Emo Quest XD Demo - A Colorful Retro JRPG Adventure!

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pbmn
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Emo Quest XD Demo - A Colorful Retro JRPG Adventure!

Post by pbmn »

Hey! I've finally released the Demo!
The Game's story follows: You are a boy with dark powers that is playing games and discover there are monsters outside. So he decides to go out and defeat them to level up!

Here's the game page: https://thiago-avidos.itch.io/emo-quest-xd

The average playtime should be around 10 to 30 minutes depending on how much you interact with the objects.
The Demo includes only the first chapter.

The World is made with grid-based movement, so it feels very nostalgic and enticing!
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The Battles work in a pretty traditional way, with HP and SP. You use SP in order to activate your special attacks. But you can also use one special attack called Flower to spare the monsters if they are weak enough!
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You can also 'like' Songs to add unique special effects to the battles/world!
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There are also 4 different Color Palettes to choose from, EX (the more detailed one), the Color, the Dynamic and the Original. You can choose whichever you like/enjoy the most!
You can also change the game speed from 1X to up to 3X.

Here's the game page: https://thiago-avidos.itch.io/emo-quest-xd

I hope you enjoy playing it! It is my passion project that I've been working on for some time. If you end up playing it I'd love to hear some feedback if possible, it helps a lot to make it a better experience!

Thanks for reading! Cya!

Thiago Avidos
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4xEmpire
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Re: Emo Quest XD Demo - A Colorful Retro JRPG Adventure!

Post by 4xEmpire »

This is cool! :awesome: :nyu: Love the retro gb vibe and reminds of games like pokemon gold.

How many monsters are there? Do you plan to develop further since this is only a demo?
pbmn
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Re: Emo Quest XD Demo - A Colorful Retro JRPG Adventure!

Post by pbmn »

In the Demo there's around 11 monsters, but in total I have 32 fully animated and 80 with sprites done (I only animate when it's time to add them into the game). There's no monster collecting though, you battle to level up yourself but you can 'Flower" the monsters when they are weak if you want to, and that gets saved.

I do plan to fully develop it! XD. There will be 4 chapters, and I'm currently developing Chapter 3's last zones. Plans to release in mid of 2022 if everything goes right, but I don't wanna rush it. (Last time, I had a terrible art block and moved on from it for like 6 months and returned to it with a nice puzzle idea lolz so anything can happen, but I'm confident with it now!)

Oh btw all the monsters were made by me back in 2008 when I was a kid, I drew about 153 monsters but some were cut due to different reasons. But the plan is to add new monsters from this notebook I have whenever I add a new zone with encounters :D
Probably the final game will end up with about 50ish monsters or so.
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Hugues Ross
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Re: Emo Quest XD Demo - A Colorful Retro JRPG Adventure!

Post by Hugues Ross »

I played through the demo this morning, and took some notes as I went. Not sure how useful all of this is, and I'm too lazy to group up my thoughts so here's just the chronological list of stuff I wrote down:
  1. It would be nice to have the controls in the readme of the game, or in-game otherwise. Unless I missed a spot it looks like they're only available here and on the game's Itch page...
  2. The start of the game felt a bit abrupt, just dropping you straight into a room with no music from name selection. It would've felt better with some kind of animation, or intro dialogue, just something to move in more smoothly.
  3. Right now, the delay between turning and walking feels a little too slow imo. I think it would feel better if it were sped up juust a tiny bit.
  4. As 4xEmpire mentioned, it definitely gives off strong pokemon vibes. Personally I had a bit of a disconnect at first, going in the game's description had me wondering if this was going more off of Undertale and the like but everything down to the 3Cs is very reminiscent of the 2D games. If that's what you were going for though, you definitely nailed the feel.
  5. So at this point in my notes I found the sign telling you how to run. I feel like this would've been more useful as a popup after getting the shoes, or maybe dialogue from mom before you leave? It feels odd to have an explanation of a mechanic that was given to the player several minutes earlier.
  6. It'd be nice to have some indicator of the second status page. I went there looking for my character's stats, and it took a bit of fumbling to realize there were multiple 'pages' to see. Maybe an arrow or something? Otherwise, it's tough to judge how music/levelups will affect your character without knowing your stats.
  7. At this point I took a short break and reloaded the game. I'd recommend selecting the 'Continue' option by default if there's valid save data, since most players will start a new game once and continue many times.
  8. Oh yeah, also. If you don't mind me asking, why emo? It occurred to me a good ways into the demo that the character being emo never really comes up anywhere, but you felt it was significant enough to put in the title so I wonder if you plan to do something with that later. If not, I'd consider it since right now it feels like an oddly-specific detail that doesn't clearly tie into anything.
  9. One thing I really liked was the reward for getting through the first 'dungeon' of sorts was a means of fast-travel letting you just warp back to town. That's a really nice touch imo!
So overall thoughts on this demo. I think the puzzles and lab exploration were the most engaging part of what's here, I had a good bit offun with that part. On the other hand, I felt like the combat was a bit boring and repetitive, at least at this early point of the game. The fact that stat-downs were genuinely useful is a good start, but I felt like fights all kinda wind up following the same rough pattern, including the boss. I think the most successful RPG combat tends to balance loadout / customization, interaction between moves / characters, enemies with mechanical 'gimmicks' to work around, and such. As it stands right now, you don't really have any of that and the result is that most fights wind up being a simple damage race with maybe 1 or 2 stat downs at the start if the enemy is big, rather than something that takes more planning and strategy. It's a tough issue to tackle when dealing with 1v1 combat, so I don't have any magic solutions for that. It's something I'd recommend thinking about though, I think the game's combat sections will suffer otherwise.

