a treat. We have references to other OHR games and users too, so if you're invited to the party you'll have a ball. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot going on for those who don't get the man's humor.

Well, scratch that, there's one thing. HNI: The Movie has some of Giz's best graphics to date, particularly the fridge flying scene, which shows how long his art has come since the 90s. I also enjoyed the running through the city sequence a lot.

This movie's a tough one to rate. I don't know what some random person watching this would give it, so I'll just be honest with myself and say that I enjoyed it, even though it's technically not too impressive.

Rating: 5.5 Gallons of Blood on the Basement Floor out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 19, 2012 5:57 pm
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Well. Well.

So my arch nemeses Gizmog Gomez and JSH from school have decided to review some games, hm? Even the elusive pokemon Mewmew and the accursed Shizuma?!

You guys are too nice.

Will download some. Reviews will be a mix of personal enjoyment and harsh critique as a fellow game making chum.

If we can't talk as honest men about our work, then our friendship cannot be true. -- how i feel about feelings here

Question: Some of these don't really deserve more than a couple sentences. How loose is that 3 paragraph / 3 sentence rule? Looking at the Harry Potters.
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 19, 2012 6:18 pm
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Armored Devil
---

First impressions: The title logo is pro. That's no small thing. But, at the bottom I can see, "Demo 5%".

At this point, my expectations are shot. To say 5%, for what I assume will be a RPG, I have to assume this release happened to show, "Hey, made a game. Here's proof." It's already doomed.

Why release at 5%? Why not screenshots? Do you need encouragement or some kind of validation to do the other 95%? Can't blame you, but have some sense about this. This is how you kill your game making spirit. Or look at it this way: it's hard enough to get someone in to play once, do you want that first play now? You think I'll try again at 10%? 15%? 20%? You're not a big studio, you can't expect this.

Comes with 3 save files. Readme doesn't say what they're there for. The mechs look cool, the animations not so much. 5% effort.

Second line: "Do nothing... Let the destinies decide..." Very awkward to see the plural of destiny. Why not "Let destiny decide..."? The 1 second backdrop animation was neat, so I'll go a bit further.

Text boxes need some serious trim work. You can cut out everything after the first sentence and they'd work better.

Is this some kind of mobile suit softcore porn? Interest rising by 5%.

Don't need to say "Equipment" every time I select equipment from the menu.

Animating battle backdrops are... I like that they're there, but they still look sloppy. Characters blend too much with them.

Battle frequency too high, starting in a boring dungeon, have no idea why I'm playing.

Judgment: Play if you need a reality check to help see the flaws in your own work.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 19, 2012 6:20 pm
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Curses, now I'll actually have to try and maintain my lead

Side note: My ratings are x/10 "for an OHR game" btw. Take that to mean what you will...
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 19, 2012 6:25 pm
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Arms Race
---

The title screen gives a nice nostalgia, like I just put in a big floppy into an old IBM. Given the 3 instructions here, this looks like it will be a very small game, probably just a battle.

You're kidding, right? So this was the 'fight contest'. Every hero has a "Fight" and "Item", and there are no items. Graphics are rainbow stick figures.

Kill an enemy, another spawns in its place. Ran away at round six. Counted as a loss.

Judgment: Play to see how a multi-staged final boss fight should feel like.
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 19, 2012 6:27 pm
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Jsh, your reviews are pro. It's a win for me to see more from you.

I've enjoyed Giz's and Shiz's too, especially Giz making sense of the events, and I'm always excited to see anything from the great and powerful Mewmew.

ONWARD
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 19, 2012 6:33 pm
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JSH’s 2011 OHR Game Blog #25 – Grey Star Lives by Willy 2 Electric Boogaloo

I get that this game was trying to be surreal and disturbing, which is plainly obvious and it's really the game's only selling point. That really isn't enough to maintain my interest, though. The author describes the game as a visual novel, but I think this is really just a textbox chain, the difference being that a visual novel would contain more depth.

