The Valley of Ashe

by

-=Updated 1/14/2018=-

RPG Game that is currently in development. Demo has about 4-10 hours of gameplay. Much more to come, as the story is just getting started! Looking forward to your feedback. Thanks for checking!

Misc bugs fixed with walking/pathing, as well as sprite fixes. Greatly reduced file size to be easier to download! (800 MB to around 250MB!). Also added an Android APK to use on mobile devices. (Mobile still about 500MB =/)

iOS version coming soon, implementing new artwork, edited mapping, quest journal, and more small environmental background "easter eggs" (signage, books, etc. all searchable) based on current feedback.

Roasts

Lucidz 2 years ago

Game Graphics Level Design
I had to choose something to improve but level design isn't fair. This looks really good. The graphics remind me so much of a chrono trigger or later ft. Very true to the style.

I assume this is just an actual play through which makes reviewing it tough because you're basically showing the most boring parts in the game.

It looks incredible tho!
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tome571 2 years ago

Thanks for checking it out! I'll be upgrading a Mac/iOS version in the next few days, so hopefully you get a chance to try it out. Happy Gaming!
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TMM 2 years ago

Mechanics Story/Writing/Dialogue
Games like this rest entirely on their stories and while I get where you're going with this, in fact I got where you were going with this after the second dialog, this is a too hamfisted to do what you want it to do. I'm relatively sure I align with you politically but even for me this seems like too much on so many levels it seems hard to give a specific instance where you went wrong.

given that this site is called 'roast my game' I'm just going to say, keep the engine, keep the combat, rewrite every single line of dialog.
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tome571 2 years ago

Hey TMM, thanks for the feedback. If I may ask, how far did you get into the game? The theme isn't anything to do with the starting conflict, and the plot grows and twists quite a bit after the first hour or two (depending on your play speed). Regardless, I'm glad you like the engine and combat, and if the story turned you off this early, then perhaps it is for others as well. Maybe framing in a different light, or bringing in the plot twists sooner might help. Either way, I appreciate the time you took to play it and giving some feedback. Thanks!
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AoDLegacy 2 years ago

Story/Writing/Dialogue Mechanics
So, to start, I am actually enjoying myself with this game to some extent. The story is certainly passable, I'm current at the second town, suspecting rather strongly that something big is about to happen, but it hasn't happened yet. I do take a minor amount of issues with some of the writing, for example, the hunting session doesn't really feel like much of a hunting session, and if the random encounter is meant to serve as this, I feel as though the game should probably alert you to when you've accomplished the task, or is it just filler? That was something I felt could be addressed. Additionally, when the two mercenaries showed up, one of them wasn't visible, this deeply confused me, as he was standing in the doorway so I couldn't tell he was there. I'd suggest fixing that so others don't go 'huh? Who is this guy talking- oh there he is.'

I selected mechanics for a few reasons. Chiefly when I hear complaints about the RPG Maker engines, it's that all the games tend to be carbon copies in the mechanics department, as well as graphics, with no variance. What I'm doing with my own project is trying to add something that brings something else to the gameplay (and makes fighting less about grinding, more about actual survival). Not necessary here, but it's something to consider, 'what do I bring that is different?' This is more of a general game development sense rather than strictly related to your game, as I enjoyed the gameplay, though it IS the first MV game I've played, so future games would make me bored if the story didn't hold up.

Additionally, running back to town gets rather tiring, especially with the random encounters stressing me out as I run to refill my MP in the inn again and again. A way to refresh the MP bar would be a godsend. I like the fact there is sprinting, so a snail's pace doesn't utterly drive me insane.

Entering the cave area to get supplies, I did actually get pretty banged up, (the blacksmith guy died), so I was a bit concerned for a little about the strength of the monsters compared to the ones outside, but after a little it got easier to handle.

Graphics are undoubtedly defaults, but I have no issues with that, as long as the story and mechanics are decent, which they pretty much are.

Really there is little I could describe as poor quality or not well done, the one thing I found puzzling was the King just went 'hey you're invited' with little to no ceremony. A courier / messenger with fan fare or something seems more appropriate, considering the King is sending a message. It could be that the King made a humble stroll, but I don't imagine that's the case.

Overall, you got something good going for ya, keep up the good work, I will let you know if I discover any more things on my journey in The Valley of Ashe. It was a fun little hour of my time.
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AoDLegacy 2 years ago

Side note, the main cast is certainly well written, but characters like the king feel a little more flat... nit pick honestly.
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tome571 2 years ago

Thanks for taking the time play and give me some feedback!

