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!

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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.)

That Awkward Moment

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Shelby Quest Screenshot 001

So instead of working on The Demon’s Guardian like I was supposed to, I ended up continuing on my little practice project from RPG Maker MV. It was more or less a joke at first, just featuring random characters from things that I like. The idea was that the player would make a custom character using a plugin, and then that character would search for these other characters before facing the final boss. I was going to use solely the maps provided by RPG Maker MV.

I hit a roadblock when I realized that some plugins completely break down when porting over to Android (I haven’t even gotten to iOS yet, actually). So I couldn’t have a custom character. Then it occurred to me that it might be nice to make Shelby the main character. With her knowing (and loving) this, I can’t very well not complete the game she stars in, can I? That inspired me to give it a little smidgen of story besides the little bits that go with the characters.

So now each character has at least five skills, two sets of equipment, a town and a dungeon dedicated to them. And it turns out that with RPG Maker MV‘s bigger tiles, the default maps actually look huge. I’ve accidentally spent two solid weeks making a world that could probably take several hours to get through–assuming you’re not distracted by the ridiculous amount of treasure I’ve thrown around. None of the enemies or items have any stats attached to them yet, either.

Which leaves me asking myself the question: what fresh hell have I stumbled into now?