Author Topic: Impressions  (Read 286 times)

Offline Echtel

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Impressions
« on: October 12, 2017, 10:08:17 am »

Hello guys!

First of all thanks for the demo key, that was really kind of you to send it to me.

Last night I've managed to squeeze an hour or so of play in my daily boogie and I was able to take a look at the character creation, the tutorial dungeon and a little bit of the crafting system.

I have to say I'm really impressed by your work. Even just with the bare bones of the game you can already see the immense potential it has:
The pixel art is truly nice; craftables are beautifully detailed and well built and the environment makes for a smooth frame where interactable objects stand out and are easily recognizable.
Animations are very fluid and their slightly goofy, puppet-like design gives that lovely retro feel that evokes the glories of our classic gaming times.
The tutorial runs nice and easy with simple yet effective explanations, covering all of the basics without overwhelming walls of text and even including a couple of hidden secrets in the very first beginner dungeon giving immediately the idea of the importance of world exploration.

There are very few things amiss with this pre-alpha honestly.
I was expecting to encounter more bugs frankly, but aside from a few ghost blocks on the surface and a missing object in the first few tutorial quests (the water bucket is missing or I can't see it anywhere in the workbench menu ;p), there's very little to report at the moment.
The character creation is IMO a little clunky due to the sheer amount of options available (which in my book is a good thing, I adore variety in customization), but given the fact that in the trailer a much more practical and advanced character creation system is shown, I assume this one is just a placeholder. A couple of the options in the character art don't look on par with the majority of them and could use some additional detailing (namely in the eyes/mouth category); also one or two of the darkest skin tones' shading looks a little bit off to me.
The predefined UI scaling is way too small, but given the option to adjust it by means of just a couple of simple clicks, it becomes a total non-issue.

And that's it. Even wanting to be as much of an unforgiving bastard as I can (lol) there's truly nothing else to add to the criticism list... :)

I'll just add an idea, since I've read about "multiple layers" in one of the other posts.

How about having multiple MAPS instead of multiple layers?
What I mean is implementing a sort of "world map" overview (much like Starbound with the galaxy or Regions of Ruin with the explorable world map) and putting in place a system of fast travel between smaller, procedurally generated instances similar to the tutorial one.

This way you could avoid having an overly large and complicated world with multiple biomes Terraria style and instead go for a system of smaller ones connected by fast travel and possibly an invasion system to let NPCS from the other instances attack the player's home.

Cheers, keep up the good work and thank you all again!

Offline Zakharn

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Re: Impressions
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 11:55:22 am »
Hey! Thanks for your massive feedback, it was a pleasure reading it :)

Your idea at the end pretty much describes our world map system, which is disabled in demo version. When you travel to the edge of a location you can open up a world map and choose another location to travel to.
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Offline Echtel

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Re: Impressions
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2017, 09:16:40 am »

^ Great! I'm very glad to be of assistance. I only regret I have very limited time at the moment :(

I was able to try out more of the game; this time I focused on farming and mining.

Growing crops is pretty straightforward and easy; you find the seeds, tilt the soil, plant et voilą it's done. Vegetables are nicely made and their variety makes it all interesting, in the future all kind of recipes could stem from this, all with different food values to make veggies farming a very convenient and rewarding activity for those who want to experience the farmer life :)
At the moment however fruit trees is where the money's at. It's a little harder to obtain the seeds, but once you do and the tree fully grows your food problems are pretty much over, which means that those who have limited interest in developing their base economy and prefer to go on adventuring most of the time will be able to do so without concerning too much about risking food shortages.
The only thing that could potentially become an issue in the development of a large and complex colony is space. Agriculture has a considerable "horizontal impact" running the risk to stretch out the boundaries of a completely self-sufficient settlement. Then again this could be resolved with a little "Hanging Gardens" creativity

The whole system is simple and well thought out, the only thing I could suggest is to make the seed the guaranteed yield from harvest, rather than the fruit, making the number of fruits obtained from a single harvest totally skill dependent (which, from what I could tell, already at least partially is, correct?): an unskilled farmer will get at most 1 yield, with a chance to even squander the harvest entirely, while an experienced agriculturist will obtain maximum results, which in turn would also solve the space problems by limiting the amount of crops needed.
Fruit trees and bushes mechanics, on the other hand, should remain unchanged.

About mining I don't have a whole lot to say, it'a all standard procedure: dig a hole in the ground and go look for those materials and ores. Takes forever at start, but as soon as you find a decent amount of tin and upgrade your tools already life becomes way easier. I didn't have the time to go beyond tin, specially because blacksmithing skill takes a while to level (which is good; nothing should be just handed to the player, everything should require hard work), but I imagine all of it pretty much snowballs in the higher tiers.
I haven't really tried crafting armors or weapons, since the stats haven't been implemented yet (at least on armors) there was really no reason to do so. All I can talk a little bit about is the look which at first glance is pretty darn good!

Looking forward to more RoM in the near future... GG guys! ;)     

Offline Echtel

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Re: Impressions
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2017, 02:15:16 pm »
Right-o, about the updated trial version of the game:

The newly showcased features are pretty cool, I like the world map and fast travel concept very much, only I would suggest adding a craftable map object so that once a location has been visited once it can be added there and reached directly from one's base; at the moment having to walk to the edge of a screen to be able to travel becomes quite tedious after a while, especially when you die; that tends to happen easily with the new improved AI and mobs, specially troglodites and boars are a real pain in the ass  ;D (that's good guys this game should not be easy by any means, it should be rewarding in the end but make you work hard for it).
I like also the fact that the whole inventory is dropped upon death, that's the right way to penalize players, stay away from deleveling, permanent injuries and equipment breaking ;). I think though that the items placed in the quick bar should not be dropped, especially not tools, instead to spice things up a bit a non-permanent injury system could be added; with a temporary, random maximum HP\MP\stamina\speed reduction that has to be cured with bandages or with advanced forms of magic later in the game.

