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Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 08, 2015 2:34 am
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I am using Giz's random game selector. I decided I would give each game thirty minutes minimum (unless it was too short to make that) before calling it quits if I couldn't force myself to go on.

Review #1: Okedoke

So, the generator picked Okedoke first and I almost gave up on this contest. I didn't care for this game the last time (times?) I reviewed it, and nothing short of a complete overhaul of the game from the ground up would have changed my feelings. Let's get this out of the way: this game isn't for me. It's a comedy game, so if you're not invested in the joke, it's going to fail. That's the risk you take with comedy, and that's why it's harder to make a good comedy than a good drama in my opinion.

Okedoke hasn't changed much from the last time I played, at least on the surface. Same ripped music, same OHR default sound effects, same jokes, same maps, etc. I don't mean to say this to continue crapping on the game, as that isn't constructive for me or the creator; I just mean it to say that's why I didn't continue playing past the thirty minute mark. It's clear that there are people out there who enjoyed the game well enough, and I don't want to discredit the author when his style just doesn't work for me and that's probably all there is to it. For the record, I really love westerns as a setting, so it's disappointing enough for myself that I can't get in to this. It's also a complete feature-length game, which is a feat that many OHR developers can't begin to get near accomplishing, so the creator deserves respect for that alone.

I will say that games like this are probably more fun to players who are newer to turn-based RPGs. When you've played as many as someone like me, it's easy to get tired of the generic battles and such that would have otherwise distracted you from the aspects of the game you don't appreciate. Okedoke would probably be fairly successful on the Android market or even just in another community, as it has a style not seen often in the genre that could appeal to a number of people, especially teenagers. Again, I wish the creator the best, and hope I can catch up to him and other game-completers in due time.

Leaderboard:
1. Okedoke
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
Metal King Slime
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 PostThu Jan 08, 2015 2:58 am
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I hate to pile it on, but I also finished my review of OkeDoke and also wasn't the biggest fan.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 08, 2015 3:09 am
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Review #2: Dungeon Cards

Dungeon Cards plays mostly like a proof of concept, which I assume is the case given its placeholder graphics. The idea is essentially a dungeon crawler/roguelike where events that can happen are presented in the form of cards. You can choose to play the card and get whatever reward/use whatever resource, or discard the card and keep spinning your wheels. The game as presented here doesn't seem fully fleshed out, but the concept is an interesting one, clearly inspired by the Persona games. There's a bit of a narrative going on in the background, but it feels very unrelated to what's happening in the gameplay that I experienced.

The battles themselves are part of what holds Dungeon Cards back. The OHR's default battles make a poor habitat for turn-based combat, and a game like this would excel with an interface similar to Dragon Quest, not relying on fancy battle graphics or ATB meters. Knowing one of the creators as well as I do, I'm pretty sure this was just a quick experimental project for him and he'd have used a more appropriate tool for the game given the choice. It seems like it'd be right at home in a browser window.

The difficulty curve of the game is kind of odd, too; the first two areas are pretty easy, then the third is a massive spike. I don't know if this was intentional or if I just found the wrong cards, but I did not feel particularly inspired to move on. I was also not a big fan of the party selection in the game, feeling it would have been a more focused game had I selected a party of three from the onset and used them for the duration of the adventure.

When it gets down to it, the selling point of this game is just the card idea, and I'll admit it makes for a fun novelty that could help set this apart with better fundamentals going on. It's a nice way to quickly contextualize item gains, traps, and what have you. Perhaps stripping away the RPG battles entirely and having some sort of card game in its place would be a workable plan, though I could be overstepping my boundaries with that suggestion. It would be even neater if the dungeon master was another card player who could set traps underneath certain cards or make plays against you somehow. Might even make for a decent multiplayer game.

With all that said, this game still just feels like an idea and needs more meat to it before I could really find myself sitting down and playing the whole thing.

