Sunday, June 11, 2017

RMN Anniversary Postmortem

With 10 days, 34 entries, and 39 participants, the RMN 10th Anniversary Retro Gamemaking Event is now finished.  Unfortunately, my submission is not.

Does this look like a finished game to you?
It's, well... not exactly unexpected.  I have a long commute to and from work, I spent the week that the event was going on dogsitting and unable to access my computer, I had some things to do on the last weekend that the event was going on, and even when I was available there were a few more hours that I could have spent working on my game instead of doing other things.

I probably could have completed something if I'd used some edition of RPGmaker, but I'm stubborn and don't like just inserting numbers into a database while most of the game itself has been pre-programmed for me.  Since the event was retro-themed I decided to bust out Verge3d, a game engine that uses a watered-down version of C as its basis.  It was what I used to teach myself to program way back in high school, but I probably haven't touched it since I used it for my entry to the RMN 5th Anniversary Event.

So in the end, I submitted a demo.  Or a "Demo."  There's only one type of enemy, they will just stand in one place while you whack them to death, the stats that they and you have mean that if they did attack back you'd probably get wiped out in the first round of combat, there's only one dungeon floor with no goal, no equipment, and a whole bunch of other stuff that isn't in the game.  Honestly, even describing it as an alpha build makes me feel like I'm a shady used-car salesman.

On the other hand, I do fully intend to finish this game.  Unlike my submission to the No-RPGMaker event, where I said I would add more to the project and never figured out what to add, I have a clear idea of what this project will look like when complete.  (This also gives it a leg up from Sword and Coin, Wand and Grail, my major project that suffers from such extensive feature creep that I'll never consider it finished).

On a more positive (?) note, I've received a review for 5 Centimetres per Second: The RPG in which it's been described as the worst game on the site.  A few years back Kylaila posted a fairly positive review about the game, which mainly focused on how it completely misses the point of the source material (which was my intent).  Kory_Toombs was significantly less charitable, choosing to focus on the gameplay and presentation.
For what it's worth, Kory has very valid points.  The game has pretty much no content (1 type of random encounter, the final boss, and the final boss's helper mooks), but still takes awhile because of the need to grind before you can survive the final boss.  Even worse is that there's no indication that the final boss battle is going to happen before it does, and no way of knowing that it's going to be accompanied by a difficulty spike.  I'd be surprised if anybody has ever beat the final boss on their first try.  (Okay, I'm actually surprised that people have played the game in the first place, but that's neither here nor there).

So anyway, the game now has a super-low rating, which is how things should be.  (Kylaila was positive in their review but did not provide a score along with the review.  Kory wonders in the review whether it should be given a low score for being a terrible game, or a high score for succeeding at being deliberately terrible, and in the end went with the former).  While I think that the game is short enough that the completely-missing-the-point badness of the adaptation overcomes the regular badness of the gameplay, it would feel weird for the game to be rated highly, so I pretty much agree with the review.

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