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> A'kara: Epochulous, Story-driven RPG sequel.
Dactrius
post Feb 7 2010, 03:30 AM
Post #1


Elfophile.
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A'kara: Epochulous

Introduction

A'kara: Epochulous is the direct sequel to an RPG project I released to this community roughly this time last year. The original project hit an unfortunate end when computer issues meant it could no longer be edited, leaving me with an encrypted demo as the only remaining remnant. This locked demo stands at roughly 2 hours of gameplay and can still be downloaded from the original thread here. I highly recommend attempting the prequel game before playing Epochulous, as many plot points will be explained in greater detail.

Rather than scrapping the storyline and characters, I decided to instead continue the saga in a seperate project. Several months have passed and A'kara: Epohchulous is almost in a demo-ready state. The storyline from the original game continues exactly where it left off, however many changes have been made in the interval between games and I'm hoping they are for the better and well-received. I feel I've improved much since developing A'kara: Premonition and I'm very anxious to hear the impressions of the RPGMaker community.

I am an extremely eager designer that loves receiving criticism (And praise if it's warranted) so I would gladly accept all opinions regardless of how minor or how detailed. I cannot improve without direction. smile.gif

DEMO LINK (Without RTP): >>>HERE<<<

DEMO LINK (With RTP): >>>HERE<<<

Tempus Sans font (If needed): >>>HERE<<<

Story so far...

Spoiler:
A'kara: Epochulous follows the jouney of two young assassins named Daizu and Seline and their relentless pursuit of a friend that betrayed them. Set in the dystopian future of the once-thriving world of Void'Akar, the two enigmatic assassins find themselves in a time where powerful corporations pull the strings of local goverments and agents like themselves are the only force standing between the ruthless syndicates and a world completely oppressed.

Having successfully reverse-engineered an ancient temporus time machine, the shadowy weapons corporation NuTek began making infrequent repeat journies into Void'Akar's past. Their attempts to change history in subtle ways to further benefit their aims seemed like a flawless plan and their liasons with the early Lucretian empire proved fruitful in regards to recovering other intact Temporus technologies. Their scheme was almost flawless, planned and calculated to the tiniest of details.

But as NuTek will ultimately learn if there's one thing you can rely on, it's the unpredictability of time...

...and the inadvertent woman that controls it.


Characters...

Spoiler:


Daizu

Class: Assassin

Daizu is remarkably young for the skillset he so expertly demonstrates on a day-to-day basis. An experienced and decorated assassin, Daizu has an extraordinary grasp on his profession for such a fledgeling age. Rumours have been circulating for as long as he can remember (Which stretches little more than a year due to unexplained amnesia) that he stems from none other than the super-secretive and deadly assassin order of the A'karans.

Endlessly curious and constantly questioning his surroundings, Daizu exhibits unusual traits for an agent of the shadows. Most of the time spent on his new home of Cander island has been put towards learning about the world and what brought it to the way that it is. Never accepting half-baked explanations, Daizu has relentlessly endeavoured to improve his knowledge and his wisdom in a seemingly sateless hunger. He has been known to talk to himself regularly and often stare into space for no reason other than to imagine. Perhaps a contradiction to his inquisitive personality, Daizu will often choose to remain a voiceless observer in many situations valuing the silent thought over the spoken word.

Character traits: Bold, Patient, Diplomatic, Curious, Philosophical, Determined.


Seline

Class: Blademaiden

Having been on the run from the Lucretian empire for most of her life, Seline is understandably an erratic and unpredictable woman. Bearing no ties to any individual person or place, the mysterious Blademaiden has proven a troublesome target for the powerful empire and all those she comes into contact with. Her last known location was Cander island, where she met and made an impression on Daizu. Although he would consider them friends, Seline has no love for such a bond.

Extremely short-tempered and never afraid to speak her mind, Seline is a 'kill everything first and pretend there never were any questions' kind-of-girl. Although many would consider the silver-haired assassin to be essentially borderline-psychotic, Daizu values her straightforward thinking and irrational hatred of anyone remotely threatening.

Recently Seline was thrust back in time to a period where the once great Temporus empire flourished. While exploring one of their sacred temples, a disembodied voice branded her the title of 'Filia Inritus' meaning 'Daughter of the void' in Temporus tongue. While having no ideas as to the meaning behind the monicker, Seline did come into possession of an eon glass that allows her minor control over time displacement. Although she never discovered why, it seems only she can manipulate Temporus technology.