At the second town, you are definitely at the point where something big is going to happen. The ice cave is tough - be around level 10 to finish it - and after that, the story really opens up.

The no character bug is one that I hadn't heard yet. I have about 3 versions out that people are playing. The most updated version is the one linked here, so I must have gotten something mixed up for this version. I'll definitely get that adjusted for the next update. There were a few places where passibility needed adjusted as well from some others' feedback. Thanks for the heads up on the bug!

Also in the next update - I have 2 artists working on new characters (faces, sprites and battle sprites), and new creatures. They have been in the works for about a week now, so in the next week or so I'll get those added in, as well as the bugs fixed. Check out twitter for some of the preliminary drafts on some of the new models.

Some type of item/potion etc. to refill MP is noted. I know Valen's MP is kept low, so an MP recovery might help the pace of game a bit.

I love the idea of a courier for the king. There are a lot of small presentation details that have been suggested, and I am going to work on implementing - this being one of them. Adding text to some signs, being able to read open books, and little mini cut-scene events like the courier idea, really add to the overall immersion and fun of the game. These are all on my list of upgrades to add in as well.

That is why taking the time to play and let me know is so awesome! I just want to make a great project that others want to play. So, letting you, the player, tell me what would make it better is always great. Thanks for taking the time to play and give some feedback. Have fun for the rest of the demo! The juicy parts are just coming up!
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AoDLegacy 2 years ago

No problem man, I had plenty of fun doing it! I just saw a few of the designs on Twitter myself, they look nice! And yeah, I actually checked to see for flavor text, such as signs text. I was like 'Awww, no text.' I think when I reached the second town I was above level ten or so, I don't remember. In any case, something that just occurred to me, I'm not gonna know where / whom to head toward now that I'm in the second town, all I was really told was 'hey go to this town' to my knowledge, maybe some form of direction would be nice.

This is more of an idea that just popped into my head, but maybe before the player is actually taken inside a dungeon/area, the game could display the name of the location like: 'Enter [Random Place Here]?' and give a choice, so the player knows where they're headed. I know the only reason I didn't enter the tower when I went to the caves first time is 'that's probably not a safe place yet'.

Overall I like where most of the game is headed, I'll definitely keep an eye out for future updates.
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AoDLegacy 2 years ago

Also, Child of Fire Sylvyth is my favorite character at the moment, I hear the voice of Mine from Akame Ga Kill or something similar when I hear her talk. The pig tails probably add to that.

Just remembered, there were times where I got random encounters and auto won, no enemies showed up. Not sure why that was.


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tome571 2 years ago

Do you think a quest log is necessary or would be helpful? Or, if the transitions to where you need to go at the next area are more clear because of the eventing - like your courier idea - that would make it clear to where you were going? I got the feedback from someone else a quest log would help for when you come back from saves, you know what you were doing.
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AoDLegacy 2 years ago

A quest log and a little more clarity to instructions would be helpful like 'go north, south, etc', 'talk to x person when you get to x place, which can be found by going in x direction.'

Such a thing after coming back to a save would be nice too.
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tome571 2 years ago

Alright, I'll work on editing some events that make where to go more clear, as well as start working on a quest log/journal. Thanks for the Feedback!
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madwizardking 2 years ago

Level Design Story/Writing/Dialogue
The mapping looks great utilizing the default RTP of RPGMaker. I'm biased, though, I like the graphics from the RTP :)

Story seemed extremely cliched so far. It wouldn't be enough to pull me into the game at this point. I would continue just to explore the world though (I like doing that). I have several RPGMaker titles for the exploration. Their story lines are just to drab. If you have the story line (or dialogue) laid out, I would consider taking another pass or two much like a novelist does during their writing process. Breath of Fire took me a while to get into the story since it started out so darn slow :)
Take that with a grain of salt since I haven't seen the rest of the game. Perhaps you have some great plot twists along the way.
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madwizardking 2 years ago

EDIT: I don't see a way to edit posts.

I just noticed the Demo download button. I'll give this a try. My quick analysis was based on your video.
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Vegeta 1 year ago

Game Graphics Mechanics
The game looks nice and the graphics complement eachother but on the other side of the coin while i can see the pokemon games were a source of inspiration it's too similar. In my opinnion you should think of something to improve the old skeleton.
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TheRichCourt 1 year ago

Game Graphics Mechanics
Wow, what a beautiful game! The artwork here is just gorgeous. The game really brought me back to playing Secret of Mana as a child.