Leaderboard
1. Dungeon Cards
2. Okedoke
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
Metal King Slime
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 PostThu Jan 08, 2015 5:29 am
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Slimes! Done! Next!
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 08, 2015 6:52 am
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Slimeomancy

Guide a group of slimes from the entrance to the exit. Has levels. Can play on your phone. Stars the emoticons from this forum, including 'on fire' and 'red pacman' ones.


The Appeal

Lemmings. Casual game. Levels. Slime characters. Can play on your phone.

The quality of the game gives the impression that this was made ten years ago compared to what this will be competing with today. I know this can be said with anything from the ohr, except most ohr games don't attempt to make a pure puzzle game like this. It's why as neat as this and Wizard Blocks are, they're kind of doomed in appeal, whereas a rpg or something with more character to it and some real charm, has a chance to offer something that higher quality, bigger budget, more polished games can't.


Shop Talk

Specifically, it's the low framerate that brings this down a lot. And the small resolution, which the Spoonweaver Studios logo does not help to hide as it's stretched pixels and the first thing you see. Modern games that have a retro or '8bit' look work because of a high framerate making them at least play and feel smooth. It's really noticeable here with the mouse lag on a pc (i like how it's mouse based, props there) and why it doesn't seem as bad on a phone where you can't compare it to the outside-game-window mouse cursor's framerate.

The puzzles themselves are neat, but there's an expectation with them that you give the player just enough to solve a puzzle and not more, but here you're given more than you need and have to realize it's part of the deception? If some of your slimes die, no check for ending the stage?


Personally

I dunno, not a huge puzzle fan. I tolerate them. Fun and tolerate are hard to mix, but it was fun solving a few puzzles. Made it to 17 or so before punching out.

If you want that juicy mobile gaming money or downloads, you're going to have to up the quality and presentation a lot. Just how it is. I admire the studio going for it, but having played Cat in the Box last year to this, I'm not seeing a strong desire to improve on what really needs improving.

But who knows, graphics aren't everything. Can always try to roll for them natural 20's and be the fluke. Putting it into.......... -- Impressively Unimpressive -- impressive for making it, but not so much for what i got out of it.
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 08, 2015 7:04 am
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I guess I'm entering this thing? I guess.

Zero: Secret Pasts Collide

I actually really liked this game despite all its flaws.

Gramfeldcat Goes To The Moon

It's a joke game.

Ramble Planet

I really want to like this game more.

James Doppler's Epic SciFi Fantasy Quest

Charbile makes a good point about this potentially being deliberately worthless. Guess we'll find out as it progresses.

Wizard Blocks

I worry that I strayed too far into personal preferences on this one, but it's hard to review a puzzle game without it just turning into a basic presentation check list. It's a genre that seems like most people design entirely by throwing things on the wall and seeing what sticks, so it's hard to talk about the finer points (outside of just talking about np-complete problems and such).
Metal King Slime
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 PostThu Jan 08, 2015 7:23 am
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Stand is a pretty cool start to something. Gonna be fun to see how it turns out.
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 08, 2015 8:57 am
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Dungeon Cards: The Flying City Retrospective

This was a collab contest game. This was the third time I'd entered the collab contest. In the first contest I got paired with TMC. A long time veteran who mostly releases tech demos, I was bent on making him finish a game. Despite both of us being experienced the development process was largely a nightmare of us both trying to do too much, and TMC cramming in vital portions of the game at the very last minute leaving no time for polish. But we did finish it, dangit! In the second contest I got paired with MasterK. An up and comer who has produced a few demos, I was bent on making him learn something. I think he was busy for most of the week since he was kind of hard to reach, but he did end up producing the required materials in the end. Not sure I actually taught him anything since all he came out of it with was scripting envy which wasn't really what I was going for.