Character traits: Unpredictable, Impatient, Irrational, Angry, Clear-minded, Strong-willed.


Screenshots...

Spoiler:

Screenshots are taken during development and do not necessarily represent the game in its final form.























Features...

Spoiler:

* Story-driven saga spanning many hours of gameplay.
* Non-linear player-chosen decisions lead to different outcomes in many situations.
* Highly-detailed world where almost everything is interactable.
* Fast-paced, side-view combat powered by the Tankentai Sideview Battle System.
* Custom soundtrack utilising no VX-default music.
* A healer that turns into a werewolf! Goddamn!
* Well-balanced blend of storyline, puzzles, exploration and combat.
* No random battles.

Credits will be listed both in the game itself and packed with it in the form of a text file.


Thankyou for reading. If you have any advice, critique or general comments I would love to hear them. smile.gif


This post has been edited by Dactrius: May 9 2010, 01:11 PM


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Dactrius
post Feb 8 2010, 11:36 AM
Post #2


Elfophile.
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Type: Writer
Alignment: Chaotic Good




UPDATE: Adding 3 new screenshots below. Demo expected within the next few days barring any distractions.

Spoiler:




Additional demo details:

* The demo will include 3 playable characters.
* The approximate length of the demo will be between an hour to an hour and a half if played at a casual pace.
* Certain longer cut scenes will be skippable.
* Side-quests and optional missions available to break up the storyline, complete with quest log.
* Various characters from mainstream games will be hidden in the game world and will reward with powerful items if found. Can you locate them all?


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SamGreen
post Feb 8 2010, 05:35 PM
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OMG, brilliant - gotta try this one wink.gif
I'll give a full review for the demo!


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NAT_Designer
post Feb 8 2010, 06:13 PM
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Wow, this is project looks like it deserves to be on the higher end of people's expectations for what an RMVX game should be. Your mapping skill look great, and the project overall is something I'm going to be watching for.


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StormriderAngel
post Feb 8 2010, 08:16 PM
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Woah! Awesome, This was one of my favorite RMVX games from long long ago! I kinda wondered what happened to it, I just thought it was canceled. Well it's great to see you working on it again and I can't wait to play it biggrin.gif.


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Rixis
post Feb 8 2010, 08:17 PM
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Hey nice to see Akara is back! Akara premonition was basically the first RMVX game I ever played, so you already know I am a fan happy.gif! I would love to give a review when the demo is ready.

I was suprised to see how the time period suddenly changed o_o...but it's so cool since i love futuristic settings happy.gif

I cant wait to see this biggrin.gif! And It's interesting to see how the setting suddenly changed, so im pretty into this smile.gif


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Dactrius
post Feb 9 2010, 12:21 AM
Post #7


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Thanks for all the replies, folks! I really, really appreciate the sentiments and enthusiasm, it helps keep the spark of ambition alive. smile.gif

Rixis, I'm impressed you remembered the setting of the previous game! You're absolutely correct in that the era has changed and of course this will be explained in the demo, but also bare in mind that the A'kara series is based around time travel so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. tongue.gif

Again, thankyou for the interest everyone, I'm really hoping the demo won't disappoint.


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Sagitar
post Feb 14 2010, 09:56 PM
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wild, open space...
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It's great to see this project pop up again! Premonition was absolutely terrific... and I haven't forgotten about the story or characters, so this should be tons of fun to play through. Looks like you've updated the graphics and such, too. Awesome biggrin.gif

For criticism, I'm not a huge fan of the font in those screenshots... It seems just a little too hard to read comfortably. It's really not bad though, so if you decide to leave it as is, no big deal.

Again, I'm glad to see you haven't given up (unsure.gif) on A'kara, and I'm very much looking forward to the demo. Good luck with production, I mean that... I hope the game garners the attention and praise it fully deserves.

Oh, and you should look into a userbar... I'd love to show my support for the project!


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Dactrius
post Feb 15 2010, 12:02 AM
Post #9


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Thanks for the awesome encouragement, Sagitar! smile.gif

QUOTE (Sagitar)
For criticism, I'm not a huge fan of the font in those screenshots... It seems just a little too hard to read comfortably.


I do share your concerns about the font, actually. I'm used to it now and like the look of it, but I've always been paranoid some people might not find it a good font to read. I'm okay with changing it, but it would have to be to a font that's of a similar size as all the text has been written in the editor to fit properly using that font. It's smaller than the default unfortunately.

