Author Topic: are these bugs?  (Read 897 times)

Offline Mizzador

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are these bugs?
« on: September 11, 2016, 02:50:54 pm »
Hello.
""""Spoiler Alert"""  DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVENT FINISHED GAME.
The following post is designed to help or just give ideas and not to insult. I hope you will see my points.
First of all I Love many aspects of your game and the style and I'm impressed by the fact it's a one man effort.

However  I'm an extreme veteran when it comes to gaming. 25 years on all platforms on hundereds of titles. so forgive me if my honest upfront critic offends. please read on.
I'm curious and confused as to why I found a black gemstone that Reads;"it's special"

However after end Game it's still in my quest items I can't see a use?
also I have Leonald's sword in quest items that I never found a use for?
And...There is another crypt on top of a hill in which there are two doors inside.
one says opened elsewhere. (Without any elsewhere). and the other locked (without any key) this is after game has finished there's no way of finding any key and no switch. I found it odd to be able to complete a game whilst a dungeon is unexplored.
so how do I get inside these doors?

Also on another note;
Why did this game end so disapointingly abrupt without any real sentiment or build up?
I mean your looking for your father the whole game then the first guy you met who by the way has a different name turns out to be in theory (not any real proof) he is your father?
then the game ends without any real feeling or emotional conversation or anything in fact it left me feeling totally void of any "glory moment or highlight"
just oh...f..father.....the end...?! face palm!
I was like..."omg lame you can't seriously tell me that's the end?!!"

Another note:
It was far too easy.
I never died once. just hit,move back, hit.
I killed the last demon guy by just letting him follow me back to the first room and I switched the lever to lock him in while I shot him through the door with a bow!...
I got bored doing that so I let him out for the last 2 hits with my magic sword.  there was no real feeling of accomplishment or fear.

Also I found it really quite illogical the way in which you gain all these items which you really have nothing left to kill to enjoy them?
By the time you got your magic sword you've only got a couple guys to kill and then it's Game over..nothing left on map so you just equipped best gear and it's over? Sad...!
Not to mention it's not a full set of magic gear?
You never need to spend gold to buy anything its all found easily in dungeons.
The herbs were a waste of time I never used any.
I never needed any healing ever. regen was enough for the rare times I took a hit.
 
the Game was great in its presentation and style but very lacking in its imagination creativity and logic. It was repetive all puzzles were unimaginative...the same dungeons different shape. same "open elsewhere switch or key.
There really was not enough variety of puzzles which was an opportunity wasted.

I would have liked to see
:Variety in puzzles.
:More variety in dungeon maps and textures.
: Much more difficult end game mobbs with perhaps even some that use range weapons.
:Much less gold find or ways to spend it.
I have $70,000 gold left and nothing worth buying.
:Too many herbs and making potions were unessesary. More need for use or rarity of find.
:Perhaps some comedy with a greater story line.
:Maybe mobbs that can respawn for replay ability.
: Boss encounters at end of each dungeon. which drops the loot instead of a chest that was easy to get.
:Night time every 12 hours would be very Eerie,  where hard enemies would appear like "vampires" or something more creative, would bring a real sence of danger and tense moments that are memorable.
Maybe you have to get back to an inn to rest until morning if you are faint-hearted or scared lol.
I could suggest forever but I leave it to your imagination.
But I stress the need to bring the game to life because it has huge potential.




Offline EgonOlsen

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Re: are these bugs?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2016, 11:14:15 pm »
Thanks for the detailed feedback. I do understand some of your points, and I somehow feel the need to explain why some things are the way they are... ;)

But first, to your question about the stone and if that's a bug: No, it's not. The stone and the locked dungeon belong to another branch of the main quest. The main quest branches when you decide whether to ask Gradwin or Sianor for help. For both branches, you find the needed quest items both at the same location but you only need one of them in your particular branch. I did it that way mainly because it was convenient to do it and I never expected it to confuse quite a lot of players. I wouldn't do it again, but it is like it is now.

Before I answer some of your other points, I want to put things into perspective: This game is, as you've already mentioned, mainly a one man's effort (with some help here and there, of course). I made the 3D engine as well as the game engine, I wrote the story, the quests and the dialogs (in german and english at the same time), I had to design the items, the world, the dungeons...etc. I took me 4 years and 2 month of spare time work to get as far as I did. That's not meant as an excuse or to get the tears flowing or something...It should just show how much work it is to get something like this done. And you have to cut corners and simplify some things, or the game wouldn't be out for another 2 or 3 years. With that out of the way, here we go...