The other thing I'd mention is... I remember seeing a fair bit of lore? flavor text? in parts of the lab and I'm of two minds about it. On one hand, it's nice to have that info scattered around for folks like me who interact with everything. On the other hand, a lot of it felt like little out-of-context snippets that I wasn't sure how to process. Like, I wasn't really sure what parts would be relevant at some later point and what parts were just fluff if you catch my drift? It might help to group some of that more so that you find more info about a smaller number of topics in any given place, I think this would make it easier for players to remember. It's definitely worth keeping around though, I just think it could be re-arranged a bit to be easier to parse.

I could also offer some critique of the game's art, but that's something I generally don't do without permission. As an artist I'm well aware that you're not always looking for art crit on work and it can feel kinda disrespectful to have someone drop it on you unprompted. If you'd like it though, let me know.

Anyhow, I hope to see more of this in the future!
pbmn
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Re: Emo Quest XD Demo - A Colorful Retro JRPG Adventure!

Post by pbmn »

Thanks for playing!!! And thanks for the feedback!

1. I can put those in the readMe no problem, I just thought that it would be more spottable on the page rather than the readMe file.
2. I was thinking about an intro video, but not for the demo. It would be about how the player got the flower.
4. Thanks!
5. Well, my tutorial may not be the best, but I personally don't think the sign is thaaaat far away into the game.
6. That ended up like that because, well, I add monsters, I program stuff, I put the monsters on the locations, do some pixel art, create music, balance the game a lot, and all that removes my attention from some small details, but I still remember that sometimes, it just didn't feel that relevant for me at some moments. I will be adding some arrows to that screen, I was already going to do that at some moment.
7. Oh didn't notice this, it will help a lot when people smash the accept button at the beginning! I'll change that.
8. Oh boy, it's a looong story. The game's story is divided into chapters, with a very deep emotional theme, except the first one, that was just for the fun of it. Chapter 02 is about finding your Soul, Chapter 03 will be about discovering how to love, Chapter 04 will be about emotions and how to continue living with past trauma stuff, and well... the main character is actually me as you can see when you interact with the yellow triangle at your home. Also there'll be different Songs (the equipment) in the game, Skramz, Symphonic Metal, Emo, Power metal, Anime OP, Goth Rock so that adds up.
9. I felt that the game would be too boring without it at the very beginning, at least after the first boss. So I had to put it there to make the player more comfortable to where he/she goes into.