Oh and on the userbar thing, I went ahead and made one like you suggested. I'll likely make something better when I have more time, but this one is good. Code is here:

Spoiler:
CODE
[topic=26557][img]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y14/Dactrius/AkaraEpoch.png[/img][/topic]


Demo is taking a little longer than I expected, but I'm aiming for a really good ending to it. It should be out this week.


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Dactrius
post Feb 19 2010, 04:51 AM
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DEMO V. 1.0

Finally, the demo is completed and ready for download. To accompany the release of a playable build, I've attached a couple of new screenshots and some details of the gameplay and what to expect. I would like to pre-emptively thank anyone who plays the demo, I really appreciate the attention and the chance to demonstrate my work and to deliver what I hope is an enjoyable and compelling story.
I would love to hear any comments, thoughts, impressions or (especially) criticism. smile.gif

Spoiler:




Information:

* The demo is confirmed to last over 2 hours. Playing through myself (Knowing exactly what to do) clocks in at just under that.
* A synthesis-style shop has been added that requires spare parts dropped from enemies, giving incentive to fight them as almost all battles can be avoided.
* 6 famous secret characters are hidden throughout the demo that offer powerful rewards if found. See if you can find them all!
* Tons of references to other games. How many can you get?

Demo Link:

For players with the RTP installed, the demo can be downloaded >>> HERE <<<

A version for those without the RTP installed will be coming soon.


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Sofresh85
post Feb 20 2010, 07:29 AM
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I have to admit........................I liked this game, it has a twist to it and it gets pretty interesting I liked how you made the secret code for the gas shutoff posted on the wall next doors lol, cheers on that, but overall I like the game, I think the battle system could have a little more depth, but none the less, it was really good, keep up the great work buddy!


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If you wish to support this game, copy and paste this into your sig.
CODE
[topic=22135][img]http://i830.photobucket.com/albums/zz228/sofresh8582/LS-TheatricalUserbar.png[/img][/topic]

CODE
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Dactrius
post Feb 22 2010, 12:00 PM
Post #12


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QUOTE (Sofresh85 @ Feb 20 2010, 07:29 AM) *
overall I like the game, I think the battle system could have a little more depth, but none the less, it was really good, keep up the great work buddy!


Thanks for your post, Sofresh85, I appreciate you trying my demo. You're absolutely right the combat needs some more depth and that's something I'm working on. I've always found combat the hardest thing to do, so I haven't put as much emphasis on that as I have the storyline or the mapping. I'm looking into it though.

For those that may have wanted to try this out but don't have the RTP, I've uploaded a second version of the demo with it. It can downloaded at the link below, or from the first post. smile.gif

Demo link with RTP: Clicky!


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Railkune
post Feb 22 2010, 02:34 PM
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Man...this was fantastic! The mapping was superb, the story was so addicting, and the setting really drew me in. Bravo Dactrius! You've really risen my hopes up for Rpg maker games. I'm looking forward to its finished release, but don't rush thou. Good things come to thos who wait I always say. ( Or at least I wish i did. )


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MenaKatep
post Feb 28 2010, 09:43 AM
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Well, I downloaded the version without the RTP, and the font doesn't display at all. I'm not sure if perhaps it's a font I don't have on my system...maybe? I was sad, because this game looks so good T_T

I hope you can tell me how to fix this xD

Logan


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Dactrius
post Feb 28 2010, 10:31 AM
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QUOTE (Railkune)
Man...this was fantastic! The mapping was superb, the story was so addicting, and the setting really drew me in. Bravo Dactrius! You've really risen my hopes up for Rpg maker games. I'm looking forward to its finished release, but don't rush thou.


Thankyou very much for that support Railkune, I'm not sure how I missed this post! I spend a lot of time on my mapping so it's always extremely gratifying to get compliments about it. I'm really glad you enjoyed the demo. smile.gif Don't worry, I don't intend to rush - I hope for this to be as professional as I can make it when it's done.

QUOTE (MenaKatep)
Well, I downloaded the version without the RTP, and the font doesn't display at all. I'm not sure if perhaps it's a font I don't have on my system...maybe? I was sad, because this game looks so good T_T


Hey MenaKatep, thanks for explaining the problem. You're not the only person to bring this up actually, a tester of the game had this issue as well although she fixed it very quickly herself. Your computer doesn't have the font that my game uses by default, which means if you wanted to play my game you'll need to download it. It's called 'Tempus Sans ITC' and usually comes with a lot of Microsoft products.