Grey Star Lives is very melodramatic--it's just one ridiculous scenario after another, and if you take the time to memorize a proper pattern, I'm sure you can reach the endings just fine. However, since the amount of story here is so slim, the purely mechanical quality of the story shines through, and this game just feels like a skeleton of something bigger.

I don't blame Willy for making this considering the limitations of the contest, but to me it really isn't very entertaining and the rating on the site suggests to me that OHR users are just easily impressed by gimmicks. In my mind, though, gimmicks such as blaring annoying feedback in my ears don't lead to a substantial experience. I can't recommend this game even if you are a fan of visual novels.

Rating: 2 Layers of White Noise out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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 PostThu Jan 19, 2012 6:45 pm
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The Black Heart of Exile
---

Looks like a virtual boy game, but without the 3D depth. The music is ambient, mostly without form. The title screen track is painful, the one after isn't, so I don't have a reason to quit here, though I'm expecting an abstract nightmare given a quick look at the included text file. This isn't what I look for in games as a player, but as a developer, these can be fun to study.

The story is too much exposition, but the assumption is we're playing for the battle mechanics and exploration. Given a choice between 3 classes, I chose robot. Next, the synthesis menu, with no in game explanation. Given some money units, you get to buy items, equipment, powers, and stat boosts. Bought as much as I could, with healing first, then attack, then one defensive item.

After playing the first map for a few minutes, my final thoughts: when computers were young and so was I, I would have likely enjoyed this game. I can't get into it now. It's a neat exercise as a game maker, but doomed as a product.

The very idea of selecting a class and equipment, with the feeling that I'll have to repeat this process to advance past the first stage, is a huge buzz kill. This isn't how you market a game, though I appreciate the honesty. If this is the design, modern work has taught us there's better ways to do this without frustrating the player. I like modern design in this respect. The repeat nature of the challenge can remain intact without resorting to old, dated mechanics.

Judgment: Play if you like floppy disk, very old-school games.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 19, 2012 6:53 pm
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JSH’s 2011 OHR Game Blog #26 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JSH357

In my last two reviews of my Harry Potter games, I just explained some of the development process that went in to them. That was probably more entertaining than an actual review of the games could have been, but I suppose that I should address the elephant in the room. These movies suck.

Yeah, I was making them to screw around and annoy people. Yeah, some people found it amusing and I personally found it extremely amusing. But no, I think this spur of the moment idea just isn't that funny in practice.

The problem with the whole joke being that it's annoying and you have to sit through it is that I can't FORCE anyone to sit through it. In fact, that kind of applies to any game you make. It doesn't matter what amazing stuff is in your game if your player can't be arsed to get through the whole thing. That's a lesson I hope every game developer takes to heart, as it's very important to bear in mind while you are developing.

One example: mistah_j quit playing Motrya after the intro because he thought it played out too long and had too much to read. Sure, you could argue he's illiterate, but it's actually a very astute criticism that I took quite seriously, to the point of planning a new intro (The current one in the demo is the third or fourth).

Always make a game tolerable, even if it's a joke. Otherwise, your audience will never get anywhere and then NOBODY'S happy.

Rating: 1 Lesson Learned out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 19, 2012 6:55 pm
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Bufanda
---

I'm no fan of Surlaw's work, so given the title screen my only curiosity is to find out what the title name means. And maybe why there's a "2" at the bottom right corner. Version 2? I also find black text on white background titles somewhat lazy. Armored Devil's title logo is the bare minimum to aim for in most circumstances.

It's a text adventure. I like the ability to name the player, and how it's used. There's no sound and no graphics. Given the text box choices, I'm hoping for a more dating sim slant to this but it's just not there.

"The room is unusually cold", and I don't have the option to turn the heat up. The narrator suggested I call it a night and go home, so I did.

There's a lot of flavor text and most of the choices are dead ends, so you seem to have only one way to go. I received 'Ending A', which if this game were based in the scope of that ending text, it might have been more interesting. It explains the title, so thanks for that.