About the ending...I'm not really happy with it either...BUT: To understand why it's the way it is, you have to know how it all started. Naroth isn't my first game that takes place in, well, Naroth. I released the first one as a german only shareware game 23 years ago for the Commodore Amiga (http://www.mobygames.com/game/amiga/die-quelle-von-naroth). It basically lets the player experience the events that lead to the incident...where it ends. For the new game, I wanted to build upon the lore that I had created for the first game and I also wanted to keep the story personal. I just couldn't do some real epic stuff with dragons and magic and whatever, because I didn't have the resource to do so...not the time, not the money, not the art...so I decided to keep it on a personal level and I thought that this whole "looking for the father" story was a good fit, because it allowed me to build upon the first game's story without forcing me to make each and every detail match the first game. After all, 20 years have passed...in game time as well as in the real world.

So I went ahead with the "father story", but after some time, I felt that something was missing. Searching for your father is great and all, but it's not very interesting in the long run, because it doesn't provide any kind of antagonist. So I had to come up with something, but again, I was limited by what I had at my disposal regarding art and animations. I had a pool of maybe 15 different enemy models from which I could choose. So the rest of the story as well as the antagonist had to fit somehow into these restrictions. The whole "undead rising" thing seemed to fit, so I went ahead with that. But after that story came to an end, I thought that I somehow lost track of the whole "father searching" thing and I didn't want the game to end that way.
For weeks, I had no idea how to make the turn back to the father story without having to redo everything, which I just couldn't do. The only idea that at least somehow worked was the one that's now in the game...yes, it comes out of nowhere and yes, it somehow feels rushed...I know that. But I also like open endings, so I went with it. As said, I'm not 100% satisfied with it, maybe not even 75%, but I had to make compromises to get this game done in a reasonable time frame...and this is one.
Apart from that, quite a few people seem to like the ending the way it is. They think of it as an interesting plot turn...

I'll try to answer some of your other points by citing them...

Quote
It was far too easy. I never died once. just hit,move back, hit.
It's really tough to find a good balance here. When it came out, especially the first few levels were a lot more difficult than they are now. But even now, a lot of the one star reviews that I'm getting are because people find the game much to difficult. I tailored the game to my play style. The way I play it, I die sometimes but not enough to make it a frustrating experience. You can't please everyone. You are an experienced gamer, but a lot of people playing mobile games aren't. And for those, the game is quite difficult as it is.

Quote
I killed the last demon guy by just letting him follow me back to the first room and I switched the lever to lock him in while I shot him through the door with a bow!...
That seems to be a common trick. I get this as negative feedback from time to time, so I'll do something about it in the future. I'm not sure what exactly though, but we'll see.

Quote
Also I found it really quite illogical the way in which you gain all these items which you really have nothing left to kill to enjoy them?
By the time you got your magic sword you've only got a couple guys to kill and then it's Game over..nothing left on map so you just equipped best gear and it's over? Sad...!
But isn't that quite common in single player RPGs? That you get the good gear at the end without much left except for killing the final boss?

Quote
Not to mention it's not a full set of magic gear?
No, there's not. To be honest, I never thought of it. As said above, I tailored the game to my play style. And I don't care about sets in the slightest in RPGs. I played Witcher 3 plus add-ones for 160h and I almost never had all the pieces of a set until the very end, where I didn't need them anymore. I just don't care and it shows in Naroth, I guess.

Quote
You never need to spend gold to buy anything its all found easily in dungeons.
The same thing as above: When I play the game, I do spend some money on equipment.

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The herbs were a waste of time I never used any.
You don't have to. But if you want to play the game with alchemy, you can. You can skill alchemy instead of melee combat and get the same effects and buffs with potions instead. And if you do, you might need more money as well, because you have to buy these empty flasks from time to time.
Another idea behind the herbs was, that some people just like to collect stuff. So I wanted to give them the opportunity to do that while walking around the wilderness and from what I experienced on how people are playing the game, it seemed to have worked, at least to a degree.

Quote
I never needed any healing ever. regen was enough for the rare times I took a hit.
Others do use them. I do. What can I say... ;)

Quote
...but very lacking in its imagination creativity and logic.
That one hurts... :'( I really tried hard to get as much as possible out of the limited resources that I had at my disposal. Yes, the puzzles aren't that hard or varied, but I really don't think that they were worse than what we had in the games that might have served as an inspiration for this one.

Quote
More variety in dungeon maps and textures.
Again, limited resources. The dungeons have been build using ASCII in a text editor. I just couldn't model them in a 3D modeling program. That would have taken maybe one month per dungeon (and that's not even taking the fact into account that my artistic talent might not be sufficient to do it properly anyway), which would have lead to almost 3 years for the dungeons alone- Let alone that it would have required more coding to make the AI work in real 3D dungeons as well.

Quote
Much less gold find or ways to spend it.
Point taken. It's a little bit like with the herbs. I wanted to add collectibles to the dungeons, and these gold nuggest were a nice fit. When I play RPGs, I usually end up with more gold than I can carry as well, so it didn't think that having too much gold would bother some people. But it's obviously the case.