The trait trees are well engineered and there's little there I would change, but right now I feel leveling up is a little bit underwhelming. Gaining trait points is great but I think one level up should make more of a difference. What I would do is give the player something like 3 or 4 points to spend in max HP-MP on level up and convert the traits which increase those from a fixed amount to a small percentage, stacking with every single point invested in the tree; so that a well though out spec may maximize results, allowing the player to build for a full blown, frail magic user, beefy die-hard tank or try to strike the perfect balance in between the two.

I won't even talk about those few, much needed, quality of life improvements because I'm sure they have already been thought out and are being worked on even now at least in part (IE a way to permanently trash items, subterranean levels background, corpse decay/mob respawn, automatic inventory sorting with bag specialization and all that stuff...)

All in all good job once again, looking forward to the next step!

Offline Zakharn

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Re: Impressions
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2017, 12:21:54 pm »
Hey!

Thanks again for more feedback :)

1. We have plans for ways to allow traveling from your base without reaching the edge of the location. For now the easy solution is to build your base near the edge of location.

2. We talked about saving toolbar on death but decided not to do it. Players would then put valuable items on toolbar and could use death as a way of quick trabel to spawn point. Except for dropping items player also looses his Food Buff on death. In current demo version it isn't much of a problem since food gives a very little bonus to main stats, however in upcoming version eating best quality food can even double base stats.

3. We completely agree that leveling up is a little underwheling right now. We are planning to significantly decrease number of talents and significantly increase their power.

4. Merchants should work as convenient way of getting rid of unwanted items.

5. Currently we don't have plans to add underground backgrounds.

6. Corpse automatic decay and manual removal are on our to-do list.

7. We have no current plans for respawning mobs. We want the player to explore and look for more enemies instead of killing them in one place over and over again.

8. Inventory sorting is something we definitely want to add.

We will be releasing another update to the demo this Friday. The new version will completely rebalance professions and massively overhaul terrain, flora and fauna generation.
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Offline Echtel

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Re: Impressions
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2017, 07:52:50 pm »

I understand your position about not wanting to give the option to turn the game into a grind fest, but putting a limited amount of stuff to kill in a sandbox rpg can be dangerous. Those who like to focus on adventuring and combat might find themselves out of things to do, and running around huge empty maps can become dull after a while.

There are however a number of ways to avoid the risk without implementing regular mob respawn:
 
- Random repeatable quests\adventures\bounties that spawn groups of enemies or instanced, procedural dungeons deleted upon quest completion\failure

- Ability for the player to create new worlds to visit with their chosen character in order to harvest resources or find new challenges, like it's done in Terraria

- Enemy bases that if not completely leveled to the ground rebuild and replenish forces in time

- A totally independent invasion system that causes NPCs to attack the player's base(s) regardless of the world state

These are the ones that come to mind at the moment, but I'm sure there are others and none of them are mutually exclusive.
The choice on how you want to develop your game is of course yours in the end and if you want the player's experience with one single character to be limited it's your call to make. Personally I think it would take away from the "sandbox" spirit of the game, but it's just my opinion of huge sandbox fanboy :D

In any case I'm looking forward to Friday!
Good evening and thank you for keeping us updated

Offline Zakharn

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Re: Impressions
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2017, 06:37:26 pm »
While we are the developers and we have final say on what will and what won't make into the game, we want Realms of Magic to be your game as much as ours. :)

We definitely don't want to limit player's experience with single character. We want to encourage exploration and sense of adventure as much as possible. Here is how we are planning to do it:

1. Soon after release of Early Access we will start working on cave and dungeon generation. While in theory there will be limited amount of them, there will be so many of locations with generated dungeons that one player won't be able to explore all of them.

2. We also want to have randomly generated quests, some of which would send you to randomly generated dungeons. We even have already created some solid foundations for random quests, but we decided to postpone it after initial release because they still required a lot of work.

3. Invasion system is something we want to explore alongside city management system.

We believe that after we add these three features into the game there won't be need for respawn system. However we will see how it will work out in the future and if it turns out that the players still want respawn system, then we will make it. :)
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Offline Echtel

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Re: Impressions
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2017, 10:59:07 am »
All your ideas are very interesting and I'm very curious to see them implemented. It is way too early to say what may or may not be needed anyway, best thing to do is just wait and see.
You are probably right in any case and a respawn system won't even be needed in the end.

I have enormous expectations of RoM and I'm not saying this to put pressure on you at all. What I mean to say is that I'm 110% on supporting your work, I'm going to buy the game the very second I see it available on steam (of course) and I'll do my best to give feedback anytime I can, heck I'll even write a review on the store page if it helps, never done it before but I want to see this succeed and if smashing a few keys is going to do any good, then why the hell not?

I see all the ingredients for greatness in this project and I think it has the potential of following in the steps of huge, fantastic indie successes like Terraria or M&B; the ideas are all there and the background is similar: a small but skilled and passionately dedicated team, the willingness to communicate with and listen to the community, a solid base concept being developed BY gamers FOR gamers and the ideal environment for indie developers (thank you Steam).
Also the fact that you are Polish is a plus for me; I'm Italian so I have historical sympathies for you guys too... LOL

Cheers for RoM! :)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2017, 11:00:46 am by Echtel »