Sorry for the delay, things have been tough recently. On the flip side, as of yesterday, I have a solid plan for the next little while. TL;dr: Hybrid 1.1, Customizable JRPG, and then 1000 Adventures.
Well, it turns out blind gamers are awesome. I almost ranked fifth in the jam (ended up 17th because I didn't add any audio), and received nothing but positive feedback from blind players.
I never finished the game due to time constraints. So, I'm going to work on that first. There's something oddly satisfying about making text games, and not having to worry about drawing stuff. I also find it really rewarding to make games for this niche of players.
I attempted to make procedurally-generated JRPGs as far back as 2016-2018. I recently found out that, while that idea itself is not appealing, what is appealing is that players and/or gamedevs seem interested in it, if you can customize the game; things like duration, theme, party size, and classes.
I imagine this will end up spiraling into a huge project. The goal for this one is something like "make me a randomly-generated game like Final Fantasy V" (first world) - so 10-ish hours of a classic JRPG experience, albeit with modern features (like fast travel and a turn-based and realtime hybrid battle engine).
It's a huge project. I can see myself working on it for years. So this will probably be my main project (as it is my dream game) for years. I can see sequels spinning out with different niches (such as a horror-esque one with a completely different battle engine). You can see the current progress, with placeholder art, in the screenshot above.
The plan here is to ship a playable version as soon as possible, and start building a community around it and adding content to it. Meanwhile, between releases, I'll work on other stuff. Like what? Read on.
I really like making, and to some degree playing, short JRPGs; something that's classic-inspired by the SNES/PS1 era of JRPGs, but also small enough that I can build. This probably means something that's:
I already drafted up a couple of really interesting stories, like "the AI that saved the human race." I'm not sure yet if I should:
If you have any thoughts, let me know. Once I make one of these, theoretically, I can knock out a second or third one rather quickly, so this will fill up my project space between versions of Customizable JRPG.
Hey, thanks for reading all that, you're really awesome. If you could send me a reply/poke/message/tweet and let me know that you actually read this, I would really appreciate it, especially if you have any feedback on anything in it.
Hey all. It's been a while, so here are some updates:
Yep, that's right, a new game! It's a text game, and a combination of roguelike and MUDs - perhaps the evolution of my previous prototype, which included interactive-fiction-like puzzle elements.
If you're interested in trying it out, you can play it on Itch: https://deengames.itch.io/hybrid - please let me know if you have any feedback.
Gem Worlds v1.2.1 ships today (demo and full version), which a bevvy of gamepad-related improvements and bugfixes. This should significantly improve the player experience if you use a gamepad, or if you play on Deck.
If you're on a gamepad and past the tutorial, you can always start a new game to see the tutorial dialog again. If not, the controls are pretty simple:
The full list of changes include:
The full list of bug-fixes includes:
Special thanks to 3akev for his tireless and amazing, high-quality work to get all these fixes and changes pushed out (and in a matter of two days!)
Hey all, I'm back from my break, with a couple of announcements.
First and foremost: Gem Worlds v1.2.0 ships today with full gamepad support. This should make it playable on the Deck without any configuration or rebinding.
The release also includes a couple of bug-fixes for some critical cases where you can get an inaccessible area in a map:
Please note that the controls rebinding menu shows all controls (keyboard and gamepad), but rebinding gamepad controls currently doesn't work (and I can't figure out why). If this is an issue for you, please contact me and let me know.
Second: while I expected the game release to be lukewarm, the results were disappointing. Barring unforseen circumstances (like being picked up by a big streamer or a Boulder Dash or Supaplex community), the game hasn't gotten much traction. Considering how long it took to make, I don't think it makes sense to invest much more into it.
I sincerely thank each of you who bought it, enjoyed it, and especially those who left reviews on it. I read and appreciate all your feedback, positive and constructive.
That said, I suspect it's time to move on to my next project. It's going to be a blind-playable JRPG-like-game for the Games for Blind Gamers jam coming up in April. I'll provide more details later, once I start on the prototype.
I released Gem Worlds v1.1.0 today (both the full game and the demo). This patch includes a few important changes:
Gamepad support is still a work-in-progress, and I intend to get back to it next month (after my break from game development).