The game appears to freeze at the last text box. For console games it's fine, but windowed games? It's not good design.

Judgment: Play if you like doom and gloom text adventures involving ghosts.
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 19, 2012 7:08 pm
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RE: JSH's Game Blog #26

That is some great insight.

Mister J--what are you doing in rpg land if you don't like to read?! Is what I would say before going back and playing some of the classics that brought me here. They really do use a lot less text than remembered. Short and to the point, they were able to keep the interest.

I'm playing FF7 now, and while there's a lot more text than the snes ones, there's stuff going on in the backgrounds, lots of animations, great music -- and even with that I only got the game cause some friend tried it and couldn't get past the text overload. It's no easy task keeping player interest. These are games, not books.

The past few years, I've redone the beginnings of my games far, far more than any other part. I'm just finishing up another, having redone the intro 11 times, with many minor revisions in between. And I'll probably redo one last time before release. It's that important.

It's the first paragraph of your novel important.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 19, 2012 7:12 pm
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JSH’s 2011 OHR Game Blog #27 – The Tower by Voltire

The Tower is presented as a cool endurance test: a 100 floor dungeon full of enemies, traps, gold, and rest stops. If the game were complete and the battles moved a bit faster, I'd find this pretty enjoyable. It isn't (complete, that is. It's more enjoyable than it could have been).

The music is very bland and soft, which doesn't fit the atmosphere of the game so well. I think something a little more... fun-sounding would suit the game. Most of the visuals are amateurish, but that's to be expected I guess. It all just comes off very forgettable aesthetically.

I also think this game would be better suited as an action game, maybe like Zelda or even one of my favorite video games, Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru. That game's simplistic combat would suit The Tower very nicely, much better than default OHR battles. Given the scope of the game planned (100 floors) it would be much quicker and have about the same depth given the gameplay presented in the demo's run time.

Rating: 3.5 Nice Tries out of 10
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 19, 2012 7:13 pm
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Cardians of Lore
---

Custom.exe is included in the zip - not off to a good start here.

The music is great. I'm a fan of chip tunes. The graphics are gameboy green. The characters, 4 year old drawn circle heads.

The first choice is if you're a boy or a girl. I chose girl, tee hee. And named myself Fagball. It enhanced the text as hoped.

The walkabout animation is horrible, the maptiles look very bare bones. The grass, dirt paths, and fence are perfect, though.

"Fagball's Mother: Hello Fagball!" -- best line. This is really paying off.

Map's are huge. I was thinking about this, how to best explain this to other game makers while driving home. It's kind of fun to drive home, takes around 15 - 20 minutes. But if a video game's scale was the same, without that kind of immersion... I'm happy to see JSH nail this one. He's so pro. Like a boss.

Wait a second. THIS IS A CARD GAME?! The title, the card players are "Card-ians"!! Can't quit yet.

Wait.

So I fight some kid training to be a Cardian, and we're actually punching each other? This is a bit too gangsta for me.

Judgment: Developer needs to rethink this one.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 19, 2012 7:14 pm
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charbile wrote:
RE: JSH's Game Blog #26

That is some great insight.

Mister J--what are you doing in rpg land if you don't like to read?! Is what I would say before going back and playing some of the classics that brought me here. They really do use a lot less text than remembered. Short and to the point, they were able to keep the interest.

I'm playing FF7 now, and while there's a lot more text than the snes ones, there's stuff going on in the backgrounds, lots of animations, great music -- and even with that I only got the game cause some friend tried it and couldn't get past the text overload. It's no easy task keeping player interest. These are games, not books.

The past few years, I've redone the beginnings of my games far, far more than any other part. I'm just finishing up another, having redone the intro 11 times, with many minor revisions in between. And I'll probably redo one last time before release. It's that important.

It's the first paragraph of your novel important.


Yes, easily the most important part of a game and oh so commonly screwed up.
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
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