And then there was Ichiro. Didn't have any games to his name, though he had posted a few screenshots in the past. The main thing I knew about him is that in a previous collab contest he took so long to contact his partner that most the contest was over by the time they had contact. Prepared for the worst and started design work after the first day of no contact, figured I could experiment with some things I'd been wondering about. Eventually I had the bright idea to just dig up his contact information from the previous contest and managed to get in contact with him. I don't remember the conversations we had too well, but our communication skills weren't great. Since he didn't have any ideas of his own (that I recall) I eventually sold him on the stuff I had been working on, though I don't know how thrilled he was about it.

In the end Ichiro only produced one hero sprite so I had to palette swap / edit the remaining classes into existence. Originally Ichiro was going to handle the battles while I handled scripting the dungeon, but he didn't have time so I had to do all of them in the last couple days. I could sit here and blame Ichiro all day long, but ultimately the point of the collab contest is to manage to synchronize with your partner, and I ain't too sure I did a great job of that. The card system shifted around a lot during development as the deadline loomed. Didn't always notify Ichiro that well. Maybe didn't do a good enough job compromising down to an idea that was more to his taste. At any rate, I've now experienced the full spectrum of collab contest participants.

The core focus was a desire to experiment with making the fastest paced dungeon crawler possible. At first I was considering making it a straight up onslaught of random events (similar to Oregon Trail) or potentially a compressed map, but ended up settling on the card mechanic. Early on there was a more complicated version of it where the player would draw 3 cards, play one, keep one, and discard one, but I decided the existing system had a similar effect with faster pacing (there was also a different value called Treasure that increased potential rewards to encourage players to take on negative cards, but it got replaced with food since it served a similar purpose in a more interesting manner).

Internally the game has a 'deck' for each floor in the game that gets shuffled and then given to the player. The biggest cut to the game was having classes that let them manipulate this deck (ie put more beneficial cards in it or remove them), see the entirety of the current deck, etc. Due to this cut a lot of players never catch on to how the game works behind the scenes which is unfortunate since they lose some of the strategy behind discarding positive cards.

As I mentioned earlier, I had to produce every battle in the game in the span of 2 days. It's a pretty simple resource management formula: players have useful skills, they cost MP, characters don't have that much MP so you need to weigh the HP cost of the current battle with the MP cost of getting it over sooner. Considering how many OHR games fail at even this basic of resource management, I don't feel too bad about the results. Next to the presentation, the battles are the biggest complaint I've seen. I suspect it mostly has to do with the OHR community being sick of basic RPG battles, especially when their simplicity is in such stark contrast to the scripting. That and RPG battles rely heavily on production value, of which this game has none.

The only other notable thing to talk about is the difficulty curve. In pretty much every game I've ever made I end up going overboard on the difficulty (typical developer is too used to their own game), so I decided to go with a more generous curve for this outing. The first area is designed with the expectation that most players just want to get straight to the game part without messing with the management bits, and so the only thing you can really do is go in the dungeon. This section also throws entirely 'soft' cards at the player so they can grasp the basic mechanics and game flow without any chance of actually screwing anything up. The second area starts introducing more negative trap cards at the player so they can start understanding why the discard function is there, and by the third area the 'real' game starts. In retrospect I might have screwed up the tutorial by not making battle skills necessary for survival earlier in the game or something. Probably could have put trap cards in the first floor instead of stretching out the tutorial so much, too.

I was a little unsatisfied with the real game being so short, so I ended up throwing in a hard mode that redesigns all the enemies and decks of the floors to be basically the kind of game I'd normally make. I think TMC is the only person who ever actually played the thing, but it satisfied me personally as a designer so I have no regrets even if I could have used that time to refine something else.

Game flaws? Heavy armor is a little too good, the first recruitable characters you get being a super optimal party might have been a mistake for encouraging players to experiment with party composition. Unlocking characters might have been a mistake too, but I needed something to give players a sense of progression since I had nothing else to offer (hard mode technically fixes this). I recall TMC being spot-on with his feedback that the order of status effect gimmicks is slightly off in difficulty progression as well, so it's not quite spot on as a whole. I don't have a ton of regrets. Contest game, etc etc..