Quote
Maybe mobbs that can respawn for replay ability.
That's a request that some players have. But as said, I made a game that I would want to play. And I HATE respaws in RPGs, so I didn't add them.

Quote
Boss encounters at end of each dungeon. which drops the loot instead of a chest that was easy to get.
I would have loved to do that, but I couldn't...no art resources to do it.

Quote
Night time every 12 hours would be very Eerie,  where hard enemies would appear like "vampires" or something more creative, would bring a real sence of danger and tense moments that are memorable.
There's code for a day/night cycle in the game (really old screenshots are showing it: http://www.jpct.net/forum2/index.php/topic,2471.msg18252.html#msg18252), but it's not active. There are two reasons for it: I don't like night time in games. I want to be able to see something, so I usually skip night time whenever possible. The other, more important reason: I find it really stupid when games add a night cycle, but all the NPCs show no difference in behaviour. Shops are open, kids are walking around...I just don't like that. But I really didn't want to add a complete new layer of NPC AI and logic for a feature that I don't even like...so I scratched it. I do get why people like it though.

Phew... :)

I hope this helps at least a little bit to understand why some things turned out the way they have. That doesn't mean that you have to like them or anything and I've really appreciate your detailed feedback. I'm getting not very much in-depth feedback from gamers, let alone seasoned ones like you.
Making an RPG on your own is a huge task. It's sometimes to hard to stay focused and you have to cut corners and kill your babies, or you'll get nowhere. My initial, very rough time estimation for the game was 3 years, it took 4 and 2 months. I really felt that this was enough.

I'm still thinking about some additional content (which gets harder and harder to do the more languages the game supports, which is another problem in adding or changing stuff) and maybe I can implement some of your suggestions then.

For now, I'll at least try to handle the "kill the final boss (or any enemy) by shooting him through a door" in one way or another.

Game on!

« Last Edit: September 11, 2016, 11:23:54 pm by EgonOlsen »

Offline Mizzador

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Re: are these bugs?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2016, 02:46:22 am »
Thanks for the effort put into your reply.
I'm used to writing a lengthy thought out post to most other develepers and recieving disconcerning abrupt one liner responses haha.
I don't want to take up too much of your time. My mind is brimming with game ideas of all kinds which I have aquired through so many years of gaming. I truly believe if I had a few guys like you who could do the coding we could make a hit. I have used a game making scenerio editor in the past to create several 8 player games I released online which were widely praised and a rpg which I used various triggers and effects to break the boundaries of the editing tools ability.
but that's just a simple game design tool I have no knowledge about using text code or any coding at all actually pretty much nothing as far as that's concerned. but I created a very exciting puzzle rpg with strong elements of Feeling,Emotion, Storyline and tense moments of fear aswell as heartfelt moments in the dialogue.
Thats what I believe makes a game memorable.
I understand where you are coming from it took me 6 months to make an rpg with a game design editor that just allows you to seed a map and place things around and set triggers and effects etc etc with over 1000 animated models pre coded.
So I can imagine the effort doing it all in text.

Much of my ideas were intended to suggest future addition to this game rather than change it. When i say dialogue what is a good addition to a story is the use of narrative.
Although the ending I can see your point I feel you still could have it the way it is but I feel it just lacked in story or feeling. you don't need resources to add story.

The guys name is different than the fathers so it's not explained how he became known under a different name.

When I say descriptive feeling that's something narrative can give.
Descriptive narrative gives a feel to the situation. Also a deep story line provides much more content especially needed in a one man relatively short Game. it stetches it out and adds to its length. only writing is needed so it's relatively easy and a grear way to extend a games life. of course you add a skip dialogue option for those who dislike reading text. however I feel if they take their tI'm to read they would enjoy the game more. a 2 hour gameplay control can become many hours of memorable experience.

Example Only:
Upon embark:
"With the emblem held tightly grasped in my hand and with it all hope of ever finding my father, I made the journey through the woods".

Upon arrival:
"As I came upon the door of the house I felt as though I was at my last hope and if this turned out to be a waste of time I feared I would have to return to my home which now would feel empty and silent without my mother or father present it would be a place of residence rather than my home....with this in mind all my hopes rested on this tiny seemingly insignificant stone I held in my hand."

"Greetings, It's been long since we met."
I remember you last told me of I ever found a emblem or idol to bring it to you".
Well I found this one deep inside a place of evil protected by a demon!"
Surely it has some significanve? "
I was hoping you could she'd some light on How it could be related to my lost father's whereabouts"?


Upon handing stone:
 "The old and weary man gazed upon the emblem I had handed him and a look of astonishment fell upon his face".

"Old man":
"This Stone....It's ....no..how can it be? I created this art! I recognize it clearly as my work however I can't recall doing so."

"Old man":
"I wonder How on earth this is possible?"
I really need to rest".

