Shelby Quest Released!

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Yes, the little game I’ve been working on is finally done. And due to the magic of itch.io, it’s possible to play it on any modern browser. That means that even a decent phone will run it, regardless of whether you’re using Android, iOS or whatever else. (I opted not to make it an app for either in the end, due to some big stumbling blocks I found along the way that would really cost me to get past.)

So yeah. Go ahead and play it! Discover all the ways it’s broken and probably not all that great, seeing as I never really planned for it to have a storyline at all. If you’re playing on a phone or tablet, also be warned that it may have some lag and that the controls are kinda-sorta terrible. If I was advanced enough to begin to fix that, I would, but a bunch of programmers way better than myself have been working on those problems for over a year and I don’t see it ending. So, we’ll have to just live with that.

Overall, I’m fairly proud of this. It’s much more than I ever thought it could be, in a lot of ways. Sure, I definitely have my disappointments, as outlined above, but I also got some unexpected triumphs. Each character just naturally fit into the place that I chose for them, and the enemies, equipment and skills followed suit. At first I wrestled with the question of how to deal with difficulty when the player can just wander around wherever, but some friends over at Habitica gave me a clever solution.

Plus, other than the tiny short-short game I once made about Eibmoz (and am not honestly sure where it is anymore), this is the first time I’ve managed to actually finish and release a game of any complexity. You could also count CaveBlade or Miracle Springs, but those were just little growths from a tutorial and you can honestly complete either one in about 10 minutes. Plus, I never really cared if anyone played those or not, whereas I really hope a few people enjoy Shelby Quest. Even though I’m not expecting that to be more than like five people.

Anyway, let’s quit messing around. I ask of you, please be one of those people and play Shelby Quest!

Running With It

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Shelby Quest Screenshot

A lot has happened with this little RPG Maker MV project, which I have dubbed Shelby Quest for obvious reasons. At this point, after playing through for about 3 hours making sure it wasn’t too blatantly awful, I consider it to be ready for more of a proper testing phase. That really tells you how powerful RPG Maker MV is, considering I’ve been at this for something like 3 weeks. Then again, Steam shows about 105 hours that I had the engine open, so…

Anyway, I’m really excited that this whole thing became so much bigger, and that despite that, it’s mostly done. I’m not too thrilled with some of the controls on mobile, but it looks like the community just doesn’t have solutions for that yet, so I’m going to call it good enough. All in all, I feel like I’ve gone to great lengths to accommodate the problems this engine has, especially when it comes to the mobile app versions.

That said, I actually have no idea if the game will actually work for iOS. I’ve been testing it on Android, and some of the features I had added would throw errors when I played on that format. Hopefully iOS doesn’t have a whole different set of errors, or I’m frankly kind of screwed in that department. I don’t really want to do much more work on the game itself, unless someone finds bugs or other issues. I just want to focus on giving it a sort of mini-release. (Obviously there are limits because the characters are copyrighted, but I still want to explore how that phase works.)

How to Make RPG Maker MV Games Work on Android

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Last week I spent my one and only day off trying to figure out what RPG Maker MV could possibly mean when it claims that its games work on mobile platforms, particularly Android. Despite working from morning to night, Googling each and every problem that came my way and trying at least 6 different methods (two of which were considered “official”), I made exactly zero progress that day.

Amazingly, my next search brought me to a program that, long story short, worked perfectly. While it’s mainly a commercial program, Website 2 APK Builder does have a free option that got me up and running just fine. Since I struggled so much, here’s how I did it for anyone who’s wondering:

  1. From RPG Maker MV, click File -> Deployment and export as Android/iOS.
  2. Download and install the free version of Website 2 APK Builder.
  3. Open it up. If it asks you for a key, just continue with free version.
  4. At the top-left, make sure “Local HTML Website” is checked. Give it a name.
  5. Near the bottom-left, click Choose Folder next to Directory of Local Website. Find the “www” folder created in Step 1.
  6. Change any other settings you want. Some might require the pro version, but for just testing like this, only the things I mentioned are necessary.
  7. Click Generate APK in the bottom-right and watch it go! It’s surprisingly fast, depending on how big your game is.

After this, you can install it on your system using the same methods mentioned in the manual, or however else you want. The point is, you now have a working APK file that any Android device can install. Unlike other methods I’ve seen, this shouldn’t result in any errors while you’re working or when you try to open the app. And again, you can get at least a basic one running completely free.

CaveBlade: Combat Update

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Warning: terrible graphics ahead!

CaveBlade Prototype

It’s another week of CaveBlade work, and progress is steady. As you can see from the screenshot, I replaced everything with… different graphics. Notice that I did not say “better” graphics, because in many cases they’re really bad. But, all of them are now made entirely by me, which gives me a little bit more right to this game. (In the previous version all the pictures were provided by Chris DeLeon, the tutorial maker.)

Much more importantly, though, there are enemies, traps, and a health meter. The bat flies around at complete random, not really caring about the walls, whereas the zombies are contained to walking areas. The player also has a crude sword swing that can kill them. Also, I added different kinds of keys, to test later. None of this has changed the solution to get out of the room–it just adds a little interest.

As with last week, I uploaded a slightly older version of the game because I’m reasonably sure that this version doesn’t have a lot of bugs. Some things that I have already worked on, but don’t show up in this update, include going off to other rooms, as well as a throwing knife attack. Besides making more actual rooms to test these features in, I’m also working on adding sound to the game. Because of that, it should feel a lot more substantial when I come back next week.

In the meantime, try the current version here.