Oh yeah, I actually got to use entirely my own original music for this game. Not something I manage very often due to deadlines and my own limited skills at creating varied themes. Only the first dungeon theme, battle theme, and victory theme were original for this game while the town and second dungeon theme were stuff I wrote in the past. Actually, the victory theme was a ditty I wrote for a different game, but couldn't find a place for it. Ended up extending it here it to work as a victory song. I don't think anyone ever noticed the music, but at least no one said it was so terrible that they had to mute the game. I like the dungeon themes since they're the kind of thing that I can do fairly easy. The battle theme isn't great, but I have the most trouble with battle themes so I'm kind of just happy that I managed to produce something that even resembles one.

In the end this thing largely existed for me to toy around with an idea, and I got the feedback I wanted from it. The lessons learned have been very useful for my main project. I'm pretty fond of the thing personally, and I'm constantly tempted to make a polished product out of it. The one worry it gave me is whether putting a completely traditional RPG battle system inside a streamlined dungeon is legitimately a terrible idea or not. Will find out soon enough.
Metal King Slime
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 PostThu Jan 08, 2015 1:26 pm
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Mr. Triangle's Adventure is reviewed! I feel bad that I only gave it two hours instead of my more traditional three, bu that pirate ship is so big and I don't remember seein any locked doors. This is kind of a game that would benefit from a bigger resolution, I think. Maybe the maps wouldn't feel so empty if you could see more than a 320x200 chunk of 'em at a time.

Next up will be Ramble Planet. I've heard a little about this game, and it sounds like it's going to be kinda weird. I just noticed though, if I get stuck, it's on GameFAQs! You can't beat that!
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Jan 08, 2015 9:10 pm
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taradiddle2.png
the author has strong feelings about clothes, all the equipment seems to be legit brands
taradiddle1.png
a hint that the author has had a full life of making ohr games?
My format was feeling dry. Will try to add what I thought without going over what's already been said.

t4t4d1ddl3

Giz had a good start on understanding this, and I think I can complete the loop here.

It's clearly an art game. The message/theme is more about trying to convey a personal feeling. That being an abstraction of how they feel about appearances, particularly their own obsession with clothing.

At first you find the standard treasure chests, here they're dresser draws, and you begin collecting equipment. You equip them with the assumption that this is a rpg and it will come into play. The more maps you explore, you should begin to question why you're doing this. The stats are things like 'trendy', 'style', 'chic'. And they serve no purpose in game. The names of the items can be the same, but the descriptions seem to be unique. In the 'not hell' map where you walk on the red double-sided person with hands, one of the eyes notes you've given up trying to dress up, which I thought was a hint/tell on this.

You'll also notice the shops, mirrors in-game, contain items you can never afford, because you never find any money. There are a few NPCs that mention money in terms of it being a fantasy and controlling your life. The game's progression loops, wanders into different mood maps, and is ultimately pointless. The NPCs fall into several types: ones that tell you what to do, have some personal judgment of you, and those that the author is speaking through with metaphors.

I would have liked to have seen an ending on it, is all that's holding it back from being something I could say I really enjoyed. It's close, though. The music and graphics are fun. Maptiles are super impressive. The smell of buildings and areas happen randomly, instead of 'seeing' an object' like in a regular rpg. It's thematic, different. There's one map that uses the neat trick of chase-you on-touch NPCs that say one to three words, meant as a horror room. Was a neat execution.

There are some anime influences, like the way maps have cute faces on buildings and things like the bluebird of happiness reference, (a 'golden age' anime/play.)
Metal Slime
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 PostFri Jan 09, 2015 6:43 am
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executive summary
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not sure if i want to count these, but putting in cause cool to see all the title screens
Elephants Most Wanted
4 rappers who live next to each other in the forest follow the dirt path to visit the one room mall in the forest. There are no elephants.

Fart
No game.exe, so I renamed elaphantsmostwanted into game.exe, used that, and Fart farts script errors. A wobbler fart contest game.