"Me":
"Sit down here please try to remember because it's very important I need to find my father and you are my only last hope"!

"His hands began to tremble as he held the relic. He looked up at me and for the first time I gazed into his familiar eyes and he into mine"!

"Old man":
"You....oh.....I....I'm....sorry....Please no.... just leave....here I don't know where your father could....be. "The man looks sad and wallowing in self pity".

"Me":
"I....I Can't....Believe it! ....I almost gave up hope...is that you Father?!!!

" A tear rolled down his cheek as the old and weary man who's face had endured the elements of time reached out his hand"

"Old man":
"My...my....Son! "He exclaimed with a chocking voice!

"Ohhh Dad!!!... "My heart pounded in joy! But suddenly concerned at his appearance, this withered old man standing before me, a mere shadowy figure of his former greatness that had always been my role model and inspiration".

"I pulled him in close to me, my arms around his shoulders, A feeling came over me that only the warm embrace of a parent can give"

"Me":
"What happened Dad? how could you end up here alone...."

"His eyes fell in shame as he stared down at his feet"

"Old man":
...."Please forgive me Dear Son....I...I...Just couldn't come back as a failed father....And ohh...God....What Have I done??!!!..My poor Wife....What has become of your mother?....I am not worthy...."

"Me":
"Father!...Dad...no...don't speak like that ....please" "sobs"..."You are all I have left in this world!...""Gasp"...
"Mother has long passed since...She Became ill and had all but given up hope" "I Told her everything would be ok as i couldn't bring myself to tell her the truth, That I would try to find you.!"
"Mothers last words were" Please Tell your father.... I forgive him!"...

"His Mother of course knew in her heart Her son would try to find his father despite the dangers".

"He lifted his head again his eyes peered into mine...."

"Old man":
"Oh my son!" He said as he looked me up and down...."What a fine young man you've become...and so brave to come all this way just to find me....Me! a worthless old mercenary withered away to nothing!"

"Feeling blessed to have my Father once again back in my life I unsheathed my sword and lay it on the table"

"Me":
"You'll always be my inspiration and You are never nothing to me! "...
"You are a man of honor a man of truth and a man of stubborn pride...!"
" You are....."Father"!
End:

Sorry....I guess losing my own father in real life I have more sentiment about it.

The way your story ended finding his father was shallow it felt like he just found an old pair of shoes...there was no feeling involved and no climax or emotional ending.
This was his Father he found he had risked his life he had lost his mother he was alone in the world...surely finding his father after all this considered it should have been a much more monumental moment?

Anyway thanks for the game I really enjoyed it. I understand you wanted it to be what you like. but a little emotion and feeling can go a long way.
Perhaps my example was pretty lame. I'm no expert in writing dialogue just wanted to give you some inspiration to maybe just consider writing a in depth meaningful story because I'm sure that it will be well recieved and make the game you worked so long on become memorable.  because really 4 years of work shouldn't be let down by a Vague story line. it can make it come alive.
And when I said "unimaginative and not creative." I didnt mean the game itself lacked imagination. it's just that more could of been put in via dialogue and puzzles.
instead of the same old. Pull the switch on a wall opens a door elsewhere.
it could have had some doors with a diffrent means to open.
Example: A hidden crack in a wall with a key inside.
A code on the door where each number is found somewhere.
A way of shooting a switch inside the locked room with the bow through the window to open
You get the idea.
Again I understand the time constraints these are just future ideas.
I want to point out that the dungeons were referee to as "mines" However there's nothing inside that resembles a mine. no mining tools or cart or digging sites.
now I'm just being picky lol sorry.
Please don't feel you need to reply in great detail I don't intend to create a job in forum for you. just hope you will take some ideas on board and one day we will see some new exciting content.
By the way Why not look for some investors and create a team to work on future development?  I'm sure they will see great potential and expertise in your works and be willing to go into partners with a funded dev team? just food for thought.




Offline EgonOlsen

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Re: are these bugs?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2016, 08:26:07 am »
The guys name is different than the fathers so it's not explained how he became known under a different name.
At least that one is explained... ;)

But I guess you usually don't choose the dialog path that explains it when you visit him at that stage of the game. If you visit him before and talk to him, he tells you that he has somehow lost parts of his memories and that his current name might not even be his real one.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 08:50:18 am by EgonOlsen »

Offline Mizzador

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Re: are these bugs?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2016, 01:10:33 pm »
Well if it can be missed then it's something that should be made unmissable because it can cause confusion. there's no real path to lead you to him so most would miss that.
Besides that. My real point was the narrative that makes a game far superior that is what I hoped you would take away from all this.
Maybe you could look into hiring a Dialogue trainer to Improve writing skills?
A well written memorable story is 9/10ths of a rpg.
Just a suggestion.  because it felt rushed and Shallow in depth.
again not insult just observation and suggestion.