Fortunately I found a download location with instructions if you want to get it: Tempus Sans ITC Download

I'm going to consider changing the font for any future updates as this is potentially a problem and I don't want people downloading it just to play my game. Unfortunately all the text in the game is spaced out specifically for a font of this size so I'd need to find something similar but more widely available.

Thanks guys!


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Demuirge
post Feb 28 2010, 01:17 PM
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looks great!
I have to try this when I have some spare time.

Until then, would you mind telling me what tilesets you used. (I tried searching but nothing...)


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mudducky
post Feb 28 2010, 01:43 PM
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I've started to play through your demo so far Dactrius and the demo is very impressive.

I was taken by surprise by how well designed, in my opinion at least, your maps were for interaction. I got the impression you put a lot of effort into your dungeon/maze mapping style and made good use of events to have the characters moving forwards and backwards at times. I believe you have good skills in this area and have grasped that aspect very well. It keeps the game enjoyable and makes me want to continue playing! smile.gif

If this involves careful planning for you to accomplish, could you possibly give me a few tips or thoughts that you consider when mapping dungeon/maze type of environments? That would help me gratefully! smile.gif

This post has been edited by mudducky: Feb 28 2010, 01:44 PM


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Dactrius
post Feb 28 2010, 02:49 PM
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QUOTE (Demuirge)
Until then, would you mind telling me what tilesets you used. (I tried searching but nothing...)


Certainly! It's actually a combination of a few tilesets I put together. I started with Mack's tilesets (Found here) but removed his TileC as I didn't need it. Then I added some of the futuristic tiles made by Enterbrain (Found here) and for my TileE used D*M's futuristic tile set (Found here). I manually added some RTP tiles for the desert city as Mack's scenery only covered forests and caves.

I'm heavily considering releasing an updated demo that will be unencrytped at some point, as I learned a lot about VX through looking at open projects like Lost Heaven and Drunken Paladin (I heavily recommend those games btw). I find it's very kind of budding developers to let people learn from them like that.

QUOTE (Mudducky)
If this involves careful planning for you to accomplish, could you possibly give me a few tips or thoughts that you consider when mapping dungeon/maze type of environments? That would help me gratefully!


Oh wow. I've never actually been asked this kind of question before, so I'm not sure what to say. I always keep in mind a couple of simple rules when I'm designing a dungeon environment:

- Always give the player space to move (If you have roaming enemies or NPC's, make sure they can't block the player).
- Don't make rooms too big, try to keep in mind what the player can see given the size of the VX window (That last part is very important, and why I favour smaller maps).
- Try to give the player incentive to explore. Make passageways and rooms that branch off the path and reward them for being thorough.

Like some other people just in this thread alone will tell you, you can rarely ever have enough detail. I typically design dungeons room by room and corridor by corridor. I ensure everything is nicely detailed before I move on. Scenery plays a large part in how much people will enjoy your game and in many ways can even be interactive (Such as the switch-controlled bridge near the beginning of this game). One other thing I like to do is keep things realistic. I know often we're dealing with fantasy worlds, but I always ask myself if what I'm designing actually makes any sense. "Would the people that built this place actually put a store room here?", that kind of thing.

So basically just keep things nice and open, but keep in mind the scale. Give the player reasons to explore your dungeons and try to make things interesting and detailed. I hope that answers your question, but if you were hoping for a different kind of answer let me know. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Dactrius: Feb 28 2010, 02:50 PM


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Demuirge
post Feb 28 2010, 03:36 PM
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Thanks! ^^

I'm playing the demo right now. I've just done the hacking minigame and I've got to say, I'm impressed!

The mapping is stunning! (I am to presume the demo takes place on an airship?)
The eye for detail in a game is very rare and you are one of the few people here that have it.

The only complaint I have is that it lags a bit but that's probably just me. biggrin.gif

I can't wait for the finished product to be released!


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MenaKatep
post Feb 28 2010, 07:42 PM
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Actually, would it be possible to include the font in the installation process? Or include the file in the zpped folder and have the user drag the font to Windows/Fonts? I do like the font because it's decorative, but maybe you don't have to change it ^^

Logan


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