Munch-Meow
Stars my favorite germ Meowskivich. Says it features voice clips, but no sound or music to be heard. When you eat all the cheese, instead of showing a text box saying "Game Over?" like any sane person would do, it sends you to a map that spells it out with tiles where you have to walk to see it all. Props for that???

Orange Monday
If one examines post monday absurdity, one is faced with a choice: either reject feline nationalism or conclude that orange sexuality is used to disempower the duck proletariat, but only if culture is interchangeable with consciousness. It's the only way to explain the game.

pH
It's a "demo of a demo". Cool hack mini game bro. Black and white graphics does make drawing graphics easier, doesn't it?

Poot-Poot Rocket
Someone please kill me. Mission Accomplished, amirite? A wobbler fart contest game.

Rogue Demo
Heart of the OHR. Really glad it's optional. Looked fun to make. Fun's what counts, right? Even when the player aint having any.

Testuedo DEMO!!
I'm sure Fenrir would be proud knowing his Vikings graphics really do help out people to make the games. It doesn't feel like a game someone wants to make to play, but someone wanting to simply make a game. RPGs sure are cool. Wouldn't it be cool to make one, too? Let's have a sleepover and make a RPG game.

The Location
Graphics are tight like a tiger. I really like the ambition here. Tactical RPG! In space! Didn't realize when it says use the END key to end, it means to use it to end moving your cursor, not as a shortcut key to end your turn.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostFri Jan 09, 2015 9:18 pm
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Hey, I just want to remind everyone who participates in the Review Contest that the Heart of the OHR contest is still in its voting stage and could really use some participation. As of now, three people have given scores to some of the entries.

I realize Heart of the OHR is in its third iteration this year and the novelty is probably gone, but it's still something that works only when people vote (and it returns only when it works). I know that it has a few opponents, and I don't expect any of them to give it support. But for those who still appreciate it, and for those who are going to play the games featured there anyway, I would appreciate you adding a score (1-10) to your reviews, or, if you don't want any crossover action, then I'd appreciate your hopping over to the Heart of the OHR 2014 thread and at the very least post your opinions in score form over there. After all, you've already played and reviewed the game. Giving it a score would just take another second or two.

As I said in 2012, Heart of the OHR will come back only if I think people still care. As soon as that sentiment passes, Heart of the OHR will also pass. Just saying.

I had another matter of concern involving how to review rereleased games for the 2014 in Review contest, but I'm gonna hold my opinion a little longer until I know it needs to be said. After glancing at the thread again, I can see the issue is not as bad as I first thought.

And I do hope to write some reviews this time. I think this is a great contest.
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Metal King Slime
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 PostFri Jan 09, 2015 10:51 pm
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I really want to play the entries before I vote on them. I'm hoping to complete my reviews before the end of voting, which you've graciously extended to the 19th. That's going to help a lot. If I think I'm getting behind, I might rush the RPGish reviews, but as of now my intention is to vote.
Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jan 10, 2015 1:33 am
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Pepsi, I have nothing against giving games 1's. I know people will take it the wrong way because the turnout's low enough where 1's will be decisive. I don't know if that makes me an opponent of it to you, but it's really me being nice by staying away.

Additionally, I'm not quite sure I understand the purpose of the contest. If it's meant to encourage people to make RPGs, but the method is to score them based on enjoyment, then it's a bit conflicting, isn't it? Scoring isn't encouraging, and the real enjoyment of the ohr is in making your own games, definitely not playing other people's.

Curious what you think.
Metal King Slime
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 PostSat Jan 10, 2015 4:25 am
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I feel like I knew what I wanted to say better before I gave it twenty more pity minutes, but Ramble Planet is my lastest conquest. I don't feel like the review really expresses how frustrating it is to be dropped into the middle of something like this and be expected to find a logical narrative to it, to be expected to piece together puzzles with so much crap floatin around too. It's one thing to draw your own map or keep notes but... I don't even know what this thing wants from me, man.
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