As for the combat, tbh I really like this combat to the point of replaying it a lot. But I get what you mean. The beginning had lots of Encounter Areas/Zones, but it was too much (the player had to level up though) so I added the lab to make it more varied and fun. So after Chapter 1 the player is like Level 4 or 5, so I diminished the encounters by a LOT, there's no long cave in Chapter 2, it's a small forest with another puzzle to solve. As for chapter 3 I avoided battles in the beginning and added a stealth sections. So I thought, I can't just go on with this battle like this, so in each chapter there'll be a unique status condition the monsters can put you into. Idk if that's the best solution. I've thought of implementing 1v2 and 1v3 battles for latter chapters like 3 and 4 but I really need to think about it. All status conditions in game are stucked and poison (Chapter 1), Sleep (Chapter 2), Angry (Chapter 3), and there'll be a new one for the last.
In the end, I just want to mix these simple battles with added effects into the puzzles/action sections I add on (of course alternating those where they feel better).
There's also the Songs effects that add up, like, Power Metal protects agains sleeping, Meditative adds HP but reduce speed, Gothic Rock will make physical attacks restore HP and things like that may help the battles a bit.

About the lore, all of the texts in the lab are crazy stuff the Necromancers talk about, most of them will end up just adding character to them(I really wanted to add the pyramids location, but let's see if it will be possible...). But there's a room in the teleport puzzle that tells about a tree, a paper king and an ice spider, that is actually relevant to the game, as the player is going to go after the 3 emotional jewels, the Soul Emerald, the Love Ruby and the Emotion Sapphire right after chapter 1.

As for the art, I started the game making it only in greyscale, so that might answer a lot of your thoughts (maybe). So later I colored it with the Color palette. But still, I didn't think it was enough, so I colored it for real with any color I would color and ended up with the EX palette. Of course I kept all those palettes in the game. Honestly, I won't be changing stuff that much, I'll probably add some shading on the houses in the beginning and that's it.

I'll be updating the Demo after making enough additions to it! Glad to have some feedback so I can improve things I didn't notice, or things that would help! Thank you so much!
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GVovkiv
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Re: Emo Quest XD Demo - A Colorful Retro JRPG Adventure!

Post by GVovkiv »

as for gamepad support
Why on xbox a - means "go back in menu" and b "accept"?
Isn't in almost all games a = "accept" and b = "go back"?
pbmn
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Re: Emo Quest XD Demo - A Colorful Retro JRPG Adventure!

Post by pbmn »

Oh... to tell you the truth is that I don't have an Xbox controller, so I couldn't test it, so I may have swapped out things :(. I've tested with a Switch Pro Controller mapped to be an Xbox Controller and it worked the same so I thought 'A' was accept a 'B' was Back. Sorry if it ended up alternated. I'll be adding a menu option to choose what type of controller you are using as soon as possible with all minor additions as well.
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GVovkiv
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Re: Emo Quest XD Demo - A Colorful Retro JRPG Adventure!

Post by GVovkiv »

pbmn wrote: Fri Oct 29, 2021 1:09 pm Oh... to tell you the truth is that I don't have an Xbox controller, so I couldn't test it, so I may have swapped out things :(. I've tested with a Switch Pro Controller mapped to be an Xbox Controller and it worked the same so I thought 'A' was accept a 'B' was Back. Sorry if it ended up alternated. I'll be adding a menu option to choose what type of controller you are using as soon as possible with all minor additions as well.
On switch controllers (and switch itself), for some reasons, B swaped with A and Y with X(compared to xbox layout):
Switch:
Image
Xbox:
Image
So it may be the issue
pbmn
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Re: Emo Quest XD Demo - A Colorful Retro JRPG Adventure!

Post by pbmn »

Still didn't upload a new version, but I've already added the option in the menu and Xbox is the default one, seems to be working now. I'm still fixing minor stuff and I'll be uploading version 1.01 of the Demo, got a bit hyped with this function, I'll also be figuring out PS4 mapping if possible before making it to Itchio again. Thanks for playing and for spotting that issue!
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pgimeno
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Re: Emo Quest XD Demo - A Colorful Retro JRPG Adventure!

Post by pgimeno »

That's a "Nintendo vs PSX" thing. Nintendo designs their hardware in such way that the most easily accessible button is the rightmost, and Sony the bottommost. Therefore the primary button for Sony software is the bottommost, and for Nintendo the rightmost. It's very annoying. I often find myself cancelling when I shouldn't, or accepting when I shouldn't. Apparently Xbox has followed the Sony convention. Frankly I preferred the initial Sony convention of having the back/cancel button be the uppermost, rather than the rightmost, but it seems to have stuck to always be one of those, probably for interoperability with two-button consoles like the GBA.
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