My only criticism so far, would be that I got into a LOT of battles in that first hunting bit. While it might be necessary to get a lot of those fighting bits in, I did very quickly find myself sighing and then just button bashing to get through them. I imagine as I continue to play that will pass though, and there battles will become more challenging.

I'm going to keep this game on my PC, and look forward to playing more, thank you :)
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CtelinAjira 3 months ago

Game Graphics Tutorial/Learning Curve
*opens up game*

Oh hey, big screen. And right away, the game makes great use of it. The full parallax mapping for the town and outdoor areas, the full custom lighting for the indoor areas, the full custom battle sprites (which did lead to some goofy poses, I noticed)... It looks so professional.

So far my only real criticism is probably just due to complacency on my part. When I first entered combat, I saw an ATB system. I immediately thought of Yanfly's ATB plugin, something I'm using in a project of my own. *Cue enemies getting multiple turns on me as I just stood there browsing the combat menu, something Yanfly's ATB never allowed*. Immediately, I start spamming the attack command to keep up. I would suggest you either slow your enemies down slightly to give players time to browse their options, or put in a tutorial on that. Then again, I seem to be the only one so far to mention that, so you do you.

Either way, you clearly put a lot of work into this demo alone, so I would gladly invest in the full game when it's released.
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KainYusanagi 2 months ago

Game Graphics Story/Writing/Dialogue
Part 1 of 2
~~~~~~~~
Starting up the demo, first thing's first: The "of" is placed such that your eye isn't drawn to it but in fact AWAY from it, since the bottom line of "valley" matches up pretty well with the flourish of the bottom of the A in "Ashe", *and* the word "of" is also a few font sizes smaller; English-speaking people default to read from left to right, top to bottom, which doesn't help it here. There's also a lot of blank space; I'd increase the dimensions to be at least twice the size it is proportionally, and increase the fontsize of and reposition the "of" to be between "The Valley" and "Ashe", moving "The Valley" to the left to be in front of more of the background art as well.

Second issue is the audio starts off EXTREMELY LOUD, and there's no Title Menu options where you can alter the sound volume. RPG Maker games by default always jack the sounds up to 100% and they come across very loud on most setups that can be used to watch Youtube at 10% sound mixer, 50% speakers, and 10% Youtube volume, to where even adjusting them to 10% output in the sound mixer with speakers at 50% has them still being too loud.

Starting the game proper, beautiful background music (but too loud, as above), but the typefont used has a few letters with small blobs that jut out and draw the eye to them, like on the bottom of the "e", and the shape of the "g"'s tail is too sharp, as well; additionally, the font isn't aligned properly horizontally, such that some letters hang below others, and it actually disturbs reading flow, and, frankly, looks a bit amateurish. The font style otherwise is pretty good, like a combination of cursive and blocktype fonts to evoke fantastical elements. The clacking sound when type scrolls onto the screen also is annoying in general, as well; it's too harsh a note to repeat as rapidly as the text scrolls onto the screen. Maybe something a little softer?

First image appeared, and the art is gorgeous. The story is interesting, but the way it's written needs work; At first you write that "Navi escapes with his life. The Horde followed" and continued on to talk about the humans for a bit, but then you suddenly mention that "Not all of the Horde followed Navi" without indicating so beforehand, nor with a, "However,"; and "Slowly, the monster attacks increase" without really indicating that attacks from the monsters were ongoing during this period, either.

Into the first scene of the in-game artwork, and it's gorgeous. A++ effort, here. Love the character design; The kid looks way too old in his bust shot compared to his little shrimpy model, though; or is it that you're still working on transitioning from the chibi models to the larger ones? Story pacing issues still here, though. The red-head twintail says "We'll make the monsters pay!" before saying "What happened?", for example; the question should have come first, followed by the explanation, then her exclamation. The 'cutscene' with the father shows him alone in the mines when you'd just said there were "so. many. undead."; maybe put a bunch of the enemy model you used to attack him and have the son kill crowding the mines behind him, so it actually visually represents that. In that scene as well, the kid says "come on, lets go home, dad." but in the next few lines when it transitions back, he talks about how his mum had already died and "now with my father dead..." but nothing there implied his father dying, only that he was attacked and left badly wounded; show us that, maybe just a short scene transition to him standing at a pair of graves sobbing, with one old (grass in front) and one new (recently disturbed earth)? Pacing issues in the story are the biggest issue I'm seeing all around, here. The core of what the story is, is decent, but just the how of the telling is the problem, if you get what I'm saying.

Second scene, Valen just suddenly in the forest immediately when he just said he's going to it. A: if the Elven Forest is a place players can go to, show Valen travelling to it on the map, perhaps? B: He shouldn't just "be there" in the middle of the forest in front of the elf as soon as the scene begins, regardless. If there was another scene with other characters before this, temporal pacing could be held, wherein we see that scene and the time passing seeing that can be used to infer travel time; Same with if he was another character entirely, because we haven't tagged them as a character of interest and their direct movements as important to the story until that point.
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KainYusanagi 2 months ago

Part 2 of 2
~~~~~~~~

At the end of that scene, when character control is given, first thing I do is check the menu, and it is really solidly built; reminds me of Tales of Destiny in its style. Finally access to the options menu! This said, with the Equip screen showing the status of the character and their equipment, what, exactly, is the point of the Status screen? In Final Fantasy VI, which did this, there was a plethora of information available on secondary statistics and other notable things that only showed on the Status screen, so it had a purpose there for number crunchers; I can't see a reason for it here separate from the Equip screen, though.

First random battle starts up, and immediately, there's a bunch of things I notice that are wrong. The in-fight sprite, if you're going to have it animated to attack, should not just slide across the ground; archer characters also don't exactly need to move to fire their bow, either. Secondly, whenever Valen gets hit, and during the end of battle sequence when he's victorious, he briefly morphs to this... pixel art samurai version of himself? It looks quite a bit better than the hand-drawn art, probably because of the proportions and angle, as it's shown straight from the side instead of a weird isometric view that doesn't mesh with enemy sprites, battle screen layout, or battle animations; he also doesn't have a foot levitating off his shadow, either. Third, it seems all enemies operate off the same ATB timer speed, and it's always faster than you are; I can understand hornets being fast, but slimes? Plus, it's locked into an active ATB style without an option for a wait ATB style, which many of us RPG veterans prefer. Fourth, Valen's Firebolt skill says in the description that Sylvyth enchants his Focused Shot with fire... so why is it listed as costing *Valen* MP, instead of TP? Fifth At battle end, the victory screen force-transitions into the end-battle screen; leave this to the player to do, if possible, and try combining the battle spoils screen with the previous one; a whole screen for 18g is pretty meh.

Related note: If this is supposed to be the Elven Forest where it's one of the last few safe places from monsters, why are monsters attacking in it? I get the hornets (but not that hornets have life steal), but aren't slimes generally considered to be monsters themselves? Would think that any combat here would be animals-only because of that.


Out of combat, wandering around... and my head is clipping behind the tree's roots spritework. Click my mouse by accident, and there's an annoyingly fast flashing white square that Valen's now wandering to?... No, wait, he only took a few steps towards then randomly stopped. And he can't exit maps with it, either. Please either fully integrate mouse controls (in battles too; a click anywhere on screen should be the same as pressing "Z" to activate the currently highlighted item, instead of having to directly click on it) or disable them entirely. Even if it's an options menu toggle.

In "Ashe Town" (Shouldn't that be "Village of Ashe" going by the size?), first thing's first: Doorways are black voids into nothingness that are tile-edge-matched to the bottom-adjacent tile. This is really offputting becuse it's a flat, 2D plane in an isometric view. It's also completely un-edged so it looks like the tile textures of the surrounding tiles just abruptly stop; the stone border at the foot of the houses, as well as the plank siding of the buildings themselves. General Store lacks any identification like a sign, statue, or distinctive build style. When transitioning between screens, you place the player's model in the same space as the transition; the player should actually be one step beyond the transition tile in the direction they entered the transition point from (enter north, move one tile north on next screen, etc) to facilitate entering a building not intended and being able to leave immediately, or, upon leaving a building, and realizing you forgot something, being able to immediately re-enter. Also, to prevent being placed in the doorway tile and unable to immediately move left/right before you exit that tile.

I'm going to end it here; it's a great effort, especially for a one-man team, but there's a lot of problems and rough edges to it that I really hope to see get cleaned up in the future.
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Grunwave 2 months ago

Game Graphics Animation
I know it is in beta, but the midget knights killed my immersion.
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